Crossroads 2017 ~ Titled or Entitled

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Presented by

Tim

A matter which has often been long and hotly debated, which has created conflict and confusion out of nothing and has been source of much derision and sarcastic wit is that of titles… specifically the titles that are used within the modern Vampyre culture.

Where do titles come from? How are they given out? Why are they given out? Do they come in cereal packets? Can you buy them at Walmart?

Good questions one and all, let’s see if we can sort out some of this…

 

Titles, to designate people’s positions and responsibilities have, literally, existed since man organised himself into tribes for mutual protection. Someone had to be the boss, someone had to be the senior decision maker, the organiser and so-forth… in order to make sure everyone was on the same page a title seemed to be the easiest way to ensure that rather than making certain everyone knew the boss’s name.

For example, among the earliest known titles we find the Sumerian En and Lugal

EN (Borger 2003 nr. 164 EN; U+12097 , see also ENSI) is the Sumerian cuneiform for “lord” or “priest”. Originally, it seems to have been used to designate a high priest or priestess of a Sumerian city-state’s patron-deity” [1]

Lugal is the Sumerian term for “king, ruler”. Literally, the term means “big man.”[1] In Sumerian, lu is “man” and gal is “great,” or “big.”[2]

Lugaldalu, King of Adab – Sumerian, by Ficatus – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 img. source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/

 

As societies grew and expanded the necessity for a greater number of roles and areas of responsibility called for some method of defining who was supposed to be doing what, or who was supposed to be organising what for the populace. Ancient Egyptian society, as another example, included the following titles, Divine Adoratrice, Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King, God’s Wife ( an Egyptian ceremonial appointed title that was associated with the cult of Amun) Haty-a, Nomarch, Servant in the Place of Truth (an institutional function within the Theban Necropolis) Xry Hbt (a ceremonial position, institutional in nature and associated with ritual centres) and, of course, Pharaoh, the highest, hereditary, national executive office in the land.

With the subsequent growth of political systems under the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Roman systems titles became even more necessary as the range and expansion of social systems grew and grew.

Imagine for a moment, although you may not want to, our modern governments, where would we be if they didn’t have clearly defined structure, arranged by function with the individual offices following a chain of command under people with appropriately assigned titles…

img. source: http://www.avictorian.com/

So, you ask, how does this relate to the modern Vampire culture? We are not a government, we are not a department structured regulatory device and we don’t have a societal structure on a “national” level that demands delineation of duties and responsibilities.

Very good points, what we have is an “association” of Groups, Organisations, Clans, Tribes, Houses and Temples that do not gravitate around a central authority, nor do they necessarily come together in any great measure unless a situation of mutual interest eventuates. Within each of these individual entities there may be found a need for recognition of levels of authority or definition of responsibilities and, as we have already noted, the easiest way to accomplish this is by the use of titles. The thing with these titles, be they hereditary, elected or appointed is that they are peculiar ONLY to that particular organisation or group.
The Order of Maidenfear was created in 1966, making it the oldest recorded Vampire institution and the modern incarnation of that order still exists today in the Ophiucus Living Vampires International entity. Its owner, Lady Emilie C. recalls that,

“Early on (mid-1980’s) we used “titles” just as a means of organization.  We’ve always been uncomfortable with a limitless entity such as vampire culture needlessly being divvied up and categorized.  Now if people want to go in for the names and titles and such because it suits them, that’s their prerogative…”

img. source: Dark Souls 2 Wikia

 

Much argument is made, frequently, about why certain individuals should be referred to by titles – the short answer is that it is necessary to define their position within their own organisation. An example, and one that is commonly argued, is the use of what are seen as royal titles, King and Queen.

Historically speaking King and Queen originated in the Old English to Middle English period (around 900 A.D.)[3] And denoted a hereditary, national executive position of authority. In the case of the modern Vampyre culture the titles are used solely to denote the supreme position not on a national basis but on a regional, or local, basis where a number of “families”, “clans” or “tribal entities” may gather in a “Court”. An individual bearing the title King or Queen will usually have their title appended by the name of the local, or regional, area they are designated as being responsible for leading. The title doesn’t mean anything outside of that particular place but may be used in ceremonial functions in other places outside of that region as a mark of respect and recognition of a leader. It’s somewhat akin to the use of professional titles such as Doctor or Professor, a recognition of position or achievement.

img. source: www.britannica.com

In speaking of titles recently Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza, Matriarch of Temple-House Sahjaza, commented;

“As well they are honors bestowed on our members and others in the community for time served plus works in the community. The higher the level the deeper the service”

In a similar vein, Lady Gia Ahlia Bathory von Ecsed holds the same opinion;
“the titles are earned through contribution and community leadership as well as giving your life to serve the people in it.”

