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Otherkin Plurality: Systems, Soulbonds, Fictives and Thoughtforms

Otherkin Plurality: Systems, Soulbonds, Fictives and Thoughtforms

As written by Lexidius “BlackStatic” Storm, October 2020

Plurality: An Overview

Plurality – also known as multiplicity – is when a person may experience altered states of consciousness that are distinctly different from each other, as though the individual has several separate identities. Individuals who experience plurality, usually referred to as “plurals”, may feel as though they are sharing their head with several other alters, or “headmates”, each of which has their own personality with separate likes, dislikes and personal interests. If these identities choose not to integrate into a singular person or “singlet”, they will often learn to co-exist as a “system” with designated roles that each identity takes (eg. “protector” and “original”), though not all systems choose to take up these roles. In some instances of plurality, these systems are less like fully separate individuals and more like fragments or “facets” branching off of a singular “core” identity. This is known as “median” plurality.

Psychological Plurality and Trauma Systems: Dissociative Identity Disorder

Medically speaking, plurality is commonly described as a symptom of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and regularly diagnosed as such. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) describes DID as a “disruption of identity characterized by two or more distinct personality states, which may be described in some cultures as an experience of possession”, and is generally considered to be a result of trauma. However, not all plurals with DID or schizophrenia consider their headmates and/or internal voices to be a result of trauma, nor does a diagnosis of DID and/or schizophrenia mean that the diagnosed individual will experience plurality.

While some headmates are created in childhood by traumatic events, others may come into existence through different means. A child who has experienced social neglect or difficulty making friends in their upbringing may turn to an imaginary friend as a source of comfort and, over time, this character may evolve to develop its own self awareness as a distinct identity separate from the original person.

In some instances, a person experiencing dysphoria about their body image or gender may create an alternate version of his or herself in their desired form. The headmate may live an entirely separate internal life within the plural’s “headworld” or “innerworld”, as their desired gender or species. This may be seen as a coping mechanism for the plural, regardless of whether or not this was a conscious decision.

For more information on Dissociative Identity Disorder and its sub-types, OSDD and DDNOS, check out the information published on

Thoughtforms and Daemonism: Induced Plurality

These headmates are ones that are consciously brought into existence by an individual and are the product of the creator’s own efforts to induce plurality. Based on an ancient Tibetan practice where a thoughtform or “tulpa” would be conjured into existence through meditation, modern variations of this practice involve the intentional creation of a thoughtform that the individual can converse and interact with as the thoughtform gains its own sentience and self awareness.

A similar version of this practice known as “daemonism” was inspired by the series His Dark Materials, where author Phillip Pullman created a universe populated by “daemons” – a person’s inner self manifested in animal form. Through self analysis and meditation, an individual practising daemonism undergoes a process of “form finding” to discover their inner animal and learn to converse with this daemon as if it were a separate entity living alongside them.

Metaphysical and Spiritual Plurality: Soulbonds, Walk-ins and Multiverse Theory

While modern psychology can be used to explain most cases of plurality, there are also instances where a system may attribute their origins to spiritual or metaphysical phenomenon, either partially or in full. This type of plurality is based on the belief that headmates were acquired through esoteric means, such as reincarnation or connecting to “soul fragments” of former and/or parallel lives.

When a spiritual headmate chooses to reside permanently within the plural system’s headworld, they are referred to as a “walk-in”; someone who “walked in” from elsewhere and decided to stay. In contrast to this, a “soulbond” usually refers to an entity living outside of the system in his or her own universe, communicating with the “soulbonder” through metaphysical means like a psychic telephone. An example of a soulbond would be a writer “channeling” the protagonist of their story, who tells the author about the universe that they reside in. Some soulbonds may choose to become walk-ins and join the soulbonder’s system.

A quick disclaimer on System Hopping and Introjects

When an individual claims that a headmate is able to leave their headworld and enter the mind of another person, this is referred to as “system hopping”. The credibility of system hopping is a heavily debated topic amongst the plural community, as many individuals have used this terminology as a means to manipulate and abuse other systems. As there is little proof of system hopping being plausible, many people choose to believe that system hopping is not possible.

What is possible, however, is the formation of an “introject”; a system member may find that their identity is heavily based upon another person – be they living or fictional – and come to believe that they are a direct copy of that person. An example of an introject could be a protector headmate that has based their identity on a beloved teacher, parent or fictional character from childhood. When an introject is based on a real person they are referred to as a “factive”, as opposed to a “fictive” based on a fictional character.

It is important to note that fictive and factive as terms are used exclusively for plurals. The singular forms of these identities, as they relate to non-plurals and singlets, are “fictionkin” and “factkin” respectively. A fictive within a system may choose to identity as fictionkin, but a singlet who calls his or herself a fictionkin cannot also label themselves as a fictive.