Behind the Veil

by Anne Duthers

When I step through the veil, it is a bit like a waking dream. I can fly.

But mostly I stumble around, walking into walls, off cliffs, into oceans. I’m just learning how. When I do fly, stopping in time is troublesome too. I will often end up stuck – half way in a wall, or entirely inside a solid structure, as if I were a ghost. I am trapped there, until I teleport out of trouble. And just like a dream, there are times I end up naked in public with no intention or desire to be that way. This is discomforting, too. But like I said, I’m still learning how to do all these things, on the other side of the veil.

This is the way things are in my second favorite place to be online. And this is where I am planning a new herb garden. Welcome to Second Life and the virtual campus for Grey School of Wizardry!

I am, let us be very clear about this, a Luddite. Preferring brooms to vacuum cleaners, real books over e-books, and sailboats over speedboats, I gave my children a hard time when they played any computer games. I wish I’d done this differently. My preference for sunshine and mudpies, showed as distain for the binary. Battles ensued. I knew it was addicting – but I didn’t know why.

But did I mention, I can fly, now? …and swim, without equipment!

Of course, I use a computer for work, always have. And maybe my work ethic was the problem. Wouldn’t even consider going down that rabbit hole unless my work, my life work, had tied a carrot to a string and got me to give chase. Yet here, I find myself teaching a seven-foot-tall elf with flaming red hair- my avatar- how to dance for Beltaine ritual. As it is said on this side of the veil: lol.

And what have these adventures to do with Wortcunning and Wizardry? Well, it is also here that I teach a few classes and, as a project, we are planning a magickal garden. I know, ROFLMAO. My children, now grown, think this is all hilarious, too. However, we, in the Grey School Garden Club -meeting weekly at the rooftop gardens on virtual campus- do not care. We are planning something grand on a virtual scale, virtual on a grand scale, or both.

Wortcunning classroom at Grey School of Wizardry

It is a Wizard’s Physic Garden we plan, but shhhh…. don’t tell! When all is done, you will be able to visit the virtual campus and walk the garden’s central dearynth, sit beneath its apple tree that grows with the seasons, as well as view and gather magickal herbs from the surrounding beds. Sometimes, it is hard to tell exactly how far down this rabbit hole I’ve gone. I expect one day to hang up my head phones with  hands dirty from virtual mud.

Most days, we sit around like any garden club, and talk about our gardens, pests and plant problems in the real world. Here, on this side of the veil with real earth, er, soil, er, dirt. We have become friends, and I would miss any one of them if their avatars were gone on a meeting day, as sometimes happens. Nothing virtual about that. Some things remain familiar no matter which side of the veil you visit.




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