Symbols Associated with the Vampyre

Throughout history there have been symbols associated with Vampyres. Some of these were Shinai in origin, referring to Vampyre-kind, and often the fictional vampire – and some were Vampyre in origin, referring to Vampyre-kind.

The Ankh

 The  Ankh is the most well-known, and certainly the most popular symbol to be associated with Vampyres today. Kemetic (ancient Egyptian)  in origin, the Ankh is a symbol of eternal life, death and rebirth. In Kemetic lore, the Ankh started out as a literal transcription of the thoracic vertebrae of a bull. It then became a hieroglyph that was representational of the word ‘life’. In religious terms, it represented eternity and fertility.

According to Wikipedia, it was also known as key of life, the key of the Nile or crux anksata (Latin meaning “cross with a handle”), was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character that read “eternal life”, a triliteral sign for the consonants ꜥ-n-ḫ. Egyptian gods are often portrayed carrying it by its loop, or bearing one in each hand, arms crossed over their chest. The Ankh also symbolizes sanctuary.

The Ankh as a Vampyre symbol: In more recent times, the Ankh has been modified and stylized to emphasize a dagger-like or fang-like quality.  The Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) symbol for life and vitality, often interpreted to mean immortality. The Ankh came to be heavily used by Vampyres due to it’s original meaning, not due to an obsession with immortality. Egyptian Gods were depicted holding the Ankh to represent that they were the source of life. Vampyres wear an Ankh to symbolize that they take in life, be it energy or blood.

While the traditional style of Ankh is still popular among Kin, many variants designed specifically for Vampyres have been marketed over the past few decades.

The Dragon

The dragon has been a modern symbol of the Vampyre ever since the time of Vlad Tepes, “the Dracula” – and since Bram Stoker modeled his Vampire count upon “Vlad the Impaler” – but it was not always thus.

Since there is much evidence in ancient Sumerian records relating to vampire-like beings and entities, much of the research that has been conducted is of interest to us. The original Sumerian civilization descended from the Ubaid, a proto-Aryan, Pictish culture which itself originated in the region encompassing Carpathia, Transylvania and the White Mountains (where the Greek gods originated) and which later became known as Scythia.

It has been suggested  that the Sumerian gods (the ancient deific royal family) were imported with the Ubaid Picts from Transylvania, Carpathia and Scythia. “Scholars relate that the name Sumer is pronounced Shumer, the sh for s indicating a linguistic relationship with early Goidelic, and thus it is closely related by pronunciation to the Gaelic Sumaire, meaning, as we know, a vampire and a “reptile” – a Dragon.”

In the time of Vlad Tepes, the symbol was used as the mark of an Order of Christian Knights during religious wars of the 15th century between Orthodox Christians and invading Muslim Turks in Eastern Europe. It is believed that Vlad wore this image as a medallion during his lifetime. The Order of the Dragon was founded in 1408, by Sigismund, the King of Hungary, and Vlad’s father was a member of this order. “Dracula” derived his name from the Order of the Dragon, Dracula means “Little Dragon”. Vlad’s father, Vlad II, received the surname of Dracul, meaning ‘dragon’, when he was inducted into the Order in 1431. Dracula himself was inducted into the Order when he was five years old.

The ouroboros, also a magickal and alchemical symbol – is the image of a dragon or serpent circled, devouring it’s own tail – and is a Chinese symbol for the Vampyre.

The Rose

The rose (and in particular, the blood-red rose) has come to be a symbol of love, of life and of blood. The thorns symbolize the pain, risk or threat of injury which can come with these associations. As a Vampyre symbol, it is a poignant and sentimental one. Black roses too have become associated with Vampyres, symbolizing death, loss, regret, sorrow and mourning.

In Shinai fiction, authors assert that Vampyres are partial to black roses because “in tandem with the death symbolism, the black rose symbolizes for vampires their own eternal life through death. In many vampire novels and movies, the vampire gives his mortal love a bouquet of black roses. Often the most powerful of the vampire clans will have the black rose on their crest to identify their belonging. The novel, “A Dozen Black Roses”, by Nancy Collins, uses this symbolism extensively.”




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