Happy New Year!

Tiwesday 12/31/19

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This is the last day before the dawn of the 2020s—the next Cultural Renaissance of the 60-yer cycle I’ve traced all the way back to the Italian Renaissance of the1480s. Here’s my outline of these:

Decade Popular Names

1480s   The Italian (Florentine) Renaissance

1540s   The Reformation; The Age of Exploration

1600s   The Golden Age; The English Renaissance
(Elizabeth I’s reign 1558-1603; Shakespeare’s plays 1589-1613)

1660s   The Scientific Revolution (Royal Society founded 1660)

1720s   The Great Awakening

1780s   The Enlightenment; The Age of Reason
(American Revolution 1773-1794; French Revolution 1789-1799)

1840s   The Transcendentalist Awakening

1900s   The Golden Dawn; fin de siècle (1886-1908)

1960s   The New Age; The Consciousness Revolution (1960-1974))

2020s   The Awakening…

2080s   The Diaspora…

Please check out my “2020 Vision: The Awakening” site: http://2020visionawakening.com/

Yes, it’s been awhile since my last Journal entry. I’ll try to catch up…

As I mentioned in my last entry, over the weekend of Dec. 21-22 (Winter Solstice), I participated in the Seattle Psychics Association’s Big Psychic Fair in Seattle, WA. This was put on by Belladona LeVeau, Dusty Dionne, and others of the ATC (Aquarian Tabernacle Church), with whom I was staying at the ATC HQ in Index. Around a dozen psychics were set up around the room to do readings, and ATC and I also had vending tables. We had very few customers, so we all did readings for each other.

Pic: OZ as the Holly King

The highlight for me was aspecting Santa as the Holly King, all dressed up in beautiful green velvet robes with white fur trim. I was fairly popular, and people took a lot of photos. I really do believe in Santa!

Monday evening I drove back to Seattle (an hour-and-a-half from Index) to have an Indian dinner at Roti with Lawrence Lerner and discuss progress on the Pagan Credit Union project I proposed last October, forming a core group at the Parliament. See https://theoutline.com/post/8021/can-a-pagan-credit-union-break-the-spell-of-big-banking?

On Tiwesday the 24th, my friend and CAW Minister Ed Fish picked me up at ATC and drove me to the Longhouse in Redmond, WA, for a delightful evening with my old friend Ron Peterson (Nirav), who is Head of the Venusian Church. This is a beautiful retreat center, on about 25 acres, with an awesome stone circle and a number of dwellings and residents. As 35 years before, I received a warm invitation to move in. Ah, but just as then, I have other plans…

Pic: OZ & Aphrodite at the Longhouse.

The last time I’d visited there was at Samhain of 1985, when Ron brought me up to testify on their behalf in a court case regarding their IRS exemption for tax-deductible donations. I brought Gordon Melton, who did the actual testifying, as Founder/Director of ISAR (Institute for the Study of American Religion). Unfortunately, they hadn’t incorporated with a 501(c)(3), as CAW is, so they didn’t qualify for such exemptions.

Way back then, I had a fabulous time at the Longhouse (they have a clothing-optional pool and hot tub!), and connected with a lovely lady named Linda, who became a significant lover in my life. She eventually came to teach at the Grey School, and she was on my list of old sweethearts to look up on my Walkabout. She was there this time as well, and we had a sweet reunion after these many years. When it came time to distribute the “white elephant” presents, folks insisted I wear my red Santa suit. Merry Xmas!

Pic: SantaOZ & Linda

On Xmas day a few of us went to the theater to see the final Star Wars movie, “The Last Jedi.” We all loved it, and thought it a fine conclusion to the long saga, with many old friends making their encore appearances.

After the movie, I drove to Olympia to visit another old sweetheart for a few days, then returned to the Longhouse on Saturnday the 28th for a great Solstice ritual, feast and party with about 50 members of Our Lady of the Earth and Sky (OLOTEAS). I gave a talk on the origins of CAW, modern Paganism, and the 60-years cycle from the 1960s to now. Long deep conversations in the hot tub, and another sweet companion for the night…

Pic: The Longhouse pool & hot tub

Heading back south towards Califia, I stopped off to spend a few days with Mitch and Lori Stargrove, in Hillsboro, OR, 200 miles and 3½ hours from Redmond. They have a beautiful home in the forest, with a nice comfortable guest room and hot tub. Turns out we have many friends in common—from just about everyone in my Vegas Vortex community and Firedance Family to old friends from Eugene and the Oregon Country Fair, Grateful Dead, Merry Pranksters, TOAD, etc. Mutual friends include Nikki Scully, Samina, Jeff, Abby, Merrill, Gary, Barefoot Steve, Bob & Norma, Badger, Morganne & Ivy, the Flying Karamazov Bros.…and so many others!

Naturopaths and Acupuncturist, Mitch and Lori are deeply into various esoteric studies and groups: Gaiastar Temple, Blue Lotus Mystery School, Thelema, Gnosticism, Ma’atian, and shamanic natural medicines on all scales. Mitch has been turning me onto some amazing music on Youtube by people he knows. One that perfectly speaks to the 2020 Vision is called “Dark as Night,” with the recurrent meme: “I believe in the good things coming.” By Nakho Bear (Medicine for the People). Another amazing video is his “Aloha ke Akua.” Check these out! 

Tomorrow 2:00 Mitch and Lori are hosting a gathering of the Gaiastar Temple at their home. It promises to be quite a gathering!

For previous Journal entries and more, be sure to check out my personal website: www.OberonZell.com. There are links there where you can buy my books, statues, jewelry, posters and more.

Brightest Blessings for the New Year—and the New Decade!

Joyous Yule 2019

Freyaday 12/20/19

A joyous Yule to everyone who sees this! May all Blessings come to you as we turn the Wheel into the 2020s…

Jon, Amy and OZ in front of the Yule Tree

I stayed with Amy and Jonathan/Jeannie from Dec. 9-15. We got along great, enjoying good meals and good company. I caught up on some of my favorite TV series (The Mandalorian; Strange Angel; His Dark Materials; The Watchmen), and then on Sunday the 15th I drove 230 miles (4 hours!) up to the Aquarian Tabernacle Church in Index, WA, northeast of Seattle. Archpriestess Belladonna LeVeau and Archpriest Dusty Dionne of ATC have welcomed me warmly and hosted me graciously, with a nice room and office I can work in, including a field golden retriever named “Honeybear” and two lovable cats to lay on my bed and keyboard.

As I described in my previous Journal entry, I drove on up to Camano Island on Monday the 16th to meet with Serious Israel, returning to ATC the next day. A marvelous meeting of two old Wizards!

Back here at ATC HQ, Belladonna, Dusty and I have been having deep conversations around the huge kitchen table, in the car driving to gigs, and soaking in the hot tub. ATC and CAW have been allied groups since the late ‘70s, when I got to know ATC Founder Pete Pathfinder Davis (1937-2014), and shared our CAW founding documents with him as he was designing the legal structure of ATC in 1978-‘79. Currently, my Grey School of Wizardry is a “sister school” with ATC’s Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary (WiccanSeminary.Edu).

