“…And Since You Brought Up The Elders…”–A Copy and Paste Response Article

“In the Olden Days there was an unspoken understanding between the old and the new: the old retires gracefully into the shadows and the new takes over. Such is the cycle of life. It was understood that – barring some great fall of grace – the Elder would resign and be looked after by the new generation – until they shuffled off the old mortal coil.“–from The Messenger.

***This is lovely poetry. But, is this literal? I’m going to go out on a limb here and use my version of logic–before the modern social scene and fangsmiths and Robert Pattinson…I’m assuming that the people who thought of themselves as “real Vampires” were those people who actually drank blood (Sanguivores) or those whose psychic reality included consuming energy from others (Energy Vampires) or both.  We wouldn’t have had Role Players or Life Stylers as a thing, yet.  If any were organized into anything resembling Houses or Covens, it was probably more of an underground organization with much less members in number.

The problem with referring to “the Olden Days” is that it is not clear when that actually was, how long of a timespan that covers and therefore, not immediately verifiable through any research.

Again, this sounds pretty…but, are we trying to use fairy tales to create an ideal for the modern Community?  How fair is that to hold up the current framework against a model that never existed?  Which insinuations are we going to draw from that–that everyone today is flawed for not being able to uphold that standard?

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“When they’re not embarrassing us with their grumpy rants, they’re exploiting vampirism all over the place, selling out to MTV, or burying their heads in the sand. Or they’ve shrugged off “vampire socialism” altogether and wandered off to create baby kingdoms to lord over.

Yet they still want to be acknowledged today as “Elders of the VC”.

Terrible right? The entitlement! What have they done for us lately anyway? And how dare they ask for our respect after they abandoned us.”–from The Messenger.

***Are you absolutely sure that “they” want to be acknowledged as the “Elders of the VC?”  And who are you referring to–are you thinking about one or two specific people and lumping everyone together into a group, because that’s safer?

***How are they “embarrassing” you?  Are your werewolf friends making fun of us because we have a lot of vocal and demonstrative members that share their perspective…and it’s a human flaw to try to make one person the entire representation of whichever label or category that you can place on them, because that’s lazy thinking?

***Define “exploitation” in this case.  From the outside, without knowing anyone personally–their motivations, their ideals, their flaws and misunderstandings–we could accuse everyone who misuses the images of the Fictional Vampire as exploiting the historical symbolism that we’ve generally adopted as a modern social group.  Who gets the rights to decide who’s interpretation is absolutely correct and how to express that interpretation?  Do we decide based on who drinks more blood, who has more time in the Community, which contributions they’ve given, who is out of the coffin or who has more followers on Instagram?

***On the note of the Grumpy Rants, here’s the way that I view it through my experience as a sometimes-student, occasional workshop leader, former coven leader and mostly-Pagan–I thought that the articles from The Grumpy Vamp were generous notes on how to get the most out of your experience, when dealing with a seasoned veteran of the VC.  When I think of an Elder in the Community, I think of a person who has spent a lot of time interacting and teaching the variety of newbies–actual obligate feeders, deluded people who think that they are vampires because of the strangest/smallest criteria and PLENTY of people who want to be turned into the vampires from movies.

Depending on personality type and ability to deal with stress, it can become years of dealing with the same questions and aggressive/annoying/uncooperative/demanding students.  Serious students, students who are intelligent enough to follow directions and research resources are very far and few between the masses of people demanding instant gratification…regardless of whether these students are actual obligate feeders or not.  The Grumpy Vamp notes are fair warning on how to approach Information Resources (seasoned veterans or Elders) who are possibly experiencing burnout, while they strive to continue to be available to those FEW, SINCERE seekers in the sea of drama queens and crazies.

All members have the option of not seeking out particular teachers or not speaking to them at all, at any point.

***On the note of “selling out to MTV” (and camera whores, as long as we’re on the subject)–from my perspective, anything can be a starting point for further conversation.  The cat’s out of the bag.  Pandora’s box has been opened.  There are no more shadows.  We have cameras everywhere and a plethora of bad information and misinformation is too readily available–to everyone.  Instead of complaining that the veils have been breached, we could work on cultivating well-spoken and informative representations of all types of Vampires to counteract the undesirable images out there, in the public eye.

We’re not going to get rid of what’s already out there in the world.  The newly awakened Kin are going to find what’s right in front of them first, while some of us insist on role playing as mysterious fictional creatures of the night, who can melt into the shadows on the wall.

***”What have they done for us, lately?”  What does anyone owe anyone else?  Everything that Belfazaar, Sylvere, Julia, Barbara, Michelle or Merticus gives to me is out of the kindness and generosity of their hearts.  I’m not paying them a dime.  I’m grateful for what they do and I’m not entitled to think that any of them owe me anything.

“Abandoned us?”  Again, who are you talking about?

