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    Kinmunity's library contains a vast amount of articles related to otherkin, therianthropy, fictionkin, real vampires, plural systems, and the otherhearted. Library articles are submitted by members of Kinmunity and are approved and/or edited for clarity by staff members.

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    An otherkin is someone who, on an integral, non-physical level, identifies as non-human. Psychological otherkinity is for those who believe that the cause of their experiences is partially or wholly the result of psychological or neurological phenomenon. “Psychology” refers to the study of the mind, whereas “neurology” refers to the study of the physical brain. Currently, there are no widespread psychological or neurological studies about non-human identity. Therefore psychological otherkinity is based on personal belief and experiences rather than scientific fact.

    When trying to determine whether a certain behavior is a result of identifying non-human or not, always try to find explanations in medical/psychological explanations. For example, feeling headaches in a specific place most likely has a medical explanation, and is not a result of otherkinity or experiencing supernumerary phantom limbs, such as horns. Even “acting like an animal” isn’t typically a result of identifying as non-human. Otherkin are still fundamentally human, and therefore have the ability to practice self-control. If one is “acting like an animal” then it is usually upon choice. This is especially true for children/childhood experiences, since playing pretend and pretending to be an animal is a fairly normal and common childhood pastime. However, otherkin may experience the urge to behave a certain way, such as the urge to walk on all fours, without necessarily acting upon those urges. Otherkinity is not an excuse for abnormal or unhealthy behavior.

    Here are some of the common psychological beliefs about otherkinity

    Psychological Otherkinity as a result of coping or trauma. This is characterized by the belief that one’s non-human identity came about as a result of significant trauma or prolonged coping with personal hardships. This is not to be confused with a coping mechanism. A coping mechanism is what someone chooses to do in order to deal with stress. An integral identity is never a choice; therefore otherkinity cannot just be used as a coping mechanism.

    Psychological Otherkinity as an inherent/innate part of one’s Psyche. This is characterized by the belief that one’s non-human identity was present in the mind/brain from birth. It is possible to believe that whatever causes one to identify as non-human was present from birth even if the identity developed later in life. Similarly, many believe that they were not “born with” a non-human identity, but perhaps that they were born predisposed to certain elements of the identity that result in developing a non-human identity over time

    Otherkinity and Mental Health Counselling/Therapy

    Otherkin are human, too, and it may just so happen that some otherkin seek mental health counselling or therapy for issues that may or may not be related to identifying as non-human. Psychological otherkinity in and of itself is not a mental illness. Otherkinity is not caused by nor does it cause any form of mental illness. However, some otherkin suffer from what is known as “species dysphoria”. Species dysphoria is a term that describes the stress, displeasure, or disassociation that may arise from identifying as non-human. It is mainly characterized by displeasure with identifying as something other than one’s physical body. This feeling can also be characterized by feeling as though one “does not belong” on Earth or within human society due to identifying as non-human. (Please note: species dysphoria is not an "official" name or diagnosis) Sometimes, depending on the severity of the dysphoria, an individual will choose to seek mental health counselling in order to help alleviate some of the effects of species dysphoria. The choice to seek mental health counselling is the choice of each individual. Not all otherkin experience species dysphoria, and not all otherkin who do experience species dysphoria seek counselling for it.

    Otherkinity and Delusions

    If someone claims that that they identify psychologically as non-human, it does not mean that they are claiming to be delusional. A delusion is a persistent false belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary. Since there is no indisputable evidence stating that a person cannot identify as non-human in a non-physical sense (such as spiritually or psychologically), otherkinity cannot be categorized as a delusion. This is not to be confused with clinical Lycanthropy, which is a condition that is characterized by a delusional belief that one has transformed, will transform or are transforming into a non-human creature in a physical sense.

