Episode 105: Vampires – Fact or Fiction?

Kia ora, hi everyone Thanks for joining us, whether you’re a first-time listener, or follow our podcast. It’s lovely to have you all here today.

Picture this; it’s night time. There’s a gentle breeze blowing outside, causing the branches of the tree to lightly scrape your window. In the distance a dog barks. All is relatively peaceful. You wake up with a start. And have this inexplicable urge to go to your window and open it. Your, diaphanous, white nightgown flowing around you, as almost in a trance-like state, you walk haltingly to the window. Hair loosely, flowing down your back. You have no control over your body. You unlatch and fling the windows open, letting the breeze wash over you, making your gown cling to your heaving breasts. . . All of a sudden, this fog starts rolling in through your windows, from an otherwise, clear night!

You stand there in your transfixed state, unable to comprehend what is actually happening. Then, standing in front of you is a tall gentleman, dressed in a suit, and cape. You gasp in shock, whilst at the same time you are totally bewitched and enchanted by his gaze. Unable to tear your eyes away from his. Next minute, he sweeps you into his arms, whilst you look longingly into his eyes. He leans down and bites you in the neck, sweeping his cape over you, to both cover the deed and to protect our delicate sensibilities. At that point, the spell he had over you is broken, and you attempt to struggle, but alas, it’s too late. Dracula has you firmly. And you are a lost cause, as he drains your body of it’s vital fluids.

At least, that is how the Hammer Horror movies, and that brilliant actor Christopher Lee portrayed the vampire in the movies I loved, when I was growing up as a child. Of course, the social standards were way different then and vampire movies, whilst being created to give people a real scare, also had a definite sexual subtext. That subtext which has continued, albeit a tad more blatantly in these later years with movies, like Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, that hints of homoeroticism. Or Underworld, where the vampire hero is obvious in her dominant sexuality, as shown by the tight black leather outfit she wears, and her kick-arse attitude.  Bram Stokers Dracula remake in nineteen-ninety-two (one of my favourite ever vampire movies), Where Gary Oldman, who brilliantly plays Dracula. His lonely, Vampire soul, is determined to reunite with his lost love, Mina. Played by Winona Ryder. In that particular movie, they made him more sort of a sympathetic character – To a degree. Even most recently, with the sparking vampires of that dreadful, dreadful series of movies, the Twilight franchise.

I’m not going to go into the sexual subtext of vampire movies. But, over the decades, from the very first vampire movie ever made in nineteen-twenty-two. A black and white, silent flick called Nosferatu. Played very ably, and chillingly for the time, by one Max Schreck. The vampire has changed from this feared, ugly looking creature to a sexually, desirable, but oh so predatory one – at least until his or her instincts take over. Only then, does the monster reveal it’s true form. If you do a quick internet scholarly search, I feel pretty sure you’ll find many documents that go over the sexual subtext aspect of this film genre.

But ultimately, they are just movies. And many of them not even particularly good ones, I can hear you say. Yes, yes. This is indeed true. There are many, many rubbish ones out there, some excellent ones as well. All catering to our fears. And for some our erotic fantasies. But, these movies all started from not merely that original book written in 1897, by Abraham Stoker – although he really brought the vampire to prominence in an otherwise, very sexually repressed, cultural time period.

But, is there more to the vampire legend, then merely his ‘Dracula’ book? And was it originally meant to be presented as fiction? Not according to a 2018 article in that prestigious magazine, the ‘Time’. There’s a link to that article from this episodes page on the podcast website, www.walkingtheshadowlands.com.  Is there perhaps some truth to this story that simply won’t die – no pun intended.  So, make yourself comfortable. Make sure your lights are on, and your doors and windows are all locked, tightly. Let’s walk, into this very dark and foreboding part of the Shadowlands together and see what awaits us there! Are you ready? Then let’s begin.

Movies aside. The Vampire, or whatever name is used for them in different cultures, feature throughout the world. Retold, in hushed tones around campfires, or in someone’s home. Legends, myths, or reality? These creatures are found in almost every single culture. Perhaps first, for those who don’t know, I should talk about the predominant description of what a vampire is. As there are many different interpretations, dependent on the cultural region of the world. But most, have the vampire being a walking corpse. A dead, but undead creature who survives by consuming human, or animal blood (if no humans are available). Or, by taking one’s psychic energy, or breath.

Physically, they almost always have extremely sharp, pointed teeth or fangs, which they use to tear or bite their victims in order to remove the blood. In legend, vampires are said to retire to their graves during the day. Sleep and rise as soon as the sun sets, to look for victims. They are typically said to have extremely pale skin. And dependent on in what culture or where in the world the story is told, they range from being extremely horrible, and grotesque looking. To stunningly beautiful in a very unnatural way. Their bodies are said to not cast a reflection, or shadow. Which also means that often they cannot be photographed, or recorded on any type of film. Or, indeed seen in a mirror. This was originally thought to have been, because, mirrors in the olden days, were coated with silver on the back. And silver being something vampires are not particularly fond of.

According to legend, there are many ways that a person can become a vampire. The most common as cited in most vampire movies, is to be bitten by a vampire. Other ways in different cultures, include through sorcery, or by committing suicide, catching some illness, or even by having a cat jump over a person’s corpse. In some cultures, there is a belief that if a baby is born with teeth, or on, or around Christmas and Epiphany, there is a predisposition towards becoming vampires.

In legend, vampires don’t die of disease, or of any human illness. They are said to have faster than human healing capabilities, should they be injured in some way. They can be destroyed by a wooden stake through the heart, decapitation, and exposure to sunlight. In Christian belief systems, they can be repelled by garlic, or crucifixes, running water, or holy water. And in some cultures, and most modern depictions of vampires, they can only enter your home by invitation of the owner, or occupier of that property. In some cultures, vampires can be distracted by scattering rice, seeds or grains. The vampire apparently has obsessive compulsive disorder. And is compelled to stop and count the grains or seeds, giving the victim time to escape.

So, that’s a description of the traditional vampire as seen in many different cultures. And known by different names depending on that culture. But, do vampires actually exist? Are they real living, or non-living beings? And do they really require the consumption of human blood in order to survive?

Certainly, there are medical conditions such as porphyria which causes an extreme sensitivity to sunlight, along with causing the gums to recede, making some teeth look like fangs. People with this disease, also often have urine that is very dark red, leading, in olden days, people to surmise they were drinking blood. And finally, most with this disease have an aversion to garlic. This is because the high sulfur content of garlic could lead to an attack of porphyria, leading to acute pain for the sufferer. So, that is perhaps one reason, why people may have been seen as vampires.