 

There is, of course, a precedent for the use of titles in the modern Vampire culture that goes back to the very foundation of modern culture establishments, such as The Order of Maidenfear,Temple-House Sahjaza and to the very beginnings of the modern movement stemming from the original Long Black Veil Events of New York city. As one of the Co-authors of the original Black Veil texts has noted they did not have the benefit of a lexicon for the culture back then and the only frame of reference they had was the work of Mark Reinhagen, the creator of “Vampire: The Masquerade”, the game released by White Wolf studios in 1991.

From V:tM we can easily follow the establishment of early “titles” in the movement and although such were not really common, they were still used under certain circumstances. Titles such as, Abbott, Archbishop, Baron, Chief, Consort, Paladin, Prince, Recruit, Seneschal and Sheriff. Some of these among the adopted titles to define an entirely new, and wider “social organism” that had never been “organised” in the manner which it was now becoming.

More common, you will find, is the use of the title “Lord”, a term which originated in the Old to Middle English period also and literally meant, “loaf keeper”, or, a provider for the people under his tutelage.[3]

The Devil’s Advocate, 1997, Warner Bros. in assoc. with Regency Enterprises, Kopelson Entertainment,Taurus Film, Monarchy Enterprises B.V. & New Regency Pictures.

 

At this juncture, because there are always two sides to any coin, I am going to play “Devil’s Advocate”, why? Because I can and I’m going to have some very astute help to do it…

There are always the cases of the establishment, or rather self-establishment, of “Titles” by people who have not yet demonstrated, through action or words, that they deserve any more than casual and polite response or consideration. This is the tarnish that colours the perception of titles within the culture and through the subsequent actions of these individuals, especially if they do conduct themselves disgracefully and prove to be problematic, the use of the titles they affect casts a pall over the true intent of such articles. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done about those people, they have been, and will continue to be, a problem for the modern culture as they parade around “playing the role” with gusto.

As Lady Julia Darkrose, owner of The Darkrose Journal and Rose Wytch Media, recalls her experiences within the earliest organised systems for modern living Vampires;

“A blood drinker/”vampyr” community existed long before Todd Hoyt and The Sanguinarium organized everyone into Houses. We, were the Underground, sometimes, literally. It is due to the onset of public Internet that allowed Todd and Michelle Belanger, to organize and dictate The Black Veil…of bullshit. I was there, with Michelle, before The Sanguinarium organized and dealt out unearned titles. I, too, was given a title of Adept Elder in 2000. That was six years after I came up from down under.”

She further defines the situation in saying;
“Of course, at that point, titles had already been pulled out of thin air and given to the followers (sheep mostly) that they liked the best. The rest is as they always say…history. Those coming into the community since 2000, have every right and reason to give themselves and others titles within their own groups. However, to expect everyone else to value them as such and afford them respect and honor that is highly doubtful they have earned, is ridiculous. Keeping up the charade of, well, all the bullshit that is spewed from groups that are mostly just making up crap as they go along, is, well, bullshit. To become an organized anything, the willy nilly handing out of unearned titles and expecting everyone else to be on the same page, is a detriment. Some titles, I suppose,  are  actually earned, within any given insular group.”

Titles are, and always have been, hereditary, elected or appointed not simply plucked out of the air as required and this is an important point to keep in mind.

As Lady Julia goes on to say;
“Some titles, I suppose,  are  actually earned, within any given insular group. Beyond that, I believe, if I were still a relevant member of the V community, that I would concentrate on simply helping people that are or believe, truly, that they are Vampyre, to live the best quality of life they can. I know, without a doubt, that titles, Houses, and all the hooha, are completely unnecessary in order to accomplish that. Which, by the way, is the reason most Titled Community members give for being in the community…they want to share their “wisdom” with everyone. Again, title are completely unnecessary to achieve the greater good, as a whole, or for individuals. Titles are meaningless when a person’s actions and motives are the opposite of their titles.”

