Posts Tagged ‘Vampires’

Our Energy Centers and Ascension

Postby Aislin Ni MorRhiaghan

Our Energy Centers and AscensionEvery being yearns of being reunited with the Source however one views that Source to be. This yearning pulls us down many paths and journeys to self discovery and a state of balance that allows us to awaken and then re~awaken to our higher form. The lie of separation does not prevent us from transcending the mundane and achieving the infinite. To aid us in this path to re~awakening and remembrance and to remember the limitless beings we once were, we are given points in our bodies with very specific functions that allow us to gradually raise our vibrations and ascend to our higher forms. These points are energy centers or chakras that help us balance our spirits as well as our bodies. They run in a line down the center of our bodies and govern each segment, but also a different part of spiritual development. If just one is blocked the path to ascension is halted.

Usually the blockage is something simple, such as fear caused by the confusion a newly opened chakra can cause. As physical beings we don’t always welcome change. In fact most of us fight it every step of the way.

You may wonder what this has to do with you as a vampyre, but it is because we are already on the path to ascension and thus already have a heightened vibration that we are vampyres. It is because of these centers that we are able to travel in our sleep, heal our donors, and the community that we live in. These energy points allow us to awaken, hone, and utilize abilities that others only dream of having.

The chakra that roots us to the physical plane can be found between the balls of our feet and is the grounding chakra that connects us to the earth and allows us to release energies back into the earth. We first learn to use this as a means of releasing old ideas, fears, emotions, and then later as a part of ritual as a means of returning residual energy back into the earth.

The first chakra is the root chakra found at the base of the spine or the sacral point. This center houses the kundalini energy that awakens the other centers into full potential. This is the fire of creativity, passion, and action. This is the also the location for the beginning of the ascension process as it triggers the awakening and opening of all other centers throughout the body, mind, and spirit. It is often referred to as the serpent energy for the way in which it coils around the sacral chakra.

The second chakra is located near the spleen and is the chakra of sexual energy. This houses our desires and drive to commune with other beings, even if only on a physical level. It is the desire for reunification that drives us to cleave to each other, to exchange energies, and allows this chakra to aid the fifth chakra in emotional development and experience.

The chakra that we vampyres hear the most about is the core chakra that is located within our solar plexus. Many of us automatically guard this chakra by placing our hands folded over it when we are uncomfortable. This chakra holds our basic soul energy. When this chakra opens we begin our awakening process, but it can not happen until the other previous chakras have already opened. Astral projection, out of body events, and even dream walking and in some cases even feeding does not occur until this chakra has opened as it is one of two places that the soul enters and leaves the body.

Once the soul has awakened we learn compassion, friendship, and love. We learn the truth of ourselves and those around us and it is through these experiences that our fifth chakra is opened, the heart chakra. This is the energy center of healing and limiteless compassion, but only if we allow it to remain open. Should the chakra become unbalanced through bitterness, hatred, anger, and constant strife the awakening process is stopped until the chakra is allowed to open. This is the source of healing and healers use this energy center to process their patient’s illness into a more dense form before sending it to the first chakra to be released. This is also the source of our spiritual vibrations. It performs as transmutation of information from our higher soul chakras to our higher physical chakras resulting in a vibrational flow that has density, pitch, and form. When this happens spiritual energy is transformed into physical energy that results in emotions, attachments, and bonds.

This rarely happens without the use of the throat chakra which allows communication and release to occur. It is important to use this chakra wisely as the damage that occurs is not truly to the other person but to ourself. These two chakras are perhaps the hardest to remain open because when we meet adversity we first feel emotional then we feel rational then we begin to heal. These emotions are stored here and must be released in order for the chakra to work properly. The inability to release is simply the physical body’s way of telling the spiritual body that it is not yet prepared to move on to a higher state of awareness. These physical things prevent us from moving forward spiritually. In the end they must be dealt with or the ascension process is stopped until the person has released and healed.

This center may also be used as a tool for raising the state of awareness thus heightening the vibration of the spiritual body by chanting, toning, and harmonizing the energy field to a peaceful and mindful state. When this center is open and free flowing it awakens the third eye chakra found between the two physical eyes.

When the vibrations of the soul are heightened by the fourth and fifth chakras the 6th chakra, or the third eye chakra found between the physical eyes, opens. This center allows for sensory perception and abilities to manifest by allowing the mind to perceive that which is not seen with the physical eyes. This is the home of intuition, of psychic awareness and of an awareness of something greater than the physical world around us. When this center opens we begin to see the world and the universe through new eyes as our perception of the reality we perceive begin to change.

The crown chakra is that chakra found just above the head, as if it is floating atop our head. This is the last chakra to be opened on the ascension path between the mundane world and the infinite. This chakra serves as the gate to the higher soul chakras found in the spiritual body itself. When this chakra is open, psychic abilities manifest and a greater sense of interconnectivity is felt.

When all of these centers are opened and aligned properly they awaken the next four chakra centers. These centers concern themselves with the spiritual aspects of the individual rather than the physical aspects of the other 7. They hold within them the Akashic records, past life memories, and spiritual blueprinting that determine the individual’s path to ascension. Generally there are two points in the person’s physical development that halts the process. These points are between the grounding chakra at the feet and the sacral and the point between the heart and the throat. This is because the center between the feet is the grounding point for release and so this is an important part of the process. A person who does not learn to release blocks their own path of which is the beginning point in the kundalini chakra.

The 8th chakra is found aligned above the crown chakra and is the conduit of psychic abilities and spiritual information from the higher self to the physical self. This is also the chakra that holds and maintains whatever emotions or goals that were not maintained within the previous incarnations, or our karma. It is important to remember that the universe maintains balance and does not keep cosmic tabs on our behavior. We alone are responsible for those life lessons. The purpose of karma is to allow us to release those pains and trials that left residual spots in our aura that halted our ascensions in the past so that we can learn from them and move foreward. Once the door to the physical world is closed and the one of the spiritual world is opened, the individual, their perception, and their outlook is changed forever. This is the point in your development that you begin to see the world through new eyes. Simple things trigger hours upon hours of deep thought. You begin to see the universe not as a singular thing that is far off but as something dimensional of which you are an integral part.

Once you are able to view the universe on higher level, the 9th chakra opens and your spiritual blueprint comes into play. Your blueprint is the map that you create prior to your first incarnation that holds every experience an individual may encounter and the many paths those experiences may hold. The choices that you make in physical form activate the paths made on the spiritual realm. The skills, abilities, lessons, wisdoms, and soul type (creator, healer, or teacher) are found in this chakra. Generally when a person realizes the type of soul path they have maintained (based upon how many lifetimes have been spent in each of these paths) the way becomes smoother and the transition is easier. When they fight against it, life becomes more stringent and less wisdom is gleaned from the experience.

