When I first joined Second Life several years ago, I was simply looking forward to finding something to do online, a place I could meet people and chat, explore cool looking destinations and generally just put an end to boredom. I had a great time until an aging computer and slow internet put a damper on my parade. I left Second Life and never really thought I'd be back.
I recently purchased a new computer and thought I would get back into Second Life, see if anything has changed and just spend some time wandering around to see what people have created. I think it's pretty amazing what people can come up with if given the time and money to make it possible. I did not expect to find a very thriving Pagan community in which I could engage with others.
I've been back for a little over a month now and I've found at least three thriving places that always seem to have someone in them. Sacred Cauldron is a Wiccan Seminary School Sim, however they have an open format for rituals. I just participated in a Imbolc ritual the other night with a rather large group of people! Sacred Cauldron has many shrines and worship areas so you can engage with your chosen deities, even if it is in a virtual world! I visit a Kwan Yin Shrine quite regularly and light a little candle.
Mystical Paths is another SIM that just had an Imbolc ritual. All though the turn out was much smaller than the first, I still was able to celebrate and commune with others of like mind through my computer, and engage in a meaningful ritual that I wouldn't otherwise would have had the opportunity. It is smaller than Sacred Cauldron so it is more intimate and it doesn't have as much area to explore, but the people there are wonderful.
While Second Life cannot replace actually face to face communication, and it definitely isn't the same as sitting in front of your altar, lighting some candles and praying, it is an alternative for people that cannot otherwise have those tools or are lacking a group or coven of which to practice. For me, I enjoy being solitary but having a group of like minded people to celebrate with isn't such a bad idea from time to time.
Second Life is free to join and play but there are some items in world that you may have to pay for. Some people join premium to gain land and weekly spending money, others find in world jobs to make up for this. How you choose to play is up to you.