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Writings of a human, that happens to be a wolf, that happens to be an ancient thing. There's maybe some leopard in there too. And there's definitely a dinosaur.

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Flicker, flicker

Damn, it's been a while since I've written anything here. Welp, guess I'll kinda... do that. Because. Things.  Specifically, fictionflicky things. Ugh. So... I don't dislike being a fictionflicker, not at all. And for the most part, it's such a minor thing that I don't feel the need to talk about it. For that matter, I doubt the experience is even particularly rare. It's not generally the sort of thing I think most people would go out and label. I wouldn't have if there wasn't already a convenient label for this exact thing that also helpfully facilitates discussion about it, in a community full of people already talking about identity weirdness. Like, now if I see some fictionkin talking about something I've also felt before, I can be like, "oh yeah I totally know how that feels!" without having to give some big exposition about how that happens in someone who is not at all fictionkin. Which. Hey, that's another weird thing I realised. So by the much looser Tumblr standards I'd probably count as a fictionkin. Pretty wild. Also... a perfect example of why that kind of looser terminology doesn't work. Because I, in no way, shape or form, identify as any of the characters I flick as. And I'm not even them 95% of the time! It is pretty bizarre in it's own way, though. I was running it through my head a few days ago, trying to figure out where exactly these flicks fit into my identity. I definitely don't identify as the characters I flick as. Not even the recurring ones I've had for years. They're not me, I'm not them - just the idea of that is really weird! And very not-right! But then I'm like. What the heck are these things to me? I don't identify with any of these characters either! I certainly have plenty of characters I identify with, but I don't flick as any of them. And most of the recurring characters I flick as are like. Specific characters with specific linear stories which have no parallels to my own, symbolic or otherwise. So what causes my brain to latch onto these random, apparently arbitrary characters so much? I... just don't know right now. I do definitely believe it is 100% psychological, though. I suppose... the best way I can think of to describe the feeling is that... it's like, if somehow I had been born in the universe that story is set in, I feel like that is the person I would be. That is the life I would live. Which is, again, a very strange and confusing thing to feel towards characters who share no common themes or personality traits with you. I don't know why I feel that way so strongly. I guess... just blame it on brains being weird and leave it at that? I had a hell of a lot of identity issues growing up.  I do feel a lot of what I imagine fictionkin tend to feel, for as long as these flicks last. Like... homesickness, for sure. And the feeling like I should be able to do something but don't physically know how. The momentary feeling of "wait where is (item)" or "I miss (person)". Thinking of characters from the same source in very familiar ways, like "my friend" or "my brother". Feeling out of place, like I don't really belong "here". Very strong emotional reactions to events that happened in whatever canon I'm flicking. Sometimes I even get slight changes in the way I hold myself or speak. And there's those momentary reactions to things that just make no sense in any context. "Where the fuck is my gun!?" I wonder, as a person who hates guns, has never even seen a gun up close, and lives in a country where guns are completely illegal to own. Yep. It's. Really something. Good job, brain. Another interesting thing to note is that the characters I flick as aren't always from the exact "canon" that's shown in whatever media they're from. Though in most cases I can kinda figure out why that is, and what "changed" to make that happen. Best theory I have right now about why I might get these things is that I. Maybe... might have subconsciously plugged up some holes in my own identity with stuff from outside sources. At least, that explanation might work for the recurring ones. But then... why would they be flicks and not a consistent part of my identity? And if I really did fill in some gaps in my sense of self with outside stuff, why would I also feel like I am not, in any way, actually those characters? Not even a little bit? Not even sometimes? So then. Maybe it really is just me being a very empathetic person with a strong tendency towards escapism? But that wouldn't explain why I tend to flick as characters I don't identify with. Unless... I do identify with them, but in a more vague way? Or... like, those characters somehow represent something in myself that I don't consciously recognise or understand? Or... maybe even things I don't want to understand?  Damn, now I'm onto something... I mean, it's still a stretch to go from "this character kinda represents a trait I have that I pretend I don't have!" to feeling what I feel during flicks. But then. I guess. I was also dealing with some serious mental health problems at the time, so. Maybe. I might have latched onto a few characters as ways to express, or... maybe vent some of the things I was dealing with inside myself, that I couldn't or wouldn't consciously confront? But then. It became, like. A habit? To explore myself, and specifically the things I didn't/don't understand about myself, through these different characters. And the fact that they're nothing like my actual personality is what made them perfect to explore all the feelings and emotions I wasn't in touch with, that didn't feel like a central part of myself. And then... I mean, if it's something I learned to do as a kind of... not exactly a coping mechanism, but a way to process things? Well, then it'd make sense that it still happens, even with new sources and new characters. Which... also goes a long way towards explaining why I'm so ridiculously empathetic. Because. In a way, I've kinda... emulated so many different characters in so many different situations, but in a way that felt absolutely real to me on an emotional level, that I. I get it. In a way. I understand, as much as anyone can understand anything.  Like... my brain runs these complex simulations of what it would be like to be those characters, so deep and in-depth that all the emotions and sensations feel absolutely clear and real, then. The simulation ends. And I just have memory of the simulation and what I experienced while it was happening, and. What those things mean to me now. Then I fit those things I learned into my worldview. Use what I learned. Move on. Do it again. Keep learning. Oh my god. I think. I think this is why it happens. I think I figured it out. Brains are... crazy, beautiful machines, aren't they? I wish I felt comfortable enough to go into specifics about what I've actually experienced with this. Maybe I will at some point.  This is why I need to use this blog more! I swear, the amount of times I've gone to write a blog entry about how much I don't understand something, only to end up finding some understanding halfway through writing about my lack of understanding--



Planning an article (suggestions? help?)

I mentioned a little while back that I wanted to take a shot at writing a Library article (I actually have a few things I'd like to write about, but... one thing at a time). I tried to just write it by the seat of my pants but it wasn't working out the way I wanted it to. So now I'm doing it proper - I've made an outline of what I want to include, and next I'm gonna write a draft. But then I realised that this planning phase is the perfect time to get input from others! So if anyone's interesting in helping out, feel free to take a look through my planning doc and suggest edits or any important content you think I've missed! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zVUVlrZg9YGq71g00JR0YRS1VSiMhPq101crmApXcfo/edit?usp=drivesdk The article is going to be focused on dealing with confirmation bias during questioning, but there's other stuff I'd like to include which is more relevant to kin as a whole. (On that subject, if anything I've noted down seem irrelevant to the subject also let me know! I'm treading the fine line between writing an in-depth article and just rambling for hours. :P) Basically, my goal here is to write the article I wish I'd had when I first awakened. Something that covers all the important stuff without being mind-numbingly boring to read (...hopefully). Let me know what you all think~



