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Spirituality and psi training for vampiric people
by Amy Krieytaz
Last updated 9/25/98. Copyright © 1998 by Amy Krieytaz. All rights reserved.
[Note: Links last checked and updated on: 03 May, 2005. Sites with an (x) after them cannot be reached. -- Sanguinarius]
1. Vampirism and spirituality
Spirituality has, or at least can have, a far more immediate significance to psyvamps/energy-hungerers than to most other people. For one thing, newly-awakened energy-hungerers need to develop their psychic abilities, to avoid inadvertantly harming their loved ones and to defend themselves against psychic attack. Psi training often -- though not necessarily -- has spiritual overtones, and needs to be accompanied by a more general pursuit of self-knowledge, which may likewise have spiritual aspects. An even more fundamental use of spirituality is in feeding from nonpersonal energy sources, which many energy hungerers can do to at least some extent.
Many people in the vampiric community have pooh-poohed the idea of "vampirism as a religion." I agree that vampirism or energy hunger per se is not a religion. Nevertheless, for reasons I hope are obvious to the reader by now, spiritual/religious organizations can play a valuable role in the vampiric community. In addition, we also need psi-training groups for energy hungerers who don't have an interest in spirituality.
2. Needed: psi-training networks (spiritual or otherwise)
There is a desperate need for organizations, or at least informal online networks, which can help newly-awakened energy hungerers develop their psi abilities. Other sources of psi training, e.g. psychic healer groups, tend to be hostile toward psyvamps. But psyvamps/energy-hungerers need psi training to avoid inadvertantly harming themselves and their loved ones, and to protect themselves from psychic attack.
At the present time, finding compatible teachers and working partners in the online vamp scene is a very hit-or-miss affair, and can take months unless you're very lucky. One needs to invest a lot of time in getting to know people, which one can do by E-mail, by posting on the vampire message boards, and by hanging out in IRC channels such as #psyvamp and #Sanguinarius on DALNet. This process can be dangerous, since there are lots of assholes out there who prey on their fellow energy-hungerers. (Many psyvamps find each other's energy to be "tastier" than that of normal humans.) In my own case, I was very fortunate to have made a bunch of friends in the online vamp scene before I became fully aware of myself as an energy hungerer. Yet it still took me quite a while to find the right teacher.
There is a need for this process to be streamlined, somehow. One helpful development, subsequent to my own awakening, has been the formation of some private online groups which screen their members, with the aim of keeping out the assholes and sociopaths. Of course, no screening process can be 100% successful, but it's better than nothing. One such group is the Nocturnal Underground, described briefly in my listing of organizations.
In addition to groups like Nocturnal Underground, which are open to all kinds of vampiric people, I also propose the formation of informal networking groups specialized by spiritual orientation, plus an additional group for people with no interest in spirituality as an aspect of psychic development. Specifically, I propose four groups along the following lines:
(1) A group for "Lightsiders" -- people who are comfortable with "white-light" energy and have problems with "Dark" energies, as is apparently true of the majority of psychics and spiritually-inclined people, at least here in the West. ("Lightside" occultists commonly use white-light energy for healing and associate "dark" energy with "the Shadow" -- repressed, problematic parts of themselves that they must learn to deal with. Note: by "Light" and "Dark" energy, I simply mean energy which literally looks/feels "light" or "dark," e.g. when sensing someone's aura. "Light" and "Dark" energies are not intrinsically good or evil, although many people do attach moral qualities to them. Most of the published magick systems that I'm aware of are predicated on the assumption that the user is a "Lightsider," and may also work well for someone who is comfortable with all energies, but do not work well for natural "Darksiders.")
(2) A "Darksider" group which does not adhere dogmatically to any one worldview (e.g. LaVey Satanism), but which does reject the idea that being a Satanist/"Darksider" means being an asshole. Really, it isn't in one's own best interests to make a pest of oneself, especially in a community like the psyvamp scene where even a lot of the "Lightsiders" believe in vengeance.
