Otherkin FAQ v 4.0.1 (2/8/01)

Crisses: This is here because I felt it was important enough to create a mirror/backup so it wouldn't be lost. If you want me to take this down just let me know.

Introduction

{Editorial comments and credits for specific contributions are in brackets (all questions unless specified otherwise, are probably submitted by the Crisses at one point or another, or by the editorial committee).}

There is no one right answer to many of the questions presented in this FAQ, which is why the original "Otherkin and Awakening FAQ" had multiple entries for each answer. Being an Otherkin is a range of experiences, not only one type of experience, and every person's experiences differ.

Unfortunately, the former format of the FAQ became unwieldy, and the answers became outdated as information was shared and processed in the community, troves of new members joined, and more lists collaborated on their findings. Due to this, a major overhaul of the FAQ was called for, and the committee decided that some questions were better off dropped because they didn't seem relevant to the purpose of the new "Otherkin FAQ". The editors apologize, and a copy of the old, outdated, FAQ remains accessible at http://kinhost.org/res/Otherfaqold.html (not an active link).

Expand 1.0 ON OTHERKIN
1.1 Important: Opening Disclaimer
1.2 Defining Otherkin
1.3 Trans-Species Otherkin
1.4 Genetically Otherkin

Expand 2.0 ON AWAKENING
2.1 What is an Awakening?
2.2 Who Awakens?
2.3 Problems with Awakening
2.4 Born Awakened

Expand 3.0 OTHERKIN AS IDENTITY
3.1 Identification of your own species
3.2 Unique Kintypes
3.3 Correlations and contrasts between individual otherkin
3.4 Notable physical limitations
3.5 True-Forms/Dire-Forms
3.6 Magick in the "real world"
3.7 Gifts/Curses
3.8 Callings

Expand 4.0 DOUBT AND DISBELIEF
4.1 Doubt of the entire phenomenon
4.2 Doubt in yourself
4.3 Doubt in yourself - No Past Life Memories
4.4 Dealing with others' doubt, ridicule, etc.

Expand 5.0 COPING AS OTHERKIN
5.1 Coping
5.2 Being the "real you" with other people
5.3 The Other closet: Who should I come out to?
5.4 Panic and Paranoia

Expand 6.0 MEMORIES
6.1 Lack of Memories
6.2 Aid for recovering (more) memories
6.3 Painful memories
6.4 Desperation to go "Home"

Expand 7.0 MISCELLANEOUS
7.1 Otherkin Subtypes
7.2 Walk-Ins
7.3 On Otherkin Multiples
7.4 Otherworldly Beings - Spirit Folk

Expand 8.0 RESOURCES
8.1 Resources for the Newly Awakened
8.2 Race-Specific Resources
8.3 Networking & Outreach

Collapse 1.0 ON OTHERKIN
1.1 Important: Opening Disclaimer
Are there any patterns that hold true for all Otherkin, or everyone of a certain species of Otherkin?
 

So far, the answer to that is a resounding "Absolutely not!" Each Otherkin is unique unto themselves, and while there may be popular trends, it is considered a trend in the community before it's a majority.

A trend in the community happens where about 30% of the people it could apply to find that the subject matter is true for them. So if you don't agree with something in particular, in all likelihood, you are in the majority. That's important to keep in mind as you read the FAQ.

A good example is: Are all elves physically or energetically sensitive to metal/iron? No. But perhaps as much as 30% or so are. It certainly seems to be a trend.

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1.2 Defining Otherkin
What is an Otherkin? (aka Fairth, Metahuman, and sometimes Furries)
 

The Otherkin are those people who believe themselves to be spiritually and/or physically other than human. While mythological species (elves, satyrs, fairies, dragons, and so on) are widely accepted as being included under the term "Otherkin", many people in the community prefer to include aliens, vampires, furries, extraterrestrial humans, and other nonhuman races. A mythological or literary equivalent is not necessary to be included under "Otherkin"; there are types of otherkin that have not shown up in known legends or fiction (star-dragons, Elenari, etc.).

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1.3 Trans-Species Otherkin
What do you mean by "spiritually other than human"?
 

Transgendered people feel they were born into a body of the wrong gender. Trans-spirited otherkin usually feel they were born into (or are residing within) a body of the wrong species. Some Otherkin handle their displacement better than others, but having a community of understanding friends can be helpful

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1.4 Genetically Otherkin
What do you mean by "physically other than human"?
 

Some people in the otherkin community believe that they inherited genes influenced by non-human genetic material. It occasionally manifests to a greater or lesser degree in some otherkin.

Some Otherkin who appear to have genetic traits from non-human stock seem to have a natural magickal protection which is either an illusion or minor shapeshifting which is called a "Seeming" in the community. ie: they Seem human.

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Collapse 2.0 ON AWAKENING
2.1 What is an Awakening?
What do people mean by "an Awakening"?
 

"Awakening" is a term used in some spiritual practices to denote coming to a new frame of reference, or state of mind. "Awakening" is used in the Otherkin community to denote the point/s of realization that one is not (solely) human.

In Otherkin Awakening, an individual reevaluates their lives in new and sometimes scary ways. They realize that, for some reason, they no longer feel completely human. Some may feel a new consciousness developing, with new thought patterns, new belief structures or new memories.

To some, this 'awakening' to a new life is a quick and complete event. Almost overnight, they 'know' who or what they truly are. For others, and possibly this is the majority, the awakening process is the start of a long process that may take years to complete.{edited from Starelf's entry to the original FAQ}

For more information on styles of Awakening, please see: So, You're Awake by Miaren CrowsDaughter.

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2.2 Who Awakens?
Who is most likely to become Awakened? Are there any noticeable trends?
 

Anybody. Any age, any profession, any reason...it's an Equal Opportunity Awakening :). It may be more likely with people who have contact with already-Awakened people or who come across something else that may help awakening. Maybe it's more likely with the ones that are open minded, into metaphysics, into magic/energetics, into role-playing, Paganism, Wicca, who have imagination, read or view in the SciFi or Fantasy genre, etc.... {edited from Eyovah's entry to the original FAQ}

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2.3 Problems with Awakening
I'm having a difficult time with my Awakening. What can I do about it? Does everyone have such a hard time?
 

For some Otherkin, Awakening is a very gradual process and doesn't cause any shock, while for some, Awakening can happen very quickly and be very alarming. Most are probably in between somewhere.

The first thing you can do is educate yourself by looking at this FAQ and checking out the resources listed at the end of the FAQ. After that, you're probably better off seeking a Newly-Awakened-Otherkin email list or contacting Otherkin in your area and getting some friendly support and advice. If you're having a hard time, you're certainly not alone.

If you're questioning your sanity, that's a normal part of Awakening. Our society tells people that elves, faeries, angels, dragons and whatnot don't exist, so realizing you *are* one is bound to cause some consternation. Flashes of sudden, new intuition, precognitive dreams (or waking visions), and so on, may cause some disorientation, but they are not out of the ordinary for an Awakening otherkin. (For more on dealing with that, see the section on Doubt and Disbelief.

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2.4 Born Awakened
What does it mean when someone is born or raised Awakened?
 

Occasionally someone comes into the community who was born and raised Awakened. Their parents are Awakened Otherkin, of whatever race(s), and raised their children in full knowledge of who and what they were. These people don't have to go through a period of Awakening at all, they're already Awake, and always were.

As the community grows, the chances of coming across people who were Born Awakened increase, as newly Awakened people are having children of their own. However, this is not solely a new phenomena, there are probably well-established communities out there of Born Awakened.

These people probably also have a Seeming (see also Genetically Otherkin above).

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Collapse 3.0 OTHERKIN AS IDENTITY
3.1 Identification of your own species
How do I find out what am I? I already have a species in mind, can anyone tell me if I'm right?
 

