It seems like the more vampire imagery I see, the less authentic modern vampires that I encounter.
When I first came to the GVC–within the context of my self-identification as an Energy Vampire/Psychic Vampire–I expected to eventually find myself in multiple groupings of like-minded individuals. Within these tribes, I expected to find friends and acquaintances who shared similar experiences and comparable circumstances. I assumed that the elders of the community would tell the stories of their lives, illustrating how to not only live comfortably, but also how to thrive as a vampiric human and spiritual being.
If I had never found the Vampire Community–I assume that I would have eventually found, carved out or stitched together my own personal community within the groups of magick or energy workers. I would have found kindred in the Fae Community or even within some of the Otherkin Community.
Apart from ever wanting to use the terminology of the Vampire Subculture…or ever being in love with the Vampire Archetype…OR being so in love with the Fictional Vampire that I neeeeeded to make it part of my personal narrative–quite a bit of my internal experience, perceived psychic experiences and perceived energy/spiritual reality matched up with the other metaphysicians who were self-identified Modern Vampires. I began to think of myself as a “Vampire” in the same way that my fellow metaphysically-oriented, self-identified Modern Vampires defined themselves, based on our common perceived paranormal experiences.
The working definition that I had for Spiritual/Psychic Vampires came from the people that first introduced me to the Community. Because of my desire to explain my experience, share stories and put together my personal understanding of my non-physical reality–it was important that I work with relatively firm definitions on what my like-minded/fellow/kindred are. Working with the looser definition of “Oh, you’re a Vampire if you feel like you’re one” didn’t work for what I needed to find (my truth) within the Community.
[Real Sangs, being born with particular conditions and needs to be met for functionality, seemed to be the physical parallel to the Energy Vampire–so, they were easy to relate to.]
I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point, I noticed that there was less focus on information sharing and talking about the personal experience that defined Modern Vampirism in the Online Vampire Community. Along the way, I have managed to pick up a few very wonderful friends that I am convinced are Real Modern Vampires–Psychic, Spiritual and Sanguinarian varieties–because of the stories that they share.
At the beginning of my stay in the Subculture, what I wanted was a sense of community, even if I didn’t consciously understand what that meant. As I look objectively at what people seem to need from the community, I now notice a bigger focus on the same emotional needs that can be applied to any social group, regardless of that social group’s main theme or defining characteristics.
People want to feel accepted, included, validated or made to feel special. These are very human needs–they are also needs that people erroneously rely on other people to give them, sometimes without even having clearly delineated the criteria for “making” us feel accepted, included or special.
Many online and in-person groups seem to be more fandoms than gatherings of Real Modern Vampires. Even if we do not need to discuss practices of modern vampirism every single moment of the day, it is valuable to know that when we do need to discuss it, that we have other people who can give us feedback because they have or have had similar experiences.
Even if they are not fandoms per se, some people join “vampire groups,” using the Vampire as a symbol almost like Satan is a symbol for some Satanists. These are people who do not quite fit in with the crowd–whether it is because they do not have the same mainstream interests or because they are the nerdy, strange or socially awkward. [Not to say that some of us Modern Vampires can’t also be nerdy, strange or socially awkward.]
At any rate, I am not disillusioned with the GVC/OVC as a whole. It is my working assumption that this is how it has always been–a small number of Modern Vampires swimming in a sea of the misidentified or outright role-playing. I perceive myself as a Real Modern Vampire navigating through this amorphous Subculture. I know that I am not the first and I assume that I will not be the last.
There are Community Elders, seasoned veterans who are way more relaxed than the rest of us, because they understand that it isn’t worth it to get all riled up over every little discussion or argument that pops up. They stick to their corners, their houses or websites and don’t worry so much about being active in the larger online or in-person community.
They live their lives, communicating with those who visit their neck of the woods. Having large numbers in our groups isn’t nearly as important as maintaining contact with those who share the same vampiric experience. It is not as important to be going around in circles with those that are trying to prove that they deserve the label of “Vampire.”