Potential article: So you don't know what you are
I'm considering submitting some version of this as a library article, but I figured I would test the waters here.
My name is Gryff, and I'm a fauntaur. And I'm guessin your first thought was, "neither of those are real words." It's true, I made both of them up. Gryff is a nickname I've used for a very long time. But more importantly, "fauntaur" is what I call my kin type. I had to make up that word, because I can't quite pin it down. I'm writing this for people like me, who don't exactly know what their kin type is, and want to find out. It's for people who truly know they are otherkin, but don't know much beyond that. When it comes to spending time in the kin community without being able to figure yourself out, I'm pretty much the expert.
Even if you're new here, you may already know that I've been part of the online kin community for about 15 years, because I never shut up about it. In that time my understanding of my kin type has changed a lot. In the very early days, I went through a lot of possibilities. I distinctly remember starseed as being one of the many things I considered, but soon I settled on griffin as my kin type. That lasted until around 6 or 7 years ago, when I began to think that I was actually a centaur. More recently I've considered that maybe it isn't quite so simple.
There has never been a point when I was 100% certain about my kin type. And in such a situation you might feel, reading what people say on the forums, that you're alone. You might feel like you can't really be kin, because if you were you would have figured more of it out by now. But don't worry about that. I know it isn't really helpful to say this, but it's ok to not know; it takes a long time to figure out. Don't worry though, that's not all I'm going to say on the subject. It's also frustrating, annoying, and sometimes even depressing to not know what you are. The good news is, there are things you can do to at least get closer to the answer.
If you ask somebody how to figure out your kin type, the first thing they will tell you is that you should meditate. And even if you don't think you're able to do so, try it anyway. Meditation takes so many forms. Try solo meditations, walking meditation, general guided meditations, and guided meditations with a specific purpose. Even if you don't get much from it, when you find the method that works best for you, you may find more than you expected.
There are other common methods out there as well, but you can find them anywhere. If those things work for you, great. If they don't, though, I've found other things to be helpful. These are the kinds of things that some will tell you to avoid, as they can lead to false positives, but sometimes you don't have a choice.
Hopefully by the time you reach this point you already have at least a vague idea of what you are. One thing I've found to be helpful is research. Try to figure out what jibes with the ideas you already have. If you find the right thing, it may click. For example: for a while I've been reasonably sure that my kin type has the top half of a human and the bottom half of either a goat (i.e. a satyr/faun) or a horse (i.e. a centaur). Researching those two things didn't help much. But then I started reading about the mythical forebar of satyrs, the god Pan. That clicked immediately. Granted, a click isn't much; that's certainly not enough for me to say that I'm definitely a satyr/faun. But it's a step in the right direction at least.
Another thing I've found useful is just throwing yourself behind a theory for a day or two and seeing what feels right. Keep in mind this isn't about "trying on" different kin types on a whim, it's about seeing whether a theory feels right. For example, my demon theory came pretty much out of nowhere. But for a couple of days, calling myself a demon felt more right than calling myself a centaur ever did. Again, it's not a lot to go on, but it's progress.
The next thing I'd recommend is taking what your research has told you about a species and see if it fits. Everyone here will tell you, quite rightly, that having traits similar to a creature does not make that your kin type. A lot of people would suggest not even thinking about that at all, but if you've reached this point, there may not be much choice. My example for this one is particularly tenuous: I'm sort of entranced by music. When a song I like is playing, regardless of where I am, I can't help but sing it, for example. This I've considered may be related to the connection between fauns/satyrs and music. Of all of the things I've talked about here, this is the one my peers would most likely take issue with. And again, it is extremely tenuous. But even that is better than nothing.
Once you've done all of this, you might have a reasonably solid idea of what your kin type might be. You won't know for sure, but at least you'll hopefully be a bit more comfortable with your theory. But if, like me, you still aren't sure, you need to go to the final step: just be you. If you trust anything I say, knowing more or less what my kin type is, you must at least be open to the possibilities of mythic kin. And, especially if you believe they're the same thing (I don't), you are probably open to the idea of fiction kin. Fiction and mythology are vast and endless. Beyond that, some believe there are other universes, filled with creatures we've never imagined. Maybe you don't know what your kin type is because it's something you've never heard of before. Maybe it's one of a kind.
If you're like me, that isn't a very satisfying conclusion. After all, you want to be able to say that you are something, and don't want to feel like the (potential) answer you found isn't really an answer at all. This ties back to a question you've probably been asking since the beginning of this: what is a fauntaur? A fauntaur is a creature whose top half is that of a human and whose bottom half is either a two legged goat, four legged goat, or a four legged horse. It may also be a demon of sorts, depending on how you define such things. Most likely it is at least something akin to a demon and has two goat legs and spiral horns. In other words, it's short hand for what I more or less believe about my kin type. And having that name to call yourself makes a bigger difference than one would think. It's the difference between not knowing what you are and knowing what you are. It makes conversation easier. Most importantly it fills a void, and thus makes your search feel less urgent. As such, it helps you take your time.
These are things that have been very helpful for me, and I hope they can help you as well. One size definitely doesn't fit all, and none of these ideas are substitutes for the usual methods of figuring things out. They're the emergency tools. Above all else, don't rush to figure out your kin type. Let it be uncomfortable and take your time. Even the things I'm recommending work best if you at least have a foundation to start from.
Some people will tell you, should you use these ideas, that you're doing it wrong or that you're not taking things seriously. Don't worry about that. This is your life and your experience. Keeping our peers on the right track is important, but not everyone has the same right track. Stay on yours and you'll reach the station soon enough.
Obviously this is just a first draft. I wrote it on my phone throughout the day without a very clear idea of where I was going with it. Still, feedback is always appreciated
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