So far 2015 has been a very good year for us at RVL, with our “page view” goal of 100, 000 total passed we are working on bringing some special articles and editorials to our readers.
As always we are looking not only within but also out side the square and by doing that we have been treated to a very special interview, a first time event for us at RVL, our first full-scale one-on-one interview with a recognised, and highly reputable, leader from another region of our combined “alternative” sub-culture.
Accordingly we are very pleased to be able to present to you, dear reader, an interview with a prominent Pack Alpha, from New Orleans, Reaper Wolfe.
Img. source: animal-kid.com
RVL: Good evening Reaper, it’s wonderful to be able to spend this time with you, thank you for joining us for this inaugural one-on-one interview meeting between RVL and a representative of a sub-culture other than Vampire.
RW: Good evening to you as well, and yes, it’s about time we stopped letting our pasts cloud our futures. I agreed to this because I felt I should be nice, but after quite a bit of thought and processing, I decided it may in fact be for the best that we two cultures get to know one another.
RVL: Okay, first things first and to relieve the breathless anticipation of our readers, we understand that you identify as a modern day ‘Wolf’, may we ask how long have you been aware of your true nature?
RW: That’s actually quite simple, and really no real mystery to anyone who’s had a conversation with me before this. I’ve been aware that there is something different about me for as long as I can remember. My father called it being an old soul, I like to think he was right.
RVL: There are several names amongst the modern vampire sub-culture that are used for the sub-culture of those that identify with animistic spirits, most notably, therian or otherkin. What is the general preference from your point of view?
RW: As you yourself just stated, there are many names. Some call themselves Wolves, others, Werewolves, others still like to call themselves Skinwalkers or Changelings. I have to state that as long as we can all coexist peacefully, they can call themselves whatever they damn well please. It’s not that big of a deal to me, really. I see myself as wolf because I was raised to understand myself as a wolf. For others it is the same, but for most, their heritage digs into other facets of our pasts. We have been a multitude, and Legion, but always we have recognized each other for what we are.. Family.
RVL: When and where did you first come into contact with your sub-culture?
RW: I was shown my path very early in life by a man that most know as Gypsy, but I have had the privilege of calling my former Alpha and adopted father. I’ll apologize here, because I’m not going to go into very many details on that one.
Img. source: genius.com
RVL: …and, when did you come into contact with the modern real Vampire sub-culture?
RW: Quite simply put, my uncle Lord Chaz Howell has had no small part in my being able to see the community from both sides of the looking glass. He’s a kind soul, who has shown me many ways that we can coexist and be the stronger for it, unlike so many others who would have us at each others throats. I’m proud to call the man my friend and Family member.
RVL: From the associations and connections that you forged in those early days are there any that remain particularly influential in your mind?
RW: To be perfectly honest, most of them I won’t even mention here, as they showed me what it was to be a shitty Vampire or Pack leader. I won’t call them on it, because they already know it. For the ones I love and cherish as my closest friends, there are many, and they also know who they are. They strive everyday for a better life not only for themselves, but for all of our kind. I’ve met amazing people throughout all of the communities, and I know that they are there for me if ever I need them.
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RVL: We understand that you are part of a larger body of your kind in your area, would you share a little something about that with us?
RW: I was raised in the shadow of others, and when Gypsy died, they let the council fall into shambles and the seat of power remain unfilled and uncontested. They tarnish his name simply by referring to themselves as his friends or followers. I have no respect for those who won’t take up their people and try to help them. I’d gladly die for any member of my pack. That said, every member of my pack is an Alpha of their own. And most of their packs are made of more than one that has been discarded or damaged by the reputations of VERY bad wolves. I am trying to build not an Empire, as most would suggest, but a safe home for the wolves who feel like they have lost their way and have no one to turn to for guidance. I won’t deny that the numbers are alarmingly high, and grow every passing week, but it’s for the betterment of my species. Eventually, I’d like to have more than just Wolves in my Council, but as it stands, so many of mine have been burned by otherkin that it’s going to be quite a long row to hoe to get them to trust easily. It’s a work in progress.
RVL: With respect to the folklore beliefs in the abilities of people to become wolves perhaps the most commonly known tale is that of the ‘wolf-belt’ or girdle that many witches were said to be able to don to transform themselves. Even today there are those who claim to be able to ‘shapeshift’, what are your views on that?
RW: I had to laugh at that. I know it’s juvenile and petty, but I had to. This question simply correlates what so few know about us. We, as wolves, are not divided in our nature. We have a good side, we have a bad side. But that doesn’t mean that our darkness manifests itself by turning us into hulking monsters when we lose control of our emotions, or we need to hunt, or feed, as Hollywood and the old tales would suggest. No. I do not believe there are people who grow three feet, gain a hundred pounds of muscle, and get susceptibly more prone to attracting fleas. That’s not how it works. We simply.. ARE wolves. It’s our instincts, our natures, that lead us. Our spirits, wandering in the halls of our ancestors when we dream, feyfolken forests long gone due to the tyranny of heretics. I can smell things no one else smells. I can see things before most of my friends. I hear on a superb level, unless I am ignoring you. I am faster than someone my size should ever be, and I am stronger than most that I know. It doesn’t mean I used a spell or incantation to be this way. It is simply what, and who, I am.
RVL: Do you consider the modern Wolf to have anything in common with their folklore counterparts?
