“About Being a Raven & Ceratosaurus Stelliferoforme” by Ilrak; March 20, 2023

Disclaimer: This essay does not reflect a definite nature of reality and is only based on the beliefs and personal gnosis of ilrak, the core of the Ceratocorvus Nebula and the way that they have observed and experienced their existence. The causes are purely speculative as there is no way to truly prove or disprove the existence of this type of experience. This essay will only provide a general view as certain subjects related to this (i.e. the Ceratocorvus Nebula Gateway System and how certain members and experiences came to be, a detailed discussion about how gender, alterhumanity, and neurodivergence intersect in ilrak’s personal experience, and more) will be discussed in future essays.


My name is ilrak (a.k.a. K D Val) and I am a member of the greater alterhuman community. I have used a few different labels in the past – otherkin, therianthrope/therian, raven-kin, and my current favorites, theropodanthrope and stelliferoforme – but in trying to categorize my experiences, I find myself struggling to actually fit into any of the more established labels exactly. In this piece, I will be discussing three aspects of my identity, how they affect each other, how they are different, and how they are similar to and different from the different labels in the alterhuman community that I have used.

To help anyone who is unfamiliar with alterhuman community terms, I’ll direct you to the following resources to cross reference with as they define the terms better than I can for reasons that will soon become clear.

I highly recommend looking into the works by Orion Scribner (http://frameacloud.com), House of Chimeras (https://houseofchimeras.neocities.org) and the Sol System (https://invisibleotherkin.neocities.org/Home), who are three excellent community historians. I also recommend looking into The Otherkin Wiki (https://otherkin.wiki/) which is an actively archiving encyclopedia of notable works, events, and people in the otherkin community. I also suggest visiting the Alterhumanity Archive (https://alterhumanarchive.neocities.org/Home).

A little bit about my human self before I get into the proper essay first. I am a Black, non-binary person who was born female. I am married, have a little backyard homestead, and a film and media arts degree that currently is being used to create a musical theatre podcast with my husband. I was born in the late eighties, I am formerly Christian (currently agnostic), and I did not have a decent internet connection until I was a teenager – and even then, I had grown up in the era of Stranger Danger so I did not participate in online communities outside of writing fanfiction. The first online otherkin community that I joined was Livejournal around 2006 and the now defunct forum, True Form Within, in 2007. I have been a member of many, many different websites centered around otherkin and therianthropy as both a semi-active participant and a lurker as I drifted away from some of them.

I have always identified as some flavor of non-human, even before knowing that there was a term for someone like me. I would dress as different animals, trying them on as identities, and for a while, was very into being a feline – but this also felt like putting a square peg into a round hole. When I would wear a shawl as if they were wings (or a dress that was my Diana Ross if she was a dove dress), or if I placed the maple helicopter seed pods on my nose and pretended I was a dinosaur, then I felt a sense of overwhelming euphoria (I still have the articles of clothing, even if they will never fit me again). It wasn’t until my first year of college that I started to actually think more about the bird and dinosaur, however for reasons that will be outlined further in the essay, I only focused on the bird identity – specifically the raven which had appeared many times in my life as something I would see and secretly think to myself that is me.

The third identity that will be discussed later in the essay is another one that had always been there, even when words weren’t there for me to describe it. An identity that I struggled with because of how outlandish it sounded. Ravens and dinosaurs are organic things that lived. The material that makes up a star is not. When I was a child, the Planetarium was just as much of a comforting place as the Aviary or the Natural History Museum. I felt like I was home when watching the laser shows that showed planets, stars, black holes, and other celestial bodies. Not in the sense that I was an alien from another planet, but rather that those forms were something I was supposed to be. I had adorned my ceiling with those glow in the dark stars. I had my favorite astrological pullout posters from National Geographic. I adored Cosmos and Carl Sagan. The history of deep geological time fascinated me. All of this influenced and was influenced by my identity.

As we go into this essay, I’ll talk about how exactly I identify as a raven, a ceratosaurus, and star material, the terms I’ve found I prefer over the years, and what I think is the personal cause of this identity. I am generally agnostic about the causes of my own alterhumanity, however towards the end of this essay, I’ll get into my current, more metaphysical beliefs regarding why I am what I am.

