Witchy Wednesdays: A Kitty Rant…

For today’s Witchy Wednesday I was going to feature a couple of nice items that I’d spotted at quite a well-known Wiccan store, but instead I’m going to talk about IP infringement and copyright theft, because it  is pretty rampant amongst the in-world Pagan community, and no one seems to be addressing it.

Seek out a Pagan/Witchy store in Second Life  and you will probably find some textures there being used on posters, pictures and even rugs that shouldn’t be. Some of the most recognisable names in esoteric art are being ripped off, probably unbeknownst to them, and I’m sick of it.

Last night I received a notecard from a store to announce some new items for sale, and off I trotted to take a look. Within seconds I’d found texture rips of images by artists like Anne Stokes and Lisa Parker. There were other images too by artists I am not familiar with, but you can bet your bottom dollar that none of these people  had given permission for their work to be used in this way. They may not even be aware that it can be.

As long as I’ve been in Second Life I’ve seen textures used upon items for sale that aren’t legitimately sourced. It’s nothing new sadly, and is a difficult issue to fight, as I am sure we all know by now.  But visit areas of interest particular to those of us of a Pagan/Wiccan persuasion and the volume seems to increase tenfold. It seems that the stores  aimed at our demographic just can’t exist without ripping off someone else’s work.

It seems strange to me that the in-world Pagan community hasn’t been more strident in insisting that people take a stand against this, and yet many of the well-known markets and meeting places are drowning in stolen imagery.  It’s incredibly depressing.  There are content creators in-world who are Pagan and create original content for sale, for example Robin Sojourner, so if she can do it, why can’t everybody else?

And therein lies the rub; despite the spiritual beliefs that we as a community hold so dear, there is always someone trying to make a fast buck. Or in this case a fast Linden. And for that we should be ashamed.

Please, don’t buy from such places. As tempting as it may be, it’s not right that someone can profit from someone elses artistic creations.  Even if it is just a few Lindens, it doesn’t matter.  Making money from someone else’s hard work is unethical, plain and simple.  I’m also mindful of the Wiccan Rede applying to this situation too.

I don’t want to name and shame, that’s not really my style, but I do think we should take action.  Therefore I’m asking that as a reader of this blog, if you spot textures and artwork  being abused in this way challenge it. Often people don’t think that they’re doing any harm by reproducing works without permission, and feel embarrassed when you point it out to them. But there are some people that just don’t care, and it’s only by standing together and making a point about these actions that we can make a difference.  It’s my firm belief that our sacred in-world communities will not suffer through this, but become stronger.

Think of all the original mesh creations and textures that should be used instead, and how they can enrich the virtual world that we call home.  A tantalising prospect indeed…let’s make it happen.

Witchy Wednesdays: ISON @ THE ARCADE

We haven’t had a Witchy Wednesday for a short while, but this one is a cracker!

I’ve spoken about my love for ISON on these pages before, so I was delighted to read that they would be contributing to this round of THE ARCADE.  I wondered what fashionable delights they would have on offer and eagerly awaited a peek at their wares. Imagine my surprise then when I saw this astonishing decor as their contribution!

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There are nine pieces in this ‘Altar’ set with no rares to worry about, and as you can see it’s pretty fantastic. There’s lots of lovely detail to admire in these mesh pieces which are realistically aged in all the right places. I love the bottles of herbs for spells, the small cauldron-esque bowl with contents ripe for smudging and the pentacle with the horns really looks the part doesn’t it?  But it’s the altar table itself that has really bowled me over; it’s gorgeous, with a Triquetra carved into the front in an ornate style..don’t you just adore this entire set? WOW!

This is a great addition to your Second Life witchy home and of course you can add items to the table to fine tune it into your perfect altar environment. I really love this and  I haven’t seen any mesh altars out in world at all up until now, so it’s a pleasure to feature one on these pages, and at L$50 a pop the ISON gacha is one of the cheapest at the event.  (Plus because there are no rares you should find this an easy set to complete via the gift of yardsales) Oh the joy The Arcade brings!

Click HERE to try getting in to THE ARCADE or click HERE for a comprehensive Yardsale list, courtesy of Seraphim SL

Witchy Wednes..oh stuff it. LOOK AT THIS!!!

I missed my Witchy Wednesday blogging session yesterday, but I’m MORE than going to make up for it today (I hope!) by telling you about something AMAZING which was offered yesterday as part of the weekly ‘Hump Day Happiness’ gig…and is STILL AVAILABLE at Hump Day price until tomorrow, Friday. (Which means you haven’t got long to get one in my timezone, sorry!)The creator is Ivey Deschanel, better known to you and I as the uber-creatrix behind the Sn@tch brand. I’ve seen Sn@tch go from strength to strength over the years during my time in SL, and I know that Ivey works darn hard to make some of the most spectacular Goth/Alternative fashions on the grid. Put simply, you ain’t ever been shopping in Second Life UNTIL you’ve been to Sn@tch.

But I’d go so far as saying Ivey has excelled herself this time. Why? Because Ivey has made a mausoleum……

Exterior shot of the Mausoleum. Functional and tidy isn’t it?

And it’s rather f*cking fabulous. For 69L (I KNOW!!! Pick yourself up off the ground and dust yourself down..OK? Let’s proceed!) I became the owner of a rather glorious yet strangely simple concrete dwelling that would be perfect either on the ground or in the air as a skybox. Mausoleum sounds terrifyingly grandiose doesn’t it? But it’s not half as fancy as you would presume it to be, and that is why it works so effortlessly and is so bloody amazing to boot. Even better, Ivey’s applied the same logic that she applies to her clothing creations so that means quality and functional design embellished with lots of NOM, and I simply have to tell you all about it.

