With the SAVA Magisterial Elections in process, we look at a few basic points about the elections which the community may find interesting. We also have some of the candidates running for election answer a few questions about different issues currently facing our community.
What are the elections about? The point of these elections is to elect Magisters to represent their Halos on the High Council, and thereafter in the second round, to select a Secundus for each Halo. These are troubled times in which our community finds itself, and we need dedicated and able leaders with the enthusiasm and interest of a volunteer – and the backing and support of the community that put them in the hot-seat.
Why are the elections being held now? The original High Council consisted of the first members of the SAVA who basically volunteered their services and became the first set of Magisters. Since then, members of the High Council have come and gone, and each subsequent successor has been voted on or approved by the other members of the High Council, but not by the ordinary members of the SAVA. The overall membership of the SAVA has fluctuated over time, and right at the start it was considered impractical to hold elections this early, but provision for this eventuality was made in the SAVA Constitution. Due to unforeseen circumstances, it became necessary to disband the High Council. This precipitated the early onset of these elections which were originally set to occur in four years time.
What sort of tasks will a Magister be expected to perform? Magisters will need to spend at least some time being active online per day, giving their input on whatever matters arise, as well as working to build their Halo communities etc in real life. This could include arranging the occasional House or community meet-ups at a coffee shop, or at someone’s home, as well as managing new member applications, interviews and other sundry matters such as come up in the community on a daily basis.
What sort of tasks will a Secundus be expected to perform? A Secundus is basically an understudy Magister. When the Magister is present or active, the Secundus acts as a personal assistant or a delegate to assist the Magister in all relevant tasks. If the Magister becomes unavailable for whatever reason, the Secundus needs to step in and handle the matters in the same capacity as the Magister. Both Magister and Secundus need to form a tight bond and a smoothly functioning team.
How will the elections work? The first phase is to consolidate and finalize outstanding SAVA member applications so that these members can participate in the nominations process and elections. This will run concurrently with the second phase, which is the nominations process for the Magisterial election. Currently we are at this point. After this the Magisterial election itself will follow. While only Vampyres may run as candidates in the elections (this is the VAMPYRE community after all) any and every member of the SAVA regardless of how they identify is able to nominate and vote.
The election will take the form of a poll or question, where each Halo will have it’s own thread on which every member of the SAVA, including the candidates themselves may cast a vote on the candidate of their choice. This means that there will be a theoretical nine threads – one for each Halo, and each one will mean one vote per member of the SAVA and not just members of that Halo.
The Magister may represent that Halo, but as a member of the High Council, the Magisters together represent the SAVA itself.
The following questions were posed to our Magisterial Candidates, and they were requested to respond in 50 words or less (Longer responses are cut off at 50 words). Let’s see what they had to say:
1) Where do YOU stand on the issue of the treatment donors, Otherkin and non-Vampyres within the international Vampyre Community?
Circe Arcanum: “Treat with the respect you would like to be treated with”. I think that a very small part of the International Community is arrogant and very loud in their arrogance… Looking back at some of their outbursts it seemed like a gang of teen – vamps looking for attention. We are/
Kay Valkir Noctem: I think they are equals with us. We especially need donors and their services and should treat them as equals.
Lazarian Von Draco Dravana: Treatment of donors, other kin, non Vampires are crucial & important due to Us Vampires needing donors to feed, it should be mutual friendship and not be seen as Higher Power over them …. we need them…. and if a relationship develops, so be it and so much better as well,/
Nox Kassapu: I feel very strongly that all donors, Otherkin and non-Vampyres should be treated with respect and dignity.
Psion Valur De Nocte: I feel that donors, Other-kin and non-vampyres all have a place within our communities and they should all have a say within their own sphere. Recent aggressive posts against these groups’ in the community have caused outrage and quite rightly so, we need to stand up against injustice.
Vidal Astaroth: Other-kin – Are To be treated with acceptance. Donors – like precious or semi-precious gems… with due care and caution. Shinai – with tolerance… especially where it is not mutual.
Kitra Draegan Seymore: In my opinion donors should be cherished and protected, because they are performing a great service for us. Otherkin and non-vampyres should be made welcome in the VC, IF they are vampyre friendly. I absolutely abhor any degoratory names for donors, Otherkin and non-Vampyres.