Bella is a member of the Grey Council, and the absolute Matriarch of the ATC—which is set up as a Corporation Sole, with an impressive 35-40 affiliated organizations chartered under their umbrella group exemption. They conduct an extravagant “Spring Mysteries Festival” event every year over Easter weekend, drawing primarily from the Greater and Lesser Mysteries of Eleusis, but also a bit from the Descent of Inanna. I attended this a few years ago, and I highly recommend it!

Right now, my own main project and concern is “2020 Vision: The Awakening” (http://2020visionawakening.com/). I am reaching out to Pagan leaders, Elders, publishers, festival organizers, members of the Grey Council, and just, well, everybody—to promote a massive Pagan voter registration drive and adopt “2020 Vision: The Awakening” as a major theme for events in the coming year. Please forward this link to everyone you know!

Everyone I’m talking to—including Bella and Dusty—is enthusiastic and eager to get onboard with this. This could be bigger than the Harmonic Convergence of Aug. 16-17, 1987, when millions of people joined in a global meditation for world peace and the end of the Cold War.

At that time Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev led a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party he called perestroika (“restructuring”), with a policy of glasnost (“transparency”) political reform. Perestroika precipitated the Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989 marked the fallingof the Iron Curtain. The fallof the inner German border took place shortly afterwards. And thus ended the 40-year Cold War. Just like magick!

The 2020 Vision project includes an invitation to come to the website and enter your own Vision for the 2020s. The more we can envision the coming decade according to our brightest hopes rather than our darkest fears, the greater the probability of manifestation (i.e. the collapse of the probability field; magick meets quantum physics!)

Pic: OZ with Dawn, owner of Mystic Sanctuary

Wed. evening the 18th I did a talk and book-signing at Mystic Sanctuary, in University PlaceWA 98466. This was an hour and 45 min. from Index, so we had a lot of time to talk in the car. At my talk, a lovely woman showed up who I thought looked somehow familiar. Afterwards she came up and let me know she was Jezebel Blessing, who had lived with our Ravenheart Family at Shady Grove in the early 2000s. I couldn’t believe how different she looked today, having lost a lot of weight! It was good to see her, and we reminisced a bit over the great parties we used to throw—particularly our annual Addams Family Reunion Party.

Pic: Jezebel Blessing with OZ at Mystic Sanctuary

Last night (Thurs. the 19th) I did another talk and book-signing at Edge of the Circle Books in Seattle, WA 98105, only an hour from ATC. And this weekend I’ll be appearing at the Seattle Psychics Association’s Big Psychic Fair in Seattle, I’ll be doing Tarot readings in my usual Wizardly regalia, but from 2pm-6pm I’ll be wearing a beautiful green and white crushed velvet Santa suit, as the Holly King—giving out authentic Norwegian paper heart baskets with Yuletide blessings, and posing with people for photos.

My business partner Jay has been adding clothing and mugs to our Mythic Images website in time for holiday shopping. We have a lot more designs to add, but there is a nice selection of Millennial Gaia items already available. https://www.themillennialgaia.com/product-category/clothing/

For previous Journal entries and more, be sure to check out my personal website: www.OberonZell.com. There are links there where you can buy my books, statues, jewelry, posters and more.

#pagan #wizard #ozpatreon #iampaganandivote #2020visionawakening https://www.themillennialgaia.com/

A Long and Busy Stretch

Tiwesday 12/10/19

This has been a long and busy stretch since my last entry in this Journal. I just haven’t had the time to sit and write, as I’ve been either driving, doing gigs, or visiting with friends. Right now I’m visiting with Jonathan/Jeannie & Amy Jonas, in Gresham, OR, on the SE side of Portland. They moved into this nice suburban neighborhood just a month ago, and are still unpacking. Jon is a serious Lego fanatic (AFOL=Adult Fan of Lego), and a member of the Portland Lego Aficionado Group. The house is full of large totes, bins and boxes full of every kind of Lego imaginable—and some really fantastic Lego constructions—some motorized.

Last night we were invited to a neighbor’s for a get-acquainted social. Straight out of “Pleasantville.” All very nice, friendly, smiling, straight people; at least some of whom were Mormons. With our non-alcoholic drinks and high-carb hors d’oeuvres, we all took turns introducing ourselves and saying a bit about what we are into. One woman proudly proclaimed that she was a great-great grandmother, with 9 kids and 27 grandchildren! I said I was an author, an artist, and a Wizard—with a School of Wizardry. And that I used to raise Unicorns in the 1980s. They all smiled politely, probably thinking I was crazy. But today the host posted a link to an article about me and my Unicorns, saying:

By the way, as an aside, you’ll remember our new neighbors, Jon and Amy Jonas, brought along an out-of-town guest Oberon Zell, who introduced himself as a real wizard and that he had once raised unicorns for the circus. Many of you may have wondered if he was teasing or was he for real.

Well, it turns out he’s a celebrity of sorts after actually “creating” a real one-horn (unicorn) animal in the 1980s. You can read the story here: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/79557/curious-case-ringlings-living-unicorn

So, going back to my last entry:

Saturnday, Nov. 30 was my 77th birthday. My Godson Zack and his lovely lady Brianna took me over to Bodega Bay on the coast for a seafood feast. We had to check out some of the filming locations for the 1963 Hitchcock movie, “The Birds.” Synchronistically, I had just watched the movie a few nights before with Gail, Joe & Alessa!

Pic: The schoolhouse in Bodega Bay, featured in “The Birds.”

The next day I drove 150 miles up to Redway, CA, to visit my old friend Darryl Cherney. We had met in 1987, at Annwfn, where Darryl conceived the idea of “Redwood Summer in 1990.” That was when he and Judi Bari were blown up with a car bomb under the driver’s seat of the car Judy was driving. The FBI immediately arrested them, charging them with transporting explosives! Her pelvis destroyed, Judy died a few years later. But Darryl eventually won a lawsuit against the FBI, receiving $4 million in damages. He used the money to produce a fine documentary film, “Who Bombed Judi Bari?”

Pic. Darryl’s 10-room house, with trees growing through it.

And he bought a nice chunk of land with a crazy hand-built 10-room house on it. His 7-year-old daughter Alli was off with her mother, to be returning the day after I left. Darryl was building a nice outhouse for them, and he asked me to paint a Unicorn on the inside of the door. I’ll see her next month as I return that way; I hope she likes it!

Pic. OZ paints a Unicorn on a little girl’s outhouse

On the 3rd, I drove 5 hours to Central Point, OR, to visit Cat Gina Cole and her husband Mike. We totally hit it off, and I recommended Cat to teach at the Grey School, introducing her to Ambika Devi, our Dean of Faculty, at the GSW Admin meeting on Zoom the next day. Phaedra Bonewits and a couple of members of Cat’s coven came for dinner, and we talked late into the night—muchly about Isaac, who we loved and missed. Cat got out her Ouija board, and Phaedra and I tried to use it to contact Isaac. But all we got was gibberish.

Pic. Dinner at Oberon’s Tavern in Ashland.
L-R: Rose Jacobs, Cat Gina Cole, OZ, Phaedra Bonewits.

