The Unofficial Official Kin Carrd
A lot of people are HIGHLY misinformed about what kinning is, they think it's just a coping mechanism, or something people do for comfort and for fun.
This is absolutely not true, and is disrespectful- and debatably harmful- information to spread around.
So, what is it?
Kin is a spiritual belief, based in beliefs of the multiverse theory, the belief that there are infinite universes, and reincarnation.
Infinite Universes is a theory and belief that isn't new, or out of the possibilities of reality.
There are plenty of scientists who have studied this theory and are working to find more information on it every day. It's been around for a very long time.
The concept is that there are infinite universes, for every thing you do, there's a universe where you did it differently. It's far beyond our capacity to even imagine or barely conceptualize. Every thing you consume, there is a universe where that is a possibility. The outcomes, the different universes, they're all endless.
This means that for those of us who believe in infinite universes, there are universes out there in which things that are considered 'fictional' in this universe, actually exist.
Anything you can think of, there's a universe for. That's what most believe: The moment that something is even thought of, that fuzzy, unformed world has become new in a time nonlinear to ours.
Reincarnation is a belief that has been around for centuries in several cultures and circles, and the belief has a handful of scientific studies.
Reincarnation/Past lives are very easy to understand and there's lots of other information on them, so we'll pass on explaining all of that~
The point is, our energy goes somewhere when we die. People who follow the belief of Kin believe that the energy that passes after we die (or our souls), don't know the boundary of one single universe, because why would they? It's energy. The starts and ends of universes are not concrete...
What does this mean, then? Well, this is the core of the kin experience: You can have had a past life as a fictional character, or a number of 'fictional' characters or creatures or people.
Those who are otherkin/fictionkin don't just wake up one day and decide "Oh, I like this character, I must have had a past life as them."
Usually there's an impactful awakening of some sort. We get actual memories, we find past loved ones.
It's an extremely emotional and personal thing for many of us, and it deserves to be respected just like any other spiritual belief.
"But what about [other definition]?"
I'm sure for some of you, kin has already been explained much differently than this, and it's been explained as something people do for comfort or for fun.
I'm sure you're even familiar with the terms "kinning" and "kinnies".
I mentioned previously that these phrases are disrespectful and potentially dangerous, so here are my reasons for why.
Kin started out as a spiritual thing, and the way it has evolved has been spiritual for a very long time.
The only reason people are saying it's for comfort/for fun is because of Tumblr trolls. People got confused and misinformed, and now barely anyone knows the actual truth, which is really upsetting to a lot of people who follow this belief.
I have more information on this on future pages.
The main two terms.
The specific branch of kin that most people are familiar with, which I already explained on the first page.
People in this category are usually reincarnated from what we consider "fictional" characters or beings.
Broader than Fictionkin, Otherkin applies to anything that is nonhuman. To be Otherkin is to identify with something nonhuman- whether it's a past life or a psychological thing, it is still NOT a choice.
"But I kin for fun and I cope with it!
I don't want to stop calling myself kin!"
There are replacement terms, and they're super cute and easy to use.
These terms are NOT Kin, under ANY circumstance, unless you want to be disrespectful and keep spreading misinformation.
There are plenty of other terms to use instead of Kin, in case you're only just now learning this and you don't want to keep using Kin terms because they don't apply to you.
Glossary of Alternative Terms
Identifying as a character for coping reasons. It is something you CHOOSE.
You choose to ID as that character because it makes you feel good and you relate to them, and their trauma.
Identifying as that character helps you cope with mental illnesses and trauma.
Similar to copinglink, a mirrorlink is for people who dont really ID as a character to cope, but mainly just because they see a lot of themselves in the character.
It can just be for fun or because it makes you feel more confident/comfortable in yourself.
Pretending to be a character, making headcanons, and writing as them. Quite literally, playing the role of the character, with nothing else attached.
*also known as Sympath, and Otherhearted.
"Why gatekeep? Kinning isn't that deep!"
It is NOT gatekeeping to say that something is disrespectful towards a spiritual belief.
Saying someone's spiritual belief isn't that deep is really disrespectful, and if you can't understand that I don't know what to say to you.
If you have one half of people taking this seriously, and suffering from real pain from their past life memories, and all of the struggles that come with carrying your past lives on your shoulders, and the other half basically just going "Oh i identify as this character for fun because theyre cool uwu i chose this because it helps me cope"...
I'm sure you can see how that's harmful and muddies the water.
One is a SPIRITUAL BELIEF, and the other two are hobbies/coping mechanisms.
Coping mechanisms and hobbies are great, but you shouldn't appropriate someone's spiritual belief and their terms and community to express yourself like that.
It gets even more complicated when people start feeling unsafe in their own community because people don't understand them.
This causes so many problems, especially when people think that you can just choose or make up your memories and treat them as headcanons. When people think you can choose these things, it gets really really harmful.
"Copinglinkers can't understand the involuntary aspects of otherkinnity.
They can't understand waking up from nightmares with tears running down your face from a past life.
They can't understand the sudden jabs of memory when the sky just so happens to look a certain way. They can't understand how it's a lot more than just a coping mechanism; in fact, half the time it's something we have to cope with.
And then, to invalidate what we experience? And turn around and get offended when we try to educate them, it's very upsetting.
Copinglinkers and roleplayers will never understand how it feels to be in such a heavy shift that you’re sitting on the floor, tears streaming endlessly down your cheeks, begging with whatever higher power will listen to let you go back home, because this current life, the world around you, feels foreign and strange, and you feel like a child again because you just want to go home, to the people you know, the places you’re familiar with. You just want to be back home, but you know you can’t go home, and nothing is ever going to be the same, and it breaks you.
They won't understand the nightmares from some of those memories, or the laughter and happy tears when you get a good one.
They wont understand how when you look into a canonmate's eyes, for a minute you see who they used to be in their smile.
They're not going to understand the finishing of one another's sentences with memories you've both had for years, the flashbacks, or the longing ache that never goes away."
Other Kin terms you might hear
Kinshifting, or simply shifting, is a moment in time when you feel more connected to one of your kintypes/past lives.
So much so that you feel like you’re just them, that nothing has really changed from that life to this one. You may adopt previous speech patterns/accents, movements, facial expressions, interests, thought processes.
Sometimes people have 'permashifts' which are just shifts that never end up going away, they're always permanently stuck in that shift.
A canonmate is someone you share a past life with.
They can be found using 'canoncalls' where you put your memories out and hope they match with someones, and then you can share memories and see if you've had a past life together.
Usually people share more than one past life with people they've had past lives with.
Someone who originates from the same media/main universe as you, but does not share the timeline/life with you.
Past life memories. Just as current life memories, they can come in any form, and involve any of the senses.
Words that are puns in place of considering a Kintype or confirming that you are Kin with someone.
They're just cute. ♥
The specific life you were living.
So, if you say,
"In my (insert kintype) canon",
you're talking about that specific past life.