Archive for Sunday, 22 April, 2012

An important consequence of freeing oneself from the fear of death is a radical opening to spirituality of a universal and non-denominational type.
– Stanislav Grof

 

I have spent more than ten years in the Online Vampire Community (OVC). In that time, I have seen many people mix together different paths of faith to make one that fit how they truly feel. The majority of these people consider their beliefs to be “Polytheistic”, a belief in more than one God. Personally, this is how I would describe my own beliefs since, while I only worship/revere one God, I believe in them all. But never before have I met someone who really cut to the chase and called it what it is: hodgepodge paganism. And that brings us to our interview with Ezikiel Coy.

Hello and thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. I know that religion is a very personal topic, one that many of us are not willing to discuss with others. It is especially difficult to discuss with those outside our respective religious circles as not everyone is open to beliefs other than their own.

GYP: Will you please start us off by explaining your vampirism? Are you sang or psi?
EC: Well, both and neither. I never really was good at labels, sorry. I guess that my feeding can be more Energy based, but that still affects a person physiologically. I guess, if you had to call me anything, I feel that a Psionic/Eros feeder would suit me well enough for now. Though, I have recently come to terms with the fact that “vampire” isn’t really a word that suits me well either. Perhaps we should cover that in a different interview.

GYP: You say that your feeding is energy based, but that you consider yourself “both and neither” sang/psi. Does this mean you occasionally use blood feedings?
EC: What I meant by considering myself neither Psi, nor Sanguine in my practices, was that it seems that me need to “feed” off of the life-force of others is secondary to the energies they freely give me. I am often a counselor, and provide spiritual guidance to others. During this time, an energy connection is established, they give to me, I process and give back a refined product, making it easier for them to be aware and objective about their surroundings. What I do actually feed off of are the intents and programmings of energy, all of the excess that one has built up in their system.

GYP: Thank you! And what faith do you follow?
EC: I studied and practice a mixture of Sumerian and Etruscan pantheons and philosophies. It really doesn’t have a name much more than “hodgepodge paganism.” I am, however, a recognized teacher of spirituality and practice thereof. I have often helped people learn to practice their faith more openly, or express their magic on a more fundamental level. That teaching is also a large part of my spiritual existence.

GYP: You were nine when you learned of the Greco-Roman Deities? While that is not an unusual age to learn about different cultures, it could be seen as young to start on a spiritual journey; at least without parental influence, as evidenced by the Jesus Camps. Were your parents a big influence spiritually?
EC: My parents were very confused and shocked by me reading lists. Everything from the Goetia and the Satanic Bible, to Bucklands Big Book of Witchcraft crossed my hands at least once in those years. Thank the Gods for public libraries.

Bu no, they let me do my own thing, and simply told themselves it was just a phase and that I would come back to church eventually. Hasn’t happened yet.

GYP: What did you learn that prompted you to look in an alternative direction, rather than what some might consider a more traditional direction, such as Christianity?
EC: This is a very interesting question for me, and has to do with my awakening process. My awakening was spawned from a very visceral interaction I had with an entity I had been working to summon for several months. During our time working together, I found myself more drawn into the Occult side of things, and the confirmations I had received from my own experiences was very powerful. You could say that I walked myself into the deep end, really.

GYP: Do you attend regular services?
EC: I do, yes. I practice my religious beliefs with offerings to spirits, prayers, and meditations. Exercises that expand my awareness, and writing/study are also parts of accepting and nurturing the Divine nature within/throughout.

GYP: How long have you followed this particular path?
EC: Since I was a child, really. I was about nine when I learned of Greco-roman dieties, and that started my journey to find the Gods of my own pantheon. It wasn’t always this form of practice, mind you- there were several failed incarnations of it before. I think this is just the most stable one, It has lasted for several years now.

GYP: Have you ever experienced anything that might have shaken your faith, or caused you to doubt?
EC: Only in my Faith of humanity. I’ve seen people possessed (helped it along a couple times too), children beaten and hospitalized, heard the confessions of rapists, drug dealers, and adulterers. It’s all just human nature, and trying to find ones place within the Cosmos. Perhaps the only thing that shakes my faith is when there is no coffee. Then it starts getting a little awkward, haha!

GYP: Do you ever feel that your vampiric needs are contrary to the teachings of your religion?
EC: Certainly not. I came into the world with my own will, and the “Gods,” if they have much say in anything, apparently allowed it to happen. My spiritual needs are as focused on the awareness and preservation of my Essential self as they are about communion with something else beyond my own self.

If the religion I carry was not able to be symbolic of my own life and struggles, it would cease to be a religion, and turn into a plague of errors.