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“Those golden days when we were a small close-knit tribe of families with established laws that tied us together (AKA a “Community”) are gone. That community started fraying at the edges the more mainstream and commercialized it became. And the internet took care of the rest. With the advent of the World Wide Web the “VC” became too big and too diverse. And then armchair-vampirism exploded onto the scene and burned what was left to the ground.”–from The Messenger.

****When did those days exist?  If they ever did, then your Community is gone.  Bury it and let us do the best with ours.  My version is because of the Internet.  If I didn’t have the OVC, I wouldn’t have come as far as I am, now.  Sorry your version is gone, but I’m blossoming in the fertile ground of the one that I’m in.  Fertilizer, included.

If your VC is dead, go off and mourn for it.  Or go create a House in memoriam of its ideals.  For whatever flaws my VC has, it is a place that like-minded individuals eventually find me.  It’s a kind of search and rescue mission…and for better or worse, it gets my people to me.

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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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Some People Just Love To Argue…And Other Factors That We Ignore When Communicating With Each Other In The Vampire Community

 

[TRIGGER WARNING: It can be so easy to get defensive when reading about traits that some of us normally think of as negative. I am not accusing YOU, the reader. I am merely trying to point out that regardless of our best intentions and the best intentions of our companions, we can and do run across those personality types that seem uncooperative for their own reasons. I am not even referring to the entirety of any particular group. My references are to the possibilities of certain individual types within our groups. To be able to get through my thoughts on the subject, please read the majority of this article as if I am talking about “THEM,” not “YOU.”]

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I think it might be fair to say that it is all about agenda. As individuals, we have our perceptions about what we would each like the Vampire Community to be–how we would like for it to operate. Whether or not we each take those actions to create the Community the way we want it, we all seem to have ideas.

There are two principal factors involved in our personal ideals. There is the end result–the form that we each want The Vampire Community to eventually take or how we envision it should be–and the steps that we are convinced must be taken to form the Community into what it should be.

In life, we tend to follow our personal agendas to create the situations and conditions that we think are best. We often work with others who have the same vision or similar goals or compatible goals in a cooperative effort to get our dreams fulfilled.  (A general exception to this rule is when we allow or help loved ones fulfill their ideals, even if they have nothing to do with our plans or our bigger picture.) This desire to help others fulfill their dreams might be subject to how much it interferes with our personal goals–unless helping this other person fulfill their goals IS one of our personal goals.

As humans, we tend to not help others who have goals that directly conflict, block or interfere with our own projects. Sometimes, we can even actively try to block others whose actions interfere with our personal goals.

In the Vampire Community, there are smaller networks of members whose projects work well with each other’s in our webs of contact, work and communication. When we have similar goals, ideals and projections of “how the VC should function”….we find harmony and cooperation. What gives the appearance that we might be able to work together harmoniously in all aspects of our community is the fact that some of us belong to more than one faction. Some Writers/Teachers attend Vampire Balls, are Life Stylers or LARP vampire-based role play games. There can be more than one faction of the Vampire Subculture enjoyed by the same Vampire. However, when one has a vested interest in one faction of the Community more than another faction, there might be a conflict of interest when our individual projects are brought up in community discussion or debate.

HYPOTHETICALLY–Someone from the Information/Support aspect of the Community might find it most important to share the practical feeding information that obligate energy/blood feeders need to live productive and healthy lives. To those of this faction, a secondary agenda might be disputing misinformation about real modern vampirism. We might want to spread factual information in very down-to-earth, practical terms. It is reasonable that from the perspective of the Information/Support group, some of us see Role Players, Life Stylers, and large Vampire events as perpetuating the public image of the Vampire as an overly-dramatic, fantasy-based figure rather than just someone who needs to ingest blood or perform particular metaphysical actions to live a healthy, normal life.

Someone from the Information/Support faction might have an attachment to the idea of shaping a public image of the Modern Vampire that is more “friendly”– divorced from the fiction of the movie, television or novel versions of the super-powered, undead, romantic character. If someone has an emotional investment, they might be in opposition to those that publicly portray themselves in a way that they might see resembling the Fictional Vampire.

HYPOTHETICALY–Someone from the Events/Business faction of the Community might be entirely focused on the sales factor or purely social aspect, to the point where they have a completely different agenda. If they have an investment in getting as many paying customers as they can get into an event (ball)….then, as far as they are concerned, everyone is a Vampire…as long as they pay entry price. The focus is not on passing accurate information, as much as it is in selling tickets and filling a room. Something similar can be found in selling fangs, contacts or costumes–making a sale is the bottom line. Community politics, public awareness might not have any importance, relatively speaking–beyond the community interactions necessary to build up numbers for advertising and ticket sales. The agendas of the Information/Support factions might not be important, at all–because they are not really relevant to sales.