On Thursday the 5th Rose Jacobs and Phaedra joined us for dinner at Oberon’s Tavern in Ashland (yes, I showed them my ID; but I couldn’t get a free beer). After dinner I went home with Rose to Veneta, OR—another 3-hour drive. She has a large property there, with Pagan neighbors. One of them is Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he looks like my twin!

Pic. Dinner with the gang at Old Nick’s in Eugene

On Friday the 6th Rose had arranged a big dinner gathering at a Pagan-owned tavern called Old Nick’s in Eugene. The proprietor, Emily Nyman, joined us at our table. A cool thing they had was a hand-made replica of the Throne of Swords from “Game of Thrones.” Of course, I had to sit in it! I think I’m seeing a pattern here—many Pagan groups around the country are patronizing favorite local taverns for “Pagan Night Out” dinners, live music, and other events. How traditional! And what a delightful privilege to be taken to so many of them on my journey!

Pic. OZ on the Throne of Swords at Old Nick’s.

After dinner, a few of us retired to Rose and Dustin’s house, where we stayed up late into the night discussing “the whichness of what, and how to unscrew the inscrutable”—as Lance used to say. Among this company were an enthusiastic young man named Buffalo, his friend Bobbie, and Fenwick Kaidevis Rysen—a dear and brilliant old friend from Annwyn. Buffalo gave me a bottle of his homemade apple cider, which we all enjoyed.

Pic. OZ and Buffalo

Saturday morning the 6th I drove another two hours to Tigard, OR, for a talk at “If the Broom Fits,” owned by Debbie Bailey. A couple of years ago she’d had me up there for a Witches & Wizards High Tea, which was utterly charming.

After the talk, I drove another half hour to visit Jay & Jadzia DeForest, in Oregon City, OR. Jay is my business partner in Mythic Images, and recently completed production of a beautiful 14” version of my Millennial Gaia altar statue. Next we’ll be working on a lifesize garden version!

Jay has been adding clothing and mugs to our Mythic Images website in time for holiday shopping. We have a lot more of the other designs to add, but there is a nice selection of Millennial Gaia items already available. https://www.themillennialgaia.com/product-category/clothing/

On Sunday the 8th, Jay had booked a Meet & Greet cocktails/dinner event at McMenamin’s Chapel Pub in Portland: A Casual Evening with Oberon Zell. We had a private room for a dozen of us, and we all had a good time.

And Monday the 9th, I drove a short distance to visit Jonathan, Jeannie & Amy Jonas, in Gresham, where I’m now writing this.

For previous Journal entries and more, be sure to check out my personal website: www.OberonZell.com. There are links there where you can buy my books, statues, jewelry, posters and more.

#pagan #wizard #ozpatreon #iampaganandivote #2020visionawakening https://www.themillennialgaia.com/

Thanksgiving Ruminations

Thorsday 11/27/19

I’m back with my kids in Santa Rosa, CA for Thanksgiving. My 77th birthday is Saturday, after which I’ll be back on the road for another month, traveling north through Oregon and Washington as Winter begins in the Pacific Northwest. Today I’d just like to share with you my Thanksgiving ruminations from 15 years ago. I still feel the same way—and I still have much to be grateful for!

Thanksgiving Ruminations

By Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

Thanksgiving, 2004

On Thanksgiving morning, I was contacted by a local radio show for another one of those “Pagan Origins of the Holiday” interviews that I am often called upon to give. I explained that Thanksgiving is the most ancient of all festivals, dating back to the dawn of agriculture, as it is the celebration of the good harvest. In the United Kingdom, the festival of “Harvest Home” is held in churches across the country on a relevant Sunday to mark the end of the local harvest. Other countries, such as Germany, also have harvest-thanks (Erntedank) celebrations, which are mostly rural holidays.

In modern Pagan tradition, there are actually three harvest festivals: Lughnasadh, or First Harvest, is celebrated on August 1, when the grains are cut and the first bread is baked—hence the Christian name of Lammas, or “loaf-mass.” Another name for this time is Bron Trogain, “Harvest’s Beginning.”

Next comes the Autumn Equinox, around Sept. 21, known among modern Pagans as Mabon, after the Welsh god of the harvest. It is also called Harvest Home, Ingathering, and Harvest’s Height, and is the most widely-celebrated time of thanksgiving. Where I live in NorCalifia, this is the time of the Grape Harvest.

And finally comes Samhain (“Summer’s End”), popularly known as Hallowe’en, the festival of the dead. It is also called Third Harvest or Winter’s Beginning, as it is the final harvest before the cold grip of barren Winter settles over the land. Apples and pumpkins are brought in from orchards and fields.

In the US, Thanksgivings were celebrated by different colonies and states on dates ranging from September through December. The first official Thanksgiving in the US was held in the Virginia Colony on Dec. 4, 1619—a really late harvest! The Plymouth Pilgrims set apart a day to celebrate immediately after their first harvest, in 1621. At the time, harvest festivals were parts of English and Wampanoag tradition alike. It was only in 1863 that President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be a national holiday of Thanksgiving.

This year’s Thanksgiving was the first with our new granddaughter, Alessandra Pauline, born this past July. And the first without my beloved mother-in-law, Polly Love, who died last February. We come, we go; and the Wheel turns. And this year—particularly following the recent elections—we have much to be grateful for!

Thanksgiving 2014. The first without Morning Glory.
L-R: Alessa, OZ, Gary, Joe, Gail

As our extended family gathered around the groaning tables for our annual feast of gratitude, it struck me that our new granddaughter is the culmination of bloodlines and cultural heritages of many diverse peoples from all over the globe. Members of our family descend from ancestors who were Irish, Scottish, English, German, Swiss, Norwegian, Filipino, and Choctaw. Probably more I’ve missed. And each new generation will certainly add even more threads to this rich tapestry. The dishes served were from old and new family recipes…some going back centuries; others brand-new and experimental.

And on the hour-long drive back home from our kids’ home in Oakland to ours in Cotati, I thought of the terrible strife in other parts of the globe. Elsewhere, neighbors are pitted against neighbors, nations against nations, even various sects of the same religion at each other’s throats in an eternal escalation of bloody vengeance, like some mad perpetual replay of the Hatfields and the McCoys.

And I got to thinking—how had the Roman and British Empires managed to hold it together to enjoy the internal relative peace of the Pax Romana and the Pax Brittanica? It was the universal custom in those days of intermarriage between the princes and princesses of different countries, so that all the royal houses throughout Europe were related by blood and marriage. For one nation to war against another would mean war between brothers, sisters, and in-laws. Not that this didn’t happen, of course, but the family relationships were a significant mitigating factor.

So here’s my proposal for world peace: 1. Encourage and support intercultural dating and intermarriages; and 2. Have the United nations declare Thanksgiving a universal holiday, celebrated by everyone, everywhere, like Christmas. That way, at least once a year, people would have to sit down together with inlaws and distant relations, break bread, propose toasts, and remember all the things they have to be grateful for—not the least of which is that they are all together, well-met in peace and joy—and not shooting at each other from behind barricades.

