Blood in the Spring

March, 2019

The woman at the door is trying to push a pamphlet into my hand. I deftly avoid this and politely ask her what it’s about.

‘It’s your personal invitation to the memorial of Jesus Christ’s death.’

Genuinely, for a brief moment, I think ‘Gosh, an anti-Christian group!’ Then I remember Easter, and that it starts with a dead body.

I’ve always found Easter a bit morbid. Yes, I know the main celebration is about Jesus coming back to life, but we take a bank holiday to celebrate a good man being mocked, spat on, tortured and crucified. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, the story can’t help but make you wince; the crown of thorns, the cross; dying believing his father had forsaken him. Grim stuff.

Christians believe that Jesus died for them, for their sins, but if you read Matthew 27 Jesus doesn’t sound very happy about dying at all. At the end he rails against it, and shouts that his God has abandoned him. Of course, he still goes on to be resurrected, along with several other holy people who are unnamed by Matthew.

I think about the story, and wonder if there is a historical equivalent for Pagans. Certainly for witches like myself, we don’t need to look too far into the past at all to find persecution. As early as the 15th century, ‘witches’ were being tortured and executed (murdered) because of the threat to honest, god-fearing folk. Today, the equivalent is found in Africa, with people regularly being murdered in horrific ways for the crime of Black Magic. Compounding this, there are witch doctors in Africa who believe they need specific ingredients for their craft, and this has recently led to the murder of an albino woman, as her body parts were required for muti, a kind of traditional medicine. On the one hand we have people who want to burn the witches; on the other we have the odd ‘witch’ making it worse for everyone through murder and mayhem.

So many traditions and religions that purport to be peaceful and compassionate have a history that is tainted with blood, gore and betrayal. Many Pagans are quick to decry Christianity for this, shouting about the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and war after war after war. But it’s a sad truth that our own paths are not exactly as tidy and clean as we might wish. The difference with Paganism is we are fighting a battle against a few individuals who are immoral. The media, of course, tends to pick up on these few who behave appallingly and say, ‘This is Paganism’. Which of course, turns those ‘God Fearing Christians’ (and others) right back against us. Ok, they can’t take us to the stake like in the 15th Century but they can make life awkward for us; no-one wants to experience bigotry in their day to day life and it can really hurt.

In March 2015, ‘White Witch’ Redvers Barnard was jailed for 22 years for various acts of child abuse; a terrifying story of a monstrous man. Not one paper reported it without highlighting the fact that he was a Pagan or a Witch. The Pagan community being what it is, this person was actually known to some of my friends. You may think they would stand by him, or give him the support of his community, as we have seen happen in the Catholic community in similar cases. But no; as soon as it was clear he was guilty, he was condemned by all. As he should be. He tried to use his self-made title of white witch to prove his innocence, but by being proven guilty despite being a ‘white witch’, he not only smeared the entire Pagan community, but the title of Witch, white or otherwise.

On any religious or spiritual path, it’s vital to have the awareness that there may be those walking a similar path who are not what you would consider good people. We must be self-aware enough to realise that whether we are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu or any one of the myriad Pagan paths, that does not automatically make us moral or good or even, and this is very important, correct!

It’s up to each of us to keep our own morals in check; to ensure that we are behaving according to our values. If our values veer away from those of our chosen religion (think of a devout catholic who wants an abortion), then perhaps it is time for a change. Or perhaps, we simply accept that religion doesn’t dictate morals.

Jesus may have died for his followers’ sins, but I think he would have been appalled at the nature of the ‘sin’ performed in the name of religion since his demise. To me, it seems he died for nothing, until the day when we can all, each and every one of us, accept the responsibilities for our own actions.

I avoid the pamphlet the well-meaning lady is trying to force into my hand, and I wish her a blessed Easter, but advise that I won’t be attending the memorial of Jesus’ death. I’d much rather celebrate my life right now, and living it as well as I know how.

*Originally published on the Moon books blog.


