What’s The Big Deal About Having A Non-Human Identity, Anyway?

What’s wrong with being just human? Sometimes, I get the feeling that it’s more important for some people in our fringe communities to PUBLICLY  declare their personal identity than it is to focus on using that identity to self-direct one’s self in healthy and nurturing ways.

To my understanding, self-identity can be a sort of shorthand–a way of summarizing what I understand about my traits and characteristics, what is deep-rooted in my personality, what is true for me in this moment of self-analysis. It is a way of saying “THIS IS WHAT I AM, RIGHT NOW”…so that I can take that understanding of what is true for me as a navigational system to decide what is healthy and supportive for myself, based on my interpretation of those needs.

When we are dealing with Sanguine Vampirism, it is a much more straightforward observation of which physical effects drinking blood has on one’s system. It is questioning one’s motivations and [as part of the evaluation process] possibly asking if one WANTS to simply self-identify as a Blood Drinker, [Modern/Living/Real] Vampire or any other label that we use to classify a Sanguivore. An intelligent member of the GVC would notice their personal needs and benefits to ingesting blood, then apply the most relevant classification/label to themselves as a blood drinker, for purposes of guiding future activities and interactions to share information pertaining to blood ingestion.

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When we are dealing with Psychic Vampirism, we are in a shakier territory. Here, the tools by which we measure our experience are even less objective than our physical senses.  (Physical senses that usually are filtered through subjective interpretative filters, to begin with.) In the realm of the Energy Vampire, we are beyond the use of physical tools to measure energetic activity. And the non-physical senses are even more subject to error, depending on the individual perceiver and each individual circumstance being perceived.

In my sincere opinion, understanding psychic vampirism comes with a certain level of the understanding of the metaphysics that explains energy and energy movement. To observe psychic vampirism, one needs to be sensitive to a certain degree to be accurate in one’s observations. One can fairly say that this means that one is psychic enough to perceive energy and strives to be constantly accurate in their psychic observations. [Technically, this concept would also apply in the case of being a Magician, Energy Worker, and any kind of Otherkin/Therian. All activities of these three categories involve perception of psychic and spiritual reality levels.]

To accurately gather information regarding to the non-physical levels where energy vampirism occurs, one must constantly refine one’s psychic senses–whether it is one or multiple of the senses, including clairsentience or claircognizance….just sensing or “knowing” when there is movement on an energy level is as good as a guide as the more glamorous senses of clairvoyance and clairaudience.

As part of the process of refining the senses is the ongoing vigilance against “wishful thinking”–the constant evaluation, questioning and re-evaluation of the information that comes through the clairvoyant senses. With constant practice, this becomes quicker and almost instantaneous when using these non-physical senses.

Part of accurately forming the self-identity of being a Psychic Vampire is the accurate collection of that information which leads to the conclusion that one is having the specific non-physical experience that we can summarize as being a Psychic Vampire.

When one identifies with one label or another, it is because the description of the qualities and activities that are associated with that label describe one’s personal experience. When we observe the activities of the Psychic Vampire, we need to question and refine the senses that we use to do so…again, to preserve and enhance our accuracy.

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I define myself as a Psychic Vampire because of the observation of the deep-rooted trends in my non-physical (extra-dimensional or “spiritual”) experience, as I have come to understand and observe them. I self-identify as a Psychic Vampire because of how I would summarize someone who has these same experiences on the non-physical level….metaphysically speaking.

Because of my metaphysical leanings and what I think of as my spiritual goals, part of the way that I keep a higher level of accuracy in clairvoyant sensing and observation of my non-physical experience is that I constantly check my reasoning and context for sharing my self-identity as a Psychic Vampire. Personally holding my self-identification in my mind gives me reference points to check against. Am I taking in enough energy on a conscious level, resisting energy, or taking in too much? Mentally working with the self-identification gives me a framework to check in with, to navigate my human life in a healthy and comfortable way.

Sharing our self-identities can be helpful. Using labels can open a dialog, as long as they are not used as buzzwords or for shock value. Within the GVC, self-identifying as a Psychic Vampire can immediately narrow and widen [define] the parameters of conversation. It immediately differentiates one from being a Sanguivore, so that the conversation is automatically directed to a metaphysical lens…or is at least, directed away from a materialist-only lens. Using the label of Psychic Vampire generally lets the audience know that the identifier believes in the non-physical/psychic sensing of the activity of the energetic levels and that they have had particular experiences on those levels.

