Energy Vampires: How to Steal Light, Luck, and Energy From Others (Or Not)

by Scott Jeffrey

Is there really such a thing as emotional vampires that steal energy from others?

Or have I gone off the esoteric deep end?

Here’s the thing: Most of us want to be positive, upstanding, good people.

I get it. I have the same impulse.

But my experiences have taught me unequivocally, that the only way to touch the “true light” in us is through the darkness.

Paradoxical, I know. But perhaps this resonates with some of your life experiences too?

Here, we’ll explore the ins and outs of emotional vampirism—how people are stealing energy from each other every day, right under our noses.

Then, we’ll take a look at what we can do about it: how to detect it, protect from it, and contain our vampirism.

Okay. Let’s dive in.

Before We Get Started …

The challenge with this topic is that we don’t have objective measurement tools to validate this phenomenon. The experience of vampirism is purely subjective.

My goal here isn’t to convince you that such a thing as energy or emotional vampires exists if you don’t already believe it to be so, or if you haven’t observed this as a “psychic fact” in your life.

Instead, I’m merely going to share my understanding based on various sources as well as my experiences and observations. As always, keep what’s relevant to you and discard the rest.

So What is an Emotional Vampire?

An emotional vampire is someone who consciously or unconsciously evokes emotions in others specifically to feed on the triggered emotional energy.

Related terms include energy vampires, psychic vampires, psychopaths, sociopaths, witches, warlocks, and archons.

Psychologist Judith Orloff used the term emotional vampires in her book Emotional Freedom (audiobook).

Orloff highlights four different types of emotional vampires and links each one to various psychological disorders:

  1. The Narcissist (narcissistic personality)
  2. The Victim (dependent personality)
  3. The Controller (obsessive-compulsive personality)
  4. The Splitter (borderline personality)

She includes in her book an “Emotional Vampire Survival Guide,” with assessments and practical analysis. The problem I see with her commentary is that it leads you to believe that some people are emotional vampires while others are not.

From my observations, everyone is an emotional vampire. (I am an emotional vampire too.) It’s merely a function of the situation and conditions that determine the level and degree of our vampirism.

Saying that some people are energy vampires while other people aren’t, sets up a victim-perpetrator game that the ego loves to play. So let’s not play it!

Are You an Energy Vampire? A Quick Assessment

You don’t need to take a long survey to determine if you’re an energy vampire.

Just answer these two questions:

  1. Do you have everything you want in life so that you feel complete and whole?
  2. From moment to moment, do you live in a state of flow, fully present, feeling light, alive, alert, and free?

If you can’t honestly answer “yes” to both of these questions, then you’re an energy vampire, at least some of the time.

As you’ll continue to see throughout this guide, everyone has a vampire inside them (perhaps many of them). The conditions of the individual—both internally and within their environment—determines how often the vampire gets activated.

How Vampirism Relates to Human Needs

If you recall from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Maslow labeled all of our basic needs deficiency needs and external needs.

emotional vampires maslow

Things like biological, safety, belonging, and esteem needs are deficiency needs in that when we aren’t meeting them, we feel anxious or neurotic. And they are external needs because we seek to meet them through the outside world.

An underlying sense of deficiency drives us to meet these basic needs.

This feeling of a need not being met mainly relates to situations from our childhoods. So often time, we’re not conscious of why we feel a sense of lack.

In the absence of a sense of completeness, of feeling whole, we seek sources outside of ourselves for what’s missing. And this unconscious drive often leads us to vampirism—to stealing the energy, light, and luck from others.

Archetypes: Vampires, Witches, and Warlocks

From the perspective of depth psychology, we would call the various types of vampires archetypes.

Witches, Warlocks, and Vampires are all examples of archetypes that reside in what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious.

Envy triggers witches and warlocks. Hunger or deficiency evokes vampires.

And these ancient, primordial images have patterns of behaviors and knowledge related to how to steal energy, light, and other qualities from other beings.

