Witchy Wednesdays: Ostara Edition

I realise that I haven’t  produced a ‘Witchy Wednesday’ post in a VERY long time, so here’s a quick post. Today is Ostara after all, a time for new beginnings and fresh starts, so I felt spurred on to write for you all; but what to write about?

In need of inspiration, I took a trip over to Witchfest island Mall.  In real life I used to be a member of the Children Of Artemis, so it’s always pleased me no end that they have representation in world. But truth be told, the mall is looking somewhat depleted these days. The always wonderful Artemis Tavern is still going strong, and servicing the community with pride, but I can’t help but feel that it’s time for an image change.  I stayed and had a good nosy around, but I didn’t see many sculpted items for sale, let alone any mesh.   In fact compared to other areas of Second Life it looks very dated indeed. This saddens me, and it pains me to say that, because I have a lot of admiration for the people that put in their time and effort to run the community there, but  I really do think that the area desperately needs freshening up and a re-model is past due. That aside the area is still VERY popular with Witches, Wiccans and Pagans in Second Life, and rightly so, so please don’t think I’m dissing it entirely, I just think an image change would bring even more people to the shops and into the wonderful community that resides there.

After my quick wander round I felt a tad-deflated, so I had a nosey at in-world search and an ad for Raven Keep piqued my interest.  I’ve never heard of it before, so I TP’ed over to take a look, and it’s rather interesting!

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There are a great array of items here for any Second Life Witch to enjoy.  You’ll discover lots of home ware at great prices, with many unique, pleasing touches.   It’s clear that the owner, Karra Babii, has a great imagination which is just what you want to see when it comes to all things Witchy! You’ll see cauldrons in various sizes as well as weather-vanes, wiccan signs and textures and ritual equipment.  There’s a black Altar that would certainly look the part at the centre of a ritual; with the black and shiny marble giving it a really masculine feel. Something for the male Witch in your life perhaps?Image

You’ll also spy some  really nice prim spell books, goblets mugs and drinking vessels, and my favourite part of the store was the herbal collection and apothecary.   This is great fun; a startling array of jars and potions all with labels detailing the concoctions inside; Earthworms, Petrified Butterflies or Dragon Flesh anyone?  Stick a few of these in your kitchen and see who notices!The Wiccan Attic Wash Table’s are very pretty and modern, with a sort of shabby chic, and would look good as a mini-altar in the home. There’s space to fit a Crystal ball or statue, wand and candle on the top, and at L$99 they’re not going to break the bank.

A quick sprint to Sable Rose so I can quickly  mention of an old favourite of mine, the Ostara jewellery set.

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I’ve always liked Rosie’s designs, and I’ve always loved the male and female versions of this particular set and worn them both with pride (I’ve kinda always liked the male version better..shh!) but it’s the perfect item to wear to an Ostara ritual, or to gift to a friend on the Spring Equinox, so do go and check it out.

ImageI’ve just learned  that my favourite altars of all time, from Peculiar Designs, have been upgraded to make them even more awesome!   Alas, they’re a little too prim heavy for my everyday use, but I’m hopeful that in the near future perhaps esteemed creator Poppy Teskat will come up with something to alleviate the prim count a smidgen, because to be perfectly honest I’ve yet to find altars that are this good. I’ve seen some that come very close, but there’s just something about the way her items are constructed that makes them worth the L$450 price tag. That may seem steep, but consider these an investment as you will never need another altar in-world again. In my pictures above I’m displaying the older versions which are still stylish after a few years, but  I notice that Poppy now has new versions for sale that feature different rezzable props for each Sabbat. If you‘re planning your ritual for this weekend let me tell you that the Ostara version of this altar features a moon-gazing hare!  How delightful is that?! (Picture below taken from Poppy’s marketplace listing)

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The Altars themselves are available in some really lovely wood textures now too. as well as featuring previous details such as their changeable textiles and metals .I know I said they’re prim heavy BUT if you have the spare prims to accommodate these altars then I seriously wouldn’t think twice before  splashing out.  I notice from Poppy’s profile that she’s got quite the year ahead of her but I really hope she finds the time to come into Second Life and add even more to her range of amazing Wiccan items..wouldn’t some sculptie prims or even mesh be just wonderful?

Last but not least, I zoomed over to Gaia Rising,which is probably my favourite Pagan sim in Second Life, to see if they were having an Ostara ritual there. I’ve featured their lovely rituals on these pages before, but sadly when I got there I couldn’t see anyone around.  Instead I lit a candle and threw a wish into their wishing cauldron  before taking a slow, enjoyable walk around.  (I had some fun taking a few pictures of the area using the ‘depth’ feature in the camera options, and then added some light via Picmonkey, the result is below)

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Whatever you’re doing for Ostara, may it be a very blessed time for you indeed.

