The first essay covers the commonly accepted Vampire Virus theory. It also goes through he process of the Change for vampires. I cannot write on the process of the Change in different races of Otherkin (having no experience with such) but would welcome articles or ideas from such people.
The Second essay is my theory on genetic memory as a way to explain reincarnation. It leads into the subjects covered in the third essay. The third essay is much newer and covers a current theory of mine. I have published both so that the reader may see vampirism from two points of view. I currently consider this hypothesis more likely, but that can always change based on research.
Anecros is a formula based on a combination of alchemy and herbalism I have been working on developing for a few years. It acts as a blood substitute for sanguine vampires and if taken on several occasions over a period of months, it can awaken new vampiric Gifts. It seems to have no effect on normals or to make them nauseated, and to sometimes help trigger Awakening in latent vampires.
The Changing or Awakening
The most intimate details of how the Change is accomplished are secrets of my kind, and even we often don't use the same methods in different Houses. There is always an exchange of blood (at least a quarter cup each) as well as certain rituals and oaths. To be blunt, we infect the initiate with our essence, then care for them over the next few hours, days or weeks, depending on how strong the initiate's immune system is, as well as the strength of their initiator's blood, the ritual involved, the age of the initiate and the time of the moon and season. Many of us tend to believe in the "Virus" theory, that there is a virus in our blood which stores genetic information, and that when infected, the DNA of the recipient is mutated by the virus, changing their blood cells, bone marrow, liver, lymph nodes, neurons, stomach lining, teeth and saliva. By infecting an initiate with one's blood (after weakening the immune system with magic, fasting and the loss of blood) the initiate is very subtly changed in mind, body and soul to become a Real Vampire, with some genetic heritage of the Ageless, and some of humans.
There are more viruses (in theory) than grains of sand on all the beaches of the earth, and each mutates into a new form with every generation. This explains the different types of vampires....dominant and similar strains of the virus, plus the different abilities, but similar traits shown by all Real Vampyres. It is a potent combination of magic and genetics to form a semi-human mutation that changes with each successive generation. It is also possible for the virus to lie dormant in a host body and be awakened by physical trauma (such as a very high fever, blood loss or shock) and be awakened by the body when the immune system is too busy to worry about it . It then goes into replication, almost always saving the host's life but changing them irrevocably. This is what usually happens to create us. All non-Initiated real Vampyres will, if they think long and hard, remember some trauma or severe emotional or physical shock shortly before they began manifesting signs of viral infestation.
Signs of the change vary vastly. There is always a sort of purge, whether severe sweating, diarrhea, copious urine production, shedding or peeling of the skin or some other method of the body to rid itself of the old genetic material as well as various body cells that have been destroyed by the process. Lights become brighter as the body adjusts to dimmer conditions, the skin is noticeably paler and more sensitive to solar radiation, the digestive system becomes more sensitive, muscle density and placement changes and even neural tissue is refined, causing the development of psychic abilities. There are many, many other signs of the change, but those are almost universal. The digestive system of the Real Vampyre is fickle. Often a new initiate must totally restructure their eating habits and food tastes, much to their consternation and embarrassment. Some become vegetarian, others eat little but meat. Most really need a slightly smaller volume of food, though their new hunger usually causes them to eat even when they don't need to, as the body reacts with unfamiliar needs in a familiar way. Thus, rather than stereotypical gauntness, many vampires are overweight, and their body's tendency to return to a similar shape makes muscle buildup or weight loss difficult, but not impossible.
Genetic Memory and Reincarnation
Now we come to a pet theory of mine. I believe that many cases of reincarnation and past life memory are based on a concept called genetic memory. Many scientists believe that animals retain some of the knowledge of their ancestors as instincts so that they must not be taught everything by their parents. Some things need to be taught, such as hunting (for predators), grooming, which plants are nutritious or poisonous (for herbivores) and how to behave in a social group of one's species. However, some theorize that certain fears or instincts are based on the accumulated memories of one's ancestors. An example of this would be flight. It is certain that parental teaching plays the major role in birds and bats learning to fly. However, homing instincts, navigation and wind current understanding may literally be "built in" as a set of instincts. This gives the offspring a much better chance to survive and keeps the parent from having to spend as much time in teaching their babies. Thus the parents may reproduce more often and have a better chance of passing on their genetic legacy further.
Fear of fire is another example. Yes, most animals will avoid anything that causes discomfort. However, many animals will not even approach fire within a distance to cause such discomfort. The knowledge that fire is dangerous and painful seems literally built in. Humans seem to be one of a very few creatures without this genetic safety clause. I cannot help but wonder how many ancestral deaths this caused before our forefathers learned how to "safely" handle fire.
My theory is that our ancestors relied a great deal more than we on genetic memory and empathy. This would have given them a needed "edge" to survive in a world where all the creatures surrounding them had bigger teeth and claws and faster developing young. Later we learned rote memorization and overspecialization and our ability to remember the lives of our ancestors fell into disuse. However, certain people over the ages seem to still show signs of this ability.
I theorize that certain prodigies and people "born" with incredible gifts are simply remembering the skills of their ancestors. An example is a person who is born with an incredible intuitive knack for art. I would bet that if this person looked back a few generations on their family tree, they would find an ancestor with similar or identical skills. This hypothetical prodigy has natural talent, to be sure, but is also equipped with memories of years of training from their forefathers. How many of our great geniuses have come from long lines of skilled learners or researchers? How many craftspeople who seem to develop skills in record time are simply applying lessons of past lives or ancestral memories? I do not know, and do not think that with our current limited understanding of genealogy and genetic science we are likely to find out anytime soon. Still, I would love to see science and magic look further into these possibilities.
It is also possible we can inherit more than a physical legacy from our ancestors. Perhaps we can inherit spiritual memories as well. This is, of course, in reference to the concept of past lives. I believe that the physical and spiritual are far more closely related than we give them credit for. Perhaps past lives are both genetic and spiritual. The genetic aspect would explain why so many have memories of the same past lives as historical figures. People who share a past life memory are probably descended from that very person in some way. Spiritually, those of great wisdom or personal power would be more "Memorable" to the soul than a person who lived an ordinary life and died an ordinary death.
When you think of past lives this way, the deification of our great historical figures makes a great deal of sense. It is simply an acceptable form of subconscious ancestor worship. It is said that there is nothing new under the sun. I agree. There are simply new ways of viewing the world around us.
Formulas for Awakening and a Hypothesis on Vampiric Origins
For years, I have worked on both an occult and a physical level to try and create a formula to awaken new vampiric abilities or make modern vampires able to tap into the abilities of our legendary counterparts. As far as I can tell, the idea of using a formula to awaken (or perhaps cause, if a person did not know any better about awakening and wished to see it that way) or intensify vampirism is not a new one. Many people have differing theories linking magickal elixirs (such as the Alchemical Philosopher's Stone) and vampirism, but I have seen little published information on the subject, so I have decided to publish my own theories to hopefully bring others out of the woodwork. I think currently that vampirism is a combination of two things.
First, a virus, blood condition or set of chemicals in the blood that can act as triggers for dormant genes. Second a set of inherited dormant genes that is possessed by a latent vampire. According to an open-minded doctor friend, genes can stay dormant for generations until activated by environmental triggers (perhaps overpopulation or even low-level atomic radiation?). The activation of dormant genes can take months or years to be perceptible, and perhaps the first step for a potential vampire is the onset of puberty. I think a combination of stress and serious illness or injury during adolescence can cause a large amount of hormones to be released in the blood. This change in the blood, which can also be caused by the ingestion of vampiric blood while the immune system is under stress, or weakened, can activate the dormant genes. Some of these genes are old indeed and may date back to the neanderthals who were our ancestors.
I have read many articles about our ancestors being stronger, faster and more dexterous than we have become through years of civilization. The awakening of such primal genes might cause the body to need some mineral or substance not available in cooked meat, such as something in blood or raw meat.. Hence the association with vampires and cannibalism and animalistic behavior (such as the link between vampires and werewolves). This would also explain the set of primitive instincts and urges that we label the Beast...our more primitive and violent nature which we thought to have "civilized" out of ourselves. The expressions of this behavior can include the urge to hiss and bear our canines if feeling threatened. The notorious dominance struggles and pack mentality of many vampires could also be associated with the activation of atavistic genes and the instincts they create. Our night vision is easily linked to the fact that some of our ancestors may have preferred hunting at night, when many dangerous predators were sleeping. It would also explain the increased psi ability, as neanderthals were thought by many to be much more psychic than us, and even fangs...have you ever looked at a monkey's canines?
Perhaps psivamps are a bit more advanced or descended from the shamans of ancient times. I have read that psivamps often drastically change their diets...perhaps that helps make up for not drinking blood. Or perhaps they have evolved to the point where they can use energy to actually transmute food into what they need. I haven't really touched on this much in my studies, as I have no experience in that area. Any ideas?
People would be affected differently based on which genes they inherit, and which were activated. Perhaps the growth in power as a vampire matures is caused by the slow activation of more genes from chemicals produced through feeding. Or perhaps the vampire's body craves blood to try and find the genetic triggers to activate more and more dormant genes. Some would inherit certain gifts but not others. Some gifts might be rare and hard to trigger due to isolation or interbreeding. Others would have gifts that remained dormant until they fed from a human or vampire who had the same dormant genes, and then the vampire's gifts would be awakened by new chemical triggers in the blood, or by the genetic material of the donor. The legendary vampiric longevity might take repeated exposure over years to achieve, or be a type of rare mutation. Even if longevity could be achieved, it is probably a rare combination of genetic material and predisposition indeed or a very rare environmental trigger. This has exciting possibilities. Perhaps these theoretical chemical triggers could be isolated through research and even artificially created.
According to this hypothesis, the steps to the process would be as follows. First a person must inherit the vampire genes or primal genes from both parents, as it is probably a recessive trait. The latent vampire must then be exposed to some sort of physical or psychological trauma during or shortly after puberty, or must somehow ingest some quantity of blood. This leads to the activation of the first set of dormant vampiric genes, which cause the new vampire to crave blood for whatever is in it that their system now needs and for new genetic material to trigger more dormant genes. Perhaps this change in body cells is responsible for our ability to ingest small quantities of blood without regurgitating. Perhaps the protein or some other ingredient in blood is responsible for fueling our ability to come closer to the physical feats of our ancestors. Or perhaps we simply have some amount of conscious control over our adrenal glands, and our supply of adrenaline replenishes more quickly than normal. According to one medical text, every seven years all cells in the human body are replaced. So after seven years, theoretically, every cell in the body now has the DNA with the activated vampiric genes. This would explain why elders tend to be more "at peace" with themselves. First they have had time to get used to the idea of being a vampire. Second, their entire body contains the now-activated vampiric genes.
This theory to me is an excellent reason why the standard medical tests fail to discover anything different about us from other people. Chemical changes in the blood are constant and occur from day to day. The group of chemicals or genes from a donor that cause the activation of vampiric genes need not be in the blood for more than a day or two before doing their work. Repeated exposure might be necessary, but again, the change in the blood from the ingestion of the donor's genetic material would not need to be for long. The foreign genes could do their work on a few cells and be processed as protein. The cells with the newly activated genes would create small amounts of the trigger chemical and set off the activation in neighboring cells. This would cause a slow domino effect throughout the body.
This theory could also be modified to help explain different types of otherkin in the future as genetic remnants of other, perhaps even legendary races. Shifters could be a combination of past life memories and genes remaining from our canine ancestors. If you accept the possible existence of elves or fae in the past, there are many legends of them marrying and having children with humans. Draconic otherkin might carry the genetic memories of reptilian ancestors. Those who believe in the Nephilim could also find correlations with this theory. Even those who are of mixed essence could be explained by this theory. Two different sets of genes from two different ancestors both Awakening in the same person could lead to a crossbreed of sorts with attributes of both.
I think that Anecros and similar formulas, as well as certain rituals, can speed up the process, or even cause the activation of new gene triggers. I know the above has not been adequately researched yet and is still in it's rough form, but I am excited by this concept. I will at some point ask the aforementioned friendly doctor to look with me into this if possible. I also invite fellow researchers and scholars to share their research and opinions with me on this topic. Together, we may yet achieve an understanding of the nature and causes of vampirism and the Otherkin phenomena.
Author: Raven OrthaeVelve
Link: House Eclipse