Other general associations that we can make with Modern/Living/Real Vampires is that we believe in a history (or lineage) associated with others of our kind that have existed before us. What we believe about those M/L/R Vampires is varied and individually validated (or justified) through personal conviction, accounts and literature.

I identify as a Psychic Vampire within particular contexts, mainly for purposes of information sharing. However, I observe that other people declare their self-identity for reasons which I find counter-productive–or at least, indirect. Of course, people can do whatever they want (within reasonable and socially acceptable limits). I am only sharing my opinion, within the framework of what I find productive.

In my perception, it makes for a calmer, easier life to separate my ego motivations from my accurate perception of my psychic/spiritual nature and the motivating drives that come from that nature. It is most clarifying to question if my perception of non-physical activity is accurate or if my thought process is driven by the psychological needs of my emotional insecurities.

The need to be considered a Vampire by others or by the self  (for purposes of emotional satisfaction) can color one’s mind to perceive [and create] psychic activity on an imaginal level which actually has no benefits to one’s etheric, astral or energy bodies’ health or wellbeing.

The need for others to perceive one as a Vampire [or any special category, actually] can spring from the thoughtform that one cannot be emotionally satisfied until one gets a particular response from the world around them.  In this case, one has anchored one’s future response and emotional satisfaction into the perception of other’s EXPRESSING a particular set of actions that would indicate that they accept that one is a Vampire.  Mentally hinging one’s internal reaction/satisfaction on other’s actions is a common, yet useless and victim-oriented concept.  Yes, it is definitely the popular way to live–but, for the Psychic Vampire living as a Spiritually evolving creature, it is another way to twist ourselves further into the illusions and limitations of this world…and a good way to further cloud our psychic clarity.

There is immense value in constantly questioning the possibility of any emotional need for external validation.  To weed this out will eliminate this possible obstruction to clear perception.

Also, this must be applied to one’s personal perception of the self.  Is there any underlying insecurity or other feeling that fuels the NEED to think of one’s self as something more special than “just human”?  Along this line of thinking, does thinking of one’s self as a Vampire help one focus on actions that make life easier and healthier?  Or is there a deep emotional need to be special, because that guarantees you other things?

Here’s a thought experiment to gauge your ego-driven limitations–in meditation space, confront the “worst case scenario”.  Meditate on this concept–What if you are just human?  Nothing non-human.  Given, you still have access to all of the psychic and magickal faculties that are available to all other humans–but, what if you did not classify as any other extrahuman being [Vampire, Otherkin, etc.]?  Are you completely okay with that?  Observe your internal reaction when you contemplate that question.  Are you okay with just being considered human?

Can you be completely happy with just being human?

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Obligate Feeding Vs. The Vampire As A Spiritual Creature: A Metaphysical Exploration

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.

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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.

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[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.

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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.

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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.

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Where Have All The Vampires Gone?

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.”

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Why Some Role Players Won’t Give Up Role Playing: The Metaphysical Benefits of Role Playing

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.

 

 

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The Difficulty of Language In The GVC

–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.”

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Anslee is a writer and member of The GVC.

 

Witches, Vampires, Analogies, Degrees, Overlap and Levels…Oh, My!

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–

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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.

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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.

Self-Identification Questions for Sangs, Psys and Otherkin

While this list is not meant to be definitive, like a pass-or-fail exam or a checklist, it can be considered a starting point for more accurate self-identification in any of these three categories.***

When considering if one is a Sang Vampire, use the following questions to help navigate the next steps in remaining healthy–

What are my body’s noticeable physical benefits from ingesting blood?

Do I have any noticeable physical detriments when I do not ingest blood?

Desire to ingest blood aside, what are the physical benefits that I experience when I actually do ingest blood?

Fantasies of biting or violent extraction aside, do I experience a physical benefit from blood drawn in a safe, clinical manner?

If I could have a regular, clean blood donation without any of the role play or fictional scenario found in movies, would I still be interested?

If regular blood donation came with the insistence that I keep it private and not attend any public vampire events or vampire groups, would I agree to the conditions?