Blast from the past

I mentioned on the forum and my status that I recently decided to rejoin TG - aka Therian Guide, another 'kin forum and one I have quite a bumpy history on. The new account I made got merged with the one I had on there back in 2015, which was right in the thick of my spirit kintype awakening. Looking at my old posts is... less "cringy" than I thought it would be. It's actually quite nice, too see how far I've come and how much of what once existentially confused me has now fit itself into place. One of the more interesting things I've found is my old journal on there. I remember feeling so embarrassed whenever I posted on there, but rereading it, everything sounds perfectly fine and I did a good job of keeping my head on my shoulders despite the terrible emotional state I'd been in at the time. It's kinda weird too, seeing references to things that happened, plans I'd made that fell through, hopes that felt so impossibly far off at the time... "I don't think I'll be living on my own for quite a while yet." Hey, past me. I did it. I live alone now, and I'm an adult, and I'm doing fine and everything's pretty great. You got through it, past me. Everything worked out and everything's getting better. "Y'know, I've never actually seen a wolf." I've seen wolves, now. At the local wildlife centre in Dundee. They have a whole pack there. It's... about as emotionally intense as you'd expect it to be. I want to be with them. I want to be one of them and join in the play fighting and wolf cuddle piles. I want my old pack back. I miss my home. I miss my family. I could have a new pack here, as a human. I could form those kinds of bonds with other humans, even. Maybe. It's a lot. But I like seeing them, even if it makes me feel a bit sad and a bit lost. "Whenever I think of a job working somewhere like that, WIV MAH WULF BROS, my motivation goes right through the roof, so maybe I'll manage to endure the crap. For that." Oh yeah. I forgot. It was that feeling of wanting to work with wolves that kept me going when I was in a bad place. I haven't exactly given up on that, but it's not been my focus for a long while. But hey. I should stick an application in to volunteer at the wildlife centre once I get my driving license and a car. Might be a long wait to get somewhere with it, but maybe I could get to know the pack there like I wanted to. Have some wolf friends! But that's not the thing that hits me the most. Rather, it's the stuff I wrote about my spirit kintype, which I didn't understand at all back then. I would just link to the particular entries, but I can't - they're locked behind the whole member's only privacy thing, so most of you wouldn't be able to read them! So I'll copy the more interesting ones and post them here instead. "CAN'T SLEEP. Dunno why. This is frustrating. I've actually been having problems sleeping for a few weeks now, which is weird - I mean, I used to have insomnia but that was like 3 years ago or something. I've been sleeping fine for so long, I don't know why this has started up again. 😕 I dunno what to do. I suppose I could just lie in bed until I fall asleep. Mhh. Well, anyway I came to a really obvious conclusion and I can't believe I didn't even realise this before. Or well, I kinda did but it got lost a bit in my general confusion and frustration. I'm like 98% sure my god-kintype is psychological. Like, oh mah god revelation right there, I'm not actually a freaking reincarnated deity! /sarcasm Which is actually what I thought right when I first awakened. It makes so much sense I can't even believe I haven't thought about it like this in so long (makes me feel 1000000% better because 1. I actually feel less crazy, and 2. I can drop all the existential bullshit). Because... well, uh, the last few years of my life have been... bad. I know I talk like a goof - that's because I am a goof! Levity is basically my coping mechanism. Instead of getting upset, I make dumb jokes. Laugh it off. That's the kind of person I am. That's how I've figured out how to stay sane through all the pain and hardship. I'm not going into what happened. It's a hell of a long story and not something I particularly want to think about right now (won't help me sleep at all, either) but basically, in the end I had to be the 'mature' one, even when I was young. Sometimes I used to feel like I was the only thing stopping everything from falling apart - I mean, I had my brothers, but we were all children. And it wasn't just for a short period of time. Just as we'd solve one problem, something worse would come up. What that adds up to is like half my life filled with trauma after trauma, all coming from different sources. And through all that, I never broke down once. Fucking... 5 or 6 years of being abused or seeing other people being abused, and I held everything inside because I had to, because there was literally no other choice. I was stuck being the strong one, but there was nobody to be strong for me. So I just shoved all the negative emotions down into the back of my mind, and I didn't notice while they festered there, because I was too busy doing my best to stop everything falling apart even more than it already was. That sort of pain doesn't just go away and die though, does it? So *points dramatically* that's what this fucking dragon is. It's all that pain and anger, mushed up into something that basically doesn't give a damn about anything in any way at all. It is the polar opposite of me. Where I'm warm, it's cold. Where I'm empathic, it's completely apathetic in every single way. Which is why is scares me so much. All the other stuff? Well, okay, some of it doesn't make any sense at all. But it being a dragon makes sense, because I was obsessed with dragons as a kid. I never once acted like a wolf. I was always a dragon. I even remember having phantom wings when I was young. The 'god' parts of it - well, they kind of stem from the feeling of invulnerability, and one way to feel invulnerable is to literally not give a shit what happens to you. Some of the other stuff I'm sure is just parts of my personality popping up, or symbolism. The storm thing? I used to be terrified of storms. I'm not anymore. But of course any embodiment of my anger and sadness is gonna pick a thing with emotional history behind it as a symbol. But that kind of explains why I felt so off calling myself a 'god' - because I'm not one, that's just the closest thing I could think of that I could relate to in that sense, since it seems so alien to me. The feeling of being old could actually just be me being so damn tired of everything or something. It all just adds up in the most obvious ways possible. I'm an idiot. Why didn't I make this connection before? Because is wasn't 2 in the morning before Y'know... I actually 100% approve of this as a coping mechanism. I know it doesn't sound healthy, but really - all my negative emotions trapped in their own little Tartarus in the deepest parts of my subconscious, manifested in a way that they don't interfere with my daily life. It's not even an entirely negative kintype, which is pretty impressive considering it basically consists of pain and bad memories. Even when it comes to the surface, it's usually when I'm on my own and basically just numbs my emotions for like half an hour, turns me into some grumpy deadpan turdbasket but that's it. Yeah. Yeah, I'm actually okay with this. I can't believe this has been driving me insane for a year and a half, and in one sleepless night I've basically figured the whole damn thing out. Also gonna go edit my profile to mention this. 'Cause it seems way less awkward being godkin now I've figured it's actually just my brain being screwed up. And also I'm guessing it's kinda less awkward for everyone else too since I'm not prancing around claiming to be an actual, literal god (not that I ever even was). xP I need some celebratory nachos. Except we don't even have any nachos in right now, goddammit. I'm still not tired, though. Uugh. Might take this opportunity to go binge some webcomics or something. *shrugs*" I can definitely see why I came to that conclusion. I was definitely wrong, though. Yep, this was from back when the best word I had for my spirit kintype was some kind of "god", but even then I knew the word wasn't actually right for it. It was just the best I had. This was also before I had a lot of the more poignant experiences with it that helped clear up what it actually is. But I guess this just goes to illustrate what a long and difficult journey this has actually been for me. It always has been a hard thing for me to wrap my head around. It's not something I would ever choose. Then there was this entry I made the very next day. "*generic groaning noises* Sleep deprivation + manual labour = infinite sad faces :c :c :c I've hit a bit of a hurdle with the whole godkin = psychological thing. Or well actually a couple of hurdles. Which is really kinda frustrating because I thought I'd figured it out, and in a way that was actually sort of sane. Not going into it, but there's just so much stuff that doesn't add up... but I really don't want to just ignore the fact that the majority of it can be explained psychologically. Anyway while I was out mowing our (RIDICULOUSLY HUGE) garden today I came up with two things that might be going on here: 1. It's two kintypes I'm mistaking for one. One of them is psychological, the other spiritual. But that still kind of sucks because most of the spiritual stuff only makes sense from the perspective of a godkin or something similar, which means I've still got all the existential stuff on my plate which I really don't want to have to deal with. But then, maybe I'm only jumping to that conclusion because, when it comes down to it, I know fuck all about this sort of stuff. There might be something perfectly normal out there that explains how I feel. When I've got some spare hours I think I'm gonna have some intense RESEARCH MONTAGE and read up on some mythology n' stuff. I feel like I relate pretty well to demonkin so that's probably a good place to start. 2. It's all one kintype that's just been skewed by the psychological stuff. If it's spiritual, then it's likely been hiding in my subconscious for years, so I guess some weird obscure part of me could have latched onto it and poured all the bad feelings into it without me even being consciously aware of it. Maybe that's a little far fetched? Idk. That's the only way I can think of it being both psychological and spiritual. In which case, whatever I actually am spiritually is completely mixed up by that, and my perception of it could be entirely wrong because of it. But I don't know how I'd go about separating the pain I've felt this life from whatever's at my core. I think the best thing I could do if this is the case is try and start over with it. Figure it all out again from scratch. Or maybe just let it lie. It's not disruptive, and really it's only curiosity making me want to figure it out anyway. I guess I need to quit asking questions I don't want to know the answer to. I'm gonna look into the first option first because... well, I like research anyway, and it seems a lot less emotionally taxing. Might even be fun - actually it's pretty much guaranteed I'll enjoy it because READING + MYTHOLOGY = YESSSSSSS. Another thing that happened today was that while I was cutting the grass I had to get pretty close to this weirdly ominous stone at the back of our garden - it's upright, a little more than waist-high, broad and shallow. Kinda looks like a gravestone just from the way its positioned, but if it is then, just going by the weathering, it's been there a hell of a long time. I had to get the lawnmower right up against it to get all the grass, and I just... *shudders* I'm not superstitious but that thing freaks me out. I'm suddenly very, very glad we're moving house this week. Except I'm not done the grass yet so I have to go back out there with it.... hhghgehjdhsjhdd" That fucking stone! I don't actually remember writing this, but I remember the goddamn stone. Because it was that night that the bloody poltergeist showed up at like 1am and started crashing about and banging in the bathroom, and I spirit m-shifted and threatened to eat the poor bastard. (Well, more like deconstruct it and absorb its being, but. Same thing if I'm honest). He stopped after that. No ghost-eating for spirit-me. But I avoided his dumb standing stone after that. So yeah. That was pretty wild. 👌 As for my theories. It was #2. And after realising the bad feels weren't intrinsically a part of it, it was easy enough to separate them and start exploring my spirit kintype without the psychological stuff skewing my understanding. It was around that time that I started calling it a kind of demonic entity rather than a godlike entity. And from there, after a couple years' worth of questioning and self-reflection, I came to the conclusion that "demon" wasn't the best name for it either. You guys who were on the old KM probably remember that! Funnily enough, my increasing understanding of this part of myself also coincided with a pretty significant improvement in my mental health. It might be a coincidence, or it could be that without so much depression clouding my mind, it was easier to see my spiritual self for what it really is. So. I'm not a monster. I'm... mostly not a demon, and I'm certainly not a god. I look like a dragon, but I'm not one (I don't think). I am four billion years old. I am connected with storms, but also practically every other natural force that effects the planet in any way, no matter how small. My spirit self doesn't feel emotions like humans, or even animals, do - but it does have emotions. It does feel angry sometimes, but more than that it feel sadness and grief and love for all the weird, savage creatures on its weird, savage planet. It isn't apathetic, but it is quite distant from the struggles and trials of any individual animal. It has to be. Because it cares so deeply for all of them, but it can't let itself become invested in any one life, because that's not its job. When I shift, I feel disconnected from this life and the emotions I feel, but it's not because my higher self doesn't care about any of the stuff it's going through down here in this mortal form. It's because there's so many experiences, so many lives, and each one was meaningful, but amidst the millions of years of life lived, any one single life is going to feel pretty small. It doesn't mean what I do here doesn't matter. It doesn't mean my life here is meaningless. What it does mean is... I'm free. I don't have some purpose I'm here to fulfil. This life is one of many. My only purpose here is to live and experience the world to the best of my ability, and to have a fun time doing it. To think and feel and hurt and grow and learn and, eventually, die. And then do it all over again. It's not a bad existence, y'know. I used to think it was, but it's not. I like life. I like that I don't have some grand purpose to fulfil. I'm just a human who is kind of a wolf, kind of a leopard, secretly a spirit but that doesn't actually matter. And I'm going to make a good life for myself, and be a happy, successful wolf/leopard that is a human being that is a part of a world that is me. Things won't always be okay, and there's gonna be times where I feel unwell again. But that's just the nature of life. It's the hardships that give the good times meaning. I've come so far, and I'll keep on going.



