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Interview with the Vampyres by Don Webb
Category: WebSite News

Original Link: https://xeper.org/pub/pub_dw_vampyres.html

by Don Webb

 

It is my good fortune to have met two of the most elegant creatures who walk the face of the earth: the Grand Masters of the Order of the Vampyre of the Temple of Set.

You can bet I had a hard time finding out about the mysterious Temple of Set—I had to phone San Francisco, talk with directory assistance, and get their phone number. Recently when the moon was full and the mist floated languidly I met with them in a secret place for this interview. I won’t try and describe the flashing eyes of Ms. Lilith Aquino or the hypnotic gaze of Mr. Robertt Neilly—some things words can not do...

1. What is the relationship of your organization to the Temple of Set?

RN: The Order of the Vampyre is like a Standing Committee of the Temple of Set. In this respect, and as a special interest group, its primary focus is the exploration of ‘things Vampyric’. In the Order of the Vampyre, Setians develop in all ways, but do so under the auspices of a Vampyric specialty. The many results of the work they do, stemming as it does from and of the Order, may be shared with the entire membership of the Temple, or perhaps reach a more selective audience.

LA: You could compare the various Orders within the Temple to the graduate studies department of a university. Once our initiates get a basic grounding in the general fields of knowledge and ability, they then can ‘specialize’ in a specific area or areas that they are particularly interested in and drawn to. But always the various Orders remain a part of and within the Temple of Set and its mandate and policies.

2. Why do you use the archaic spelling, ‘Vampyre?’

RN: The term ‘Vampyre’ has many special connotations for us. For example, the spelling has the flavour of ‘Olde English’. But on a deeper level, it represents a more ancient and primal form or focus. It speaks to us of the nobility of this much maligned creature. A Vampyre is an ancient Being. It—or those embracing and engendering its qualities—are bringing to life (again) the timelessness and agelessness of an archetypal creature which I feel lived prior to man’s emergence, lives even now, and will survive man’s (spiritual) decay. A Vampire is the popularized, hollywood version of the ‘undead’ (read ‘unthinking’ or ‘unaware’) and static creature which seems to exist only to gratify its physical needs; perhaps physical immortality. The ‘Vampyre’, conversely, is a Living, Awakened creature which seeks to immortalize its core Self or soul. If, for the sake of argument, one adopts as a given that both kinds of creatures exist, then clear differences may be seen. The ‘Vampire’ exists at an instinctual level only, and would seem to live a rather tragic existence. The ‘Vampyre’ however, via initiatory work, has ‘quickened’ her soul and in doing so acquired a host of other qualities along the way.

3. Why is the Vampire becoming such an important culture hero—we see him in films, books, comics, etc. at an ever growing rate?

RN: Beyond the erotic, the vampire, or those possessing Vampyric qualities, is a hero because it is s/he who makes and administers her/his own Laws. Vampyres are without masters. Their ethical standards, while embracing time-honoured traditions, practices, and the laws of the land, extend beyond the normal veils of society. Life, death, and all states of existence in between, are being constantly redefined by the Vampyre. It’s obvious that many people could find this element attractive. The vampire is a perfect response to any authority figure who is uninspired, unintelligent, and generally unmoving. It may be argued that many traditional figures in authority—whether family, law, or as part of a company’s hierarchical structure—are not this way. To those who are capable of sustaining their Balance, the Vampyre tips his cowl! To the others, it poses a dilemma and threat. And the threat emanates in their minds, not in the Vampyre’s. The vampire is in control. Most of us admire this fact if for no other reason than that for us, some degree of effort is required, from time to time, to maintain control! Yet the vampyre simply, and elegantly, dances around issues of self-control. If he loses his temper, it is a conscious act. If the vampire decides to, she can experience the depths of emotions; or choose to ignore them unilaterally. If for no other reason, the Vampyre is a cult(ure) hero because it brazenly makes a statement like this: “Existence for me has become meaningful. It is my Will that I shall survive the physical inactivity of what we know as death. I am Alive now, and will continue to be Alive while exploring the arenas which are now, or will be, within my grasp.” Finally, in the vampire there exists power... or at least the illusion of power. Many will not recognize, nor care, whether the power is illusory.

LA: I think a very strong reason, especially in these times, is the power that the Vampyre has over his/her own life and destiny. Many people feel helpless and frustrated by the state of the world, and their lives in particular, and not in control of most things. The Vampyre is always in control, uses the powers that he/she possesses to benefit themselves, and in some cases, those that he/she cares for. There is also a strong element of someone that is very ‘different’ from the mainstream not only triumphing over it, but in a rather spectacular and satisfying way. Obviously, one of the most compelling attractions is the very erotic and sensual, sexual aspect of this Being. The anticipation and titillation of the danger, as well as the actual seduction and interaction between Vampyre and admirer. I don’t like to use the word victim, since it denotes a lower, less advanced level of creature who preys on others, rather than the mutual and beneficial exchange of energy, knowledge, and delicious erotic delights that occurs between the higher Being we of the Order of the Vampyre espouse, and his or her admirer/lover/mate etc. Read Elaine Bergstrom’s novel Shattered Glass to get an idea of the type of Vampyre we refer to. In my opinion she has a real grasp and understanding of the concept of the Vampyric Essence, although she probably has no idea that she does! Her family of Vampyres, headed by the Vampyre Stefan Austra, is very close to the Order of the Vampyre’s perception of this Essence. As for the next great on-screen Vampyre, the dark intensity of Sam Neil, who did such a magnificent portrayal of Damien Thorn in the moving Final Conflict, is at once erotic and elegantly noble, with a touch of danger. A compelling combination! He would make a magnificent Vampyre.

4. What powers and practices of the traditional Vampire do you seek to emulate?

RN: In answering this question, it is important that the reader realize that emulating the traditional vampire is not one of our goals, nor a significant portion of our mandate. It’s true that we are interested in tools, and window dressings. But such practices are subject to alteration, to being redefined, or even being discarded. This being stated, there are certain techniques that have proven useful. For example there is the infamous ‘Command To Look’. Can one expect to really communicate with another sentient being without being able to (attract and) hold their gaze? Much that is subtle, yet powerful, is communicated through the eyes. When you embrace the gaze of another, you indicate your commitment, for however brief a period of time, towards direct contact. Voice is an important factor for the would-be Vampyre. Through tone, inflection, pacing, and a variety of other techniques, we in the Order are interested in the intensity, directness, and effectiveness of our communications. We are not interested in sounding like Dracula; unless of course that would serve some useful purpose at the time! One Vampyric quality which seems to evolve as the Initiate does, and which rightfully belongs in realms of both kinds of vampires, is something we call Vampyric Presence. Earlier on, we spoke of Essence. The two have a connectivity. Vampyric Presence is unmistakable, yet difficult to identify. It is a paradox. Yes, you feel the Presence... but you’re largely unable to come to terms with your feelings. What is it about person ‘X’, or their control of ‘Factor X’, that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? Why is it that when you are around friend ‘X’, you immediately get aroused? What is about these people that cause you to experience fear, trepidation, loathing, or some other equally emotive feeling? Actors and actresses may possess a form of this ‘presence’. Yet, Vampyric Presence, when it exists at all, differs from all other kinds of presence. It exudes ancientness. It excites unnaturally. It demands personal investigation.

5. If I wanted to experience the essence of the Vampyre what should I do?

LA: Go see Grand Master Neilly... and some of the other initiates of the Order of the Vampyre! They are surrounded by this Essence since they are this Essence. It is a natural part of them so that they are not artificially ‘projecting’ it, but simply being it. Read some of the books mentioned by myself and Grand Master Neilly in relation to the Vampyric qualities we have discussed. Try to reach within yourself and evoke what you understand this Essence to be. It takes some trial and error, but you will gradually come to understand at least a part of it, which is enough to enable you to experience a bit of it yourself. Please pay particular attention to Grand Master Neilly’s remarks concerning the archetypal force that is the Vampyre before you undertake any personal evocation of it in yourself.

RN: Go see Grand Master Aquino! The ‘essence’ of the Vampyre surrounds us. The ways in which it can be experienced are basically two-fold: Invoke the essence or presence within. Or seek to evoke the same from others who you feel to be Vampyric. There are some ‘dangers’. For example, many who seem Vampyric are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Such talents are useful, but those who are genuinely Vampyric merely uses those as facades and tools. Legitimate Vampyres possess substance, and they do not disappear when the veils are stripped away. Be wary of psychic vampires. Such are these, that they zap you of your energy and vitality. Psychic vampires are people who have decided to be a plague. They may plague you personally, or even become parasites to otherwise healthy people in society at large. If you seek to promulgate your own vampiric (or Vampyric) essence in order to experience it, do so with the following prerequisite. You do not know what a Vampyre is, hence, do not know the ways in which it will manifest itself. The Vampyre is an archetypal force. It exists in the racial and collective mind of man. It can be a primal force: as such, it may be overwhelming. Do you really want to experience the Vampyre? Then seek out a love of the richness of life. [At this point, Lilith Aquino quoted from Carla Banaff’s New World:] “Once you’re there, you’ll know that you’re inside... you can’t turn back once you’ve opened your eyes.”

6. The Temple of Set grows from a single idea called ‘Becoming’, which they call Xepering (pronounced ‘khef-fer-ing’) after the Self-created Egyptian god. How is the Vampyre an example of what the Temple of Set calls ‘Becoming?’

RN: When the Temple of Set promotes ‘Becoming’, it is speaking about real self-evolution. Growing another arm or leg, growing another year older, or gaining knowledge or remembering something you’ve read are not equivalents or examples of Becoming. Yet some of those events can lead to it. When we say ‘Xeper’ to another Initiate, we are saying, ‘Become’. Becoming, or ‘Xeper’, is a process which promotes personal evolution. In that, one increases her capabilities, experiences herself at a deeper level of existence, and indeed creates change within her ‘psycho-centric’ self. Becoming is a dynamic process, a condition, an environment. The Vampyre is an example of ‘Becoming’. He has made some crucial decisions in his life. He probably decided some long time ago that he was unique. Does that mean better, worse, elite, poorer? Not necessarily any of those. The Vampyre is unique because she has set herself apart from others. She has recognized that she is different, and has stated that she intends to explore and foster the difference. Once the ‘sleeper has Awakened’, he pursues life with new sensory tools. He seeks to change his outlook, his vantage point, his perspective. All of these actions produce real change and legitimate Becoming.

The interview was at an end. They rose from my table and walked into the mist. The mist swallowed them, the secret of the night claiming its own. And suddenly it seemed very cold.

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