Vampyres are synonymous with the consumption of blood – but Vampyres – like most people, have certain personal and religious beliefs around the use of blood, folk-loric and mythical – and like other people, we hold diverse beliefs about this precious resource and how it relates to us. In this article, I ask some local vamps about their beliefs and rituals concerning the blood.
We know the global “Christian” stance on the consumption of blood, whether animal or Human – it is a religious taboo – one which even the Christians among us are forced to ignore – but it seems that even the atheists among us have a particular stance on blood – whether it is just a vital need to consume it, or a sign of sacrifice made by donors to help them.
According to the Judeo-Christian, and even Muslim beliefs, the consumption of blood is considered ritually unclean and is forbidden. The phrase “the life of the creature is in the blood” applies – and as far as I am concerned, nobody can get that statement quite like a Vampyre can. After all, as Bram Stoker wrote, “the blood is the life”, and his dark character Dracula added: “It shall be mine!” Of course, this taboo has not prevented Christians from performing rituals in which they symbolically consume not only the blood, but also the flesh of their Christ – but that’s alright then, because it is “only a symbol”. Go figure.
Be that as it may, we Vampyres do not all consume blood, however we all consume life essence of some sort, which comes from a living source, be it animal or human. I have never met a Vampyre who does so because it is “cool” to do so, or because they just “feel like it”. They do it out of a driving need for that essence, and sanguines feel that thirst, and need to satisfy it. This is not something that is felt, experienced, or done out of a religious conviction or expression – but yes, Vampyres too have their own religious beliefs and opinions with they apply to their vampyrism, after the fact. Naturally this implies that for some, there will be little beliefs or spiritual views and resulting rituals tacked onto their expression or experience of being vampyric – and quite often, blood will also play a role in these.
I asked some Vampyres about their religious or spiritual beliefs around their vampiric nature, and of the blood. Some were kind enough to explain:
“What deities do you worship, what do your rituals look like, what do you believe? Do you employ any rituals in your personal beliefs in how they are affected by your vampiric nature? Please provide brief descriptions.“
Deacon in Gacrux Halo said: “Well simply put – blood is life. No ritual or anything attached to it for me but the feed and sustenance. As for deities, I am searching for the right one to suit me.” “I am looking at more ancient deities – Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Mayan etc.” “Anat, or Anath, is the Canaanite Warrior Goddess, the Maiden who loves battle, the virgin Goddess of Sacrifice, a swordswoman and archer. She is famous for having a violent temperament and for taking joy in slaughter – is another.” Deacon says that he uses his own blood in spell-work and his own personal rituals.
Most common among Pagan Vampyres are darker deities such as Lilith (Lilitu), Kali, and Sekhmet – deities who resonate with Vampyres because of their connection to life, death, and blood and its uses. Belief is also common in Akkadian and Summerian figures such as the Ekkimu and Ak’hkaru, mythological roots of the early vampire.
Lilith is a Sumero-Babylonian Goddess dating back to around 6000 years ago, if not earlier. In Sumeria, Lilith (or Lilitu) is thought to have been a Succubus, which some in our community, rightly or wrongly, consider to be what we describe as tantric Vampyres. In later Hebrew mythology which encroached into the Old Testament, Lilith became the embodiment of evil as Adam’s first wife who rebelled against the Patriarchy and demanded equality with Adam. As punishment she was exiled and turned into a blood-consuming demon who preyed on Adam’s children with Eve. Lilith carried the blame for cot-death syndrome in Hebrew culture for many centuries. It seems Lilith has quite a cult following today, and not only among Vampyres, as she resonates with feminists and other Pagans also.
Sekhmet, also called Hathor, was an ancient Kemetic goddess who was famed for going on a murderous blood-drinking rampage. Sekhmet was an alternate name for the angry rampaging monster who reportedly killed thousands for blood, while Hathor was the much-loved benevolent goddess who was aggrieved and became Sekhmet to avenge a perceived wrong. In Kemet, Sekhmet was a sword-wielding warrior-goddess and a patron of the Egyptian army. Then there is the Viking pantheon, which is also rather appealing to Vampyres.
Thus it seems clear that for Vampyres – who need the blood, or the life essence in order to remain healthy and balanced – blood remains an important part of our lives, and also the central focus of our personal beliefs. In fact, many seem drawn to these deities on the grounds of their mutual connection to the blood.
Vanessa, of House Nereo in Gacrux Halo, said: “as far as blood is concerned, I use it when I need my working to have a little extra kick…. so I add it when candle-making.“
Those who are familiar with the workings of blood magick will understand how blood connects the physical world to the spiritual and astral. It should be more obvious that Vampyres, who are so close to the blood, should have a natural connection to magickal practice as well, if not just the spirituality that goes with it.