But as modern and postmodern people, we are primarily divorced from this knowledge.

This disassociation doesn’t mean that energy vampires aren’t real; just that we have a difficult time observing them. When you don’t know what to look for, you can miss what’s right under your nose.

Instead, most people perceive phenomenon like vampirism as primitive or superstitious, as I once did. But, in truth, we are merely misguided and ignorant of this occult knowledge.

The Rise of Vampires in Our Culture

Our unconscious, however, knows the truth. Could this be why our culture is obsessed with stories about vampires?

For example:

  • The popular Twilight series of books and films
  • The Vampire Diaries television series
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series
  • Interview with a Vampire film
  • The Originals television series
  • The Blade series of comics and films
  • Dracula films
  • Transylvania animated film series

The list goes on and on.

When something strikes a chord with large segments of the population, it’s not random or without reason.

The Original Vampire

The original vampire archetype, as far as I can tell, is a character in the Zohar called Lilith.

According to this myth, Lilith was Adam’s first wife (yes, from the Adam and Eve origin story in the Bible). Lilith leaves Adam and later becomes a queen of the demons. (Only then does God create Eve from one of Adam’s ribs.)

energy vampire lillith

The more common term for this type of demon is a succubus, a supernatural entity found in folklore and medieval legends. (In Greek mythology, they refer to them as sirens.)

The succubus appears in the dreams of men as a beautiful woman who seduces them and draws out their sexual energy, depleting these men of their life force.

A succubus, however, doesn’t just come in dreams. One can argue that any time a woman is behaving like a seductress or an enchantress, she’s in some way possessed by a succubus.

The more emotional trauma girls endure during childhood (often by the father), the more likely the succubus is to enter them in their teenage years and later.

psychic vampires succubus

There’s also a male version of the succubus called the incubus who functions in similar patterns towards women.

But seduction is only one method of energy vampires. (We’ll explore many others below.)

Why Vampirism is Relevant to Everyone

Mature adulthood and development require two essential ingredients: awareness and responsibility.

Awareness always comes first because you can’t take responsibility unless you are aware of what’s happening.

According to developmental psychology, less than 2% of individuals ever reach mature adulthood.1Cook-Greuter, S.R. (2014). Nine Levels Of Increasing Embrace In Ego Development: A Full-Spectrum Theory Of Vertical Growth And Meaning Making. That is, as a people, we are mostly immature.

We don’t necessarily perceive ourselves this way, however. Our conscious minds might see us in a glowing light. But study after study shows that over 90% of our behavior is unconscious.2Jerath, Ravinder & Braun, Molly & Barnes, Vernon. (2015). A unified 3D default space consciousness model combining neurological and physiological processes that underlie conscious experience. Frontiers in Psychology. 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01204.

And emotional vampirism and stealing energy is one of the many things occurring outside of our conscious awareness. Learning about vampirism, from my view, is a part of doing shadow work and increasing one’s consciousness.

By bringing this dynamic to light, we begin to witness its occurrence within us and others. Only then are we in a position to take responsibility and change it.

Why We Generally Avoid This Topic Entirely

We tend to avoid topics like vampirism because they make us uncomfortable.

Rejecting or denying such experiences as psychic vampires give a false sense of security and safety. And understandably so—who wants to think about people feeding on each other, with blood, energy, or anything else?

Plus, if you dive into emotional vampirism and begin to see how you may be “feeding” on others, it can evoke feelings of shame and guilt, two powerful emotions we seek to avoid.

The unconscious (our body) knows that vampirism exists; it feels it when it occurs. That is, a part of us is aware of what we’ve done to even those closest to us. And so we remain in denial to protect the ego’s sensitive self-image.

Conversely, when we realize what others have done to us, it can trigger feelings of resentment and victimhood. (“How could he/she do that to me!”) The Victim archetype can be a hard one to shake.

But remember: This energy exchange is happening every day, everywhere—in every home, school, and workplace—by parents, children, teachers, executives, friends, and spiritual leaders alike.