Just as there is a pivotal point betwen the two lower chakras there are also two pivotal points in the higher chakras. The point between the 7t and the 8th chakras and the point between the 11th and 12th. The first pivotal point is the gap that must be bridged between awareness and knowing. It is the same pivotal point of enlightenment between being a specific thing and simply Being. This point begins the process by which the physical body is shed and the spiritual body is freed. In short it is the shedding of self and the loss of identity and physical boundaries.

When the tenth chakra opens the skills stored in the 9th chakra begin to flow and manifest. This is the chakra of harmony, balance, and polarity. A person can only open this chakra if they are in a position of balance between the masculine and feminine energies of the universe. This is because divine energy has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with balance. An equal presence of both energies and the acceptance and love of both energies must be present for this divine energy to flow freely and open this chakra to align the following one.

The 11th chakra begins the integration process between the soul and the spirit. The soul is that part of us that even though is pure energy, it is bound to the physical form. The spirit is that part of us that is boundless. It has no form and is vast. Nor does is have restrictions, mass, or time limitations. It is our self in the true infinite state of awareness and Oneness. On this level the glimpse of multidimensional existence that began in the 8th chakra is vastly opened to include not merely a multidimensional state of awareness but also a multidimensional view of oneself. At this point one becomes aware that time, matter, and reality are all nonexistent and instead of awareness occurring on one facet, it occurs on many as all dimensions of the self become awakened and harmonic. As one dimensional self becomes awakened abilities and memories from the 10th chakra begin to open, thus even though the 10th chakra is open it does not fully awaken until the 11th chakra has begun the ascension process.

When this happens dimensional doorways open up and we may have memories of other existences, other languages, other skills, or people. Greater instances of déjà vu and precognition or flashes of very different current lives, anticipation, fear, confusion, the feeling that one is too large for the skin they are in, or an influx of wisdom, are just a few examples of what happens when this process begins.

This is the second pivotal point in the higher levels between the 11th and 12th. At this point the soul recognizes it’s impending freedom but it has been so long in a finite form that it is unsure of the lack of mass. The emotional body responds by becoming fearful of ascending and losing that comfort zone and so a blockage may form until the energy of the person is once again stored to a balanced state and the fear has been healed and released.

The 12th chakra is the mirror image of our spiritual self. This is the highest center that triggers the transubstantiation from finite form to infinite form. This is the point of release as the physical body is shed and the spiritual body is allowed to expand into its true essence which is infinite, formless, and timeless.

It is important to remember that this process may take years, decades, and lifetimes to occur. Also remember that as humans we tend to respond to change on an emotional level that effect the process. Fear stops the process. Failure to properly maintain a grounded state, allow growth, and release harmful emotions and experiences hinders the process.

Aislin Ni MorRhiaghan, February 2008

Spiritual Blueprinting, Predestination, and Reincarnation

Postby Aislin Ni MorRhiaghan »

Spiritual Blueprinting, Predestination, and ReincarnationA great deal of spirituality is concerned with the afterlife or the spiritual evolution of the soul. Vampyres are intensely spiritual people and as such often study a great many types of spirituality and philosophies. Spiritual evolution begins as soon as we incarnate and draw breath. The many tenets of evolution lead us to many paths of which have many different views. There are no right or wrong paths, no philosophy that is correct or absolute, and any path to evolution and ascension must be made on a personal basis. No man is the captain of another man’s soul nor is the spirit of one accountable to the soul of another. Understanding is the path to awareness which is in turn the path of ascension. For this reason I have foregone getting into specific religious ideology and doctrine as each man and woman must walk their own path free from influence. I include only my personal interpretations of this complex topic.

There are no new souls, no spirits that are just now coming into play. We are all centuries, even millenia old (if one relates time in such increments. My views of time are very different but that is for another article.). Thus we carry within us all very old souls with very ancient wisdom that awaits our awakening to begin relaying this information.

Prior to incarnating we are one with the Source, indeed a part of it. Spiritual blueprinting occurs when the discarnate soul (energy body) begins to slow in vibrational tone and form density and breaks away from the Source. As it does so it begins making the necessary adjustments for the coming transmutation into a physical finite form. It begins forming paths and lessons that will need to be learned in order to quicken the vibration, heighten it, and eventually regain its true form once again. In doing so it creates all measure of physical experiences that will lead it to paths leading into other paths. This type of spiritual preparation could be compared to walking a complex labyrinth or maze in which one path leads the soul closer to ascension and the other leads it to yet another incarnation but in the end all paths lead to the same point. There are just different ways of getting there.

During the process of creating this draft the soul splits into two forms. One form, the twin soul, remains on the higher level within the 12th chakra, which is the mirror image of its higher self. This is to urge the soul to be reunited not only with the Source that created it, but also to be reunited with its mirror image. This also occurs because the soul is infinite even as it begins to gain mass. The part of the soul that remains closest to the Source is lighter in density, but too heavy to remain with the Source. This part remains on a higher level than the soul but not yet on the ascension level. Often when the individual is on the path to ascension and has accessed the 8th chakra, the person may begin to receive information from their spirit guide, or the mental impression of the twin soul or mirror self. This is needed to remind the soul of its true nature as the time between the activation of the 8th chakra and the ascension back into an infinite nonphysical form is a frightening period. Thus the twin soul gives comfort and advice intended to reunite the two, form a complete energy body, and elevate into the infinite form.

Everything that a person will ever learn, every trial the person will ever undergo, any sadness, illness, death, happiness, pleasure, or tragedy will be chosen at the time of incarnation. This is simply so that the soul may have the full venue of physical experience prior to ascension. It is also so that they may help and teach by example the way of evolution. For this reason, three different types of soul patterns are to be noted: the path of the creator, the path of the teacher, and the path of the healer. These paths take on many different roads and we may see each one reflected within our own community caste system. The path of the creator is similar in structure to the Kitra. The path of the teacher the path of Ramkt. The path of healer may well be found within the path of the Mradu. As all souls are generally composits of all three, one type may be more prominant than others. This dominant soul path generally determines the path that a person will take in that incarnation and any lessons that are to be learned within that path as well as the options. And the options are legion as there are thousands of paths to be taken from each path of the blueprint. Each one has a different outcome and each one has a different vibration that elevates us. Because our souls only work in one direction, which is toward ascension and higher vibration, we can not lose the information and lessons we have learned. Thus we can not lose the vibrations we have attained. In short, irregardless of how difficult a life may prove to be there is a reason for every trial and that reason is essentially for the greater good and elevation of the soul. There is no backsliding or cosmic paddle. It is simply a matter of choice. Of action and reaction. The way that we react to one action triggers the path to the next action and so forth.

Free will is likely one of the most debated of topics in any spiritual forum, be they Pagan, esoteric, or Christian. Do we have it or do we not? Well we wouldn’t need a blueprint if we didn’t and to be perfectly honest the universe is too ordered, too structured for our care, consideration, and overall existence for me to even begin to ponder a Source being too selfish to allow us to have say so over our lives. Along this train of thought, we can not control the actions of others only the actions of ourselves. The actions of others affect our decisions but it is the manner in which we respond that decide what actions will follow. It is important to remember that even though the soul breaks away from the Source it is not through punishment but through vibration. There is no true separation as the soul is tethered to the Source by spirit. This tether is only so that the soul may find its way back to the Source that it was originally attached to, but also so that we may be interconnected with others as well. We were never intended to walk this path alone but instead to aid, teach, and heal each other. On the flip side of free will is fate or predestination.

