Health and Well-being – Heat intolerance

img. source: codigooculto.com

PLEASE NOTE: The information presented in this article is NOT meant to replace, nor imply replacement of, the advice of your qualified Health Care Professional. If you suffer indicated symptoms, or if you have any other questions about Heat Related Illness contact your registered Health Care Professional immediately.

Researched, Written and Presented by

Lady Kaia & Tim

Summer can be fun and enjoyable for most of people but some of us, especially modern vampires, it can be torture.

Do you feel yourself become light headed? Fell sudden overwhelming fatigued? Heart racing and/or skipping beats? Pressure in your chest or, even pain? (WARNING: This may be a sign of a heart condition or attack) Are you feeling anxious, restless, you feel like you can’t handle summer heat at all? If you answered yes to most of these, then this article might be for you. It has been written based in scientific and medical views and, although I tend to blend the scientific with spiritual, in this article I chose to stay scientific and medical to spread awareness of potentially dangerous heat related conditions.

‘Daylight Savings Time claims another victim.’

The majority of individuals in the vampire community might have issues with heat and sun, especially during the summer months, so I decided to write this short article after I got inspiration for it from Angelina, who wrote about herself and her daughter’s struggles with porphyria related heat intolerance and how badly it affects them, to the point of causing dangerous heatstrokes. I would like to add that I also have issues with heat intolerance. I haven’t found the reason yet but it might be because of excessive serotonin in the body. Although half of my thyroid gland has been removed, both my hormone levels and other blood tests have been normal. So yes, still no clue as to what is causing this for me. I have issues with heat even in the winter, when they heat the room temperature to 25 C or higher ( 77 F.+)

There can be different reasons why a person has problems dealing with heat and why it effects that individual more then regular people. Some of the reasons can be illnesses such as: porphyria, hypertyroidism, pheripheral neuropathy, serotonin syndrome, cystic fibrosis etc.

It is possible that Serotonin syndrome could be one of the most common reasons among the community followed by porphyria. Serotonin syndrome is the body’s reaction to too high a concentration of serotonin in the body. It can also be caused by your diet, genes or medication. People who are on high carbohydrate diets have a risk to get SS (Serotonin syndrome) they can avoid getting it by eating protein with carbohydrates, in this way both blood sugar and serotonin levels remain steady. It’s interesting to consider that 95% of your total serotonin amount is actually synthesized in your intestinal nerve cells. Research has also found that carcinoid tumors in the intestinal tract can have the same effect.

Max Schreck as Count Orlok in ‘Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens’
Jofa-Atelier Berlin-Johannisthal &
Prana-Film GmbH, 1922.

The genetic risk factor is overmthylation mutation in a person’s MTHFR C677T or A1298C gene. This gene has the power to overproduce serotonin. Also individuals with this gene anomaly, have much lower zinc levels in their blood and high copper level.

Another highly possible cause for excessive serotonin levels could be due to certain medications, mostly antidepressant side effects (citalopram/celexa, escitaloppram/lexapro, fluxetine/prozac, fluvoxamine/luvox, proxetine/paxil, and sertraline/zoloft) which, in worst case scenario, can lead to Serotonin syndrome.

Symptoms of high Serotonin levels are: anxiety, agitation or restlessness, heavy sweating, headache, confusion, rapid heart rate and high blood pressure, dialated pupils, twitching  muscles or muscle rigidity, shivering, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, high fever, seizures and loss of consciousness. It also contributes to intolerance to the heat due to the body being unable to control body temperature.

Heat related illness is condition that happens due to exposure to too much heat, even short periods can cause severe health problems. We can group heat related illnesses into main groups such as:

Heat stroke– this occurs when the body is unable to regulate body’s internal temperature. It is a medical emergency and can damage the brain and other vital organs. EHS (exertional heat stroke) is common among young, healthy individuals who, for example, work out in the heat. NEHS (ortnonexertional heat stroke) is commonly observed among the elderly, very young or chronically ill.

Symptoms: very high body temperature (such as 104F or 40C), red and hot either moist or dry skin (sweating might have stopped at this point), difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, dizxiness, headace, loss of coordination, confusion or restlesness, nausea and vomiting, faiting,  at worst case senario seizures, coma.

