Vampire Ritual Book, © by Michelle Belanger, , at sacred-texts.com. Material can be reproduced for personal use on an individual basis in private spellbooks, books of shadows, and the like. Reproduction for distribution in any media or format is not allowed. To reprint material that appears in this book in a book, magazine, or website, please contact the author at the official House Kheperu website. For more information, consult www.kheperu.org
When I first started working in the scene, one of the questions I always asked others when we were comparing experiences was if they felt differently at different times of the year. The responses were almost always the same. Summer made most vampires feel depressed and lethargic. The heat and sun and long days were just too much. October, when the first scent of fall was on the air, everyone experienced a thrill and a growing sense of power. Halloween was a universally favorite holiday among vampires, because they felt they could let go on that day and just be themselves. Most vampires, even if they didnt like the cold, loved winter because of the long nights and the strength and creativity this inspired in them. And then, around May, many of the others felt that restless intensity that I did, that almost agonizing surge of hunger and the temptation to just give in and go wild.
Comparing these experiences with the Pagan Wheel of the Year, I made some interesting connections. First of all, Samhain (pronounced Sow-en) and Beltane, two major Pagan holidays, roughly corresponded to the times of the year that I and many others felt a peak of power. In October, for Samhain, the sudden rush was joyous and liberating, and for Beltane there was a desperate note to it, as if something inside me was giving one last swansong before dying away. Interestingly, Samhain and Beltane can be seen as threshold holidays. Samhain is believed to be the night the wall between the worlds grows thin, and the dead can walk among the living. It is the threshold of death where the Wheel turns toward winter. Beltane is the threshold of life, and has been celebrated as a wild fertility holiday for many hundreds of years. It is essentially the threshold of life, opening onto the Lightside of the year, and serving as a counterpoint to Samhain.
I found this very interesting. It made perfect sense why many of us were attracted to Pagan and Wiccan traditions, yet once we were involved with them, it always felt like something was a little off. Essentially, they celebrated many of the same holidays we resonate to, but with the wrong focus. For the Wiccans and Pagans, the focus of the Wheel of the Year is light and life. The darkness is something to be overcome. Yet we are tied to night and to the Darkside of the year. We are inspired by darkness as much as they are inspired by light. This doesnt make us evil: its more about balance. Among the spiritually aware, some people will resonate with the light. But that means some of us must resonate with the dark in order to make a whole.
The following four rites celebrate pivotal times on the Wheel of the Year. But these celebrations are from our perspective. I have stayed away from gods and goddesses or any other formal belief system. These rituals are more about uniting our community and celebrating who and what we are. You do not have to be Wiccan or Pagan or anything at all to celebrate and enjoy these rituals. No belief even in a god is inherent in the rites. Its all about us and what makes us unique. Hopefully, your household will enjoy these rites as much as my own has.
Timing Notes: The Night of Transformation should be celebrated on October 31, otherwise known as Samhain. The Night of the Immortal Stars falls upon the Winter Solstice, a date that varies from year to year but usually falls on the 21st or 22nd of December. The Night of Double Power should be celebrated on April 30, and the Festival of Radiant Life falls upon the Summer Solstice. Like the Winter Solstice, that date also varies from year to year, hovering around the 21st of June.
Notes on Caste and Gender
I need to make a couple of comments before we begin. First, in the rituals which follow, all male and female roles are interchangeable. There is no significance at all to the gender I specify in any of these rites. Men and women can both hold a priestly position, and there are no limitations on gender in any of the other ritual positions either. It is up to each individual group to determine who is best suited for leading ritual.
Additionally, for those groups that use the caste system, keep in mind that while the Priest caste is ideally suited to running certain rituals, members of other castes are equally capable of running rites. If you use the caste system in your group, consider the purpose and feel of a ritual, and use this to determine who would be best to run it. Rites that fall within the province of the Warrior caste, such a rites of protection and guardian rites, are probably best lead by an elder Warrior. Rites that are about unity, connections, and love, may be run by Kitra, who have a special interaction with such energies. Do not limit yourselves by expectations but tailor your rites and rituals in a way that works best for you.
Furthermore, the rites here have been created for general use by the Sanguinarium. As there are a wide variety of traditions represented within the Sanguinarium, running from Pagan to Christian to LaVeyan Satanist, an effort has been made to strike a balance between dark and light traditions in both symbolism and wording. The rites are not expected to appeal to every group; there is no way to accomplish that. Instead, they are offered as examples for use as guidelines in creating your own vital, personal, and spiritually intimate rituals. Many rites are based loosely upon rituals typically celebrated by House Kheperu. If you want more information on specifically Kheprian rituals, reference our site at www.kheperu.org.
