Vampire (lifestyle)

From Otherkin Wiki

Rather than viewing their identity as a kintype, modern vampires practice a vampiric lifestyle. The vampire community is seen by some as a sub community of the otherkin community, but has a separate origin, culture, and experience.[1] Members of the vampire community typically refer to themselves as "real vampires",[1] "modern vampires",[1] or "vampyres"[2] in order to differentiate themselves from otherkin or mythological vampires.[1][2] Modern vampires will usually not completely align themselves with vampires from mythology or pop culture. Instead, they only experience a need to "feed on [another] to survive"[3] and typically do not claim other traits of mythological vampires such as immortality.[3][4]

Types[edit | edit source]

Modern vampires are usually considered either sanguine or psychic. Sanguine vampires, also called sanguinarians, feed on another’s blood. Psychic vampires are usually referred to as psy or psi vampires and feed off another’s metaphysical energy.[2][3][4][5] Psychic vampires may also be called pranic vampires. It is thought that this energy is a vampire’s core need, and sanguine vampires only use blood as a vehicle to consume it.[3][4][5] Sanguine vampires are considered to be the less common of the two.[2]

More specific types of vampires are said to include empathic vampires, who feed on the energy from another’s emotions;[2][5] sexual vampires, who feed on energy generated during sexual intercourse;[2][5] soul vampires, who feed off the energy of another’s soul;[5] elemental vampires, who feed off the energy of elements such as earth, wind, fire, and water;[5] astral vampires, who feed off other entities in the astral plane;[5] dreamscape vampires, who enter another’s dream to feed off their energies;[5] and magickal vampires, who feed on magickal energies.[5] Vampires who can feed using multiple methods are sometimes called adaptive, while vampires who can feed using all methods are sometimes called eclectic.[5]

Ethics[edit | edit source]

Generally, vampires feel that there is a strong need for them to adhere to ethical guidelines. Most will only feed from a consenting donor, regardless of if energy or blood is being consumed, and take care to only feed from those who they believe will not be harmed by it. The Atlanta Vampire Alliance (AVA) specifies that donors should be screened for mental and physical health conditions, and if a donor has conditions that may make feeding dangerous, feeding should not take place. The AVA also specifies that feeding should only be done between sober, informed, and consenting adults; that illegal behavior should be reported; and that both vampires and donors should practice safe sex.[6]

Despite common ethics, vampires do not have to belong to any particular religion or spirituality. A vampire may believe in any or no religion, and incorporate their vampirism into those beliefs however they see fit.[7]

History[edit | edit source]

Record of individuals declaring themselves as modern vampires goes back to the 1960s and 1970s. In 1965, the Vampire Empire, then called the Count Dracula Fan Club, was formed. The group originally intended to be dedicated to fictional vampires, but received letters from modern vampires and published a casebook detailing these correspondences. In 1972, the Vampire Research Center was created, receiving calls from those who identified themselves as modern vampires, although many of these calls were deemed to be hoaxes. These organizations paved the way for further research on modern vampires in the coming years.[1]

In the 1970s, modern vampires began to form disjointed networks through meeting at organizations for vampire fiction, goth subcultures, paganism, and BDSM.[1] These vampires began to express themselves through zines, or self-published magazines.[1][2] At first, these zines focused on art, fiction, and poetry, only expressing the experiences of modern vampires through metaphor. Eventually, nonfiction about modern vampires was published in these zines; this also encouraged newsletters and journals focused on modern vampirism to arise.[2]

That said, wider awareness and acceptance of modern vampirism is a more recent phenomenon. Occult literature condemning psychic vampires caused many to hide their vampiric identity out of fear of prejudice, while others did not acknowledge this identity in themselves due to the stigma. However, the 1990s resulted in a wider acceptance of modern vampires due to the growing recognition of occult and spiritual movements. Because of this acceptance, vampiric zines rose in popularity. While awareness of modern vampirism was beginning to grow, this awareness was confined to a limited population, as many individuals were unaware of the zines’ existence.[2]

Three events helped the modern vampire community continue to expand. One of these were conventions dedicated to Anne Rice's vampire fiction, which allowed modern vampires to further network.[1] Another was the development of White Wolf's roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade.[1][2] Not only did the game further create social spaces,[2] but it also introduced ideas such as a lexicon and identifiers that the modern vampire community adapted to its own needs. Through the game, a foundation for a predominantly shared identity was formed, and that identity still persists today today.[1] The popularization of the Internet also allowed the modern vampire community to develop, with the formation of resource websites, online zines, and other forms of online community.[1][2] Through more widespread communication, many organizations of vampires, sometimes called "houses", were established.[2]

In the early 2010s, it was noted that the online vampire community was declining. Multiple explanations for this were proposed, including the possibilities that vampires were starting to engage more with offline communities, younger audiences were not participating, and the community was evolving or blending with other communities. However, some suggested that the decline was temporary, as all communities have varying participation as time goes on.[8]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 John Edgar Browning. (24th March, 2015) "The real vampires of New Orleans and Buffalo: a research note towards comparative ethnography" Palgrave Communications.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Michelle Belanger. (2004) "[ The Psychic Vampire Codex]" Weiser Books.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Anshar Seraphim. "What Does it Mean to be a Vampire?" (Archived version)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Lupa. (2007) "A Field Guide to Otherkin" Megalithica Books.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Enygma. "Real Vampires" (Archived version)
  6. Sylvere ap Leanan, Michelle Belanger, Merticus, Zero, Maloryn, and RedRaven. "Community Ethical Guidelines"
  7. SphynxCat. "Doctrines and Beliefs, Oh My!" (Archived version)
  8. "Statistics & Polling"