Only you can tell for sure. There are many theories in the community on the best ways to determine what you are. Some people like to look at the artwork they are attracted to, or what they've collected around the house. Others pay attention to where their body feels out of place. Perhaps the best advice of all is patience and time. Some people will undoubtedly take one look at you and proclaim your species for you, but if the label doesn't fit, don't wear it, and thank them for their time.

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3.2 Unique Kintypes
What if I'm a species-type that no one else mentioned? Am I alone?
 

Everyone is unique, even if there are hundreds of members of their species around.. You will not be alone in not finding anyone of your particular species. Many people are unique in the community, in that they do not know anyone else who shares many traits of their kind. Perhaps one day you will find someone else of your kind, whether it's a species represented in folklore, mythology or fiction, or whether it's never been heard of before. In the meantime, you should enjoy the great diversity of the community.

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3.3 Correlations and contrasts between individual otherkin
How am I more/less like everyone else?
 

Otherkin often compare and contrast themselves with others in the community and others of their race. While this is an enjoyable pastime, it almost always accentuates that we're all unique individuals, even within our respective species. Whether you are very average for your type or very unique for your type, your presence helps add to the community, and you can definitely find someone who will be interested in what your experience is as a member of that type.

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3.4 Notable physical limitations
What physical limitations are there in the community?
 

One thing that immediately comes to mind is that some people have weird allergies or aversions to objects or materials. Not everyone, however. Not every elf is allergic or has an aversion to iron, for instance. But some do.

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3.5 True-Forms/Dire-Forms
Why are people always referring to True-Forms around here?
 

A persons'True-Form is the energetic manifestation of their nonhuman body, which is usually experienced similarly to an aura field around the body.

Some people have the talent to see or sense True-Forms, and some people can kinesthetically feel only their own. This is considered a mixed blessing, because it's not always comfortable. Sometimes having these phantom body parts is fun or interesting, sometimes they get in the way. For example, people are referring to their True-Form when they complain that their wings are bothering them.

"True-Form" was coined some years ago and is a poor term for what it means, but it has stuck in the community. Another term that has cropped up is "Dire-Form".

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3.6 Magick in the "real world"
Does being Otherkin give me any special abilities?
 

Sometimes Otherkin have magickal or psionic abilities, and can discuss them with other people in the community, or seek out other magick users or psis to discuss their abilities.

One area that seems to be unique to the otherkin community is that of seeing people's phantom body parts or superimposed manifestation of their otherkin aura, often referred to as "true-forms" or "dire-forms" within the community. This ability is sometimes called True-Sight, or just Sight.

For many or even most otherkin, there are no special abilities; it's more a case of seeing the world differently from others, having different reactions to things and noticing (or ignoring) things that others might not catch (or think are important). Being Otherkin is not about what you can do, your magickal abilities or special powers, it's about the way you think and feel, and how you interact with the world and other people.

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3.7 Gifts/Curses
What are the benefits and drawbacks of Otherkin abilities?
 

Like any other magickal and/or psi talents, Otherkin abilities are often twofold 'blessings' as well. With each Gift there's at least a certain amount of responsibility in how it is used, and often there are other hardships that come along with it. For instance, an empath gets the benefits of sensing people's pleasant emotions and the drawbacks of sensing people's unpleasant emotions.

There are so many such abilities, benefits and drawbacks, that it's impossible to cover them in this FAQ. If you're having difficulties in this area, please seek advice and help from people in your area, or an email list.

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3.8 Callings
Why do I feel pulled to Heal? to Guard? etc.
 

There are a number of people in the Otherkin community who appear to have a magickal obligation to perform a task. We call this magickal obligation a "Calling". Callings are not limited to the Otherkin community; many people in various professions feel the urge or pull to perform their duty or profession, and it doesn't necessarily imply any magickal or psi ability on their part.

It's common amongst Otherkin to find Called Healers, Called Guardians and so forth. The community doesn't claim to understand it yet, but there's many similarities in the sense of obligation, even if what they feel obliged to do is different from person-to-person or type-to-type. Feeling the pull doesn't necessarily automatically imply having the skill or abilities needed to fulfill the obligation, which is sometimes a source of frustration for some newly awakening Otherkin.