Why Emotional Vampires Exist

So why are vampires everywhere?

The short answer is trauma.

The level of trauma inflicted on an individual during childhood largely determines the degree of vampirism they express in later life.

A person becomes an emotional vampire because one or both of their parents exhibited these behaviors, likely on a daily basis.

There’s an adage in psychology: what’s left incomplete you’re doomed to repeat.

Because this trauma occurs mainly before our conscious mind develops, we don’t know the trauma we endured. The body (the unconscious), however, knows.

And the unconscious can only repeat the same trauma on someone else UNTIL our conscious mind catches up with what’s happening.

The other predominant reason for energy vampires is that the vast majority of us are energetically depleted and out of balance. And once our subtle energy field gets distorted, “feeding” on each other may be an automatic occurrence.

The Subtle Energy Body

Taoist, Buddhist, and Hindu systems explain that various types of energetic fields surround our bodies.

energy vampiressource

In the Taoist arts, one of these fields is called Wei qi or Guardian qi, which forms a kind of protective shield around the body.

In the Buddhist tradition, Energy Medicine, and transpersonal psychology, they often refer to it as the subtle energy field.

New Age literature tends to use terms like the subtle energy field and the auric field (aura) interchangeably, which is a mistake. These two fields are different. The subtle energy generally extends only a few inches from the body while the auric field is more expansive.

In the Active Side of Infinity (audiobook) the Yaqui shaman Don Juan explains to Carlos Castaneda that we all have an energetic cloak that extends from above the crown of our heads to the ground.

Restoring Our Energy Field to Stop Leakage

When our energetic cloak is full, we are impenetrable. But once there’s an opening or break in our field, which happens early in life, we are susceptible to various forces entering our fields.

This teaching is similar to the microcosmic orbit and the macrocosmic orbit in Taoist practices.

energy fieldsource

The microcosmic orbit encompasses the torso while the macrocosmic orbit circulates through and around the entire body.

In the commentary of the Taoist text, Hui-Ming Ching, it says,

“The shadowy monsters in the body are the dark vapors of untransformed energy … The dark vapors are dangerous because they can dissipate life energy and harm the seed of the Buddha.”

These “shadowy monsters” are similar to what Carlos Castaneda called predators. I believe they are akin to the archetypes or archon as well (vampires, witches, etc.)

Through the alchemical firing process described in the Hui-Ming Ching and other Taoist texts, you can restore your life energy and original nature.

Again from the Hui-Ming Ching: “When the bright pearl emerges, the hundred monsters are driven away.”

What Trauma Does to Our Energetic Fields

We are born complete and whole, with our energetic fields intact.

But soon after birth (in the hospital, in fact), our fields come under attack. (See the documentary, The Business of Being Born, for a sobering look at how everything goes wrong from the beginning, and why.)

Each trauma we endure—including being slapped by the doctor after birth and receiving negative emotions from what sits within our parents—disrupts our energetic fields.

Once these fields are disrupted, we are “incomplete” or “infected.”

From then on, we are susceptible to vampirism from others and become emotional vampires ourselves.

Why We Steal Light From Each Other

By “light” I mean the best qualities in each of us.

We mainly steal light from each other because we feel deficient. We intuit that we lack something we must have.

For example, let’s say a 30-year-old man must provide for his family. To do so, he has to compete and achieve in the often-aggressive business jungle.

If he has trauma from childhood and feels incapable of competing (because his wounded Child part hasn’t given way to a healthy Adult in him), he will fail in his ability to provide.

So what does he do with his fear and feelings of doubt and inadequacy?

If he isn’t fully conscious of these weaknesses, he will unconsciously dump them on his wife and/or children. They will then feel weak and inadequate.

Then, he can draw their light. Now, he will be able to make his way in the world.

Fathers often steal light from their family; as do working mothers.

