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Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA]  |  Vampires & Vampirism  |  Vampire Community & Subcultural Discussion (Moderators: Merticus, SoulSplat, Eclecta, Maloryn, Zero)  |  03.14.11 - Vampire Community Article - Armitage Soulshroude 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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« on: March 21, 2011, 01:51:51 pm »

http://www.vampirerave.com/journal/journal_section.php?section=potions&journal=wsoulshroudew#21203

Request: Please make comments either directly at the link above or via http://www.atlantavampirealliance.com/forum/index.php?topic=2372.0 (publicly viewable forum) where SoulShroude will be able to read them.  Thank you.

Vampire Community Article
By Armitage Soulshroude

Updated:  March 21, 2011

A precautionary warning:

(This article will speculate many different variables regarding the Vampire Community, it will get under peoples skin, it will cause drama if not read correctly or not in its entirety. The point of this thread will be made clear by the end of it for those who read it thoroughly and not for what they think it might be about. Any questions, comments and or complaints will be answered as time allows. Thank you.)


Before I begin, let me state that I have been a member of the vampire community since the late 90's, but the information that I have available is through the grapevine, and personal experiences. So pretty much all the information I am about to write here is credible and accurate as far as my memory and research goes.

There seems to be a conflict these days regarding the vampire community and its many separate factions. As in, there seems to be two different vampire communities to my knowledge thus far. Those who would celebrate the spelling with a "y" as in vamp"y"re and would claim a belief in a society known as the "Ordo Strigoi Vii" which holds a code of conduct called the "Black Veil" of whom at times would take the community into an entirely different direction with authority within HALO's that seem to think they have some sort of jurisdiction surrounding the vampire community.

And then we have the other, more conservative side of the community with independent representatives and respect for one another without any mass drama between them, since they are friends and acquaintances for the most part.

Now, we will start with my perspective on the "Ordo Strigoi Vii" society and why I am writing about them first... Since they have the most amount of drama at all times, it seemed like the proper idea to bring them to the table first and foremost.

-Ordo Strigoi Vii-

These individuals in the early 90's (I am not sure of the exact date of the formation, so don't quote me on this, as it is pure speculation) got together and formed a Court for certain cities such as the Court of Gotham which includes all of the metro city of New York and have Havens called the Long Black Veil, The Bank, Alchemy, Contempt, and Mother. As well as the Court of Los Angeles that encompasses L.A. and Southern Cali. Their Havens include the Fang Club from L.A., Bar Sinister, Coven 13 and Absynthe from Hollywood. As for Black Trillium, Black Oaks Savannah, and others of this type they are listed as actual Havens and this is fine if the community is only going to be about the coolest Goth club scene, parties or ritualistic courts where everything has been made up in the last 30 years or so. Of course you have to have the right buzz words down or you're an outcast, like knowing about the Halos. Vampiricus and Release the Bats in Long Beach and Repent in Anaheim, not to mention the Houses in the Los Vegas area, Connecticut, DC, Georgia, Virginia, New Orleans etc, etc. Just bear in mind that some of those mentioned Houses are not affiliated with the Ordo Strigoi Vii, they are stated because they hold a following within the communities.

You see, the main goal was to try and establish a following of individuals throughout their cities and or across the great Nation of the U.S of A. They did a damned good job of it as well for the most part, but one day decided to instill upon their community members a certain code of ethics known as the "Black Veil," which was basically a set of rules to live by if one were to claim the distinction of being called "vamp'y're." This did not sit well with the other community who knew full well that being vamp"i"re was about instinct, common sense and proper etiquette.

After these foundations were formed, other cities started coming up with their own plans, such as Houses and Covens. They started being created in many major cities across the U.S. of A. once again and started believing all the hype of what the "Black Veil" represented.

In the latter part of the 90's, more Houses started to develop and within these groups, new "authority" figures started stepping up to the plate and claiming some sort of jurisdiction of their own. They did not have HALO's or what have you like the New Yorkers, and L.A., Connecticut, or Vegas baddies did, but they did start to believe all the hype of the "Black Veil" and started using it for their own philosophies, since they seemed to have no other places to turn to for guidance.

Throughout all of this from the decade of the 90's, everything seemed hunky dory for those who claimed to be vamp'y're. When the other side of the community started seeing what they were up to, some started to protest, but not in a warlike fashion. More like debates on what the community was supposed to be truly like. You see, the vampire community was supposed to be founded upon a society that was going to teach the ways of the unknown which is the vamp'i're, in a deeper meaning. To let those who were aware of themselves, have a deeper grasp on what they were or claimed to be, to help them out. But, others seemed to think that they had authority were there was none to be had and started putting fear into the newer generations minds. Saying things like "if you mess with anyone in this Halo, you will suffer the consequences," like they were in some sort of gang. They turned the whole vampire community aspect into one giant "gangland" escapade, instead of a community of union and comradeship. Thus we have terms such as Halo, House, Court, Haven, which are basically more sophisticated ways of saying "welcome to our turf". Without the danger of gang affiliation, this could be seen as one way they cover their asses when local authorities are involved with "vampire type crimes" happening in their neighborhoods.

To quote Michelle Belanger:

"From the start, this community has been fractious and rife with politics & territorialism -- and people fight not merely over regional territory but intellectual territory as well. This is evidenced by the widespread amount of plagiarism indulged in by many early "founders" (and several current ones, for that matter) as well as the habit of different groups establishing themselves as unique while essentially restating the exact same position as something already established before them -- but insisting that their interpretation/definition is new/unique/more valid simply because it is theirs and not that other guy's."

Most of the "elders" from the original community went their separate ways and formed online websites with forums for the purpose of discussing the community in general. This we call the OVC or Online Vampire Community because they thought it was easier then talking on a cell phone with more than 100 members of the community. This was perfectly understandable. Unfortunately, mindless drama and bickering goes on online as well as hearsay that everyone believes without knowing if the stories are true or not.

Both communities started getting serious around the beginning of the millennium, gaining media exposure such as documentaries on Halloween weekends, books started coming out and those who did said documentaries and authored those certain books, were technically deemed as media representatives for the communities. This is where the confusion really begins. You see, both communities started getting confused as to which they actually belonged to. Since both parallel one another in the long run save for the whole "Black Veil" concept. A book debuted entitled: "The Vampire Codex" ("the Codex was circulated as early as 1996 and was online from late 98 onward" - Michelle Belanger), which is basis for those who were actual "psychic" vampires, no matter which spelling is used for the word vampire. Many individuals who would soon claim to be "psi- vamp'y'res" would base their practices from this book as well (which will be covered later in this article).

Or as an individual of whom goes by the pseudonym of Sebastiaan van Houten (www.fathersebastiaan.com/about ) stated in a video interview “There are many traditions of organizations, individuals, groups and movements within the vampire sub-culture worldwide. I would say that I have counted over several hundred of them. But there are certain ones that have come forward… with the strongest presence because they have had either successful leaders or the concept of their philosophies have truly resonated something that is deeper. The Strigoi Vii use the spelling vamp’y’re with a ‘y’, while I have noticed that a majority of the psychic vampires, Hollywood, even role-players, embrace it and spell it with the “I”. It was simply a ( at this point in the video, Sebastiaan puts his finger to his face next to his eye then runs it down to the end of his chin as a symbol or sign to what his deeper meaning connotates) subtle form of communication.” (the highlight of this video interview may be found here:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/gRCcWp_ObIA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/gRCcWp_ObIA</a>

To quote one Lady Nightdancer – “Most really don't care how people spell vampire. That is the least of anyone's worries. It was done for differentiation purposes and most everyone knows it. Spell the word as you like. Vampyre is an old spelling and vampire is the modern form of the word. In Eastern Europe they generally write vampir with no y or e on the end. It is still the same word no matter how it is spelled. As for all these tags used, courts, covens, one organizational grouping that is fictional based because some research was done on it, but is popularly used in the modern community… vampiric is preferred anyway.”

After this book came about (Vampire Codex) more and more individuals started to claim the "psi" (psychic) vampire charge, which was immensely easier to classify themselves then Sanguine (blood) vampires.

-Psychic vampires vs. Psi-vampires-

-Psychic Vampire- (more information may be found here – ( www.psychicvampire.org/index.htm ):
“A Psychic Vampire is a person, who by reason of a condition of their spirit, needs to obtain vital energy from outside sources. They are unable to generate their own energy, and often times don't have the best capacity to store the energy they do have. They come from all walks of life, every religion, and political view.”

So you now see why Sebastiaan may have pointed out his association with the two spellings of vampire. It seems to serve a deeper meaning amongst certain parts of the sub-culture that is the vamp”y”re community though perspectives do vary when regarding both sides of the community.

My definition is as follows the meaning will be made clear within the definition, Notice the two spellings (psi vs. psychic):

Psi-vampire - Those who are too afraid to feed from blood out of either not being able to stand the sight of blood (contradiction), or choose not to because of any other excuse to what ails them. Too me, those who profess in being a psychic vamp"y"re should either learn about what it means to be "psychic" and what it means to feel the energy around you. I mean don't get me wrong here... I am not saying that true energy vampires don't exist, I am simply stating that those who would profess to being a psi vamp, are simple role-players that neither know what the term means, nor have actually studied what the connotations of energy transference is. This area is a very broad spectrum, one that has no bias over who feeds from energy and who does not.

Don’t get me wrong on this account, there are those who are actual psychic vampires, who do have a need to feed on the energy of others, either on the conscious level or subconsciously.

Examples include: The depressed, injured, elderly, autistic, clairvoyant, angered, mentally unstable, even people who are always too happy or have too much energy around them. These are signs of natural mental vampires. They would feed on a sub-conscious level. On the other hand, many others either by instinct or they have learned how to hone the gift, can feed on the conscious level and know they are doing it. These would be the true psychic vampiric predators.

Then we have those who tend to naturally amplify the energy around them, and feel it as if it were their own. This is what we call
an "empath".

Empathy as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary is as follows:

NOUN: 1. Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives.

So in other words, these empaths have a natural ability to understand other peoples energies to the point of knowing what they want before they even ask, or answering questions before the question is even though about. This is a vampiric trait, but the lifestylers rarely ever know this as fact. They simply claim to be a psi-vampire for the sake of not actually drinking blood but still want to be vampiric.

For those who have the guts to feed on the blood, doing it though very safe means with willing participants (these participants are called “donors” within the psychic and sanguine sub-communities):

-True Sanguinarian Vampires vs. Sang vampyres-

True Sanguinarian Vampire - Those who would feed from any creature on the physical level i.e. cut a wound and drink the blood. Some of them claim to prefer animal blood from store bought packaging to the act of cutting flesh.

Sang vampyre - A very dangerous act for those who would call themselves vamp"y"res on account of how many diseases and germs are in packaged meat products. Then we have an issue if one would go after a human for their blood. Humans don't usually give their blood to just anyone.

This is where the vamp"y"res claim to have "donors". Donors are people that the vamp"y"res claim to test for any type of disease before they ask for the blood donation from their subject. Wait a minute here... why would a so called vampire with a different spelling to the name of course, want their donors blood to be tested unless of course they weren't actually vampires. Ahem... Later in the years, the philosophy of the blood had changed from actual drinking of it, to it being presented as a metaphor for energy; this was for the benefit of saving face and not being blamed on any vampire type crimes that occasionally rise in the news. Sucks (pun intended) to be those who want to claim the title of “sang” vampyre. (Zombie stare)Must follow rules of the “Black Veil” at all times.

Now that these two "feeding" types had been established, things got all that more confusing within both communities, suddenly more Houses started to appear. But, if all of these Houses and Courts were appearing, why not then a list of demographic locations and or Councils for these cities or one for the entire United States? Makes one wonder… in my perspective, the only reason why these things were not established was because of the bickering that was supposedly going on within the community and all the media attention from those select few that just seemed to be out for themselves, but used the vampire community as a facade for getting their turn in the spotlight.

-Donors-

Donors – Are mainly people who donate their blood or energy to the true sanguinarian vampires or psychic vampires. In parts of the community they are known as Swans. (to be covered later.)

An individual by the name of Belfazaar “Zaar” Ashantison created a statement called the “Donor Bill of Rights” which is basically an agreement between vampire and donor respectively, letting the donor know that they have rights when it comes to “dinner time”, and reads as follows:

"This Bill of Rights is to promote the continued safety of the most precious of gifts to us, their life essence. It is suggested that this be signed by both the vampire and the donor on a 30/60/90 day trial basis. After this, the contract can be resigned for an extended period of time which can be either the 30/60/90/ or 6 months to 1 year. At the end of these contracts, discussions can be made as to whether or not changes should be done. What will be allowed and what will not be allowed.

1) As a donor, I know that it is through my personal sacrifice that the vampires needs are met. It is my loving nature that allows this relationship to continue. It is my right to decline to feed the vampire for any reason.

2) As a donor to a vampiric being, it is my right to know that I am in a vampiric/donor relationship that will be mutually beneficial to both me and the vampire I am donating my life essence to.

3) I am the essence provider. It is for me to decide whether or not I am able to give of my essence to the vampire I am with. I must be allotted time to heal and regain my essence in order to better support my vampiric partner.

4) At no time should my wounds not be allowed to heal.

5) At no time should I feel stressed about giving of my essence, if at any time I feel stressed, I have the right to back away from the feed, without being or feeling threatened by my vampiric partner.

6) Should I feel threatened in any way, shape or form, I have the right to seek guidance and council from other donors and leaders of the vampire community.

7) As a donor to a vampiric individual, I have the right to know that my position as lover, friend, family, roommate should not be jeopardized by my not wanting to give of my essence. In the slang, it should not cost me my ass to be a donor.

8) As a donor, I should also respect the needs of the vampire and try to learn more about his/her feeding habits in order to help stabilize his/her imbalances in energy.

9) As a donor in a vampire/donor relationship, I realize that though I have many necessary rights, I must also take cares not to abuse the person I am donating my essence to. These same rights afforded me in this Bill of Rights should also be extended to the vampire I am donating too.

10) Ultimately it is my right to know that I will be safe in all aspects of the vampiric/donor relationship and should I ever feel that my safety is jeopardized, I have the right to walk away clear and free.

Ultimately, it is our (both the donor and the vampire) responsibility to insure that we are not abused. It is our (both the donor and the vampire) personal responsibility to leave a vampire/donor relationship that we feel is abusive in any nature. We can not be abused unless we allow ourselves to be. thank you to sangy from www.sanguinarius.org for use of this article."


The truth is, since the beginning, the Community actually had its act together, what with a set of Ethical Guidelines called "The Vampire Ethos" and reads as follows and is contributed by - Sylvere ap Leanan, Michelle Belanger, Merticus, Zero, Maloryn, & RedRaven:

"We recognize the intrinsic value of everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or spiritual philosophy. We do not follow or promote any particular religious, political, or philosophical creed. Our community strives to create an atmosphere in which individuals are not only free to create their own meanings, values, and convictions, but also expected to do so. To that end, this document represents a basic premise for ethical, educational, and safety awareness within the vampire community.

Community

Use of the phrase 'vampire community' implies all those who actively participate in the discourse and social interaction surrounding vampirism. This includes those who personally identify with the psychic (psi), pranist, sanguine (sang), or living vampi(y)re archetype and subsequently practice what is known as modern vampirism. It includes the donors who many such vampires rely on and trust with their health and safety. It also includes those friends, advocates, and supporters who contribute their own voices to online discussion and offline interaction, as well as those who approach the community in the spirit of sincere discussion. Though it is primarily intended as a forum for vampires and donors to share their experiences, the vampire community is the result of all of these types of participation. There is no class system within the community, and we reject any imposed social structure which values some community members over others. All of us are relevant to the community and to each other.

Respect

If we want the respect of others, we must in turn be willing to afford them the same respect. Our beliefs evolve from our own unique experiences; there is no one set of "rules", nor one path that's right for everyone. There is no harm in disagreements amongst one another; however, discourteous behavior should be avoided when possible. We promote the fair treatment of others with open-minded contemplation of their views. However, it violates our principles to expect undeserved deference, or to accommodate that expectation in others. We will not grant respect to those who by their actions prove themselves unworthy of such. The vampire community is comprised of individuals with diverse social backgrounds and spiritual paths. Although we may not agree with someone else's belief, practice, or tradition, we all have a common right to exist, and to participate in the community.

Integrity

We encourage originality and self-expression tempered by personal accountability. Each of us is solely responsible for our own words and behavior. No member of our community, whether vampire, donor, or advocate is isolated from the rest -- our actions reflect not only on ourselves, but also on the rest of the community. More adept or tenured members of the community should assist those who ask for advice, each in accordance with their own ability and absent of any personal agenda. We recognize the existence of sensationalist media and its potential threat to both the safety and privacy of ourselves and our loved ones. We expect those members of our community who appear in public, whether at social functions, in print, or on the Internet, the radio, or film to act in accordance with these principles -- to conduct themselves at all times in a responsible manner.

Awareness

The vampire community is the result of its members engaging in self-discovery; it is not a prefabricated identity. Whether one is a vampire or donor, a friend or supporter, the substance of the community is formed through our self-awareness and interaction. We are true to ourselves, and encourage self-awareness in others, so that we all can live according to our own aesthetics and consciences. While it is acceptable to use pseudonyms as alternatives for proper names, we believe that adopting a phony persona robs us of the opportunity to form genuine, lasting bonds with each other. The vampire community is a product of our own individual contributions and perspectives; in this culture being untrue to oneself strips the entire community of relevance and purpose. In addition to our own self-awareness, we should be aware of what goes on within our community, striving always to foster a safe and structured environment for ourselves and others.