Now, consider the raven …


Being a raven is what I am probably more known as in the community as this is what I joined the online otherkin community as (after some, what could be called cameo shifts as a lion – however some of this will be brought into question in a later heading as these shifts may have been legitimately part of my non-humanity but interpreted incorrectly). Being a raven is the easiest, simplest part of my identity to talk about because, with ravens being extant animals, I could point to aspects of myself and say Yes. This is me. This is what my body should look like, this is how I act, this is a translation of how I think, etc. This is the aspect of myself that I was the most comfortable sharing with the therianthrope community because I was safer from grilling – the term for harsh questioning within the community that has started to fall out of favor. Part of it may also have been that, with an uncommon theriotype (the animal that a therianthrope identifies as), people either find it to be more legitimate (see the countless essays asking the question of Why are there so many wolves?) or there is simply not enough interest in questioning someone with a theriotype that is farther away from being human than a wolf or a deer. After all, the experience of being a non-mammal in a human body is very different from being a non-human mammal in a human body.

When I was still using therian terminology, I called myself a cladotherian (a term for those who have identities that are not a distinct species but rather the genus or family), as while it was easy to say I’m a common raven, it wasn’t always accurate when dealing with different shifts (as will be discussed and defined shortly). Common ravens, African white-necked ravens, Thick-billed ravens, Brown-necked ravens, and the extinct Pied raven all feel like they are the same amount of who I am (and this may be partially explained with the third identity that I will talk about later). While the exact species used to be an important thing for me to ponder about, I have since just embraced being called a raven. Whatever sort of raven comes to mind when people hear I am one, they are correct.

On the most basic parts of this identity, we’ll talk about shifts. When I say shifts, I mean the mindset changes and instinctual triggers that could be considered a mental shift as well as things such as your mental self image changing called an envisage shift (this is difficult to describe but is essentially how you are visualizing yourself – while I am very aware that I am in a human body, sometimes I still see myself as my theriotype when I’m interacting with the world), and, of course, the phantom shift – where one would feel they have a tail, talons, feathers, etc. This, for me, is a little bit different (and will ring true for the other theriotype that I will be discussing next). I don’t so much feel that I suddenly or gradually have feathers or a tail. It’s more that I do not currently have them and I am suddenly very aware of the absence and the feeling of wrongness at not having the correct body map. Some aspects of this will also blend in with my gender dysphoria to the point where I often don’t know where one begins and the other ends. After all, birds do not give live birth and they also do not possess mammaries. When you’re a non-mammal born into a female, mammalian body, some things get extremely alien at best and distressing at worst.

I do not have a name for the form of phantom shifting that I experience (maybe absence shifting is better – mostly joking – mostly), but other shift types, such as envisage shifts and mental shifts, I do experience. When I experience mental shifts as a raven, this often comes with behaviors that I find myself either wanting to do (flying – especially if startled, scavenging, anting, territorial urges – yes, ravens are more territorial than crows, and on the most extreme, becoming mostly nonverbal as I struggle to translate thoughts to the correct words) as well as behaviors that can be translated to a human body easily and be unobtrusive (toe walking, perching on my chair, echolalia, allopreening by mostly having my husband touch my head, neck, or back in a way that simulates preening – he is also the only person allowed to do this as per the above territorial urges). There are other behaviors that are difficult to describe other than I’m seeing a human world through a raven’s mind. Capitalism and money is dumb. Coffee, chocolate, and human entertainment are cool.

Some of the more destructive urges that I’ve had, feather picking, scavenging, anting, and territorial urges, are things that I have had to work on and redirect. As a child I often picked at my sweaters but would get scolded which turned into me then picking at my hair, my face, my head, my ears – all trying to do it surreptitiously – and unfortunately for this one, the closest solution I’ve found that doesn’t destroy my clothing is to rely on other forms of stimming, my current favorite being drywashing my hands because then at least they are doing something.

Scavenging is easier to redirect to other things. I currently have a garden and I love scavenging through it for the dopamine rush of a pod of black eyed peas or a perfectly ripe tomato as well as for bugs to toss to the chickens. I also have scattered high value treats (chocolate eclair ice cream bars) in our freezer on occasion for when the scavenging urge gets really bad. Anting is one that I’ve not found a solution for but is also one that, in my human body, I know that I cannot do so I just resign myself to the mantra, you cannot ant. Instead, showers with a good pressure shower head are heavenly and if I had the choice, I would probably stay in them forever.

