How long have I been here, anyway?
I considered looking up old posts, trying to figure out how long I’ve been involved with the online Vampire Community. That was before I decided that it didn’t really matter at this point, anyway. What matters most is how I feel about being part of the GVC, right now. I wanted to reflect on my present experience, my place in and my future intentions towards the Community, at large.
When I first entered the GVC, it felt more like I was thrown in. I didn’t relate to “being a Vampire”. I didn’t have the desire to prove I was a Vampire to anyone or fit in with the other members of the Vampire Community. It was more that some of my friends and associates in the Pagan Community pointed out that I am a sort of Vampire. From some of the definitions that were presented to me, I had to agree. The description of a Vampire (as a human creature that feeds on blood or energy) or Psychic/Energy Vampire (a human creature that specifically needs to feed on particular types of energy for health and well-being) seemed to fit. These descriptions filled in the holes in my spiritual understanding.
I wasn’t introduced gradually to the online Vampire Community, as much as I was just added to various groups by my friends from the Pagan Community. Personally, I was thrown into the ongoing conversations and eventually became familiar with the various definitions and understandings of the VC, as I went along. At first, I was under the umbrella agreement that all Vampires are the same….that we are all the same type of spiritual/psychic creature, and that we can feed on any kind of energy. At first, it didn’t make sense to separate ourselves by any further delineation or definition.
This made sense to me, in part, because I like the idea of common ground–unity and the harmony of being the same kind of creature. I was a bit confused that not everyone in the community had the same attitude. This wasn’t actually that huge of a shock, when I realized that the same thing happens in the Pagan Community. In person, our local pagans never reached that ideal of community unity, no matter how much we talked about it. We pretty much just stay in our covens, our cliques, our smaller meeting groups. We change out friends, associates and coven members, every so often. Start up new groups, classes, circles, meetings on a regular basis. That just seems to be human nature. The larger the group, the less likely that everyone is going to agree or get along with each other.
There are many reasons that some us feel like we can’t get along with others in groups. These are pretty much the same reasons why we can’t get along with everyone, everyday in our mundane lives. Socially awkward people, loners and highly unusual people might have even more trouble getting along with others around them. I once read an article that basically said that nerds and other socially awkward people are often drawn to the occult and the paranormal. Either way we look at it, it might be the case for some members of our fringe communities. Either we are attracted to exploring and identifying with the unusual, because we are socially awkward….or we tend to be socially awkward, when we realize that we are not like all of the other humans. I don’t have a problem with finding out that one, the other or (to some degree) that both are true.
I can’t say that everyone in the Pagan communities has my exact ideals or similar life references that they draw upon. Even in my local Witchcraft Community, I found that I didn’t quite agree with everyone. The way that I see it–as a spiritual servant of the Goddess, I believe that my spiritual growth is served by constantly referring back to Spirit as my source. That personal evolution, for me, means that I control my emotional body–that I fill myself with the Love, Peace and Joy of the Gods. My working belief is that I will eventually become completely harmless to the creatures around me, because I am not holding them responsible for my self-fulfillment or emotional satisfaction.
Keeping that in mind, I have learned to equate personal evolution with self-fulfillment, becoming harmless, knowing that the reactions of others is not needed for self-fulfillment. These are the ideals that I keep coming back to, as often as I can remind myself of them. Part of my ongoing spiritual growth is that I recognize how quickly I return to my reference points.
My mistake when coming into the Pagan/Magickal Community is that I assumed that every other magician had the same understanding, the same approach and the same goal and viewpoint. Even if someone practices magick, metaphysics or some techniques of spirituality….there is no guarantee that they want to make their emotional bodies self-reliant or wish to become harmless to everyone around themselves. Many people still hold others responsible for their irritation, joys, happiness and unhappiness….because that is what is normal. That is standard for how people relate to each other in the world.
I was brought over into the GVC by Dual Feeders/Hybrids, that also practiced magickal LHP and Grey Witchcraft. I automatically adopted their viewpoints concerning the nature of Vampires. We were all supposed to be Dual Feeders/Multi-Feeders/Universal Feeders and all vampires were magickal or energy workers. This group of people was my “gateway group”, so I didn’t find any reason to think that the GVC was any other way.
I came in from the Pagan Community. I had somewhat of a voice in my local metaphysical community. I had somewhat of a voice in my witchy online groups. I was comfortable stating my opinions, outlooks and sharing my interpretations. Perhaps because I came in through my Vampire/Pagan groups, I assumed that all of the GVC was run the same way that the Pagan Community was run.
My current interpretation is that they are not. The structure of the Pagan Community and the Vampire Community are very different.
There are many traditions and pathways of Magick and Paganism. While there are some mystically-oriented who see spiritual evolution as the goal, point and mission of existence….there are many who do not. There are many Witches and Pagans who are basically materialist in their lifestyle–or who might think in metaphysical terms, but be very victim-oriented and negative in their way of viewing the world. We tend to see community support in terms of teaching magickal techniques, sharing standard pagan holiday information and pointing out resources for more formal ceremonial structure. There are some in the Pagan Community who believe that one is “born a Witch” or born to a particular pathway (justifying that belief with past-life memories)…a strong feeling/intuition/conviction that they “should be” or “are” a particular type of Witch…or have noticed particular magickal or psychic phenomena without having “practiced” or read about it, first.