[64 questions, pt.1] Species of the mind

Since some beautiful people kept/saved copies of those ridiculous lists of 'kin questions I wrote ages ago... I figure I should start working through answering them! I'm doing the ridiculously long one, because. Why not. But only one question at a time because there is a lot, ahaha. You can find the full list of questions here, if any of you reading want to give this madness a try. 1. What are your kintype/s? I have three kintypes, two of which are extant Earthly carnivorans, and the other being a strange, incorporeal, shapeshifting nature spirit. The one I know the most about is my wolf theriotype. I identify as a Eurasian wolf (subspecies Canis lupus lupus) belonging to a specific, morphologically unique variety found around the Finnish-Russian border - the only difference between them and any other Eurasian wolf being the unusual yellow/golden tint to the fur present in some (but not all) of the population. I identify as one of those yellowish wolves, with some brown/greyish-brown fur along my back and a paler cream underside. I'm not sure what my eye colour was but, based on other wolves of a similar kind of colour to me, I'd guess either amber or light brown. I was an adult female wolf, 5-6 years old, of average size for the population I came from - maybe slightly bulkier than your typical female, but I'm not really sure. I tend to think of myself as being in full winter coat, since the place I believe I lived in was cold and snowy for most of the year. Beyond that, I'm... just a wolf. Just a dumb, timid animal that hunted and ate and slept same as any other. I'm a vacillant/suntherian - this theriotype is very much integrated into my baseline personality, and I'm always both mentally and phantom shifted to some degree (though it varies). I have constant phantom wolf ears, but have experienced everything up to full-body ph-shifts. Shifts/slides usually happen according to external stimuli or my mood, but I can voluntarily shift as well. My other theriotype in an Amur leopard, Panthera pardus orientalis. I don't know as much about this one, and it's something I'm still exploring. I think this is a con-theriotype, since I don't experience mental shifts or vacillations, but I'm not really sure. This part of me mostly presents itself in the form of subconscious instincts and momentary urges which I have experienced for just as long as I've experienced wolf things, but never consciously recognised for the longest time - then, after I did pick up on them, I dismissed it all as part of my spirit kintype (which I was still trying to figure out at the time). More specifically... well, I know I'm an Amur leopard because the feelings associated with this indicate something physically identical to a true leopard, but with a thicker coat of fur and slightly different lifestyle to the more well-known varieties from the savannas of Africa and South Asia. I feel like I belong in temperate, seasonal forests, hunting deer rather than antelopes. I know those feelings aren't related to my other theriotype because of the differences in behaviour, body language and movement style. It's hard to really explain how I know it, though. The impulses and behavioural quirks associated with this theriotype are mostly subconscious. Sometimes I feel the urge to pounce on or ambush "prey" animals (especially deer, when I see them). Sometimes I feel a bit territorial, especially with the domestic cats in the area, and want to hiss at them (I don't, of course! I love cats. But inner cat-me just sees them as competition, I guess). I also tend to make some feline kinds of noises when I'm alone, like hisses, chuffs and hums/purrs (which... leopards technically don't make, but they do make a very purr-like rumbling sound). I'm guessing the momentary urge I get to rub my scent all over things is a cat behaviour too. 😛  Which just leaves my other kintype - the nature spirit. By far the weirdest, most hard to understand one. I'm a... very, very old energy thing that's intrinsically connected to the Earth, and the cycles of nature. Life, death, evolution, extinction; all the ways energy travels from one lifeform to the next, and all the patterns formed in the process. It's closely connected with most natural phenomena, especially volcanic/tectonic activity. It also has an affinity for natural disasters and the regrowth that happens after them. And, on a more animal level, it feels connected to the relationships between predator and prey, and the intricate connections between birth, death, decay and growth. So basically all the natural forces and processes that make our planet the beautiful, terrifying place that it is. The form I associate with this kintype is fluid and composed of various scales and shards of igneous rock, with energy radiating from the eyes, mouth, and gaps between the "scales" which becomes more intense according to its mood. It seems to appear as something dragon-like most of the time, with a somewhat short, powerful snout full of exposed teeth, four to eight "eyes", a longish neck, one to three pairs of leathery wings, a variable amount of legs (though usually more than four) and whip-like tail/s (most commonly one or two). Its form seems to change according to mood and intention, and it can shapeshift fluidly and without effort. This kintype is the one most removed from my human personality. Shift-wise, I get a bit of everything - mental, phantom, sensory, etc. Shifts are rare but, when they happen, are always vivid and intense. So. That's that. One down, 64 to go... or technically more than that, counting sub-questions. Agh. This is gonna take a while.