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    Preface: This article provides background information to the Multiverse of Minds hypothesis. If you'd like additional sources to be reviewed, please comment. I'll try to take a look at them, but it might need some time.
    Motivation and Scope
    Considering oneself fictionkin, e.g. being member of the dragon species which has been reported by cultures all over the world, but was never actually proven to have existed, calls for an explanation model other than the concept of reincarnation. One such model is provided by the so-called „multiverse hypothesis“, which is commonly adopted by fictionkin. It is also one amongst many theories in physics which aim to explain effects of classical mechanics, relativity and quantum mechanics, as well as observations made by physical cosmology. This blog entry will summarize and assess basic and also non-scientific online literature about the multiverse hypothesis as related to otherkin, but eventually also physical cosmology. In addition, related concepts, like e.g. the anthropic principle, are covered.
    The multiverse in physics and philosophy
    Wikipedia (publisher): „Multiverse“, Online, accessed 14.01.2019
    This Wikipedia article is a summary of the multiverse hypothesis as discussed by physical cosmology. The term „multiverse“ is defined as „hypothetical group of multiple universes including the universe in which we live“, which in total would comprise everything that „exists“. The hypothesis was first proposed by Erwin Schrödinger in 1952. It is stated that prominent physicists are of divided opinion about the hypothesis; the main critisizm is that the theory can not be tested, which disqualifies it as a scientific hypothesis and puts it in the realm of philosophy. However, there are also prominent proponents of the hypothesis including Stephen Hawking (see below).
    Furthermore, the article explains a classification related to multiverses as proposed by cosmologist Max Tegmark which comprises four levels. Level I states that the multiverse is comprised of an infinite number of so-called Hubble volumes, all having the same physical laws and constants, but otherwise different configurations. Level II foresees the existence of sub-universes with different physical constants. Level III relates to a mainstream interpretation of quantum mechanics by Hugh Everett, where each possible observation made from a quantum mechanical system corresponds to a different universe. Level IV is a mathematical interpretation: it considers all universes to be equally real and describable by different mathematical structures.
    Another classification covered by the article is discussed by Brian Greene, who basically describes multiverse models which relate to other physical theories, including the Level 3 multiverse, or the string theory.
    University of Cambridge (publisher): „Taming the multiverse—Stephen Hawking's final theory about the big bang“, Online, accessed 14.01.2019
    This article contains a short summary of the last scientific paper of the late Stephen Hawking and Thomas Hertog about inflation of the physically observable universe. The article states that the results would, if confirmed by further work, indicate the existence of a non-infinite multiverse, which basically makes the multiverse theory more predictive and testable. Hertog believes that gravitational waves are a possible means for testing the theory.
    Wikipedia (publisher): “Anthropic principle”. Online, accessed 14.01.2019
    The Antrophic principle s a philosophical consideration which generally states that the observable universe must provide all requirements needed to host the life of the observer, and that this is the reason as to why the physical conditions within the universe are happening to be just right for supporting life. The term was introduced in 1973 by cosmologist Brandon Carter, and has been subject to controversial discussion since. It has especially been critizised that the principle wouldn't be falsifiable, thus be a non-scientific concept, and also that weaker formulations of the principle are truisms (statements that prove true by their formulation alone, e.g. “one is equal to one”). Today, there are multiple interpretations of the principle which can be classified into weak and strong interpretations. Weak interpretations generally use the principle as argument why nature has fine-tuned all physical constants exactly such as to support life in the universe. Strong interpretations go one step further and postulate that the existence of the universe itself is reasoned by conscious life as its purpose. One strong interpretation was formulated by John Archibald Wheeler and is called “participatory anthropic principle” (PAP). The PAP postulates that observers are essentially necessary in order to create the universe, and that only universes with conscious observers can exist. This strongly relates to quantum mechanics, where conscious observation (obtained by a measurement carried out by a living observer) itself changes the behaviour of quantum particles or waves. This leads to the postulation that the universe can only become “real” by the observation itself. In other words, the universe would collapse without a living conscious observer. This interpretation is controversially discussed. The principle has been connected to the multiverse hypothesis and string theory. It is especially conceived that the PAP could significantly reduce the number of possible universes in the multiverse, because only universes which could host a conscious observer could exist. The limitation of the set of universes again puts multiverse hypothesis on a firmer scientifical ground (cp. above: Taming the multiverse - Stephen Hawking's final theory about the big bang, 2018).
    Wikipedia (publisher): “Introduction to M-theory”. Online, accessed 14.01.2019;
    Wikipedia (publisher): “M-theory”. Online, accessed 21.02.2019;
    C. Moskowitz: "String Theory May Create Far Fewer Universes Than Thought", Online, accessed 21.02.2019