Another illness that has been linked to the vampire story, is that of rabies. Rabies is a very nasty, painful, and ultimately terminal – if untreated, disease. You generally only get this from a bite, from an affected animal, such as a bat, dog, squirrel etc. The disease causes a number of bizarre behavioural changes, some of which are not unlike those a vampire is supposed to display.

And lastly there is Renfield’s syndrome or Renfield syndrome, which is a psychiatric disorder, where the sufferer has an obsession with drinking blood. Otherwise called Clinical Vampirism. Some serial killers displayed this particular syndrome.

But, these medical factors aside, do vampires really exist? Yes, actually they do. And they walk amongst us every day. Most likely we would not even know. But, are they as portrayed in the movies and in legend? Well, perhaps not entirely. In these two episodes I talk with a very special guest. One who identifies as a practicing, ethical, emphasis on ethical, vampire.

Michelle Belanger

Michelle Belanger is an occult expert, presenter, singer, psychic, and author of more than thirty books on paranormal topics. Michelle has been featured on TV shows including A&E’s Paranormal State and the Travel Channel’s Portals to Hell as a psychic medium and occult expert. Michelle’s nonfiction research in books like “The Dictionary of Demons” and “The Psychic Vampire Codex” has been sourced in television shows, university courses, and publications around the world.

A person of many talents, Michelle has performed with musical groups, including the dark metal band URN, and the Gothic duo Nox Arcana, and designed immersive live actions RPGs for companies such as Wizards of the Coast. In the 1990s, Michelle was the editor of Shadowdance, a magazine dedicated to dark fringe culture that has since been reborn as a podcast. Michelle has made appearances on CNN, A&E, Fox News, Reelz, and the History Channel.

Nowadays, Michelle teaches online classes and creates a variety of resources for personal psychic development. Michelle lives near Cleveland, Ohio with three cats, a few friendly spirits, and a library stuffed full of books. I’d like to welcome my guest Michelle Belanger.

Michelle Belanger

Marianne: Michelle, thank you so much for agreeing to talk with us today. I say this so often to my guests, but I’ve been really excitedly waiting for this opportunity to chat with you. I first saw you on Penn State many years ago. And you, the very first time I saw you, you impressed me so much with your genuineness. It came off you in waves. With your straightforwardness and your no mucking around. I really like that. I really appreciated that you were so grounded and so down to earth. And then later, I found other things about you that were really, really interesting. And we’ll get into that a little bit later. But for now, thank you for agreeing to talk to us and welcome to Walking the Shadowlands.

Michelle: Thank you for the warm welcome.

So now, for those listeners who don’t know, Michelle has been a familiar face on many television shows. For quite a number of years now. And aside from that, she’s a prolific author. And I’ve been trying, but I’ve failed, to completely get through your psychic codex, your Psychic Vampire Codex before. I was hoping to get it finished before we talked. But, I read over half. So, I did pretty well in the time that I had available to me. And I found it an incredibly, incredibly interesting book. But, before we get into that can you tell us please, a little bit about your background? Where you come from? Your family history?

I was raised by a family of second and third generation Irish immigrants. And so, the religion was Catholicism, but very heavily mixed with Irish folklore. So, a belief in psychic ability and second sight, the fairies and all of the sort of things that you can imagine from some Irish folklore, were part of things that were discussed in the household.

I was born with a heart defect. So, the first five years of my life were very touch and go. My life expectancy was five. And there were surgeries which at the time were experimental. So, I had multiple surgeries, including two open heart surgeries before the age of five. Which also meant, because, I was really precocious kid, we had a lot of conversations about life and death, what comes after.

And because, there was no certain guarantee that I would see my fifth year whatever I wanted to explore, or learn or talk about. I was I was indulged with. So, you know, I was treated like an adult in a lot of ways and I was an early reader. They just kind of like gave me free rein, you know, libraries and whatever books we had available. So, I had this this unique background where, you know, I had one foot in the physical world and one foot in the spirit world. And a family that has a history and an acknowledged lineage of psychic abilities that also encouraged learning and a sort of scholarly approach to things.

 And you know, I took all of that with me as I moved forward through the decades. Pursuing a degree in comparative religious studies, with a concentration in psychology of religion. Because, I’m less interested in theology and more about why people believe what they believe? And what that does for them? How that shapes their emotions, their habits, the way that they interface with one another in the world. And that’s kind of me in a nutshell.

Wow. And I, as I used to be a Cardiothoracic and Vascular surgical nurse myself. So, hearing you talk about your heart issues as a child, I totally understand your parents fear for you and what you went through as a child. I have a measure of understanding. So obviously was a pretty traumatic and painful time for you. You are, as we would say here in New Zealand, a member of the Zipper Club.

I am. I am a member of the Zipper Club, and not everybody knows that, like what that means. But they, so since you know the background for it. It was a ventricular-septal defect and it was the early seventies. So, it was – there is a lot of like, well, we’re not quite sure. They didn’t even have a heart-lung machine that could sustain somebody under, I think, a certain weight, which was why it was so – So they couldn’t perform the final surgery until I reached a certain weight and I couldn’t keep weight on because the heart was so bad and it was just this sort of like touch and go. It was a lot.

A lot! It was a lot, and in the seventies.  I started nursing in the early seventies, so I remember what little there was available back then, compared to when I left nursing in ninety-five. It was quite, quite a bit of a marked difference in how they treat cardiac issues. So yeah. And all the rehab time that you would have had between surgeries. So, I can imagine that as a child, this gave you a lot of time to ponder, and research. And to find your path, really.

Fortunately, I was inclined to be a reader and a kind of quiet inside dwelling kid. I mean, I’m certain that my health contributed to that.


I couldn’t go out and play with everybody, but, it definitely gave me a lifelong love of reading and writing books. I was always trying to make my own books, from the time I was four onward, I was ridiculously precocious.

Oh wow! Right, right. And you’ve written numerous books, quite a number of really, really good books. The subject of vampires is something that has fascinated me, terrified me, since I was a little kid. And so, you know, we’re talking decades and decades and decades. And when I started my podcast, I – And this is the ninth season of my podcast. I wanted to do an episode on vampires, since I started.

Because, there are so many misconceptions and so much fear out there. Like there is with the Wiccan subject. Like there is with many of the pagan subjects. There’s just so much fear and misinformation out there, that I wanted to do something that – Because, everybody has this idea that vampires are these blood sucking creatures, and of course, movies have romanticized the vampire now, so they sparkle in the Daylight, whatever! You know, silly things.

But, in all of that, many people still feel that vampires are just fiction. Where actually vampires have been around for centuries, and centuries, and centuries, in one form or another. Be that energetic vampires, or other types. Michelle, maybe you could tell us what the different types of vampires are? And how they operate?