About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Solstice is…

December, 2018

Solstice is…


(Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)


Holly sharp sting,

Red blood like

Berries, red, white

Mistletoe hang

Deadly dart and Baldur’s curse

Druids’ king seeking potion

Now a kissing spot

Love instead

Shown through gifts

Wrapped mysteries

Ribbons hiding

Hearts’ desires

Wrap the day in a bow

But presents wait

Wait for me:


The mother and priestess

Down in the woods

At the sacred crossroads

Of birch and oak

The mysteries of Male and Female

And everything in between

And beyond.


Here I find the altar

That no one knows of

But I

I lay the offerings



Nothing to scar or litter

Nothing to damage or drain

Leaving only footprints

For even I

Am not permitted to remain.


About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.


A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon


Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Excerpt from Celtic Witchcraft by Mabh Savage: The Color Red

August, 2017


The colour red appears throughout Celtic mythology and is normally associated with magic in some way. This may be the prophecy of war and bloodshed. Rowan, the tree with the startling red berries, is strongly associated with powerful magic. The Morrígan herself is normally portrayed as having red hair, especially in her guise as a sorceress or poet. Red is the magic of spells, curses, geas and prediction. Red is proactive magic; visible magic; magic that wants to be seen, admired or feared.


Think about red in our daily lives. Red means stop; warning; danger; love; passion; blood; fire; forbidden; command; hang up; hot; hazard and generally ‘pay attention right now’. It is the colour of compulsion. We are almost programmed to pay attention when we see red. The term itself, ‘seeing red’, denotes a state of rage that implies we are no longer fully in control of ourselves. In nature, flowers are red to attract pollinators, and insects are often red (or red and black) to warn of venom, or to con predators into thinking the potential prey is dangerous. Birds may flash red feathers to attract a mate and among our own ‘plumage’, red is considered a sexy colour; racy, dangerous and daring.





Red is used as the colour of the direction of south, and the element of fire. Often a red candle is placed at the southern part of an altar, or the southernmost part of a room where magical work is practiced. It may, however, not be practical for you to use fire or indeed to have candles in places where small hands or paws can reach them. So instead, you may want to use a red ribbon, symbolising the way passion binds us. A red pen can symbolise the fire of creativity. A simple blob of red paint on a stone or shell may bring a Spartan and natural beauty to your sacred space. You can use red flowers from the season; poppies in spring, roses in summer and perhaps chrysanthemums or rudbeckia in autumn and perhaps amaryllis or similar in winter.


Other natural additions to a sacred space can be hawthorn berries, rowan berries or holly berries depending again on the season. The juice from elder berries can be used to stain things red, and can even be used as a sort of ink.




Our passions are not just the obvious trio of love, desire and lust. We all have passions that stretch into other aspects of our lives; our ambitions, our motivation and our goals. Using red in magic helps us reach out from a place of wanting to a place of having or being. Red is also the connection between the human, physical state and the ethereal, magical state. When you are performing magic, you can imagine red blood flowing through an umbilical cord that attaches you to the universe, combining your own energy with that that resides within everything.


If you feel like you have taken on too many tasks, and can’t find a way to prioritise, this exercise is useful. Find a quiet and calming space. Make it feel comfortable; light incense, play music or open a window. Whatever makes you feel more you is very important here. Draw a red spiral on a white piece of paper. Start at the edge of the paper and working inwards from the top left corner, draw the curve clockwise and spiral gently in to the centre. There is no rush. Let the thoughts of the tasks you have piled upon yourself wash through your mind, without focusing on one in particular. While these thoughts flow, keep your eyes following the spiralling line you are drawing. When your spiral reaches a central point, focus on the whole image, then close your eyes and breathe deeply. You should find that you are able to prioritise much more easily, and also that the feelings of stress and pressure have alleviated. You are refilled with a passion to achieve your goals, instead of the fear that you won’t.





The colour red sneaks into magical and healing practice all over the world. Red is the colour of blood and therefore is intrinsically linked to life, and of course all that goes with that: passions, emotions, health, sickness and even death.


This is a technique I learned through my study of the ancient Mexican practice of Curanderismo. When you are feeling particularly stressed out, carry a piece of red ribbon or cord in your pocket. Whenever a problem crops up, tie a knot in the ribbon, concentrating on the issue that gripes at you. At the end of the day, take the ribbon out of your pocket. Look at all the knots. These are your problems. There may be few; there may be many. Go out into the garden, or if you don’t have a garden, use a pot on your windowsill. Bury the ribbon and imagine letting go of all your problems. You are returning the physical representation of your troubles to the earth. Letting go physically helps you to let go mentally.


If you enjoyed this, Mabh’s book is available at Amazon and all good book stores.








Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of:


 A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors





Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft.



Follow Mabh on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.

Ask Your Mama

August, 2011

Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more.

*Ask Your Mama

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Spirituality and Didn’t Know Who to Ask™


©Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

A Question of Blood Rites

Dear Mama Donna,

I am anticipating my granddaughter celebrating her first menstrual cycle in the not too distant future. I would like to do something special for her in the way of ritual. I don’t know much about creating that kind of ritual, but I want her day to be a special one that she will remember as bringing her into the fabulous sisterhood of women. Can you help me create such a ritual or tell me where I can learn more about doing such a thing?

Loving Grandma from Florida

Dear Grandma,

How lucky your granddaughter is to have you to help support her spiritually as she passes through this highly charged and profound life change. This is as it should be, as it has long been, and can once again be — the ongoing ages of women welcoming when it is their time, each new generation into our sacred continuum.

Ceremonies of first blood are a powerful binding rite, the sticky blood, which binds each generation to the next. …The Ancients…The Ancestors…The Grandmothers…The Matriarchs…The Mothers…The Daughters…The Perpetual Keepers of the Spiral of Life.

This, unfortunately was not my own personal experience. Like so many in my generation, I learned about menstruation from a small sensible pamphlet put out by Moddess, an early purveyor of sanitary products. It stressed how simple and ordinary the experience was. How you could live your modern, active life completely unembarrassed and unimpeded by the necessities of your periodic condition.

Being quite well prepared, (and a girl scout, too) I knew exactly what was happening, when I discovered my first droplets of blood while playing at Susie Glassman’s house. When I came out of the bathroom, I proudly made my announcement to Susie and her mom. Suddenly out of nowhere, a fast moving force bore down on me as Mrs. Glassman inexplicably slapped my incredulous face. She then quickly kissed and embraced me, clucking and fussing like a mother hen.

When I told my mother my momentous news as well as my shocking experience, she was furious that Mrs. Glassman had struck me. She knew all about that Jewish tradition where the mother slaps her daughter to welcome her into the long-suffering sisterhood of women. A rational feminist, she hated that I was subjected to this old fashioned superstitious and humiliating rite. But if she didn’t slap me, she didn’t hug me, either, nor make a sweet congratulatory fuss. She agreed with the book that this was just a normal, if unpleasant, bodily function which she usually referred to as “the curse.” Hardly worth a party.

Of course, first blood also means first egg. I still find it practically impossible to comprehend the enormity of the sheer potential represented by the blood and the egg — the awesome power of the possibility of life. This is not to say that we are locked into a biologic imperative to reproduce, but that we possess the inherent ability to do so — should we choose. Like that car commercial where the drivers are playing motor polo on a field at the edge of a cliff. “Not that you would, but you could if you wanted to.”

No wonder the entire Mbuti society chants “Blessed with the blood!” in celebration of a young girl’s first period. The coming of age of ritual for pubescent White Mountain Apache girls is also performed by the entire nation. Each girl wears an eagle feather in her hair for long life, and in the center of her forehead over her third eye, she sports an abalone shell to represent Changing Woman, the Great Creatrix in Her mystical periodicity.

When my fairy goddess daughter came into her first blood, we celebrated with a Red Ritual. We are special, soul-connected karma sisters and have always shared a rich ceremonial life. I conceived and developed the concept of the rosy red ceremony and we worked together to arrange the details for a very special evening. Each step in the process of preparation suggested a deeper layer of discussion, story telling and understanding. Red=Blood. Blood=Life. Life=Eggs.

We each dressed completely in red, and we both wore bright red lipstick. (One of us was particularly happy about that part.) We sat on rust colored cushions. A large circular mirror on the floor between us served as our altar decorated with red flowers and candles. We stretched out our legs to create a circle, and painted each other’s finger and toe nails a glossy fire engine red.

