The Court of Lazarus: New York’s Metropolitan Vampire Society
I am not aware of how many vampire courts exist today, as many vampire houses and courts remain secretive and are hard to find. There is a well-known vampire court, which exists in New York, however, called The Court of Lazarus. Originally called The Society of Lazarus, members voted to officially organize as a court shortly after being founded in 2002. Vampire Courts function very much like the royal courts of the renaissance and generally act as head of a house or society. Today, the Lazarus Court is conducted by their elected Regent, Mistress Naamah, and her court officials: the Keeper of the Blood, the Keeper of the Scroll, the House Magister for Clan, and the Ronin Magister.
The Court of Lazarus meets monthly and has had over a hundred such gatherings since their foundation. They generally meet at lounges or other similar venues in the evening to host their monthly event. Court gatherings are open to anyone over 21 years of age, although members of Vampiric Courts and the Gothic Communities are generally given preference. Gothic dress is required, and frequently a $5 cover/donation is requested, although admission is generally free.
The Court is also highly private. No photography or videography of any sort is permitted during gatherings. Only those on the guest list may enter, and everyone in attendance is required to uphold The Black Trinity, or three governing covenants, which promote respect and acceptance of one another. On average, the Court has about fifty citizens, many of which come from other clans in the New York and Connecticut area. The Court is also very selective in choosing its members; those applicants looking for sexual satiety or those with signs of psychological issues are denied, and everyone who joins must follow the Pax Vampyri: a set of seven covenants that include devotion to commitment, aesthetics, maturity, pride, yearning, respect, and immortality.
The Court's monthly gathering also serves as a time of ritual, beginning with a closed ritual for members only. The Court's active spiritual advisor, Hierophant Enrico Fales, a devout Thelemic, leads the Court in all ritual matters. The Court also promotes Sanguinarianism, or the practice of drinking blood, to those who feel they must. The Regent along with members of her council will sip a chalice of red wine spiked with drops of human blood for ceremonial purposes, although like most vampires, the drinking of another's blood is held as an extremely sacred act and is not taken lightly. After the ritual part of the gathering, the party is then open to the public, and occasionally other rituals, such as a special blade blessing ritual, are hosted.
Otherwise the evening's events are generally that of a typical Goth costume party. The gathering is a time for vampires to come together in fellowship and promote acceptance and unity as well as celebrate the gothic arts. Cocktails are served, and musicians, artists, authors, directors and others are actively featured as entertainment and/or exhibitions. A booth for prosthetic fangs is also frequently present, along with other vampiric regales. Sounds to me like an incredible vampiric organization that meets the needs of vampires and vampire fans alike. You can count me in on the next gathering.
Now I just need to find a way to get to New York.