When we Vampyres in South Africa considered “coming out” to the Pagan community earlier this year, we bore in mind all the warnings about doing so. We already knew that there would be a mixed reaction from Pagans. We anticipated skeptics – which we view as a rather healthy outcome, because it is skeptics who keep us safe. Face it, people who don’t believe in vampires, and who don’t believe in real Vampyres are our best protection from persecution. They are the folks who say “don’t be silly – they’re just having you on”, or “they’re talking nonsense”, or even “they’re delusional”. It is this sort of disbelief – people “humoring” us, while sometimes annoying – which keeps us safe.
It is the others – those who DO believe us – who can pose a far greater threat to our lives – if they happen to be hostile to the concept of vampirism.
We know that Pagans are vastly tolerant of diversity – a fact borne out by the events which followed our revelation to the Pagan Community of South Africa, and indeed it has been among Pagans that we find many fellow Kin and our non-Vampyre friends. Mostly I would say we move among Pagans discreetly, but there are cases where we interact openly, and with full acceptance and friendship.
It has been extremely reassuring to us that this has been the case in the majority of our open interactions with broader Pagan societies so far.
However, there is the other sort of Pagan – the sort about which we were warned – the sort of person who will judge harshly and attack those who self-identify as vampiric, or who they perceive to be vampiric – whether openly, or covertly. Whether it is by means of hostile workings, or by stirring up their surrounding communities against us, they work to make us feel decidedly unwelcome, and to isolate or even to destroy us.
Many who hold to the Rede for example, will view Vampyres as being in violation of that same Rede – that of “harming none” – and will treat vampirics with contempt and enmity.
This is their own opinion of course, which is most often the result of ignorance – being uninformed. They don’t know that sanguinarians will feed off animal blood obtained from butcher shops, or from consensual donors. They don’t know that PSI’s can feed from all kinds of energy sources, and not just human. They don’t know, because they just don’t ask.
They conveniently forget the promises of friendship and acceptance made to Vampyres among them, they overlook the detail that everything has its place in nature – even us – for whatever purpose that may be – and before long we are demonized as monsters, and those who commit vampiric rape – feeding without consent.
We are labeled “leeches” and “energy-thieves”. And though these people welcome us, extending hands in friendship and acceptance – their offer is at best insincere. They welcome us in, yes – so long as we heed their teachings and accept their control over our lives. They forbid us from feeding, try to convince us we are deluding ourselves, that we don’t really need the blood, that energy-work will somehow suffice. That though we suffer for it, it is the RIGHT thing to do – and that when the hunger bites into us, it is because we are not trying hard enough. In short, they make us welcome – just as long as we stop being Vampyres. I am tempted to point to the Christian more of “love the sinner, hate the sin” – an impractical notion that implies a person can be separated from the nature that makes them who and what they are as a whole entity.
It sounds a lot like “ex-gay” doctrine to me… replace “Vampyre” with “gay”, and you will see what I mean. Is this some kind of emerging “ex-Vampyre” program? What is this? Vampyrism as a life-style choice? What’s next? Pray away the Vampyre?
For me this sounds far too much like rabid Christian extremists – than Pagans – working to stigmatize and ostracize a minority they don’t understand or care to. Although this sort of incident is by far a rarity, I certainly hope that this will not continue.