Deitykin Part 3: Best Practices

Having a known deity as a kintype is like being otherkin on hard mode. You will need a thick skin and a set of flame proof armor. Whatever right people mistakenly feel they have to make fun of otherkin goes double for us. I haven’t actually had too much trouble, but that may be because I don’t take offense at things that set other people off. I’m also very careful about how I present myself. If diplomacy is not within your domain, you might want to keep your kintype to yourself, especially outside of otherkin communities. If you are a copinglinker who hopes this type will bring you respect and prestige, let me tell you that will backfire horribly.

My first bit of advice here is to avoid this mess if you can. Be your own devil’s advocate. Try your best to disprove your identification as a known deity. This may sound scary, but honestly if it’s a real kintype, it won’t go away no matter what you do. Ignore it, deny it, argue against it, call it something else, and it will still be there at the back of your mind waiting for the right moment to ambush you again. My denial phase lasted for several years, but the idea still intruded despite my best efforts to push it aside. Finally Ra had enough of my screwing around and decided to get my attention in a rather painful manner. So, maybe you don’t need to go quite as overboard with your questioning phase as I did. Just make sure that your evidence pile would need a forklift, not a garden trowel, to move. When you’re young, you might feel that a month’s worth of questioning is a long time. At my age, a year is barely scratching the surface. You have a whole lifetime ahead of you. Don’t be in such a rush.

If you drop the name and the fancy title, who are you, really? That kind of question applies to all otherkin. It applies to everyone. That question really can take years of study. Every person has their own unique energy, their own philosophy, their own set of things that they are drawn toward or repulsed from. What are your priorities? Where do you find beauty? What kinds of things nourish your soul? What kinds of environments feel most comfortable to you? Make sure that you examine these questions from the inside out, not from the outside in. Be honest about your real answers, not the answers you think you should have. Check in with this over time and see what changes and what doesn’t. Make up new questions. Also, keep this questioning to yourself. The temptation to change your answers increases when you think someone else is watching. Keep in mind that life circumstances or a mental illness like depression can mask or change some of these around. This is why a long term assessment is necessary. Include what you were like when you were younger. Include what you hope to be in the future. Look for the common themes and patterns that come back over and over.

In short, the kintype should fit. Don’t change yourself to fit the kintype. Don’t change the kintype to fit you. If it almost but doesn’t quite fit, look into other types that are similar. There are thousands of deities, spirits, and other celestial beings that have existed through the ages, and yet I keep seeing the same few represented in deitykin over and over. This could be because they are shards or aspects of the same deity, or it could be that the deitykin went with a more common type that they knew about rather than a more obscure type that would have fit them better. Broaden your search. Look into aspects and older deities that have been integrated into the newer ones. I’ve seen at least four or five Anubiskin, but haven’t seen a single Wepwawetkin yet. I’m a Heru, but I also could have been a Khonsu, or a Montu, or a Sokar. In fact there might be a little Montu mixed in with my Heru, or that might have been due to my more wild teenage years. Synchretisms and “squishy polytheism” add a whole new dimension to trying to identify deities. I’m lucky I didn’t have to go through that part of it. Sekhmet told me who I was, and I eventually ran out of reasons to argue with her.

I recommend doing the inner research before doing the outer research. You need to have a pretty good grasp of who you are on the inside before you start looking outside. Write down anything that seems relevant or important. Keep a journal. In fact you might NOT want to research your pantheon or culture while you’re working through this stage. The reason for that is you don’t want to create a false bias. You don’t want to subconsciously change yourself to fit the kintype in question. Find out who YOU are before you worry about who THEY are. This way also has the added benefit of offering a bit of confirmation if something that was true for you shows up in the lore that you hadn’t read yet. My friends sometimes referred to these confirmations as bricks, as in “brick to the face.” I’ve had a few of those happen myself. They’re pretty shocking when they appear.

Of course, don’t spend so long on the inner research that you never make it to the outer research. Outer research is also extremely important. This part is not just about verifying or rejecting a kintype. If you still find the kintype is accurate, outer research becomes a continuation of your inner research. In this part you should learn everything you can about the deity in question, about their associated culture and their family relationships.

If the deity in question comes from a closed culture, research might be difficult. As I said in the first post in this series, identification in itself is not offensive. The offensive part lies in what you do. Do not insert yourself into any closed culture! They owe you nothing, not even a Hello. Do not try to set yourself up as any kind of an expert on a closed culture deity. It’s still a good idea to learn about the history and the struggles of the associated group, and help out if you are able to do so respectfully. Also keep in mind that information that you find on closed cultures may be inaccurate, because they don’t tell their secrets to just anyone, and many people spread false information about these groups. The information you’ve based your identification on may be contaminated by the biases and assumptions of opposing cultures. If you had any fantasies about joining a closed culture and becoming a respected member of it, throw those out the window. I’m sorry, but this is the world you have found yourself in. Also, double down on that devil’s advocacy here. This would be a horrible one to end up with.

If the deity in question is part of an open culture, think about joining the associated communities. I learned a lot by going through the Kemetic Orthodoxy’s beginner class and by hanging out on the forums. Whether or not you decide to reveal your identity is a personal choice.  Sometimes it is better to keep it to yourself. Some groups are tolerant, and some are not. Some individuals are tolerant, and some are not. Try to get a feel for that before you open your mouth. Many times their tolerance also depends on how you present yourself. Remember, you are there to learn. These people have often spent years studying the subject at hand. They have invested time, emotion, energy, and funds into maintaining their practices. Stay respectful.

Try to get some of the books on the community’s reading list. They can lead you to some good information. Look up sources. Avoid questionable authors, like Budge. Pop culture can be a fun addition to your research, but Marvel, Riordan and Gaiman should not be the central focus of your identity. Keep in mind that the myths can have many variations and even opposing versions. Personally, I look at mythology more along the lines of equations that describe how a deity’s energy might play out in certain situations rather than accurate historical narratives.

Do some research on other areas as well. What is divinity? What is a god? Are they super powered beings, personified forces of nature, conjured thought forms, or something completely different? What is mythology? What philosophies drove the associated cultures to honor the attributes represented by their gods? The answers to these questions are not as clear cut as high school world history would have you believe, if high school world history mentions them at all! The hard versus soft polytheism debate is just the tip of the iceberg here.

As I mentioned earlier, at some point, the outer research becomes a continuation of the inner research. Once you’ve got a grasp of the basics, what do you do with that knowledge? You’re still in a human body, living a human life. What are you going to do with that life? How do you express your divinity in the day to day? You should have some idea of what your areas of interest are by now. Those might influence your chosen profession or hobbies. And what about your divine family? How do you keep in touch with them while you’re here? Probably in a way that’s not so different from the polytheists that you’ve met. Honor your inner deity, not with offerings and worship, but by acting in ways that would make them, you, proud.

 

Related Posts:

Shards

Deitykin Part 1: No Offense

Deitykin Part 2: Gods Behaving Badly

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