For territorial urges, I’ve found that it ties into what I consider my introverted nature. I do not like large crowds, I find I can be territorial over my home space, my husband, and also over food – while I do share, I don’t take kindly to folks helping themselves to my food without asking and the urge to squawk or peck bubbles up very quickly. Now some of this could also tie into my neurodivergence/suspected autism, however this is something that would cost a lot of money to finish the formal diagnosis I started in 2017 – which leads back to my previous statement of Capitalism is dumb.

Managing my instincts and behaviors with the raven side of my identity is surprisingly easy after years of learning to mask. I do have very strong parental instincts towards a lot of birds – eggs are both tasty food but also, at the right time, something I would want to try and incubate – and as a preteen I did try this once putting an egg in a sock drawer – I probably should have candled it first and was very lucky that it did not explode or rot when it became obvious that it wasn’t viable. I’ve been able to satisfy the parental urge by raising chickens. Even if they are not the same species, they help fulfill that parental instinct – especially because chickens are very, very easy to communicate with, being a domesticated animal. If you do not have access to keeping chickens, taking care of a plush bird or being able to volunteer at places that have birds helps in a pinch. Due to issues with behavior and problems inherent in the parrot trade, I don’t actually recommend parrots. I got lucky with my lineolated parakeet, but they are all still wild animals -which would be a whole other essay in and of itself.

I also can satisfy some of the cravings for odd animal parts that a scavenging bird would find very valuable, simply from purchasing the offal parts (hearts, livers, tongues, stomach) and cooking them up. As a raven, I would not have had a strong sense of taste and taste is what has gotten me into trouble as a human. Food is amazing and human cuisine is one of the species’ greatest inventions. Human jaws and teeth also mean that I can access bone marrow much easier. One craving that I have barely been able to satisfy, however, is the craving of a whole, raw egg. I blame Joanna from the movie The Rescuers Down Under for making raw, in the shell eggs look so delicious. I have not eaten a raw egg in this manner, but the urge is there quite often. This may actually be my most embarrassing and potentially harmful strong urge since salmonella is not a laughing matter. The best replacement I’ve found are Cadbury Creme Eggs but the flavor isn’t perfect and the shell is too thick.

Much like a raven, I do find that I enjoy collecting things that are otherwise useless to others. While rock collections are a common thing, and I’d love to one day categorize all of my rocks, things as seemingly insignificant as gravel have been a part of my rock collection. I remember being a child and bringing home handfuls of gravel that I had specifically sorted as being the best and prettiest gravel – with the occasional juniper berry or interesting seed hulls. This would have kept going had societal pressures not gotten in the way. (This is also something that will have to be discussed in a future essay about the gateway multiple system I am the core or host of.) Now that I am an adult, I still find myself grabbing interesting rocks that may not have any appeal to anyone else, along with the tops of acorns and interesting leaves.

As a raven, I do enjoy mimicking sounds and will do whatever I can to learn different bird calls, animal sounds, and on occasion try to match specific human voices (this latter one is more difficult unless I am singing). This could be tied to the echolalia from being on the spectrum, however it also does match with my raven-ness. The speed at which I have been able to match some calls gives me a lot of euphoria, with the one coming to mind the most being when I learned the vocalizations of condors and vultures in an evening in order to record them for the podcast I host with my husband. This alongside times when I’ve been able to have conversations with different backyard birds (as well as owls when I was just calling to a Great Horned Owl who was very confused when he saw me) provide an intense sense of species euphoria.

Now, when I’m talking about my experiences and shifts, I need to make clear that I always have some touch of one of these three kintypes/theriotypes/theropotypes going on. Usually it will go between either raven or ceratosaurus, which will be the next one I will be talking about, with regards to perspective and reactions to the world around me. My view of humanity can be confusing on occasion because some things about humanity are incredibly vexing while others make me fall in love with humanity more and more every day. As a raven, life around humans can superficially be the easiest, with more access to food and less predators – however individual humans can sometimes be cruel. On the same end, some humans can also be kind and ravens and crows have been shown to also recognize this – remembering and telling their friends and family about the humans who were kind as well as the humans who were cruel. When misanthropy shows up in the alterhuman community, it tends to trouble me because as a raven, I love humans for all of their perfections and imperfections.

