A little bit about Souls or Spirits and Psi-Feeding:
1. What are Souls/Spirits and what we feed on:
Souls are one of the purest forms of energy as they are the human/animal essence and being. Nothing can actually be active or alive without either a soul or spirit. Souls are the true essence of a human/animal or plant where as a Spirit is the true essence of a being from the astral realms. Otherkin/Vampyres I now believe have Spirits not souls as our true essence is not human but an astral being from the Shadow realms. The soul is emotional energy as humans/animals are emotional beings and there emotions seem to run there lives which often tends to be there downfall. We as Vampyres actually do feed on either Emotions or Blood. I thought before this was incorrect as I thought Emotional Vampyres were parasites who made us all look bad but any type of Vampyre can make us all look ban no matter what they feed on as the news will tell you. The soul is emotional energy in its highest form as well as the core essence (life Force) of the human/animal being. Part of the soul essence also leaks out into the aura and then eventually it turns into ambient energy which is what most Vampyres tend to feed on.
Ambient energy is diluted and not as strong a direct feeding but is safer as it leaves us without much of a connection to those we feed on and does not hurt them. However we need to feed much more often this way or we may not remain healthy. Vampyres can also feed on Astral Spirits as well as other Vampyres or Other kin for a stronger source. I do not recommend under any circumstances feeding on other Vampyres! Fae and Therians have the best energy if they are willing to allow you to feed on them you would be one of the lucky. Most Therian do not seem to like Vampyres a lot of the time unfortunately. I do not support stealing energy from any of our fellow Otherkin Spirits but we must always ask first as they are family and do not get it back as easily as humans or animals do from the sun.
Elbert Einstein once said “Energy does not die but merely chances form” which has to do with reincarnation. Too many people believe that once we die are body rots and we are done. This is not true as nothing actually dies but either reincarnates into another body or goes to another realm depending on its chosen path. Even those who do not believe they are coming back do come back just in another body. The only way something will not come back is if it is consumed by another Spirit which would give that Spirit everything you once were and you will be no more. AGAIN I do not support things like this as this is murder in its truest form; at least if you just kill something they will come back or go to there chosen Spiritual realm however if you actually consume there soul or spirit they are truly no more except inside you but that is stealing energy in the worst way possible.
2. A little about feeding:
As for deep or direct feeding your Life Force Giver’s or donors should be close friends or family as with any feeding there can be a connection and most certainly is with every deep feeding. Feeding is a natural process for most Vampyres and many do not know how to control it. When we do not have someone to deep feed on we will unknowingly feed on people we do not mean to or want to and this can be hard to stop as it is a natural survival technique for our inner Vampyre as well as our selves as if we do not feed it will feed on our human body and we will suffer; we will become sick or even get viruses and our natural organs may brake down as that has happened to me before I was aware of what I was. I also know of another Vampyre who has a major heart condition because of it and she tried to not feed but is now better once she started feeding. Many Vampyres have heart conditions and get migraines because of what we are and it only gets worse if we do not feed. Humans/animals/plants get there energy from the sun as well as what they eat but eating food ONLY feeds our human body but we need to feed the Vampyre or it will feed on us or it will do it naturally regardless. This is why we must choose who and where to feed as well as where to go.
Many Vampyres feed in the Astral while we are asleep or even awake if we can travel there while we are awake; either way we will because of what we are naturally go there as we sleep. Learning to control ourselves in the astral is not so easy but much about Astral feeding as well as other types of psi-feeding is talked about greatly in Michael W. Fords book “AKHKHAKU – VampyreMagick (the extended Vampire gate). However we also need to feed in the physical realm as the Vampyre does need to feed quite a lot as our Spirit is a very strong entity in a small fragile body as that is why many of us go insane or can have some mental complications if we do not take care of our selves (Vampyre). If you take directly from one person that you do not know it could be bad as you will gain some of there emotional baggage or mental state if they have problems. It is best to just take from crowds as it is not actually stealing since it is technically ambient energy that would normally be left behind and it is a very little that no one will mess. REGARDLESS they will always get there energy back from the sun as well as the food they eat and humans have a great amount of energy that is why there energy is what we need. They will always get it back if you take from crowds and limit yourself as to not take too much; once they notice you need to stop as you have taken too much. Stealing energy is technically impossible as have to allow you to take it as it is connected to them and that is where the myth about Vampires needing an invitation came from.
In order to manually feed we need to focus on the location or body of the energy we want to take it from and will the energy into yourself; it is best to focus on crowds of people and not one person so it does not create a link or take too much from that one person as to hurt them. Your eyes are the best feature we have as “the eyes are the windows to the soul or spirit” (but they can be our downfall if not careful and other Vampyres take from you that way). So looking at the location or source where the energy is at often works best. However many also feed well using there hands like tendrils as a way closer to the area and they can also be used as an antenna of sorts. That is why I go to Goth bars, Goth nights, or Raves so I do not look strange dancing the way I do (LOL). I personally consider myself a Spiritual Energy Dancer which means I feed on the energies around me best while dancing. Dancing to me is when I am at my most spiritual state and it is easiest for the energies to come to me. Even listening to music adds in this as well. I now understand that every one of us has our own unique way or method of feeding; this may be why there are so many ways and methods of feeding. Another method is touch or smell but that is best to be used for direct or deep feeding and only with trusted friends or LFG’s/donors. Basically you touch them or smell them to extract the energy psychically.
Hello every one. Let me be one of the first to welcome you all to this new site. My name is Arthrone and I just want to say hi to every one and welcome to all the new people and all the old people who are transferring to here. Welcome every one and i hope to talk to you all soon.
Interview with a Vampire: Friday, September 9, 2011
[Fair warning: This post is about a controversial subject. Please read it with an open mind otherwise please do not proceed beyond this point.]
Vampires have captured people's imaginations for centuries and have provided fodder for the Gothic horror-romance genre of fiction since the 18th century.
In the past, fictional vampires were typically portrayed as immortal predatory creatures that feed upon the blood of human victims, sometimes turning their victims into vampires themselves.
The recent vampire revival in fiction and entertainment, with successful film and television series such as The Twilight Saga, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood, has blurred the lines between fantasy and reality and added a certain amount of glamour to the vampire archetype.
In 2008, HBO produced a short documentary True Bloodlines: Vampire Legends to promote the True Blood television series. Charlaine Harris, the author of The Southern Vampire Mysteries on which the television series is based, states in it that she is "using the vampire community as a metaphor for larger things". The show's storyline is considered to be an allegory for the struggle for minority rights.
As real as such fictional vampires may seem to some people, that is not the type of vampire that I interviewed.
I am also not referring to the toxic type of attention-seeking manipulative individual that regularly depletes us of our energy and positivity without our explicit permission, sometimes referred to as a "psychic vampire" or an "emotional vampire".
I interviewed Octarine Valur, a Vampire and fellow Penton blogger, in order to gain a better understanding of the modern vampire subculture. Octarine Valur (Val) is her "nightside" alias and the name under which she writes for Penton.
