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A Field Guide to Otherkin, by Lupa

By Psyche | March 9, 2008 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 2 Comments

A Field Guide to Otherkin, by Lupa
Immanion Press, 9781905713073, 310 pp. (incl. appendices, bibliography, and index), 2007

A Field Guide to Otherkin is the first full length treatment of this subculture, and, as such, while it has an extensive bibliography, a significant amount of material is drawn from surveys submitted from Otherkin and Lupa’s own experience, as she identifies as Otherkin herself.

Otherkin are people who are physically human, yet believe some aspect of their being to be wolves, foxes, or even fae, dragons and other fantastic creatures. Where in totemism a connection has been forged with an external entity, Otherkin identify the “other” as a part of themselves.

Lupa defines someone who considers themselves to be Otherkin as “a person who believes that, through either a non-physical or (much more rarely) physical means, s/he is not entirely human. This means that anyone who relates internally to a nonhuman species either through soul, mind, body, or energetic resonance, or who believes s/he hosts such a being in hir body/mind”.

As I mentioned earlier (see [cref 90]), I know several people who self-identify as Otherkin, some of whom contributed surveys intended for this field guide, but I’m not well aquainted with the subject. This book has certainly helped me sort out what someone means when they say they are Otherkin.

The first section of the book gives an overview of Otherkin, theories of origins, and introduces various types, such as therianthropes, vampires, elves, fae, dragons, grypons and other mythological creatures, and the miscellaneous. Indeed, some Otherkin don’t have words to describe how they view their “true selves” and may pick and choose among what’s known. Lupa allows that “[s]emantics may also have something to do with it; if a person possesses an intelligent but animal ‘energy’ that doesn’t quite resonate with mundane animals, s/he may be more likely to identify it with ‘dragon’ than the lesser-known ‘gryphon’”. However, she confers far greater credulity than seems reasonable when she writes that “[t]his may explain the influx of gryphon-identified Otherkin after the publication of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series of fantasy novels, which featured intelligent gryphons.” That said, she also notes that “[s]ome say it was because the books served to Awaken more gryphonkin; others argue that it resulted in a lot more wannabes.” Continue reading »

On Otherkin

By Psyche | February 17, 2008 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 3 Comments

A decidedly odd subject: Otherkin are humans who believe some aspect of themselves to be wolves, foxes, or even fae, dragons and other fantastic creatures. This differs from totemism where a connection has been forged with an external entity, instead, Otherkin identify the “Other” as some part of their being.

Otherkin are rarely taken seriously outside their subculture. offers some twenty definitions, but one will suffice to sum up the general sentiment: Continue reading »

100 Years of Fringe Religion: Thelema, Discordianism, Wicca, Satanism and…Atheism?

By Psyche | November 5, 2007 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 12 Comments

I was putting together a timeline for another essay when something occurred to me. Various religions that started as fringe have grown and expanded over the years, many becoming legitimate in the eyes of the mainstream (or at least, approaching legitimacy), but somewhere along the line we seem to have run out of steam. Continue reading »