“THERIANTHROPY” IS A WORD you don’t hear much in general conversation. It refers to the belief that one is not fully a human being—that to whatever degree, you’re an animal born by error in a human body—a “Therian.” By contrast, “Otherkin” believe they’re imaginary animals—dragons, gryphons and the like in similar circumstances.
It’s easy to mock people who imagine this kind of stuff, as if they’re delusional, psychotic, or they suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Except it’s none of the above—they’re people with a spiritual belief. It’s something they feel inside, a subjective truth they’ve known all their lives. They don’t look in the mirror and see a tiger or a dragon; they see their human form, just as the world sees them. But as the old expression goes, it’s what’s inside that counts.
Do you believe you have a soul, a spiritual essence that exists apart from your body and will outlive it and you? What does your soul look like—a formless, ghostly apparition? An ethereal, transparent version of yourself? A ball of plasmic energy? Maybe you’re not sure; maybe you’ve never stopped to think about it. Therians and Otherkin have, and they have no doubt what theirs look like…
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