There’s recently been another announcement of the newest summit/conference to address the “detrimental leaders” of the GVC.
This reminds me of going door to door preaching the gospel or giving unsolicited advice. It’s a lot of the same lip service, nothing new, nothing changes–but, all the people preaching feel like they should get credit for their effort.
Here’s a couple of reasons why doing the same things the leaders have talked about and tried before won’t eliminate the chaos we’ve always seemed to have–First, we have no real consequences for people who upset or offend any of our members. Banishment only makes a member of the Vampire Community a modern day villain. While some of the offending members might not like being cut off from some groups or areas–online or in-person–others enjoy their status as a Vampire Community villain, in line with the villainy of The Fictional Vampire in mythology and literature.
They are ostracized even by the outcasts–there might even be a sort of specialness in accomplishing that. (So bad, even the Vampires don’t want them.)
Without naming any names, I am aware of quite a few figures of the GVC who have a lot of advisories and warnings posted against them…and who still enjoy having friends, followers, fans and groups that they can interact with. “Community-wide bans” just mean that they are ostracized by those groups that agree to that ban. There is no way to enforce this as an absolute, in all areas that we might designate as part of the Community.
We have no centralized government, we do not have any ruling body. No thousand-year-old Leaders or super powerful Vampires that anyone has to pledge allegiance or follow or answer to. Rebels, radicals, scoundrels and morons only have to follow any group rules when they are trying to retain the grace of said House/Coven/group to stay in that organization. Trolls are going to continue trolling because there really is no consequence other than being booted from SOME of our groups.
One of the problems that we have in the GVC is that not everyone has the same centralized goal, ideal, vision or mission. What is the best that we can call our Community “goal?” To get along, peacefully? Towards what end? The motivation that any one of us has for working towards a group’s common goals is the personal payoff–even if that payoff is the idea that something is “the right thing to do.”
Online and in-person, we have our mix of personalities. Regardless of whether or not we are talking about actual blood and energy feeders–we have some personalities who don’t feel as strong a desire for peaceful cooperation with others…as much as conflict with others (or control of others) feels more natural to them. I have not seen any widespread practical conversation about how to work in cooperation with others for common or group goals. The best we have is that a coven will hold up their in-house rules and enforce them. Members who do not follow the rules are outed from that group.
Any and all general online interaction and all outside-of-house, in-person interaction falls outside of the danger of punishment of removal from a house. There is no consequence for bad behavior outside of in-House activities and presence. “Banishment” is a weak punishment and certainly not a deterrent. Villains make their own houses.
What can we do beyond what we’re already doing and have already done? We already post community wide warnings. We are already on each other’s numerous blacklists. We already refer to rules and codes and regulations–and those might vary greatly from House to House. Perhaps we are already doing whatever can possibly be done to keep damage and danger to the minimum.
Law enforcement does not actually get rid of all criminal activity. People are bad. They do bad things. They break laws and push their luck. We won’t be able to get rid of uncooperative behavior in the GVC. Maybe, it is more realistic to realize that we need to keep bad behavior down to a minimum, at all times. And that’s what we are doing by training and teaching the newbies and students that come into our houses and groups.
Perhaps we can’t do anything to those people outside of our individual Houses…or collectives–neither teach nor control their behavior. Maybe it would be more productive to focus on those that we can teach and mold into productive members of our Community. Focus on the positive things we can control and enhance.
The common interpretation of the Psychic Vampire (in the Modern Vampire Subculture) is someone that needs to take in external human-sourced vital energy to maintain their personal health. The justification for this process can range from the Psychic Vampire having a faulty energy system to simply not being able to generate enough personal energy to maintain personal health.
In this model, one might view the Psychic Vampire as being in a state of unhealth or illness. However, within the same model of “eating for health,” it could also be argued that all humans take energy from external resources for a variety of reasons. And judging Psychic Vampires for taking in larger amounts from other humans is arbitrary, judgemental and hypocritical–in light of humans taking energy from other life forms (including humans) and also consuming animal flesh without permission.
On that note, unawakened Psychic Vampires could arguably not be aware of any psychic, astral or etheric levels of reality…but still auto-feed or intuitively feed (and not possess the language to explain or understand it). At base level, a Psychic Vampire could have a passing understanding of the metaphysics involved, but function at the level of “feed to live” or “feed for health”—meaning that they are perfectly satisfied with not expanding beyond the functional level of psychic vampirism or the need to understand metaphysics beyond a very base level.
On the other hand, we have those who perceive the Modern Vampire as a more evolved psychic and spiritual being. To them, this creature does not “eat for health” to affect the physical, etheric or emotional bodies. To the more spiritual interpretation of the Modern Vampire, it is the NATURE of the Modern Vampire to take in blood and/or energy–but, not necessarily because of the need to maintain physical health.
The Modern Vampire As A Spiritual Creature takes in blood and/or vital energy and energetically transforms it into higher spiritual energy. This spiritual energy is then used to help the Vampire open up to newer levels of personal spiritual understanding or evolution. This is comparable to the psychic process of transforming sacral/sexual energy and cycling it up for the higher spiritual centers to use–transforming base energy into spiritual energy.
