Interview with RONIN COSTA
I was recently introduced to you by Tim Bey of the e-magazine Real Vampire Life. Have you known him for some time?
Me and Tim have known each other since I was introduced to the vampire group Clan Resurrectus about four years ago. Before that, I was part of an Italian group of real vampires. Since I had to move in the States I initially started as a translator between the two. A bit after I became accepted as a family member. Me and Tim were in the same Clan; after I joined and became an elder he offered me a position as correspondent and translator for Real Vampire Life News. We have worked on many projects connected to the Clan and he helped me a lot with drama between two groups of real vampires in Italy. He's a great mediator.
How is the history of vampire mythos viewed in Italy?
We live close to countries like Romania and Serbia that have tons of folklore on vampires. Our myths mostly come from them, but we do have one from the time of the Roman Empire that has nothing to do with vampires but was connected to them. The striga was a witch that would mostly curse children making them wither away. Often if they thought you were a striga, after your death they would proceed with burning rituals to avoid a return to the living. The church later shaped the characteristics of vampires in Europe, such as fear of crosses, holy water and garlic. Being in close contact with the Vatican, even though we did not have a vampire tale from our country, you can imagine the vampire was pretty much alive. All done to feed the fear of citizens and have control over them.
How prominent is the vampire culture and lifestyle in Italy at present? What differences are there between it and the vampire culture and lifestyle in the U.S.?
As of today vampire culture is very much alive in Italy, but there are major differences with the vampire culture in the States. In Italy we don't have clans and houses, no covens, no churches. Most of us still have to get over the fact that some of us can also be more than just a real vampire or a wolf kin. But we're getting there with time, thanks to the contacts we have with groups in other countries.
How did you first contact Clan Resurrectus? How actively were you helping them correspond with your group in Italy?
At the time I joined Clan Resurrectus I was part of a group called Il Tempio Oscuro. I have been known for doing much research and since I spoke English I was appointed to help the leader of the group remain in contact with the Clan. It was a moment where the clan was very present in our lives; it was actively helping us dealing with some problems we had with another group by the name of LIRV. Since then one way or the other, regarding the Italian situation I have been actively interacting with the clan, first as an outsider, and later on as an Elder of the same. In the last year and a half, after a big escalation that led to a period of quiet between the groups, and my declaration of neutrality I have been the only Italian correspondent for Tim. Sometimes I still talk and give advice to the leaders of those groups while maintaining my neutrality.
At what age did you become interested in vampires and vampirism? How much have you learned about real vampires and wolf kin? From what sources did your knowledge come?
I've been interested since I was a little kid. I've done research in folklore and real life cases before understanding that I was a real vampire. So I started with old tales and tried to connect them with real life cases and science. It's only after I became aware of energies and began having astral projections that I began to open my mind to the possibility of something more. Since my awakening I have never stopped studying. There isn't much around but living it with a good sense is easy to find respectable information between all the fantasy based ones. I don't think I know all that is to know yet, but I think I know most of what is necessary about vampires and wolf kin, and therians and otherkin.
What have you learned about vampires and wolf kin from your studies? What work have you done to develop as a real vampire since making your personal discovery?
