About SAVA

What is the SAVA?

The South African Vampyre Alliance is an independent and autonomous organization operating within the South African Vampyre Community.

Membership to the SAVA is free, entirely voluntary and consists of those who self-identify as Vampyres and those who associate with them for their own personal reasons. There are no membership fees or subscriptions, nor does the SAVA sell or trade in any wares, products and neither do we handle funds. The SAVA holds no bank accounts, does not have any special tax-exempt status, and is not registered or listed with any external authority as a “church”, club or any other form of entity. We exist under our own mandate as a volunteer community-based organization in order to support the SA Vampyre Community.

The SAVA is not a religious group, and maintains a neutral secular balance. While we respect the diverse religious beliefs and spirituality of all our members, we will not tolerate any attempts by members to influence, coerce or associate the SAVA exclusively with any religious group. SAVA is a stand-alone and independent group NOT affiliated to any religion.

Internally, SAVA does not teach, proselytize or initiate members in any form of religion or expect members to buy into any religious beliefs.

We are a secular organization, and while we acknowledge that there are many among our members who are indeed religious, we undertake to treat the personal beliefs of all our members with dignity within the activities of the organization.

SAVA does not set expectations for new members to become involved in any religious practices regardless of what religious demographics are prevalent at any time within the local VC or even within the SAVA membership. Within the contect of the SAVA and its membership, being a Vampyre is an identity, not a religion or a ritual practice. Whatever religion an individual member identifies with, is – aside from statistical interest – of no concern to the SAVA.

The SAVA is NOT a role-playing (LARP) group. True, there are non-vampyres who play role-playing games in which they personify vampire characters, and there are religions where non-vampyres perform rituals and do what Vampyres do as part of their pursuit for enlightenment, or power, or fuzzy white lights or whatever amuses them – but Vampyres have a real NEED to do do these things naturally, without ritual, in order to remain healthy. That is their experience, and their belief is a consequence resulting from their experience. The self-identifying Vampyre does not have to live a “lifestyle”, just as the average person does not view their own identity as a white male or black female or LGBT person as a “lifestyle”.

As an individual can in part be summarized as the outcome of their life experiences, so do we view a real self-identifying Vampyre. The Vampyre knows his or her needs, and knows the effects of satisfying these needs, as they also know the effects of abstinence. This experience demonstrates to the self-identifying Vampyre the reality of their situation and brings home to them the reality of their identity. This sort of reality transcends ritual and transcends religion in the same way as physical hunger and thirst override platitudes and societal taboo.

This naturally makes the Vampyre acutely aware of his or her nature, and the need to find balance. The SAVA outwardly exists to represent that balance both within and without the community, and as far as possible, to maintain it.

Many make the assumption that Goth or Emo culture is the same thing as our culture, or that it is all part of an extended homogeneous “religion” or spiritual movement – and is often referred to by the ignorant as “evil” or “satanic” – but as with most assumptions, this is completely false.

Vampyre culture internationally is diverse in its nature and eclectic in its make-up – and as a local community body, the SAVA is a secular and impartial middle-ground which seeks to act as a voice for our community, our identity group and culture in this country.

We as the SAVA operate on the foundation of what is to us a deeply held belief that being vampyric is a result of an as yet scientifically undefined natural phenomenon, which occurs regardless of choice on the part of  the individual, a belief which in most cases is borne out by personal experience.

History:

The South African Vampi(y)re Alliance (SAVA) is a formalized expression of the South African Vampi(y)re Community (SA VC), founded and established in May 2011 by the collaboration of various individuals resident within South Africa, most notably: Octarine Valur, Gabrielle Draegan, Nereo, Samael Anathan, Lamia Satanei, Aura Escher, Rose Dantis and others who contributed their input.

Political And Ideological Alignment Within The Global Vampyre Community:

Use of a term like “the” Vampyre Community creates the impression that all Vampyres identify as part of the same global community, when in fact the international Vampyre Community is nothing more than a loose association of smaller geographically sparse community groups based around the world and interacting together for various reasons – often tied together by no more than their root identification as Vampyres.

The SAVA is a community body representing the growing South African Vampyre Community (SA VC), and our interests both locally and internationally by interacting with other Vampyre communities in other countries.

Some in the global Vampyre Community have in the past assumed that we in South Africa (who have always used the vampYre spelling) are either aligned to one or another vampyric religious/spiritual group (such as the OSV) or that we have been influenced by the teachings of such a group. This is in point of fact NOT the case. We use the “Y” spelling because it is older than the later English “I” spelling. We use the older version of the word to describe real self identified Vampyres who experience the condition we call being vampyric. Conversely, we use the newer version to describe the fictional stereotype we see in myth, legend and fiction – and because when the media talks about Edward Cullen and Damon Salvatore, they talk about “vampires”. We are not a community group for TV or movie “vampires”, but for self-identified real Vampyres.

This is a matter of perception and local and even individual preference, and some communities around the world use these specific terms to describe both fictional and real vampyric beings the same way we do, while others do the same by interchanging these terms in opposite meanings. It is important to clear up the detail that there are different sets of reasons why people use these terms in contradiction to each other, and not necessarily just because of what ideology or faction in the global VC they support or associate with.

The SAVA essentially functions as a committee to address the interests of the membership of the SAVA in terms of community development, social events and other matters which affect our culture, but in no way lays claim to being a self-appointed governing body for the whole of the South African Vampyre Community. There is no means of enforcing a centrally made decision upon the extended SA VC, nor any means to “force” extended SA VC participants to join the SAVA or to adhere to any community-effecting decisions made by the SAVA. Participation in the SAVA has always been, and remains, entirely voluntary.

The SAVA glyph, which features cyphers of each of the nine Halos in the outer band. This glyph has been in use since February 2012, and has superseded the earlier sigil from 2011.

Mission

The South African Vampi(y)re Alliance (SAVA) co-operative, working as an umbrella body within the South African Vampi(y)re Community (SA VC) for the purpose of giving structure to the Community and promoting the ethics, norms and culture synonymous with more established Vampyre Communities around the world, as well as promoting the culture of safe, ethical participation of individual members and non-members in the region of South Africa in collaboration with each other, acting together as the expression of the members desire to associate with each other as a unique body within the context of the greater Vampi(y)re Community.

For more information about Vampyres and Vampyre culture in South Africa, consult the SA Vampyre Culture Center website.

For inquiries or to contact the SAVA, please email savampyrealliance@aol.com