Before the interview, I did some research on mortal humans who identify themselves as Vampires and discovered that there is quite a wide variety, ranging from teenage outcasts in search of a community where they can find acceptance to people from all walks of life who believe that they need to supplement their energy by feeding upon the blood or subtle energies of other living beings on a regular basis in order to stay healthy (in addition to a normal human diet). The latter group are known as sanguine Vampires (blood feeders) and psychic/psi Vampires (energy feeders), and some people are hybrids of the two types.
Real-life vampirism is described among other things as roleplaying, a lifestyle, a blood fetish, a ritual, a spiritual path, a religion and an energy deficiency condition. In reality, one or more of these descriptions may apply to the practices of a particular person who identifies themselves as a Vampire. Not all Vampires drink blood, and not all Vampires who drink blood do so out of necessity. As the alternative spelling of Vampyre means different things to different people, I will simply use the capitalized spelling Vampire here to distinguish the word from a fictional vampire.
I also broached the subject in public and read the comments of News24 readers to some recent articles on the subject (see links below), which made me realize that I had been somewhat desensitized to the subject. The overwhelming initial reaction of the public is usually one of disbelief and ridicule, which is probably not totally surprising given their lack of exposure to this particular subculture and alternative beliefs and lifestyles in general, the complexity of the subject, and the fictional stereotypes connected with the label in their minds. In contrast, the reactions of Penton readers to Val's posts about the subject have ranged from mild curiosity to vocal intolerance which has divided the local Pagan community.
Helen: I tried to research the subject before asking my questions and received some recommendations from yourself and other Vampires regarding information resources (see lists below). To be honest it is all a bit overwhelming and confusing. It seems to me that one website or book can have a very narrow focus and does not necessarily provide the full picture. I found myself wishing that there was a single relatively simple but comprehensive "Vampires for Dummies". Did I leave any important basic information resources out of my lists and/or do you have any comments about these information resources?
Books: Vampires Today by Joseph Laycock Val: Currently the very best professional study on the real Vampyre Community by a researcher who spent 2 years living and working among real Vampyres. The Psychic Vampire Codex by Michelle Belanger Val: A very good book, somewhat religious in nature, but detailing very clearly instructions on how to work energy and various psi feeding techniques useful to the newly awakened. Vampyre Sanguinomicon by Father Sebastiaan
Helen: You have mentioned that medicine and science have not yet figured out your condition, if I may call it that. Have there been any serious academic studies published or any related scientific breakthroughs yet? Have you or any other Vampires that you know approached a medical doctor about your condition and, if so, what was their response? Are there any doctors who are more open-minded and helpful than others, and would you refer such doctors to other Vampires? Do you know of any doctors who are Vampires themselves?
Val: Many vamps have related how they approached their doctors about certain issues, but most often without asking direct questions like "Am I a vampire?". I'm sure you could guess what would follow. Vampire doctors? I think the risk in going public with that would harm their practices - sorry, I just had a flash of someone in a white medical coat, saying "Trust me, I'm a Vampyre". LOL. Personally, I don't know any vamps who are also doctors, but statistically there have to be some. Often we encounter others who are in the medical profession who are medics, nurses or lab technicians - why not doctors? The scientific study side has long been neglected, but I'm happy to say that in the past 5 years on the international level, it seems that enough medical curiosity has been piqued in order to motivate some to take a closer look. In 2006, an in-depth study of real self-identified vampires, called the VEWRS and AVEWRS was conducted internationally by an American group called Suscitatio LLC. The results of this study are being quoted and used by researchers and academics alike. In some cases, particularly where psychic vampires are involved, certain university labs in the USA have engaged in various studies concerning energy transfer. As for academic research, the book by Joe Laycock you listed above is the definitive work to date on the real-life vampire community, and is being much talked about in academic circles. Currently there are also other medical tests being planned which will check the blood of self-identified Vampyres for anomalies which may explain their condition. Just last week, a study was publicized where aged lab mice were shown to exhibit youthful characteristics and behaviour when injected with the blood of younger mice, and vice versa.
Helen: How does one distinguish your condition from other medical conditions with similar symptoms?
Val: There is an old saying in the Community that goes "Nobody can tell you that you are a Vampyre - you just know you are". The simple test would be if there is an Awakening or not, and whether or not the individual needs to feed, and is positively affected by feeding - and if they are deprived of it, they suffer for it. Psi-vamps will often feed unconsciously if they put off the deliberate act of feeding for long enough - such as if they are in denial, or if they are unaware of what they are and what they need. Sometimes they will start arguments or look for attention in order to feed off the emotional energy - hence the origin of the term "emotional vampire". Hybrids and sometimes even sanguines will do so when they are close to or past feeding time, though I doubt they will benefit much from it.
Helen: How did you personally first come to realize that drinking blood would help to relieve your symptoms?
Val: When I first started craving blood I started out experimenting with raw meat in the kitchen. Also whenever I or a friend fell or hurt themselves, the whole "kiss it better" thing turned into something more direct. It was more than the taste, blood has always held a magnetism for me. When I was a young child, it seemed to me that I had this craving for it, and I would feel better afterwards. Another thing that I have noticed among sanguines is the tendency to nibble or chew the mouth lining or lips to obtain the taste of blood. We call this auto-vampirism a placebo, because it does not satisfy the hunger, it just weakens us while it satisfies the compulsion. It is a compulsion I tried for most of my life to stop. I can't say if this is an identifying characteristic of sanguine Vampyres, but most of those I know exhibit this.
Helen: If you met someone with your symptoms who has not tried drinking blood, how would you advise them?
Val: That is a delicate matter. There is a tendency in the community to not just confront someone who experiences these symptoms without realizing they are Vampyres - we call them the "unawakened" - the shock could traumatize them. Of course, they might also not believe it. We tend to wait for people who awaken to contact us, and then advise them. When asked by seekers about the need to feed, I provide common sense guidelines about where and how to obtain donors, or animal blood, what kind of animal blood, and how fresh etc, and what safety measures to employ. Generally, I also refer them to information sources for further reading and education.
Helen: I understand that you are a hybrid Vampire and need to drink approximately a tablespoon of blood per fortnight. Is that quantity typical for a sanguine Vampire? Can you offset your blood feeding needs with psi energy feeding or do they have a different effect on you? What are the worst symptoms that you have experienced from not feeding? Could it be compared to drug addiction withdrawal symptoms, low blood sugar levels, or something else that readers can identify with? Have you ever ended up in hospital as a result of not feeding?
Val: It seems to be a fairly average amount, although there are vamps who drink less because they cannot obtain the services of regular donors, in which case they may need to find other sources, such as fresh animal blood from butcher shops etc - or the lucky ones who have regular donors, or even more than one, and who can then partake more, or more often. I psi feed from elemental energy nightly as well during my meditations, but it is not enough to go without a good sang feed at least once in two weeks as well. The effects are different, and the effects of not doing one or the other are also slightly different. The worst symptoms for me are chronic hunger, depression, fatigue, paranoia, emotional neediness and a host of other unpleasant experiences. Sometimes, if I leave off feeding for long enough, it gets so bad I wish I would die. The depression is the most puzzling part because I realize I have nothing to be depressed about. I have never been a drug user, so I cannot compare the hunger to a drug withdrawal. The shakes could be compared to low blood sugar levels I suppose. Personally, no I have never been hospitalized for not feeding, but some I know in the community have.