Do I have an emotional investment in being seen as a Sang by others, even if I have a lack of evidence to support any benefits in blood drinking?

Do I have an emotional investment in seeing myself as a Sang, even if I do not find any evidence to support any benefits in blood drinking?

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When questioning whether or not you would be a Psychic Vampire, start with these questions or variations thereof–

Have I noticed any observable benefits when I consciously feed on external sources of energy?

Have I noticed any detriments when I consciously withhold from feeding on external sources of external energy?

Do I feel any need to tell people about my energetic feeding habits?  Do I rationalize excuses to divulge my information when it is not actually necessary?

Is it important for me to classify myself as a “vampire” of any sort?  If I found useful information from another resource that didn’t use the label “vampire,” would I be okay with that?

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When exploring whether or not one is Otherkin,  start by exploring these questions–

What is my reasoning for believing that I have a soul other than a human soul?

Is my perception that I have a non-human soul because it makes the most sense or is it a symbol for not relating to the other humans around me?

Is my life made better by the realization that I am non-human-souled or is it going to make my life more complicated by working with this information?

Am I really non-human or is that a symbol for feeling displaced or unsatisfied in some way?

Is it true that I am non-human or could my Therian/Otherkin self really be a spirit totem or other kind of spiritual being or energy that I am incorrectly identifying as “myself,” when it is actually something external to myself?

Would I be comfortable working with the information of my non-human identity, if it meant that I couldn’t share it with the community at large?

Do I look forward to the revealing of my nature because it is controversial or puts me in a fringe community?

Do I want to be Kin-identified because it automatically puts me into a group that relates to me?

Am I attracted to the idea of using my identity as an excuse to complain or brag to others?fox-symbolism-fox-spirit-animal

This is by no means an exhaustive list of questions.  Part of identifying the possible nature of oneself is by also exploring that one might not be what one initially suspects.  It is entirely fine to not be any of the above three types of human variations.  If one wants what one perceives as “special powers,” reasonable versions of those are attainable through metaphysical and occult practices.  “Instant powers” never come through self-identification in any of the above-mentioned categories.

The Vampire Community Is At Least Undead…Because Something Is Still Moving

The Vampire Community is dead?

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All possible jokes aside…is this really a helpful thing to say? I’m all for a click-baity title, but only when it’s relatively harmless…and hopefully, amusing.

The problem that I have with this declaration is that it’s alarmist. There are newer members to the VC/GVC/OVC that don’t yet understand to take all online accounts, reports and declarations with a grain of salt. Those of us who have been around for a while, carry those 10 pound bags of sodium chloride and hand it out to others by the spoonful.

What does it mean when yet another person says that “The Vampire Community is dead?” When someone is dead, we bury them.  (Or cremate the body.)  A reasonable amount of time is spent mourning over the loss of that loved one–we mourn for the imagined future that we can never have with them.  We do not need to be reminded that the beloved is dead and gone, unless our reaction is unreasonable over a prolonged amount of time–and we need this fact repeated to us.

So, by pointing out to us that “the Vampire Community is dead,” is The Messenger telling us to move on, to go on to other things?  Abandon the corpse of the Community and let it rest in peace?  Even though it feels like we have had this conversation multiple times, we probably should discuss it again because of the constant influx of new members–and also, to refresh and clarify our various perceptions on the subject for the present members.  Kind of like a regular Safety Meeting.

A Vampire Community Safety Meeting.

As a writer, I understand that sometimes we need to speak in general, sweeping terms.  This is a device I use to make a point or address a particular vantage point–it is a technique that is used to communicate an underlying idea, even if we shouldn’t recognize it as a universal truth.  However, there are other times in which it is extremely helpful and practical to be specific about our topic, subject and piece of terminology.  Of course, this depends on the writer’s agenda and intention in creating that particular piece.

First of all, when we make blanket statements about the Community…what are we actually referring to?  Are we talking about the Online aspect of our Community–the vlogs, blogs, Facebook groups, Discord interactions, websites, forums and articles?  From what I can see, we have quite a bit of activity and interaction.  Are we talking about the in-person House activity?  That would be subject to the individual House.  But, I am aware that we have quite a few open and active Houses and Meetup groups.  How about the social scene?  From what I’ve seen on social media, there is a plethora of activity in the in-person events scene.

