Yes, I’m obviously new here.
I know that I’ve been warned not to try to invent the wheel. In all fairness, this might have been done before, in some form or another. But, I haven’t tried it….so maybe I need the experience of attempting it. I might not be able to revise very much or create anything new…. but, maybe some benefit will come to me in my personal growth from trying and I’ll have something different to offer to my people at the end of the experiment.
There. That’s my official disclaimer.
There seems to be constant discord in the Vampire Community. Part of that might be because of the identification that some members have with the image of the aggressive Fictitious Vampire, that creature of folktales and modern literature. The movie and television Vampire. Some members come in to the world of their personal experience with needing to feed on blood or energy. These new members might not have any other references for their personal behavior, by the time that they find the GVC. For whatever their physical or energetic needs are, they take on as many characteristics of the Fictitious Vampire, simply because there is no other reference. By the time they find the social groups and formal covens of the Community, there seems to be very little incentive for the majority of new Vampires to contribute anything useful to the community, at whole.
There is little to no reference to Modern Living Vampires as cooperative, social creatures. The popular references that we have are that of the Vampire being independent, rebellious and subject to no one. This is not the “community”-oriented type, but our Community is full of people who, on some level, identify with this sort of autonomy. We have relatively few members who come in with the intention of contributing to others. Many more members come in with the unspoken (and often subconscious) idea that they must prove themselves as superior to the weaker of the tribe.
So, here is the problem–we have members of the Vampire Community, who THINK that they need to be loners, rebels and superiors within a social structure. Most of these people also NEED to be part of a Community, for whatever reason….sometimes, if only because we are social creatures. Without any role or function to aspire to, many of these members are often floundering, not able to fulfill their social needs and not contributing to the health and growth of the Community, at large.
In the Pagan Community, we also have our mix of personalities, some of which can also be very abrasive. However, what saves many individuals within the Pagan Community is that there is an emphasis on personal goals within our many spiritual traditions. While there can still be conflict between members within the smaller or larger groups, what sometimes helps is that some of the better covens emphasis working on personal projects–whether this is becoming an adept at one of the metaphysical skills or gaining a title or ranking within a group or tradition.
I have wondered at times, if we were to emphasize personal goals in the Vampire Community, if that will help focus some members. While it might not work for all, it could make a difference to some of our people….and eventually, every little bit of effort benefits the Community, as a whole.
As it stands, we use some titles for some of our more respected or seasoned members. However, in my estimation, being considered a Patriarch, Matriarch or Elder of some sort is still too vague, by community definitions . One option is to create a system–even if this is only a small dictum of reference. Over time, others will naturally make modifications to this code of reference, each new system having its own name. These systems can simply be a small group’s interpretation or an individual author’s statement of definitions–each with some catchy title and cool terms. The fact that this might be a new structure (and not some ancient one) is irrelevant, if it is adopted and used to shape community individuals in positive ways. We can eventually have multiple systems of these functions and roles….when, used as references and guides for BEHAVIOR within the community, these can help shape focus and attention, and make for more proactive members.
Depending on the structures of individual covens and traditions of the Pagan Community, individuals might feel driven to master as much technique as they can and/or become an expert in a particular area of information. Ego might drive behavior, but there is a prevalent encouragement towards personal development. It could direct and guide some members of the Vampire Community if we placed an importance on becoming Educators of sorts, perhaps even outlining the various areas of information that are relevant to the members of the GVC.
Personally, I place a high value in being able to direct others to useful resources for their type, even if I am not of the same Kin. We can talk about being Educators in the practical aspects of Sanguine Feeding practices, Energy Feeding practices or other special conditions that affect our psychological and physical health as Modern Living Vampires.
We can also talk about the other possible functions within any community group that make for smoother function in that social group. We can emphasize the need for mediators. Also, since most of the chaos within groups come from sensitive and hypersensitive members, we can emphasize the importance of having people who are sorts of informal Counselors, who help empower members not to take other people so seriously and point out how we can not take things so personally by building up personal strength through emotional healing.
Perhaps, if we had more formal instruction for members of the Vampire Community, where we encouraged our people to take on specific roles and trained them for those roles, we might have more productive….or at the very least, more peaceful community interactions.