Safety

Vampires and donors alike are committed to protecting the safety of their loved ones and themselves. We will make every effort to educate ourselves on safe feeding methods, including but not limited to: basic anatomy and physiology, first aid, sterilization, disease prevention, and safer sex practices. In all matters relating to feeding we will exercise judgment with a clear and alert mind, acknowledging the bond between vampire and donor. Anyone who performs an activity that is knowingly harmful, negligent, or contrary to the prior expressed desires of a donor may endure harsh and openly voiced or published criticism within the vampire community as well as potentially become subject to involvement from law enforcement.

We encourage adhering to the following practices:

•We do not fail to thoroughly screen donors for both physical and mental health conditions and concerns with frequently updated testing information as applicable. Likewise, we do not fail to uphold all applicable laws governing legal age of consent and matters relating to blood consumption or exchange.

•We do not feed from those who are knowingly infected with HIV, Hepatitis, or other blood-borne diseases or from those whose physical afflictions or condition places them at risk of harm by either sanguine or psychic feeding.

•We do not feed from someone whose psychological health we have reason to believe may be harmed by either sanguine or psychic feeding.

•We do not allow others to feed from us if our physical or mental health is in any manner compromised or we harbor any doubt as to our present health status.

•We do not fail to practice safer sex, and likewise do not feed from those who do not practice safer sex. Blood exchange should occur between consenting adults, ideally while engaged in a monogamous relationship or otherwise universally agreed upon arrangement.

•We do not feed from anyone who is intoxicated, under the influence of illicit or illegal substances, or otherwise unable to render informed written or verbal consent.

•We do not draw unfavorable attention to our donors or ourselves by either flaunting feeding practices in an inappropriate setting or by exposing ourselves to those who actively seek to exploit us for personal gain.

•Whether we are vampires or are donors, we are not hesitant to report illegal behavior to law enforcement and remove ourselves from harmful situations."


-Psi-vampires vs. Sanguinarian vampires-

Another drama that has come up once again, as it had in the past... the supposed "psi" vs. "sang" war that DOES NOT EXIST. Seems to be the same drama tone as the damned “Vampire vs.
Werewolves/Lupin/Underworld role-players” wars that never happened and DO NOT EXIST! The two groups would bicker over how a vampire actually "feeds" or meets a certain criteria without the opposition thinking that theirs is the only "natural" way to feed.

Remember people. The real vampire does not have specific feeding "types". We are vampire because we have a NEED TO FEED. It doesn't matter how we attain it as long as no physical laws are broken or crimes are committed. Nuff said, now give it a rest. Let those who claim to be "sang" vampires please step up and prove to the world that you do have some sort of medical condition that meets your physical ailment for the need to feed on blood. Let those who claim to be "psi" vampires please quit acting the fools and instigating needless drama by stating that blood is only a metaphor for energy consumption. I have a personal reason why I state that my ways of "feeding" are private. This is because it is NO ONES BUSINESS. If the rest of the community felt this way, then there would be less infighting. This has never been about "one-upmanship". So give it a rest. We are vampire, and as such we should have the instinct of proper etiquette and common sense NOT to bicker between ourselves.

To quote Zakary: ”As we often return to the Psi/Sang debate, it seems to indicate signs of stagnation or developmental imparement. My question to those who consider themselves Vampires is ‘beyond feeling the need to consume the energies of others, what else do you do? Is there anything else to you or this Vampire thing? Or can we sum you up as some dark coloured clothes and a thimble full of blood? If so, then why make such a big deal over it? Do people who crave Chinese food form a culture and argue over what is real or authentic Chinese cuisine? As there is no scientific evidence to substantiate Vampirism as a physiological condition then we are confined to the metaphysical/occult or fetish genres. Where to go from there? Arguing Psi/Sang in a metaphysical context is like arguing Jesus or Allah…? Truth is in the mind of the believer… perhaps we need to encorporate some deeper thinking about what we are and where we are going?”

As far as categories go with both the true sanguinarian and psychic vampire terms, there are sub-types for the psychic vampire such as: Tantric, sexual, pranic, emotional and elemental. I have on the other hand, seen many psi-vampires use these terms as well. I am not bashing the psychic attributes of said traits, I am simply stating that the individuals who profess to being psi-vamp"y"res simply use these sub-terms to differentiate themselves from others just for the sake of not liking one set term or use. The true psychic vampires can grow to be very adept at any and all feeding types. Again, remember the vampire is vampire is vampire, no matter what feeding type they tend to associate with. The stereotypes they choose are just that. Simple ways to relate from one individual to the next on multiple levels of communication.

Truthfully though, the real vampire is not the undead being that comes out of a coffin at dusk, stalking its prey as a bat, wolf or mist ala Bram Stoker. We are very much alive and well, which brings me to the next category of the vamp"y"re, the HLV or Human Living Vamp"y"re.

-Human Living Vampire (HLV)-

HLV (Human Living Vamp"y"re) (This information may be found here – ( web.archive.org/web/20021002140410/users.net1plus.com/vyrdolak/livevamps.htm ):

“Human Living Vampires (HLV's) are individuals who, while they firmly assert that they are essentially human beings, and to all external appearances are exactly that, nevertheless have pronounced vampiric characteristics having a need, compulsion, or involuntary tendency to "feed" upon some substance or some kind of energy produced by other living things, primarily other people.

HLV's fall into two main classes: sanguinarians who experience blood-lust or blood-craving, and ‘psychic vampires’ or ‘psi-vampires’. Boundaries among categories can be hazy and overlap considerably, and there is no rule that says a bona fide HLV might not also be interested in lifestyle vamping or be a blood fetishist.

Within these two larger categories, there are several subdivisions among self-defined HLV's. There are also a number of different "theories" proposed by HLV's to explain their own origin, or the cause(s) of their conditions.

Human Living Vampires are human beings who are born, grow up, age, and fully expect to die at the end of a conventional lifespan. No HLV claims to be immortal, invincible, or possessed of supernatural abilities.

However, many members of these groups believe themselves to have some form of sensory amplification or extrasensory perception, such as:

* Improved night-vision, sometimes to the point of being able to see without even moonlight
* Stinging of the skin when exposed to sunlight
* An ability to sense other vampires
* Broader range of senses
* Prescience, or the capacity to instinctively predict the immediate future
* Perception of auras

Although some report enhanced strength, stamina, resistance to disease, and so forth, in no case do these traits exceed the limits of human norms. They are prone to any illness or injury that afflicts human beings. They can and do have children. They have normal nutritional requirements (although some HLV's report unusual food cravings, allergies or aversions) and in all other ways are bound by natural law.”


The HLV (Human Living Vampire) term was coined by an individual with the pseudonym of Vyrdolak, when the Vampires: Masquerade a LARP (Live Action Role-play) game by a company known as White Wolf was enjoying its time in the moonlight. Though this term (HLV) is not considered a role-play term by any means, a circle of people decided to take it upon themselves to take advantage of the term and the LARP a little further. They ended up creating a new system of guidelines and philosophy that was loosely based on the Vampires:
Masquerade game player’s handbook. Their guidelines much like that of the "Wiccan Rede" was entitled "The Black Veil" for where it was created at a New York Haven called "Long Black Veil". The “Black Veil” can be found here:
( http://sanguinarium.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=9 )

This is an excerpt from an article by one Victor Magnus with a briefing on how the LBV actually began:

“The remarkable Long Black Veil or ‘LBV’ events truly hold a unique place in the history of New York City's nightlife. LBV began in 1997 as “Long Black Veil & the Vampyre Lounge" on the second Wednesday of each month at the legendary MOTHER nightclub on 14th and Washington Streets in New York City's meat-packing district. Empress Chi Chi Valenti, one of the owner's of MOTHER and her life mate, the famous DJ Johnny Dynell, conceived and named the event after the mournful song ‘Long Black Veil.’ LBV was intended to be a unique themed night where ‘fangs were preferred in the Vampyre Lounge.’”

“In a historic meeting in August of 1996, Father Sebastian of Sabretooth fangsmithing fame was hired by Johnny & Chi Chi as their ‘vampyre son’ to host this evening after hearing of the success of the "Vampyre Ball" events at the Limelight, Coney Island High and The Bank (now continued as Albion NYC) nightclubs earlier that year. The Empress Chi Chi invited Sebastian to become involved with MOTHER, and to contribute with expanding the concepts at their nightlife utopia.

Inspired by other MOTHER events such as Jackie 60 (Tuesdays) and Click + Drag (Saturdays), Father Sebastian insisted on the same ‘template’ of these events for LBV. This template for success relied on decor, an exclusive door policy with a strict dress code, stage performances every week, and the magickal energies of the MOTHER venue itself. DJsIan Fford, Lest at, and Johanna Constantine presided over the dance floors. Initially the main attendees were the fang clients of Sebastian and his apprentice Father Vincent. This core element formed the foundation of became known as ‘Clan Sabretooth’.