HYPOTHETICALLY–There might be Materialist, Science-only, Physically-oriented Sangs that have a strong disbelief in the metaphysical. [These are not all Med Sangs. Some Med Sangs are very respectful. Some Med Sangs are metaphysically-oriented in other venues, outside of the study and exploration of the science-only approach towards sanguinism.] There are some science-only Sangs that want to focus on a practical exploration of the need to ingest blood, the benefits that derive from blood drinking, and the detriments that come from obligate blood feeders not ingesting enough blood over time. It is possible that the agenda of SOME of these Science-only Sangs is to want to be divorced from ALL metaphysical interpretation of vampirism, energy-feeding, role play and lifestyle–which could be considered all extraneous to their need for blood. While there are some Science-only Sangs that are very cooperative to other factions and individuals within the Subculture, there are also some that begrudgingly stay in the community because they wish to meet other Obligate Blood Feeders who might not find them otherwise and/or Donors. The less-cooperative Science-only Sangs might not willingly or pleasantly interact beyond the need to fulfill this agenda.

HYPOTHETICALLY–You might also run into those Psychic Feeders, Energy Feeders and/or Dual Feeders (energy and blood) who are militant in their stance that every Vampire in the Vampire World is really feeding off of energy. Those who have this absolute worldview insist that there is no such thing as the materialist perception that blood works like vitamins or medicine (food). To these Militant Metaphysicians, even those Vampires who feed off of blood are actually getting their nourishment from the energy behind the blood. Those people who do not agree with the metaphysical/energy interpretation are WRONG and need to be educated. For the Militant Metaphysicians, this is not a point of compromise. Their agenda is to have everyone agree with them. And if you don’t, this type might simply refuse to cooperate or be agreeable.

When we come across disagreeable types in the Community, sometimes there is very little that we can do to get their cooperation. This is simply a fact of life. In my humble opinion, it becomes more productive to stick to the smaller scale of working with those people who are willing to work on the relatively smaller (and possibly, more local) projects. A lot of little completed projects can offer more than constantly failing at making large projects work.

Besides these specific types that we find in the Community, there are also those people in the world who disagree with us just for the sake of being contrary. There are some personalities who simply enjoy conflict–whether that is because of a technique of feeding (Chaos Eaters) or because it simply natural for them to be conflictive or combative.

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While we can’t control other people who find being contrary, conflictive or combative natural–if you find these qualities in yourself, there are some simple meditations to do to help alleviate them.

Prepare meditative space in any way which seems appropriate–For a more spiritual experience, cleanse the area with sage or salt water.  Create sacred space by casting circle or invoking guardians.  For a more casual working, make yourself some tea and simply get comfortable.

Meditate or contemplate in whichever manner seems correct for you.  Free associate, journal or meditate on your ability to get along with people in a more harmonious way. If you wish to work with imagery, perhaps imagine the energy of working and being with others in the GVC as a sort of colored light…or use some other image which represents your interaction with others.  Imagine, feel, sense the energy of working with others becoming more pleasant, flowing easier and more harmoniously to create mutually beneficial outcomes.  As images come and go, make them more positive in any way which that makes sense to your imagination.  Be creative with light, color, feeling and sound.

If you choose to work with meditative prompts in the form of questions, work with any of the following in meditation–What are the benefits to working with others?  How comfortable am I working in positive ways with others?  Am I okay getting along with others?  Are there more positive ways to interact with others, that is to benefit all involved?  Can I fulfill my goals in the easiest, smoothest way possible?

We don’t need everyone to agree with us.  Share your perspective in the Community. But do not be attached to everyone seeing the world through your eyes.

 

 

Non-Vampiric Feeding vs. Vampiric Feeding

There was a time when I energy-fed–before I thought of myself as an Energy Vampire.  It was more that I didn’t think of it as “feeding” in the way that I think of vampiric energy feeding, now.  I did use the word “nourishment,” thinking in terms of “spiritual nourishment”–the energies that each of us need, as spiritual/energetic beings with spiritual/energetic bodies.

Before I self-identified as a Vampire and used the reference points that I use now, I thought of myself as a mage and an energy worker.  I moved energy and thought of this process as more of “channeling.”  One of the first concepts I was introduced to in Feri Witchcraft was that of the “The Tree” visualization–thinking of ourselves as rooted in the Earth, with our branches reaching into the skies and space.  Energetically connected to the energy system of the Earth and the Planetary bodies.  As a Witch, we were taught that we were spiritually nourished by taking in energies from the Earth and the Sky.  Within the context of paganism, we were also taught that our personal energy systems needed the feminine, Goddess, Earth energies from below and the masculine, God, solar, Sky energies from above.  With both, we were complete.

While I didn’t use the word “feeding” extensively at the time, I meditated on both types of natural energy filling my personal system and nourishing my chakras, energy bodies and any other metaphor/image that I thought of as my “self.”  At the time, my mental concept was not that I was anything special or unique because I practiced in this way.  My perception was that all beings benefited from performing this practice consciously, because it represented full communion with all spiritual energies.  Anything with a spirit (i.e., humans) became complete with this conscious practice.

Eventually, whether it was an intuitive understanding or a logical conclusion based on an analysis of these metaphysical concepts [or even, simply a psychological technique, working as some kind of emotional placebo], I found value in taking in other classes of energies.  Pretty much any other type of energy that I could conceptualize.

