houseofchimeras: (Default)
Description: A crow therian is stuck in a car during a trip and dreams of stretching his wings.


This day was making me wonder about the real possibly of a living hell. I was also beginning to realize what is must be like for an animal to have to spend its days in a small cage. Everything was closed in and there was not even room to really turn around nor to stretch. I was stuck in a car going down the interstate with the rest of my family for the next ten more hours whether I liked it or not. And while I had never really ever considered a car to be like a cage before, this mind numbing long drive was beginning to change my mind.

I stared out my window to see the many trees and greenery wiz past in a light slow motion blur. I was thankful that at least the view for most of this trip was going to be nice. It was just trees, open fields, and sometimes a few crop fields in just about every direction. We rarely came within sight of any kind of city or town. It was kind of nice that way, though a little dull and boring after a while.

I couldn’t say the same for everything inside the car though. I sat in the back of the car with my brother on the other side of me while my parents sat in the front. They had the radio tuned onto a station for their kind of music, and while I had nothing against the music, I couldn’t take listening to it for the whole trip. So instead, I listened to my MP3 player mostly, drowning out their music with the sound of my own.

I shifted my weight one way and then another. I then attempted to stretch my legs as best I could in my cramped little space. I even tried to stretch my arms forward and then backward as far as the confines of the car would allow to little success. I glanced over to see my brother asleep - his face against the window of his side of the car. Seeing that the coast was clear I then stretched my arms outward even going as far in my desperation as to lean toward the center of the car so that my other arm could also get a little bit more of a stretch.  

“You having trouble back there?” Asked my mom from the driver’s seat, her eyes still focused on the road in front of her.

“Ya, this whole drive down there is my problem.”

“Well you’re just going to have to survive until we reach our next rest stop where will take a break and get dinner. Then it will be just another hour after that.”

“When’s that?” My mother didn’t answer for a moment as we came up and then passed a few highway signs. “About another three hours.”

In defeat I relaxed back into my seat with an aggravated sigh.  Even though I was glad to be on vacation and to be going to see family I hadn’t seen in years the drive was driving me crazy. Flying would have been better… but then again, flying on my own power would have topped both. But I would just have to suffer for a while longer until our next stretch break to get out and stretch my legs as well as phantom wings.

In my mind’s eye I could easily imagine myself the way I saw me sitting in the back seat of a car going fast down the highway. Instead of seeing my physical body I saw a common crow standing there. Just your average common crow. Nothing special there.

It was my phantom wings which were really giving me problems now, but I’d rather not bring that conversation up. I could see it now, “Hey, Mom, Dad, just so you know I’m a crow. Ya, I don’t mean physically, but I am one regardless. I’ve always been one and I’ve known since I was really little. You see there’s this term called therianthropy and…” I couldn’t see anything good coming out of that discussion.

My brother was cool though. I’d told him some time ago and he had been okay with it from the start. He even bought me a really cool poster he’d found with crows all over it. Well actually, they were in reality ravens, but it was the thought that counts. It was still an awesome poster none the less. Though, of course, he sometimes used puns and phrases like “bird-brained’ and such on me from time to time, but even before I’d told him we would always be calling each other silly names. At least with those I could take them as an ironic complement on being bird brained indeed!

 Either way though this car trip was getting on my nerves. I couldn’t really move much and I was bored out of my mind. It was nothing but long concrete and assault which cut between pasture and farmland along with the occasional forest along the way. The route we were taking was going to avoid a lot of cities and towns. The most exciting thing I had seen all day had been when we passed an open field with a small herd of deer grazing. At the moment though, there was nothing but road and forest. I was just happy of all routes we could of taken, this one was the shortest in the overall trip.  

Along my arms I felt my wings enlarged to match my human body. Extending from arms was the sensation of dense and complex layer of contour feather and flight feathers. My phantom wings continuing off my fingertips some length away. They were dense. I could feel the volume and relatively light weight of them on my arms. A bird ebullient of an elbow and wrist basically matching up with my physical ones. All of it roughly ended around my shoulders were the feeling just faded away.

Usually they didn’t bother me, but being stuck in the confines of a car was not only making my physical body stiff but also my wings too. And I didn’t like it one bit. The times that they did ache a lot like if they started bothering me during a long college lecture a good stretch and slight ‘flap’ would usually remedy things quickly, however in a car that was physically impossible really.

At a loss, I leaned against the car and hoped that I might sooner or later fall asleep so I could get away from it all for a while. My eyes wandered to gaze outside the car watching the green blur again. Staring out across the landscape made my mind begin to wander itself. At first I thought of everyday things and concerns - some how managing to continue to pay for next few years (or more) of college to get my Bachelor’s degree in medicine in hopes of becoming an RN plus continue to try and save up so I could own my own place, even if it was just an apparent first off. Then my mind began to move elsewhere - I remembered the talk of a possible get-together or ‘howl’ on the therianthrope forum that I frequent. A gathering that might take place just a few hours drive from home, and I hoped it came to actually pass because I wanted that kind of a vacation for a few days. Going camping with a couple of other therians in my rough area seemed really nice especially if a few people from last time also were able to go. After a while, my mind began to slip into daydreams.

At first, it was the mental image of a crow flying just above the braches of tresses. Eyeing the ground for any hint of something interesting, possibly tasty, or possible danger. The sky was a clear blue outside a few dreamy wisps here and there. The crow’s wings were wide spread, flapping every so often when the winds weakened.

It was just a crow. Just a common regular crow, but that mental image of a crow was me. They say some of the simplest things can make you happy and I have to agree because just imaging and thinking about being a crow and flying was what often made me happy. If ever I was feeling a little off or down, often just thinking about actually being a crow rather then just the having the identity of one would usually cheer me up. It made me think of what such a shame that physical shifting was actually impossible and only found in fiction because what dream life of being able to go back and forth it could possibly bring.

So I just let my mind daydream on like that - flying this way and that. Nothing overly fantastic or action packed, just a crow doing stereotypical  and everyday birdie things. Nothing riveting by far but it didn’t have to be for me. I let myself drift away, hoping I would drift into dreamland, however I was fully awake. I was disconnected to the outside world but my mind was still going. I could still sense and see the outside world but my little daydream held more precedence. The outside world didn’t matter just then. The trip was long and I had little else to do to pass the time.

I was flying then. The ground was whizzing by, not around me, but below me. The clear sky above me and the wind of my flight brushed hard against me. With a single wing beat I could feel the thrust of my powerful flight muscles on my chest as wings forced down on the air and wind. I could see far and wide, endless expanse all around me.

I didn’t know what kind of hallucination or so called out-of-body experience this was but I didn’t care in the end for what it truly was. I just relished in the feeling of it while it lasted however long it might. I didn’t care if it was a dream or not. I just enjoyed what I felt and saw. I enjoyed feeling like a wild crow.       

I couldn’t feel my body anymore. It wasn’t anything like a simple daydream, and if I was actually dreaming instead I couldn’t have changed anything of the dream if I ever had some bizarre reason drive to. I could fly where I wanted, but I couldn’t just change anything else. I saw through a crow’s eyes  and not a third person perspective watching myself. All I felt was the shape of my crow body. The wing’s opened wide, the hard beak, my body covered in countless feathers, and everything else.    

All I could be was a crow flying. I dipped my wings a little to drift down closer to the tree tops. Closer to the tree tops I lost the wind’s lift and I began to have to pump my wings to keep from falling out of the sky. Just below me the trees fell away into open land -crop fields. A strong gust of wing ran over me and I took the opportunity to gain altitude. I wanted to go higher, and so I  did. Slowly and gently I began to clime up into the sky.  
 
The ground below me lost out and everything began to seem to grow smaller as the distance increased. The horizon became fully visible to me as the sky took over the land around my sphere of perception. A whole new world of movement had opened up to me. My world had depth and dimension now instead of simply being stuck along and near the ground. My movements were free and only limited by the power of my wings.

I could fly. I could finally do what I had always felt right, even if it was just an abnormally detailed and vivid dream. That didn’t matter. I could fly wherever I wanted to. I was free. That mattered to me. My wings tilled one way and my direction changed. I changed my wings another way and began to fly lower toward the ground…

“Hey?! Hey!” I bolted awake in an instant, sitting up straight in a daze with the side of my face stingily slightly were it had met window glass from which it had just been pealed away from. My brother gave my shoulder another nudge with his hand. “Hey, you wantta stretch you legs or what?” I looked around in a flash to find we were parked at a gas station. My parents were already out of the car filling up the tank and my bother’s car door was already open. Rubbing the side of my face that had been pressed up against the car and giving a light yawn I unbuckled my seatbelt, opened the door, and stepped out of the car in a daze.

I stepped a few feet from the car and stretched my arms and my phantom wings for a nice and long moment. I was then that I really started to look around and started to get my bearings from being jolted awakened that I happened to look up in the sky and noticed the sun was still somewhat low in the sky. I felt a sign of unease and loathing creep back over me, realizing the I hadn’t been asleep that long at all. At a loss I began to walk over to the gas station door to see if I could find something to snack on.

“Don’t get anything to eat! After this we’re headed up the road to go get some dinner!” I heard my mom over my shoulder yell. I stopped and turned around to look back toward the car.
“What do you mean? What time is it?”

“Its nearly six o’clock.” I let the time sink in but I couldn’t quite grasp what that meant in space of the trip outside the fact I had been asleep for hours. I asked about how much longer till we got to our distention.

“About an hour.” Said my father and at that I was relaxed. Thinking back whatever amount of crazy I had experienced during the trip had made time fly by in perhaps the best way possible. It left me hoping that it marked things to come over the rest of the trip.
houseofchimeras: (Default)
Description: A gray therian has a full body phantom shift while at school.
Date First Written : January 2008

My psychology teacher talked, giving his lecture on human behavior. At times he quoted the class psychology book, while at other times he spoke from his own memory of the subject of the day. The whole class was relatively quite. No one really spoke apart from the teacher. The only common sounds in the classroom were faint ones just audible though very quite. The quiet sound of pencils scraping against paper as people -myself included- wrote down notes on what was being said by the teacher; the quite moan and groan from old wooded and metal desks creaking as people shifted in their seats; of the sound of the rubber bottoms of shoes sliding lazily against the concrete floor; and other random everyday sounds of a high school classroom.

I sat at my desk near the back in one of the outside rows, quietly listening as usual. I found psychology really pretty festinating actually and the teacher we had was actually pretty good. I loved to the hear the theories and brake-down of behavior and mind-set plus the concepts that explained how the brain worked and why and how we dreamed. A lot of things about psychology I liked. It often made me wonder in amusement and interest what some of the psychologists we read about would think of part of my identification let alone other people like me. Course, from what I had heard, a few small studies had occurred on very small scales but nothing that big from what I had heard anywhere in my few years around the communities related to my identification.

