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Guide to Spiritual Otherkin


Part of the awakening experience (and continual growth) involves sorting out your beliefs, especially if you identify as otherkin for spiritual reasons.

NOTE: there is no list of "set beliefs" to be otherkin. You do not have to believe in any of these common ideas. Perhaps you are religious, and find a niche for the otherkin identity somewhere in those beliefs. Perhaps you have your own philosophy and personal spirituality, such as W.B. Yeats [1], and can work your otherkin identity into that. The point here being that otherkin is not a religion. It has no written texts to follow, no collective spirituality. You don't have to pray, meditate, lucid dream, or astral project. The only constant is the definition which fits all of our experiences.

Newcomers to the otherkin community observe that some otherkin accept spiritual reasons for their identity. The most common beliefs I have seen are past lives (anyone), multiverse theory (anyone, but commonly fictionkin), as well as the idea of incarnations and shards (specific to divine beings like gods, angels, or demons), although as stated above, these beliefs are not requirements. I just want to provide some information on them, as they are so prevalent.

Past lives – based on the concept of reincarnation. "This way of putting the matter implies that there is some entity that is re-incarnated, something that carries over from life to life (whether or not that something is identified as the same person)" [2]. For example, a cat therian may believe that at some point in the past, a cat lived and died, and the same soul was later reborn into a human body. Some people may believe that they can gain access to the memories of that past life, through various techniques, or may have been pointed towards this identity because of experiences or visions which seemed to them to be memories of another time, place, and species. Still, as the quotation suggests, you can have and believe in past lives without identifying as that same being. Please note that this concept of reincarnation is contrary to the beliefs found in Buddhism, and thus this religion should not be used as a comparison [3]. The idea of reincarnation is also not exclusive to religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism. Such beliefs were held by ancient Greek philosophers, as alluded to in the following lines from Dr. Faustus:

“Ah, Pythagoras’ metempsychosis, were that true,
This soul should fly from me and I be changed
Into some brutish beast.” [4]

(metempsychosis refers to the transmigration of souls, another version of reincarnation; Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher)

Multiverse theory – fairly straightforward, this is simply a hypothetical idea that there are an infinite number of parallel or “other” universes as well as our own, that encompass all of existence. For fictionkin, this may mean that somewhere out there, the events of a work of fiction truly have happened. Somewhere out there, dragons might exist. Infinity is a big number. Lots of people get excited about this idea, because “Stephen Hawking believes in it, therefore it’s backed up by science”. Well…no. It’s still just a belief, and the more fictional and magical the world, the more you have to rely on faith [5]. Many people combine this with the idea of past lives and their belief in souls allows them to transfer across universes.

Incarnation – this is a term used by many in the group of “divinekin”, which includes deities, angels, and demons. As opposed to reincarnation, incarnation implies a somewhat or totally non-corporeal entity taking on human form for the first time. If you want to get amusingly technical about it, Jesus is Godkin*. Unlike Jesus, you don’t get incarnated with special powers. Some may explain this through death in their entity’s form and rebirth as a human, as punishment, or the simple wish to experience life as a human.

Shard – the idea that a soul can break off pieces of itself and manifest as other beings while still remaining whole and alive somewhere else. Often combined with the idea that being a shard means you have an intended purpose to your life and will return to the original soul upon death. Again, commonly used by divinekin.

I myself do not believe my identity is due to any of the above. What do you do if you have different beliefs than the norm? Figure out what you believe, don't half-heartedly repeat what everyone else is saying simply because you think it is the only reason they will accept. Try the following steps:


  1. Ascertain if you believe in a higher power. You might be an agnostic (god maybe), atheist (god no), or theist (god/s yes), and these are all okay. Even if you already belong to a defined theistic religion, it's worth it to look over and find out what exactly your faith entails.
  2. Analyze your personal beliefs. Do you believe in souls? How do you believe souls work? Do they send out pieces of themselves into many beings, do some souls end up in the "wrong" body, do souls go through different lives, being reborn into new bodies? Do you not believe in souls? What philosophy might you have that fits your experience of identifying as non-human?
  3. Consider why you might be otherkin. Simple mistake? Wish to experience life as a human? A second chance at redemption? If you believe in reincarnation, do you believe there is an end goal to the process or is it simply a recycling of nature?
  4. Write down your beliefs. Keep a log of your philosophy as it grows and solidifies.
  5. If you wish, engage in practices that contribute to your personal beliefs, such as meditation or ritual.

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[1] “Yeats consulted many oracles in search of what he called…’a belief which is moving,’ one which would correspond to the fullest life of the imagination and the deepest expression of a man’s soul.” Vernon Watkins, ‘W.B. Yeats – The Religious Poet’, Texas Studies in Literature and Language 3 (1962), p. 477.

[2] Charles Taliaferro, P. Draper, and P. Quinn (eds.), A Companion to Philosophy of Religion (2010), p. 640.

[3] Ibid. “The Buddhist position on reincarnation rejects an enduring entity that reincarnates, an idea that would be contradictory to the Buddha’s teaching of anatman or no-self. No entity or stand-alone is embodied in successive lifetimes.”

[4] Act V Scene II, lines 171-173 (B-text)

[5] “For a start, how is the existence of the other universes to be tested? To be sure, all cosmologists accept that there are some regions of the universe that lie beyond the reach of our telescopes, but somewhere on the slippery slope between that and the idea that there are an infinite number of universes, credibility reaches a limit. As one slips down that slope, more and more must be accepted on faith, and less and less is open to scientific verification. Extreme multiverse explanations are therefore reminiscent of theological discussions. Indeed, invoking an infinity of unseen universes to explain the unusual features of the one we do see is just as ad hoc as invoking an unseen Creator. The multiverse theory may be dressed up in scientific language, but in essence it requires the same leap of faith.” Paul Davies, ‘A Brief History of the Multiverse’, New York Times (200:relievedface:.

* I’m Christian I’m allowed to joke about my own religion.



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