I’ve seen more posts and heard more about things like barking, growling, howling, etc. in public.
For me, although I may...
I’ll be honest. I thought a lot, and I mean a lot, about...
trying to find nice things for friends in the otherkin tag is impossible people just want more drama? i want people to talk about...
We’ll be starting at 6pm, and going until at least 8pm possibly later if people want to.
Please let me know if you are planning to attend, so we can have an accurate count to give the wait staff for our table(s). You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org as always, or via instant messenger: I’m TrickstersSon on AIM and email@example.com on Google talk. I have a smart phone again, so last minute RSVPs are ok, and rides from the metro can be arranged if necessary but the more notice on that sort of thing the better.
Also, just in case you have trouble finding us when you get there, here is a link to a page with a photo of me so you can recognize me: http://anotherwiki.org/wiki/Jarandhel_Dreamsinger The restaurant staff will not know what you are talking about if you ask them about an otherkin meetup, they just know us as a group of friends who eat there together. Our general policy is discretion, and not involving the staff or other patrons in our spirituality without their consent.
Meetup Reminder - Saturday, December 8th at 6pm at the Lost Dog Cafe here in Merrifield, VA:https://plus.google.com/106024800889702113944/about?gl=us&hl=en
Well, two of the folks who were supposed to show ended up not making it, but we had a last-minute addition that more than made up for their absence, and totally made being on tumblr worthwhile. I’m not going to single her out unless she wants to identify herself, but you know who you are and you’re awesome. :)
a) It’s the general consensus of the real vampire community that someone who is not a vampire cannot be turned into one.
b) Why would you want to be turned into a vampire? You realize, don’t you, that real vampires are not like those depicted in fiction, on tv, or in the movies? A real vampire is an ordinary human being who needs blood or energy in order to sustain themselves. When they don’t get that blood or energy, the physical symptoms are actually very similar to a diabetic with low blood sugar - they get weak, they’re not able to think as clearly, they get more emotional, they get more susceptible to illness, etc. There’s really no upside to this. If you wouldn’t go out and ask how you can be turned into a diabetic, you probably shouldn’t be asking how you can be turned into a vampire either.
Let’s clear up a few misconceptions about crisis counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists.
Sure there are some who are closed minded jerks, but the law prevents them from committing anyone to involuntary confinement unless they present an immediate threat to themselves or others. If you bluntly tell them that you are suicidal or planning to kill someone else, they can and will commit you because that is the law. If you tell them that you wish you would just disappear or that you hate your ex boyfriend and wish a truck would smash them, they might be suspicious and recommend therapy or medication strongly.
The difference between sanity and insanity, functional or dysfunctional may seem murky, but here is how a woman with a PhD in psychology who worked for the National Institute of Mental health explained it (paraphrased) when I told her I had dreams that came true and saw ghosts.
“Do you expect others to see ghosts? You are aware that culturally you are expected not to mention it to strangers in casual conversation, but that in other cultures it is acceptable to do so, right? Then you are sane, whatever your spiritual beliefs and mystical experiences are. If you told me that there was a giant pink teddybear on the ceiling of your house ordering you to hurt me and expected me to see and interact with it too, then you would be dangerously insane by the legal definition.”
After we talked for a while and she was supportive, fascinated and open minded, I dropped the Otherkin bomb. It was a huge risk and I knew it, but the study I was doing at NIMH on depression in families had always given me great experiences. So I said it. She asked for a definition and clarification of Otherkin and I gave it. She was fascinated, commenting that it seemed that a new subcultural spirituality was evolving under her nose. She wished that she had government funding to interview Otherkin and start a research program to measure WILLING and volunteering Otherkin for mental and physical differences. She mourned when I told her that so many Otherkin feared mental health professionals, and said that those Otherkin who did seek therapy should seek those who worked with alternative lifestyles and open belief systems. She remarked how very alone Otherkin must feel as well.
Sure, some of you will say, she was the exception and not the rule. However a whole school of therapy and psychology exists that believes in helping people understand themselves via reflection and not behavior change. This is the Humanistic therapy model and that and the Jungian therapists are most likely to be open minded towards us.
With this in mind, also remember that a lot of Otherkin have mental health issues. I have fought depression for years till I found the right combo of therapy and medicine that worked. Once I did, I functioned. I still have frustrating days like anyone else, of course, but that’s life. What is gone and good riddance is that terrible bleakness of depression and the sadistic urge to make others around me share my misery by being cruel to them and dragging them down. I have a decent life and accept that therapy and medication are part of maintaining that.
