By Damien Ferguson and Rei
What are vampires?
Vampires have existed forever and more than likely always will. Real vampirism doesn’t change, only the world’s portrayal and thoughts of us do.
Even in the Vampire Community, the views of what makes a vampire have changed over time. From pre-VC where folkloric traditions view vampires as beings that steal the life force of their victims. In the infancy of the OVC, vampires were generally understood as blood drinkers as the first websites that were put up were dedicated to blood drinking and due to the bad perception that people have for psychic vampires. But even then, there was no clear divide as to these types until the Sang-Psi War blew up. Now, in an attempt to be more politically correct and inclusive, vampire is generally understood to refer to any person that needs to take blood or energy or both to maintain their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
So most folks will tell you that what defines a vampire is the need to feed. But that isn’t even the surface of it. One who thinks it starts and stops at feeding well, that should tell you all you need to know.
So what makes a vampire? Vampires are those who take the life force of another to supplement their own and remain healthy and sustain themselves. That life force energy comes from living beings and can be taken through sexual contact, ambient feeding, core feeding, blood, and so on. Some can take it in a variety of forms as well. It really is that simple. So you see, it’s not the feeding method that defines what a vampire is but what it is they actually feed on, that is the life force.
It goes without saying then, that lifestylers and role players do not classify as vampires, no matter how much they drink blood or live the vampire aesthetic. To paraphrase some points in our article Newbie’s Guide to the GVC, some real vampires also enjoy expressing themselves with gothic or vampire aesthetics and some enjoy LARP, but these facets are separate entirely and do not take away from what they are.
Contrary to what many believe, blood feeders or sanguinarians can use and manipulate energy same as psychic vampires and hybrid vampires. Sanguinarians simply use it in ways different than psychic vampires, more often on a more physical sense or manner. Of course there are those who are not good at energy work, but they tend to be far and few in between and similar to those who are born in magic families but who can’t do magic. In fact, majority of the vampire “world” can use energy at varying degrees. From the VEWRS and AVEWRS Study done by Suscitatio Enterprises LLC, 68.57% of respondents identified being both vampire and energy worker with only 9.8% of respondents identifying as vampires (1).
Some of the ways that sangs use energy in the physical sense can be observed from the abilities that they possess, the most common of which are as follows:
- Physical Strength: sang vampires are generally stronger than they look, which often puts into question the principle that greater mass generates greater force, among vampires.
- Cloaking: the ability to make themselves unnoticeable to others
- Blinking: the ability to move seemingly faster than normal
- Manipulation: includes glamour, which is usually used as food hunting technique, and rolling
- Faster Healing: wounds that usually take weeks are healed within a few days.
with Cloaking and Manipulation as natural abilities shared with energy-feeding vampires. The latter’s natural abilities include the ability to see/feel energy or auras and ability to naturally take or pull energy, which is why many of them excel in healing.
Interestingly, from the same survey, 42.86% of Self-Identified Sang Vampires generally agree that it is the psi energy contained within the blood itself is the source from which sanguine vampires feed, with 30.16% of SIV Sangs completely agreeing that it is the psi energy contained within the blood itself is the source from which sanguine vampires feed. (2)
the neglect to feed causes deleterious effects to a vampire’s physical health.
So if it’s all the same, you might ask why there are different feeding methods. Well the answer to that is simple as well. Think of it this way, all of us need Vitamin D, but not everyone can drink milk. We all need protein, but not everyone can eat eggs either, so they have to get those through different sources.
Therefore, before anyone accuses blood feeders of being psis on training wheels, remember that analogy. Just because one’s system is more adept at getting life force through one method, doesn’t mean that it would work for another. Remember that feeding method is not what makes a vampire, or even what classifies what one is, though it is largely an indication.
That is not to say that it is not a physical need. Remember that vampires feed to sustain their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Whether one is a blood feeder or energy feeder or even a hybrid, vampires experience physiological symptoms or physical suffering, in addition to the mental and emotional suffering, when not fed. Some of which are increased susceptibility to infection, fatigue or lethargy, migraines, extreme sensitivity to light and sounds, an increased need for sleep and waking up tired even after having slept, body aches and pains that cannot be explained and usually, vamping out.
This physical need has nothing to do whether what one believes his or her vampirism is caused by or if one is an energy worker or not, or even what they believe to be feeding on, as the neglect to feed causes deleterious effects to a vampire’s physical health.
Emotional and mental effects of not feeding include forgetfulness, inability to focus or concentrate, increased irritability and mood fluctuation, depression, anxiety, and lack of motivation among others.
Vampires feed on the life force via different methods to remain physically healthy, mentally healthy, and emotionally healthy.