Generally there are several views of predestination commonly referred to as fate. One view states that some form of Divinity (Source, Ancients, God, Goddess, so forth) is in control of our lives and that our decisions are crafted and predecided by this Divinity. Our ascension is reliant upon a omniscient being rather than our own actions and that this being applies actions to our lives in accordance to its divine will. Another take on predestination views it as being conditional, as a way of offering redemption. This view holds that even though man is inherently flawed because of losing his divine status that his choice to take faith and love as a path over the paths of other paths that separate us from the Source the path is already set. In yet another view the events that come into our lives from birth to death are all in the hands of the Fates and are out of our control. Generally this view doesn’t leave room for expansion or for any life other than the one. In short you have one shot so you’d better get it right the first time. However this philosophy negates one thing. The law of personal accountability.

In order for any person to rise above the mundane state and achieve a heightened state of awareness and vibration it is vitally necessary to acknowledge a life lesson, glean what we can from it, and release it if necessary. If something causes us pain, illness, or fear it is better to release it and move forward taking what we can from it and utilizing it for a greater cause rather than hoarding it for our own suffering. For this reason personal accountability is the most important thing we can take into our paths. There are no right and wrong paths, only right and wrong mindsets. We make mistakes, or things that bring us discomfort and distract us from our paths. How else would we learn, grow, and expand? It is the manner in which we react to these things that determine at what rate we will grow and expand.

Reincarnation is intended to aid in that expansion by providing multiple lives (paths) in which to learn these lessons. The forms that we take are dependent upon the vibration we held last. As we can not digress in spiritual form, only progress in evolution we can not take the form of something with a lower vibrational note than what we maintained in our first incarnation. For example if a blade of grass was first incarnated as grass it could not incarnate next as a speck of dirt, but it could advance to say a daffodil or angel trumpet and then later as an aspen, or birch.

If you follow the train of thought that delves into multidimensional selves that parallel each other, your incarnations are all in existence at the same point and as such reincarnation simply acts as a function to maintain the frame of those verses in which you will incarnate. The choice to reincarnate is in accordance to your free will as it relates to your lessons found within your blueprinting. Some philosophies state thousands of years in between these incarnations, some have no set time frames while others state a limit on how many times one may reincarnate.

The concept behind many reincarnation theories is that we are doomed to continue reincarnating and repeating old patterns until we get it right, recognising the patterns and discontinuing the behavior. Another popular concept is the concept of karma. Let me just say now that if you didn’t like what I’ve said so far, you will likely not be happy with this either.

The universe does not keep tabs on our human mishaps and personal choices. The forces that govern universal balance are not concerned with our personal decisions only with keeping balance of energies so that everything functions as it should on a higher level. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and nowhere is this truer than within universal order. Karma was never intended to be used as a universal paddle but as a source for healing. Karma is simply the blockages that we acquire within the ascension process that prevents us from moving foreward. It could be something as simple as a fear that needs to be faced or a loss that needs to be released. The concept that we are being eternally punished stems from the same concept that teaches that we are separate from divinity. Since we were never truly separated from the divine we also were never intended to be eternally punished for simply being more dense than the Source. Learning to release and heal are not only important for our physical health but also for our mental and spiritual health. As the soul takes resident within our mind as well as our body, the connections effect each other. We can lengthen our lives or shorten them simply by choosing which things are healthy, which ones are not, and which ones will bring us peace or turmoil. We are truly the captain of our souls.

Aislin Ni MorRhiaghan, February 2008

Postby Aislin Ni MorRhiaghan »

* This is actually a revision of an article I did some time ago. *

Choosing a Nightside Name

Aislin Ni MorRhiaghan © January 2008

Choosing a magickal name is a very important step towards establishing a separate identity, something that is easily recognised by the spirits and ancients and an integral part of sacred space. Many use this separate name for meditation, magickal workings, ritual, and for a spiritual identity but do not use it elsewhere. Many Nightkind also take this path to separating their nightside lives from their dayside lives. Even though our natures are always with us and our energies remain the same regardless of whether we are at work, a nightside function, or in circle a separate identity helps us to recognise that it is something special and maintains the pillar of discretion.

Just as someone should never choose a magickal name with negative connotations, someone should also consider the character of the name they choose to be identified as in the nightside world as well. Choosing a name of a mentor is common in some circles, as it gives honor and shows a close tie to the one who assist us in our walk. Some may choose the name of their chosen household with some affiliation. An ancestral name or spirit guide name is also not uncommon. All would certainly carry a certain amount of positive energy and weight. Someone is less likely to misbehave using the name of a mentor, loved one, or guide.

Some choose their names from works of fiction and while it was more common in the mid 80’s ~ early 90’s (such as using the names of Anne Rice, Poppy Z Brite, or Lost Boy’s characters), doing so may hinder someone more often as help them. Someone presenting theirself as Lestat or Marius should strongly consider that they may be viewed as a role player, or have a lack of seriousness regarding their alledged nature. These names also have other connotations. Marius is Greek and strongly associated with the ocean and seaways. It’s not always a bad thing to choose a name from fictional characters, however it is a bad idea to choose a name and not know if there is further history behind it. The author chose it for a reason and it’s likely that there are more meanings that what is inferred within the character. Always research a name before claiming it as your own. Sometimes if a name speaks to us, there are reasons behind it.
Knowing the power of words is an important part for any form of energy work, especially for Nightkind.

Choosing a name of a deity is another manner of association and identity, but it is equally important to know the history and character of the name. Since many of us tend to run in gothic circles, it is not uncommon for members of the nightside community to choose names associated with death, deep emotions, or chaos. Such notions are fine but keep in mind that a peaceable person not eager to embark upon challenges may not wish to choose a name like Loki or Nemesis. They offer conflicting energies. A name should flatter the person and reflect something about them.

In the old days when one was taken as a ward they were expected to have contrived a magickal identity that separated them from their day to day existence and allowed them to access their higher self. If that ward was sired they were given their name by their sire. Occassionally a house, coven, tribe, or adra affiliation was added as a surname. They were expected to keep this name private and be addressed only as their new name at darkside functions. It was not under any circumstances to be used during dayside functions or out of accordance with magickal working.

It’s said that our spirit has a name written in our heart and it is this name that opens the door to our transformation to something beyond the mundane. This name is an energy that moves through us and triggers vibrational shifts. We are usually first aware of that name when we are young and moving through our awakening. Our spiritual name is the name of our higher self. Our nightside name is usually a reflection of that. When we are given names by our adra it is because our auras are heard as well as seen and the name is a translation of the vibration that is heard.

