Book of Blackbirds: Faeries and Elves, Revisited

Book of Blackbirds: Faeries and Elves, Revisited March 1, 2019

Some time ago I published an article here, “The Difference Between Faeries and Elves”, which has proven to be my most popular to date. It was originally written purposefully tongue-in-cheek, though from some of the responses I received it was evident that a few at least decidedly didn’t get the joke. It was nevertheless not meant to be taken so seriously (seriously, lighten up). However it was meant as somewhat of an indictment of the otherkin movement with which I first became associated way back in the early ’90s decade of the last century. There was much petty bickering, infighting, and gate-keeping going on among the otherkin clans back then, and this spirit is what I was trying to demonstrate in my article, which again, some didn’t make the connection. I will admit the reference was rather obscure and ultimately one of those things which, well, you just kind of had to be there.

In the interim since the article was published, I have to some degree reconnected with the online otherkin community and I am pleased to report that much has changed in that regard since those earlier days. There seems to be a lot more acceptance now, and while there are still the occasional disagreements and flare-ups of volatile tempers (many in the movement tend to be very young and by nature not well versed in the social skills which make for the smooth operation of communities of any sort), overall it seems that otherkin of all genera now try to be more understanding of each other and get along with all (pheno)types of spirits. There is a feeling of community and cooperation and best of all, learning from each other.

As for myself I’ve been pretty much a solitary faerie since my Awakening all those years ago. I tried a couple of covens but found that sort of thing just didn’t agree with me and held too many connotations of the dreaded organised religion for my tastes. Of course in my travels I’ve met and become fast friends with other witches, faeries, and various kintypes (yes, even elves *wink wink*), but I’ve never been the trooping sort of faerie and I know I never will. That’s perfectly okay with me as it is with most solitary faeries. Despite this however I’ve come to understand that community is important, and especially for we humans with alternate spirits. As I’ve mentioned many times, the very First Principle of Faerie Magic is understanding that Everything Is Connected, and that certainly extends to our connections with each other as well.

So we can find real magic in these connections with others, and in our connections with something greater than ourselves. We are able to remain individuals and yet still be a part of a whole that is greater than the sum of it’s participants and that’s a positive. I would caution to be wary of any group that wants to erase or subsume your individuality for any reason (as certain religions seem hell bent on doing). Contrary to my previous experiences, we can actually come together as individuals and still find a way to do this with a minimum of bickering and disagreements. The key of course is tolerance and acceptance, even at those times when your eyes want to roll back so far in your head that you can see out your ears. None of us are perfect, not even faeries. If you say you identify most strongly with rock ptarmigans, well okay, there’s a lot of crossover between therian and otherkin, so who am I to judge? The best part of this is that maybe I can learn something after all.

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