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What the Vampire Craze has to Teach Us About Ourselves and Current Times

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The current vampire craze is a most interesting phenomenon that is becoming a bigger and bigger theme, especially among young people. Let us look at a brief history of where vampires originated, some of the particulars of vampirism, and recent developments to understand how this craze mirrors deeper processes in the human psyche.

A brief history:

Concern over vampires has been reported in most cultures and continents on Earth since the dawn of time. Mostly the fears have been associated with the dead returning to life and creating havoc or coming back to people they knew and hurting or killing them. Therefore great care has been taken with burials, honoring the dead, and not provoking them. Burial sites are often avoided or placed in remote locations.

Early vampires were associated with demigods, super humans who were not totally human and not totally gods. In the earliest versions they were not specifically vampires but associated with drinking blood such as the Hindu goddess Kali.

The earliest myth regarding the vampire appears in the story of Lilith, the first female created by God and thought to be the first wife of Adam in the Jewish tradition. She didn’t get along with Adam because she didn’t want to be dominated by him psychologically and sexually and insisted on being on top. She was then cast out Eden and replaced by a more submissive Eve. In her exile Lilith was thought to have become a mother of demons and some legends have her joining league with Cain, the brother who murdered Able, begetting the earliest vampires.



Now let us contemplate some vampire facts so we can begin to understand why they are prominent in our psyches at this time:

They are creatures of the night or dark

They survive on the blood of their victims

They infect others

They are mostly destructive

They are calculating and cold hearted

They are quite sexual

They are often beautiful until they reveal their inner nature

They must be destroyed in highly specific ways (stake through the heart-decapitation)

They are the living dead or beings that occupy a corpse.

New Developments:

In modern Hollywood and in recent literature there are some new developments to vampire lore.

Vampires may work for good against their own kind.

Vampires can fall in love with humans and seek to protect them from werewolves or from themselves.

Female vampires are now often the heroines

What it’s all about:

The seeds to understanding the vampire storyline and its current craze are present within its’ history, within their natures, and within current developments.

Vampires, whether male or female, represent the dark feminine aspect of the Tao, the void, the infinitely creative, the spontaneous uncontrolled side of creation. The dark feminine is also associated with the wisdom of the crone, the wise older woman with experience, the witch.

The dark feminine, just like its dark masculine counterpart, has a positive pole and a negative pole. As we have seen, the positive pole is creativity, spontaneity, experience, and great wisdom all in service of Spirit. A good example of this aspect of the dark feminine is Glenda, the good witch of the North in The Wizard of OZ. The negative pole is the devouring, destructive, backstabbing evil witch, as in the wicked witch of the West. Because of human beings great fears vampires have often been associated with the negative pole of the dark feminine.

Their sexuality represents the seeds of creativity but is often seen through our fears as unholy and sinful. Think the influence of religion here.

The negative aspect of the dark feminine when associated with the ego, like the black widow spider, will suck out the source of your life, your blood, leaving you a dried husk. You will then be doomed to repeat the vampire’s process, caught in the death grip of the ego.

This egoic negative dark aspect is feared because it seems infectious and spreads from person to person like a plague.

It can seduce you with its surface beauty until it reveals its true nature, a demon.

In other words, historically vampires are symbols of an aspect of the ego, the destructive, out of control, seductive, and scary dark forces, unleashing havoc and mayhem into an otherwise ordered, god-fearing existence.

So, what about Lilith, that “Bad” woman of legend who would not submit to male dominance? Lilith was thought to have spawned demons and vampires, forever fated to stalk the dark, looking for human blood. What a nasty projection has been promulgated on this powerhouse feminine! Lilith is the dark feminine, the feminine face of Spirit, never designed to submit or be dominated by anything. How can one part of Spirit submit to another part if they are all equal. Of course she would not submit. Because of the human ego she was thought to be relegated to the dark, to the underworld of demons, to prey upon humans all through the ages. This represntation of Lilith will simply not do. It is the human ego that does that and projects this negativity and fear upon the feminine face of God and this phenomenon is coming to an end.

Thus we see changes in the storyline. Vampires are becoming more compassionate, more loving, more protective, all traits associated with the positive pole of the dark feminine. Now is the time for her to come out of the shadows of human’s psyche and take her rightful place as wise, creative, powerful, and filled with love. She is here to balance the masculine face of God, to take her rightful place side by side presiding over creation. Human beings are growing up and the changes in the vampire storyline reflect that birthing into maturity. Along will come the day when in the vampire’s storyline they will no long seek to suck blood but rather to offer the powerful life force to those who seek enlightenment or everlasting life. After all there is a powerful positive face as well to the Hindu goddess Kali who gifts those who honor her with limitless life force, power, and light.






People obsessed with vampires are actually seeking light, wisdom, and power but they do not know how to find it within themselves, so they play out the whole drama through vampires, romanticizing and fearing them.

Incidentally werewolves represent the negative aspects of the dark masculine that we are also afraid of, but that is another story altogether. Sooner or later we will get all these symbols worked out.


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José Stevens

José Luis Stevens, PhD is the president and co-founder (with wife Lena) of Power Path Seminars, an international school and consulting firm dedicated to the study and application of shamanism and indigenous wisdom to business and everyday life. José completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol (Wixarika) Maracame (Huichol shaman) in the Sierras of Central Mexico. In addition, he is studying with Shipibo shamans in the Peruvian Amazon and with Paqos (shamans) in the Andes in Peru. In 1983 he completed his doctoral dissertation at the California Institute of Integral Studies focusing on the interface between shamanism and western psychological counseling. Since then, he has studied cross-cultural shamanism around the world to distill the core elements of shamanic healing and practice. He is the author of twenty books and numerous articles including Encounters With Power, Awaken The Inner Shaman, The Power Path, Secrets of Shamanism, Transforming Your Dragons and How To Pray The Shaman's Way.