Arcadia is a new community on the grid that focuses on spirituality, group discussions, relaxation in a beautiful environment and where your beliefs matter. As a participatory community, Arcadia’s philosophy includes respect for other’s rights and do not force beliefs on others. They welcome anyone who wishes to be part of a community of like-minded people who just seek peace in a virtual environment.
The SL Enquirer met up with Ava (avaline.decuir) to learn more about Arcadia.
Interview with Ava (avaline.decuir)
SLE: Hi Ava, can you tell us about Arcadia’s philosophy, how long it has been in Second Life and how it differs from other virtual world communities that are based on religion?
Ava: Arcadia the group is new to Second Life. The island it is on however, we have held for over 4 years. We have built the environment lovingly to represent peace and oneness with nature.
SLE: The Guardians of Arcadia Group is where Arcadia community members can come together and freely discuss topics. Can anyone join or is it by invitation only?
Ava: Anyone can join. There is a noticeboard at the main house with a poster that can be clicked to join the group
SLE: How often are there discussions and what type of things do you cover?
Ava:At the moment we have discussions 3 – 4 times a week but that is expanding day by day. We run groups for meditation, Tarot, storytelling, general discussion and encounter.
The general discussions cover topics such as trust, belief, hope etc.
The encounter groups are of two types. One is open, where people can come and vent about things in Second Life or their real life. We don’t judge and we don’t need to know details about your RL, it is just a place to let go of burdens. The other type of encounter group is closed and each one contains approximately 6 members. These people meet privately on a regular basis and come to know each other deeply. The private groups will listen to member’s problems, hopes wishes and dreams and offer support to each other. It is important for the private groups to trust each other that is why they are invitation only.
The story telling groups will depend on the facilitator. Some groups may have the facilitator tell a story each week while others may take it in turns to tell a story. Then there is a notecard collaborative story group. This one is interesting. One person starts a story and sends the card to a random member of the group. That person may add to or alter the story or simply pass it on to someone else. And so the card moves around to everyone in the group until the story is complete.
We are also talking to a gestalt therapist who may run a gestalt group and another astronomer who might run a group all about astronomy. We are looking for someone to run a group on astrology as well.
SLE: Arcadia has a very calming feel to it and the ambient music is relaxing. What type of things can visitors do there?
Ava: We have a lot of places where people can sit (using cushions or pose balls) and enjoy the area. Of course they can join in with groups as well. We have several lovely places where people can use dance pose balls as well. We also have 4 gypsy caravans that people may rent if they would like to have their own spot on the island.
SLE: Do you offer housing for Arcadia community members?
Ava: Yes we have 4 gypsy caravans available for rent and are in the process of building some skyboxes as well.
SLE: What type of events do you host and how often?
Ava: We are planning to hold regular beach parties with a dj. We have one on Sunday 1st May at 1.30 pm. We are planning some solar and lunar events with small rituals. Other than that our main focus is on the group activities for now.
SLE: Are you hiring or accepting guardians?
Ava: Yes we have several different roles that we are looking for people to fill. Guardians are those who are moderators to deal with the day to day issues that occur in any SL space. Ambassadors meet and greet visitors as well as talk about Arcadia wherever they go, so they are social people. Facilitators run group sessions. It is important to understand that roles don’t indicate a hierarchy. Our ideal is for all members to be equal and have an equal say.
SLE: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers about Arcadia?
Ava: We are excited about the potential for Arcadia. We want it to be an inclusive community that has something for everyone.
Preferred contact: Avaline Decuir and Darren Islar