Helen: I understand that it is generally difficult to find blood donors and that they have different reasons for donating their blood, including meeting the needs of a relationship partner who happens to be a Vampire. Apart from medical screening, what other precautions can a Vampire take to protect themselves from the obvious health risks as well as other risks? Have you ever turned a donor down? Are most donor arrangements long-term versus ad hoc? Are you aware of any Vampires that pay their donors for their blood? I have read about sanguine Vampires surviving on animal blood instead of human blood as a last resort. Given the difficulty finding human donors, is this a workable long-term solution and what are the health risks associated with this practice? Psychic/psi vampires aside, what do you think the impact on the Vampire community would be if scientists developed a synthetic blood product like the fictional beverage featured in the True Blood show?
Val: I would say that beyond health risks, it would be a personal matter. Some vamps are not very picky about their donors, I am. Although it isn't a foregone conclusion that a Vampyre and donor would have to be in a fixed romantic relationship, this is sometimes the case, and it would help in such a case for both to find the other attractive in some way. Some who are willing to donate to us have ulterior motives that could cause serious difficulties for a Vampyre in such a relationship - they might have an idea that they could also "turn" into Vampyres, and we sometimes get such requests, which are of course impossible. No, I don't know any vamps who pay donors for blood, at least, not in cash. Most often, Vampyres might do favours for their donors, to help them out with things, or pay cab fare, costs of tests, other acts of kindness etc. Yes I have turned a donor down, he wanted sex in exchange for blood and I refused. Animal blood is a workable solution, although the usefulness of the blood is limited to the amount of time it has spent out of the body and in the fridge. Obtaining it is difficult, and it really is not nearly as good or effective as fresh from the source human blood. Animal blood is bearable, but depending on the species it comes from, it can be quite disgusting. Cow blood is acceptable to me, lamb's blood is simply feral. I would say the health risks given the small doses we take are very small - after all, the blood contains pretty much the same stuff as the meat it comes from - if the meat is considered clean and disease-free, why not the blood? I know many vamps all over the world who have said they would be very happy if they could obtain fresh human blood from a blood bank or hospital. They would even pay for it. I think a synthetic - or cloned blood, such as "Tru Blood" - would go down pretty well.
Helen: For better or worse, the Vampire label has stuck resulting in inevitable comparisons with the fictional vampire stereotypes. I believe that you personally want to be taken seriously and not ridiculed because of your condition, yet apart from the label Vampires also seem to present a public image of their vampiric identity along the lines of the "dark" fictional stereotype. Is this the norm? How does one reconcile the one with the other? Is it purely a way of attracting and identifying with other Vampires and/or donors? Is it a psychological coping mechanism? Is it some sort of rebellion against society as a result of being forced to conform or hide your true identity? Is it the result of having different "dayside" and "nightside" identities that are polar opposites of each other? (I realize that the same can be said of some people in other minority identity groups including Pagans.)
Val: Helen, the vampire stereotype we have today is the result of Bram Stoker's creation, which has evolved in the "Vampire Diaries" and "True Blood" version of the classic. But if we look further back, into the middle ages and beyond, there are other myths and legends, not necessarily referring to the undead fictional stereotype, but to living people who sucked life essence, or blood from other people. These are legends tied to historical references to the Sumerian Ak'karhu, the Ekkimu and so on, and even to the biblical tales of Lilith, as well as to ancient gods and goddesses such as Sekhemet/Hathor, and Hekate. There are even those who support theories that we are the lineage of the product of humans and ancient aliens. Consequently, within the global community there are a myriad of theories of what we are and why, and where we come from. Currently just about the only thing we can all agree on, more or less, is what we define ourselves by, as Vampyres. Regardless, when we look at the basic needs of the mythical vampire - that of needing the blood or life essence of living people to stay healthy and to survive, this is the main reason for our identification with the name "vampire" or "Vampyre". The word itself is only a thousand years old, having evolved from older forms in different languages. Were vampires still called "upir" or "lamia" then I suppose we would identify by that name. A vampire, by any other name, is still a vampire.
Most of the vamps I know do find the vampire stereotype attractive and "cool" to be associated with in a way - but we all know very well that the stereotype is fictional. We are very well aware of the reality, and that we are not the stereotype - that we identify as vampires because of our needs. Much of the stereotype is secretive, as you point out, so is the real community. We find that this is a necessity, because of the risks in being known. If we look around us at other social minority groups in society today - people are persecuted and attacked just for loving people of the same sex - not even for drinking human blood. This is why we remain in the shadows. I have been working to raise awareness of the existence of real Vampyres in certain communities - but I have never recommended that individual Vampyres make themselves known to all their friends or family. The potential for tragedy is just too great. For many of us, our Dayside and Nightside profiles are just that - profiles. We are the same people, operating anonymously. There may be more freedom in conducting business online that way, but the idea is to interact with each other - and the mundane world - while protecting our mundane lives from outing and persecution. It is a defence mechanism. I don't see it as a form of rebellion, and I don't see it in the lives of others known to me. Rebellion would be more on the lines of someone who claimed to be the kind of vampire you would see in Twilight, one that is undead, immortal etc - when we all know that is pure fiction.
Helen: I understand that the objectives of the South African Vampiyre Alliance (SAVA) include facilitating co-operation between local Houses (SAVA member groups), promoting the safety of members and promoting a positive image for the local Vampire community. How do you manage the membership to ensure these objectives are met? Are there any specific membership criteria and have you ever excluded anyone? How do you distinguish a genuine Vampire from a fake Vampire who could pose a greater threat to other members and the image of the community? How is education relating to health risks and feeding ethics addressed in practical terms? Does this activity take place primarily at a House level?
Val: Only serious members who apply are considered. Those who apply don't apply directly to the SAVA for membership, but to member Groups. The member Groups are the ones who evaluate candidate members, and who maintain whatever internal disciplines are appropriate to ensure safe behaviour in line with SAVA policies. Members of particular Houses are expected to attend meetings regularly, to be resident within the region of the House. Yes, we have excluded several people from the community in the past, particularly those who indulge in causing trouble within the community. Members who by their actions harm the image of the SAVA or the VC will face internal disciplinary action. We have combined Groups which have Vampyres as well as donors as members. Educational information is made available to both to educate themselves and each other on matters of feeding safety. There is a specific group for donors only, which acts almost like a union, which also works to provide advice and mentorship to new donors.
Helen: In The Psychic Vampire Codex, Michelle Belanger states that differences of opinion between psychic/psi Vampires and sanguine Vampires have divided the Vampire community (presumably in the United States). Could you tell me a bit more about these two groups in a South African context? I understand that SAVA has members of both types. What are the dynamics of the relationship between the two sub-groups? What sort of ratio exists between the two sub-groups? Is one group more dominant than the other? Is the local Vampire community more manageable in size enabling you to avoid such conflict?