So, with all of that activity, I’m going to have to say that from my understanding of the word “dead,” that is not the case with any of the Community factions, as far as I can see.

So….let’s move on to the other aspect, that maybe I define in a different way than The Messenger.

DEAD.

I think of “dead” as describing an organism that is currently engaging in no activity that we would observe as conducive to any of life’s vital functions or passtimes.  There is no lack of activity in the various aspects of the Vampire Subculture.  However, if we are referring to someone being dead in the sense that they are not able to interact with us in the same manner that they did when they were alive–that they are currently unable to be what they WERE for us, including meeting our expectations of what they would eventually BE for us in the future, then that definition might apply to some member’s definition of “dead.”

I have not yet been a long term member of the GVC/OVC/VC.  I am not exactly a new member, either.  I am something in the middle.  I am somewhat familiar with the terminology and basic structure of the Subculture…but, I do not consider myself an Elder, by any stretch of the imagination.  I’ve come in…asked my questions, asked to be pointed in the direction of the most reliable resources, and interacted with other members through online means.  Just as in the Pagan and Magickal Communities, I’ve come up against useless and false information; but I’ve weighed the information that I’ve encountered against my better judgement, intuition, experience and the input of others.  My experience in the online aspect of the Community has been fruitful and rewarding.

As far as an In-Person House, the only experience I’ve had has been with a few friends.  I left them and their House for personal reasons.  I haven’t had a strong interest in trying to find or start another House.  I am more of an online/information personality, myself.  However, I am very aware that there are Vampire clubs and events in my state, should I be inclined to go.  While not easily accessible to me in the physical sense, because of geography [and…hey, Nature didn’t plant a lot of other real Vampires in my area with me…it happens]–I wouldn’t say that the events scene is dead in my part of the country.

So, what’s dead?  Is it because the Community isn’t the same as it was?  What changed…and the better question is, is it valuable to complain about it changing?

I’ve heard other, Seasoned Veterans of the VC mention that the Community has changed from what it was when it started.  My response to this is–how could it not have?  Everything changes.  Organizations change.  The members within it change.  For better or worse, everything in this world changes.  Maybe the Community was “better” at the beginning of the modern scene because it had fewer members and those members were cooler, more sophisticated, more educated….back when everyone wasn’t trying to be classified as a Vampire on the only criteria that they stayed up past 11 o’clock and liked to hang out in graveyards.  I don’t know.  I don’t care.

The Community has seemed relatively consistent since I tumbled into it a few years ago.  Despite it being  (socially) post-apocalyptic with it’s mutants [poseurs, deluded people and role players], I’ve found plenty of survivors [real living Vampires and obligate vampiric beings] within the masses–because I dug for them.  I don’t pine for a lost Golden Age [the late 90’s?], because I never had any other version of the Vampire Community to compare today’s version to.

And on that note of the aspects that I might not agree with or even like in the current version of the VC–I am being and becoming the best CONTRIBUTOR to my Community that I can be.  I write…I offer articles.  I will eventually create video posts.  I will eventually host in-person Meetups.  I will not complain about what used to be good about the Community, nor will I complain about what’s missing.  I will develop myself and help develop others towards the ideals that will help create a better Community, tomorrow.

The Vampire Community is not dead.  And I will not try to stir up drama by alarming members with such declarations.

It might have a lot of blemishes and infections, but some of us are keeping it moving…like a beautiful Undead creature.

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My Approach; My Perspective; Why I Get Confused In The GVC; And Why I’m Glad When I Just Don’t Take It As Seriously As I Used To

 

My perception of reality has changed quite a bit since I began my conscious spiritual journey as a teenager. I have explored what beautiful and dark places that there were in my psyche and my conscious personality. When I write, I do it with the intention that I am merely talking about my personal experience and my analysis of that experience. I do not believe that I am the norm or the typical version of anything. What I write about are my observations of what I see inside myself, my reactions and how I understand all of those concepts. I explore ideas and techniques and working conclusions. If some idea seems to fit better as a relative truth that I can relate to, then I adopt it.

I approach concepts like a chaos magician. If they seem practical in the sense that they provide more of a payoff or a benefit than one that I previously used, then I will adjust and let go of the older idea that was not as beneficial. If I cannot see very many benefits to an idea or technique OR if the detriments are glaringly outweighing any possible benefits, I might not explore the new idea in any great depth to begin with.