Eventually LBV ‘s success required it to become a weekly Sunday event at MOTHER in late 1997, along with the inclusion of co-producer Father Vincent and DJ Delchi under the name of Fang Club Gotham. This was intended to unite NYC's vampyre subculture with the Los Angeles club known as Fang Club in Hollywood, owned by Jack Dean Stauss.

Also in 1997, Anne Rice's biographer Katherine Ramsland made contact with Father Sebastian and asked him to serve as a consultant for a book she was writing entitled ‘Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today .’ Her intention was to follow in the last known footsteps of investigative reporter Susan Walsh, who disappeared around the same time as the historic Vampyre Ball at the Limelight in July 1996. A release party for the book was held at LBV in 1998, where Ms. Ramsland read excerpts and signed copies for the attendees.

Also in 1998 came the release of the first printed edition of ‘Sabretooth's Vampyre Almanac’ and the original Sanguinarium Ankh pendants. These were sold around the world through various retail outlets such as Hot Topic. The worldwide release of VA and Piercing the Darkness brought international attention to the culture if the night and to the name ‘Long Black Veil.’ That year LBV took up its traditional place as on Thursday evenings at MOTHER, which it remained until the final days of the club in June 2000.

During this ‘golden age’ of the vampyre scene in Gotham, many legendary events such as 1999's Endless Night Festival, the annual Lost Boys' Beach Party, the Blood Letter's Valentine's Ball and the fetish/body arts Xorvia events were spawned. Guests who entered the gates of MOTHER included celebrities such as Blondie and world renowned fangsmiths such as Reverend Crudelia, Dnash and Maven of Dark Awakenings. 1999 also marked the year that DJ Jason of Alchemy became the host DJ in the Vampyre Lounge.

Probably the most important legacy of LBV is that it was there that the original ‘vampyre code of ethics’ was developed. Inspired by the etiquette employed by the fetish/BDSM subcultures and renaissance faire etiquette, this code became known as ‘The Black Veil’ and was used house rules of the club and now is accepted worldwide as a standard code of ethics amongst the vampyre/vampire subcultures. ‘The Black Veil’ code was revised in 2002 by Michelle Belanger of House Kheperu from Ohio, and it has even found its way into mainstream popular culture in episodes of C.S.I. Vegas and mentioned as a ‘sacred script’ by Don Henrie on the Sci-Fi Channel's reality show Mad, Mad House.”

“With the closing of MOTHER in the year 2000, Father Sebastian chose to continue the event by relocating to True nightclub on 23rd Street near Broadway in Manhattan. LBV remained there for two more years until Sebastian finally decided to end the evening in the spring of 2002 in favor of throwing future reunion parties instead.

LBV had lasting impression and it resonated in the minds of many in vampyre subculture throughout the Gotham Halo (New York City area), North America, and the world. So the prolific NYC events promoter Master Steelow (who began his career as a go-go boy at Long Black Veil) and Sebastian teamed up to do a series of reunion LBV parties at Flamingo East nightclub on 2nd Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan starting in the fall of 2002. When Sebastian finally moved to Europe in the fall of 2002, LBV hosted her last reunion for almost a year.

That is until October 2003 when, at Master Steelow's Flesh Theatre , Father Vincent hosted a celebration to honor the return to Gotham of Father Sebastian, and the publication and release of his special edition anthology book ‘V’, which includes the Black Veil code and the Strigoi Vii edition of Michelle Belanger's Vampyre Codex. This special reunion attracted guests such as High Priest Peter Gilmore and Magistra Peggy Nadrima, the successors to Anton LaVey's and Magistra Blanche Barton's positions as the High Priest and Priestess of the notorious Church of Satan.

Again, LBV proved itself as a gathering that the vampyre community desired and missed. Feeling this outpouring of support Sebastian once again joined with Master Steelow to create another legendary LBV evening at Rare nightclub (just down the block from the original MOTHER venue, thereby returning LBV to its roots) on April 19th, 2004 . That night’s LBV was hosted by none other than Michelle Belanger of House Kheperu and Don Henrie of SciFi Channel's Mad, Mad House. Hundreds of faces which have not been seen in years joined in this immense celebration, including D'Drennan, the Regent of the Court of Gotham, Magdalena & Christian Blood from the Court of Lazarus and the elders Xanatos and Lord Zillah of House Hidden Shadows.
With this success Sebastian decided to do one more reunion again at Rare in October 2004 with Master Steelow hosting, before announcing that LBV would be coming back regularly as ‘Long Black Veil, the Vampyre Ball of New York,’ a bi-monthly event that started around Valentine's Day 2005!”


(the article in its entirety may be found here: motherboards.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7106060101/m/90410843121 )

(a youtube video relating to the history of the Vampire scene of the Gotham Halo)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/R-3IN3VZJho" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/R-3IN3VZJho</a>

This circle not only created a set of guidelines and philosophy, but also a Halo with Courts (as stated above) and a very big following from those who wanted more then a session of LARP. They actually wanted to become that which had alluded them for years. This new concept was an excuse to claim something they could never become. The HLV term came around the time the founding of this circle. Not for the benefit of that circle but to bring to society a clear view as to what the less talked about perception of the vampire was. That circle started to claim the term for themselves and thus tried to be what it represented in a nutshell. They did not want society to think they were some walking dead corpses that only Hollywood could invent, they would be seen as a joke. So the term was “claimed” by them to bring some new light on an old myth. Unfortunate though, that the joke was on them. Because of their philosophy, they were not seen as a group of vamp"y"res, but a cult of sorts for people of a darker nature what with that visit from the aforementioned “High Priest Peter Gilmore and Magistra Peggy Nadrima, the successors to Anton LaVey's and Magistra Blanche Barton's positions as the High Priest and Priestess of the notorious Church of Satan”, the main group based their philosophy partly on something called the "Scroll of Elorath" (roughly translated meaning "Eternal Lord Our Regent Aaron Todd Hoyt", take it how you will...). Who seem to think they are God's in their own right or have spirits of mythological creatures within them aside from their soul. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to “bash” any members of either community or sub-community for that matter I am simply outlining events that took place that were less then acceptable by those who actually have attributes that would clarify what a vampire actually is. Hell, some of those OSV types might even be vampiric and know it.

Others tend to wonder a slightly different “Left Hand Path” toward the way of the Temple of the Vampire (TOV) and a few other places. In my perspective, this is a proper reason why so many main stream media outlets always draw the wrong conclusions as to the level of normal vs. dark nature when it comes to this subject.

-Left Hand Path vs. Right Hand Path-

“Left Hand Path - The terms Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path are a dichotomy between two opposing philosophies found in the Western Esoteric Tradition, which itself covers various groups involved in the occult and ceremonial magic. In some definitions, the Left-Hand Path is equated with malicious Black Magic and the Right-Hand Path with beneficial White Magic. Other occultists have criticized this definition, believing that the Left-Right dichotomy refers merely to different kinds of working, and does not necessarily connote good or bad magical actions.

In more recent definitions, which base themselves on the terms' origins amongst Indian Tantra, the Right-Hand Path, or RHP, is seen as a definition for those magical groups which follow specific ethical codes and adopt social convention, whilst the Left-Hand Path adopts the opposite attitude, espousing the breaking of taboo and the abandoning of set morality. Some contemporary occultists have stressed that both paths can be followed by a magical practitioner, as essentially they have the same goals.

The historian Dave Evans studied self-professed followers of the Left-Hand Path in the early 21st century, making several observations about their practices:

•They often reject societal convention and the status quo, which some suggest is in a search for spiritual freedom. As a part of this, LHP followers embrace magical techniques that would traditionally be viewed as taboo, for instance using sex magic or embracing Satanic imagery.

•As Mogg Morgan wrote, the ‘breaking of taboos makes magick more potent and can lead to reintegration and liberation, [for example] the eating of meat in a vegetarian community can have the same liberating effect as anal intercourse in a sexually inhibited straight society.’

•They often question religious or moral dogma, instead adhering to forms of personal anarchism.

•They often embrace sexuality and incorporate it into magical ritual.

Under these definitions, various esoteric groups, often with widely differing beliefs, could be considered to be followers of the LHP. These include various forms of Satanism, such as LaVeyan Satanism as well as Theistic Satanism. Other Western LHP philosophies include Setianism, the Typhonian Order, Luciferianism, many beliefs of the New Age Movement, Chaos Magic, Feri, magicians involved with demonology, as well as groups like the Dragon Rouge and the Order of Nine Angles. Several eastern philosophies could also be viewed as adhering to the LHP including forms of Taoism, forms of Hinduism such as Aghoris and Vamachara, forms of Buddhism like the Drukpa Lineage and Bön.”


(Referrenced from here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-Hand_Path_and_Right-Hand_Path )

The above might explain why those who would visit, practice and or adhere to that path or lifestyle are often times associated with occult related crimes that occur throughout the world by media exposure. Though that is not the only other path some of the community choose to walk.

-Otherkin-

Another term comes to mind, but is not associated with the Right or Left Hand Path:

Otherkin - An identity for those who claim to be something else but could still have the vamp"y"ric condition, i.e. Pixie, Fae (Fairy), Loupe Garou (Were-wolf), Draconic (Dragon-kind), or any other mythical creature they relate to that best suites their mental states, these individuals often associate with the mentality that they have these "creatures" as their souls instead of a normal human soul.

Again, I am not trying nor wanting to bash anyones specific belief system. Those who are the real thing know it and should not take offense to anything written herein.

In truth, vampires do exist... but we tend to stay in the shadows because of the mockery that the media gives us with interviews, movies, books and other types of coverage. We are not like the vamp"y"res who claim to be something they are not. We actually know what we are doing by instinct and do not need rulebooks or manuals because of our instincts.
Which brings to mind yet another term, “Awakening” :

-Awakening-

(This article may be found here – www.drinkdeeplyanddream.com/realvampire/awakening.html )

Awakening – “The term ‘awakening’ is commonly used in the vampire community as a way to describe the onslaught of symptoms associated with vampirism (see, Vampire Guide 301: General Info for general physical information on vampires). Awakening generally happens between the ages of 17-24 and is different for each person. There is no checklist of signs, nor guaranteed order of events. Some people experience a change in sleep patterns (often times going from sleeping nights to sleeping - or wanting to sleep - days); some people experience a change in eating habits (some people experience a decrease in appetite, others an increase especially in high-iron content food like red meat and nuts, or a change in thirst); some people experience changes in light sensitivity and general sensory awareness (things can suddenly seem too loud, or too bright). As each person is unique, so to is each person's awakening. The largest obvious change is the introduction to the ‘thirst’ or ‘hunger’ which defines a vampire's condition (see "Alone" for a personal look at fighting hunger).

There are several things to keep in mind however. No one online can tell you if you are awakening or not. No one online can tell if you are a vampire or not. Beware of those who claim they can, most likely they are role-players at best, and dangerous internet predators at worst (see "Preventing Tragedy: Safety, the Internet, and Vampires"). It's not that people do not care or do not want to help you understand if you are or are not, it's simply that we do not know you. And, there are many people who are out there who will try to confuse and possibly harm someone in the vulnerable state of mind (whether an awakening vampire or just a changing adolescent), so it's very important to never give out too much personal information to anyone on the net - be it a message board, an email, or a chat. You don't know who the person on the other side is, so be safe.

Also, make sure you read the ‘Am I a Vampire?’ article. It goes into good details on common, confusing and often times conflicting things you may be thinking during this time. Realize that everyone goes through changes in their lives and many times, they are perfectly normal. Don't be afraid to ever see a doctor if you are concerned about your health, or suddenly do not ‘feel’ yourself. It's easy enough to just avoid mentioning the ‘V-word’ - give the doctor your symptoms only. Leave the diagnosing to them. Make sure to insist on blood work to look for things like anemia.

Feel free to read through the site and join the forum to look at other's people's experiences and to learn more. You're welcome to share your personal experiences, however, as I stated before, we cannot and will not tell you if you are a vampire. It's not possible for us to know (no matter how many ‘facts’ you give us about yourself), so please keep that in mind. Also, read through the thousands of previous topics because anything worth learning about, is worth reading about and it's worth your time to go through the older topics and archives. Read, read, and read some more.

Keep an open mind either way - it's perfectly ok, if you thought you might be a vampire, but now realize you're not - and allow yourself to be happy with who and what you are. There is no right or wrong way to be. Being a vampire will solve nothing in your life, nor make you a better person. It is fine to be ‘normal’ and you are exactly how you are supposed to be, don't ever think you need to change that by becoming something else. You must learn to love, respect and accept yourself as you are because nothing can make you do so.”


While I agree that some types of “Awakenings” can happen or manifest themselves though any human being, most of the time it is a false alarm “power word” that the lifestylers and role-players use to create an excuse to call themselves vamp”y”res. Some of those lifestylers or role-players usually take it upon themselves to seek out “elders” within their local community for advice or typically call on a “Sire” (role-player term) to get them through whatever ails them during their
supposed “awakening” process.

The actual awakening process does differ from person to person. There may be advice givers, but NO ONE can actually start the process of awakening for you. It comes over time if the person is ready for it. It is basically a small evolution that the human has within themselves. Most of the time, it happens at birth for those who are born vampiric. Thus, there really is no valid “vampiric” puberty going on. I say “at birth” because some of us are entirely aware of the process throughout our first 10 years of childhood, being different or “special”, away from the normal children that walk throughout everyday life. We know who we are.

~Vampire (the condition)vs. Vamp”y”re (the lifestyle)~

I am going to carefully word this for the understanding of all individuals as not to instigate any debates, negative rebuttles or arguments.

Vampire (the condition):

Being born into a certain condition that would advocate then individual into certain habits that are beyond their control i.e., dosing on blood or feeding off of the psychic energies of the living things around them. The psychic and sanguinarian characteristics would be part of this condition. Neither groups are wrong, both are correct. Both need to feed off of the life force of those around them. One side (psychic) is far easier then the other (sang), when either the individual has the instincts for acquiring the energies, or they grow adept enough to control when and how the process takes place. These individuals do have the natural instincts that guarantees them to know how the process developes.

Vamp”y”res (the lifestyle):

Those who take part in the social scenes or culture that they feel the most comfortable in without feeling left out or bullied by those who don’t agree or approve of those ways. To dress up in Victorian era clothing and styles, knee high boots, cloaks or trench coats, contact lens’s and or dental acrylic eye teeth (fangs). Gathering in groups such as in Halo’s, Courts, Houses, or following certain social protocols such as rules and or guidelines to the point where they at times, think they are above the law and often go vigilante when someone either disrespects their ways or one of their respected members.

Both groups (vampires and vamp”y”res) often intermingle and at times loose sense of that fine line between fantasy and reality. The only difference would be that the vampire always keeps that “sense of self” and is always aware of their surroundings. This article is not to dispute any type of roleplay vs. the real deal, but to make the reader aware that vampirism is a condition that can deal with the physical, mental as well as spiritual sides of the individual. So from this point on, I will be referring to the lot as vampi/yres. As it is much easier to understand since a vampire can be a vamp”y”re, and thus keep their true nature a secret by finding themselves wolves amidst the sheep.

Quote from Lono: ” The devil is always in the details, especially concerning the current vampire community:

What does a “y” look like?

a fang

What does the “I“in psivamp stand for?

the third “eye”

Its one of those little bits of semi forgotten knowledge that was seldomely past down from Ramkht to Ramkht or house to house. and another reason most sangs spell vampyre with a “y” and most psivamps spell it with an “I” …for many years in the 90′s they were two distinct and semi seperate communities.”


From the beginning, I see that the community had its act together. Then things started getting a bit confused and out of hand, no one who claimed to be any sort of vampi/yric stereotype (no matter what feeding type they chose), were ever acknowledged before starting their Houses, Courts, or even Halo's. How then, were they the authority that knew best for the community that they represented, aside from writing calculated and well thought of and researched books? Is the entire community based off of what is written in these books? To me, are the perspectives of the authors themselves and are simply there to teach the community, which was the whole basis of the development of the community in the first place, but still. What gives the individual the right to found a Halo, or House without understanding what or who they are or claim to be first? Just because you claim a “street family” of which most of the kids really know these days... It does NOT make you vampi/yre. Belonging to a Halo, or claim to be “sired” (role-play term) by an “elder” of the community does not give you the right to state that you have authority over others. This has always been a huge question on my mind. If they understand, then more power to them, just don't go on national television or on an online forum and make a fool of yourself if you don't.

As far as the demographics go, there have been studies on a world wide scale within the last few years or so that introduced a group of survey's which were entitled the AVEWRS and the VEWRS. They were a very good and thorough set of surveys from the Vampirism & Energy Work Research Study site. They contain publicly released statistical data and charts that can be found at the www.suscitatio.com site. But as of yet has either community come up with a demographic House, Court and or other locations list for the benefit of the entire community itself.

I mean come now, after 20 years the community as a whole has yet to establish a list of what ever to go along with any sort of substantiated locations they claim to hold "jurisdiction", i.e. residence over? Something seems a bit odd here. If the community was never about the establishment of a cause for learning and understanding, comradeship and communications, then what was it established for? I am all ears. I mean don't get me wrong here... The OVC (online vampire community) has its specific websites such as the VVC (Voices of the Vampire Community): www.veritasvosliberabit.com/vvc.html , the Dark Nations, and now defunked Vampire Nations North American Council which is now just a myspace site... to access a huge list of the online Houses and Organizations please visit: psychicvampire.org/community.htm. But what about those who have little to no access for online communications? At least a book should have been in print by now discussing demographic locations House to House, not necessarily addresses, but city to city and House names which could or could not name the heads of the Houses. I would have thought this to be a bit of common sense here. Bear in mind that I am bashing no one… I am just stating an opinion.