    The string theory is a mathematical model in theoretical physics which introduces hypothetical building blocks for our universe which only have one dimension (length), the so-called "strings". Hence it extends the classical particle physics, which works with zero-dimensional building blocks (point particles). According to string theory, strings are vibrating and interacting with each other within a universe with 10 dimensions, only four of which could be detected by human observers (length, width, height and time). Any observables in our universe, like matter, light or gravity, are a result of vibration of the strings within the 10 dimensions.
    String theory came up in the 1980's; but with time, five versions of it were formulated which first seemed contradictory. Later it was discovered that the versions would relate to each other and could be transformed into each other. In 1995, theoretical physicist Edward Witten made a surprising proposal by stating that the five different string theories could be unified by assuming that strings are one-dimensional slices of two-dimensional membranes which vibrate within an 11-dimensional universe. This theory is called "M-theory", but is so far incomplete and not experimentally verified. M-theory is a candidate for provision of a great unified theory of theoretical physics which explains all fundamental forces of the universe as we know it, essentially combining the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.
    String theory predicts the existence of some 10^500 versions of spacetime, making up a huge multiverse. The versions come up as different solutions to string theory equations. Many physicists are put off by the idea of such a high number of universes because literally everything is possible, which makes it hard to explain the existence of our specific universe. Still, others accept the possibility that emergence of our specific universe is just a random effect. Recently (2018) it has been discussed that some of the versions could be mathematically inconsistent or wrong.
    Application of multiverse hypothesis to fictionkin
    Infinitedraconity: „Soul of a Dragon“, Tumblr, Online, original post dated 25.04.2016, accessed 14.01.2019
    This tumblr post is an answer to the question about how „does one think that they were a fictional character in a past life“. The answer proposes a multiverse with an infinite number of alternate universes and argues that, by the infinite nature, there must be at least one universe where a specific fictional plot would happen. This basically relates to the classic multiverse hypothesis as known from theoretical physical cosmology, adapted to the existence of fictionkin. The described multiverse is a Level III multiverse according to Tegmark's classification. However, the post does not relate the alternate fictional universe to our known physically observable universe or earth. The posting mentions the concept of „souls“, but fails to provide an explanation model as to how exactly fictionkin would appear on earth.
    Micheleknight (publisher): „Your Quantum Soul. Just Where Are You in the Multiverse?“, Online, accessed 21.02.2019
    Michio Kaku is a popular theoretical physicist who has been working on string theory and is known for his popular scientific presentations and media presence. The article named above suggests that Kaku has made a thought experiment in which he assumes that the soul is not hosted within the human body, but somewhere else. He suggests that our souls are multidimensional entities which could transit between parallel universes; however, no statement is made as to how the souls manifest within these universes.
    Isonder: „Substitute To The Multiverse Theory“, Online, originally dated 28.03.2018, accessed 14.01.2019
    This document aims at finding a substitute to the multiverse theory as used in the fictionkin community because it is „too flawed an argument to really keep“ and „not backed up by much scientific evidence“. The proposed substitute assumes that „souls“, obviously including fictionkin souls, would travel through the physically observable universe adhering to the laws of general relativity, i.e. not faster than light speed.
    The work accordingly estimates the size of the observable physical universe, taking the expansion of this universe into account. Furthermore, the number of habitable planets in this universe as well as the number of life forms on these planets is estimated. It is assumed that 0.001% of the souls of life forms having died would travel to another planet 'to make an otherkin'. Finally, the number of otherkin humans on earth emerging by this model is estimated to 10.000 – 50.000. However, the likeliness that a specific fictionkin (e.g. Naruto) would emerge by this mechanism is still conceived very low.
    This theory has a few drawbacks. First of all, it omits the classical multiverse theory by the statement that it is „flawed“ and „not backed up by much scientific evidence“. This is generally true, but by no means a valid reason to completely omit the theory as a working thesis - unless an alternative working thesis is found which is better suited to explain physically observable phenomena. This does not seem to be the case for the proposed substitution, as is stated by the autor himself. Second, the assumption of „souls“ traversing through space at maximum light speed is also not backed up by any scientifical evidence; hence, the proposed substitute does not seem to provide a model which has more scientifical backup than the original theory. Third, the calculation fails to realize that modern quantum physics indicates that information can be transmitted instantaneously by quantum teleportation. There is no evidence that the transmission of „soul“ information would need a physical communication channel. If it would base on quantum teleportation, then the limitation set by the speed of light would be obsolete. Hence, the result as calculated by Isonder can only be considered a lower estimate. Last but not least, the assumption that a „soul“ would be an entity bound by the currently known laws of physics seems quite a strict conceptual limitation, and again is not backed up by evidence. It would actually seem more intuitive to assume that „souls“ are not generally limited by known physical rules, since physics fails to explain their existence in the first place.
     