Meditation log [22/01/19]

Last night, as I settled down to sleep, I did a little meditation session. No particular goal besides just connecting with my spirit kintype in some way, since I've felt cut off from it lately. It was... interesting. It wasn't as vivid as a dream - more like a kind of immersive narrative in my "mind's eye". I could still feel my human body, lying in my bed, but I could feel my spirit form separate from it, like I was existing in two places at once. I didn't go into this with any particular intentions or idea in mind, so... I guess everything came from my subconscious or something. It was weird, but in the sort of familiar way I'm used to when it comes to this kintype. It is a weird kintype, after all. I was walking slowly. My body was somewhat draconic, especially the face area, which had a mid-length scaly snout full of exposed, reptilian teeth. My scales, as usual, were black and almost appeared like shards of obsidian, closely locked together or overlapping slightly. I had three pairs of front legs, powerfully built and sturdy like a big cat's, but more splayed apart; something like the legs of those old terrestrial crocodiles, maybe? One pair of legs were held off the ground, tucked against my chest, while the other two moved together in a strange kind of synchronicity that felt natural at the time. I only had one set of back legs, but didn't pay close attention to them. I had... one or maybe two sets of leathery wings, broad and massive, and two long whip-like tails which swept up dust behind me in agitation. I don't know why I was agitated. My breath felt laboured and raspy, and I was walking almost in a limp. I looked around, trying to get my bearings, and realised I was in the charred remains of some forest after a huge wildfire. There were still some flames flickering on the burned corpses of coniferous trees, but most of it had died down to smoke and embers. The ground was covered in ash, and the sky was choked with it. In the distance I could see some traces of forest that still had some green to them. I didn't think that forest was any better or worse than this one. I didn't mind the ash or smoke or embers.  I was looking for someone who I knew wouldn't come. I planted my many feet and let out a huge roar, then a few deep but otherwise very avian-sounding chirps, which then transitioned to a long, drawn-out howl. Nothing changed. I slumped, feeling defeated, and lay on my belly. Shoving my snout under my tails and folding my wings, I curled up into a ball like a dog, and felt my body merge together into one solid whole - a boulder. Just a boulder. After a few moments I pushed some part of myself into the ground, which became a snout again, and I wormed my way into the dirt in some form like a massive legless skink. I kept digging downwards, faster than would have been physically possible, as it got hotter and hotter. Down through the layers of dirt, then straight through solid rock, then increasingly less solid as the heat became more and more intense. All the while, my tail grew longer and longer, still connected to that boulder up on the surface. Then I was swimming through magma, and still going, on and on and on. I don't even know how to describe how hot it was. But it didn't hurt, of course. Actually, it felt kind of nice. Like something bad was being burned away. I couldn't see anything once I started digging, but I could feel everything around me. Then I just stopped, deciding I'd reached my destination, and it felt familiar and comforting and incomprehensibly hot. I remember thinking, in the kind of vague, ambiguous way my spirit-self thinks, that it was "my own little Sun". I basked in the heat of it for just a few seconds, then I started moving back up through the tail I'd left behind me - like, I guess my mind was moving up through it in some strange way. Then my head was at the top, where the boulder had been before, and my tail was still left coiling and twisting through the ground. A moment later I was in a draconic form again, the same as I had been in before, and my tails were both on the surface, but the connection to the heat below was still there just as strongly as before. I just kind of... lay there for a bit. I didn't feel agitated any more, and my breathing was smooth rather than the sickly rasping it had been before. I felt content.  I guess I fell asleep after that? I don't remember anything else. So. I don't know what I did, but I feel like I patched whatever connection issues I was having, because. It feels like it used to now. I wasn't expecting anything like this to happen so quickly or naturally, but hey. Spirit-me knows what it's doing even if human-me doesn't. And that connection with that point deep under the Earth is like... still there. Just, right there, like I could reach out and touch it. But at the same time it's so far away I can't even wrap my head around it. I don't know what the deal with that is, but eh. I don't understand much these days, so whatever. Nope, I will never be able to write anything about this kintype that is not weird.




I've been practising meditation and mindfulness again lately. Just 5-10 minutes every day. Life has been... stressful. So while I was walking, I decided to try a bit of mindfulness. A few deep breaths, taking my focus away from my thoughts... it was surprisingly easy. Practice must be paying off. At first I tried to focus on the movement of my legs, but it didn't stick. So then I decided to focus on my breath. Then I ended up focusing on scents. And I quickly sunk into this state where, rather than being honed in on my vision and what I could see, I instead was centred on my sense of smell.  I could smell all the different types of trees. They all smell slightly different. The piney ones smell like home.  I could smell the wooden fences as I walked past. Some smelled newer, and I could still catch an impression of that scent of freshly cut wood. Some smelled more old and decayed.  I could smell the earthy stone of walls and houses. The houses here are all old stone. All real stone. I could smell the metal of silent, sleeping cars. It wasn't a bad smell. I could smell the fresh rain on the ground. Occasionally I got a hint of cigarette smoke from somewhere I couldn't see. That was a bad smell. And I could smell this weird mixture of "human" scents. Some were organic, others were not. It was strangely hard to figure out which was which. Then I got to my flat. It smells familiar and cosy. It smells of me and my dog and the carpet and furniture and walls and still air and comfort. It smells nice. I don't have a particularly good sense of smell. Usually I don't notice all these little things. It's amazing the difference it can make, to just... stop and focus, for a little while. 