We blessed each other with a red oil of my own recipe that I call the Power of Love. This does not refer to couple-type love. This is Love of Self love. The power of personal passion, direction, expansion. The power to pursue the dream of one’s own purpose. The power to achieve one’s fullest potential. The courage to be true to one’s vision and convictions. True love.

We blessed the four elements, of which we are part. We tasted each one, taking into ourselves the power of Mother Earth. Drank water with sea salt. Ate a grain of healing earth from Chimayó, New Mexico. Breathed in the fragrant air of burning sage. Rubbed ash collected from the volcanic fire of Mt. Pinatuba, Mt. Vesuvius and Mt. St. Helen’s. We blessed each other as the dear daughters of Mother Nature. We are strong and beautiful like She is. We swore to use our female powers to protect Mother Earth and all Her creations.

We pinned some of the flowers from the altar into our hair, and sucking on sweet strawberry candies, we told each other our favorite parts of being a girl, of being a woman. We got silly and giggly, the sugar no doubt, and exchanged all sorts of secret dreams and desires, fond memories, and fabulous flights of fantasy. Sort of a New Age Goddess version of “I Enjoy Being a Girl.”

Danika (her name is changed to protect her sensitive adolescent sensibilities) took up a tall, unlit crimson candle and talked into it her aspirations, ambitions, goals and intentions for this new stage of her life. She was serious and sincere, and I was touched and honored to be in her presence. When she finished her list, she lit the candle, thus igniting her intentions. In the glow of the flame her pronouncements, she sealed her transformation with a sip of red berry juice and bite of egg hard-boiled in water colored with beets.

Finally, I presented her with a red velvet drawstring purse for her to use as an amulet bag. One by one I offered her various objects that were symbolic of the power of womanhood and related its significance as she held it in the palm of her hand. … A tiny pink rose bud for the blossoming of her true self…A cowry shell, a representing the holy yoni through which we bleed, through which we receive pleasure, through which we were all conceived and born… A crystal to draw the energy of the universe toward her… An eye charm to help her to see what it is important for her to see… A rose thorn for protection…A silver bell for joy. Over the years, as she grows into her woman power, she will add her own magical charms to this starter collection.

This Red Ritual is only by way of a suggestion, you understand. Feel free to design an occasion that speaks directly to you and to your granddaughter and which is true to the relationship that you share. Use images, symbols and objects that resonate with you. Trust your woman wisdom and share with her what you know. Welcome her, in the name of all life, into the sacred flow of succession. This is the root of all initiation.

Be “blessed with the blood!”

xxMama Donna

&  bleeding

&  grazing

&  moaning

&  chanting

&  humming

&  drumming the

sounds of the



*Are you cyclically confused? In a ceremonial quandary? Completely clueless? Wonder no more. Send your questions about seasons, cycles, and celebrations to Mama Donna at [email protected],com.

WiseWoman Tradtions

March, 2011

Blood Mysteries

ÓSusun S Weed

In the beginning, according to the Wise Woman tradition, everything began, as everything does, at birth. The Great Mother of All gave birth and the earth appeared out of the void. Then the Great Mother of All gave birth again, and again, and again, and people, and animals, and plants appeared on the earth. They were all very hungry. “What shall we eat?” they asked the Great Mother. “Now you eat me,” she said, smiling. Soon there were a very great many lives, but the Great Mother of All was enjoying creating and giving birth so much that she didn’t want to stop. “Ah,” she said smiling, “now I eat you.” And so she still does.

We all come from the same mother. She is the wise woman. We all return to her embrace, her bloody-rich womb place, when we die. Every woman is a whole/holy form of her, able to be whole/holy mother of all life, able to be whole/holy destroyer of life. Her power is her blood that flows and flows, her blood which is life and gives life. Every woman’s menstrual blood and birth-time blood is a holy mystery.

What are the blood mysteries? Why are they central to the understanding of the Wise Woman tradition?

Blood mysteries teach that menstrual blood and birthing blood are holy blood, power blood, healing blood. The blood mysteries teach us to remember that life and healing come from and return to woman, to the wise woman, to the woman who bleeds and bleeds. And does not die.

Blood mysteries reveal that menstrual (moontime) blood and birth blood are so holy, so full of potential, so full of the void that they are to be used only to heal, to heal by nourishing. Holy woman-blood is nourishing blood, blood of love, blood of abundance, blood that heals the earth.

Blood mysteries recall the immense power of the bleeding woman. Power enough to share in great nourishing give-away from mother to matrix, give-away of nourisher to nourisher. When we bleed into the ground (in reality or fantasy) our power re-grounds as our blood flows through the personal root chakra and into the earth.

Bleeding into the ground, bleeding freely, we know ourselves as women, as nourishers of life, as givers of nourishment to the plants, givers of holy nourishment: our moontime blood.

I am woman giving away nourishment to ensure this planet’s life. With my moontime power, my blood, with my birthing power, my blood, I feed the earth who feeds us all. Every month I remember: I am woman. I am earth. I am life. I am nourishment. I am change.

I am woman, blatantly and repeatedly confronted with my changes: hormonal harmonics stirring moon time visions, ovulatory oracles, pre-menstrual crazies, orgasmic knowings, birth ecstasies, breast-feeding bliss, menopausal moods.

I am wholeness. I am woman. I know life, death, pain, and health in my marrow, in my womb. I know the bloody places: the narrow space between life and death, the bloody place of birth, the bloody mess of nourishing life, the bloody flow of letting life go. I am woman. My blood is power. Peaceful power. Peaceful blood.

My blood is holy nourishment. My blood nourishes the growing fetus. My blood becomes milk to nourish the young child. My blood flows into the ground as holy nourishment for the Great Mother, Gaia, Mother Earth.

Gaia, whose ways are bloody. Woman, whose ways are bloody. Blood of nourishment. But bloody. Bloody menstrual blood, bloody birth blood. Blood of peace, nourishing blood. Blood of health/wholeness/holiness, not of sacrifice. The Wise Woman tradition is a bloody-handed woman, a bloody-thighed woman, a woman who gives birth, a woman who sees to the other side of things.

Health/wholeness/holiness is always changing. Life is mysterious, moving in spirals of change. Spirals moving to, through, from the void. Change making the hole so we can see the holy healthy gift of our wholeness.

“Sit, sister, here on the soft green moss, and give your sacred moon blood to the earth, back again to the spiral of life. Let flow your womb’s blood red to the green and brown of earth. Sit here. Relax and close your eyes and let the visions come. Rest now and give your moon blood to nourish the mother who nourishes us. Relax and let the visions come.”

The time of menstrual bleeding, according to the Wise Woman tradition, is a time of visions. Any woman who pays attention to these visions will find the power of shamans, witch doctors, medicine wo/men.

“Add a bit of red leaf to your herbal mixtures, any red leaf except poison ivy. That will make the medicine strong,” says a friend, apprentice to a Native American shaman. And the wise woman inside me whispers: “They do this to evoke the power of menstrual blood.”

These are the natural powers of menstruating, menopausal, and post-menopausal women:

²  Oneness with the earth as a responsive nurturing presence

²  Communication with plants, animals, rocks

²  Weather making

²  Shape shifting

²  Invisibility

²  Communication with fairies, devas, elves, dragons, unicorns

²  Foreknowledge

²  Acutely sensitive senses of smell, taste, hearing, sight, touch

²  Healing

The Wise Woman tradition understands healing/wholing as blood mysteries. The blood of birth and death, and the blood of nourishment, these are the natural knowledge of women; these are the things that make us wise.

Arise From the Past: How Cannibalism, Sacrifice, and Burial Affected Vampire Folklore

February, 2009

Belief in vampires or some form of the dark bloodsucking creature existed long before written record.  These creatures formed in each culture and each era as a result of religion and lack of scientific education.  Additionally, many practices of long ago fascinate us today because of the gory and vampiric nature involved.  Such practices include cannibalism, sacrifice, and how the dead were buried before modern advances.  Hence, one can safely gather that vampirism or vampires are a direct result of culture and scientific misunderstanding.

Vampires are immortal creatures who feed off the blood of the living, and blood is the key factor in all origins of vampire folklore.  Some argue that the soul lives within the blood or more simply put, it is the source of all life.  Also, if one can die when one loses blood, one could logically think that drinking blood would bring about life.  Due to such ideas, many ancient cultures implemented sacrifices, rituals, and sometimes entire lives around the substance (Masters 4).

When someone hears the word cannibalism, most societies see horrific images of individuals ripping at human flesh.  What could be considered even more disturbing is the fact that people have been eating each other for centuries.  After all, man is a carnivorous animal, and unless you are a sworn vegetarian, people hunger for meat (Masters 5).  Ancient societies viewed other humans as foodstuffs, and the aversion to such a taboo today is no different than Semitic people thinking pig and dog are unclean to eat (6).  However, the eating of flesh is comparatively irrelevant to vampirism except for one common theme.  The transfer of a life source from the dead to the living was essential.  Blood was licked from spears, and hands went unwashed just so the blood could be licked off later.  Thus, one can see how cannibalism could have morphed into a blood fetish (7).

Sacrifice and ritual are common practices in most religions.  Appeasing the spirits and gods are one reason such practices are performed.  The completion of magical workings could be considered another.  So, it is no surprise that ancient cultures used the same concepts in their daily lives.  Those who were responsible for starting vampire folklore were those involving the sacrificing of a victim.  This victim was a trade-off for a favor from a god or used to make peace with a deity.  The victim could be an animal, or the devotee could quite literally offer a part of himself in the form of a severed finger or hair.  Blood began to replace such measures, and only a couple of drops of blood from a worshipper would suffice.  On the other hand, the sacrifice of others was more common. Individuals in high standing would permit criminals to be presented as offerings to the gods, or they would use sacrifice as a means of substituting someone else to take the place of their plights.  One of the best examples of such sacrifice is when the Aztecs chose to pour the blood of their victims into their idols’ mouths (Masters 11).  In all manners of sacrificial victims, then, life force was essential in completion of the task, and blood became the center of this life force.

Along with cultural influences, lack of scientific knowledge helped to form the vampire lore understood now.  One of the greatest influences on this lore is how the dead were prepared for burial long before embalming became commonplace.  When a body decays without any preservation or embalmment, the following will occur:

* The body will turn different colors depending upon the gases and infections involved.  Blues, reds, and dark greens will be prevalent (Barber 105).

* The body will swell up to possible massive proportions and one of the most noticeable areas will be the abdomen.  The swelling is a result of the gases expelled from the decaying process.

* Blood or blood stained fluid escape the mouth and nostrils (106).

* The body may decay at any rate depending upon the environment it is placed in at the time.  Environmental factors include presence of air, moisture, microorganisms, temperatures, and insects (107).

* Hair will slip away from the scalp, and the skin will begin to slough away.  These consequences of decay make the body appear to have grown new hair or new nails (109).

While there are other visual effects seen as a result of decay, one can quickly understand just how the listed characteristics alone could cause alarm to someone who would stumble upon such a body.  Furthermore, it was not unusual for people to be buried alive because comas and other medical conditions were not understood (99).  Scavengers, either animal or human, were also known to disturb gravesites, and any movement would appear suspicious to the uneducated and superstitious (125).  Consequently, as a result of all this simple scientific misunderstanding, people were once quick to point to the presence of vampires.

Vampire folklore is a direct result of ancient and past cultures trying to survive according to their standards or due to their misunderstanding of scientific processes.  Cannibalism and sacrifice exposed people to the concept of life force transfer from the dead to the living.  The handling of a human body after death before modern techniques were established added to the vampire idea.  Hence, because of ancient societies’ lack of scientific knowledge and sophistication, vampire folklore was fostered and began to grow into the cult phenomenon we know today.

Works Cited

Barber, Paul.  Vampires, Burial, and Death:  Folklore and Reality.  New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1988.

Masters, Anthony.  The Natural History of the Vampire.  London:  Rupert Hart-Davis    Ltd, 1972.

