A New Dawn For The SAVA?

With the SAVA under new management, some in the local and global VC are waiting eagerly, perhaps skeptically, to see what the future holds for the SAVC and what the newly appointed Regent has up his sleeve. Perhaps the biggest question on everyone’s mind is “will he be able to fill the shoes, or smoke the pipe?”. In order to answer this question, first we must take a look at exactly where these shoes are standing and what that pipe is stuffed with. We begin with the SAVA.

A reminder of what exactly the SAVA is.

Founded in 2011, the SAVA exists to serve as a representative council for the SAVC with a “lead by example” attitude. It’s sole purpose is to give structure to the community and to encourage the growth and participation of groups in the local and global VC, and to make the SAVC a safe environment for all participants, in and outside of the SAVA. The SAVA is a secular group bound by no specific religious practice or political views. The SAVA follows a set of laws laid out in what is called the “Totem Lex Vampirica”, the fundamental guide to the way of the SAVA and its members.

The SAVA promotes equality to all vampi(y)res regardless of feeding methods and encourages the community to learn from each other and respect diversity rather than seek superiority over others because of different beliefs and practices. The ruling council of the SAVA known as the Executive Committee, consists of all the experienced leaders within the SAVA and they oversee the general operation of the organization. At the head of the Executive Committee, is the Regency which consists of the Regent himself and his two Praetors, along with the Regency Secretary. The Regency oversees all decision making within, and actions to be taken by, the Executive Committee.

By looking at all of the above information, it’s clear that the SAVA is no small-time organization and whoever sits at the head of it will need to possess a clear and resolute mind at all times and be someone capable of leading with wisdom and insight. Which now brings us to the new Regent…

Who is Draygon Allesandro Sheppard?

Draygon Allesandro Sheppard, known to most as Dray, is the Primus and Founder of House Dova Sanguine. Dova Sanguine started as a small Coven of hybrid vampi(y)res back in July, 2012. With the help of his co-founder, Raynia Elizabeth Sparta, the Coven grew to House status by early 2017. Before stumbling upon the SAVA, Draygon had already built a database for Dova Sanguine containing all kinds of guidelines; procedures; laws and other information he had gathered since his awakening which occurred at the young age of twelve. His knowledge of different feeding methods and ritual practices were set out in various documents made available to new members of his House.

As any young vampi(y)re would be, Draygon was afraid of reaching out in an attempt to find others of his kind and was only able to come into contact with other lone vampi(y)res, and obviously ones who claimed to be but never truly were. Draygon started to study different cultures; religions; mythologies and folklore for traces of vampirism in an attempt to find other individuals or perhaps organizations who he could communicate with and learn from. The breakthrough came right under his nose when a fellow Coven member stumbled upon the SAVA website in an attempt to get some inspiration for a Coven glyph. Draygon took the leap and contacted the SAVA, never expecting how things would turn out in the future. Draygon was contacted by Octarine Valur herself and through her, Draygon found what he was searching for all those years.

Draygon saw Octarine as his mentor. She guided him; gave him advice; taught him about the SAVA and the local vampi(y)re community and opened doors to a world of knowledge he never even thought existed. With the knowledge Octarine gave him, he continued to improve and grow House Dova Sanguine and became more visible in the online community. Draygon taught his fellow House members how to learn from others and how to pass their knowledge to others. He taught them how to learn from each other and how to respect one another’s beliefs and preferences. He inspired equality and understanding in his House while enforcing strict laws and disciplinary procedures for those who overstepped any boundaries.

In the end…

It will be no easy task, but if Draygon Allesandro Sheppard is able to lead the SAVA with the same compassion and authority he leads his House, he may be able to unite the SAVC and carry forth the vision of the SAVA and maybe even inspire other communities all over the world. It is an honorable position, and a big pair of shoes to fill and even though so many may wonder why, perhaps Octarine’s decision to pass the torch was a carefully calculated move and trust well placed. Only time will tell.


A look at the younger part of the community

There have been discussions here and there about minors being part of the South-African Vampi(y)re Community, where questions like “how does one go about assisting a minor going through an awakening?” and “can kids/teenagers be trusted with information regarding the vampi(y)re community?” have been asked, and it seems to be quite a sensitive subject for some in our community and especially a concern for those classified as elders. We take a deeper look at the younger community, in order to get answers to these questions.

Coming out of the coffin… or hiding in it?

It’s a rather “scary” situation, even for adults, once you realize you are going through some kind of inexplainable change and you don’t know if you should tell anyone because you’re afraid they might think you are going crazy. It’s hard to explain in words what exactly an “awakening” is, as everyone experiences it a little differently. So how does one handle this situation as a young and confused child?

It’s well known that kids don’t always open up about problems or feelings for the fear of having it brushed off as “nothing” or being told to “get over it and move on” or “it’s just a phase”, so the majority of youth experiencing an awakening prefer to stay quiet and go years before finding someone they can talk to about it. The few who dare to ask and even come in contact with a community such as ours, often face the situation where they are turned away and told to come back when they are older. This information is based on interviews with members of the vampire community who were asked to share their experience as young vampires when they faced the exact same problem. We were also lucky enough to speak to a few young vampires, who wish to remain anonymous, about their experience when they first realized they were going through something that makes them “different”.