The Nobel Peace Prize Coin
img. source: https://www.nobelprize.org/

Another point to bear in mind is that from time to time an organisation may well choose to recognise an individual for exemplary service to the whole and they may opt to bestow a title, usually reserved for use within said organisation, on someone not in the body of the organisation – we must also recognise that this has precedent also. Think of the Nobel Prize awards. The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural or scientific advances. They were founded in the will of the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel and were established in 1895.

In 2012, The Madame Webb authored a paper entitled “The Importance and Purpose Of Respect & Protocols”[4] for a leading Vampire house. In it she laid out guidelines to the membership of that House which included;
We will respect all of our Elders, of title and or physical age, and we will hold them in high regard. We value all that we can learn from them. Let us take for example the Native American path. Hardly any cultural group is attending to and learning from Elders as they should, or could be. Elders are assets and rewarding resources; much more learned then our beloved “Google.” There is still plenty to be learned about the world and how to live in it. We learn by listening and respecting Elders, not just in our community, but also in the world at large. Elders have a master’s degree from the University of Life. What they allow to be shared with us is a gift.”

Titles, such as “Elder” are not always to denote ranks and responsibilities, they can also be used to denote expertise and depth of experience in important areas and anyone who has put in the effort, invested the time and returns willing to teach should be recognised for such contributions to the modern culture.

In conclusion:

The main concept we must all recognise and accept here is that in each organisation, house, tribe or other such body the members and leader of that entity have the right to adopt any form of official delineation of roles, responsibilities and duties that they may see fit. It is entirely endemic to the individual organisation and does not mean that they hold the same position on other than a local basis and within their own organisations… the use of the title is, however, a point of polite address and interaction. Now, you may call me “Old School” whatever that may mean, because I prefer to address people with a prefix of “Lady” if they are feminine and “Lord” if they are male, that is my way unless a person declines to be addressed so then I shall simply make my address polite and respectful – when dealing with people it gets you much, much further and my honoured parents, my dear departed grandmother and my early English grammar school education brought me up to be polite and respectful, you, dear reader, may have been brought up with a much different perspective and that is perfectly okay – as always but simply because you don’t personally dig the idea of titles and their use doesn’t entitle you to be ignorant of social niceties and be out-and-out rude, does it?

Copyright TB  2017

References:

  1. Saggs, H. W. F. 1988, The Greatness That Was Babylon (revised edition)
  2. Watson E. Mills; Roger Aubrey Bullard (1990). Mercer Dictionary of the Bible. Mercer University Press. p. 975. ISBN 978-0-86554-373-7.
  3. com Unabridged. Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
  4. “The Importance and Purpose Of Respect & Protocols”, The Madame Webb, ©2012, Retrieved Sept. 2017

Additional references:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_titles

http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Vampire:_The_Masquerade_lexicon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Prize

https://www.nobelprize.org/

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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.

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Vampire Deities 2017

Featured

Bat meme by SloDive

Compiled, edited and presented by

Tim

Good afternoon,

One of the most widely, and regularly, read of our editorials is that of Vampire Deities. Work began on that particular editorial on March 9th, 2011 and I thought it high time that I applied a greater effort to the, obviously, popular question, “Who are the Gods of Vampires?” It seems that a huge number of folks are still eager to embrace the concept of modern living Vampyres having their own deities to connect with.

As you journey through the cyber-highways and byways of the culture you will find references made to many deities but the thing you will come to recognise is that they are predominantly Egyptian or Pagan in origin… in a manner of speaking this, we suppose, is to be expected since there is very little connection made, by anyone in the culture, between Vampirism and religion… I mean, Jesus didn’t have fangs, did he…?

What if I were to tell you that the Supreme Being, the universal creator and the most magnificent and munificent all powerful deity of Vampires of all times past, and yet to come, was none other than…
Fawknutz the Unseen,

An androgynous, hermaphroditic, incubi/succubae that has a taste for human body fluids and energies…

How’s that grab ya??? Could we enlightened nightkind get behind that concept en masse?

