WHAT WE ARE ABOUT
– An Introductory Overview
You may have found us and equally found yourself at a loss to understand what exactly Black Rose Society is, what we are about, and where you might stand within all this.
The purpose of the following texts is to give you a brief introductory overview of the central topics and avenues of exploration Black Rose Society focuses on.
This way, we aim to provide you with a good idea of what you can expect to find in our community.
WHAT WE ARE
Black Rose Society is – first and foremost – a community of Vampyres, dedicated to Vampyre Identity and Vampyre Culture.
Black Rose Society is a place for serious exploration.
We do not claim to possess all the answers, and we certainly do not speak for all vampire-identified people everywhere.
Rather, we do our best to provide our membership with a conducive atmosphere to explore an extensive range of topics from within the perspective of Vampyre Identity and Vampyre Culture.
We discuss how various groups of vampire-identified people arrive at expressing their varied experiences through self-identification with the vampire as a distinct category of person or archetype.
We discuss how various groups of vampire-identified people have originated and shaped an authentic alternative subculture in the form of modern Vampyre Culture.
We discuss the relationship between Vampyre Identity and Vampyre Culture – how one inspires the other, and how we in turn may be inspired as Vampyres.
Black Rose Society is also a social place of meeting.
We provide our membership with a safe haven to gather, to mingle, to exchange news and information, to enjoy hospitality, to befriend, to learn on a basis of personal knowing.
In this, Black Rose Society is explicitly open to all interested parties who might be sympathetic to us, both Vampyres and Black Swans, whether they seek closer affiliation with our sponsor in House Sauromatos or not, and indeed, whether they are familiar with the customs of Vampyre Society or still seek to learn more.
Lastly, we are about the celebration of being different, and we welcome all to have a good time in our spaces, as long as it is within the boundaries of our rules, guidelines and policies.
WHAT WE ARE NOT
Black Rose Society is decidedly not…
A roleplaying community
Black Rose Society is a community of ‘Real Living Vampires’. This is not a game for us.
While role players are indeed welcome to join Black Rose Society, we generally do not allow actual roleplaying in our regular community spaces.
A dating community
Approaching our community or any of our members with the sole intention of seeking a sexual or romantic relationship of any kind is firmly discouraged. Making another member feel unsafe or uncomfortable due to unwanted sexual advances or unwanted sexual comments may be considered harassment, and we will remove any offender from our community as soon as we become aware of any inappropriate behaviour.
A provider of professional medical or legal advice
Any information offered through Black Rose Society is considered to be for informational or educational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Similarly, any information offered through Black Rose Society should not be in any way construed as professional legal advice on any subject matter. Should you decide to act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information offered through Black Rose Society, you do so at your own risk.
WHETHER WE ARE THE RIGHT COMMUNITY FOR YOU
Our community may not be the right fit for you, or it may indeed be the place you gladly call a haven.
You may have found the right place if you are at least one of the following:
– A Vampyre, someone who self-identifies as a Vampyre, or as Vampyric, or in any way identifies with the vampire as a category of person or archetype.
– A Black Swan, someone who is a trusted friend to Vampyres and fully participates in the community, but does not or is not ready to identify as a Vampyre or Vampyric.
– A Seeker, someone seriously questioning whether they are Vampyric, or whether they want to participate in Vampyre Culture in general.
– Someone involved in consensual human blood-drinking between risk-aware adults, either as an active participant, blood drinker or blood donor, or as a close friend or family member of one, wishing to be supportive of them.
– Someone engaging in advanced energy work, or Energy Vampirism, within the boundaries of Vampyre Identity and Vampyre Culture.
– Someone pursuing Vampirism from the perspective of the Occult, open and sympathetic to Vampyre Identity and Vampyre Culture.
– Someone with a genuine and enduring interest in all things ‘Vampire’, open and sympathetic to Vampyre Identity and Vampyre Culture.
We especially want to welcome you if you are at least one of the above and also:
– Someone passionate about furthering Vampyre Identity and Vampyre Culture, and ready to make meaningful contributions.
– Someone intrigued by the aesthetic and mystique of Vampyre Culture, who wishes to actively explore its lifestyle aspects.
– Someone with good questions.
You may want to look elsewhere if you are one of the following:
– A journalist or media worker seeking interviews.
– Lacking the necessary maturity to deal with our topics.
– Solely interested in hooking up.
– Just curious for no particular reason.
– Seeking to become a vampire in the hopes of gaining supernatural powers, lasting youth, increased lifespan, or things similarly fantastic.
– Unwilling or unable to respect Vampyre Identity and Vampyre Culture, for whatever reason.
– Unwilling or unable to comply with Black Rose Society’s rules, guidelines and policies, for whatever reason.
– Scared of reading.
If you are unsure, you are most welcome to talk to our members on our Discord Community Server and have your questions answered in our #support channel or have a friendly chat in our #lobby, both of which are open to non-members.
BLACK ROSE SOCIETY ON VAMPYRE IDENTITY
– There are no vampires in the Vampire Community
We begin with the Vampire Mythos.
Vampyre Identity and Vampyre Culture are inevitably tied to the Vampire Mythos.
We, Vampyres, are a people of the Vampire Mythos, in that our self-identification and our cultural self-expression as Vampyres will in some capacity reference the figure of the vampire from popular culture.
A vampire in the most common understanding of the word appears as a creature which drains the life (often in the form of blood) of humans to sate their own needs, enrich or prolong their own existence.
Vampyres do not believe that they are literal vampires as they appear in popular fiction or folklore.
While some Vampyres might believe there to be some hidden truth to vampire stories, namely historical ‘Living Vampires’ who have passed into myth, Vampyres generally do not make any fantastic claims of possessing qualities commonly associated with the vampires of popular fiction or folklore.
Vampyres are perfectly able to distinguish fact from fiction.
Indeed, the reality of Vampyres as a modern cultural phenomenon is a fact that is beyond any doubt.
Since at least the latter half of the last century there are people like us – people who name themselves Vampyres for a wide variety of reasons.
What is commonly known as the ‘Vampire Community’ is in fact not a unified community but a collection of networks, groups and individuals who are associated with each other by virtue of their shared self-identification with the vampire as a category of person or as an archetype.
For our own purposes, we define Vampyres as individuals who are part of the Vampyre Subculture, or Vampyre Culture, and who identify as ‘Real Living Vampires’ specifically.
Note that we are observing the anachronistic spelling with a ‘y’ when referring to our kind, emphasizing and affirming our belonging to Vampyre Culture, with the benefit of helping to distinguish our kind from the vampires of fiction and folklore, spelt with an ‘i’ in the conventional way. (While not all vampire-identified people participate in Vampyre Culture, many are familiar with or adopt certain cultural ideas, customs, symbols and terminologies of Vampyre Culture.)
THEORIES ON VAMPYRE IDENTITY
Both outside of as well as within the ‘Vampire Community’ one will likely encounter arguments that Vampyrism may be a health condition or disorder, a sexual fetish, an escape fantasy, or a religious belief.
We believe that Vampyrism understood as the phenomenon of modern ‘Real Living Vampires’ is severely misrepresented by completely reducing the whole diversity of Vampyre Identity to any one of the aforementioned explanations or rationalizations.
Despite unfortunately sounding like one, Vampyrism – as we understand it – is NOT a medical condition or psychological syndrome in the sense that Vampyrism cannot be sufficiently represented by completely reducing it as such, although attempts have been made to link certain facets of Vampyrism to various physical or psychological conditions, suggesting that there may be an empirical condition underlying some cases of Vampyrism.
Likewise, Vampyrism – as we understand it – is NOT a sexual fetish in the sense that Vampyrism cannot be sufficiently represented by completely reducing it as such, although there can be sensual, erotic aspects to Vampyrism, and individuals may experience excitement or receive gratification from or during certain Vampyric acts or complement their practice of Vampyrism with participation in fetish, kink or BDSM activities.
Further, Vampyrism – as we understand it – is NOT an escape fantasy, in the sense that Vampyrism cannot be sufficiently represented by completely reducing it as such, although Vampyrism has been proposed to be a reaction to trauma, abuse or feelings of isolation, and some individuals who regard themselves as outsiders or outcasts might be attracted to Vampyre groups, which in some cases can take on the role of surrogate pseudo-families.
Lastly, Vampyrism – as we understand it – is NOT a cult, religion, religious belief or religious practice in the sense that Vampyrism cannot be sufficiently represented by completely reducing it as such, although Vampyrism can have religious or spiritual facets, which can be studied in the context of alternative spirituality or new religious movements.
In Black Rose Society we prefer to regard the phenomenon of modern ‘Real Living Vampires’, or Vampyrism, to be primarily a matter of identity – personal, social and cultural.
Approaching Vampyrism this way – as a social phenomenon and culture – allows us to appreciate a wider range of complexity and diversity of perspectives found within the different strata and subsects of Vampyric communities without confining us to a too narrow definition of the nature of Vampyrism, or – more precisely – of Vampyre Identity.
What makes one a Vampyre is – to the best of our understanding – ultimately tied to the very individual reasoning leading one to name oneself a Vampyre, to adopt the Vampyre Identity, and to participate in Vampyre Culture.
Put more simply, a Vampyre is potentially anyone who chooses to name oneself a Vampyre for one reason or another.
The individual reasons for why a person might identify as, or express themselves as a Vampyre, or as being Vampyric, are many and varied.
VARIETIES OF VAMPYRE IDENTITY
In Black Rose Society, you will encounter very different and sometimes seemingly conflicting perspectives being discussed – why one Vampyre might drink human blood, why one Vampyre might feed on human life-forces or subtle energies, why one Vampyre might do both or neither, ranging the more traditionalist to the more modernist, from the more materialist to the more spiritualist – as well as be offered some insights into the cultural development of the presented ideas and perspectives.
Black Rose Society is a community dedicated to the whole complexity and diversity of Vampyre Identity, and Vampyre Culture. In principle, Black Rose Society does not discriminate against and welcomes any individual expression of Vampyre Identity, so long as it does not conflict with Black Rose Society’s rules, guidelines and policies.
Some Vampyres practice consensual human blood-drinking between adults.
Also known as ‘Sanguine Vampires’ or ‘Sanguinarians’, they often, but not always, claim to have an affinity or need to feed on human blood and that this practice is of some benefit to their physical, emotional or spiritual well-being, or that they experience some other form of relief due to this practice.
Please note: In Vampye Culture the practice of consensual human blood-drinking often, but not always, happens within the bounds of a committed intimate relationship, but always strictly consensually between risk-aware adults. Black Rose Society explicitly distances itself from any acts of blood-drinking or bloodletting that involve and/or in any way abuse unconsenting persons, minors or animals.
Some Vampyres who are better known as ‘Psychic Vampires’, ‘Energy Vampires’, ‘Psi Vampires’, or ‘Pranic Vampires’ believe they have an affinity or need to feed on subtle life-forces which they believe they are able to draw or gather from another person or a group of persons by means of their innate nature or learned abilities. Similarly, they claim that this practice is of some benefit to their physical, emotional or spiritual well-being, or that they experience some other form of relief due to this practice.
‘Sanguine Vampires’ along with ‘Psychic Vampires’ are often categorized as ‘Real Vampires’.
Other Vampyres embody the archetype of the vampire by expressing it through facets such as Lifestyle, Aesthetics, Philosophy or the Occult, often, but not always, complementing the practices previously mentioned.
These individuals are known by many different terms and distinctions, but are sometimes categorized as ‘Living Vampires’.
‘Real Living Vampires’ or Vampyres
Be advised that any such categories are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Vampyres who – by virtue of their individual identity – may find themselves in both categories, and would be considered ‘Real Vampires’ as well as ‘Living Vampires’, we call ‘Real Living Vampires’, or just Vampyres.
Black Rose Society Vampyres are Sanguines and ‘Real Living Vampires’ in the majority – but we welcome all vampire-identified people and all those who may be sympathetic to Vampyre Identity and Vampyre Culture, provided they comply with our rules, guidelines and policies.
BLACK ROSE SOCIETY ON VAMPYRE CULTURE
– What it means to be a Vampyre
Vampyre Culture, also called the Vampyre Lifestyle or the Vampyre Subculture, is an alternative subculture, meaning it exists as an alternative to – and apart from, yet within – larger society.
Vampyre Culture in its current modern form originated with and is influenced by other alternative subcultures, alternative lifestyles or alternative spiritualities, and is often more closely associated with the Gothic Subculture, as well as with elements of BDSM, Paganism or Satanism respectively.
Although not all vampire-identified groups and not all vampire-identified individuals necessarily consider themselves part of Vampyre Culture, many groups of Vampyres or individual Vampyres follow their own authentic expression of Vampyre Culture.
Vampyre Culture is often that which connects the various communities of vampire-identified people.
Vampyre Culture has its own complex heritage, with its own traditions and authentic lines of transmission.
Prior to the advent of the internet, communities of Vampyres and groups of the Vampyric Heritage were – compared to today’s standards – relatively isolated from each other.
This resulted in several more or less distinct traditions of vampire-identified people arriving to exist side by side in the current modern ‘Vampire Community’ with the turn of the century, each possessing an authentic history, each having an equally legitimate claim to what it means to be a ‘Vampire’, sometimes complementing each other, sometimes contradicting each other.
Today there are multitudes of different Vampyre Houses, Covens and Clan-Families preserving, refining and transmitting their own piece of the Vampyric Heritage.
Black Rose Society itself was founded as a Protectorate-Partner and functions as an Outer Court for House Sauromatos, a traditional Vampyric Household based in Germany.
MAKINGS OF VAMPYRE CULTURE
In Black Rose Society we are dedicated to the study and the discussion of Vampyre Culture from within the perspective of active participation in Vampyre Culture.
We see Vampyre Culture expressed in our own ideas of social organization, in customs, in codes of behaviour, in etiquette, in philosophy, in spirituality, in our symbols, language and terminologies, as well as – to a limited degree – in our aesthetics, style, fashion, music, art, etc.
What makes up Vampyre Culture, and what Vampyre Culture means for us as Vampyres are among the most important questions Black Rose Society is exploring.
According to our patron and sponsor in House Sauromatos there are certain traditions, fundamental ideas and concepts that one might consider to be essential to Vampyre Culture – its character, its values as well as its aesthetics and mystique: Feeding, Naming, Speaking the Language, Wearing Black, Secrecy, Education and Family
For most outsiders and indeed for many Vampyres their interest in Vampyre Society begins and ends with Feeding.
Although our words for and our ideas surrounding the practice of Vampyric Feeding may certainly differ, Vampyres as a category of person are nearly universally defined by the fact that we engage in certain Vampyric acts, or Vampyric behaviour, generally understood as a Vampyric person actively feeding on another person’s life-forces, often in the form of blood.
The varied practices of consensual human blood-drinking between risk-aware adults, or the arts of feeding on life by certain subtle means are the most commonly expressed forms of practised Vampyrism.
This is what we call Feeding.
Our ideas of what it is Vampyres feed on, how and when Vampyres feed, why Vampyres feed, if there is a need for Vampyres to feed, of which nature this need might be and what it means for us as Vampyres will differ from place to place, group to group, individual to individual.
Regardless of the variety of ideas present and expressed in Vampyre Culture, the concept and practice of Vampyric Feeding is central to Vampyre Culture anywhere.
This is part of Vampyre Culture.
Names have power.
At the beginning of one’s journey, one often chooses a dedicated name to be used for any coming interactions within Vampyre Society.