As far as a Council goes, this should have been established long ago throughout the OVC (online vampire community) and perhaps IRL (in real life) because there seems to be too wide spread of a community on the global scale for the benefit of both the Nation of America and For those on the other side of the great divide called the Ocean. So I do not see why a Council has not been started for a representation or Ambassadorship to those who claim that vampire classification or distinction, with members or persons of whom have EARNED the right to sit as members through acts and or deeds that justify their worth within and or outside the community. A Council should hold no authority over any individuals, but instead provide advice and education for all of the community and should be made up of credible and respectable elders that do not clash with one another’s belief systems.

To quote Michelle Belanger:

"As for the question about councils, there was COVICA and there have been multiple other attempts at such. They always fail because they are inevitably polarized. Depending on who spear-headed their founding, no matter how neutral they attempt to be, other members of the community tend to project affiliations onto them, subsequently deriding them as biased. And often they are biased. The VVC has been the closest version of a neutral body of "elders" the community has seen to date.

On the matter of a definitive guide to houses, courts, groups & the like -- this is also something that has been tried several times, in several different forms. And it cannot be done for two reasons: most groups have the approximate lifespan of a mayfly. They come into being & dissolve too fast to warrant recording. All attempts to compile this information have also been polarized by community biases, so that folks gripe over who counts what as "official," what group the compilation is affiliated with, etc."


She is correct when she mentioned COVICA (Council Of Vampyric International Community Affairs). I researched for other Councils and found a few. Namingly the Vampire Nations Concord and the Vampires Nest.

As well, she is also correct when she stated:

"From the start, this community has been fractious and rife with politics & territorialism -- and people fight not merely over regional territory but intellectual territory as well. This is evidenced by the widespread amount of plagiarism indulged in by many early "founders" (and several current ones, for that matter) as well as the habit of different groups establishing themselves as unique while essentially restating the exact same position as something already established before them -- but insisting that their interpretation/definition is new/unique/more valid simply because it is theirs and not that other guy's.

In short, we're a community -- and loosely such -- of iconoclasts, misanthropes & individualists, none of whom play well with others, yet many of whom are nevertheless compelled to seek personal validation by communicating ideas, beliefs & experiences with others. We are a community of people who loathe structure and community, and generally prefer to be outcasts. We are a community that establishes groups -- when the primary membership of such groups are people that hate joining anything and rebel at the thought of anyone being an authority over them."


I agree with this... I wish I could add more to it, but she basically made a nutshell out of it. I do have something further to state, I have asked many different individuals and they all came to the same conclusion.

To quote Balfazaar "Zaar Ashantison:

" The only problem with the Black Veil is that it is antiquated and no longer fits our established times... PERIOD. The "glass coffin" was shattered a long while ago. We're out of the shadows... Like it or not... It still has merit. Still holds some common sense, but it is antiquated, outmoded and out dated... Sorry to all those who wish to follow it, but it IS the truth."

Several others have (in certain words), stated this same thing over and over again... there is really no way around it. Those who need rules, a set of guidelines, a handbook, code of ethics to drive them... so be it, they are not to be judged based on their philosophies or paths.

~In Conclusion~

What ever gets society through their day or night lives, then more power to them. Some people more than others, just take it too seriously or see things in their neighborhoods that don’t agree with them and thus want a suitable environment that they feel comfortable with that has a road lined with good intentions, no matter if that road does have a "dark side" to it. Some just want to fit in to a society that sees them as outcasts, and thus they create groups to go to so they can be themselves. Others just want to be understood, not just by their peers... but by the world around them. Whatever the intent, all within the community do have one common ground. Respect from and for their peers.

As far as the real Vampi/yre Community, there will always be discussions, debates, disputes, slander and other drama mongering endeavors going on. We as a society within a society need to realize that without healthy debates with diplomancy, nothing would ever get done.

There are people that call themselves "Psi" vampIres, that associate themselves with the act of energy transfer, manipulation and other areas that deal with the consumption of spiritual, mental, and ethereal energy.

There are also people who call themselves "Sang" vampYres, that associate themselves with the act of bloodletting, dosing, or intaking of another living beings physical essence.
[CONTINUED...]
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Merticus
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 01:54:20 pm »

Even if society feels uncomfortable with these practices, they happen regardless. The only thing that I see has been a huge problem between the Psi and Sang counterparts as to which "feeding" method (psi) or (sang) is the truer of the two, who is right vs. wrong. Which is why I noted early that it really does not matter which way any individual gets their nourishment from, other then that blatant fact that we all have that "NEED TO FEED".

Michelle Belanger stated it most accurately when she noted, "The simplest solution is to focus not on the carrier (energy or blood) but to simply state that vampires feed upon life. The methods differ, the impulse is the same, the need no less imperative."

If for once in our lives as an active Vampi/yre Community could agree on that one statement alone, then life would be that much simpler and the bickering could come to a finale and we would be done with it. Then, once it is accomplished then we could all use a small break before coming to the next fork in the road and actually agree to disagree with any type of "neo-guidelines" since some of us have tired of the Black Veil concept that has become antiquated and actually have something with meaning to it for the newer generation that seems to be making its way into the fold, that is if we can all agree on any type of guidelines for mentorship alone.

Before any type of neo-guidelines is even thought about, I would highly recommend all members to reread the "VAMPIRE ETHOS" in its entirety, to see if it makes more sense to all of you before wanting to start any type of discussion over neo-guidelines.

In the end... even neo-guidelines would be argued over. Which makes me draw a conclusion myself that seems to sum it up completely: An egalitarian idea, believing that people should rule themselves, we should elect our own leaders, we should be governed by Constitutions, and have seperations of power. Sound familiar? It should, it is what the United States of America lives by. It is set in place for those who love to break the law, who cannot live by the law and are uncontrollable. This would include criminal, homicidal and mentally associated minds. Those who have trouble coping with every day life on a regular basis.

A set of guidelines should not consist of an already laid out book that is assumed roleplay jargon, even if it did work in the past... the time is now. The mistake has already been made, and I think it is time that we write something of OUR own and not to just jump the gun and re-write and plagurize someone elses work. If we disagree on writing neo-guidelines, then more power to us, this only teaches us that we are ready for something better, to actually be MENTORS instead of always recommending others to a rule book, or manual... to actually sit down with those who wish to learn and give them our own guidance if we are qualified for such, if we are not... then we should take it upon ourselves to recommend them to someone who does.

A long road is ahead, whether or not it is positive or negative, only time and our Community will tell. Just remember three things... use your best judgement, common sense and lifes experience in every day/night life. Those who are succeptable to influence might just walk in your shadow. At least lead them down the right path.

The community shouldn't nessessarily be called the vampi/yre community since there are other associations that do frequent the community on a regular basis, these associations do include the Esoteric and Otherkin Communities respectfully... and thus we should have a change of name to the "Night Kind Community". But, what ever floats the boat and gets us all through the day/night with stereotyping sub-cultures.

This article is not to dispute any dramas or instigate them, but to add clarity to some matters that still remain unattended to. As I think most of us have become slightly "jaded" and often need a reminder or refresher of WHO WE ARE.

-By Armitage Soulshroude
Founder of New Orleans House Solaris
Representative for the Vampire Community
Member of the VVC (Voices of the Vampire Community)

A special thanks to:

Merticus, Drink Deeply and Dream Admin, Zakary, NyteMuse, Michelle Belanger, Vyrdolak, Balfazaar "Zaar" Ashantison, Sylvere ap Leanan, Zero, RedRaven, Maloryn...

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deacongray
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 04:35:17 pm »

Well it is long and does have a lot of surface level history. It is interesting how much the OVC focus' on the NYC history and events, mostly from the view point of just being the most people gathered in one place I suppose, when the NYC community is so disinterested in the OVC as a whole.
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sandmanbrian777
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 05:30:07 pm »

Thanks Armitage Soulshroude:

This is a great encapsulation of the Vamp Community.  Although I must ask about term 'Black Trillium'?  Because the Trillium flower is the symbol for Ontario Province and it is used to represent
some of the Community located in Ontario.  This Vamp symbol is used as a reversal, so the white flower is a solid black.  The manner I have seem it used is as a black Trillium and Ontario is termed as 'Trilliums Halo'. 

Armitage your posting is based upon alot of knowledge and is most informative.  In the clip from Youtube one person mentions about Pain and Pleasure.  This is common in the Leather Community
and seminars are mostly given at BDSM events.  Presenters explain and sometimes show the safe methods to use the techniques to prevent injuries to the person.  Additioanly various codes of conduct and ethical standards are discussed.  So most of the community is aware of ethical conduct.  At Fetish Nights their are DM's (Dungeon Monitors) who act as Lifeguards and enforce safety standards.  First corrective advice is provided and if the situation continues then the person is escorted out.  The reson for stating this is because some of the Vamp community appears to be unaware of the safety aspects of some techniques.  If the Vamp Community offered seminars at the Vamp gathers and events then I believe there would be less issue over the Black Veil and other
questions of member conduct.