2) How do YOU feel about religious freedom and its place in the SAVA and its policies?
Circe Arcanum: I feel very strongly about religious freedom anywhere. As a Non-Denominational Ordained Minister I took a vow for total tolerance of all beliefs and I personally will fight for anyone who feels that they have met intolerance and injustice on their path as a Vampire.
Kay Valkir Noctem: Believe what you want but don’t tell me how to believe. Freedom to choose what you believe in is important. As I always say: each to his own.
Lazarian Von Draco Dravana: Religious freedom? I don’t really care because to me that is a waste of time, everyone has so much and so many opinions of religion its a joke lately… I’m atheist, people can believe what and in what they want, ill stay out of it….
Nox Kassapu: I believe each person has the right to believe whatever they feel is right for them spiritually, and that religion has nothing to do with SAVA.
Psion Valur De Nocte: Everyone has a right to their own beliefs and there are vampyres of various beliefs. I feel its important that no one feels victimized because of the religion/path they follow, we need to promote acceptance.
Vidal Astaroth: Let it not be underestimated that a people absolutely unified under one icon of religion, with a common moral purpose, and a shared vision, is incredibly formidable as a unit – although sorely misled from the advantage of individuality. Religion itself should be for everyone a matter of choice: an expression/
Kitra Draegan Seymore: Religious freedom is a must and this has to be reflected in SAVA and its policies. I am not only a psi-vamp, but also a practicing Dark Pagan and therefore religious freedom is very important to me. Quite a number of fellow Vampyres are Pagans, Kermetics, Satanists etc.
3) How would YOU approach the problem of stereotyping and “satanic panic” as it applies to the VC today?
Circe Arcanum: I would send out educational articles to newspapers and magazines. I will stand up and quote our SA Constitutional Rights and am researching lawful ways of resistance and will put out an article shortly.
Kay Valkir Noctem: Educate people that we are people too. As a witch I had to do it for paganism with those friends of mine that didn’t know better and as vampyre I will do the same should the opportunity arise.
Lazarian Von Draco Dravana: I would stay clear of it all but in time will also follow what happens… my opinion about this is … its a rabbit chase…. stay clear and keep away from it for your own safety & health.
Nox Kassapu: I think a lot can be done to improve the current mis-perceptions by informing the non-Vampyre community, and at least trying to prove their stereotypes false and inaccurate. I believe it is each of our responsibility to do our best to educate those who can still be educated.
Psion Valur De Nocte: Education is what is needed. People need to know that we are not the ‘evil’ that they are being told we are and that we do not do the things that we are often accused of. It is only by calmly stating our case that we can prove that.
Vidal Astaroth: It’s plain: The problem of stereotyping / “Satanic panic” is a problem that is to be addressed both simultaneously – By tactfully informing prejudiced society about the actual nature of Vampyrism, negating the misapprehensions of consciousness & opposing any exploits that threaten us.
Kitra Draegan Seymore: There have been a number of really good articles published recently especially in the Pagan Community. I personally don’t think that there is a real concern for our safety yet, but it has to be closely watched. Education and communication of the mundane would be a good step, but my/
4) How important do YOU feel secrecy, and in particular personal secrecy is to the Vampyre Community?
Circe Arcanum: If YOU need to keep it a secret, I will fight for that right and respect it. Each Vampire must make the choice of how much and to whom they discuss their personal darker life.
Kay Valkir Noctem: It’s important as many of us have families and dayside friends that would react badly to what we are, and also to keep the vamp fanatics away, they can become a problem.
Lazarian Von Draco Dravana: Personal and Vampire secrecy is of UTMOST importance to me,its better to keep thngs quiet and not talk openly with someone who knows nothing about us.. it can cause serious problems, not for one, but for many .
Nox Kassapu: I feel that it should have a high priority, as it is important. Especially in the light of recent events, concerning rumored ‘witch hunts’ and also for each persons peace of mind.
Psion Valur De Nocte: I feel it is VERY important. We are all connected to the VC and what one does can affect all and we cannot allow others to pay the price for our negligence with security/privacy.
Vidal Astaroth: Secrecy is subject to discretion… what naturally follows, is that, where discretion lacks – a policy of secrecy should be upheld everywhere & at all times.
Kitra Draegan Seymore: Again, for me personally secrecy is very important due to where I live and to protect my family. Being a Pagan is bad enough, but being a vampyre on top of it…. A nightside name especially for on-line is a must have, but it all depends on the individual.
5) How would YOU increase participation in the South African Vampyre Community?
Circe Arcanum: Education, information and living in integrity, by becoming a Beacon and then reaching out to anyone that is attracted to it.
Kay Valkir Noctem: I would make myself visible on public forums, chat sites, and social networks so as to try attract those afraid to ask about what they are and possibly find as many members as possible ronin and affiliated alike.
Lazarian Von Draco Dravana: Increasing is not the problem, we just need to stand together & NOT argue all the time, also take each other into consideration and by doing that, people will come closer & see that we are friendly and in return the increasing shall happen by it self …
Nox Kassapu: by setting a positive example. Actions speak louder than words.
Psion Valur De Nocte: By being visible and showing who and what we are so that people can see that we are not the ‘bad guys’ but by doing it in the right way. Articles, participation in SAVA and other vampyre groups on FB or elsewhere and by setting an example.
Vidal Astaroth: Members of the broader international community can be benefited from through our collaboration with them & their inclusion on our online groups. We should not underscore the relationships which we all daily accrue either; i.e. by encouraging those affiliated to the VC already to examine their existing relationships with Vampyres/
Kitra Draegan Seymore: Being generally visible on the internet via Facebook groups, SAVN and in like-minded groups will slowly, but surely increase the membership numbers. Houses who have access to a large Pagan / Alternative community like Cape Town / Johannesburg and Pretoria should join gatherings there for advertising purposes or just to meet like-minded people./
6) How do YOU see the SA VC as part of the bigger picture of the international VC?
Circe Arcanum: The IVC is an important guide and teacher to us but I think that we have a unique vibrating spark that will draw admiration and envy. It is an interesting drama unfolding before us.
Kay Valkir Noctem: We all have the same problem, outcasts of society. If we stand together as one worldwide power we will as a community achieve our goals of freedom. Every little bit counts and the SA VC is included in that.
Lazarian Von Draco Dravana: Its a good thing…. But if we keep to ourselves the way er are doing, theres not gonna be a bigger picture
Nox Kassapu: I see SAVA as an important structure of administration within South Africa, and a positive and important organization internationally, as a representative of the S.A. Vampyres.
Psion Valur De Nocte: The vampyre communities in all parts of the world are important and the interaction between them is crucial for those communities that are growing and those that are stagnating. As a growing community the eyes are on us so see what we do and others may well make changes from/
Kitra Draegan Seymore: I get the impression that the international VC sees us as a very independent toddler with lots of teething problems 😉 We get lots of encouragement, but piss off some of the other people 😉 We are also a role model to other emerging vampyre communities.
7) What are YOUR views on community ethics, laws and guidelines?
Circe Arcanum: I respect the rules of society and as long as there are fully informed consenting adults involved it doesn’t concern me. What concerns me is when those rules can be arbitrarily re-written or ignored by some but must be followed by others.
Kay Valkir Noctem: We need to keep to them as they are there to protect us and others and also to keep us from ripping each other’s heads off. We are civilised and civilised people need rules to keep them civilised, without rules/guidelines it would be absolute chaos.
Lazarian Von Draco Dravana: Community ethics, laws and guidelines should be followed i say, its a stepping tone for the community on how to react and behave in toher regions / areas of other Covens/Houses etc. Its just a matter of respect to other Houses/Covens and it teaches everyone a sort of, how/
Nox Kassapu: I believe that the community laws and ethics are needed, and should be well known by all members of SAVA.
Psion Valur De Nocte: Without these there can be no community, it would simply destroy itself. Its important that members know the accepted way of doing thing and what is not advisable for the good of the community as a whole. Those new to the community need to know where to start and these/
Vidal Astaroth: Community ethics are not unrelated to the history of the VC itself – deeply thought through, and venerable for the apparent experience and judgement of those who contributed to it. Above all, the body of material which sums up the SAVA’s ethic values demonstrates the level of un-naivety wherewith/
Kitra Draegan Seymore: Most vampyres are by nature very independent and anti-authority, but community ethics, laws and guidelines are very necessary for the protection of us all. Why join a community in the first place, if you don’t plan to stick to certain guidelines.
8) What do YOU think are the most important issues facing the SAVA today?
Circe Arcanum: Ignorance breeds fear – fear breeds hostility. Education of the ‘shinai’ has to be THE priority, especially in the light of the re-established the Occult Police Unit. Standing and working together, recruitment of like-minded individuals protecting and advising and teaching younger and less experienced Vampires and building a foundation for/
Kay Valkir Noctem: The biggest issue at this moment would be the new occult police sector. We need to learn to stand together and be one entity in order to be seen as a valid entity.
Lazarian Von Draco Dravana: Issues facing SAVA today is, i think, and what i saw in recent events, trust. Loyalty…. No one accept a few of us SAVA members respect each other enough to talk peacefully with one another over certain problems or issues , we should start standing by one another and for one another/
Nox Kassapu: The largest issues facing us at the moment are maintaining strong leadership, building a stronger foundation (being more unified), and fighting against ignorance, and incorrect perceptions, to begin with.
Psion Valur De Nocte: At this point in time, the ORC unit, dissatisfaction of some members and the lack of participation from some members. We need to ensure that all members are happy and safe or we cannot grow.
Vidal Astaroth: No doubt, the threat which the “occult related crimes unit” SAPS poses. The Frantics we have seen all too often of late on our Facebook groups. (Which to Heavens I hope is not an indication of the extinction of civility and rationality in people generally.) …and it won’t help us much/
Kitra Draegan Seymore: This re-election is an important step forward for SAVA, because now members can personally choose the leaders they want to be let by. I know the community has to grow, but in my experience QUALITY before QUANTITY goes a long way.
9) Why do YOU think SAVA members should vote for you?
Circe Arcanum: I have no axe to grind; I will lead by example, using every skill I have to create a Haven for all Vampires in South Africa. Working with everyone for the greater good of the whole.
Kay Valkir Noctem: Because I am level-headed, I don’t fly into a panic when problems arise nor am I quick to point fingers. I will think through a situation before acting, looking at all angles. I am open and anyone can talk to me or ask advice or for information. I keep my temper/
Lazarian Von Draco Dravana: Why should they vote for me ? Lol.. well, I’m eccentric, intimidating as was told a few times, I get my say over and my points as well, I take time listening to everybody and can handle the task as Magister… and I think I have done that … any opinions on/
Nox Kassapu: I believe I should receive votes because I am honest, straight forward, and only interested in making our community stronger. I am unafraid, though also very logical and practical, especially in decision making.
Psion Valur De Nocte: Since my entry into the community I have tried to make my voice heard and yes, I realize that sometimes that isn’t popular but I have always tried to do what is best for SAVA. I have participated in various ways such as writing articles for SAVN, serving on the/
Vidal Astaroth: I’ll leave that entirely up to them.
Kitra Draegan Seymore: Because my involvement in the SAVC speaks for itself. I have been a SAVA founding member and was the Secundus of House Valur until May this year. I have taken a “sabbatical” from the SAVC for the last 5 months for personal reasons and to work on my dark pagan/
10) What sort of changes would YOU like to make in the SAVA and its policies?
Circe Arcanum: I personally am going to set up a place of Learning Vampire Occult Magic and Power. A school to help Vampires learn and use their power wisely and most especially how to feed safely and to stay in mind, body and spirit balance.
Kay Valkir Noctem: None. I am very happy with the policies.
Lazarian Von Draco Dravana: Changes? Needs to be a few changes like give everyone a say on certain matters , not everyone has the time during the day to be involved… select a few for day time duties & a few for Night time duties, its been done and it worked i think…. and also… if/
Nox Kassapu: I don’t see a need to make any changes at this stage.
Psion Valur De Nocte: Positive changes are being made at the moment, this election is one but I would like to see more active participation from SAVA members. SAVA is a growing entity and changes will be made as and when it grows.
Vidal Astaroth: I do not feel the necessity for any revolutionary changes as yet.
[A response was not received from one candidate, Lilith Rae Valur.]
And there you have it folks – our 2012 Magisterial candidates. Let’s make it count at the election tomorrow.