And as a final note, the final form of the rite for Im Sekhemu was inspired in part by a tradition begun by Vicutus of House Sekhemu. House Sekhemu has a rite where a rose is raised above the ritual area, and anything that is said or done beneath the rose stays within the realm of the rose. I felt this really helped to capture the essence of the celebratory part of the Im Sekhemu ritual, and so I incorporated some of the sentiments of the rose rite into this ritual. Those who wish to perform this rite more in keeping with Sekhrian tradition will add rose petals to the glasses of wine and suspend a single red rose above the ritual space as part of the process of constructing the sacred space for the rite. My thanks to Vicutus for this elegant and beautiful inspiration for my ritual.
The Night of Transformation
A roll of the dead should be written out before the ritual. This should consist of the names of all the deceased who meant something to each of the persons participating in the ritual. This should be carefully scribed upon a piece of parchment. An attendant to the priestess should be chosen to keep track of this and to read off the names when the time comes.
Each participant should also prepare his or her own parchment with something he or she wishes to change in their lives. At the center of the circle, a brazier with hot coals should be erected. This should be large enough to safely burn the names of the dead as well as the individual parchments.
To begin, everyone gathers in a circle. The leading priest or priestess centers herself and establishes sacred space. This should be felt by everyone, and everyone should center themselves and add to the sacred space.
All pats are read by the ritualist or leading priest, unless otherwise stated. This ritual was first performed publicly at the first Kheprian Open House in October 2000.
(Begin with a Charge or Opening Prayer)
Priest: This is the season of thresholds. This is the Im Kheperu, when the wall between the worlds grows thin and the realm of spirit and the realm of matter touch and merge.
This is a time of great power and transformation. Our present and our past become one. This is when we awaken to ourselves, when the memories of other lives and other times arise in our consciousness and we can most fully Become.
Tonight we come together to celebrate the threshold that we walk, to celebrate the transformative power of the holiday, and to embrace what we are.
(an optional reading from an appropriate source may be inserted here)
Priest: This is the threshold of the Dark Side of the Year, when the Wheel turns toward winter and everything descends into darkness and cold. The lesson of this season is death: death as transformation and change.
Death is not something terrible for us to fear. It is merely a transition from one state to the next. And within that transition lies revelation.
Death is the silent contemplation of a soul learning to know itself. It is that growth, as of a seed, which occurs only in darkness, hidden away from all senses.
In death, we descend into darkness that we may more fully comprehend illumination. It is a second birth, and when we emerge, we are transformed.
Everyone join hands and share the power of this night.
(an optional chant or song may be sung by those in the circle as everyone raises energy and shares it together.)
Present, future, first and last: Help us wake the slumbering past.
Present, future, part and whole: Help us wake the slumbering soul.
(energy is gathered during this chant, and it will be exchanged from person to person through their joined hands. In the Kheprian tradition, we share energy from left to right, although different traditions have a different preference. The priest is in charge of monitoring the energy, and when she feels an appropriate level has been reached, she gives the sign to draw the chanting to a close. There are a few moments of silence as everyone basks in the glow of what they have gathered.)
The Roll of the Dead:
Priest: In this season of death and transition, we take time to honor those who have gone before. We name them aloud, cherishing the memory of their lives that each of us holds within our heart.
(a chosen reader reads off the names of the dead. When the reader is finished, he or she goes up to the brazier and lights the parchment with all of the names, allowing it to burn to ash.)
Priest: For all you who have crossed over, we offer our blessings and our prayers. We cherish what we have left of you here, those invisible fingers of yours still touching our lives. You light the path before us, and you give us inspiration in our own journey.
Some of you remain with us. Some of you have already moved on. Wherever you are now in the Wheel, we promise to love you. We promise to never forget. Your deaths remind us that we too must move on eventually. Each lifetime passes so that the new may come. The knowledge we carry of our own pasts gives us hope for your future. We know that we will meet with you again, and even through death, we will carry our love for you in our hearts.
In honor of you, our blessed dead, and the example that you have set, we each of us this night promise to die to something that hurts us in our current lives. This is something which keeps us stagnant and prevents us from growth. It is a weight which holds down our shining souls.
(beginning with the priest, each person takes out his or her parchment.)
