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Ok, ok, so i have a thing for catchy titles… Jönathan is an online friend of mine – one of those people whom, upon cyber-meeting them, you think to yourself – right, all those hours spent surfing and browsing the www were not wasted. Because on occasions you get to meet people who, albeit living on the other side of the planet, have the same questions you do – and they come up with better answers faster than you ever could.
Like… remember that kid in the school who always thought of the right answer to some challenging question? And they would have already answered it while your own mind was wandering somewhere far, far away, absolutely incapable of an abrupt movement and verbal equilibristic bravado it takes for your thought to break through the surrounding confusion and shine brightly in the heavy classroom’s atmosphere?
Yeah, all of us had a classmate like that and i guess you can recall that feeling of amazement when they would come up with such perfectly executed, out of standard bookrules, Rocker Double Three, while you still couldn’t figure out how to perform a compulsory Circle Eight on the thin ice of your own corner of the skating hall in your head.
Alas, i digress.
You see, this is how it started – i had posted the following status update on facebook:
“I hear your resentment when you say “you don’t really have any problems”. But, you see, i earned this ephemeral easiness of being. You won’t guilt trip me about your own stupidity which led to the apparent dead end you are inhabiting. Don’t expect me to feel remorseful for being less vain and more self-aware than you are. And, all in all, save your anal retentiveness for yourself or pay a therapist; indeed the antagonism you are experiencing is none of my problems. There, i said it.”
I might come across as a cold blooded, cynical b*tch here… and of course, hardly anything can be further from truth. I am one of those guys who mustn’t go to the movies because my convulsive sobbing and laborious gasping over most pathetic of the Hollywood’s production upsets the audience to such extent that more often than not i am kindly escorted to the exit by the theater’s personnel, given Kleenex and a glass of water and placed in a cab which will take me home.
I have no idea how that happens, is it empathy or some kind of neurosis – or both, but the thing is that i have tough time differentiating between my own emotions and those of others. That, in turn, makes my personal boundaries so weak that more or less any trespasser can vandalize into my private space, unthrone me from my blissful non-attachment and send me down the whirlpool of emotions so strong, that it gets scary.
I did contribute to my “condition” by devotedly practicing kabbalistic Teshuva in tradition of famous Isaac the Blind – for years, each night as i would retire to bed,
i’d diligently recall all the people i had met and had spoken to during the day, while placing myself into their proverbial shoes.
And, in full honesty, i don’t mind the result. That kind of emotional shapeshifting became my modus vivendi long time ago and i am glad it’s so for when human motivation is understood, when you feel the abyss of pain behind some seemingly inconsiderate behavior … you can’t judge, you understand and forgive – those others and yourself in the first place. As spiritually uplifted as it sounds, any empath would tell you it’s actually quite simple – and indeed it is. It’s not that you are more spiritually advanced than others – it’s just that you get to a place where they come from and once you do, once you get out from your own teeny-weeny socially conditioned prism, where you arrive is – compassion. And i know that most who’ll read this essay will know exactly what i am talking about. ‘Alike attracts alike’, we all know that, but…
That’s how we get down to the subject of this writing – how exactly the ‘unlike’ gets attracted to your aura?!
How those individuals who feed on your energy and drain you manage to slip under your radar?
Is it because nowadays there is increased awareness about aggressive sociopaths, yet the equally damaging whining sub-kind is overlooked?
Is it because we learned to defend ourselves against bullying, yet instinctively feel sorry for someone who comes across as weak?
I believe it’s not instinctual – because in nature it’s the fittest who make it, yet knowing that the societies’ overall progress is measured by the care it takes of it’s weak – i think we get to the slippery ground where we confuse those less fortunate than us who should be helped – with those who should not.
I think it’s there, through that very gap, where those emotional black wholes squeeze into your life and start sucking your life juices, if not your very blood.
What i find genius about Jönathan’s comments in the thread – is the swift and succinct definition he came up with – it’s vampirism, you see.