Oh no, absolutely. So, in much the same way that we have modern witches. And there are folks who are, you know, witches, they might be born that way. They might learn how to do it. And they are distinctly different from the witches and fairy tales. And the witches in folklore, where they’re all these horrible, wizened hags that are just cursing their neighbours. But, the word ‘witch’, carries this, this weight with it. This sort of magical archetype that has inspired and has been very useful for identifying a certain way of interfacing with magic and psychic phenomena.

The vampire is the same. Darker overall, by most people’s perception. But, that’s not to say the dark is the same as evil. Where witches, especially modern witches, are very connected to the magic of the land and life, and nature. The difference for vampires, for folks who identify with that, as a magical archetype. There is that connection to the darker side of existence. One foot in the spirit world, a kind of intermediary state, between life and death. Or, at least, the ability to sort of move between those, mentally.

A connection to the dark hours of the night and the mysteries that hold. And also, a sort of sense of immortality. But, not in physical immortality. Most of the folks in the vampire community that I know and have worked with over the years, tie in with a sense of reincarnation. That they are old souls. That they have lived before and that, that is something they carry with themselves, incarnation after incarnation. And is part of why the idea of the vampire is relevant to them. Being something again beyond life and death.  And there is also unavoidably, that connection to feeding off of life force. The word vampire wouldn’t be useful for this community at all, if it weren’t for that. Now, that’s probably the most intimidating thing.

You’re going to find most of the books about psychic vampires and vampiric people out there right now, on how to protect yourself from them. I know when I was trying to sort myself out in my late teens and early twenties, that’s all I found. Like Deon Fortune, Psychic Self-Defence, was one of the first ones. There were several others, but it was all vampires are real and vampires are bad. And they’re psychic. And they’re astral and they can take your energy. And here’s how to protect yourself against them. And you know? Nineteen year old me was like, But what if you are one, though? Like, What do you do? Like, I don’t. I’m not taking from people without their permission. But, I’d like to understand myself better. So, so what does that look like? What does that mean?  

So, I define vampire in terms of like a vampiric living human being. As someone who needs to regularly and actively take human vital energy, in order to maintain their health and well-being. They may take it through a couple of different ways. Psychic Vampires, obviously, are taking psychic energy, human vitality. And you can interpret that as Chi, Prana There’s, there’s so many different cultural terms for the breath and life and energy that moves within and throughout us.

There are folks in the vampire community who are blood drinkers. And they fall generally into two camps. One, I think that they call themselves mostly medi-sang or medical-sang. Which is basically saying when vampires, blood drinking vampires, med-sang’s are the ones who believe that it’s a purely physical material need. A medical need. And that here’s nothing metaphysical about it. There’s nothing psychic or energetic.

And in many cases, that camp of blood drinkers are actually kind of anti-psychic energy. Like they’re more atheistic, more materialistic – but they’re more atheistic or materialistic in their approach to reality. It’s fascinating, because, they still identify as vampires. They still recognize that there’s this thing about them that’s different. And from my, my religious studies background that still falls under belief. But, they don’t see it that way.  

The other camp of SANGUINE vampires are those who believe that the blood is a focus. Ah the carrier, and the way to connect to the same sort of vital energy that a psychic vampire is taking. And there are also some vampires who will mix that energetic feeding with sex, or sensual activities. And broadly, there’s, there’s a lot of different ways to take energy with people. It needs to be said that everybody, vampire or not, takes energy . . .


. . . and gives energy. We’re in constant energetic exchange with one another, with our environment, with the world around us, the ground beneath our feet. You know, you go walking in nature and you are exchanging, or engaging with that. You can do that passively, or you can do that actively through meditation. There’s some beautiful Taoist walking meditations, that are like active ways of connecting to the trees and the land around you, giving energy and taking it back. And just letting it be almost a breathing exercise. That is infused with the life around you.

 And, you know, every interaction that we as embodied beings have, intimate, or angry. There’s an energy exchange that happens. Sometimes it’s uneven. Sometimes it’s fully reciprocal. And what distinguishes vampirism is something about that person who is vampiric. There is a greater than ordinary need. Enough of a need that it is noticeable that they, that they need to frequently take energy. If they’re not aware of it, they do become the type of psychic vampires that the books warn about. They don’t know what they’re doing. They just find the most efficient way possible to take energy from people. Which is usually, inciting strong emotional reactions from people. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t become aware of what you are. It doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a bad thing.

For me, it’s part and parcel of my psychic abilities.  And to some extent I view it, I think of my energetic work as almost a bank account. So, I cash really big checks. I do a lot of intense energy work. A lot of intense healing work. I’m empathic. I do a lot of psychic stuff, a lot of long distance and remote work. Dream walking, all of that takes energy. All of that takes power. And to fuel that, we’re all taking from some source or another. And some of us have a more limited selection of sources we can draw on.

True, absolutely true. When you were talking about energy –  When I was in my twenties. And I’m sixty-five now. When I was in my twenties, and I was just sort of awakening to myself. I realized, that I was actually stealing energy from people in my desire to learn. And I didn’t rec – it wasn’t a conscious thing. And I felt really dreadful, once I realized that I had been taking energy from these people. And I didn’t realize until one of my friends said, God, I always feel so drained after I’ve visited with you! And I would go away feeling wonderful.

And it was then, that I realized what I’d done. And I just felt so bad, that I determined I would not do that to another person, unconsciously. And I don’t regard myself as a vampire. But, it’s all about energy exchange, and I’m all about energy, like you were talking about. And I recognized that at that point in my life, I needed that energy for whatever reason. And so I took without regard, without conscious regard. My body just took what it needed. I haven’t done it since to my conscious knowing. Hopefully, I haven’t? I make a point not to do that. In fact, I try to give, like yourself try to – It’s got to be a fair exchange. But yeah, it just brought that memory back to me when you were talking about that. And it’s so easily done, you don’t have to be a vampire to do stuff like that.

Yeah. Well, and that raises a really good point. Because, throughout various points in our lives, we may find ourselves at a place where we need more energy than we can ordinarily sustain. Either through chronic illness, depression. There’s something emotionally that we’re going through? There’s some other challenge that again, that, that bank account balance is now in the red and we need to make up for it.

And if we don’t know, if we’re not conscious about our relationship with energy, we’re going to take that however we need. Like the instinct for it is there. The ability is just in everybody. So to me, it behoves all of us to develop a healthy relationship with how we interface with the energy of others, and ourselves. Like, understand, you know, what are our peaks and valleys? How do we move through the currents of energy in ourselves, in our lives? And recognizing that just because you may have a point where you are taking energy, doesn’t necessarily make you a vampire. It may make you vampiric in that moment.

Vampire in a lot of ways – Much like the witch, much like the witchcraft community, the vampire community, has for decades argued back and forth about who is legitimately a vampire who can call themselves this.. Identity politics have been part of my life, like long before that was a term.

