Of Witch & Wand, and Bell & Broom…

Hi everyone! I’ve been away for a few days in RL and haven’t been around to blog properly, so it’s time to make amends for that methinks! I have a couple more posts on my Witchy theme to share with you then back to normal service, with ‘Witchy Wednesdays’ running every week from the tenth of February onwards.

I’ve found another superb place in world which I truly feel is essential visiting for the Second Life Pagan. This has to be one of the best Pagan shopping experiences on the grid being imaginative and full to the brim of genuinely wonderful witchy wares. Not only that, the prices are excellent too.

In fact, I’m talking about two stores, located opposite each other and owned by Second Life friends Nahnee Adamski and Scojo Zanzibar. I’m going to begin by telling you about ‘Bell And Broom’, which is Scojo’s store, and he describes it as a ‘Modern Day Pagan Shoppe’. This store features some really nifty items and it’s well worth you taking the time to explore, so I recommend that you don’t rush if you can help it. As soon as you walk in the awesome goodies leap out at you; for starters there are reuseable spell candles priced at a VERY reasonable L$99. They’re scripted, so you touch them to write your intention which remains in place above the candle for 24 hours. They’re available in lots of different colours, making these the perfect choice for in-world candle magic, and at such a reasonable price you can afford to build up quite the collection! Opposite are the low prim cauldrons, priced from L$99, which come with touch on/off fire effect and are just the ticket for your witchy workshop. I would have preferred it if the interior of these was just black, rather than green, but as cauldrons go these are perfectly adequate. Walk further in to the store and you’ll find other candles that last 8 hours only before completely de-rezzing. Each is for a specific purpose, these are L$49 but you can buy a pack featuring 8 candles for L$199. Again, these are great value and perfect for more particular spell work. There’s also a really nifty novelty item in here, the ‘Magical Self-Cleaning Broom’, which is very ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ and would look perfect in your parlour.

Walk a little further and you’ll find altar bells, Goddess statues, skull candle holders and various signs. All of these are really well crafted, but some of the textures just don’t work for me. For example, I’d prefer a plain silver texture as the embellishment upon the Altar Pentacles, rather than the silver, bronze or gold with a semi-sparkly effect. It just puts me off. Plain would be a much better choice, or even better than that, texture change. The Goddess statues are perfect for your altar, and you’ll also find salt and water bowls here too, as well as smudge sticks and abalone shells. There are also a variety of wooden broomsticks here too for protecting your threshold, again these are absolutely spot on BUT the pentacle upon each is in that dratted sparkly silver texture. GAAHHH!

There are plenty of Altar arrangements on sale here. The ‘Three Prim Altar’ is very simple; featuring a lovely draped tablecloth and crystal in the centre. Again, I can’t say that I’m mad about the texture choice here, in this case for the table underneath the tablecloth. OK, it’s not *that* noticeable, BUT it’s a bit naff. In contrast, the tablecloths themselves are perfectly serviceable.

Next up are the complete altar kits; again a smashing idea BUT let down again by poor texture choices:( That said, these win plus points on the facility to remove or add pieces as you wish, and change individual item textures, including ancestral photographs, but the altars themselves aren’t so hot. Again, the opportunity to modify or choose from an appearance menu would pay dividends here, because they are really natty packages. Next to these are some meditation altars that ARE modifiable, with space for plenty of objects as you sit and ponder matters metaphysical in your sacred space.

There are some very pretty crystal balls on sale here too, and there’s a sign that actually states that the prices are currently reduced by 50%. I tend towards plain and simple but these are quite flamboyant in aspect, being available in a myriad of sizes and colours, so weren’t really for me. I did gravitate towards the black crystal ball but again I wasn’t keen on the texture deployed on the stand…you can guess what kind it was:) However I do rate the wee tables to either side of the display, available in either Rosewood or Aged style, these are resplendent with a starburst shaped surface meaning that they are perfect for housing statement pieces such as candles, crystal balls or statuary.

You’ll also find some pretty astonishing looking Grimoires here at ‘Bell And Broom’and at L$229 these are genuine investment pieces which are absolutely perfect if you have a coven or group in-world. These are transferable and can hold and dispense unlimited notecards. They also look the part too, and will have ‘Charmed’ fans peeing in their panties.(Note: There are a number of ‘Charmed’ themed items in this store, including jewellery and pre-cast circles) Unfortunately the books aren’t lockable, BUT you can purchase a humongous matching box to keep them in which does have a locking facility, so if you want to keep your virtual musings private perhaps it’s an idea to invest L$149 on one of those..

Other items to note in ‘Bell And Broom’ include an array of cloaks and hats, various metaphysical prints, jewellery and a range of coffins and tombs! These are pretty cool actually, I can’t say I’m fully in the loop on virtual caskets and all things un-dead but these are actually very smart, although the red one did remind me of a ‘Snap-On’ tool box…

Outside the store, moving towards ‘Witch And Wand’ you’ll see lots of seating, signage and various ritual items for sale. There’s also cave for you to explore, and various garden furniture items, including magical gazebos. I especially liked the ‘Winter Gazebo’ with its gently falling snowflakes. There are beautiful weather vanes and wind chimes too with which to decorate the outside of your home. You can also buy your very own purple labyrinth or Beltane May pole, a groovy magical mushroom ring or even a Zen garden. Something especially nice is the tribute garden to those who were executed at Salem after being falsely accused of Witchcraft, and you can visit here, light a candle and lay a flower at the memorial wall. It’s very touching to see a memorial like this created in-world and shows a lot of thought and dedication on the part of the sim owners.