Enough questioning

It's been over a year, may as well just accept it already. Hi, I'm also an Amur leopard for some reason. The fact that that doesn't sound weird or wrong to me is answer enough, honestly. I have no idea how long I was planning to sit on this and "question" it - the feeling hasn't lessened at all, not once. It's not changed in the slightest. The feline feelings and impulses haven't went away, even though this has been the absolute furthest thing from my mind. There's no feelings I'd associate with heartedness; I don't feel any particular affection for leopards, and cats as a whole have never been a significant part of my life. It's too long-lasting and too deeply ingrained to be a cameo (I've been having these things for as long as I've had wolf shifts/feelings, which means... five or six years? More?). So. Guess that makes three kintypes. Here's to not having any more, hopefully, please! Which of course doesn't mean the journey's over. All it means is that the question has changed from "Am I a bloody leopard?" to "Why the fuck am I a leopard and what does this even mean?" Welp, it feels good to just accept it. Took me long enough!



On my spirit kintype (warning: LONG)

So many times, I've tried to articulate exactly what my spirit kintype is - but I've never found a way to describe it that feels exactly right. I even stumble over the label sometimes; I'm certainly a nature spirit, though I can't help but think I'm just... nothing like what most people would imagine when they hear that. Before this, I said I was an energy being - which, again, isn't wrong. But that always felt too ambiguous, and weirdly... clinical? Like trying to say I'm a spirit without any connection to spirituality (which I certainly am not). And before that, I said I was a demon. That word still rings true to me, but it has too much baggage. Celestial is the same; certainly true, but not in the way you'd assume. So many times I've tried to find a way to describe myself. And today, I guess, I'm going to try again. 4.4 billion years ago, there was a planet, floating in orbit around a star; no different from any other small rocky planet, really. Just another lifeless orb in the vastness of space. But, by some coincidence, there was nearby another, smaller planet - and the two were on a collision course. Scientists call this hypothetical planet Theia. It is theorised that the two planets collided in some immense, catastrophic impact, and that Theia's remains - over time - eventually came to form two moons that then - over an even longer span of time - merged into one. If you look up into the sky on a clear night, you can still see the remains of old Theia up there; but we just call it the Moon. And the larger planet, the one which survived the impact (mostly) intact, was Earth. That impact is my oldest memory. It's hard to put into words exactly how I remember it; it's all so vague and confusing, but this... feels right. Ultimately, I've learned to trust that feeling when all else has led me astray. In this chaos of heat and energy, suddenly there was... me. Except, I wasn't much of a "me" at all. A massive, unfeeling, barely conscious mass of-- I guess, residual energy? Or perhaps some sort of imprint left behind by it all. I certainly didn't exist in any form before that point. The feelings associated with this memory are incredibly vague and hard to understand, but there's impressions of heat and light and certain movements, trajectories; flows of gravity, magma and debris. One of the clearer impressions I get is of being flung from non-existence into the core of the Earth, to which I've been spiritually bound ever since, like some part of me is coiled around the planet's heart.  And that... that's where my story starts. In some desolate rock, alone, floating in the void of space. I used to wonder why those early memories are the clearest to me but, reflecting on it, I think I know the answer. Most of my existence was spent in a state of... quasi-consciousness, with no thoughts, no feelings, no desires. I didn't even have a form. I was... kind of... just... the planet? The Earth itself? Rock, gas, magma, metal. Eruptions and earthquakes and lightning storms. I watched it all, impassively. For a couple billion years, that was my existence. That's all I was. Everything, but barely anything at all. And I think the reason I remember that more clearly than anything else, is because that's how I spent the longest period of my... "life"; and the period after that, while certainly slow by human standards, to me felt like an overwhelming flurry of rapid-fire changes - I can remember the aeons before that because nothing really happened besides the planet's natural volcanic activity. There wasn't much to remember. So I suppose it's easier to wrap my mind around that, strangely enough.  Then my memory starts to get even hazier, and I only have the briefest impressions of what happened next. I know that at some point, life began to evolve - starting off as tiny, self-sustaining chemical systems that eventually isolated themselves from their surroundings, and formed what we call "cells". I don't remember that specifically, but I've done a lot of research on it; it's something I've been curious about for... probably obvious reasons, and what I've learned so far gives me the most misplaced feeling of nostalgia. I know that over time I developed some affinity for these early lifeforms as they diversified and became more complex... but I don't know how that happened. People tend to think of life as a thing that just randomly appeared out of nowhere (even atheists tend to have this idea that life suddenly happened somehow, like a single spark that eventually led to all of us) when in reality it was more... gradual and ambiguous. Again, I'm going off science here, not memory, but it does fit in pretty solidly into the 'kin feelings I have regarding this. I guess where I tend to stumble a bit is that... at that point in time, I had no emotions, no thoughts, nothing even vaguely resembling what most people would consider "consciousness"; those things are all biological, and I only learned to experience those things much later, after I'd lived many lives as animals. So I don't know what it is that made primordial-me take an interest in life. I guess the thing I associate with it is... this weird feeling of, I guess what could be equated to wonder? Or awe? But I don't know what those feelings mean in a non-biological entity. I've felt the feeling before, but I can only comprehend that stuff when I'm m-shifted, and even then... well, I usually end up with a nasty headache if I try to analyse it, and never made any headway regardless. I don't think it's something a human can understand. Not even me. But what I do know is that there was enough of that feeling that primordial-me decided to take some interest in these life-things, and that's the first decision I ever made. First time I ever had intention or a purpose. It's the foundation on which the rest of my actual traits as a spirit being are built upon. Whenever, whyever I decided to do that - that was the moment I stopped being a bunch of sentient rocks and started being an actual thing. Something with thoughts and ideas and meaning. So, suffice to say it's a very important part of my identity as a spirit-thing. And my purpose is... basically to live and remember. I don't protect. I don't effect things. I just do what I can to preserve the story of the Earth. A lot of people in modern times, when they think of nature spirits, think of like... benevolent, peaceful tree people or something. I am the... polar opposite of something "benevolent" and "peaceful". Look at it this way: all life on Earth survives, and is as diverse as it is, because of death. It's thanks to mortality and mutation that life can evolve into new forms, and withstand certain environments. And it's the story itself, not any individual being or species, that I aim to preserve. I'm a watcher. I watch the struggle and I think the pain and death is beautiful. I think that birth and life and seeing things thrive is beautiful as well. I see no line between the two. I don't protect life; the only thing I protect life from is outside interference, and from being lost from all memory forever. It's not that I don't empathise with an animal that's dying: it's just that if I tried to interfere with that, I would be robbing that meal from other animals which I love equally, right down to the microorganisms that decompose it; and I'd be robbing that animal's ecosystem of nutrients that would be produced as it rots. Spirit-me sees all life as inherently equal, no matter how small or "insignificant" it might seem to a human. Spirit-me would see a human as being no better or more valuable than a single bacterium living in that person's gut. One of the things that becomes eminently clear when you exist for so long is that all life - all species - are temporary. And it's the death of one kind that leads to the rise of another, so of course spirit-me wouldn't even try to change that. Instead, spirit-me honours the lifeforms it cares for so dearly by remembering them. Living as them, feeling all the fear and pain and happiness, dying, remembering, doing it all over again for aeons. Cataloguing every bit of it. Preserving it, so that their struggle always has meaning - because there's something there that remembers it, and understands it, and sees where it fits into the ridiculously complex mosaic of life. Hence... why I'm here now. As a human. Yep. I don't get access to the shit tons of past life memories that spirit-me has hoarded away (thankfully, for my sanity's sake) but. I mean. Good news, everything I experience here is probably going to be remembered by some spiritual monstrosity until the Earth is consumed by the Sun, and among that ridiculous hoard of memories will be some pretty damn spicy memes. 