In their digital presence, The Sidhevairs (pronounced SHEE VAIRS) are a group of eight virtual islands located in the cyber-frontier of the open grid and hosted by Inworldz. The Sidhevairs were founded to serve several entwined purposes which, taken together are a virtual manifestation of what we call the Outworld arts and educational interests of our parent organization, Westernesste.Westernesste is an educational and religious non-profit which does not advocate or claim to possess "one right true only path". On the contrary, Westernesste's intent is to explore cross-culturally the gifts and insights to be found in a variety of religions and philosophies, particularly paying attention to pre- and post-monotheistic perspectives.
Westernesste is specifically interested in how virtual communities can enrich participants' lives both "inworld" and "outworld". The Sidhevairs first formed as a loose association of projects which Westernesste found to have that impact. These projects became The Sidhevairs association, a subordinate organization of Westernesste. The way that The Sidhevairs encourages Westernesste's interests in enriching the lives of those participating in virtual community is via fantasy, imagination, fairy tales, and a "rhetoric of the fantastic".
We have found that by enacting and embodying imagination, fantasy and myth, a group (or an individual) refreshes the perspectives of hope, laughter, play and enthusiasm that are often left behind with childhood.
We also have learned that by taking a deeper look at the underlying themes in these virtues of creative imagination we can encourage our members to bring forth into their lives (in any "world" they wander) the idealism and positive aspects of some of the most important characteristics of fantasy including heroism, protection of those who are less powerful, environmentalism, a commitment to the ideals of chivalry, and hope.
A unique aspect of our approach is to offer playful opportunities to explore these themes through immersion in character. Both the lands and the residents can be seen to possess "character".
What this means is that if we are going to study Tolkien's invented languages (i.e. his various Elvish languages) we do so "as if" we were Elves studying "our own" languages.
If we are going to explore Celtic or Nordic Faery tales, we do so "as if" we were Faeries discussing our own history. The opportunities therefore for an invented "emic perspective" (inside view of a culture) to borrow from anthropological linguistics, not only stretches one's creativity, imagination, and dramatic abilities, but also allows for a truly unique approach to the topic. To do so intentionally is not only fun, but may be a whole new way to explore literature, folklore and mythopoeia.
This requires immersion in both an aesthetic and believable fantasy world via the Sidhevairs as well as access to those who share a love of fantasy, role playing, and similar interests.
Service to others is an integral part of Sidhevair membership.
Ultimately, the work of both The Sidhevairs and Westernesste in the "Outworld" and in the islands of the Sidhevairs in virtual settings, is to encourage individual and societal well being in all worlds through a combination of techniques including:
* expanding upon themes from Nature and fantasy
* developing positive and inspiring visual and aesthetic triggers
* encouraging a new sort of what is known to fantasy gamers and afficianados as "Role Play" involving a very mannerly and deeply respectful form of interaction
* offering events and rituals intended to encourage creative and palatable ethics and virtues
* providing educational opportunities to explore the above themes through lectures and discussions which deeply consider the underlying memes present in fantasy literatures.
A central goal of the Sidhevairs is to breath a virtual life into these underlying themes, myths, archetypes, and mythopoeic dreams of fantasy by making feel them "real".
Particularly emphasized are a newly created creature, the Faelf which represents a blend of the Elf and the Faery. The Faelf comprise all residents of the Sidhevairs and can also be found in other grids. The Sidhevairs act as the Faelf homeland.
Another purpose of the Sidhevairs is to immerse the fantasy context into an aesthetic centered around Nature--of particular importance is to focus upon the co-creation of new myth revering Nature and encouraging visitors to and residents of the Sidhevairs to immerse themselves in a virtual appreciation of the beauty and significance of Nature.
A third purpose of the Sidhevairs is to create opportunities to explore the religious, cultural and psychological benefits of an eclectic and mature philosophic and rhetorical approach to earth and imagination-based concepts more typically associated with a less rigorous or non-academic mindset. In other words, rather than a freshman survey course in fantasy themes, the Sidhevairs offers a graduate level inquiry into these concepts.
The Sidhevairs serve to create an inworld culture that empowers members to non-agressively and positively deal with griefers.
The Sidhevairs offers training in self-defense, protection of others, and the entire island of Minas Sidhevair (fort) is offered free of charge to practice these skills in preparation to respond to calls for help from citizens of the grid who are being griefed. A common comment from people trained in these skills is that the confidence and practice dealing with simulated griefings translates well to their lives in the Outworld.
The Sidhevairs also offer and have provided non-denominational pastoral counseling to any requesting help, with trained religious counselors who, while they will consult with anyone expressing a need, are specifically in service to the large number of Neo-Pagan members of the grid. There is a tendency for many of these individuals to be drawn to fantasy memes, making the Sidhevairs and excellent location to host this important work. It is always nice to sit by a quiet river or in a redwood grove when dealing with such challenges as loss, grief, divorce, childhood trauma, etc.
The Sidhevairs were founded in May 2008 originally in another more "corporate" grid. They moved in October 2010 to the freer and less duplicitous Inworldz. Since their founding the Sidhevairs have hosted a number of events including in their first location two larger live streamed musical concerts (one by Phoe Nix and the other by Cypress Rosewood), a Sypmposium on invented fantasy languages featuring academic papers from a number of linguists and experts in the field from around the world, and a 9 week lecture series on ethics seen through the lens of the fantasy creature known as the Faelf.
These events have been well attended, and many residents and attendees have expressed delight in the beauty of the Lands, and the opportunities for personal grown inworld and out that the Sidhevairs facilitates.
The documentation provided in the links on the Sidhevair pages includes descriptive examples of some of our events as well as images of some of the areas in which these events take place. The Sidhevairs consist of five virtual islands. They provide visitors and members the opportunity to wander through various themes of fantasy, Ennyn Sidhevair hosts a pyratical fantasy theme, while Minas Sidhevair is a more martial island. Caladanann is devoted to temples and groves associated with Mediterranean influences, and Carassad Sidhevair is a strange fusion of fantasy with steampunk Victorian themes. Estel Sidhevair is where many group events are held, with the Community Center's main conference room being the primary venue.
There are a number of smaller conference rooms in the two main structures in Estel Sidhevair, and in the Faelf School in Carassad Sidhevair, and there is also a star viewing platform, a sky located sandbox free for the use of the Sidhevair members, and private residences of several residents.
Originally under Sidhevair "about us" as dropdown