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According to the classical definition that reigned in the middle-age, a vampire is an animated corpse that survives by drinking the blood of the living.  It also has a demonic nature and is a servant of Satan, dedicated to spreading its evil throughout the world.

We of the 20th century are confident that vampires could not really exist.

Real Vampires, give me a break!

Sure, there are some pretty weird people out there, but all they need is a good therapist.  Yes, there are people who take on all the trappings of a gothic novel: dressing in black, claiming or pretending to be "vampires" in the supernatural sense, wearing capes, sleeping in boxes, even getting their teeth capped.

There are more frightening people who seek to torture or kill animals or human beings in order to gain power, emotional release or sexual thrill, and who sometimes call themselves (or are called) "vampires".  But most of these individuals are troubled people who have been attracted by the cultural myths about the vampire:  supernatural powers (because they feel powerless), overwhelming sexuality (because most of them have sexual issues and no true relationships),  immortality (because they fear aging and death).  Individuals like these are the most recent "explanation" for humanity's persistent belief in vampires.

But beyond and behind all the folklore, the psychological theories,
the role playing, even the traditional spiritual assumptions,
lies the real truth about vampires.

The field of vampirology is complex and mysterious.  There are many aspects to the vampire phenomenon, and they would require several books to fully explore. One aspect of vampirism which frequently troubles magickal, spiritual and other small groups, the most common form of vampire, is found among living people who share with us the benefits and disadvantages of physical existence on this plane, yet are not quite human.  These people appear on the surface to be somewhat eccentric members of society,  yet their outward idiosyncrasies only hint at how different they are from those around them.

Real vampires do not necessarily drink blood, in fact, most of them do not.
Blood drinking and vampirism have been confused to the extent that for the average person, a vampire is defined as something that drinks blood (such as a "vampire bat").  But when we look beyond casual assumptions to the details of common beliefs, we find something quite different.  Throughout both folklore and literature, there is an understanding that vampires require energy or life force. Many old folktales accept that vampires suck blood, yet never describe this actually happening.  The victims slowly decline and waste away, and the survivors assume that some evil fiend is draining them of blood.  They know that the Bible says, "the blood is the life", and anyone who was losing their life force must be losing blood.  Yet, in many instances the vampire's "attack" does not even involve physical contact.  In others, it is clearly sexual energy which is exchanged.

The Blood Fetish Vampire is a human that has a strange attraction to blood. Although blood induces vomiting in humans, these Blood Fetish Vampires are
able to swallow it.  Blood cannot be digested by humans for energy, and is no different in these Blood Fetish Vampires, which pass the blood out in their dung, urine, and sweat gland excretions.  There really is no explanation as to why certain humans have these blood fetishes, but some of the afflicted actually believe they are Biological Vampires.  They may bleach their skin lighter, sleep in coffins,
or have their teeth capped to create fangs.  Classic and Biological vampires,
being immune to all forms of disease, have nothing to worry about by drinking blood.  However, these Blood Fetish Vampires can contract AIDS,
or any other communicable disease via the blood they ingest.

Fresh blood is the highest known source of pranic energy (life force). Human beings have practiced blood drinking for many reasons throughout history,
but drinking blood alone does not indicate that a person is a vampire.  Only real vampires can directly absorb the pranic energy in fresh blood, and for this reason some real vampires are attracted to blood and find different means of obtaining it. However, it is a rare vampire who cannot absorb energy in much more subtle ways.  This is the mechanism that causes real vampires to inflict harm on others and themselves if they fail to recognize what is happening and do conscious work on transforming their inner natures.  Vampires are no more likely to be either malicious or spiritually aware than the general population, but without awareness, they can spend their lives making themselves and others unhappy, and will continue to incarnate in this pattern until they take action to change it.

Physically, vampires are usually "night people"" on a biochemical level.
They have inverted circadian rhythms, with body cycles such as temperature peaks, menstrual onset, and the production of sleep hormones in the brain occurring at the opposite time of day from most people.  They have difficulty adjusting to daytime schedules and frequently work nights.  They tend to be photosensitive, avoiding sunlight, sun burning easily, and having excellent night vision.  Their vitality ranges widely, and they can be vigorous and active one day, depressed and languorous the next.

Emotionally and physically, vampires are unpredictable, moody, temperamental and overwhelming. The major distinguishing characteristic of real vampires as opposed to ordinary people who share those qualities is the vampire's intensity. Vampires are extremely intense people.  They are frequently given nicknames
such as "the black hole."   When others talk about them (usually to complain
about them), vampires are often described by such terms as "needy," "attention seeking," "grandstanding," "manipulative," "exhausting," "draining," "monopolizes the conversation," "jealous," "huge ego," and so on.  A vampire's emotions are deep, fervent, and powerful, and he/she usually displays great psychic ability and has uncontrolled magickal and psychic experiences.

Psychic vampires are people who have the ability, consciously or unconsciously
of draining energy from others.  Whether this ability was developed through meditation, mentally altering drug usage, or inherited, it can be used by the
Psychic Vampire to drain energy for its own use. 

There is no "generic advice" to give those who believe they may be dealing with
a real vampire.  Those who are so inclined might try to help a friend or fellow group member explore their inner nature and come to terms with their destructive behaviors.  Those who feel victimized can choose to end the relationship. Each case is different, and can only be judged by the individuals concerned.  But it is important for anyone involved in magickal or psychic work to understand that vampires are a real phenomenon, and that, like all perils, they should not be greeted with fear or anger.  Nothing is evil by nature, only by choice.  Terror of discovery (followed by ridicule or rejection) inhibits the self-development of
many real vampires.  When they reach out for friendship, they are often
reaching out for help.

A person who believes she may be a real vampire him/herself has a long and difficult process ahead of him/her.  The most important step on his/her path is complete self-awareness: of his/her relationships, patterns, energy levels, and all other personal qualities.  The most challenging work may often be summarized in the simplest of terms.  Knowledge, awareness, and control are the lessons real vampires must learn in order to harness their abilities.

If real vampires are not the immortals of fiction, they can at least be confident of one thing: for better or worse, they will keep the qualities they develop for many lives to come.