I suspect that for some people out there, they feel that being or suspecting they are mentally ill makes them “Special” due to suffering more than others or having a unique perspective. Maybe they fear that their Otherkin nature will be cured by therapy and that they will no longer be special. That’s a load of crap. My art has gotten better since I went into treatment due to a positive attitude, better concentration, optimism and the ability to look at my work and see and know its worth. If you are Otherkin it is in your soul, not your serotonin and other neurochemicals. Suffering does not make you any better than other people, even if you enter into it for spiritual or political reasons. It just makes your approach different but the approaches of others are still valuable and legitimate. Mental health interventions should make you more of who you are, not less.
As a patient you have the right to terminate a relationship with any doctor at any time unless you are a danger to yourself and others. Even the schitzophrenic patients we see at my doctor’s office still have freedoms. We have a guy who wears jewelry made of copper, plastic and duct tape, sees choirs of angels in his living room, talks to God in public, pees in his sink for fear that the Martians who control the Russian Mafia have placed electrodes in his toilet to corrode his brain through his penis and never bathes. He lives in assisted care but is not dangerous so he can come and go at will. He walks to our office, smells terrible and keeps the appointments necessary to his health. At any time he could fire my doctor as long as he found another one and took care of his health issues.
We all have so much more freedom and in most cases so many less issues than this guy. In most places, there are public mental health clinics, support groups and schools for psychiatry with sliding scale fees. I encourage any Otherkin who suspect that they might have a mental health issue to look into and utilize all the resources at our disposal to improve the public image of Otherkin.
Well, the first NoVA Otherkin Meetup outside of Sticks and Stones went very well. We had a total of 7 people attend, including myself. We met for just under two hours, and a lot of fun and good food and good conversation was had. I’d like to see about getting some more people there next time, and possibly going a bit longer, but I do like the group we had. Though I might have to sit on the side of the table that’s doing magical geekery next time rather than the side that’s doing exotic jewelry design. ;-)
The next meetup will be Sunday, October 1st, at 6pm. Same location.
Just reminding folks, the Northern Virginia Otherkin Meetup is meeting today, Labor Day, at 6pm at the Silver Diner on Gallows Road by the Dunn Loring metro station. If you don’t already know what I look like to find us at our table, a recent photo is here: http://anotherwiki.dreamhart.org/wiki/Jarandhel_Dreamsinger
Ok, here’s the scoop - I’ve decided to dive in head first with this and try to hold the first meetup next Monday, Labor Day, at 6pm at the Silver Diner near the Dunn Loring/Merrifield Metro Station in Vienna.
I’m not sure how many folks we’ll get to this first one, especially with the short notice, but better to get the ball rolling than to never begin. ;-)
Just found out there’s a new meetup in Delaware, Ohio, starting on September 13th:
Thought folks might be interested.
As I am sure most of you have guessed, I was a member of House Eclipse. I was one of the original founding 6 to be precise. I miss the gatherings we had if not the egotistical crap that results when you throw a bunch of Otherkin in a room at the same time. The running joke is that a nightclub that can fit 500 people is really only big enough for two vampires and their egoes, and even then it is still crowded.
I left the community after I got sick of the drama. Also I got sick of how we few founders of House Eclipse required voting members to attend only 1 meeting a year, and we hounded people for months beforehand about a simple dinner meeting. Still it was only the few core members who showed with perhaps an average of 1 to 3 other people of the 20 or so voting full members.
Our rules were simple. A voting member could be any kintype or none at all. Our nonkin members had the same voting rights as the Otherkin. Nonkin also kept us from forgetting that our Kin lives were only half the spectrum. The other side is fitting in and being a contributing and functional member of society to whatever extent we could. Our Nonkin were there to smack our egoes back down to size and tell us when we were being stupid, obnoxious or impractical. Nonkin also included donors, who would tell us vampires when we were letting our cold, animalistic side out too far in public due to needing to feed.
Contributing to society could take many forms. For us it meant either being in college or a student and paying rent/doing household chores to pay rent, having your own place to live, having a job of some kind if not a full time student and taking care of everyday and financial responsibilities. It also included philisophically the everlasting fight for self control, self knowledge and understanding of both sides of the self.
We made allowances for members with mental and physical illnesses. The rule was that for either, you had to be receiving some kind of professional care, even if it was at a public health clinic. All of us Sangs willingly got blood tests every 6 months (I still do) along with the donors, which I still also insist on for said donors. Those like me with a mental illness like clinical depression had to go to our psychiatrist and take our prescribed medicines. If those medicines caused ill effects, we knew better than to try and just stop taking them, we talked to our doctors and had them do their jobs.
When a tantric and energy donor exposed several people to herpes, she was banned and everyone who had direct or indirect contact with her all got tested and willingly were abstinent from sex or feeding for two months until we were in the all clear. When we found out that one of our male members was bipolar and had a statutory rape charge, we banned him from interacting with any of the kids who came to House functions and assigned him a chaperone at any gathering the House attended where there were kids or teens. He was hurt, but understood the necessity. We also required him to continue counseling or be expelled when he had thought of quitting that.