I personaly believe we could learn from other groups and historical situations.  After studying political documents from past Empires, such as the Mesopotamian Empire, Babylonian and the Egyptian  Empire, it seems the current Vamp Community lacks the basic skills of Tradecraft.  That being the basic preceps of Safety and Security procedures used to provide a safe environment for marginalized groups.  A reason for using past civilizations is because these basic 'Sources and Methods' are hidden from modern society and classified by various governments.  Several situations occur within the Community which can be counteracted by applying lessons from the past.  One example is the Media.  Our local Community is sought after by several representitives of the Mass Media from the city to national, and even international levels    Some of the publicized reports bare little resemblance to the actual interviews and are intentionaly written to evoke a emotional and negative responce.  By learning of of the Investigative techniques Community members can counteract some of these intrusive practices.  I'm Not giving precise examples because it  would make this reponse far too long and wouldn't do justice to the proper explanation of counter measures.  But I do think as the Vamp Community grows we will be exposed to more negative and untoward Media coverage.  The time is now to form basic Public Relations and Security Policy practices for mutual safety.

Brian ..........................................V""V.......Trilliums Halo ...............................
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theUVUP
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 08:16:03 pm »

I am by no means Strigoi Vii or embrace Todds ideals about Psychic Vampires as I am a Psychic Vampire as well as a Sanguine Vamp as well which they are also against? But in reality Strigoi Vii is about ambient Vampyrism which is a form of psychic Vampyrism in itself; they just do not want the negative stigma that leaches give it. I ONLY spell it Vampyr because of the origins of that spelling (European older spelling) as I am an old soul. I actually prefer to call myself Vampyrian as that is my Spiritual belief as well as my Spiritual/life condition. Todd has some good/true ideas about True Vampyrism but most of them are not his original ideas.

I do agree with the belief that we do not have a leaky Chakra and believe we are not broken but have a higher energy metabolism and process our energy/food faster than most organisms. He does not embrace the term psychic Vampire or sanguine vampire as it has so many negative views behind it because of fiction, certain legends, writings, reports, and the media giving us a bad name; he also lost a friend because of Aids and I guess then decided to backlash on the whole Sanguine community. I assume that is why he uses Strigoi Vii and Vampyre even though in mythology even Vampyre has negative connections behind it as well. I however refuse to let them take the term away totally.

It is my opinion that labels suck and we are just Vampyres; we feed any way the works best for each of us individually. There are way too many terms to be renaming and labeling so much. I think Doctors, scientists, and psychiatrists do that enough to us as well as those they can't or do not try to understand; there WAY too many classifications for things they do not or can not understand and if it is not normal I guess we are crazy or at least to them we are. I will always believe Vampyres are a form of Other kin as our soul is Vampyr though are body is human and that is my opinion.

I am sorry but no one can claim anything as 100% truth as truth seems to be in the eye of the beholder and you cannot prove truth to someone who cannot or will not believe it. All that really exist is opinions of each individual person; I have learned that over time and believe it most of all. Who is to say is 100% true or what is really false; not even science can prove that 100% as all of there theories have some holes in them. 

I am still here and will always remain here simply because I am a Vampyre who cares about my kin or kind (other fellow Vampyres). Although I am overly sensitive I do agree that disagreements and drama is everywhere and you can't escape it by leaving as that will solve nothing and harm you in the end. I do really like and completely agree with that Michelle Belanger statement "The simplest solution is to focus not on the carrier (energy or blood) but to simply state that vampires feed upon life. The methods differ, the impulse is the same, the need no less imperative." It doesn't do anyone any good to argue over feeding methods and we get enough discrimination in mainstream society. I believe we need to stick together as no one truly knows who is or who is not a real Vampyre; neither should it matter as long as we are helping each other and not hurting anyone or anything. Too each his or her own...
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paindancer
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011, 09:19:10 pm »

Actually pretty pleased to see a tactful read like that, not to mention had a big giggle reading about all the clubs in LA.  Sigh.. Vampiricus.. that took me back.   Its still hard to view Release the Bats as all that serious..

But ultimately, the entire read.. if you can manage it all.. is awesome in the way it is worded.  Its so absolutely refreshing to see something like this.  While there is very little new info in there, its a nice universal perspective, without being too biased.
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 12:34:10 am »

Forgive me, for I hath taken a sleepy pill and may not know what shall come forth from my frontal lobe at this point

-starts stripping clothing off- AAAAHHHHHHHwait a minuet...was this leaky chakra thing used to get people naked in front of them? -re-buttons shirt and puts pants back on-  This is a warning of sorts to those out there, that if anyone says you have a leaky chakra that they can fix, just take off your clothes....do not just walk away from them as frauds, run screaming at the top of your lungs that they are frauds.  I have  had my chakras checked fully clothed. It was more something was a bit out of whack and with no touching or undressing..it was fixed. Had nothing to do with vampirism. But still, a warning as things like this happens in every community where a perv can find their way in, they will do so. I spent many years helping shut down privately run "sweat lodges" that so called Natives were running. They would spout they were the real thing and could heal with in these sweat lodges and the lodges had to be of mixed sexes and they would have to touch those needing healing...oh yeah..and everyone was required to be naked. VERY good cons. Not wanting that tagged on to our Native community, we fought tooth and nail against these places the best we could. For one...men had their own sweat lodge and women had their own. So HUGE red flag there. Anywho...I read the leaky chakra thing and have heard of some scams that way and felt a need to warn that what ever you believe, be careful where you go to for help. No matter what it is as if a human or groups of humans can figure some way to con people for whatever they are looking to gain...they will do so. Otherwise, extremely well written article by SoulShroud. Thank you for the history behind things and for the research you have done.
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 06:06:14 am »

Believe it or not, the article took about a year to research, verify, write and edit.  I believe that I know more about my community then first thought a year ago.  The point of the article is to look back at a past and to rediscover what truths are actually out there... to digress and to reflect on things (even if it would put someone through a bit of nostalia, which is good every now and again... to remember the past).  Then to learn from it, mistakes, merits, conclusions from the minds eye of each individuals perception.

Even when (and I know it is coming) this article starts to receive negative reactions from its audience, they may also grasp what this article is wanting to point out, even if it is not verbal or written.  My hope is that a good majority of the community will read its contents, then start to think on things... with a less then "jaded" perspective.

And thank you for the comments thus far.  As I stated, it took a lot of time and effort for this article to come into fruitation.  I have learn a great deal about my community.
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 06:15:29 am »

My apologies (there is no edit button), I neglected to add that the article is also for those just beginning in the community to have a look on how the community got started.  A historical and cultural perspective.

(and before anyone gets their panties in a twist, the "my community" comment was not about ownership for the ignorant minded, but to specify that I take pride in belonging to the community.  I should have phrased it properly as "this, our community."  Thank you.)
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"Those of whom hath commited a fault, shall be given the chance to redeem themselves." ~Faust~

"To labor under a dilusion of grandeur will, as time allows.. corrupt." ~Soulshroude~
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011, 06:36:11 am »

Soulshroude,

I like this article very much. It highlights the fact that this community has always been very plastic - that is, transitory, and in turmoil and disagreement with itself - perhaps because we are so diverse. I love history and the insights of someone who was there is invaluable to me.

I also like your reinforcement of the idea that we are all Vampi(y)res first, and "psi feeders" or "sang feeders" etc, etc second. Of course, we still have a long way to go to establishing exactly what it is we are, and "how it all works", if we will ever be that lucky.

Additionally, here in South Africa we've been using the older "y" spelling to distinguish real vampires vs the lifestyler/poser/rpg/fictional vampire - just another interesting point of diversity Wink I think some European and South American groups have been too, so it goes to show what a long way the international community has to go on finding common ground and setting conventions. however, I don't think such differences are worth fighting about - however you spell it, it still sounds the same. Wink

Val
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paindancer
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 09:39:39 am »

Forgot to add the historical references are wonderful.

frankly it is hard to understand how this could be viewed negatively.  if anything.. it is so tactful, the VC will just ignore it due to it not being dramatic enough, lol.

well done
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Paindancer
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 09:53:55 pm »

Soulshroude (and all others involved) my compliments and appreciation for a article that was created with patience, respect for all and still contains a clear opinion. Rather than become a sum up of uninteresting data it clearly tells a tale. If only this one could be stickied..
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CJ!
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2011, 12:39:43 pm »

I will be glad to offer some counterarguments. It is not enough to merely throw a molotov cocktail; the flames of discontent must be fanned.

