Interview with the Leanan sídhe

Presented by

Tim

For those who may not know, or do not realise, the history of the modern living Vampire culture reaches back to at least 1966, one of the largest and most respected Vampire culture organisations came into being in June of 1976, the movement has been growing ever since.

Within this ‘Vampire world’ of ours people come and go, some frequently, some not. There are many who reinvent themselves periodically to leave some things behind or to move on to new things and amidst it all there are people who have dedicated themselves, quietly, consistently and with determination to the culture.

 

Our guest this evening is one such person. Having been involved in the vampire subculture, both online and offline, since 1994 this lady is a professional who has been a member of Voices of the Vampire Community (VVC) since 2006, she has done various media interviews, including ABC’s 20/20 and a documentary for XYTV in the UK. In 2008 she spoke, as an expert panelist, at the American Criminal Justice Society’s conference.

Since 1998, she has been the head of the Real-Vampires Community Alliance (RVCA), the oldest Internet-based support group for the vampire community.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with the greatest of pleasure that we are able to bring you an RVL One-on-One Interview with Lady Sylvere Ap Leanan.

RVL: Good evening Lady Sylvere and thank you very much for sparing a little of your valuable time to be with us, and our readers, this evening.

LS: Thank you for having me. Our first interview was such a positive experience, I couldn’t turn down another opportunity to speak with you.

RVL: Naturally, I suppose, I wrote the foreword with our readers, young and old, in mind, when did you first become aware of the modern living Vampire culture and where were you at the time?

LS: The answer to that is sort of nebulous. I became peripherally aware of the vampire culture in the early 1990s through ‘zines such as “Journal of the Dark” and the “Vampire Information Exchange Newsletter.” I grew up in a very small, rural town in the Midwest, so I didn’t have access to big club scenes like those found in New York, Los Angeles, or New Orleans. Getting information about alternative cultures was a Herculean feat. I met the woman who would become known in the vampire culture as Sanguinarius shortly after I moved to Kansas City in 1992, although we didn’t get to know each other well until I moved into an apartment in the same building as hers in 1994. However, I didn’t gain access to a computer and a reliable Internet connection until 1997. That was when I became fully aware of and active in the greater vampire community.

RVL: …and what, do you recall, were your first thoughts about it?

LS: At first I didn’t take it seriously at all. Vampires were either fiction or, in the case of certain occult texts I’d found, unnatural leeches to be shunned. Between 1994 and 1997, I found a few IRC chat rooms that were supposedly about real vampires, but most of them were populated by role-players involved in Vampire: The Masquerade. I’ve been an avid RPG enthusiast since high school, so role-playing was something I could understand. But the people who were actually claiming to be vampires had to be either trolling or crazy.

Lady Sylvere ap Leanan

 

RVL: I’m going to have to put you on the spot now, many of our readers will be dying to know, do you identify as a modern living Vampire yourself?

LS: Yes and no? I identify as Otherkin, specifically Leanan Sidhe[1]. However, I experience many, if not all, of the same traits as people who identify as psychic vampires. I am a vampire in the sense that I need to feed to feel completely healthy and medical science has no idea why. I’ve undergone a battery of medical tests, including a CT scan, seen mental health professionals, and overall I’m pretty healthy for a middle-aged human being. But when I don’t feed, I feel craptastic. I got to a point where I had no choice but to accept my vampirism. So yes, I identify as a vampire, but it’s a very specific *type* of vampire.

“Leanan-Sidhe”
by Markelli on DeviantArt

 

RVL: With respect to the Real-Vampires Community Alliance, what brought you to the leadership of that initiative?

LS: I became friends with the original founder through a Listserv email discussion list. When she decided she wanted to start a group for real vampires, she invited me to join. At that time, she was studying abroad so she asked me if I’d be willing to help her moderate, which I gladly did. Eventually, I was the one doing the bulk of the work on the back end, such as screening and approving potential members, while she was the “face” of the group. When the OneList account she used to create the list was hacked, I restarted Real-Vampires with my account. We agreed that it was safer to leave it that way rather than transferring the list back to her and risking another security breach.

