Home and Hearth – The benefits of ‘House’ membership

 

House Rakoczy header graphic

Presented by

Tim

Another question that has come in for a great deal of discussion in the VC/OVC is the question of whether belonging to a House or not is the best course. There are a great many unaffiliated people in the subculture today, many who seem to feel that belonging to an organised House is either unnecessary or undesirable. Beside these feelings walk those who are firmly, loyally and happily affiliated with a House, so, what is it that a House membership affords people? What comforts, what support, what benefits can be gained from belonging to such an organisation?

Following the interview editorial with Magister Mephistopheles of House Rakoczy we have the greatest pleasure in presenting an editorial interview with a high profile member of House Rakoczy. RVL and Anya first discussed this piece after she was a guest on Darci Huddleston’s Ravens Nest Vampire Radio and we decided that it would be an excellent idea to team it up with the preceding piece.

It is our great privilege, therefore, to welcome the lady Anya Ligeia Rakoczy to Real Vampire Life.

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RVL: Good evening Anya and thank you very much for agreeing to participate in this editorial interview.

 

A: Good evening, Tim. I appreciate the opportunity to share my opinion.

 

RVL: Amongst the results yielded by the first stage of The Living Vampire Survey we tabulated the following. The question was “Do you belong to, or affiliate with a;”

 

Vampire House 41 (12.7%) Vampire Coven 26 (8%)

 

Vampire Organisation 48 (14.9%) Meetup Group 37 (11.5%)

 

None, I am Ronin** (i.e. independent and unaffiliated) 231 (71.5%)

 

Responses to this question 323

 

The results are quite dramatically skewed in favour of the un-affiliated, why do you think this might be?

 

A: I think most newly-awakened vampires are surprised to learn that Houses even exist. Once they do, many don’t have any idea how to contact a House, or how to tell whether it’s legitimate. There are so many rumors and wild claims out there, I believe many vampires are wary of becoming part of any group. And because most of us are strong personalities, remaining independent and not “answering” to anyone else is appealing to many.

 

RVL: Are you currently a member of a vampire “House” and how long have you been a member of that, or any other, house?

 

A: I’ve been a member of House Rakoczy since March, 2011.

 

 

RVL: What do you see as being the main benefit/s of membership in a “House”?

 

A: Leadership and guidance from senior members; mentorship. I’ve had the incredible privilege of being personally mentored by Magister Mephistopheles, Head of House Rakoczy, as well as the opportunity to learn from other members whose experience has greatly expanded my knowledge. Support and friendship from House brothers and sisters to face issues in both dayside and nightside lives, and finding ways to achieve balance is invaluable. And now, I have the chance to share my own insights and experience with younger members and to see them grow on their own paths.

 

RVL: Do you think that, being a member of a house, can make a person feel safer, ‘stronger’, more secure than if they were not a house-member?

 

A: Most definitely. Outside of the Community, most of us face challenges in our mundane lives including the feeling of isolation, as we are “other” than the vast majority among who we live and work. The feeling of kinship within a House, of knowing that there’s leadership and experience you can draw on in difficulty, is a blessing. And within our Community, there is so much diversity, with so many strong opinions–belonging to a House whose paradigm resonates with your own allows you the freedom to be yourself, without fear of offending; to be accepted completely for who you are.

 

RVL: What do you think is the best method for a newcomer to make an informed decision about which “house” may be right for them?

 

A: If you feel called to join a House, research! Visit the sites and/or pages of as many Houses as possible. Talk to members of those Houses. Ask them questions. Learn as much as you can. Examine what the House beliefs and practices are, and whether they resonate with your own inner truth. Find out what policies the House has in place, as well as what hierarchical structure (if any) exists. Take the time, do the homework, and don’t commit to becoming a member of any House unless it has something to offer you which you consider to be of value, and you, in turn, have something to give back.