     

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    As the Otherkin community continues to grow the term is shaped and warped to encompass everyone and is often misinterpreted. A ‘movement’ that is gaining momentum now is trying to change the definition of Otherkin to encompass those who have strong feelings towards, or relate well with non-human beings. This thought process most likely comes from the lack of knowledge of a term that already exists for those who strongly relate to non-human beings. To fully understand these terms and their uses let’s break them down one definition at a time.
     
    Definitions to consider:
    Identity- The fact of being who or what a person or thing is. (Identity [Def. 1.])
    Relating (relate to)- Feel sympathy with; identify with. (Relating [Def. 2.4])
     
    Definitions within the community:
    Animal-Hearted- when an individual strongly identifies with a species of creature. (NLN, Kai) Animal-hearted can be replaced with other-hearted when used in reference to non-corporeal beings, beings from folklore, etc.
    · example: dragon-hearted, cat-hearted, shadow-hearted, fiction-hearted
    Otherkin- A community of people who (non-physically) identify as, in part or in whole, one or more non-human beings. (NLN, Kai) This is seen as an umbrella term for those who identify as anything non-human. Including but not restricted to Earthly animals (though normally going by the term Therian), angels, demons, elves, aliens, energy beings, and even cartoon characters.
    · example: dragon-kin, cat-kin, shadow-kin, fiction-kin
     
    Why is the difference so important to 'kin?
    When explaining your ‘kin-self’ to others if you use the phrases such as ‘I have always related with’ or ‘I have always identified with” then you are more likely Other-hearted rather than Otherkin. Even though these feelings of relation can be expressed in the early years of someone being kin without knowing it, it is not the sole reason for their identity. Upon the discovery of the Otherkin community most people will do their best to question, meditate, reflect and research often using those strong relations as a stepping stone in their discovery process. Finding your kin-type or theriotype is normally a long, deeply personal, introspective experience. It is not uncommon for some 'type' discovery experiences to take time upwards to a year maybe even more. Besides feeling a relation to a non-human being you must be able to further explain how and why you identify as that non-human being.
    Something as simple as 'something being relatable' is not enough to make one 'kin. No matter how much you feel related to something it is impossible to force an identity as said something. Being Otherkin is not a choice; a kin-type is not also not a choice. You may strongly relate to angelic beings, but sadly as much as you may relate to all things angelic you can't choose to be an angelic being if you are not one; in this case you could just be angel-hearted.
    Being kin with a non-human entity is way more than just an extreme like of said entity. Liking something is a choice, and as I said before, being Otherkin is not. For example, I really enjoy wolves, and I can identify with and relate to the strength and freedom associated with the thought of a wolf; but it isn't so much that I would call myself that animal, no matter how much I related to it. While some Otherkin may have a like or appreciation of their kin-type, an extreme appreciation of one’s kin-type is not necessarily required in order for someone to identify as Otherkin. (Some Otherkin have reported feeling drawn to their kin-type before their awakening experiences and such feelings should not be ignored if you are going to pursue figuring out if you are in fact Otherkin.) The only time I would begin consider a wolf kin-type would be if I started experiencing shifts of any kind that I could associate with being a canine or a wolf.
    (As an interesting tidbit, there are actually some Therians and Otherkin who do not particularly enjoy their kin-type and just have to sort of live with it because that part of them cannot change.)
    Those within the community often struggle with their non-human identity through personal hardships as well as hardships with maintaining relationships (i.e. coming out as Otherkin and being rejected) and often do not take very kindly to those who choose this way of life. In a way, the choice of being Otherkin can invalidate issues of those who did not choose to be non-human spiritually or psychologically; and so the distinction between the terms can become very personally important.
     
