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What is in a Vampyre name? by Father Sebastiaan

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Original Article on the Sanguinarium…

Within the Sabretooth Clan, our community Sanguinarium and corresponding Vampyre community, tradition holds that individuals often have chosen names, which are personal and descriptive pseudonyms which are informally known as “Nightside names” or formally known as “Sobriquets.”

Such names are similar to Nom de Plume (pen names) for writers and stage names for performers. These pseudonyms are used as a form of address within the Vampyre community. This name is often chosen by the Vampyre or given to them by another member of the community. It is formally bestowed upon them at their first rite of passage or a later point.

Examples of other traditions using such alias come mainly from the esoteric community, such magickal names are often employed and these are known as “Magickal Mottos.”Originally these took root in Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and continued in successive orders such as the Ordo Templis Orientis (OTO) and Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT). Those familiar with Wicca and modern Neo-Paganism will often be familiar with the tradition of “Craft names.” For example, legendary occultist Aleister Crowley used the moniker, Perdurabo, which means in Latin “I will endure to the end.” 

Similar nicknames to sobriquets are in use in many other subcultures including the Burning Man community where they have “Playa names”, “handles” in the hacker community, call signs for pilots and in the BDSM community one often uses a pseudonym such as “Master /Mistress <enter name=”” here=””>.” Each community holds their own traditions on how to obtain such a name.

Like in the Mafia, fraternal societies or in the military, seekers will often have to earn their named Sobriquet or have it given to them by a senior member of the Sanguinarium. Often, it is the one who introduced them to the Mysteries. Earning a sobriquet from one’s peers requires one to develop a name based from inspirations of the subject’s personality and spirit or place they pass their first rite of passage into the Mysteries. Choosing or being given an appropriate name is a big decision as this will often stick with the individual their entire life and beyond. However, if an initiate wishes to change their sobriquet, this is traditionally done when passing through higher rites of passage.

Sobriquets are used to maintain a separation between dayside life and nightside life as well as protect the privacy and aid in the Awakening of an individual by adopting a chosen name. Wisdom dictates choosing a name from ancient languages such as SumerianAncient EgyptianEnochianCeltic, Hebrew and other ancient languages. Other such names come from ancient deities, heroes of legend or found during scrying or meditation. Use dictionaries from these languages to look up good translations such as the Sumerian dictionary,Old Norse NamesEnochian dictionary and Llewellyn’s Nook of Names is a great resource.

Names coming from role-playing games (such as VTM clan names), overdone lordly titles, fictional characters and video games are usually discouraged within the Sanguinarium and humorous. Choose a name which is unique, simple, easy to remember and interesting. It is wise to settle-in with a sobriquet that truly reflects your inner spiritual truths or quests.

Addressing someone by their chosen Sobriquet is polite, honorable, respectful and courteous, especially when interacting amongst Vampyres. It shows good character from the addressing party. In contrast it is considered rude, disrespectful, in poor taste and an invasion of privacy to address someone as their “mundane name” within the community, especially when they proudly display their sobriquet.

Remember: names are power, so choose wisely.