Vampires: A Small Introduction to Those Outside the Glamour of Hollywood

January, 2009

Blood dripping fangs, dark cloaks, and perhaps a deep soothing voice, are attributes most would associate with the word vampire.  The word vampire can be traced back as far as ancient Sumer with their version of the word akhkharu, and although the word may have originated there, many existing arguments exist as to who was the original vampire (NRG).  Some would argue Cain from the Bible.  Some would suggest Lilith, who has her roots in the Judaic tradition as well as Sumerian.  Nevertheless, all vampire stories were originally created to explain away problems with childbirth and the death of loved ones (Melton 446).   Then, one may wonder, how did the vampire morph into the Dracula stereotype we see plastered everywhere today?

Mainstream society has happily absorbed the ideas of immortality and romanticism, and the idea of the vampire may seem appealing because of them.  This fascination is shown by the wide availability of vampire literature and the assortment of movies.  Bram Stoker’s depiction with the infamous Count Dracula is probably the best example.  As a result, people are exposed to the possibility of vampires existing among us today.  As exciting the thought may be to the many role players and lifestylers, one must understand the glamour and wonder of such a condition is not all it is thought out to be.

The Vampire Church defines real vampirism as a “sanguine, psychic, and or energy vampire”(“Lexicon”).  Characteristics include but are not necessarily limited to the following:

1. The individual has a real need for blood or life energy (“Lexicon”).  In theory, these individuals need the extra energy because for some odd reason, their bodies simply cannot produce enough energy on their own through normal bodily processes and functions.

2. The person may have heightened sensitivities including empathy, astral projection, clairvoyance, and energy manipulation (“Lexicon”).  It could be easily deduced then that someone who has to constantly process energy would become an expert of sorts in other areas involving energy transfer and usage.

3. The party in question may or may not have sensitivity to light and may wish to remain nocturnal.  However, contrary to popular belief, this sensitivity does not disable the person from being out and about during the day.  It may just diminish his or her ability to do so (“Lexicon”).

With the above characteristics stated, many wonder why there is more than one type of vampire.  Vampires are categorized by the means in which they obtain energy to function normally.  Some strictly use one method of obtaining what they need while others may utilize all three methods.

Sanguine vampires can be compared to the traditional personification of a bloodsucker.  Sanguines obtain blood from donors and use the energy found within the blood for their own means (“Lexicon”).  However, unlike the Hollywood stereotype, sanguines do not require mass amounts of the life giving substance, and they do not need to permanently hurt or damage human life.  While the amount needed can be debated, some sources state that only 1-2 teaspoons is required.  Additionally, the vampire community as a whole strongly enforces screening of willing donors and the use of healthful procedures to procure the blood.  In other words, biting is strongly discouraged due to the germs involved.  One is usually asked to implement a syringe.

Psychic and energy vampires are not so different that one cannot talk about them in the same sentence.  These vampires feed off of psychic energy or the life force of others.  Some prefer this method due to the obstacles and dangers found by seeking out blood.  Depending upon the individual, some choose to seek out the energy of willing human beings while others will look to the elements.  On the other hand, some of these individuals like to prey off the emotions of others and sometimes without their consent (“Lexicon”).  These vampires who drain others without prior consent are referred to as psi vampires and are frowned upon by the community and people in general.  Many people will complain of at least one person in their life who would fit this description, and because of such complaints, one could argue that many around us are vampires in their own right.

Vampires have been mentioned from the beginning of time, and with popular culture keeping these creatures in the limelight, it is no surprise that some argue that real vampires exist amongst us.  These individuals are not the Hollywood stereotype although they may share some of the characteristics of the stereotype.  Some vampires could be linked to the traditional blood drinkers who may suffer an adversity to sunlight while others use the life force of others to meet their energy deficient needs.  Whatever the case, the real life community exists and is now out in the open due to our fascination with the fanged beings of night and immortality in general.

Works Cited

“Lexicon of Terminology.”  Vampire Church.  10 October 2006.  Vampire Church.  23 November 2008.  <>.

Melton, J. Gordon.  The Vampire Book.  Detroit:  Visible Ink Press, 1994.

NRG.  “Sumerian Dictionary.”  Information Texts.  23 November 2008.  <>.