This part of my identity was much more then just a belief or perception for me. It was fact of my life, which I lived with every day and every moment no matter what, for better and for worse. Something that was as much a part of me as much as I could possibly imagine. This was such a strong part of my identity and my daily experiences that in some ways it was as much a of me as anything physical about me. It was very deeply embedded and nestled within my very heart and soul as far as I was concerned even at this point in my life after feeling this way sense I was a child. This part of my identity was the fact that - though I was fully and complete human physically - my heart, mind, and even what I thought of as my soul told me without dough that my inner self was that of a wolf.  I didn’t know how or why I was the way I was. Whether it was because it was from reincarnation and that I had been a gray wolf in a past life, or whether it was because I had somehow strongly imprinted in some way with wolves and other canines at a very young age, or whether it was because I some kind of naturally occurring brain abnormality; or some other cause all together I didn‘t know. I didn’t really care actually, because I was myself regardless if I ever knew that fact or not.

I shifted my weight so all my weight was focused more on one side of my hip. I did not like sitting in these desks at times like that. It was times like this that the desks was uncomfortable then. Not that they were any more or less comfortable any other time, but simply more uncomfortable at this point. I had a nagging pitched or pulled pain that was almost like the pain one gets when one’s arm is being pulled back onto one’s own back. I shifted my weight around again, trying to find a better position that might provide me with some kind of relief from my discomfort.

What was accruing was my tail, phantom though it was, had become very solid in how I was feeling it much more so than usual when I had a phantom tail. My ghost of a tail had been a near constant silent companion to me along with my phantom ears for quite a while now anymore, but at this time the feelings had been increased up. Other phantoms that I experienced like a muzzle or fur came and went for hours to days, but my spectral wolf ears and tail always stayed. They were a fact of my every day life. Sometimes they were weak and very ghost-like with being more detached in there reality to me, while at other times my phantom limbs were so solid in feel that if I didn’t know better I might feel the urge to double check to make sure that they were not actually really there somehow.

Today was one of those days when my phantom tail had became even more intense than usual and felt very solid to me. Even though I knew very well my phantom limbs were all in my mind it never made the discomfort of sitting in a hard desk with a tail sticking out of one’s tailbone and getting cramped up against me any easier at all.    

I set my pencil down on my paper for a moment as I shifted my weight even more off to the side, before finally finding the relief I had been seeking for my phantom tail. My tail lay curled around beside me in my seat on my left side. Three or four years of experience had taught me that not only was this method more comfortable it was also safer. The reason being that line of thinking was that: not only could my phantom limbs feel very ghostly or solid, they could also react like they were ghostly or solid. When my phantoms reacted ghostly they would pass through anything like a ghost and there would be no real sensation on my part apart from the presence of the limb itself. When my phantom felt very solid to me they would act like they were really there and they would not pass through solid objects. Instead could feel the confinement and such as thought it was actually there. The cause of my safely measure had come about after a classmate who had sat behind me in Spanish class a few years ago had kicked the back of my chair and had hit my tail dead-on. The pain that had shot up my spine was similar to that of someone had actually kicked me. After that I had taken care to protect my phantom limbs as much as I did any of my real limbs. 

Once our teacher started on information I felt I wanted to write down again, I quickly picked up my pencil and begun to take notes once more. My ears twitched and turned, without forethought from me, with my every thought and emotion. They would perk-up more, then slant backward, then return to normal, then move ever so slightly this way or that. That was how it always was though I hardly noticed my ears movement at any time unless I was actively noting it because it was so second nature.

My tail mostly lay motionless beside me apart from the occasional slow, slight wag of the tip of my tail for one reason or another at times. Usually, like my ears, my phantoms acted without my willful thought making them move less I really needed them to move. My ears and tail moved like any other body part – without any effect on my conscious mind for it was all a natural motion. By the way my phantoms reacted to things around me and how I reacted to them they might as well been physically real. They were real enough to me, real enough not to be imaging them. My phantom limbs were real enough even though they were not physically there.

The boy beside me raised his hand to ask a question. The teacher quickly stopped to call on him and answer him. My phantom ears came forward with sudden acute interest as the teacher’s answer spawned my own question. I consciously made my tail wag once, for my own amusement. The teacher quickly answered my question and went back to this lecture. My curiosity satisfied, my ears relaxed back to there normal position.

At that time my psychology teacher called that that was enough for the day and retired to his desk. I glanced at the wall clock to see that we only had about two minutes left. I placed my papers back in my large binder and put my pencil into the pouch which was snapped into my binder. I got my things set up to rush out the door as soon as the bell rang due to the fact that I had to make it across the campus to get to my next class which would be Chemistry.

With everything ready to go I relaxed back into my seat, waiting for the bell to ring. As I sat I let my mind wander in random thought. I thought about my English assignment that was due after lunch. I wondered if the weather was going to be nice after school in hopes of being able to go to the park for a while or if there was any possibility of going camping this fall. At the thought of camping it brought back a passing thought that caused my phantom ears twitched and folded back slightly in response. I was part of the therian community online and I had been sense I was fifteen. Now that I had my own car and I was a senior in high school my parents were a lot easier on me. There were a few people that lived in my rough area that I had been talking to off and on for a while. One of those therians that lived in a city just an hour away from me, a cougar who was a few years older then me and was already in their second year of college, was pretty cool. He and I had already had a number of mini-hangouts already over the year, and we actually had a fair lot in common besides just being therians. Us and a few others had been playing the idea of having a gather, or “howl,” in the next few months. The idea of seeing Purring Joe (his username and his real name was Joe), the cougar therian again plus the idea of seeing other therians while going camping made my phantom tail wag. That would be fun for sure.

As I sat there waiting up till that last few seconds of class I then randomly had an image come to mind. The image of how I see myself as a gray wolf - a regular mixed gray and some pale tan coat. The first mental image was myself as a gray wolf with a pack in a snowy open plain, but the second mental image was of myself as a gray wolf sitting as I was right then and there. Of a gray wolf having to sit down in the seat that I was sitting in. Hindquarters sitting in the seat with tail slightly draped around the side with front paws laying up along the desk.

My mind locked on the ‘feel’ of my theriotype being in the place of my physical human body. It was now around me in my senses and feelings. I felt the numb and disembodied presence of a phantom sensation come around me, but it was not just ears, tail, or muzzle; it was everything else as well. My full wolf body was my phantom sensation. My whole physical human body was shadowed by a phantom wolf body.

I slowly glanced about the room calmly, feeling my phantom wolf head turn along with my physical human head in the same space as my physical body. My phantom wolf body sat on its – my? – haunches in my seat. My right arm lay in my lap and my left one lay on the desk beside my book and folder. Similarly, my phantom wolf body appeared to be trying to mimic and match my physical body as best I could. My right foreleg set upright on the seat of the desk supporting my weight while my left foreleg lay on my desk table. My phantom body was trying to do what my physical body was doing to the best of what my brain thought wolf anatomy would allow.

I felt my muzzle in front of my face and the fur that covered my phantom body. I still felt my tail curled beside me and my ears on my head but now they were a part of a full body. I did not just have phantom limbs now; I now had a phantom body. A phantom apparition that was me sitting in the same space as my physical body. My phantom wolf body was sitting fully like a wolf in a school desk that was uncomfortable for a human body any day of the year and even more so for a wolf.

Despite that, I liked it. I liked the feel of my phantom wolf body being there over me. I had had full wolf body phantoms before, though very rarely. Though having a phantom wolf body was always a bit odd and even awkward at times.

With acute questioning interest I lifted my arm off the table slightly only to feel my front leg mimic it. My phantom ears twitched forward and the corners of my phantom muzzle’s lips slightly to brake-out into a wolf-like grin. I laid my arm down then and set my other arm on the desk beside it, my phantom limbs acting accordingly. I was so easily amused at times indeed.

At that moment, the bell let out its sudden shrill ring at that moment signaling the end of the hour causing my ears to perk-up in attention. There was a rush of sound: books closing, shoes pushing against the floor, books sliding off the desks, people beginning to talk to one another, and so on as the all headed for the door.

Automatically I physically stood up from my desk, my folder and math book held propped up at my chest. However my phantom body landed on all fours to the ground in my place. I felt my wolf body standing straight where I was along with feeling my physical body. I felt all four paws against cold, hard, smooth concrete besides just the feel of my real two feet surrounded by the warm confinement of my own shoes and the pressure of gravity against the soles of my feet.

Without missing a beat I began to walk for the door. To anyone else I was just a normal teenage guy, as they didn’t know the feelings that I felt daily and certainly didn’t know of the sensations I felt now right now walking both as a human and a wolf out with them out of the classroom. They did not know of this feeling of a ghost-like wolf body walking within my step nor the feeling my every day phantom tail sticking out of my butt and the phantom ears on top of my head otherwise either. Life really was weird that way.

My phantom wolf head was not with my own head but down low to the ground in a natural position for a gray wolf. I felt my wolf muzzle open slightly in light pant as all six of my legs – two real, four phantom – walked out the door and into the hallway of the school. I felt the motion of my phantom wolf legs walking with perfect pace with my body but in a different sync. I had lost my regular phantom tail that felt like it came out of my tailbone and now only had the phantom tail that was attached to my phantom wolf body. Said tail now wagged slightly as I walked down the halls to my next class. I was enjoying this feeling indeed.

I could feel people pass me, not just with my physical body but with my phantom body as well. I could feel their presence as much with my wolf body as I could with my human one. When people brushed up against my shoulder or arm as we all tried to hurried to our next class in the packed hallway, I could even feel there legs bush up against my wolf body. Their real bodies rumbling against that thick wolf fur along my phantom body. As I walked briskly down the hall avoiding groups of people standing still or walking too slowly for my pace I felt my wolf body do the same.

As I moved I felt my dull claws at the tip of my wolf body’s paws gently tap and scrape against the marble surface of the school floor. I even slightly felt the slight bounce and shift of my body fur as I quickly walked. My wolf head turned with my physical one as I kept looking around for the best way to get through as the people around me did the same.

In my own mind it felt like my brain was working double time. Processing the movements of my physical body as well as processing the movements of my phantom body. Feelings and sensations from both  having to be worked out. It felt like my balance was all over the place, even though more than likely to the outside world my balance seemed fine and normal. I even falsely ‘saw’ what it would be like if my real eyes were where the eyes of my phantom wolf body were right then. Looking about with being almost level with people’s thighs. I felt a bit awkward to me, but the rest of the experience I was enjoying to much to care about that.