Misanthropy doesn’t even occur to the next kintype. This is because this animal has been extinct for about one hundred forty million years and never saw humans in life.


The ceratosaurus kintype is one that I kept pushed down a long time, much like the third one I’ll be talking about, and the main reason is because of an issue that pops up in the alterhuman community over and over again. Grilling.

Grilling was possibly born out of a fear of role players, internet trolls, and physical shifting scammers who preyed on the dysphoric members of the community and on the younger members of the community (and often still do to a lesser degree). There was often an overcompensation to some degree where because of role players, the community felt it had to act harsher to vet newcomers, with strict and constant questioning and often the pushing out or disbelieving of polyweres/polytherians – those with more than one theriotype, fictionkin, and people with kintypes that were either not animals or not even living things – plants, objects, elementals, concepts, and others.

This is why I tried to ignore the ceratosaurus side for so long even though it was alongside raven as being one of the strongest self-images I had had for the longest time. Ceratosaurus may even have been the first one my brain said yeah, that’s me since I had seen ceratosaurus in dinosaur books before I saw accurate depictions of a raven (since most crows and ravens are colored like choughs instead in cartoons).

The ceratosaurus side has just as strong of phantom and mental shifts as the raven side but they are extremely different. The mental shifts as a ceratosaurus are, for lack of a better term, quieter, because they are what happens when you take a twenty-five foot long theropod dinosaur who had to hunt for their food as well as contend with much larger predators, and put it in the body of an animal that has most of their needs taken care of in one way or another. The ceratosaurus mind isn’t as worried about the stresses of human life that the human mind is – or even as worried as the raven mind that observes humans. The ceratosaurus mind knows that the problems that a human faces are stressful to the human, but the ceratosaurus also knows that it does not have to face down an allosaurus or hunt a stegosaurus for its next meal. The ceratosaurus can get annoyed, get angry, but isn’t as easily riled up as a human or raven mind when they’re experiencing life in the current era.

With the phantom shifts, this is similar to the shifts that I get with the raven, where I’m less experiencing a presence and more experiencing the absence of a tail, the absence of the lacrimal ridge and nasal crest, the absence of osteoderms, scales and large teeth … and oddly enough the absence of feathers which has not been proven in the fossil record for ceratosaurus. This was another thing that kept me from exploring this side of myself as it was something I could not prove. At one time in the therianthropy community, some of the grilling that I witnessed related to similar things such as Blue eyed, black furred wolves cannot exist and I internalized that to try and disprove the feelings that I was having, even calling the ceratosaurus shifts cameo shifts or a misinterpretation of my raven self adjusting to the human body. However, neither ravens nor humans are twenty five feet long.

The strangest shift that I get is a ceratosaurus is related to my size. I am about an average sized individual. When I’m raven minded, I do have a mild feeling of my body being too large for me – complete with clumsiness from trying to control my longer arms and legs, but with the ceratosaurus, I feel too small. I feel like I should be twenty five feet long and with my head about ten feet above the ground (without even getting started on the posture feeling all kinds of incorrect). The feeling is difficult to describe, since it is hard to describe feeling too large for your body. A lot of my experiences regarding ceratosaurus specifically are related to envisage shifts. I tend to see myself as one whenever I am not seeing myself as a raven or as the third identity I will get into later. On occasion, when I am further into this identity, I feel as if I am a ceratosaurus looking through the eyes of a raven that is looking through the eyes of a human.

Instincts when I’m feeling more like a ceratosaurus are not as overpowering, since life is relatively easy for me compared to life in the Jurassic. Any sort of hunting instincts are easily redirected with play or just imagining myself having a successful hunt. Fishing instincts are helped because of the use of tools like fishing rods – something that ceratosaurus brain is ecstatic over – and sometimes I can even direct those instincts into non-food or actual hunting activities, such as bird watching and photography or weeding the garden as I need to be focused and observant when doing these activities.

