This page offers answers to some commonly asked questions regarding otherkinnity and therianthropy(with light touches on other nonhuman identities as well). I have tried my best to answer them as clearly as possible. Some terms are more difficult than others to understand and unfortuantly I find the best way to get familiar with the language and terms is to immerse yourself in conversation with other otherkin/therians. Otherwise it is hard to grasp their uses and nuance.
In these responses I am not naming dates nor historical events related to otherkinnity/therianthropy besides some clarifications. Much work has been done to preserve our history and I encourage everyone to take at a look at the writings of Scribner and HouseofChimeras for more detailed outlines on the history of therianthropy/otherkinnity, but this site is not for that purpose (though I have included various links to such writings on my Resources page).
As the definitions for otherkinnity are personal, not all will agree with my answers. That is okay! Feel free to continue using whateve label you so wish.
1. What is an Otherkin?
Someone who is otherkin is someone/something that identifies as a nonhuman. This can be anything from a fly, an elf, or even a dragon. This is the most broad and incompassing definition I can type, as being otherkin is a unique expirence for every individual. Not everyone expirences their nonhuman identify excatly the same and therefor I am using the term in this sense as an umbrella.
2. What is a Therian?
The most popular definition of a therian is someone/something that identifies as an earthly animal (extant or extinct) which is feral (wild). Therianthropy focuses on the animality and wild nature of their shifts(a term explained here) from their thereoytpe (which creature they identify as). While mostly applied to animals we find here on earth such as wolves, lions and fleas, it has historically been applied to creatures with similar "feral" behaviour (like some dragons, gryphons, etc). There is much debate on how narrow the definition of therian should be (some argue that it only applies to "real" animals).The term 'thrope may appear as well, however I have not seen this used to describe anyone in very long time.
I go in to much more detail on this here.
A were is an older term for therian, though some people still prefer the term over therian. A were does not have to be wolf, it can be any animal. You can be a werecat, werebunny, or even a werebear! I felt I should note this here as I have seen many who still call themselves were, which might be confusing for those unfamiliar with the term.
3. Wait a second.. Then are therians and otherkin the same?
Yes and no. Many therians contend that due to the separate and distinct origins of therianthropy that being a therian is not the same as being otherkin, though the expirences are extremely similar. Due to this, you might run in to (or maybe you are) someone who identifies as a therian, but not as otherkin. On the flip side, you may meet someone who identifies as otherkin but not therian. Some identify as both.
Having had the good fortune to be around both communities, I can say there is a distinct "feeling" to both and the people within them. Like so much in the nonhuman community, the only true way to notice or feel the differences in attitude, behaviour etc between the two groups is to be involded in the communities (or spend some time lurking online).
4. What is a Thereomythic?
A thereomythic coud be seen as the inbetween of a therian and an otherkin. As the definition of therian began to narrow, some felt they neither belong to the therian community or the otherkin community, and so this term was born to "fill the gap" between the two as it were. It means that though you might be a non earthly animal like a dragon, your expirences are closer aligned to that of a therian. Think of a dragon not as a mighty magical smart beast, but instead just a big lizard. This is a newer term and its definition/use has yet to be widely accepted with people often stating you must firmly be in one camp or the other. I, however, find it a useful term, especially in regards to people who identify as some flavour of werewolf.
5. What is an Awakening?
An Awakening is the term used when you come to realize and understand you are a therain/otherkin. Some people awaken very early in their lives (young adolensces) or for some people it does not come till many years in to their lives. Even after awakening, there is still a journey ahead of discovery as one comes to learn about themselves more and more. An awakening should not be confused with discovering thereotype or kintype which is..
6. What is a thereotype/kintype?
A thereotype/kin type is the specific thing one identifies as. Since I identify as a wolf, my thereotype is therefor wolf. Someone who is a dragon would have a dragon as their thereo/kin type. Some people pocesses multiple thereo/kin types (though I do not, so my experience and knowledge on this subject is obviously limited then). I go in to more detail in to more detail about discovering thereo/kin types here.
7. What is a Shift?
Shifts are a bit tricky to explain since there are several kinds and each person feels them differently. I have decided to keep this a seperate topic which can be viewed here.
8. What are the symbols that represent therians and otherkin?
There are two main symbols you will see online used to represent otherkin/therians:
One is the Elven Star, which is a heptagram (a fancy word for a star with 7 arms made of straight lines). The Elven Star is used as an identfier for otherkin, not specicifially any one kind.
The other is the theta-detla. This is used to identify therians specifiaclly, and is not used by others who do not self identify as therian.
You may also see some people using the Zeta symbol. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THERIANS OR OTHERKIN! This symbol is used by zoophiles to find more zoophiles. Any one displaying such a mark is loudy and public showing that they are zoophiles which, again, has nothing to do with otherkin or therianthropy. If you see someone with this it would be best to avoid them.
How do I become a therian/were/otherkin?
Unfortunalty, you cannot. Or, more accuratly, one does not choose to be otherkin/therian. It is something that is an ingrained part of who you are, not something you can decide to take up on a whim. If the question is 'How do I know if I am a therian/were/otherkin' then you will want to check out this page I have written on the topic.
Is this all a religious thing/do I need to be religious or believe in magic to be kin?
No. A big misconception about otherkins and therians is that their identities are tied via some mythsical thing. Whether it be soul shards, past lives, walk-ins, etc. However one does not need to believe in any religion or magic to be otherkin/therian, magic and religion is just one avenue people choose to explain their identity. Likewise, it is not roleplay at all.
So do you believe you can turn in to a werewolf?
No, very very few in the otherkin/therian community believe they can phsycially turn in to something. Remarks made like this are likely from trolls or potentially from people suffering from a severe case of clinical lycanthropy.
Hello, you can call me Cry. I am the author and owner of this website. I hope the information found within this site can help any and all otherkin/therians who find it. It might even teach you some things you didn't know! While some of the information is general, the focus on lycanis is the lived life of wolf therians/kin, straight from a wolf's maw.