I feel Armitage does not go nearly far enough in his assessment on how elements of role playing permeated the vampire community. The ENTIRE vampire community, I was not just referring to metaphysical practitioners of vampirism but also the majority of my fellow sanguinarians when I said that the South Park episode was spot on in its portrayal, has strong elements of role play involved judging by the predominant aesthetics and beliefs professed by its members. From VTM to the Black Veil to the current vampire community the rules of the game have been streamlined but inversely the insistence on its basis in reality has heightened. To question the validity of the vampire identity is to break the masquerade.

"The simplest solution is to focus not on the carrier (energy or blood) but to simply state that vampires feed upon life. The methods differ, the impulse is the same, the need no less imperative." - Michelle Belanger

According this definition every living being would qualify as a vampire. Life eats life for sustenance as a universal rule. I brought up this hilariously broad definition for vampire to illustrate the true reason for the initial (and continuing) tension between sanguinarian and psi: the attempt to define and maintain a cohesive community. Sphynxcat in a previous post offered links to illustrate these conflicts (I do not fully condone the statements made in each article I offer them as evidence that such cleavages have and continue to exist)

http://www.necronomi.com/users/akrieytaz/real/social.html
http://sphynxcatvp.nocturna.org/articles/anon-s-history.html
http://www.sanguinarius.org/articles/history.shtml

The argument about the ownership of the term vampire was only a side effect of the bigger aim of defining a community, borrowing from dictionary.com, in terms of its “common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.” The resistance was based on a desire to keep further refined the common characteristics in order to pursue goals in accordance to their interests. Soulshroude did make a point of psis not to be “acting the fools and instigating needless drama by stating that blood is only a metaphor for energy consumption.” However in supporting quotes such as the previous one I state from Michelle Belanger and knowing the dominant paradigm of the current community that is exactly what Soulshroude is doing. The likely fact that it was non-intentional makes the whole situation for sanguinarians more disturbing. Now after a decade of conflation the frustration of sanguinarians to get their voice heard within the spiritualist/roleplay hybrid of “real vampirism” has come to a boil and a new locus.

You see, the vampire community was supposed to be founded upon a society that was going to teach the ways of the unknown which is the vamp'i're, in a deeper meaning. –Armitage Soulshroude

Sure it may be a little weak sauce to pick on the most patently absurd quotes but how on earth is anyone supposed to teach something that is not known to anyone? Perhaps even more absurd is how this ethos is carried through an oxymoronic combination of solipsism and anecdotal group confirmations.  When it comes to claims of veracity in the context of material reality one cannot “seek their own truth.” Things objectively happen and the facts are the facts regardless of our wishes. People from all subcategories of “real vampirism” offer postulations and theories which are ultimately useless conjecture. Soulshroude offers that “those who claim to be "sang" vampires please step up and prove to the world that you do have some sort of medical condition that meets your physical ailment for the need to feed on blood.” Although it is more of a matter of finding out what the facts are behind sanguinarianism rather than proving any belief that is what the new focus is. Zakary has it backwards in his quote “As there is no scientific evidence to substantiate Vampirism as a physiological condition then we are confined to the metaphysical/occult or fetish genres.” The truth as our selected confinement in the metaphysical/occult or fetish genres keeps us from obtaining scientific evidence. Metaphysics and the occult are as far as the psychic vampire can go in terms of their journey of self-definition as such matters are insoluble to scientific inquiry. Sanguinarians, due to the tangibility of blood, can go much further and debating useless conjecture in terms of our own condition as the psis do for theirs only stalls the quest for facts.

Which leads me back to the LARP aspects of the “real vampire” community; the vast majority of the community finds comfort in the esoteric as it is pliable enough to conform to the idea that vampire identity is valid. However, if one part of the community, although a smaller part, has the resources and wherewithal to obtain scientific inquiry and results; the leeway to create your own truth would be far restricted. Thus the vampire identity masquerade is far more fragile.  If for sanguinarians the symptoms and need are a passive experience (one which comes to you whether you engage it or not) why is the framework of the vampire identity even necessary? There is no evidence that this is a fixed state and what are the benefits of sanguinarianism other than meeting new friends via support groups. Personally I cannot take in any way self-proclaimed sanguinarian who is not willing to leave the vampire identity behind seriously as they seem just to be entrenched in the masquerade as much as the metaphysicists.

 The media and the scientific community see the masquerade as transparent and exploit it; we are the sensational ones. What I am doing now is much like what other pioneers of the “real vampire” community did back in the 90s: they joined LARP or role playing groups in absence of real vampire groups in the hope of finding others like themselves. Here I fan the flames to find other sanguinarians frustrated about having to navigate this LARP with pretenses in reality. I fully encourage others to break the masquerade.

What is a real vampire? A miserable pile of ignorance.
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2011, 04:08:36 pm »

Hello--
My name is DarkRose. I have been a part of the "community" since the 1980's, when it was really very underground. We were a very close knit group. Getting in, was not that easy. Anyways, in the 1990's, I went public. I did my fair share of things to help the "community" into the spotlight.  In retrospect, some of what I did was for self promotion. However, not all of it was. When I joined COVICA, I sincerely wanted to help make a strong and functional community. As well as all the other thingd I did, I did do out of the hopes that I was helping us. So now, I have stepped back. I stay on the fringe and monitor the activity of the "community". I still take on students from time to time, helping those who need guidance from a more experienced person like myself.

I have also had my fair share of sacrifice for the "community". I have lost a lot. I have faced some very dangerous and sad situations due to my public profile as a blood drinking "vampire". I have stepped up to the plate. More than a mere online presence, I have let my life, my public life, be an example for the community as well as for the rest of the world. I proved in a court of law, that being a "vampire" had nothing to do with being a good parent as well as being a good person. Being a "vampire" does not define my being. It is simply the way that I was born. I have always known that I was different. I awakened in childhood. I did not need the internet to teach me about myself. I have always been this, whatever this is. I did not use the label vampire until the mid 1980's. Vampire doesn't accurately describe what I am and what I am capable of. It is simply the easiest label to use to convey why I am different. However, I don't even use the "vampire" label anymore. I am simply myself. I am what I am. I do what I do. I feed off of other people. I am a predator.

But none of that matters. And here is the real message in my post.

IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT YOU, IT ONLY MATTERS WHAT YOU DO!

It took me all these years to realize this truth. Labels don't mean anything. You are still what you are no matter what you call yourself. With or without said ""vampire community", you still exist and need to do what it is in your nature to do.

For myself. I perceive myself to be a good and worthy person. I've learned many things about feeding over the years. I have learned how to give to my donors as much as they give to me. My donors leave me feeling happy and refreshed. There is so much more to feeding than just taking what we need. We have the power to give our donors a taste of what it feels like to be what we are. For me, being this, whatever this is, is a powerful and wonderful thing. It is not an illness. I do not have a hole in my chakra. I do not feed because I do not make enough of my own energy. I make plenty.  So, you see, it doesn't matter what I am. It only matters what I choose to do with it. Fighting over the label of what method you use to feed, is about the stupidest thing an individual like us can do.

I did like your post. It was very well thought out.

I hope my post shed some light.
I
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2011, 07:45:20 pm »

One thing I forgot to mention. I had made this statement from the very beginning. From the very beginning,as far back as 1992, people didn't want to hear what I was saying about the state of vampirism. Simply put, feeding off of energy, any kind of energy, using any kind of method, does not make you a vampire. Everything in life needs to feed off of energy. Every living thing in life does feed off of others' energy. Everything must feed to live. Needing to feed--"to live"-to sustain your "energy levels", does not make you a vampire. Knowing how to manipulate energy,working with the subtle body or any other energy work from sources such as 'The Psychic Vampire Codex', do not make you a vampire. Information in that book and other books like it, have been around for a very long time. Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor. Human beings cling to their delicious tyrannies and their exquisite nonsense, till death stares them in the face. In other words, someone came out with information about energy and the need to feed off of it to replenish their own energy, and this somehow makes them a vampire, and everybody jumped on the band wagon. It was so simple and easy. No proof needed. Everyone can be a vampire now.
Well, I'm not claiming to be a vampire. I'm not claiming to be anything other than the unique individual that I am. I have to say, I feel rather silly using the label of vampire for all those years. I guess I needed the validation back then.All along, I was always just me. That is quite enough for me to be. I do drink human blood. I do feed off of human energy. I do prefer to do these two things while engaged in some kind of sexual interaction. There is quite a bit about me that is different from the average person. If you know me, in real life, not cyberspace, then you know this to be the truth. My physical, mental, and spiritual state is simply not like everybody else. I do gain enhancements to my body and "spirit" (this can be many different things to different people) after "feeding". I do not have to "feed". I will not die if I don't feed. I "feed" because I want to. It is a part of my nature. It is as natural to me as breathing.
The point being, feeding off of others does not make anyone a vampire. If that is the case, than the whole world is a vampire. True vampirism does exist. Just not on the internet, in a book authored by a self- identified vampire, in a night club, at a vampire ball, in a vampire house or coven, or any other public place.
There are definately groups of people that are not like the rest of humanity. Evolution is a beautiful thing.
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