Signposts ~ A One-on-One

Presented by

Tim

There has always been a need for good, solid and reputable directories for those both within, and outside of, the modern Vampire culture, to be able to access resources for aid, for research and for personal community, there have been a number of these created in the past which have, to one extent or another, been either restricted, or curtailed by any number of events and issues.

We have just become aware of a new project that has been born based in Australia, an initiative that looks very promising. The Real Vampire Directory is under the stewardship of a lady by the name of Elizabeth Hopka and seeks to combine both directory information and a knowledge/research base to be a much “broader strokes” brush in examining a wide variety of influences, forces and factors that influence and shape the modern vampire society and culture.

In developing this, open access, academic approach project, Lady Elizabeth is seeking to develop a guidebook toward better understanding and sharing the wealth of information available in the culture today.

It is a great pleasure, and honour, for us to be able to bring you a one-on-one with Lady Elizabeth Hopka.

Lady Elizabeth


RVL: Good evening Lady Elizabeth, it is a great pleasure to be in contact with you and to welcome you to RVL.

EH: My pleasure Tim.

RVL: Though it might seem as though the Real Vampire Directory initiative has suddenly sprung into being, how long have you actually been working on setting it up?

EH: I had the idea for about a month before I began working on the website. My main motivation was frustration at the vampire/donor classifieds websites. Although some of them work well, most of them either no longer work, lack important functionality or aren’t being used any more.

RVL: …and, as coordinator, would you mind sharing a little of your personal history with us? How long have you been involved in the real vampire culture and, if we might be so forward, do you personally identify as a modern living Vampire?

EH: I’ve been involved with the OVC for a few months now. I do personally identify as a vampire, yes. Although that identity is only 6 months old, I’ve been feeding out of necessity for 3 years. At the time I had so much going on in my life, that self-exploration regarding my need was put on the back burner, and although I found the thought of being a vampire amusing, at the time it wasn’t considered seriously.

RVL: In your own mind, what is a real modern vampire? And, what attributes do you assign to a modern vampire?

EH: My definition of a vampire is “an individual which requires blood/energy from external sources to remain healthy and functional”. Ultimately, I don’t assign any attributes to vampires (other than the aforementioned one) as I’ve found that, although there seems to be some common characteristics here and there, there is no single attribute which spans 100% of vampires.

RVL: We note, in visiting the site of the directory, that you have an extensive rating system installed for each link that you list, including a number of “stars” for each item, could you explain, for our readers, how the rating system works.

EH: Sure, the rating system is automatic. The full details on the algorithm can be found here but basically, each website’s rating starts at three stars and is automatically adjusted by the “tags” (e.g. Controversial, Informational) given to that particular website. Each tag has its own “weight” and will adjust the score accordingly.

RVL: At this time are you running the directory by yourself or do you have a team that you would like to introduce?

EH: At this time I’m running it by myself, but I’m hoping to get a few more people on board in the near future. I’m currently looking for someone who can speak fluent Arabic, as well as someone who can speak fluent Mandarin. If anyone knows someone from the OVC who fits these descriptions, send me an email at lizzyhop@protonmail.com

More information regarding positions at RVD will be released in the near future.

Image courtesy of RVD

RVL: …and do you have particular connections with any Houses, Groups or Covens within the modern Vampire society?

EH: Not locally unfortunately. There’s not a lot of activity in my area. I’m involved with many groups due to their relevance in developing RVD. However, my primary involvements are DALnet’s #sanguinarius and Amino’s Sanguine (http://aminoapps.com/c/truevampires/ )

RVL: If we can backtrack a little now, what led you to the decision to begin this project? Did you perceive a need for something that wasn’t completely available? Was there a particular catalyst that led you to act?

EH: I was frustrated with how hard it was for me personally to navigate the OVC. After thinking to myself “I should write a list of good websites I come across for my personal use”, I reckoned why not do it right the first time and share it with everyone else.

The idea of having the entire OVC’s information at my fingertips was just too good to pass up.

RVL: Now, there are going to be certain individuals who might oppose the inclusion of Otherkin groups in your directory, what would you say to those people about why you are choosing to make that part of your project?

EH: I decided that, although the website is primarily for vampires and donors, there was no harm, and in fact much to gain (in terms of the quality-of-life for Otherkin) in including Otherkin websites, especially considering many of the vampire websites I mapped out had close ties to Otherkin websites.