However, for the most part, many Pagans see paganism, witchcraft and the occult traditions as a conscious choice….essentially optional pathways that we follow out of our free will. They are the equivalent to religions. Optional. We can practice, not practice, deviate and come back to the magickal traditions. For those that subscribe to these philosophies, it is often more comfortable to follow them than not….but, they are a set of beliefs that we adopt and adapt and express. Free will and conscious choice for most of us thinking-types of magicians and pagans.
It’s a little trickier for Modern Living Vampires. Lifestylers and Role Players aside, the interpretation for Vampirism is a little different. Sanguines and Psychic Vampires come to their self-identification, through a different line of discovery. In my case, it was more that I came to see myself as a Psychic Feeder by default. How I understand myself as a Psychic Vampire is that I had an energy deficiency that was alleviated strongly by feeding on human vital energy, in a way that non-human vital energy could never nourish me. As a magician and an energy worker, I’ve had plenty of experience working with non-human sources of prana. Nothing else has had the same effect on my system as human-generated ambient energy– whether that was generated by a crowd, human psychic generators that seem to have an abundance of psy/vital lifeforce, or a lover. Personally, thinking of myself as a “Psy Vamp” (“Vampire” and every other definition of any other applicable term) has tied up the loose strings in my understanding of what is my personal energetic/metaphysical history. I can see where others of a metaphysical background could come to a similar understanding of a Psychic Vampire, through the terminology and concepts of energy workers. This is not a choice of practice, per se. This is more of an understanding of the pre-existing condition of one’s energy body and consequentially, a set of necessary and automatic behaviors….decided on (pre-birth) for one’s incarnation.
Likewise, a Sanguine Vampire differs from a Blood Magician in that the latter makes use of blood for practices that are completely optional. A Sanguine Vampire needs to ingest blood for purposes of health on one level or another and suffers detriment if they do not ingest. This is equivalent to the non-vampiric need of any human to ingest animal or plant matter (physical food), in order to sustain a physical body. Again, more than likely this is one of those conditions of physical existence that is agreed upon (pre-birth) for one’s incarnation.
[Depending on one’s understanding, there is also another interpretation of the Vampire as more of a spiritually oriented creature who takes in blood/energy not so much for health, but as a sort of spiritual fuel to enhance one’s personal growth and evolution. I haven’t intellectually explored this interpretation, yet, but there seems to be the instinct to feed one’s energy bodies on a regular basis….a sort of “hunger” on another level.]
In Paganism, there might be some traditions which can be traced back through actual history. But, for the most part, eclecticism allows the individual to put together the elements that speak to them personally. Because everything is up for grabs, there is little to no universal emphasis on a centralized history. Each tradition or coven might have their own history, but as a Community, we don’t emphasis one over another. In the Vampire Culture, there is more of a reference to modern history (the roots of the modern subculture) and a secondary history of the Vampire as a mythological creature of folk tales and stories. Many rationally-oriented members of the GVC recognize that the Historical Vampire could be a mix of the exaggerated accounts of real vampirism and completely fictionalized stories, representing the acts of the Blood or Prana Feeder through symbolism.
The modern Vampire Community is not that old. There are still current members who were the original founders, part of the Community as it came to be. It is entirely reasonable that these elders could think of or feel of the GVC as “theirs”, since they remember how the community was formed with all of its issues and ideals. It is entirely reasonable that these elders remember how it has been shaped, grown, gotten sick and healed. They were there at its creation. It is something very alive for them. To these members, the GVC might feel like it’s own Living Being, because they saw it at its birth.
Anyone who was not there from the inception of the Modern Vampire Community, might come in with a completely different attitude and reference points. Although the GVC is not literally a physical being, anyone who watched it form could (on a symbolic level) relate to it as a child of some sort. A baby. They experienced when it was something new. The elders, the founding members existed before the GVC did. Watching something be created, be born and grow….gives someone a different relational point. There was nurturing, caring and investment put into it’s existence. The elders are the parents, aunts and uncles of the GVC. Being more experienced, simply by having more time awakened than the new and newly awakened members, the elder members also take the place of the parents and grandparents to the new generations of vampires and GVC newbies.
New members, the newly awakened have come into the GVC as already a pre-existing entity. There are elders in place, whether or not they present themselves as such. Relationally, the new members are children in a sense….some of us well-behaved and polite, some of us demanding and needy. When I came into the Pagan Community, specifically through the Goddess path of Feri Witchcraft, it was clear that (in the Pagan Community) we were to be guided….apprenticeship was not only part of , but expected in many traditions. The concept of working under an elder or looking to Pagan elders for clues seemed to be built into the very structure of the Pagan Community.
While we might be given advice on practical methods of feeding in the GVC, the concept of apprenticeship is not so emphasized in the Vampire Community. Mentor/student relationships are formed, but it doesn’t seem to be the standard as much as it is for the Pagan Community. Part of that might be because we are taught “how to be” Witches, Mages or Pagans…..whereas Living Vampires are born–we don’t need to be taught “how to be” something that we already are.
There might be value in teaching more than the basics of feeding techniques. Let’s be honest. Most of us are not taught how to be social creatures–some of us get it, some of us don’t. There might be some value in being taught how to “community” in the GVC. Most newbies come in with this unspoken fantasy of becoming a respected (sometimes, feared) member, without any concrete idea of what that really means or how to do so. Maybe if we teach each other how not only to conduct ourselves outwardly, but also how to deal with the internal that affects how we externally behave….we might have smoother interactions than what we have been having to date.