The Ethical Psychic Vampire, by Raven Kaldera
Xlibris, 1413461980, 156 pp., 2005

The Ethical Psychic Vampire was written to promote openness about vampirism, as Kaldera states in the opening chapter; it is an often misunderstood condition. After briefly discussing several mythological varieties, he notes that “[v]ampires all seem to want the same thing: some kind of human “life force” or vitality that they themselves lack”.1

A distinction is made between “primary” and “secondary” vampires. The former being vampires from birth, often hereditary and attracted to negative energy; the latter type tends to acquire this condition later in life, and they are able to digest “naturally sourced” energies better than primaries. Kaldera also notes differences between psychic vampires and sanguinarians, though comments that while many sanguinarians are also psychic vampires, many are decidedly not. As a practitioner of sanguinarianism, he has included a chapter on health and safety precautions.

The book’s tone is decidedly neo-Pagan, primarily taken from Kaldera’s personal beliefs and experiences, though he notes that not all vampires follow this path; vampires can come from all walks of life, religious and irreligious backgrounds. However, he does believe in a Wiccan form of karma, and the Law of Return, as he states, “what one sows, one reaps” and cautions readers against violating these laws. Religion and ritual are briefly touched upon, particularly in relation to dark gods and goddesses, chiefly representing gods of death and weather.

A very sensible list is provided of persons whom it would be inappropriate to feed from, such as children, the elderly, sick persons, the mentally unstable, and so forth.2 Though I find the recommendation for child-vampires to feed from household pets to be questionable – pets are dependants, it hardly seems ethical to feed from a creature that depends upon you for survival.

As the parent of a psychic vampire, Kaldera explores the challenges of raising such a child, perhaps the first time psychic vampirism in children has been addressed in such detail in print. That said, a clearer description of the signs of psychic vampirism could have been provided, as a number of the symptoms mentioned in passing might better relate to ADD, diabetes, hyperglycaemia, or a myriad of other disorders, rather than necessarily pointing towards psychic vampirism.

Several times Kaldera states that he does not believe that feeding can occur over a distance, but this has not been my experience. If a good connection has been built up between two parties (or more), remote feeding need not necessarily consume more energy that it provides. Though I quite agree with his assessment that “energy” harnessed through e-mail or flamewars on mailing lists or message boards is unlikely to result in a true feeding, and might more aptly be described as the the effects of an emotional response.

Quotations from other psychic vampires appear throughout the book, but unfortunately there is no clear indication how Kaldera obtained them, nor are there any sources cited for any of the other material presented –no bibliography or works cited follows the text.

The book is self-published, and as such the language is clumsy at times; Kaldera tends to jump around quite a bit, which can be jarring.

In its current state it is awkward to read, but if a professional editor were able to tighten things up this would not be a bad resource for the newly awakened psychic vampire and donors, and its sanguinarian precautions may provide extremely useful to anyone interested in exploring this avenue further. I would love to see a second, revised edition.

  1. pg 10 []
  2. pg 26-27 []