Monday, January 29, 2018

Mardi Gras Parade in Shared Fantasy

By Gemma Cleanslate

Laissez les bon temps rouler...It is that time again!! There will be some wonderful Mardi Gras sites in Second Life with parties going on for the next week or so to get ready for the quiet period of Lent . Lots of the colors of Mardi Gras visible: purple representing justice, green for faith and gold for power. This tradition began at the first Mari Gras.  Rex, the King of Mardi Gras, selected the official Mardi Gras colors in 1872 to honor the visiting Russian Grand Duke Alexis Alexis Alexandrovich Romanov, whose house colors were purple, green and gold. The 1892 Rex Parade theme "Symbolism of Colors" affirmed the colors' meaning. And it continues today.

One region is all set and ready to roll. FrannyDJ Dean already has her fabulous parade out on the streets and moving along. This is her fourth annual parade and is in Shared Fantasy this year. From the moment you arrive you feel as if you are now in New Orleans! In the entry I grabbed my beads and a crawfish nibbles and got ready for the parade.There are more beads around on the street. I got some more from a teddy bear. I hopped on the Energizer Bunny float and actually floated in the air next to him as we went down the street. I jumped on a few more floats and watched the others go by. 

I had to take my hair down to wear the derby I wore on a float. To take a break I walked through the park to the Carnival that is set up and took in a few of the rides and fun games set up on the river’s edge next to the steamboat. They have wonderful funnel cakes too.

Back to the parade route it feels like New Orleans French Quarter with the style of the buildings.
There are several clubs worth a visit and some open  bars along the side streets . Don’t miss the Voodoo shop where you can pick up more beads and some charming little masks I ran into Bayou Diesel and had a beignet and daquiri with him . He is hanging out taking pictures and enjoying the Mardi Gras sims before the big day. After our philosophy class our professor and several of the students went over and rode the floats!

Do not miss the parties that will be taking place on the steamboat with FrannyDJ Dean. Always great fun! It would be a good idea to join the group F*A*M*E so you don’t miss the fun. Watch for other Mardi Gras sites to visit .

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, January 22, 2018

Chamonix City

By Gemma Cleanslate

If you want your absolute fill of winter sports, don’t miss the Chamonix City sims. “Fantastic winter sports community inside Second Life! Sims located to the west of Braggiani. Come visit GOHA ice hockey, and try out hockey, snowboarding, cross country skiing, sledding, ice skating, and more. Everything is free! Chamonix-Mont-Blanc  was the site of the 1924 Winter Olympics (the first Winter Olympics). It has been described as "the death-sport capital of the world". GOHA in slGlobal on line hockey association  offices in neutral zone.. can join and get all equipment free.”

This is another superb area where you can experience all the snow fun you want. It is here all year long. There are several landing places in the  regions for different venues. I like the small park after you cross the huge bridge from the mainland sims. Here you find a teleport to some of the sports arenas as well as a lift to the town in Neutral zone town. The Neutral Zone has some interesting offices..GOHA... one for the cheerleaders group.. one for the women’s wrestling group and more.

 I enjoy using the lifts to get around to the fun places for your own winter sports. Besides the great down hill ski slope there is a wonderful ski jump where you can practice or compete for your distance. I did well to get to the bottom on my feet first time! I really need practice but I did manage 35 m before crashing to the ground, tried again and got to 43m . Bobsledding is one sport I have not seen around except for in Chamonix city. That was a hoot! Practice or compete for time on the board. I need practice here too! There is a lift to reach the tops of the hills to participate in all these activities.

Take a friend or two and go over to check out all the wonderful areas . The arenas are all set for games and you are invited to join the group to find out more. Walk around the Neutral Zone town and stop in.

One thing I did before I left was to hop on the pod that took me over the bridge to the mainland sims and took me up the Amundsen road and up into Hanson on the Hanson road. It was a great tour by interesting places. This landmark will put you by the teleporter in the park. .

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Museum of Wizardry at Coniston

By Klaus Bereznyak

The sims comprising the Greater Coniston and Keswick area occupy a portion of the north west corner of the mainland continent of Sansara. It was originally designated as the area where the Lindens themselves would have homes. It lives on as a residential area modeled somewhat on its northern English namesakes. The locality has a number of scenic features, shops and venues run by residents, including the recently re-opened Museum of Wizardry in Blackstone Castle. I caught up with Salient Wizard, the curator of the museum to find out about the museum and his plans for the future.

He tells me: "The Museum of Wizardry is a small example of the many artifacts, images and displays related to the study of secular magick, presented in an educational format for the common person."

It's obvious looking round the museum that the owner is serious and keen to present information clearly without a whole lot of "hocus pocus", but there is a sense of fun here, too. Coffee and punch is available in the entrance lobby and a poster on the wall reminds us that "The only real things in Second Life are our feelings so please take care of each other."