I hope I can find some lovely Witchy items to feature again here in the near future, especially quality  sculpties or mesh items, so if you know of any be sure to drop me an IM in-world and let me know!

Witchy Wednesdays (a bit late) Beltane Edition

In between blogging my shapes and recovering from my surgery I’ve been trying to find out which Pagan groups in-world will be holding Beltane rituals this weekend.  Beltane is a fire festival, so bonfires are a traditional way of celebrating this day. In days of old womenfolk would jump over the bonfire as a symbolic way of increasing their fertility; in fact, that’s what Beltane is all about.  May poles..what do they remind you of, hmm?  That’s right, Beltane goes hand in hand with Bonking!  It’s said that in olden times after the village celebrations had drawn to a close, many couples would make their way to the fields to make love and symbolically fertilise the earth to ensure a good harvest…It’s an earthy, lusty festival with a party atmosphere and a perfect way to celebrate the forthcoming summer!

So, what’s happening in Second Life this Beltane? One of my favourite Pagan sims, Gaia Rising, will be holding TWO rituals for Beltane.  These are on  Saturday May 1st at 6 PM slt and on Sunday May 2nd at 12pm noon slt, with the ritual being led by Enchantress Sao and Deadeye Foggarty, so I’m sure some of Deadeye’s wonderful music may be involved!

Beltane Circle at Gaia Rising

Having attended the Ostara ritual I can tell you it’s a lovely experience to be part of a Gaia Rising ritual.  If you have voice enabled then even better, because the rituals do tend towards using it and it’s especially nice to hear the quarters called and dismissed by ritual participants…all those accents from across the globe are simply fabulous to hear. You can still participate if you don’t have voice though; I was honoured to be asked to call and dismiss a quarter but my mic broke, so I wrote it in chat and it worked fine. (Tip, write in a note card beforehand then just publish it when asked so people don’t have to wait for you to finish your typing, it compromises the virtual energy in the circle if you have to wait a while)

I do recommend you arrive early if you intend to participate in the festivities here because the rituals are always well attended. Arriving around 15 minutes beforehand should do the trick.

Sacred Cauldron is holding a different kind of celebration on April 30th, at 7pm SLT. They’re choosing to focus this Beltane upon the energy of Venus, and plan an exploration of the senses, Second Life style! The organisers ask that participants wear tasteful lingerie to ‘delight the visual sense’, and request that attendees arrive with an emote that encapsulates a favourite physical sensation, eg eating chocolate, drinking vintage wine, smelling beautiful perfume., the choice is yours! The plan is to transcend the limitations of the virtual world and be taken on a sensory adventure.It sounds like this will be a very sensual ritual indeed, and I imagine it will be heaving with participants, so arrive early to secure your place. It’s going to be held in the Aphrodite tent area of the sim..doesn’t that sound enticing?

Aphrodite Tent Area at Sacred Cauldron

In fact, love is most definitely in the air at Sacred Cauldron for on May 1st at 5pm SLT, Belladonna Yarrowroot and Jackalope Farspire will be holding their handfasting.  Beltane is traditionally a time of such celebrations, and I’m sure many Pagan couples will be wed this weekend both in real life and Second.  If you’ve never attended a handfasting before, why not make use of Bella and Jack’s open invitation and attend their betrothal? This link will take you there.

I can’t find any notices that say Seasons Altar is holding a Beltane celebration, but it’s always nice to pay the sim a visit and light a candle at Spirit Falls.  It’s amazing to see how many candles are in situ there , and reassuring  to acknowledge that this little corner of  Second Life offers so many avatars a place to come light a candle and say a prayer when needed..

Oh, and don’t forget that the “Wheel Of  The Year Hunt- Beltane” is still ongoing. Refer to the blog for clues, and there is an in-world group that you can join too.

Finally, all that’s left is for me to leave you with this blessing, and wish you a wonderful Beltane however you decide to celebrate.  Me? I shall be doing a wee ritual alone, and will endeavour to attend one of the group rituals in-world.  I always enjoy a glass or two of wine and my annual viewing of ‘The Wicker Man’ at this time of year too!

Be thee Maiden, Mother, and Crone,
Taking possession of all to me belonging.
Horned God, the Wild Spirit of the Forest,
Protect me with truth and honor.
Satisfy my soul and shield my loved ones,
Blessing every thing and every one,
All my land and my surroundings.
Great gods who create and bring life to all, I ask for your blessings on this day of fire.