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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vampirism

Okay, the only things i know about vampirism is from watching True Blood and reading a couple of the twilight books. The truth is somewhat different and rather complex.


What is Vampirism?
A quick google and it brings up a TONNE of websites.  First and foremost it comes up with wikipedia.  Talking about mythology and folklore.
"Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person. Although vampiric entities have been recorded in many cultures and in spite of speculation by literary historian Brian Frost that the "belief in vampires and bloodsucking demons is as old as man himself", and may go back to "prehistoric times", the term vampire was not popularized until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe, although local variants were also known by different names, such as vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. This increased level of vampire superstition in Europe led to mass hysteria and in some cases resulted in corpses actually being staked and people being accused of vampirism."
Psychic Vampires


From wikipedia (again) it states that a psychic vampire is:
A psychic vampire is a person or being who claims to feed off the "life force" of other living creatures. Psychic vampires are represented in the occult beliefs of various cultures and in fiction.  As of yet there is no medical recognition or scientific proof supporting this purported phenomenon, although there was a 2007 scholarly survey carried out upon people claiming to be vampires, either psychic or sanguinarian (blood drinkers) that showed anecdotal evidence (which is always highly suspect) of a higher than normal incidences of certain illnesses and conditions such as anemia,fibromyalgia, and hemophilia. Whether or not they actually suffer from such conditions was not evaluated by medical professionals.
Vampires as a religion? 


A quick google I found Temple of the Vampire claiming power, wealth, health, pleasure and immortality is not just a fantasy.  All you have to do is sign up and learn all the secrets...oh and pay $10 a month. It is actually a recognised religion (although not tax exempt) in the U.S.
The website does not explain much unless you purchase the vampiric bible but interestingly they don't allow blood drinking.
On vampires.nu forum a member called Grim mentions the Temple of the Vampire stating "To sum up their beliefs quickly, they consider only themselves to be 'true vampires'. They revere 'Undead Gods' who are vampires that have shed their mortal bodies and achieved immortality in astral forms. Their rites revolve around communication with these entities and offerings of energy. They are centered on energy solely, and not blood. Though they are not exactly what I would call the usual sort of 'Psy-Vamp' as we use the term here. "
He also states he thinks they are "Their quasi-satanic(I speak of the traditional atheistic Laveyan Satanism) belief structure also seems to cause some of them to overdo the "dark, serious, infintely wise" gimmick a bit."  
Through the research I have done it seems that actually a lot of people that identify themselves as vampires these days and people involved in vampirism are against the drinking of blood. 


But generally speaking when you think of a vampire its the blood sucking kind. And historically a vampire was regarded as feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures.



I googled vampires summoning demons and found vampire.nu - on a forum a girl was asking how to summon a demon to make her a vampire? Am I the only person that is disturbed by this? Apparently not because it got a mixed review from the forum.

Do vampires summon Demons?

According to http://ancientthoughts.com/magic/vampires.htm there a various ways to become "a vampire".  Through spells, meditation and even summoning power from demons.
Intimate infection from a demon: When a demon infects a mortal in such a way that they bind with the physical body of the creature, they can often pry the soul out of control of the body and permanently remove it. The power of the demon fuels the initial removal of the soul, as well as the first few hours of action. After this, most vampires will require the blood or soul of other conscious beings. Over time the demon will become more efficient at extracting the energy from these sources, and will require less. However initially, the need will be quite great.
Look, in order to understand and connect with people we need to research. As uncomfortable as some things may make us feel.  Its important.


People are looking for answers and some people are finding their answers in Vampirism.


The thing that concerns me is the TV shows and films glamourising vampires and so these kids are googling how to become a vampire thus leading to messing around with things beyond their control. My advice is PLEASE don't mess with things that you don't understand.


Through Gods divinely inspired prophets writings thousands of years ago and archived in what is now known as the Old and New Testament there is written some verses against the eating and drinking of blood.  


Verses against eating/drinking blood:-


Genesis 9:4 4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it."


Leviticus 10:14 "10 “‘I will set my face against any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who eats blood, and I will cut them off from the people. 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. 12 Therefore I say to the Israelites, “None of you may eat blood, nor may any foreigner residing among you eat blood.”
 13 “‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, 14 because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, “You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.”

The above is from the old testament but I found this from the new testament:-

Acts 15:28-29 28 “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements: 29 You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well. Farewell.”


My hope is that this is a fair (if brief) summary of vampire beliefs and mythology through history and if you have anything additional to add please post a comment, especially if you have had involvement with the sub culture.


To finish this particular blog post I want to make the point that even as Christians, we have the belief that through the blood of God's Son Jesus Christ we are saved.  We believe that only through Jesus' sacrifice do we find eternal life.


I pray God's blessings on you this week.  Please feel free to comment :) We welcome discussion. 

15 comments:

  1. Dear Bryony,

    Several of the issues you raised are related to cults, and not to the majority of those who consider themselves to be vampires today.