Identity-politics. I haven’t heard that term myself.  I’ll remember that identity-politics, interesting. Yes sorry, go ahead.

Oh yeah. But, but the idea of like, who gets to call themselves and identify with. Where, what I’m talking about the vampire community, the vampire for those people is a magical identity. In the same way, that witch is a magical identity. That someone can do magic and not necessarily call themselves a witch, or consider themselves a witch. Someone may have an inborn ability to do what we would think of as magic. But again, if they don’t relate to that archetype as we, and as especially, they understand it. Then you know, it’s not a label that they find useful.

So, within the vampire community, there are people that I think if we examined what their background was. And what their abilities are, we might be tempted to say, Well, that’s more shamanic. Or that’s well, why wouldn’t you call yourself a witch? And some of it comes down to personal interpretation. And what symbols were most important to that person at the key point, where they were resolving their relationship with their magical identity

Right. Right. That makes sense. Oh, that’s so interesting.  So, therefore we have two types of vampires. Basically, we have the psychic vampire, which you identify as.  And we have the sanguine? The sanguine?

Yes, sanguine.

The sanguine vampires are the ones who take the blood. And I imagine between the two groups, there’s still a lot of politics? A lot of politicking around, beliefs and dogmas. And stuff like that.

Yes. You can’t have a community that, first of all, exists on the fringe of belief, in the first place. Where you don’t, one, have very strong personalities. Or, you don’t have disagreements about how we interpret this, and what this means. I became involved in the online vampire community in nineteen-ninety-seven and ran into –  There was a key figure. She’s passed on since. She had Marfan’s syndrome, in addition to everything else. She was a blood drinker. She went by Sanguinarious online. And she ran, to this day, probably one of the most resourced websites, for blood drinkers.

And she was having none of my weird, psychic woo-woo stuff. Like we, we just went at it! Flame wars! I learned what a flame war was, by going back and forth with Sandi. By the end of it, we were friends. And we recognize that our community was bigger than our differences. And it was less about, you know, is a psychic vampire legitimate? Is a blood drinking vampire legitimate? We are united by the fact, that this is a word that means something to us. And we are both providing services to our community, to help folks who identify that, so you know.

But back in the day, oh, goodness. And there are still definitely different sects, splinter groups. There are certainly so, so I am the author of one of the most widely recognized set of ethical guidelines, for the vampire community. But, the vampire archetype is steeped in some predatory and in darker imagery. And it does appeal to certain groups. So there are a few magical orders and occult groups within the vampire community. Several of which actually exist outside of the community. They eschew the community entirely. Because, their idea of the vampire is fundamentally asocial, where they actively teach vampirism as a type of predatory spirituality. Completely against any of the consent rules, and the ethical guidelines that I’ve promoted since the nineties. But, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that there are a few groups like that, that do exist.

And that is one of the things I noticed when I was reading your book, and that’s why I never got it finished, because I was taking notes and was reading it. So, I’ve got screeds of notes.  And if I had just sat down and read it, I would have had it finished. But, about the groups –  Well, actually, what you said about ethics, reading your psychic vampires codex, I noticed just completely how ethical it is. And how it’s totally about consent, consensual taking. And the need to be ethical in your dealings with energy. Taking energy from others.

And the other thing that really jumped out at me is, because, it’s something that  – My major work is with Star People.  I’ve been an experiencer, my entire life. And one of the things you said in the book just made me laugh. Because, it’s something that my Star People have said to me so often. It’s that humans need to label. We have to have these labels. And it’s very amusing to them that we have the need to label. And you mentioned in your book about the power of names and labels. And I found that really interesting.

Well, they’re, they’re tools. And one of the things that I’ve seen folks get really hung up on is, you need to recognize that your label is a tool.  But in a certain sense, you’re using it to put your experiences into a box. So that, for a period of time, you have boundaries, within which you can better understand it. But, you shouldn’t ever let your box become a prison.


You know, remember that it’s a tool. Remember that it’s a label. Like, you know, when I say vampire, there’s certain things that that fits with who and what I am. There are also so many things that fall outside of those boundaries. And none of its neat. And well because, because, of your primary source of working, one of, one of the  –  So, within the vampire community lots of people argue about like, well, why are people vampires like, like, what’s going on with us? And like the simplest and most superficial explanation I can give to people, who have the most rudimentary understanding of energy and stuff is.

You know, I was a sickly kid and I absolutely, and this is true. I take some of that energy to balance out to actively self-heal. I am able to make my body do things that maybe it shouldn’t be able to do. Given the start that it had, and the limitations that it has. But also, there are deeper aspects to that. I mentioned that everybody takes energy. And everybody has different sources that they can connect to. Most of the folks who are vampiric in the community that I work in, find themselves predominantly limited to human vital energy. Because, most of the energy from this place isn’t something they connect with easily or readily. They have a hard time processing it. And you can interpret that however you wish. But, there is definitely a sense of a disconnect, from here. So, you know, the natural like Earth energies and things just don’t quite work. Almost as if maybe we aren’t always from around here.

Absolutely. Yeah. And there is so many – I never really mixed with the UFO community. I pretty much kept myself to myself until I started this podcast. Well, I’ve always spoken out. I’ve always been, like you, talking out about my experiences. I’ve never not done that. But, until I started this podcast, I sort of really didn’t mix with that community. Because, I didn’t want my knowing tainted by other people’s opinions. Especially people who put themselves out as the authorities and they haven’t experienced anything.

Yeah, I  –  In addition to like the Irish stuff, I grew up with an uncle who was kind of my adopted dad for a while. And he was a and he was in the Air Force who was a Vietnam vet. And he had had some connection to Project Blue Book. He was super into UFOs. We went UFO watching. It was, it was also like a, you know, we’d go fishing. We’d go hunting. And we would go UFO watching. Those were our hang-out times. And I have always found the idea of physical craft a little bit consternating. Like, because I’m like, but it’s so much easier to just travel other ways. Like, really, that’s not hard.

Exactly! You’re absolutely right! And I tell people all the time, that not all star species need ships. Only beings at a certain level of development use ships. There are many species who travel by the power of thought. Ships are unnecessary for most advanced species.

No, it should be a pretty simple thing to consider. Because, just, just with psychic abilities, the sort of remote work a person can do in energy work. And you can do energy healing to somebody on the other side of the globe.


You can connect to one another, dream walking. It’s just really space, physical geography, are very easily surmounted.

Absolutely! It’s just man-made limitations. Can I just ask you?  Just to side track a little bit. But, for my listeners who don’t know, can you explain what dream walking is please?

Oh yeah. So dream walking was the term taught to me by another fourth grader. So, so little ten year old kid came up to me and taught me how to do this thing. And they called it dream walking. I had been a lucid dreamer for as long as I can remember. A very vivid dreamer. Dream walking is where lucid dreaming, and out-of-body experience intersect. It is the ability to travel, reach out, and communicate specifically through the medium of dreams. Or, the hypnogogic state. That state in between sleeping and waking.