Perhaps it’s easier to get behind the tale of the end of Ra’s reign where, in one myth, he gets the brilliant idea of sending Hathor, as Sekhmet, to wipe out mortals who conspired against him. In the story the greedy deity’s blood-lust was not satiated at the end of battle and she just kept right on slaying, and slaying, and slaying… until she had almost obliterated humanity – so Ra, in another fit of pure genius, poured out beer dyed with red ochre or hematite into the Nile so that it resembled blood. Now, I don’t know whether it was a natural proclivity for the deity or not but she mistook the flood of beer for blood and got so friggin pissed that it was all she could do to stagger off home to ol’ Ra.[1]

Better perhaps we should gather in the sight of an Egyptian lush with a penchant for monumental punch-ups, no?

img. source: UPI.com

Okay, okay, hold up a minute… anyone who I haven’t pissed off stick with me, this is gonna be big…!

The Problem

We, as a self-defined specific culture of entities have not approached this conundrum before now because we haven’t needed to, right? We’ve been able to fall back on the “old faithful’s” and look for characteristics which we can, albeit loosely, co-join to the concept of Vampyrism… that doesn’t make us “un-intelligent”, it marks us as lazy, or as already having faith before we discovered our true nature, or afterwards, or whatever. Fear not, the answer is at hand.

Consider, if you will, that the earliest known “religions” of humanity were occurring around 38,000 BCE and from this period we have recovered – “The Aurignacian[2] Löwenmensch figurine, the oldest known zoomorphic (animal-shaped) sculpture in the world and one of the oldest known sculptures in general, was made. The sculpture has also been interpreted as anthropomorphic, giving human characteristics to an animal, although it may have represented a deity.”[3]

The Aurignacian- Löwenmensch figurine

The earliest recognisable polytheistic representations we currently know of came from the Mesopotamian (Sumer, Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia) religious thinking and date to the mid-4th millennium BCE. These concepts, “involved the worship of forces of nature as providers of sustenance. In the 3rd millennium BCE objects of worship were personified and became an expansive cast of divinities with particular functions. The last stages of Mesopotamian polytheism, which developed in the 2nd and 1st millenniums, introduced greater emphasis on personal religion and structured the gods into a monarchical hierarchy with the national god being the head of the pantheon.”[4]

So, essentially, the ancient Mesopotamian peoples decided to worship the elements, then, instead of just calling them “Dear Wind”, “Dear Earth”, “Dear Storm” or “Dear Rain”, they decided to give them personal names to bring themselves a feeling of being personally in touch with their worshiped forces. Hence something along the Mesopotamian equivalent of Dennis, God of Storms, George, God of Wind, Sally, Goddess of Dirt and Cuthbert, God of Rain came to be and the historical practice of giving The Gods personal identifiers was born.

img. courtesy: History Link 101

The Answer

We are enlightened and intelligent beings, well… except after a party-hard night in NOLA perhaps, and given the fact that we are perfectly capable of detailing, with all our knowledge of Occultism, Ritual Magick, our knowledge of the forces that shape our world and lives, our colour televisions bombarding us with new and unique ideas every day, and with the surety of knowledge that we are masters of our own destiny, surely we can do exactly what the ancient Mesopotamians did?

Here, watch this…

img. source: Vampires Pictures Gallery

Male Vampire/Vampyre Deities

   Abanwet, (PsyVamp) God of Rivers, Streams and inland Waterways

Abandaid, (Sanguine) God of healing and prophecy

Amthoranas, (PsyVamp) God of Storms, Thunder and Lightning, Sky God, God of Wind, Rain & Hail

Antipastus, (Sanguine) Protector of Home and Hearth

Ankloventis, (PsyVamp) God of death

Asteponup, (Sanguine) God of horses, donkeys, mules and their riders

Basplash, (PsyVamp) God of Seas and Straits

Belaslap, (Sanguine) God of war

Blaziaas, (PsyVamp) God of Mineral and Hot springs

Bleafnia, (PsyVamp) God of Trees, Forests. Jungles and Rainforests

Bohduhn, (Sanguine) Supreme-Father, King/Father (w. Bragatoviah [fem.]) of The Gods, Embodiment of The Earth

Caneton, (Sanguine) God of Refuse

Ceenalot, (PsyVamp) God of Fertility and Procreation

Cickallass, (Sanguine) God of Warriors, Soldiers and Services members

Cissonthis, (PsyVamp) God of Trade, Commerce, Industry and Retail services

Disdaway, (Sanguine) God of the Underworld and Cemetery’s

Esausus, (PsyVamp) God of Garden, Crop and Culinary vegetation

Intarabus, (Sanguine) God of Sexuality (NOTE PLEASE: non-gender or orientation specific)

Ivanturus, (PsyVamp) God, and protector of, youth (People under 18 summers of age)

Lascraftaran, (Sanguine) God of Crafts and Learning

Luxoomis, (PsyVamp) God of City Water supplies and Sewage

Mohguns (a.k.a. Morguns) (Sanguine) God of The Hunt

Nodbarkens, (Sanguine) God of Dogs, domestic and wild

Rockariah, (PsyVamp) God of Music and Musicians

Trixdamit, (PsyVamp) God of Animal reproduction and Crop/Food abundance

 

img. source: Crystalinks.com

Female Vampire/Vampyre deities,

Assobah, (PsyVamp) Goddess of Rivers, Streams and inland Waterways

Agroh, (PsyVamp) Goddess of war and Protector of Warriors

Annasplash, (Sanguine) Goddess of the Seas and Straits

Arborea, (PsyVamp) Goddess of Trees, Forests. Jungles and Rainforests

Aufwattup, (Sanguine) Goddess of Garden, Crop and Culinary vegetation

Arnema, (PsyVamp) Goddess of Healing and Physicians

Avethemom, (PsyVamp) Goddess of Mothers and Childbirth

  Belishot, (Sanguine) Goddess of Fire, Crafts and Light

Bragatoviah, (PsyVamp) Supreme-Mother, (w. Bohduhn [masc.]) Queen/Mother of The Gods, Embodiment of The Earth

Conventus, (Sanguine) Goddess of wells and springs

Cumblessus, (PsyVamp) Goddess of Temples, Churches and Sacred places

Eclipsus, (Psyvamp) Goddess of Stars

Esumsus, (PsyVamp) Goddess of Horses, Donkeys, Mules and their riders

Erehot, (Sanguine) Goddess of The Sun

Mairiae, (PsyVamp) Goddess of The Moon

Namataloss, (Sanguine) Goddess of Learning and Education

Ritalinona, (PsyVamp) Goddess of Birds and Flying creatures

Rusmeada, (Sanguine) Goddess of Animal fertility and Crop/Food abundance

Sabrina, (PsyVamp) Goddess of the Magickal arts, Rituals and Magickal workings.

Sinonu, (Sanguine) Goddess of Sexuality and Procreation (NOTE PLEASE: non-gender or orientation Specific)

Scalene, (PsyVamp) Goddess of Law and Justice

  Shepirona, (PsyVamp) Goddess of The Hunt and Wild animals

Septulis, (Sanguine) Protector against Sickness and Accidents

Verbatias, (PsyVamp) Goddess of Death and The Underworld [forms a threesome with Disdaway (masc.) and Akloventis (masc.)errrrsorry, that should have read ‘triumvirate, not threesome]

So, my Lords, Ladies and Honoured Readers, there you have it… with a little thought and shuffling of duties I have just replicated the work done by the Mesopotamian scribes thousands of centuries ago. (It took about two hours btw)

Now we, as a specific culture, have a proper, ordered and relatively comprehensive pantheon of deities to call on if we need. Of course, if you already have your own please continue to practice and worship in your own way for that is your right as guaranteed in any civilised society… for those who don’t have anyone, see you at the altar…!!!

================================================================

Copyright TB 2017 (See special dispensation disclaimer)

 

  1. Lichtheim, Miriam (2006) [1976]. Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume Two: The New Kingdom. University of California Press. pp. 197–199
  2. “Images for Chapter 20 Hominids”. ucdavis.edu.
  3. Martin Bailey Ice Age Lion Man is world’s earliest figurative sculpture The Art Newspaper, Jan 31, 2013, accessed Feb 01, 2013.[1] Retrieved Sept. 2017
  4. Encyclopædia Britannica: Mesopotamian religion.Other References: https://en.wikipedia.org/

Special Dispensation Disclaimer; Although the intellectual and copyright properties ownership rests with the author, me, I hereby grant permission to anyone who wishes to employ this Pantheon in worship or in Written form to do so but I would ask that you credit the work properly.

 

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.

 

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