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I’ve been “awakened” for 40 years, since I was 16.
For 40 years I’ve known my true nature, a nature that sits, now, comfortably alongside my humanity. The two facets complement each other. Neither one is above the other, they are equal parts of the one. It’s a balance that can take time to develop or it can come about naturally from, virtually, the point of awakening.
I awakened late in 1978. I had, for wont of a better term, a “Siress” although that was not a term we knew, or used, back then. We were, my contemporaries and I, Goths at the time and we formed ourselves into a group to be able to support and defend each other from the world around us. It was a world that didn’t understand our thoughts, our outlook and our appearance but we didn’t care. We didn’t become Vampires because of our Goth affiliation and lifestyle, just as we didn’t become Goth because it was “something to do”. It was, always, our expression of our individuality.
As Nietzsche said,
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
I have always “owned” myself, I have owned my actions, owned my thoughts and I have always accepted the consequences of having and exercising those freedoms – that’s the way it works, it’s not karma or any other thing it’s simply “ownership” of yourself.
In 2000 I came to the online world of the modern living Vampire, the VC. Tentative steps in several arenas showed me, quickly, that politeness, good manners and so forth were relatively useless in the place and so I came to a place called Darkness of Fear and came under the tutelage of a femvamp named, quite simply, “Mistress”. She was a strong, outspoken and commanding leader and an unforgiving adversary. I quickly became a “champion” of sorts and found myself afforded the title of “flame-master”. Quite simply put, if Mistress wanted someone flamed I went in like some kind of one man SEAL team and burned them, metaphorically speaking. Quite honestly, though not proudly, I could often reduce people to simply shutting down and not coming back online for a day or two – or more. Cool eh? Actually NO. I had no “individuality”, someone else was making the call, I ran with the ball.
I left DoF and wandered around for a while just dropping in and out of group after group until I came into contact with another “femvamp” by the name of Lady Jozet Justincano Delandrake. She taught me an entirely new way of looking at the modern, online, vampire community and she taught me the value of the patterns of individual thought and consistency of outlook and perception. She was more philosophical in her ways and exuded such an aura of inner calm that it was nigh on impossible not to be impressed by her demeanour. I adopted her “outlook” to a large measure and found myself beginning to think about helping others to understand and perceive in the same way… not that I couldn’t still rip holes in someone – metaphorically speaking – online when needed.
Following on from my learning with Lady Delandrake I found my way to the domain of my third great mentor, and long time friend, Lady CG of Smoke and Mirrors (Now Darkened Mirror) In Smoke and Mirrors, back in the day, the value was accepting who and what you were and coming to terms with/ being at ease with that existence. No criticisms, no angst, no anger simply rational thinking, research, reading and open and free sharing of information. I served Lady CG for a time as both a Moderator and a Forum Moderator at Smoke and Mirrors and this lit the spark in me that made me want to carve out a niche of my own in the modern Vampire culture.
That chance came in 2010 when a good “online” friend and his wife, in Texas, contacted Lady M and I, in Australia, and asked us to take over the management of Real Vampire News, the forerunner of Real Vampire Life. That has been my primary involvement since then.
I have been a member of many groups, I have been an admin of a number… the problem with that is that you are serving someone else’s cause and agenda. It’s fine until the agenda changes and the objective, once clear and unambiguous, becomes a shade or two darker or more extreme.
“Within you is a fountain of wisdom. And you sell yourself short every time you allow some authority to define your limitations and cage your potential. Even if that authority lives in your head.”
― Vironika Tugaleva
Many people have a ‘Sire’ or ‘Siress’, no, not someone who bites their neck, gives them the “dark kiss”, “embraces” them or any of that other guff – it is a person whom at one end of the spectrum may have been the person responsible for ‘awakening’ them to their ‘true nature’ as a modern Vampire while, at the other end of the spectrum, is a manipulative, controlling and self-serving person who likes to have “childer” around them to be suitably adoring and worshipping.
I once got extremely angry and dropped a MAJOR flame on someone who had the temerity to sit in an open forum and claim that all modern living Vampires were, “My children”… boy, you should have seen what I fired back and that was against one of the most influential, important (supposedly) and senior “Elders” of the VC at the time. You’d better believed that got me the “rogue” tag.
It’s that type of superior thinking, and attitude, that I have been resisting, and helping others to overcome, since around 2010.
