Otherkin & Therian Theories of Cause or Origin

**This is only a list with descriptions for the wide variety of explanations and beliefs as to what may cause therianthropy and being otherkin.  It is presented in a neutral manner to allow others to see the diversity of beliefs on this topic, regardless of how few or many therians/otherkin hold a particular belief, or how ‘believable’ any given concept on this list may or may not be.

  • Biological: Therianthropy is a biological phenomenon, rooted in the hindbrain and showing up in physical characteristics and changes, like elongated eyeteeth and shifting eye color. Or there’s an abnormality of the brain, a genetic mutation. (Can be said to go along with the “genetic” theory.)
  • Dissociation: Therianthropy is related to or due to a dissociative disorder, whether it be full dissociative identity disorder or a lesser form of dissociation. Shifting is dissociation from higher thought processes and emotion, the “human side”.
  • Dual Souls/Walk-In: Two souls occupy the therian’s body, one human and one animal, or his soul is part animal and part human.
  • Everyone’s Therian: Everyone’s a therianthrope, everyone has an animal side. But very few people become aware of or accepting of this fact, and so there aren’t a lot of awakened therians. Anyone can awaken, though, and become therian.
  • Genetic: Therianthropy is passed from generation to generation, like body type or mental disorders.
  • Imprinting (from Winged Wolf’s site): When young, the human imprinted on an animal of a different species, and thus grew to believe (at some level) that she was that animal, imitating the behavior and mannerisms of that animal.
  • Links to Gaia: Therians are links to nature and the primal side of humanity, an attempt by nature or deities or some other power to return balance to the world. Therians are to fight for this and protect the environment.
  • Mental: Therianthropy is a mental fabrication, where the person desires so much to be something other that he tricks his mind into experiencing shifts of perception, phantom limbs, etc. It’s an elaborate game of ‘let’s pretend” taken to a new, more vibrant, more serious level. (Similar to the “dissociation” theory.)
  • Primal Association (from Winged Wolf’s site): “Everyone has a primal side–this is the part of the brain and personality which is instinct-driven. It may be that in some persons, the primal side is very well-developed. On top of that, the person may identify their primal nature with an animal or animals, similar to the way a dissociative has seperated different personalities in their mind.”
  • Psychic Connection (from Winged Wolf’s site): “If a person, when very young, developed a very deep psychic link with a certain animal, then they may take on–or take in–the mind of that animal to such a degree that it becomes a part of them, and remains so even after the link is severed.”
  • Reincarnation: The therian was her animal in a past life, and shifts are past life memories. Or her soul is animal, but instead of being reincarnated into the corresponded body, something happened to reincarnate her as a human. Or she spent enough lifetimes as a certain species (or had a lifetime as that species that heavily impacted her soul) that the energetic nature of her soul (or something of the like) is that of a certain animal.
  • Shamanistic/Totemic: Therianthropes are people with a natural affinity for shamanistic practices, astral shape-shifting, etc, and their theriotype is their power animal, not who they are. Or the totem animal of the therianthrope has more influence over the therianthrope’s behavior and mannerisms, or they’re more in touch with their totem.
  • Soul Parts: The soul has many parts (such as with the Egyptian concept of the soul) and one or more of those parts resonates with, has the nature/shape of, or in some other way is animal. This can also explain polyweres, if each part is, in some way, a different “species”.
  • Soul Splitting/Shattering: Souls can split, break, fission, or shatter into more than one piece, and often do. Soul-pieces sometimes/often fuse onto other soul-pieces, and sometimes a nonhuman soul-piece fuses to a human soul, resulting in a therianthrope.
  • Spiritual Link: The therian is linked to an animal or animal spirit (similar to the concept of daemon in the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman). This link provides her with some animalistic behaviors and instincts.