Moving on to ‘Witch And Wand’ now, which is very similar to ‘Bell And Broom’ in that it carries some of the same ranges, BUT it also has lots to offer on its own. This store is Nahnee Adamski’s and just like at ‘Bell And Broom’ there are some spectacular items to be discovered here. I *LOVE* nick-knacks and wee objects that help add authenticity to your virtual home and you’ll find a vast array of goodies in-store that will do just that. For a start, I LOVE the Pentacle made from 5 crossed brooms as well as the Pentacle wall-shelf. A very nifty idea! It would be even better if the shelf was colour change, but it’s a great way to display your ‘precious things’. I also really like the various wands, wand holders and staffs which I thought were splendid little creations. The wands are of course wearable and although a wee bit ‘Harry Potter’ for my taste they are actually really lovely. The staffs are also very handsome, topped with either Amethyst or Mother of Pearl, my personal favourite.

Again there are various altars dotted all around the store. I didn’t really rate the majority of the actual altars, preferring the objects placed upon them instead, but I did like the storage boxes and I thought that ‘The Altar In A Box’ idea was really fabulous, everything you need in a beautiful box for L$600.

But here’s an odd thing; for some reason the store sells curtains, which seem at odds with the rest of the wares that are on display. These didn’t really work for me, BUT I did like the Pagan Prayer flags in assorted designs that are situated across from these textiles. Under the staircase you’ll see some more lovely wall and door hangings in various designs but they practically all feature that damned sparkly silver texture which, by this time as I’m sure you can tell, I was detesting more each time I saw it!

Moving on and behind the wall hangings are a range of tattoos featuring various Witchy and Voodoo artworks. These weren’t really to my taste but worth checking out if you like that sort of thing I guess. There are eyes on sale too which were much nicer but a tad too beady for me, so I carried on exploring and found myself in the fashion department. The Witch Boots are really posh, featuring tasselled embellishments and I also noted two rather dandy 2 prim gothic picture frames available to purchase too. The fashions here are traditional garb, and if gowns are your fetish then I do recommend that you check the range out here. Although they really aren’t my thing at all I have to say that the ‘Wench Dress’ and the ‘Spider Web Gown’ are really something special and are displayed on mannequins so you get the full benefit of the lavish skirting that completes each gown.

This is the section where you’ll find all the jewellery too and there are LOTS of different Pentagram necklaces at very reasonable prices, and some of them feature a far more normal silver texture than is the norm for this store, BUT yet again there’s that dratted sparkly texture everywhere. There are circlets for rituals available here too and they are some of the nicest I’ve seen on the grid thus far. This is also the only place I’ve found that offers Gardenerian degree necklaces, all perfectly represented and just the thing if you want to display your degree status. Note, to the left of these is a box which features the grand opening gift, so make sure you pick one of those up!

As I said before there’s a LOT of original thinking on display here and none more so than the rather sweet ‘Witch is in/Witch is out’ signs that you can use to park your broom. I really like these, you have to manually touch the sign to rotate it to reflect your status and the broom is removable too. At L$300 they are pricey, but make a nice finishing touch to the exterior of your property. But if I thought the curtains were random, then the Neko parts that are on sale here too are even more so! They seem adequate enough, but don’t have a witchy twist. Perhaps the ears could be pierced with Pentacles, and the tails could be decorated with miniature witch charms to create a more appropriate and original Neko range? I have no doubt that they’d be extremely popular. Oh, and you must check out the Altar supplies stand. It features pentacles, bells, spell jars and rather lovely bolines…it seems that everything is included here.

If you venture upstairs you’ll find more Gothically inclined items, including more curtains and a dining room set. There are also prints available, melted candles and skulls galore. Behind a partition you’ll find more prints and a couple of coffins too, these differ in design to the ones at ‘Bell And Broom’ and in my opinion they weren’t as good. But hey, you may prefer these.

To be perfectly honest, this sim is pretty much a one stop shop for all your Pagan needs, and I doubt that there is anything that these owner/creators haven’t considered making or have stashed in their respective inventories somewhere. With that in mind I insist that you visit because I can’t possibly do justice to both these stores upon this page, you have to see them to get the full benefit.

That said, I do think both Scojo and Nahnee need to rethink their texture strategies. Some (not all) of the textures deployed across the items are just plain ugly; the silvery texture I was constantly referring to throughout this item is especially unpleasant and looks very dated. In fact, I think some of the texturing choices will put a lot of purchasers off – it certainly did limit my spending which is such a shame because had the items in question been presented differently I could have quite easily bought most of the contents of both stores! Guys, if you’re reading this I don’t want to appear harsh, but please consider changing some of the textures you employ upon your lovely items because if you do, I can pretty much guarantee your sales will increase.

I also implore you to make more of your items MODIFY, this would come in handy with the altars and altar cloths, and items such as the labyrinth situated outside, which I almost bought for my own land until I noted that it wasn’t modify., and I didn’t fancy having a purple labyrinth on my garden! (Please consider deploying texture change scripts on some of your items to enable them to have a much wider appeal, and I’ll be back with my lindens ready like a shot!)

All things considered though, I wouldn’t fail to recommend this place to anyone seeking Pagan items in-world, and I heartily encourage you to visit it. Oh, and as a final note, you can also rent a home here just like at Covenstead, Artemis and Sacred Cauldron, but I’ll leave the discovery of the rental cottages up to you…suffice to say they are rather sweet Medieval numbers.

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