It’s something that is adjacent to a lot of shamanic techniques. But, I don’t like conflating it with shamanism, because, it is not trained. It is not rooted in any of the cultures that traditional shamanism come from. And I don’t want to, to make it seem like that. That’s something that’s appropriative.  Because, I think that there is a core psychic ability, that can be harnessed through multiple different approaches. And contextualized through different societal approaches.

Right. So, it’s a bit more than remote feeling?

It is.  It’s, and it’s a little bit different from astral projection, and astral travel. And the difference is a little bit more in –  with a dream walking, you go in to go out.

Got you. Right.

And that’s kind of hard to explain if you haven’t had some of those experiences. But, you can harness those imaginative states. You can harness those interior states. There is a point where you are in a construct of your own mind. But, you use that as a liminal space, to then move elsewhere. Either to follow connections and pathways to other people. Or, to other places.

It can be a vehicle for full, like astral projection. Like physically be somewhere, well, ‘physically’ in air quotes. Be present in a space. And not merely in somebody else’s dream space. But it’s, it is fascinating. It’s something that I’ve done since I was ten, now. I wrote a book about it. It definitely encouraged some of the psychology parts of my degrees, to just understand this vast supercomputer we carry around inside of our skulls. Because, there’s so much that it can do.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. We barely touch on what the human brain can do, really. But, I wonder while you were talking, I just got the impression that it’s in this, state actually, that so many people see loved ones that have just passed over.

Yeah, one of the single most reported paranormal psychic experiences. And it’s been recorded for centuries, at this point. Is the death announcing dream. That point where it is not only a death, a person in crisis. It might be a close call. It might be just an incredibly emotional, traumatic, experience. On an instinctive level, we know how to communicate with one another over a distance.


And we are most receptive when we are asleep and dreaming. Especially if we are untrained.  Because, we don’t have the same obstacles that we do when we’re awake. Our waking consciousness, there’s so many distractions. It’s so easy to discount what we feel, like if somebody just crosses our mind. And there’s that brief glimpse of, I think someone’s in trouble. And you’re sitting in your cubicle at work and you’ve got a deadline or something, you just sort of like, you know, it’s like a speed bump in your day. You barely think about it. When you’re asleep and dreaming. There’s a lot more receptivity. And we have fewer material world distractions.

The other thing that you know, the other thing that I’ve noticed specifically with dream walking, dream telepathy and similar communications, is when it is another mind reaching into you. Reaching into your mental space. You notice it, because, it’s different. You know, your regular dreams have a familiarity to them. There’s a pattern, and a shape, and a feel. And when another mind interposes itself in there, it changes the shape of it. And the very fact that you notice it means that you are more likely to remember that experience, when you wake up.

That’s actually ironic. I had one just last night, actually. And I don’t remember seeing this person’s face, but he was male. And he was a southern male. And I remember him very, very clearly. Because, he had just absolutely the broadest, cultured southern accent I’ve ever heard. And I lived in North Carolina for a while, so I was used to the southern accents. But, this was the broadest, cultured southern accent I’d ever heard. And I thought, well! You know, what’s this person doing in my dream? It wasn’t even, you know, just they’re out of the blue. He must have been talking to me for a while. I have no recollection of what he said to me, but, I just remember him leaving.

I’ve had experiences like that, where it’s not only a crisis. Where it’s reconnecting with someone that you were friends with in a previous life. Sometimes there is teaching dreams that I have, I’ve – So I would have these. And one of the benefits of being a personality on TV ,that people know. Is that I get a chance to have conversations that I wouldn’t otherwise get confirmation about.  I was at a convention several years ago now. And there was this woman who was in one of my classes and she just kept staring at me.

And, you know, I can never tell, you know, are you staring at me because I’m six foot one and physically imposing? Are you staring because you saw me on TV? Are you staring because, you know, I remind you of someone? I don’t even know. So, eventually, she works up the gumption to say something. And she’s like, I, I thought you were my spirit guide. It’s how she starts this conversation. I’m like, eh? So she’s like, I don’t. I don’t expect you to believe this. But, for the past five years, I’ve had these dreams at night, not all, not every night, but.

And she started to describe. Having like these sort of like there would be a group of people in a space and I would be teaching things. And she was describing what I would teach. I was like, yep, yep, that that a that sounds like me. The space you’re describing, is a space I’ve been to in several dreams. And it often feels like several people just sitting around having like a salon style conversation. Sharing stuff and just having the confirmation. that these are not merely dreams that my brain is using to entertain itself. And like, you know, memory consolidation of things that I’ve read in the day. Some of those people that I’m just having a conversation with in my sleep might be other dreamers. And that we are converging in space and talking with one another, and not all of them are alive either. And that’s OK, too.

That’s really interesting. Isn’t it? And, in your in your book, you say this; “Psychic vampirism is depicted as best as an affliction. And at worst as a conscious choice to victimize others.” And yeah, that’s a really good definition of how the outside world sees vampires, as they’ve been depicted in the movies. And romanticized, and do you feel that attitude is changing with the work that you’ve done, over this time period?

I can say, that there have been changes in attitudes over the past few decades. Largely because of the work that I’ve done. It’s, it’s really interesting, having been so influential. Where I’ve now hit the point, where I’ll run across, like younger people online. Who weren’t alive when I first started writing this stuff. And they don’t necessarily know that what they learned came from me. So, we’ll start a conversation. They don’t necessarily – like, we’re in a video game. And we’re just in the video game chat. And something about psychic vampirism and comes up. And they start teaching me my own stuff.

Oh, that’s very cool. They actually, must make you feel really satisfied knowing that you’ve achieved something?

I did what I set out to do. It wasn’t about like, I want my name attached to this. It was, I want people, like me, to not have to struggle with, Oh, does this make me evil? Like, I’ve got this ability? Is it a, is it an ability? Is that a handicap? Is it some sort of like evil curse that, you know, I must be compelled to do evil and prey upon people? No, it’s just the way your psychic stuff works. It’s the way you interface with energy. And like everything, you get to choose how you use it.

Absolutely. And it reminds me of another point that you brought up in your book. About, just because you’re dark, doesn’t mean you’re evil. And this is something that I constantly say to  – When I started this podcast, part of my reasoning for starting it was to help educate people. Entertainment, of course, but education as well. And one of the things I constantly say in my, in various episodes and in my group. Is that people here equate white with light, love, positivity and  black as negative and evil, and it’s just not like that at all. That’s actually incorrect. Just because you come from a dark place, doesn’t mean you’re evil.