As a Witch, I pretty much figured out that every magickal system that we used represented the wholeness of reality by breaking it down into smaller symbolic parts that we could mentally relate to.  The signs of the Zodiac, Planetary Magick, Elemental Magick, Pantheons…with each exploration of every magickal construct, my main practice was channeling those energies into and through my self.  Earth, Water, Fire, Air.  Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars.  Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer.  Ra, Isis, Osiris, Horus, Sekhmet, Bast.  For whatever other technique I practiced or information I studied, I constantly pulled energy into myself.  The benefits were observable.  While, I wasn’t “healed” in the way that I conceptualized (and expected) to be, I did notice differences and improvements.  I felt emotionally calmer.  My physical body felt better.  I was healthier on those two levels.

I felt a satisfaction that I didn’t have before.  To me, these were spiritual and magickal practices that ANY spiritually-oriented person could choose to do.  These were beneficial, but not obligatory.  To my understanding, I was drawn to these practices, these states because it was natural to my being…but, I was still human.  There was nothing about my BEING that made me different from any other human, magician or non-magician.  These trends to want to explore spirituality, energy work and magick were things that I saw as part of my personality or consciousness–but, they did not set me apart as a different TYPE of human being.

My magickal practices didn’t fix everything in my life, but they certainly made them MUCH better.  By the time I stumbled into the Vampire Community, I was already pretty content with my personal system.  And because it was such a personal and living system, I adjusted and adopted the concepts that I discovered within energy vampirism.  The explanations that I discovered in the Vampire Community filled in the holes that my previous system had.  Looking back, I realized that I had auto-fed on other humans quite a bit of the time.  People also told me that I pulled on their negative energy in ways that I know I didn’t do consciously–again, automatically.  Friends and acquaintances told me that they felt better around me, because I would relieve them of their heavy, negative energies, simply by being in their presence.

Even though I had a comfortable background in the Pagan and Magickal Communities…or maybe BECAUSE I knew the value of considering myself a student in new territory…I was open to listening to the input from the various members of the Vampire Community.  They were obviously aware of their vampirism much longer than I had been.  Even though no one had expressly communicated this to me–from observing the focus of many Energy Feeders, I eventually considered “vampiric feeding” as the taking in of energy from other human energy systems.  I had a long history of taking in energy from non-human sources…and because I didn’t call it “feeding,” I never thought of that as vampiric.

Taking in energy from human sources was “vampiric.”  This was part of the reason that I quietly disbelieved that elemental feeders were really vampires, if their energetic diet was exclusive to that non-human energy.  Feeding on Nature’s energies was something that I had done for years–it was part of a magician’s routine.  Many spiritual people did it and everyone could benefit from it.

At some vague point, within some grey area, I started to think of myself as more of a Psychic Vampire/Energy Vampire/Vampire rather than as a Witch.  Not that I gave up on my old practices completely, but working with non-human energies happened less frequently.  I had created a distinction between Magicians/Witches and Vampires in my mind.  Even though no one else told me that I had to give up my old energy work, I had also accidentally created an association between solar/stellar energies and the powers of Nature.  Lunar and Nocturnal energies were in a separate category.  Vampires seemed to have a preference for nighttime imagery.

While I didn’t think in terms of Light/Good and Dark/Bad, I did use particular terms and images in my pre-Vampire Community days.  I thought of energy as Light…Diane Stein had introduced me to the concept of Black Light, so even working with Darkness wasn’t a problem in the modality I had been using.  While I did work with Lunar and Nocturnal energies/images, I thought of Light as being a strong part of this framework.

I thought of the principles of Energy Vampirism as rounding out my practices, so I adopted them.  However, I perceived that there is much more of a Nocturnal focus in many of the members…so, I eventually lost focus on the entirety of my old energy work, as I was used to practicing it.  It seems that many of the Energy Feeders focus on Lunar energies and Dark energies, if any energy work is done at all, besides feeding on human-sourced prana.  I hadn’t realized that I had narrowed in my focus in the same way in my personal practice.  Looking back, I realized that it was an eventual progression.

I hadn’t thought of my early energy work as Feeding, because that is not a term that we worked with.  We did use concepts like “spiritual nourishment,” though.  “Feeding” sounds like something predatory, while “nourishment” reminds me of something healthy and  nurturing.  Even though we often work with willing donation and ambient energy, “feeding” brings to mind something other than “eating”….it’s a more aggressive word choice.  When I thought of being “nourished” by the Earth’s energy, there was definitely something softer, caring, more loving about the concept.

I was taking in energy either way, but there was distinctions in my frame of reference.  I’ve recently found MORE wonderful, well-rounded, spiritually-oriented Vampires who embrace the value of working with non-human sources of energy, as well as acknowledging that it is part of our nature to feed on human-source prana.  Is it natural for some of us–Vampiric Energy Feeders–to focus only on Nocturnal energies…or is it another part of The Vampire Mystique to only focus on the Night?  Is it fashionable to keep only to the dark or do some of us keep to the shadows because we’ve associated the Light and Sunlight to the (unenlightened) society that we wish to separate ourselves from?