[Here, we are exploring the use of energy by the metaphysically-oriented Vampires. Treatment of blood-only Sangs and Med Sangs is not covered in this discussion, as they are analyzed outside of the realm of metaphysical interpretation. Spiritual Sanguinism, as it is the metaphysical perception of blood-ingestion, is included–but, only when the Modern Vampire uses the metaphysical interpretation of Modern Vampirism…not the materialist interpretation of the blood-only Sanguinism. Also, we are excluding those energy workers who have no need/detriment associated with vampiric feeding, but still practice predatory energy feeding for magickal use.]
When comparing Obligate Feeders against the idea of the Modern Vampire as a Spiritual Being–the main difference is that an Obligate Feeder needs to feed in order to maintain minimal basic physical health; whereas the Modern Vampire as a Spiritual Being does not need to feed to maintain basic physical health, but instead is driven to feed as part of their nature….and transforms that energy into spiritual fuel for personal evolution.
From personal observation, the Modern Vampires who perceive themselves as Obligate Feeders seem to outnumber those of us who perceive that they are born Vampiric Spiritual Beings. It might be the more popular stance for the Obligate Feeders to defend that they are working at an energy deficit or are somehow irrevocably damaged in their energy systems, so that their main focus NEEDS to be on feeding–THEREFORE, also holding the idea that all of that vital energy must go towards maintaining that physical system that will never be healed, healthy or self-reliant.
From a metaphysical standpoint, is this accurate? Are there some energy systems that are and must stay in this “unhealable” state for the entirety of one’s current personal physical incarnation?
Metaphysicians and magicians aim for the perfect state of wholeness, while acknowledging and working through the human limitations that temporarily keep them from realizing that state of perfection. Arguably, we can consider the need to feed on other’s vital energies as comparable to an allergy or need to take a particular supplement, because the physical body doesn’t process it very well. A sort of “special diet” on a non-physical level.
Within the framework of Metaphysical philosophy, an illness or some other peculiarity can SOMETIMES be seen to be caused by the need for a lesson of some sort–perhaps there is something to be learned directly by said conditions or the conditions create some secondary effect that wouldn’t be present, otherwise. [Possible questions to ask yourself as a Modern Vampire are–What are the benefits to me being a Modern Vampire? What am I doing as a Vampire that I would not do if I were not a Vampire? Who else am I benefitting by being a Vampire? Which positive actions am I contributing as a Vampire?]
Seeing the Energy Vampire as an Obligate Feeder only, infers that there is little to no interest in spiritual evolution–or perhaps there is nothing more than being a psychic entity who just ingests (takes). If this is the case, working within this framework, I advise making sure that the particular causation for the particular energy vampirism is not fixable. If it turns out that it is a case of Temporary Vampirism because of an energy body issue [leak, damage, deficiency, etc.], exhaust all healing possibilities through exploring every aspect of energy healing that is available. Engage in every modality that you can practice. Receive every healing treatment that is available, within financial capability.
If, after every healing system has been exhausted, then it might be practical to assume that the vampiric condition exists at a level that is non-negotiable for the soul’s purpose or growth….and needs to keep in place for deeper reasons in the Vampire’s current incarnation.
On the other hand, we have those of us who perceive vampirism not as the need to take in external energy for physical health, but as the tendency to take in external energy for the purposes of converting it into a sort of psychic and spiritual energy for the higher centers. This more Spiritual version of a Vampire does not suffer from a hunger per se, but instead finds it more comparable to a “drive” or “instinct” to take in energy in order to transform it.
Here is where we have yet another difference of opinion. There are some Obligate Feeders who insist that it is the need to consume that defines them as Modern Vampires. The need to feed (for actual health or sense of wellness) makes their vampirism a non-negotiable part of their being. Because it is not so much a necessity to feed for vitality or health, some Obligate Vampires view the Spiritual Vampire as not having a necessity to engage in energy vampirism, in the first place–and therefore, vampirism is not being a necessary part of the latter group’s system. Because it seems to be more optional, some critics see the Spiritual Vampire as something more of a non-vampiric energy worker, able to drop the practice of energy work because it is not a driving necessity for health.
In other words, it might be seen as more of a learned and optional practice that is applied consciously, not an instinctive/inherent part of one’s self–in the case of the Spiritual Vampire.
Arguably, one of the biggest clues that one is an Obligate Energy Vampire is that one auto-feeds. Usually, the evidence for this is that others visibly react to the Energy Vampire’s auto-feed or will remark on it, if they are energetically aware enough to sense it.
In the case of one being the more “spiritual” version of the Vampire, it is not that one is experiencing a physical or energy deficit that prompts one to feed. It is more of a matter that after feeding [ambient, touch, eros or blood], one instinctively transforms that energy and immediately finds their consciousness propelling into higher intuitive and psychic realms of consciousness. The more spiritual version of the Vampire tends to shift their consciousness into higher realms, using the fuel of other’s energy to propel them. We can think of this process as something comparable to raising energy from non-human sources to fuel a spell or some other act of magick…taking energy from an external source to manifest a result or shift circumstances, in some way.