 

RVL: If a newcomer contacts a house with a view to joining what, in your opinion, should be the initial reaction of the house and its administrators.

 

A: I can only speak to what my own House does. In House Rakoczy, people seeking membership are encouraged to visit our website, and to learn what it is we believe and how we operate. If the newcomer is serious about membership, he or she then contacts the Head, who discerns whether they might be a good candidate. If he does, he assigns a senior member to mentor them as a prospect to the House for a period of time, usually six months to a year. This allows both time for the House to see if the member is truly a good fit, and for the member-to-be time to decide if the House is truly the right one for them. If, for any reason, either party changes their mind with the period of prospectship, there are no hard feelings.

 

RVL: If you have, in the past, spent a good amount of time as a Ronin but now are affiliated with a “House”, what made you take that direction? And, conversely, if you were a “house” member and have now stepped away what made you decide to do that?

 

A: I am a late-awakened vampire. My first impulse was to look for others like me. I met a few other vampires in real life in my area, then traveled to New Orleans in 2010 to attend the Anne Rice Ball and the Endless Night Ball. I met Belfazaar Ashantison at UndeadCon and heard him speak of his own, House of Mystic Echoes. I read his paper on how to found a House and was intrigued. Shortly thereafter, I began to look for a House. I visited a great many websites, took the AVEWRS Survey, and joined the Colorado Vampire Association, to which I still belong, as well as a local Meetup group, which has since folded. I looked into a number of Houses and organizations before learning of House Rakoczy. When I began talking with Magister Mephistopheles, and discovered the depth of his knowledge, and the focus of the house on serious occult study, I was fascinated. The concept of the vampire, or as we prefer, Upyre, as a race, and the study and preservation of Upyre lore, strongly resonated with me. Likewise, the emphasis on occult studies, of developing oneself as a working magickian and sorcerer, and the cultivation of the warrior traits of self-discipline through martial arts and physical conditioning, were vitally interesting to me.

 

The Magister is about to publish a great work, the Testament of Shadows, the sacred text of the Upyre race, and has already published the Cultus des Loogaroo, which lays out the history of the Loogaroo bloodline, as well as its spiritual traditions. I am proud to say I’ve contributed to both works with copy-editing and some illustrations—and in turn, this has imbued my own fiction with a much richer dimension. Since joining the House, I’ve completed one novel, The Right Hand of Darkness, and have two others outlined.

 

Being part of House Rakoczy has enriched and enhanced every aspect of my life: I’ve grown personally in my path as a novelist and a working sorceress, as a member of the Community, and even in my dayside life, as I am a much more disciplined and focused person than I ever was before.

 

RVL: In your opinion, how should established houses treat Ronins in the general environment of the vampire-subculture?

 

A: I believe Houses should treat Ronin vampires, as well as members of other Houses with respect. Regardless of beliefs and practices, we share a kinship with other vampires and have both gifts and burdens in common. Respect, and good manners, should be encouraged so that we may co-exist as a Community and support each other.

 

RVL: What, in your opinion, is the main drawback/s in belonging to a “House”?

 

A: I can think of only one: negative views held by others in the Community. In the past two years, I’ve been criticized for choosing to join my House, and have heard allegations of its being a harem (something I’m sure my many House brothers find amusing) and a cult—also ridiculous, as within our House, members practice all sorts of diverse paths from Quimbanda to nontheistic Luciferianism. Fortunately, I’m secure enough not to care about the negative opinions of others.

 

RVL: There are “Houses” that maintain a high visibility in the sub-culture and others who prefer to be almost invisible, to your mind which is preferable? And do you think recruiting members to a house is a good practice?

 

A: I believe there are different purposes which initiated the founding of different Houses. Some are purely social and want to provide venues for large groups vampires to interact with each other in public situations, and even to include non-vampires who enjoy the archetype—those Houses would, understandably, encourage recruiting. Other Houses remain “under the radar”, perhaps because the views held in common by its members may not be considered politically correct by the overall Community, and have drawn fire, or because the House is one of serious study and doesn’t want to attract dilettantes and role players. House Rakoczy falls into the latter group. I believe both types of House serve a purpose, so neither is preferable.