    Temple of the Vampire (TOV) is one of the groups which is considered a 'cult', and even among members of the broader Vampire Community, or VC.

    I'm sure at some point in your research you will have seen references made by some detractors and critics of the VC to "the vampire cult". This is of course inaccurate, and for the following reasons:

    First, a cult does not consist of a global ‘membership’; second, a cult has a clearly defined leadership; and third, a cult is a wholly religious entity. The VC does not fit any of these parameters. Mostly the VC can’t even agree on which spelling of the word “vampire/Vampyre” applies to them, or the fine detail about what defines a real Vampyre.

    Yes, there is a large and active community worldwide, although it is not always easily visible. But let’s start at the basics.

    What is a real life vampire/Vampyre?

    A person who identifies as a Vampyre is a person who recognizes a need within themselves for more energy than they can produce on their own. Try as they might, eat or drink what they will, they simply cannot produce enough to feel well or stay physically healthy.

    If they feed, this need diminishes, if they deny this impulse, they begin to experience negative health impact, and begin a gradual process of fatigue and developing secondary health issues. Many do deny this need and become ill because of it. Tales abound within the VC of those who end up having heart-attacks or other ailments from not feeding properly.

    Because we need energy from outside ourselves, and most typically from other living beings (people, animals or plants) this need is defined as vampiric, or even in some ways parasitic, although most of us will view the application of the latter hurtful and even insulting.

    Most of the questions you could have on this topic can be found here : http://www.sanguinarius.org/

    What do Vampyres feed on?

    Like anyone else, Vampyres eat the same food and drink all the same liquids - but we need more than just that. Among Vampyres, there are two main ways to obtain this sustenance, and one is via blood, the other chi/or prana energy which is absorbed via among other methods, physical contact. Those who feed via blood are called Sanguine or Sang Vampyres and those who feed off PSI energy, Psychic or PSI Vampyres. There are various other ways to feed, but this is a crash-course, so you need to investigate that further on the same site listed above. There are of course many other sites, and of course, not all of them will offer you the facts as we know them, but that site is probably the best place to start.

    When people think of the fictional vampire they often confuse us with that, thinking that we kill people to drink their blood. This is simply not true. Vampyres feed from consensual Donors who willingly help them. Most often these are people known to the Vampyre who have some form of relationship with them, be it a friend or a romantic partner. No harm is done to them, and not much blood is taken, just enough to keep the Vampyre healthy.

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  2. Sorry for the lengthy reply, but I believe this should be said.

    Is vampirism a religion?

    Broadly speaking no. Most Vampyres view what they are as a state of being, like your skin color or your cultural group. I say broadly, because there are some who see being Vampyre as a religious or spiritual experience. There are several religions or temples around the world which approach vampirism as a religion and cater for Vampyres, but again, many if not most Vampyres appear to belong to other more mainstream faiths like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Wicca etc. Many are also atheist or agnostic, just like anyone else. In fact, I even know a few Catholic and born-again Christian vamps – strange as that may seem to you. Many feel that vampirism is a condition that chose them, not the other way round.

    Are Vampyres all goths?

    The notion that Vampyres are all gothic, wearing black clothes and makeup is a stereotype. The basis in this is the detail that it is often the most visible minority of any group that catches public attention. That said, no – most vamps are not gothic, in fact you could be sitting right beside one now and you’d never know.

    Are Vampyres evil/bad people?

    I think this is a clear demonstration of stereotype. If you examine any cultural group, be it based on race or language or sexual orientation or gender, can you honestly claim that an entire group is either all good or all bad? It is the same with Vampyres. Most Vampyres seem to be ordinary people just wanting to live their lives.

    Just like any community, we have secular groups, religious groups, entertainment, alternate rock bands, and even news sites. http://www.realvampirenews.com/

    I hope this explains who we are a little better, and of course, if you want to know more, just ask.

    Incidentally you can also view my blog on the topic here : http://housevalur.blogspot.com

    Val

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  3. Dear Bryony,

    I posted a response to your article here earlier today, it was rather long, so it stretched over two posts. When I checked back there, the second one had been deleted... I was disappointed, because you definitely said "My hope is that this is a fair (if brief) summary of vampire beliefs and mythology through history and if you have anything additional to add please post a comment, especially if you have had involvement with the sub culture."

    Considering that request, which I assumed to be genuine, I thought it odd that you would remove just the second half of my comment intended to educate you around the stereotype being unfairly applied to the community of which I am part, and not the first. I wrapped my mind around the question, "why"?

    Was it because I dared to suggest that Vampyres are not bad people, part of the gothic subculture or necessarily "evil"? Could it be because my comments and detailed presentation in the second half as part of the Vampire Community went against the gist of your article, which appears to make Vampyres out to be all those things?

    Often our greatest detractors and critics are people who do not understand what they are criticizing, and who don’t make an effort to understand. I invite you to make that effort.

    You are most welcome to contact me and ask any questions you like on the topic.

    Octarine.

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  4. I'd like to suggest some websites to help the author & his readers understand the vampire subculture. Sanguinarius.org, which Octarine suggested is good, but I'm listing some from outside of the subculture.

    The following site is good, but a little outdated on this subject. Some self-professed vampires use the spelling "vampyre" to distinguish themselves from the vampires of fiction & folkklore. Currently, the spelling "vampire" is more commonly used within the subculture.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/vampire.htm

    Joseph Laycock is a religious studies scholar who's researched & written about the vampire subculture. Below are a couple of interviews with him:

    http://www.theofantastique.com/2009/08/25/joseph-laycock-vampires-today/

    http://www.topsecretwriters.com/2010/12/an-interview-with-joe-laycock-on-real-life-vampires/

    John W. Morehead is another Christian researcher & writer who's studied the vampire subculture. Below are a relevant blog post and article of his:

    http://johnwmorehead.blogspot.com/2010/11/media-stereotypes-of-vampires-and-other.html
    http://www.theofantastique.com/2010/02/22/christians-and-vampire-mythology/

    Finally, Dr. DJ Williams, socialogy researcher, is doing a study of the vampire subculture as well:
    http://www.idahostatejournal.com/news/local/article_c6f48666-24b0-11e0-9012-001cc4c002e0.html

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  5. I posted a comment with several links to non-vampire sites, articles & blogs discussing the vampire subculture & it was deleted too. Does someone here have an issue with Religous Tolerance. org? I also had links to Joseph Laycock interviews & John W. Morehead articles. Both these men are Christian researchers & writers who have written about the vampire subculture.

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  6. As an academic with a number of research foci, including popular occulture and the identity and religious groups that fall within it, including vampirism. I also happen to be a Christian. I recommend Joseph Laycock's book Vampires Today, and an interview with Laycock can be found on one of my blogs here: http://johnwmorehead.blogspot.com/2009/08/joseph-laycock-vampires-today.html.

    I also study the paranormal, and readers can find my interview with three sociologists of religion on their exploration of paranormal adherents at my other blog: http://www.theofantastique.com/2011/01/19/bader-mencken-and-baker-paranormal-america/.

    I hope we can all aim for an accurate understanding and representation of this subject matter and the individuals within it.

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  7. Hi,
    Thank you for your responses. :)
    I have not deleted any comments and so am not sure what has happened? I will look into it.
    Please feel free to repost.
    Again, thank you for taking the time to respond.
    Bryony.

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  8. Mystery solved. Apologies re missing posts. Apparently blogger now has an automatic spam detecter and for some reason marked the comments as spam thus putting them in a seperate folder. I have now marked them as NOT spam and should appear on this page.
    Apologies again, in no way was i trying to censor anyone.

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  9. At the end of my blog i acknowledged that it was a HUGELY brief look into vampirism so I am so pleased people have stepped forward and commented who are involved in the culture. I'm also sorry at how brief the blog was. Whilst i was researching there was SO much information to process and I barely touched on it in this blog post.

    Like I said in my post, understanding is important and I love to learn new things. I'm not one of those Christians that thinks everything I don't understand is demonic/evil. I strive to have an open mind.

    :) love Bry

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  10. Thank you, Bryony, for checking out what happened with the missing posts. I think it may have been our urls that set off the automatic spam response. No hard feelings. It takes work for people from different subcultures & belief systems to understand each other better.

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  11. Bryony,

    I think your blog was a very good brief look over at Vampirism. As a Psi Vamp I would love to see more information talked about on it as the wiki bit was rather brief, although not alot is known on it. I discovered what I was only a mere two years ago and I am 30 years old now so that was 28 years of not knowing what was going on with me. Psi Vamp for one thing I just a word used to explain as literally as we can feeding or "sucking " energy. A good read for understanding us us Michelle Belangers book Psychic Vampire Codex. There are plenty of books about warding them off but none for people who have these abilities and dont know what they are. The fact is people who are psi vamps cannot contol this but it can be used like anything good or bad. In my experience I am able to heal people (mind you not health issues just energy healing when they are feeling off) energetically by tapping into their life force. I can read them better psychically. But there are people who feed off people for malicious intentions. So its like any practice you can apply it to your life with good intentions or negative ones.

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  12. Yes that is very true regarding using things for good or evil.
    For me, I believe some people's gifts are from God but they don't necessarily use them as God intended.

    Thanks for your comment regarding being a psi-vampire. I imagine it was quite a revelation when you heard about psi-vampirism?

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  13. I think that you cannot truly call these people Vampires (no offense intended!). Vampires are reanimated corpses that feed on the blood of God's People in order to keep their own bodies from decaying any further. These creatures are what people spoke of in folklore from all over the world (but for these purposes, the folklore comes from Central and Eastern Europe). There is, I believe, truth in those folktales and oral traditions.

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  14. The vampire you define here is the mythical or folkloric creature, not real, living modern self-identified Vampyres. The difference between the two is clear. And as for blood, we are not picky about what religion our donors follow - just that they are healthy and willing to help us.

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