On Friday the South African Vampyre Alliance adopted a new naming convention for the nine Halos in South Africa. South Africa has nine provinces, and within the SAVA, each province is designated a Halo, echoing the system used by older communities.
When building something from the ground up, it is often worth considering using something that worked for other groups in other similar circumstances. In South Africa there are today many solitary practitioners, individuals who have no sense of belonging to a larger Vampyre Community. The SAVA aims to change all that.
In general, all things vampiric in our culture are named in Latin. This tradition of using Latin has to do with the purported origins of the first recorded vampiric sub-cultures – the so-called blood cults in ancient Rome. According to some sources at least, it appears these groups gave rise to what has become known in popular gothic fiction as the vampire “hunter” – mercenaries hired by the Roman government to infiltrate them and to kill all the members. This grim reminder of ages past appears to indicate the reason behind the Latin connection to our modern culture, but it does not mean that it is also necessarily the best path for a new Community in a place as unique as South Africa to follow.
When SAVA was established as an entity at the end of May, much was in flux. Since then, SAVA has been working towards the goal of establishing a uniquely South African Vampyre Community. Instead of continuing to use the name of each province coupled with the term “Halo”, it was decided to choose a unique name for each Halo – and instead of using Latin names – essentially Old World terms – to describe what is essentially places in the “New World” of Darkest Africa, it was decided to turn to a more esoteric method.
The Big Five already been done to death – and even the big Seven, it was decided to use something different – star names. Some of them are Latin, yes – but many are Greek, Aramaic and Kemetic. The southern hemisphere is filled with stars, some of the brightest known – and so it was decided to name each Halo after a star in the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere.
The list of suitable stellar names was presented on Friday, and Magisters of the four currently operating Halos were permitted to choose a name from the list which they felt was suitable for their Halo. Halos already named so far are:
Mintaka Halo – Eastern Cape
Avior Halo – Western Cape
Gacrux Halo – Gauteng
Zaurak Halo – Free State
Those Halos not yet listed will be named later.