We are all human beings to start with, contrary to what movies and books say about us. We have a different energy intake and for this reason we have a need to "feed" or recharge. As vampires we have been able to categorize different ways to feed, from blood (sanguinarian vampires), from energies (psychic vampire), and both (hybrid). For the latter I want to specify that can differ from many, though a Sang or a Psy can "learn" to feed the other way to help cope with the need for energy. The hybrid has two different type of energy needs. As we are made of tons of different chemicals, energy is not all the same. Having many types of energies here we understand it's easy to find other categories for Psy vampires: who feed from sexual energy, from touch, from the elements and nature, from someone's Aura and so on. If we avoid feeding, it can make us unwell, from being nervous and angry, having depression, headaches, being more prone to get sick than usual etc. With this I'm not saying we are almost immune to illness. We are still humans, but consciously taking energy helps our health. Have you ever heard the saying, ‘as above so below’? What happens in the astral is reflected in the material. If our astral body is fed and full of good energy this will affect our material body. We're stronger than we look, we have one or more senses more developed than others, prone to psychic senses also (clairvoyance, clairknowing, thelepathy etc). We have night hyperactivity, sensitivity to sunlight. We see better at night (no super power here. It's not like seeing during the day, but the light doesn't hurt our eyes and we're able to distinguish better what's around us and perceive our surroundings than any other person). Some of us have what is called a beacon; they sense others like themselves, even those unaware of being a vampire, and most times we look younger than we are. There are many more characteristics, but we would go on a more personal level. Some real vampires can also be wolfkin or Therians in spirit and this is called (and I learned this only recently) being a Canis Lupos. Being a wolf kin or a Therian is more of a soul/energy thing and being a vampire doesn't exclude that in spirit you could be something totally different. In movies wolfkin are represented by werewolves eternal wars between them and vampires are depicted, In reality we are connected instead, like we go hand in hand. I have a wolfkin friend and when he's with me he feels me, he's charged when I am charged, touching me makes him hyper. I'm learning from him now what I thought I knew on wolfkin but never found so prominent in someone. He's loyal, instinctive, strong though he's skinny. When he's happy he does involuntary this little growl and you can hear it's realistic. If you close your eyes you could well imagine being with a wolf pup. So for the moment I'm putting aside what I know on wolfkin to not undervalue what I'm learning through him.
How does your education in those matters reflect your personal journey?
As of my personal journey, we all go through multiple awakenings. Every time I go through them I meditate and try to learn with an open mind. It's a never ending process. I'm a hybrid; I thought of being a Canis Lupos after having a dream in which I was a lupoid. When I woke up I felt my astral body was the lupos in my dream body. But getting to know my friend and the fact that it hasn't happened again, it could be just that I'm spiritually connected to one, so before claiming to be something I may not be I prefer researching the topic. Recently I discovered through my frequentations of the BDSM community that I thrive with sexual energy. Just being there with all that arousal charges me with no need to engage anyone. And thanks to SHIBARI, a Japanese practice that was once used to tie up prisoners and later on as a sexual/sensual practice for the sensation that can give to the suspended person, I have seen I'm able to connect more with the people around me, forming through empathy and a deep connection with the person tying me up, feeling what he's trying to give me, and sometimes being transported in the astral.
If there are no vampire clans, houses or covens in Italy, what sort of groups exist there?
We have two or three big online groups. One of them (LIRV) organizes events and is down with a television series about real vampires. The others don't really meet unless they are friends. They are not organized in clans and houses because we are too many to handle. LIRV has different groups for every region called houses and clans but it's totally different from the States. They did good to put them up but the titles are different. In the states The Clan is the major group, inside of it there are houses and so on. This means if they wanted to make it the same, LIRV should be the clan. All the groups and houses have their own elder so most of the groups would have to change their names. Instead of patriarchy, matriarchy, elders and councils we have presidents, vice presidents and national advisors, et cetera. It works and they did a great job since the association recognized by the state.
What is the LIRV and what events do they organize and host? Are these events widely publicized in local media? What is this vampire based television show that LIRV is involved with? How does it enlighten the public about vampires?
LIRV is short for Italian Real Vampires League. It's a big group mostly of real vampires with whom I worked for a while. Their events are parties for real vampires, gatherings of a sort. They're not publicized in the local media but in their groups and forums. Their president Davide Santandrea is working real hard on making this TV series, as well as movies and a web series about real vampires, drawing from his personal experience and devising fiction to bring up social problems like hate against homosexuals, bullying etc. It's not airing yet but we're waiting for it to happen because no one has ever done this before and it could help a lot in making people understand we are simply humans, not monsters.
How many articles about vampires and vampirism have you written for Real Vampire Life since you joined the staff?
