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3rd January 2008

houseava312:36pm: Therian/Otherkin/Vampirism Research Study Update - 01.03.08
VEWRS & AVEWRS Surveys - An Update 01.03.08:

Our next major release of statistical analysis regarding the VEWRS & AVEWRS will be at the TWILIGHT II Gathering in Atlanta, GA on March 7-9, 2008.  You are invited to attend this event by signing up at: http://vampires.meetup.com/914  We’re glad that several from the Otherkin Community were able to join us at TWILIGHT I in Los Angeles, CA in October 2007!  For the first time with these new upcoming charts and commentary we’ll be dividing the data pools by the following classification method:

V:ampire; V - VE - VO - VT - VEO - VET - VOT - VEOT
E:nergy Worker; E - EO - ET - EOT
O:therkin; O - OT
T:herian; T
* N/A

As many of you are already aware the VEWRS & AVEWRS (Vampirism & Energy Work Research Study) w/secondary focus on Otherkin and Therianthropy (http://www.suscitatio.com) far exceeded our expectations for return rates with over 650+ for the VEWRS and 330+ for the AVEWRS received by the October 31, 2007 deadline.  That equates to over 450,000 individually answered questions!  During the next few months we will be continuing to enter data into SPSS (a statistical analysis program) and working with a variety of individuals from both the community and academia on analysis and correlation of the data we've received.  In addition, this study has captured the attention of many in the media, academic institutions, and even the paranormal community.  While the official deadline has passed, we are asking for your help with a smaller internal and grass-roots effort to directly reach those you personally know within the community (active or inactive) who may have overlooked or failed to complete and return either or both surveys (we will not reject surveys that are still e-mailed to us). We can post on message boards, forums, LJ, Yahoo Groups, MSN, IRC chat rooms, and other areas but we are realistically unable to cover every possible square inch of the internet or global offline community. 

This is why we need your help!

VEWRS & AVEWRS May Be Downloaded From: http://www.suscitatio.com
Completed Surveys May Be E-Mailed To:  response@suscitatio.com
Troubleshooting:  See red box section of web site on instructions on how to complete the "text-only" versions of these surveys

We sincerely thank you for you help with contributing to the success of this study and for your encouragement of others you know to complete and e-mail back these important surveys!

- Suscitatio Research Staff


21st December 2005

blackdragon512:04pm: Hello
I'm new to this community and I wanted to introduce myself. I use the name blackdragon because I have had a recurring dream of a beautiful black dragon sleeping in a cave made of obsidian. I'm not sure what it means but I am looking forward to the day the dragon wakes up. I think she will have much to teach me when I am ready. My spirit guides are a Raccoon, a mother Leopard with two cubs (sometimes I become a child and play with the cubs), and an Owl (a very small owl, I'm not sure what kind). My shadow totem is a Spider because I was once very afraid of spiders and overcame the fear. While I am fairly new to shamanic practice I feel I was drawn to it since birth. I have always loved nature and animals so I became a biologist. While science is still important to me, I realized about a year ago that my attraction to animals and the natural world goes beyond the scientific. I don't personally know any shamanic practitioners and have been looking for a community like this one. Thanks very much for allowing me to join!

10th November 2005

jabara_eris10:27am: Howls an intro
Howdy, y’all! Figured I’d finally stick my head in the door and make an introduction!

My shamanistic studies and practices, particularly my relationship with my spirit guides, has been an integral part of my life for about the last year. I've actually had a close relationship with Coyote spirit for more than a decade, a relationship that fully crystallized while I was living alone near the Northern Cheyenne reservation (and near the beautiful unspoiled Big Horn mountain range and the Medicine Wheel sacred site). But although I was heavily committed to experiencing everything I could about shamanism for awhile (learning from some open-minded Cheyenne holy men, a ragged copy of Way of the Shaman, and the personal teachings Coyote gave me), most of my practices fell to the wayside after I moved back to Denver inner-city environment. Coyote, however, refused to abandon me and stayed with me, throwing chaos into my life whenever he thought I could learn from it (or when it just thought things had gotten too boring!) ;)

About a year ago, I came to an unexpected understanding of my inner nature that led to me literally dusting off my medicine bag and returning to my spiritual practices. I realized, in no uncertain terms, that I'm a therianthrope, which basically means that I've had experiences that indicate to me that my inner spirit (soul) is that of a non-human animal. In particular, a feral canine (a red wolf, I believe).

By the way, it’s nice to not have to explain (and defend) that aspect of me here! When I first revealed this about myself to a local shamanic journeying group, one of them immediately brought up the related Otherkin subculture, and used his bad experiences with a former girlfriend who claimed to be an elf as a way of discrediting my claims to have a non-human spirit. Fortunately, he was actually open-minded about the idea after I rationally explained the facts and proved I wasn’t a flake (at least, a total flake!), so things turned out for the best.

A little more than a year ago, after I had discovered the term “therianthropy”, I soon realized I had finally found an explanation for many of the things I had experienced for most of the 40-plus years I've inhabited my current physical body. Finding a group of people who shared my experiences further boosted my drive to understand my inner spirit deeper than I ever had before. After a couple of months of meditations with Coyote, Crow spirit came to me one day and began leading me very determinedly into re-establishing my relationship with my other spirit guides, and to return to my shamanistic studies with a fervor I had never had before. Since then, I have re-read Way of the Shaman and also studied numerous other books, some of the best being Joan Halifax's “Shamanic Voices: A Survey of Visionary Narratives”, Tom Cowan's “Shamanism: As a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life” and Sandra Ingerman's “Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self.” I have developed some very loving relationships with my spirit guides and often journeyed with each of them in the lower and middle worlds. I have conducted a few healing rituals for family members and friends (with interesting results). And most of all, I have come to terms with myself and become comfortable in walking my life's journey like I never have before.

The one thing I don't really have is a community. My spouse is very agnostic and, although somewhat sympathetic toward my beliefs (based on the validity of some of my past experiences, she has come to believe that there's something real about what I'm doing), she doesn't share my spiritual philosophies and practices. As a result, she casts a skeptical sideways glance whenever I try to talk with her about my shamanistic experiences (such as my conversations with a local forest spirit). Her family is very atheistic, and my family is conservative Southern Baptist Christian, and as a result I'm pretty isolated in my interests, with the Internet being my main source for connection with others of a like mind.

Although I've been heavily involved online with the therian community for more than a year, and although some of them practice shamanism or have animistic beliefs, I've realized that I need to develop a connection with those (such as yourselves) with whom I can directly discuss my spiritual experiences.

So that's where I am today. I love to write (I was a newspaper journalist for nine years before switching to software development), but it's hard to say how often I'll be able to post based on my family commitments (I have two small children, ages 3 and 6). But I hope to be as active a part of this community as I can, and I look forward to being part of future discussions.

Oh, and in case anybody's interested, I'm one of those therians who experiences gender dysphoria as well as species dysphoria, so although my body is a human male, my spiritual identity is clearly a female canine.


-- Eris
Current Mood: chipper
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