Friday, July 13, 2012

PBP 17: Not Human, Continued: My Story

Welp, I don't really know how to begin with my tale. It might sound less unbelievable than my attempted forest Spirit accosting, or maybe more believable than my accounts of traversing the Shamanic Underworlds, but who can measure something like that?

Welp, let's begin here. That picture of the book above? That's a book I bought when I was around 12 or 13, if the date of publication can be trusted. I don't remember much from that age; in fact my childhood memories are almost completely blocked out save for a few weird happenings like how I used to try to go through portals and was sad it never worked physically. I do remember finding that website, in all its '90s sparkly glory, and feeling like I had discovered the truth of my life. So based on that feeling, we can assume I was at least thinking of the possibility of being Otherkin, but not in those words, around that time frame. Which, when I was trying to discover the date the other day by looking through that book, actually surprised me. I didn't realize I had been so young.

At that age I think I was still de-facto Christian and had no real sense of spirit-anything. I was living in a locked box and obviously something in me knew something was up with that.

As I write this, I realize the only strong memories from my childhood involve Unicorns. I remember being at a fair down at the Jersey Shore, and a game that had these terrible framed sparkly photo-shop images. I think I was maybe 6 or 7 honestly. I remember it was some sort of ball game, and there was this one picture of a unicorn mother and its foal, complete with sparkly purple background, and I had to have it. And I remember my dad won it for me, and I was so happy, and that poor beast sat on my shelf for the next (easily) 10 years.

I remember being in this stupid Sunday School thing on tuesdays my parents sent me to until the 7th grade. I remember the only reason I looked forward to going was that my teacher had a treasure pile you could go into once a month if you were doing well, and she had this ceramic purple/blue/white unicorn rearing from a cliff that I needed to have. I diligently worked my ass off just to get that statue, which also sat on my shelf for 10 years. I remember in the 3rd grade or so, we had to use cardboard to make a fake little chair, and decorate the chair in art class. I painted mine hot pink, added grass to the front, and carefully cut out a unicorn with wings and a rainbow mane for the back of mine. I was the only one to do a creature. It was in the district art show for a month.

If I look at my shelf, I easily had 5-6 children's books on Unicorns. I had a dinosaur obsession, like most kids, and I had a unicorn obsession. I didn't really have other 'phases' with creatures, not like other kids might.

Fast forward to a little later in my childhood when I discovered the movie The Last Unicorn. I rented it from Blockbuster at age 10 or so, and I rented it literally every week for 2 months and watched it twice a day some days. It felt like it struck a chord so deep within me I couldn't explain and I just had to keep watching it because that feeling of nostalgia and sadness and connectedness was something I needed somehow. Everyone else I talked to about it called it silly or dumb or they weren't interested. When when I watched that movie it was like my soul was singing and I couldn't grasp why, and it was so beautiful somehow I needed to keep trying to understand.

Then, cue me on the internet (the newly born internet if memory serves, I remember a lot of AOLing) obviously google searching 'Am I a Unicorn?' (I would have to, to locate that book). And obviously it never occurred to me this might sound weird, because I felt so extremely and honestly that it was true. I remember now sometimes when I would run I would feel 4 legs flying around me, and often I used to walk in tip toe, just because it felt more natural, and people would ask me why I was doing that. I used to imagine hooves and it would make me more sure-footed, and I was wary of anything being on my forehead because it felt weird, etc. So in any case, obviously I located that site, which is kind of weird because the people who ran it were definitely talking about being Otherkin but in more Christianized terms. And you have to think how weirdly uncanny it was that that book actually existed, when I was searching for it. But who knows...? In any case, I definitely remember asking my parents to order said book for me, because I was too young, obviously. No credit card or anything. And I remember feeling really embarrassed like they would think I was weird or crazy for wanting a book titled 'Are you a unicorn?' and I think I explained it away as being something metaphorical or not what it sounded like. In any case my dad did buy me the book in the end.

