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On my spirit kintype (warning: LONG)

Charias

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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.

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