Thursday, October 6, 2011

DANTE'S INFERNO by Rebeca Bashly

Entrance to Hell
Through me the way to the infernal city: 
Thougt me the way to eternal sadness: 
Through me the way the way to the lost people

These are the opening words to Rebeca Bashly's Inferno, Dante's words. Bashly's build is a work of art that soars high above the Second Life grid, and high above most standards of art inworld! Yet be wary.This build is disturbing, very disturbing. The vision's of Dante's 14th century hell fly in the face of our time. I noted in particular the demonization of the ancient Greek creatures that later in the romantic period of art took on such noble character. Of course, Harpies, and The Furies have only been considered helpful in Dianic Pagan circles, certainly not the 9 Circles of Hell depicted by Dante.
Harpies Like the Gorgon Sisters
That vision of the world was fueled by the terrors of the plague and witchcraft, the ancient earth bases spiritual traditions persecuted, and their practitioners tortured and burned at the stake. But Dante is more concerned about your normal sinners: grafters, hypocrites, gluttons, and the like. At least the Pagans were merely condemned to Limbo (one of the more benign areas of Rebeca's build), because they were born too soon to have Jesus die for their sins. 
Lost Souls in Limbo
Virgil & I Survey Seers Being Punished
The Greedy
One area that truly disturbed me was the River Styx. As a Dianic Pagan, I am ferried across these narcotic waters on a barge, led by the Dark Goddess Hecate, each Halloween. To many modern day Neo-Pagans, this is the highest holy day or Sabbat. It is a time of the ancestors, our New Year, the Blood Harvest. Consequently, the image of bloody waters where the condemned dead feed upon one another is horrific! This is my response, I felt the weight of history upon me, not as a Christian, but the history of women murdered as witches as the result of this kind of belief system. I felt the sacrilege of demonizing the Greek immortals. In fact, I find it interesting that Dante chose a Greek motif for hell; basically unbelievers punishing sinners? Of course Dante was inspired by Virgil. And of course, ultimately the bastardization of The Great Horned God being propagandized into Satan.
Cannibalistic River Styx
Of course you MUST see this build! Rebeca Bashly's work is amazing! It will disturb sinner and saint alike! Though what is important here is that Dante is memorialized. Those unfamiliar with the work, or that century, will get a real feel of the terror, and the darkness of the times. Those familiar with Dante's Inferno, will need no other explanation. So stop by this incredibly meticulous work of art for a tour led by Virgil, and teleport to each of the Circles of Hell. If nothing else, it will make you very happy to be living in the 21st century! But none of these pictures do justice to the sheer magnitude of Bashly's work. You just have to immerse yourself.

Meeting Mr. Big
Here is your link to the INFERNO!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Yes, there are now meeroos at Dark Moon. I swore I would never introduce breedables to my Second Life, but guess what? The meerroos introduced themselves to me. Just as Dark Moon is an ancient ecosystem endemic to SL, so too are meeroos the very first indigenous animal species. Consequently, it is not at all surprising that many have migrated to Dark Moon.
 The meeroos seem to prefer the highlands, we have found. So it is there that my research team set up a garden in which to study this lifeform. At first we suspected that the meeroos would run off into the hills, but lo~ they do indeed like the berries we have been providing.
Also brought to my attention, by the research team, was the existence of wild meeroos that only very occasionally would peer into the garden enviornment, as if to see what our now tamed meeroos were up too. We thought they might begin to steal food, but that turned out not to be the case. If anything, the wild meeroos have lured at least one of our research subjects out to the wild.
There is a folk story among the breeding community. Once I got ahold of this story, I was quick to share it with both my research team, and these highly intelligent animals. What follows is one version of the legend:
Once upon a time there was a little autumn coated meeroo who had very low regard (as you most likely know, SL breeders have become competitive and rank their meeroos in regard). This little autumn felt unloved and abandoned. Adding insult to injury (or so she thought at the time), the little autumn coat was released to the wild! Now many captive meeroos have heard rumors that the wild is a very unpleasant place, that "Out There" they will starve, that no one will pet them and they will have NO regard at all! So needless to say, the little autumn coat was terrified to find herself out on her own.
 The little autumn wandered forlornly through the forests and down the paths she found feeling very dejected. But suddenly, upon coming around a bend, the little autumn coat met a unicorn. She was quite surprised by the unicorn greeting her too! The unicorn could see the little autumn was terrified and quickly reassured her. He told her how there was not only a whole community of released meeroos like herself, but that the wild meeroos still lived in the hills, and that these wild ones graciously accepted ferrals into their midst. Not only that, but the unicorn pointed the way to one encampment he knew of.
The little autumn coat followed the unicorn's instructions and soon found herself entering a large glade in the forest...AND IT WAS FULL OF MEEROOS! Some bounded up to her curiously and welcomed her! The whole glade was ringed with wild berry bushes and all the meeroos there were eating and dancing and breeding! Basically having a very good time!
Soon the little autumn coat was befriended by a gang of other autumn coats (and one ursine) who began to explore the wild together. In fact, it was this very gang that discovered an new berry more delicious than any other berry, more delicious than any berries they had ever been fed in captivity! So our little released autumn coat lived happily ever after.
Now it is my policy to read this story to my captive meeroos, and my research team and I often give them the option to be released. We carefully instruct them that the helpful unicorn lives just south of the garden, through the fairy arches . . . however, we don't really tell them about that special wild berry, because we are afriad they might all leave then, and who would we study?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Now on display at UTSA Art Space is what I hear is Igor Ballyhoo's final build! Golly I hope not! But I must say it is SPECTACULAR!


