Every now and then I get a piece of e-mail that goes something like this:
"I want to become a vampire. What are your doctrines
While I (and many others) have dealt with the "I want..." issue already
in other articles, I've now gotten the doctrines portion of the question enough
times that it's time to write something to cover that too...
THE SHORT ANSWER
Vampirism doesn't inherently have spiritual or faith-based "doctrines"
or "beliefs" (and by "faith-based" I mean religious or
quasi-religious) other than that "we believe we are vampires". It
is a state of being. We just *are*. It's like trying to ask about doctrines
and beliefs for diabetics. It's also not inherently a "lifestyle"
even though there are some who choose to dress for what they consider the
'vampire aesthetic" (fancy clothes, cloaks, etc., just for example.)
THE LONGER ANSWER
There ARE groups out there that do have spiritual or faith-based approaches
to vampirism - just as diabetics may be Christian or Buddhist, for example
- but it's not a "one size fits all" method. Some of these groups
prefer members to follow one or more leaders, and others encourage personal
growth either with individualistic approaches or as part of a supportive group.
Not all vampires are part of any of these groups - Some people haven't found
the right one, others - such as myself - are just not not the "join a
group" type of person. (I'm aware OF most of the groups out there, they
just don't appeal to me for one reason or another.)
Lifestyle choices are just that - choices - anyone can *dress* how they perceive
a vampire would dress, if they want - fancy clothes and cloaks being a pretty
good example - but it doesn't make them a vampire, the same as wearing a 3-piece
suit does not make a person a boardroom executive. :) Clothing is merely external,
you may choose to let your clothing choices reflect the inner you, or choose
to blend in with everyone else (not a bad idea if you have to go looking for
Vampires do NOT have to participate in a spiritual or faith-based or lifestyle
group of any type - I don't - but if you are contemplating such a thing, then
take a minute and print out the "Is it
a cult?" checklist so you can refer to it when checking out the various
groups online. That way you at least have a chance of not getting trapped
in a bad group. Also, keep in mind internal group politics - regardless of
stated objectives, these political environments may make the interactive "feel"
of a group actually be completely opposite from what is advertised.
That said, there are metaphysical (psi energy
manipulation, empathy, etc.) aspects that real vampires DO deal with
on a daily basis. However, metaphysical aspects do not necessarily equal
something spiritual or faith-based. Energy work is energy work, regardless
of the focus tools or methods used.
There is no official vampire capitol of the world, there is no reigning vampire
authority and there is no official hierarchy that stands over all vampires,
despite what some groups may have you think. Many vampires will form their
own "houses" or "covens" which *may* simply be a wide
group of friends. These groups typically consist of any combination of bloodvamps,
psivamps, donors and other vamp-friendly people and may have various official-sounding
organization names. Typically the creator of such a group takes a self-appointed
title of leadership and hands out titles and/or positions to other members
of the group. Regions may even have two or more "covens" or "houses",
either loosely affiliated or with no knowledge of each other.
Members of an organization may claim to be part of a "vampire underworld"
- however there is no worldwide underground. There may be "local underworlds"
as each area's vampires may have their own distinct social structure from
simple to complex. Always remember that the kind and benevolent attitudes
preached online may not exist in person/off-line - you should *always*
be careful when meeting in person because some of them may be more dangerous
than you originally thought.
This article is presented as part of an ongoing
effort to present other views outside of, as well as within, the online
vampire community. As such, the views and attitudes contained in this
article are entirely those of the author(s), and may not necessarily
be shared by SphynxCatVP. The webmaster is not under obligation to update
or otherwise keep current the contents of this article. Most
importantly, only you can decide for yourself whether this article or
any of the author(s) other views are useful or applicable to you - use
your own reasoning and judgment.