Blood Vs. Energy: an insight to diversity of beliefs and avoiding prejudice regarding Identity.

I’d like to share a true story, or at least attempt to. This story is about opposing beliefs, or diversity.

When I found my first organized group/forum and began *awakening* into the subject of Real/Living Vampires, I had no idea what to believe, I had very little real understanding, and a lot of doubt but I was full of curiosity and a desire to learn.

Now, among the subculture/identity group/online community that gathers under the umbrella of “vampire”, there’s been a long time debate (even self described “wars”) regarding what makes a vampire legitimate and which variety of vampires are The True ones. Is it energy/metaphysical? Is it blood/physical? Is it both or neither?

The particular group I gained my first basis of knowledge from taught the belief that it was all energy that vampires needed. That it was a condition of the soul (damage, deficiency, defect or something else). That even blood-feeding vampires (who were called “Sanguinarians”) only fed on blood by choice or lack of metaphysical knowledge/psionic practice (and respectively those who fed on both, did so out of preference), and that ultimately their need was for the energy within.

Due to a lot of drama, and bad press surrounding Vampires at the time, the little group I was with disclaimed any connection or affiliation with the greater Community (though, I later learned that at least 3 of the most active admins were elders or otherwise popular/recognized names of the Community). Sometime between the ages of 16 and 19, when I felt comfortable and confident in my knowledge base, regardless of my own identity, I decided to branch out. To seek out the Greater Community and see what information, experiences and further answers they might have, that maybe I didn’t expect.

I came across a well-recognized group – The Vampire Community Message Board. I didn’t assume or present myself like I knew everything, but did come across some information that contradicted what I thought I knew. There were claims, arguments even, that for some , it isn’t ever energy. That some felt, or believed, they had a very real, very physical need for blood. I questioned them, countered with the truth that I had previously been taught, was surprised that what was truth to me, nearly considered fact in my old forum, was not also truth to everyone.

I could have stuck to my guns, I could have refused to bend, to deny their claims as reality. I could have followed in the footsteps of those before me, saying that blood-*needers* were simply mentally ill, weak willed, metaphysically inept. I didn’t. Instead, I returned to my familial forum and presented them with the ideas, beliefs and information I’d gained. I asked them, what their thoughts were.

I suppose a part of me wanted some sort of support, explanations and ideas on how to explain to this new[-to-me] forum, that they were wrong. Instead, I was given explanation that different people believe different things.

Eventually, these blood-needers, over a few years time, branched out from the Greater Community. They no longer call themselves Vampires (most of them anyway), they instead call themselves Medical Sanguinarians, Medical Sanguivores or just Sanguivores. While they recognize their claims, of physical need to be a belief, or even a hypothesis. They don’t have proof. Anecdotal evidence. They have  (usually unpleasant) symptoms, they have experience of blood alleviating these symptoms. They began a movement, a community of their own. Not for validation from their peers. Not for back-scratching or ego boosting. Not to rally against the energy-needers and feeders, but because they made claims of physical reality.

Their experiences, and beliefs. Are testable, and that is their goal. They, with help from professionals (some of them scientists and doctors themselves) to test, confirm, and perhaps one day treat, what they believe to be a physical, and Absolute Truth and they continue to progress to this day.

What have I learned? A few things, most importantly I’ve learned:

  • Even if you disagree or even outright disbelieve someone else’s claims, it’s important to understand and be able to accept that people are different and that your views, your beliefs are not going to be shared by everyone.
  • Diversity is important for personal and community evolution (progress or growth), because what may be considered Absolute Truth (Objective) by a person or single group, may turn out to only be Subjective Truth (Personal).
  • That accepting the existence of others’ beliefs allows the opportunity for growth, change and well-rounded education and the formation of respectable opinions and realistic beliefs, opening the door leading to Absolute Truth..
  • Questioning, Examining and testing Subjective Reality is the path towards knowing Objective Reality.

Also, I’ve learned:
Beliefs are beliefs are opinions. Such things are subjective until they are proven otherwise.

