Last week, I had a very pleasant exchange with a young lady who was researching the Vampire Community, for a paper she was writing. I thought carefully about my responses to her questions. I wanted to be as helpful to her as possible. Even while I was trying to give her my perception and answers as accurately as possible, a part of me imagined the various perceptions that the many members of the Community would offer. While I was sharing my experience and my interpretation, I made it clear that my views were not universally shared. That while I came to my own frame of references, there were still a variety of others in the community.
According to my understanding, Psychic Vampirism can be explained as a set of conditions which someone incarnates into this physical reality with. Our language for describing this condition is rooted in our worldview of the metaphysical interpretation of reality. While energy leeching, energy manipulation and draining can definitely be practiced by any human being–the metaphysically-oriented acknowledge that some of us were born to be energy vampires for whatever pre-determined reasons. One school of thought is that some of us had agreed to be incarnated as such psychic/spiritual creatures, just as some of us agreed to be incarnated with clairvoyant senses fully functioning or with the intuitive understanding of how to use particular spiritual skills. Any and all of this, as opposed to having to learn how to develop these skills in a conscious, intellectual manner.
[On the note of Sanguinism, the metaphysical thinker might view that physically-oriented condition as more of a special dietary need, much like some bodies simply run better on certain diets. (Then, we have the members of the Vampire Community who do not interpret either type of Vampirism through the lens of metaphysics…but, instead opt for a more materialistic or hybrid interpretation of sanguinism.)]
To the more serious seekers of truth, Real Modern Vampires (…and our friends and donors within the subculture…) see modern vampirism as based on the need to feed. Either general type of Vampire will find detriment when they do not feed on a regular basis and will experience observable benefit when they do feed.
Accurate, practical information is vital to the continued health/healing of the Modern Vampire. On the practical level, a healthy Modern Vampire is a positive, contributing member to their immediate social circle. Any healthy being brings in benefit to their family unit, circle of friends and everyone that they touch in daily life. An unhealthy Modern Vampire can range from being a negative influence on an energetic or emotional level to acting out physically, because of unstable or poor health.
Modern Vampires, who are new to the Community, should not come in expecting to immediately meet up with well-informed, helpful members of the Community. Because we have no way of policing the behaviors and mental health of our loosely-knit subculture, there is no presiding council or set of rules which govern our members. While one would love to believe that the Vampire Community is as well organized as the Vampire hierarchies that we might find in fiction and media….and that every Modern Vampire is as worldly, educated and mystical as the vampires of storybooks and movies….
No. Just, no.
The problem that newcomers have is that they can be very much in need of information….so in a sense, it is fair to consider them ignorant or innocent…whichever you prefer. Sometimes, this need for information might translate into a desperate hope that they will immediately meet with a well-informed vampire…and therefore, there is sometimes an immediate trust in the first members that they meet. There is sometimes the assumption that they will be immediately educated and enlightened by these new-found “authorities and experts” on any and all subjects.
There is an illogical trust and immediate validation granted to other members of the VC because they might very well be well-spoken, familiar with the topic at hand, part of any online group, and/or part of an in-person organization (House, Coven). Sometimes, because the new member NEEDS to believe that they have finally found someone who can help them, they immediately project the illusion of all of this wisdom into the vampires that they meet.
Perhaps, as responsible guides (and unofficial mentors) in the VC, we seasoned members might be of service to continuously demystify the community, by emphasizing that the new members come in with as conscious an agenda as possible. I realize that this might take out some (or all) of the romanticism that the dark art- and vampire mystique- groups find so vital. However, there are some of us who have put ourselves into the Vampire Community to find and share that practical information that would be most helpful to those authentic kindred who would benefit from knowing it.
As a psychic and a magician, I almost cringe when I hear people say that they hope to “learn whatever they can,” without having a clear direction about what they hope to find. This might seem to be the most diplomatic and open way of approaching information–perhaps there is the implication that they will not prejudge or filter anything that comes in. With this attitude, they might expect that they will not miss out on any unexpected pearls of wisdom.
As a magician, the problem that I have with this attitude is that by not choosing a focus, the newcomer is open to mass amounts of useless information which will not only distract from practical help, but which might also help reinforce others’ delusions. A Real Modern Vampire needs to know how to function in a practical and healthy way in their world, not fill up their time with fashion advice or role play.
As an adjunct to that, we need to acknowledge that Real Modern Vampires are still very much real humans with a variety of real personalities. While there might be tendencies towards particular strengths within ourselves, we metaphysicians need to emphasize that Energy and Blood Feeders are still in need of practical psychological and emotional health. Although this concept is debatable, in my opinion, it is not required that we come into the Vampire Community, posing as calm and collected and as innately mature as the Fictional Vampire of myth and legend.
Modern Vampires are still human, and still have the same emotional issues as our non-vampiric counterparts. We need to be careful that we are not trying to fill our emotional voids with elders, houses or any other elements of the Vampire Subculture. We are still dealing with people–a variety of people…who while they might have valuable, practical and inspiring information to share…also, might be acting out of their personality flaws and needs, just like the rest of humanity does.
So, keep in mind that while the next Modern Vampire might seem to know things…that is not the same as actually offering anything useful. While the next Modern Vampire might have a group/House/Coven, it means only that they have a group of people….it says nothing about their character, personality or level of wisdom. Do not confuse time and conversation for emotional fulfillment and knowledge.
When you come to the Vampire Community, bring in that bag or container of salt and take a grain with each interaction you engage in. At the very least, you can make a circle of salt to keep the ghoulies out of your personal space or scatter a handful, so you can run while the monsters are counting the grains of salt.
Kidding. Just kidding.