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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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“Sweetie, Shouldn’t You Have A Talk With Timmy About Turning?”

One of the problems with the Online Vampire Community is that we don’t have the equivalent of a “children’s table.”  We have many groups in which we have mixed membership–seasoned, reasonable, mature, practical Modern Vampires…in the same groups as those who do not have a realistic view of modern vampirism.

Specifically, I am referring to those “aspirants” who request to be turned, no matter how many times we tell them that we won’t or can’t…or that being “turned” won’t get them what they really want.  The subject of being “Turned” can be a controversial topic.  It is not even a topic on which we all completely agree–whether or not it is possible–or even on how we should define it.

When we talk about the concept of Turning, some of us say that it has the classical meaning–to produce the condition of vampirism where it was not present before.  Others say that “turning” is more of an activation of the recessive trait of vampirism, to bring its symptoms into full manifestation in those who possessed latent vampirism.  In the classical sense, a formerly non-vampiric being is transformed into a vampire.  In the “activation” of latent vampirism, only vampires can be awakened, not non-vampiric humans.

Reasonable, practical members of the Community sometimes discuss the prospect of Turning–either and both forms.  We discuss the possibility of both forms of Turning in terms of Sanguinism and Energy Vampirism.  We sometimes even share personal or second-hand accounts which we think validate our belief or skepticism in the process, itself.  The problem comes when “aspirants” come in from a side angle, wanting to be Turned into vampires.

A simple request from someone who is young, uninformed and is NOT heavily invested in the belief of the Fictional Vampire; but is more of a vampire-fan is not that much of a problem.  It is when someone is insistent that they NEED to be Turned and so stubborn about wanting to be transformed into a super-powered Vampire that they will jump from person to person in the community, aggressive in their search to be Turned.

Here is the little problem–among the more analytical of us, in our discussions, we refer to Turning within the context of our larger understanding.  Among Modern Vampires, we have more of an intellectual relationship to the concept.  Those of us who are already Obligate Feeders don’t need to be “turned”.  Those of us who are not Modern Vampires, but are still reasonable and mature members of the VC, are usually not interested in being “turned” because those members know what a Modern Vampire is and are not confusing that with any Fictional version.

However, when the less-intellectual, more-impulsive, less-informed, more-delusional “aspirant” merely hears the word “Turned,” they take the mention/discussion as confirmation that the classical, fictional process is a reality.  Even when some of us explain that classical/fictional Turning is not possible OR that Vampires are not granted extraordinary abilities, these “aspirants” can’t hear anything beyond the word “Turned.”

These Wannabe-Turnees are thinking of POWERS, powers found in movies, television shows, folk tales and modern vampire fiction.  Should we be more explicit when we talk about “powers,” “talents” and “abilities” in front of the kids?  In the Magickal and Pagan Communities, when we refer to the “powers,” it is within the context of inborn or developed/exercised abilities.  I was clairvoyant as a little boy, because of spiritual karma.  I was born with a level of natural talent because of past-life karma or pre-life spiritual agreement.  The level of skill I have in glamour projection came with my conscious practice as a witch.  Although there are “rituals” available, most experienced magicians don’t take many “instant transformation” spells seriously.  In the Magickal Community, what is not recognized as inborn is earned through time invested, along with hard work.

In the Magickal Community, there is no quick fix or instant transformation.  Even in the seeming appearance of a magickal working having “instant results” or “miraculous effects,” it is because of preparatory work or pre-existing conditions which allowed for the manifestation of such change.  It seems that many Modern Vampires have backgrounds or understanding of these principals of metaphysics, so that we often do not feel a need to reiterate the details when we talk about “powers.”  The “aspirant,” sometimes coming into the middle of our conversations, comes away with an incomplete picture.  To the uneducated audience, we seem like we have super powers…abilities well beyond the range of non-vampiric magicians and psychics.

Also, let’s be completely honest, there are SOME of us that qualify as Modern Vampires–we have the genuine obligatory need to feed; observable benefits when we feed; observable detriments when we do not feed–AND despite this, still exaggerate or embellish on our real experiences.  Instead of bragging about how many push-ups we did or how little carbs we ate on our diet–our Community version is how we drank a two glasses of “red” every day for two weeks running or how we drained the lifeforce of the local church pastor, causing him to drop dead of a heart attack.  Exaggerated accounts are taken with a grain of salt or called out by other Modern Vampires, who have their own experiences to gauge the range of possibility against.  However, for those “aspirants” who have an emotional investment in someday experiencing the fantastical, WANT and NEED to believe in those exaggerated accounts.

Is there any reason to be more careful around the “aspirants”?  For the most part, I’ve noticed that the standard response is to attempt to educate or correct said people.  With such an emotional investment and need to believe in the possibility that they will have eventually have powers, once they find a “real vampire”….are they even in the state to where our attempts at education will sink in?