 

RVL: Do you see the same value in an “Online House” as opposed to a “Real, physical, vampire house”?

 

A: I think this question has two components. The first would be the definition of a real, physical vampire House. To some in the community, this means that all the members live in the same building, literally “housed” together. This type of house is in the minority.To others, it means that members live near enough to each other to meet in person.

 

Still other houses are purely online. Although some in the Community live in large urban areas where they can meet in person, many others are isolated in rural communities or ones in which there are no other vampires nearby. For them, an online house, if it’s an ethical one with a purpose of providing leadership, fellowship, and the furthering of personal growth, has great value.

 

Our House has a number of Lodges, in the U.S. and elsewhere, therefore, members communicate with each other online as well as in person. I belong to the Twilight Lodge of House Rakoczy, based in Louisiana. I travel there once a year to meet with the Head of the House and other House members, and communicate with my Sire (mentor), other House members, and my students online and via telephone on a daily basis.

 

 

RVL: Do you have any other comments you would care to make on the subject of Vampire “Houses” today?

 

A: Whether to belong to a House or to remain Ronin is an important decision. If your motives for wanting to join a House are to have a “cool name,” or appear more important by association, you’d be better off finding a role-playing game. If, on the other hand, you find a group with principles and beliefs you hold in common, and respect its leadership and other members, joining that House could be a tremendous enrichment to your life.

 

RVL: Thank you very much for joining us and sharing your insights with us today, it has been a great pleasure spending this time with you.

 

A: Thank you, Tim, for the opportunity to speak with you. It’s been a great pleasure for me, also.

 

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The strength of any ‘House’ is in the hearts and the minds of its members, if the members feel strongly represented, comfortable and secure then the house is on a sure footing. There are many people abroad in the VC/OVC who, I would hazard to suggest, feel somewhat detached and remote due to their geographic situation and that is where the online portal or web-space of any house becomes even more important. The internet has indeed given us the opportunity to engage with others in a way not previously easily possible.

As Anya has most persuasively presented, House membership can be a great source of support, comfort, inspiration and guidance and these tools, when put toward personal growth and improvement, are gifts that are more precious than many and allow people to leave their mark on, and make their contribution to, today’s real vampire subculture.

 

Copyright : RVL and Anya Ligeia Rakoczy 2013

 

nb: ‘Ronin’, also ‘independent’, a modern living vampire that is NOT a member of an organised ‘Vampire House’.

 

 

NB: 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, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion.

 

This information is freely available to all FOR PERSONAL USE only, it may be reproduced , or linked to, on personal web sites WITH FULL CREDIT but it may not be used for commercial purposes nor for general distribution without PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT from the Copyright owners.

 

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer

 

 

 

Freedom in expression ~ House Rakoczy

House Rakoczy header graphicPresented by

Tim

House Rakoczy, a well known and respected name in the modern living vampire sub-culture, whose members display a bond between each other that is deep, sincere and nothing short of enviable and the House efforts in support of the “community” and their works on a personal level with many members of that “community” are visible almost every day as one travels around the internet haunts of the modern vampire sub-culture.

What is it that makes House Rakoczy so successful? What is it that members of the Household share that makes the House such a stable, solid and reputable entity? Where did House Rakoczy originate and what are the base principles and ethics that govern what some have called, “the model house”?

We at RVL are honoured to be on very good terms with several members from House Rakoczy and presented a request to the House Magister, to conduct this interview/editorial. As a result of that we are very pleased to be able to bring you an inside and “in depth” look at House Rakoczy.

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RVL:Good evening Meph, welcome back to RVL and thank you for the privilege of sharing a little more time with you.

M: Greetings in return.

