Passing through a Witchwood in Second Life

Witchwood; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrWitchwood, June 2019

Witchwood is the name give to the Full region home of the Petite Mort and Oubliette stores, both of which are owned by Melora Frost (insilvermoonlight). It’s a location I’ve been aware of for a while, the region also being the home of the RMS Titanic dance venue (a quite separate build), which has been a semi-regular destination for us for a good while.

As well as being the home of the two stores, one to the east and the other to the west, the half of the region they occupy has been landscaped by Melora to provide a place of exploration, relaxation and photography – and it is very beautifully laid out.

Witchwood; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrWitchwood, June 2019

The landing point occupies the middle ground between the two stores: a low-lying paved area crowned by a fountain that overlooks a small lake backed against high cliffs to the north. This space, with a deck built out over the water and falls dropping from on high, can be a restful place unto itself, with swans swimming on the water from which ornate lotus lilies rise, and places to sit and enjoy the sounds of the falls and the ripples of the water. However, signs close by suggest it might also be the location for occasional flash sales, so there may be times when it is a little less restful!

Three paved paths exit the landing point, those pointing east and west, marked as they are by arches, lead the way to the stores as they sit on higher ground fronted by small formal gardens. The third points south, offering access to a cosy little beach by way of a slightly more distant arch.

Witchwood; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrWitchwood, June 2019

But it is the ground between the stores, sitting beneath the boughs of tress and within small glades in the mists of their green canopy, that the magic of the setting resides. Here, on one side of the path pointing to the beach, and just off the route up to Petite Mort, is a marvellous wild garden sitting among ancient ruins. Flagstones still lie in place on the ground, while ancient walls divide the space under the tall arms of trees into the suggestions of former rooms or halls.

Plants appear to grow wild here, but it is evident from the lay of the grass and the cared-for waters of the koi pond deep among the ruins, that these spaces are actually well tended, the feeling of wild growth carefully cultivated.

Witchwood; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrWitchwood, June 2019

Within this garden are many points of interest, from the chaise lounge sitting atop an one stone stairway that perhaps once climbed much higher inside whatever building the ruins once were, the shaded soda close by, or the chaise and chair finished in imperial purple and standing guard either side of an old gramophone player in space clearly intended for photography.

Just off of the path leading to Oubliette is a slightly darker themed, but no less engaging, scene: that of an old graveyard. A single path spotted by flagstones runs between headstones, tombs and mausoleum, many lit by candles, to reach an old stone ring of arches that fold within their arms the statue of an angel.

Witchwood; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrWitchwood, June 2019

Stone benches are placed along the path for those who wish to rest in solitude here, and I have to admit that during our visit an aged piano sitting on the path to the beach happened to be playing the adagio sostenuto from Beethoven’s evocative Moonlight Sonata, which added a certain depth to exploring here.

As well as being beautifully laid-out, there is a wonderful juxtaposition within this setting that might be easily overlooked, but which  – to me at least – adds a further poetic depth to the design. Sitting below Petite Mort (“little death” (or dead, if you prefer)), are old ruins that many or may have once been a castle or fortress – places that may well once have had an oubliette (a dungeon with an opening only at the top) deep within them. Then, just below Oubliette there sits a small graveyard, a place one might say of a “little death”. Thus, the stores are cross-linked by the themes of the settings over which they respectively stand.

Witchwood; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrWitchwood, June 2019

Captivating throughout, Witchwood offers a place to visit and appreciate in its own right, even if you are not specifically shopping there. opportunities for photography lie throughout, either using the default windlight (found within the About Land description) or by setting one of your own. For those visiting purely for the opportunity to explore and who are minded to show their appreciation for such an engaging environment, tip jars are provided in a number of places.

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