I have been dealing with life as of late and I haven't been writing much. I mostly translate interviews done with Italian vampires. I have written many articles for LIRV magazine and for the Clan. At the time we had built a research group to collect info we could find on vampirism, energies, psychic abilities, and more. But it's in my bucket list to write more for Real Vampire Life as soon as I have something concrete on what I'm experiencing at the moment.
Which of your articles for LIRV do you remember most clearly? What information do your articles offer that others don’t?
I clearly remember one I wrote on red flags. I took to heart letting people know of the dangers of believing in false vampires since to this day many believe we have the key to solve their problems and we are givers of eternal life. My last work for RVL was the translation of an interview with Davide Santandrea and his Vice Maria Angela on their projects with LIRV.
Why do you think people still have preconceptions about vampires, aside from the obvious depictions in TV and movies?
We are often associated to abusive people doctors call emotional vampires. Or they connect us to depravation, since a big part of us also drinks blood. We get connected with hate cults and it's not funny. There's still a big fear to even let your close friends know about you.
Do you do anything to actively dispel those preconceptions of vampires and vampirism?
I showed people who know me I remain the girl they always knew. I showed them small tricks to feel my Aura so they would understand there's more than the physical body to know. I preferred writing and educating whoever wanted to know more, throwing hints to make people curious about the topic, then explain more evaluating how far I could push it.
Would you be interested in expanding your writing career by penning articles for more websites in the near future?
Maybe not in the near future because I'm going to be in Germany till October and I won't have time. When I'll get back, why not? It's been a while that I promised to keep writing and it would be a shame not to.
What are the differences between clairvoyance and clairknowing?
Clairvoyance is a gift that uses one of our astral senses. Just as the material body has sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound, our astral body has its own. The more you are connected to your astral body the more you are able to use those senses. They have been commonly called gifts because it's not that easy to use them even if we all have them and could get to them with hard work and practice. Our astral senses give us what we call clairvoyance (sight), clairaudience (sound), clayrgustance (taste), clairtangency (touch), clairscent (smell). We also have clairknowing or clairsentience (clear sensation or feeling). The difference between the two is that with clairvoyance you "see" with your astral eyes, people with this gift often are able to visualize almost perfectly in their mind what they're seeing and could see events that happened or still have to come. Clairknowing is more of a gut feeling. It comes as a sensation like a deja vu. Your heart skips a beat and you feel like you know what's going on because you've been there already. Time in that moment is continuous for you; past, present and future are the same, but often you can't be sure till it happened. Sometimes you know by only knowing, things won't happen so at those moments you could be in doubt, but here we go into the deeper topic of "parallel universes and different timelines". These gifts are not time followers. You could get to know, see, feel, taste, hear of smell something from the past, or the future. It's rare to find someone able to understand this when it happens spontaneously, but with practice someone can teach himself to see more, deciding the "when" to see.
How much research have you done into the possibility of parallel universes, as they may relate to clairknowing?
The topic of the multiverse is a bit long to explain. Luckily scientists and quantum physicians are actively studying. It was a main research topic for a long while, It's not only related to clairknowing; we can make a ton of hypotheses. But let's only scratch the surface to have a general understanding on why always doubt what someone sees or feels when their gifts start buzzing until what they saw actually happens to prove they had the right feeling.
Take for example, you're talking to someone and all of a sudden get the feeling that the person will do something like making a glass fall from the table. You know exactly how the event will go what the person will say, everything or almost. That moment could happen in a parallel universe but with a different ending like the person grabbing the glass not making it shatter on the ground. Therefore you can almost never know if you saw or felt something that was going to happen in your reality or in the other until it happens. It's like we are on a timeline, though time is infinite and we humans made past present and future to help us cope with our existence. So let's draw a line.
Every action we take has infinite results. All those results can happen in infinite parallel universes. Draw many lines going forward so it looks like rays. All those rays have moments where more rays will form and so on. The results of the actions we make, though we keep going on only one of those lines, still exist, even when in this reality they have not happened. Someone who can see more doesn't know for sure which one of these possibilities they saw. And though they predicted what happened, it's not exactly what they predicted but a similar variation to what they saw. I hope everyone can follow my line of thought. This can also happen backwards but it can be confirmed just by looking through history of what you felt really happened, instead of waiting for it to happen. You can sense something that happened in what we call the past. But until you've done proper research you can't know for sure and h you could have seen something that happened in another of those infinite lines.
