“Everything flows out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right, is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.”
The above is a bit of Hermetic philosophy from the early 1900’s, but it’s relevant here and now. The idea is that everything fluctuates along a spectrum, never quite still; everything balances. This applies to state of mind, emotion, mood; the rise and fall of nations, personal fortune/misfortune; etc. Learning to regulate the energetic, spiritual, and psychological rhythms–learning to balance them, to ride them–this is integral to achieving some measure of control over your inner fluctuations.
For the purposes of this post, I will define shifting as the fluctuation along the spectrum between one mental, spiritual, or energetic state and another. Some examples:
- Human/hawk: The shift from a more human mentality to a more avian mentality and behavior.
- Wolf/dragon: The shift from wolf instinct/behavior and phantom limbs to more draconic instincts/behavior and phantom limbs.
- Ritual/mundane: The shift from a ritual mindset (symbolic thinking, meditative state, open awareness, closer connection with higher self) to a non-ritual or daily-life mindset (focused on practical needs of work/school/relationships, bills, etc) and from ritual energy (higher resonance, higher energy) to mundane/non-ritual energy (lower energy, more sustainable, more grounded).
- Elf/human: A shift from a more elven mindset/energy to a more human mindset/energy.
Note that this is a spectrum, not a set of absolutes. If you are otherkin, it’s unlikely that you ever really reach a 100% human mindset/state – and equally unlikely that you ever reach a 100% nonhuman one. But fluctuating, shifting, between the poles of more human and more other is not uncommon by my experience and observation.
When we’re out of balance, victim to the wild flux-and-flow of our internal states, shifting is often uncontrolled, intrusive, and comes on intensely at inopportune times. It’s difficult to suppress, and can be highly stressful, despite (or because of) intensity. This can be the shifting between human/other, or as mundane a phenomenon as the erratic, extreme shifts between emotional states of someone out of balance emotionally.
When more in balance, shifts are more controllable, even pleasant or fulfilling. They’re less extreme experiences. They might occur more gradually or more subtly–even imperceptibly, or perhaps integrated into a quiet balance, looking something like contherianthropy.
This is, of course, my experience and perspective; your mileage may vary, and I’d be interested in hearing about it if it does! But I’ll issue this challenge anyway:
When you’re out of balance as an otherkin or animal-person, what is it like? Does it manifest in intrusive shifts, intrusive memories, or something else entirely? What is it like to be more in balance? How do you find or maintain balance?