From Otherkin Wiki
The symbol for archetropy

An archetrope is an identity based on an archetype, trope or other role which is commonly present in literature and mythology. Examples of this include things like pirates, nobles, clowns, and rangers. This identity has a pervasive effect on the person who experiences it, and can be related to their personality, career, gender or personal values and beliefs. It is one example of an alterhuman identity which is not (necessarily) based in nonhumanity, however some people do see their nonhumanity through an archetropal lens.

Experiences[edit | edit source]

Having an archetrope has been compared to having an interpersonal role such as "partner" or "teacher".[1] However, the roles which archetropers take on are not recognized as normal social roles by modern human society. People may also identify as nonhuman in an archetropal sense.[2][3] The experience of an archetrope often encompasses many different aspects of a person's selfhood, including their morals, values, personality traits, career and hobbies, presentation and aesthetic preferences.[1][4]

Archetropers do not typically make distinctions between origin or voluntaryness in their identities.[5] Often, this is because the identity is informed by a combination of innate feelings, life experiences and deliberate choices.[6] Some people may feel that they have always possessed certain traits; choosing an archetype is a way of codifying that experience and providing a focus for self-actualization.[1][4] Archetropers may also choose to embrace an archetype already that applies to them, such as Azure's identification as a pastor's queer kid.[7]

Since archetypes are larger than life, archetropers may feel that they cannot live up to their identity completely. Instead, they may aspire to more fully embody their archetype and make decisions in line with this goal.[8]

History & etymology[edit | edit source]

Archetypal identities have been recognized in some form in the otherkin community since its inception. The Silver Elves describe 'rangerkind' as a type of fae in their book Elves, Faeries, Fae and Otherkin Tribes: More Descriptions of Otherworldly Folk.[9] Isolated discussions about them and a need for terminology have occurred throughout the community's history.[4] In 2017, Humble Cicero proposed 'tropetype' for a similar concept in the Alt+H Discord server, seeking to define an experience of feeling kin to all characters which embody a certain trope.[10]

In mid-2021, the topic was raised in a number of posts and forum threads in quick succession. This prompted The Corvidae Collective to create a thread on the Nonhuman National Park forum asking for feedback on developing more specific terminology and defnitions for the concept.[11] The word initially proposed was 'archarakin', however another user, Vyt, expressed that the -kin suffix was ill-fitting.[6] The Dragonheart Collective revealed that they had previously experimented with coining a word for a similar concept and came up with 'archetrope'[12] - a term which other participants in the thread unanimously agreed to adopt.

A formal coining post, including a symbol and a flag, was posted to tumblr on July 9th, 2021.[5]

Vyt later used the terms paratrope to describe a similar trope or archetype to one's own and pararchetrope for a character who embodies one's archetype. They then proposed the term exemplar in place of pararchetrope for easier pronunciation.[13]

Flag & symbol[edit | edit source]

A symbol and flag were also developed in the term's coining thread. Vyt proposed a symbol made of two droplet shapes, one solid and one outline, with roots emerging from the bottom. The droplets represent both seeds and fire; the former refers to the prototypical nature of the archetype, and the latter invoke the idea of storytelling, as if around a campfire. The second shape as an outline of the first represents a shadow, representing one's personal experience paralleling that of the archetype, and the archetype as 'silhouette' - two-dimensional, but iconic.[14]

The archetrope flag

The Dragonheart Collective and The Corvidae Collective then produced a flag incorporating the symbol. It features rays of color emanating from the center-top of the field in cyan, blue, magenta, red, yellow, green, and black.[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Vyt. (May 27th, 2021) "Archetypes"
  2. Goratrix (goratrix-betrayed). (August 13th, 2023) "Stepping Into the Dragon’s Clawprints"
  3. Jude (knifedog-machina). (March 4th, 2024) "Dogs As Narrative, Through The Lens Of Abuse Recovery"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 mordecai midas. (May 2021) "an untitled essay about archetypal identities"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Corvidae Collective. (July 9th, 2021) "archetrope"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Vyt. (June 18th, 2021) "Re: Term Coining Drafts (Thoughts?)"
  7. Azure. (November 2023) "I had heard the word "archetrope"..."
  8. Vyt. (August 11, 2023) "Archetropy"
  9. The Silver Elves. (March 30th, 2020) "Elves, Faeries, Fae and Otherkin Tribes: More Descriptions of Otherworldly Folk"
  10. mordecai midas. "words coined in the alt+h discord server"
  11. The Corvidae Collective. (June 18th, 2021) "Term Coining Drafts (Thoughts?)"
  12. The Dragonheart Collective. (June 18th, 2021) "Gonna second what other people said ..." Comment on "Term Coining Drafts (Thoughts?)".
  13. Vyt. "Pararchetrope -> Exemplar"
  14. Vyt. (June 19th, 2021) "Ok, I got inspired to try my hand at creating a symbol for Achetropity." Comment on "Term Coining Drafts (Thoughts?)".