  • We, as the human race, don’t have the technology or know-how to test and prove spiritual, non-physical and metaphysical things yet. Such things remain a part of Subjective Reality, or personal truths. Things that are only true to the individual, and may not be true for everyone. It is important to accept Absolute Reality as it is – Spiritual things, while real to us as individuals, may not be real to everyone. Spiritual experiences are subjective and personal and likely can not be recreated or proven in a way for everyone to experience in the same way.
  • Claims made of genetics, physical need, physical transformation or metamorphosis, claims relating to the physical world/realm – Are beliefs, are personal truths, unless they are proven otherwise. Being physical allows for the ability to record, test and observe. Claims of the physical world have the amazing chance at being proven, and therefore graduating from Subjective/Personal truths to Objective/Absolute Truth.
  • If you believe something of yourself, your body, or your “kind” that relates to the physical world, you should be eager to test it, prove it. You should NEVER expect, nor tell, others to believe your personal beliefs apply to them. This can be dangerous physically, mentally and/or spiritually, and potentially deadly.
    – – Examples:
    – – – Claims that you can breathe underwater or fly, then explaining your technique to someone as if they should be able to do it too, if they do exactly as you say.
    – – – Claims that you are turned or can turn someone and explaining how to make that happen..
    – – – Claims related to your bodily organs saying that such is a sign or absolute trait of an entire species or entity
    – – – Claims that you can grow physical limbs, then proceeding to claim others can too.
    – – – It is irresponsible and disgraceful to put your personal truth on anyone else before it’s safely tested and proven as Absolute Fact.

Expecting people to believe your personal claims as Absolute Fact without evidence, proof or explanation is expecting people to not think for themselves, to be gullible. Claiming personal truths as Absolute Fact is not healthy, nor is it healthy for others to blindly follow and agree with you.

Consensus and Common Agreement are not the same as Absolute Fact. *Many people believing something, doesn’t make it true* However, History with references can be Absolute Fact and can not be changed.

Werewolves, Lycanthropy & Skinwalkers

Originally shared by: Amelia Nightside on Sunday, March 25, 2012

*additional sources may need to be cited.

Werewolves

So, what actually is werewolf or lycanthropy?

Is it a fact based on concrete evidences?

Is it a myth, fabrication of feeble minds?

Is it an exaggeration of some other things?

Well, all these questions have been puzzling mankind for last 5 centuries. Though many ingenious hypotheses have been suggested as possible explanations, definite conclusion can’t be drawn. Some experts have tried to observe it as purely supernatural phenomena while others have relied on scientific observations. Contradictions and debates still persist and will continue till any single theory solves the jigsaw which seems unlikely considering complexity and diversity of the topic. Nonetheless, the werewolf phenomenon has not perished yet; recent werewolf sightings are still reported.

The word werewolf is most likely to derive from two old-Saxon words, wer (meaning man) and wolf. Frequently used Greek terms Lycanthropy refers to the transformation process while Lycanthrope, which is in fact synonymous to werewolf, is the afflicted person. The popular definition of werewolf or lycanthrope is a man who transforms himself or being transformed into a wolf under the influence of full moon. – http://alam25.tripod.com/

Possible Explanations for the Werewolf phenomenon

  • Robert Burton, the clergyman and scholar, considered lycanthrope to be a form of madness as mentioned in his book Anatomy of Melancholy in 1621; he blamed every thing from sorcerers and witches to poor diet, bad air, sleeplessness and even lack of exercise for this.
  • The diet of medieval peasants may have been a source of werewolf delusions. Ergot infection on food grains like wheat and rye was common in Europe during the middle ages. This is actually a fungus which grows in place of grains in wet seasons after very cold winters. Alkaloids of this fungus are chemically related to LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, a strong hallucinogenic psychoactive drug which produces dream like changes in mood and thought and alters the perception of time and space. It can create lack of self-control, extreme terror and blurring the feeling between the individual and the environment.) Similar to this modern drug, Ergot poisoning results in hallucinations, mass hysteria and paranoia. Continuous exposure to this contamination through bread or other food items could contribute to either an individual believing he is a werewolf or a whole town believing that they have seen a werewolf.
  • Rabies – A strain of virus carried by dogs, wolves and other mammals including vampire bats causes Rabies. The virus strikes the central nervous system and produces uncontrollable excitement and painful contractions of the throat muscles’ intervention preventing the victim from drinking. Usually the patient dies within three or four days of first symptom.
  • Porphyria – At the 1985 conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, biochemist David Dolphin suggested that the untreated symptoms of Porphyria match many of the traits associated with the classic lycanthrope. One of them is severe photosensitivity, which makes venturing out into daylight extremely painful and thus dooms the sufferer to a life of shadows and darkness. As the condition advances, the victim’s appearance grows increasingly morbid; discoloration of the skin and an unusual thick growth of facial or body hair occurs. There is a tendency for an abnormal change in skin and formation of sores. Eventually the disease attacks cartilage (the soft bone) and causes a progressive deterioration of the nose, ears, eyelids and fingers. The teeth, as well as the fingernails and the flesh beneath them might turn red or reddish brown because of deposition of Porphyrin, a component of Hemoglobin in the blood. Porphyria is often accompanied by mental disturbance, from mild hysteria to delirium and manic-depressive psychoses.
  • Hypertrichosis – Hypertrichosis is also known as “Wolfitis”, refers to a condition of excessive body hair growth. In most cases, the term is used to refer to an above-average amount of normal body hair that is unwanted and is an aspect of human variability. The hair growth can be generalized, symmetrically affecting most of the torso and limbs, or localized, affecting a particular area of skin. Though severe Hypertrichosis is quite rare it results in excessive or animal-like hair on face and body.

http://alam25.tripod.com/exp.htm

Lycanthropy

Lycanthropy is the professed ability or power of a human being to transform into a wolf, or to gain wolf-like characteristics.

A more modern use of the word is in reference to a mental illness called lycanthropy in which a patient believes he or she is, or has transformed into, an animal and behaves accordingly. This is sometimes referred to as clinical lycanthropy to distinguish it from its use in legends. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycanthropy)

Clinical lycanthropy

…is defined as a rare psychiatric syndrome that involves a delusion that the affected person can transform into, has transformed into, or is a non-human animal.[1] Its name is connected to the mythical condition of lycanthropy, a supernatural affliction in which humans are said to physically shapeshift into wolves. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_lycanthropy)

 

 

Skinwalkers

In some Native American legends, a skin-walker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires, though they first must be wearing a pelt of the animal, to be able to transform. Similar lore can be found in cultures throughout the world and is often referred to as shapeshifting by anthropologists. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin-walker)

Shapeshifting

… is a common theme in mythology, folklore, and fairy tales. … shapeshifting occurs when a being (usually human) either (1) has the ability to change its shape into that of another person, creature, or other entity or (2) finds its shape involuntarily changed by someone else. If the shape change is voluntary, its cause may be an act of will, a magic word or magic words, a potion, or a magic object. If the change is involuntary, its cause may be a curse or spell, a wizard’s or magician’s or fairy’s help, a deity’s will, a temporal change such as a full moon or nightfall, love, or death. The transformation may or may not be purposeful.

Berserkers (or berserks)

…were Norse warriors who are reported in the Old Norse literature to have fought in a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury, a characteristic which later gave rise to the English word berserk. Berserkers are attested in numerous Old Norse sources. Most historians believe that berserkers worked themselves into a rage before battle, but some think that they might have consumed drugged foods.

General Lexicon

This is an informational/educational piece I attempted to put together some time ago. Given the evolution of language, as well as my own general feeling of always needing to improve, edit and update, this piece is not presented as an end-all be-all and may be overdue for some edits, modifications and updates.

If there’s anything in particular that catches your eye – something you want to know more about, or a definition you’d like to see modified or something of that sort, please feel free to comment. I will consider all critiques but I do not guarantee that I will use them.

The majority of these terms relate to the Otherkin/Therian idenity group and subculture/community, though some terms also relate to the Real Vampire identity group and subculture.

 

General Lexicon

Here is a list of terms, and their respective definitions, that you may see used commonly around the greater community as a whole.

**Please do not reproduce or edit this document without due credit to and/or asking it’s creator (Amelia) for permission. **

The majority of these terms are defined in my own words (Amelia), any that are not (or I felt needed a bit more support and information for it), have their source listed. 

Therian – 1. An individual who identifies spiritually and/or psychologically as a non-human [Earthly] animal, extinct and extant.   2. Therian, in common use, may also refer to an individual of a subclass of mammals, Theria (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theria); This definition is not generally used in the Community.   

 –   “Therianthropy”, in common use, refers broadly to a metamorphisis of human and animal (http://www.reference.com/browse/therianthropy); However, this is not generally the context used in the Therian community, instead Therianthropy refers, in this context, to an individual’s personal Identity of being physically human and animal internally (primarily being of spiritual and/or psychological/neurological speculated origins).

Otherkin – An individual who identifies spiritually and/or psychologically as non-human. Generally this may refer to Mythological creatures, can also be used as an umbrella term for all creatures, as well as other entities (plants, inanimate objects, etc).

Animal-Kin – A lack-for-better term introduced to identify and describe non-earthly animal-identified Otherkin. After it was no longer accepted to use “Therian” to apply to all animals and animal-creatures.

Therio-Mythic – Also a term used to describe non-Earthly animal kintypes.

Phytanthrope – Also termed, Green-kin or Plant-kin; An indiviudal who identifies as a non-animal plant.

Therio-type – The animal a Therian identifies as.

Kin-type – The creature/entity/object an Otherkin identifies as.

Were- – a prefix meaning “man”. In terms of the Therian and Otherkin communities, Were was once another term for Therian, but was followed by the individual’s therio-type (ex. were-cat, were-wolf, were-deer). Such use has been falling out of fashion. Also (more commonly now) used for Otherkin who identify as anthropomorphic and sometimes shape shifting, man-creatures of myth and folklore (such as, but not limited to, the werewolf etc).

Shift – A sensation which expresses one’s therio/kin-type. Given the power of the human mind, consciously and subconsciously, it is considered possible for non-‘Kin identified persons to will or otherwise experience shifts of some level or degree. Most ‘Kin/Therians if they experience shifts at all (not all do) experience their first shifts involuntarily and learn to recognize triggers (if any exist) or otherwise control shifts to varying degrees.

  • Phantom Phantom Limb; A term taken and modified from the medical community, is the sensation of having physical limbs where physical limbs do not exist (medically this is a physical nerve reaction which causes sensation felt after amputation of a limb). Some phantom limbs can be felt alongside, as if on top of, existing physical limbs.

    The official term for the sort of limbs that Therians/Otherkin experience is Supernumerary Phantom Limbs  which are phantom limbs one experiences where no such limb has physically existed before, this version of Phantom Limb or Shift is still considered a primarily psychological phenononon by the “professionals”. Shifts of this sort may not be limited to obvious limbs and can come about as sensations of fur, scales, etc or specific organs such as eyes, teeth and claws.

    There are an incredibly small number of individual Therians/Otherkin (actually one to my current knowledge) who, through use of an MRI was able to confirm neurological responses in regards to these phantom limb sensations.
  • Mental – The sensation of having the mindset of one’s Theri/Kin-type. This often is described as more instinctual, basic, animalistic and even carnal-based (depending on one’s Kin/Theriotype).
    – This may or may not be accompanied by an observed
    Sensory shift where apparent basic senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste) improve, worsen or otherwise alter. It is however generally considered impossible for such senses to alter beyond the physical capabilities of the human body.

    – There may be some speculation in regards to Clair-Senses/Abilities in relation to Sensory Shifts (as in Clair-audience, Clair-Sentience, Clairvoyance, etc.).

 

  • Astral – The sensation or experience of being in the form of one’s Therio/Kin-type while astrally projected, out of body or on another plane. (Bi-location and other forms of projecting included, though not officially “Astral” shifts. “Projection Shifts” may be more accurate, but is not an official term)
  • Aura – When one’s Aura, or “energy field” shifts into the form of one’s kin/theriotype. This may be accompanied by the sensation of phantom limbs and detectable (visible, for some) to those sensitive/aware to such things.
  • Shadow – Often mistakenly identified as Physical Shifting by those (if any) who witness it. This may be a form of Aura-Shifting. When light is low and/or visibility is questionable, the outline of one’s body (their shadow or silhouette) may appear to morph into that of their therio/kin-type.
  • Dream – Being one’s therio/kin type in their dream.
  • Cameo – Any shift which represents a different type than what the individual identifies as.
  • Empathy – The sensitivity to energy, this primarily being emotions. An Empathy(/ic) shift is much like a cameo shift, except that it is effected and influenced by others. (also Clairsentience)
  • Physical – Highly controversial. The physical morphing of a human body into the body of one’s type.

 

Dysmorphia – (Species) A conviction that one’s physical body is wrong. This is often accompanied with Dysphoria of varying severity.

Dysphoria is generally a feeling of unhappiness, discomfort and even disconnectedness (in this context, it is associated with one’s self [species or physical body].

Furry – An individual of the Furry Community and Fandom. The Furry Community is a culture involving anthropomorphic fictional characters created and chosen as one’s fictional identity, used in roleplay and expressed in many other artistic forms.

Multiple System – or “Multiple” for short is any individual body with more than one individual residing in it. The additional individuals are sometimes referred to as “Alters” or “Headmates”. Sometimes there is an “original” or “host” of the body, but this is not always the case. Individual cases where there is disorder in the “group” or it causes problem with normal societal functioning, are labeled as Disassociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). It is possible for a system to exist in a healthy, cooperative state and not be labeled as “disorder”. Alters/Headmates may be the result of spiritual walk-ins or psychological creations, in some cases it is believed that one’s soul or psyche can literally divide itself and become multiple individual parts of their own right. This may be a result of trauma or other unknown and varied reasons. Alters/Headmates can sometimes be human or nonhuman while the body they reside in is indeed human. For this reason there is some mixing of members from the Multiple Community into the Therian and Otherkin communities. The state of being multiple is called “Multiplicity” or “Plurality”.

Fictionkin – Any individual who identifies as a character or creature from modern myths and entertainment medias. Not all Fictionkin identify as non-human characters and therefore, not all Fictionkin are Otherkin. A headmate within a Multiple System who is a Fictional character or creature is known as a Fictive.

Fluff – Something that is not apparently genuine (real, true). “Fluff” is also defined as an individual (usually self-identified ‘Kin or Therian) who is mislead, closed/refuses to learn and may be varyingly delusional (delusion is defined as holding beliefs or ideas despite evidence to the contrary – basically rejecting facts)

Poly- – Prefix meaning many.

  • -morph – Root word meaning form. An individual who identifies as Polymorph[ic] identifies as having multiple forms (Like a shape shifter). One can identify as a Polymorph who’s only true shifts are Cameo Shifts. Their “form” is fluid. One can also identify as a single entity or creature that has a few, often limited, other forms (Ex. an Angel may also have the form of a Dove and/or a Tree – I think of the Greek gods for other examples, they are represented by animals and objects but also take those forms. The Greek deities and similar creatures or entities can be considered Polymorphic).
  • -kin – Also -therian, -were; A Polykin Refers to an individual who has more than one type.

Contherianthrope – A therianthrope who’s animalistic side is so interwound into their human side the two are indistinguishable. A contherianthrope does not experience shifting but rather expresses a constant of both animal and human sides at the same time. Contherianthropes have been described as finding it very natural to use both human conceptualization/logic and native animal emotion/instinct, jointly, as combined factors in decisionmaking, dynamically blending each to add richness and insight to the overall process. (http://www.therianthropes.com/contherianthrope.htm) – In other words; Contherians constantly feel half Kinside and half human.

Suntherian – (also Vacillant) was a term invented by WordWolf to mean is a therian whose theriotype (primary or sole) is integrated into his baseline personality. That integration, however, does not prevent them from having minor fluctuations of mood, sensation or being that feel slightly more animal, or slightly less animal. (http://therian.wikia.com/wiki/Suntherian) – IOW Suntherians experience sliding shifts (though are also constantly shifted – feeling part Kintype and part human).

Anthropomorphic – resembling or made to resemble a human (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/anthropomorphic) ; The Werewolf, in forms of entertainment and media is often depcited as an anthropomorphic , wolf-man, creature.

Feral – A term used in opposition to anthropomorphic. Ex. A Werewolf might be described as an anthropomorhic form, while a wolf would be feral form.

Vampire – Generally an individual who identifies a need for blood and/or metaphysical energies (non-physical -, life energy, Qi, Ki, Chi, Prana..) in order to maintain their all-around health, well-being and ability to function on a regular basis.

Vampire-Kin – An individual who identifies as the supernatural creature of myth, legend and folklore known as the vampire. Many Vampire-Kin seem not to identify a need to feed on blood or energy.

Thoughtform –  an non organic/artificially created entity (or object?)  through either psychological (thought) or psionic means

Construct (Psionic) – an non organic (not from “the source” or “creator”)  created entity or object via psionic means. Examples: Psi balls, Energy Shields,

Tulpa  – a more stable type of thoughtform which is capable of independent action and has it’s own conscious, self awareness and free will apart from it’s creator. May be modelled after a human or nonhuman entity.
2. A tulpa is an entity created in the mind, acting independently of, and parallel to your own consciousness. They are able to think, and have their own free will, emotions, and memories. In short, a tulpa is like a sentient person living in your head, separate from you. (https://www.tulpa.info/what-is-a-tulpa/).

Servitor – A type of Thoughtform created for a specific purpose or function. Existence is usually temporary and contingent on it’s determined purpose or function. May be modelled after a human or nonhuman entity.

Egregore – the most complex type of thoughtform representing a “collective group mind” created by a group via ritual or regluar thought. This entity can be maintained and effected by the creator(s) but can also influence the creator(s). Examples of possible Egregores: Jesus, Santa Claus, Slender Man…

Psionic relating to or denoting the practical use of psychic powers or paranormal phenomena.(Google search)
Psion – someone who manipulates energy and utilizes psychic abilities for various purposes 2. An individual who actively uses psi abilities, whether consciously or otherwise (http://psionguild.org/education/glossary/)

You might also find the following of interest:

Otherkin Lexicon, by Orion Scribner @Frameacloud.com

Otherkin Lexicon, by Orion Scribner – Mobile-Friendly Hosted by Yumpu.com