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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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The Antechrist

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Although the association is less clear today, vampires always have been closely associated with religions. In Babylonia, China, Greece, and Egypt, and Christianity, the person likely to become a vampire was one who neglected religious rituals, or broken social taboos.

In ancient Egypt, for example, the "ka", a double which lived in the tomb with a man's dead body, had to be bountifully supplied with the proper food or it would come out of the tomb, driven to eat whatever it could find.

The ancient Chinese believed a man had two souls, and that the "P'o", the inferior soul, might use any remaining part of an unburied body, even a little finger, to become a vampire.

The medieval Church declared that heretics, excommunicants, and suicides could not be buried in consecrated ground and were therefore denied eternal rest, condemned to return as vampires to ravage their loved ones. Suicide was considered proof of vampirism.

The Church could ferret out vampires. Vampire trials like witch trials, were part of the Inquisition. Vampires put souls at risk, and souls are the province of religion. So the medieval Church began the tradition that only the priest could destroy vampires. The Church had the only effective weapons: the Crucifix, Rosary, and Bible.

In polytheist religions where the dual nature of the divinity is accepted, gods and goddesses are themselves blood-drinkers. The Lamasians of Tibet depict gods who hold flagons of human blood. Kali, wife of Shiva and namesake of Calcutta, epitomizes divine bloodthirstiness, with her red eyes, huge fanglike teeth, and protruding  tongue that drips with blood.

The vampire was later incorporated as a religious figure like the Christian devil, but older than Lucifer, and more truly depicting the dark image of Christ. The vampire myth is unconsciously mirorred in the symbolism of the Eucharist. Therefore, the Vampire archetype and the Redemptive archetype (Christness) are polar opposites of the same archetypal energy.

The Church explained that just as the vampire drinks the sinner's blood and possesses and devours his spirit, so the righteous Christian could drink Christ's blood, be filled with His holiness, and be incorporated into His mystical body. In the symbolism of the Eucharist, Christ's blood is freely and abundantly given so that each soul might be replenished.

This definition of the vampire as the negative image of the Christ is further enhanced by the following series of oppositions.

 

Blood

Blood represents life in the Christian religion and the Eucharestia is the transformation of wine into blood, bread into flesh. The vampire is the total negation of all the symbol of the Eucharist as Dracula sucks the blood that Jesus is giving away.

Dracula even paraphrases Christ's words at the Eucharist, "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.In the climatic scene of Dracula, Dracula rips open a vein above his heart and forces Mina to drink blood from his breast. As she drinks his blood, Dracula says triumphantly, "Now you shall be flesh of my flesh, and blood of my blood."

But in the vampire there are no springs of abundance, or abundant life, as in the Eucharist. Instead, there is lack, greed and death. The vampire metaphor describes one person driven to use another's vitality and life-energy to sustain their own life.

Even more interesting is the process of contamination by which the Vampire is dividing himself into new Vampires by having them drunk his own dark blood.

 

Eternity

As the Christ lives in Eternity, the vampire is dealing time against blood. The vampire is moving in an endless time, as the Christ will come back at the end of times.

 

Give / Take

Christ is the source, an energy that radiates, and a supernovae. Dracula is the end, a place where nothing comes out, and a black hole. Christ gives his life to save humanity as Dracula takes the other’s lifes to save him from returning to dust.

 

The Passion

Both are lying on wood before they die – Christ against a cross and Dracula in the wooden coffin. The nails of the cross correspond to the fangs of the vampire. Christ dies loosing his blood from the wounds caused by the nails on the Golgotha as Dracula sucks the blood with his fangs causing his victim’s death for his own survival.

Saints and martyrs are sometimes bearing the stigmata from the Christ as the victims of the vampires are marked by the two little holes from the kiss of the vampire.

 

The hammer / the spear / the stake

There is a parallel between the roman soldier that put his spear into Jesus’ chest and the killing of the vampire through the perforation of his heart with a stake. On one hand Christ lives the divine escaping from his wound and on the other hand Dracula is destroyed by the world that brutally invades his body.

 

The dove / the moon

To the holy couple sun/dove correspond the satanic couple moon/bat.

Vampire Symbols

 

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