As I turned a corner and headed straight for the door into my Chemistry classroom, my wolf self padding along with me as it had after sitting up at the end of my last class. I walked into the classroom and made my way quickly to my usual seat as my classmates were also coming in and finding their usual seats as well. As I slid sideways into my seat I felt my phantom self hopping onto the cold, plastic seat and sit down to mimic me. I felt wolf front paws resting on the top of the desk while my hindquarters rested against the back of the chair as I rest down my folder and book. A moment later the bell rang signaling the beginning of the class. 
houseofchimeras: (Default)
Description: A red wolf therian has deep mental shift in the privacy of the backyard one night.
Date First Written : September 2008

I turned to look at the clock on my nightstand by my bed which now read 11:38 at night, only to turn my head back to my TV set and continue to flip through channels. I was anxious that weekend night. Not, an anxiety anxious, but an antsy and energetic anxious. I was full of a energy that just wouldn’t settle and set like the sun. In fact, it had started to creep in as the sun was almost gone from sight and as the night came on it had been growing stronger by the minute. I kept flipped through the channels but nothing was really on. I didn’t want to watch TV nor did I feel like doing anything like that really at all. I growled lightly to myself.

I sat-up in my bed where I had been laying while watching TV and stretched. I looked at the clock again and then back at the TV one more time before I got up walked over to turned it off. My room instantly went dark and silent. The only faint light to see with came from my window that still had the blinds open showing off our backyard.

I went to my window and looked out. I sighed quietly after a moment as I saw the calm night sky behind the darker outline of the trees two from our yard and a number of others from our neighbors but I couldn’t see the rest of their yards because of our privacy fence. From the window I could not see the sky well because of the house overhang and the trees, but what I could see of it was a clear, beautiful cloudless night sky. It was a beautiful early fall night. The weather had been beautiful the past few days like this with the temperature being perfect as far as I was concerned.

Thinking of and seeing the outdoors made me feel something well up in my chest. I felt the strong urge to howl right then and there, but I kept my mouth shut and silent. I wanted to howl but my howling might wake my parents up if I wasn‘t careful. That was the last thing I wanted and needed. I would rather not try and explain why I was howling let alone having to explain my therianthropy to them. That last thing was the last thing I wanted really, telling them their dear child of 17 years was actually a red wolf with a human body. My parents worrying over my last year of high school was enough for me to deal with. So instead I simply closed my window blinds, and slipped out of my room without a sound. 

The rest of the house was dark and still of course. I walked across the house to my parent’s room and stopped at door. The door was open slightly as it usually was. I listened for a comment to make sure they were sleep. Satisfied with not hearing anything, I turned and walked down the hall, through the house and to the back door and flicked on the switch would turn on the patio lights. Quietly and slowly I turned the lock before doing the same for the doorknob. Moving slowly so I would make as little sound as possible. Then, I quietly pulled the door open. Next, I pushed the latch down and pushed on the storm door to open it as well.

Calmly, I stepped out into the night onto the patio in just night shirt and shorts with my bare feet. The warm night air rapped around and embraced me like a welcoming blanket happy to greet me once more. The night air felt so good and refreshing in my lungs that it almost felt like I hadn’t really breathed in for a very long time. I suddenly felt like my body no longer felt so bent-out-of-shape. It was like the night was drawing out and erasing all the stress and worry that had built-up in my system over the pass few days. My body relaxed and my muscles didn’t feel so tight. It all disappeared like a big, much needed sigh.

The light from the patio loosely lit up much of the backyard at least faintly if not more. Plus turning on the patio lights also flipped the garden lights which stood in the gardens around the back of house. They all provided plenty of light to see by as far as I was concerned no matter where I was in the backyard.

I walked forward and then stepped out into the cool, damp grass and earth beneath my feet. The backyard was kept well by my mother and the off and on rains for a two weeks a week before had greened up what the summer had nearly killed. The feeling of the grass and dirt on my toes felt great. For now there was no more shoes, no more carpet, no hard floor, no concrete- just earth and plants. So, I stepped out into the back yard to get a better view around me.

The smells of the still night filled my nose. The smell of lush grass, of the moisture in the air, the trees, the earth beneath me- everything around me that the human nose could just pick-up. Plus, the sounds of the night filled my ears - the sound of crickets chirping and other insects, of the light breeze, of leaves softly moving, and such plus the occasional sound of a car far off in the distance. I felt the ever steady earth below me, the calm air floating around me, the damp grass as well.

I felt the same certain feeling as before began to well up in my chest. I looked around for a moment, not that I would see anything. Everyone was asleep and the houses near ours were not super close. I thought as long as I wasn’t too loud about… So I let it do, a simple howl. Not as good as my kind could do or what I could do if I had the right skin, but I was good for having human vocal cords I guess. It felt so good to howl, even if I had to keep it down a notch. It felt good to be able to howl, even if no one would answer like I would want them too.

It was at this point, as I stood there I felt my mind begin to relax. That a kind of tension and stress in my mind was ebbing and easing away. That my brain began to become numb inside as any worded inner dialogue in my mind shut down. Slowly from the outside and top of my mind downward and inward gently, and smoothly went into a numb rest while for a few brief moments a faint echo of static filled the numbing part of my mind. When my whole mind was numb the faint static completely ebbed away as my head began to feel abnormal heavy and weighted out. My worded thoughts became silent and were replaced with a silent knowing as something from deep depths of my mind came flowing into my consciousness and took-up every part of my mind. A wild presence, I guess I could say.

My human way of thinking know seemed to sleep, allowing my wolf way of thinking to awaken and roam the confines of my consciousness. My mind filled with canid instincts and mannerisms many times stronger then what was normal and everyday for me. I became more silently aware of my surroundings. I felt even more self aware of my body and it’s movements. I hadn’t expected to have such a deep and strong mental shift but at that point in time wondering about it was beyond me.

I sat down in in grass on my lower legs with my feet pointing backward and away me and my arms now acting  like forelegs as they set out in front of me as I sat there. I sat the way I did without any forethought or positioning; I had just sat down. My mind did what it could with the limits of my body.

My senses had also seemingly changed.  My sense of smell and hearing seemed stronger then they normal because I was really paying attention to every little sound rather then ignoring much of it. I could hear the faint breeze, the slight tremble of the grass, and other faint sounds normally over looked. I smelled the trees form nearby, the smell of grass, and of more familiar smells that I usually didn’t pay as much attention too.

Along with my now very different perceptions of the world around me and my senses I also felt new sensations as well. On my head I felt the spectral sensations of wolfish phantom ears, at the base of my spine I felt a the ghostly sensation of a lupine bushy tail, on my face and I felt a phantom wolfish muzzle. They felt like they were real to me, but they couldn’t be seen. Course, not the fact they couldn’t be seen crossed my mind given my altered state of consciousness. I could move them and feel them against my real human body. My phantom tail lay draped across the ground at rest as I sat, while my phantom ears twitched and moved slightly with my emotions. From my phantom tail I could feel the damp and cool grass around me. Through my wolf ears I could feel the light breeze wave across them and feel my human hair against them. I could feel the nostrils of my phantom muzzle expanding and relaxing slightly as if actually taking in air as I breathed in. I could feel my phantom muzzle’s lips twitching and curling slightly as my expression changed slightly from my emotions and thoughts. They might as well as actually been there as far as what they felt to me.

I didn’t contemplate or think about my new state of mind at all. I simply accepted it all as it was for that was in my lupine mind’s nature right then. My nature. To take things as they were, except them, and move on to other things. My mind still thought but the dialogue in my head when I was of a human state of mind was gone. No silent words spoke out my thoughts, no words at all. My emotions, memories, and feeling were the only thing silently racing and bouncing around my head. They were what I thought with now. They made-up my thoughts. I comprehended my surroundings with them. That was my nature. The idea of any complex problem solving or philosophical thinking was beyond this state of mind of mine right then.

I sniffed the air intently for a moment, taking in as much of the smells floating gently and freely on the breeze. Scents I hadn’t even realized floating in the air were all clearer to me now. I dipped my head down to the grass and let my nose to the ground to smell what had settled to the earth.

I stood up but not on my human hind legs but on all fours, my hands and feet. This stance seemed more  natural to me. It seemed like even if I had tried to stand up straight I wouldn’t have been able to keep myself up state for long, if at all given how deep my mental state was then. My new state of mind couldn’t of kept me standing up even if my still very human body could still easily achieve the stance. My mind, trying to think like a wolf would didn’t know that at that time.   

In this state I found myself walking with ease and self-confidence about the yard at that point. I walked with the heels of my feet off the ground and with most of the palms of my hand off the ground as I moved. It seemed natural to me. It was natural to me at that point, at least far more then standing upright let alone walking on my back legs. So I wandered about the backyard freely and at my own whim and leaser without another thought.

My phantom wolf ears twitched forward and my phantom nose at the end of my muzzle twitched with interest. I heard a gentle rustling coming from the other side of the fence. My phantom tail popped up as  I sniffed the air and padded over closer. I stuck my head down to where the privacy fence met the ground but was shy of it by several inches. I leaned down close to it to smell, hear, and see better to see what was about. As I, in curiosity, move closer. I just barely caught sight of a small shape burst out of the bushes and as an annoyed meow called out. It was one of the neighbors out-door cats who was skittish people as a rule. In response I gave a quiet huffing woof and my tail wagged slightly.

After a moment or two went it became clear that the cat had wandered off, my phantom ears and tail relaxed down. So with that I stood back up from almost laying on my stomach and started to talk most of the length of the side of the fence for no real reason. The rest of the fence was much more flush with the ground and so I could not see anything along the ground. 

A sudden whirring sound starting up made my head reactively in the direction of the sound even though I knew it was only the air conditioner unit turning on. My wag gave a short wag as my ears twitched once on my head. Even in the mental state I was in then I knew the sound was ignorable though in his state I couldn’t quite grasp nor actually care to think about way. It did and I didn’t have to worry about. Such was the mentally I was in right then.

I was still me and I still had all the memories that I was did, but some parts of my mind acted like they were shut down or not working like they might normally have. I remembered but that did mean I could comprehend or even think about everything that was there.

So I turned away from and kept wandering about the rest of the yard. After walking more into the center of the yard I looked more upward and into the dark outlines of the trees around. I didn’t near any birds or anything and the only reason the leaves stirred from time to time as from the wind only. Not seeing anything of too much interest I moved on from there.

As I moved and wandered about I would often phase for a second or two to listen to something - a far off car driving down a road, a dog barking somewhere off in the distance, or some other small sound that picked my lupine interest. I scented and smelled the grass many times even though my human nose wouldn’t really pick up much of anything, not that my wolf thinking mind really cared too much. I had no concept of the minute by minute time, only time as an ever going agent as I usually did not really deep mental shifts. I’m not sure how long I wandered about or just sat in the grass passively. I just moved freely about the yard.

Finally, sleep finally caught up with me and I grew tired as the energy that wanting to shift ran out on me. I finally started to feel like I could sleep. Without a second thought I wandered back up onto the patio. I looked at the back door and I knew it could open but felt no understanding or will to try and open it. My brain could not comprehend the idea of gripping my fingers around the knob or twist at all at that point. So instead I walked over to the outdoor coach nearby. It was a simple wicker coach with a comfortable cushion and a few pillows. I leapt onto the coach and laid myself down on my side with my head resting on my arms and a pillow and my legs curled up close to me.

