It is time to examine our language to help build a better global vampire community.
By Reverend Michael Vachmiel
Imperator of the Vampire Court of Houston
As head of the Vampire Court of Houston I have made a decision on a very sore subject. The term Ronin has come up of late and often. For those who choose to be independent of the drama and politics one of the reasons offered is the insulting way they are treated. The very term used to describe them is an insult to their personal honor.
If there is ever any glimmer of hope of bringing some order to our community prehapse stoping the inflammatory language would be a good start.
So simply put. What will the VCH call non court vampires? Vampires.
It is time the Real Vampire Community stands on its own merits! BY Michael Vachmiel, Imperator of the Vampire Court of Houston, November 17, 2017
I am a game geek. Like many of you I enjoy Vampire The Masquerade and World of Darkness, now in the hands of Onyx Path Publishing . Also like many of you I was disappointed when I learned that the on line version of WOD was canceled.
So when I heard of Shadows Kiss Online game I was ecstatic. Finally a game that would allow us to play in a dark and gother world, a dark world, in a world of ….
Oh wait, that title is taken.
But I mean there is plenty of vampire material out there! They are raising over $50,000 on kick starter! Surly they would do the research and avoid work that was the creation of others right?
Phil Brucato of Onyx Path on Shadows Kiss
“sigh Not even TRYING to disguise their source. I mean, c’mon – “Kindred spirits”? “Blood dolls”? “A dark, Gothic version of our world”?
Why not just call yourselves “Albino Lupine Game Studios” and wrap your penis in a flag that says “We dare you to sue the shit out of us”?
From the website: “True Blood, Twilight, and Vampire the Masquerade have proven to us that Gothic fantasy is incredibly popular, yet there is no online world for fans of the genre to play in. Do you want to play a space captain… or a wizard… or a mech pilot… or even Batman? If so, there’s an online game for that. But if you want to play online as a vampire or werewolf, as a fallen angel or an insatiable monster, well, you’re out of luck.”
Mr. Brucato continues
“Yeah, dudes. Thing is, the fact that the owners of those copyrighted IPs keep dropping their attempts at an online incarnation on their heads does not mean you can just rip those properties off and call them your own.
And before anyone starts in with the usual “Yeah, but vampires and werewolves existed a long time before White Wolf” or “V:tM was just an Anne Rice rip-off”… no. Yeah, the Pale Puppy team drew inspiration from a variety of sources – including Rice, who was consulted and credited back in the day; we, however, credited our sources, created new elements that had not been seen before, and spun old ideas in new ways. These folks are not even bothering to change the names of unique, copyrighted terms and concepts that originated in the World of Darkness. Hell, they’re even tossing those terms and concepts around in their trailer.
Maybe these hard-working programmers and designers should have first consulted a competent copyright attorney.”
This is not the first time White Wolf had their intellectual property stolen.
In 2003 White Wolf sued Sonny over Underworld contesting over 60 points of copyright infringement! Sony settled the case privately.
I began to think and thus this question.
So how much does the real vampire community borrow from fiction?
All these are terms from White Wolf and Vampire the Masquerade
Charlaine Harris gave us the following terms which are being used in the vampire community.
Vampire Kings and Queens
Nights Clubs called Fangtasia
The top reason why originally is important to the vampire community.
While borrowing concepts from other sources is a time honored tactic, it makes those borrowing them seem less than authentic at times. While there are many wonderful monarchies the in the community and many wonderful organizations that use terms from White Wolf, Charlaine Harris, Anne Rice and more, the problem rises in legitimacy vs role play.
If there is no uniqueness, no originality, nothing that sets the reality of our unique culture from the fantasy that surrounds our culture, then making the steps from sub culture to culture is made more difficult.
While difficult, perhaps it is time for us in the real vampire culture to take a moment and examine our words, our language, and our culture to craft something uniquely our own, and not merely a shadow of some fantastic games.
Pursuing the Baby Bat.
Why the Vampire Community Needs New Blood. By Reverend Michael Vachmiel November 8th, 2017
I wish to dedicate this post to Charlynn Walls and her article “Chasing the Bunny: Why We Should Welcome Newcomers to the Craft” found in Llewellyn’s 2018 Witches Companion, An Almanac for Contemporary Living.
With Samhain 2017 fading into memory and the energy of winter upon us, I take time to reflect on what it is to be a real vampire. In this instance not so much what the community has accomplished, but what it still needs to achieve.
Those who are familiar with the culture of the real vampire, there is a tendency to think of the culture as single, unified group based solely around the real vampire’s impulse drive to feed, gather at balls, or pursue a type of social status.
However, when more established scene personalities perceive someone is not a serious or dedicated as they are to the vampire lifestyle and culture as they are, the term “baby bat” is often used in a most hostile and derogatory fashion.
What is a Baby Bat?
So let’s define “Baby Bat” as someone new to the vampire culture. Someone who does not understand all the social politics, someone who may still be a bit more into the role play or fashion aspect of the culture and may or may not have encountered the spirituality of energy exchange.
These individuals are exploring a new lifestyle, a new way of thinking, a new way of expressing themselves. At this time they are not fully dedicated to making a lasting change because they are not sure this is where their heart should be. This is good, because we should have to EARN THEIR HEARTS AS A COMMUNITY and not expect it out of some sense of social status!
So why pursue the baby bat? Because as newcomers to the community these people bring a fresh perspective, enthusiasm, a sense of joy and awe many elders have lost long ago, and information on the latest styles, musics, and art related to our culture. Elders tend to get stuck in a rut of what is “real” vampire, goth, industrial and so forth.
We all were new at one point!
We all started at the same place! Every path we are on now began with that single step of courage to try something new. We often forget the fear, the anxiety, the endless questions that come about with trying something new. We forget how much time we spent researching, becoming comfortable with our new friends, social network, and spiritual path before even trying to go to an event the first time out.
Many newcomers are solitary for a very good reason. They don’t feel welcomed. They are often met with silence, with hostility, with insults, with demands for sex, service or money. They are often met demand for allegiance to some house, coven or court before they are even recognized as being a vampire.
Lets have a moment of honesty. If our lovers and friends treated us like far to many real life vampire organizations treated newcomers, it would be considered an abusive relationship.
Many newcomers feel hopeless and frustrated and this shapes their outlook on us as a whole!
So why do some communities grow? Those communities that see the awe, the wonder, and the enthusiasm of the baby bat as an asset and use it as a teaching opportunity, as a means to build bridges, to expand and to become greater than what they were before, harness that vast human potential and energy!
Daily I receive questions. As my role as a Reverend I answer spiritual questions, as the Vampire Court of Houston’s Imperator in political matters, as a tarot reader and occultists more paranormal questions.
The point is, I spend a lot of time answering questions. I take these questions as an opportunity to provide solid information that I wish was there for me at the beginning of my journey on my paths. Kindness, Honesty, Humility and Mercy given freely and respectfully have powerful effects upon people.
When I do not have the answers they need, I refer them to books, to videos, to the works of others who have labored long and hard to provide the community of solid insights into the real vampire condition.
Renewing the Elder Soul
The honest truth about this community is how exhausting the drama is at times. For those of us who have been leaders for any length of time, there are days we want to hang up our wings, put our fangs away, pull the coffin lid over our heads and just sleep forever sleep.
When we take the time to welcome a new person into our fold, we are reminded of the joy, the wonder, the awe, and just how damn awesome we are! We are exposed to new books, to new music, to new fashions, new games, new clubs, new experiences!
For some this is a double edge sword. For those deep in the vampire politics, being exposed to so much new material can be a reminded of how much they do not know, how out of touch they have become, and that can result in anger and lashing out.
Community requires new blood to live. All communities! The only truth is, change happens! By embracing it, loving it, seeing change as a means to expand and grow, Elder, Childe, Swan, and newcomer alike can learn to take every interaction as an opportunity to grow as both individuals and as a greater whole.
Once you control ego and pride, you understand that sharing life experience and passions is an opportunity for greater knowledge!
Massage Therapist, Aromatherapist, Writer, book and coffee fanatic, and fearless explorer of the human condition