GYP: Do you incorporate your religion into your vampirism?
EC: Only during ritual, really. I don’t feed while invoking Ereskigal, if that’s what you mean (well, outside of ritual…)

*clears throat* To be more accurate- no, and yes. Vampirism is already a part of my religion, in that I give back a portion or offering of myself to the gods, so that they may, in turn, be more present and accounted for in my waking life. No, it is not specifically a vampiric religion where I’m wandering around to various houses trying to get an interview with the Elorath or some such nonsense.
Oddly enough, that Vampiric side is second to my Embodied nature as an aware entity. I mean, how many religions are literally based on the food they eat. Sure, there are strictures and “law” in religion about what should and should not be eaten, but the food isn’t the whole pedantry of the religion.

GYP: Do you incorporate your vampirism into your religion?
EC: Oh, I’m sorry, I think that I answered this one already, though briefly. Yes, I incorporate all of my aspects into the practice of a True (to me) Religion. It wouldn’t be my path, otherwise.

 

On a final note, I really want to thank Ezikiel – and all of our future and former interview subjects. I am really enjoying getting to know this side of so many community members. Too often we focus on how we differ and let that tear us apart with squabbles over which way is the right way. I honestly believe that all ways are right. While it would be nice to filter out the fakes and the role players and get down to the bones of the matter, I also do not want to minimize anyone’s beliefs. Doing these interviews reminds me how similar we are, despite our differences, and I appreciate that.

International Translation Effort Gains Momentum
Over the past week, there have been calls made on numerous Vampire Community ( VC) sites for volunteers to assist in translating what is called “core VC documents” – those items which lay out, define and explain in clear, basic and easily understandable terms, what real Vampyres and our community are all about. In recent times, international members of the VC have been very helpful in translating a variety of real VC articles and documents, mostly with a view to using them in their own communities and in their own languages. This appears to be a strong initiative to translate as many core VC documents into as many languages as possible and to make them available via the VC’s numerous websites. Naturally, local communities will then have access to invaluable knowledge and experience of other previously inaccessible parts of the VC information resource – and in their own languages.
Translating a document is not as simple as some people may think. Some of the documents being translated are very complex. Often, in some languages there may be terms equivalent to “vampire”, but not “Vampyre” for example – or there may be difficulties in finding suitable equivalents for terms such as “feeding”, “life-force” or “energy-work”, and so on.
Thus far, documents such as those on the Atlanta Vampire Alliance (AVA) info site, including definitions for real Vampyres, sub-types of Vampyres, and numerous ethics and safety guidelines have been, or are being currently translated into numerous languages, including Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. This is truly an international VC effort, as most of the translators are volunteers from within the VC, and in most cases are either native speakers of the languages into which the documents are being translated, and resident in those countries, or are otherwise qualified professionals in teaching or translation etc. Readers may be wondering what the motive is for gathering these documents in multiple languages?
When asked about the project, Merticus, an internationally renowned figure in the VC who has been leading the call for volunteers to assist in the effort, jokingly had this to say:
“I wouldn’t exactly call it “my project” – I just gather kindling and set fires under people (lovingly of course). I’m tired of people sitting around arguing with one another and would rather they find a productive use of their time.” In a more serious vein, he said: “I believe translating core vampire community documents so that non-English speakers or emerging global communities will have a basis for education and communication to be a worthwhile project initiative. The Russian and Spanish communities have been translating documents now for several years, so it’s time for the rest of the vampire community to catch up with their counterparts and provide wider organization to this important effort. You can label it a Voices of The Vampire Community ( VVC) Global Initiative Project if you wish.”
“The vampire community has evolved during the past several decades predominately in the North American theatre and in isolated pockets throughout Europe, South America, Asia, etc.  I believe it’s time the ‘old guard’ steps outside of that box, puts aside the squabbles over what’s broken with the current system and work towards an evolutionary improvement that fully integrates the networking and education resources of a global vampire community.  We have much to teach and even more to learn from interacting with other cultures.  Perspective should be given to the heated arguments we have over defining our identity or the greater ‘vampire milieu’ contrasted with the reality of people being put to death or systematically killed for holding the same beliefs and practices as ourselves in more culturally or religiously oppressed countries. If we’re to make any progress or hope to evolve as a sustainable community then we must put aside personal differences and work on methods of improvement as the opportunity affords us – each to their own specialty and areas of interest.”
So there you have it – providing the same information, collections of experiences and material to the global VC in multiple languages – and especially in the native languages of regional communities around the world, will put us all on the same page more or less as a community – and make understanding each other – and working together – a lot easier, and will aid the growth and development of our community on a global scale.


Octarine Valur

SAVA

“Alligator Bayou at Sunset”

Posted: Sunday, 22 April, 2012 by deacongray in Uncategorized

 

 

BY Kelly Scarlet Rakoczy