Friends steal from friends frequently too. (The “pretty, popular girl” in high school usually keeps a less attractive and less confident girlfriend close to her side. Otherwise, the pretty girl will have to feel her inner ugliness and insecurities.)

So what are the benefits of stealing light from others?

You can:

  • Feel free of your shortcomings
  • Empowered to achieve more
  • Earn more money
  • Be more popular and influential
  • Feel good about yourself as you “help” others
  • Be more competent, confident, and powerful

Stealing light has a lot of compelling benefits. Simply put, it’s the fastest way for us to feel better about ourselves (as long as we don’t consciously know what’s happening).

How Gurus Steal Light from Their Students

Whenever you see a larger-than-life character on a stage, beware. Energetic thievery and light stealing are at work.

Gurus and students enter a kind of mutually-complicit relationship. The student unconsciously agrees to give the guru their light. And the guru gladly accepts it.

One common way this occurs is through the psychological mechanism called projection.

The student projects their hidden, best qualities like being wise, calm, humorous, and centered onto the guru.

The guru than holds the student’s “inner gold” which makes the guru feel more powerful and superior to their students.

Big Brand Personalities and Stealing Light

Prominent brand personalities are notorious energy vampires too. They dissociate from their fears and inadequacies and teach others how they can “overcome” them.

For example, take any famous motivational speaker. This individual might be running away from his laziness and feelings of lack.

But as long as this speaker unconsciously shames the audience for their laziness and feelings of deficiency, the speaker feels elevated, abundant, and competent while the audience looks up to him with feelings of awe.

And worse still, the speaker is likely taking large sums of money from the attendees for this “service” too.

Psychologists and social workers often fall into this trap as well. Unconscious emotional wounds are what drives individuals into these fields.

As long as mental health workers are “treating” others with their disowned symptoms (like anxiety and depression), they don’t have to experience these symptoms as often within themselves.

I spent much of my teen years, 20s, and 30s giving my light away and allowing various teachers, thought leaders, and health practitioners to take it from me. I’ve been collecting it back ever since.

Seven Signs of Psychic Thievery

How do you know if someone has stolen your light and energy?

Here are a few common signs:

  • Chronic feeling of fatigue, especially after seeing certain individuals
  • Wrestling with feelings of self-doubt and a lack of confidence
  • A poor self-image (or you reject your self-image)
  • Constant struggles with money (and even feeling repelled by it)
  • Persistent feelings of shame and guilt
  • A theme of lack runs through much of your life experience
  • Frequent feelings of inadequacy and being less competent than those around you.

There are many other signs. But most of us can relate to the above experiences to varying degrees.

If you wrestle with high levels of self-doubt while your sibling or parents are bustling with confidence, more than likely, they stole your light (and you unknowingly allowed it to happen).

Five Ways to Steal Energy from Others

Okay, now let’s examine some of the ways we steal light and energy from each other.

In brief, these methods include:

  1. Subconscious manipulation using praise
  2. Intimidation
  3. Touch
  4. Evoking emotions
  5. Psychic attacks (directed thought)
  6. Seduction

The goal here is to increase our awareness of what’s happening beneath the surface.

We already covered seduction above, so now let’s see how the other methods work.

Energy Vampire Tactic #1: Praise

I’ve come to view praise as one of the most destructive forces in modern culture.

Praise is tricky because our minds associate positive attributes to it. Parents feel good about themselves when they praise their kids. And the inflated child feels good when praised.

The shadow implications behind praise, however, are monumental. We’ve already learned from psychologist Carol Dweck’s research that praise fosters a fixed mindset that impairs a child’s ability to learn and grow.

But from my experience, this is just the beginning. The unconscious intention behind most forms of praise is manipulation. That is, the Detached Manipulator archetype uses praise as a tool to get others to do what it wants as well as to steal their light.

What do I mean?

Praising Children

Parents praise their children to get them to behave the way they want. We raise high-chair tyrants by “serving” our children, and then we don’t know how to handle the tyrant’s demands.