Val: The divide you mention is still a prominent feature in the American community. Ten years ago, it boiled over into full-blown hostilities, now referred to as "the Psi-Sang War". A divide still remains in the OVC (Online Vampire Community) today, which periodically threatens to flare up, but for the most part it seems the community has learned from the past, and grown. People don't simply pick sides any more, they seem to think about it first. Here in SA, the community is still much more solitary based, with solitary practitioners completely unaware that there is a local community here, many involved in the US sites, or not at all. I don't think they are even very aware that such a divide exists, or that there ever was a rift deep enough to almost tear the Vampire Community apart. Very early on, I set out to work to ensure that such a rift never occurs in South Africa, and so far it hasn't come up. Our philosophy in the SAVA is that whether we feed via psi or sanguine methods, we are all equally vampiric, and thus we are all Vampyres. We don't classify each other by our feeding methods. In order for the community to grow strong, we need to focus on the things we have in common, not the things that are different between us.
Helen: You are a Vampire who also happens to be a Pagan, and confusion initially arose among Penton readers because you are were blogging about Vampires in a Pagan magazine. You have categorically stated that the South African Vampire community does not seek to establish itself as a religious group or seek alignment with the Pagan community, but seeks tolerance and acceptance from society especially from the groups that you are already members of albeit not necessarily revealing your vampiric identity. However, some of the information resources referred to me and general symbolism used do seem to have religious or spiritual connotations as well as relating to energy work which Pagans are arguably more familiar with than most other religious groups. Is this angle not a major issue in the local Vampire community, or is it simply not something that you are collectively focussing on at this time as part of your identity?
Val: Like any community, the Vampyre Community is diverse, not only in terms of the kind of people you will find in it, but also in terms of our beliefs. For some, being like this is a religious or spiritual matter - and they will bend any belief system or religion to fit their circumstances. Some will invent their own religions, drawing on eclectic sources to do so - and there are several such vampire religions out there, some which could even be described as "pagan" due to their pantheons and belief structures. For Psi vamps, many consider that energy work and feeding are closely related. Many sanguines also believe that when we feed from living blood, we absorb the life-essence or energy from that blood. Again, some may attach some deeper meaning to the act, but for me the difference is that for one group it may be a ritual as part of a religion - for me it is something I have to do to stay healthy and balanced. Beyond this, the community is varied and diverse in its beliefs. There are Vampyres who are Pagan, Hindu, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and even Christian, believe it or not. The SAVA is a secular organization, and the House I am a member of, also. As a community body we do not ascribe to any religion, and freedom of religion is the right of the individual member to choose - and we do not intend to classify vampirism or our vampiric nature as a religion, least of all to work for it to be fully included within any single religion. To do so would be illogical, being that there are just so many diverse groups within the community. However, as a community body, we have taken it upon ourselves to work for the acceptance of Vampyre-kind among whichever religious or social group gives us the opportunity to do so. It is the prevailing opinion within the global VC, and not just here in South Africa, that religion is what we choose to believe in - being a Vampyre is what we are - and not a choice.
Helen: How did you first learn about the local Vampire community and Octarine Valur?
Damon: I admit to once being guilty of referring to Paganism in South Africa as "a freak show". I was offended that some Pagans I had encountered, especially online, believed the term itself simply meant "anything goes"; I say this in the context of my own identification of the modern religious movement of Paganism as somehow grounded more in authentic research and practice of pre-Christian religions. I now regret that the statement was actually levelled at some Pagans who actually believed that Vampirism was ipso facto a Pagan religion. Clearly I believed, and still believe, that vampirism per se is not so much a religion as a pre-occupation of belief, whatever that enabling belief. My first brief chat with Val in October 2010 was, if I remember correctly, a question from her about South African laws and their application to blood drinking, especially in relation to ritual, belief and religious practice. There are obviously laws against the taking of blood through criminal means but none that I know of that completely prohibit the sacrifice of animals for blood or the drinking of blood. Both of these practices are a feature of traditional African religions and are protected in ethical practice in three sections in the Bill of Rights.
"Bill of Rights Chapter Two Constitution of the Republic of South Africa
30. Language and culture Everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice, but no one exercising these rights may do so in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights.
31. Cultural, religious and linguistic communities 1. Persons belonging to a cultural, religious or linguistic community may not be denied the right, with other members of that community a. to enjoy their culture, practise their religion and use their language; and b. to form, join and maintain cultural, religious and linguistic associations and other organs of civil society. 2. The rights in subsection (1) may not be exercised in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights.
15. Freedom of religion, belief and opinion 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion. 2. Religious observances may be conducted at state or state-aided institutions, provided that a. those observances follow rules made by the appropriate public authorities; b. they are conducted on an equitable basis; and c. attendance at them is free and voluntary."
Whilst Val does not specifically identify Vampirism as a Pagan religion, she does identify herself, her spiritual/religious self, as a Pagan. I understand and appreciate the alternative use of Vampyrism, as she prefers to spell it. Reclaiming a particularly loaded word by altering its spelling alters its pre-conceived stereotypes. Val has pointed out that the belief systems of the Akkadians, Chaldeans, Babylonians and Sumerians all made extensive reference to Ekimmu, Ak'hkaru and related entities who were viewed mythologically as vampires. I won't argue with history or mythology.
I admit, as I did to her then, that beyond a passing curiosity of the phenomenon in literature and film, I have absolutely no interest in the subject, either in a religious or sub-cultural sense. I accept that it has become a popular sub-cultural movement, but I don't agree that it is in any way akin to clearly identified pagan or Pagan religious belief systems as I know them. I accept that others may disagree with me. Whether or not we agree, everyone is entitled by law to self-identify as they choose, even if it means we must disagree on what does or does not constitute the modern Pagan religious movement. I won't exclude Val from a religious community she obviously feels a part of. I don't think anyone else should either.
Helen: What was your rationale for inviting Val to blog for Penton?
Damon: Val responded to a request for bloggers to write for Penton. As she said in 2010, "Agreeing or disagreeing doesn't mean people need to stop talking." I wanted her to share with Penton's readers what was happening in her own insular community. If diversity has any value at all it must be the opportunity to encounter difference, to understand it, to relate to it in a positive and meaningful way. I think Val has succeeded in shifting quite a few preconceived beliefs regarding Vampyrism and those amongst us who identify as Vampires in South Africa.
Helen: Do you have any firm criteria regarding Penton bloggers or blog posts?
Damon: Other than that Penton's bloggers have their own point of view and blog weekly, I don't set any criteria for content. I want Penton's bloggers to feel free enough to write whatever they want to, on anything they want to. The assumption some often make is that Pagans only talk about Paganism, when in fact we have a great many non-Pagan specific interests other Pagans may also take an interest in.
Helen: Did you anticipate the controversy that arose as a result of Val's posts? Has there been such a negative reaction from Penton readers before and, if so, what were the circumstances?