This leads into another interesting thing as a ceratosaurus. Ravens are omnivores, as are humans. Ceratosaurus was a carnivore and was not around human cultivated plants ever. As such, when I am in a ceratosaurus mindset, human food is the most amazing thing in the world. Carrots, tomatoes, garlic, watermelon, corn – none of these existed or would have been eaten by ceratosaurus and when I’m in a ceratosaurus mindset, I savor these flavors even more. The ceratosaurus is happy to be human. It is ecstatic because it has everything it could have wanted – minus the mammalian things that do still cause dysphoria in this mindset.

Now, a ceratosaurus and a raven are corporeal with specific sizes, specific awareness, and easily describable instincts and thoughts. The same cannot be said for the third identity that I will talk about. When you look behind the human mask, behind the raven mask, and behind the ceratosaurus mask, you will see something whose awareness is entirely alien because it may not even have been aware until it landed on the molten, early Earth.


So this one is the weird one and is one that I do not have a proper name for so I am going with The Stelliferoforme (from stelliferous – meaning having or abounding with stars and forme – from the latin form and greek morpha for bodily form, build) even though it’s not one hundred percent accurate but does work enough for the basic form of this identity, being created sometime during the early stelliferous period and being made of the material that makes up stars while also being something that originally was intended to create one (other terms I have played with are Star Soul, Atomic Soul, and Stardust-kin). This is what I feel is the original form of whatever makes up the experience that my soul/atoms/what have you has taken. This is the form prior to the other two forms and encompasses the forms that could be considered cameo shifts or past life shifts. Lives that were formative but didn’t shape my soul directly (such as lives trying out plants and deciding they needed to be more mobile or lives as mammals and their ancestors and deciding that mammalian life was not for them please and thank you). Shapes made by the dust or atoms that were forged in a nebula before the formation of earth – that feel so alien that it is hard to quantify because it is not life in the same way a human or a raven or a ceratosaurus would experience it as well as lives that did not form a part of my identity (much like how an experience of playing tag on the playground very much happened but it didn’t shape your life in the same way as getting cast in a school play for a child who developed a love of theater).

The Stelliferoforme is the first form, the dust and elements that may have formed a star that may or may not have died out – or may have sent jets of material out towards a newly forming solar system. Being a part of that material and joining the molten ball that was beginning to form and orbit Sol before colliding with another planet. Material that could have ended up on both the cooling planet and the newly formed moon (or may not have). Material that could have been among the material that was hit by an icy comet, struck by lightning, and started to form into the building blocks that would become life. This Stelliferoforme, paradoxically, does not long for the other stars. They are quite happy remaining on earth. Earth has been their home since the first time they gained what we would consider consciousness as life began to form. Earth was where they became aware. Earth is home.

The shifts for a Stelliferoforme are difficult to describe because a body is alien to it. When I try to focus on it and peel apart the layers, I find myself feeling as if I am the atoms of carbon, helium, hydrogen, etc but not knowing what they are called because stars and stardust don’t have the same names for themselves. The gasses in a Nebula don’t know they are called oxygen, hydrogen or helium. The specks of dust don’t know their atomic number. They barely know the form they take or will take and being in a contained physical body is incredibly alien. They feel too big and too small. They feel cramped and yet too free. Sensations are overwhelming and addicting all at once.

They know and don’t know so much. They don’t understand how light and color works and yet they have an intimate knowledge of it in a way that doesn’t make sense to an organic being’s brain. A mental shift as a Stelliferoforme is both incredibly quiet and overwhelmingly loud. The Stelliferroforme cannot do math, cannot sing, cannot talk and yet they have so much to say, the numbers pull to them even if they cannot understand them, and music is their language.

The experience of human life as a Stelliferoforme is one that puts context to what they are. They can look into books now and learn words that describe what they know and use other words to describe what isn’t written. They can experience sensations they would never have experienced if they had coalesced into a Proper Star as they had once been attempting to do. They could not create a star, a solar system, collapse into a black hole – maybe creating something new in it’s collapse – as a star would imagine their life cycle to be if they could imagine such a thing, but as a human, they can create a universe of their own – stories are one of the things that fascinates the Stelliferoforme the most because in creating stories, whole new universes are spawned with rules that reflect the mind of the creator.