    The confusion of the “I literally AM” statement:
    By observing introduction threads on many kinbased websites, as well as several blogs on Tumblr I have come across the phrases “I literally am x…” or “…all of these are seen very literally”. It confuses people. Do you mean physically are x? Do you mean spiritually are x? Do you mean psychologically are x? The questions can go on and on and on.
    When those who use these phrases, or phrases like them, are asked to elaborate on such phrases we again are met with just "I have always related to x" which is not solely what makes a 'kin be a 'kin.
    Members in the community have also been met with responses such as "My personality is just like x" or "I share a lot of personality traits with x" used in terms of elaboration.
    Something important to keep in mind as you are considering your identity is that humans have bestowed a ton of qualities onto animals and other beings that are not actually a part of the entity itself (i.e. for purposes of personification when writing). For a fun example, male lions are seen as a symbol of nobility. In reality, however, lions are not exactly noble; they are more the lazy tyrants and 'bullies' of the Savannah. If you see yourself being drawn to an animal for symbolic reasons or humanized ideals about the animal or being that does not mean you are kin with them. Personality is not solely your identity and should not be treated as the only basis for you identity as an Otherkin. Again, if you are really drawn to them that way and have no other explanation for you being drawn to them other than 'I really like x trait or y trait' or "I have x trait or y trait" then you are Other-hearted.
    Most of the time, simple likes or dislikes don’t mean much when it comes to being Otherkin. Sure, there may be some likes and dislikes that are a part of your kin-type, such as a dog Therian enjoying to play and run, but simply having likes, dislikes, and wants to do these things does not make you dogkin. No amount of particular likes or dislikes, or a want to be non-human can make you Otherkin.
     
    Understanding correction of your term use:
    Some members of the kin community may have issues articulating themselves, and that is completely understandable. Do understand that you should try your best to answer the questions people ask you to clear up any confusion about who you are. Questions about your use of the term to identify is not to invalidate you or bully you by pushing you into a corner. If you claim to be kin but others are pointing you more towards the term Other-hearted it is not the community members putting you down. Being Other-hearted does not and should not make anyone look down at you; it is not lowering your status in a community, nor is anyone mocking you by using the term.
    The terms Other-hearted and Animal-hearted are not new terms. In fact there is an instance I found through a blog that shows that the word Wolfhearted was used and not dissuaded on AHWw.
    Blog that led me to my finding Wolfhearted example The term is not used to weed out any fakers or trolls and shouldn't be used as such.
    The use of the term is not trying to criticize or invalidate the experiences of those who identify with something non-human. People who have experiences with relation to Other-heartedness are incredibly powerful and deserving of respect. Members of communities correcting your use of the term Otherkin, by replacing it with Other-hearted, are trying to connect you with others who feel and experience things more similarly to you.
    If you aren’t identifying as your kin-type, you aren’t Otherkin. Nobody will call you a faker unless you give them good reason to do so; and you should not get defensive as if members are trying to do call you a faker when they are trying to help you find a label or a community that would possibly better suit you and your experiences. In light of this, their word is not an end-all-be-all and the decision to accept corrections is up to you. Do know however, that in other forum communities you can be met with the same kind of correction until you accept the correction yourself.
    By uniting folks with more common experiences, it makes it easier for more relevant conversations to occur and that is what forums and communities that encourage learning need to flourish. It also allows for new discussion to spring up about the meaning of nonhuman identities and how those who identify as non-human are different and similar to those who identify with non-human things. Both sides have things to offer, and both sides are better served by having the Other-hearted community grow alongside the Otherkin community
     