Here’s another factor to be aware of–with the “aspirants” strong desire to meet what they think of as “real vampires,” is it more likely that they will run into a genuine Modern Vampire?  What if the “aspirant” meets up with an unawakened Vamp or awakened Vamp….what happens when the Vamp is uneducated or under the same delusions?  What about when they cannot fulfill the desire of Turning–because the Vampire must “just be holding out”?  Instead of just responding to the requests of being Turned as the requests appear…would there be any benefit to directly addressing this particular group of Turning hopefuls in a different way?

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VWA: Vampires With Anxiety

One of the reasons that I didn’t initially relate to being a Modern Vampire is that I had high levels of anxiety.  In my mind, a vampire was a cool, calm, collected, and centered being who either had their feelings totally in check or didn’t feel any strong emotion at all.

As I became familiar with the members of the modern Vampire Community, I became acutely aware that anxiety–as well as all of the other psychological and emotional disorders–are just as common in modern Sanguivores and Psychic Vampires, as they are in any other special group.  However–role players, aspirants and outsiders seem to play into the idea of the Fictional Vampire being emotionally cold or overly controlling of their emotions.  Despite evidence of legitimate Sanguinism or the need to energetically feed, sometimes the presence of anxiety is taken as an indication that one CANNOT be a Modern Vampire.  There is the idea that a “real” Vampire is perfect and not subject to any of the human illnesses or disorders.

Looking at the defining characteristics for Modern Vampires, there is the obligatory need for a Sanguivore to ingest blood and for a Psychic Vampire to feed on energy from a donor.  Beyond that–the human history, psychological health, and physical health of the individual can vary.  There is no guarantee that the vampire in question will be free from any particular emotional or physical disorder.

Speaking for myself, when my physical health is off, I feel my anxiety levels rise.  I suffer from generalized anxiety and have panic attacks, with less provocation than usual needed for an attack when I am physically unwell.  Since my body seems to be more delicate than the people around me, I’ve noticed that just letting my physical body get too hungry, I will feel more anxious…when only a snack will help me feel better.

As in the case of many Psychic Vampires, there is a notable decline in physical health because of the correspondingly low amount of vital energy being available in the subtle bodies.  An energetically-hungry Psychic Vampire is more prone to anxiety because of the imbalance on the subtler levels.

An emotional imbalance in the Energy Vampire might make it a bit harder for the vampire to interact with possible donors.  Ambient feeding is most easily done when the feeder is not drawing attention to themselves–when they are not nervous in any way and can blend into the crowd.

Direct feeding involves gaining permission from the donor.  To get express permission from a Donor, one needs to first interact with said Donor.  Being anxious is most likely to scare or put off others.  Especially if the Donor is not intimately familiar with the possible human flaws (including, anxiety) of Psychic Vampires, the idea that the feeding vampire does not fit the cliché of the supernaturally-healthy creature of myth, might prevent a feeding.

If you are experiencing anxiety, by all means perform all of the practical remedies.  And, if you are an obligate energy feeder, perform feeding in which you do not have to interact with other humans, to see if this anxiety is primarily hunger-induced.  Ambient feed from locations and groups that have large amounts of excess vital and psychic energy.  Also, engage in astral feeding and pull in energy from as many natural sources as possible (solar prana, earth prana, air prana).  Keeping energetically nourished might help prevent hunger-induced anxiety and nervousness.

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The Power and Problem of Sarcasm In The Vampire Community

 

Here’s the problem–I can be a very sarcastic person.

(No matter which community I’m participating in.)

And here’s the good thing–my sarcasm is part of my humor and creativity.

I’ll admit that I’m not the most consistent person. I might fluctuate on my behavior, depending on circumstance, personal mood, what I’ve had to eat physically and otherwise.  And I’ll also admit that I will let friends and closer associates get away with more bad behavior than people that I might know more casually or not at all.

Here’s the situation–I have many moments when I care about being helpful to others. As a self-identified Psychic Vampire, I care about my fellow Energy Feeders and Blood Feeders. As a metaphysician and energy healer, I care in general about all people being healthy, happy and growing into their spiritual awareness.

AND…because I am not completely enlightened (yet), have a human personality and a dry sense of humor…I am not always completely altruistic. I have a wicked sense of humor. I believe that I can be helpful and caring, when it seems the most appropriate. But, some of my more sarcastic reactions are saved for my private walls–sometimes out of context, without revealing the prompting scenario.

Speaking for my own experience, it seems that even though I do want to be helpful and give useful information to fellow Modern Vampires and help spread factual/relevant information about modern understanding of blood/energy vampirism–receptive and intelligent audiences are not always uniform throughout the internet and in-person worlds. Even with the best of my intentions, sometimes the simple truth is that people DO NOT WANT my information, as I understand and offer it.