After that, things ran smoothly until she decided to stop taking medication for her mental health issues. She became increasingly paranoid, delusional, and abusive toward the list members. By then we’d added several more moderators and it was decided among the team that she would be given the choice to either start taking her medication again or she would be put on moderation and all of her posts reviewed before being approved. She refused to accept that decision and left, which made me the owner in truth as well as in practice.

RVL: …and, may we ask, what are some of the positive/negative things you see when you look around at the whole?

LS: I think my feelings about both this can be summed up as “human nature.” Humans are selfish, insecure, and egotistical. We’re also generous, courageous, and altruistic. We have the capacity to be destructive or creative, healers or a blight on society. Everything that is good or bad about the vampire culture comes down to our personal strengths and weaknesses and how we deal with them.

RVL: …and what is your personal feeling about the overall direction/s that the modern culture seems to be moving in?

LS: It seems to be moving in circles, just like it has for the past 20 years. Very little has changed, although there are far more informational resources available now than when I started my journey. We’ve also made some progress in getting academic researchers interested in the culture. One day we may have the opportunity to engage medical researchers, but all of the research done to date has been from an anthropological perspective. I think that will continue to be the case for most future research.

RVL: Now, I know I gave away most of your secrets in the intro… sorry ‘bout that… would you like to elaborate on some of the work you have done both within, and outside of, the modern Culture to help strengthen and develop the movement?

LS: Besides running one of the oldest and largest Internet-based support groups for members of the vampire culture, I’ve also been a member of Voices of the Vampire Community since 2006. The VVC has done a lot of work with media, law enforcement, and mental health practitioners to help increase their understanding of the vampire culture instead of making unfounded assumptions about us.

In 2008, I was invited to speak as an expert panelist at the American Criminal Justice Society’s annual conference. I’m sure you’ll recall how law enforcement and the media handled the Columbine shooting, immediately describing the shooters as “Goths” because they happened to be wearing black coats, even though they had no ties to Goth culture. Similar things happen when there is any hint of “occult” practices being tied to criminal activity. My role as an expert panelist was to educate law enforcement personnel about what it means to identify as a modern vampire so that they didn’t jump to any mistaken conclusions.

I also work with a group called CLAVIS (Current and Longitudinal Analyses of the Vampire-Identifying Subculture) to build relationships with professional researchers and act as a consultant help improve the quality of their research. Throughout my tenure in the vampire culture, I have always attempted to encourage outsiders to look beyond the fake fangs and Goth clubwear and see that the vast majority of vampires are people who look and behave like anyone else. You could live next door to a vampire and never know it.

Leanan-Sidhe
by Amy Brown

RVL: There have been, as I also mentioned earlier, a quite large number of people whom have withdrawn from the “public” arena, or even completely, in the modern culture – many long for the return of “the Old Guard” as they have been called. Why do you think so many of “The Old Guard” have slipped away?

LS: Real-world responsibilities play a significant role, I’m sure. As people starting working on advancing in their careers or become parents, those responsibilities take precedence over message boards and Facebook groups. There’s also the burn-out factor – people get tired of the bickering and the cycle of “Vampirism 101” questions so they find more interesting things to do. You can only rehash the same tired topics for so long before people get bored and stop participating.

RVL: …and do you think that the “vacuum” left by the so-called “old guard” has been, and continues to be adequately filled?

LS: A lot of us “old timers” are still around so I wouldn’t say there’s a vacuum. A bigger issue is that the Facebook generation is too lazy to make use of the vast number of resources we’ve worked so hard to create. They expect to be patted on the head, told how special they are, and spoon fed easily-digestible sound bites rather than spend a few hours reading what we’ve spent years of our lives building. It’s more a matter of the veterans growing tired of wasting our breath on people who don’t care to listen than a hole left by veterans drifting away from the community.

 

RVL: I’m going to ask you a “crystal ball” question now, where do you see the modern living Vampyre culture in 10 years’ time, based on the growth and expansion you have witnessed over the last decade.

