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Vampire Guide 401: "Psy-vamps" 
Some basic information on energy, manipulation, and consequences therein.

(Please Read My Disclaimer for this Essay!)

A word on "Psychic Vampirism"
Ok, I have avoided this topic for quite awhile now, but it seems that I am forced into actually providing some definitions and information on this as people have asked and really seek to know and understand.

"Psy-vamps" (as is the popular term nowadays, an older term is "soul-sucker") refers to an individual who literally steals the life energy of another person for their own benefit. Or, more simply, is a person who gets a "high" or a "rush" from others. Let me state one thing very clearly here from the start: While people like to use the catchy term "psy-vamp," a person who can do  this is not necessarily, an actual vampire. Why? Because ANYONE can do this. Allow me to explain what I mean.

Energy-the driving force of the universe...
Everyone in the world has energy. We are made of it. And, it is a defining characteristic of life. We don't really tend to think about things like this in modern life, but we still refer to it in simple comments like, "I'm out of energy" or, "I'm full of energy." When we don't get enough rest, or are stressed, we comment on how drained we feel; how depleted or weakened. The reverse is also true. Most people simply don't really think about what they are saying. It's become common parlance and we take these sayings for granted. But, they underline a universal truth: we are beings of energy and that it is a powerful and driving force.

Now, a "psy-vamp" (Have I mentioned I hate this term...? It is too vague and used in too many different ways) is any person who - for whatever reason - is not content with the amount of energy they naturally produce. This could be a deficiency from birth, a result of stress or health concerns, or even just a greedy need to be more powerful than the norm. At this point, we can divide these kinds of people into two distinct groups: those who do this unconsciously and those who do this on purpose.

More about the two types...
Those who do this unaware are generally people who are born with an inability to sustain themselves. They get very sickly and depressed easily and seemingly without reason; they become lethargic and fatigued when they are isolated for long periods of time; they will have the sheer need to be around people at a regular basis and will feel better after and not know why. In addition, their friends may say that the person is very draining to be around; that they seem to suck the life from the room; that they have erratic mood swings or unstable tempers; they are extreme and hard to be around. This kind of person is a danger to themselves and others for the simple reason that they do not know what they do. At some point in time in their lives, they may come to notice these traits about themselves and possibly accept what they are and do. This can be a horrible thing for a person to deal with as they can feel like thieves or that they are evil or cursed because of it. And, with their already unstable nature, they can end up becoming very vicious and really hurt people in panic or fear. Now, the better side of this is if they can come to understand and accept this fact, they can learn to control and regulate this need. (Like a person realizing they have an eating disorder, they can learn how not to abuse themselves and others) Many people like this can learn to very lightly take from large groups of people, thereby limiting the dangers to the unknowing donors. They can sometimes also learn how to take from nature rather than people; to harness the limitless bounty of the universe.

Now, those that do this intentionally - and without the need to - are a scary lot. Most often it begins with the person "toying around" with magicks or old beliefs and deciding that they want to be more powerful. Eventually, they learn the simple truth that not only is everyone made up of energy, but that it can be manipulated. It starts off as a high; a rush; akin to a drug, it feels good and gives the person a temporary boost. But, just like any other drug, it is addictive. It starts off as this huge surge in power and gets to a point where the person needs more and more of it to gain any effect. Continued abuse of this results in the person no longer receiving a rush, but rather, needing it to feel normal. Their natural energy becomes useless and they can not get past the need to drain from others. This can go two ways; either the person takes the very hard road to weaning themselves off this continued abuse (which is very hard as there is no 12 step program to follow or support group to lean on, and often times, the person gets so desperate that they begin to steal from everyone, all the time, like a starving man eating until he is sick and bloated) or, they can become ruthless and uncaring in their need and continue to not only steal from others, but hurt them and irrevocably weaken them. This can actually spawn another such "psy-vamp"-a violent and endless catch 22...

How do they do it...?  What can I do to stop it?
Well, to steal someone's strength and energy can be accomplished in any number of ways, it depends on the person - their strength; their need; their knowledge.

The most common way are through physical touch. This can be hugs, kisses, handshakes, or, very commonly, through sexual contact. Many "psy-vamps" (knowing or not) will feed off the surge of energy expelled during sexual contact - it is very abundant and very potent and very easily gathered.

The best way to avoid becoming an unwilling donor to this kind of feeding, is to limit your contact with strangers. Handshakes should be brief and direct and other erroneous contact should be avoided. Now, if you are the partner of a "psy-vamp" and you suspect that you are being used in a more intimate manner, your best bet is probably to be direct and simply ask. Chances are, if it the person really cares about you (and isn't just using you) you should be able to work it out.

Another common (but rarely known) way is through in-depth conversation. More specifically, when you open up to someone and share personal details, antidotes, and stories with the "psy-vamp." They will seem to "hang" on every word; prodding you for more information, more revelation, more details. It is through this exchange that they take more than your words.

The best way to avoid this form is to be the quite one when you first meet someone. Let them do the majority of talking. If they won't or keep nagging you, then you may well have avoided a run-in. Chances are, if the person was going to do this, when you fail to be baited, they will leave. (And good riddance to anyone who would bait you into stealing your energy!) If they aren't up to anything and talk about themselves, you can always take a turn next time.

Other ways include being able to tap into a person's dreams, by forcing eye contact, by sheer force of will, and even by violent theft. There are many ways a person can harm another.

These various ways are harder to prevent against, mainly because they success is their subtlety. For example, to avoid being robbed in sleep, one must "ground" themselves prior to drifting off. To avoid being taken in a public place (like a mall or theater) one must learn to focus and "harden" their aura so that it is not tapped. When speaking with someone, look them directly in the eyes, but do not allow them to take hold of you. Sometimes, the best defense is a strong offense. Make a stand and be aware of it. Chances are, they'll look for easier pickings.

Vampires (the 'blood' kind) and "psy-vamps"...any connection?
Now, I know I started this rant out with the very definitive words, "...a person that does this is not necessarily, an actual vampire"  This does not, however, mean that an actual vampire can not also possess this skill. Remember my other words...? (Everyone can do this) So, since vampires tend to have heightened mental abilities to start with, they are further prone to unconsciously do this. When they have not fed, or are Hungry, it has been my observation that they tend to start drawing off others. This is probably a self-preservation instinct, because everyone I have discussed this with has never noticed such traits in themselves until pointed out. Additionally, there are those (who as I mentioned earlier) are born with a need for energy in the same way there is a need for blood. Look to my Psi vs. Sang article for more comparative information.

Seeking help, wishing for change, or needing more information...
This is, by far, not a complete guide or list to all that it means to manipulate living energy forces. This is an attempt to enlighten and inform those who do not understand what this is all about. Should you find yourself a match to what I have said, don't despair. Know that once you acknowledge it, you can control it. Those with this need can learn to draw strength from other sources. Start learning about meditation or yoga, and how you can use it to take control of your body. Make a conscious effort to dominate it - you don't have to let it dominate you.

Those who may see this in others should be very gentle about broaching the subject. Start by making note of their "ups" and "downs" to see if you find a correlation to say, hanging out with friends and time spent alone. One of the most important pieces of advice I can give to anyone is make sure it's not a medical condition first. Many signs can be very easily confused with things like chemical imbalances, or depression. Things like this should be handled by a qualified physician. Find out first. It's worth it.

I have seen all kinds of information on the web about this kind of thing, but offhand, I can't think of any places of note to further direct you to. I'll add some as I find some later. Take everything with a grain of salt, ok? I know this is real for me, but you don't. Just be careful. It never hurts to learn what you can find, but make your own conclusions. It's your life and only you can determine what's right.



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