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Vampirism and Vampyrism

About Vampyres: Who they are.
Misunderstandings about what they do.

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Note about vampyres and vampires:

As stated in the vampire / vampyre menu, we use the term "vampyres" to refer to a real phenomenon involving real people. We use "vampire" to refer to imaginary mythical creatures who mainly inhabit horror movies and other works of imaginative fiction. This notation is used by some in the vampyre/vampire community, but its use is far from a consensus. In fact, some use the opposite definition; still others use both terms to refer to both types of vampires/vampyres.

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More about vampyres:

The word "vampyre" has a lengthy etymology. The original source was the proto-Indo-European (PIE) word "to fly" which became, in succession, the Old Slavic word "oper," the Old Polish word "vaper", the German word "vampir," the English "vampyre." From this older English term emerged the modern English term "vampire." 1

As stated in the vampire / vampyre menu, we use the term "vampyres" to refer to a real phenomenon involving real people. We use "vampire" to refer to imaginary mythical creatures who mainly inhabit horror movies and other works of imaginative fiction. This notation is used by some in the vampyre/vampire community, but its use is far from a consensus. In fact, some use the opposite definition; still others use both terms to refer to both types of vampires/vampyres.

Vampyrism is a diverse community. The following text does not necessarily reflect the beliefs and practices of all vampyres.

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Who and what are vampyres:

According to the Society of the Black Swan, there are two main types of vampyres. Both draw life force (a.k.a. pranic, chi, ley, psychic or spiritual energy) from others in order to sustain themselves. But they differ in the method that they use to tap into this energy:

bullet Sanguinarian vampyres: "Sanguinarian" comes from the Latin word "sanguinarius" which means "bloodthirsty." A sanguinarian or "sang" vampyre feels a strong craving to meet their energy needs by consuming blood. Normally this comes from other co-operating humans or from animals. They feel that their strength cannot be maintained at a high level in any other way. 2 If they are not able to feed on blood periodically, they expect to develop a weakened immune system, have less energy, and sicken. They may develop pain and depression. 3 Many vampyres have one or more donors who often draw their own blood as a gift. Most sang vampyres feel that a tablespoon or two of blood each week is plenty to sustain them.

According to a Wikipedia essay:

"The majority of sanguinarian vampires view their condition as being part of their inner nature (either spiritually or physically) and thus, often refrain from engaging in the dress, music or traditions common to vampire lifestylers. Most do not view themselves as 'Gothic.' Some look down on those who engage in vampire 'dress-up' as it promotes a distorted view of what they believe to be true vampirism. Many sanguinarians fear negative public reaction because of the image vampire lifestylers propagate. 4

bulletPsi vampyres: They crave and are able to draw life force (a.k.a. pranic, chi, ley, psychic or spiritual energy) from another person directly without consuming their blood. 1 They are sometimes called psi "psy or psionic vampires, soul suckers, [or] energy vampires." Some psi vampyres are able to tap into a donor's energy "...by eye contact, touch, sexual intercourse, intense conversation....dreams" and by drinking their blood. They can also extract energy from nature -- from "...storms, raging oceans, earthly vortices and intense sunlight" and even the ionosphere. 5

Many sang vampyres are able to feed in the same manner as psi vampyres. However, they are normally unable to acquire as much energy as they need in that way. Many see psi feeding as a method of slowing their decline, rather than as a technique for maintaining their energy levels.

Many, perhaps most, vampyres do not engage in the dress, music or traditions commonly associated with vampyrism. They regard their condition as being part of their inner nature, either spiritually or physically).

Vampyres may experience "heightened sensitivities; light sensitivity; [and/or] a largely nocturnal sleep cycle. The heightened sensitivities are believed by many to include a number of psychic abilities, such as empathy, astral projection, clairvoyance, and energy manipulation. The sensitivity to light and the nocturnal body cycle are not so limiting that a real vampire cannot be up and out during the day, it is simply an effort for them to do so." 6

Within vampyrism are found followers of all of the major religions, as well as secularists, freethinkers, and followers of alternative spiritualities.

Most vampyres believe that they are born with a latent vampyre condition which normally becomes active only after puberty. Rejecting the imaginative accounts in novels, films, etc, they believe that nobody can become a vampyre unless they are born with the condition.

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Some misunderstandings about what vampyres do:

Crystal Angel comments: "You need not fear them anymore than anyone else you may encounter in that 'dark, eerie' night club you enjoy so much. True, they hold many secrets and mysteries behind their hypnotic eyes, but what is also true is that they may in fact end up being your best friend." 7

Many misunderstandings by the public are based on a confusion between vampires and vampyres. Some of the attributes of vampires are assumed to be also true of vampyres. In reality:

bulletSanguinarian vampyres do not sustain themselves solely on human blood; they also eat regular food. Some use animal blood, often from beef cattle. Pig blood is usually avoided because it is more likely to contain parasites and other nasty ingredients. All vampyres consume ordinary food and drink as their main sustenance.

bullet Vampyres do not shape shift into werewolves, bats or other animals. That is a myth.

bulletThey are not immortal.

bulletThey don't necessarily have any special powers.

bulletThey can experience sunlight without any drastic side effects.

bulletThey don't usually sleep in coffins.

bulletThey are not frightened by Christian crosses.

bulletGarlic does not repulse them.

bulletThey do cast reflections in mirrors.

bulletThey have shadows.

bulletThey can cross running water.

bullet They don't turn other people in to vampyres, except perhaps by persuasion.

bulletThey do not suffer a high mortality rate due to attacks from vampire slayers.

We suspect that the greatest danger posed by the study of vampyrism may occur online. Vampyre webmasters seem to have a strong preference for very dark, tiny, colored lettering on black backgrounds. If you spend a lot of time reading their websites, you may suffer eyestrain.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Vampire," Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  2. Ceinwyn, "Sanguinarian Vampires," Society of the Black Swan, at: http://www.angelfire.com/
  3. Anyone, including vampyres, can experience a weakened immune system, loss of energy, pain, and depression from many other causes. We recommend consulting a medical professional to rule out any mundane causes.
  4. "Vampire lifestyle." Wikipedia, downloaded 2005-NOV-10, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/ (spelling corrected)
  5. "Types of Vampires," CovenCa.net, at: http://www.covenca.net/
  6. Dominic Angelus, "Vampire lexicon of terminology: Real Vampire," Journalscape, at: http://journalscape.com/
  7. Crystal Angel, "CovenCa," at: http://www.covenca.net/

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Site navigation:

Home > World religions, ethical systems, etc. > Vampirism > here

Home > Religious info. > Basic data > World religions, etc > Vampirism > here

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Copyright © 2005 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2005-SEP-25
Latest update: 2011-JAN-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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