Priest: This night, poised on the threshold of living and dying, I promise to die to (insert vow). As you have let go of your old life and moved on to something new, I let go of this so that I too may be transformed.
(the priest takes her parchment to the brazier and ignites it, watching it as it burns to ash. As the parchments burns, she whispers, Change it, change it, over and over. As she returns to her place in the circle, she continues this chant, at first being the only one saying, Change it, change it. The next person to her left goes forward, repeating the vow and watching the parchment and the words written upon it burn to ash. As the parchment burns, this person, too, begins chanting, Change it, change it. As this person returns to his place in the circle, he continues chanting, Change it, change it, with the priest. This goes around the circle until everyone has burned their parchment and the chant Change it, change it has gotten louder and louder as each person joins in. When everyone has burned their parchment and is chanting, the priest leads the chant until it gets louder and more intense. When it reaches a peak where everyone is completely engulfed in the sound of the words and the desire for change, the priest gives a sign and concludes with Change me! As before, there is a moment of silence as the energy ripples through all those present at the circle.)
Priest: All you spirits you mortal and immortal beings! Hear these our vows. Help us to learn from your example. Help us to let go of all those things in our lives that hold us back. Help us break down our barriers and let go of our fear. Help us to transform ourselves and our lives so that we may more fully Become who we were meant to be.
Does anyone have any prayers or requests to put before this circle before the ritual is ended?
(prayers and other things are shared. Everyone who wants to say something is given their time)
Priest: Friends! This ritual now is ended but our sacred space is never closed. Take what you have touched here tonight back into your ordinary lives; let it make every moment sacred and powerful. Go forth, changed in your Selves, so that you may better change the world in which we live.
In darkness and light.
The Night of the Immortal Stars
Two scrolls should be written out ahead of time. One will have the names of all the members who are present at the ritual. Optionally, you can list their castes and degrees. The other scroll will have the names of those who are absent, yet still considered a part of the group. Their castes and degrees can also optionally be listed. There should also be a chalice and a bottle of red wine. The Herald is the keeper of the scrolls of names and will read these aloud when indicated by the Priest.
(Open with a Charge or Opening Prayer)
Priest: This is the Night of the Immortal Stars, the longest night of the year. It is the night when the Darkside is strongest, and the Family gathers to celebrate our ancient bond.
Our paths are many, but the journey that we walk is the same. We are bound together by common experiences and common goals. We each seek self-cultivation and self-knowledge, and we each strive to integrate the knowledge and experience of a thousand lifetimes into one cohesive whole.
Bonds of spirit and bonds of blood hold us together, so that we return, lifetime after lifetime, to the same places and times. Whatever the circumstances of each birth, we find one another and gather together so that we may re-establish our ancient bonds.
The Reading of the Names:
Priest: Those who are present: know that we welcome you. You enrich this night with your presence, and we celebrate what you are able to bring with you here.
(The Herald goes through the roll of those present, beginning with the elders. Caste and degree or other status can be optionally named. Everyone bows their head as each name is read off and reflects upon their personal connection to each person named.)
Herald: (the Herald names each person present, using the name that person prefers when in ritual.)
Priest: We bless you. We greet you. We call you by name.
All: We bless you. We greet you. We call you by name.
Priest: And those who are absent this night: although distance and circumstance have kept you from this gathering, know that you are welcomed as well. Distance is a thing of the body only, and in our spirits we can feel you near.
(the names of those absent are read, beginning with the eldest among them. Each person bows their head and reflects upon their relation to each of those named)
Herald: (the Herald names each person who is absent, using the name that person prefers when in ritual.)
Priest: We bless you. We greet you. We call you by name.
All: We bless you. We greet you. We call you by name.
Priest: Brothers and sisters, present or absent, we extend to you our blessings and our love.
(an optional reading, appropriate to the gathering, may be inserted here.)
Priest: Everyone. We are children of darkness; darkness and night. Tonight is our night, the longest night of the year. This is the peak of the Dark Side, when our powers wax the greatest. The mysteries of this season pulse within our blood. The revelation of darkness fills our hearts, empowering our souls.
(the priest pours the wine and blesses it, holding the chalice aloft to the gathering.)
Drink with me, and drink deep the night. Let this wine symbolize our bonds of spirit and of blood. Each of us has our own particular journey, but nights like this remind us that we do not walk alone. We all have our individual strengths, but where those strengths fail, this family comes through. The darkness binds us, each to each, so we may rely on one another through the long nights.
As we share this wine, let us think upon what we give to one another. As the cup comes to you, speak aloud what the family gives you, and offer up your thanks.
As I drink from this cup, I take strength from the family, and a place to belong.
(the cup is passed around the circle. Each person takes the cup, holds it aloft, speaks their thanks, then drinks. When the chalice gets back to the priest, he places it back upon the altar.)
Priest: Carry these things in your heart of hearts, and let them empower you. And when you are separate from us and you feel alone, reflect upon this, and know that we are there with you, supporting you, connected in spirit as well as thought.
(The priest then leads everyone in a closing prayer, something which strongly speaks of your groups particular bonds. Ive included the Kheprian Family Prayer as a guideline.)
In darkness and light.
Music should be chosen, and a space should be set aside for dancing and other activities for after the ritual. Wine and food should also be laid out. The feast for after-ritual does not have to be lavish, but the food should be the kind everyone can enjoy. Decadent things like chocolates and pastries are very appropriate to the spirit of the holiday. Some groups may choose to indulge in more than decadent foods after the ritual. This day is a celebration of desires, and each group should decide for themselves just how far these desires should be explored within the context of the ritual. In all cases, any play and indulgence should be safe, legal, and performed between consenting adults.
(Begin with a Charge or Opening Prayer)
Priest: This is the night of the Double Power. This is our wild season, when our power surges within us. October was the threshold of death, and this is the threshold of life. Here we emerge from the womb of winter, vital and changed. We are as newborns, and the first sensation we experience as we seize upon life is hunger hunger and need.
(an optional reading can be inserted here)
Priest: This is the season of lust and life, when the Wheel turns toward the light side of the year. The nights are getting shorter, and we can feel the last peak of power before the coming of summer. This season teaches us that our natures are double-edged. While we each have great power, we also have great needs. The more fully we come into that power, the more undeniable the need.
On this night, we celebrate our hunger and what it means. We celebrate the double-edged power of this season, when the growing absence within us makes us acutely aware of what it is we are.
(If those standing in circle are not already holding hands, the Priest instructs them to do so. All join hands, completing the circle and sharing energy from left to right between the members.)
Priest: We cannot be other than what we are, and what we are is contradiction. We are an intricate dance of conflicting opposites: We destroy and we create. We die so that we are reborn. We hunger for life even as we celebrate living. And we give just as much as we take, changing people, awakening them, and touching their souls forever.
It is necessary for us often to be controlled in our daily lives, and to hide our natures. But in this season especially, hiding becomes difficult. It is hard for us to hide from others, and it is harder still to hide from ourselves. This season heightens everything about us, making our natures spill out around the edges of our ordinary lives. Yet there is a time and a place for restraint, and sometimes we can only learn to control a desire by first giving in.
As we stand here in this circle, I want each of you to think of a desire or a need that you have, that you have denied yourself. Why have you suppressed this hunger? I want you to reflect upon your need and accept it as something which drives you. Open yourself to your hunger so you may learn when you need to control it and when you need to give in. Raise your voice with mine as we abandon those things that restrain us:
Give me freedom, give me life,
give me strength in the night!
(All join in this chant. The members of the circle may choose to dance as well. The chant should start off quietly, and as more and more voices are raised, it should gain in strength, conviction, and power. As all members of the circle chant or sing, the energy should be focused on releasing each person from burdens of insecurity and fear that hold them back from fully realizing their needs. The priest should monitor the progression of energy, allowing it to reach a heightened pitch, then giving the signal for the chanting to stop and the energy to be given its final direction.)
Priest: We could each drink a river of life and still not be sated, for this is the nature of our darkness. On this night, in the season of double power, we must understand, accept, and celebrate our hunger so we may then discover the balance between indulgence and restraint. Here and now, within this circle, may we each explore our hunger and desires. Dance, kiss, embrace, and feed, safe within the circle for as long as you require. May we each celebrate freely who and what we are here, and what is shared among us now, remains among us, safe in the darkness, and cherished in our hearts.
Now swear with me in or sacred space so that we all may feel safe in this moment.
Do you swear to be true to your hunger as you are true to your Self in the boundaries of this space?
All: So do I swear.
Priest: Do you swear that what happens here remains here, safe within our sacred space?
All: So do I swear.
Priest: Do you swear to experience this moment as nothing more and nothing less than a pure exploration of your needs and your identity?
All: So do I swear.
Priest: Then let us pass the chalice and drink deep the wine of night. This is our first indulgence. May we celebrate flesh and spirit, body and soul, in this life and in all lives, as befits the blessed children of darkness and light.
Priest: By this wine and by our essence, I hereby sanctify this place of our revels. May we sate our hungers for spirit and flesh together in this space. In darkness and light!
(at this point, everyone moves toward the center of the circle. Instead of just holding hands, all embrace. Energy is exchanged among willing partners, and someone who has been designated beforehand puts on music while someone else brings the food and drink. All who are present take time to savor the sensations of touch and smell and taste as they sample the foods of the feast, enjoy the music, caress their friends, dance, and feed. This can last as long as the group likes. At the end of the revel, the circle is brought back together briefly to bring things to a close.)
Priest: What we have witnessed here and what we have enjoyed we will carry in our hearts forever. Our night of power has ended, and now we must return to the daylit world of mundane things. As we part, let us not forget what we shared this night, and let us carry it always in our secret hearts. In darkness and light.
(The circle parts and the sacred space is taken down)
The Festival of Radiant Life
A scroll, listing the names of all the donors, black swans, and other providers, should be prepared ahead of time. Anyone who has given energy to support a member of the household should be listed on this scroll, whether they will be present at the ritual or not. Ideally, as many donors as possible should be in attendance at this rite, and if there are enough, the circle should be set up so that a donor stands in every other space. The Herald is put in charge of this scroll and will read from it during the ritual.
When arranging the circle, separate the vampires from those who provide for them. From these, create two circles, vampires on the inside and donors ranged in a second circle around them. At the center of the circle, there should be a small table with cups and wine. A plate of fine chocolates or some other sweets should be here as well. All those who feed regularly from someone present in the circle should help contribute money to the purchase of the wine and sweets.
(Open with a Charge or Opening Prayer)
Priest: This is the night of midsummer, the longest day of the year. On this night, people all over the world celebrate the sustaining power of light provided by the sun. But for us, the heat of the sun and the rays of its light are not sustaining. The sun drains us and exhausts us, making us long for the cool shadows of midnight.
We are children of darkness, darkness and shadow. But there is one light which we are drawn toward, and that is the light of precious life. Those who would sustain us do so by offering the radiant energy of their vitality. By taking this light into ourselves, we reaffirm what we are and we make ourselves strong.
(an optional reading may be inserted at this point)
Priest: We should never fail to appreciate those who offer up their radiant energy to sustain us in our need. They give themselves to us in body and in spirit out of respect and love. They are our cherished lovers and friends, the black swans of our extended family. It is their light we should celebrate this evening, the light of their sustaining life.
Without the gifts they willingly provide for us, we would weaken and waste away. Our darkness cannot exist without their life, and it is the dynamic interaction of the two that grants us the power to change ourselves and to change the very reality around us.
The Blessing of the Providers:
(The Herald now reads the names of the providers written there. All donors, present or absent, are named aloud.)
Herald: Blessed providers, we give you our thanks, our loyalty and our love. May we never fail to appreciate you, lest you no longer be there to provide.
(The names are read from the scroll.)
Priest: Take a moment to consider those who have given to you. As you do, I want you to consider what you have provided in return.
(all contemplate in silence for a few moments).
Priest: We would be poor partners indeed if all we did was hunger and feed. Each of us in our own way offers something of ourselves to those that sustain us. I want you all to think of the things you have to offer. As we go around the circle, I want each of you to speak one offering aloud. Name it as a promise to give back to our givers, for without their precious radiance, our darkness would devour itself.
(Starting with the priest and going around the circle from her left, each person names something which they can offer to their donors. This should be kept to a simple word or phrase, such as emotional support or love. When it gets all the way back to the priest, everyone takes a few moments to reflect upon the things that were said.)
Priest: All you donors who are present here. Know that we appreciate you, and we try to give back what we can. We are not simply takers. We do not devour and leave nothing in return. You who so often serve us, tonight let us serve you.
(The priest pours wine, handing cups to each of the vampires.)
Priest: Go forth to those who have given to you and give to them in return. Take this time to let your donors know how much they are appreciated and to say a special thank you. Offer them what you can, for they offer much to us in our times of need.
(The wine goes around the circle. The exchanges between members and their donors can be brief or extended and very intimate. When all the donors have been given something from each person who has taken from them over the course of the year, the vampires gather back to the center of the circle.)
Priest: Everyone. Do not forget what you have shared here. Let the light of their spirits sustain you throughout the summer to come. Respect their offerings, and always remember that they are as much a part of our community as we are.
This ceremony is ended.
Let us go forth to walk in darkness and in light.