 

 

RVL: Would you share with us, firstly, a little history of House Rakoczy, when was it founded, by whom and why did it come about?

M: House Rakoczy was officially founded in 1968 by Janos Rakoczy and his wife. It is from the founder and his wife that the members of The House get their last name within the Community as well as the lore connected to the line of Rakoczy, and the legends attached thereto. Prince Fenerc Rakoczy II of Transylvania is known to history as the Count of St. Germain. An alchemist and supposed immortal, this prince serves as the archetypal foundation and model for the members of House Rakoczy.

 

 

RVL: …and how would you describe the philosophy and ethic of The House?

M: The philosophy of House Rakoczy is one that stresses personal empowerment and enlightenment, that must be balanced with tangible, objective results in the mundane world. Being Upyre is a matter of spiritual and blood identity, but we live in the mundane world. We must have jobs, homes, and a stable life similar enough to that of human beings so as not to cause discord. Ethically speaking, we are predators by nature, meaning we take what we need from life, but do so in such a manner that doing do improves life for all. We do not take more than we need, because to do so would jeopardize both the “prey” and the “predator.” Each of us must deal with the results of our actions. One of the principles of House Rakoczy is knowing where the individual stops and all else starts. The distinction shows the individual how much power it has over its experience of reality. It is considered the duty of House Rakoczy by its members to live its ways, to be an example to the Community. We do not seek converts or validation from others.

 

 

RVL: Since its inception how would you describe the growth of The House?

M: In the early nights of House Rakoczy, growth was slow, with The House being centered in what was then Hungary around the family of Janos Rakoczy. Since 1993, under my leadership, The House membership has expanded steadily.

 

 RVL: …and how many members do you have at present?

M: House Rakoczy currently has 165 members.

 

 

RVL: From a previous article we have had the pleasure of presenting, ‘Alternative Thinking – The spirit be willing‘ (Jan 2013) it would seem that the essence of House Rakoczy lies in ‘Spiritual Vampirism‘, would you agree with this?

M: That is true for some but not all of us. What some see as spiritual, religious, or occult, others may view as archetypal or otherwise psychological. Still others may take the literalist view.

 

RVL: Your members seem to have, at least publicly, an extremely close bond. How important is the interrelationship between members to the success of The House?

M: We have, in my experience, a unique situation in The House, in that some members are very close to one another and interact on a nightly basis, while other members keep to themselves, interacting only with the head of The House. Our unity is in the cultivation of our individual strengths; if one member falls, The House does not fall. If The House falls, the individual is able to stand and, thus, The House rises. Each of us embodies The House; no two of us are alike.

 

 

RVL: …and what, in your mind, have been the highlights in the life of The House since its creation?

M: In 1993, after circumstances required that I take the seat of The House as its head, I and a group of eight others initiated an occult wing of The House named after the great school of magick in eastern Europe in legend known as the Scholomance or school of Solomon. A more recent highlight has been the public works of The House through the Vampires for Freedom of Expression group at Facebook and playing a role in the formation of NOVA or the New Orleans Vampire Association.

 

RVL: We understand that The Scholomance was fabled to be a legendary school of black magic, run by the Devil, supposedly located near an unnamed lake in the mountains south of the city of Hermannstadt (now called Sibiu in Romanian) in the Transylvanian region of Romania. Does House Rakoczy embody an element of Satanism into its ethic and practices?

M: No, we are in no way satanic. Members of House Rakoczy view the devil in the legend as symbolic of a pre-Christian deity much like the Egyptian god Set.

 

 

RVL: …and with respect to the Vampires for Freedom of Expression, how vital a part of the House Rakoczy course is this group proving to be and what benefits is it bringing?

M: While it is not directly a part of the path, being of service when and where we can certainly is, as is promotion of freedom of thought, whether we agree with said thought or disagree with it.

 

RVL: Are you able to share with us some account of the “role” that House Rakoczy played in the establishment of NOVA?

M: House Rakoczy is one of the founding houses of NOVA. Members of House Rakoczy were instrumental in the formation of the nonprofit and also provided the majority of the text for NOVA’s website.

1_1.png House Rakoczy

RVL: Would you consider House Rakoczy to have somewhat of a mystical or metaphysical air?

M: Yes, we make much of symbolism and legendary themes, which are used as mirrors for the members to be able to see themselves and thus explore and refine their understanding of themselves, with knowledge and power being the result.

 

 

RVL: When a person is “nominated” for membership to House Rakoczy what qualities do you look for in the nominee?

M: We do not recruit or seek members; they elect to prospect. We seek an open mind, a balanced emotional nature, the ability to be within the Community while maintaining mundane life, and an ability to take the paradigm of The House and make it their own while being true to the paradigm as presented by The House. Any prospect of House Rakoczy must be a law abiding individual, must exercise and thus be aware of their civil rights and civic duties, and know when and when not to display either their Upyre nature or membership in The House.

 

 

RVL: What mid to long term plans does The House have for growth at this stage?

M: At this stage in the history of House Rakoczy, we are now seeking to be more public, hence our Facebook work, our House website, www.houseoftwilight.com, and the publication of the Cultus des Loogaroodetailing one of the vampyric types within House Rakoczy. Our next publication, The Testament of Shadows, deals with the Upyre as a race, as House Rakoczy understands it, on a global scale.

 

RVL:Does House Rakoczy adhere to the literal and historical definitions of “Upyre” or are there facets of a more modern flavour in your definition in the forthcoming publication?

M: To some in House Rakoczy, the term Upyre refers to a literal non-human, sentient race. To others, being Upyre is a matter of archetype. The word Upyre comes from the Turkish word for witch, ubor. The adjustment from ubor to Upyre refers to a kind of witch that has power all of its life and later appears to go into a death-like state or trance, after which it has different needs to sustain its life and more power. The Testament of Shadows is a distillation of the paradigm of House Rakoczy. It is hoped that other houses and individuals will build on what we have chosen to reveal.

RVL: …and when is the book scheduled to be published?

M: This year

 


RVL: When newcomers approach House Rakoczy for the first time what steps are taken to assess their needs?

M: Typically, would-be prospects are interviewed by at least two members of The House, separately, and are discussed among the members. Ultimately, the head of House Rakoczy is the one that decides whether or not to accept a prospect. House Rakoczy is not a republic like the United States of America or a democracy. House Rakoczy is at best a family with one head, with each member having their say. It is a foolish ruler that does not listen to those that he serves, for make no mistake, to be the head of House Rakoczy is to be of service to all of its members.

 

 

RVL: Could you share with us a little about the ‘path’ that needs to be taken to achieve membership in House Rakoczy?

M: Prospecting with House Rakoczy takes no less than six months and usually no more than a year. First, one must gain the status of prospect, then one is given a mentor. Throughout one’s mentorship, one’s case is under review by the mentor and the head. A good example of individual work on the path to membership in House Rakoczy is the defining and cultivation of one’s true self as symbolized by a single animal. This is known in House Rakoczy as the Heart Beast. It is the symbol of one’s Upyre nature, and it is the basis for those meditations used by an indiviual to control and make use of that part of their nature.

 

 

RVL: How do you, personally, see modern living vampirism as part of yourself?

M: I personally experience being an Upyre as part of my spiritual and racial identity. In my view, Upyre are not human beings, living or dead, but a separate humanoid species with needs, abilities, and weaknesses that humans do not have. We are not the vampires of legend and even less so the parody that is the vampire of pop culture and media. While my personal beliefs would likely never be accepted by science, in my own case, there are biological factors that bear out the truth of my belief to my own satisfaction.

 

 

RVL: Within the structure of The House do you embrace different kinds of vampires? For instance, do you have Sanguinarian members as well as Psi, or Psionic members under the one roof?