Sleep came upon me quickly and in my dreams I ran as a wolf through never-ending forest. I slept soundly and didn’t wake until the sky had just barely started to grow slightly lighter. My mind was back to its normal human state once more as sleep had reset my mind to its ‘natural’ state. I remembered all of last nights events though they were slightly hazy in places like any other memory.

  I quickly went inside and locked the door back behind me. I went strait into my bedroom to grab a change of cloths and then into the bathroom to take a good bath, making sire to really scrub my arms and legs. While finishing up in the bathroom I head the weekend alarm going off telling my parents it was the time they liked to/needed to get up.
houseofchimeras: (Pantairin - Self)
Date First Written : September 2012

Deer equates to prey. Or at least that is the idea of many have immediately upon the consideration of what deer are. Deer of any species are often a source of food for a number of other animals in the world either directly by hunting them or by scavenging. Other animals depend upon the existence of various deer species that live in the same habitat with them. In many areas, if deer disappeared many large predators would starve due to lack of other large animals to eat. Yet, there is something people often forget too easily. The fact that deer are not prey. At least, not without calcification of events. A deer becomes prey, rather than are always just prey.

Prey is only something that happens when one messes up or luck is not in your favor. Wild deer have their own lives and do not live to just be eaten. They live for their own kinds existence and to continue on with their species. Animals adapt and live together and against each other. No animal is better than the other and each lives to live in whichever way possible for them. A simple fact of nature is that any animal can become prey to another really given the right events. The nature and traits of a deer are for their own survival and deer did not evolve as they have because they are prey but rather they evolved as they have to avoid being prey. The wariness and sensitive nature of the deer is meant to keep them alive.

As a deer therianthrope, these are just some of the awkward instincts that come into my mind. I have found that there is an interesting conflict in being a deer, and that is what I can best describe as the mix of two powerful feelings - wariness and curiosity. The wariness of a deer is perhaps the most apparent to many people who have watched deer. The ready nature of a deer to move and react in some way or form in a moment, even if the reaction  may not be needed or be executed in a way that could have been done better. The curiosity of deer is to keep watchful eyes open and take note the around them. To inquire on what is going on around them and so to better react. Curiosity and wariness compliant each other for deer, but for a deer in human form the mix of two instincts can lead to awkward situations. Such as spooking from sudden movement or sounds often leading to awkward situations because I am a deer in a human body. Such wary instincts do not often work like they are supposed to for a deer in the mold of human society. The human species is a social predator and so the human species are not one to be as conditioned by the lives of those that came before them to be as wary of possible danger. Such is the nature of many predators and even more so is the nature of domestication into human society.

The deer that are seen on hunting and outdoor shirts and posters are not really how deer are. Just like many species of animals, deer are plagued with over romanticism of traits that human beings see as admirable while outright ignoring less ‘glamorous’ facts of life for deer.  My instincts and behaviors as a deer is not just about fleeing from possible danger or standing as majestically as possible. My instincts are filled with in instincts to graze on plant-life when I see healthy lush plants such as grass and clover, the instinct to kneel down to drink when I see bodies of water, to be with others of my kind, to use my awareness and remain alert to what my senses are bringing in, wanting to find a safe place to settle down and chew my cud, and many more little things. My nature as being a deer in a human body is more then just one small aspect of a deer’s overall life and behavior. All animals are complex living organisms with a wide verity of behaviors.

As a deer therian in the therianthropy community I am tried of being called food. When I speak that I am a deer therian, what I can sometimes receive back are comments about that deer are tasty or being given teasing jokes of promising not to hunt me. I might be a deer in a human body but I am still human and if you seriously consider me food then I implore you to seek psychiatric help. And for that matter if I were physically a deer and the other their own species, a healthy deer can often outrun a number of other animals out to hunt them and even when cornered they can easily be killed by a good kick or stomp. If I bring up not liking being called prey and bring up that deer are not prey I have been waved off as not being able to take a joke. I hardly find calling someone their food a joke. 

Perhaps I am not surprised that how few non-carnivore theriotype therians don’t stick around long at all. Sometimes I think, if you do not know why, simply look at what comes out of some people’s mouths sometimes. Teasing and playful jokes thought to be innocent and made in fun are often not such by the person the receiving end. Perhaps to the gray wolf therians that I meet I should exclaim how I love watching wolves being hunted by airplane or being killed for someone’s exotic stake; or to the dog therians speak of how some countries eat dog and my interest in trying it one day. Those statements might be lies coming from me and I am sicken to any such thoughts, but such statements are allowed to be said to deer therians by others.

Some might exclaim that deer are often hunted unlike some other animals, yet remember - any animal can become prey to another animal if the opportunity arises to another. Wolves have been seen hunting down foxes and wolves will kill and eat other wolves if the opportunity arises. Carnivores may eat plant material if given the right place and need, even if it is not dire and likewise; and even herbivores have been known to eat meat-material as well. And regardless of this, how socially awkward do you think to feels herbivore therians to be called food to other therians? Treated like a piece of meat literally? Truly t is tiresome and straining. I’ve been asked if being around carnivore therians makes me feel uncomfortable. Thinking about it, I sometimes have to say yes but not because of what they are but what they constantly say and mention to me personally. A real life deer does not always flee in terror at the sight of another animal.

I am a deer in a human body. I do not “prey” in a human body. I see myself as a deer; not as a product of what others may take me for. The body, instinct, and nature of the various species of deer is where my identity resides.

Further driving a wedge between my identity and another therian’s is the difference in nature between a number of herbivores and a number of carnivores. A lot of people don’t seem to get therians over all, but even within therianthropy the subgroups can’t seem to fully get the others. How can a number of land-based therians ever fully sympathize with any number of water-dwelling therian nor sky-flying therians. Herbivore not fully understanding carnivore, extinct therians to extant ones. Some experiences can be similar but others are as alien as ever to the other. I can’t image the instincts that drive some therians to want to hunt and chase let alone eat raw flesh of another; but in the same token, I doubt few therians could imagine my instincts for complete awareness of my surroundings and alertness nor my strong desire to graze.

Neither are wrong nor lesser. Just different. We are all different, and we are all therians as the word therian include all animals large and small. Therians come in many different theriotypes, and deer therians are part that. Deer therians are a part of the community as much as any kind of theriotypes. We should all be respected.

- Pantairin
houseofchimeras: (Kardegray - Self)
Date First Written: August 2012; Date Last Updated July 2014


   Introduction
I often simply call my theriotype as a six-limbed beast. Over the years I’ve bounced back and forth around various labels to try and pin my theriotype into a specific group. These labels include demonkin, therian, animalkin, monster kin, and alienkin - all out of lack of a better label to call myself among specific otherkin words. I am an animal and a beast and likewise my experiences and feelings of my species identity are all animal-like. My species is an animal through and though, just not a terrestrial or actually existing one. I know what I look like and I know my instincts. My instincts center around behavior and instincts which is not to foreign to any other animal or animal-like otherkin. Instincts and urges unlike something that seems human, but then other otherkin have that too in their own form and way. Yet because my animal species is non-terrestrial in nature, its looks alien or monstrous, and even demonic looking though it acts like an animal and I think of it like one.

How I have come to understand how my species is based off of all the experiences I have had over life around my nonhuman feelings through dreams, mental states and instincts, phantom sensations and limbs, and more plus how I am and act in the innerworld that I share with my fellow headmates. When my instincts and impulses as a nonhuman creature are strongest they leave me unable to speak and unable to think in a critical mindset or think beyond present events. Dreams often involve hunting and wandering as my species. Phantom sensations I feel on our system’s physical body when I front include things like my mane, tail, body size/full body, tongues, horns and my ‘extra’ front limbs. Things along these lines and more are what I have on a daily and regular basis.

   Biology
My body is that of an animal or beast through and through. Just not an Earth-based one. My self is of a monstrous nearly nine foot tall if standing upright but while on all fours I is closer to roughly four feet tall. My species can stand and walk on both hind legs as well as on all fours; however, my species moves fastest and has more stamina on all fours. Some of the biggest characteristics of my species is that it is a hexapod (six-limbed - four arms and two legs) that has two-mouths (one set on top of the other), six eyes, two sets of horns, and both fur and scales. Most of my species is covered in fur (which includes a thick black mane surrounding the neck and back of the head) but my legs and my tail are covered in scales.

My biology is actually closer to something reptilian in a way though it is still alien to Earth animals over all in how my biology  is set up. My species is basically cold-blooded because my kind can not drastically regulate body temperature. My fur helps regulate some of the body temperature changes externally however it can not be really internally regulated. Basking in the sun, digging holes to lay down in, and such to gain or lose heat.

The two sets of horns are different in shape - one curls back and around similar to big horn sheep while the others curve up and forward similar to Ayrshire cow. The three sets of eyes are set at different angles - one set faces forward similar to predators like felines, another set faces outward like a deer, the final set faces looking upward and behind the head. This leads to having a huge range of eyesight without tilting the head. Smell is done both though my nose and by my tongues. I use my long tongues to sense and taste the air like a snake or monitor lizard would. I use smell to track and keep track of possible food and others of my kind. Eyesight and smell are the biggest senses.

 The two sets of mouths are a rather complex set up. How the head is similar to how any long muzzled creature is with the nasal passage running on top of the jaws to open up at the front the muzzle with the jaws being hinged in the back to open downward from the rest of skull. What is added on, is a second jaw set above the nasal passage and that flipped vertically so now the jaw opens upward. 

Underneath all this there are two sets of air/food passages. Similar to terrestrial animals the passages are used for both air intake and food passage however rather then their being one, there is two. The first one is connected to the first mouth that is in a standard position compared to terrestrial animals and is also connected to the nasal passage. Do to this double use, while in taking food my species can of course not breathe through the nose nor speak. However that is were the second mouth has various functions. This secondary and weaker mouth is also connected to the lungs by a different passage. This allows my kind to swallow large chucks of food without worrying about not being able to breathe as it slowly goes down plus still being able to vocalize to others while eating.

The two sets of front legs work in unison while running in otherwise cat-like running style. My anatomy allows for equal easy of movement both upright and on all-sixes if you will. Of course, running on all-sizes is faster as the length of my body and the power of all six limbs allows for greater speed then just two back legs. My tail is prehensile at least long its lower half and is used as a weapon both against prey and rivals. The flexible tail is also used for various displays and other kinds of body language. As a general rule of thumb large and flamboyant gestures are more aggressive while slower and more subtle movements are naturally more docile.

    Behavior

My actual behaviors and instincts as a nonhuman animal is rather consist to my species, however because my species does not exist physically, I have noted a number of actual living species which behave in ways similar to my own species similar to how an extinct therian might point to various species living that are similar in nature. My species behavior is similar to what can be likened to a verity of animals, namely monitor lizards and crocodilians in some ways, plus some large solitary big cats (like tiger or jaguar) and maybe even a few bear-like behaviors in that mix too.

