Think vampires are all the same? Think again! Vampires come in more flavors than Baskin-Robbins ice cream. So, this special DotW feature, Vampires we know and love, spotlights different kinds of bloodsucking fiends from around the world.
Guiley describes an asrapa as “a blood-sucking witch who attends Kali, the fierce human-eating [East Indian] goddess.” Their turn-ons include hanging out naked in cemeteries, shape-shifting and raising the dead.
But, but, but… I think Guiley has kept the nature of Kali really simple there. Kali doesn’t just eat people.
One of her big roles is, in fact, killing demons. She’s also a war goddess who likes to drink the blood of her victims on the battlefield, getting kind of drunk off it and dancing around on their corpses. But, she has a benevolent aspect too, and is seen as the mother of the universe. Actually, her destructive streak might be seen as a protective streak, keeping her children safe from demons and their enemies.
But I digress. We were talking about beings known as asrapas, or dakinis.
Yes, they drink blood and attend Kali. “Asrapa” means blood-drinker, in fact. “Dakini” means sky-walking woman. In Tibetian Buddhism, dakinis are spirits/demons/fairies of the air. There are five different kinds of dakinis, and they each represent different things; the blue ones represent peacefulness; the yellow ones, grandness; red, fascination; green, sterness; blue, understanding.
Sort of like the different colors of M&Ms.
- Patricia Turner, Charles Russell Coulter, Dictionary of Ancient Dieties
- Guiley,The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters