I recently ran across this article about otherkin. Otherkin, as defined by Wikipedia, means:
…a community of people who see themselves as partially or entirely non-human. They contend that they are, in spirit if not in body, not human. Otherkin largely identify as mythical creatures, with others identifying as creatures from fantasy or popular culture. Examples include: angels, demons, dragons, elves, fairies, sprites, aliens, and cartoon characters. A lot of otherkin believe in the existence of a multitude of parallel/alternative universes, which would explain the existence and the possibility to relate to fantastical beings and even fictional characters.
The article also mentions otherkin who identify as animals, such as wolves or cats. The tone of the article is somewhat skeptical, and uncertain about whether the otherkin are actually crazy or merely immature troublemakers. But I see it another way.
Whether or not you believe in the literal existence of faeries, mermaids, or other planes of existence, such beings and places can enhance your experience of life. Living the life of the imagination, which I’ve talked about before on this blog, not only enhances your creativity and adaptability, but also brings stress relief and fun. Not that it’s healthy to escape from your circumstances as a form of hiding, but rather, to be playful and whimsical brings joy to everyday life. I think daydreaming, role-playing, and fantasy are an important element of living holistically.
Taking that even further, and identifying with mythical beings, is a leap of the imagination. Or is it? Is there an animal or being you’ve always been strongly drawn to? Do you joke about being a troll, a leprechaun, or a Muppet? Do you work with a spirit guide or meet up with otherworldly friends when you dream at night? Do unexplained things ever happen in your reality?
I think the argument over whether or not these things are objectively “real” misses the point. Who cares? What matters is how this playfulness enhances your experience. Does it help you solve problems? Relate playfully to friends and family members? Laugh and giggle? Create music, stories, or artwork? Then it’s probably a good thing, and you’re keeping your brain young by engaging it on many levels.
As for me, I always knew I was part faery cat, and one-quarter mermaid. It’s only logical.