In May 2013 the SAVA announced additions to how it would categorize donors and vampyric donors in the SA VC. Included in the list of new terms were words which carried with them an attachment to the remote and ancient past, evoking Mesopotamian cultures, where we find perhaps the oldest references to the archetype of the Vampyre. Since then, some of these new terms – particularly “isda”, have crept into the local lingo of the VC. This week, the SAVA has followed up with the inclusion of two new terms for the local cultural lexicon.
The terms that came up for discussion in the SAVA are “Muttaliku” and “Negeltu”, proposed by Samael Anathan – the SAVA member who did most of the research for the previous additions. Two proposal documents did the rounds in the SAVA between the Regency, the Shadow Senate and finally the Assembly from the 24th of January before being released on the 19th of February.
“Muttaliku” (pronunciation “moo-tally-koo” in South African English) is a word being promoted as an alternative – NOT a replacement for – the word “Vampyre”.
‘The term “vampire” brings images of old folk tales pertaining to undead immortal monsters or brooding sparkly creatures seeking love and happiness while feasting on the blood of humans. The term is also applied by the media liberally and often inaccurately to killers and all manner of criminals from whom most typically our community and all those who speak responsibly for it, distances itself.
Although fiction does not always stray too far from reality, our search for community, acceptance and even love in the world – and within the confines of our community has left us and our vampyric nature wandering and searching for a ‘home’.
With this in mind – and with the recent adoption of some ancient Sumerian terminology within the South African Vampyre Community – terms which have begun to be accepted and used by our community, the addition of other Sumerian terms which are not idealized or stigmatized by fiction, or roleplay – or the mass media, is proposed for your consideration.
The word that is suggested as a partial alternative to identify our vampyric nature is “Muttaliku”.’
In the 6 page proposal document for the word inclusion, SAVA Regent Lady Octarine Valur added a lengthy comment saying: “Throughout the history of the Vampyre Community, Vampyre-kind has been plagued by the stigma attached to the words ‘vampire’ and ‘vampyre’, regardless of attempts to explain away the differences between fictional and real Vampyres.
This proposal is not to “reinvent the wheel” as it were, or to replace our identification as Vampyres entirely with another term, but simply to offer an additional alternative way of looking at ourselves as individuals with vampyric needs without shining the glare of Hollywood fiction on it and muddying the issue entirely.
The intention is to encourage a mind-shift in both the VC and those outside, by adopting a convention which encourages individual participants to accept their vampyric nature, but to also look beyond the modern fictional undead archetype to the strangely more apt and fitting descriptions of the ancient past – descriptions which have not yet been tainted by fictional writings.
In so doing we will not stop being ‘Vampyres’, but we will stop resembling ‘silver-screen wannabes.'”
The lead researcher, Samael Anathan concluded his proposal with the words: “The reason I favor the term so much, is because there is an obscure reference to it 100 yrs ago – an obscure reference by a notable writer [Montague Summers] in the field of vampirology and vampire myth and lore, which although obscure, means no pre-existing fictional images, ideas, ideals or ideals are coupled to the meaning of it. It is simply a wandering vampyric spirit.
This provides a clean slate, short of inventing a new word or term altogether, a word and the concept that goes with it that can be molded to our needs.
‘Muttaliku’ is a word which we as individuals and a community can shape and make part of our image of what it truly means to be what we are. A new beginning, a rebirth of the nature.”
The full proposal document along with commentary by members of the various SAVA bodies can be downloaded here.
“Negeltu” (pronunciation “neh-gal-too” in South African English) is suggested as a synonym to “Awakening”, “Awakened” in the context of vampyric nature, is “Negeltu”.
Useage: “the Awakened” – “the Negeltu”, “He is experiencing his/an Awakening” – “He is experiencing (a) Negeltu” etc.
But why replace “awakening” with another term?
According to the proposal, this is because “…various other communities and subcultures also use the word ‘awakened’ to describe coming into their own natures, awareness of their natures, strengths, abilities and weaknesses and so forth.
Examples include numerous religious and neo-religious movements, such as Pagan religions and sub-sects who describe themselves as ‘awakened’, but without the connotation of feeding or possessing a vampyric nature. Some Donors also are believed to go through their own form of Awakening. The Otherkin community also uses the term ‘Awakening’, as do weres and therians. Many refer to people whose ‘third eye’ is active as ‘awakened’. The term appears to mean different but not dissimilar things to different subcultures.
In the general use of the word “Awakening”, the context of vampyric awakening is then lost on all but those initiated in Vampyre culture, and the word ‘Awakening’ in itself does not necessarily convey the complete meaning and relevance to Vampyres since it has multiple meanings to diverse people in diverse subcultures.
The term ‘Awakening’ then, describes the coming into your nature, but does so for a wide spectrum of subcultural groups, each of which applies its own particular meaning to the experience – and that of course allows the term to carry across subcultural divides, for example when Vampyres discuss their Awakenings with therians or witches etc. However, internally there appears to be an opening for a word that captures the vampyric essence of the experience.
A word substitute that applies solely to Vampyres and vampyric Awakening would suffice, not to totally replace the word and its significance to a broader culture, but simply as an alternative, or partial synonym which will serve to narrow down the context and meaning of ‘Awakening’ to a Vampyre.
An ideal candidate would be a word that rolls off the tongue, and has also never been used in the VC previously. In this case, ‘negeltu’ is an ideal candidate.”
The whole of this proposal document can be read here.
The SAVA has said that “the adoption of this term will NOT imply that suddenly all participants in the SA VC or SAVA will have to drop all other terms and their uses, or that SA VC groups will suddenly have to change their websites or material to replace ‘Vampyre’ with ‘Muttaliku’ or ‘Awakening’ with ‘Negeltu’. This is not the aim of the exercise at all.
As has been noted many times before, we do not want to discard our identity, or to take away from it – rather we want to add to it, enrich it, and to expand our participants minds, extend their grasp of what it means to identify as a vampyric person, as well as further developing our own unique culture here in South Africa, rather than to just follow the trends set by other communities around the world.”
What are your feelings on the subject? Do you feel like a Muttaliku? Are you one of the Negeltu? Let us know!