And I read the book cover to cover like 7 times. And there was some metaphorical Christianized bullshit I willfully didn't care about regarding unicorns, but then there was some interesting bits. They described qualities of the unicorn-person I suppose, and I remember flipping out that I definitely matched those qualities. Even since childhood I just had this strange, deep compassion for animals specifically, and unfortunately humans. I was always wide open and there was nothing I could do about it. When nobody else seemed to care about saving bugs on the playground, that was me, saving them. I wanted to save everything. When they knocked down trees near me to build, I cried. I felt the loss of the land like it was in my own heart, and everybody else looked at me like I was crazy. I still feel the loss of life when an animal is killed around me, and I feel the land dying when we bulldoze through it, and I speak of it to no-one because I've never found someone else (in real life) with such a profoundly deep connection to everything (DISCLAIMER: MY DE FACTO WIFE THE BRASS BELL WOULD LIKE ME TO TELL YOU ALL SHE IS ONE SUCH PERSON. END DISCLAIMER.). It's why I'm vegetarian and despite everybody telling me it's the circle of life I still get horrifically depressed when animals and lands die. Why? Well, death was never in my paradigm, in unicorn-life. Death did not enter my picture. It makes too much sense that I can't handle it now, because I never had to handle it then.

Anyway. I read the book and I then secretly thought to myself that I was unicorn. And I told nobody because by this point I realized how crazy it sounded, but when I thought it to myself it was like a warm soul-blanket that explained the feeling of being an alien on this planet. It put into words all of the feelings I had about the soul before I knew what I thought of my soul. I fit in okay in high school and such, but no matter how I got along with everybody, I still felt like an alien. Like there is a side to humanity I will never comprehend.

So fast-forward a little from 12 to college level. I went through some heavy shit, with insane panic attacks and all this nonsense, which coincidentally lead to me discovering Paganism along the way. By the time I entered college I had more or less buried the unicorn side of me again, because rationality won out. It didn't make me happy to bury this side, because it just increased the horrible feeling of incompleteness and definitely made life a task. I would go through life forgetting the Unicorn thing, and every few months would remember and go 'Oh yeah, that's why I felt so shitty the past few months.' and forget again. Meanwhile my Shamanic calling was happening, and I had other shit to work on for the time being. Spirit animals were following me around everywhere and I had to handle things. And I met The Brass Bell there, and she pestered me about making a Unicorn altar. And I was all OH YEAH I SHOULD DO THAT, HAHA...and never did it. Figures.

And fast forward again to still not feeling totally 'me' and like I was neglecting a serious part of myself. Also include some dreams about unicorns and collecting all the last unicorn comics and unicorn books that came out and actually described unicorns how I felt they were, (white, more deer-like than STOCK HORSE OMG, and delicate) and throw in some serious astral shenanigans in which I finally shut down and reached out and saw a unicorn there, and you have last Summer.

Include some phantom limb and some explanations of why, when I learned to energy heal, my natural instinct was to put my head on things and draw it out that way, and the picture is pretty complete. I finally shut up and asked my Unicorn-self to share itself with me. I had astral awareness by this point so I finally accepted that maybe, I do have a Unicorn-soul, and if so, she should be able to be contacted. And so it was.

And she showed me some memories of a forest (her forest, my forest) and I tapped her memories (my memories) and learned about what happened. I learned to merge with her, and the feeling of bodily completeness is beyond speaking. When I could run around in that body, I wanted for nothing. I thought, is this how everyone else feels in a human body? It was both exhilarating and heart-breakingly sad, because I would remember I was not that on the outside. And the powerful desire to be in that body that matched my soul and not this cumbersome one just intensified the more I connected. And I have shape-shifted other beings, totems, and guides, and none of them every felt like this. I know the difference.

So, in presenting myself as Shamanic, no nonsense, and dark-themes-enjoying only, I am actually not giving you a true representation of who I am. Because the box that all comes in is pretty gay, and white, and delicate, and extremely compassionate to a fault, and happens to be unicorn-shaped. So I'm hoping taking a risk and posting on my Otherkin story gives you a more rounded idea of my personality. I have many sides. One of them is Shamanic and 'dark' and etc, and the other is higher realms and stereotypical white unicorn that looks more like a deer and lived alone in a forest her whole life and never saw another of her species.

Oh, and I did end up making that altar. And only then did my soul really settle down, because I couldn't bury it anymore.

{This is my Shaman altar}

{Which is right next to the Otherkin altar}

{My trusted Voodou-friend bought me the unicorn box for my birthday. It's beautiful and vintage. I love it fiercely.}

A little on the information I do have from my past life memories...