I did attend workshops on energetic vampirism and psychic self-defense; i read numerous occult and self-help books on it, i did hours of grounding and visualization to protect myself… yet on occasion it still happens.
In theory i know the difference between Solar and Lunar energetic vampires – former being the abusers and latter the perpetual whiners and complainers.
I know from my Kabbalah teacher that i should distant myself from people with victim mentality, yet… it still happens.
We are pushed on that noble idea of the proverbial turning of the other cheek. We are perpetually made feel guilty for just about anything. We are thought that the ” meek shall inherit the earth”… and all of it so sublime, that even if you consciously refuse it – it’s there, all around you, that message that you should somehow sacrifice yourself. I beg your pardon. One should sacrifice their negative inclination – that’s actually the message there. And, of course, one should give of themselves – as much as they can, but without depleting their own sources.
It’s 1/10th you see… of your money, time – everything, that belongs to… GOD.
Call it Universe or Goddess or Spaghetti Monster – the point is that it’s not really yours, at least not all of it and that you need to give back.
But you (i, he, she) do not owe to people who choose to be abysses of negative emotions and only want to pull you down with themselves.
Their influence on you is the same as if they physically pierced you with a knife, and if you were exposed to psychic attacks, you know exactly what i am talking about!
The feeling of exhaustion, the tiredness, the depression, insomnia, loss of appetite, headaches. Why would we do that to ourselves?
Because the social conditioning is based on that, because individuals are too difficult to manipulate and because that’s why we are all guilt-tripped and pushed into submission.
And the brighter you shine – the more thirsty vampires you’ll attract, it seems to be a universal law – for Light seems to be forever stalked by darkness. I am sure there is some wise kabbalistic explanation to this all, but i need a remedy – an instant garlic- and-a-rose-branch thing to ward off the wanke*s – and i need it now!
So, i got Robert M. Place’s Vampire Tarot and did a general reading – the picture of it is attached; the busy coffee table in my living room is where i do most of my readings and castings.
The eye-catching image of the chained woman depicted at 8 of Swords is the base of the reading; it’s related to VIII Justice in this deck – and here is the perfect ‘outline’ for the reading – here we get concise depiction of the mental anguish i am describing.
Posh Knight of Swords is the gate card, in the center – and to me it says to deal with such influences ruthlessly as he would; far to his left is Van Helsing, denoting the Hierophant in this deck and to his right is the experienced Magician, who seems to be doing some banishing ritual under the waning moon…
Fictional Dutch doctor with numerous academic titles was not named Abraham by Bram Stoker by chance.
Except being life-long friend of Pamela Colman Smith, who created the most famous Tarot deck in existence, the author of “Dracula” was friends with two founding members of the Golden Dawn. (For further reading, see R.M. Place’s excellent book accompanying the Vampire Tarot deck.)
So what is amazing Robert’s artwork telling us through the multitude of hermeneutic associations in this very reading?
As i see it, to strengthen (Strength to the right of gate card) the Knight’s contagious idealism by making the right choices (Lovers to the left of the gate card), to use all the theoretical knowledge you have from various texts (Bible included) and to apply your magickal skills so to unchain your Anima depicted on the base card from that wall of shame.
With three Major Arcanum cards which came out in this reading, the matter seem to be quite urgent.

I’d use this opportunity to thank Jönathan K. for the long overdue in this case diagnosis – because, as all the doctors, Abraham Van Helsing among them, know – diagnose is the half of the cure.
Copyright ©2012 Lena Ruth Stefanovic, All Rights Reserved

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: THE VAMPIRE TAROT ©2009 by Robert M. Place, All Rights Reserved

Death card seen in background of the picture is from Tarot of Prague published by The Magic Realist Press (Tarot of Prague©2005, Alex Ukolov and Karen Mahony, All rights reserved)
The Crowley-Harris Thoth Tarot is currently published by A.G. Müller and distributed by A.G. Müller and by U.S. Games as the Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot
Vaudeville Tarot©2011 by Francisco J. Campos, All rights reserved
(Published by OKF, Cetinje)

review of the Vampire Tarot St. Marin’s Press, June 2009):

interview with the artist Robert M. Place: http://www.ata-tarot.com/reflections/06-05-09/the_immortal_work_of_robert.html