An attitude of gratitude is the guidance of the Gaia-dance.

For previous Journal entries and more, be sure to check out my personal website: www.OberonZell.com. There are links there where you can buy my books, statues, jewelry, posters and more.

#pagan #wizard #ozpatreon #iampaganandivote #2020visionawakening

Hospitality

Saturnday 11/23/19

Hospitality

As I near the end of my Walkabout and Quest (only a couple more months to go), and Thanksgiving with my kids only a few days away, I am drawn to reflect over my long journey, and the wondrous hospitality I have received all over the Western Hemisphere. So many people have generously taken me into their homes and lives; have fed me, entertained me, provided soft beds (and sometimes warm love). I have been taken to dinners, barbeques, movies, concerts, plays, rides, rituals, celebrations, weddings, drum circles, book-signings, grand adventures and long hikes in the wilderness to beautiful vistas. People have come to hear me talk, and bought my books, statues, posters and jewelry.

Some have been old friends and lovers, going back decades. Some have been family members I rarely see. But many more have been new friends to whom I was a virtual stranger when I arrived on their doorsteps; but a dear member of the family when I departed. All have become precious to me, and I carry them all in my heart.

The sacred nature of hospitality was universal in the ancient world. In one of my favorite stories from ancient Greece (as told by Ovid, who used the Roman names, Jupiter and Mercury), Zeus and Hermes disguised themselves as beggars and went among humans, asking the people of the town for a place to sleep that night.

They had been rejected by all, when at last they came to a simple little cottage in a marsh, the rustic home of Baucis and Philemon, who welcomed the strangers graciously. Though the elderly couple were poor, and their fare meager, their generosity far surpassed that of their rich neighbors, among whom the gods had found “doors bolted and no word of kindness.” 

After serving the two guests food and wine Baucis noticed that, although she had refilled her guest’s cups many times, the pitcher was still full. Realizing then that their guests were gods, she and her husband “raised their hands in supplication and implored indulgence for their simple home and fare.”

Illo: Baucis and Philomen unknowingly host gods. (-Rubens, 1630-‘32)

Baucis thought of killing the goose that guarded their house and making it into a meal, but when she attempted to catch it, the goose ran to safety in Zeus’s lap. Zeus told them to spare the goose and leave the town immediately, because he was going to destroy all those who had not provided due hospitality. He told them to climb the mountain and not look back until they reached the top.

After climbing to the summit, Baucis and Philemon looked back and saw that their town had been destroyed by a flood and their humble cottage transformed into an ornate temple. The kindly couple’s wish to be guardians of the temple was granted. They also asked that when their time came, they would both die together. Upon their death, the two were changed into an intertwining pair of trees, an oak and a linden, which were pointed out to generations of pilgrims to their temple.

Hospitality was a primary virtue among the Norse as well. A similar story is told of Odin and Loki walking disguised among humans to test their hospitality. Odin, in fact, was famous for wandering the Earth in the guise of a simple one-eyed beggar.

The virtue of hospitality is often cited in the Bible:

In Genesis 19:1, after Lot and his wife had feasted them, two strangers were revealed as Angels. Like the story of Baucis and Philemon, Lot and his family were told to flee to the mountains and not look back, before God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Recalling this story, Hebrews 13:2 reads “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Job 31:32: “But no stranger had to lodge on the street, for my door has been open to the traveler…”

Illo: Jesus as a beggar knocking on door

Matthew 225:35: “For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in.”

Isaiah 58:6-9: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousnesswill go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: “Here am I.”

And so it is. Treat everyone well because you never know when you’ll find yourself in the presence of a god! For, as Jesus said, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.” (Psalm 62:6; John 10:34)

For previous Journal entries and more, be sure to check out my personal website: www.OberonZell.com. There are links there where you can buy my books, statues, jewelry, posters and more.

#pagan #wizard #ozpatreon #iampaganandivote #2020visionawakening

Kava Ceremony

Saturnday 11/16/19

Wodensday evening I was picked up by Jan and Stephanie for an intimate Kava ceremony at the home of Ian and Alison. The other participants were Jason and Heather. This was a new experience for me. Jan is Filipino and Viking, and amazingly knowledgeable regarding Polynesian mythology, customs, culture and history. He prepared the kava in a big wooden bowl, and served it around the circle in cocoanut halves. We emptied two bowls, with a smoking break between. And after the kava ceremony, I did a CAW-style water-sharing ceremony.

Pic: OZ with Jan & Stephanie at Kava Ceremony

The overall effect was one of peaceful relaxed harmony and familial companionship. Jan told us that in the Islands, when a war was about to break out, the rival chiefs would sit down and have a kava ceremony; after which no one wanted to fight. I wish we could introduce this into Congress!

Pic: OZ & Samina dining at the Grand Lux

On Thorsday we took Samina’s giant dog, Jester, for a long walk in the park, and then had lunch at the Sunrise Coffee House. In the afternoon I packed for my return to Califia. Then in the evening we went down to the Strip for dinner at the Grand Lux Café in the Venetian (where Samina works as a singing Gondolier), followed by a show at the Palazzo (“place”). Dinner and a show; after all, I’m dating a Vegas showgirl!

Pic: OZ & Samina in the Love sign at the Venetian

The show was “The Atomic Saloon,” a raunchy Western-themed production in a theatre that looked like a fancy Old West saloon, dance hall and bordello. The main circular stage was in the center, and was able to rotate for some of the acts. Of course, I couldn’t take any pics during the performance. The performers were amazing—dancers, singers, gymnasts, aerialists, hula-hoopers, comedians. And all of them—male and female—almost preternaturally beautiful as well as talented. Samina said they’re all Russians.

Pic: The Atomic Saloon

Friday morning Samina drove me to the airport for my return trip to San Francisco, where I’ll be staying with new friends for another 10 days, until I go up to Santa Rosa for Thanksgiving with my kids.

For previous Journal entries and more, be sure to check out my personal website: www.OberonZell.com. There are links there where you can buy my books, statues, jewelry, posters and more.

#pagan #wizard #ozpatreon #iampaganandivote #2020visionawakening

Pagan Pride Day

Tiewsday 11/12/19

Poster of “Avengers: Damage Control”

Samina and I had a blast today! We did the “Avengers: Damage Control” virtual reality experience at The Void in the Venetian Casino in Vegas. Wow—was that ever awesome! It’s designed for a group of 4; we chose our suit colors, then got outfitted with vests and helmets. When we looked at each other in VR, we were all completely suited as Wakandan Avengers! We could even see our hands and manipulate objects. Our suits allowed us to absorb energy from attackers, and then blast it out from our palms. During the course of the adventure, we encountered Dr. Strange, Spiderman, Ant-Man and Wasp; and battled Ultron alongside Thor, the Hulk, and other Avengers. What a rush!

Dinner party before Pagan Pride

I flew from San Francisco to Vegas last Thursday the 7th, for Pagan Pride Day. Friday evening was a welcoming dinner at the local UU church, which often hosts Pagan activities. I was delighted to see Selena Fox of Circle as another out-of-town guest. But sadly, Belladona Leveau of ATC, who was also booked, was stuck in Salem, MA and unable to make it.

OZ & Samina at Pagan Pride Day in Vegas

Las Vegas Pagan Pride was held all day Saturday at Paradise Park. I believe around 300-400 people showed up, I gave a talk on my “2020 Vision: Awakening” project, and sold a lot of statues, jewelry, books and posters at my vending table, which I shared with Samina. Selena presented several talks and rituals. There was drumming, belly dancing, and illusion magic (this is, after all, Vegas, baby!). Afterwards the core groups of about 15 of us commandeered the favorite pub for dinner and drinks.

Morganne & Ivy’s wedding

Sunday evening was the long-awaited wedding of my dear friends Morganne Baum and Marjorie Ivy, in the Garden Room of Rainbow Gardens. I think it was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended. The Priestess conducted a lovely Pagan handfasting ceremony, and the vows moved us all to tears. Both sets of proud parents were there, and the fathers walked their daughters down the isle.

Wizard of Oz table centerpiece

Afterwards we were all directed for the dinner to our assigned tables, each with a fairytale theme and centerpieces (all crafted by Morganne). I, of course, was seated at “The Wizard of Oz” table, with all the Vegas stage magicians. Michael Round demonstrated several cool tricks with cards and balloons, and we had a marvelous time.

Michael Round making me a motorcycle balloon

Last night I was a guest on the “Lunatic Monday” Podcast with Laura Gonzalez. We’d met this past July at Circle’s Pagan Spirit Gathering, and really hit it off. She does a trilingual show in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Oz & Laura Gonzalez

Tonight we’re having a barbeque dinner at Samina’s with George, Jessica, and Haleigh Isbill. Haleigh is an editor, and she’s working with me on several of my books that are mostly written, but need final editing.

For previous Journal entries and more, be sure to check out my personal website: www.OberonZell.com. There are links there where you can buy my books, statues, jewelry, posters and more.

#pagan #wizard #ozpatreon #iampaganandivote #2020visionawakening

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley

Moonday 11/4/19

Yes, it’s been awhile since my last entry in this Journal. As you’ll see, things have been a bit intense over the past 11 days! At the moment, I am happily ensconced in a sweet attic apartment at the home of Krista Taylor, in Vallejo, CA. I got here yesterday evening, and we and her boyfriend John sat before the fire in lively conversation until 1:30am. I’ll be for a few days, and on Thorsday I’m flying off to Vegas for Pagan Pride Day, and a week with Samina.

So let me catch you all up:

On Thorsday Oct. 24, Maureen flew in from Atlanta. We had plans to go through my 3 storage units in Santa Rosa and attempt to consolidate stuff into just one unit—as well as locate and pull out important business files of CAW and GSW that Maureen needs for her financial accounting, etc. We also wanted to pull out all the boxes of old issues of Green Egg and ship them to Atlanta to be scanned and made available for purchase. However, as John Steinbeck said, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley” (-Of Mice and Men, 1937).

Pic: OZ with hosts on “Creature Features” TV show.
L-R: OZ, Mr. Livingston, Tangella, & Vincent Van Dahl.

Thorsday evening I was the guest of honor on a TV show, “Creature Features,” with hosts Glen, Raven and Ali. It’s one of those shows where they run an old spooky movie (in this case, “The Bat”—1959—starring Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead), and have Gothy hosts and interesting guests during the breaks. Here’s from the show’s website, https://creaturefeatures.tv/:

Vincent, Tangella and Mr. Livingston host the 21st-century version of Creature Features, the classic San Francisco Bay Area horror-host program made famous by Bob Wilkins in the 70’s and John Stanley in the 80’s. Host Vincent Van Dahl, former frontman for 90’s metal band “Prince of Darkness” retired from music a few years back to pursue a quiet life in Bodega Bay at his newly-acquired home, The Poulter Manor. From this haunted mansion, he is joined by his peculiar housemate Tangella and his loyal valet Mr. Livingston to deliver the best guests and the worst movies to the entire Bay Area and around the world.

Pic: OZ with Tangella in the Manor.

Crowhaven Studios—with the fabulous huge set of a haunted mansion in the style of the Addams Family—was in Windsor. We had a great time, totally hitting it off—and afterwards went out to dinner at their favorite pub. The show will be aired later this month.

Then two days later, on Sat. the 26th, the terrible Kincade Fire broke out; We had evacuate from Gail & Joe’s house, initially to a hotel in Fountaingrove. The next morning Fountaingrove too was under mandatory evacuation orders. We fled down to San Rafael and visited with Judith Fenley’s family for the afternoon, then drove on down to San Francisco looking for a room. Around 200,000 people were evacuated from Sonoma County, all heading south!

Pic: Kincade Fire in Geyserville, CA, Oct. 24.

We were blessed to find a room at the Travel Lodge on Lombard St. in SF, and there we stayed for the rest of the week, glued to the news. We were particularly concerned for Isis Oasis in Geyserville, where MG’s Goddess Collection is housed; Windsor, where the Crowhaven TV studio is; and of course, Gail & Joe’s Coffey Park neighborhood, which had burned two years ago. But while the fire raged close to all those places, with “Diablo Winds” up to 85 mph, they all remained unscathed.

The Kincade Fire eventually consumed 77,758 Acres—twice the size of the horrific Tubbs Fire in the same area exactly two years ago. 374 structures were destroyed, with four injuries of firefighters. But fortunately, no loss of life.

Maureen and I spent our days working on business, writing, and websites. A particular focus was my exciting new “2020 Vision: Awakening!” project, at http://2020visionawakening.com/ Check it out!

Pic: OZ, Maureen, Estelle and Jerry Cimino at The Grotto.

Tuesday the 29th we got together with Maureen’s old friends, Jerry Cimino & Estelle for a fabulous seafood dinner at The Grotto on the Wharf. In 2006, Maureen and Jerry had co-founded the iconic Beat Museum, at 540 Broadway, across the street from City Lights Books.

The Beats, as in beaten down and beatific, were a collective of writers, artists, and thinkers that congregated in 1950s San Francisco. The Beat Museum is home to an extensive collection of Beat memorabilia, including original manuscripts, rare books, letters, personal effects, and cultural ephemera. Located in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, we occupy the same ground that was once the epicenter for Beat activity during the 1950s.

Pic: OZ & Jay Wiseman at Kui Shin Bo Japanese restaurant

On Wed. the 30th, I was scheduled for an appearance on Today Extra, Channel 9–Australia’s breakfast TV program. But news of the CA fires pre-empted the show, and my interview was cancelled. Maureen wasn’t feeling well, so she stayed in the hotel, and I went next door for dinner at a Japanese restaurant with my old friend Jay Wiseman. He’s an extraordinary person, deeply engaged in several overlapping communities, and we never get tired of talking about our many mutual interests

Pic: Maureen & Jerry (chicken wire) at Ripley’s.

Thursday the 31st was Halloween, and we were in San Francisco, where Halloween is the major event. But we were just too run down and dispirited to go out and participate in the many festivities. So instead, Maureen and I enjoyed a fun tour of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum.

Pic: OZ with Vampire Woman at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum.

The weekend of Nov. 1-3 was scheduled for our great CAW Samhain at our sacred Land of Annwfn, near Redwood Valley in Mendocino County. With months of planning, it was to be quite a spectacular event, and the Dumb Supper and Walpurgisnacht were to be the Clergy qualifying rituals for a Minister (Morgan) and a Priestess (Seasons). We also had an ordination scheduled for Diana Morningstar, our cherished Caretaker. In addition to honoring our Beloved Dead (including, of course, Morning Glory, who is buried on the Land) a key element of CAW’s Samhain is the ritual death of the May King, and Brad Lee, our King this year, was really ready to lay down the Crown.

Sadly, while the fires fortunately stayed a safe distance from Annwfn, the closure of Highway 101 through Santa Rosa, the consequent shortages of gas and groceries, PG&E’s electrical shutoffs, and the evacuations had such overwhelming impact on everyone that our Samhain had to be cancelled for the first time in 40 years.

A few people did gather there for a minimal daytime ritual on Saturnday, but the full event could not transpire. By that time, I was over 125 miles away, and I just couldn’t handle trying to drive all the way up there, and then leave before dark…as the Ranch requested. I doubt that I will ever be back for Samhain at Annwfn, as my future plans are now looking to the East…

So Friday evening Maureen and I had dinner with Jay at Tommy’s Joint. The next morning we checked out of the hotel, and Maureen headed down to Santa Cruz to take care of other business. I spent the day and night with Dawn Davidson in San Mateo. I turned her on to one of my favorite movies—“Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical”—and we enjoyed a welcome soak in her hot tub. Sunday we got together with Jay for lunch and conversation, and afterwards I drove up to Vallejo, where I am now staying with Krista for a few days.

Jay, Dawn & OZ

For previous Journal entries and more, be sure to check out my personal website: www.OberonZell.com. There are links there where you can buy my books, statues, jewelry, posters and more.

#pagan #wizard #ozpatreon #iampaganandivote #2020visionawakening

Adventures In Ecuador

OZ’s Walkabout Journal  

Viernes (Freyaday) 9/5/19

Dona and I are currently in Cuenca, “Ecuador’s most important and beautiful colonial city. Dating from the 16th century, Cuenca’s historic center is a Unesco World Heritage Site.”

Cuenca from the Mirador

When the Spanish arrived in the 1540s, they encountered the ruins of a great but short-lived Incan city called Tomebamba (“Valley of the Sun”). The Spanish eagerly dismantled what was left of it, incorporating the elegantly carved Inca stones into their own churches and other structures. Before the Inca, the indigenous Canari people had lived in the area for perhaps 3,000 years. They too had a city here, called Quanpondelig (“Plain as Big as the Sky”).

Miercoles (Wodensday) Aug. 28 was Alaura’s 70th birthday, and she and Dickson threw a spectacular birthday party at his place, with dozens of friends attending. There was an open bar, and a couple of tables full of pot-luck yummies. There was live music all afternoon and evening with two different professional performers, both of whom were superb.

Alaura’s 70th birthday party

Dickson and Alaura turned us on to a remarkable substance called “Panacea C60 [carbon 60],” composed of nanocarbon “Buckyballs.” It seems to be appropriately named, and we’ve been applying it to everything from nasty “no-see-um” bug bits to skin spots, all of which have gone away. Here’s an excerpt from a research paper:

Soluble NCMs [nanocarbon materials] have been shown to possess activity against cancer (e.g., breast cancer), tumours, arthritis, HIV-AIDS, influenzas, etc. There are even reports of their possible use … for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The poster boy fullerene derivative, C3-tris malonic acid possesses activity against Parkinson’s disease in mice. A recent patent documents their use as antioxidants, as these are Radical Oxygen Scavengers (ROS)… Is it true that water soluble NCMs are a panacea for all diseases? Though recent work seems to suggest this to be true, such claims need to be carefully evaluated.

“Water soluble nanocarbon materials: a panacea for all?” Current Science, Vol.114, No. 9, 10 May 2018 https://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/114/09/1846.pdf

Their brochure says C60 is “a powerful antioxidant 172 times more potent than Vitamin C.” It’s touted as “a catalytic free radical scavenger; protects liver from toxins; anti-viral; inhibits build-up of arterial plaque; rejuvenates organs; stimulates glutathione production in the liver; regrows/lengthens telomeres; reverses the aging process; detoxes free radicals, heavy metals, pesticides and radiation…”

C60 is available from Red Lion Pharmaceutical Labs: https://c60redlion.com/

Anna Elizabeth de Castro with self-portrait

On Jueves (Thorsday) the 29th we had a lovely visit with artist Anna Elizabeth de Castro and her shaman husband, Miguel Castro. He’s of the Mapoche tribe in Chile, while Anna’s sultry accent conveys her North Carolina origin, and her high cheek bones attest to her Seminole ancestry. Anna gave us a full tour of their paradisal home and gardens, which they had built in only a few years. Anna’s house designs were amazing—white beehive-like domed structures (she’s a beekeeper) of adobe with beautiful hobbit-like interiors.

Anna’s dome homes

Likewise amazing were her gardens of exotic flowers, fruits, vegetables—and a stone labyrinth. We talked—as I so often do, especially with shamans—of these dark times, and the coming Awakening. As always, we found ourselves in complete agreement: the Old Order must crumble into dust before the new one can emerge, like a Phoenix, from the ashes. But the seeds of the new are already planted, and growing…

OZ & Anna in her garden

Viernes (Freyaday) morning the 30th we took a 7:30am van from Vilacabamba to Cuenca. It was a 4.5 hr. drive winding through spectacular mountains, deep canyons and valleys, with small villages and isolated farms along the way. We arrived in Cuenca about noon, planning to stay at Mi Casa Hostel, but our host, Gary Kissel, hadn’t given us the address. Dona and I each tried to phone and text Gary many times, but no answer.

We looked up Mi Casa on GoogleMaps, and took a taxi to that address, but no Mi Casa. Yellow taxis are everywhere, and really cheap. All you have to do is stick out your hand, and a taxi will pull up within moments. We drove all over town for two hours, and ended up back at the same place, a nice little Hostel called Mochiliers. By that time we were so frustrated, tired of lugging our bags around, and not hearing from Gary, that we just checked in for the night.

We had a lovely dinner and evening, but in the night Dona was hit hard by altitude sickness (Cuenca is at 8,400 feet!). She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t sleep, had chest pains, and was pretty panicked. She wanted to leave immediately and get down to a lower altitude.

I have a CPAP breathing machine for sleep apnea, and I let her use it until she fell asleep. In the morning she seemed a bit better. We looked up “altitude sickness” in our Ecuador guidebook, which says it goes away in a day or two, and recommends cocoa leaf tea. I recall that we used that in Peru in 1990.

At the top of the Mirador

Sabado (Saturnday) we took a taxi to Gary’s Mi Casa Hostel at 1321 Estevez de Toral—which is a lovely place with a large common area, including courtyard and kitchen. Gary is great, and we all hit it off immediately. He gave coca leaf tea to Donna, and she’s been much better since. He’d put together a book showing all the things to do in Cuenca, so that afternoon we walked up the street to Parque la Libertad, the old prison. We took the glass elevator to the top of the 138 ft. tall Mirador (viewing tower), which offers a 360° view of the Historic Center and the northern part of the vast city. We noticed that very few buildings are more than three stories tall.

After the Mirador we took a taxi to the Pumapungo museum. It was very disappointing, in that the displays of Ecuadorian artifacts were just in glass cases with no explanatory labels, and there were no English translations of anything. There were some nice little model dioramas, and the upper floor was filled with full-size native village scenes with realistic mannikins. One room contained a number of rare and eerie tzantzas (shrunken heads) from the Shuar culture of southern Oriente.

Archaeological ruins at Pumapungo museum

Outside was an Archaeological Park featuring some foundational remnants of the old Inca city the Spaniards had conquered in 1584. A large circular aviary had a number of local birds—including the grey Mexican eagles. The door to the interior was locked, and a cat was sitting right in front of it. She turned to us and plainly asked us to open the door and let her in, as there were birdies inside!

Birdhouse at Pumapungo museum

Domingo (Sunday) evening was our monthly CAW (Church of All Worlds) Board meeting via Zoom. We currently have Board members in the US, Thailand, and Ecuador—truly an international church! These are exciting times as we turn more and more to our younger Clergy to carry the CAW Vision into the New Age. The meeting lasted three hours, and was often contentious, but in the end everything was resolved elegantly to cheers and whoop-de-doos.

Piedra de Agua

On Lunes (Moonday) the 2nd,  we took a bus to Piedra de Agua hot springs spa in Los Banos (“The Baths”), five miles SW of Cuenca. The volcanically-heated waters flow from a fault (“Loma de los Hervideros”) at 70° C (158° F), and are then cooled variously for the different pools, some of which are underground in caves. Lunes was a 2-for-1 day, so we got the whole treatment: mud baths (red & blue), box saunas, hot and cold pools, and finally, a large shallow chalky-white mineral pool. We got into nice conversations with our fellow bathers, who come from all over the world to these famous baths.

Wizard at the baths

That evening we went down the street for the best pizza either of us have ever had. The New York Italian owner, Robert VasSalli, visited with us while his lovely Ecuadorian wife baked the pizza. A wonderful man with a compelling life story, he was suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, and was closing the place the next day; we were his final customers.

On Martes (Tiwesday) the 3rd, we went to the Tame Airline agency to get our return flight this coming Sabado (Saturnday) changed from Lojas to Cuenco. The agency was right at the Parque de la Madre (“Park of the Mother”), where there was a planetarium, advertising shows every hour on the hour. We were too late for the current hour, so we decided to walk across the bridge over the pretty Tomebamba River that runs through the city, and up the 88-step staircase to check out the little Museo De La Culturas Aborigines.

Looking down the up staircase; planetarium is red sphere in upper left.

This Museum was really hard to find—we had to knock on a locked door to be admitted by a nice lady, who took us through the restaurant in front, gave us a guidebook (in English), and showed us a staircase to the large upper level. Wow! It was amazing! More than 5,000 archaeological pieces representing more than 20 pre-Hispanic Ecuadorian cultures going back some 15,000 years.

Stone possum at Museo De La Culturas Aborigines

We were so enthralled by this vast collection, and reading all about the artifacts in different rooms, that we missed the next (and last) scheduled planetarium show. But out in front we noticed a sign that advertised a Pink Floyd “Dark Side of the Moon” show! So when we got back to Mi Casa, we made plans with Gary to all catch the 2:00 show the next day.

OZ in Museo De La Culturas Aborigines

Miercoles (Wodensday) evening at 6:30 we’d scheduled a “Meet the Wizard” event at Mi Casa, so Dona, Gary and I took a taxi back to the Planetarium early to catch the 2:00 show—with our attitudes all properly adjusted. We were the only customers, and the guard said there needed to be at least ten to do the show. While we waited anxiously, seven more people showed up, so it looked like we were good to go.

Wizard in a carved tree in the Park of the Mother

But just at 2:00, another person came in and informed us all that the projector was down, and there could be no shows that day. Disappointed, we looked wistfully at the “Dark Side of the Moon” poster, and realized that it was actually advertising a one-time special free showing at 5:00 the following day! We were told, however, that it would be very popular, there is seating for only 84 people, and we should get there by 3:00 to get in line or we’d never get in. So we resolved to come back the next day.

We walked back through the park, where several dead trees had been artfully carved into strange figures. Then we hiked up the 88 stairs to check out the little Carolina Bookstore, to talk about them carrying my books. Their sections were indicated by murals, and I loved the one of Cthulhu for the horror, sci-fi & fantasy isle.

The Great Cthulhu at the Carolina Bookstore

Nobody showed up for the “Meet the Wizard” event, so Dona just took us all out to dinner at Full Criolo, a Venezualan restaurant a few blocks away that Gary liked.

Jueves (Thorsday) Gary had a Spanish lesson with a charming girl named Michelle. I sat in and got some lessons as well, until it was time for Dona and me (Gary couldn’t cut loose) to grab a taxi to get back to the Planetarium by 3:00pm to get in line to see the “Dark Side of the Moon” show. There were already about 50 people (mostly all college-age) in line ahead of us, and as we waited, more people kept coming until the line stretched all through the park. Finally a lady came through and handed out tickets to the first 84 people in line.

We got in, got seated, and looked forward to what I remember from 45 years ago in St Louis as the most amazing planetarium show ever! First, the stars would come out slowly, rotating majestically around the North Star, as the music began. Then, with the initial crescendo, the lasers would begin tracing unearthly color-shifting shapes across the starfield as the music swelled, moving around us in circular stereo…

Well, that’s what I expected, anyway. But the lights were turned off, we were in total darkness, the music came on…and that’s all.. No stars, no laser light show. Just Pink Floyd in the darkness. We could have gotten the same result at home with a sleep mask and stereo headphones.. But everyone clapped at the end, obviously not knowing what they were missing, and on the way out, the lady asked how we liked it. I could only respond with disappointment at there being no light show; after all, that was the whole point of having it in a planetarium!

Domino (Sunday) evening we’ll be catching our plane back to Austin; bidding farewell to exotic Ecuador!

For previous Journal entries and more, be sure to check out my personal website: www.OberonZell.com

#pagan #roadtrip #wizard #bucketlist #adventure #ozpatreon #iampaganandivote

August Update

Saturnday 8/16/19

Dona and I are currently in a little permaculture farm named Finca Fina in the Andes Mountains, southwest of Vilcabamba, in the southern tip of Ecuador. I’ve had very limited and sporadic internet access in the past few months, and here it’s pretty bad. High winds and other issues have the Internet going off and on randomly, and I have to keep rebooting. It takes me a long time just to read my email every few days—if I can—and then I have other things to do here, such as workshops, rituals, etc.

Dona at the pond in Finca Fina

Moonday morning 8/5, I drove 6-1/2 hours (410 miles) to visit Adrian Cunningham in Bossier City, LA. In the evening he’d planned for me to do a workshop at the Peace of Mind Center in Shreveport. But that fell through, so he just had a few friends over, along with his wife Mee-Hye and their son John. After Mee-Hye’s homemade pizza and some great conversation, Adrian did a short video interview for his blog.

OZ with Adrian and company

Tiwesday morning I drove another 5 hrs. & 20 min. (335 miles) to be with Dona in Austin, TX. We met in 1982 at the Texas Renaissance Faire when I was touring with Lancelot, the Living Unicorn. We’ve been consorts over 37 years, though there were 27 years in there where we were out of touch. We only reconnected in 2016, when a friend gave her a cell phone so she could call me. We picked up right where we’d left off, and have been continuing our adventurous relationship ever wince, traveling to exotic places in between the Renaissance Faires that she’s vended at for the past 45 years.

Dona and OZ with passionflower

Dona doesn’t get out to movies much, and I love ‘em, so On Wodensday the 7th I took her to see the new Lion King in 3-D at an Austin Imax. We both loved it.

Thorsday afternoon we visited with Wolf and Cat, hanging out in their lovely swimming pool on a hot Austin afternoon. Later they took us out for an Ethiopian dinner—Dona’s first. She was delighted.

Friday evening I was invited to be Guest of Honor at a Sacred Sexuality meetup at Soma Vida in Austin. River del Llano MC’d the conversation—primarily about polyamory, but wandering off in different directions as the 40 or so people asked their questions. Afterward many of us went out for drinks and pub munchies to the bar at Hotel Eleven. Everyone was so wonderful and engaging, and I really felt the love we were there to share. River recorded the talk, and here’s the link: https://uncagelove.com/blogfeed/2019/8/15  River says: “I hope your community might enjoy this post and all it has to offer as well!  Feel free to post and share everywhere!”

The Sacred Sexuality meetup in Austin

We spent Saturnday packing for our trip to Ecuador. Early Sunday morning the 11th we took a Lyft to the Austin airport for our flight to Ecuador. We flew from Austin to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, then south to Quito, Ecuador, where we arrived about 11:00 pm. We had to hang out and try to catch a few winks on uncomfortable seats in the airport all night before our dawn flight to Loja, way down in the bottom of the country. When Dona started to do a little work on my sore back, a kindly native woman gave her a container of healing salve, which felt wonderful.

Dona boarding the twin-prop plane to Loja

The little plane to Loja was a twin-engine propeller plane. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’d flown in one of those! We landed in Loja about 7:00, and were met after clearing customs (really, there weren’t any; they just asked a few questions and stamped our passports) by our hostess, Jacquie Omi, who was jumping up and down and waving outside the baggage claim door.

We’ve been here at few days at Finca Fina, where Omi and her husband Don have built an utterly charming Hobbit house into the hillside, complete with a big round door. They call it “Summerland Tierra de Verano.” They are both brilliant and amazing people, also in their 70s, like Dona and me, and totally dedicated to environmental causes and eco-restoration. Omi’s always maintained: “If my last trip to the bathroom isn’t to a dry-composting toilet, I’ll feel like a failure.”

Don, Omi & OZ at their Hobbit house

Omi is our new High Priestess of the Church of All Worlds, as well as being on the CAW Board, and she has great experience and exciting ideas that she’s bringing to the Church. As a teenager she spent ten months in a nunnery having a child of rape. There she became disillusioned by the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church, so she left home at 16 and joined the Unitarians, beginning the spiritual journey that led her to Paganism and the CAW.

In 1980 Omi began studying Renzi Zen. In 1991 she founded the controversial Church of Iron Oak in Palm Bay, FL, which affiliated with the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) in Index, WA. In 1992 she incorporated the Summerland Monastery, defending her legal right to have home church services. In 1993 she met Don, who had the CAW Proto-Nest of the Ancient Sacred Mother. From 1996-2008, she and Don tried to create a sustainable eco-community—Windtree Ranch—in Douglas, AZ.

Omi has been ordained by a number of Pagan groups and Traditions, as she was serving many men in prison in Arizona. She was ordained in CAW at Samhain of 2016, and elevated to High Priestess at Beltaine of 2019. CAW has only one HPs at a time, and she serves a term of seven years.

Vilcabamba—Valley of Longevity

Yesterday, 8/15, we took a taxi truck to the nearby town of Vilcabamba, which is often called the Valley of Longevity. Locals assert that many residents reach 100 years of age, with quite a few attaining 120, and some even up to 135, which would make this an area with the oldest inhabitants in the world. In 1973, Dr. Alexander Leaf of Harvard Medical School first introduced these people to the world in his cover story for National Geographic Magazine. One of the locals told us that the water here contains colloidal gold and silver…

Even as Vilcabamba’s international fame grew, scientists continued to investigate the secret of the villagers’ longevity, but some were beginning to grow skeptical. In particular, Dr. Alexander Leaf, the Harvard Medical School researcher who had been among the first to conduct research in Vilcabamba, was having doubts. His suspicions were aroused when he realized that the villagers were inconsistent in their self-reported ages. For instance, in 1971 he had met a man who reported his age as 122. When Leaf returned three years later, that same man claimed to be 134 years old.

Leaf then persuaded Dr. Richard Mazess of the University of Wisconsin Madison and Dr. Sylvia Forman of the University of California Berkeley to help determine the correct ages of Vilcabamba’s elderly population. They reached the conclusion that there was not a single centenarian living in Vilcabamba. The oldest person in the village was found to be 96 years old. The average age of those claiming to be over 100 years was actually 86 years. The researchers presented these results on February 27, 1978, at a workshop at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Far from being the ‘Valley of Longevity,’ the researchers concluded that “Individual longevity in Vilcabamba is little, if any, different from that found throughout the rest of the world.” Further, they reported that “Life expectancy (corrected for exaggeration) at all ages in Vilcabamba (and Loja) is, in fact, less than in the U.S.”

(-Wikipedia)

The Oracle & the Wizard

My presentation was held at a charming Vilacabamba restaurant named Mestizo. From 11:00-noon I was interviewed live on camera by Phyllis Serene, “The Oracle,” co-founder of GoddessUniversity.org on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/phyllis.serene and she has a podcast. We totally hit it off together! You can see the interview at: https://www.facebook.com/phyllis.serene/videos/10157454484107118/ 

The interview was followed by several hours of Q&A with about 30-40 people. Alaura Love www.facebook.com/laura.loborios, who set it all up and did the promotions, was surprised that more men showed up than women, which is apparently unheard of for such events. Linda Gomez, the restaurant owner, (www.facebook.com/MandangoStero) cooked and served us all a sumptuous lunch, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Omi talked a bit more while I ate lunch.

OZ and Omi: the Wizard & the Priestess

On Sunday we’ll be going back to conduct an official in-person ordination ceremony for Omi, followed by a Croning rite for Alora. Dona and I will be staying on in Vilacabamba for another week, before going on to Quenco. I may be doing other events there…

For previous Journal entries and more, be sure to check out my personal website: www.OberonZell.com

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