Many science fiction TV shows and specials cover those topics on infinite universes. Which ones have you watched recent that might have something to them?
I don't really watch TV shows, but one movie explained vividly how time and space are null in multilevel dimensions. It's called "interstellar".
Describe the plot and storyline of Interstellar and explain how it gave you a greater understanding of the multiverse?
The movie talks about Earth, there are too many dust storms for human to grow crops and the government is trying to find a solution to save humanity. The protagonist is a former shuttle pilot and he now lives in a farm. His daughter is also big part of the story. His daughter thinks she has a ghost in her room, so he teaches her to keep track of everything this ghost does and one day she notices that through the dust storm, her ghost left her a message in Morse code. It's coordinates to the military base where the government is trying to find a solution. While there they obviously get cought and later on decide to send the protagonist through a wormhole with the hope of finding an other habitable planet. He leaves his watch to his daughter and leaves earth. In his journey with the other astronauts he learns how to safely send people to this new planet they have found even tho has extreme living conditions is still better than earth. In the meantime on Earth the government decides it's better to send embryos in space with the hope of colonization instead of saving all humanity cause they thought it was impossible to pass the wormhole. I don't exactly remember how it happens but somehow the protagonist ends up in a different dimension, where space and time does not exists. While there he goes tho through his daughter timeline and discovers that he can actually interact with his daughter room and tries to send her messages through different times in his daughter life discovering that he himself was his daughter ghost. The scene is really explicative, doesn't leave anything to the imagination. Thought that dimensions, he sends her the answer on how to save humanity, his daughter has become a scientists and she is able to get the message and help realize what her ghost told her. After this happens he finds himself on place where him, still young, encounters his daughter, now an old lady. I think I can explain all I want how for me this movie explains the multiverse, but only watching it can really be the solution to understanding why it left its sign in my mind.
What do you think of the videos supposedly filmed firsthand and uploaded to Youtube, that suggest alternate universes? Are most of those real or faked in your point of view?
I think they’re mostly faked. Scientists have been able to theorize on the multiverse on a molecular level and started having results in the micro level. Reaching results of big proportions, with little to no equipment, on an amateur level, is pretty much impossible. One thing I believe is true. The Mandela effect. Most of those "glitches" can be verified, while others are made up by people that are looking too much into this theory. I believe in the Mandela effect because I have been observing minor glitches. Years ago I had an extracorporeal experience. I felt like an invisible wall passed through me. After that happened, for a month or so, I've noticed a few things have changed, like my town or the behavior of my friends. I clearly remember my favorite coffee shop had its name change, a minor change of two letters; in that month my best friend kept arguing with me for no reason, and a few other things happened. I don't know how but one day my coffee shop had the name I remembered again. No one noticed the change, my friend stopped arguing with me, and all was back to normal. I can't explain what happened, but I can theorize it had something to do with the Mandela effect. I thought I was going insane for a while, but after a full month it never happened again? If I was insane wouldn't this go on forever? I still hope I'm a bit crazy; one thing is studying something and another is experiencing it firsthand. There's still that part of your logical; brain that wants to feel safe because we still can't understand how much we don't know of the world we live in. It's scary.
Getting back to your earlier statement about SHIBARI, can you explain your study of this practice in greater detail?