The Stelliferoforme is compelled to create and experience because the material was there to form a star, to create a planetary system of their own, but the forces of gravity weren’t in their favor. In another universe, perhaps this material is currently a star in the same stages as our current sun – perhaps even part of a star system, with their own planetary bodies and asteroid belts, pulling comets into their orbits to create a fiery display in the skies of the planets that encircle it.

But they did not become a star and instead joined other bits of star material on the molten earth – and they like it better that way because they have had more varied experiences than they would have had as a star. Through landing on earth, they could experience consciousness, sentience … and sapience.

What’s in a name?

Labels in the alterhuman community have been a sticky subject for myself. I began in the community as otherkin first and foremost as that was the term I had been introduced to in high school. I should add that I had seen descriptions of therians and weres (more commonly weres) in the early 2000s but I was not active on the internet due to stranger danger fears. Otherkin worked for the most part until I discovered the therian/therianthrope label, which was what I threw myself into mostly (and in retrospect, this hindered my own personal development as therianthropy forums and websites had some cultures that did not quite mesh with my own gnosis and so in order to be a proper therian, I tried to fit the mold and over question myself, leading to a lot of confusion and identity issues that resolved when I took an unplanned hiatus in the mid to late 2010s to focus on attempting a teaching career (perhaps an essay on how underpaying and overworking teachers is what wass leading to the teacher shortages long before Covid is in order). During this time, I still was a raven. I still had dinosaur shifts that I was trying to explain away, and I still had that nebulous (pun intended) feeling of something else being there.

Rejoining the communities that have names that sound and like they would first on the surface but have their own history and very different definitions, i.e. starseed and celestials).

Perhaps the terms aren’t as important. If I say I am otherkin and list off my types, save for the stelliferoforme, anyone with a basic understanding has a bit of an idea about what I am. It’s not a perfect fit still, but it’s an entry point.

So what am I? Well, theropodanthrope is something I’ve toyed with but it doesn’t shorten to anything other than theropod and it is more derivative of what I used to call myself. It also leaves out the integral star part of myself – the stelliferoforme part of who I am. If I wanted to simply use raven-kin, ceratosaurus-kin, and Star Souled or spacekin, I could (and in fact Star Soul or stelliferoforme is a term to separate myself from other communities that have names that sound and like they would first on the surface but have their own history and very different definitions, i.e. starseed and celestials).

Perhaps the terms aren’t as important. If I say I am otherkin and list off my types, save for the stelliferoforme, anyone with a basic understanding has a bit of an idea about what I am. It’s not a perfect fit still, but it’s an entry point.

However, because of the way that the identities interact, perhaps stelliferoforme is the best name for the base identity – star stuff that has taken forms that have been the most impactful and shaped itself as such. A raven and ceratosaurus stelliferoforme.

The Whys of ilrak

So now that we have covered the three different aspects of my identity, we will talk about the whys. As I said, I am rather agnostic regarding my identity as if it turns out the cause is purely psychological, I am alright with that. If it turns out to be purely spiritual or metaphysical, that is also ok. It will just better explain why I am the way I am. I do prefer to lean into a metaphysical cause because psychologically, I have not found much to confirm exactly why I am a stelliferoforme, a ceratosaurus, or a raven. I can point to traits and say this is probably related to my autism but it doesn’t explain the absence/phantom shifts. This is when it is a little easier to try and look for a metaphysical cause.

In my own case, because of the nature of these identities and that without one another I would be hollow, I like to compare it to a nesting doll. In the center is the core identity. It was what first gained consciousness and is what the experiences are being built on with each life or iteration of life the cosmic material is experiencing. The Stelliferoforme is what is the smallest doll inside the nesting doll – or to use the mask analogy, is what is wearing all the masks. However, it is not something that experiences life in the same way as an organic being so it needs a filter to experience it.

