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!