Damon: Naively, no. Perhaps if I had I would have prepared better for the ensuing pitch of tar and feathers. As I explained in my editor's letter in July, grappling with diversity of thought, belief and opinion can, for some, be an onerous and challenging experience. Pentonâ€™s inclusion of material on Vampirism, dual-faith (Christian-Pagan) religion and Satanism has elicited both praise and condemnation. Pagans who remain intolerant toward proselytizing forms of Christianity have argued against the inclusion of Christian content in a Pagan magazine, whilst others have argued equally against the inclusion of content on Vampirism and Satanism on the grounds that neither are "Pagan", or more specifically "Wiccan". Penton does not, and has never, claimed to represent only one pre-approved or consensual form of Paganism or neo-Paganism (whether that be reconstructionist, eclectic or new-age). On the contrary, since 1995 Penton Magazine has been dedicated in its exploration of Pagans and Paganism and associated occult philosophy, sacred spirituality and religion, in its diversity. Penton will continue to do so. The right of association isn't really relevant to the content of this or any other magazine. Penton is not supported by advertising and thus remains wholly independent.
Helen: What impact have Val's posts had on Penton readership overall? Did you gain some new readers and bloggers as well as losing some readers and bloggers?
Damon: I think we've lost a few readers. I imagine most of Penton's regular readers are still getting used to the increased frequency of publication. I'm also sure we've attracted a new kind of reader, whether curious about Vampyrism or not. Two bloggers opted not to write for Penton anymore. Four new bloggers joined the team. I suspect everyone has learned something valuable from this. I hope readers will continue to engage with Pentonâ€™s blogs and articles, whether the content leaves them feeling fulfilled or tormented.
Helen: Can we expect more controversial posts in future and what types of new bloggers are you keeping an eye out for?
Damon: I am always looking for new bloggers who have a point of view on any subject. I would love to include writers who enjoy argument and analysis, who thrive on political comment, news and entertainment. I would especially love to include budding journalists looking to exercise their investigative skills. Penton has published and will continue to publish diverse and controversial material and will continue to widen its diversity by inviting new bloggers from many different backgrounds and life-styles to join its existing team of bloggers. In an ideal world everyone would be paid for their work but Penton does not generate any financial benefit. I know that those who write for Penton do so because they love to write for its own sake, and I thank them for their creative generosity.
Helen: As far as I can tell, the initial response from Penton readers to Val's posts was positive. Do you have any idea why later reactions were less positive and why these posts ultimately led to so much conflict in the local Pagan community? Do such conflicts arise often? Are they part of the growing pains of a young community trying to define its identity? Did the viral nature of online discussions contribute to blowing the whole story out of proportion?
Damon: I agree. I think more people grew from their encounter with Val's blog "The Truth doesn't sparkle". If Witches have learned anything from our own experience as an out community it is that silence and shadows breeds mistrust, perpetuating groundless fears of the unknown.
It would be unfair of me to paint a picture of a community of individuals who would prefer to see other Pagans fail than succeed. Most Pagans actually remained silent on the issue. A very few chose to marshal their morality against what they perceived to be a threat against the Pagan community from within their own rank and file. The content in question neither promotes war, nor incites violence, and it does not advocate hatred based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion. It might shock you or leave you breathless, but it can't prevent you from practicing your personal religion the way you choose to. I think there will always be new Pagans looking to stamp their own identity on what they perceive to be real for them at that moment. Largely online discussion didn't really help to resolve the conflict of perception, but a lot of people who did participate in online conversations learned something about their own prejudices and where they were prepared to draw the line.
Helen: The storyline of the True Blood show is considered to be an allegory for the struggle for minority rights and the similarities to the experiences of local Vampires coming out in the open are surreal. While Pagans are subjected to intolerance themselves, the local Pagan community forms a diverse group and tolerance levels towards others vary considerably within the group. Do you believe that the local Pagan community can learn from this experience and handle a similar situation better in future? What have you personally learnt from the experience? Is there anything you would have done differently in hindsight? Do you have any suggestions for how any future conflicts of this nature can be managed in a more civilized and constructive manner?
Damon: Our national religious community is not free of prejudice. We're a reflection of the society in which we live, not apart from it at all. We live in a largely intolerant society, especially toward minorities of every kind. I hope we can start looking at each other as people and not as labels or objects. We don't have to agree, but if we're going to give the "Pagan religion" ideal a go, we have to start with the willingness to accommodate difference, allow for honest dissent, and seek common ground as humans first.
I would like to thank Val and Damon for being so accommodating and making this post possible.
Michael Vampire is a living vampire. Heâ€™s pretty sure that since joining Vampires Everywhere!, his gothic band mates (Aaron Graves, Phillip Kross, Alexandre Rogue, David Darko) have become inspired to trade in their beach days for the underground lifestyle as well. In an interview with ChinaShop, Michael reveals his trials and tribulations of modern day blood drinking and explains how to be a â€śsafe vampire.â€ť In addition to picking Michaelâ€™s brain on the ways of vampirism, aggressive rock music, and strategies for avoiding the sun, we snapped a few pictures of a vampire couch cushion fight (which we may or may not have instigated). Itâ€™s not often that you have a room full of vampires at your disposal so when you do, an epic photo shoot is necessary!
How do you describe your music?
Michael:Iâ€™d say hard rock or more like gothic metal which people describe us as. We have one of those genres that you canâ€™t really pin point so weâ€™re trying to create something new and fresh.
What bands are you inspired by?
Michael:Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Fugaziâ€¦Iâ€™m going back! Old records like Pennywise. The stuff we play now is more of a new school version of that. It is very metal. There is a lot of screaming but there are also hooks. I like to play aggressive music so thatâ€™s what it is.
What is the whole story behind the band name and the whole vampire thing?
Michael:The band name comes from the comic book and the movie â€śThe Lost Boys.â€ť The concept of the band was for myself trying to be true to what Iâ€™ve been trying to do for years. Iâ€™ve been in pop rock bands and all sorts of other things but this is my own thing and this is how I feel about music and the aggression Iâ€™m putting towards it. And the name kind of symbolizes that. Also, I believe Iâ€™m a living vampire so both go hand in hand.
Do you know when you turned?
Michael:Six months into starting the band actually. I had the realization of it. I actually met another living vampire that introduced me to the underground lifestyle of certain things.
Do you drink blood and do all that?
Michael:Iâ€™ve only done it 4 or 5 times. Iâ€™m lying; Iâ€™ve done it 6 times. I did it to this one girl recently. I donâ€™t do that usually because I canâ€™t sleep at night thinking I have something.
But you can buy it canâ€™t you in the underground market?
Michael:Yeah but itâ€™s not as fun.
How exactly do you get the blood? Do you full on suck someoneâ€™s neck?
Michael:I came up with this hickey thing I do but as far as the blood-sharing thing, the proper way to do it is a reverse IV. Iâ€™ve only done that twice.
Do you do the whole medical records checking thing? â€śI need to make sure youâ€™re cleanâ€ť and all that jazz?
Michael:Well Iâ€™ve been doing that afterward. They send me little pictures and stuff.
So these arenâ€™t people you are dating? You just go onto some website and be like, â€śI want to suck your blood?â€ť
Michael:No I just go around Hollywood or on tour. I mean itâ€™s pretty simplistic. I give off kind of a euphoria and it seems to be where I have no problem doing that. Itâ€™s very energy filled.
