The Totum Lex Vampyrica (TLV)
The first of these projects was the creation and introduction of a Vampyre Community law or set of guidelines for ethical practices for the South African community. Called the Totum Lex Vampyrica or ‘TLV’, this canon of guidelines and ethics was introduced into the House in September 2010 and later adopted by the South African Vampyre Alliance, formed in May 2011, as well as all its member Groups.
The Totum Lex Vampyrica (Whole Vampyric Law)
The Totum Lex Vampyrica (Whole Vampyric Law) is also known as: Lex Pro Lamia Populus (Law for the Vampyre Nation). The Totum Lex Vampyrica was written for use in House Valur, and intended to address the unique social structure of South Africa, which is still a pretty conservative set-up, despite the liberal and advanced Constitution of the country which pretty much guarantees freedom of religion (if you view vampyrism as a religion).
Adherence to the main principles of the TLV is considered vital, and is a non-negotiable within the SA Vampyre Alliance and its member Houses and groups.
The TLV echoes much of what is said in various versions of the earlier Black Veil, which is widely held as the community guideline in the USA. By comparison, the TLV is laid out more coherently and also addresses the topic of community secrecy in the unique South African context, which also endears it to other communities facing similar situations. It is the feeling of the drafters that the TLV is better suited to the South African arena.
In December 2010 the TLV was translated into Spanish for use by some South American and European groups, by Mistwolf. You can view the Spanish translation here. Since then, in 2012, this guideline was also adopted for use in the fledgling Indian Vampire Community (IVC) by Ashwin Shadowside. In 2013 we received positive feedback indicating that the TLV is also in use in some Canadian groups, and that “it works”.
The TLV is available for all Vampyre groups to use, freely, in unaltered form. For inquiries, contact House Valur at email@example.com
The Whole Of The Law:
Laws of Nature
Laws of Disclosure
Laws of Community
Laws of the Need
Laws of the Embrace
Laws of Otherkin
LAWS OF NATURE:
1) OF THE LIFE: Vampyres are real living beings, not creatures of myth and folklore bound by symbols nor rituals of religion. We are born, we live, and we die like any other living thing. We have no special abilities marking us which the Shinai cannot master for themselves, should they wish it.
2) OF THE BLOOD: Vampyres have unique needs which define us as Vampyres, being the NEED to supplement our energy or prana in order to remain healthy. There are different ways to feed, being called PSI, Psionic, Psychic or Sanguine, but we are all of one blood, we are all Vampyres. Be advised there are others who can feed as we do, but they do it for different reasons, be it religious practice or magick, or fetishism. We are defined as Vampyres by our inherent NEED to feed, without which we will suffer ill health.
3) OF THE HEART: What we are is not a religion, even though there are some religions specifically for Vampyres. Being of the blood, our need to feed and all other advantages and disadvantages flowing from this need – is what defines us as Vampyres, regardless of our individual faiths, beliefs or value systems.
4) OF THE WORLD: Some believe that Vampyres are predators at the top of the food chain, looking down on all living things upon this Earth – but even if that is so, it also means that we are evolved enough to choose to live in harmony with those who surround us. We are born of Vampyres, and also from Shinai and Otherkin, which marks us as being as human as anyone else, and no better, nor worse.
LAWS OF DISCLOSURE:
Preamble: There are places in the world where we face danger for what we are, and unwise or accidental disclosure could endanger our lives, and the lives of others who form part of our community. Conversely, there are places where Vampyres can live openly without fear of repercussions. At times, these two extremes can be present in the same state or country, and so the House leaders must bear the responsibility for determining the conditions prevalent in our area, and the level of exposure deemed appropriate. However, in worst case scenarios, the following should apply:
1) KEEP THE SECRET – There are places in the world where we face danger for what we are, and unwise or accidental disclosure could endanger our lives. Our greatest protection from persecution by Shinai and those who do not care to understand, is the fact that they truly do not believe we exist. We have nothing to prove to them that will not expose us to them. We know what they are, and what we are – that they do not is to our benefit.
2) WEAR THE MASK – We as Vampyres are a part of this world and must live, work and share it with Shinai in the midst of their society, whether they know about us, or not. Live life as you will, but in order to not expose our existence to the Shinai world in a way that draws negative attention and endangers us all.
3) HONOR THE LAWS OF THE LAND in which you find yourself, so that you will not expose our existence to Shinai through violating Shinai law or endangering the lives of others. Being Vampyre does not elevate us above Shinai or Otherkin, nor does it give us grant to abuse them.
LAWS OF COMMUNITY:
1) HONOR THE LAWS OF THE COMMUNITY in which you find yourself, so that you will not bring disrepute to yourself, or your Coven, House, or Community, should you belong. Do this as far as possible – except if this endangers your own life, or the lives of others.
2) SHOW APPROPRIATE RESPECT AND HOSPITALITY TO VISITORS FROM OTHER TERRITORIES – and show them your ways and laws – but allow them the freedom and respect to follow theirs so that you will not bring disrepute to your Coven, House, or the Community. Do this as far as possible – except if their actions endanger your own life, or the lives of others.
3) COMMUNITY FIRST – Vampyre Havens, Covens, and Houses are Vampyre places of safety first and foremost, therefore our laws and needs must take precedence over those of others among us. However these needs must be balanced with the wellbeing of the whole community as these are a part of our community and our extended family.
4) KEEP INTERNAL DISPUTES INTERNAL – within the Coven, House or Community, do not take them into the Shinai world or into public spaces where they can boil over out of control and harm our Community. Settle disputes quietly and discreetly.
5) DISPLAY A UNIFIED FRONT – other Vampyres outside our immediate community are our kindred, before the Shinai world, which is outside ours. As far as possible, present a stable and unified face to the outside world, even if it hides or obscures cracks in our relations with them.
6) EDUCATE OTHERKIN FRIENDS AND ALLIES WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY – Where Shinai, donors, and Otherkin mingle within our community and do not understand our ways, we should make the effort to educate them, teach them control and discretion, and make certain that they respect our ways, so that we can respect theirs.
7) RESPECT DIVERSITY – no single person or philosophy holds all the answers. There are many paths in life. Being Vampyre is not a religion to be argued over, it is a state of being, a fact of our existence. Arguments over deities and belief systems are as pointless and improvable as arguing with Shinai over our own existence. Like Shinai society, Vampyre society is diverse and mutual respect is essential for cohesion and strength, the glue that binds us together.
8 ) CHOOSE THOSE WHO ENTER THE COMMUNITY WELL – living among Vampyres is not something everyone can deal with. Show restraint and care in choosing who to bring into the Community. Those who are immature, mentally or emotionally unstable, selfish and manipulative, have no place among us. They are dangerous and unreliable and may betray us in future. Whether Shinai, donors, Otherkin or the newly awakened – their actions, and their behavior in the community will reflect on you.
LAWS OF THE NEED (FEEDING LAW):
Preamble: This speaks of feeding. Ethical feeding applies across the board. In either case, common sense in terms of what we do and where or how we do it – and the question “does it cause harm?” should apply.
1) CONTROL YOUR DARKNESS – we are more than the Beast. While we are creatures of both darkness and light, we cannot allow our nature to control us. The Beast may be stronger in some than in others, but it must not be allowed to cloud our judgment or to influence our actions to the point where it endangers lives, or our community. We are more than this.
2) NEVER TAKE BY FORCE THAT WHICH IS NOT GIVEN WILLINGLY – Never cause willful harm to donors, and those who sustain and support us. At best, this will result in donors unwilling to trust another Vampyre – at worst they will report the abuse to Shinai authorities.
3) RESPECT THOSE WHO SUSTAIN AND FEED US – show them kindness. Without those who offer their essence to us, we would be in dire need. We cannot help being in need of what they offer, and these donors sustain us. For this great service, which they undertake at their own personal risk, they deserve to be respected and appreciated. They are not to be manipulated or drained of more than what they offer us of their own free will.
4) NEVER FEED OFF CHILDREN, THE OLD, THE SICK OR WEAK – Children are innocents unable to comprehend what you would need of them, making them unwilling. The old, sick and weak have little enough energy for themselves, and taking from them would do them more harm than a young, healthy donor. Old and sick people also take longer to heal and to replace that which they have lost.
5) FEED SAFELY – Do not feed from unsafe donors. Unsafe feeding endangers your own health and the health of the community.
6) FEED DISCREETLY – careless behavior, thoughtless feeding habits and public communion attracts unnecessary attention from those who would persecute us, and risks exposing us all. Feed in private as far as is possible.
7) CHOOSE WISELY TO WHOM YOU WILL DISCLOSE YOUR VAMPYRIC NATURE – when you disclose to a donor, choose donors who will be discrete about what passes between you and about what you are. Do not disclose to once-off donors, and especially not solely in order to feed. What we are is our own business, and not the business of other than those who enter our community to sustain us, and whom you can trust with your life – and their discretion.
LAWS OF THE EMBRACE (Welcoming and Assisted Awakening):
Preamble: This speaks of Latents as unawakened Vampyres, identified by their Beacon. This usage of the term “Embrace” implies assisting Latents in their Awakening, and describes everything within the range of welcoming into the community and simple mentoring, to the highly controversial subject of “Turning” – which some believe is possible, and others not. This paragraph is intended to serve both schools of thought on the matter.
1) NEVER AWAKEN LATENTS UNWORTHY OF THE EMBRACE – the insane, mentally ill, emotionally unstable, violent, untrustworthy and indiscreet. Neither those who have badly broken Shinai laws and are fugitive. They will be as much a danger to our community as they are to themselves. They are better off dwelling in ignorance – as are we, for sparing ourselves the burden of their unpredictable nature.
2) CHOOSE CAREFULLY THOSE WHOM YOU WILL EMBRACE – they are to be entrusted with the Secret as are you, they must be able to bear it and keep it responsibly and honorably. Their lives and actions in and out of the community will always reflect upon you.
3) A MENTOR IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF THEIR PROGENY – for at least while they remain Fledgling – which is fully (and no less than) a year after Awakening – but this period of apprenticeship may be extended by mutual agreement (Pacta), as dictated by circumstances. A Mentor should undertake to educate the Fledgling about matters pertaining to Vampyrism and the community during this period, and assist them in any reasonable way possible to become a worthy and honorable member of their community. A Mentor’s responsibility ends at the Yearling ceremony/ritual (held either at the end of the Fledgling’s first year after Awakening, or at a later time agreed upon in their Pacta) where the Fledgling “comes of age” and is introduced to their House or community as a full, equal member by their Vampyre name.
LAWS OF OTHERKIN:
Preamble: This speaks of Otherkin, such as weres, therians or other supernatural or magckal individuals, as well as Shinai and donors who are a valued part of the House or the Community.
1) RESPECT OTHERS: the right for Vampyres to exist, and to co-exist among Shinai, as well as the need of Vampyres to feed in the way they do, and the right for Donors to choose freely to feed them.
2) RESPECT YOURSELF: and your own right to exist among Vampyres you are no lesser being simply because you are not of the blood. You are Otherkin, and are an essential and cherished part of the Community.
3) SEE TO YOUR OWN NEEDS: If you are a Donor, weigh your own needs and health with the needs and health of a Vampyre to feed from you, and in such cases, always put your own health first. A Vampyre cannot always tell if you are too weak or sick to feed without doing you harm.
4) KEEP THE SECRET: Be discreet – the Community depends on your discretion for their survival. Do not flaunt or brag to strangers or outsiders about what you are, or what passes within the Community or House. Otherkin can be a target for vigilantes and prejudice just as easily as Vampyres.
5) REPORT ABUSE: To the relevant authorities, whether inside or outside the community. Use your own judgment to gauge the degree of the offense and what actions will be required to set things right. Try to resolve matters within the Community in order to keep the Secret, or if externally, to do so while divulging as little as possible that does not have bearing to the matter.
© Octarine Valur, House Valur 2010, 2012 – present.