Heat exhaustion – A reaction to the heat and excessive loss of water and salts by sweating usually as the result of over work or over exercising in heat.

Symptoms include: While the observable body temperature can stay in normal or high range but not over 104F/40C, paleness, muscle cramps and pain, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating, weakness, headache, the skin can feel cool and moist, pulse rate and breathing may be fast and shallow.

Heat cramps – Cramps that are caused due the significant loss of electrolytes (Na, K) in body, affecting mainly the legs (but can also affect abdomen and arms) with involuntary spasms and is usually due to over exercise or over work.

Heat syncope (fainting) – A fainting condition due to prolonged standing, over exercise or by standing up too fast from sitting or lying position. It is generally caused by the exposure to heat, dehydration and not being used to high temperatures.

Symptoms: dizziness, light headedness, fainting.

Heat rash – A rash due to the heat and humidity.

Symptoms: red bumps or blisters on the skin, itchiness, usually around upper chest, groin, elbow creases and under the breasts of the women or the overweight.

Tips to survive hot weather:
Increase fluid intake, preferably mineral water, juices, Gatorade, sports drinks. Eat salty snacks. Sit and stay in cool place if possible. Passively stretch your muscles to avoid cramps. If you feel light headed lie down and elevate your legs.

Wear appropriate clothing: Lightweight material, light colored, loose fitting. To protect your head from the sun wear a hat, that will give shade and keep your head cool.

 

If you feel affected by a heat related condition:

Take cool bath or shower, a wet sheet and using fan with ice can help if you don’t have air-conditioning. Choose to go to the places that might have air conditioning such as the library, shopping mall, movie theater or heat relief shelters in your area.

If you develop a rash, keep your rashes dry, wear light and loose clothes to avoid further rashes, by doing so you will prevent yeast infection occurring.

If anyone shows signs of heat stroke apply cold ice pacs to the armpits, neck and groin area. Try to avoid sunburn (this affects body’s ability to cool itself down and increases loss of body fluids) by using sunscreen, with SPF 15 or higher to protect yourself, apply it 30 min before going outside. Limit sun exposure during mid day hours.

Avoid hot foods and heavy meals that might over heat your body even more.

~ LKL ~

img. source: shutterstock

As my colleague pointed out there are a number of situations that can, and do, exacerbate the effects of heat exposure on people. Everybody needs to be aware of the potential effects and needs to take appropriate precautions, that is true but how much more important can this be for modern living Vampires?

It is well known, throughout the modern culture, that there are those who suffer from photosensitivity to differing degrees, indeed there are non-kin people that suffer a similar affliction. Such affects can range from Solar urticarial, photoallergy, phototoxicity and a range of chemical sensitivities. If we conclude that the foregoing information was particularly relevant to a normal, average, healthy person then what must we consider if photosensitivity is an issue for modern living Vampires?

Time factors for one thing will become very important. There are no benchmark figures for how long it takes to develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke but as far as recovery time goes, most people will start to experience an improvement in the symptoms of, for example, heat exhaustion in around 30 mins. If symptoms do not improve after 30–60 minutes it is very important that you seek medical attention.

Let’s say that a normal, average person takes, for example. 1 to 2 hours to develop the symptoms of heat exhaustion – they may be working or exercising in hot/humid conditions. For an individual whom suffers photosensitivity issues this time may well be cut in half, or even less and the effects may well be magnified in this individual. The majority of modern living Vampires, whom have been awakened for a number of years, will be well aware whether they have such issues but those whom are new to their true nature may well not be and thus will be at greater risk of suffering ill effects more rapidly.

It is an important point that when someone in the communities asks questions about photosensitivity potential those whom are versed in the matter offer their advice as a matter of health and welfare. Reducing the potential for harm, injury and/or illness should be seen as a priority.

~ T ~

“A little too much sun…!”
img. source: Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles.
Geffen Pictures, 1994.

 

We hope this article was useful for some of you, or at least will help you to avoid over heating and give some general advice to you if you, or others, are suffering heat affect situations.

Thank you for reading.

 

Copyright Lady Kaia Liivamägi, Tim & RVL, 2018

References & Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/serotonin-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20354758

https://bebrainfit.com/too-much-serotonin/

https://draxe.com/mthfr-mutation/

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html

https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/understanding-heat-related-illness-basics

https://www.merckmanuals.com/

NB: 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.

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.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

 

One coin, two sides

img. source: The Mill

Presented by

Tim

Unity, in the modern living Vampire culture, was once described to me as, “a pipe dream”. Is that still the case?

Let’s, firstly, take a brief historical look at some contemporary examples of “unity” in the real world.

img. source: K UN.ORG

The most famous, and perhaps well known, is, of course, the United Nations. Founded 24 October 1945 and originally comprising 51 member states it now numbers 193 member countries.

img. source: Unruly Hearts on WordPress

Another well known “unity” project, the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) agreement based on the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 29.

 

img. source: National Geographic Maps

Yet another is the ANZUS (Australia New Zealand United States) Security Treaty is the 1951, collective security non-binding agreement between Australia and New Zealand and, separately, Australia and the United States.

 

Not simply for security or military requirements does unity come about either, consider, if you will, The Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty which extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits members to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. A second commitment period was agreed on in 2012, known as the Doha Amendment. As of July 2016, 66 states have accepted the Doha Amendment, while entry into force requires the acceptances of 144 states. Of the 37 countries with binding commitments, 7 have ratified.

All real, viable, working and representative models of unity for a collective benefit.

img. source: Mark Manson @ markmanson.net

Within the modern Vampire culture we can look at two models that have proven to be viable thus far in promoting a unification for communication, information exchange and certain acceptances of common principles. The first we will look at is Dark Nations.

Dark Nations

In the latter half of 2007 the Dark Nations founded by Madame X of House of The Dreaming and Lord Khan, initially gathering over 2 dozen Houses and Orders into a collective effort designed to encourage communication and interactions between the member houses.

The Unity Project

The second, and more recent, The Unity Project, the brainchild of King Maven Lore of New Orleans, LA and King Logan South of Austin, TX was established in June of 2017 and experienced a surge of interest at its inception which has resulted in a steady growth to date.

It is interesting to look at the operational aspects of the two, in comparison, and see which might be the more popular model. There is no doubt that both work and, in fact, you can usually tell when something is working when a great number of people start belittling and denigrating it… not so unlike real life in that respect.

Member status:

Having been involved in the Dark Nations at one time I found it to be a great platform for the cross-communication between the member houses. Each “Administrator”, or rather “Facilitator” was tasked with looking after a small number of member groups and this ensured that smooth running was maintained. Membership to the Dark Nations, much like the process whereby a country or state joins the United Nations, is by invitation. There is, obviously, a vetting process that goes on prior to any membership invitation being made and the main stipulation is that the “embassy” of a member house at DNs must have a minimum of three people in it.

It has been some time since we have chanced to be able to speak with a representative of DNs but we are hopeful of being able to bring you an up to date, inside look at what the organisation is up to today.

By contrast, we would suggest, the Unity Project, is a more “open” network of Member Houses. Typically the member houses of the Unity Project takes on the title of “Vampire Court of” and the leader of the house assumes the monarchical title of King/Queen.

As far as we are aware, from previous discourse with one of the Unity Project’s founders, there is no particular set pre-selection or invitation process, whether a house is, or is not, admitted is based on a more generalised application process. This very “open” aspect attracts groups more readily, we would assume, than a closed system of invitation only.

frame design by canbum.net

Why Unity?

Mainly because it’s infinitely preferable to bickering and B.S. but that’s not the only reason. Wider based, and more highly resourced, culture specific charity work could be improved. A more cordial level of intercommunications between more groups would mean that “trolls” and “troublemakers” could be more easily, and completely, frozen out by concensus. Exchange of study research could lead to a better, and deeper, understanding of the specialist identifiers between the self-identified types of Vampires and, thereby, a more inclusive unit could be established and maintained.

The fact is that unity doesn’t mean having one “Boss”, “King” or “Grand Poobah”, it means wider representation in a more beneficial atmosphere. In fact, as King Maven of New Orleans put it in the interview entitled, “A new world order reprised”:
“There is no federally mandated law saying we have to follow anyone.  House/Court/Various Group leaders are such because people freely give their loyalty and support to them. You can’t “Take Over” anything, you can’t “Grab Power” from anything or anyone, that’s not how it works.  Power is given BY the people TO who they choose to.”

He went on to say,
“I can say that the number one issue that they had was the assurance that their houses and courts wouldn’t be ruled by the website, nor would they have to change their structure and bylaws.  The idea that we presented to them is that this project would help expand their respective organizations and/or rebuild organizations that have long since fallen into disrepair through global communication and working hand in hand with other communities.”

Indeed, both current models we have considered fit what might be seen as the “preferred” model for unity within any society.

As an example of unity of purpose for wider benefit, RVL and the research group CLAVIS have recently entered into an agreement to examine the feasibility of creating a list of all the available Vampire lexicons available. From this collection a general Lexicon could be created that would examine all currently employed terms in the culture and by reducing them to their base components a “dictionary” of terms could be designed to enhance communication and understanding of non-house specific terminology.

There are many benefits to unity and cooperation and it is becoming clearer that there are more elements of the modern Vampire culture that are warming to that concept.

Now, you might be thinking, “Hey, what’s going to happen to our identity as a house, or our legacy, if we all join in this big, happy, all hold hands and sing kumbaiyah around the campfire thing?”

Simple answer, nothing… no more than any member country of the United Nations has been swallowed up and lost its national identity. No one is saying you have to change but look at the benefits that could be shared between your house, group or organisation and other member organisations.

The old days of, “He who controls the information rules the roost” are gone. Information, within the culture, is no longer a commodity to be bought and sold, it’s a right of all to have access to the widest pool of resources for improvement, and learning, and anyone who thinks otherwise is heading the way of the dinosaur.

frame design by canbum.net

 

What are the considerations that might turn us from “Unity”?

It’s a sentiment that lies close to the heart of a great many in the modern culture, the belief that Vampires, modern Vampires, much like the historical archetype, aren’t “pack” creatures, rather they are “loners”, individuals who don’t generally crave company, mingling, socialising or any of that.

Indeed, that very thing was the subject of an RVL two-part editorial, Vampires – Pack or Solitary beings? Published in March of 2017. (Part 1 & Part 2) and as I commented in Part 1;
“Modern Vampyres, those without specific vampyric ideologies that they adhere to, those that are not part of a structured “order” and those that stand outside of the often referred to “politics” of the modern, contemporary, situation are left wondering in which direction to turn and for this very reason many will, and will continue to, return to solitary ways because that is the way of the vampire.”

The politics involved with inter-house dealings may well drive many to seek the solace of the solitary way once more. Hierarchies that are too strictly observed and levied on the members will, I would suggest, push in the same direction. It is a difficult thing to walk a path under someone else’s rules, as the renowned Magistra Xia wrote;

background design – RVL

 

In conclusion:

At the end of the day “unity” or “not unity” is, as it always has been, the choice that each individual will make for themselves. It is a choice that many groups, covens, clans and organisations may well discuss and vote on… it’s not something that can be forced.

Concerns for group, or individual, identity will come into play. Inter-group politics, whether we like it or not, will play a part, personal likes and dislikes will play a part… in all respects it’s not so much a case of trying to build something, or forge something but more a case of trying to grow something. What it needs is good gardeners. Gardeners who, as much as they want an abundant crop must be pragmatic enough to respect that not everyone wants what they want.

Copyright RVL 2018

NB: 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.

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.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

 

All in the family?

Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton in “All in the Family”,
Tandem Productions, 1971 – 1979.

Researched, Written, Edited and Presented by
Tim & Lady M.

Foreword:

 

There are many words that are brought into play every day that are used to describe a variety of circumstances and situations and nowhere, it may be said, is this more prevalent than in our own Modern Living Vampire Culture. Whether rightly or wrongly is beside the point and this editorial is NOT meant to be an indictment of the use of any word so employed. This is a discussion piece, it is a reflection piece and, hopefully, will prompt many to take a serious look at a commonly used term to decide whether or not it is appropriate in certain instances and the possible impact of the use of such a term.

——————————————————————–

A very common term used throughout the modern Vampire culture is ‘Family’, an innocuous enough word that occurs throughout everyday life also but what does it mean, within our specific context? Having been told, some years back now, that, “Words don’t mean what they mean in the dictionary, they mean what people think they mean…” we have been asking around a bit to find out exactly what the concept is applied to in our culture.

There have been times that I know of when people have been welcomed, lauded and embraced as “Family” but this suddenly seems to turn sour for a number of reasons and all of a sudden they are out of ‘the family’. I have seen, and heard of, people starting ‘families’ and populating said ‘families’ with unknown (to them) members… how does this equate with the normal concept of a ‘family’ unit?

 

What are the bonds that join people who have never physically met and make them decide to call themselves a family?

What is the cost when someone who is devoted to a ‘family’ they are in, and are committed to, is told, “You will do this now or you are NOT family…!” Does this have the same impact as real life family disputes? Is it somehow worse because you know that in real life families things will blow over?

There are so many questions revolving around the concept of family in the modern Vampire culture that it might almost seem that the word ‘Family’ has become as disposable, and meaningless, as many others we employ today.

With all of this “muddy water” clearly in view then, let’s consider the meaning of the term “family” in relation to the modern Vampire culture.

img. source: http://id.fanpop.com

Whichever way we choose to turn we have to accept that the word, “family”, does have a definition and an origin, those are…

Family Noun (UK)

[ C or U + sing/pl verb ] a group of people who are related to each other

Noun (US)

[ C/U ] a social group of parents, children, and sometimes grandparents, uncles, aunts, and others who are related.

Origin of family

1350–1400; Middle English familie < Latin familia a household, the slaves of a household, equivalent to famul(us) servant, slave + -ia -y3

A further defined set of explanations is given at Dictionary.com

Family [fam-uh-lee, fam-lee] noun, plural fam·i·lies.

  1. a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not:
  2. a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for:
  3. any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins:
  4. all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor.
  5. a group of persons who form a household under one head, including parents, children, and servants.
  6. a group of related things or people:
  7. a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals and, frequently, live together:
  8. a group of products or product models made by the same manufacturer or producer.

 

Which also notes that;

[Slang.] A unit of the Mafia or Cosa Nostra operating in one area under a local leader.

The popular, crowd sourced Urban Dictionary carries the following definition;

family

A group of people, usually of the same blood (but do not have to be), who genuinely love, trust, care about, and look out for each other. Not to be mistaken with relatives sharing the same household who hate eachother. REAL family is a bondage that cannot be broken by any means.

img. source: renrad-news.de

 

Quite an array of things we can pick from should we choose, so, has the term been simply ‘borrowed’ or has it been ‘misappropriated’?

Does the use of the word “family” actually meet the criteria of meanings associated with the word? We all know there are many, many names for a “cohesive” unit in the VC, “Group”, “Coven”, “House”, “Order”, and “Temple” and so on and it would appear that the term “family” is generally found in usage within one or another of these units.

The fact is that within said groups/houses or whatever the official name is, there are generally found to be a number of people who have never actually physically met each other… this would seem to deny the definition wherein it is held that a family is a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not, a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for, any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins, all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor, a group of persons who form a household under one head, including parents, children, and servants, a group of related things or people.

Perhaps the only definitive idea we can apply is “a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals and, frequently, live together.”  I believe the Manson Family fitted this profile…!

To gauge the understanding of the term in relation to the Culture we made contact with a number of people, whom we have had the pleasure of working with before, and put the following question to them;

“In relation to “groups” within the modern Vampire culture what do you understand the term ‘Family’ to mean?”

The Regent of The Vampire Court of Dallas, Mike Burgess, suggests that;
Family is and will seem to always be one of the most common ways to describe the internal dynamic within multiple types and forms of organizations within the VC as a whole… and exists as an important part of the public/private dichotomy that exists in any community organization…a public face and a private face visible only to those inside of the group.

Personally, “family” in this sense perfectly describes what we do internally every day within the VCD…the members in our organization in particular behave and are treated as siblings – we are to lift you up the hard times, celebrate the good times, argue, make-up, and help you grow as a person if needed…this goes for even leadership – since we hold (me included) since each member’s voice with equal weight. Publically, we have our titles and the presentation to the world…while internally, this family atmosphere has been very much the central reason for our success.

It is obvious that the VCD is an enviable model, one to be emulated and one that would certainly appear to fulfil the context specific definition of a VC “family”.

 

Queen Tania Tranquilitatis of The Court of The Call of Avalon in the U.K. has a somewhat more direct opinion on the matter, she writes;

“Family to me is standing by them no matter what…

As with you and Mar and all the deception and hurt you both unfairly received from ******.

It’s standing up for the truth.

Standing by those unfairly accused by others.

Doing whatever you can to support them in any way you can.

Hugs and blessings to you both”

 

Family, and the depth of connection between the members of a family have been known to be of the most intense and intuitive kind. Siblings knowing when the other is hurt, family members exhibiting extreme feats of courage and strength when a loved one is threatened. Perfect family traits under extreme conditions, however, we must make ourselves aware of the “norm” also. As the following excerpt, at Psychology Today, reads;

“The Perfect Family

The idea of a perfect family fascinates us, even if at some level we know there’s no such thing. But by imagining that there are those who seem to have everything right, we are setting ourselves up for perpetual disappointment. Especially if we strive to mimic them.”

Do we go looking for the “perfect family” in the cyber realm? Do we imagine that a sense of being “included” in such a family is going to cure us? Prepare us? That they are going to stand by and support us? Fight for us? Do we imagine that we are going to find something that we have been missing out on in real life?

This is where it can become both tricky and dangerous. When we open up and expose ourselves to the vagaries of people we have never met and whom we know nothing of, except what they choose to portray. When we choose to put our faith in people without knowing one thing about their personal histories or agenda, surely we are opening ourselves up for the biggest kick in the balls since David Hirst hit the crossbar at 114 mph during a football match against Arsenal in 1996.

The web resource Goodtherapy.org notes;
Rejection can also result from life events not involving relationships, such as being turned down for a desired position. While any rejection can be painful, some instances of rejection may be more affecting than others. Because most humans desire social contact, and many people crave acceptance from society, being rejected can incite negative feelings and emotions.

The feeling of rejection is believed to have developed as an evolutionary tool to alert early humans who were at risk of being ostracized from the tribe they belonged to. A painful rejection from others in the tribe was likely to encourage an individual to modify any problematic behavior in order to avoid further rejection, or ostracism, from the tribe. Those who were able to avoid further rejection were more likely to survive, while those who did not find rejection to be particularly painful may not have corrected the offending behavior, making them less likely to survive. Humans have therefore evolved to experience rejection as painful.”

Could such rejection, from what is supposed to be a supportive and like-minded society, be more severe and damaging than from a real-life society where it is commonly held that no one gives a damn about anyone else?

 

Gordon Smith, Convener of the research group CLAVIS, member of HotD and Staff member at RVL, gives us his words in response to the question;
For me, Family are the people who inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves while sticking around even when we’re at our worst. Specifically within the context of Vampire culture, Family reminds us that Awakening is an ongoing process and helps keep us grounded in who we are while joining us in our explorations of who we are becoming.”

 

Is the simple fact that we share a common belief, i.e. we are modern Vampires, enough to form the bonds necessary to be considered “family” in any true and definable sense of the word or is it more of an identification within the identification that brings this about? We know that the dynamic in a real family, i.e. the “social group of parents, children, and sometimes grandparents, uncles, aunts, and others who are related”, is a complicated process that develops over a number of years, even generations, so how can we expect the same bonds to develop over any less? Is it a fact that the “bonds” that are spoken of in relation to a “a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals and, frequently, live together”, are sufficient to satisfy using the common term?

Lord Stefan Resurrectus, Patriarch of Clan Resurrectus and convener of the The first annual Elder and Leadership Conference and Summit 2019, honoured us with a brief treatise on the matter of “Family” (which can be read in the full form HERE) and one of the quotes that particularly stood out from that reads;

The VC/OVC is not so far removed from the technical definitions.  The problems are seeing each other as brethren and identifying those that are a problem/or a danger to the community as a whole.  Most of the organizations that I have dealt with, especially the more long-standing and successful, have an intrinsic sense of family regardless of their structure

He goes on to say that;

Family:

  • is there, no matter what.
  • Will defend you to the end, even if they disagree with you
  • Will tell you the truth, no matter how much it hurts
  • Will be beside you through good and bad
  • Will not betray the family no matter what

Title: “Sword Salute”
img. source: Pinterest

 

Are the ideals that Lord Stefan speaks of common to the real life family? Can anyone recall unpleasant difficulties and problems within real life families? How many can recall their biological family maintaining these strictures? How do these things compare with the, dare we say, “Pseudo-families” that exist within our culture? Is it a case of, as I suggested with the quote from Psychology Today, “…by imagining that there are those who seem to have everything right, we are setting ourselves up for perpetual disappointment.

In the end analysis, how many people have been disappointed, let down or rejected by our pseudo-families? What are the lasting effects of such rejection? Does anyone, except the victim, know or care?

In another article, entitled “Family Dynamics and Distress”, presented at Psychology Today it is noted that;
There exists at times in families, one who will do all possible to preserve the structure, no matter how dysfunctional it may be. This person often utilizes an authoritarian stance and expects their children to respect them solely for the sake of their presumed authority. Their objective is control,

Our Assistant Editor, Research Director, my wife, Lady M, writes on family;

“Family comes together in love and respect to nurture and be a part of your life through good and bad.  How does that sound?  I have people on my friend’s list on Facebook that have been there since I first opened my account, these few I consider family as for each move that I made, each mistake that I made, every time I shut down … they came looking for me to see if I was alright… if that makes a person family than it works for me. 

I have a problem with the use of the word family in the context of Groups within the VC … most of these groups are strictly “blue screen” groups that never have any face to face interaction.  People come and people go in and out of these Groups with, I believe, no more family bond than a drop of water in the ocean.  Just because there is one commonality involved with bringing people together, in my mind, does not a family make.   How can I call someone my family based on a timeline page, usually with no photo and sketchy information? 

There are other Groups within the VC that recruit you for who you are or who you know and how much information you can bring into that Group … no family vibe there, yet they will tell you all of the words you want to hear, how family is so important and that you will always have family within that social structure… until you misstep and are booted out…!  What family does that to you???

I have always, with the exception in my first paragraph, believed family to be people that you trust, honor, respect and love and have actually sat down and shared a meal with.  I also believe that family sees the best and the worst of you but they are still around with physical support, encouraging words or just a hug.”

img. source: theodysseyonline.com

In closing;

I suppose that we can’t be too sensitive can we, I mean, what’s in a word right? It’s a well-known fact that our modern culture is built on “borrowed” words, “made up” words, borderline plagiarism and fictitious imaginings. There was nothing official developed, or available at the beginning so whatever was handy came to the fore. Any attempts to quantify, define or widely explain since then have been virtual battlegrounds that have never gained what we might call consensus. The question we MUST ask ourselves, by loosely using the word family, especially where we know that there ARE vulnerable people, are we actually harming people? Are we setting people up for distress and putting them at risk of psychological harm by having them equate the pseudo-family of the VC context with the emotional connections generally experienced in real life family circumstances?

Even though attempt after attempt has been made we have been unable, collectively, to come to a universal, or even wide-ranging definition of what we modern… erm, well, whatever we are, are. Should we simply continue to muddle and mutate words to suit ourselves or should we be looking toward developing a more proper set of definitions, and terms, for use within the culture? In much the same way as we can’t truly use the word Vampire to describe those of us whom identify as such since we are not, quote, Vampire; a preternatural being, commonly believed to be a reanimated corpse, that is said to suck the blood of sleeping persons at night.”

Can we, in good conscience, use the word family with impunity and without expecting damaging ramifications at times?

 

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