Interior shot of the downstairs featuring the fireplace..I’ve splashed some Witchy around..

The structure is two-story dwelling with a balcony. Nothing remarkable there, but it starts to evoke a Necropolictic ( I don’t *think* that’s a word, but it works so shush) air as soon as you walk toward it. There are a pair of faboosh metal-swing gates that open outwards towards you, and they’re so evocative that in my Kitty-mental head I can hear them spooky-squeaking as they move..I kid you not!! Yes, I make my own sound effects people…anyway, moving on… Above your head as you walk in hangs an Absinthe green gas light, and as you mount the steps you’re overcome with a feeling of…ok, enough of the Edgar Allen Poe. When you walk in you’re directly opposite a fireplace. Nothing fancy here but prime for decorating with your skulls and candles and zombie brains in jars.
You get my drift huh? There are logs crackling and spitting in the hearth ( there goes my mental again, making sound effects up!) and it’s got a load of potential to make into a really special focal point in the room. In fact, the space around you is AMPLE for whatever needs you may have, and Ivey has even supplied a one-prim bookcase to start you off decorating the place a bit. There’s a bearskin rug included too, perfect for laying in front of the fire as you read a grimoire by candlelight..again, a candle has been provided in the total package by Ivey, BUT all these items are optional, you don’t have to use them. Considerate, eh? One thing that I really do rate are the choice of textures that Ivey has deployed in the interior. I love the cracked-plaster effect upon the walls and although Gothically inclined the build is not so dark as to make the space seem plain and boring. She’s made really effective choices for the window texture too..I love it. For the price she could have gotten away with just black walls but she didn’t. Kudos to Ivey for that. Moving upstairs takes you into another large open space. There are two features here that really made me *wow* First up is the stained glass window which felt as though it came out of a Depeche Mode video circa ‘Songs Of Faith And Devotion’ ( If you’re a DM fan you’ll get EXACTLY what I mean, in fact with that in mind it would make a great hangout for a DM fan..hang some pictures of Dave up on the walls..you get the drift) The second is the large window opening out onto a balcony. Ivey has provided some black curtains for you to hang here and they’re super effective and atmospheric as they drift in the breeze.

Another shot of the upstairs area. It’s a great space to work in!

Alas I am TOTALLY prim-skint these days and I’m having to jiggle my objects around my land so that I can best enjoy them, but it struck me that this build is a perfect Witchy hide-out. It’s large enough to hold meetings in for starters, including circle work, and decorated with all your witch-wares ( from stores that I’ve featured previously on the blog, natch) it would look utterly perfect. I have tried to give you a flavour for how good it could potentially  look by placing a few items from my collection in situ to give you a feel for the place, you can do so much with it. It would make a great club actually-the only limit is your imagination and your prim limits..oh how I hate those…<Kitty grumbles>

Guys, you NEED to see this yourself…so here’s a recap on ALL the deets:

Sn@tch ‘Angels Mausoleum’

Two story concrete pre-fab with iron gates, fireplace and balcony. Includes candles, plants bookcase, curtains, rug and Lamp. 75 prims unfurnished.

CLICK HERE TO GO AND BUY ONE!!!

Witchy Wednesdays- A Trip To ‘Prim Ordial’


 

Clever name huh?
Describing itself as a store that retails quality Wiccan goods and artefacts, ‘Prim Ordial’ offers subtle and refined wares. There is nothing flamboyant here; just simple honest to Goddess Wiccan fancy made with quality textures and great attention to detail. There are no textures here that will give you indigestion for example; there’s one particular shade of purple that is very popular with Pagan content creators and I always suffer when I see it…ahem, but it really was a relief to NOT find it here at all.
There is a limited collection of goods to buy in store, but each one is very good indeed, and great value for Linden. Everything is L$200 or less. The range is compact, but covers all the required basics: altars, candles, athames, wands, cauldrons and crystal balls. The store uses vendors, which can be a bit laggy, but be patient because the kit here is seriously worthy stuff. Dolly Vyper is the creator, and I can tell you very little about her because there isn’t much written on her profile, but I can tell you that she is very accomplished at what she does. Original works such as her wooden altar pentacle replete with candles, and her spectacular athames, either crystal-tipped or with a nice chunky handle, are excellent choices for purchase. These are clearly marked as decorative items and they would really enhance a ritual space. There are also 3 cauldrons to choose from with different animations in each, and a couple of lovely, simply animated crystal balls too. Prim efficiency is key here, but scrimping on prims does not mean scrimping on quality and finish. The altar bell for example is 2 prims and has a white ceramic glaze, embellished with a black pentacle. It’s simple and pretty and perfectly matches the sculpted chalices that are also available in a variety of designs.  There’s also a simple goddess statue which you can resize to make a perfect fit on any altar space.
Speaking of which, there is a variety of altars here and all of them are substantial numbers in a variety of finishes. My particular fave is the Wooden Pentacle Altar that is a mere 3 prims,including cloth, and would look the part kitted out with either the God and Goddess Candle Set, or the Elemental Candle Pack which features four coloured candles again with ceramic bases. You can mix and match to your hearts content in here, and I think a great idea would be for Dolly to make a ‘Wiccan Altar Basics’ pack using all her matching items because I’m sure it would be a big seller.
Personally, I believe the range may be particularly appealling to the male Pagan community in-world, due to the clean lines and non-fussy approach to design, but don’t be misled into thinking the range here is overtly masculine in any way. It’s not..so go and take a look, because this simple approach to design really worked for me and I think it will for you too.