Set to Beethoven's 7th, the installation is a dark, cyborg-esque aerial landscape. Floating islands create stairs up to various smaller works. Often they support rusty partial human figures that read like Bosch. In one floating island room two cynical rusty cupid figures guard an imprisoned time piece, or at least that is how it appears to me. Many of the figures appear mutilated and dangerous as they march time to the dramatic chromatic bass line of Beethoven's coda. It is a march to a dark future.

Now I usually do not like dark works, and I do not know that this installation was build with Beethoven's 7th in mind. The combination, however made me feel as if I was to accept some sort of futuristic doom joyfully.
The juxtaposition left my avatar dancing ballet dementedly amongst the floating islands. Also the tempered use of glow inspired Neph to dance in a small electric gazebo she found.
And although black, white, and red have been done to death, the blood dripping UP from the central chessboard platform was a reassuring reference to Alice in Wonderland, not to mention Steven King!
Remnants of Igor's Scissor Forest circle menacingly through the sky as if to say, "Remember me."  (see my "Art & About" for pics of the scissor forest!). Gee~ I hope he comes back!

Friday, July 1, 2011

New Discoveries! Telepathic Swamp Lilies!

The Intrepid Researcher

Our research team has just discovered a new species of plant life that has sprung up practically over night here in the Bog of Dark Moon! These are telepathic swamp lilies! At first we marveled at the swamp lilies beauty alone. They seem to exude a blue light. But we notices that more were sprouting up and that that blue rays of light seemed to connect these plants.  One of our more adventuresome researchers (trusting the process, and her previous experience here on Dark Moon) decided to step into the beam of light that radiated out from these plants. She was quite surprised at the sensations she experienced and reported them to us all. Apparently the swamp lilies (much like the Puffer Lilies) are a communicative plant. Whereas the Puffer Flower mists an avatar to communicate the essence of the Bog, the telepathic swamp lilies keep the all of the plants in the Bog in direct contact with one another! However, this is only discovered by extremely sensitive avatars that are not afraid to let this information emerge. Yes, I am sorry to say this is one area most of us are left out of the loop. The Swamp Lilies only "bloom" when there is enough disruption to the ecosystem to require that the plant align with intent.
The Northern Line of Communication
Our brave, and extremely sensitive researcher found that the extreme amount of avatar traffic on Dark Moon had indeed precipitated a need for the plants to be sure that all life forms were in tune with the loving nature of the ecosystem. Hence, they had "bloomed" over night to facilitate communication. You may see the Telepathic Swamp Lilies at the extreme edges of the Bog, mostly the north and east, where most avatar activity occurs.
Leigh Lines of Communication
But no worries, the plants have it all under control! The vibrations of love and compassion will not be trampled. We have here an opportunity to witness the direct control, or shall I say emergent properties, of this ecosystem! Indeed it is a thrill to witness such cooperation and communication skills between plants in the face of other life forms! We will keep you informed of future developments!
Moon Fruit Trees Kept in the Loop!
Enjoy,     Neph~

Telepathic Swamp Lilies by soror Nishi : )

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Unicorn

Meeting the Unicorn!
Most people understand that unicorns are rare and noble creatures. Recently, I was happy to discover a Unicorn had migrated to Dark Moon from a magical land! Years ago, I found many Unicorns while excavating a cave!

I first encountered this Unicorn on Dark Moon today! He was a bit skittish and so was I! 

Taming each other
Somehow we saw into each others souls, and later I realized that the loving flora of Dark Moon had made this happen easily. The Unicorn told me of his journey from a magical land he lived in full of fairies and elves. Apparently this Unicorn is an adventuresome character and migrated to Dark Moon from another world, just as the hippos had previously!

So we became fast friends! We walked the rivers and forests of Dark Moon together and played! We both happen to be VERY playful, so that is definitely good!  : )
Becoming Friends
I was just showing my new friend the wishing well here at Dark Moon, when suddenly I was overtaken by a dizzy spell! I don't know if it was the shining trees blooming, or perhaps I had slightly overdosed on seed pods...but I passed out! My Unicorn friend nudged me to no avail, he later told me!
What happened at the well
But this Unicorn is a healer! He reared up, and asking the loving flora for help, managed to send loving healing energy to me! This helped and I became conscious, but I still could not walk!

Unicorns Heal
Of course the Unicorn had been communing with the plant life, and watching where avatars hung out, so he knew to take me to the Green House for help.
Carrying me to the Green House
My new friend delivered me right to the door!

Taking me inside

Of course, now that we are great friends, we mostly hang out where we first met. The Unicorn seems to like this part of Dark Moon the best. Although he does not mind the water of the Bog, he seems to prefer the high country. Hey, that's ok! : ))

Unicorn Home
This particular Unicorn told me he was great friends with Faery Sola of Studio Sidhe (well, of course he would check in at a Fae land upon arriving in SL). Her shop and fabulous creations can be found here:  Be sure to check out the wonderful forest below the store!

The magical Wishing Well is by Klyks Klees and can be found at: Thanks Klyks! : )