No, it’s – We are so very married to our binaries in this cult and the same way that we like to put things into boxes. We like to see them as pairs of opposites. And define those opposites as if they’re not always somehow interconnected with one another. You know, he who stands in the brightest light, casts the darkest shadow. And the things that are plunged into the deepest darkness, that’s when you can see the stars.

So it, it does require shifting our way of looking at the world. From a pure, stark, and honestly artificial binary. That there’s only white and light. And that is equipped with good. And there’s only black and dark.  And that equates with that! And that’s, that’s just wrong. It is. It’s not misleading. It’s unfair. It’s not how the natural world works. It’s, it’s not what we’re surrounded with. It’s just it’s convenient language. Sometimes it makes good storytelling. But, it’s not how the world is.

Night by itself is not an evil thing. And for folks who identify with the vampires a magical archetype, there is definitely a strong connection to the nocturnal hours. To the darker side of the year, when it’s longer nights. And not in my opinion, because it’s spooky or dark. Or, like you know, edge lord kind of stuff. It’s the world gets quieter and more introspective. And I work in the paranormal community and paranormal television. Everybody’s like, Well, ghost hunters are always hunting ghosts at night, and ghosts are active all the time. But also, there is less human activity at night, so you are more likely to pick up on the subtle things. Again, he who stands in the brightest light, casts the darkest shadow. But, when you turn the lights down, there are things that you might not have noticed otherwise.

Absolutely. Myself, personally in my life, I’ve always been drawn to night. I worked night shift, you know, eleven p.m. to seven a.m. for most of my nursing career. Because, I prefer that time. I’m finding as I get older, that my body can’t stay awake like it used to, over those time periods. But, I still prefer the dark of the night, to the light of the day. For the reason being, that it’s so much calmer. You can feel things better. You can hear. Your senses are more alert, generally. Whether that’s a primal thing. Or you know, a safety thing from the throwback years. But, that’s what I find personally.

You also say in your book that we are beings who walk both worlds at once. And that’s why I called my show Walking the Shadowlands. Because, it’s how I actually see myself, as well. As a psychic medium, and as a – working with Star People. It’s having feet in both camps. And it can be extraordinarily difficult to live like that. People don’t realize unless they’ve experienced it themselves. So, I totally have an understanding of how it’s been for you and. It’s not an easy path to walk in for you to have found your way. And I also recall in your book, you talking about your grandfather.  And telling your grandfather, about yourself and his reaction. Can you share that with us? Cause, I think it’s actually quite a beautiful story.

Yeah the, a little bit of context is, I did not get to meet my maternal grandfather until I was in my twenties. Because, of family things. He and my grandmother had a very bitter divorce. And so, he was pretty much run off by, by her and her brothers. But, my mom reconnected. And she was dying of breast cancer. He had moved down to where she lived in Texas, to take care of her. And I met him through her. And we, we connected.

He, he was this big, rangy, barrel-chested, six-foot-eight, World War Two vet. He had been in in France before D-Day, doing things that he would not talk about. Even – I know he had a bunch of medals. He was a light, heavyweight champion of the European theatre in forty-three. Like, a much a larger – A larger than life figure. But, because he was part of the great generation, I just wasn’t sure about talking. You know, I’ve just met this person. You know, he’s in his early eighties and how do I tell him? Oh, hi, your grandkid is a vampire, by the way.

Now the psychic stuff was, was normal, too, for him. It was something that was also on that side of the family. So that wasn’t weird or strange. But, he knew I had a book coming out. And he was very excited and he really wanted to be supportive. But, he wanted to know what it was about, and it was the Psychic Vampire Codex. So, I sat him down at the kitchen table at my Mom’s house in North Texas, and I was like, OK so, I’m a psychic vampire, and this is what that means.

And as I start to explain, you know, well it’s person who needs to regularly and actively take human vital energy. And you know, sometimes you do it through touch. And he starts crying at the kitchen table. Like, just very silently weeping. And I slowly become aware that he’s, you know, and that we’re like – I am trained to be a manly man and I’m not going to like, show that show my emotions, but I’m also a very soft hearted emotional guy. So no, I am going to break down.

So, I’m used to people his age at that time crying, because, they’re sure I’m going to hell, and they’re going to have to pray for me. And so, I’m prepared for the worst. So I’m like, Grandfather, are you OK? Like, Is this too much for you? And he’s like. There’s a word for us? And it felt like the room just became absolutely silent.  Like it was just him, and I. Like the whole world narrowed down. And he came clean about – He had been known as a womanizer. He, at the time, was juggling five different relationships, and not – it eighty, eighty, eighty-one years old, and my mom had to just make the rule. Please do not date anybody of childbearing years.

He was, but, he’s like well, I have to change people up. Like I don’t ever want to exhaust one person, because, I’m taking from them. And they don’t understand what I’m taking from them, and I can’t tell them what I’m taking from them. So, I make sure that they have the best time while I’m taking it. And, you know, realizing that like this whole aspect of his life had been lived in secret. Without a real good word for it. That it had impacted his relationships, his marriage. You know? How he chose to, to interact with people. How he felt he could never talk to people he was most intimate with. And explained this key part of who he was, and how he experienced the world.

So, yeah, he was weeping at the kitchen table, because, he didn’t realize that there was anybody else like him. Had never really had the opportunity, given you know, his age group, to talk to people. The psychic aspect of his experience was a little too much, in most cases for his cohort. So, yeah, it was pretty revelatory. And it was intense. And we were already pretty, pretty close at that point.

Meeting him made it very clear, my grandmother would sometimes make some side of the mouth comments about how I reminded her of him. And yes, I didn’t look like anybody on her side of the family, but I surely looked like him. We never – like that nature nurture thing is fascinating. Because, I have personality quirks and habits and likes and dislikes that are clearly from him. And I did not have anything to do with them until I was in my twenties. So genetics, spiritual inheritance, whatever it was.

Oh I like, I really feel for your granddad. Because, how alone he must have felt all that time. Honestly, I’m quite emotional about it. You know, I really feel for what he must have gone through. And how many out there still are like it to this day, who don’t have that support? Or, don’t have it knowing that this what they are? This is an aspect of who they are? And regardless of whether that’s vampire, or whether it’s Wiccan, or whether that’s whatever it is. To feel like you’re alone and not have anyone you can turn to, is it’s an incredibly, incredibly difficult place to be. So, I’m so glad you’re your Grand-dad, at least had you, that he could talk to about it at that stage.

Yeah. Yeah, we, we had some really very cool conversations about that. And it was good to actually get to know him as a person.

Yeah, I can, I can well, imagine. So, that  was an incredibly, incredibly touching story. Thank you for sharing that, Michelle. It was just beautiful. Just beautiful, actually. The other thing that really stood out for me, was that when you started, acknowledging who you are. You began a group of kind of people coming in. And you started by playing a game that was popular at that stage, and I can’t remember the name of it. Where you – kind of like a role playing thing?