But by praising the tyrant, telling them they are “good,” we are subtly forcing them to repress their inner tyrant.

Then, they become more compliant and repress aspects of the tyrant. This repression helps explain why the shadow in most individual grows so big by age 18.

Praising Adults

Also, as adults, we don’t seek or desire praise. We do what we do as a consequence of what we are.

The Child in us, however, might have been conditioned for praise. So if someone praises us for something we are doing—for example, for being generous, diligent, or disciplined—it can activate the Child in us.

Magically, these innate qualities begin to leave us. We start to struggle with discipline and lack generosity, and we don’t know why.

With the Child in charge, most of us act for the approval of others, not by our “inner directive.”

Seeking approval creates an unhealthy dependency on others, stripping us of the qualities of adulthood: autonomy, responsibility, and inner strength.

Praise has a way of triggering the Innocent One in us that then falls prey to the Manipulator in others.

Energy Vampire Tactic #2: Intimidation

Archetypes like the Sadist, or its younger counterpart, the Bully, love using intimidation to draw energy and light from others.

In a “civilized” culture, intimidation isn’t always blatant. Instead, this form of aggression expresses itself through unconscious cues: a quick downward glance, crossing the arms, a threatening tone of voice, or a gentle smirk.

When someone puts another person down (judges them), they are attempting to steal their light.

When someone unconsciously tells you, “Not for you,” they are trying to steal from you.

This form of energetic thievery most often occurs when an individual has a lot of repressed envy. When a person sees something they want in another, and they can’t fully acknowledge their desire, envy, and jealousy, they will unconsciously try to steal it from them.

Energy Vampire Tactic #3: Touch

This tactic is like something out of science fiction. I would never have believed it was valid before developing energetic sensitivity through various qigong practices.

While qigong is about the cultivation of life force energy, there are dark-art techniques for stealing energy from others. I once met a seasoned qigong practitioner who claimed to have first-hand accounts with these dark arts.

Even with the most gentle touch we can steal energy from each other and block the flow of energy in others as well.

Do you recall as a child, not wanting to be hugged by your parents or other relatives when they came over for the holidays? Parents often shame their children for this behavior (“Go hug your grandmother”), so many of us forget about our aversion to hugging.

But the reality is that most kids don’t want to hug. They don’t know why, but it’s because they’re more connected to their bodies. Their unconscious (body) is telling them to stay away.

How Parents Steal Energy from Their Children

If you’re a parent, have you ever come home from a bad day of work and couldn’t wait to hug your young child?

Do you feel like hugging and being around your kid(s) instantly makes you feel better? Why might that be so?

Parents frequently steal the qi/energy from their children through hugs, kisses, and touching (unconsciously, of course).

Kissing a child on the top their heads, for example, is an excellent way to draw their energy.

The crown of the head is called the baihui point in Chinese medicine and the Taoist arts. The baihui point is the spiritual access point for a person’s higher consciousness.

Another way parents steal the qi of their children, especially babies, is through their feet. Consciously, a mother might kiss a baby’s foot because “it’s so cute.”

Unconsciously, however, they are drawing energy from the child’s primary access point, called K1 in acupuncture, Yongquan, or the bubbling well.

energy vampiressource

If you’re a parent, when you feel like you’re tired or experiencing emotional imbalance, I highly recommend staying clear of your kids.

Children have considerably more qi/energy than adults, so it’s natural for adults instinctually go to “feed” on them when they feel depleted.

It’s Not About Guilt and Shame

If you’re a parent reading this, it’s easy to feel guilt and shame, perhaps even a feeling of hopelessness. But fear not.

Everyone unconsciously engages in these psychic activities: your parents did it to their parents … on and on throughout history.

The idea here is to become conscious of what’s happening so you can make changes going forward. You start from where you are right now. The past is in the past.

Energy Vampire Tactic #4: Emotional Evocation

The primary goal of energy vampires is to trigger an emotional reaction—the more intense the emotion, the stronger the energetic charge with which it can feed.