In the GVC, I have come across a range of personalities who have expressed their ideas through blogs, Facebook posts and direct communication with me. I’ve bought a few of their books and I’ve watched a few documentaries.  I’ve read articles.  Lots and lots of articles.

Despite any and all attempts to unify the “real vampires” of the GVC, I have come to understand that “vampire” is an umbrella term for the various human beings who have self-identified as one or another of the various interpretations of what a “vampire” is. As much as MY definition of what a Vampire is makes sense to ME, I have to admit that there are also many other definitions that I do not agree with. But, I respect that these are the self-definitions of the members of the GVC that share the community with me.

Personally, I don’t adhere to the “if you think you’re a vampire, you’re a vampire” concept. It makes more sense to me to work with the idea of a specific type of being that I think of as a Modern Vampire, so that I can distill and work with the information relevant to that self-conception in practical ways….for my personal well-being and evolution, as well as having relevant information to pass on to others like myself.

Admittedly, I also have my limitations as to where I will be comfortable sharing the Vampire “classification” with those other definitions and interpretations that lie outside of my own. When I first joined the community, I felt that I needed to defend the standard interpretation of The Vampire, as held by the groups that I was in. Now, I see our various interpretations of “The Vampire” as a grouping of various descriptions of blood- and/or energy-feeders.  Whether it was ORIGINALLY one or multiple of these kinds of creatures which were first classified as the Vampires of history–it is not as important to me to figure that out as is helping these types live and flourish NOW in our modern world.

Even when someone speaks of or writes about one “type” of Vampire being the true type or speaks about what are supposed to be our rules of conduct–I automatically interpret that as the speaker/writer talking about their personal perspective…what is important or relevant information to them.  (And their best guesses.) There is no one religion, religious book or philosophy which could possibly apply to Universal human experience. When the members of the Vampire Community speak about their experiences, interpretations and guidelines for rules of conduct–there is no way that I can take each commentary as Universal or absolute, even when the individual tries to represent it as such.

If I do not agree with someone else’s advice or analysis, I will probably be prompted to give my own ideas on the theme. I offer it as an alternative. Even if I do not mean it to be prescriptive in any way, I offer a variation to open the space for others to also have their variations in the same areas.

When we dismiss or argue that someone else’s conduct or information is wrong–we are SOMETIMES implying that their perception, interpretation, observation or analysis of their own experience is incorrect.  This idea might be underlying the additional idea that what they are saying is dangerous or unethical.  (I am not saying that there should be a free-for-all or that we should accept any and all claims of experience.  I think it might be more productive to keep in mind that sometimes SOME people are completely sincere in their estimation of their personal experience.  When we come up aggressively against that, we just end up arguing and don’t get anything productive accomplished.)

As far as dangerous activity goes, we find two levels on which we can encounter harm–physical and non-physical.  Common sense and common courtesy should be standards for everyone’s behavior before they ever enter the Vampire Community.  A standard of knowing what one can do with one’s body and system before any physical donation is involved, just seems like it should be a given.  My parents told me not to eat soap when I was a toddler.  I didn’t need to be reminded as a teenager, or anytime after that.

Working with the energetic/spiritual level is a little more subjective–as far as energy vampirism goes, I tend to find that I am on the edge of what I believe is safe behavior for a spiritual/energetic being.  Keeping that in mind, I don’t always contradict others’ interpretation of their experiences as wrong, as much as I keep in mind that their reference points and framework might be different than mine.

Besides our internal community arguments about what is the correct way to view and share our interpretations of Vampirism, and which information we should pass along to the newbies….we seem to argue quite a bit about how we should present ourselves [i.e., how we must look] to the amorphous society outside of our Community.

At the beginning of my stay in the GVC, I was very much concerned with how I thought that Vampires must look to the “outside world.”  Given, treatment of Vampires and those suspected of being Vampires will vary depending on region, culture and subculture.  Of course, I would recommend that anyone in any area or circumstance in which they would be in any sort of physical danger or threat of discrimination, should stay in the coffin.  But, here in my world, I am more likely to view the dangers of disclosure on a sliding scale.