👌 The "guardian" part of my spirit-self is a bit harder for me to wrap my head around. Thing is, spirit-me has nothing against all the things humans have done to the planet. It sees humans as animals, and it sees all the chaos we've caused as just another mass extinction, no different than any other the planet has been through. So what the heck is it protecting life from? I mean, I'm not sure, but I know it's something. And I know that something tends to get translated to "outside interference" in my mind. What the hell does that mean? I mean, I don't actually know? I do know that spirit-me has serious problems with certain beings that humans call "gods". I don't know why that is. Do gods meddle? Maybe gods meddle and that makes spirit-me mad. Spirit-me doesn't like anything that meddles with the natural order of things, good or bad. Would explain why spirit-me tends to threaten any gods I try to interact with... and also would explain some of the ominous thoughts I've had coming through when I m-shift. But the impression I get is that whatever battle spirit-me is waging, it's losing. Badly. I also get the impression that the only reason I still exist at all is because I can't die short of the Earth itself being destroyed, which of course no spirit entity would be capable of doing even if they wanted to. But all that is really hard to wrap my head around, because frankly it sounds ridiculous. I didn't even believe in gods until these weird memories started leaking through, then I started casually practising witchcraft and met a few myself. It sounds made up, but at the same time I know it's not something I would make up. Because I find the idea of any of that being even remotely true to be absolutely, existentially terrifying. I can't think of a reason why my subconscious would invent such a confusing narrative that I can't even understand, that also happens to be really stressful and unpleasant for me to deal with? But I digress. I suppose... one of the other Big impressions I get from my spirit-self isn't so much related to my kintype itself, but... weirdly enough, to humanity. And it's another one of those "yep, not sure how to deal with this so I guess I'll just ignore it and hope it never becomes relevant to anything" things. To put it plainly, spirit-me doesn't consider humans to be natural. At all. Like, it so blatantly thinks our species is a result of some sort of "meddling" (of the aforementioned ambiguous type), and yep, I don't know what it actually attributes this "meddling" to. But it considers humans to be integrally broken. We're something that absolutely should not exist. But it doesn't hate humans, because it considers humans to be victims. It pities us, as a species. Nah, instead it hates whatever unknown force is apparently responsible for whatever it is that makes humanity so "broken". And like, personally, as an individual, as a human? I can... kinda see it. Humans are so fricking weird. We screw with the natural order of things in a way that no other animal ever has. So I guess... maybe something did "break" us? But I don't know what, and I don't care to know. All I know is that spirit-me wants to tear whatever did it into tiny pieces and then possibly eat those pieces (or... maybe not, actually. It would find it distasteful to eat something so loathsome. So basically, whatever this thing is, my spirit-self doesn't even see it as worthy to be food. Nice). Appearance-wise, my spirit kintype is incorporeal - it doesn't have a body. The closest thing it has to a body is the Earth itself. I think it does have a form it takes in certain situations, though. Well, I say "a form", but really it's more like... it can take any form it wants, but the forms it takes all share a kind of theme. I used to picture it as a big black dragon, but I think that was me projecting traits onto it to make it easier for me to understand and deal with. And frankly, I don't know what form this thing actually "is", or whether the forms I attribute to it are from me or it. Doesn't really matter either way. To me, I see it as this polymorphic mass of shards of igneous rock (specifically something resembling obsidian or basalt), held together by this glowing stream of energy the colour of fire and heat and lightning. It is an inherently animalistic being, having learned all its emotions from lives lived as animals, so its forms also tend to be animalistic in nature - but always twisted and grotesque, like something trying to mimic life without actually being alive. This feels more symbolic than literal to me - I think it chooses to represent itself that way. So if you wanted to imagine what this thing might look like, imagine an asymmetrical beast of black stone whose form seems to take elements from a massive variety of different species without truly resembling any, with limbs and mouths and eyes all in weird and terrible places; something whose form is constantly shifting and morphing from one horrifying thing to the next. That is me. But despite all the, uh, love for death and seeming apathy towards most things outside of its own sphere, I don't think my kintype is "bad". I feel like a human seeing it would certainly peg it as some kind of demonic aberration before they flee, screaming, but. It feels the full range of animal emotion, and that includes things like love, affection, sympathy. It was hard for me to really grasp this at first, because to me - as someone who had no idea what was going on or what any of this meant - all I saw was some rage-filled monster. But it's not really. It's... if anything, I'd say it's sad. And it's in constant mourning for all the species that have been lost to time, with only stone to mark their passing. I'd even go as far as to say it does have some kind of benevolent streak, but only insofar as it hates to see life wasted. In a way I guess I perceive it as something that feels this constant, inescapable conflict - because it really does love life. It loves animals and plants and every other weird thing that lives on this weird planet. But it also knows those things have to suffer and die, because that's the way of the world. It is pretty telling that I switched from first to third person while writing this. It's hard to see this thing as being actually me. Like, I know it is me, but it's so different from what I am now, as a human. So in some ways it's easier to refer to it as something separate, even when I know it isn't. Plus, there's plenty I think and feel as a human that's completely different from what my spirit-self feels.  And ultimately? When it comes to my life here, now? None of this matters. I'm no different from anyone else. I don't see myself as any different. Honestly, the only time I ever even have to deal with this spiritual baggage is when I shift (which is rare) or when I'm practising witchcraft or energy work, or when I'm interacting with my deities (in which situation I can usually shove spirit-me into some corner and ignore it; plus, like, my main man god dude is completely aware of my "baggage" and is cool with it so it's fine). But I am the most flaky, lazy witch out there so even that doesn't come up often. So yeah. Weirdly enough, though this kintype is absolutely the most deep and integral one to me on a spiritual level, it's not something I think about often and certainly doesn't have as much presence in my daily life as my theriotype/s do. And it is definitely not something I feel the need to express or embrace. I can accept it, but. That's it. Acceptance is as far as this goes. Might be obvious by now why I struggle with labels. I feel most humans would pin this thing as a god, but it is absolutely, definitely not a god. I used to call myself a demon, and like I already said - that still fits. I'm a morally ambiguous nature chaos thing. Certainly fits some definitions of "demon." And on a more literal level you could argue that I'm literally a spirit of the Earth itself; my spirit-self sees itself as being quite literally the Earth's soul, but that's a big ass claim to make and I'm certainly not gonna try and argue for that title. So, I mean. Most obvious label. I'm a big, scary nature spirit. Works well enough for me. Oh, and that's one more thing I should probably cover if I'm making this write-up as thorough as humanly possible: in the past I've toyed with the idea that I might be a "shard" of this thing, in the same vein as a deitykin would be a godshard. Welp, after much thinking, I've realised that that's probably not the case. My spirit-self doesn't seem to have shards or divide itself up. It seems like it prefers to live one life at a time, and focus all of its being on the single life it is living. So yeah. I'm literally the avatar of the whole thing. Obviously you can't cram an entire planet-size energy mass into a single human body, but as far as I can tell, the rest of spirit-me goes dormant while some part of it incarnates. It's sleeping, basically. It's asleep, I'm the dream. Yeeep.  So. I guess, to anyone who actually read this: make of it what you want. I feel like I probably have one of the most outlandish kintypes on this site. And yep, I'm fully aware of how ridiculous this all sounds. As always, I'm more than happy to... try and answer any questions anyone might have. Seriously, grill away - I actually appreciate it. Make me doubt myself, if you can. I might edit this later to add more information if I feel like I've forgot anything. This took me days. I never want to write about spiritual bs EVER AGAIN. Agh.



Idle thoughts 1

I just realised it's been nearly six years since I awakened. Time sure flies, doesn't it? Six years... and I'm two months away from my 21st birthday. Crazy. I'm not sure what I'm really writing this for, or what I'm trying to express here. I'm just rambling, I guess. But I find some of the best insights can come from just letting your mind wander like this. I guess... I've been awakened for six years. And I've mostly figured things out, right? I know what I am, almost, kind of-- close enough, whatever. There's no more questions left for me to ask. I know what I believe. I even know why I'm here, right now - why I'm human. (I am human. Mostly. Kind of. Maybe.) And frankly, I don't feel the need to hide the fact that I'm not exactly like everyone else; at least, not like I used to. Not that I go out announcing it either, but secrecy isn't constantly on my mind and I don't think it'd be the end of the world if other people found out. And I don't feel dysphoria so much anymore, from any source. So... where does that leave me? Is the journey done? Have I figured it out? Did I win? I always used to say, "never stop questioning." But there's nothing left to question. My mind hasn't got room for any more deep spiritual mysteries. Which is good, right? Except, in a way, it's... not? I'm practically still a kid! I'm not supposed to have myself figured out! I'm not supposed to understand my beliefs or the core parts of my identity. I'm not supposed to know my personality back-to-front, so well that I can write a ten-thousand word essay detailing exactly who I am and why I'm like that. It's like I got so damn distracted chasing some inner truths that I forgot I was supposed to be living too. I forgot that I'm meant to be young and dumb and have no idea who I am. And I guess I'll pin part of the blame on my mental health issues keeping me stuck in my room and stuck in my own head for way too long. Which is not to say I regret knowing who I am. Not one bit. But then I'm left with this awkward situation of. Well. What now? And now, finally, I get why it's so hard for older otherkin to stick around the community. There's no mystery left to solve. It's done. Finished. Case closed! Except, I kind of miss that feeling of exploring the unknown. I miss that first dive into spirituality; I miss putting together the clues, trying to figure out who and what I am. Now? Well, I mean - I'm an immortal, immensely powerful spirit-thing. I don't have all the details about what that entails, but I know more than enough. I know that part of me pretty well by now, in fact. I've battled with it for long enough. And I can control it well enough too, even call it up if I need it (though, I mean, the situations like that are few and far between). And it is crazy - but damn if it doesn't get more mundane every day I live with it. How do you get used to something like that? Welp, time will do crazy things. All sorts of weird stuff can become normal if you live with it for long enough.  It used to be a monster that'd keep me awake at night from fear. Now it's just... this thing that's shut away in one corner of my head, and occasionally I take it out for walks like a good little doggy. Of course, there's not a whole lot else I can do. It's kind of... intense. Angry boi. It's like a scared, feral animal, lashing out against its cage. I mean, let's see: the last time I mental shifted, I threatened a god. Which is not a new occurrence. Not at all. Spirit-me doesn't like gods. Not to even mention the time I was having trouble with a ghost and spirit-me went and threatened to eat it (or, okay, the spiritual equivalent of that). It's an animal. Like. No, bad higher self. The adults are talking. Go to your bed. That's literally what it feels like. This isn't what spirituality is supposed to be. This is ridiculous. Part of me wants the mystery back. I kind of miss being scared. Y'know how hard it is to be scared of ghosts and demons when you know you have a god-tier attack dog locked away in the back of your head that will gladly tear them to pieces? And have a fun time doing it too? I can't even do the religion thing right, because when it comes down to it, as humble as I try to be, nothing's going to convince my pet higher self that it couldn't destroy them if it really wanted to (and I mean, it's even weirder because I can't actually tell whether that's hubris or whether this thing literally is on the same level as the gods I try to work with). And like? How am I supposed to involve myself with, say, the witch community - when, for one, it's really hard for me to respect any god or spirit as my better, and two, I can't get behind a lot of the typical spiritual ideals because my spiritual self is a chaos-death-destruction-life-nature-spirit-demon-planet-god?? There! See! I had no idea what I was going to write today. I just let myself ramble and this happened. Enlightening. Now this chaos-death-destruction-life-nature-spirit-demon-planet-god is gonna go play some games and watch cartoons because this chaos-death-destruction-life-nature-spirit-demon-planet-god doesn't give a shit. 👌