I dunno what it is but everyone seems to spend a lot of time defending the 'ACTUALLY UNICORNS WERE TOTALLY VIOLENT AND BADASS!!!' viewpoint in the Otherkin community. And I just don't see it. The information I have about my Self was that you don't use the horn on anything because it was like a lightning rod for the universe. To soil it with the physical was a serious stupid move that only a rookie would make. And at least I was actually the total stereotype of the 'peaceable' unicorn (I knew how to defend myself, however. Scarily.), without the love for humans. I wasn't a 'loving' being. I was detached. I was a watcher of life, but not a participant, and this was by design. I felt no love for humans, so I watched them on an academic level. But it wasn't violence or base instinct.

Unicorns were not strictly speaking 'animals' (according to my memories) and as such were not 'animalistic' if I'm to believe the information I've had. However, neither were they totally white lighty fluffy happy creatures whose only jobs were to bring joy to childrens. To believe one or the other is to discount the whole of what a Unicorn is, which is a higher realms being with its own 'magix' system which requires intense study and mind breaking physics that really more or less never gave a fuck about humanity. I don't know if people are afraid of identifying with something 'soft and nonviolent' because it somehow makes them 'not a badass' compared to Dragonkin/Gyrphonkin/Therians or what, but I'd really like to know where it comes from. (Is it the same as people afraid to accept their 'non awesome' bug totems, or worm totems, because they aren't huge and intimidating?) In this case, the temperament of the unicorn from The Last Unicorn (her underlying current of not really giving a fuck about people beyond doing what was energetically right in Unicorn form) is dead on to what I've seen. And at least in real life I've never met another one that had the right energy to be legitimate. But I'd really like to meet one.

Another weird thing: Almost every other Unicorn-kin I've spoken to claims to have a name that looks like LOTR language and has 26 letters. I don't have a name...because I didn't need one. I was what I was, and names are for when you need to differentiate the self from others. Since it was only me around, what use would I have for that? Maketh no sense. So I dunno if I just had a vastly different experience from every other 'kin on the planet, or what's up with that. Instead I just like to keep to myself and reserve judgement on that front.

In any case, I hope by posting more or less my jumbled bout of memories and experiences here, other Otherkin in the pagan community might come forward and feel okay to post theirs. I mean, come on, can it really be gayer than identifying with a Unicorn? Seriously bros, you have nothing to worry about. And please do post Otherkin altar spaces if you have them, it's a rewarding experience to keep one.

For a more academic/book-based/researched entry on Unicorns, you'll have to wait until U. In the meantime I'm gathering all the actual research books I can get on them in preparation for that entry, and my thoughts on the 'rationalizing' of the Unicorn mythos. Til then.


Lupa: A day in the life of an Otherkin {Article from a draft of her book}  <---Seriously read this it says what I want to regarding Otherkin except much better and awesomer.

Lupa: A Field Guide To Otherkin {The book for purchase}

Otherkin Alliance (Forums, Articles on being Otherkin, etc) {Articles} {Article, Good take on what an Otherkin is}






  2. Have you read The Last Unicorn book? It's even more poignant. (I totally grew up with the movie. I realized there was a book only when I was a preteen.)

    1. I read/own the book, the first two comics, signed, both editions of the DVD, and the hardcover edition of the graphic novel. Biggest fan ever. EVER.

    2. Haha yes! I only own the first run of the DVD, where the sound balance was horrible and they censored out the two "damn"s. I was disappointed. Highly. Is the second one better?

      I do have a question about being Otherkin. In the first half of the article, you mentioned your soul-facets fitting into a unicorn-shaped "box." From what you know, was that true for your past lives as well? Does it carry over?

  3. What I mean by that is in my original memory of my 'first' life, before I theoretically had 'facets', I was a unicorn. And in that form I was whole and complete, or it feels that way. So my facets now still fix within my core soul, despite being vastly different, and no facet feels like it's 'me' completely except the unicorn one. But facets deserve a post to themselves.

    Honestly the audio is still shit, but I'm waiting for the rerelease they have planned now that Peter won the rights to it back!

  4. Thank you for such a candid explanation. The thing I've found in the therian/otherkin communities is that I tend to believe someone more when the story isn't what I would expect it to be. Truth is usually that way.