The ceratosaurus is the next filter (and while, in a drawing I did, it is the larger of the dolls, the ceratosaurus is actually a filter or doll nested within the raven). This is a life or an experience that left such a mark on the Stelliferoforme that it formed part of the shape it preferred – bipedal, feathered, reptilian rather than mammalian – and this form persisted as a preferred form as long as it was extant. Were there other lives prior to this or after this but prior to a raven life? Absolutely, but they did not leave the same impact on the core identity. Life as an early mollusk was interesting but the oceans were scary. Life as an early tree was long and fascinating but movement was missed. Life as a Dimetrodon spelled the end of life in the mammal line (until human) simply because mammalian traits were a big NO to the stelliferoforme. Other archosaur lives before the evolution of ceratosaurus were close but not what the stelliferoforme enjoyed. Then along comes a dinosaur that is bipedal and enjoys being flamboyant and flashy – to the point where it is the theropod dinosaur most known for it’s crests and osteoderms, and it decides this is the form it prefers (until the form goes extinct and then it’s a scramble to hop from horned dinosaur to horned dinosaur in all available groups until the non-avian dinosaurs go extinct – which then leads to lives as birds).

The raven is the third filter and until this current life was the most recent filter. This is the filter that has been around since about the Miocene, enjoying lives as different types of ravens throughout the world (explaining why I identify with more than one species of raven), being curious about humans but not wanting to be one. Being a raven was comfortable and fun. It was a way to experience a new level of thought and ability and there was so much to experience even as a bird – but all things must come to an end.

The human part of this is going to be expanded upon in an essay regarding fictive that joined the system at the end of 2022, because if the metaphysical explanation of my alterhumanity is considered, then the choice that was made after my last raven life was a catalyst for a fork in the road and, much like with the possibility of different actions creating infinite universes, one universe split off where I decided to give the human thing a go while in this universe I dug my heels in and had to be pushed into a human life later than I was in the other universe. My personal belief is that, in being pushed to incarnate as human, I decided to try and get as many human experiences crammed into one life as possible to limit the amount of time I was in the strange mammal body. Perhaps this is why I so easily was converted to (read: scared into) Christianity – and why I have constantly been on the Medical Mystery Tour since childhood.

While experiencing dysphoria from being in a feminine, mammalian body is difficult and I find myself very mismatched in my body, I am glad that I ended up in the form that I did. It helped me meet the love of my lives and find someone who was on a similar wavelength as myself. This life has helped me find words to describe what and who I am and to write them down in case they help someone else on a similar journey. I would never have been able to have a somewhat concrete way of explaining this experience as a raven that I do as a human (ravens have not invented any easily translatable forms of passing on stories outside of oral tradition and until a raven to any human language dictionary is written, we won’t truly know the stories told around a carcass or to the hatchlings in the nest). I have discovered the joys of coffee, chocolate, and highly developed taste buds. Most importantly, I can be with the love of my lives who, if I had been a raven this go around, I would never have been able to be with him because humans and ravens are not romantically compatible (much less ceratosaurs or star material).

Though this doesn’t stop me from occasionally wanting to do a display dance for my husband that would look incredibly silly without feathers or crests. Maybe I can convince him we should be birds next time … or perhaps a binary star system.

In Conclusion …

Being a raven and ceratosaurus stelliferoforme is how I view the world and has shaped my life in ways that I still am trying to find the right words for. The more layers I pull back, the more it seems I need to find better words to describe them. I am star material that is wearing the masks from the forms that have most defined who I was and who I am currently and through those masks, I see and experience the world differently than others. I’m star material looking through the eyes of a ceratosaurus, who is looking through the eyes of a raven, who is now living out their life with a human mask. They are all as equally me as I am them. They are who I have always been and who I will be throughout the rest of my lives. These ephemeral and nonphysical identities influence me just as much as my physical ones. They intersect with my neurodivergence and my spirituality and are what have shaped who I am today. If it turns out that only one of the possible causes is correct, or that neither is, it will be alright because that doesn’t change who I am or the experiences that I’ve had.

The experiences as a raven and ceratosaurus stelliferoforme aren’t even the strangest I have lived through. They in fact have made me more open minded to others’ identities and experiences. In sharing my own experience with discovering and embracing who I am, I hope to maybe make the journey a little easier for the next alterhuman who is feeling alone in the community or who feels they have a weird kintype that they cannot easily describe and are worried they won’t be taken seriously.

The experiences as a raven and ceratosaurus stelliferoforme aren’t even the strangest I have lived through. They in fact have made me more open minded to others’ identities and experiences. In sharing my own experience with discovering and embracing who I am, I hope to maybe make the journey a little easier for the next alterhuman who is feeling alone in the community or who feels they have a weird kintype that they cannot easily describe and are worried they won’t be taken seriously.