A Story About Community and Why I am Giving It Up

I used to be a member of a now-defunct forum, called Otherkin Alliance. There were a group of us that had grown pretty close as friends, and for the most part stayed around while the stream of newbies flowed in and out. Sometimes, we were nice to them. Sometimes, we were not: after all, they wouldn’t stick around, and they weren’t on the same level as we were. 

While I have severely been missing that sense of community in my life lately, I don’t miss that attitude. I still believe in tough love, and being blunt, and honest, when more gentle ways prove ineffective. But the whole clique thing and treating newer people as disposable punching bags? Getting one’s panties all up in a bunch over some kind of “social justice” that doesn’t even affect you personally? Arguing strictly over semantics instead of trying to meet people halfway to make some kind of actual connection, automatically assuming others you don’t know are less than you?

Unfortunately, that’s the attitude I tend to find prevalent in both the pagan, and otherkin, communities I have tried to join the past two years or so. Albeit I’ve mostly tried Tumblr (which I was braced for failure with), and old school, static forums. 

I’ve developed more of a sense of community from the random passersby on this blog that message me once or twice, then I don’t hear from them ever again, than after hundreds of posts on the more popular pagan and otherkin boards out there. 

And I’m done trying. 

So hello, WordPress. You are now the only tie I’m going to actively try to maintain to those two communities at this point in time. Maybe someday I can gather up enough spoons to start a new group for people who get what I’m talking about. 

About Reconstructing the Labyrinth

Hello! My name is Bri, and I run the blog Reconstructing the Labyrinth. I am a pagan who works primarily with the Minoan pantheon, of which I believe myself to be an incarnate member. I am also genderqueer, pansexual, and demisexual. I have a wonderful, loving partner. I am a mixed-media artist and writer with a great fondness for plaid and amaretto-flavored coffee.
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6 Responses to A Story About Community and Why I am Giving It Up

  1. ibgreenie3 says:

    Please know you are not alone in finding a community in which to find common ground ^ friendship. A lot of us find solace in the spiritual blogs we read from people who appeal to our spiritual lives.
    Blessings to you, and never give up hope in finding a friend or two, who has much in common with you & your spiritual path.
    Reverend Donna M. Swindells
    Fellowship of Isis

    • Hello, and thank you for the comment!

      When I wrote that last night, something had just happened to set me off pretty bad. I’m not going back on what I said, but your comment is pretty much the same thing my partner told me – go to other pagan’s blogs that you like.

      I think I’m going to try that. Thank you again; seeing your comment made me smile. ❤

  2. EquinoxDreamer says:

    Ah, I remember Otherkin Alliance. I never really fit in there: especially since the “kin-type” I identify with would more than likely set people off. I felt like too many users on that site got away with murder because of some admin connections, a very big turn off for me. I eventually abandoned my account there and many other websites. It just got too much for me. Do I believe that the Pagan and Otherkin communities can get better? Yes, but it’s going to take a lot of growing up, and I mean on the part of the founders and admins as well. It seems people forgot that compromise isn’t a bad thing.

    I believe I’m better off now than in the past. I really love your blog. It gives me the intellectual, open vibe I’ve been searching for ❤

    • I was one of those people with admin connections; I turned down the offer to be a mod, and I am so grateful I did that because things went explosively South only a handful of months later. I can attest that there was a clique mentality there, although it was less than some other forums.

      I agree about the community needing to grow up some. A group of us who were disillusioned with the available forums started another one more dedicated to indepth discussions, but then life got in the way so it never properly took off. We still keep in touch via a blog network on Dreamwidth. There’s talk again of another attempt at a group, which could be nice, but my plate is too full to try and co-launch it with my partner again.

      As much as lack of a central community place online goes, I’m with you on being better off now. I’m flattered that you like my blog. ❤

      • EquinoxDreamer says:

        I’m drawn to blogs that talk about things in the Pagan and Otherkin community that no one else likes to bring up. Some people need to talk, some people need to listen but I think a lot of people should give each other a chance.

        It’s sad that if someone even utters about certain topics, they’re automatically shut down without giving a chance to explain. Maybe we could learn more or others can speak up more, but that’s also a huge leap of faith for most people (including me). But with a willingness to learn and listen, perhaps we can heal the various rifts over time.

        I really hope that didn’t come out too fluffy.

      • That doesn’t sound fluffy to me! I’ve been on the receiving end of being shut down/banned from otherkin communities solely for what I claim to be. It can be really frustrating. This is why I try to reserve judgment and go more based on a person’s actions and behavior. Beliefs can be quirky. But if someone can handle themselves like an adult, that’s usually plenty enough for me.

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