Thursday, May 16, 2019

Interview with Emily Walker of THE VAMPIRE COURT OF THE LIVE OAK by Dave Wolff

Interview with Emily Walker of THE VAMPIRE COURT OF THE LIVE OAK

The Vampire Court of the Live Oak, a local enclave from southwest Georgia, is said to “provide a safe haven for Georgia’s dark awakened and give back to the community we dwell in.” How did this group start, and what is your involvement with them?
The Vampire Court of the Live Oak was born and created after I moved to Georgia. I was a part of the Vampire Court of Austin when I lived in Texas. When I moved here to southwest Georgia I was completely taken aback that there seemed to be, not to my knowledge at the time, a court or safe haven in the entire state. I found this to be very upsetting, seeing as I knew there was interest in other vampires locally, but they have never had such a place to gather and consider family.
I found out later that there were indeed other vampires and communities but it was farther up north of the state and not easily accessible for me and my newfound people. With much encouragement and support of the monarchs of Austin, they gave me the tools and education to start a court here. Over a course of three months, of putting out the information and news of such a court being made, it was decided by the vampires of my city and surrounding counties that I would be made queen. I was very surprised and honored by this. And still am after two years from that day that I was considered for such a position.
After talking with the people of Columbus about what we wanted to achieve here, we decided that we, like several other courts in the U.S. wanted to make charity and the wellbeing of our community our first priority, not only serving the dark awakened but all the people that dwell and live in our home. We started doing small things like volunteering at the local shelters and food banks, building care packages to the homeless that migrate in the downtown areas, and raise funds for awareness, of several campaigns such as suicide prevention, and child abuse. In February of 2018, I filed with the state of Georgia to incorporate our name, The Vampire Court of the Live Oak Inc. to become a fully functioning nonprofit organization. As of March 2018, not only are we fully incorporated but also 501c certified with the IRS and Secretary of State of Georgia.
It seems like forever since I started this journey, but it’s only been a short wonderful year. We have accomplished so many things and are expecting an even brighter future.

Who did you found The Vampire Court with, and how did you spread word that you were seeking like-minded individuals to join?
I found the court solely on my own. I did have mentors who answered questions I had, those of which are elders in the community and leaders in their own light. I am very grateful for these individuals I don’t know where I would be without them. We do outreach to find likeminded individuals who may want to join the court, mainly by word of mouth and announcing public meet and greets to potential members to answer any questions in a “break the ice and stigma” of what the vampire community is portrayed in mundane society. Living in the Bible Belt of the South we do take precautions to not draw to much negative attention to ourselves and to also protect our members’ dayside lives.

How long did The Vampire Court work to become a fully functioning and certified nonprofit organization?
It didn’t take long for us when we knew what we wanted to do and how to go about it. Within six months of the court being founded we were fully functioning.

What is the meaning of the term “dark awakened”? Does The Vampire Court work to attain academic or spiritual pantheons?
Dark awakened is a term given to those who came to a realization in their life that they are not just an average human. They are something more spiritual, more enlightened if not somewhat supernatural. An awakening is not something that is strictly for vampires but also fae or “otherkin” as we call them; people who identify with animalistic habits such as that of a wolf. The people of this court are responsible and free to fallow their own academic and spiritual paths, though we offer guidance and education on certain subjects to those who are interested.

How does your group arrive at this realization? Define fae and otherkin in relation to the principles of The Vampire Court.
I think the awakening varies from person to person. Some experience supernatural symptoms such as visions, past life dreams etc. Some experience more of a physical aspect. Increased thirst, increased sensitivity to light, or sounds, change in sleeping patterns or becoming ill more often if not obtaining energy in some source. Otherkin are people who identify as anything other than vampires. Fae people have their own types of awakenings, for me, as also identify as fae.
I am dark fae, or succubi. I started noticing the change with my increase of sexual desire, my desire for sweets, the irritation of certain metals and my sensitivity to high pitched sound frequencies. My knowledge of otherkin in an animal aspect is slim, such as those who identify as wolves. I know a few and know of a few, but I cannot speak for their experiences for I do not know what they go through.
However as vampires, we have high senses, in an almost supernatural sense we can sort of “sniff out” other vampires and otherkin. It’s a sense of awareness for each other; almost animalistic; of one blood or species to another. We have a way of recognizing others of our tribe.