Shame and guilt are two of the most potent weapons an emotional vampire can use to sap your life force.

  • How could you…
  • You should know better…
  • Who do you think we are…

Phrases like these can collapse your energy system, leaving you susceptible to further psychic attacks.

Other common tactics include irritating and annoying a person (children often use this one on their parents), as well as surprising, shocking, or terrifying them.

Again, with babies (who are like infinite balls of energy), beyond the perceived innocence of games like peek-a-boo, there’s a darker intent.

Surprising, shocking, and tickling are effective forms of emotional vampirism.


Tickling itself is a behavioral pattern of the Sadist archetype. It’s a form of torture, especially to a helpless baby who can’t escape or defend itself.

If you look closely in the eyes of a child as you tickle them, you will see fear. Conversely, if you intently observe in the eyes of the tickler, you’ll see a vicious sadist.

If you doubt that tickling induces fear, go to tickle a child and watch their shoulders. The child’s shoulders immediately rise.

Or even better, imagine someone tickling you. Notice the tension around on your kidneys and the muscles around your spine.

All of these indicators relate to the physiology of fear.

In the dark arts, if you can evoke fear, it’s easier to drain a person’s energy.

Energy Vampire Tactic #5: Psychic Attacks

One of the most common tools of psychic vampires is the direct use of thought forms. A vampire will send “psychic signals” directed at a specific individual.

Although we might prefer to believe that our thoughts are private, this isn’t the case.

As Nobel laureate Sir John Carew Eccles discovered, the mind is like a sending and receiving center.

We’ve all had the experience of having a person from our past enter our stream of consciousness. These experiences aren’t random. In most cases, this occurs because the other person was thinking about you.

In the case of psychic vampires, they will repeatedly direct negative thoughts and ill wishes toward you. The challenge here is that the individual sending these negative thoughts is often unaware of it.

For example, someone who often worries about another person (including a mother) is likely unconscious to how a part of them is wishing another harm.

A part of this person wants the individual they are worrying about to be safe or careful, while another part might want them to get hit by a car. The individual, however, is only conscious of the former part (because they haven’t integrated their shadow yet).

In witchcraft, there are specific spells that are used to draw energy from others. Because we are mostly unconscious to this occult knowledge, the archetypes in us conduct these practices without our awareness.

Beware of These Two Archetypes …

There are two archetypes, in particular, that you’ll want to watch out for when you’re learning about emotional vampires:

  1. The Denying Innocent One
  2. The Helpless Victim

I cover the Denying Innocent One in this guide on the magician archetype. The innocent one will deny they are involved in vampirism.

This archetype will make you feel like you’re purely innocent and “unaware” of what’s going on. This “innocent” part of a person will wholeheartedly reject the notion that they might wish harm to someone they “love.”

The Helpless Victim is a variation of the Weakling Prince, the passive shadow of the King archetype (covered in Moore and Gillette’s King Warrior Magician Lover).

The victim loves to play the “poor me” game and feed on the sympathy of others. It’s also prone to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

Watch out for this popular, “poor me” behavior—within others and yourself. The Victim is a deceptive energy thief.

I say to beware of these two archetypes because they can be difficult to detect and they can easily trick our conscious mind.

Behind the innocent one is the Detached Manipulator. Cloaked beneath the helpless victim, is the Tyrant. And these two archetypes are often out for blood… (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

How to Stop Being an Emotional Vampire

The first step is realizing you are one.

As I said earlier, everyone is an emotional vampire. That is, under the right conditions, we each steal energy and light from others.

But it’s also accurate to say that no one is an emotional vampire. Emotional and energy vampires, witches, and warlocks are archetypal forces that abide in us, but it’s not what we are.

If we remain unconscious to them, however, they operate within us whether we want them to or not.

The key, then, is to become conscious of these archetypal forces within us.