LS: Doing the same thing it’s been doing for the past 20 years. If we’re lucky, there will be more professional research done and more academic resources available.

RVL: I know when I first contacted you about doing this interview I asked if you would consider it as, “a true Elder and leader of the culture”… and, I believe, you accused me of calling you old…!!! Assuming, for the sake of argument, we take elder as being someone who has long tenure, high reputation, the respect of the culture and has served the culture for some length of time, would you concede that many would regard you as an Elder? How do you see yourself in relation to that concept?

LS: Considering the average of people in the vampire community, I *am* old. I’ve also been active in the culture for 20-something years. In terms of both the Internet and the vampire culture, that’s ancient. I suppose that makes me an “elder” but if I have to choose a term, I’ll pick “veteran.” To me, “Elder” feels like I’m trying to make myself out to be a tribal priestess or something equally pretentious. The term “veteran” calls to mind someone who has experience and has actively served their community. They may have even seen combat. That’s a pretty apt description of what it’s like to hold a long tenure as an organizer in the vampire culture.

 

RVL: Also, when I first contacted you, you told me that you are more typically, and I quote, “…like a stereotypical Volvo-driving soccer mom nine days out of ten and spends most of her time home-schooling her youngest…” The most obvious question is what do you do on the tenth day? And, more to the point, what does Lady Sylvere Ap Leanan do to relax, to kick back and lighten the load?

LS: If I’m honest, there’s no difference at all. I work from home, so I dress for comfort. My wardrobe is mostly t-shirts and jeans or sweatpants. I don’t even bother putting on makeup most days. On the rare occasions I get dressed up, my style tends toward an understated “corporate Goth” look. As far as recreation and relaxation are concerned, I have a variety of interests. I like to read and play video games including Mass Effect, The Sims 3, and Ark: Survival Evolved. Lately, I’ve been teaching myself to design fractal art using various freeware programs. I also enjoy watching movies (I have a serious Bollywood addiction) and I love the current television shows based on comic books. I’m also looking forward to the next season of Doctor Who. Overall, I’m a huge nerd.

“Alien Flowers”
Fractal Art –
Copyright Sylvere ap Leanan

RVL: …and, of your involvement in the culture, you have said, “I’ve spent most of it quietly working behind the scenes rather than in front of a camera or at a club, like most of the big names.” Do you believe that the modern culture is more about the regular, behind-the-scenes, everyday life things or does it need a little glam, a little pizazz, to keep it vibrant and interesting?

LS: I think the culture *should* be about the everyday life things, because that’s where education takes place and where the human connection comes from. However, I think we have a tendency to focus on the flashy side precisely because it’s more glamorous. Everyone wants to see their name in lights, but very few people want to do the sometimes tedious work that keeps things running.

RVL: We see, very often still, young people approaching the culture with a fixation on the idea of being tuned into a Vampire, why do you think this still happening after all the work to change the thinking in that arena?

LS: People always want an easy answer to their problems. Fictional vampirism offers an extended life filled with youth, beauty, and effortless power. Vampire lifestylers and their make-believe courts portray the vampire culture as a huge party that never ends. Sleep all day, party all night among the glitterati – who wouldn’t want that? No one stops to think about how the bills are going to get paid or who’s going to clean up after the club kids go to bed.

RVL: …and what do you think is the very best way to keep these young people safe from potential predators that attach themselves to our culture?

LS: I don’t think it’s the responsibility of the vampire culture, as a group, to protect young people from predators. We are not nannies. We can provide high-quality educational resources, including information about the warning signs of a cult or domestic violence, so that young people are aware of potential hazards and can make informed decisions. We can also offer supportive listening or advice if we’re asked, but that’s all we can reasonably be expected to do. It’s up to them to make use of the resources we provide. We certainly can’t make their life choices for them.

RVL: What do you find, these days, to be your main area of engagement and interest in the modern real Vampire culture, your “major”, if you will?

LS: I’m one of those people who always has a dozen projects on my plate at any given moment. I’m terrible about overextending myself. It’s a real problem.