People in the Culture these days, in the main, are very anti-control but they are very “pro-free choice”. As I mentioned already, a great number of people, some of them very good and wonderful friends of mine have a “Sire” or “Siress”, it gives them that sense of belonging to something, somewhere, something stronger. It gives them a sense of comfort and well-being and that is precious, it suits them.
As I also mentioned before, there are those whom proclaim themselves to be the Sire/Siress of others… self-serving proclamations are hollow, empty and the sole purpose is to make themselves feel better and bigger, more in control… unfortunately this comes with a sense of entitlement and a relative disregard for individuality.
“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
― Shannon L. Alder
Nobody is ever alone except by their free choice. Nobody is ever alone within the modern Vampire culture. There are, literally, tens of thousands of people the world over whom know what it is to be as any one of us is, that’s tens of thousands of people who can provide insight, support and advice. Yes there are people within the culture that you wouldn’t want advice from if you were drowning in a lake of hellfire but that also is a decision that each must, and should, make for themselves. Fortunately, a great deal of the time, you can see what people write about, what they say and the way they conduct themselves through the magic of social media – true you can ask yourself, “I wonder if they’re really like that in real life?” but the problem there is that you’ll never know unless you physically meet and spend time with them so all you are left with is the ability to make a judgement based on what you see before you.
A good tip at this point would be, “Don’t just listen to other people. Think about what you’re hearing or reading.” Perhaps, unfortunately, the only way you are going to find out peoples true colours is to “hang” with them awhile. It’s a bitch of a way to learn but it will help develop your skills of intuitive thinking.
Whether you choose to pledge to a ‘Sire/Siress’ or a ‘Mentor’ the focus should be on learning. The whole purpose for hanging out with a senior person is so that you can learn, question, discuss and develop into the culture and into your own personal path within the culture. A Sire/Siress who teaches nothing, who promises direction and attendance and then never shows… who promises to either “reveal all” or, “help you realise your true potential” then does no such thing is worse than useless… they are a disgrace to the culture and a failure.
Mentors who do no mentoring, who do not pass on relevant information and education about the culture, who promise the earth and then deliver nothing, metaphorically but a handful of dirt are the same – a disgrace and a failure.
Indeed, if they choose to call themselves “Elder” and/or ‘Sire/Siress/Mentor’ this makes it doubly bad.
Are you getting what you need?
If you are a “newcomer” (I hate that term ‘newbie’…) or a relative newcomer to, firstly your own true nature and/or secondly, the modern living Vampire culture you need to be careful of whom you listen to, of whose teachings you choose to listen to. Ask yourself these questions, “Am I getting good, clear and well explained answers?”, “Are my questions/concerns/uncertainties being addressed well and openly?”, “Do I feel morally comfortable and at ease with the explanations and processes being told to me?”
If you answer any one of these in the negative then it is time, in your own best interests, for a re-think.
Membership v. Independent/Ronin
In the modern living Vampire culture there are thousands of souls whom are not affiliated with any House, Order or other organisation… that’s fine, more than fine. Some choose to call themselves Ronin which is an old term and refers to a Samurai without a house to serve or master to serve, it is an archaic term and it actually annoys some people in the culture. Others choose to call themselves “Solitaries”, a term more-or-less borrowed from the pagan and Wiccan traditions. Others will simply call themselves “Independents” to demonstrate they are not affiliated with any group, House or Order.
Main point here is that it doesn’t matter what you call yourself, again, that’s exercising free choice so none of it can possibly be wrong.
If you join a web group, say a Facebook group for Vampires, it doesn’t mean you are no longer independent because, in the main again, such groups are not “Houses” or “Orders”. In joining a web group you are not “pledging” to anyone or any one thing. These groups are for information, entertainment and just hangin’ out. There will probably be a set of “Regulations” but they are, more-or-less, common sense. Individuality and free thinking are probably more at home in this type of group setting.
If you join a recognised, established and active “House” you will know it from the nature of the introductions, from invitations you may have received or from people that have already told you about it. In joining such a body you will almost certainly be required to “achieve” certain things to advance in the structure, you should expect to find a set of “Rules” that you will be expected to abide by and up-hold. In general you will probably find that a “House” membership is calmer, more orderly and less chaotic than an outside “web group” but may well cater less to individuality.
One final thing, if I may, freedom of choice presupposes that rational thinking precedes the choice. If you don’t think a matter through, in an intelligent and rational manner then how will you be able to make a rational choice?
“The being cannot be termed rational or virtuous, who obeys any authority, but that of reason.”
– Mary Wollstonecraft
Copyright T 2018
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