The Vampire and the Reiki Master
Written by: Michelle Belanger
The following article originally appeared many years ago on the Homestead.com version of the House Kheperu site. It was written in part as a response to Diane Stein's book Essential Reiki and compares and contrasts the experiences of Reiki practitioners with those of vampires. Many of the parallels provide insight into what vampirism really is.
The notion that living things possess a vital essence is hardly new or revolutionary. Nearly every culture has a different name for the vital force, but in all cases the basic notion is the same. It is called prana in India, chi in China, ki in Japan. In the Hebrew portions of the Bible it is referred to as ruach. In English, it has many different names: astral energy; orgone energy; magnetism. In all cases, it is that subtle something which cannot be seen or felt with the physical senses but still is inarguably there.
A great many Wiccans, Pagans, and New Agers currently profess to work with this healing energy. One of the most popular forms of energy healing is Reiki, a laying-on of hands practice imported from Japan by way of Hawaii. The fundamental belief of Reiki is that energy exists and that it can be manipulated for the purpose of healing an individual on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels. Reiki has caught on in popularity in recent years, and because the discipline gets results, even the stubborn world of modern medicine is begrudgingly accepting it. The Cleveland Clinic and Southwest General Hospital, for example, both offer classes in Reiki.
I find Reiki very interesting because it seems to have a great deal in common with vampirism. Reiki practitioners might cringe at this thought, but there are some valid parallels. First of all, Reiki is founded upon the belief that vital energy exists and that certain individuals can manipulate it. It is further believed that illness and physical or spiritual debility are most often caused by a lack of energy or an energy blockage. Healing, then, is the act of infusing something that lacks sufficient vital energy with enough energy to make it well again. Vampirism, like Reiki, relies upon the belief in the vital energy. Of course, where Reiki focuses on manipulating this energy in order to put it into living things, vampirism focuses upon removing the vital force from living things. Reiki on its most fundamental level is used to give energy. Vampirism is used to take it. I think at the core they are two halves of the same thing.
Reiki, like vampirism, is not really learned by those who practice it. The capacity to do Reiki is awakened within you. The process of awakening is known as attunement. The parallels between attuning an initiate to Reiki and awakening a potential vampire to his true nature are striking. According to Diane Stein's book, Essential Reiki, Reiki attunements are usually done one-on-one with someone who is already trained in Reiki awakening the capacity in an initiate. Those who receive a Reiki attunement can enter a visionary state as parts of their energy body are opened up and stirred into new awareness. The attunement itself is achieved physically through a laying on of hands. Spiritually, however, the Reiki master is manipulating the initiate’s energy body, opening some parts and altering others, helping the initiate to achieve an inner potential they may never have realized they had. In essence, the attunement “creates” the healer.
The above description could just as easily indicate a vampiric initiation as a Reiki attunement. The Greater Initiation Rite, which was circulated on the Internet in the late nineties, but which has become more dofficult to find since, described a ritual of vampiric awakening that shared distinct parallels with the act of opening someone up to Reiki.
First, the potential is taught some very basic notions about energy manipulation, the nature of the subtle body, and reincarnation. If the potential seems open to such concepts and desirous of learning more, the teacher, at her discretion, will arrange to have a one-on-one session with the initiate. In this session, the teacher feeds deeply from the potential. This is usually done through direct physical contact, often a laying on of hands.
In addition to the feeding, the teacher goes up and down the initiate’s body, opening and altering the energies of the chakras. This helps the initiate to awaken to her latent potential and essentially “turns on” her vampirism. By taking a sizable amount of energy away from the potential, the teacher forces her system to learn how to replenish itself. Having energy taken in this way also gives the potential her first chance to really feel the energy within herself. Sometimes you don't notice something until it has been taken away from you. The initiation process functions on this principle. By taking energy away from the potential, she begins to understand what it really is by definition of what she now temporarily lacks.
The initiation can be a very ceremonial occasion. It can be intimate and erotic, or it can be done in a very plain and matter-of-fact way. The approach depends upon the teacher as well as what best suits the potential. The experience itself is always intense for the initiate. Many of those whom I have initiated have experienced visionary states with vivid waking dreams or recollections of past lives. The past lives recalled in this way are almost always lives in which the vampiric nature was brought out.
This brings me to another point mentioned in Steins' book. She tells us that Reiki “is a remembering”. One does not just get Reiki in this lifetime. More often than not, those who are drawn to it have learned the practice in past lifetimes. The attunement apparently alters something on the soul which can be carried down from lifetime to lifetime. Thus, whatever switch the Reiki master is turning “on” is something which is not easily turned back off.
This is the same with vampirism. Almost all of the vampire groups I have encountered believe that vampirism is a condition of the soul. It is passed down from incarnation to incarnation. You cannot be made into a vampire; the initiation simply brings to the surface a capacity which was already there, but buried. The vampiric initiation does not give the initiate anything new; it merely awakens something that has been slumbering inside of her all along. Diane Stein tells us that it is the same for Reiki. The alterations done in the attunement merely awaken and align something which was already present in the initiate to begin with.
Stein also makes note of physical changes which occur in the initiate shortly after the attunement. First of all, she warns that the initiate is likely to experience a surging of the Reiki energy at odd and unexpected intervals in the weeks following the initiation. Likewise, a newly initiated vampire will experience sudden and unprecedented drops in her energy levels which will drive her to feed upon the energy around her. Reiki initiates also experience what Stein describes as "detoxification symptoms" as their system adjusts to the new way it is processing energy. Vampire initiates undergo similar symptoms as their bodies purge themselves and adjust to their new attunement.
Stein goes on to say that after the attunement, all a Reiki initiate has to do is lay her hands upon someone else and her capacity for channeling energy will be triggered. The same is true for vampires, although physical contact inspires the vampire to pull energy in, not generate it out. Stein also notes a hallmark Reiki side effect: the hands of the Reiki practitioner will grow warm and tingly when channeling energy. For vampires, at least in my experience, the temperature of the hands drop. I've noticed personally that the chill in my hands is most noticeable when I am very low on energy. In keeping with the Reiki effect, when I consciously channel energy into my hands to heal, they grow quite warm.
Later in her book, Stein gives us an example of a Reiki session. The healing session was interesting, but it was really nothing new to me. More interesting was Stein's advice on how to handle a patient immediately following a Reiki session. She warns us that the patient is likely to feel light-headed and “spacey” for up to half an hour after the completion of the attunement. The patient should be advised not to move or sit up too quickly, as this will only heighten the effect of the light-headedness. The Reiki practitioner is advised to keep a glass of water on hand for the patient to drink after the session, although it should be pure water because the session can cause detoxifying effects and therefore an intolerance to nothing but the simplest, purest foods and drinks. After the light-headedness passes, the patient will feel deeply relaxed and mellow and will probably remain in an altered state of consciousness for up to three days following the Reiki session. Stein makes a point of mentioning that overall the experience os pleasant and enjoyable.
This might as well be advice on how to deal with a partner immediately following a heavy feeding session. The person fed from is often a little shaky and light-headed after the exchange. Having a glass of water on hand is a good idea and I've recommended it several times myself. Nothing heavy or full of colorings or flavorings really goes down very well as the donor often feels vaguely queasy after the session in addition to feeling very thirsty. The light-headedness will pass in half an hour to forty-five minutes in most circumstances, and the donor is left feeling very mellow and relaxed, with a heightened awareness of the subtle reality. This altered and heightened state can last for a day or two after the session, sometimes more depending on both the donor and the vampire. And as I have been told time and again -- quite in contrast with the claims of those opposed to vampirism -- the feeling experienced after being fed from is quite pleasant and enjoyable. Often the process itself has euphoric of not outright aphrodisiac effects.
It seems obvious to me that Reiki and vampirism each draw upon the same essential capacity in humanity. Both the Reiki practitioner and the vampire have a latent capacity for the manipulation of energy. Both very likely carry this knowledge from earlier lives, and both often require a little outside help in order to kick their systems into gear. For the Reiki practitioner, the attuning process clears blockages from the energy centers and allows the vital force to flow into and through them. For the vampire, the initiation opens the energy channels and begins the henceforth continual process of drawing energy in.
Reiki practitioners would most likely look upon a vampire as a perversion of their art. At best they would feel the vampire, in her constant need to draw in energy, is suffering from a spiritual illness. But I don't think vampirism needs to be healed. I think vampirism is the necessary balance to a function like Reiki. It is the old principle of Yin and Yang. If there are individuals who channel the vital energy and create through their persons an elevated outflow, all that extra energy has to go somewhere. If the world were filled only with Reiki masters, the universe would be filled to capacity with healing energy in a very short time. Vampires serve as the necessary drains through which this energy must flow.
In this capacity, I think we share something in common with the Hindu god Shiva, known as the Destroyer. Shiva is the one in the Hindu triad who tears down the creations of Brahma and Vishnu so that there will be room in the universe for new creation and growth. Shiva, although he is the god of death and destruction, is hardly looked upon as a negative entity in the Hindu belief system. Instead, he is a force of revitalization and dynamic change. I think, rather than looking upon ourselves as cosmic garbage disposals, we should look to Shiva for inspiration. By taking energy in and devouring it, we make room for more. We stave off stagnation. We keep the universe vital and dynamic, and maintain a healthy flow of energy throughout all things. In this fashion, we are just as necessary and beneficial as the Reiki light-workers. Perhaps more so, because without the safeguard of darkness which we represent, they would quickly drown the cosmos in blinding white light.