In imbalance, Venus becomes Vampiric…
Obstructing reason with obsession, taking and never giving, the Earthly material aspects of her gifts (luxuries, money, attraction, attention, sex) become an addiction. Libra is ruled by Venus, a Planetary Goddess whose cliches of Love and Beauty turn monstrous if She succumbs to Dark Desire. Today’s Libra New Moon, among multiple retrogrades for Mercury, Mars, Chiron, Uranus and Neptune, can hold conflicting intentions midmost economic deconstruction, social rearrangement, pandemic peril:
We question our identity to “want”.
Elizabeth Bathory was a powerful Hungarian countess during the late 1500’s, known to have tortured and murdered roughly 600 individuals, primarily young women.
Thus, Bathory is considered to have the highest number of victims, her body count surpassing most serial killers by double, if not triple, making her the most prolific murderer in history.
Bathory’s similarities to other legends of the time and region are undeniable, specifically with Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Dracula (also argued to be Hungarian, not Romanian, a Euro region historically known for vampire folklore). Both infamous figures executed with brutality and lack of sympathy; however, Bathory more truly resembled the Dracula character compared to Vlad, whose victims were mostly killed in prison or during the Crusades wars. Like Dracula’s castle, with servants and guests-victims in all its creepy finery, Bathory’s habits involved luring young virgins onto the estate, entertaining them until ritualistic slaying. Furthermore, Bathory’s murders were part of her personal care: she fervently believed that bathing in the blood of her victims would restore her youth. Centuries before the cosmetic industry sold “anti-aging” by the billions to gullible consumers, Bathory was slicing girls to bits to ensure her own glow (Kim Kardashian’s “Vampire Facelift” pales in comparison to Bathory’s beauty regime).
Other myth states that Bathory drank blood, dabbled in black magic, had lesbian lovers that were also accomplices in the elaborate methods of killing virgins which included sadist non-consensual sexual acts. It’s difficult to say if these accounts were true considering the centuries passed and that, word against word, tall tales were strategically used to bring entire royal families down. It is, however, known that Bathory lived from 1560 to 1614 and died in a stone room without a door, a precaution deemed necessary and perhaps some proof that she posed a real threat to the local villagers.
It’s no wonder that Bathory’s story paved a path to fantastical characterization. Mix vanity, control and murder, and it is easy to imagine a modern day heiress who feeds off the young, easily overtaken by jealousy, relinquishing in her dirty rich world and most certainly donning Chanel’s “Rouge Noir” on her talons (as transcribed in ’90s fashion mags, the nail polish shade was simply known as “Vamp”). Like some hyper-sexualized portrait that fashion photographer Helmut Newton would shoot, even though feminist critics argued that Newton’s gaze of women reduced them to upper-class sex dolls, objectified and reduced to her prowess, there is no denying that in her blood red lipstick, the part seductress, part man-eater Bathory archetype fascinates by defying feminine morale, easily stabbing holes in any foe who crossed her path with the spike of a very dangerous high-heeled shoe. (The Femme Fatale is a favorite subject, previously written about via WUSSY.) Bathory embodies a perverse entity many 1st world women reflect, writhing around in the 7 Deadly Sins, toting cocaine in a designer handbag, grotesquely fashionable and always getting her way.
Bathory’s likeness has inspired troves of works, including a few Hungarian operas and the glam-horror of Neon Demon (we recommend the poetry-drenched fiction of Romanian-born Bathory ancestor Andrei Codrescu, The Blood Countess). No surprise that Bathory is a cornerstone figure in the metal genre as well, starting with the hugely influential ‘80s Swedish band of her same name. Bathory‘s primary songwriter Quorthron (“a prince who’s half-human and half-demon”) incorporated synth and Norse Mythology in the music and, regardless of the interest in evil, was in no way a violent Satan-worshipping whatever who burned churches or killed his friends and ate their brains like other tales Lords of Chaos speaks of. Quorthron was a vegetarian who loved Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love.
Sunn 0))) houses a song under Elizabeth Bathory’s native name, Báthory Erzsébet:
Here. Decompose forever, aware and unholy, encased in marble and honey from the swarm, a thin coat of eternal whispering that bleaches from within, a darkness that defiles thought, stolen by the wingless harpies whose memories lay waste the valley of diamonds, where the great One sleeps, her eyes, placid pits of violent tar and bitumen regurgitated by demons chained to misery, eyes that see nothing for there is only the darkness that wells up from inside, a great viscous cloud smothering hope, a blanket woven from the dung of the old ones, their disease the tapestry of all that is futile, her gaze burning holes in the veil that protects the chosen, her breathe a plague that unleashes the frozen wolves, blind, their tongues paint your heart with scorpions, their pestilence an invitation to the only one that matters for She is the presence that is all that is un-named, for it is Her, the unbegotten Mistress of the eternal hunger, dwell forever in her great unholy stomach where the damned befoul themselves in the glory of her fecund and bloody history, worship in the torment of a million wasted lives, bathe in the horror that the blood of time carries with the plague, and befoul yourself with worship, for she hates you eternally with the ferocious lust that binds all that inhabit the wasted and forgotten, the blissful loathing of you is now all that remains, alone, forgotten and Damned.
Vampires are often aristocratic in films, surpassing not just their power in the monster world but a socio-economic status in human society. Hungry to continue enjoying the finer pleasures that money can buy and/or the power that they obtained in mortal life, the “female vampire” seems to follow an aesthetic life and style (a la “Glampire”), just another decadent aspect of her thirst. The new lease on life that the Undead seeks is highly motivated by the endless consumption of resources and yet there is something seductive (if not romantic) in her bloodlust. Here are a few fashionable femme Vampires films of note:
- The Hunger (Catherine Denuevue) – woman as the vampire origination, science vs. goths, queer overtones.
- Vamp (Grace Jones) – another ‘80s flick of camp central, stylish slick B-movie.
- Death Becomes Her (Isabella Rossellini) High Priestess of the potion, not exactly vampire, but Undead Mary Kay in a satirical comedy reflecting on the pine for eternal beauty and youth.
- Queen of the Damned (Aaliyah) – imperfect but a pop culture must, in alternative to the Claudia character (Kirsten Dunst) of the Anne Rice vampire world.
Cupid-Bow Bitch muses the old and new of a few waves: cold-, minimal-, synth-, dark-… All Goth goodness to accompany the season and a showcase of underground outfits from a variety of countries, spanning 40 years.