M: Within House Rakoczy, blood drinking or sanguinarian Upyre are the majority. We also include sexual feeders, as well as those that feed on other biological products. All biological products, be they blood, sexual, or otherwise, serve as mediums for the external life force known generally as chi in Chinese or prana in Hinduism. House Rakoczy considers purely energic vampyres to possibly be a separate breed or the result of a facility of the aura, while not discounting their existence.

 

 

RVL: In the context of the modern VC/OVC does House Rakoczy seek to take an integral place or do you prefer to keep to The House somewhat apart from the everyday “hustle and bustle” of the vampire world?

M: House Rakoczy has, for much of its existence, kept to itself, but we are now doing more in the world directly. We do not seek to be leaders or followers in the Community. If our example inspires others, we hope what we inspire is of benefit to the inspired, nothing more and nothing less.

 

 

RVL: Does House Rakoczy follow, or embrace any particular historical concept of vampirism, such as Pierart’s Psychic vampirism Theses , or the teachings of Olcott-Steel and Dion Fortune for example?

M: For the majority of House Rakoczy, as has been stated, being an Upyre is a matter of racial and spiritual identity. based on our readings of the legends and lore of central and eastern Europe which originally stem from the ancient Middle East,

 

 

RVL: We are aware that members of House Rakoczy support, and involve themselves, in various charitable works, does The House hold any form of annual event, or meeting? or, do you have plans for this in the future?

M: The House does charitable works where and when we feel our resources would do the most good for both The House and the rest of the persons involved in the charity. When possible, members meet on or around the Feasts that compose the calendar of House Rakoczy. We do not have meetings specifically for charitable events nor do we plan to, at present.

 

 

RVL: If there were one message that you, as Magister of House Rakoczy would give to the modern real living vampire community, what would that be?

M: For too long our Community has been defined and divided by pop culture and prevailing media stereotypes as to who and what we are. I invite all of us to go back to the legends and lore, no matter how we view them, that inspire us today. Let us define ourselves and bring that definition, that sense of self, to every aspect of life. Let us reclaim the reality of being predators, in balance with Nature, able to function without being cliches or stereotypes. One blood, one race, one people, with one destiny, this is who we are.

 

 

RVL: Magister, it has been a distinct honour and a great privilege to have shared this time with you today. We are most grateful for your participation.

M:It has been my honor and privilege to share my perspectives here. I can only give my interpretation of the paradigm of The House and what it has given me. It is my sincere desire that this interview be of benefit to those that read it, whether they agree or disagree. My sincere thanks.

In the blood,

Mephistopheles

 

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House Rakoczy stands out in an often divided and embattled landscape, the public bond between its members, the help and comfort that they give to many are representative of their house and indeed stands it in good stead when people talk of the major Houses of the modern living vampire subculture.

 

The stature of the members of the House, and regard in which they are popularly held in the modern sub-culture, can be seen to be a direct consequence of the basis of their faith and beliefs, as it says in the introduction at the house website (link) “Indeed, we of the Household and the race now have something to offer mankind; our philosophy and art can empower humans as well as those of the Blood.

Far from being a shadowy representation moving somewhere just beyond the circle of sight, House Rakoczy is a solid, highly respected and dedicated body of people who have come together to celebrate their beliefs about modern living vampirism. As Mephistopheles mentioned; “ We do not seek to be leaders or followers in the Community. If our example inspires others, we hope what we inspire is of benefit to the inspired, nothing more and nothing less.”

 

Copyright:  RVL & House Rakoczy 2013

 

NB: Quoted portions of other works are reproduced under the “fair use for education” provisions of relevant legislations.

NB: 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, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion.

This information is freely available to all FOR PERSONAL USE only, it may be reproduced , or linked to, on personal web sites WITH FULL CREDIT but it may not be used for commercial purposes nor for general distribution without PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT from the copyright holders.

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer