So you are trying to discover your kintype. Questions regarding this topic are exceedingly common in the otherkin community among new and old members alike. Maybe you have recently awakened as an otherkin and are still trying to find your way. Or, perhaps you have been here for a while but are recently feeling uncertainty concerning some aspects of your identity. Some people take longer than others to fully recognize their kintype, so rest assured, you are not alone. Whatever your reasoning may be, there exists a wide variety of steps that one could take towards discovering their kintype.
However, before we delve into how to find a kintype, we should first answer another question: What is a kintype? To start, people often define the term "otherkin" as someone who identifies, be it spiritually or psychologically, as nonhuman. (Note that the specifics of this definition can vary based on individual sources.) By extension, a kintype is what non-human entity an otherkin identifies as. For some, this is an earthly animal, such as a wolf or cat. In the case of others, this could be a mythical being or fictional character. When it comes to kintypes, the sky is the limit.
So how would you find yours? Many different tricks and methods are out there that you can have at your disposal while determining a kintype. Firstly, if you are new to otherkinity, consider why you believe that you are an otherkin at all. Some people only believe themselves to be otherkin due to wishful thinking or self-deception. Individuals may also misattribute normal, human traits to a kintype. Enjoying climbing does not make you a cat, and relishing the company of others does not intrinsically mean that you are a wolf. If you have a strong connection with a particular animal but do not feel as though you are one yourself, you are most likely otherhearted as opposed to an otherkin.
However, If you have determined with complete certainty that you are an otherkin, some personality traits and behaviors can provide clues as to your kintype. For example, do you occasionally hiss when startled? You could consider this as evidence that your kintype is capable of hissing, which would significantly narrow down your options. However, as previously mentioned, it is important to keep definitively animalistic behaviors separate from those which may be human attributes. Because of this, if you plan to incorporate this method in helping you determine your kintype it is critical that you carefully consider everything before deciding if something is indicative of a kintype. This method is particularly useful for otherkin which do not experience shifts.
For those who do experience shifts, the occurrences which take place during them can provide crucial evidence in support of a kintype. Phantom shifts can be particularly useful. If you frequently feel phantom wings, you are likely an avian species. Consider the specifics regarding the phantom limb: do your wings emerge from the shoulder blades or are they part of your arm? Are they scaly, much like those of dragons, or do they feel feathered? If they have feathers, you could be a griffon or some species of bird. Go through this process with as many phantom limbs as you are able too.
The mannerisms you exhibit during mental shifts are also often very telling of a kintype. Consider the way you move; is it on all fours or upright? Do you hop or jump, or simply walk? What noises do you find yourself making the most often? Perhaps you often find yourself growling, hissing, or making other sounds? Any feelings you have during shifts, such as aggression, strength, fear, etc. should be taken into account as well. You can consider nearly anything experienced during a mental shift a clue.
At this stage, you most likely have a general idea of what animal you are. You might be able to say with complete certainty "I am a dog!", for example. But many people begin to struggle when trying to narrow down their kintype to a specific breed or species. Return again to your previous evidence. Do you feel a long tail, and "see" or feel as though you have white fur? If you have already determined that you are a domestic dog, begin research into breeds that fit that description. Research into your kintype is remarkably beneficial for otherkin of all kintypes and degrees of shifting.
Keep in mind that it is critical to do research beyond just your kintypes appearance. Investigate their behavior. Does it match your own, or do you feel little to no similarity? What is this animals' social life and behavior around other members of its species? Is the habitat of this species one that you would feel at home in? Furthermore, consider the diet of this creature. Do you feel urges to hunt, is this animal a carnivore?
With these suggestions in mind, you should now have a clear idea of how to determine your kintype. There is a wide variety of ways to narrow down your kintype, and no one "best" method exists. To get the result that you can be the most sure of, it would be beneficial to use multiple or all of the aforementioned suggestions. Pay close attention to your own feelings and experiences, but do not refrain from seeking outside information and doing further research before coming to a final decision. By exploring various parts of your experiences, including your usual mannerisms, mindset during shifts, etc. you will gradually arrive at a better understanding of your kintype and overall identity as an otherkin.