Many of our newer community members in South Africa are now starting to participate in international VC groups on FB and, as they encounter a more established community that has been around a lot longer, they encounter some well-known names in these circles. They often don’t know who these people are, or what they’ve contributed to the growth of our respective communities, as well as to the total culture of the VC. In this episode in a series of interviews aimed at introducing some of the prominent figures from the international Vampyre Community to the locals, we chat to Mistwolf.
Mistwolf is a member of the Spanish VC, and has been working to translate English VC documents into Spanish. Of particular significance to us in South Africa is his work to translate one of our community guidelines, the Totum Lex Vampyrica (TLV), and also the Vampyre History Project and to make it available in Spanish.
SAVN: Mistwolf, please introduce yourself to the South African Community, including a little bit about your background in the community, when or how you awakened, joined a VC group, or began participating in the VC, and so on.
Mistwolf: Hello to South African Community, nice to meet all of you. My name is Mistwolf, I’m a real vampire who runs a website called Noctalium.
Regarding to the Awakening, well, I lived two experiences that I can call Awakening, almost the same. The first one when I was 13 years old, with many of the known symptoms attributed to the Awakening experience. It was very traumatic, I knew nothing about vampires and pretty much less about real vampires, the VC did not exist as we know now and the same about internet. I didn´t know what happened to me but I knew it was something quite unusual. I tried to adapt, pretending it was an adolescent matter of immaturity, or something like that. Many years passed and of course, I could not adapt myself. Many years later, due to an unpleasant personal experience that served as a trigger, all happened again as it happened when I was 13, I felt I had gone back in time, all the symptoms experienced since adolescence get worse, demonstrated more intensely.
But this time (I don´t know why) in my mind appeared all the time this thought: “What happens to me has to do with vampires.” It was a thought with an almost instinctive character, something for what I feIt curiosity but also seemed completely natural. And I did not think about Dracula or Lestat but in the term “real vampire”, I thought about it because I wanted to get away from the vampires fantasies in the search that began at the time. I searched the internet using these words, “real vampire”, and around ten days after my second Awakening I found a bad translation to Spanish of the VEWRS survey.
When I saw the cover, where it said “vampire” and “energy”, I had a shock. I remember saying to myself “I found it! Everything was always real! All I lived was ever real!” I guess this second experience was the consequence of not be able anymore to hide my vampire nature, losing my life in a futile self-repression of what I am.
I became involved with the VC making a blog in Spanish language called Noticias de la Comunidad de Vampiros (Vampire Community News), in which I gave information on real vampires and their vampirism, there I made my first translations from English to Spanish. After some months it was not enough for me and I decided to make a webpage, a better format to provide information and interact with the VC. And that’s what I’m doing until today.
The only group I currently belong is Voices of the Vampire Community (with a great surprise from my part when I was invited), in where people really talk about real vampirism and VC affairs. In Spanish speaking countries talk about real vampires and real vampirism is still very new, there are many role players, lifestylers, wannabes, and in general people who like fiction vampires. Here everything related to reality often is not welcome, but fantasize with the idea of “being” powerful vampires putting elements from fiction and myth is very common. In internet forums almost no one talks seriously about real vampirism, and they not have much access to information about it because there are few sites in Spanish on the subject.
There are exceptions of course, House Byron is one of them. A real vampire House of Spain that already has several years of activity, long before I began. There is also a Mexican site called Nación Vampírica (Vampiric Nation), sadly abandoned by their administrators for more than a year, but fortunately in December last year they announce that they would be active again, but still nothing happens. And Otherkin Hispano, the only website in Spanish I know for otherkin and therian communities. I have a very good relation with their administrators, Jamiroth and Golden Spirit, with them I have undertaken several projects, an Otherkin FAQ and a Dictionary of Terms on Therianthropy, Otherkinand Transhumanity. I also published some of their articles in Noctalium. I have nothing but gratitude words for both for all we donetogether; they are a good example of community work.
SAVN: Please discuss or review your contributions to the VC, either in a local sense, or internationally?
Mistwolf: Contributions…? Well, if we divide it into local and international contribution I would say that locally everything I do in my page about information. Basic information on real vampires, real vampirism and the VC. FAQ articles, a dictionary on real vampires and vampirism (D-VRV) which is already in its third version, the dictionary I mentioned in the previous question (second version), health and opinion articles, You Tube videos, an otherkin section, and translations from English to Spanish for Spanish-speaking people have the necessary information to approach the subject of real vampires and know the VC. I also made several interviews on English and Spanish speaking VC members, which I love to do. The work with the otherkin community developed with Otherkin Hispano is also a positive contribution.
At international level I would say that I really have not done much, mostly translations from English to Spanish of known texts in the real vampire community and other communities; at this point I’m starting, I’m in the beginning. I have translated the Black Veil (four versions) the VEWRS, the Elven Nation Manifesto, The Totum Lex Vampyrica, The Secret History of the Vampyre (almost finished), the Donor Bill of Rights, the ABCDEF, and some other things for different articles in my page. I will work a lot more this year on translations, I have planned a better way to do than in Noctalium. (Therefore, in the next interview you will have another list, MORE extensive, MORE boring, with MORE new texts translated… Are you a real vampire and cannot sleep at night? Just read the new answer to the question number two on Mistwolf’s new interview… ;))
SAVN: Some of our members will have noticed your mention in doing translation work of some of our local documents into Spanish. Do you have anything you would like to say to members of the SA VC?
Mistwolf: Yes, I have some things to say. First, you do it very well. It’s actually surprising to me, you are completely organized and working as a community, different groups collaborate all the time and in a few years you have grown by leaps and bounds. Every time I see everything you’ve achieved I’m glad, you are a good example of what can be done on a collective level, joining efforts.
What you do as a community is very visible and concrete, I believe the emphasis on the VC as a whole is very successful. I think many people talk about the VC only in regard to the real vampire condition and its symptoms, especially as a personal experience. A more comprehensive approach, that includes all cultural VC manifestations, is very much better.
Another thing I would say is that I hope to know everything you do and stay in touch with you to work internationally on VC issues. At the present I have translated texts from Octarine Valur, but I would also like to know texts from other people and groups in the South African Community.
SAVN: What are your hopes for the future regarding the general Vampyre Community, and for younger communities like ours?
Mistwolf: I don´t know what to say exactly about the general Vampyre Community, but I can say I want the same that I want for the younger communities. And I prefer not to talk about hopes but community needs. I think we need to follow good examples and ideas that any VC member give us, and not follow individuals or groups. Good examples and ideas have no nationality, age, sex, etc., they are just good examples and ideas. I think we need not follow any bad example or idea, whatever its origin; in particular the new communities we should not generate, participate in or encourage any supremacist, divisive, Manichaean or antagonistic idea between groups or individuals, such as the Psi-Sang conflict of some years ago.
I definitely think we should keep working at communitarian and international level, but especially with other communities as otherkin and therian community. They clearly are a very good example for the VC, the real vampire community should look itself less at the mirror and look more outside. I don´t know in depth these communities, but I do not say anything new if I say they not seem to have the alarming number of big egos willing to divide our community in order to obtain a little bit of an illusory, fictitious communitarian “power”.
We need to be more open to other communities and more clearly closed to people close to the VC who always seem to see everything as if our community was a gigantic Live Action Role Playing Game; with stupid ego-fights for try to control a community that has never been nor is controllable; with childish, undercover, and hypocritical attempts to appear as the saviors of the VC just to attract attention to themselves, we need to get away from people who see everything constructive that othersVC members make as an attempt to control or rule over the community.
We need less political speech and more real community work, I do not know exactly to where the VC should go but I don´t want to follow political speeches, even if they have good intentions. That is not a very original and newfangled idea, right? That’s why I like to work in translations and projects with others in the VC and in the otherkin community, I feel that makes me touch the ground and be aware of the community as a whole, it makes me staycloser to the reality in a healthy manner and not closer only to my own personal reality as a real vampire. And I do that simply because I follow the example of others who do the same, there is nothing original in this.
All discourse loses value over time if it´s not accompanied by concrete actions, is something that always needs to be justified by further real actions, and usually when political discourse abounds in any community is only to cover the lack of a correlate of actions that validate the discourse. I admit that I have no tolerance for these things, for me politics and political discourse within the VC mean something very specific: boredom and wasted time. I´m a person without any faith at this point and perhaps is a mistake on my part. But as I said, we need to follow good examples and ideas, and political discourses are no real entities for me.
And I think we need more bilingual people working at community level internationally, I don´t speak only about people that translate texts but of people that make it easier and faster the VC development in this new century. Is not enough to have useful tools like Internet (which represent a strong positive change for working across frontiers), we need bilingual people (or people that even speak more languages) to work in another way regarding to the new technologies, to the identity search on the real vampire condition, and for work with other communities that are also involved in finding their own identities. People acting as ambassadors, as communication links. Internet cannot grows longer in that aspect, it cannot replace our concept of community and our vision of future as a community, we should grow us, technology has changed us and now we should make a better use of that change.
If few years ago I said “metaverse”, I was saying something revolutionary, utopian, dystopian (choose the meaning you want); but if I say it today is a much more familiar concept because every day we are assimilating technology swiftly and incorporating a whole new communication model, unprecedented in history. And the limit of that same technology is our own ability to adapt to it and take another step in our learning and skills, is a mistake to believe that the internet technological advances will solve every communication problem exists. It is not merely a technological problem, it is a social issue in a global scale. We have the network, what we need now are more “spiders” to weave the net otherwise.
SAVN: Thanks so much, Mistwolf!
Mistwolf: Thanks a lot for the interview. Greetings all around, see you!