In the Vampire Community–“aspirants” ask to be “turned,” others want validation that they are born special, and still others simply want confirmation that they are Vampire–even if their working definition is different than mine. Others just want to be accepted as part of a Community. My general intention is to provide the actual blood/energy feeders with appropriate and practical feeding information, to offer alternatives to non-vampires (when they “want to be” vampires) and educate the public with my particular interpretation and understanding of modern vampirism. Those are my working ideals.

However–I’ve noticed that not everyone wants to be told that they are wrong with their self-identification.  Sometimes, members want to argue when I don’t give them a “quick solution” by turning them. Upon disagreeing with my interpretation, I’ve had people drop the conversation, repeatedly insist that they are vampires, insist that I turn them or just not follow through on the alternative suggestions I give them. At some point, it started to feel like a timed game for me–how can I give this person the most useful information in the smallest amount of time, with the expectation that this is the only time that they will ever talk to me?

I eventually got burned out on that idea. My observation of people in-person (offline) and online is that people can be way more complicated than what their surface actions and conversation shows. They can have heavy emotional investments in their ideas–what they WANT to be true. They might not have the conscious recognition of what the motivating factors are in their convictions, only the surface NEED to have their beliefs be true. Not everyone is reasonable or completely conscious in their interactions with those of us in the Community.

So….let’s bring this all back to the SARCASM in our online Vampire Community. There is no rule that everyone has to be welcoming, warm and kind to everyone that wanders into the Community. We have our individual rules in our individual online groups and houses–so, we have our range of responses to the comments and statements that come up in our online forums. There are some members that I tend to avoid in the OVC–I’ve blocked a few. There are other members who I tend to avoid responding to, because they just seem so abrasive. Then, there are some of my friends who can be a little abrasive, when presented with apparent trolling–but, will respond kindly to more believable newcomer questions and remarks. Personal interactions on our Facebook walls aside, I’ve noticed that the sarcasm tends to come out in two types of threads, in general.

The first type of discussion that comes up is that within a heated debate–sarcasm usually comes up in the form of “how can you possible think that?”-spirit of response. During a heated discussion, we are usually arguing among intellectual equals or, at least, between those of us who have strong backbones and thick skins. In this context, the fighting ground is relatively fair–the bigger boys and girls who can serve it, as well as take it. Sarcasm can be served both ways by people who can hold their own.

The second kind of scenario where sarcasm is used in our groups is in response to a single poster’s comment or question–in which the poster says something which is considered outlandish…or seemingly a statement that a troll or role player would say. A popular activity that I’ve seen is when a post will be answered by a lot of eye-rolling and “oh, this again”-kind of responses. The first problem I tend to notice with this is that there is an almost instant camaraderie that people try to form by ganging up on the original poster. Given, some of these claims, questions and comments might seem outlandish–but, I tend to be cautious of those that jump on the sarcasm thread to gain instant credit in a sort of “mob mentality.”

The system is not a perfect one–there are trolls, people who know perfectly well how self-identified Modern Vampires define terms and understand ourselves.  Trolls provoke by asking ridiculous questions, even though they might know perfectly well how we use definitions and how we understand concepts.  Then we have the people who genuinely do not know how we define terms and concepts, have a fantastical (fictional) view of vampires and vampirism….and are mistaken in their self-identification or want to be transformed into a Fictional Vampire.  Those two groups alone make legitimate members of the GVC defensive and sometimes combative, when we perceive someone who is trying to deceive our community.

The problem with this is that we sometimes make assumptions about how real Obligate Sanguivores and Obligate Psychic Feeders are supposed to behave and respond.

Although this is not a universal understanding, my personal interpretation is that obligation to feed does not guarantee any other personality or intuitive traits.  In my experience, I am an obligate energy feeder, so I am using my personal history as a gauge for what is possible (though, not an absolute) in the psychic vampire personality.  I perceive that I have always had a need to feed on energy.  I personally have not always had the same degrees of the same knowledge and information that can be found in a seasoned member of the Community.  However, I wouldn’t ask such outlandish questions in public forums, like some members do.

As part of the Magickal/Pagan Community, we would explore the limits of possibility in a methodical manner.  Claims of the paranormal and metaphysical were put to the test through reasonable amounts of time preparing and executing magickal technique.  Part of this framework for discernment translates fairly neatly over to the topics, claims and beliefs of the Vampire World.

While I tend to lean over towards giving people the benefit of the doubt, I actually rely on my harsher and less forgiving counterparts in the Community.  In the bigger picture, it seems that we very much perform the good cop/bad cop scenario.  The aggressive and abrasive of us call out those of us who might not be the most sincere.  And then there are those of us who are more gentle in our approach–we are the ones that will take in those that want the important teachings of the Modern Vampire.  Hopefully, those who really are obligate feeders have the instinct to find like-minded kindred and continue searching in the Community.  Maybe the push and pull of interaction in the Community is like the push and pull of washing the soil out of a dirty cloth–eventually, in all the motion, something will come out clean.