Very few of the interviewed individuals were lucky enough to come across someone who was ready, willing and able to assist these young ones. It’s a fact that very few individuals wish to get involved with minors being part of a vampire community for the legal implications it may have when things go wrong and information is leaked, but we must ask ourselves if it’s worth it rejecting young ones and having them hate what they are and the community for not guiding them? Is that not what we as a community stand for? To support and give guidance to those who seek it?

Taking young ones by hand and guiding them and teaching them the meaning of community can be an investment for the future. It obviously doesn’t come without risk, but isn’t it a risk worth taking? Yes children are the future, but it remains our responsibility to prepare them for it.

The way forward.

Leaving young ones to figure things out for themselves can cause them to end up in a destructive lifestyle with little to no chance of turning back, but there are individuals in our community who are willing and even experienced in this field that can help.

I have no doubt that this topic will remain debatable for many years to come and for good reason too, but a few helping hands can lead to a better future for the whole community.

SAVA Under New Management

SAVA GlyphOn Friday 26 October 2018, the South African Vampyre Alliance (SAVA) was handed over by its incumbent Regent, Octarine Valur to her successor. The Regent’s statement below was circulated within the SAVA before being also sent to the FOSAV group and also to the SA Pagan Council (SAPC) and SA Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA). Continue reading

Poll Says Most SA VC Participants Still Favor Pagan Religions In 2017

imagesA poll conducted by the SA Vampyre Academy between August and September this year has indicated that the religious identity apparently most popular with SA VC folk is Paganism, which took a clean 50% of the response group. Within that group, 21.43% belongs to Wicca alone, also making Wicca the single largest religious presence within the SA VC.

Still holding on to second place, Christianity is the next most popular religious identity group within the SA VC, which took 22.73% of the total response group. Continue reading

In Summary: SAVA Accountability, Affiliation & Transparency

Outsiders and newcomers to the SAVC can easily be forgiven for their ignorance about the VC, the SAVC, Vampyre culture and the nuances of how everything works in the South African context.

Here follows just a small refresher to answer any questions that may have been raised recently: Continue reading

Regency Shuffle At SAVA

Hi Res NarrowFollowing Lunah Valur Eir’s shock resignation from House Valur and from her position as Praetor to the Regent of the SAVA some weeks after announcing the closure of Coven d’Eir, a new successor has been appointed to the position of Praetor.

Seraphim Valur Nereza, also of the late Coven d’Eir and previously serving as Secretary to the Regency, today assumed the role of Praetor.

Another housemate of the erstwhile Coven d’Eir, Dagan Valur Nightalon, has assumed the role of Secretary to the Regency.

The Regency of the SAVA now consists of Octarine Valur (Regent), Kay Valur Vakir (Praetor), Seraphim Valur Nereza (Praetor) and Dagan Valur Nightalon (Secretary).

Congratulations to the new appointments!

Due to inactivity, the social Orders formed last year as committees to address social functions within the SAVA have been nullified. SAVA members will be encouraged to participate in group activities or projects on an ‘as needed’ basis.

The Magenta Dragon – by Christina Engela

Most in the South African Vampyre community who have done a little research into the history will know that this community’s recorded history began in May 2010 with the foundation of House Valur. Most will know that the community only began growing and taking form with the founding of the South African Vampyre Alliance (SAVA) in June 2011, but little if anything is known about the community in the time before that.

Sometimes though, one finds little gems that shine a new light on what we already know. This being the case, we examine the recollections of one of the community’s earliest builders from before 2010. Also, we will examine the initial overlap of Vampyre culture with other subcultures and societies at the time – in this case, South African Pagan culture. We will also examine the role played by vampyric Pagans in laying the groundwork for the growth and formation of the VC independently of the Pagan community in SA – and the important role these events played in the subsequent relationship between the Pagan and Vampyre communities. First, a little background. Continue reading

SAVN Newsletter Edition 1

As promised, here is the very first SAVN Newsletter! Download and enjoy, and don’t forget to share the link!

SAVN Newsletter – Edition 1 – Copy

April Fool’s Day

april-fool-31aAn article posted on SAVN on 1 April entitled “Amy Mah To Succeed Octarine Valur” by Kay Valkir was an April Fool’s Day prank. We trust that the article in question will be seen as such. To clarify, Lady Octarine Valur has no intention at this time of stepping down as Regent of the SAVA… and neither does she have a stamp collection.

We trust that no panic was caused by the announcement and wish all our readers a very amusing April 1 2016!

Amy Mah To Succeed Octarine Valur

amy14It was announced late yesterday by the Regent of the SAVA, Lady Octarine Valur, that she would be stepping down in favor of Lady Amelia Mah who would be assuming full control of the South African Vampyre Alliance as well as all its associated groups, sub-organizations and online resources.

As Regent, Lady Mah – who owns a large number of OVC Facebook groups – would also represent the interests of the SAVA in all international VC representative bodies currently attended by Lady Valur. Continue reading