I ask him what he hope visitors will take away with them from their visit. He explained, "I hope they'll understand what these curiosities are without offending their own faith or sensibilities and enjoy their time. It's a world often fantasized about, and twisted by Hollywood. Real Magick isn't shooting Fireballs from a wand, but the slow deliberate improvement of Self and our World, much like Psychotherapy, from which much is based on Old World Magick as Carl Jung (Father of Psychotherapy) discovered. Wizardry is a profession of old, wise men and women who love and use wisdom to guide themselves and their fellow neighbors. Nothing dark or sinister about it at all and definitely not 'satanic'!"

Salient's human spent three happy years in real-life England, during which he visited a "Museum of Witchcraft" that gave him some ideas for his own virtual museum in Second Life. He explains to me: "the English are very proud of their Celtic, druidic and pagan past, and are more tolerant of magick than Americans. Many of the greatest Occult members of the last 100 years were from England: Israel Regardie, Aleister Crowley, Gerald Gardner, Dion Fortune, and even Isaac Newton centuries ago!" Some of these figures from magickal history can be seen on the wall by the staircase in the museum.

In the first room you come to, there are display cases with information and artifacts on the history and practice of Wizardry and Magick, including the Tarot and a variety of different types of "wands" that are used today. There's also some comfy seating and a roaring fire, where weekly "fireside chats" are held at 8pm SLT on Fridays. These are informal opportunities to meet Salient Wizard and discuss wizardry.

In the courtyard of the museum is a special exhibit that will be changed each month. The current display on "Magickal Germany" is due to be changed around January the 15th to one on "Geomancy", which is a form of divination used by medieval peasants and wizards. Apparently it involves poking holes in the dirt to divine answers and has a lot of ties to astrology. It should be fascinating.

Going through doors and climbing stairs reveals more rooms full of artifacts and a wonderful view of the area from the roof.

There are plenty of opportunities to find out more about Magick and Wizardry in Second Life and beyond, for those who may feel inspired to explore further. He acknowledges that there are plenty of books available on the subject and it can be really overwhelming. "A systematic Course of Instruction is the slow and steady way to become comfortable and acquire the skills to work effective magick. Personally I recommend or From there, one can join local groups, often found on If you are new or old to Wizardry, the Greyschool also has an open campus of events at their SL campus here . They also do SL classes based on their website curriculum for students of the school."

Salient Wizard himself teaches classes inworld with help from an owl on his shoulder, called "Horton". "He was a great tool for the kids I taught at Greyschool, His name is Horton, he sees Hoos." The wizard chuckles at his reference to Dr. Suess.

I'm not sure what one should expect on meeting a wizard. This one seems playful, yet passionate about communicating and sharing his knowledge.

"The beauty of Magick is that there is no 'correct' path, it's your personal path." He tells me, quoting Cicero to drive home the point, "Omnia Vivunt, Inter Se Conexa! (Everything is alive and everything is interconnected)."

The Museum of Wizardry:

Klaus Bereznyak

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Skiing At The Linden Chalet

By Gemma Cleanslate

Now that things have settled down a bit after the flurry of the holiday spots and parties it is a good time to enjoy the slopes and frozen rivers and lakes of Second Life. One of my favorite place to visit for a variety of possibilities is the Voss, Wengen, Zermatt, Moritz  area in the "always winter" area of the grid. I always start at the Linden chalet where you an meet some interesting people lounging around or getting ready to go out to the slopes, or down the hill to the lake. My friend and I stopped there before going to the ski lift. There is also a rezz area near by where people meet to check their creations.

When you walk out the door you have the choice of heading east for a ski lift, or west for another ski lift.  I like both areas. The ski lifts give you a wonderful view of the valleys with homes and shops below. It is a pleasant ride up and at the top you will find free boots and skis. There is a choice of cross country or downhill. Try both.

The views on the way down both slopes are lovely. Try the cross country skiing also which is partly downhill. We did that this time.

After warming up in the lodge go down the hill to Lake Zermatt. You can skate on that lake for long distances wearing free skates found there or your own. Skate balls give a choice for skating with a partner , alone , or performing tricks on the ice. If you have your own skating hud it is a great place to try out all the runs and jumps.This makes for a pleasant day.

Near by on the road to the east you can grab a ride on a small train or jump on a pod and get a look at the spots along the road  you might like to visit.

If you have  horse you might like to meander through the lower hills . I like to do that too and my horse does very well through the snow. When I returned another day I did skate to the other side of Lake Zermatt and found a delightful little cafe overlooking the road where you can get a wonderful view of the lake area and a hot drink. I had hot tea and a cherry mini pie.

Go check it all out and have a terrific skiing day in Second Life.

Gemma Cleanslate