Oh, oh yeah. Vampire, the masquerade.

Yes, that’s it. That’s it. So that’s kind of how you just, kind of got yourself out into the community. Apart from your Ezines and that.

Well, in the seventies, eighties and nineties, especially in the states. There again, the satanic panic. By the eighties and the nineties, when I started to actually, like, get active, there was such pressure to not engage with anything esoteric or occult. Even energy work was a little dodgy. If it wasn’t like aggressively white light. It was automatically seen as bad and suspect.

So, finding places where you could connect to people and especially places where you could talk about things like witchcraft, occultism, vampirism and have genuine conversations. Those places and spaces were few and far between. There were a couple of interlocking communities where it was OK. The Gothic subculture. So smoky goth clubs, with black clad people listening to dreary music. All over in the corner off the side of the dance floor, there were usually deep conversations, bad poetry. And also, like esoteric, metaphysical conjecture.

And in nineteen-ninety-one, there was a role playing game that came out. And for folks who don’t know, you probably would be familiar with Dungeons and Dragons? Which was a role playing game that became very popular, is really popular now. And a role playing game is just, it’s collaborative storytelling. People sit around. They create characters and they tell a story within a certain world. And different role playing games give you a different world structure. Dungeons and Dragons is high fantasy with a lot of inspiration from Tolkien and Vampire The masquerade, was dark fantasy or urban fantasy. With a lot of inspiration from Anne Rice. No, no way to pretend it didn’t have Anne Rice and Hammer Horror films, and like all of the seventies vampire movies, all just smashed together.

And the roleplaying LARP, (live action role playing game) . It allowed for folks to meet up socially.  Play and engage in basically improvisational acting, as they played with their characters. And then afterwards, as we explored this urban fantasy world and all of the aspects of it, we would meet at coffee houses. Or, all night diners. Or, the aforementioned Goth club. And talk about the elements of the game that, you know, why did you choose this thing about your character? Or, why were why was this particular occult element?  Like, what does the vampire really mean to you?

It became a safe place to ask questions, that you might be embarrassed to talk about just with anybody, like walking down the streets. Or a space that my grandfather would have shined, like, it would have been perfect for him to have a place where you could just talk about it. Without the sense of being judged for. I mean, we’re all here. We’re playing a role playing game. We’re all pretending to be vampires. So, we already know we’re weird.

That’s really cool that you had that. And that was the beginning of your forming your group. In the book you talk about, well, group for want of a better –affiliations, is that a better word? Well, kind of like tribal affiliations?

Yeah. Well, I’d had basically study groups. Conglomerates of people for many, many years. But, I would say that the vampire role playing games – Because I started to run them at national conventions like Gen-con and origins, it gave me an access to a much larger national. And in some cases, international community. And the space, where people were travelling from all over and could converge. And that, that was a pretty unique vehicle for the kind of face to face conversations about extraordinary things. That really can only happen face to face.

Not to knock internet communication. Not to knock, you know, pen friend stuff.  But, when we’re talking about really off-the-wall beliefs, and the way people will interpret them. There is a certain visceral reality in watching someone recount this to you. Where it is easier to tell, that this is something that is true for them. That they’ve thought about. That they really intend. And that, it is important to them. It’s not something that they’re making up. Or, that they’re saying to get a rise out of you.

Like, it’s so easy for people to sell you a line of bull crap online. Or you know, over the phone, or over an email. Where face to face there is a different dynamic. Learning to trust one another, I think, was the key part there. Because, you know, most of us were in the same boat my grandfather was in. Hardly able to trust ourselves. These are extraordinary experiences. And you know, extreme interpretations. Leading to beliefs of like, you know, how human is my soul?  Like, what is the nature of my being? Like what, what is this energy thing? And why do I have to take it?  Deep questions and conclusions that are so far beyond the pale at the time. That we needed to feel comfortable with one another. And trust one another. And be able to be in that sort of – conventions, particularly.

This is going to seem like a divergence, but it’ll come back around. One of the scholars I studied is a fellow named Victor Turner. And he wrote about rites of passage and particularly the way in which religious ritual is more about a psychosocial experience. Creating a liminal space outside of our ordinary existence. And thus, outside of our cultural and societal affiliations. Our usual class structure breaks down and we develop what he called communitas. Which is just a fancy way of saying community. But, a moment of community that exists outside of our familiar, and accepted structure. Which then, allows for interactions that might not happen within our accepted everyday structure.  

And conventions, even geek conventions. Role-Playing Conventions, Dragon Con, Gen Con, whatever, Comic Con. They are a type of pilgrimage. They’re a type of place where people have travelled to. They have left behind those structures. They’re there for this, this unified experience. A kind of ritualized experience. It is a liminal space. And it promotes that communitas. That sense of community where you can just be you. You don’t have to pretend. You don’t have to worry about like, you know, are you talking to somebody who is above your station? Are you talking to someone? Do you have a right to have this conversation with this person? You’re just there, interacting with one another. In your truth, as authentically as possible. And without that, I think it would have taken many more years to develop the community that we had.

Yes, I can see that. And then you met. What’s his name? Is it Dr. Jonathan? Oh gosh, this gentleman had been looking for you for some time. I can’t think of his name. He’s a sanginarian vampire, is that right? And he had the . . .

Ah, ok. Todd Yeah. I think you’re talking about Todd. He had a fairly sizable community in New York City.

Yes! Yes.

He has gone by so many different pen names and non de plumes that like it, yeah.

It’s hard to keep up with him.

It really is, like.

And he, he had been looking for you for some time. There was a bit of a misunderstanding when you got together, but you sorted that out and soon became friends. And he asked if you’d like to join his community? Or, merge with his community?

It was sort of a loose federation of pre, pre-established groups. So, like a network of – I’m trying to think of what. So, back then, especially with websites, you would have web rings. Where this person had a website and it was about haunted dolls and somebody else had a website about haunted dolls. And they would kind of form this internet, interconnected community. Where if you went to one, you could kind of connect to the other. And it was a similar concept of, you know, my group was its own thing. And also, we were now connected to this larger group.

The one thing that was required, was we needed a name. And instead of witchcraft covens, they called their groups houses right? And so my group became house Kheperu, which is from an Egyptian word for; to transform, to metamorphosis, to become. It’s actually one of, one of the creation stories. And it’s a play on this word Kheperu. And it starts off:

Kheper-i kheper kheperu, kheper-kuy, m kheper n khepri kheperu m sep tepy.  I became. And the becoming became. I became by becoming the God Khepera, the God of Becomings. And I did this through myself in the first time.