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Audience-Driven Vampirism Vs. Identification For Practical Purposes

 

Someone recently published a post about their take on Energy Vampirism. While I disagreed with some of the fundamental attitudes and conclusions–I thought that maybe the poster was reacting to so many of the role players that tend to find their way into the Vampire groups in our Community.

Perhaps, “role player” is not exactly the right word to use. “Poser” might not accurately capture the meaning, either. What I am referring to are those people who incorrectly self-identify (or self-diagnose) as Modern Vampires, when they might not fit the descriptions that many of us work from.

Necessity to feed is the defining factor in Modern Vampires. Modern Vampires have pre-existent conditions and a level of health that are alleviated/helped by feeding. Whether through ingestion of blood or consumption of particular energy, it is the necessity to take in either substance to receive health benefits. While any human being can ingest blood/energy, it is only those that receive observable benefit from doing so and have observable detriment from prolonged periods without feeding that we qualify as Modern Vampires, Living Vampires, Real Vampires or any other variation thereof.

There are quite a few people who make their way into the Vampire Community through the Metaphysical Communities. Here, we are talking about the general worlds of the psychic, energy workers, magicians and light workers. The motivation to study any of these arts and systems will vary. The most common reason to study metaphysics is that the student wants personal healing–either emotionally, physically or both.

While this might be a sincere justification for many of us to do anything in the world–as humans, it is almost an instinct to do things which bring us emotional peace…even if we do not do so in a logical, conscious manner. We are driven to do things which make us feel better–sometimes on a long-term basis; but, most often, it is more for a short-term, temporary sense of satisfaction.

One of the ways that we get our more instantaneous emotional fixes is through the experience of other’s reactions and responses. Here is where we can be equal across the board. Actual Modern Vampires and non-vampiric people can all still have the personality need for emotional validation from the other people around them. Whether we are vampiric or not, we still look for clues from the outside world instead of following our intuition or internal sense of correct action.

[Of course, I am speaking of positive or neutral actions, when I speak of any vampiric activity.  As a basis for any vampiric events, I only mean to follow through with beneficial actions or actions which do not affect another being in a negative way.]

An elder in the community once pointed out that there had to be a certain level of intelligence and self-awareness to be able to recognize that one is a Modern Vampire. Part of self-recognition should go way beyond the simplistic “I always felt like I was one” or “I always knew I was one.” If only because we are dealing with lifestyle changes and habits that can be so vitally important to the health of actual Modern Vampires, part of the process of self-identifying as a Vampire should be the conscious evaluation that one has the NEEDS of a Sanguine or Psychic Vampire.

Do I engage in any vampirism because it gives me observable benefits?  Or do I engage in any vampirism because I am looking for the reactions of any audience after/when I do so?

Is most, part or all of your identification as a Modern Vampire found or validated on the responses and reactions of others? Or could you still identify as a Modern Vampire, even if you researched the concepts quietly without “letting other people know” that you are a Vampire? [Pause. Read those last four questions a few times. Actually answer those questions on paper.]

There are subsections of the Vampire Community that focus on support and/or information.  Here, we are more concerned with helping Modern Sanguine and Psychic Vampires function and live in healthy ways.  In general, we are not so much concerned with “vampire royalty” or any “vampire politics,” as much as we are concerned with guiding, teaching and healing fellow Modern Vampires. As part of this loosely connected teaching web, some of us are also willing to help the mistaken and deluded give up their fantasies of being Feeders, when they are not.

If one is an actual Modern Vampire, the quickest way to living an empowered and healthy life is to focus on the health and feeding aspects of being a Modern Sanguine or Energy Feeder.  Looking for others to believe that you are a Vampire will only interfere with your focus and practice of healthy feeding.  If you look for an audience for your self-esteem, this is actually a flaw on the personality level.  Convincing numbers that you are a Vampire is a cheap substitute for self-validation.  (Even the Fictional Vampires of story and myth were more functional as discrete, stealthy, private creatures–their sense of power came from within, not validated by others.  Their focus was on keeping fed, not on impressing the masses.)

Arguably, it might be advantageous to reveal your nature or identification under certain conditions.  This is reasonable when it is in a one-on-one basis.  Reveal of information is logical and fair, when setting agreements for blood or energy donations–but for purposes of shock and awe, it is neither reasonable or in good taste.  The other scenario is when the Donor or Swan enjoys a bit of role play during donation.  This is up to the taste of the Donor–for THEIR enjoyment.  This is fine, as long as there are clear lines of what is role play (at the Donor’s request) and what is factual information.

If you are not an obligate feeder, trying to convince others that you are a Vampire will eventually fall apart.  Eventually, the evidence that you do not need to ingest blood or energy will come out.  The only power you will have (temporarily) gained would have been that high that someone believed you were something that you were not….that someone believed your fantasy.  Your time will be much better spent fortifying your self-confidence and self-esteem and actually practicing magick, the psychic arts or the energy work that will actually provide results in the practical sense.

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