The Not so Good Old Days

Nonfiction literary compositions

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The Not so Good Old Days

Postby The Madame X » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:26 pm

The Not so Good Old Days
By Madame X © 2008 (2010 revision)

Of the Vampire

Today we can readily access information on the vampyre subculture on the internet by simply plugging in “Vampire” or “Vampyre” and adding the words organization, family, house or coven. We might be surprised to find local, international and worldwide groups with anywhere from 2 to 1000 members, catering to a wide variety of interests from mythology, spirituality, Kemeticism, Satanism, ancient history, ethics, politics, philanthropy etc… with practices revolving around the-more-or-less politically correct scholarly research, social interaction, BDSM, Tantric practices, shadow-self work, exploration of the astral, energetic exchanges to blood drinking the current list is quite extensive. But it was not always this way.

Having lived in a European country during its extended dictatorship era where censorship was the ultimate ruling power, it isn’t surprising that I grew up completely unaware of the concept of real Vampirism, neglecting its very possibility. Not only were the political minded pursued by government authorities, but also artists, writers and philosophers were incarcerated labeled political prisoners. In those days censorship applied not only to the media but also the movie industry, art, literature even clothing. Words were removed from the dictionary, private correspondence was regularly read, gatherings infiltrated, government informants were everywhere, airport customs officials were very thorough and anyone or anything that did not ‘fit’ within the regime’s philosophy was confiscated and destroyed. Many international books on a wide variety of subjects were banned from even entering the country and countless national books confiscated with dire consequences to the respective authors, who were often roused from their sleep, forcefully removed from their houses, interrogated, tortured and eventually forgotten in some prison cell. Topics regarding mythology, esotericism, mysticism and the occult were not even discussed, much less witchcraft, the occult or live-vampirism.

But the will of man prevailed. What could not be passed on in writing was passed on orally thru extensive repetition and memorization. What was scrutinized by the authorities became so elaborately remote, or so blatantly obvious, that not even the most efficient officials could put their fingers on it. For those who knew the right people or went through the right channels the books still filtered in, the gatherings became possible and somehow they remained out of eminent danger passing on their knowledge to chosen select few. Covens of 13 still gathered both in urban and rural settings, The Ancients revered, the Old Traditions upheld, and Vampirism cultivated secretly without pomp n’circumstance.

It was not until April of 1975 that information began to enter the country, and this time with no holds barred: eastern philosophy, the invisible realms, paranormal investigations, divination methods, demonic possessions, medieval sorcery … it was all there at our reach. All, except Vampirism.

Before the onset of the Internet and with it the assurance of insuring anonymity, accessing and disbursing information on live-vampirism was not that simple, in fact it was nearly impossible. While the inexperienced seeker might have tried to find vampire groups in underground bars, fetish gatherings, or nightclubs it was hit and miss…mostly miss. Such places were no doubt hunting grounds but seldom gathering places. It was rare for Vampyres to socialize with each other. In fact while they might have recognized each other’s nature they would generally claim their territory possibly having the newcomer removed or made feel unwelcome by the regular locals. Most Hunting grounds were a one Vamp’s territory … or exclusive to their family or coven. Seekers might actually be in danger should they enter another’s hunting ground.
Another avenue some seekers would cleverly try would be to tap into the resources of fiction authors, who more often than not had some sort of inside knowledge, and these efforts were rarely successful but provided some hope to the few. In many parts of the world there were gatherings of writers, poets and philosophers that attracted vampires, but these seldom revealed their nature, happy to be able to extemporize over topics like eternity, the spirit and forbidden secrets without reproach. More recently, such groups published publications that were a beacon to others like themselves, who simply understood.
The more ingenious seeker may have instead looked for magical covens, occult groups or spiritual organizations, which might have had some connection with vampirism. This might have actually been the best approach by far. Some “exoteric” organizations, gatherings and even galleries, book-stores and other store-fronts were in fact ‘covers’ for more secret witchcraft, Satanism, demonism or even vampirism centered groups. On many occasions the local healer, astrologer or reader would know a bit more than expected on such topics despite the blatant New Age, Kemetic or Christian paraphernalia.

In any situation, the seeker needed to be ‘discovered’ and sponsored to even be privy to any group that could offer information on such. Vampirism was a very well kept secret among those in the know, and for very good reasons. The honest reality is that if seekers were not ‘discovered’ they had no option but to remain clueless and alone, often in denial or boarded-shut in their own houses as mad. Those that were fortunate enough to have been discovered might have ended up on the altar of a devil-worshiping cult, there was no telling once that door was opened, but there were some lucky few who managed to find themselves among scholars or mages that guided their progress and awarenesses. Some witchcraft/Satanic/vampiric organizations were interconnected but the majority were isolated groups that practiced in utter secrecy expecting no less from their membership. To this day many uphold a mundane ‘cover’ to legitimize their gatherings and business dealings. While I’m inclined to say “you may be surprised on what kind of businesses are covers for vampire groups” I must reconsider; most of us have watched ‘Angel’.

The Otherkin Rift

Otherkin and Therians have never been easily accepted by society. They were always labeled 'weird' and cast aside even by those that might be considered weird as well, like vampires and witches. It has not been until the recent past and thanks to the understanding and connectivity brought by the Internet that therianothrophy has been accepted by some Vampire Organizations. That said Therians have for the most part been loners, often isolating themselves from the rest of society, or instead and much like Otherkin they would resort to hiding their true nature in order to be able to belong and grow within magical/vamp/spiritual organizations. This of course became different with the dawn of the internet, which facilitated the open, anonymous communication between the like-minded.

But when did this segregation begin? I do believe there was a time when Otherkin, Therians, Vamps and the Magical-minded worked together in many ways, understanding that their nature and purpose was not that different, it fact it was complementary. We can certainly see this quite boldly in the ancient cultures of the Egyptians, the Akkadians, the Babylonians and the Chaldeans.

The witch-hunts of the middle ages targeted, not only witches but vamps, therians, otherkin, occultists, alchemists, and any individual that was remotely gifted or different. It was this that caused a huge rift between nightkind. The issue was trust. Who can Nightkind trust among themselves? Unfortunately otherkin and therians took the brunt of the blame in part because their natures are more untamed. The next group that took blame were the vamps whose practices became considered too obvious and risky by association. The next was of course the witches who still managed to cultivate their knowledge as healers and seers. This rift insured the limited and often secretive survival of the occultists and the alchemists who proposed science and insured the continuation of astrology, Hermeticism and Germanic traditions among others.

Certainly there were and are old packs of Therians in Northern Europe and central that preserved their identity and practices by meeting in secret locations. These were and are rare. That I know of there is still one Old Pack which remains active to this day. Not an easy feat. They have yearly or biannual gatherings and are part of modern society, meaning they do not all live as primitives the woods, but have jobs, drive cars etc.

Of course the history of Therians in other continents like the Americas and Asia is quite different, but unfortunately beyond my scope of experience. I would love to hear what you might be able to add.

We have certainly come a long way. I look forward to seeing where the path will lead you, me, our society and our culture as a whole.
Ex Somnius Scientia
Madame X
Matriarch, House of the Dreaming

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