    In conclusion:
    Although the two communities of Otherkin and Other-hearted can be tightly connected, they are not the same thing and their definitions are not interchangeable. Otherkin is an identity as something and will never be a choice. Being called one term or the other does not make someone superior or inferior and everyone's experiences can be very powerful and moving. It is ok to mistake identifying with something for being Otherkin, but do understand that this is not what the term means, nor can it be molded to encompass 'identifying with...'. When corrected do not take it as being put down, and admit to the mistake by recognizing the difference between the terms.
     
    Citations
    Identity [Def. 1]. (n.d.). In Oxford Dictionaries Online, Retrieved July 17, 2015, from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/identity Relating [Def. 2.4]. (n.d.). In Oxford Dictionaries Online, Retrieved July 17, 2015, from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/relate?q=relating Cult Envy. (1997, January 15). Am I Wolfhearted. Retrieved July 17, 2015, from https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl...lt.horror.werewolves/4QHBcdK28Vw/SN0jQJMNs9oJ House of Chimeras. (n.d.). "Am I wolf-hearted?" 1997. Retrieved July 17, 2015, from http://liongoatsnake.tumblr.com/post/106683115375/am-i-wolf-hearted-1997 NLN, Kai (2012, June 12). Therian & Otherkin Terminlology. Retrieved July 17, 2015, from http://feralnature.forumotion.com/t83-therian-otherkin-terminlology

    The guide to Multiplicity Multiplicity is a very complex situation for anyone involved and it can get very confusing to those who don’t know what they’re looking at. This is a very basic guide to understanding Plurals.
    So what is Multiplicity?
    Multiplicity is the state in which a person shares their body with another being/soul/headmate etc. There are many names for what people call those beings that they share their body with. Usually, in the kin communities you will see the term headmate. You may also see alter/spirit/soul and other names that are unique to that particular system. An umbrella term for those with Multiplicity is Plurals. However, you may see that Plurals and Multiples are used in the same context.
     
    How long has it been around?
    Multiplicity has been around for longer than the otherkin community. There are cases of demon possessions in history those scientists now believe are earlier cases of Multiplicity. In the 18th century more detailed accounts began appearing. There was a case of a woman who suffered amnesia with a split personality all the way back in 1646 written by Paracelsus but it wasn’t until 1791 that an account was written in great detail by Gmelin. Ever since then, the only known account of multiplicity has been a disorder called Multiple Personality Disorder but now referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder. It wasn’t until rather recently did the term Natural Multiplicity or Natural Plural occur in Western Society and is not exactly accepted by a large number of psychologists. There are many people trying to push for non-trauma based Plurals to be recognized but at the moment, it is simply a thing such as otherkin.
     
    What does it mean to be a Plural?
    Anyone with more than one person sharing the body is considered a Plural and there are terms under it that describe the type of plural they can be.
     
    What are the different types?
    There is a multiple system, which you see many people call themselves. The headmates are distinct, separate beings with their own personalities and thoughts. Usually it incorporates the headmates sharing time in the front and cooperating with each other. There is a median system. These plurals are in between singlet and plurals. They share their body with fragments of themselves i.e. past lives or emotions personified. There is usually one sole fronter and the headmates are not always as distinct as with a multiple. There is a gateway system. It is believed these plurals have a headspace in another dimension/plane/reality and the headmates use the body as a gateway to interact with the world. These tend to have a very large number of headmates that come and go as they please.  
    What are some troubles a plural may deal with?
    There are moments a Plural may have difficulties, especially if communication is not established. They can suffer time loss. They can deal with dissociation at times. If a headmate is in distress or upset about something it may influence the rest of the system and cause the person in front to act a little differently than they wanted to. For example, if a headmate is very angry about something it can cause the one in front to grow angry too even though nothing has happened to make the fronter angry. This occurs more with those who do not have good communications with their headmates. Communication is the key to a healthy system
     
