Witchy Wizdom

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Vampire Nature - Michelle Belanger"

Bliden started the discussion "Vampire Nature - Michelle Belanger" in the group 
Vampyre Temple on Pagan UnderWorld

The Nature Of Vampirism
By Michelle Belanger

This article has been circumlated around the Internet and now appears in the 
collection Sacred Hunger: Vampires in Myth and Reality asks hard questions about 
the nature of vampirism and its place in the natural scheme of things.

Being a vampire in this day and age is not an easy thing. It is hardly the 
glamorous life it is made out to be in books or movies. It is often a great 
liability, creating unwanted hassles, hate and distrust from those around you. 
Among the many real vampires I have had contact with over the years, I have 
learned that a number of them would change their nature if they could. But 
vampirism is hardly a choice. It is something we carry within us, and whether 
latent or realized, it affects every aspect of our lives. We cannot be other 
than what we are.

Because vampirism is so poorly accepted and so misunderstood, most true vampires 
find themselves isolated, confused, and constantly tortured by self-doubt. It is 
so much easier for us to disregard our personal experiences as delusion and 
simply pass our nature off as a fetish rather than accept the truth of what we 
are. It is a joyous and almost frightening moment when we finally realize that 
we are not alone, and that the lifestyle we are driven to lead is both a natural 
and a legitimate one.

But what is a vampire exactly? There are a lot of blood fetishists out there who 
call themselves vampires, but in my experience vampirism goes beyond mere flesh 
and blood. Just drinking blood does not make you a vampire. If we were to define 
vampirism through blood-drinking alone, then we would exclude a whole portion of 
the community who feed off a far subtler manifestation of the life force.

Vampirism is an essentially spiritual hunger, a need to reach out to others and 
drink in their very life. Call it prana or chi or orgone energy, it’s still the 
same: it’s that subtle electric fire that courses through us beyond the flesh. 
Blood may touch it and carry a rich store of it throughout the body, but it is 
so much more than blood.

Although it is spiritual, vampirism is not necessarily supernatural. We do not 
claim to be undead beings like Dracula or Lestat. We don't possess super-human 
powers. Much of our natural abilities can be learned by others skilled in 
magickal work. Our hallmark talent is energy manipulation, and that’s being 
taught these days in weekend seminars for Reiki and Chi-Gong. What we are and 
what we can do only seems esoteric to the uninitiated. It’s not really all that 
strange once you accept that there is energy moving within you and around you, 
constantly, and that some people are able to interact on that subtle energy 
So what makes vampires unique, really? The only thing that sets us apart from 
the typical person is our need to feed upon the life energy of those around us. 
Our systems work upon an energy deficit which we must make up for. I believe 
that most of the energy manipulation powers we manifest were honed because we 
must rely upon them to sustain ourselves. Where others might live their entire 
lives oblivious to such potential within themselves, we have no choice but to 
rely upon it. It's a survival technique. All of the abilities and powers that 
might make us seem gifted beyond the ordinary person are just compensation for 
what some have described as a "psychic handicap."

Magickal workers, particularly Pagans and Wiccans, have criticized vampires a 
great deal in recent years because they believe what we do is wrong. They call 
us "energy thieves" and revile us as creatures that work against Gaia, the 
generative Earth Mother. They assert that our very nature is anathema to their 
primary law: An it harm none, do what thou wilt. In our defense, I think what we 
do is simply natural. Although it is a vulgar comparison, I believe that feeding 
is no more a wantonly evil or destructive act than eating a hamburger. It is 
something we must do to survive, and sometimes survival requires that one 
organism must prey upon another. Feeding upon others is just our nature, and I 
think denying our nature is a more potentially destructive act than accepting 
Vampires feed upon life. It's not that strange a concept. Think of it as energy, 
if you must -- the biological electricity which runs our cells and allows our 
synapses to function. Other cultures have called it prana or chi, ruach or mana. 
It is that vitalizing force which healers and yogis can harness in such 
practices as Reiki, Tantra, Qui-Gong, yoga, and T'ai Chi. It is really only an 
alien concept to Western culture. The Chinese, for example, take it for granted 
that certain individuals produce more energy than others. It's part of the 
balance of Yin and Yang. Those who do not produce enough chi to maintain 
themselves take it from those who produce more than they can use. In the West, 
we call this vampirism. In the East, it's a simple fact of life.

The only reason vampirism is such a big deal in the West is because Western 
concepts of reality lack the spiritual depth of similar concepts in the East. In 
the West, we have sacrificed the notion that everything possesses vital spirit 
in favor of living in a sanitized and controllable technological world. It is, 
however, a world without a soul. In such a world where the natural exchange of 
energy between all living things is debunked as delusional and esoteric, of 
course vampirism is misunderstood. It has been marginalized into superstition 
and folklore. At best, even those who believe in energy manipulation and magick 
consider vampires "evil" and terribly misguided. The energy workers can use 
their own energy to heal. They can find room to believe in a positive exchange. 
Yet they find it hard to believe that anyone -- save the most base black 
magicians -- could have the capacity to take energy as well.

Vampires are real, and what's more, we are a part of the natural order of 
things. Everything must have its opposite to balance it out. For every light 
worker who gives energy to heal, there is one of us who must take energy for 
ourselves. It's Yin and Yang. And in order to understand vampirism and 
ourselves, we simply must accept that. And if you, my non-vampiric reader, can 
open yourself up to such "esoteric" concepts as Reiki, Feng Shui, and the world 
soul, vampirism really isn't as far-fetched as you think.

--Michelle Belanger

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