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Collapse 4.0 DOUBT AND DISBELIEF
4.1 Doubt of the entire phenomenon
Why should someone believe another person's claims of being otherkin? {Ghostshadow}
 

It is a matter of respect to acknowledge that people are entitled to their beliefs. Sharing the belief is not at all necessary in order to respect an individual's right to believe what they do. Many people are curious about the paradigm of Otherkinness, the belief system that it entails for each individual. As long as they are respectful, it is easy to respond positively to the curiosity by answering questions and describing our experiences to others.

Even within the community, there is often someone whose beliefs may seem stranger than the average Otherkin's beliefs, but the community has developed cultural policies not to attack individuals for what they believe in. It is also perceived as unkind to try to force someone to change their point of view to suit your own.

This core of respect in the community does not stop anyone from discussions and comparing and weighing and measuring experiences and beliefs. It should not stop you from being skeptical either. All we ask is that you allow each of us the room to explore our own beliefs.

Otherkinness is a phenomenon in which proof is very elusive, and often in the eye of the beholder. You are very unlikely to find anyone proving anything in the community. In return for your respect, you'll probably find a lot of respect for your skepticism.

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4.2 Doubt in yourself
How do I know I'm not making this all up? How do I know I'm not just paying head-games with myself, pretending to be something "cool"? {Ghostshadow}
 

Worries about one's sanity are common enough in the otherkin community. We know that our beliefs are very different from what society tells us is true. Some of us take these worries as a very good sign, noting that the refusal to even question one's own sanity is an almost sure sign of insanity.

But even more importantly, agreeing with everyone else, and believing everything society does, are not the best measures of sanity. A far better measure is that of _functionality_: can you function as a stable, productive adult in the consensual reality?

For example, if you can keep a stable job, a roof over your head, keep up friendships, relationships and/or a social life, pay your bills, and generally behave like a functional adult (if you're an adult :) ), then it doesn't matter whether you consider yourself a human or a creature from another planet.

On a deeper level, many otherkin find that identifying as such -- identifying as an elf, or a dragon, or a vampire, or a pixie, or whatever -- actually gives them *more* of a sense of stability in their lives and understanding of themselves. If it's simply something you call yourself, then maybe you are just playacting. But more likely, you've found (or will find) that accepting and embracing your identification and your nature as otherkin helps you understand things about yourself that never made sense before. And if it does, then calling yourself otherkin may be helping keep you sane.

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4.3 Doubt in yourself - No Past Life Memories
I have a feeling I'm not human, but I don't remember anything from past lives. Am I just making this up? {Sileniel}
 

There's no requirement that you have any past lives at all in order to be otherkin. Lots of people are here for their first time, and some otherkin don't even believe in reincarnation. When you get right down to it, being otherkin isn't really about what you were in the past or on some other plane; it's about who and what you are now, here -- on Earth in the 21st century. Whether your otherness stems from a past life or simply from the essence that flows in your blood, the important part is what meaning it has for you, how it affects your daily life. If it isn't something that has meaning for you, then it doesn't really matter much one way or the other, does it? {Ghostshadow}

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4.4 Dealing with others' doubt, ridicule, etc.
There are people who found out (by whatever means) that I am Otherkin, and they don't believe me, they ridicule me. What can I do? {Sileniel}
 

This is a difficult thing to deal with. It's never fun to be ridiculed, and there is no easy way to just make it stop. You don't have to justify yourself to anyone, so don't feel as if you must. It's OK if people don't believe you, your belief in yourself is what counts. You're not alone.

The best thing is usually to ignore those who ridicule you and they will usually find something else to do when they get bored because you're not fleeing them. If someone stoops to the level of harassment in any form, however, take the necessary steps - including calling the police if necessary. Just because you believe differently than someone else is never a justification for harassment. It's illegal. {Sileniel}

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Collapse 5.0 COPING AS OTHERKIN
5.1 Coping
How do I cope now that I'm Otherkin?
 

Take care of all your basic needs, such as work, or home obligations, and explore in your spare time. If you're feeling panicky and need help, seek out something relaxing to do, or have a friendly chat with someone online. In the meantime, there's no rush or reason to think the sky is falling. The world hasn't really changed much, just your perspective on it has.

Try doing something creative to channel your energies, and pay attention to your life and surroundings and make sure you don't fall too deeply into overanalyzing yourself and the changes to your life. A sense of humor is always a good prescription. Laugh at yourself the next time someone jostles your wings (if you have/feel any) on the street :) Try to enjoy the changes.

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5.2 Being the "real you" with other people
How can I possibly ever let people know about this side of me? I feel like I'm living more than one life!
 

You can be whoever and whatever you are at any time. Whether the person you're talking with thinks of you as human, elven, or insane doesn't change who you *are*. So, if you're an elf who loves plants and trees, you can always introduce yourself to people as a "person" (i.e., sentient being) who loves plants and trees.

Of course, if it's really important to you that people actually know that you consider yourself something non-human, then you may want to come out of the closet to them. (See below)

It's up to each individual to define their comfort level with what other people know about them. There are many people in the community who are in the closet about their Otherkinness and many others who are rather out of the Closet, and all in between. Talking to other people may help you to decide what level of revelation to others is right for you.

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5.3 The Other closet: Who should I come out to?
How do I tell people that I'm not human? Who should I tell?
 

Some people never choose to tell others of their Otherkinness, while other people are out of the Othercloset with almost anyone. It's a personal choice and sometimes a difficult one to make.

The best thing to do is to take your environment and your self into account when making this decision. You might want to think about taking it a step at a time with each person, presenting Otherkinness in a step-by-step manner.

Before you come out to others, please come out to yourself. Realize how special you are. Understand that after you awakened, you will seem different, possibly thinking and believing differently than you did before. Get a handle on these new feelings. Get as comfortable, as possible, with them. When you are happy with who you are, then you might share with a close friend. There will be some you will feel you can talk to and many you will not. You choose the time and place and person that will learn of your new life. {from Starelf's entry in the original FAQ}

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5.4 Panic and Paranoia
I feel that something is really wrong, and that I'm in danger. Help?
 

Some people experience a widening of sensory input or additional psychic sensitivity with Otherkinness. The new input can be overwhelming, while in all likelihood, nothing has actually changed. The best thing to do is to give yourself time and space to reacclimatize to your new perceptions, talk about your fears and feelings in an appropriate forum, and try to relax into your reality shift. You are probably sensing things that you formerly missed, but which were always there.

In the event that you feel something really is happening, try picturing yourself surrounded by a globe of white or golden light. This is a very common protective visualization. Then seek out some help from someone in your area or online.

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Collapse 6.0 MEMORIES
6.1 Lack of Memories
I know I'm Otherkin, but I haven't remembered anything, what can I do?
 

You can be one of the many Otherkin who have no past lives as Otherkin, or have no memories of having been Otherkin in the past.

Forcing yourself to have memories because you feel you "ought to" is not the best reason, and many people chase after memories for a while and are quite unhappy when they finally find memories.

Memories that you force back to the surface of your mind are suspect, possibly contrived, and if they are real, they may hit you like a ton of bricks because you weren't ready yet.

The best thing to do in the absence of memories is to pay attention to what feels good and right to you in the here and now.


The LostKin Project is one place where the focus is on persons who don't have memories.

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6.2 Aid for recovering (more) memories
How can I recover memories?
 

For some people, memories are the Holy Grail of Otherkinness, while for others, they're just a bane, a nuisance, or totally inappropriate.

The LostKin Project is one place where the focus is on persons who don't have memories, and some things there focus on how to remember more.

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6.3 Painful memories
Death-Trauma and other painful memories
 

The most likely memories that one will recover are the ones which stand out emotionally or are different from the normal hum of your every-day life in the past. Seeking out memories is sometimes dangerous because one of the things that stands out best are things that are traumatic or painful, or your own death, which presumably only happened once in that lifetime, and are your last experiences there, thus are very close to the here and now.