    How should one treat a Plural?
    Well, the worst way to address a Plural would be to act as if they have some kind of disease or disorder. Even if the Plural is trauma based, there is no reason to treat them any differently than you would someone else. If you are unsure of who is fronting, do not feel as if you cannot ask them. Plurals understand that it can be confusing for people talking to them and so they do try and make it easy for everyone to know but sometimes, they can forget and at this point it is perfectly okay for you to ask who is fronting. If you find that the Plural gets upset when you ask, well then that person has a few more issues than they would like to admit. It should not be a problem for them to say who is out. To Plurals, it would be the equivalent of someone asking us if we happen to have the time. If they do happen to get upset, for whatever reason, it may be best to just take a step back and give them a moment to breath, just as you would with anyone who was upset.
     
    You said something about natural Plurals; what are those?
    A Plural can be one of three things. There are trauma based Plurals. These are those who are more likely associated with Dissociative Identity Disorder. These Plurals were not born this way. They suffered from some kind of trauma at a young age that caused their mind to form these ‘masks’ that the person could hide behind until the trauma passed. These are typically called alters and they don’t always find their way to the kin communities. You have natural Plurals which are Plurals who didn’t have to suffer any trauma to become the way they are. Usually they are born that way or later develop it through the use of a tulpa or walk-ins. Then there are your mixed Plurals. These Plurals may start with trauma based headmates and develop headmates later on that are not born from trauma such as walk-ins or tulpas. It can also work in reverse where a natural Plural gets headmates based off trauma or stress.
     
    When do headmates develop or are discovered?
    This can also happen at any time. Once one develops multiplicity, there is a possibility of the system growing larger for no real reason or from stress of everyday life. A headmate could develop simply because of a new job that none of the other headmates are good at. The role becomes open and the headmate appears to fill it. However, it is usually unrealistic for a system to develop a large number of headmates in a very short period of time. It can happen with trauma based Plurals but it is usually only one or two discovered at a time. However these headmates did not develop then. They have been there for a while and they are only now discovering them. This is acceptable. However, if one discovers a large number of headmates, usually starting at four or five and increasing in numbers within a short period i.e. a week, it is usually not a good sign. If they are indeed discovering these headmates at the same time than it could show an underline problem that they have yet to discover. Headmates may also take a very long time to develop (in the case of tulpas) or can happen suddenly.
    If you wish to look up more terms on Multplicity a good source is Plurality Resource. There you can find a glossary with basic terms and links to other glossaries as well.

    Creative Commons License BY-SA
    Introduction
    The term "copinglink" (c'link for short) was coined fairly recently by a member of the Tumblr otherkin community. The term is officially defined as such:
     
    Why was this term created?
    In recent years there has been a rising trend in the idea of using a non-human or fictional identity as a means for coping. The term copinglink was created to replace the term "copingkin", which was a bit of a misnomer since it contained the word "kin" when copinglinkers are generally not seen as falling under the otherkin or fictionkin umbrellas.
     
    What is the difference between copinglinks and otherkin?
    Otherkinity is characterized by being an integral identity as a non-human creature in a non-physical sense. Otherkinity is usually considered to be "innate", or being an identity that is present within someone "from birth", or something that is present in the constitution of one's mind, brain or spirit without having been created consciously or by experience. The only common exception are identities that arise from trauma. In short, otherkin do not choose to experience their identities, nor do they choose their kintypes.

    Copinglinkers are people who consciously create and choose the nature of their identity in a way that best suits them as a coping mechanism. Because copinglinks are a choice, they do not fit within the definitions of otherkin or fictionkin.
     
    Are copinglinks welcome in the Otherkin community? 
    Even though copinglinks do not fall under the otherkin umbrella, it is perfectly fine for non-kin to participate in the otherkin community. Copinglinks and otherkin do share a lot of common ground and that is worth embracing. There is nothing wrong with not being otherkin. You do not need to identify as otherkin in order to be welcome into the community.
     
    Final thoughts
    It is perfectly legitimate to identify as a copinglinker. As long as a coping mechanism is effective in helping the individual deal with their stress and is not harmful or unhealthy, then there is nothing wrong with using it.

    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.

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