Magickal names may be created in a few different ways, although they are not synonymous with a Nightside name. They may be given by mentors and/or adras. They may be created from using a few different names or even parts of the dayside name. They may be created numerologically, or through casting ogham or runes or even a pendulum. Skrying with candles and reading the smoke is another manner of creating a name.

Using a pendulum and a pendulum board (if you’ve never seen one it somewhat resembles a ouija but is designed to work with a pendulum. They may be made with stone, wood, or glass.) hold the pendulum completely still over the board. Concentrate on letting it translate your personal vibration into a name. Tell it to reveal your higher name. Hold the pendulum as still as you can and allow it to move in one direction or another. Keep an eye on which direction it moves, notice where the strongest response is for the first letter. It should settle above one letter and spin or move in circles over the first letter. Continue to ask it to show you the letters until it stops moving. It will repeat with the second letter and so on until the name has been revealed. Keep in mind that sometimes these names do not have vowels because many of the old languages didn’t use them even though they were pronounced with them. You may end up with something that looks like this: ASLN and have to figure out what the missing bits are. That may be achieved through meditation or dreamwork.

Skrying for a name can be done numerous ways. I use candles and sometimes crystals. A simple way to do it is to take a white bowl and add spring water. Light a candle of whatever color speaks to you at the moment (except of course white). Let a little wax melt and pour some of it into the water. The water should be very cool if not cold so that the wax solidifies immediately. Notice any letters the wax forms and write them down. When you feel it has done its job, snuff out the candle and dump the water. Examine the letters and see what you get.

Another way of doing it with candles is to sit a tall taper in a cauldron. Light it and put out the lights. You should be able to still see the smoke. Concentrate on your name and peer into the smoke. The smoke should be swirling and forming shapes. As you look into the smoke visualize your name forming through it. You should be in a semi~meditative state that allows you to access your higher self. In some cases you may see your name actually spelled out in the smoke or you may receive a vision of the name being given to you, hearing someone speak your name, or seeing the name written on something that either belongs to you or is given to you.

To use a skrying mirror and a candle. Sit in a completely dark room. Light a candle near the mirror. It should still be dark enough in the mirror so that no distinct shapes are seen. You may feel as if you’re falling into the mirror. This is also a way of meeting your higher self or your true self. Your true reflection may be seen in the mirror. When you are able to get a good visualization of your true self ask it what its name is so that you may honor it by wearing this name. Almost without fail it will give you your true name.

Runes are one of the oldest European alphabets and used in much of Western and Northern Europe. Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, and generally all of the British Isles had some form of runic alphabet. They differ in appearance in small ways but they are used nearly exactly the same way. The alphabet of Ireland is one of the few exceptions in that it was a complicated pattern of letters dedicated to specific trees and tree energies called the ogham. To use these ancient alphabets to find your name place them in a bag. If you’re using runes a bag of animal hide or fur is preferred, as is casting on fur. Choose one rune at a time and place them side by side on the fur. Translate them into letters. If a particular rune stands out you may opt to only work with that name and its translations. For instance if you should pull the tyr rune you will likely use the connations attached to it to help formulate a name. Using the ogham is a little different but with the same principle. These are sticks, usually willow, and have the symbols carved into them. They look like lines crossing other lines but they represent tree names which in turn represent sounds. Choose one ogham at a time. Line them up side by side. Translate them.

Nightside names should be kept secret and only used at darkside events. When you choose your name be sure that it agrees with you on all levels. It should be flattering to your disposition, mentality, spirituality, and overall nature. It should reveal something of yourself but still leave a little mystery. Remember that if you choose to use your magickal name that it’s best to use a variation of it not the exact one.

Aislin Ni MorRhiaghan © January 2008

Here’s a great article reblogged from the South African Vampyre News page. Enjoy!

Hostile Interest – Who’s Watching Us?.

Just a reminder, folks, the New Orleans Vampire Association will be running an art auction beginning May 15th… This auction will run until July 15th with various items up for grabs… Please see the upcoming events on the website for updates on this event…

http://www.neworleansvampireassociation.org/upcoming.html

www.neworleansvampireassociation.org

May 15th-July 15th, 2012 Silent (online) auction of a variety of items including artwork and jewelry
Here is what Zaar had to say about the event:
Greetings all,

As we, of the New Orleans Vampire Association, have decided to move forward with the next phase of our intentions, I thought I would explain what we are doing in a bit more detail.

As many of you know, NOVA is a State recognized non-profit organization. We have begun moving forward a little faster than we had anticipated on our next step. Our Federal status…

To accommodate this, we have decided to hold an “art auction”… Each House represented on the NOVA Council has offered articles to be auctioned off in a “silent” online auction. Three pieces, in particular, are donated by well-known New Orleans’ artists…

Once we have applied for our Federal non-profit status we will, with the help of another member of our local community, begin looking at possible grants which we can apply for to move into the next phase of our plans… Once appropriate grants are located, we have access to a grant writer, as well as other skilled members of the Council, to begin piecing together our ultimate goal… A Homeless Shelter.

The particular Homeless Shelter we are planning, as noted in the Season Finale of “Vampires: New Orleans” is going to be a two fold event. It will have “overnight stay” facilities as well as “transitional housing” for those who are truly looking to get a foot up in our local community. Our Homeless Shelter will focus on the gay/lesbian/pagan communities but be open to EVERYONE and ANYONE who needs it.

The design of the facility is also to be a safe haven for the vampire/otherkin communities. A place where meetups can take place in a friendly and safe environment, as well as education on HOW to be safe. It will give the community a TRUE place to turn that is NOT a bar type environment, allowing even younger members of the community to participate in events…

Among functions which we hope to offer are the following, however, we are not limiting ourselves to JUST these:

*a safe place for medical issues
*a safe place for psychological/psychiatric issues NOT revolving around vampirism or otherkin nature (Yes, the doctors, nurses and faculty WILL be informed of the VERY vampiric nature of the organization founding this)
*a safe place to pursue GED/educational classes as offered
*a mailing address (we will be installing P O Boxes as well as the transitional housing apartments)
*transportation to and from other appointments, as necessary

Should anyone have questions or wish to donate to this endeavor, they can contact us at www.neworleansvampireassociation.org

Yours,

Belfazaar Ashantison
Founder and Elder, House of Mystic Echoes
Founding Member of the New Orleans Vampire Association

That said, we here at the Grave Yard Press wanted to dig a little deeper when speaking with Zaar. Please enjoy the following “mini-interview”!
GYP: We see a lot of elders, self-described or otherwise, who focus on the community inward, while those of you in New Orleans seem to be focused on the community outward. It’s very refreshing in a day and age of “me, me, me”. But it also begs the question: Who taught you this?

Zaar: Throughout my life, I have been blessed to have guides, Elders and teachers who were about giving back. This has been a precept that I have constantly worked into my life. It all begins at one point, however. My Grandmother. My Grandmother was a loving woman who spent years helping others in any way she could. Along with my Grandfather, she was a loving foster parent to several within the foster care world. This was my first exposure to a world helping others. It set the pace for the person I was to become.

Thankfully, when hearing what the ultimate goal of the Homeless Shelter idea was, the members of the New Orleans Vampire Association chose to carry on this tradition as well. This took a great deal of pressure off of the House of Mystic Echoes from doing it as a lone project.

GYP: What are you doing to share with and teach the newer and younger generations?

Zaar: One of the primary lessons I teach, personally, is that “adaptability is the father of survivability, just as necessity is the mother of invention”. In this, those that are in my care learn a large array of survival skills, martial arts and life skills. I was truly surprised by how many of the newer generation of children (both young and old) really had no earthly clue how to do even the basic things, such as shop for groceries, plan a budget, do laundry properly… It is truly a crying shame. It seems that our children are being just pushed through school systems with just the barest of standards…

There was a time where education took precedence… Now… The barest minimum of life skills are being instilled in our children… Educational cuts suck majorly…

GYP: Did the food drops after Hurricane Katrina inspire you (holiday dinners and food drives), or was this something that was always in the back of your mind?

Zaar: Honestly, it was always something in my heart to do, however, I didn’t really have the chance to do anything about it until that most calamitous event, Hurricane Katrina… When she blew through, I had the chance to see and BE the changes I had longed to be part of. I began this with the help of two other friends. We set up our own food drop at the corner of 18th and Edenborn in what is popularly called “Fat City”, Metairie… We were even listed by local news as the “Official Unofficial Food Drop of New Orleans”… Consequently, we were also the ONLY food drop in the city that did not get robbed nor stolen from… Of course… That could have had something to do with a 6 foot 1, fanged man carrying around swords and singing songs to Orisha and Lwa… But hey… It could have been any number of things back then… LOL

GYP: Can you tell us about the larger vampire community prior to Katrina?
Zaar: Before Hurricane Katrina, the vampire community was set up on a Court System based off of the Sanguinarium system from the New York area. It was truly evident within the first years of this system that it DID NOT WORK here in the New Orleans area. New Orleans has her own flow, history and methodology… Applying a system that works in one place does not always mean it will work in another area… However, to be completely honest… It didn’t work in New York either… More often than not, if your House/Clan/Coven was not “recognized” by this system, you were treated as “less than worthy” by the members OF this system…

There was one specific leader that CHOSE to elevate specific people and the rest of us within the community were EXPECTED to bow, scrape and kiss their asses… I don’t bow, scrape nor kiss anyone’s ass…

During this time, many of the community members who were abused by such people pulled away from the community to seek their own methods and paths, instead of work together to find a better way of doing things…

GYP: Many of our readers are interested in the “old school”. Do they still show up now and then? If not, do you know what happened to them?

Zaar: Here in New Orleans, most of the “old school” have since either fled because of mistreatment OR because of Hurricane Katrina… Once in a while, they pop their heads out and we will see them at an event… More often than not, though, there is no sight, no sound and no sign of them… Which is truly a sad thing to me… All that knowledge lost…

I am glad that I keep in touch with my former Elders… It truly helps me to keep my head on straight, having that connection that I can always touch base with, even though I don’t follow their particular path these days…

A Vampire, A Church Social and a Big Blue Bunny named Bill

Posted: Tuesday, 10 April, 2012 by deacongray in Editorials
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“ I don’t think kids should watch Twilight or True Blood. If they somehow do end up watching one of those shows, their parents should sit them down and make them read “Touched by a Vampire” and “The Twilight Gospel” But the real danger is from the subculture.” – Overheard at Easter Picnic

Free chili and BBQ chicken only has so much appeal for me, but never the less the yearly non denominational Christian Easter Egg hunt at the activity field just across the river somehow manages to draw my sons attention. I think it is the guy dressed in the big blue bunny outfit, or maybe it is the screaming frolicking kids running everywhere while parents try to either find a sunny spot, or a shady spot depending the weather.
Either way with my own son playing a game of kick the man in the bunny suit, along with all the other kids, I found myself focused on the conversation several of the ladies including my day care provider, had worked themselves up too. Like any wise man has learned and the slightly alert man can figure out, it was a conversation I wanted nothing to do with, so I settled for yelling at my kid to stop kicking the poor bastard in the bunny suit. I wasn’t to be let off that easily.
“I know just who you should talk too about vampires. He knows all about them, his wife says he spends a lot of time researching and reading about them, not just the books, but the people involved with it.”
It was my daycare provider speaking and with a quick look around I realized there was no quick escape. “Deacon, this is Teresa from the Living Waters Non Denominational Christian Church.”
I put on a smile and shook her hand, then looked for my boy hoping to use it as an excuse not to have this conversation. “We were just talking about Vampire books and the subculture, and I understand you are kind of an expert on the subject. Would you answer some questions for us?”
OK so I want to explain something. I have a big ego. Sure, many of you know it already, but I admit it, no sense in denying what is so plainly true. Having four or five Christian Mothers around wanting to listen to me speak is just the thing to make my ego flare…but I am not normally that stupid. “Eh, well yes. Right now though I need to find my son, I think he is about to kill the Easter bunny.”
I tried to smile, I know it came off weak and insincere. “Oh don’t worry about Bill, he is the Easter bunny every year. He is my husband and as much as he says he hates it, he always does it. I think he just likes to be able to complain for the next week or two about the bruises. So anyway, don’t you think the twilight series is misleading our youth today?”
I spotted my boy just as he kicked the man in a baby blue bunny outfit in the leg, while another jumped on his back. The guy looked like he was in pain. “Are you sure he is ok with all that? I mean those kids can be pretty vicious.”
“Oh don’t worry about a thing, I have plenty of ice packs and its good for his soul.”
Teresa was almost exactly what you might picture when you think of a woman who has spent too much time in the church social circles trying to be the queen bee. She was short and a little plump, but her hair and makeup were done with a vigor you normally only see in fourteen year old girls and clowns. Her hair was streaked with black and white, tones I am sure she would have killed her own daughter for wearing only a few years back, and though she dressed in a pants suit, she still managed to frame her more than ample bosoms in a low cut v-neck shirt.  The agony on Jesus’s face seemed perfectly in place as he hung on the crucifix crushed between her large breasts. I found myself wondering if Jesus could breath, then quickly refocused as I saw my own son grabbing a plastic ball bat and hurry toward the bunny.
“Twilight, well I will be honest most vampires and gothic subcultures see it as mild entertainment or just stupid.”
Teresa nodded her head eagerly. “I bet it is too mild for them. I mean there aren’t any chain saws, and not much pornography, not in the surface level anyway. I mean the boy says he wants to wait to have sex with her, but we all know the guy has to be a homosexual or something. Besides it is kind of stupid, after all an immortal high schooler who loves a girl who he thinks smells bad? That’s just stupid.”
I was struck by her comment almost as hard as her husband was struck by the plastic ball bat. I heard him yell, and looked over for my son, who had dropped the bat, but was now running in circles around the bunny man singing a song that I am pretty sure he was making up on the spot. “Bunnies poop eggs! You are an egg pooper! Mr. Eeeegggg pooper man!” The other kids joined in and all started running around him singing and laughing about eggs being pooped out of a Bunny. One turned and stuck his butt in the air and pretended to fart. Bill kicked him in the rump with a big fuzzy foot.
“I should get my son, I think he is making your husband mad.”