Children were welcome at our open events like camping trips with an adult relative accompanying them and if said adult was at least a probationary member. This was especially important after I attended another group’s gather where someone brought an 18 year old nonkin to the gathering without telling her what kind of people were there. The same person then proceeded to get her drunk and naked in a hot tub to try to have sex with her. The organizer of that gathering did not intercede, stating that it was none of their business. I was at that gathering and as I at the time felt that it was not my place to interfere with another person’s event, I and the other House Eclipse attendee did nothing. When we got home and discussed the event with the House, I wrote a formal, public apology for not interfering and pointing out that the action was illegal and immoral. Should I ever see something again like this, I will stop it from occurring, even if I am overstepping my bounds. Vampires are territorial but we are also bound by laws and must obey them.
I also feel now that being too permissive of bad behavior encourages it. Certainly I believe in accepting the differences of others, but I also believe in pointing out dangerous or foolish behaviors. If I had snot hanging from my nose in public, I would expect a real friend to point it out and hand me a tissue. If I need to feed and am acting like an asshole because of it, my donors and friends point that out. If a therian friend sniffs me in private, that is no big deal, but if they growl at someone on the bus in public I will let them know that that is inappropriate behavior.
I mentioned the wolf Therian before who ate raw meat at a diner (and got tapeworms and other issues from it) and who snapped at a waitress. He was immediately asked to leave that event and spoken to by everyone about what was and was not appropriate behavior in public. When we went camping in the hills later, he asked permission to go howl loudly, and we gave it. He had fun and started to learn what was and was not socially acceptable. Similarly a dark Fae member of our group enjoyed verbally pushing people’s buttons to see how angry he could make them. He was banned from our events.
Also banned was a psychic vampire with no control. She had no training so we were patient at first, teaching the basics in grounding, centering and shielding to her and letting her know in no uncertain terms that our gatherings were NOT a free energy buffet and to stop feeding, now. She made all sorts of excuses about why she did not have time to learn to control herself or meditate and how she didn’t have time to actually read up on the research homework we assigned her (basic books on energy, shielding and psionics). So before the next meeting, we shielded ourselves psychically, cleansed the area with smoke and salt water and put a protection talisman out. She took two steps in, looked angry and walked out, never to return. Good riddance.
If anyone is seriously looking for book resources I will be happy to post a recommended reading list on several topics.
Just to be clear, while itzocelotl is my roommate and is paying me to be the webmaster of House Eclipse’s website, I am not myself a member. I do agree with them on many points. I’m simply gun-shy about joining otherkin organizations due to past experiences.
I am sure this post is going to be very unwelcome. I am also sure that it needs to be said and that I don’t care.
Let’s talk about Otherkin, people with nonhuman souls in (mostly) human bodies. I first became aware of Otherkin through House Eclipse, a local vampire and Otherkin house. I have personally known demonkin, angelkin, elementals, therians, Fae, Darkfae, elves, fictionkin and even a couple dragonkin and multiple systems. Of those, the ones I respect the most are those who are who they are in spite of WHAT they are or what is or is not wrong with them.
For example, some people are Diabetic with a capital D, and constantly bemoan not being able to eat ice cream, make a huge deal out of their hypoglycemic swings and accuse others of eating in front of the just to make them miserable. Others wear a medic alert bracelet, politely turn down cookies at parties, check their sugar, watch their diet and will talk openly about diabetes if asked but don’t make a fuss about it unless it is medically necessary. They carry glucose gel, drink lots of water, wear breathable clothes and live their lives without making their condition everyone’s business.
We have a choice as Otherkin. We can be like Lobo, a former associate of mine who is a wolf therian. He ate raw steaks and hamburger patties in public with the predictable intestinal results (that poor bathroom) snapped his teeth at waiters, howled in malls (and got kicked out of them) and eventually was kicked out of House Eclipse. Not because of his Therianthropy but because he was and admitted to be able to control himself and chose not to. On the other hand, our other wolf Rob has a good day job as a secretary, bathes, functions, and keeps his Wolf side to himself unless he is in private (see his article on House Eclipse written as “Robziel”).