   Communication
My species has no voice box to speak in a complex verbal language like the human species. Instead, my species communicates through sounds and body language. No words possible at all and only vocalizations and body language. With my species, common ways of verbal commutating is similar to large reptiles - through mere hissing, rumbling, growling, and snarling. One interesting tidbit in noises is that there is a  rumbling/purring like sound made is made to show affection, to be reassuring, etc. Physical expressions include things of certain factual movements like snapping of either jaw (an actual positive gesture rather then aggressive), shaking of the head (loosely aggressive), or thrashing of my tail(very aggressive gesture). Communication is not on a very complex level and is based on need to keep some amount of communication going around others rather then social goodwill as my kind is not a very social species.

   Social Structure
My species is solitary in nature but has no defined territory like mammals do, again similar to many monitors in real life. Instead, like komodo dragons I tolerate others of my kind as long as they don’t get in my way and leave me alone in my own personal space. My species might wander around freely but its not going to be friendly with others. I do have an instinct to leave marks though. I often want to reaching up along trees or walls to leave my claw marks telling others “I am in the area and I am this big and powerful if watch out for me and stay out of my way we won‘t have any problems.”  Also, akin to some crocodilians, the ability to create loud rumbling sounds (in this case through the air and through the ground) is also used to remind others in the area to hear/feel about how big and healthy others are. Plus, similar to rams, those two sets of horns grow larger bit by bit every year with age and good health. Likewise as well they are mostly used for a visual display and bluffing to size others up, but they can still be used in a fight however not in a head butting kind of way sense my kind does not have a thick enough skull for that. Rather when my kind fights - they fight similar to how komodo dragons do rearing up and trying to pin the others down while using claws and limbs. A lot of pushing and shoving around.

Actual courting after chasing off/defeat any males in the area would mostly consist of finding any female in area, only approach once female knows you are the only male in the immediate area, show you only have one intent and its not an aggressive one, and hope she doesn’t decide to turn around and change her mind about having you so near. This is because while females would have smaller horns then a male, the females would be a fair bit bigger and would have no qualms using their mass to tell an unwanted male to shove off.

   Intelligence
As for my species state of intelligence…I would say somewhere around the intelligence level of dog or other some large canine. I species could never pass most complex thinking tests, but brainy enough to figure how to open a latch door or something along those very basic lines. Probably intelligent enough to notice and work out how some things work, but not brainy enough to really do any complex or forward thinking ideas.

  Habitat
The habitat for my species I would think would be warm (due to being more reptilian) but outside that I’m not sure. I do though tend to be partial to the image of an open plane with sometimes tall grasses and with a few trees here and there. However basically anything that seems like a “warm enough climate for a large reptile-like thing to survive” seems pretty good to me.

   Diet and Hunting
My species diet is an all meat one really. The preferred hunting style is stock and ambush. To rush in on prey in one short burst and try and use weight to bring the large prey down - no long drawn out running at all. Hunting is naturally solitary but if two of my kind happen to be right in the same area and given chase to the same animal - a fight isn’t going to break out either. Also similar to komodo dragons, is how prey sometimes ends up being ‘shared’ as the smell of a kill will naturally draw in others; however, the biggest and badness can somewhat case off smaller ones if they really wanted too. While eating from a kill, food is ripped off in large chucks and swallowed as such. No chewing. The second mouth acts a way to breathe while swallowing is the largest mouth’s job.

The actual prey involved as a target are large fauna - animals the size or large ungulates for example. However other predators are also not off limits if they get too near. Smaller prey hardly makes any interest in my species mind once adulthood is reached. Prey smaller then a large rabbit or fox just isn’t worth the time for an adult of my species.

- Kardegray
houseofchimeras: (Lunatani - Self)
Date First Written: January 2012

Being humanoid in form doesn’t make someone anymore ‘human’ than other otherkin. Visual similarities aside there is often, for some kintypes, little resemblance otherwise between ‘human’ and a creature that is ‘humanoid but still nonhuman’ once you think about it. An angel might stereotypically look like just a human with wings, but that doesn’t make them so nor is a faun just like a human because they happen to look human from the waist-up more or less. The same is true for elves, mermaids, fae, and other possible kintypes that look human-like either just a little bit or lot more. They are still not human, and the otherkin who identity as any of them are not any less of an otherkin for it. Similar doesn’t make same as.

Even otherkin that are rather humanoid can have their own experiences with phantom limbs that don‘t fit a human template, natural instincts and longings not ‘normal’ for humans, mental dissonance from human behavior or society, a desire for nature in some form or another, and basically everything else more bestial otherkin and therians can and do experience. That feeling/sense of not being human, of not being in the right body, the sense of being ‘other,’ experiences ‘normal’ humans don’t seem to have - is still there. Just because someone’s kintype is more humanoid doesn’t automatically mean their otherkinness is necessarily any easier than someone whose kintype is not as humanoid in the least.
 
These more humanoid in kintype otherkin are often seemingly seen as more ‘human-like’ not only in appearance but also behavior then other otherkin sometimes. But a person can’t look at a person’s kintype and assume how their nonhuman identity effects them personally let alone what experiences such an identity does to them. Just because a person’s kintype looks humanoid doesn’t mean their kintype acts human or have instincts or mindsets not exactly or at all like something human. Some otherkin like mermaids, harpies, or fauns might even have experiences one might except from the animals their kintype has apparent traits of (phantom limbs, desires and longs for the outdoors, certain instincts and drives, and so on); while otherkin like dryads might experience things unlike any terrestrial animal (including humans). For other otherkin the difference has a lot more to do with the world around them then their physical body. A stereotype of this might be the elves, who pick-up on cultural and society differences more, or at that’s what I’ve seen from my perceptive. Then again, some humanoid otherkin might not. Some otherkin might not deal with or experience anything as dramatically or strikingly as others might, but even people of the same kintype can have very different experiences.

I’ve personally seen various forms of humanoid otherkin criticism or magnetization from other otherkin and also from a number of therians as well. It comes in shades from just not thinking they have as much to contribute or can’t understand the problems ‘less human’ otherkin face to outright criticism that they are of varying degrees of posers or people wrapped up in fantasies.

I’m not human. My body might be fairly humanoid from the waist up but the similarities end there. The lower half of me is most definitely not human. Humans don’t have sharp teeth, big animal-like pointed ears, and certainly not a furry tail or legs like a dog. That certainly isn’t human at all. That is just my nonhuman appearance, not to mention my nonhuman experiences. The siren’s call away from human society and into any place more fitting for the word ’wilderness’ telling in me. Some of my behavioral quirks are to want to whine, growl, hiss, snarl, yip, and all sorts of other noises that want to slip out if would let them. When fronting, I almost always get phantom legs over our physical human ones, plus my phantom ears and little tail are hard to miss. I also get my own brand of a kind of mental shift but they seem to be a bit different from how most therians seem experience them. They have a similar in animistic instinctive drive and reaction but I don’t loose the complex thinking of something more human-like even when they are very intense.

In the end, the biggest and most important similarity and connection a humanoid otherkin and a bestial otherkin have in common is that neither of them identity as being human or look at the world like a human does necessarily. Kintype appearances run all over the place and experiences even with the ’same kintype’ can have huge differences. That is why otherkin have come together in one for or another over the past few decades - to share experiences and stories, talk about the amusing things in life, share coping mechanisms, and then some. We identity as nonhuman and that is some commonality that can be certainly talked about.

- Lunatani
houseofchimeras: (Pantairin - Self)
Date First Written : January 2012

My theriotype and my true self is one of no distinct species, but rather many into one instead. A collective or all in one deal, if you will. In the innerworld I share with my fellow headmates (other individual persons sharing one physical body) and outwardly in my therianthropic experiences my shape can take on any number of deer species. In this innerworld, or the place within our mental landscape where we interact one on one like individuals, I can change into any species of deer. But only a deer and nothing more. Likewise, what the therian community refers to as shifts and other therianthropic experiences when I take control of our physical body.

As a deer cladotherian, I identify with all deer species from the small tropical pudú stepping about the underbrush to the great moose that roams the northern lands. This is not limited to modern or still living species of deer and rather extends to even now extinct ones. I do have my favorite deer forms, and my shape in the innerworld and fronting experiences often reflect this though the species I reflect is not always of my conscious choosing. Of these deer species which are some of my more partial to my liking to take on include the sika deer, roe deer, Eld’s deer, and reindeer. They are but only a few deer species in the world however. They are just the deer species which are most familiar and typical from me both innerworld in shape and through my therian experiences they are the most prevent. Other deer species from the axis deer to the sambar to the white-tailed deer are also taken or can be on a fairly regular basis. Of them all, sika deer stands out strongly to me.

In the beginning, being a cladotherian did not even come into being in my thoughts as possibility. My original assumption was either the presence of several deer theriotypes (polytherianthropy), and/or simply some of them being cameo shifts with various deer species and one or perhaps two of them was actually my theriotype(s). Before cladotherianthropy came-up as a possibility I had applied to my being a number of deer species which I was most drawn into. I leapt between thinking I was one deer species to another deer species day by day. Being fairly sure of one deer species and being able to apply that shape onto my innerworld world body so easily, only for me to be able to so change to another deer species. By the time cladotherianthropy came into suspect, I had found myself labeled with no less than five species while also not being able to ignore all other deer.

The prospect of being a polymorph or shapeshifter never really came to mind since I knew I was a deer and only experienced things as only deer. It was vary narrowed down to a select spectrum and it was only the deer species that changed but never the identification with it. With the idea of being cladotherian in mind I began searching for any mention of the term and ponderings on the matter throughout the communities online. Finding personal experiences from others about their own cladotherianthropy was hard to come by making my search on being cladotherian or not more apprehensive. Yet the definitions I saw of the term certainly did apply quite nicely to my experiences. Every time I looked afar along the deer family, everywhere I looked I could only find something within myself for every deer I came across. It was looking into a mirror, and all I saw was myself reflected back in some curious way. It was not about being undeceive on a species, but rather being sure of being one with a group of related animals. It wasn’t that I could not decide of what I was, as much as I was actually all ready there. Bending to the deer species as nimbly as water flowing into a space. And so, as it was, I came to the decision I was a cladotherian of all Cervidae.

Some general nonhuman experiences, not related to shifts, that I have include a verity of little nuances in my perspective every time I front. For instance, I get confused when I see my physical self in a mirror and see not another face and features of any fort at home on the face of any deer. Human hands feel so wiry and awkward to me and walking upright is strikingly ungainly in my mind compared to the nimble legs of a deer. I find the limitations of human ears disconcerting and the physical human body’s lack of natural alertness and natural response to the outside environment startling at times. The lack of perception to the human body most unnerving above all. I’m not prey. I don’t think of myself as ’prey.’ I only worry about becoming prey if I do not stay aware.

The outward reflection of my identity of what the therian community commonly refers to as shifts greatly reflects this all deer species conclusion of mine. My dreams, mental, and phantom shifts certainly can take almost any cervine shape and nature. That is not to mention my ability to take on any form that was of a deer sort within our innerworld.

My dreams related to my identity and their content varies as much as the deer that roam this little blue dot of a planet. Some of my more common dreams include roaming the grounds on our near a Buddhist temples or Shinto shrine as a sika deer, likely brought on for my path to being a Buddhist. Other dreams include other distinct landscapes from walking on snow and ice on large hooves but not feeling the bite of the chill while being a reindeer to stepping through a hot rainforest on little hooves and small body as a brocket deer. Perhaps due to my lack of fronting and using the body as often as others in our system, my dream self hardly takes on a human form since I’m a lot more unfamiliar with it. I do not remember much of my dreams often however so they are not a major significance, but they occur.

My mindset away from or toward a more human way of thinking is largely caused by environmental triggers and how long I’ve been fronting. I’m naturally in the mindset of a deer and it’s only when I front for an extended and consistent period of time that my mindset moves away from my instinctive worries as one. Otherwise, I remain in a more deer minded way of thinking and acting though not enough to prevent me from not being able to act human enough to keep up our mask while control our physical body. I’ve not yet had a shift while fronting in which I become completely of a deer mindset without much of the common trappings of human fringes, but I have had times while not fronting where I’ve slipped into a mental shift and purely enjoyed being a deer. Most of us in our system revert to a slightly more human mindset naturally while fronting and then revert back to our more natural state rather quickly after removing ourselves from control of the body. My own cervine mentality is subject to the deer species I am. As a larger deer species such as the Irish elk or moose I am much less likely to be flighty in certain situations while as much smaller deer species I might be even more flighty or nervous toward a lot of activity or movement.

Phantom shifts are one of my most common experiences while I front. Antlers are of course my trademark above all else really. The anthers on my head (or the tusks in my mouth in some cases) very with species and time of year. They may arch backward and then curve around forward with single tines like the antlers of a white-tail, fork near the brow with one going forward and the other curving backward and up with a few tines like an axis deer, they may be a single small spike like a muntjac, or any other formation. The stage of my antlers varies with the species of deer depending on what is natural for them, though generally during the late summer to early fall is when many antlers I might have itch terribly as the velvet falls off to reveal hardened bone only to fall off/disappear from my experience during late winter to early spring to begin a cycle of new growth. If I change from a deer species that has lost their antlers to one that still has their antlers at that certain time of the year or the reverse my phantom antlers will appear or disappear. Regardless, once they are fully grown some antlers become quiet heavy even if they are only phantoms on our human head, however thank goodness my phantom shifts are comparable to human size whether that causes the antlers to be scaled up for smaller deer or scaled down for larger deer species. Only lager antlers (even sized down for human size) tend to cause me trouble due to the bit of stain they put on our physical human neck despite not being there, and their size getting in the way of movement through human obstacles even if they are not there. The worst are the antlers from the Irish Elk, however due to their wide and great size I avoid that form if I can while fronting if I can.  Hooves also sometimes slip through though more on our feet than hands. Once on our human legs they feel akin to the fauns or satyrs of mythology but instead of cloven hooves I feel the shape of deer hooves with the illusion ending just before the knees. I don’t often get phantom hooves on our hands and they are not as vivid as the hooves that can appear on our feet. Those phantom hooves end just past the wrist and just leave me want to carry our middle and index fingers together and our pinky and ring finger together.

My antlers are actually the biggest paradox of my identity because my antlers tell lies about my gender. I am female by identity and my body innerworld reflects this yet as I‘ve already described I annually grow and shed antlers or have tusks akin to any male from any given species even if the female of the species do not naturally have antlers. Regardless to what species I take on, my antlers (or tusks in the case of some species) will look accordingly to the times of the year for that male kind. The reason why this is so and why my head aligns with male deer is a mystery no matter what I try and make of it. It is not unheard for does, even fully fertile ones of many deer species, to grow antlers if their hormones levels, specifically testosterone, are high enough at the right points of the year. In some species of deer it is actually generally more heard of then in other deer species, as its been noted as happening to roe and red deer with some commonality. These occasions are uncommon though overall for the annual years throughout a doe’s life. The most common form of antlered does are does with mere numbs of their head or even with small poorly developed antlers (Wislocki). It is rarer for antlered does to reach the final stage of fully mature antlers with no velvet due to the number of hormone surges it takes to reach the final stage (DePerno and Jenks). Of course, my innerworld is hardly limited by actual hormones. Never-the-less, I grow antler‘s like any make deer even though my femaleness is not in question to me.

Being a deer cladotherian, rather than a certain species of deer therian, might actually explain why I am female yet grow antlers akin to a male deer. Since if my identity is the overall nature of all deer, it seems much more reasonable that I have antlers since they are such a part of the whole biological family Cervidae. Antlers are a trait of the Cervidae though not all species have them (some have tusks instead) and usually only males annually grow them. Does, just as bucks, can grow antlers and it’s only their pheromones which create the necessary barrier. My identity doesn’t have a gender. I have a gender, and since my identity is so encompassing of all traits and natures of all deer rather than defined by a gender or species, antlers (and tusks) seem a logical addition to my daily life as a deer cladotherian. Other than that possible explanation, I have no others. Some things are just as they are without a good solid or known explanation.

Works Cited

      DePerno, Christopher, and Jonathan Jenks. "Field Notes: Antlered Does." Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources. Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, 2004. Web. 9 Nov 2011. <http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteer/mayjun04/fndoes.html>.

      Wislocki, George B. "Antlers In Female Deer, With Report pf Three Cases In. Odocoileus." Journal of Mammalogy. 3.4 (1954): n. page. Print. <http://www.jstor.org/pss/1375571>.

- Pantairin
houseofchimeras: (Pantairin - Self)
Date First Written: July 2011

Cladotherianthropy is not a topic that is often discussed nor is it a term often known by to many within of the community. This is because  it is not a commonplace phenomenon to many therians; however, it is not unheard of nor unique. However, because it is a little used term, likewise cladotherianthropy is rarely brought-up outside those who identify as such and questions about that the term means for those unaware. Plus, outside of the general definition, little much is known or thought about the label. Few know who, when, or where the term came from for instance.

The word, cladotherian comes from the Greek word klados meaning “branch” and therion meaning “animal.” The klados prefix was originally chosen by its creator because in scientific terms, a clade is a grouping of an organism and all its descendants. It is referred to as a clade in reference to the “tree of life” which is formed in diagrams showing the connections between species over millennia due to distant with modification - one line of linage being merely a branch on the tree. The word clado was also chosen because the word cladistics meaning the modern taxonomic method of classifying organisms according to evolutionary relationship between them.

Likewise, a cladotherian is someone who’s theriotype is neither a single distinct species nor is it many separate animals like those who are polytherians (those who two or more theriotypes). Rather, a cladotherian’s theriotype is the general essence or spirit of all animals within a given taxa, meaning a grouping of organisms within a taxonomic rank (within a genus, family, order and so on) or similar. For example, cladotherians identifying with the genus Ursus alone, would identify with bears within that category including the American Black Bear, the Brown Bear,  Polar Bear, the Asiatic Black Bear, and a few other species. However, a cladotherian identifying with the family Ursidae -of which Ursus includes- it would include a much larger and wide range of species including sun bears, sloth bears, the extinct short-faced bear, spectacled bears, the giant panda, and others. However, cladotherianthropy does not mean that a therian is still searching for a specific species nor have they just not been able to narrow down from a family or genus to a species.

The term is far from new, however it unknown to my knowledge exactly where or when the label was spawned. However, the term appears on many of the oldest threads on the Awareness Forums, a now inactive forum which is one of the oldest still standing therian forums at this point in time. Credit to creating the term goes to one user by the calling Mokele who used ihe term themselves and identified as a reptile cladotherian. The existence of the term on the forum goes as far back to the year to 2003 in September which when the Awareness forums was created making it likely the term existed even before then.

Commonly considered for the term within the therian community are groupings of animals of a certain genus or family categories; however, given the fluidity of the term it has been used for an even broader since to include an order or even class. The latter cases are not as common and are the subject of some of the concerns for the term being used in such broad fashions.

Cladotherianthropy is different from polytherianthropy in the nature that a polytherian has multiple, usually two or three but sometimes slightly higher, theriotypes while a cladotherian doesn’t. A cladotherians theriotype is not many or several separate species from the same grouping but rather simply the whole grouping itself. A polytherian may have several theriotypes of completely different animals or they may be of similar species, however the latter individual may still be simply a polytherian rather than a cladotherian. A polytherian can be both a tiger, a lion, and a leopard therian; however that wound not make them a cladotherian for the genus panthera by its definition less they identified with all the animals in panthera.

There are several longstanding concerns over the term reside within the flexible nature of the word if and when it is to be used. At present time, the term cladotherian has little limiting how large or narrow of a grouping of related animals it can encompass. This is primarily due to the nature of rarely used terms given the lack therians who actively use it personally as well as the nature of therianthropy being so personal by very nature.

As present, a cladotherian is usually thought of to be someone whose theriotype is a whole genus, a whole family, order, or possibly broader. However, a problem arises if cladotherian is used to refer to specifically as being a whole genus or family as a theriotype rather than a group of related animals that might be in the form of a taxonomic rank such as a genus or family. This being that some animals only have on species labeled under a genus both extinct and extant.

One concern resides in when an where one might cease to be a cladotherian and hence forth be better described as a polymorph, or one without a set form at all and instead experiences shifts of many different animals regardless of ancestral lines. In the end, it might depend on one’s individual therianthropy and what animals they identify with. However when someone is questioning being a cladotherian for such a wide range of animals, such as within a certain class or order, looking into being a polymorph with merely a focus on certain kinds of animals may be wise just as someone looking into being a family or genus might want to continue question if they are not mistaken and do have a certain species theriotype.

There stands to reason, that one of the common concern for the term cladotherian is if an individual were to try and uses the term to mean only several or many species of animal within a group rather than actually all animals within said grouping.  For example, if a person identified a red fox and gray wolf, but then discovered their connection to golden jackal and in turn decided they there a cladotherian for all Canidae without actually also identifying with all the other canines such as the African wild dog or Dhole, then the term by its own definition would be used improperly  and such a person instead would be perhaps better defined as a polytherian.

A final concern is if the term might accidentally be used by someone simply because they can not or are to lazy to narrow down their theriotype down to a specific species and instead leave themselves at a certain genus or family. There is a difference between, for example, a feline therian who is unsure of their exact theriotype and a feline cladotherian who knows their theriotype. Being a cladotherian is instead for those who have come to the conclusion of what their theriotype is and have found what they identify as/with. They have ended their active search and found they can identify with/as a group of animals within one.

Cladotherianthropy might not be a common way someone’s own personal therianthropy can present, but there are those who have and do use the term to describe their own therianthropy, such as myself. The term has a long history within the online therian community thought being a rarely used label it is not without its use for those who feel the need to use it.


Works Cited
"Terminology questions." 05 10 2003. Online Posting to Awareness Forums. 14 Jun 2011. http://forums.therianthropy.org/showthread.php?116-Terminology-questions

"Cladistics." Your Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. <http://science.yourdictionary.com/cladistics>

"Tree of Life Cladogram." OLogy. American Museum of Natural History. 15 Jun 2011. <http://www.amnh.org/ology/features/treeoflife/pages/cladogram.php>.

 - Pantairin
houseofchimeras: (Pantairin - Self)
Date First Written: January 2010; Date last Updated: August 2013


We do not fully at all understand how our system really and truly came about. We know how certain things were throughout life, and how it all seems to be connected in how our system evolved; but we don’t really know the actual root cause of our multiplicity if there actually is one at all. We don’t know the rhyme or reason, and instead we just know the end result that is now things are today. We can guess and theorizes about it one way or another, but they are only pet hypnoses that are only based on scant evidence and experiences that can sway either way. So we do have are our thoughts on how we might of come together and ended up this way in some way, but those theories very well could be wrong. In the end we just don’t know. We’re not fully sure, and may never be fully sure to how we came about in the end no matter now much time we would sent combining through memories. In the end however, the cause does not matter to us as much as how we live our lives together now. Even though we don’t know the root cause from the beginning, we do know the evolution of the after effects and how we came to be throughout life.

We have never, as far as our collective memory persists, been alone in this head or body. There have always been things going on inside this head completely out of each of our control. Even if we were not aware of each other as we are now and see each other as we see ourselves today, we were still there none the less. Our early life was something of a strange thing in relation to our multiplicity looking back now. Each of us were there in a weird way off and on, and in control of our body in a way; but we were unaware of each other and ourselves in the end. We weren’t sure of ourselves or what we were, but that of course would begin to change over time. During that time, we were still young.

We are not exactly sure how it was beyond a few general ideas and memories. It is weird in that we remember our childhood and into preteen years generally rather good and all, yet we cannot quite put into detail what was going on our brain throughout that time. We have a hard time recalling what was believed, thought, or felt during any given time early on in our life even if we remember what was going on outside our mind. We remember our mind was always going and going with ’voices’ and thoughts here and there. We are not sure as the cause of this, though perhaps it goes back to our brain being so full of chaos early on in our lives because we were not organized like we are now. Our early life was full of chaos in our mind for sure. Our thoughts and feelings were all over the place back then.

One thing we have noticed is that looking back we can point out memories and events which remind us very prominently as someone in our system today. Memories in which any number of us certainly appeared to be fronting at one given time or another before we even knew we were multiple at all and before we awakened to ourselves as we know each other today. There are things we remember doing or saying back as a child or young teenager that was distinctly one of us even if we weren’t fully aware of each other back then. Times when which what we said or the tone of voice that was used or what we did, which we can place as being distinctly from someone. We remember events in our early life in which our voice sounding like how Lunatani speaks today, remember our factual expression at several times having Kardegray’s famous smirk, events in which we held Pantairin’s more formal and slow speech pattern, and so on. Little things here and there that happen to actually remember though there is so much we likely have forgotten over the years. 

It wasn’t until we started going into our teen years that the first hints of our multiplicity started to come to our awareness though at the time we miss construed them into thinking what was going on was something else. It was sometime during our pre-teen or early teen years, with think, that Earth Listener and Cavern-Risen came to distinctly front the most. From what we can figure, everyone else still made appearances and had influences on the body, but it was Cavern-Risen (whose identity as a werewolf influenced how things went during this time in our lives) and Earth Listener (whose name was used and from this ze got confused about zir species identity) who were the main fronters at that time. That would change though. Echoes of all of us would continue to peek though our mind and into the outside world, but we wouldn’t fully realize our multiplicity for some years.

During the early half of the decade of 2000 is when Earth Listener found zir name; however, also during this time Cavern-Risen also fronted a lot and her identity as a werewolf and her understanding of that over shadowed Earth Listener’s aquatic identity which didn’t have species names to it back then, causing both of them to think they were a spiritual werewolf. Once we found the therian community during the mid 2000s that would translate into thinking ‘we’ were a gray wolf therian for a time. It was also during this time what our innerworld began to ’form’ in our mind. Though more correctly, it could be said that we started being aware of it more than anything. Though back then, what was known was a dark enclosed temple (what is the Ruins in our innerworld today).

It was through time period that we really began to appear in any artistic endeavors. Looking back, we can see our multiplicity before we knew of each other in what we had written or drawn during our childhood and teen years. Our early drawings and writings portrayed images not too unfamiliar to what some of us are though few of us had our names ascribed to those early writings and drawings at any time. Unfortunately, most of our drawings before our high school years have sense be either lost or sent into the recycle bin, which is something we find sad for the one’s we remember which are very distinct in our mind and can be directly linked to someone in our system. 

One of the earliest drawings we remember doing very clearly was from back in the winter 2004 of a is of a monstrous black wolf with lager than normal ears and shorter tail that was chained down within a cage with moonlight coming in through a bars and shadows along the wolf being red. Also in 2004, we drew a detailed pencil drawings of young adult snowy owl. We remember rather clearly having done countless drawings spanning 2004 all the way up to nearly 2008 of a large white feline. In a few early drawings she was given more tiger or lion-like features before becoming more lean from there on until the later drawings of her right before her awakening into our system, in which she was almost like we know her today. Another drawing in the Spring of 2005 specifically, which we still happen to have, is a pencil shaded drawing of a white-tailed deer that was female, but with antlers. One of the very strikingly similar drawings we can remember was of a sea dragon in pencil shading which was not too dissimilar from Aquasarius as we know him today complete with long neck, a tail tipped with a fish-tail, and gills along his chest. The drawing was done in the year 2005 and the sea dragon within the drawing was called “Aquarius” which is actually something of “pre-name” given to Aquasarius before he changed his name to what it is today. In 2006, a short lived short story was written about a young teen named “Zeo” who had wings. Two years later a novella would start being written about a young man named Zeo who could turn into a harpy like creature that was white, which we later discovered was one of Z’s past life memories. In 2006, a rough drawing of a literal half human, half wolf creature as drawn though the drawing depicted a male rather than a female. Another drawing, this one also done in 2007, was of a female black werewolf in a hybrid form in a fight with another werewolf  that was more wolf-like which had reddish-orange fur within a stony background. The black werewolf was Cavern-Risen ad the reddish-orange one was from one of Cavern-Risen’s past life memories. In 2008, for a sculpting project, we crafted a wall hanging bust of a red deer that was also rather similar to Pantairin again in a way. These are just examples we distinctly remember drawing during our teenage years, but even somewhat earlier we can strain to recall drawing or thinking of a few images off and on in later childhood as well which seemed not too unfamiliar to one of us.

That is how the progression began - slowly at first, right under our noses throughout of life. However by the time our high school years came around, we had grown more and more aware of each other but with now context for what was happening we all saw everyone else as a ‘voice’ or ‘character.’ Feeling pressured by how we had inferred from society that ‘having people in our head’ was wrong and unhealthy even though it didn’t feel wrong and didn’t cause us harm we tried to put an end to. During this time Pantairin was mislabeled as a spirit guide (and being male due to having antlers) until even she was forced a way for a time before being able to come back. Before to long, Cavern-Risen and Earth Listener forcing everyone away as tension within the system increased. In the end, this lead to our system grinding to a halt. Many members fled deep into our innerworld and out of awareness of our innerworld (including Cavern-Risen after a time leaving Earth Listener alone) and some going into a sleep/unconscious state. By the time, mid 2009 rolled around Earth Listener was alone fronting and there was one around for a time. That wouldn’t last for long however.

In December 2009, Kardegray came back around from being forced away for a time. He quickly made himself known to Earth Listener and began to really press to show how real he was to zir though at this time he could not front for some time. Due to being members of The Daemon Forum, Earth Listener became aware of the ‘headmates’ more though we had heard a tiny bit about multiplicity in the past from the otherkin community. From that, Kardgeray began to be called a headmate by Earth Listener though we still did not we were also multiple for sure. During this time everyone else continued to exist away from their awareness of the outerworld for a time. It was during this time that the Ruins in our innerworld became as they are today and some of the temple that it has been fell away and plants began to grow all over it in mass.

Then at the start of 2010 Kardegray accidentally ended up fronting, and it was the first time it was recognized as being such. Earth Listener recognized and was aware of the lost of control of our body, Kardegray realized he himself was fronting. It was then, both Kardegray and Earth Listener began to really suspect something. Then, in February of 2010 Lunatani began to come back into the awareness of the outerworld and Earth Listener and Kardegray quickly realize this as well.

It was at this point the idea of multiplicity really began to come to our thoughts as a possibility whereas before it had been hand waved away as to what was going on in our mind. By March 2010 we had grown to seriously consider the idea and by June 2010 we officially decided we were a plural system, though specifically that early on we though we were maybe median rather than multiple. So the first steps to learning about our system as a system really began to talk off. In the months and years that followed more and more people found their way back and in time we started looking for them as well. Further,  few years later we even had a few additions into the system whom had never been here before. 

And so, things have continued on. We are still learning about our system, about our innerworld, piecing together our past as a system, and learning about each other. Our lives together is a process of discovering and learning. We did not come to know everything there is to know about our system under a short span of time and there are things we may still not know or might be mistaken about. We are still learning about ourselves and our relationship with one another. We have learned a lot, but there is still much we do not know still. About ourselves, and certainly about plurality as a whole. There is certainly still so many things we do not know about the cause or formation of our system at its onset.

Outside of these general known facts throughout our lives so far, everything else is much more little more then a lot of guess work and hypotheses set-up by our  thoughts and opinions on what we think we might know. We do wonder why we are a system and how it actually began at its onset. We know the after effects in our lives but not the cause behind the scenes, if you will. Some of us such as Kardegray and Mist Weaver prefer to see our multiplicity in a psychological light, others such as Z, Pantairin, and Tanka lean toward a spiritual explanation, while others prefer something kind of in-between or just do not know and haven’t formed an opinion. However, they are only opinions and hypotheses based off primarily on our own spirituality and beliefs about the nature of a person. Regardless of what any of us might believe caused our multiplicity we all agree on the opinion that which ever is correct - whether it is spiritual, psychological, both or neither - we do feel that our multiplicity is essentially natural. We consider our multiplicity, to be something that just came about on its own. We think that, however our multiplicity might have actually formed, those root causes were just how things fell and formed rather than our multiplicity being something was caused by an outside source primary.