Gabrielle Draegan, another candle-maker from Mintaka Halo who identifies as Vampyre and is a practicing dark Pagan witch, is an adherent of the ancient Cthonic (pre-Olympic) goddess, Hecate. Hecate has been a favorite of witches since antiquity, and has been associated with childbirth, nurturing the young, gates and walls, doorways, crossroads, magic, lunar lore, torches and dogs.
Jhenephyr Phoenyx Liliam of Ilyatha Halo, said: “As Succubus, I feed mainly on the energies of any man that comes near me. I use blood in ALL my workings, candles, sigils etc. MY blood. But I will happily clean scratches on a donor’s back!” Jhen is also an ardent adherent of Lilith, and is the founder of the House of Lilitu.
Lamia Satanei said: “Hubby and I use it [blood] in workings to raise energy etc and in linking. Then we also use it for talismans – to put our “willpower” and “self” into the actual making of the “desire” therefore sending it out with a powerful force. Vampyrism is included in our workings whether sang or psi. In Kemetics, the psi part becomes natural and the energies are bounced back and forth from us to elemental to deity back to us etc etc.“
Lamia and Leviathan, of the Order of Xeper in Avior Halo, provided an insight into their beliefs on vampirism: “The need for life force is evident in everybody. The facts will always remain the same. Some humans need it more than other humans. This is indeed a thirst of the highest Will, which some humans may evoke in the forms of jealousy, hatred, envy etc. This serves as a cornerstone for the unawakened individual. The above individuals then to draw from these energies without realizing, while in their social circles. There are many forms of the above, usually, the unawakened will feel detached or have a hunger or thirst to belong to something, no matter the cause. This, in its most negative form, can lead to drug addiction, alcoholism and all manners of destructive paths.
What is life force? Life force is the Prana, the Chi, the Blood of life. For most, life force is the Will of life. To be, to feel. In a nutshell, strength. Now to use this in the ritual chamber, one must be able to invoke and evoke life force – whatever the ritual may be. With regards to Tantric, one has many valuable tools to work with, as life force is bio-electricity and energy. The true Will can only be invoked at the time one climaxes or orgasms, if you will.
At this important moment in time, clouds of thought are eradicated and a state of Gnosis is reached. This is when the true Will of life force is invoked. Most Adepts who are Masters of the Will, need no teachings here, as the above is a good learning curve for these techniques. But we need not go into this science of energy, as I’m sure most are familiar with this.
It has been said that blood is the Will of life and with this theory, there is no stopping the Majician, Occultist, Witch, Pagan or Dabbler etc. In the ritual chamber – with these thoughts – mind power can be increased, for blood is the Will of life.“
Nereo, of House Nereo in Gacrux Halo said: “I have two favorite rituals. I normally light a black candle in the morning, recite the Vampire Creed, prick my finger, drip a bit of blood into the flame and suck the rest off. This gives me focus for the day and acts as a gift to the undead who walked the planet before me. Secondly I love doing a sunrise vigil. With this I write down stuff I need to give away on a piece of paper. Drip some of my blood on it, once again as a gift, I then go outside half an hour before sunrise and meditate. As the sun comes up I light the paper and let it burn, while visualizing myself burst out into flames burning the unwanted stuff off me. I scatter the ashes in the wind.“
Aura Escher, also from Avior Halo, is a Sanguine, who identifies as being largely atheistic, said: “I guess I’m just an individual who outgrew my imaginary friends! But on a more serious note, I DO in fact have personal beliefs relating to my vampyrism.” She declined to discuss her beliefs further, as many vamps do, because as she says “belief is subjective“.
Jason, a young vamp who is part of a vampyric family in Gacrux Halo, says that he favors Nyx, the night goddess. “She was the Greek Goddess that is night personified and that she also marked those who were vampires on the forehead with a bright blue crescent moon. She also had a consort his name was Erebus and if a male vamp was marked after going through the change he would become a warrior called a Son of Erebus.” Nyx is also the patron deity of choice for Orfeo, another young vamp in Mintaka Halo.
I tend to describe myself as an eclectic Wiccan, and sometimes as a dark Pagan. My personal favorite deities are Lilith, Sekhemet, Hathor and Hecate. I meditate nightly, before bed. I sometimes use my own blood in rituals or spell work, but I have to admit this is rare and for special cases only. For me, the blood IS the life, and for me it is the fuel that runs my spirit, my body and my entire being. With it, I am alive and lit up like a tree at Saturnalia. Without it, I am like a city plunged into darkness.
I am an inquiring mind, always searching for answers – the why’s, where’s and what’s – and for me there is no real answer to my questions about the origins and roots of Vampyres and vampirism. I don’t know why I have a vampyric nature and a thirst or hunger for life essence. I don’t know the truth of where we came from or how we came to be this way. Regardless of the unanswered questions, what I do know is that I am – we are.