Loosely translated. And it’s, it’s that sort of like rhythmic –  It’s, I first encountered it in Lucy Lamy’s, Egyptian mysteries. And both, the play on words and the feel of it, and that idea of transforming and the creation of the world through the transformation of self. Like spoke to me on a profound level. And so Kheperu.

And you kept your house name, and you merged with these other groups. So, you’re kind of like a federation of groups.

Yeah, yeah.

And you all abide by a basic set of tenants, although you keep your own individuality. Am I correct in that?


OK, cool. And has that? Has that helped the vampire community, do you feel?

When it still existed, yes. And it is, it’s dissolved and everyone’s kind of going off to their own little things. A lot of that had to do with as things changed. Just like honestly, cultural shifts. Some of it being that aspect of the community was in its heyday. When there was a lot of interaction at clubs. When we had a lot of physical, in-person social events. And as that became less of a thing, as a lot of people’s interactions became more online. It was a lot less necessary to have this sort of federated thing.

It’s, it’s on one hand, the community is much broader. There are many, many more people. It’s also less concentrated in individual groups. There are still groups out there that exist houses and covens, and orders, and whatnot. And there are so many individuals who are doing their thing as solitary practitioners. Who find their community online, on like discord groups and Facebook pages. And just, you know, engage as they wish. Without necessarily directly involving themselves in like, an initiatory system.

Right? Oh, that’s interesting. I didn’t realize that it had kind of – But of course, with the world situation as it is, that could no longer be a thing anyway, at the moment. Well, at least for the past couple of years. And for the foreseeable future. So online is really the only way you guys can communicate now really isn’t it? On a physical level that is.

I deliberately haven’t asked you some specific questions, because, I don’t think, like, personal questions about feeding and stuff like that are necessary. So, that’s why I haven’t asked you. Because, it’s about the overall view. And people can go on to Amazon and get your books. The Psychic Vampire Codex is a fascinating book. I wish I’d managed to finish reading it all, because, it’s so interesting. And it’s for anybody, really, not just for people who identify as vampires. It’s a good educational book.

Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff on energy work in there,  dream walking. I, I made a point of having that, and be like my first big publication. I’ve done a bunch of small press stuff for fifteen years, up to that. As a note for people. It is also hosted in perpetuity. An earlier version of it is on www.sacredtexts.com, sacred hyphen texts. The person who initially put that site together, their vision was to collect the sacred writings of the world. And they broadened that, to include all of the like fringe and alternative beliefs. Like everything that they could get their hands on. They approached me specifically and ask for permission to host a copy of the Codex and a copy of the Vampire Ritual book.

That’s awesome!

So, it’s an older version than the wiser version. Which in some cases the wording is a little bit more raw. And in some cases it’s a little bit more honest. Not to say that the wiser version isn’t honest, but when you’re writing for a publisher, they will sometimes be like, could you tell them this language down a little bit?

Yeah, the editing can sometimes make a huge difference. That’s really exciting to hear that for you. And it’s great that it’s out there for anybody who has questions about themselves. They can go in, they can look your book up on Amazon, or, I’m sure any of the other online booksellers. It’s worth getting. It’s worth reading. It’s just really, really, I’m going to finish reading it once I finish our conversation will probably take me another couple of days to get through it. But at least I won’t have to write notes this time. As far as the vampire aspect goes, do you have any more books coming out about the vampire side?

I will be releasing an anniversary updated version of the Psychic Vampire Codex. So that that is on the table, we got the rights back. And there’s, there’s some language that I want to update. There’s some things that I didn’t feel comfortable sharing in two-thousand and four, when that edition came out. You know, the original was written in nineteen-ninety-four. So it’s a very old piece of work. And the thing that I really like about where we’re at right now. I mean, there’s, there’s so many things I could complain, about the state of the world. And the state of the United States, especially. But, broadly speaking, we’re having more open conversations about energy, psychic experience, identity, liminal states. What – how all of these things converge. Like, when I wrote that and published it through Wiser, there was still a huge distinction between the vampire community and the witchcraft community. And the psychics and the paranormal people, and the UFO. And we’re moving to a point where folks are recognizing that we have many things in common.


And in many ways our labels are, are arbitrary. They are, in some cases, just a useful tool. But, they artificially separate us.

Yes. I absolutely agree. 

Yeah and I think with, with work like –  There is, there’s a husband and wife, team Dana and Greg Newkirk, who have a show called Hellier. That is pretty much like, Hey, it’s not just ghosts, let’s talk to ultra-terrestrials and all, like, nothing is off the table for them. And John Tenney is another person who’s like, no  really like. And we just stop with all of the, all of the pretending, like this is different. That we’re separate. We’re all peering into the mystery of something beyond, and touched by deeper truths. And I want to make sure that I have an addition that reflects that. So . . .

That’s really cool!

Yeah, yeah. I’m trying to think. Because, there’s, there’s I’ve got so many irons in the fire. Another ritual book. That’s the other thing that we’re just finishing up with is, House Kheperu is an initiatory group. We have seasonal rituals. We have initiatory rituals. We’ve been doing that for twenty plus years. I wrote all of that stuff. I have compiled an archive of all of our rituals as they developed. My, ah my theory for, like, why you put ritual together. Because, we’re distinct from a pagan, or most Wiccan groups, because, it’s not about gods and goddesses. We’re not running rituals as worship. We’re running rituals in that Victor Turner sense of, this is a psycho-social event where we connect energetically, we connect spiritually. But, it is about this moment in time. And this group of people, and our collective intent.

Right. I totally understand that. Like, I always say to people, ritual is a tool. Like a laser is a tool that focuses the beam. It focuses your intent.

Yes. And creates a liminal space in which to do that. You create a boundary, you have a container. And in some ways, it’s about removing yourself from your ordinary existence. You’re stepping wilfully into an extraordinary space and connecting in levels that are honestly, quite natural to us. But, we get distracted from, because, of all the noise in our ordinary existence.

Oh, absolutely, absolutely. We do. And it’s kind of like grounding yourself again, isn’t it? And grounding yourself in what’s important to you, and grounding yourself. The more grounded you are, the more spiritual you can be. Because, it’s about the balance.

I know themes that will come up in all of my books, and as I’m sure you’ve seen with the psychic vampire codex, is intent. Conscious engagement with who and what we are. And taking an active role in engaging with all of that. So, self-exploration with an aim toward understanding like who and what you are and what do you actually want? And then actualizing it. Like doing the things that you do, with intent. Don’t let it be by accident. Don’t let it be unconscious. Harness it.

Absolutely. I totally agree with that!

And that’s where we’ll leave my conversation with Michelle Belanger for this episode. Be sure and catch us, not, not in two weeks as normal. But, next week for the conclusion of our conversation.

This episodes bumper music was called Dark Metal At A Reverse Dimension, from Crypt of Insomnia

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