“Oh don’t be silly. Bill loves kids! Look, they are just playing and having a great time why not let him be?”
Bill was turning around and around as he tried to get a hold of another one of the kids while plainly getting dizzy.
“I worry about the impact of the subculture on our youth. I read a book, and in it they said that the vampire subculture believes that Lilith is their ancestor. You know Lilith, the one from the lesbian fair?”
I felt my own head spinning a little, and wondered if Bill was feeling the same way.

“Lilith was, according the Hebrew mythology the first wife of Adam who rebelled against gods wishes for her to be submissive to men in every way. She refused and was cast out. While some might believe there is a Lilith connection most of the people in the vampire culture think of her as a figure from mythology who either does or doesn’t hold special significance. There is a lot more too it, other cultures are involved, other mythologies, but her connection to modern vampire culture is pretty thin in most of their eyes. Most just see her a symbol of a strong independent woman”
My son had noticed I was watching him so he moved away from the bunny, and part of me wondered if he was just taking a breather for the next assault. “Well woman should be submissive to men. God says it himself, “Women be submissive to your husbands.”

I wanted to ask her if she was submissive to poor old Bill the Bunny, but his bright pink bow tie told me the answer. Bill was more than just a little henpecked if I guessed right. Teresa didn’t seem like a woman who took kindly to the part of the bible that said Women be quiet in church.
“I mean what are our children learning from all of this? The Vampires teach promiscuity, they teach little kids to believe in creatures that are fantastic and unrealistic. Vampires are supposed to have the power to live beyond death, and they come out of their crypts and drink blood.”
I looked at the big blue Easter Bunny, then thought about the Jesus that was fighting for air between her large breasts and didn’t know what to say.
“If we allow our kids to read these books like “Twilight” they start dressing up like them. Next thing you know we have some kids biting people, or worse like that boy out of Washington who killed his girlfriend’s family. He had a whole cult of Vampire followers you know.”
The Easter Bunny grabbed one of the little boys hard and I stood up. Another ran up behind him and placed a kick right below his fluffy white tail, the impact sending the man forward as he released the kid he had a hold of. “Oh that had too of hurt!”

I muttered, but they were still focused on the vampire cult murders in Canada ( not Washington). “Yes it hurt a lot of people, these vampire cults even abducted a girl from Florida, and took her all the way to Washington and did horrible things to her, I heard they even did that water boarding thing. I can’t believe they would dunk her in water like that. She believed she was going to be an immortal vampire, poor thing. What was her name Ramona? Was it Shelly something?”

Part of me wondered if baptism could be considered waterboarding, the other part of me wanted to know if she read the national inquirer, or weekly world news for her information.

“Well I don’t know about that. There was a case a year or so ago that I remember, the parents said she was taken by vampire cultists but it turned out she ran away from home because her parents were shoving too much religion down her throat.”
Nodded the lady rolled her eyes. “It was those Southern Baptists. I am always saying they are too hard on their kids, they just don’t have a lot of human compassion. Look at us, we let out kids have fun. See how much fun they are having with Bill?”
I looked over and saw bill on the ground with one boy hitting him with the plastic bat, while my own son was sitting on his chest pulling on his mask. “Oh yes tons of fun…but I think your husband might be hurt.”

“Oh Poo, he is fine, like I said he loves kids. You see he is getting up and they are about to play tag or something, see he is running.”
He was running alright, he was running for his minivan with all the kids after him swinging plastic bats, forks from their dinners, and various other things including a cord that one of the kids was swinging at the bunny with all the might of her seven years, I wonder if she had been water…baptized yet.
I had enough. My own son is not allowed to act that way, but with all the other kids on the prowl my son had no issue in leading the attacks. I had to do something before the old guy ended up dead from a heart attack or exhaustion from running around in that suit in nearly 80 degree weather.
“Excuse me Ladies I need to get my boy to his soccer practice.”
“OH…well have a nice day! Perhaps you would consider talking about the subculture as a guest speaker at our church?”  I was already in a dead sprint. My son saw me first and made a right turn that I am positive can only be accomplish in the movies, while the others, not knowing what danger I might be stopped dead and screamed, then turned laughing and ran. The Bunny lay on the ground panting.

“Hey you ok Bill?”
His massive paw came up and grabbed my arm. “They were trying to kill me! Those kids are the spawn of the devil!”
I helped him to his feet and walked him over to his car as we got the head of his outfit off. “I am sorry, your wife kept telling us you were just having fun.”
The guy had a bald head and thick grey eyebrows that in themselves reminded me a little of a rabbit. I am pretty sure he was in his late fifties, but pale, and soaked with sweat he looked like he could have been older still. “You were talking to my wife?”
He asked, his big blue eyes bright as he looked at me. “You’re not going to hit me are you?”
Stunned I wasn’t sure what to say so I just shook my head. “My wife knows how to bring out the fury in a man, I think she feeds on it.”

He laughed a little, but something in his eyes made me think he just might believe it was true.

“No, I think those kids did enough for one day. Maybe you should take a break and go hang out with the ladies, get a cool drink and maybe some food.”
He wiped his brow and looked over to where the ladies where watching, then back at me and grabbed his rabbit head.

“I would rather deal with the kids.”

He pushed the rabbits mask back on his head and slowly started walking toward the pack of children. “They don’t suck the life out of you.”

Corvis Nocturnum is a writer made famous by books like Embracing Darkness: Understanding Dark Subcultures and Allure of the Vampire: Our Attraction to the Undead. His association with names like Don Henrie and Michelle Belanger quickly gained him a note within the vampire community, but, despite exposure and success, there is little known about Corvis Nocturnum.

Who is he? Who is the man behind the name? Where did he come from? For that matter, how did fate toss him in with Witches and Vampires?

The Graveyard Press goes to investigate.

Interviewer: Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

Corvis Nocturnum: I am an author of many occult and subculture/pop cultural books for Schiffer Publishing and my own company, Dark Moon Press, started back in 2005. I paint Gothic erotica and fantasy art in my spare time. My background in the fields of Criminal Justice and Business Management has helped in business of course, but I am using the legal aspects to see how I might assist various communities such as alternative religions rights advocacy.

Interviewer: You’re a civil rights advocate for different communities, as you’ve stated. What inspired you to advocate for community rights? Would you consider it a passion of yours?

Corvis Nocturnum: I would guess it comes from being a bully victim as a child. It is a byproduct of having a mind of a rebel and author I guess, in a lot of ways I am inspired by Humanist Voltaire for his scathing pamphlets during the Age of Reason, and Anton LaVey’s book The Devil’s Notebook.

Interviewer: Would you say it inspires your writing?

