Order of the Vampyre

Order of the Vampyre

(pop culture)

The Order of the Vampyre is part of the Temple of Set, a religious institution dedicated to and consecrated by Set, an ancient Egyptian god who was later adapted into the “Satan” of the Jewish and Christian traditions. Hence, the Temple of Set is popularly known as a “Satanic” religion, although its initiates consider themselves “Setians,” a more precise description. The Temple was founded in 1975 by priests of the Church of Satan (founded in 1966) who had decided to carry forward the serious work of the Church in a more historic, less anti-Christian context. Like its parent body, the Temple of Set is a strictly ethical and law-abiding institution. It is configured as an “umbrella” organization that has a number of specialized “orders” whose members concentrate on specific areas of research and black magic applications of the results of that research. It views vampirism as a kind of extension of human consciousness into extremes of human desires and behavior. It is the purpose of the Order of the Vampyre not merely to illustrate (or caricature) these extremes, as artists and novelists regularly do, but rather to identify and understand them. These extremes are the “rages of the raw human soul” that have been all but completely suppressed by the mind’s fear of looking deep within itself.

Initiates of the order are encouraged to apply aspects of the “vampyric existence” to their conscious existence. They become, in effect, “vampires” who are sensitive in the extreme to the pleasure and pain of life and very much aware of how different they are compared to “normal” humanity. In this process, the initiates do not drink the blood of or otherwise harm humans or other animals in any way. Rather, an initiate sees, hears, feels, and lives acutely—both positively and negatively. They bring to bear extraordinary powers of imagination and visualization as well as creation and appreciation of thematic art, music, and literature. Thus, like vampires of fiction, the initiate is more vital than humanity in general.

The environment of the Order of the Vampyre is described as exhilarating, but also stressful and hence not appropriate for many people—not even the majority of Setians. Admission to the order is by invitation only to Setians who have attained at least the standing of Adept II within the Temple of Set. Membership is international, and the order holds meetings and activities on its own and in conjunction with the regional, national, and international conclaves of the Temple of Set. The Order is currently led by Lady Lilith Aquino, the wife of Michael Aquino, the founder of the Temple of Set, and Magister William T. Butch. The order may be contacted through the office of the Temple of Set at PO Box 470307, San Francisco, CA 94147. It has an Internet presence at http://www.xeper.org/ovampyre/.

Sources:

Aleiss, Angela. “Vampires: The Bloody Truth.” Religion News Service, November 18, 2000.
Beliefnet. Posted at http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/2000/11/Vampires-The-Bloody-Truth.aspx. Accessed on April 10, 1010.
The Crystal Tablet of Set. San Francisco, CA: Temple of Set, 1989.
Dresser, Norine. American Vampires: Fans, Victims, Practitioners. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1989. 255 pp.
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