From a psychological point-of-view we can think that our brain was just naturally inclined toward multiplicity and from that nonhuman identities. That this mental abnormality of ours is an innately occurring one that our brain managed to wire into place in a way to told onto multiple full identities going on at one time within it. From this view-point, those of us who came into the system later on in life could be seen as just further results of how our brain just naturally works.  From a spiritual standpoint, popular pet-hypothesis among us is that our system was formed and caused by many souls being either incarnated into this body (rather than just one soul being incarnated into this body) or that a fair number of us walked-in while this body was still very, very young in life. Of course that later idea of us possibly being walk-ins brings up the question of which of us is the “host”  if either of us is or is not the original at all. However in that possible scenario, if it was so, then due to our body being so young, one could say whoever was the “host” if that person was one of us and not that that said host actually walked out when we walked in that the idea of it mattering seems moot. Further, in this view-point, those of us who we know came in/appeared in our system much later on in life can certainly be described as walk-ins.

Either way though, for all us in our system, if we had to pick a hypothesis to standby and we could not play the “we don’t know for sure and so won’t put a hard stand on it either way without more details” we would stand by the theory that our multiplicity and otherkinity is built form a whole host of psychological and spiritual causes and roots. Where and which way things actually fall within this theory is unknown by far. Really, though, it really doesn’t worry or haunts us. The past is the past.

In the end though, those are just ideas and hypotheses. What we do know is that we have lived this way for as long as we can remember. That how our multiplicity is, has not something which has been detrimental to our lives. That, for whatever cause, we are here as we are. We can’t be sure how we will continue on in life and change in the future. If we will gain new members, how our independence and interdependence with grow and mature, and so on down the line. Time will tell.

- Pantairin
houseofchimeras: (Earth Listener)
Date First Written: January 2009; Date Last Updated: February 2014

The story of how we found the therian community is a bit of an odd tale. By at the latest of the age of 7, we already had a general grasp on our nonhuman identities. Our finding the online community and coming into awareness of the community’s existence was more of a gradual series of events that drew us even closer to its final conclusion.

To begin, it should be noted that our general and rough understanding of being nonhuman in identity occurred while we were still children. Our early childhood memories are vague in places, but we know for sure that we had some idea that we didn’t identify as human in some way by at least the age of 6 or 7.

The first hint to us that we are not alone in our experiences and identities came to us while we were still in our childhood. At the age of 9 in 1999 we met someone who identified as a fox. We ended up confiding and sharing our thoughts and feelings to one another from then on. We talked about our feelings of wanting to act out animal behaviors which we were having to teach ourselves to control. We also discussed feelings of limbs and such which were not there on our bodies as well. So on and so forth on whatever we experienced at that time in our lives. Our friendship gave our multiple system an early boost in confidence in our identity thought it did not put an end to our childhood doubt completely.

Then in the August of 2003, the hour documentary Animal Imitators aired on the television channel TLC. We had managed to catch a preview stating what it was about and so managed to record the whole documentary on VHS. We did so due to finding something about the preview we had seen oddly familiar and the actual documentary did not disappoint us.

The documentary went over the lives of various people. Some were more interested in the body modification, some of the people were more of the furry persuasion (and called themselves furries), others were more therian in persuasion (one of which even directly calling himself a “were”), and a few were a mix of one or more. Furries meaning a person who is a fan of anthropomorphic animals in media, and a certain percentage creating and wearing costumes of an animal. While were is another term for therian which was primarily used during the 90s and early 2000s before almost fully falling out of favor to “therian” until the early to mid 2000s.

One of those interviewed was Stalking Cat, a man who had had numerous tattoos and body modifications done to look more like a tiger. At one point he stated, “I’ve been a cat my entire life. I’ve always related to cats, I’ve always had a close relationship with cats.” We sympathized and felt similar to him in some sense. Not so much for the desire to take surgical action on our body, but the sense of some dysphoria to our body regardless.[1]

 Another person’s interviewed who really stuck out and whom we couldn’t help but feel similar to was a man named Coyote Osborne. The narrator of the documentary, introduced Coyote by stating, “Not all […] feel a need to transform their bodies. Some just accept they are an animal trapped in a human skin.” Coyote Osborne talked about having past life memories and dreams about being a coyote as well talked about how he felt he wasn’t human even though his body was physically human. The first time watching the documentary, we couldn’t help but identity with so much on what Coyote said. Of having dreams, of feeling like a creation animal, of drawing how we felt we should look like, and more.[2]

There were a number of things the documentary brought up that we didn’t fully grasp or not notice at all until later. However, what we did grasp meant a lot to us. Those of us who identified as Earthly animals or werebeast took comfort in the greater knowledge that we were not alone even more than what we had previously thought.  Everyone else in the system even, while the documentary didn’t pertain to them so much directly, found the idea of there being more people who didn’t identify as human left open a possibility that soothed them as well. We faintly remember watching that documentary many more times in the months and years to come.

Sometime in the summer of 2004 a documentary also aired called Humanimals aired. (It was not the Weird, True, & Freaky half-hour episode titled the same name as that aired December 16th 2008.[3]) We know and remember the hour long documentary aired during the summer of 2004 because it too was recorded by us on VHS. We have never found any information online referencing this old documentary however. The documentary almost exclusively focused on people who had modified there bodies to look more animalistic or whatnot. Some of them stated outright they didn’t identify with an animal at all, while a few stated they did in some way or another identify with an animal. This documentary didn’t strike us as strongly as the other commentary, but still some things seemed familiar to us. It still added to our sense of not being alone in our feelings.

The nudge referencing otherkin and similar communities occurred again in the winter of 2004 when a school friend of ours in junior high and high school mentioned that there were people who were nonhuman spirituality. She had an interest in witchcraft as her father was practicing witchcraft, paganism, and/or the occult (we never fully learned exactly what it was he practiced). They had heard of people who were actually werebeasts, vampires, elves, and dragons. (We remember her specifically mentioned those four.) She didn’t call them by any term nor knew anything more than that really, sadly.

Then, some time in the fall of 2005 while searching through the books at our local library on werewolves Cavern-Risen came across a book called, The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shapeshifting Beings by Bard Steiger. The book included one section which interested us the most (enough that we got photocopies of the pages in question back then) called “Spiritual Shape-Shifting.” The section discussed the topic of shamanic and other spiritual practices where a person took on the power or some other quality of an animal. It also touched on the idea of people merely connecting with or identifying with/as a certain animal, as well as mention that some people had dreams, visions, and so on of becoming or being an animal for spiritual reasons. The section also included a mediation exercise to spiritually shapeshift into a wolf.[4] Again, we were left with a feeling of our experiences being a part of some phenomena that other people had been and were experiences elsewhere, but still had no idea where or to what extent there was to it.  

Our lack of direct knowledge of the online otherkin communities changed though in March of 2006. We can’t quite recall the exact date outside that it was in March or early April. Even after all these years we still remember the sequence of events that infolded as we discovered the community online.

Cavern-Risen had been searching and using search engines heavily. She was looking up information on myths and stories of werewolves just out of interest and cursorily while looking for information on real-life werebeasts was more out of wondering what could be online. We all  remembered those documentary interviews of people who were like us and everything else we had come upon over the years, though Cavern-Risen wasn’t directly thinking of them at the time. We were still extremely new to what the internet could be used for so the idea of using it for socializing and networking didn’t even come to mind at all.

We don’t recall what she had thrown into the search engine or how deep into the page results she found the link, but what we ended up finding was the webpage called The Therianthropy Resource. It was the first website about therianthropy we had ever come across. The website was little more than a single webpage with much of the information there apparently taken from other websites with each section credited to the original author. Looking back we can recognize some of the information’s origins, some parts are from Alt.Horror.Werewolves and/or Were.net for sure.

At first, Cavern-Risen honestly thought it was just another werewolf website or something like; however, as she went down the page it became more and more apparent that wasn‘t the case. The webpage began describing something called “therianthropy” and how such people were, in a way, the real kind of werewolves and so on in the world. Several sections went over some personal experiences from their authors and the final section was over shifting and other things. As she read through the text something in the our brain kept feeling a sense of déjà vu on our own experiences as well as vaguely remembering back to those documentaries and so on we had once seen, read, or had been told. Fascinated and wanting to know more about the topic and wanting to be sure of what was being said wasn’t just isolated talk, Cavern-Risen took a few of the terms used and took a search engine to them. From there, we found even more websites and information.

Another website was quickly found called, The Shadow Wulfs Den. The site was old having not been updated in years on that day Cavern-Risen first found it. The website talked about various kinds of experiences more in-depth. Looking back, we can tell that a number of the things in the website are what we (and the greater therian community) would now called ‘fluffy’ in the sense of mixing fact with fiction (mixing in myths of werewolves into how therians actually are) as well as making real world claims (such as physical shifting being real and such). However, the website did give us more insight and ideas to bounce off of with to find and learn more about this topic.

Cavern-Risen kept searching and reading both that day and some more days to come. Over that span of time we came across even more websites, some of which we can no longer remember the name of or they are no longer online all these years later. Some of those websites we found and remember by name included The WereWeb, The Werewolf and Shapeshifter Codex, The Werebeast Support Page, Werelist, Therianthropy.org, Unicorns United, The Draconity FAQ, Eristic.net, and others.

At first, Cavern-Risen was skeptical to if this really did fit what she experienced (and the rest of us did in our own way), but as she read through both these websites and others of which we can’t remember the names of anymore, it kept feeling like complete déjà vu. A feeling of “I know this” and “I experienced that” kept washing over us all in some sense or another. We kept doing research and became more and more convinced that we fit into the words we were reading about and that our experiences fit into these communities.

After that point, we began to lurk in the community. Occasionally coming across a website we hadn’t seen before to look through as well as finding websites to keep going back to. Cavern-Risen held back on joining any forums, and instead we merely lurked forums that we could look at without joining. Forums like Werelist and a few other forums that we don‘t remember the name of anymore.

By summer of 2007 we began to consider joining the community. After a year of lurking, we felt a draw to begin joining in on the interaction and dissuasion. Given, Werelist was one of the visible forums we had been lurking and so had an idea of its atmosphere and content, we felt most comfortable joining it as our first step. However sometime during the fall of 2007, Werelist crashed causing us told back for a little bit longer.

It would not be until November 2007 that I [Earth Listener], who had taken over the front primarily at that point in time, would finally actively take part in the therian community. It was during the fall that we had created a Facebook account and discovered there were several groups on there for otherkin, including ones specifically for therians. So we began joining several of the groups that were active, and the first one we joined was one of the largest ones for therians called Wild At Heart. We also immediately after that joined one simply called Otherkin which was for all kinds of otherkin. After that we began posting and discussing along with the group.

Once we learned that Werelist was back up after having a major crash over a year ago, I [Earth Listener] joined the forum for the first time in January 2008. After that, we joined other forums such as The Awareness Forums in May 2008 and other otherkin forums. Thus, we’ve been around the otherkin communities ever sense somewhere or another. 

- Earth Listener


Bibliography

[1] Pemberton, Justin. Animal Imitators. TLC. 2003.

[2] Pemberton, Justin. Animal Imitators. TLC. 2003.

[3] “Weird, True, & Freaky: Humanimals,” IMDB, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1370125/ (accessed February 11 2014)

[4] Steiger, Brad, The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shapeshifting Beings. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1999.

July 2014

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