Here's to the pack

Once upon a time, I was a wolf. I had fur, paws, pointed ears. I lived in the snow and killed for food. I didn't think about myself, or about the world. I didn't think, but I felt. I felt so, so much. And most of all, more than anything else, I felt love. Love for my pack. They weren't just some animals that happened to be genetically related to me. I didn't follow them because I needed them to survive. I loved them. Pure, simple, unquestionable. Everything I did, I did for them. They were my purpose. They were my heart. They were my soul.  I say I have vivid memories. I do. I have a lot. But I don't really know how accurate those memories are. It was so long ago, now. I've been a human thrice as long as I was a wolf. My mind is biased and it makes its own worlds. Its own realities. I can't stop it. Same way I can't prove what I say. I remember my brother was black. I remember his pale eyes. Was he really black? Not many Eurasian wolves are black. And how would a black wolf survive in a place that was coated in snow for most of the year? I remember him as being black. I don't think he was really black. But I don't mind. I don't care. What he looked like doesn't matter. What matters is the feeling that wells up in my chest when I think about him. What matters is that my love for him, and my loyalty to him, survived my death. Survived death and two decades of life as some other thing, with another family and another home. And it still burns just as strong. And I still miss him. I don't miss him as that black wolf that I remember from another life. I miss him as my brother. I miss him as the one I trusted most, the one who always had my back. I miss him as a packmate. I miss him as family. And the others. His mate, who I used to bicker with. We'd tussle over dominance. She was his mate, but she wasn't the boss of me. Our fights weren't for fun. But we'd still curl up together when the snows were at their most bitter. We'd still hunt together and share our food. I don't miss her like I miss my brother. But I know he loved her. And that was enough for me. And the pups. They were his and hers, of course. I don't know why I didn't have pups myself. Maybe I couldn't. Or maybe I didn't want to. I don't know if wolves can be like that. I know I'm like that now, so maybe. They weren't my offspring. I wasn't their mother. But I was a very good aunt. I loved them so much. As much as I loved my brother. I looked after them sometimes. And I played with them a lot. More than their parents did. I was the fun one. I would pounce around and chase them. When they got older I wrestled with them. I would've done anything to protect them. Their mother didn't like me, but I think she knew that. I think she knew I'd look after them. That I cared for them like they were my own. Then I died. I never got to see them grow up. And my brother died. Just before me. I remember it as... chaos and fear. A big noise and running, then my brother's blood. Looking at him as he bled into the snow. Then I guess I died. I don't remember it hurting. It should have hurt. Maybe it did. Maybe it's just that no physical pain could compete with what I felt as I saw my brother dying, right in front of me. It still hurts. It really hurts. This pain in my chest. Heartbreak, I guess. It's hard to make out what really happened. I think we were shot from a helicopter, but I don't really know. It was so confusing. It must have been humans, though. Nothing else makes so much noise. Nothing else makes things just die like that. With the blood and the pain. Out of nowhere. It didn't make sense. How could I fight something I couldn't see? Protect them from something I couldn't understand? But I never saw the others die. I saw them run, and run, and run. I think they made it back to the treeline. I hope they did. I think they did. It was years ago that these memories came back to me. It changed me. A lot. It's hard to explain.  The first memories came back in dreams. Later on, I started meditating. Trying to figure out what it all meant. My memories are probably not "accurate". Just like how I know my brother probably wasn't black. Maybe there's other blanks my subconscious mind has filled, without me even knowing about it. But there's one thing I do know is real - and that's the emotions I feel about all of this. You can't make up those kinds of feelings. You can't simulate that kind of love, or pain. I know I had a pack. I know I loved them with all my heart. That's all that matters to me anyway.  The strangest thing though, is... back in August, I had another dream. Like the ones I used to have, years ago. It was strange. For a while I didn't even remember it. It was during the day, it suddenly popped back into my head out of nowhere. In the dream, I was in a forest, just like the one where I used to live. I don't know if I was a wolf or a human; I don't think it mattered. My mind was a wolf. I wasn't thinking about me. Wolves don't do that. And in the forest, there was other wolves, but not my pack. There were so many. Over a dozen. A lot more than were in my pack. They all looked vaguely similar. Some of them looked a little like me. In most dreams where there's wolves, I get this feeling of conflict. Like they're a threat. But there wasn't any of that here. It was like we were all one big pack. I spent the dream walking among them, meeting them. And halfway through the dream - you know how sometimes in dreams, you just know things? Well halfway though the dream, I realised they were my family. But not a family I'd known. They were my relatives. Except, of course, in a wolf's mind it's not split into how they're related to you, categorised into nieces or nephews or anything like that. It was just this pure, simple knowledge that they were my family in some way.  That was all that happened. I guess the scene just naturally faded away at some point. I don't remember anything else. I don't know why I had that dream. But maybe it means the pups survived. Maybe some of them had pups of their own. Maybe I didn't fail as a packmate. If they survived, then it wasn't for nothing. Maybe my family's still out there now. I hope so. I hope they're happy and healthy and eat lots of reindeer and have lots of pups. I know I could never meet them. Some part of me wishes I could. But they wouldn't know me. To them, I'm just a human. And to me, now... I guess they're just wolves. But they're not. And they never could be. Because there's a feeling in my chest that tells me - even if they're not real, or even if they wouldn't know me, I still love them. Because that's just what it's like to be part of a pack. It doesn't need to make sense. Because they're me, and they're my brother, and they're his mate I used to fight, and they're the pups we raised. If they live, then we run with them. In a way.



Long way up

Ah, it's nice to have a blog again. I really missed this place. Felt kind of lost without it, to be honest! So. I guess. It's been a while, and I kind of wanted to just... write about what's going on for me. A lot's changed over the past few months, in the absolute best way. People who knew me on the old site... well, you probably noticed I wasn't exactly healthy for most of the time I was on here. I've been struggling with mental health issues for a long time. And for a very long time, it was hard convincing myself that anything would ever change - that I could ever truly get "better". It's so hard to see hope when you're depressed, or when your anxiety keeps you isolated from the world. I lived like that for way too long. Wasn't my fault, of course... as ever, I was just a victim of shitty circumstance. And I don't know if there's any other way it could've gone. Sometimes the only way to get out of something is to go through it. And I did. And I kept myself alive, kept myself safe. And now it's paying off. I moved out of my parents' place. It was stressful at first but I adapted quickly (that's something I'm kind of good at)! And yeah, they were right - this is what I needed. Freedom! Independence! I got really lucky, I have to be honest. Was searching for a place for ages, kept getting turned away because I'm young, or 'cause I'm unemployed, or 'cause of the dog. But then I found this place. It's perfect. Small, but not tiny. Big shared garden. Quiet neighbours. And only a five minute walk from my parents' place. Plus it's affordable, and the landlord's a really good guy. Mhya lives here with me so I don't get too lonely. It's better than I could've hoped. Meanwhile the psychiatrist decided to try me on some new antidepressants, which actually work! It's amazing what a difference it makes, being on the right medication. I feel alive for the first time in years. No more stupid intrusive thoughts, no more self-hatred, and I can actually feel happy now instead of just swinging between kinda depressed and very depressed. I still have bad days, but they're not as bad as they used to be. I have so much more energy and motivation. And because of that, I've started to work though my anxiety issues as well! And I've made so much progress, alone, just pushing myself to do better. I can do this. I don't need anyone to hold my hand. So now I've applied for a provisional driving license, and saved up enough to get driving lessons once that comes through. Once I get a car (and can drive it) I can go to the college I want to! It's about an hour's drive from here - way too far to do on public transport, but a reasonable distance to drive and definitely worth it! I'm going to do a course in animal care, then move onto veterinary nursing. I think being a vet tech is definitely the thing for me. I love animals and want to work with them, but I'm not squeamish and can deal with the more unpleasant parts of the job. Plus, there's a chance from there I could move onto something even more interesting, like working with the captive breeding programs at Edinburgh Zoo! But we'll see what happens. What else? Oh, I'm a vegetarian now. For ethical reasons. But I'm a weird vegetarians because I will eat meat, just not farmed meat. Once I've got the transport thing sorted I'm going to learn to fish and hunt small game for myself. A lot of animals here in the UK are invasive and overpopulating, so I can kill two birds with one stone - live a lifestyle that works with my wolfish nature, and help the environment at the same time. And me and my daemon, Khar (blue text dude!!) accidentally formed a median system but we're completely okay with it. He can front, and holds down the fort if I dissociate from anxiety - he's actually kinda better at dealing with people than I am, ahah. Most of the time we co-front and work together that way. He's... been an absolute lifesaver for me. Sometimes literally. I would be lost without this weirdo. hh flattery no stap . Lately we've been getting back into the daemonism scene and it's fun as ever! Khar's got a new personal form now, which is a ludicrously vibrant dromaeosaur (chosen and designed by himself, of course!). We figured out my Pullman form, which is an American black bear and almost certainly settled. Best form. We're still tripping over the analytical side of things but striped hyenas remain promising, and if not, possibly reptiles? I should quit talking about this now though or I will ramble off into oblivion. (If you're curious about it, PLEASE talk to me about daemonism. I will always talk about daemonism. It is wholesome). Aaaand writing this was a good way to pass half an hour! Heading off into the city today to run errands with my mum. I think it's gonna be nice. Also I'm going to buy us expensive pizza and it will be awesome.