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A noema (plural noemata, IPA: /noʊˈiːmə/, /noʊˈeɪmə/)[1] is knowledge about one's kintype, hearttype, or other alterhuman identity. A noema is intrinsic knowledge and, as such, knowledge that has been learned through external sources, such as books, films, and games, are not noemata. Noemata may include memories, things one experiences as memories but which are not believed to be real memories, gut feelings, and general knowledge about the looks, life, or habits of one's alterhuman identity. Noemata may have a psychological or spiritual basis, may be a mix of the two, or may have unknown origins.[2]

Etymology & History[edit | edit source]

Noema derives from the Ancient Greek νόημα (nóēma), meaning "concept," "idea," "perception," "thought," or "mental object."[1][3]

The word was first appropriated for use in alterhuman discussions by Poppy Hapalopus, who decided to use it because of it's relative obscurity and lack of use, as well as the irrelevancy of the origin of the concepts, ideas, and mental objects described by "noema."[4] Hapalopus originally used to word as an alternative to 'memory' in discussions of psychological otherkin who had memory-like experiences,[2] but has since clarified that the word is not exclusive to otherkin and that it does not only apply to memory-like experiences.[5]

Hapalopus additionally coined a verb to describe gaining noemata, "pericall," which plays a similar role to "recall," but without necessarily being past tense. In other words, while a memory is recalled, a noema is pericalled.[6]

Experiences[edit | edit source]

There are numerous ways to experience noemata. Key to the experience, though, is that it is irrelevant whether a noema is objectively, verifiably real. Instead, what matters is that the noema is experienced as real. In other words, a noema is judged purely on how the subject experiences it, rather than on the subject's ability to explain where it came from.[7]

Though the origin of a noema does not affect its validity, its origin may still be relevant to the person experiencing it. Some psychological otherkin express a sense of freedom to explore their identity due to the experience-focused, origins-irrelevant nature of noemata.[7][8]


"If a person builds a set of beliefs or even an entire worldview based on a fabricated memory, that memory is very real in the sense that it shaped someone’s personal understanding of the world. If that person takes observable actions based on the memory and the chain of thoughts following it - for example by sharing their beliefs, learning a skill or making a career choice - the memory has a real, tangible effect on the world." https://aestherians.tumblr.com/post/186591323279/a-dragons-journal-zutiefst-bewegt

"Memories aren’t like a video recording of events. They are a cluster of sensory details, expectations, emotions, and narrative. So there isn’t that big a difference, psychologically and neurologically speaking, between experienced memories and constructed ones, since real memories are constructed too. In the real world we can ‘catch’ false memories by comparing them to direct physical and recorded evidence, and the (also flawed) memories of other people. But that’s much more complicated/even impossible when it comes to past life and other-universe memories." https://aestherians.tumblr.com/post/186817641927/about-that-spiritual-kin-thing-what-if-someone

"There’s never a way to fully determine whether it’s something that has actually happened or it’s imaginary. When you’re a psychological fictionkin, it gets a little easier. You know it’s 'imaginary’. So, does this make everything that feels vaguely memory-y a noema? I don’t think that’s the case. Noemata are still supposed to surface from the subconcious. Wishful thinking doesn’t stem from the subconcious." "Noemata that are actively decided on or unfluenced by recent events, to me, hold less weight to my identity. I don’t know about other people, but I’d personally rather dismiss a potentially fake noema than accept it, or at the very least not share it with others. I see a lot of people share their memories; if not to find canonmates, then to stir up conversation. The more memories you have, the more there is to talk about, so this might make it an attractive option to accept potentially false memories. If I do this with a noema I’m not fully sure about, I feel like a liar to others and to myself." https://aestherians.tumblr.com/post/188073458549/noematamemories-and-wishful-thinking



"The way I felt my noemata was like… a psychological/emotional game of hot and cold. I had an internal reaction to pictures and videos of canines, but this reaction varied widely in strength based on the features. Triangular ears felt more “right” than droopy ones." https://aestherians.tumblr.com/post/636554586070646784/30daytheri-11-noemata

"If it makes me feel icky or weird to consciously change it, it’s more likely to be a noema than a headcanon." https://aestherians.tumblr.com/post/693661419006197761/how-would-you-differentiate-memoriesnoemata-from

Theories[edit | edit source]

"Episodic memory is how you remember specific events, like your high school graduation or what happened when you went to go see Frozen in theaters. Semantic memory is how you remember facts/concepts/etc. about things, like a formula for math class or the name of your professor. Procedural memory is usually way less conscious than either of those, and is how you remember how to do a task, like how to get dressed or how to make a sandwich." https://aestherians.tumblr.com/post/635469186515206144/what-are-kin-memories-i-know-what-they-are-in

"But how can a Snufkin– or someone who may be of any character/species ID– tell their possible noemata apart from some other similar non-noemata thing?  When I come to a “headcanon” or “interpretation” of something from fiction, it often feels like a process of going “Hey, it’d be cool or interesting if…” or “It could make sense that…” and then pondering and scanning canon material to possibly back it up so that it can sound legit enough to not ping as OOC to an onlooker (at least if I explain it, depending).  Ponder any of these long enough, and they can wind up “feeling right”, in a way, even if I took an active role in figuring out how they might work and know they may not be truly canon." https://aestherians.tumblr.com/post/693669936444375040/if-you-may-have-a-fictotype-how-do-you-tell-your

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wiktionary (n.d.) "Noema"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Poppy Hapalopus (June 18th 2021) "Noemata: Background, definition, and use"
  3. Nicholas Bunnin and Jiyuan Yu (2004) "The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy" p. 473
  4. Poppy Hapalopus (January 8th 2019) "Proposed words to replace 'memory' in discussions of non-incarnated kintypes"
  5. Poppy Hapalopus (February 20th 2020) "I realized some people have misunderstood what noema/noemata means"
  6. Poppy Hapalopus (April 21st 2021) "Word proposal: Pericall"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Poppy Hapalopus (August 15th 2021) "Choice or Chance? Exploring voluntarity and categorization in the otherkin and therian communities"
  8. Anton (October 1st 2019) "Noemata/Memories and wishful thinking"