I see five main reasons why we fail to witness energy vampirism more readily:

First, when the pineal gland is calcified, as it seems to be in most individuals, it may not be possible to fully observe psychic events like energy vampirism.

See: How to Decalcify Your Pineal Gland

Second, we hold an incredible amount of repressed emotions, which block the energy flow through the primary channels of our body.

See: How to Transmute Repressed Emotions

Third, we haven’t developed the sensitivity to experience this natural flow of energy within us (see below).

See: How to Cultivate Energy Standing Still

Fourth, we move too quickly. The faster we move around, the less information we process. Slow down and stay curious. You’ll be amazed at how your perception changes and awareness increases.

Fifth, we are consumed by shame and guilt. Shame can be a useful emotion if it motivates you to take action. But if you’re accustomed to repressing shame, it will reinforce your unconscious behaviors.

How to Take Back your Light, Energy, and Luck

It may be a universal law that someone cannot energetically take from you without your consent. Consent, in this case, can come in the form of ignorance, innocence, or silence.

The primary way to reclaim what’s yours is by remembering. Recall what’s yours and what’s not. Correct recollection, of course, isn’t always a straightforward task.

Psychic thievery begins in childhood before we consciously know who we are.

For this reason, Jung spoke about the individuation process—the path to becoming a whole individual and returning to our Self.

Two essential elements of the individuation process are:

  1. Getting to know your shadow
  2. Taking back your projections

I’ve covered both of these topics in other guides, but projection is a primary mechanism by which we give away our light.

Every time you reject something in yourself including confidence, strength, and intelligence, you give it away to someone else. That is, when you don’t claim what’s yours, you enable someone else to take it from you.

And as I explained in this projection guide, when you project your light onto others, especially teachers and other authority figures, they gladly receive it (because it feeds their inflation).

But few people are willing to give it back when you awaken to what’s happening. So that means you have to take it back. It’s not stealing because it’s your light in the first place.

You can accomplish this through your conscious intent. Generally, nothing needs to occur in the physical world. From your Center, you say, “What’s yours is yours. What’s mine is mine.”

Why We Need to Cultivate Energy

One of my qigong instructors once told me that there are only three ways to get energy:

  1. Steal it,
  2. Evoke it, or
  3. Cultivate it.

Stealing is the most common way. Evocation occurs through prayer to the “gods” and occult rituals (black magic). The third way is by cultivating your internal energy.

Consider how energetically depleted we are as a people. Stimulants like caffeine are so commonplace that it’s difficult to imagine life without them.

Nootropics are on the rise because caffeine isn’t enough to address our growing fatigue and lack of alertness.

We work tirelessly in front of computers, bombarded by harmful electromagnetic frequencies from WIFI and our devices. Our stress taxes our adrenal glands 24/7.

Most of us live in a state of chronic stress and fatigue, but we might not even slow down long enough to notice our condition.

Is it any wonder that we’ve all become energy vampires feeding on each other?

How to Cultivate Your Life Energy

So here’s the good news: there are methods for cultivating life force energy within us.

Qigong and Nei Gong represent vast systems of theories and practices designed to open up your body and cultivate the energy running through you and nature itself.

This topic is vast. If you’re new to qigong, I suggest you find a local class taught by a skilled practitioner.

A foundational practice in many qigong systems is called Zhan Zhuang, or standing like a tree.

Through this practice, you’ll learn how to align your posture, bring your mind into your body, and sink and consolidate your energy or qi. Of the many different styles and systems I’ve studied, Zhan Zhuang has had the most impact on me physically, mentally, and emotionally.

You can get started with this in-depth, beginner’s guide to Zhan Zhuang here.

If you’re interested in additional resources, I recommend Lam Kam Chuen’s The Way of Energy and Damo Mitchell’s Daoist Nei Gong as excellent entry points into this topic.

How to Protect Your Energy

Now, I don’t like the idea of “protection” from vampires. This notion can evoke tension and fear in itself.

And fear is how energy vampires can feed on us in the first place.

When you’re in the Center—neutral, light-hearted, open, and free—emotional vampires can do you no harm.

But unconscious and repressed emotions make it difficult to stay neutral from moment to moment.

So the first thing we must do is develop self-awareness so we can more readily connect with how we’re feeling in the moment.

If we aren’t aware of what’s happening and how an emotional vampire is trying to hook us, there’s not much we can do.

The Innocent One, a shadow of the Magician archetype, wants to believe everyone (especially those closest to us) are purely good. And when we identify with this innocence, we certainly won’t see what’s happening.

That said, what can you do when you observe an energy vampire in your presence?

Here are five methods worth experimenting with:

  • Ground yourself. Root yourself in your body and sink your energy into the earth.
  • Smile inwardly at your heart. Lighten up as much as possible.
  • Place one or both hands over your navel region. This hand position creates an energetic seal.
  • Own your space. Everyone has an energetic field that extends out around them. When you root yourself in your space, only the most aggressive vampires will attempt to break it.
  • Try a protection mudra. There are some hand positions used in Buddhist and Hindu traditions to provide psychic protection. For example:

energy vampirism

Perhaps the single best way to ward off psychic attacks is to stay totally neutral.

Recap: Welcome to the World of Energy Vampires

The wisdom within our bodies knows that energy vampires exist. It has experienced this psychic event firsthand (from both sides) throughout its life.

Most of us haven’t developed our consciousness to the point where we can be accountable for all of our thoughts and feelings. Yet, this accountability is necessary for self-leadership.

This level of psychic accountability is necessary if we are to contain our vampirism, or at least lessen its effects on us.

A Few Final Thoughts to Readers

I’ve decided to close the comment section on this guide.

So I thought I’d address a few common themes I’ve seen in the 280 existing comments below.

Response to certain comments

Comment 1: Everything is energy. And we exchange energy, we don’t steal it. 

True. Everything is energy. But that doesn’t mean that there’s an even, free-exchange of energy between two people. Some times there is; other times there isn’t. In all likeliness, in most cases, it’s not an even exchange of energy. Generally speaking, one person feels depleted after the exchange.

Comment 2: Babies need love and attention.

I’m not saying they don’t! And I don’t suggest that mothers shouldn’t touch their infants. (Anyone thinking otherwise has misread the text.)

Comment 3: Why do you use the term “stealing”?

Because it’s accurate. Unless you consciously practice black magic, I’m not suggesting that anyone is aware when they are partaking in energy vampirism. Clearly, we’re not. That’s why it represents an aspect of the shadow. The more energetic sensitivity you cultivate, the easier it is to perceive when these types of things begin to occur.

If “stealing” makes you uncomfortable, that’s normal. We’re taught at a young age not to steal. So naturally, the idea that we’re “stealing” creates discomfort.

But here’s a hint: there no aspect of shadow integration that isn’t preceded by discomfort. None.

So just because this word makes you uncomfortable, and just because you want to validate and justify why it’s the “wrong” word, doesn’t mean it’s not entirely accurate.

The Source of Energy Vampirism

Ultimately, the source of energy vampirism is perhaps best explained by Don Juan’s explanation of predators to Carlos Castaneda.

These “predators,” or archetypes, operate through us without our conscious awareness. When we deny their existence, it means we’re listening to their voices in our heads (and assuming these voices are our own).

Clear seeing, as explained in Chan Buddhism, means observing the phenomenon from a place of neutrality. Only then can we be in a position to be mindful of how they operate through us and contain them.


This guide addresses just one of the many dynamics that take place below our level of awareness (hence, unconscious). It’s “unseen,” especially since it’s taking place mainly in our energy body, and not our physical body.

It’s natural to feel uncomfortable with a topic like this, as it’s “fringe” and paints us in a negative light. Yet, avoiding topics like this doesn’t make them go away. It only ensures that these dynamics continue to unfold without us knowing it.