Broaching the topic of responsibility is something that I think we should all consider in our decision (whether we feel we had one or not) to be vampyres. This responsibility is found in several different places. One of those would be to your family and loved ones. Another would be to your environment, which is not limited to nature, but also to work, and your interactions with society. Finally, you have the responsibilities to the vampyre community, which includes peers, leaders, donors, and the greater community.

Becoming a vampyre takes great introspection, courage, recognition of the Dragon, and the foresight of determining the impact such a decision will have on your life and the life of those close to you. When you find yourself looking down the path of vampirism, naturally, your first thought will be for yourself (What am I doing? What will it be like? Why me?), but the time will come when you are ready to embark on the dark path and you need to consider what impact this will have on your immediate family and circle of close friends. Do you tell them? Do you not? Can you live with the secret you carry? Most people, family or not, will not understand this alternative lifestyle and all that it touches. It is not easily explainable.

When this happened to me, I needed to be able to tell someone. Not just people on a forum, but a flesh and blood person I could have real contact with. I am married and felt I could not keep this from my wife, so I told her what was happening. She took it pretty well. As long as it did not affect us negatively, she was ok with it. I also was able to tell a fiend who was involved in occult practices and the two of them have been of great assistance to me. I have not been able to tell anyone else. It is at times a burden to hold this secret, but it is in the best interest of my family they not know. It is my responsibility to protect them, from this knowledge, from myself, and ultimately, from themselves.

The responsibility does not end with close friends and family, but also extends into the environment where you walk. As vampyres, we carry a unique signature wherever we go. It has been said that we leave awakenings in our wake (though I have not noted this myself). We take energy from the environment. We are constantly interacting with it on a level most people do not recognize, even some of our own kind. We need to take responsibility for this gift. It should be a best practice that we learn to control the gifts that we have so we can be sure that we do not cause damage or harm where we would otherwise not choose to do so.

When at work, we should be careful not to feed from co-workers, whether we like them or not (this does not apply to ambient communion, in my opinion). We should be careful about the effect we have on our immediate working environment. I have had staff meetings shift unpredictably when I have entered them.

Finally, responsibility to the vampyric community; I do not think I really have to cover the responsibilities we have to donors as that is covered in many places. The one point that I would like to bring forth is that we, as individuals, are representing the greater whole. What you do out there in the world will reflect back on vampirism, in one form or another. Obviously, if the world does not know you are a vampyre, you think, you can get away with anything you want. Chances are though, somebody knows, or will find out. I always behave as if I am known. Thus, I am more aware of my actions and their potential ramifications. I want to make the vampyric community proud that I am a part of it and the best way to do so is to consider my responsibilities to it.

This is a lot to consider. It is more fun just being a vampyre than thinking about what that means and that you have responsibilities that come with it. The dark path is littered with discarded carcasses of those who have fallen because they did not have the wisdom to consider these things. Make the choice to not be one of the fallen.

This article is © 2003 ShadowMind. Please do not redistribute or reproduce without the expressed permission of the author.

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