Was your own awakening a gradual process or a sudden realization of the changes occurring in you? Does The Vampire Court teach its members ways of recognizing and developing their awakenings?
My awakening was very sudden. I had a few changes here and there but nothing that was noticeable enough for me to think about. I happened like a revelation, for me it was a very dark time in my life, where nothing felt right to me. I felt like I was a stranger in my own skin.
Then one day I woke up and, I kid you not, it was like I was a new person embedded with this newfound wisdom and feel for everything around me. It was definitely a supernatural euphoric feeling. The court does offer valuable information and resources to help with newly awakened members, and seekers. A big tool that we suggest is any book written by Michelle Belanger.

Who is Michelle Belanger and what occult subjects is she most well-versed in? How many books has she published so far?
Michelle Belanger is kind of a staple go to in terms of information for the newly awakened in the community. Her books are often about the modern vampire, it’s life and just wisdom for those who experience it, I’ve always enjoyed her books and they were a great comfort to me. “Vampires in their own words” is one I tend to come back to often, I believe she has published 20 books.

Which of Belanger’s publications are you most likely to recommend to the readers? What would the readers would get out of them?
The book “Vampires In Their Own Words.” It’s basically an inside look on modern vampires today, their lifestyle, their wisdom, day to day goings.

I’ve heard about intolerance directed at witchcraft, occult and vampire groups. How much of a low profile does The Vampire Court take to avoid it?
My court is in a way divided. There are some members like me who are open about themselves and their lifestyles with no care for judgment. For instance my job. My very first day I remember shouting “I’m a vampire!” to all my coworkers, simply because I am just that comfortable with myself. I indeed got a lot of odd looks, haha.
I have members who are private. They keep their nightside lives separate from their dayside lives for the sake of their families and the belief systems they grew up in.
I have members in the military. We are a military prominent court, with a few high ranking officials, so you can imagine the lengths of privacy we have to go through to protect their identity from the government and prying eyes of the community. That type of sacrifice of self just comes with the job unfortunately. However the sole reason for creating this court was because these high ranking individuals found me through social media, through my husband who is military, and we had a conversation. As a soldier you travel a lot and duty stations change. This makes it difficult for military people to put roots down somewhere. A lot of my members have been part of the community for years but never had a readily available local safe haven they could rely on, that would not put their positions in jeopardy.
Being a military wife and understanding these guidelines opened a whole new world for these soldiers that they never had. I consider myself blessed to be able to give them that type of atmosphere and family, and support system so that they can be a part of the Vampire Court and feel included no matter where they are deployed or what life throws at them.

What job are you holding at present? On your first day, how much of a shock do you gather it was for your co-workers to be “confronted” with an actual vampire?
My profession, as a whole is complicated, haha. I am a jack of all trades. I mainly work for myself in real estate, I’m a model business owner. But the job I refer to is one of a bookstore in the town I live in. I am one of those people that grow tired of the same things, I need human interaction. Working for yourself has its perks but it can be lonely so I got a part time jobs simply to be around people and not fall into that dark recluse mode that I often do.
My first day being a vampire in the mundane work world, haha. Well I don’t think it really happened in a crazy manner; it was one of those “hi my name is Emily and I’m a vampire... no really I am” I’m sure they thought I was nuts, but working in an atmosphere of book lovers and nerds it was not as far-fetched as you would imagine. There are coworkers that know I’m serious and know the truth of who and what I am. But there are some that just think I’m an overwhelming Anne Rice fan, and that’s ok too. In reality both are correct, haha.

Have any co-workers taken an interest in learning more about you and The Vampire Court since you started being open and candid about your involvement with them? How much do you talk to them about vampires, fae and otherkin?
Yes actually, haha, I have several coworkers that joke about me being the resident vampire. But a few have been curious, and a few think I’m crazy but that’s fine haha. I do have a coworker that joined my court shortly after meeting me, I helped her through her awakening which was pretty cool to be honest. I considered it a blessing, as if I was meant to be at this job, time and place to help those on their path of understanding who they are. But it definitely makes the work environment more entertaining haha. I’m an open book; if they ask questions I answer freely. In the past some interest has been had, usually around the times of the events I attend. My coworkers find it fascinating, and of course I’m very active on social media about the lifestyle which they see. That often sparks topic conversation at work. But hey, it makes the days go by.

To what extent did you help your co-worker with her awakening? Will she be getting involved with The Vampire Court or other activities you’re involved in?
The process of helping with an awakening doesn’t really have a set time where a vampire is like “ok I’m good now I know everything.” Because you are always learning, changing and growing as an individual in the community, I think having a soul guide is quite convenient. Such as your sire, someone who is always there for the ride with you. My co-worker is still learning, and on her path as we speak, just like juggling jobs and family along with this new found crazy change, if you can imagine, is difficult. But in the off time I got her started on Michelle Belanger’s books, that’s how confident I am in the author.

Is your experience with your co-worker the first time you helped someone with their awakening? Did you expect it to happen in the workplace or was it a shock to meet someone with potential there?
My experience with my coworker is not my first experience but probably the most different seeing as this particular person had no previous knowledge of the lifestyle or the community at all, so it was starting from the complete beginning.

Back to Michelle Belanger’s books, which of them did you get her started on? Has she been taking in the information well?
I wasn’t looking for it to happen in the workplace but it’s entirety not impossible, especially at the type of place it is. Everyone there is some type of “alternative” from the norm, so it’s not surprising to find like-minded or like path individuals. She has been reading “Vampires In Their Own Words” as well as “The Vampire Codex”, and seems to be gaining knowledge from it. I have offered her other mentors, introduced her to other elders in the community that each may teach something new and different based on their own personal experiences. I think it’s important as a newly awakened vampire that you don’t get stuck on one belief or another, that you gain information on ways of many so that you can choose what is right for you.

Who in the community are you introducing her to, to assist her in choosing her own path?
I have introduced her to of course everyone in the court, people of the Austin court and the Dallas court, Alabama court and members of Sahjaza including Goddess Rosemary. She has been doing well in her mentoring.

Are there other communities besides your workplace where you have met potential vampires?
I’ve met other vampires all across the globe. Whether this was online encounters, or at the many events I attend. I always seem to be running across our tribe wherever I go and it’s wonderful to know I’m never alone.

Is The Vampire Court reaching out to other vampire communities in the U.S. to collaborate on any projects?
We work with many other courts; mainly the court in Augusta, Georgia ran by my sire, and the court in Alabama. Both are of close proximity and easily accessible to join together to make a bigger impact on charity functions.

What events if any are you currently planning with the courts in Augusta and Alabama? If any are in their planning stages, how soon do you expect to announce them on social media?
As of right now there are no pending large events in the near future, though we have been discussing them. Such events take much time in planning the perfect locations and such, but we do have some things up our sleeves. That we are keeping hush hush for now. We are currently more concerned with the Sahjaza Family Reunion in July as well as our charity work and outreach in our communities, the spring is a big time for that.

Have you considered writing a book of your own about your experiences as a vampire or your experiences in House Sahjaza?
I have thought about writing many books over the years; it’s just a matter of getting the courage to do so. I may have a good part of my life out there in the public eye, but on the inside I am a private person and the idea of even doing an interview sparks my anxiety. But maybe one day when I think I’ve gained enough wisdom and experience that people may want to read, I will do so.

Do you think readers would respond well to a series of books published by you? Would you self-publish it for a select few or look for a publishing company to reach a wider audience?
I cannot day for possible readers if I did write a book on whether or not they would be interested. I am a humble person, I do not set myself on a pedestal thinking all the world must perceive me in such a manner because I am queen of this and that in the community. I think that if I was to make a book it would be for my enjoyment and satisfaction first, and if it becomes a hit then even blessings to come from it. Self-publishing would be the easiest and probably less costly, but I’m one of those people that if I’m going to do something it’s go big or go home. So I believe a company would be the first thing I sought out

-Dave Wolff

No comments:

Post a Comment