Self discipline is within the purview of any Otherkin. Sure, ADD makes it harder to meditate but my mother, who has that diagnosis, taught herself in spite of that and clinical depression. I have clinical depression and spent 15 years in therapy, take my daily medicines and watch myself to make sure they still work. I too learned to meditate and control my breathing and heartbeat. Anyone can if they want to badly enough and stop making excuses. I am a sang vampire and a phlebotomist, which is a huge test of self control. It took me a while…as a teen I bit some of my lovers badly, got sick when I tried not feeding, let my Hunger dictate friendship choices and got sucked into the drama of the vampire community. On the other hand, local older vampires taught me to control myself, ignoring my outbursts or restraining me if I did something stupid in public, such as at local nightclubs. I got caught feeding once by a thankfully open minded boss which taught me to be more discreet. I went into phlebotomy as a safer way to get blood and to learn how to read test results and take care of my donors.
Later I learned that while donor blood is great and all, it is not always reliable. If your donor gets sick, you leave them alone to heal. In that time I started using animal blood from feeder rats. That is not enough, even if you take all the blood from a rat, so now I use meat rabbits. I feed them well, take care of them and drain one every week and a half or so. The meat can be sold or kept for my use, and the manure goes on my garden.
Here I expect horrified comments. How dare I kill cute little bunnies to drink them? Easy. I take care of them, and they are prey animals, raised and kept for the purpose of being eaten. I am an omnivore and feel that by ensuring that the rabbits are kept well and free of drugs, I am giving them a decent life until they are eaten. These rabbits are not wild, they are livestock. I feel no shame for the meat, eggs and milk I eat (even though male calves die so that female cows can be milked). This is my role in nature and I am content with it.
Let’s talk for a moment about self discipline and being Otherkin. I really don’t care what your kintype is, self control and the ability to function in everyday society without sticking out like the proverbial sore thumb are super important. I personally cannot take anyone seriously who has not spent time working on both of these. For example if a Psivamp tells me that they are an Elder and super powerful, that means that they had better be able to shield, keep themselves from feeding inappropriately, drop into a decent trance in around 10 minutes and astrally project at will. They should be able to fine tune their feeding to be able to drain only emotional energy from a specific emotion, such as fear. They can also hide their need for energy and avoid feeding on those who cannot afford to lose energy such as in hospitals. Beyond that, they should have been doing daily meditation for at least four years. If you cannot say that, then you are not an elder Psivamp.
Too often I hear crap like, “Oh I can do magic. I don’t read books on it or know any theory, or do daily practice, but I know what I am doing.” Nope. Either you have a direct mentor or your read everything in sight and either way you learn self control and self discipline. If you cannot control your Other nature, you are a menace and make the rest of us look bad, as well as embarassing yourself. The point is to function and fit in when we have to and not to have everyone stare and point due to not having the equivalent of mental potty training.
It bothers me when people like Lobo or that idiot Don Henrie make the online community look bad by being apparently unable to make their Otherkin Selves a part of who they are instead of the whole of who they are. Like the diabetic in my earlier analogy, they shape their entire identity around one facet of themselves. By all means, develop your Otherkin side, but don’t forget what Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki said in “The Ritual Magic Workbook” about the Hearthfire path. For those who have not read it, she says (to paraphrase) that home, family and finances should be in order and taken care of before you seek the Mysteries with a full mind and heart. That does not mean that you cannot have an illness, mental or physical and not do magic or whatever. It does mean that you have to be treating it and taking care of it to the fullest of your abilities before you go harping off onto the path of Enlightenment and NOT using it as an excuse as to why you neglect personal hygiene or daily responsibilities.
Sunlight hurts me. I sunburn in under half an hour and heat exhaust even faster. So I got my EMT-Basic certification to learn to take care of myself or other vampires or other people in general who get sick. I wear a cotton gauze robe to allow airflow while blocking out some sunlight and keep my skin covered. I still work a day job but keep the blinds closed in my office. I wear welding glasses to protect my eyes more than regular sunglasses. I do not whine at my boss and say I cannot work day shift; in the current economy they would just replace me. I find ways to work around my condition. I try to keep well fed and my primary donor helps me with that.
The trick is to work within society so that we don’t all come off as delusional jackasses. Not to go around nightclubs biting people with fake fangs and giving them tetanus or cellulitis, but to use a lancet type device on a finger tip (able to be purchased and used by anyone, I can link you to medical warehouse sites to buy them). For my Dark Fae friend, he uses his ability with machines to work with intelligent lighting at a nightclub. I know a vampire in Italy who is an anesthesiologist and uses his skills to draw blood in units from willing donors. I know another wolf Therian who is a paramedic. He uses his bursts of strength to lift patients and his sense Shifting to smell problems with kidneys and other organs or bacteria in urine. We can work in normal jobs and even excel at them.
We are not better or worse than NonKin, just different. I feel that we should learn to work within society, not make society cater to us.
I’m just going to add a link to the House Eclipse site which my roommate mentioned here: http://www.house-eclipse.org
The specific article which was mentioned by Robziel can be found here: http://www.house-eclipse.org/wordpress/the-care-and-feeding-of-werewolves/