(3) A group of people comfortable with all (or most) energies, and who seek "balance"/neutrality.
(4) A strictly psionics-oriented group, not involving magick or spirituality at all.
As I envision the above groups, they would welcome not only energy-hungerers, but also blood vamps who aim to develop their psi abilities. However, energy hungerers are the ones who need the groups most.
As for how these groups would function: They could meet maybe once or twice a week in a private IRC channel. In between meetings, members could communicate with each other via a private, by-invitation-only E-list. Prospective members would be screened by experienced psyvamps with well-developed psychic abilities, in order to weed out sociopaths.
However, most of the actual WORK of organizing these groups will probably have to be done by those who need the groups most -- those who, themselves, are looking for teachers and/or people to practice with. If you put forth effort and show that you are serious about organizing something, hopefully you will thereby attract the attention of some worthwhile teachers, or at least some experienced psyvamps who would be willing to act as consultants. (But be careful -- ask around and make sure your teachers and consultants are trustworthy too.) So, if you are interested, put out the word. Begin by discussing these ideas on the vampire message boards, on IRC, in E-mail, and within less-specialized private groups.
If you are interested but do not have the time or inclination to take major responsibility for organizing any of the above networks yourself, you too can help out a little just by spreading the word and introducing interested people to each other, as you happen to come across them in your own search for teachers, working partners, and friends. The first and most important step in building these networks is simply getting some interested people together. And, again, you are more likely to find the friends you need if you are willing to put forth a little effort to help others find compatible friends too, in whatever ways you conveniently can.
3. Religious, spiritual, and occult organizations
Although the networking groups I envision do not yet exist as far as I know, there do exist some spiritual/religious/magical organizations for vampiric people. At the present time, the majority of such groups are "Dark" and strongly influenced by one or more forms of Satanism, though the groups aren't Satanic per se. However, the majority of individuals in the online vamp community appear to be either "Light"-oriented or "neutral," judging by what I've seen on the vampire message boards and in IRC. Hopefully there will be more groups, representing a wider variety of spiritualities, as the vampiric community continues to grow and develop. Personally, I hope there always will be a place for "Dark" spirituality in the vamp community, but it's obviously not everyone's cup of tea.
(There are still-unfilled niches for (1) a specifically "Light"-oriented group and (2) a specifically "neutral"/"Balance"-oriented group, in case anyone wants to start either of those.)
Among the "Dark" groups, the most inclusive and sensible organization appears to be the Vampyre Church. More about them later, after I describe two other "Dark" groups.
The best-known group, the Temple of the Vampire, is closely associated with the Church of Satan -- fine if you're a LaVeyan, and if you do not mind the directions that the CoS has taken in recent decades. Some online psivamps dismiss the ToV as "wannabees." Others disagree with the ToV's overall philosophy yet feel that the ToV does teach valuable techniques. The ToV annoyingly claime to be the one and only "authentic Vampire religion," a habit it inherited from the Church of Satan, which similarly insists that LaVey Satanism is the only true form of Satanism.
Another group, the Tempel of Azagthoth, stated on its old website that "All rules must be broken. Those who do not agree thus prove themselves as fit for our acts of Predation." This statement, which inspired a hearty round of criticism of the ToA on the vampire message boards and in the #Sanguinarius and #psyvamp IRC channels during the spring of 1998, is not found on the ToA's other website, the Ravenwood Archives (x). Still, even on the Ravenwood site, "We may feed as we need, with no concern for those whom we feed upon" -- a statement which puts the ToA very much at odds with the vast majority of online psivamps.
Most online psivamps do profess some sort of ethics regarding feeding. At the very least, feeding from fellow psivamps/energy-hungerers without permission is generally frowned upon, except in retaliation against psychic attack. Beyond that, ethics vary widely. Some feed only from crowds and "throw-off," rather than tapping individuals directly. Others take small bites from a series of individual passers-by, preferably healthy non-psychics who won't notice and will recover quickly. Others aim to take energy in situations where they believe they may be benefitting the person fed from, e.g. calming down an angry or hyperactive person. Others aspire to find, and some have successfully found, consenting donors who generate an abundance of energy. At the extreme end of the spectrum, some say that one should take energy only from consenting donors. But finding a donor can be quite difficult; and, in the meantime, one does need to feed somehow. A psivamp/energy-hungerer cannot function without absorbing energy. Furthermore, there are quite a few psivamps who require human energy in such amounts and variety that they can't get enough from donors. These psivamps have no choice but to "steal" energy, but can aim to do so harmlessly.
My own view is that the only rule which is even remotely enforceable is a prohibition on attacking or nonconsensually feeding from others in the vamp community, except in self-defense. Therefore, that is the only rule that a group can really insist on. But it is foolish to encourage "predatory" behavior toward people outside the community. That is something we just plain don't need, if we want to avoid or minimize future witchhunts. And it is obviously not acceptable to the community for a group to be advocating "acts of Predation" toward those within the community "who do not agree" with a group's views.
(See Are vampires predators? on Inanna Arthen's Real Vampires Home Page.)
I should note that most Satanists do not advocate random sociopathic behavior either. For example, the Church of Satan advocates vengeance but otherwise advocates minding one's own business and staying out of unnecessary trouble. See LaVey's "Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth," of which the last one reads, "When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him." (Blanche Barton, The Church of Satan, 1990, p.86.)
A ToA member has recently informed me that the group is "not Satanist" and that ToA's old website on the Internet Satanic Syndicate webserver is outdated. He also said that ToA does not like the word "psivamp," which it considers to be "a pop-culture word / new-age, and insulting. We are vampires period."
Now for the Vampyre Church, a subgroup of Lord Crow's Legion of Darkness (x). The Vampyre Church, headed by Damien Daville, formerly had another website with a private domain name, www.vampy.org (x). Damien Daville has informed me that the old site no longer has any connection with the Vampyre Church. The newer site comes across as straightforward, sensible, and down-to-earth, whereas the www.vampy.org site seemed more fanciful. According to Damien Daville, the organization has been completely rebuilt as of July 1998 and there are no longer any roleplayers involved with it. I personally know a few of the newer members, and I can attest that they do have genuine psychic abilities and are serious about developing those abilities.
In August and early September 1998, there was an attitude of suspicion toward the Vampyre Church on the part of quite a few people in the online vampiric community, because one high-ranking member of the Vampyre Church was also a member of the Tempel of Azagthoth. However, that member has subsequently resigned from the Vampyre Church; and Damien Daville has informed me that the Vampyre Church has a policy against conflicts of interest, i.e. high-ranking members of other organizations also being officers in the Vampyre Church. Furthermore, the Church's website states, on the Purpose and philosophy page:
We believe in "willing" donors and do not attest to unwelcome feeding of any kind being it blood or psychic feeding. There are other organizations which accept the "barbaric" practice of forceful feeding and psychic attacks upon others with any amount of forceful blood feeding and psychic attacks being accepted. This is totally unacceptable by the Vampyre Church.
4. Cosmic war beliefs
In the online vampiric community, I've encountered a surprisingly large number of people who believe in a cosmic war between "Good and Evil" and/or between "Light and Dark." It, of course, is no surprise that Christians (of whom there are quite a few in the vamp scene) would believe in a cosmic war. What's surprising is the large number of non-Christians who believe in it. I'm not sure to what degree this is an increasing trend in the occult scene in general, thanks to all the apocalyptic themes in recent pop culture, vs. to what extent it is unique to the vamp scene.
Some believe that the very reason today's vampiric community exists is because large numbers of psyvamps and other psychically talented people are being awakened these days for the purpose of recruitment, by both sides of the cosmic divide, as warriors for a big upcoming spiritual battle. Personally, I attribute the rise of the vamp scene to a far more mundane cause, the Internet, which has nurtured lots of new subcultures.