People who remember traumatic memories may find they need counseling, professional or not. Sharing the memory with trusted friends and finding a good shoulder to cry --or shudder-- on can help a lot. If you can't find a person to share with, try writing it out to stop the recurring flashbacks that often accompany remembering traumatic memories.

Often you can find a message in the trauma, something positive that you can take from the experience. Also realize that the event is in the past and not happening in the present, no matter how closely you relive it.

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6.4 Desperation to go "Home"
I've always had a painful longing to be somewhere else, some former place I called 'home'. How can I get "home"? Have any Otherkin gone "home"?
 

While some otherkin feel a longing for another world, it is preferable to make the best of this home, to make this your home, while you are here. It is unknown whether or not any Otherkin have successfully gone home, because if they did, we probably wouldn't hear about it.

Not all Otherkin have this longing, and to many, this IS their native home. Speaking to those types about the positive points of this world might help you to make the adjustments needed to be more comfortable here.

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Collapse 7.0 MISCELLANEOUS
7.1 Otherkin Subtypes
What noticable subtypes of Otherkin might I run into?
 

As you explore the community, you're probably going to run into a good number of odd people who defy your former experiences. There are Walk-Ins, spirit-folk, Hosts and multiples, people who can channel spirits, and so on. Some of these are mentioned below.

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7.2 Walk-Ins
What is a Walk-In?
 

A Walk-In is where a new spirit enters a body.

There are various cases where the spirit belonging to the body leaves, or a swap takes place, or both spirits remain in the body creating a situation where the person becomes a Host (see On Otherkin Multiples, below).

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7.3 On Otherkin Multiples
What is a Host (also aspected/faceted/split/multiple)?
 

A reasonable number of people in the otherkin community are, for whatever reason, not only one person or mind in their body. Multiples in the otherkin community generally are of 3 types: heavily aspected or faceted, split personality, or hosting. For more information on these, you can see the Multiplicity: The Missing Manual project.

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7.4 Otherworldly Beings - Spirit Folk
Are there any other types of Otherkin? {Adara}
 

Some Otherkin possess the ability to perceive spirit folk, and a good many of the spirit folk are non-human in nature as well. Some Otherkin are channelers, while others simply sport a host of otherworldly beings as escorts, spirit helpers, totemic spirits, and so on. This is not unusual in the community.

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Collapse 8.0 RESOURCES
8.1 Resources for the Newly Awakened
Where can I locate more information that might be helpful while I'm awakening?
 

Try some of the links listed below, such as Otherkin.net (look for the article entitled "So, You're Awake?" in particular, and anything else in the "Introductory" articles section. Also check out listings of personal web pages from there). Some people find The Crisses website to be of help, or

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8.2 Race-Specific Resources
Where can I find more information on specific Otherkin species?
 

The Otherkin Resource Center (ORC) (no longer available) is a good place to look for race-specific information.

Other things to do is to go to Yahoo Groups and Google Groups and do a search on the name of the race you're interested in, to see if any specialty lists pop up. Take a look at Otherkin.net to see if any race-specific links have popped up since the writing of this FAQ.

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8.3 Networking & Outreach
Where can I meet people I can be the real me with?
 

At Otherkin.net you'll find a wealth of information for networking with other Otherkin. There is a geographical listing for Otherkin who choose to be listed there, and there are descriptions of online meeting places such as IRC channels, email lists, other web pages and so on.

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Contributions: Written by Arhuaine, Miaren Crowsdaughter, Thistle Kachunk, Golden Syrpent, Knight of Ghosts and Shadows, Jarin Dreamsinger and The Crisses--volunteer members of Otherkin community from a number of Yahoo-Groups lists. If I left you out, let me know...brain the size of a planet... :)

This FAQ was created with PageSpinner, FileMaker Pro from FileMaker Inc. and the AppleScript-based FAQ-Spinner kit included in the PageSpinner 3.0 distribution.

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