 

RVL: So, if I were to ask you to offer one piece of amazing wisdom and sage advice to our readers, based on your years of experience and your professional perception of the modern culture,  what would it be?

LS: Do your homework. There are many informative and educational resources available, use them. No one can give you definite, one-size-fits-all answers so you’re going to have to put in the effort to learn as much as you can and figure out what fits for yourself.

 

RVL: Lady Sylvere, thank you so much for lending us a little of your time, we are very proud to be able to bring this to our readers. We wish you every success in your endeavours for 2018 and we would like, very much, to be able to keep in touch and see what’s what from time to time if that’s okay with you?

LS: Thank you for having me. Of course, I’d love to keep in touch.

A voice of reason, a voice of wisdom, a voice for calm, continuous and productive effort and results – it’s something we rarely hear, or see but to know that these are many of the people that are behind the modern living Vampire culture should, and quite rightly so, give us a sense of comfort in those moments when we feel all is lost and all we want to do is go stand in front of a wall banging our heads repeatedly against it while muttering, I’m a widdle Vampyre!”

One of the commonly read comments these days is, “Oh, it’s not like it was in the old days!

…and that, dear reader, is exactly part of the problem. The “working” Vampires, those who build, strengthen and develop are the very people that keep the whole from exploding, or imploding, as the case may be and I would go so far as to suggest that among these strong, reliable and calming influences you would have to go a long way to find one better than Lady Sylvere ap Leanan.

Copyright RVL & Lady Sylvere ap Leanan, 2018

  1. Leanan sídhe – In Celtic folklore, the leannán sí is a beautiful woman of the Aos Sí who takes a human lover. Lovers of the leannán sídhe are said to live brief, though highly inspired, lives. The name comes from the Gaelic words for a sweetheart, lover, or concubine and the term for a tumulus or burial mound.
    Ref: Wikipedia

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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

 

 

 

Goin’ underground…

Presented by

Tim

Hey, here’s something we haven’t done for a while…

Some “Vampire” music from the underground and a little surprise to boot…

 

Sahara BandDesertology  

EgyptOnlineTV

 

AudiomachineUnfinished Life (Composer: Danail Getz ~ ASCAP)

Company: Audiomachine

 

Don’t miss a great read….

Make sure you don’t miss Autoeroticasphyxium Zines interview with our very own Lady Ronin Costa… from across the really big pond to you courtesy of Dave Wolff

The Vampire Interview – Ronin Costa

 

Kozmoz – Overload

Reinelex music

 

Blue StahliI am the beast

http://fbl.me/ThePrimeCronus

 

To all our readers, have a great weekend, have a safe weekend,

DON’T DRINK & DRIVE

DON’T TEXT & DRIVE

CONSUME RESPONSIBLY

but above all have fun and come back in one piece, okay?

Real Vampires, Real Lives

RealVampRealLifeHeader

Interviews are regularly conducted with ‘high profile’ or ‘publicly visible’ VC/OVC figures. Naturally the focus of these pieces will be on their work, their music, their literature, their promotions or events or whatever feature is most noteworthy about them.

The purpose behind “Real Vampires, Real Lives” is to introduce people from the community who are, perhaps, not the “high fliers”, who perhaps don’t make “educational” videos to tell people what real vampirism is and is not, who perhaps don’t write books about the modern culture and communities, who quite probably don’t go on lecture tours but who, nonetheless, are a big part of that sub-culture in an every-day manner; the “heart and soul” if you will, the “vamp on the street” as someone once commented.

 

This evening we are extremely pleased to be able to welcome back a man whom we have had the pleasure of working with before, we are very lucky to be able to spend a little more time with L.A. Nantz (a.k.a. Vodalok Nightkiller)
Vodalok2

RVL: Good evening Vodalok, it’s a pleasure to be able to share a little time with you again, we hope you are well?

V. Nightkiller: Thank you, this day finds me more than well. And it is a great pleasure to be here with you again.

 

RVL: Would you tell us a little about your current occupation and what kind of education did you need to pursue to get there?