Regardless of which appeared first in history or which was first labeled a “Vampire,” we have two types of psychic/energetic creatures which appear in the GVC. One which feeds on other human-based sources to supplement one’s physical/etheric well-being. [In a way, this is comparable to the physical ingestion of animals or plant matter–eating for health.] The other psychic creature feeds on human-based energy sources to fuel one’s spiritual propulsion….in a way which is comparable to magicians pulling on external energy sources to fuel magick or manifestation.
My immediate response to determining whether one belongs to one group, the other or neither is basically the same that I have in determining other qualities or classifications in the metaphysical realm. I question whether some concept can possibly apply to me by exploring its potential applications retroactively. [Of course keeping in mind that false memory and the presumptive search factor of the brain could be fabricating evidence, based on how I pose any questions in meditation.]
From there, I explore the possibilities that the categorization in mind might not be the best explanation after all–and explore alternative explanations, as well as entertaining the possibility that I could be completely mistaken, misidentifying or trying to “stack the evidence” to make myself “fit into the category.”
In the context of my personal spiritual evolution, I take particular categories of such spiritual classifications and work with them to see if they add value to my life as a spiritual being. Being an energy vampire can be seen as classifying one’s energy system in a particular way, so that we can then work with it in a more conscious manner. This can be compared to classifying one’s self as a clairvoyant, clairsentient, psychic generator or such. Any concept which helps one focus on energetic tendencies and needs of a particular energetic or psychic type, in order to keep healthy and balanced.
That aside, is it possible to be both “types” of psychic/energetic creatures? Both “types” of Vampires? Is it possible to be one, then be the other? Arguably, it would be possible to grow out of being an Obligate Feeder, if one’s energy vampirism is temporary. If one’s causation for energy vampirism is healed or alleviated, then obligatory feeding can cease. Within the principles of metaphysical healing, this is not unheard of. Rather than a more straightforward repair of energetic structure [damaged chakra, meridian or energy body], it could be a karmic reason for energy vampirism that is finally relieved.
Just as with any and all illnesses and conditions viewed through the metaphysical lens, there is probably not a singular cause for energy vampirism which accounts for all Energy Vampires. I am merely bringing up the possibility that this might be the case in some instances. On the note of raising one’s consciousness, it is a working concept in metaphysics that the more that one works with higher Divine energies, healing can occur as a side-effect of dwelling in and channeling the more positive vibrations.
In the case of Energy Vampirism being a temporary vampirism, it is possible because of the higher spiritual work of the Vampire that enough of the right kinds of energy come in and heal any temporary vampirism. In this scenario, the activities of the more Spiritual Vampirism heals obligatory temporary vampirism. Just some food for thought.
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.”
My working definition of Modern Vampires are those people who experience observable benefits from ingesting blood (physical level) or energy (metaphysical level) and/or experience detriments from not ingesting blood or energy on a regular basis. There are those people who do ingest blood or energy from other humans without experiencing any observable benefits and do not experience any observable detriment when they withhold from ingesting blood or energy.
Within the Vampire Community, Role Players are literally those that LARP or otherwise play at being a modern vampire. As an extension of this definition, “role player” is also used to designate those people that claim to be modern vampires, but are deluded or mistaken in their self -diagnosis or self-identification. Meaning, there are people who do drink blood, but who do not receive any physical benefits from it. There might also be those people who metaphysically draw on other people’s energy systems, but do not have the need to do so and/or do not process this consumed energy in any way which benefits their system. Then, of course, there are those role players who just talk about performing either form of feeding, but do not actually even go through the basic motions of either form.
At one point, I assumed that just by pointing out how role playing interferes with clear and precise data collection and information sharing….that would be enough to deter non-vampires from playing the part. I assumed that once role players understood that their pretending interfered with our information exchange, the respectful thing to do would be to stay within clearly-delineated areas of roleplay which would not interfere with our discussion groups.
The easiest excuse for justifying role players continuing to interact with actual modern vampires is that some role players assume that we are ALL role playing or otherwise deluded. There is not any physical test using technology to measure the clear-cut validity of either blood or energy vampirism. Self-perception of modern vampirism is based on a complex thought process–in the case of sanguine vampirism, it is an extended observation of how blood affects the physical system, whether in consumption or in the absence of consumption. This includes abstinence, as well as the substitution of other substances. In the case of energy vampirism, the observation is based on metaphysical theory, including the validity of non-physical sensing. A decent metaphysician will refine one’s observation process, including experimentation on ingestion of non-human energies.
The main difference between someone who thinks of themselves as a Metaphysician and someone who does not self-identify as such is that Metaphysicians strive to be conscious of the process of cause and effect, within the framework of metaphysical principles and concepts. Even though non-metaphysicians are not working with the terminology, Metaphysicians recognize the same energetic and mental-level processes manifesting with the non-metaphysicians. Magick and metaphysics is the study and conscious application of the processes that happen on energetic and non-physical levels in the manifest world.
In the case of Role Players–some of them are haphazardly deriving secondary benefits from the role playing, itself. Ritual drama, thoughtform-assumption and god-assumption involve consciously taking on the energies of a chosen archetype and the characteristics associated with that image. For the magician, it is a conscious attempt to “become” that archetype on a psychological level to a certain degree, to mentally tap into the characteristics attributed to the archetype–and therefore, make an identification with those traits.
[“Vampires are powerful. I am a Vampire. Therefore, I am powerful.”]
When Role Players pretend, depending on how much they “believe” or do whatever it takes to make themselves believable to any outside audience, there might be that possible mental shift in which energy is invested into that personal identification with the Vampire archetype. In the process of role playing, the Role Player might mentally shift into the strong conviction that they are the Fictional Vampire, however they might conceptualize that figure. Depending on how strongly they identify as that figure, their psyche might take on the characteristics of that–strong, stately, powerful, unstoppable, mystical, confident…the specifics being personal to the Role Player’s interpretation.
This might be a developed thoughtform, depending on how much the Role Player has fleshed out the backstory and description of their vampire character. At any rate, taking on the persona of their Fictional Vampire might allow the Role Player to take on personality traits that they might not access in their day-to-day life.
This is partially what makes acting, impersonation…even such role play as found in Ren Faires and LARPing….very attractive. This process allows one to mentally and energetically shift into personality traits at least temporarily, as a sort of relief from everyday life. At very best, with enough practice, this will make those desirable personality traits easier to access in the normal day…in real-life scenarios, away from play-acting and role playing.
There are benefits to Role Playing, if performed with conscious direction. Even if performed haphazardly, some benefits might manifest. As someone who is invested in information exchange, the only thing I ask for is precise categorization of experience.
–by guest writer, Anslee
“Language is difficult. It’s especially more difficult when we place more importance on labels instead of explanations, and even worse when some labels have expectations to fit a certain status quo.
In the Greater Vampire Community, we often tire of this argument or that. The flavor of the week is fought tooth and nail because our experiences shape our reality, our identity.
If we ever wish to truly “bridge the gap,” it will require some much needed research and understanding, instead of furthering a divide between the camps as is the case currently, to be quite honest, almost any and every year I decide to check in.
For a moment, think about aspects of the VC that grinds your gears. Think about the “Others” that you dislike, because maybe they are representing a version of vampirism that doesn’t fit with you. Maybe they did something, or said something that sounds wrong to how you would have described it.
Some of the most common gripes amongst the blood drinking varieties, for example, are about tropes such as, “I feed for energy;” “I feel high after feeding;” “It feels electric.” These statements are often seen as misrepresentative at best, and plainly delusional at worst.
But could our real problem be that we lack the information on what is going on, and people are just using the words they understand to describe their experience?
I wonder if even those who are vehemently against using such statements actually may experience something similar, but describe their own experience in a different sets of words and therefore thought to be experiencing something entirely different, or unrelated to those “others.” How can one who feels high from drinking blood sit in any sort of spot in reality? They’re just turned on by it, or addicted, right?
Well, first and foremost: no one truly knows the entire be-all end-all of what constitutes as “vampirism.” It could be multifaceted and remain so unless or until one understands it in more than one way. Who am I to say that it is only physical or only metaphysical for one person or another? My own opinion of how reality works doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, and neither does yours. Allegory of the Cave, anyone?
The fact is that we do experience things, they are actually experienced with our available senses, and those experiences are valid whether we think they are “logical” or not. We may not always understand how we or anyone else experiences everything, but the way we describe these experiences and our own understanding of them is very important to how our experiences are perceived by others… how dare you describe something in a way that makes sense to you!
We have to remember that even in the most similar of people, there will always be differences. If you go looking for differences, you will find them.
Where does that leave us now? In the near future I hope for more compassion, and more listening. More leaving our shoes at the door, and becoming an active participant to a way of understanding where people are coming from instead of just jumping to conclusions and enabling a game of disparagement.”
Anslee is a writer and member of The GVC.
I just got a prompt from Lady CG on the topic of boundaries in the Vampire Community. The angles and concepts started dancing in my head. Where do I start?
Let me begin by sharing that I have a panic and anxiety disorder. People who are prone to these disorders are also more prone to boundary issues. Perhaps I should start there.
What are boundaries, anyway? Can we think of them as areas of discussion that we feel uncomfortable addressing or even listening to? What happens when someone oversteps the boundaries that anxious people have?
We’re dealing with a lot of grey area when we deal with the concepts of boundaries as a whole. We have social boundaries that are commonly represented (protected) by the laws and regulations of the areas that we live in–we cannot perform particular acts because they violate the rights of others. (No hitting, touching or otherwise physically invading another person’s territory, body or belongings.)
Then, we have those social rules that are more specific to one’s group membership. We know better than to use profanity in church, use racial slurs against other ethnicities, use homophobic language against queer-identified people…
As if that wasn’t enough to keep track of, many people tend to dismiss that some of us have more complicated systems of association between our ideas. Whereas some people are more neutral and do not have physical/emotional reactions tied into many conceptual or verbal triggers, there are some people who definitely do.
The reactive [hypersensitive, sensitive] members of society might be so because of depression, anxiety or a whole host of other mental or emotional conditions. Those of us who suffer from, deal with or have this type of wiring need to take a bit more care in navigating through the world–especially through some fringe subcultures like the Vampire Community.
While those who have anxiety disorders are not the same all across the board, we do have general similarities…even while we vary in what actually activates our anxiety and to which degree the symptoms are experienced. When those of us with anxiety are exploring the Vampire Community, we might do it in a different way than do those who do not experience anxiety to our level or degree.
One of the primary reasons for being part of the Vampire Community is to find reliable resources of information. When navigating through the online groups, it is pretty much a definite that we will come across individuals who are less than helpful, if not downright antagonistic.
Ideally, someone would just sift through the bad information, until they found material which is not only useful and practical, but enhances the individual vampire’s life in some way or another. Unfortunately, when we have anxiety, coming up against abrasive personalities activates our systems to the point that we cannot focus or discern what is useful information.
There are those people who say that when sifting through the internet and the online parts of the Vampire Community, that we should take everything with a grain of salt and just keep plodding along. We have to expect negative individuals and occasional negative interactions, just because it is the nature of the world to encounter these things.
This would be sound advice if the nervous systems of the anxious weren’t so uncomfortably and automatically reactive. Speaking for myself, as soon as my anxiety is triggered, there are physical, emotional and mental processes which make it impossible for me to stay open to any incoming information or interactions, at that point of my anxiety being activated.
In big letters–WHILE ANXIOUS PEOPLE SHOULD STILL KEEP WORKING ON EMOTIONAL HEALING, MAINTENANCE, AND GROWING OUT OF THEIR CONDITIONS TO THE DEGREE WHICH THEY ARE ABLE TO IN THIS LIFETIME…WE SHOULD ALSO DISCERN WHAT IS NOT UNREASONABLE BEHAVIOR IN OTHERS [I.E., WHAT IS ACTUALLY NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OR FAULT OF OTHERS, WHEN WE EXPERIENCE ANXIETY]…AND ALSO NOT BE UNREASONABLE IN PUSHING PAST CURRENT (AND HOPEFULLY, TEMPORARILY) LIMITATIONS, SO THAT WE CAN BE AS FUNCTIONAL, AS IS CURRENTLY POSSIBLE IN EACH MOMENT.
The stance that some members have in the Community [and in other information/learning groups] is that we should not block other members, because we might be missing out on possible information that they might have to share. At the very least, we can have healthy debate or a personal challenge to our beliefs, when we meet up with contrary opinions.
Depending on individual triggers, an anxious person will often shut down or overreact during interactions–and at that point, the receptivity to information flow will also shut down. To some of us in the information-sharing aspects of the VC, it is the open flow of information which is the most important. Included in this concept, the receptivity of the student (listener) is an important factor.
The anxious member of the VC should be aware of what their personal limitations are, even while they are working on healing them or moving past them. If the anxious vampire is constantly reacting to an abrasive individual, regardless of whichever techniques they keep applying, it would be better to block the abrasive individual to cut down on the triggers that interrupt the information flow.
In my humble opinion, information is found in various channels–groups and people. There are often other individuals who may share the same information as the person who is being blocked. At any rate, if an anxiety sufferer is constantly being triggered [because they have not worked out of particular anxiety-triggers], the information is incapable of being absorbed, regardless of how long or how often they “sit in” with that would-be teacher.
Anxiety sufferers have a different way of interacting with the world. We need to adjust accordingly in the VC, so that we can be as productive as possible. This might include blocking or avoiding specific individuals, so that we can continue to learn and interact with the general populace in as positive and productive way as we can.
Because I am a magician, metaphysician and an energy worker–I tend to use those models when I consider aspects within vampirism and how they all come together in the Vampire Subculture. I often find it helpful to explore the concepts and analogies found within the Magicians Communities and apply them to the Vampire Subculture–
Keeping in mind that spirituality is not the same as magick, I’ve found that I’ve strayed away from a lot of witchcraft and pagan groups that tend to focus on rituals and spellworking [practical magick] as opposed to activities that affect the personal evolution of consciousness and perception. Low Magick vs. High Magick.
When I was new to the Pagan Community, I had very strong ideas about what “real” or authentic Witches were. I was biased towards particular traditions, beliefs and practices being true Witchcraft. I had an emotional investment in the “other” traditions and practitioners NOT being authentic Witches, because I was the one REALLY practicing real Witchcraft.
As time went along, I realized that it didn’t matter how “authentic” any tradition was or how accurately some tradition was reconstructed from the “original” version. It was more a matter of my personal journey. For myself, my criteria for the usefulness of techniques and practices was based on the value of bringing me more peace, more silence, and the sense of spiritual connection. And in the calm, if I can bring more love and joy into my awareness, then the practice has value to me. In the silence, if I can relax into that feeling of expansion or connectedness/oneness, then the practice is something that I am going to keep and repeat. I might explore a particular tradition only for the purposes of cultivating its practical parts for my own private routines.
As I’ve evolved my personal practices, I’ve left behind some techniques that no longer fulfilled my needs. I wouldn’t say that I’ve “outgrown” them so much, because I wouldn’t want to imply that they are basic or inferior to where I am now. As a child, I needed clothes in children’s sizes and my dietary needs (and tastes) were very different from what they are now. I’m not better because my clothes are bigger or because my menu has changed. I just need a different “fit.”
I’ve noticed that many magickal practitioners forget about grounding, centering and cleansing–almost as if they are basic-level techniques meant to be replaced or left behind, at some point. Some seem to think that when you no longer use “basic” techniques, it means that you are obviously at an advanced level.
When I speak to someone within the Pagan, Witchcraft or Magickal Communities, I like to gauge where they are coming from. Rather than show off what I know (or think I know), I think it is more useful to realize what it is that they can RELATE TO on an intellectual level. While I might think a single-focused Eastern meditation might be a great solution for me, if I were in a similar situation to whatever it we happen to be discussing–someone who is just starting to perform grounding and working with the elements might not relate to a more Eastern-style of focusing on the emanations of Divine Energy. Also, if someone has been practicing spirit evocation from Bardon’s work or summoning Goetic Spirits, my suggestion of astral projection to the Faery Queen’s realm might not ring as effective as a working method for them.
Simply put–the effectiveness of a technique or information relates to the degree to which we can relate to or identify with that information on a personal level. Universal truth, historical accuracy or group agreement means very little to nothing, if the observer cannot relate to the information in a personal way.
Efficacy of any new techniques or information might not have as much to do with the source of the information as much as how well it fits into the Magician’s framework of reference. In the Spirit Model of magick, there is the working assumption that all of the entities that we work with have an existence that is independent and predates the life of the summoner. This is one of the models of magick that makes sense to me.
However, there is also the Psychological Model of Magick. The basic idea echoes the concept that the world of experience (the world of the senses) is a reflection of the internally held thoughts, feelings and convictions of the observer. The magician uses the ideas of gods, spirits and entities in symbolic ways…while the mage goes through the motions of ritual action, it is meant to move the internal psychological aspects that are symbolized by the mythology and the archetypes found within sorcery.
[Sharing my personal filter is important, so that others can understand where I am coming from and what my choices in perception are based in. Personally, I am not so convinced that practices in metaphysical, magickal or spiritual activities is based on a continuum. From my perspective, the human personality/experience is based on necessary limitation–filtering out awareness and identification with omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence in order to be able to identify with human likes, wants, preference and seeming obstacles. The pathway to enlightenment is not formulaic…an exact pathway with the same guidelines, guideposts or process for everyone. While systems of magick might have traditions that are standard, enlightenment is something almost accidental…it happens when one creates the conditions most conducive for the event, but not on anything resembling a set schedule.]
Although it is popular to believe that we are on a continuum throughout our series of lifetimes–that each life holds learning that is accumulative over the reincarnation of the soul, a Zen moment would release the individual consciousness from the limitations of the human personality. There might not be “stages” in the necessary sense, like school grades that we have to pass through. Awareness of the intellectual/philosophical “place” where an individual is at might be necessary to see what they can relate to at any given moment.
Even though I enjoy systems of magick and metaphysics, I am very aware that the conditions for enlightenment (spirituality) could as easily be found in a ritual meditation or in contemplating the beauty of my morning coffee. So, following that mindset, I interact with others depending on what I perceive their framework to be, at that moment. Again, I wouldn’t say that I see people on a continuum. An individual could be practicing a particular religion their entire life, but still not clearly identify with Divine Love, even at the end of their life. Whereas someone might be more eclectic and because they have spent more time contemplating Divine Love through various images from many different cultures, they might end their life having touched much higher spiritual planes.
I enjoy earth magick. I love the physical tools of candles, stones crystals, ritual oils and all the arts and crafts of modern magick. However, while I enjoy spellcrafting and everyday, practical magick…I am aware that it is not the same as spirituality, including evolution of spiritual awareness.
Not everyone online or in real life has an interest in personal and spiritual evolution. Some of us only have an interest in occasional spellcrafting for practical purposes, to move objects and events in our everyday lives. I will not criticize or disparage that. I have my moments when I do the same. So, when I am offering magickal/metaphysical information, I will gauge which framework the individual is currently working with and hopefully offer them the most liberating technique, tool or piece of information that I can give them…depending on how I intuitively discern their most immediate need.
Translating all of this to the Vampire Subculture–we have so many perceptions of what vampirism is…but, because I identify with metaphysics as the principle part of my framework, I will be addressing Energy Vampirism, more specifically. (Respectfully, leaving the subject of sanguinism to others, at this point.)
Among the many variations, we have obligate vampirism on the level of nourishment-only. We have some feeders who are primarily concerned with feeding for purposes of health, only. There is very little concern for any other application beyond the basic health level. That, or the vampire’s more spiritual metaphysical interests are independent of one’s energy vampirism.
There are some energy feeders who will go through their entire lives, feeding and being aware of their self-identification as a vampire as an occasional mental reference or superficial-level reference in group settings.
To give a context to my personal identification as a Vampire–I have my ideas about what is historically accurate and what I consider real vampirism. However, I am also aware of what the many other definitions of vampirism and Real Living Vampires are, as they are considered by the many members of the GVC. Personally, I don’t care where the original “vampire” came from–whether it was a creature of mythos that energy feeders and/or blood feeders LATER became associated with…OR if it was the exaggerated/poetic retellings of actual feeders that became the mythology. From my perspective, we are gathered under the umbrella of “Vampire” right here, right now as the loose subculture that we currently experience. Whether or not there was a “true Vampire” at some point in history, I am looking at practical energy feeders and spiritually-oriented energy feeders as two distinct psychic creatures, identified by their natural tendencies. As naturally occurring as clairvoyants or other types of magickally-tended creatures.
Some Vampires are very metaphysically-oriented and spiritually-propelled. They are intuitively geared to keep expanding and climbing in terms of consciousness. Their spirituality is tied into their concepts of vampirism.
However, there are also some feeders who are geared to remain in the more practical, nourishment-only-focused aspects of vampirism. For whatever reasons, their emotional and mental bodies are set up with so many justifications to stay focused on nourishment-only vampirism because it makes sense for their personality in this particular lifetime. Not everyone is meant to become enlightened at the same time as everyone else in the same particular lifetime. Just as with other lifetimes, the individual has chosen (or is “meant” to, according the individual soul’s purpose) to focus on a particular limitation or focus in terms of life’s passion or obstacles. There might be value for some of us staying nourish-only in our lifetimes.
There might be secondary value or reasoning to NOT being spiritually-oriented that will be personally revealed at a later time.
When talking to other Witches and Metaphysicians, I share whichever series of meditations I’m working with…which one-pointed meditations I enjoy. However, I know when to keep the references limited to rocks and herbs and candles…because that’s all that some audiences can understand and relate to. Trying to “educate” too far beyond the student’s reach creates a separation between the would-be teacher and the intended audience. Reminding the student of techniques already within their repertoire, we can still also offer newer information…but only when that information is relatively close enough to the student’s framework to seem like it could possibly make sense.
While I may go on to explore other definitions of vampirism to see if they are a better fit and DESCRIBE my experience as a better working definition–I will more than likely still acknowledge and offer information to the feed-only obligate faction of vampirism.
I was going to write about the drama going on in the GVC, again–but, after reading the intro to Julia DarkRose’s upcoming book and a very thought-provoking post by Seth Ananda….I felt inspired to focus on more spiritual topics.
The concept of The Vampire is not necessarily linked with that of any form of spirituality. There are those popular, media and mythology associations which depict the vampire simply as a feeder–of blood and/or energy. If there are any paranormal qualities expressed by the vampire, they are inherent and inborn, as soon as the vampire is turned. In urban legend and stories, the Vampire is a metaphysical creature and has no need to exercise, develop or gain its abilities.
In The GVC, some of us might hold the above perception to a more reasonable degree. Whether or not the vampire is a naturally metaphysical being, we hold an entire spectrum of ideas about spirituality as it might relate to modern vampirism.
I don’t pretend that I am any sort of expert. I am not any spiritual master, nor ancient vampire who holds the wisdom of the ages. Just like many other people, I talk about my personal experience, which I observe and analyze, using my perception and preconceptions.
When I think of spirituality, I refer to the working definitions I’ve come to after years of my personal, evolving understanding of my metaphysical studies.
We sometimes define spirituality as an intuitive or instinctive process of recognizing spiritual activity through our inner knowing. While I do not personally discount the possibility of this aspect–I can’t validate it in an objective way, so I’ll leave discussion of that to a minimum, while I discuss other angles.
Personally, I can think of my earliest conscious concepts of spirituality as a purely mental process–a thoughtform that we individually construct–or as an intellectual translation of the intuitive sense of spiritual realities. In my understanding, we can correspond either one easily to the other.
My earliest conscious conception of spirituality was tied in to my earliest teachings of religion. I was raised Catholic, with stories of saints, angels, virgin births and beings come back from the dead. The stories of magick included miracles, God/Jesus/angels/saints personally fulfilling human requests, intercession, spontaneous or long-term healing….all that was supposedly still possible in modern times if I followed orders, behaved correctly and kept petitioning (asking, begging, negotiating). I might not get what I asked for, but this was the proper and ONLY procedure–the ONLY route to take.
Spirituality, magick, physical manifestation and emotional satisfaction were all tied into each other. Physical wealth and worldly happiness were dependent on God granting or withholding them. “Spirituality” involved following rules that were impossible to completely follow, with possible intermittent rewards and, most likely, a lot of punishment for not being able to follow all the rules perfectly, the first time.
Here’s where my plot eventually got twisted as a child–I found some of my father’s books that he might have forgotten about. There was some Carlos Castaneda and a few books on East Indian spirituality. I don’t remember the exact timeline, but it was around the same time that I also discovered some of my godfather’s new age books.
My ideas on God and the construction of the universe began to change. As the years went by, and I was exposed to various ideas, my viewpoint opened up to a lot of other possibilities. I’ve all but thrown out the conviction that my childhood model of religion (Catholicism) was the absolute authority. My concept of Spirituality has changed and become more refined.
When I think of how spirituality works, I start my conception from the Top-down.
My concept of absolute reality is that the spiritual reality of it is that I am completely one with the Substance of Spirit. There is actually no distinction between my “self” and the ultimate being known as The Creator. At the highest level, there never was any actual separation.
How I understand individualization (or manifestation in human form) is that we purposely chose to believe in our personal limitations, at a deep mental and emotional level–that is, we consciously chose to ignore aspects of our true identity in order to manifest as human in the physical world. Instead of conscious being as Unlimited Love (without object or subject), we chose to believe that we could only love other specific beings when specific criteria are met for specific “types” of “love,” depending on personal relationship to those specific objects of our “love.” Love from the Divine perspective is very, very different from what we call “love” in human relationships.
Within the model of multiple layers/levels of reality, where there are energy bodies which are our vehicles for expression on the varying vibratory levels (dimensions or planes)–everything below the level of Oneness is necessarily based on the illusion of not being conscious of our being Oneness. Therefore, we can define “spirituality” as simply the conscious awareness of that Oneness.
Since everything below that level of Oneness (Spirituality) is based on the illusion of not believing in that Oneness, we are dealing with the illusions of fragmentation, separation and duality. Exploring black and white, good and evil, negative and positive for the purposes of reuniting (balancing) them is reaffirming that there IS fragmentation and separation, which are not qualities of Oneness to begin with–and are simply putting more power into the conviction of the reality of the illusion.
No judgement at all on the goodness or badness of anything, here. I simply want to make the distinction between Magick and Spirituality. Magick is movement of the perceptions and convictions of independent reality of everything below the level of Oneness. Spirituality is simply the awareness of that Oneness. Magick can calm the emotional waters, which distract us from realization of Oneness. Magick can calm the reactions and conditions which distract us from Oneness, because we have emotional and mental investments in being obsessed or concerned with the physical world and personal, interior worlds.
Magick can be a vehicle towards spirituality, IF used to change perception about absolute self-identity as Spirit. Magick can be a deterrent to spirituality, if used in any other way to reinforce obsession with physical, mental or emotional realities in ways which do not make spiritual awakening easier.
Where am I at in terms of Vampirism and how it relates to Spirituality? If we think of Energy Vampirism in basic terms of feeding and energy nourishment, once I feel satisfied and emotionally calm after feeding, I can refocus on Spirit and its emanations, such as Peace and Love. I am not as distracted by hunger on energetic or emotional levels. This is how it relates to those who define Vampirism on the basic level.
There are those of us who define being Vampires in more spiritual terms, beyond just feeding. Some of us feel that what SOME of us are can be defined as a more spiritually-oriented creature that is distinctly different in our makeup and drive than the feeding-only creature that also takes the label of “vampire.” In this case, it might not be only (or at all) the same process/need that the sustenance-only vampiric creature identifies with. One interpretation for the Vampire-AS-SPIRITUAL-CREATURE is that they take in the energy/blood to use as fuel for spiritual evolution. This reminds me of other spiritual traditions where personal sexual energy is taken from the lower chakras and cycled up to the higher chakras, especially the crown, for spiritual awakening.
[As I’ve brought up before, my stance is that the GVC includes both types of feed-only and spiritually-oriented psychic identities who both gravitate to the Subculture. Not that there is one “true” type of Vampire, exactly….but, that we have varying types of energetic humans who come to the GVC, under the umbrella term of Modern Vampires.]
In the case of the Vampire who is a sort of spiritually-oriented being, I would have to say that I resonate somewhat with that concept. Just because an energy worker can work with healing energy that corresponds to the etheric body, which affects the physical body–there is no guarantee that they are experiencing Oneness. Even the higher Love feelings that one experiences from doing a healing might be dependent on the idea that one is being helpful in a personal way. While this positive concept can eventually LEAD TO a spiritual experience of Oneness, helping another person heal might be tinted with the ideas that the healer was an important factor to the healing (personal ego involved); there might be some sort of compensation for the effort (expecting the healed individual or the universe to give something back, based on personal action); or that somehow energy is limited or lacking….and therefore not omnipresent and in abundance.
Working with non-physical dimension energies is Magick, up until we come to the Spirituality-level awareness of Oneness. When used with focus, Vampirism can lead to spirituality, but is not necessarily spiritual in itself. Lower level energies are based on limitation, not Oneness.