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!