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Vampyre Elders in the Real World – Who are they and how did they get there?

Vampyre Elders in the Real World – Who are they and how did they get there?

Vampyre Elders in the Real World – Who are they and how did they get there?

Preface: I wrote this blog in response to a discussion The Vampyre Coven had about this topic. I knew I had a lot of thoughts that I wasn’t sure would fit into a comment. See the original post here

 

The idea of the Vampire Elder is a prevalent theme whether you’re reading vampire fiction or only familiar with the vampire community at large. In fiction, you hear of the Ancients that started it all, the Elders who came from the Ancients, and the children of Elders scorned by the ones who came before them. It’s almost like the VC of the real world decided to try to emulate this dynamic to the best of their ability. (what else is new though?)

As with most things in the Vampyre Community today, the definition and role of Elders varies widely. Who Elders are, how they become Elders, and what’s expected of an Elder changes from person to person, group to group.

To make things even more confusing, there’s sometimes a difference between being considered an Elder of your particular House, Court, Coven, etc. and being considered an Elder by the community. Just because the person who runs your organization decides to consider you an Elder inside of your walls, it doesn’t mean people outside of your group will consider you as such. People who ascend within their own establishments and come out swinging for the rest of the world to respect that newfound title almost always fall on their face in pursuit of such declarations. The court of public opinion is won with earnest actions on a consistent basis over a long period of time. As such, the pursuit of such a journey is the true way to become an Elder to the masses.

But let’s back up for a second…

What is an Elder?

As I have come to understand it, an Elder in the Vampyre Community is an individual with a longstanding tenure within their part of the VC that includes a verifiable record of public service to said community. As a recognized Elder of the community, one often takes a lifetime vow to continue to serve their community. It’s a commitment to being an active part of the preservation of traditions/history and teaching future generations.

In many scenarios, Elders are chosen to become such after proving their ability to handle community affairs for a significant amount of time. I believe Sabretooth’s base time before becoming an Elder is 7-8 years? Many organized groups have similar timelines.

 

Age ain’t nothing but a number…

While yes, Elders should have some years under their belt… Not every older person in the community is an Elder. Woolawd not everyone over 40 in this community is Elder material. Even some of the ones who claim they are definitely aren’t.

Age doesn’t equal wisdom. It doesn’t equal ability, experience, effort, or any of the things we expect to see from our Elders. Eldership in the community implies an ongoing commitment to being involved with sustaining and maintaining the community. So if an older individual has no real experience with anything community wise, they aren’t really an Elder. (in my opinion)

I semi-regularly come across people who are in their 50s-60s who have been aware of the community since the dawn of the 90s community who claim to be Elders, but they’ve never done much but chat rooms and they frankly aren’t very knowledgeable for how long they’ve been in the community. Would I ever tell these people they’re not Elders? Not unless they were attempting to do something harmful with their wannabe Elder status. Regardless, I have a hard time with those folks because they lack the service to one’s community aspect that is coded into the idea of Eldership.

 

So, how does one become an Elder then?

This is where things get a little (more) complicated. The template system that a lot of people look to when it comes to becoming an Elder includes joining a House, ascending through their internal ranks, becoming acquainted with the community around you/the House through interaction and that internal ascensions system, and then there’s a Council meeting with the Halo’s Elders to decide if you’re worthy of ascension to Eldership.

As with many of the perceived moving parts of the VC’s internal operations, this system is based on the Gotham Halo’s ways of doing things in the mid-late 2000’s. This system is unfortunately not viable for almost everywhere else.

What happens if someone has no community around them? If there’s no Halo, no Council, etc. Can they be an Elder?

Some would ask, why would they want to be considered an Elder? What would they be an Elder of? Which is a valid question… if none of those things exist around you or you’re not part of a House, what *would* you be an Elder of? Please feel free to answer this question in the comments below! (and share any other thoughts you may have)

It’s not like one can be an Elder of the *entire* community, right? The Vampyre Community nowadays is composed of various sections… and honestly always has been. So, what would you be an Elder of in this scenario?

The Court of Public Opinion

The reality of community Eldership is that it’s completely up to you to have yourself seen as an Elder. By that I don’t mean that you should try to project all over the place that you are an Elder. In fact, there are few quicker ways to have your reputation ruined than by proclaiming you’re an Elder or royal whatever too often.

What I mean is that your reputation precedes you. The work you do over long periods of time builds you a reputation and rapport with the community around you. Do this long enough, and your Eldership will be implied based on what you’ve accomplished and therefore infinitely more meaningful and steadfast than anything someone else could hand down to you. Anyone is capable of doing this, Ronin or otherwise. It’s less about being “officially recognized” by a longstanding Elder who came before you but being recognized by those around you for the work you put in.

You can achieve this in so many ways. You can do this by organizing vampyre community in your local area, contributing to online community resources, working with established groups (like The Vampyre Coven, cough cough wink wink) To build up widespread community connections, hosting events, supporting other people’s events, and online outreach. There’s so many options and things you can do with varying levels of personal public exposure or interaction.

In the end though, it’s all about your own initiative and effort and what you’re willing and able to contribute. Regardless of the way you make it to Elder, it’s achieved through long standing sacrifice of energy to your community and your studies.

 

Why do people want to become Elders?

Nostalgic Promises

For some of us, the ascension system that we have watched and/or been promised as the youth of the community cultivates a desire for both structured learning and validation from those we perceive as our mentors or heroes. For the longest time we have the idea of an almost Coven style degree program taught by leaders and Elders of the VC. Many people get what feels so close to the edge of these systems, but are never let in enough to see what we’ve been after for so long. It can be heartbreaking to realize many of the constructs we’ve romanticized within the VC aren’t what they seemed at all. Or the ship has sailed in this modern era. It seems that many of the people we’ve been led to believe had all the answers really have nothing to offer. Yet, in the back of our mind we hope to be able to be included in these systems they project as the golden standard so one day we can be proclaimed as an Elder or otherwise recognized in some form or fashion for the hard work we put in.

I chased that for a while. I wanted certain community people to be cool with me. I wanted them to see how much good I wanted to do and show them how much good we could do if we worked together. I had hoped to prove that the Eldership I received in O’Mallie wasn’t a waste. It’s taken a lot of ongoing shadow work, even to this day, to let go of the desire to make “my Elders” proud and be a good influence on the future of our bloodlines. Chasing this was exhausting though and I realized I was doing amazing work without them and no thanks to them. (despite them)

You don’t need the okay, the thumbs up, or the go ahead from your local vampyre tyrant to do your own thing in the community. If you move with integrity, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop you. If you truly move with integrity, your presence would be a gift to the VC. Never lose sight of that.

 

Playing the Game

For other people, the rat race to Eldership is a game. It’s always been a game to some people and always will be a game. It’s a title to add to a resume. A brick in a self made pedestal to sit on top of and look down their noses from. The more royal one pretends to be in their Eldership, the more ego driven it usually is. Eldership can and has regularly been something people utilize to gain fake status, use their perceived clout as a means to manipulate people, and even used as a way to abuse others around them. Where one can receive power, one will abuse power… and for some reason the VC loves to LARP power dynamics with Kings, Queens, and Elders running amok doing the most.

The Eldership as a game crowd enjoy immersing into the strategic environment of playing the field. Their style of vampyrism feeds off of the “political” and “tactical” nature of their place in the grand scheme of things. Or their vampyrism is laced with a level of narcissism that enjoys and feeds off of being the leader, master, etc. We do have a lot of D/s, Sado/Maso, spicy individuals who get their rocks off using these tendencies in VC socio political interactions. This style of exchange with Elders and the systems they inhabit have questionable/variable success rates when it comes to making positive progress for their communities. Their successes are often extremely overshadowed by the extracurricular drama that surrounds them.

It’s not limited to one or the other, either. The psychological reasons behind the desire to achieve Eldership can be incredibly nuanced. People’s desire to immerse in these dynamics can range from anywhere to power kinks, VC/family loyalty, desire to make a difference, love for the community, enjoyment of the gameplay, enjoying the associated club scene, or even trauma bonding, toxic grasp on nostalgia, need for attention, personal inadequacies, daddy issues and just so many factors can come into play and a lot of it is not exactly wholesome.

Part of the VC’s existence is letting people with these types of issues express themselves safely in a taboo world. Unfortunately, there is a lot of associated risk that gets glossed over and the power dynamics get used and abused with gusto…

 

Who should become Elders

I don’t want to leave this article on a negative note; because while there is a lot left to be desired from many of the Elders we’ve been left with over the years, the need for better ones is ever present. There is a desperate need for capable, intelligent, and passionate leaders who aren’t going to fuck over the vampyre community. This isn’t limited to any specific elite class of individuals. It’s not reserved for any lineages nor do you have to wait for someone to come tap you on the shoulder and tell you it’s okay for you to stand in your power. The best Elders did Elder shit before they were recognized as such. They worked with their community and for their community and it showed enough for people to recognize their efforts and view them as a leader. That’s all it takes.

About The Author

☥Jessica O'Mallie-Corvidae

Jessica Corvidae is an artist, writer, creator, teacher, and full time Vampyre Witch. Her uniquely practical Pagan approach to Vampyre Witchcraft and her longstanding leadership within the Vampyre Community has piqued the interests of audiences across the globe. Jessica’s no-nonsense attitude and low tolerance for bullshit has gained not only the attention, but the friendship and loyalty of many along the way.

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