RW: Folklore made us out to be mindless beasts. I can’t honestly say that I can correlate with that stereotype, and none with me would either. The one thing that they seemed to get mostly right was our unwavering pack instinct. There are loners, but not because they choose to be. They are loners because of being scorned, or hurt, by packs in the past. They are afraid of failing those that they get close with, and therefore circumvent the whole process by just avoiding them altogether. I lose a little bit of myself every time that I lose a member, on the rare occasion that it happens, and I wish them all the best, friend or foe alike.
RVL: With your interactions with the modern vampire sub-culture, what do you see as the basic differences between the modern Vampire and the modern Otherkin?
RW: There seems to be a lot more fighting and anger amongst yourselves.. I’m not trying to say that we don’t have our disputes, but mostly we just settle them over a warm glass of mead or if all else fails, we fight and get it over with, loser apologizes, before the winner does as well, and we get on with our lives. I have watched one particular love/hate relationship with Vampires go on for almost a decade now, and honestly, I think they should get hammered and fight it out. If they stopped whining about it, they’d probably get past it a lot faster.
RVL: What would you consider to be the greatest asset of the modern sub-cultures?
RW: Honestly, the internet. We can do and say things online that get our brothers and sisters to notice. They see us, and they want to know more, they don’t go wandering through life lost and alone, never knowing why they are the way that they are. They can come to one of the Alphas, whomever it may be, and learn. They can become so much more productive once they find that they aren’t a freak, or some person who just can’t find themselves in the world.
RVL: Have you a belief as to what the aim of the modern sub-cultures, both yours and that of modern vampires, should be?
RW: I can’t comment on what I think the Vampire Community would be better off doing, or what they should avoid, simply because I can’t tell you what it is like to be a Vampire leader in the community. I speak for my own, all of them, when I say that there are threats to all communities out there that should have their dissention stopped, and they should be brought to heel before they start something that could get a lot of people hurt. In an age where there are militant Christians and Catholics picketing anything they could have maybe read, and very highly likely misconstrued from the Old Testament, we are not enemies, not matter how much you may dislike or disagree with each other.
RVL: What, in your mind, would be the benefits, if any, of closer ties between the modern Therian and Modern Vampire subcultures?
RW: The first and foremost would be that Information is indeed powerful. If the Communities came together and forged alliances with each other, and shared what they knew with each other, I daresay that any of us could stop a threat to our wellbeing and very way of life in a few minutes instead of years. It would expedite things so much, and knowing that is why I’m trying so hard to build bridges and make new pacts with those that once saw me as nothing, no matter what our past may be. We have to work together, or we will lose everything we ever stood for. Then what do we tell the freshly awoken or the young wolf going through their trials? “Sorry, we goofed? We have no stories to tell because we were so busy bitching at each other that we let them all get destroyed?”
RVL: As it is within the modern Vampire sub-culture, we have been presented with those who claim to be hybrid in nature. One of the most common claims that we come across, with respect to the Wolf, is a hybrid of Wolf and Vampire. What’s your opinion in this respect?
RW: Absolutely. There are all too many people who have come into being from different parentage. While they usually drift to one side or another, they are without a doubt the best of both worlds. They have the highest probability of forging friendships with both sides, and being all the better for it.
RVL: Do you believe that the modern sub-cultures are something best kept between ourselves, i.e. “in the community” or do you think we should be attempting a wholesale education of those outside the sub-culture?
RW: I have very mixed emotions on this… While I would love to have a shop class on ‘Vampires & Werewolves 101’, I see it as a potential targeting system. There are very real threats in this world that would make our lives very difficult to live normally, or as normally as we can, if they found out that we really do exist. I have to say that it may not be wise to just stand up and declare yourself a child of the dark when there are institutions like that so eager to claim their next harassment charge.
RVL: This is a crystal ball question obviously but in considering the modern Otherkin and Vampire subcultures where do you see the situation in, say, 10 to 20 years?
RW: A lot more complicated, but also much more integrated. While I am, for one, branching out and lending advice for I.C.E. and Clan Ressurectus, I do so knowing that eventually others will get curious and want to bridge the gap as well. We wolves are naturally very friendly, if we don’t always admit it. That is, until we feel threatened. There is a lot we can learn from one another, and I hope the other pack leaders in the world begin to see that sooner rather than later. There are a few that are working on getting to know the Vampires and their ways, and then there are those who would destroy all of the progress we have made simply because they are stubborn asses… so I’ll have to call it at 50/50.
RVL: Do you have any general comments or observations you would like to share with our readers either about past, present or future of the modern Otherkin sub-culture?
RW: Go far, be well, and try to be happy about it…
RVL: Thank you for sharing this time with us Reaper, it has been a great pleasure to have been able to share your story, your knowledge and your experience.
RW: It was a pleasure, as per usual, when I get to sit down with my counterparts and discuss Myself and mine, and try to shed a little light on what it is to be a Wolf. I wish you all the best, and good fortune.
A powerful, sincere and honest to goodness experience for me to prepare and present this piece, I will admit. As a non-Wolf I was fascinated to get the chance to glimpse into the heart of what it means to be a modern “Wolf”.
I must also admit that, within that, the sentiments that our guest Reaper put forward about coming together between our respective groups, Vampire and Wolf, sharing information and education as a method of binding the two together in a mutually beneficial interrelationship, those sentiments rang a bell with me indeed. Naturally, such a thing would be difficult given the fact that there are communications and understanding difficulties within the common groups themselves, let alone non-common, however, since when was anything worth achieving successfully acquired easily?
Understanding between the modern Vampire sub-culture and the modern Wolf sub-culture, of course it’s possible. All it takes is open minded individuals on both sides of the fence to jump the fence and learn from each other. That’s something worth doing.
Copyright RVL & Reaper Wolfe 2015
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