Although the vampiric community does not yet contain, to the best of my knowledge, any "Light"-oriented spiritual groups or psy-training networks, it does contain its own branch of a highly secretive loose network of occultists who consider themselves "Light warriors."
Unlike Christians, many of the cosmic war believers in the vamp scene also believe in the need for an eternal "balance" between the two forces.
I do not believe in a cosmic war. I believe that the "cosmic war" is a collective projection of a lot of people's inner conflicts.
I do not believe in "Good and Evil" as cosmic forces or spiritual political parties. To me, "good" and "evil" are simply categories of qualities and actions, not absolute but relative to who and what you are. For example, if you are a mouse, then cats are evil, but not if you're a person with a pet cat. Anyhow, if one is speaking of "good vs. evil" in a down-to-earth practical sense rather than in an alleged cosmic sense, I feel that it is clearer and more meaningful to speak of "benefit vs. harm" or "reasonableness vs. assholiness."
Although I consider the idea of cosmic "Good vs. Evil," to be plainly absurd, I can't quite as easily dismiss the idea of a "Light vs. Dark" war in a different sense: a war between two classes of spiritual beings, one of which has an affinity for "Light" energy and the other of which has an affinity for "Dark" energy. In this scenario, "Light" isn't necessarily "Good," though it may have some connection with the development of human ethical systems, and "Dark" isn't necessarily "Evil," though it may be associated somehow with a lot of people's shadow selves.
The energies themselves are NOT inherently in conflict. If they were inherently in conflict, then all or most psychically-developed people would experience them that way, which is clearly not the case. Many schools of spiritual thought, e.g. Taoism and Wicca, feature the idea of a harmonious balance between opposites, including "Light" and "Dark."
Yet some people, including some very advanced and powerful psychics, do experience the energies as being in conflict. In my opinion, this is most likely due to their own personal difficulties in handling either "Light" or "Dark" energies. Lots of spiritually-inclined people have what I call a "spiritual allergy" to "Dark" energy. In my opinion, such difficulities are probably the root of the Christian "Devil" concept.
Two opposing camps of "Light" and "Dark" spiritual beings could conceivably exist even though the energies themselves are not in conflict. But it seems unlikely to me. For one thing, although the war is supposedly cosmic the two sides are commonly thought to be fighting primarily over human souls. But really now, what's so special about human souls? Humans (and humanoids, for those who insist on seeing vamps as non-human) aren't the only animals with "souls," or with psychic abilities, as any witch with a familiar can tell you. The alleged focus on human souls as the big prize suggests strongly to me that what's really going on is people's inner conflicts and some resulting collective thoughtforms.
Nevertheless, some kind of spiritual war is still possible I suppose. Just as there are wars among people, so too there could be wars among spirits. Just as the Ku Klux Klan tries to get us to hate other races of people, so too there could exist spirits who try to get us to hate other races of spirits. Yet, if such wars do exist, I still have a hard time swallowing the idea that they are truly cosmic or eternal. Although the idea of wars between gods or spirits is found in nearly all mythologies that I know of, the idea of an eternal, cosmic war is far from universal -- and I would expect it to be well-nigh universal if it were truly cosmic.
Besides spiritual battles, there are also the big psychic wars that have been predicted and, apparently, are already happening in some places. These need not have anything to do with an alleged cosmic war, but could simply be groups of people needing to defend themselves against psychic bullies. Given today's increased opportunities for psychic training and hence an increase in the number of psychically trained people, it's no surprise that there would also be an increase in the number of psychic bullies and hence an increasing need for defense against same.
5. Other vampiric spirituality pages
Under construction. More coming soon.
Comments? Please write to Amy Krieytaz, c/o Sanguinarius: AKrieytaz@sanguinarius.org. Thank you.