Regarding SHIBARI, I initially liked the aesthetics expressed in art and photography. I didn't know how it felt and why people loved being tied up, unable to move. In November my friend, photographer Matteo Stradiotto, introduced me to the practice. His friend Andrea Bernardi with whom he is working on a project of SHIBARI Kinbaku, was the one who tied me up the first time. And that's when I understood. The moment I stopped touching the ground, a sensation of warmth and safety rushed through me, I did not know where I was anymore and it did not matter because it was a beautiful place. I experienced what is called rope-space. In those moments thanks also to my vampirism, I'm able to really go somewhere else. It's like a forced state of trance. Being compressed by the ropes with all of your body weight allows your body to produce endorphins, and literally make you rope drunk. Another thing made me love the practice. Being really empathic I'm already sensitive to other people's emotions. While I'm tied up even more, there's a connection with the Rigger (who ties you). Especially when they pull you down and they begin untying you. If they take the ropes off softly, I'll feel their kindness, their need to not hurt me. If they take them off with energy like Andrea does, I feel how strong he is. Whenever he touches me that energy gives me adrenaline and excites me. Doing kinesthesiology, a practice to learn your muscle response, where even without asking questions with your voice but only by touching a person this person's movements will give an answer, I have learned about this exchange of information through touch. In those moments so much information is exchanged through touch, and with the forced trance and being empathic, I'm learning to use this practice to thrive in my vampirism. Since then I try to participate in more SHIBARI meetings (there are specific places where people learn in safety with experts), or to go as a bunny (a person who gets tied up) for classes and workshops. I have also been a rope model for my friend Matteo and I wish to be a bunny for a long time. This I consider an awakening, because before trying this I was at a dead end on my research. Luckily there's always more to learn.
How much more study have you done to continue learning about SHIBARI recently?
It’s an ongoing process in which I experiment on myself. I have met different types and I'm trying to learn about the various styles. For example a style called Naka is a sensorial experience; the rigger doesn't just suspend you but transports you into it beginning with sensory deprivation and using something to cover your eyes to make you use more all your other senses. The suspension in itself is really tight and has to hurt a bit to send you for sure in rope-space. Another style of which I don't remember the name now (it translates into "gentle rope") is more to cuddle and relax you and gives particular attention to the aesthetics of the knots. There's so much to learn still and so much to understand on how and why it helps me in dealing with my vampirism.
Where do you generally see the connections between SHIBARI and vampirism?
At the moment the connections I have been able to find are mostly on hyper empathy. Thanks to this it becomes easier to feel the people around you, their state of mind, what they're feeling. Because of hyper empathy I once felt I wasn't myself anymore, but also the people looking at me and I could see myself through them. It was a short moment, but I think keeping on doing SHIBARI I'll get to touch the reason this happened and see how to consciously repeat the experience. I also found out in moments of low energy, no concentration, moments in which it’s hard to provide for your thirst, that being suspended helps me get grounded. A fundamental exercise when dealing with energy cause it equilibrates you, making it possible for you to not unconsciously feed on people in ways that can be considered dangerous. It's never good to drain someone because you're not able to control your intake of energy. This can make people take a step back, could even make you fight with good friends. Even though they don't realize it, their subconscious is aware of the attack and it will make them feel discomfort with your presence. I have to do things slowly because right now, it being a new experience, I still have little control over my intake during those moments. I even get high on those energies. The problem is, the more I take the more I have a chance to have a bad drop the days after, just like someone gets high eating their favorite food and gets a stomachache cause he ate too much. I would like to introduce another Psy vampire to the practice and get more "data" from their experience to start drawing a basic line to build a statistic. Before adding a new subject I gotta understand all this to be able to give safety tips to whoever joins my experiment. It's going to be a long process. But I think SHIBARI could be very helpful for advancing in ones gifts as a vampire if used with caution.
Would you ever consider writing articles about SHIBARI and its relationship to vampirism, if you haven’t already?
|Rigger: Andrea Bernardi|
Model: Ronin Costa
Photographer: Matteo Stradiotto
I haven't written something about it yet. I want to know more before writing. I could already write something based on my personal experience, but I'll do it when I'm more experienced in handling my vampirism between the ropes.
Are there any other projects you are planning to undertake in the near future?
For the projects, well right now just this one to research on SHIBARI and go back on writing. I take life as it comes, so whatever life will throw at me I'll take it, who knows. Maybe next project will be trying a deprivation chamber, I heard it can send you in astral projection.