How do you guys feel about the whole â€śTrue Blood,â€ť â€śTwilightâ€ť thing ruining the vampire image?
Michael:I love true blood. I mean itâ€™s sex and rock and roll. â€śTwilightâ€ť is just Mormon vampires. Nothing wrong with getting married and doing what you gotta do. Itâ€™s not my thing. There is no fucking in it. Thereâ€™s no blood.
Yeah the movies donâ€™t but I think the books have sex and blood, donâ€™t they?
Michael:Iâ€™ve actually had the honor of both. I didnâ€™t go through the whole book series but the books are better. Sheâ€™s coming from a college for Mormons so she has her ideal set on what morality is and what is should be. For us if youâ€™re just looking at us or talking to us, youâ€™ll see that weâ€™re not that at all.
Are you the only one in the band that thinks that you are a vampire?
Michael:Iâ€™ve never asked. I think Aaron who isnâ€™t here right now kind of had a realization a while ago. He hasnâ€™t gone to the level Iâ€™ve gone to though.
Phil:I think for me too itâ€™s not on that level but itâ€™s like when I joined the band and became an official member, a lot of things started making sense. The way Iâ€™ve always acted my entire life made total sense with the vampire culture, minus the thing with blood play and all that, but extremely nocturnal, rock and roll as fuck, you know what I mean. When we joined this band everything just made sense.
So you hate the daylight and all that?
Michael:Oh I loathe the sun. Well Iâ€™ve come to the realization that the sun does make you weaker. I canâ€™t be near it. I have to get thru it. I hardly go outside during the day to be honest with you. Iâ€™m honestly in a car cruising along. Iâ€™ll be at Starbucks and then go right home.
How much preparation goes into your on stage look?
Michael:As of lately, a whole shitload. We started going to Forgotten Saints to get specific stuff made. We finally solidified a line up so people that were fakes left. Actually itâ€™s funny because all the Christians left. Anyway, this lineup seems to be more my style and I look side to side and Iâ€™m happy with what Iâ€™m seeing.
Are you in your stage gear now?
Michael:Iâ€™m not personally. I have to put more shit on. When Iâ€™m in the heat, I try to keep it light. When I was at Warped Tour, I was looking decent and then all of a sudden I started melting. I saw myself in pictures and was like, â€śThis is not happening.â€ť
What are most of your fans like?
Phil:Iâ€™d say anywhere from 12 to 40. We have some diehard super fans that are like 45 years that are just as into it as their child is and they bring the whole family and theyâ€™re rocking the shirts.
Do they have names?
Phil:They are called â€śVamp Trampsâ€ť and then â€śCovens.â€ť The come out to our shows and bring us stuff. They know we love Jack Daniels so theyâ€™ll bring that to us.
Michael: And I got a $100 Starbucks card. The weirdest thing is the vials of blood. When we first started getting going, this one girl sent us her blood in little vials. I still have the vial because I think itâ€™s cool but I threw the blood out. Iâ€™m not gonna drink it. I donâ€™t know whatâ€™s in there.
Thatâ€™s like somebody giving you a cupcake and you having no idea whatâ€™s in it.
Michael:They do that too. I made the mistake of saying Red Velvet cupcakes and thatâ€™s all we get but I donâ€™t know what is in there.
You drink blood and test the people afterward but then youâ€™re scared of cupcakes?
Michael:Yeah weird. Iâ€™m getting back into it though. I have this whole new thing Iâ€™ve been doing. Iâ€™m back into the whole condom thing. Iâ€™m back to being safe. Iâ€™m a safe person now.
Phil:Youâ€™re a safe vampire!
Words and interview by Nicole Pajer. Photos by Dustin Downing
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 at 10:36 am and is filed under Gallery, Music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Vampires: Mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person. â€“ Wikipedia
1. A corpse supposed, in European folklore, to leave its grave at night to drink the blood of the living by biting their necks with long pointed canine teeth. 2. A person who preys ruthlessly on others. â€“ Dictionary.com
A pale yet handsome 104-year old high school boy named Edward Cullen who goes against his better judgment, gives into urges, and falls in love with a mortal named Bella Swan. â€“ Twilight movie series
Clearly, the word â€śvampireâ€ť means something different to everyone, but thatâ€™s part of what makes us so curious, isnâ€™t it? Part of the allure of the whole vampire thing is the fact that these supposed creatures are so ambiguous to us. There are people out there that claim to be vampires but what exactly does that mean? Do they really suck peopleâ€™s blood? Do they have sex in coffins? Do these modern day vampires hide from the daylight and are they immortal?
Michael Vampire, lead singer of Vampires Everywhere!, considers himself to be a modern vampire living in urban Los Angeles and has volunteered to help walk us through common stereotypes regarding the vampire lifestyle. Michael explains what is true and what is far from it and divulges what modern day vampirism is all about:
How do people know that they are vampires?
There are many different reasons to embrace the vampire lifestyle. Some people just want a place to belong and some people actually find themselves within the culture. The idea of self realization through the vampire way of life is called â€śembraced,â€ť which is the act of turning into a vampire â€“ whether it be blood or energy oriented. I found myself within the vampire culture due to the strong aura I give off and the minor psychic abilities from my mother side of the family. For me, it was the perfect fit!
In order to be a vampire, do you have to have a certain â€ślookâ€ť that you must pull off to maintain authenticity?
To be truly dedicated to the vampire lifestyle, one must live it every day and not use it as a way to dress up on weekends. Common trends in the vampire lifestyle would include the typical Goth attire â€“ being black clothes & white makeup. Fangs are also part of the lifestyle, which are usually custom made and worn religiously. Keeping your skin pale white can be a hassle in southern California but I manage to do it just fine. The sun not only darkens your skin, but also makes you weak if you truly embrace the vampire lifestyle. The sharing of energy, whether blood or life force, is definitely a trait shared by die hard vampires. I partake in both energy related activities and believe in it whole heartily.
Are vampires really immortal?
I do not feel immortal because I am a living vampire. The mythology behind the vampire culture would have people think this is true, however, so is the idea of wearing a tuxedo around town talking in a Romanian accent. Because of the large amount of energy harbored within my body I feel I do age slower to the eye.
Do vampires drink blood?
The answer to that is yes. Blood play is the transfer of energy (in the form of blood) between a consenting donor and the living vampire. The blood revitalizes the body and plays an important part in sustaining the living vampires energy level and life force.
Do all vampires live in coffins?
The answer to that is hell no! I am claustrophobic and even getting an MRI terrifies me!
Is sex better because you are a vampire?
Yes! The energy levels I give off act as a pheromone and women have said I was by far the best sex they ever had and the only person to make them orgasm. PS.
Do vampires prefer to get it on with mortals or other vamps?
Due to my extreme energy levels, I am drawn to others with high energy levels so much so that I must talk to them or take it further depending on the situation. It matters not if youâ€™re a living vampire. If you got it, I want it!
What are some common vampire myths that youâ€™d like to dismiss?
I donâ€™t turn into a bat. I can see myself in the mirror and I donâ€™t have real fangs!
Do vampires have idols that they look up to?
Currently there are no â€śvampire idols,â€ť however, I hope to change that! If your talking TV/Movies then mine would be Lestat from Interview with a Vampire and Eric Northman from True Blood.
Is it hard to go against the grain and be a modern day vampire in todayâ€™s society?
Being different in any culture has its positives and negatives. People enjoy alienating what they donâ€™t understand and due to the popularity of vampires nowadays, people consider you a â€śtrend hopper.â€ť I am doing my best to be myself and am expressing myself through my music and my band, Vampires Everywhere!. I have a ton of haters that constantly badger me because I consider myself a living vampire, however, I take their negativity and express it in my music. Being a living vampire is a gift and it has changed my life for the better. If you donâ€™t like my lifestyle, thereâ€™s the door!
High-energy sex, aging at a slower rate that mortals, and being called the best lover someoneâ€™s ever had on numerous occasions? A modern vampiristic lifestyle doesnâ€™t sound so bad! Hopefully Michael helped to clear up some of your misconceptions about vampires living in the world today. If weâ€™ve learned one thing from the information above, itâ€™s that vampires do exist, just not necessarily in the sense that traditional folklore depicts them. Next time you pass by a mob of people and think you see someone wearing fangs and looking very pale, donâ€™t be so quick to dismiss the fact that it may in fact be a living vampire. If youâ€™re in Hollywood when this happens, chances are youâ€™ve just had a run in with Michael Vampire!
The moon is a very powerful magnetize r of energy; on the full moon and when the moon is on the higher moon phaseâ€™s people and other animals emotions are often increased. How many times when crime is at a high, people are going crazy, or the police and/or the emergency services are called out more than usual do you hear people claim â€śit must be a full moonâ€ť? As Vampyres we should embrace this and harness the moons power and abilityâ€™s. I myself when the moon is especially beautiful and noticeable right out the moon and ask her to share her natural abilities. You may however want to be careful because if you do not particularly know how to ground overly negative energy or transfer it you yourself could be overwhelmed with negativity. I myself do pretty well with that and tend to try and only focus on positive things.
This I believe is one reason why the night time is the easiest time for us Vampyres to feed as energy is at a higher point and easiest to take as well as manipulate. I also believe as Other Kin and because of our abilities as Vampyres the moon is a natural source for us as well as a beacon (for Energy). I believe we are supposed to harness this as children of the Moon. It is often said that the sun is the beacon and light for Human/Animal as well as Plant kind in the physical world and I believe we as Vampyres/Other Kin are children of the night or another plan (astral). Therefore the moon is our beacon and strength.
To harness this one (a Vampyr) only has to focus and use this to the best ability. Red candles are best used as power candles for these types of rituals. One only has to will there results to harness them. Since the moon is our beacon and source this should be pretty easy to do. The moon is more than willing to help us as it is our aid in energy consumption just as the Humans, other Animals and Plants have the sun to aid them in energy.
Itâ€™s not just modern vampire mythsâ€” ever since the dawn of time, people have tried various methods of using the blood of the young to try and rejuvenate the old, but the bad news for shamans and ancient high priests is that just sacrificing babies isnâ€™t good enough. A recent study in mice has shown that injecting the blood of young mice into old mice puts an extra spring in their step.
Researchers at Stanford University just published a study in Nature that may give new hope to those looking to stop the effects of aging on the brain. The study found that when blood from a young mouse was injected into an older mouse, that older mouse enjoyed what could almost be termed a â€śrejuvenation effectâ€ť: it began producing more neurons, firing more activity across synapses, and even suffered less inflammation.
Interestingly, performing the reverse, in which a young mouse was injected with blood (or, more accurately, plasma, which is the parts of blood without blood cells), resulted in young mice with distinctly elderly attributesâ€”increased inflammation, a reduction in the production of new neurons, that kind of thing. The researchers used plasma because blood cells are actually too large to travel through the blood-brain barrier into the brain. But certain chemokines, small proteins secreted by cells, are indeed small enough to pass through, and the team actually isolated several that could be causing this effect.
In our quest to hold herbalism up to the scientific eye, trying to mold it into a clinical science, we have lost touch with the very essence of herbal healing. It is not the clinically tested, standardized medicinal constituents of the plants we need for vitality and balance, but their more obscure, subtle properties. They have an innate ability to offer us the soothing relaxation, gladdening, quieting, emotional defrosting and grounding our over stimulated minds and tired spirits are so much in need of right now.
The Gift of Plants:
Healing for the Body, Mind and Spirit by Suki Roth
We live in stressful times, far from the comfort and peace one experiences when immersed in an intimate relationship with nature. What is it exactly that is causing our modern ills?Â The question here is a bit like the saying "what came first the chicken or the egg"?Â Is it physiological disorders or disorders of our spirit and emotions?Â Luckily we do not have to ponder this question.Â In their molecular cell structures, medicinal plants hold all the keys necessary to unlock our physical, emotional and spiritual vitality.
Through many hours of plant meditation, individually and in groups, I have been introduced to the subtler benefits the plants offer. Let me share some of my most profound plant meditation and clinical experiences with you. This in itself is a difficult task as picking out a few plants to highlight is like picking your favorite child. You love them all and they all offer so much individually.
MeadowsweetÂ (Filipendula ulmaria)
Â Collect Meadowsweet while it is in flower. Use its beautiful leaves and sweet almond scented flowers for your tea or to tincture. Your first experience with either the tea or tincture will be one of deep release and relaxation. Meadowsweet has a warming, relaxing and soothing effect on the digestive tract. It contains large amounts of salicin, one of the main ingredients in aspirin, without the harmful effects to the stomach lining. It is specific for gastric pain, abdominal cramps, colic, and irritable bowel. Its pain relieving qualities are indicated for tension headache, muscular pain and arthritic complaints.
Meadowsweet, a great facilitator for achieving a deep meditative state, also has the ability to quiet the mind and guide the body into a restful sleep. Considered the emotional "chill-pill" it defuses congested thoughts while putting one at ease. It eliminates emotional pain that stems from living in a fast paced over stimulating world. Meadowsweet is able to rebalance electrical body charges making it an ally for opening up energy centers in the body. With daily use for a month or so it expands the body's energy field creating a greater sense of self and a boost to self-expression. A favorite herb of the Druids who believed it made the heart "merrier". A must for mild depression. Safe for children, elders and the overly sensitive.
Dose: Make a tea using 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb to one cup boiled water steep for 15 minutes. Drink three times a day. Tincture 2 or 3 mlsÂ (60-80) drops three times a day.
Betony (Wood Betony)Â (Betonica officinalis)
Â Collect the aerial partsÂ (leaf, stem and budding flowers) of Wood Betony just before the flowers bloom. Prepare yourself for a little taste of heaven with a cup of tea or tincture.
Wood Betony is one of my favorite herbs for insomnia. It quiets our restless minds and caps our frayed nerves. Its medicinal actions are anti-spasmodic, nervine, and anodyne (pain relieving). Wood Betony is specifically indicated for tension headaches caused by stress, fibromyalgia pain, and sore, over worked muscles.