If it makes some of you uncomfortable, you can simply tick the “vampire” checkbox at the top of the page and voila! It’s vampire only.

Image courtesy of RVD

RVL: …and in the long term, what is your ultimate goal for the Real Vampire Directory?

EH: I’d have to quote a sentence from my website which answers this exact question: “To contribute to an increase in quality of life for all vampires worldwide.”

Obviously this can be quite vague, but that’s how it should be because, in the website’s early stages, its direction is constantly changing while this quote stays the same.

RVL: I would hazard a guess that you would be open to receiving suggestions for inclusions in the directory, how should people contact you with their information and what’s the web address/es for our readers to find the directory?

EH: Absolutely. I highly encourage feedback and suggestions, especially ones regarding the directory. My email is lizzyhop@protonmail.com. For all forms of contact, see http://realvampiredirectory.com/index.php/contact/ and for the directory see http://realvampiredirectory.com/index.php/links/

RVL: Do you have any other comments or observations about the project that you would like to share at this time?

EH: There have been a few changes recently, and more yet to come so stay tuned!

RVL: We would like to thank you very much for sparing a little time for us today Lady Elizabeth and we would like to keep in touch with you regarding the ongoing growth and development of the project if that is alright? Also, we wish you all the very best of success with the Real Vampire Directory.

EH: Not a problem. Thanks to the RVL team for the interview and I look forward to hearing from you again.

 

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RVL E-Zine is always on the lookout for new projects, initiatives and positive efforts that come up within the modern Vampire culture. A lot of people look at these new enterprises and might be tempted, because of their affiliations with other individuals or associations, to blow them off as “been there, seen that” and anticipate them being another flash in the pan, however, when you get to spend a little time communicating with people such as Lady Elizabeth it’s easy to get a feel for the new life that is on the verge of being breathed into the culture.

We regard it as a duty, at RVL, to bring these people to the attention of our readers, to present their work which forms part of the invaluable “knowledge base” of the modern culture and to give the projects every assistance to build and grow.

The Real Vampire Directory has established itself strongly in its early formation and the outlook for it, in our opinion, is bright indeed. It has been a great pleasure for us to bring this article to you, our readers, and we would like to urge you – and your associates within the modern culture, to support Lady Elizabeth in her endeavours. After all, the better and more widely accessible the information available, the better the culture becomes.

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Copyright RVL & the Real Vampire Directory/ Elizabeth Hopka 2017

NB: This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

 

Another path

Img. source: Boris Ryaposov/Shutterstock)

Presented by

Tim

In 1927 American writer Max Ehrmann wrote a prose-poem entitled “Desiderata” (Latin: “desired things”)
Although it remained relatively unknown during the author’s lifetime it became widely, and well, known following its use in devotionals and recordings in the early seventies.

A good many of you may have come across the ‘Desiderata’ from time to time, it appears in books, on wall plaques and decorative pieces, it appears on posters… its messages are simple and elegantly put. It gives a lot of people a way to cope with the pressures and the demands of modern life. I took it upon myself to adapt the masterpiece and give it the flavour for our culture, our “night kind” existence.

Plagiarism? No, simply a personal insight that I choose to share in the hopes that it may help someone else.

 

Img. source: en.wikipedia.org

In memoriam, Max Ehrman, September 26, 1872 – September 9, 1945.

One Vampyre’s Desiderata

Go quietly amid the night and the dark, and remember what peace there may be in the moonlight and the silence.

As far as you may, without surrender, be on good terms with your brothers and sisters of kind. Speak your truth quietly and with clear conviction; and listen to others, even though they may seem dull and ignorant, for they too have a story and within this, wisdoms.

Suffer not the belligerent, the loud, and the aggressive person for they are vexatious to the spirit and have nought to offer the intelligent and wise.

Beware comparing yourself to others for you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be both greater and lesser than you. Simply be the best you can be.

Enjoy your achievements, use them as foundations for your plans.

Keep interested in your culture, both worldly and of the darkness, it is a strong and sure possession in changing times. Know, and remember, who you are.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery but do not let this blind you to what virtue there is. Many persons strive to meet high ideals; and everywhere the night is full of heroism.

To yourself remain true.

Do not feign affection. Be neither cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly and be mindful of the counsel of years, surrender gracefully those things of youth which are no longer needed.

Nurture your own strength of spirit to shield you against misfortune but do not distress yourself with sombre imaginings. Many are the fears that are born out of fatigue and loneliness.