In my case, I’m referring to my personal experience, again.  I am referring to my particular social environment.  I move within Chicano, as well as more Latin American cliques.  As a gay man in the particular latino subculture that I move in, we are sometimes referred to as brujas and vampiros, if only in a superstitious way….possibly because we are “otherworldly” to the larger heteronormative culture.  Within my local pagan community, I can come out as an energy feeder.  I have access to both a local Goth scene and a BDSM community that I can freely come out to as a blood drinker.  Considering the many venues in which I can openly self-identify, I find it hard to relate so much to the absolute warnings against how carefully I must present myself.  As absolute warnings, they don’t necessarily apply to MY personal experience–and because of my social conditions, might even limit my freedom of expression.

On that same note, there seems to be an admonishment to many figures [I keep watching people point at each other] of the GVC representing us in bad light.  I’ve belonged to other groups where we were thought to be “all the same” by the “society” outside of those groups…so I’ve recently burned out on the idea.  As a Chicano, I never thought of myself as “typical,” so I knew I was never representative of all Mexicans or Mexican-Americans, even when I saw the stereotypical Cholo or token Hispanic on television or movies.  As a gay man, I am missing the standard superpowers of being able to cook, clean, dress nicely and arrange objects at 90-degree angles to each other.  Even as a Witch, I became quickly drawn to energy work, so I missed out on memorizing a lot of planetary correspondences of the props and tools that we are associated with.

By the time that I got to the Vampire Community, I quickly got over the idea that there is a standard image of the Modern Vampire, so I’ve come to understand that there could never really be a good representative to the nonVampiric world.  To understand what a Vampire is, there needs to be the frame of reference in which Vampirism makes sense.  Vampirism is kooky to so many personal belief systems and philosophies outside of the GVC.  How seriously can I take our internal complaints, when I’m aware that not only that we can’t agree on how we should present ourselves to nonvampiric society….but, also when I am aware that SOME PEOPLE are prone to pick out the “bad behavior” in all walks of life and take those to represent our groups, races, religions and types, anyway?

We’ll never have the perfect representative that we can all agree on.  And the argument that so-and-so is a bad representation rarely goes anywhere beyond a bunch of arguing, until it’s time to complain about the next person.  Talking about how we should stick to the shadows is a dead complaint.  Someone took the lid off of Pandora’s Jar and it’s too late to put us back in.  It might be more productive for those complaining to provide a “better” representation of the GVC, as they define it.  Even if we have many different representations of the Vampire, then at least we could make it clear that we are as varied as any other group or community–with our serious, well-spoken, sincere members as well as all the others.

Venting about a problem or situation is useful, if it is part of the process to coming up with possible solutions.  Complaining about something, without resultant action, is a waste of time that could have spent on other things.

I think that our debates and discussions are good, even if we do not agree on particular interpretations being the correct ones.  It keeps those ideas in the air.  It keeps information moving.  It gives newbies and searchers the impression that there are that many concepts floating around and that they would benefit from exploring them rather than just accepting the first ones they encounter as gospel truth.

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Edumucating The Masses: A Golden Apple For The Teachers

 

I love being part of the information network of the Vampire Community.

We share practical information about feeding, along with other material, to help Modern Living Vampires live healthy, fruitful lives. Another part of our function is that we educate the non-vampiric masses about the reality of what it is to live with vampirism–what it constitutes and what it does not.

Much of our information is readily available on our blogs, websites, online groups…a lot of it for free. But, how much good are we actually doing? Are we actually making a difference to anyone?

The amount of negative response seems almost overwhelming, at times.  It often makes me question whether I am offering accurate, helpful or positive information. For the most part, I am sharing my perspective as a completely personal one. I am going by my own experience and sometimes those of my friends, who also share their original content online.  I often reiterate that I am not any sort of spokesperson for the modern Community.  I am not a textbook Modern Vampire.  I also make it clear that while I have my ideas about what I consider Vampirism–there are many others who hold their contrasting and varying opinions and interpretations.

As part of an unofficial collective of writers, I am aware of the large amount of written and spoken material available on Sanguinism, Energy Vampirism and a variety of other vampire-related topics. It would seem that with all that information so easily accessible, one might think that we should have a lot more smoother interactions in our online and in-person groups.