A tonic for the nervous system, it reduces fatigue and tension the symptoms of nervous exhaustion, by inducing a restful sleep.
Wood Betony with its antispasmodic action relaxes our bowels, musculature and our stifled sense of self- expression. Creating the sensation of being nurtured and held it fosters a feeling of safety and protection. This opens up our emotional body and allows us to express our creativity and stimulates self-expression. Wood Betony has a stimulating opening effect on the solar plexus, considered the center of "gut-level" instincts, groundedness and self-confidence. A true anti-anxiety it erases contracted life experiences. Wood Betony considered a brain tonic, will increase arterial blood flow and cerebral circulation. Lose that frenzied burn out feeling with a cup of Wood Betony today.
Dose: 2 teaspoons of dried herb to one cup boiled water, steep 20 minutes drink three to four times a day. Tincture 20-60 drops three to four times a day.
You now have two new calming friends to take along on life's journey. Do not forget the old stand bys, Lavender, Chamomile and Lemon Balm. Cheers, to your health and well being.
Â As anÂ herbalist for the last 16 yearsÂ Suki RothÂ has had the opportunity to share her knowledge and great love for the large bouquet of medicinal and edible plants growing "right outside our doors". Sharing her intimate knowledge of the plants is her life passion. She is available for classes, workshops and consultations all designed to connect you to the gifts the plants offer us for healing on many levels. For more info on contacting Suki please see her web siteÂ www.herbhaven.com
Lauren Zeifman's swish waiting room looks like that of many Park Avenue medical offices, but hers is filled with patients who are about to fork over as much as $2,500 for a vial of their own blood, one they hope contains the key to eternal youth and flawless skin. This new tribe of beauty addicts is as eager to receive a so-called vampire injection as Twihards are for their next Bella and Edward fix. Vampire injections or Dracula therapy & is the latest crazemi among Manhattan's well-heeled Botox-and-fillers set. In an appointment of no more than 30 minutes, the patient's blood is drawn and then spun in a centrifuge to separate out its plasma, the watery part that contains platelets & proteins and growth factor said to promote tissue regeneration and collagen renewal. That fluid, called platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is then injected back into the patient's wrinkles. Recipients claim it softens lines and restores a fresh, dewy glow that can last a year or more.
In the world of cosmetic enhancement, PRP injections are considered the next big thing. Adherents say that, unlike toxins such as Botox or fillers like Restylane or Juveacutederm, their own blood is a natural way to get rid of fine lines, even if the concept is totally creepy. Zeifman, the founder of Park Avenue Skin Solutions, boasts long blond waves and skin so devoid of visible pores or creases she could be one of the undead. "Fillers may look good under the eyes for a short time, but the skin is so thin, they usually produce ridges [that] don't look natural," she explains. Vampire injections, by contrast, are "thinner than water, so it's the only thing at this point that improves the undereye area without any risk of bumps."
In 2002 scientists discovered the value of the treatment as a wound healer. Now posh New Yorkers are clamoring to have it injected in their faces. According to Jim Weeks, president of UBS Aesthetics, which sells Selphyl, a patented technology that streamlines the process, June sales were double those of previous months and the number of doctors giving injections has grown by 50 percent since the start of the year. While Zeifman says some of her patients have found the concept too bizarre and have opted to stick with synthetic fillers, most like the fact that the product is, well, organic. "When I thought about [using my own blood], I got a little queasy, but that wasn't enough of a deterrent not to do it," says David Munk, 46, a pale redheaded actor who lives in Jersey City. "[Now] I get roles playing guys in their thirties. Lauren is my secret weapon."
Marie Hallas-Imperato, 61, a former model from Queens, was nervous at first. "When I saw the needle coming, I thought, 'Get ready, this is going to be painful,'" she recalls. "But I must say, it wasn't. I looked tired all the time. People now think I am in my forties and I don't dare tell them the truth." Janine Corletta, 47, who works in the fashion industry, was dating a 32-year-old who invited her to a black-tie work event. "I'm surrounded by all these models at work. In the last few months they've been talking about these shots. Having to meet this guy's bosses pulled the trigger." Corletta made an appointment with boyish-looking Dr. David Colbert, the Flatiron-based dermatologist Angelina Jolie has turned to for various beauty therapies. "I feel like it lopped 10 years off, but I don't look overamplified or jacked up."
Soho resident Nicholas (he prefers not to use his last name), 40, got his PRP injections from Smoothmed's Dr. Jack Berdy to close his next deal. "I am in sales and have to appear alert, but I was getting circles under my eyes," he recalls. "I had injections in my forehead, eyes, cheeks and mouth. Now my friends call me Benjamin Button."
Want to learn more about Egyptian vampires? Read on to find out how the modern-day concept of vampires is actually inspired by an ancient Egyptian vampire like creature...
Most of us are aware of the concept of vampires as introduced to us through the silver screen. The typical vampire is characterized as a blood sucking night creature with sharp fangs. However this is not a new age concept in reality because vampires have their ancient origins in Egyptian mythology. The Egyptians were known to be polytheists and one of the gods, rather goddesses that they used to worship had a character quite similar to the modern-day vampire. Sekhmet was the name of the goddess that was known to drink blood. Historical records have shown that Sekhmet was considered to be a warrior goddess in Upper Egypt. The Egyptians would depict her as a lioness that had a reputation of being Egypt\â€™s most fearless hunter.
The Egyptians also believed that the desert had come into being because of her breath. She was considered to be a protector during times of war by the pharaohs and was also regarded as being the deliverer of guidance.
Egyptian Vampire Cult
With the passage of time a group of Egyptians actually developed a cult which consisted of devotees to the blood drinking Sekhmet. The cult started to gain prominence and during the 12th dynasty the pharaoh actually shifted the capital of Egypt to a location known to be the center for this cult. This was the city of Ijtawy. It is well known that in ancient Egypt the governing powers, Royal bloodlines and religion were all strongly linked together. The same goddess was also known to be a soldier deity. She can actually be seen wearing a solar disk in many of her depictions. Consequently she was associated with attributes like justice and had the responsibility to keep order. Almost all her visual depictions show her dressed in the color red which symbolizes her connection with blood. The eye of Horus, Bast and Hathor were also other prominent deities that were associated with the blood drinking goddess.
Various other powers were attributed to this goddess. These included the ability to bring disease as well as its cure. In fact mention of Sekhmet can also be found in historical records made by ancient physicians. Priests of the time also associated the goddess with doctors. After every battle that cult of devotees to this deity would celebrate an elaborate Festival to appease their goddess. Annual festivals were conducted at the beginning of each year where participants would intoxicate themselves along with which dancing and music were a common part of these festivals. It was believed that through these actions the Egyptians could appease the goddess because of which their opponents would face destruction.
It is based on the character of the Goddess Sekhmet that the modern-day concept of vampires has evolved. Of course the way vampires are depicted in movies has been altered to appeal to the modern masses but in its essence the phenomenon of a blood sucking night creature takes inspiration from this ancient Egyptian vampire like creature.