V. Nightkiller: Well, I’m kind of a High school dropout. Mind you it was not something I wanted; it was a necessity of existence. One I don’t like to talk about. No there was nothing criminal about it, just a hard life. As for my current occupation, I’m disabled, and attempting to become a novelist. An endeavour that is far more complicated than one would think.

RVL: What were the main influences that guided your choices of educational and career paths?

V. Nightkiller: Influences, for me have always been about one step up financially. Every job, personal choice, and action I’ve made has led me to a better job, and a stronger education. My path has been one of survival over surrender. And I have always chosen never to surrender, and keep moving forward, no matter how hard or difficult. This included getting a G.E.D. so I could join the Military when I was 18, always picking up books to read, and further my education in all manner of fields and interest. Books, books have always been a strong part of my life, and now that I think about it, they have been my reason for everything. The need to read and always have books in my life, that’s what has guided me.

 

 

RVL: In terms of being a self-identified modern living vampire, when did you first realise your nature? And was there an immediate acceptance of it or did it take time to come to terms with for you?

V. Nightkiller: I realized at a very early age that I was very different and even fought with the idea that I might be a vampire. It wasn’t till my early teens that it was confirmed, then in my late teens, while in the military that it was accepted. On a side note, part of the reason it took so long to accept it was, when I was 16 and living in Texas, I was taken by friends, to a place in Ft. Worth where an Exorcism was performed on me. They thought I was possessed and attempted to drive the demon out of me. It is Sad for them that they could never accept, one cannot be separated from their Daemon.

 

RVL: Have you found your vampire nature to have had an effect on forming or maintaining relationships?

V. Nightkiller: Yes. It was by large in part the very thing that brought me and my now estranged wife together, and in the end it was that very thing that tore us apart. Outside of that, I have used my Nature as a vampire to great extend in finding companion’s and lovers over the years. But it always gets in the way of a stable relationship. It does not however stop me from looking for her that I will call my death. For in her I shall be happy to die over and over again, in body, mind, and spirit.

RVL: What specific issues, if any, have resulted from your vampirism? And what benefits, if any, have you derived from it?

V. Nightkiller: Issues; to date my health has degraded to a point that I am on disability. My Dr. knows what is wrong, but not why, or how it all happened as fast as it has. Do I tell him I am a vampire, and that exactly one year to the day I stopped feeding (as a promise to someone that left me months later). Do I tell him when I do feed; it all goes away for a short time. Would you, would you take that risk and open yourself to whatever preconceptions the world has about us? I’m still fighting with this and trying to find the courage to tell my Dr. and praying that when I do, he doesn’t write me off as a lunatic. Benefits, yes, I’m much stronger than people give me credit for, faster by far as well. And no not like in the movies. The difference is that of a couch potato to an athlete. One other thing, I won’t go into, its mine.

 

RVL: As far as your immediate or extended family are concerned have you “come out of the coffin” with them? and what, if any, were their reactions?

V. Nightkiller: Yes. For the most part they all think I’m nuts but accept me for what I am. And a few have even taken it seriously. To them I talk to the most, but like anyone that is not vampire, it’s hard to talk to them about the actual experience of being one, or what it’s like to suffer as one, love as one, or hunger.

 

RVL: With respect to the “mundane” world, are you “In” or “Out of the Coffin”? and why have you chosen this course?

V. Nightkiller: For the most part I am OUT. My Dr. is the exception. I like being honest, not only with others but with myself. And living out as I do, means I have a more balanced dayside/nightside.

RVL: What effects, if any, have resulted from that choice?

V. Nightkiller: I get a lot of teasing from my closest friends, but they have also offered (and I have accepted) to feed me. It’s always small amounts and sometimes nowhere near enough. But I do fear taking more might make them… reluctant in the future. With a few, it meant the end of the friend ship, and others, well to his children I am the wonderful Friendly Vampire that daddy is friends with.

 

RVL: In general what positives and negatives do you count as being attributable to being a self-identified modern living vampire?

V. Nightkiller: Negatives up front are the ridicule and harassment one gets for being out in the general public. The benefits, you stand as a beacon of hope for those who chose to live in. You fight the battles first that all of us will have to fight in time, and as a result, create a map by which everyone else can follow.

 

RVL: A quote from the Chatting with Vampires interview reads … “I’m only recently re-entering the public vampire community after a ten year fast and period of Isolation. I’m eagerly looking forward to being part of the world again.”

Since you have been back can you tell us your opinion of the VC/OVC and do you feel it has changed?

V. Nightkiller: Yes, I feel it has changed greatly. Much of the “Tyranny” that was present when I stepped out of the world, is gone and replaced with hope and an acceptance of those of us that grew up alone, without mentors or sires. There is far more dialog, hope for common ground, acceptance of the differences in each of us that make us vampire, and a willingness to take the Ronan in and make them part of the community. At least that’s how I see it. Lessons were learned and mistakes corrected. Though a few are still being learned by select individual arrogances, that seem to want to will all to bend to a single vision of what we are, but they have little ground to stand on, and the cult following is seen for what it is.

 

http://vodalok.deviantart.com/

http://vodalok.deviantart.com/

RVL: The “Vampire Script” is an extraordinary and beautiful work, would you tell us a little about what went into its creation and where do you think it could best be implemented?

V. Nightkiller: The Creation of the script, font, and runes yes there are three separate ttfs I created, the font is the one that is up for download on the webpage; www.lanantz.com [1], were the product of 5 years of work. It is a work that was driven by several factors, primarily, to provide the VC with its own text by which to Identify; Even if it is just for tattoos, personal journal’s, and artwork. The other reasons which gave birth to that, my novel, my own desire to have something by which to identify myself through, and with. And lastly but not the least of which was to again, share with the community at large a part of myself. We are nothing if we keep all that we are to ourselves, it is through sharing that we grow and become more than we are. It is through sharing that we become more one with those around us, and they become one with ourselves.

 

RVL: What does the future hold for Vodalok Nightkiller/ L.A. Nantz?

V. Nightkiller: The future holds more novels[2], a growing fan base, and hopefully, lasting place in the minds and community that I love so much.

 

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/lanantz

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/lanantz

RVL: Thankyou very much for sparing us a little of your time, it has been an honour to have you back with us.

V. Nightkiller: The honour is mine, that you would again seek me out, and help me share what I am with the community at large is a blessing to me from you. Thank you, and thank you to everyone that has read and reads this.

May blood keep you and take you.

 

———————————————————

Vodalok Nightkiller, a.k.a. L.A. Nantz, is a digital artist, poet, published author, creator of the Vampire Script and a self-identified sanguinarian vampire, he is also a remarkable person remarkable in that despite the obstacles put before him he is driving toward a goal that not only includes himself but also with respect to the “community that I love so much”. It’s always a boost to all of us when such a person declares that and when the acknowledgement is given that the “community” is indeed worthy of such effort and dedication.

As a writer Vodalok can, and will, become one of the community’s greatest assets, a spokesperson that may one day help to bring the community into a more acceptable light with those outside; within the community he can, and will, become one of the voices of our conscience with his heartfelt commitment and honest approach.

Copyright RVL and Vodalok Nightkiller/L.A. Nantz 2013

 

1.  www.lanantz.com

https://twitter.com/vodalok

https://www.facebook.com/L.A.Nantz

 

http://vodalok.deviantart.com/

Recommended reading http://vodalok.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d463c9z

 

http://www.lanantz.com/

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/lanantz

 

2. Incubus Succubus is the title of [Stephen’s] L.A. Nantz’s first book, it was published in July of 2009 and one reviewer, Ophelia Crane had this to say about it;

“Incubus/Succubus is a sprawling story intertwining the lives of an old vampire and a new one and their adventures through the years. With unflinching and beautiful descriptions, L.A. Nantz takes us on a journey that holds its reader up until its riveting ending. Beautifully written, this eloquent story takes us first through the life of Vodolak, then along the new life of Selena as she finds her way as a new vampire no longer bound to the rules of humanity. An excellent read by all rights.”

 

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. 

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer