The Living Vampire / Real Vampire F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)

The original article can be found at: "Real Vampire FAQ". Also see our article Living / Real Vampire Glossary of Terminology as a companion to this article.

Are Vampires Real?

Yes, but not in the ways you may think.  Living "Real" Vampires are human beings with a higher energetic need for vital life-force (Chi, Prana, Mana, Ki) than the average human.  If this Need goes unfulfilled, the Vampire experiences lower states of spiritual, physical, and emotional wellbeing.  In order to sate this need, one must learn ethical techniques of gathering excess energy (called “feeding”).  Vampires are usually divided into psychic (energy) and sanguine (blood) categories, but this often leads to misconceptions. A better terminology separates them into awakened and unawakened.  All Vampires can practice just energy feeding. “Lifestylers” may practice a philosophy or employ the imagery, but are not all energetically Awakened. We also recognize Sympathetic Psychic Vampirism, a temporary Need resulting from a donor being depleted after being fed upon too much and for too long.

What is an Awakening?

Awakening is the revelation and understanding of one's nature as a Vampire, and also of his or her Need.  Most Vampires are not born Awakened; they must have a revelation, accident, or experience to trigger the first stages of Awakening.  The Awakening is not a singular event, but a cumulative process of smaller awakenings as the Vampire develops and learns.  Being newly Awakened can be a difficult time and is often a solitary journey.   

What are Lifestylers?

Lifestylers are individuals who embrace and incorporate the Vampire archetype into their lifestyle. Some are Unawakened or Awakened Vampires, yet most are not.  Many are also Black Swans.  These love the Vampire aesthetic and embrace elements of the mythology in their lifestyle, fashion, and mannerisms.  Like the goths, they have their own subculture, social codes, events, and gatherings.

What is a Black Swan?

Black Swans are friends, lovers, family, and others who are open, friendly, and accepting or involved in the Vampire lifestyle, subculture and culture, but do not directly identify as Awakened Vampires.   They can be lifestyle vampires or mundanes (“normal” folk), and often (but not always) act as consensual donors.  

Can a Vampire "Turn me?"

Certainly not.  The individual must have dormant potential which the Vampire is most often be born with.  A deep communion (exchange of energies) between an Awakened Vampire and an Unawakened may trigger an Awakening in someone with potential.  

Can Vampires Shapeshift?

Not physically.  Like everyone, Vampires are bound by the laws of physics in the "Dayside" world.  However those awakened to the metaphysical and spiritual "Nightside" world take many forms of astral shapeshifting, becoming wolves, felines, and even mist.  This phenomenon is akin to the totem in shamanistic traditions.

Are Vampires at War with Werewolves?

No. This idea was introduced to the Vampire Mythos through the World of Darkness roleplaying games Vampire: the Masquerade and Werewolf: the Apocalypse by White Wolf Game Studio, in the early 1990s.  It later appeared in Twilightand Underworld films. Werewolf mythologies is entirely different from Vampire mythology, and modern Vampire culture often calls Werewolves “Therians.” Some traditions include spiritual and astral shapeshifting, often using the term “Lycanthropy.”

Are All Vampires Evil?

No. Just like humans there are good people and bad people.  Most modern Vampire cultures are built on honor, safety, respect, and consent.  However, like any group of individuals, each member brings his or her own principles and perspectives.. 

Do Vampires Actually Feed?

Yes.  Unawakened and Awakened Vampires must feed on vital life-force to fulfill their energy Needs. Unawakened feed unconsciously and without training or discipline, draining those around them emotionally.  Awakened and properly trained Vampires learn to feed ethically and with discipline. There are three basic levels of feeding: Ambient, Surface and Deep.  Sanguine or blood feeding is a technique not a level of feeding. 

Ambient  feeding draws from life-force radiated in a cloud around a group of people (a concert, sporting event, busy city street, night club, or shopping mall). 
Surface / Tactile feeding draws from the outer layers of a donor’s aura and is not invasive. It can be done by touch or even at a distance. 
Deep feeding taps the core of a donor’s energy body and requires consent. It can be done through sex or using reiki-like techniques. Deep feeding usually creates strong links between the Vampire and donor, which may be undesirable. 
Sanguine (blood) is a deep feed and always has major risks. This method is often used by Vampires undisciplined in the three energetic (psi) feeding techniques.

Can Vampires Fly?

Not physically (except in a hang glider or airplane like any other human). But many Nightside metaphysical, spiritual, and esoteric traditions of vampirism practice astral projection or Out of Body Experiences.  

Is Vampirism a Religion?

Not generally. Vampires hail from many spiritual and religious backgrounds ranging from agnostics, atheists, pagans, Christians, Catholics, Animists, Muslims, etc. Many spiritual and religious organizations practice vampirism within their esoteric/spiritual traditions and philosophies.

Do Vampires Worship Satan or Lucifer?

Most do not. Satan and Lucifer are Judeo-Christian concepts and Vampires are free to believe what they wish about them. Some Vampires are Satanists or Luciferians.  Some are atheists.  Many Vampires love the symbolism of Satan in rock & roll but don’t worship him. Since Vampirism is not a religion, the concept of what Vampires “worship” is irrelevant..  

Are All Vampires Goths?

No. Not all goths are Vampires and not all Vampires are goths. Although many Vampires enjoy the accepting nature of the gothic scene, it is more about music and aesthetics, making it very attractive to lifestyle Vampires for social purposes.

What is Communion?

Unlike energy feeding, Communion is an exchange of energy between two or more Vampires and/or donors. While feeding is a one-way act to benefit the Vampire, Communion is a mutual feeding, creating a cycle of energy among all participants. Communion can be used to raise or clear energy, or during tantric sex magic.

Are Vampires Killed by Sunlight?

No. Vampires can go out in the day like any human. Some claim to be sensitive to sunlight and get headaches including migraines. Many Vampires are naturally night owls and prefer to be up all night, actively nocturnal like cats.  

Do Vampires Have Hypnotic Powers or Supernatural Presence?

Not naturally, but many have natural charisma or “radiance” that outshines the average human. Some Vampires practice mentalism, NLP (neurolinguistic programming), and social dynamics, practices often used by stage magicians. Vampires call application of these skills "Glamour" and “Projecting.” Many also learn practices of seduction to aid in feeding.  These are not supernatural powers and are strictly within the realm of illusion, psychology, and sociology.  

Do Vampires Need to Drink Real Blood?

No. According to modern psychology and scientific research, no human needs to drink blood to survive. The physical risks of contracting bloodborne diseases (HIV, Hepatitis, etc.) and legalities (in some places only phlebotomists and medical care professionals can legally draw human blood) are clear concerns.  However, some Vampires known as Sanguines believe they need to drink small quantities of human blood to survive or at least balance their emotional, physical, and spiritual health.  Some Sanguines believe drinking blood gives them life-force. Most Sanguines seek consensual donors and employ strict safety practices like testing for diseases and using highest quality medical safety techniques.  Some Sanguine Vampires prefer only to have one donor at a time, using the process as a powerful bonding technique.  DISCLAIMER: recognizes this practice as part of the Vampire culture but does not actively promote or endorse these activities / feeding techniques.

Do Vampires Have Any Superhuman Powers?

No. Vampires have physical human bodies. They eat, sleep, breathe, and move about like any other human. They live and they die. They are limited by the constraints of normal human life. 

Are Vampires Immortal?

No. Living Vampires are not physically immortal. They are human, and as such they physically age just like every other mortal. Many Vampires are interested in developing technologies like cryonics (freezing the body), life-extension, cybernetics, mind to computer uploading, and research into curing aging. Some Vampires and vampiric orders believe in reincarnation, apotheosis (self-deification) and immortality, and that the soul can become an ascended being.  

Do All Vampires Wear Capes and Dress in Black?

Most Vampires look like any other individual. They can be your postman, school teacher, Uber driver and local butcher. Many Vampires believe wearing black gives them a sense of drawing energy to themselves, projecting a form of mastery (like judges, black belts in martial arts and police officers), and of course exuding mystery.  However, most just follow their own fashion interests. Lifestylers living inside the Vampire subculture often dress theatrically in movie-inspired or couture style aesthetics, often inspired by designers like Alexander McQueen or Jean Paul Gaultier.

Do All Vampires Practice the Occult, Rituals or Magic?

No.  Not all Vampires practice the occult and magic. Awakened Vampires are generally highly energy sensitive, making them attracted to energy work, Wicca, Neo-Paganism, chaos magic, meditation, yoga, Hermeticism, Reiki, Tantra, Qi Gong, etc.  Many varieties of ritualizing, ceremonies and rites of passage are prevalent among the many spiritual and occult-minded clans, covens, traditions and orders.

Are Vampires Affected by Silver?

No at all. Quite to the contrary: most Vampires prefer silver for its reflective mirror-like aesthetic and its symbolic relationship the moon and the night.  

Do All Vampires Form Covens and Clans?

No. Most Vampires are highly individualistic and solitary by nature, yet they can still be very social at times. The age of the Internet and social media has created a host of groups, websites, and forums for Vampires to gather and discuss.  There are many inperson meetups and social events world-wide for Vampires.  Covens, also known as “houses,” were very popular before the Internet, and have become less popular in modern times.  

Do All Vampires Have Titles Like Lord, Count, etc.?

No. This is mostly seen in the Lifestyle vampire community, and is largely inspired by pop culture and roleplaying games like Vampire the Masquerade and TV shows like True Blood. Titles can be fun for glamour and fascination but have no relevance to the real practices or the Need of true Vampirism. Be cautious – not all but many Lifestylers have taken the “Vampire Game of Thrones” (VGOT) too far and take their titles way too seriously. They are roleplaying, and there is usually no harm in a little imagination. “Elder” is not a formal title. Elders are more experienced and wiser Vampires who mentor younger Vampires (or aid in their Awakening). Titles within an organization should remain as offices of duty, position of leadership, or a measure of time served. They have no place outside their own order or clan, and are generally not acknowledged in the greater Vampire subculture.

Are All Vampires Into BDSM?

No. Many Vampires (especially Lifestylers) are involved in the consensual BDSM (bondage discipline sadomasochism) lifestyle because it fits their vision of the Vampire archetype. The core nature of Vampire/donor dynamic creates dominant and submissive roles, but this is not always expressed as BDSM. 50 Shades of Grey and the mainstreaming and popularization of the BDSM lifestyle has brought greater acceptance to the Vampire community.   

Do All Vampires Wear Fangs?

No. Yet fangs are a symbol of the Vampire lifestyle and having a set made is very much a rite of passage for many entering the community.  Fangs are a connection to one’s primal nature, a magic trick, a mask, and tool of seduction. Fangsmiths around the world (previously called “family dentists”) make custom fangs for those who want them. Many fangsmiths are specially trained as SFX artists or dental technicians.

The original article can be found at: "Real Vampire FAQ".

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