Within a wholesome discipline, be good to yourself.

You are a child of the night, no less than the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether it is clear to you or not, the universe is unfolding just as it should.

Therefore; be at peace with your God or Gods, whatever you perceive them to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations might be, in the noisy confusion and chaos of the mundane world keep peace within your soul. Despite all the sham, drudgery, lies and broken dreams the night world is indeed beautiful and nurturing.

Strive, at all times, to remain cheerful. Strive for happiness in all that you are.

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NB: This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

 

 

Hand in glove or Hand in hand – Vampires and the Occult

Img. source – Dr. MD News

Written and Presented by

Tim

Good evening, Dobra večer, Guten Abend, Jó estét,

We trust everyone made it through the great American eclipse, as they were calling it here, safely?

This evening I would like to address a topic that comes along quite frequently and one which seems to be deeply entrenched as part of the modern living Vampyre culture.

Many of you may have caught, recently, the SOC Radio show, The Magick Lab Academy, that we were delighted, and honoured, to have been able to be a part of. It was fascinating to have been able to have spent that time in chatting with the people involved, Tony Sokol, ‘The Hollywood Witch’ Marie Bargas, the show producer Tracy from New Zealand and the special guest of the evening Lady Gia Ahlia Bathory, it was something of an eye opener and although we were, and have been, aware of the link between many modern Vampires and the Occult, the depth of information and quality of commentary provided by Lady Gia was extremely informative.

Whether it was the show that prompted a question we fielded, or not, we don’t know but the substance of the question was,
“Why do Vampires have to be anything but just Vampires? Do they have to be Vampires and something else?”

It is, at once, a simple and yet complex question that goes to the heart of modern Vampyre belief systems and outlooks and one, especially given the nature of the two subjects, that is somewhat inextricable by the virtue of the beliefs themselves.

The All-seeing eye
img. source: ancient-symbols.com

The development of the Vampire mythos and the rise in Occult philosophy have accompanied each other through history from around the sixteenth century, from the earliest records of human existence the occult movement drew inspiration and developed ritualistic practices so it is no surprise that the two are still closely aligned in this day and age. Similarly, it is no surprise to find the two philosophies existing, side by side, today.

A most detailed chronology of the history of the Vampire can be found in “The Ultimate Vampyre Timeline” that this author has been putting together, adding to and reviewing since 2010 and from which it can be seen that, as far as is able to be somewhat reliably determined, the Vampire has been known, historically, since ancient Sumerian times (ca. 3200bc) and has never been out of human consciousness since that time in one form or another.

Occultism as a term, by comparison, appeared in the Latin somewhere between 1520 and 1530 a.d. from the Latin “occultus” (past participle of occulere to hide from view, cover up)[1]

 

Img. source: Oakthorne.Net

A great disparity in time frames, yes but the term occult has been applied, variously, to practices dating as far back as Ancient Egyptian times. The most important thing to recognise here is that those ancient peoples did not regard their practices as “metaphysical”, as “supernatural”, “occult” or something that was necessarily to be “hidden”, to them the practices were part of the natural order of life, the world they inhabited and the universe that they perceived – in other words it was “normal”.

16th Century Metaphysics and Vampirism

The earliest [sic] reliable account of real “vampirism” in this period centred on 1597 a.d.

Clara Geisslerin[2] whom was a 69-year-old widow in the town of Gelnhausen, Germany. She was accused of witchcraft, grave-robbing, murder, and consorting with demons. Under torture, so the story goes, she confessed to sexual relations with demons in the form of animals and to drinking the blood of sixty children that she had killed. Whether she was actually consuming human blood to remain healthy and alive is debatable, it is just as possible that she was using, and drinking, it ritually in homage to some demonic entity. So, once again, a line becomes blurred. Many may see her as a vampire simply because she drank the blood, while others will see her as a magick practitioner, witch or occultist because she used blood in her murderous rites and practices – so, the question becomes, Clara Geisslerin, Occultist or Vampire?

In the period commencing around the time that “occultism” became defined, the Renaissance (ca. 15th and 16th century) saw a resurgence in hermeticism and Neo-Platonic varieties of ceremonial magic.