I suspect that because I am so focused on information-sharing, on the groups that share information and the teachers and speakers…it seems almost odd to me that other people would come into the community and not want to focus on taking in as much information as they possibly could on vampirism, weighing it out and coming to their own working interpretation of the spectrum of experience.

As it currently stands, The Vampire Community and The Online Vampire Community are not carefully and rigidly structured–regardless of what they were ORIGINALLY intended to be. The Community is a loosely connected web of groups (virtual and in-person), people and events.

On the part of the teachers/educators and every other person that enjoys sharing information–my interpretation is that we share that information which we sincerely feel brings a benefit to other Modern Vampires’ lives.  The hazard is when we look for positive feedback to let us know that we are sharing relevant and helpful information.  We can make the mistake in assuming that the people who need our information the most, who benefit from it (immediately or in the future) are also able to articulate themselves or simply are not too shy to speak up.  It is difficult to speak through and hear through the larger amount of negative feedback, response and drama that floods the communication lines…simply because Modern Vampires are still human….and most humans are negative.

At risk of sounding cynical–it seems that there is a lot more negativity in this world than there is positive energy and encouragement.  Just by virtue of people tending to express more of this negative energy, we will run into more discouragement than encouragement from others.  This negativity seems to outweigh (and sometimes drown out) the positive reinforcement and encouragement that we also receive for our efforts.

When I share my observations and my perceptions, I speak from my personal experience.  I share what makes sense to me on an intellectual level.  I share which experiments I perform on a magickal, energetic level and which working conclusions I have thusfar come to.  When I come up against criticism and/or contrary views or information–I give myself time to process whatever my initial reaction/response is….then, I question and analyze everything.

On my side–I question whether what I share might be helpful to someone in a practical way.  By this, I question whether it might be some piece of information that someone could apply to their life in some way (on a mental, emotional or physical level) or that it might simply be something inspirational, affecting their mood in a positive way.

With any criticism that I receive for my articles, I do consider if there might be any truth behind that critique.  Before I consider those words, I look back at what I’ve written.  Is what I wrote relatively true, according to my interpretation of my personal experience and analysis of that experience?  Even if this personal account or interpretation is not common among the masses, is it possible that my account or perception might validate or be helpful to someone else in the world?  If the answers to my set of questions are that I was being true to myself and that I can honestly perceive that my information will find the right person that needs it at the right time for them, then I am at peace with my sharing.

How practical is it to reiterate the guidelines of common sense, disclaimers of safety and responsibility (physical and/or energetic) with each of my articles?  What about the idea that anything that I have to say could be “dangerous” or “unethical” to the reader or student?  My answer to that is that I won’t ever share anything that any reasonable adult would endanger themselves doing.  I am not responsible for any other adult not having common sense or using their ability to research any activity and its safety parameters before they engage in that activity.  I cannot be responsible for anyone’s recklessness or for someone who is not of their right mind.

If I had the responsibility to keep someone safe, I would be able to control what sort of information they had access to and what sort of activity they engaged in.  I cannot be responsible for someone that I don’t have control over.  Give me absolute control over someone, then I would be happy to be responsible for them.

As a teacher (someone who offers information), I will act in a way that is respectful and true to what I feel is right, at all times.  I do not need to perform in any way, with the intention of gaining approval…nor am I going to perform in a way of trying to gain someone’s disapproval, as a stealth act of rebellion.

Here’s where I admit that it gets tricky.  On one hand, I want the freedom for all Living Modern Vampires to be able to live freely in a way in which we can easily share information relevant to our real-life scenarios.  This includes being able to speak of, find and engage with willing donors and the uneducated/unenlightened vampires in a much easier fashion.  This would be the ideal.

However, while we are still working towards these ideals of safe/practical networking in the world, we need to be aware of what we are currently working in and with in the present moment.  What we are working with is a society of varying personalities, belief systems and prejudices.  In terms of the non-vampires, we need a certain degree of normalization of Vampire activity–to where we can reveal ourselves as necessary for purposes of practical function in the world and to make ourselves available to awakened/unawakened kindred, when we see it as fit, on a case by case basis.

As long as we educate with sincerity and constantly weigh the value of revealing and sharing information against any possible desire to shock our audience, we might be outweighing the negative feedback with benefits in the world.

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