Wild Ideas FAQ
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What about "otherkin"? Is that the same thing as therian? Or are therians one kind of otherkin?
Depends who you ask. Some people use "otherkin" as an umbrella category for anyone who identifies on any level as wholly or partially something not-human; other people use it specifically to refer to those who identify with mythical creatures, such as elves, fairies, dragons, etc. By the former definition, therians could be regarded as one type of otherkin; by the latter, they would be a separate category entirely.
However, the distinction is blurred a bit by a few factors. First, the fact that many therians use the archetype of the shapeshifter or were-beast - a mythical creature - to express their connection with their animal side. So even though their primary identification is with a "real" animal, the way in which they experience or express it does draw on a mythic archetype.
Secondly, since the animals many therians identify with are themselves strong foci for myth and folklore, and the connection is primarily a spiritual one, the distinction between real and mythical may dissolve at a certain point. A wolf, for example, may be a real animal, but Wolf is a mythical one, as much so as a dragon.
For those looking for more information on otherkin, I would recommend this FAQ, and the web site Otherkin.net.
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