Taking on a new name – a Vampyre name – can be considered an individual rite of passage in Vampyre Culture.
It signifies a dedication or desire to be known and recognized by that name as a part of Vampyre Society.
A Vampyre’s chosen name is often highly meaningful and should reflect one’s personal identity and journey as a Vampyre. Therefore, care should be taken when choosing a name for oneself.
Under certain circumstances, a Vampyre may accept a name chosen by one’s mentor or a person of similar standing.
It is commonly permissible to change one’s chosen name when one has outgrown it.
For some, taking on a new name can mean the freedom of leaving the past behind to begin anew, discovering or re-inventing yourself, to seek out new experiences, to forge new bonds, to choose a new family.
Indeed, when joining a traditional group of Vampyres, one might, in addition, take on the name of the House, Clan, Coven or Family in question, or a name honouring one’s mentor, signifying individual belonging and lineage.
Among traditional groups, one’s naming is often accompanied by certain rites and ceremonies.
While naming customs may differ from place to place, a Vampyre’s chosen name is generally an important expression of one’s Identity as a Vampyre.
This is part of Vampyre Culture.
Speaking the Language
Belonging to Vampyre Culture is distinctly marked by the correct usage of specialized terminologies.
While a complete Vampyric language never reached widespread use in Vampyre Culture, its specialized terminologies are similar to an argot, or cant, a type of secret language which can be employed to protect a group’s spoken or written communication from outsiders, establishing a subculture existing separate but within a larger society.
To learn this secret language present in Vampyre Culture one would commonly access and study word lists, or learn directly from other Vampyres within an established group.
This is part of Vampyre Culture.
Subtle and elegant, black is the preferred colour of Vampyres according to tradition and suitable for any social occasion or function of Vampyre Society.
To complement a classic black attire, silver jewellery is often preferred by Vampyres, as is the wearing of certain signets and symbols associated with Vampyre Culture.
Traditional groups are known to recommend stricter dress codes depending on various factors – yet, the colour black enjoys almost universal acceptance in Vampyre Culture anywhere.
This is part of Vampyre Culture.
Secrecy and confidentiality are paramount for Vampyres.
From the earliest beginnings of what would become Vampyre Culture, our communities have relied on secrecy and mutual discretion.
It comes with the territory, the deviant nature of our interests and activities, which are largely – and perhaps rightfully – considered to be taboo in larger society.
Originating in traditional codes of silence, the importance of secrecy is near-universally recognized in Vampyre Culture, and it often is among the first lessons to someone introduced to Vampyre Society.
Vampyres must ever take care not to disclose any information that could be in any way construed to threaten other Vampyres, their families, their friends, or themselves.
The same applies to our trusted Black Swans, who know of us and keep our secrets.
Do not seek the attention of the mundane. Especially avoid the sensationalist media like the plague.
Do not misrepresent yourself as speaking for all Vampyres, or for any Vampyre groups you are not sanctioned to represent. When possible, entrust any outside public relations to those with more experience. Protect each other’s personal information. Keep your Vampyre life and mundane life separate.
Do not reveal a person’s mundane name or any other aspects of a person’s mundane identity to anyone without explicit permission. Indeed, it is good etiquette not to inquire about a person’s mundane identity at all within Vampyre Society.
Always keep the secrets entrusted to you personally.
This is part of Vampyre Culture.
With knowledge comes responsibility.
In Vampyre Culture knowledge is traditionally passed on personally – from person to person, from mentor to protégé – forming traceable lines of transmission.
Being of the Vampyric Heritage, it is a Vampyre’s duty and responsibility to share one’s knowledge with others and impart them with the necessary skills to feed responsibly, to instruct them in the language and traditions of Vampyre Culture, and to prepare them to serve as leaders and guides for the next generation of Vampyres, passing on the legacy so that it may endure.
In a traditional mentor-protégé relationship, a mentor is called to protect, to guide and to correct any missteps of their protégé – always leading by example.
For the duration of a traditional mentorship period, a mentor is – to a limited degree – responsible for the behaviour of their protégé.
A good mentor will provide access as well as personal insight by introducing their protégé to relevant texts and resources, teaching them protocol and proper conduct, and inviting them to attend gatherings and social functions with them. A good protégé will demonstrate an eagerness to learn by asking questions and show respect by being attentive and valuing their mentor’s time.
By tradition, it is the mentor’s responsibility to assess whether their protégé has acquired the necessary level of experience, self-control and knowledge to stand on their own and be formally recognized as a member of Vampyre Society. The successful end of a mentorship period will often be marked by certain rites and celebrations, depending on ruling customs.
Vampyre Culture’s distinctly personal approach to the transmission of knowledge often stems from an appreciation of the living Vampyric Heritage and the desire to keep the flame alive by passing it on from one person to another, one generation to the one following.
Our Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
This is part of Vampyre Culture.
Blood is thicker than water.
Vampyres traditionally organize themselves into clannish, close-knit groups of like-minded, kindred spirits.
Traditional Houses, Clans, Covens, or Families of Vampyres often emphasize their familial nature as part of their self-image.
Indeed, traditional groups of Vampyres can at times resemble surrogate families, providing safety, stability and support – a life among your own kind, where other support systems might have failed you.
Someone’s Vampyre Family is a true family of choice, often just as important to the individual as someone’s original family – if not more so.
For these reasons, belonging and loyalty to one’s Vampyre Clan-Family or Vampyre House are valued highly in Vampyre Culture.
Vampyre Houses, or other equivalent traditional groups, form the backbone of Vampyre Culture, and are typically, but not necessarily, headed by one or several influential matriarchal or patriarchal figures, with a close inner circle of Family members and retainers, attracting an outer circle of prospective members and hang-arounds as well as various supporters and sympathizers.
While a certain level of stratification is traditionally upheld, it mainly fulfils a need for stability and security, which is ceremonially reproduced by hierarchy and ritual.
In reality, there is often a striking difference between the formal stratified structure and the informal familial nature of this type of group – even in the most traditional of Vampyre Houses.
Apart from providing their members with a family-like network of support, mutual loyalty and trust, Vampyre Houses, or other equivalent traditional groups, serve Vampyre Society in various other ways.
Depending on the group or organization in question, Vampyre Houses, or other equivalent traditional groups, may be actively involved in the preservation and furthering of knowledge, in structured education and teaching, as well as in organizing events and social functions for their local communities.
While the vast majority of individual Vampyres does not belong to a group following a more traditional model, their ideas and values of Family are deeply embedded in Vampyre Culture in general.
Without the bonds of Family, we are nothing: Loyalty to each other, to Vampyre Society, to Clan and House – honouring the Ancestors, in Life and Death.
All this is part of Vampyre Culture.
IDEAL OF VAMPYRE CULTURE
In Black Rose Society we customary refer to the utopian ideal of a community envisioned by Vampyre Culture as Vampyre Society.
Vampyre Society is perhaps, above all, a community of shared values.
Vampyres often believe themselves to be in some way different from other people within larger society.
Many Vampyres have experienced or continue to experience alienation due to their unique experiences.
Vampyre Society is a place where all are valued and embraced for who they are, and where to be different is celebrated and cherished.
Vampyre Society is a place where all are largely free from judgement imposed by larger society, heeding only Vampyre-specific codes of behaviour, more appropriate to their way of living.
Vampyre Society is a place of belonging, which – fostered by the personal relationships found in real community, strengthened through facing shared adversity together, and heightened by the very mystique of the vampire archetype – may engender genuine feelings of pride and awaken true solidarity with other members of Vampyre Society.
To make Vampyre Society a lived reality, whenever or wherever possible, at social gatherings, or in any interaction with other Vampyres and Black Swans – this is the meaning of Vampyre Culture.
BLACK ROSE SOCIETY 2021