Likewise, the rejection of these practices centred around seven specific arts. The seven artes magicae or artes prohibitae (arts prohibited by canon law, detailed by Johannes Hartlieb in 1456) were:

nigromancy (“black magic”, demonology, by popular etymology, from necromancy) geomancy (method of divination that interprets markings on the ground or the patterns formed by tossed handfuls of soil, rocks, or sand) hydromancy (a method of divination by means of water, including the colour, ebb and flow, or ripples produced by pebbles dropped in a pool) aeromancy (divination conducted by interpreting atmospheric conditions) pyromancy (the art of divination by means of fire) chiromancy (characterization and foretelling the future through the study of the palm) and scapulimancy (the practice of divination by use of scapulae – the shoulder blades)[3]

Thus, after becoming “criminalised” by the prevailing religious law systems of the day, and with the great popularity of, and belief in, these ancient practices it became necessary for them to go “underground” or become “hidden”, in essence to become ‘the occult’. Since that time “occultism” grew to encompass any metaphysical process or belief that could be imagined.

At this point it becomes necessary to enter the philosophical realm of metaphysics to the mix… see, I said it could be complicated didn’t I?

16th Century Alchemist Michal Sedziwoj – Painting from the XIX century collection of Julian Tuwim.
PHOTO: Muzeum Lituratury/East News

Now, feel free to refer to your favourite dictionary for the meaning of “metaphysics” if you wish but basically, in layman’s terms, it means “physical properties and laws that exist, and work, beyond that which is directly observable and measurable” – roughly…

The term first appears around 1350-1400 a.d., in Middle English as “metaphisik” then goes on to become further defined somewhere between 1560 and 1570 a.d. in a Medieval Latin and Greek combination as “metaphysica” with a basis in the arrangement of Aristotle’s writings.[4]

 

Img source: Cristan Williams.com

 

The question reconsidered

“Why do Vampires have to be anything but just Vampires? Do they have to be Vampires and something else?”

The simple answer lies in one phrase, “belief systems”. Nothing about actually, physically being a modern living Vampyre prohibits one from believing in Metaphysics as a universal constant and the belief in such a constant appears to go hand-in-hand with “occult” beliefs and practices.

I would, however, suggest that since modern Vampirism is not, at this time, a scientifically observable or measurable entity that it also falls into the realm of metaphysics. I know, full well, that I am an energy worker. I know that I have influenced circumstance by the employment of “energy” work, either in ritual or not. If people ask me, “Are you a real Vampire?” I reply, “That’s part of me, yes.” Indeed, I take energy into myself for the purposes of feeling better, of empowering myself when I am feeling low and believe me when I say there have been days when I have felt that if I didn’t suck in some energy from an outside source to bolster my own energy then I would have been just as happy to throw myself under a train… I guess, in that instance, it enables me to survive. Modern Vampire is only part of what I am and because of how I utilise that aspect of myself it also enhances my metaphysical work as well.

Am I an Occultist as well as a modern Vampire? Well, I don’t share details with the general population of what I’m doing, I don’t walk into a supermarket and yell, “Everybody stand still, and I’m going to suck energy out of you because I feel like crap…!” so, in that moment, I am “hiding” what I am doing which leads back to the very definition of ‘Occult’.

I believe there are many forms of energy available to those whom I refer to as being “enlightened” and that those energies help certain individuals to achieve things that they might not otherwise achieve. I believe that being a modern Vampire is part of that and that it is part of the very fabric of who and what I am, as for specific rituals, or “occult” practices, to me they are the hammers, tape measures and chisels in my “toolbox”. I get them out as needed to do a job.

The Monas Hieroglyphica of John Dee
Img. source: Pinterest

Conclusion:
Defining belief systems is always fraught with difficulties because belief is very often based in non-definable feelings and perceptions. How people see things very much depends on a great many factors also, factors such as experience, upbringing, sociological experiences and, in great measure, imagination. Being a modern living Vampire is not scientifically observable, at this time but there are hundreds of thousands of people the world over whom know who and what they are, similarly, the occult and occult practices are based in a non-scientifically observable result or event that may well only be sensed by the practitioner, does either of these things mean they don’t exist? Remember, the existence of the Higgs-Boson Particle was only theorised and then suddenly, one day, BAM…!!! There it was… observed and recorded.

Vampires can be Vampires, Vampires can also be Occultists, Occultists can be Occultists but they don’t necessarily have to be Vampires, Seagulls can be Seagulls and they can also be birds, they, however, don’t have the choice and that’s where we differ.

 

Copyright TB & RVL, 2017

References:

  1. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
  2. http://mentalfloss.com/article/29089/historic-vampires
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/
  4. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.

 

NB: This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer