To understand the phenomenon of Ferox Vampyrism in its entirety can sometimes be a difficult or even impossible undertaking. The Vampyric bloodlust, if you want to phrase it as such, and the animalistic sensations are closely related to the experience of sanguine Vampyres. The supposedly exotic note of Animalis is therefore often attributed either to Vampyrism itself or to the realm of therians. The fact that these differences are subtle, but essential for the final definition, is often hastily disregarded.
Ferox Vampyrism is to be understood as an independent variety of Vampyrism and as such an independent variation of sanguine practice. To incorporate it fully into Vampyrism without reflection or to consider it completely separate from it would not do justice to those who find themselves in it.
Of course, at this point the question can be raised what purpose it might serve to judge or even categorize sanguine, Vampyric experience according to its nuances. This question may have its justification. After all, it is about the satisfaction of the deepest inner needs, which we also call blood thirst. And yet at this point the blasphemous attempt of a detailed differentiation is dared. It should not be about the scientific demystification of Vampyric experience, but rather represent an attempt to capture abstract experience in its specific expression selectively, and thus to enable a deeper understanding.
First of all, basic terms will be mentioned and their explicit meaning within the context of Ferox Vampyrism will be briefly explained and related. Subsequently, scenic representations in the form of anonymous experience reports will serve to deepen understanding of the subjective, situational experience.
When talking about Ferox Vampyrism it seems to be indispensable to take a closer look at its linguistic origin. The term “Ferox” comes in its basic form from the Latin vocabulary and can be translated as “wild, defiant, impetuous, unruly, warlike, unbridled, unafraid as well as courageous”. All these terms associate the enormous power inherent in Ferox Vampyrism. The sanguine practice, i.e. the ingestion of blood, serves as a catalyst that significantly accelerates the process of Shifting and activates the inherent Animalis.
Shifting as an English term for a change or a shift has already been successfully derived and established in the field of therianthropy from the ancient Greek θηρίον therion “wild animal” and ἄνθρωπος anthropos “human being”. It refers to the shift of characteristic personality traits of a human being into an animal or even creature that possesses human as well as animal characteristics. This so-called Theriomorphose is culturally widespread and is recognized as an aspect of mankind that goes back to even primitive humanity. As millennia have passed, Therianthropic experiences have become increasingly socially ostracized, yet their continued occurrence in modern-day Therians has only further stimulated interest in these phenomena. This Therian community, however, is recognized independently from the Vampyric subculture due to significant differences especially regarding the bloodthirst inherent in Vampyrism. While the majority of sanguine Vampyres describe abstinence as unpleasant, debilitating, and associated with physical discomfort, Therians experience corresponding, albeit significantly diminished, symptoms of blood thirst only in a state of Shifting. Moreover, such discomfort in everyday life seems to be reserved only for Vampyres. The situation is different for the group of Ferox Vampyres, who are exposed to the omnipresent bloodthirst as well as have a more or less direct access to their inherent Animalis.
The understanding of an Animalis also comes from the Latin “Animalia” whose roots can also be found deep in the Old High German “tior” and is understood as a soul animal as well as a wild animal. In addition, the concept of Animalis includes an understanding of animus and anima which, according to Carl Gustav Jung, as parts of the soul, embody analytical archetypes of human existence. In Ferox Vampyrism, these animalistic parts are found as dominant components of the personality and take over the upper hand during the sanguine practice. Especially evident in the muscular loss of control, which occurs during the Shift of the personality parts, can be well recognized by the so-called “pawing”, i.e. a cramping of the extremities, as well as by uncontrolled muscle contractions as a result of increased body tension. These symptoms are basically harmless and do not require any medical attention. Ferox Vampyres also describe an increased sensitivity to external stimuli in the form of auditory, tactile, visual and olfactory perceptions, which are sometimes described as extreme or even painful.
These conceptual explanations should now serve to enable the following descriptions to be interpreted and understood within the framework of Ferox Vampyrism.
Michaelis (name changed) 33 years:
The room of the event has been darkened. Blankets and pillows lie ready. Bowls of still water stand slightly distanced in a corner of the room on the floor. The Ferox Vampyres are dressed in thin, dark clothes, which are firm and yet have the highest degree of mobility. Rings and other jewelry have already been discarded. The blood collection utensils lie within easy reach on a small, sturdy table. The room offers sufficient space, the floor is clear. Sharp-edged objects have also been put aside as a precaution. Only those who want to feed in the next few minutes are in the room. An experienced Ferox leads the process in order to be able to intervene promptly if necessary. Prepared, the choice is made as to who will be the first donor. All are aware that this Ferox must consciously control, if not suppress, his own impulses during the process. If this is no longer possible, the experienced Ferox will intervene and stop the blood collection to protect all participants.
All participants move to the floor to experience the donation. The needle is placed and the blood begins to flow. The unmistakable scent of iron mingles in the air, electrifying the attention of those present. A murmur goes through the crowd. Those who were still on their feet fail to do so, so that they now approach the source of desire on all fours. Wordlessly, the greed for the red juice rises like clouds of mist on a late November evening. More and more, space and time lose their meaning. All senses are tense to bursting. The human being constantly steps behind the Animalis, which now makes its way to the surface. Thoughts shrink to memories of a past self. The metallic-salty taste completely suffocates the last impulses of control. Warm blood runs down the throats. Makes every cell of the body vibrate. Ecstatic desire and animal instincts make the muscles tense. Shadowy images of forests, mountains as well as hunted game alternate and tell their story of the indwelling Animalis. The impressions are as manifold and individual as each Ferox himself. Hands spasm, growls spring from the throats. The animalistic parts take full control of the scenery. Bodies wrestling determine the picture, pack hierarchies and rankings are negotiated in playful fights.
Only gradually do tempers calm down. The growling dies down and is replaced by an exhausted panting. The Ferox have retreated into protective corners or are huddled closely together. Warming blankets and bowls of water help them return to this world. It takes hours for everyone to regain control over their bodies. And yet the intense memory of these events remains as a deeply rooted part of their being.
Tatyana (name changed) 24 years:
I was drinking. It was intense, euphoric, ecstatic. Dark red rivulets still covered my face. I followed the call which led me to this clearing.
My body pulsates with energy. I hear the beat of my heart. A rhythm, a call that I cannot resist, that I do not want to resist. I lurk in a tense posture. My hands rest on the ground, ready to follow my instincts. I eagerly soak up the sensory impressions surrounding me. Smell the damp, cold grass, hear insects and the small game in the thicket. The surface of my skin tingles as if electrified. Every vibration reverberates like a small earthquake inside me.
My eyes catch a fascinated glimpse of the moon as it moves full and rich across the firn. The dew glitters. A transient work of art whose beauty can hardly be squeezed into human words without it being tantamount to an insult.
A movement in the corner of my eye. I feel the irrepressible impulse to run and give in to it. The cool wind brushes my cheeks, the hairs of my arms. I feel liberated. One with the grandiose fireworks of sensory stimuli.
The metallic taste of blood lies heavy on my tongue. A memory, a promise of what makes me who I am. I let myself fall. The earthy smell of the ground mingles with that of the grass. I growl with satisfaction. Roll my heated body and am completely myself.
Dominik (name changed) 36 years:
The light stings my eyes like tiny, fine needles. My skin resembles tissue paper. My muscles lie leaden around my body. I breathe shallowly. The sandpaper in my throat screams for cool wetness. I have been drinking. Was animated by the intense intoxication of blood. Together with my brothers and sisters, I was on a journey. A journey to ourselves. In spirit we crossed forests, savannahs and deep mountain valleys. We scuffled and hunted.
Now I lie here. Back in my familiar body. I still feel the rush of the blood in my veins like clear springs, which pave their way through hard rock. This state is well known to me. As so often, I now long for the protective peace of a cave.
I concentrate. Pull the weight of my body toward a promising corner. Someone gently puts a blanket over me. I am grateful. Dim light surrounds me. I can rest. Something is set down in front of me. I recognize it through the veils of my memories as a bowl of water. My face is immersed. Cool, it surrounds my lips, my cheeks, my forehead. Blanks out the hardness of the space surrounding me. Eagerly I feed on this source. Relief for my raw throat.
Exhaustion overpowers me. Takes its toll. I curl up in a ball. Silence. Slowly, ever so gently, unobtrusively, the feeling creeps back into my arms and legs. My fingers break free from the rigidity of my paws. Individual limbs twitch. A good sign. It will be a while before I feel able to stand up again. But it is worth it. Every moment I experience like this is a gift. Lets me be whole. Whole with me and the world.
Ferox Vampyrism is not easy to explain. It is complex, individual, and eludes any rational approach. And yet it exists. Deep inside it slumbers in many Vampyres. Breaks out occasionally or even regularly. It can confuse and irritate. And yet it is as natural as Vampyrism itself. This little excursion into the world of the Ferox Vampyres is meant to create understanding. An openness for the diversity and plurality with which Vampyrism can be lived and confronted. It is meant to say, “You who exist out there are not alone.” There are words. Words that describe who or what you are. A part of the greater whole. A part of the community.
Written by Benu Re Thoris
originally published on 18 Apr. 2018
Translated for Black Rose Society. Edited by Luna Luv.
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