Corvis Nocturnum: Several things inspire me. I have a curious mind and when I set out with an essay or book it is because it holds some personal connection to me and I want to understand it deeper as well as educate others.

Interviewer: You admitted to having been bullied. Were you considered different, or out of place?

Corvis Nocturnum: I was the quiet geek who sat in the corner reading a book or drawing, did not like gym and so I didn’t make many friends! Being shy pale and thin was not an asset as a child.

Interviewer: Overall, what was your childhood like?

Corvis Nocturnum: Many foster homes, traveling the country with an alcoholic father and being beat up as a kid in school. It maybe the root of me not liking the world as a whole and wanting to learn more about criminal justice field as a side career!

Interviewer: Did strange things happen to you? Did you see strange things? Is that how you developed an interest in vampirism and other subcultures?

Corvis Nocturnum: Not really, but I grew up curious and wanting to know anything about everything spooky. I read voraciously, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Shelly’s Frankenstein, Poe and J.R.R. Tolkien between ages of eight and twelve, along with assorted miscellaneous classics.

Interviewer: Where are you from?

Corvis Nocturnum: My city of birth and place of business is Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Interviewer: When you were a child, did you ever think you’d be involved with Satanism, vampirism and so forth? What did you imagine yourself doing?

Corvis Nocturnum: Sort of! I wanted to be Batman, you know, have a cool dark place to contemplate ways to punish the villains and have a beautiful house full of fancy carved wood staircases. I, in truth wanted to be an artist for comic companies which is part of how I got into doing fantasy art.

Interviewer: Do you have siblings? Is anyone in your family like you?

Corvis Nocturnum: I have two brothers who ended up working for large mainstream corporations. My grandparents were into law and especially my grandmother loved odd things – my grandfather was a Mason so I came by it honestly. My father and a few others in the family were artists and musicians.

Interviewer: Do they know what you do?

Corvis Nocturnum: My uncle and my brother do. The rest of the family is either deceased or moved so far out of contact with us they don’t count. The family that does know is pretty accepting of it and me as a person, not family angst rebellion here. They made more of a fuss when I said I wanted to move to New York to pursue working for Marvel Comics at twenty than at what I do now for a living!

Interviewer: How does your involvement with Real Vampires and similar subcultures affect your life?

Corvis Nocturnum: It effects me in the sense that I enjoy the company of those unique individuals who identify themselves as such. It enriches my life to a deeper and broader understanding that we are all different even if we choose to be classed in a similar manner.

Interviewer: Has your association with subcultures and beliefs changed your world views and attitude towards people?

Corvis Nocturnum: I feel I already was open when I became involved, so growing and learning as I went over the years as a part of the cultures it truly makes it difficult to be outside of the whole. It would be like saying being right handed effects my life positively or negatively, it is not a correlated event outside of life, it is a part of it.

Interviewer: Do you think a person can associate with these subcultures and beliefs, then leave unaffected? Why or Why not?

Corvis Nocturnum: You either are or are not a part of it no matter how you change or adjust. I don’t think it ever truly leaves you even if you wander off into a different path in life. A love of these things is an aspect, an extension of the inner deeper you.

Interviewer: What good things has it brought to you?

Corvis Nocturnum: It has brought me friends, wonderful memories and enlightenment of others.

Interviewer: What bad things has it brought?

Corvis Nocturnum: Narrow minded people who do not want to understand their children despite my best efforts. Fanatic ‘fans’ who insist I am withholding the secrets of being a fictional vampire and get hostile in chatting on Facebook…letters from people who have mental issues. It is an interesting life being a writer of the type books I do. Fame does have its drawbacks.

Interviewer: What do you hope for the communities and religions, as whole?

Corvis Nocturnum: For people to realize their path is for them alone and we cannot force our way onto others. That line of thinking has lead to the majority of all deaths over the centuries for no positive outcome for anyone.

Interviewer: Would you wish your path on another person? Why or Why not?

Corvis Nocturnum: Each person must find their own path. Mine is for the objectivist who grounds themselves into realism. Other people need outside beliefs beyond themselves, so all of us in truth need to seek what works for us as unique human beings. You cannot ‘make’ yourself a Satanist for example, you either are or you are not….besides, it would be a boring place if we were all alike, wouldn’t it?

Interviewer: You seem to have a broad interest (From La Vey to Voltaire). What are your interest, outside of alternative beliefs/practices and subcultures?

Corvis Nocturnum: I love movies, everything from Underworld to Hannibal Rising and Bad Boys.  I have a vast library; I read everything from Ayn Rand and Nietzsche to Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake saga. I paint of course and love shooting. I was in the Army and gained a Sharpshooters medal for my trouble and to this day keep my skills up.

Interviewer: You’re a writer, but you rarely speak of other artistic talents. Obviously, from advertising, you’re a painter. Can you tell us about it? How did you get involved with it? What sparked your interest?

Corvis Nocturnum: I have always loved art and many people in my family were professional artists. I learned from books about sketching and watch Bob Ross then started doing oils after seeing the fantasy art of Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, Larry Elmore of many Dragonlance saga (whom I meet at a few conventions later) and later when I came across Luis Royo (of Heavy Metal Magazine) and Joseph Vargo I was enthralled. I would say Royo and Joseph Vargo mixed is my personal style of art, heavy Gothic merged with erotica. For my birthday one year I traveled to Cleveland and Joseph was kind enough to share with me how he painted the stonework on his gargoyles! You can see that in a few of my newer works and art pieces I will be doing later this year. Joseph astounded me by writing the introduction to my art book that I hope to put out this fall.

Interviewer:Why did you get into writing? How did it happen?

Corvis Nocturnum: That is an interested aspect of my life I never saw coming actually. I was helping run an occult shop that sold Gothic art and goods and came up with the thought of explaining all the wonderful and diverse people to the general public, as there are and were so many stereotypes and misconceptions out there after things like Columbine shooting and that witches are evil, Satanists are all Devil worshipers. I knew it was false so I did my research, found history in books and interviewed people on their own perspectives. That led me to meet some incredible people out there. Michelle Belanger had just come out with her first book and was traveling with the band URN doing vocals. I spoke to her online and we set up a meeting. She was not only delighted to be interviewed but loved the concept of the book so much wrote the introduction. I simply began doing more books as offshoots of that first idea. With Michelle and others joining, that one book later became a publishing house of many more titles!

Interviewer: Since Dark Moon Press publishes esoteric material, I assume you have an interest in and experience with it. Where did that start? How did that start?

Corvis Nocturnum: I have been fascinated by the non-mainstream paths people take in life for some time. My grandfather and his father before him were Masons of a pretty high degree and my grandmother traveled with gypsies in Vaudeville days so she told me stories as a child. I was opened minded and went from dark paganism to Satanism when a friend in our group introduced me to Anton LaVey’s works back in the year 2003.

Interviewer: Why did you choose to work with Schiffer Publishing? Why not Llywellyn Press, like Michelle Belanger?

Corvis Nocturnum: I actually did pitch Promethean Flame to them, and it was of interest to the acquisitions staff. However it was a bit advanced and academic and not a ‘how to’ work so they passed on it. I discovered Schiffer when Reverend Tim Shaw of The Black Cat Lounge Radio spoke to me about a lot of paranormal writers and scholars doing books with Schiffer. My editor is very deeply interested in all things supernatural like ghosts and UFOs so she welcomed Cemetery Gates and I Lucifer. Their books are beautiful, the paper quality makes the color photos leap out at you and the layout is excellent. I am very happy with the company in bringing my vision to life. Schiffer actually asks for my input on cover design and Lucifer was almost totally my concept so I have no issues working with them.

Interviewer: Why did you choose “Corvis Nocturnum” for a name? What does it mean? Does it have special significance for you?

Corvis Nocturnum: My pen name came about for several reasons. I wanted a screen name back while I was researching my first book, Embracing the Darkness: Understanding Dark Subcultures, for AOL chat rooms. It was important to me to be able to relate to my audience that I was indeed a part of the culture (and still am) and as I continued to write essays and more books, the name stayed. As well I was part of an eclectic group of pagans, LHP and spiritualists, and the name fit my personality. Corvis, derived off of corvus (crow/raven species) is because the birds mannerisms and general characteristics were the same as mine, and being part Cherokee my mother and my significant other at the time both selected Koga as a name for me – which in English means Crow. I opted for Nocturnum as the Latin was Gothic sounding and I am a huge fan of the works by friend Joseph Vargo’s art. His work inspired that part.

Interviewer: Can you tell us about your beliefs? Are you a practicing Pagan and/or Witch?

Corvis Nocturnum: At this point, I am a Warlock in the Church of Satan, and have been a proud card carrying member of Magus Anton LaVey’s order. They represent everything I hold dear in regards to how to push ones self further every day. I rarely do rituals, and so when I do they are more powerful to me because of it.

Interviewer: How does Satanism affect your life?

Corvis Nocturnum: In Satanism it is more about how I affect it. I don’t judge the things I do or think as if they are Satanic in nature. It either is or is not an aspect of who you are deep down, I am therefore affecting Satanism by being true to my own wants, needs and desires.

Interviewer: How did you discover the OVC (Online Vampire Community)?

Corvis Nocturnum: I’ve always been fascinated by vampires in any form. I found out about them after watching Mad, Mad House on Sci-Fi channel when I started writing Embracing the Darkness: Understanding Dark Subcultures. I Googled the show and came across Michelle Belanger and then through her Don Henrie. We all became friends and it opened me up to such a fascinating world of creative and brilliant people!

Interviewer: Do you consider yourself a vampire?

Corvis Nocturnum: I relate to the archetype, and if I had to class myself as lifestyle for the Gothic trappings (black marble tiled flooring, candle sconces all over my bedroom) but as an exact ‘living vampire’, no.

Interviewer: What’s your take on vampires?

Corvis Nocturnum: Well, I went into some depth on that in Allure of the Vampire: Our Sexual Attraction to the Undead, but, to be brief, I will say that it depends on if you are speaking metaphorically of the community and the fictional vampire, or strictly literary one.

As for the community members, they are like anyone else. They are part of a family of their blood, and also of extended family – one that truly does accept them for who and what they think and feel they are, despite most of the world thinking they are mentally disturbed. If you look at it in a metaphysical context, things like vampirism has been around in one form or another for generations, and the various occult practices surrounding it has since been the Knights Templar and other secret societies that lead to the creation of The Golden Dawn.

Interviewer: As vampires mainstream, what do you see coming for them? Especially with Merticus’s research floating around?

Corvis Nocturnum: I’m not sure exactly. I know the extensive research may indeed prove invaluable as no one before him has attempted to seriously collect such information about people in the community before this. I think it may be the subject of further sincere testing by professionals who seek to explore the possibilities. After all, even the military experimented with astral projection and other mental clairvoyance in the past. Who knows what might be the next stage of things to come?

Interviewer: Do you think physical evidence will be discovered to support vampirism?

Corvis Nocturnum: It has been looked into by many scientists who found out about it, such as Michelle Belanger and Don Henrie partaking in examinations by doctors televised. It is such a hard thing to pin down on what ‘it’ is in general so therein lies much of the difficulty in the first place.

Interviewer: What do you think mainstreaming is doing to subcultures like Vampires, Otherkin and Therians?

Corvis Nocturnum: It is both helpful and harmful – the typical double edged sword. As fictional vampires coming at us from Hollywood, the subculture gets more media coverage so some individuals get harassment. While it also causes a growing awareness to those seeking advice from older, wiser members from the community which they would not have located as easy before.

Interviewer: Do you agree with mainstreaming?

Corvis Nocturnum: I of course enjoy keeping up with the fiction and film of vampires, provided it is well done, but I feel when things such as “Goth” become too trendy everyone jumps on the bandwagon and saturates it to the point it pollutes the true core of sincere community. That makes it to the point where people who have made it a part of who they are want to hide until it quietly slips away from the masses attention. Most of us simply are what we are and do not want the majority to be connected with them.

Interviewer: What advice do you give to newly mainstreaming vampires?

Corvis Nocturnum: Don’t be a part of something if it is not who and what you are. The elders are running out of patience and so it makes it harder for the truly sincere people from getting what they seek.

Interviewer: What are your professional goals?

Corvis Nocturnum: I want to make Dark Moon Press the polar opposite of Llewylln, sort of dark occult meets Feral House Book Company. Edgy yet educational books, classics reprinted, and for fans of horror. Personally, I am shopping around a future book concept to several television production companies, such as Sci-Fi but I may go with Discovery Channel instead. Unfortunately, due to my contract with Schiffer, I can’t publicly reveal the nature of the show for another year or so. Keep an eye on my Face book in the next year for clues though!

Interiewer: As an established writer and artist, do you have any words for aspiring writers and artist?

Corvis Nocturnum: Do what you love, not for the money. That comes later if the passion to create is there. True talent and hard work will get you exposure, especially if you network. Most of all, believe in yourself, master public speaking and listen to advice of those who you look up to.

Interiewer: What are your favorite tools or brands to paint with? What types of painting do you enjoy most?

Corvis Nocturnum: I use Windsor Newton mostly, and soft acrylic brushes. Stiff yet highly flexible hairs make the painting less chunky and blend for softer tones. I like using very fine brushes for detailing and fan brushes do clouds, hair and smoke very well.

I usually do oils only, but sometimes for faster working of heavy shadows will do washes of black acrylic paint as it dries fast then do layers of oil over it. Thinning the oils down with thinner or linseed oil is a handy trick to get exact levels of color and tone.

Interviewer: How do you see yourself?

Corvis Nocturnum: I see myself as a writer, artist and someone who loves the darker side of  life. Primarily a scholar of a great deal of subjects, because everything I write is a curiosity that I wanted to explore.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Corvis Nocturnum for his interview. We hope to see more books by this author.