Saturday, 11/17/18

Sorry not to have written another entry since getting back from the Parliament. I’m getting back to normal life here in Salem. The biggest news is that my friends Jimmy Clark & Francine Braese have been putting together an extravaganza party for me here in Salem, for only a week from today! These are the wonderful folks who already put on a couple of successful fundraising events in PA before I came to Salem. On Oct 5, we did an all-day filming session at the labyrinthine country home of my old friend David Donohue, for Jimmy’s Tarot music videos of “The Emperor” (David) and “The Hermit” (me). After the last scenes were in the can, we were treated to an awesome theatrical fire performance by Gypsy Jay.

Jimmy, Francine, and Gypsy Jay will be performing again, with Jimmy’s band, JC Music & Wellness (with drummer Erich Christopher Terry) at my “Birthday Bash & Benefit,” Nov. 24. See the Facebook event for details and registration info. Other performers will include:

  • Danielle Tracey: Local Pagan Artist contributing a Live Art experience.
    Gypsy Ravish: Salem Priestess & Witch, owner of Nu Aeon store, Recording Artist.
    Katrin Chapman: Songwriter, Singer, Musician, Recording Artist.
    Simon Deacon: Wizard and VortexHealer®.
    Andy Burke: Local Pagan Drummer & Puppeteer extraordinaire.
    Priestess Alura Rose: Tarot Reader & Teacher

Gypsy and I have been so busy catching up from the Parliament, and running the store, that we decided last night that we needed a little break. So we went out to dinner at the Thai Place, and then went to see the new Disney movie, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.” Starring Keira Knightly, Mackenzie Foy, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman, it was a gloriously stunning visual and musical masterpiece, and even included some significant ballet scenes. Next we want to see the new Harry Potter movie…

We’re also working on the project that Gypsy brought me out here for: opening the Cosmic Connection Temple of Stars – a Witches’ Planetarium. This amazing chamber was conceived and created by Gypsy’s late husband, Richard (Master Azaradel). We are developing an experiential “star walk” and “Mystick Crystal Activation” for visitors coming here on a magickal pilgrimage. Our first prototype tour will be tomorrow, for a bunch of friends who showed up today who are part of my own magickal training lineage with the late Deborah Bourbon, of Pathways in St. Louis.

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

The Wandering Wizard OZ

“Not all who wander are lost.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

In my 76th year of this incarnation, with everything I own placed into storage, I decided to go on an indefinite Walkabout. My Mission is to travel around the country making personal visits with old and new friends and lovers, interspersed with book-signings and talks at Pagan stores and gatherings. Previously, people who wanted to meet me had to come to me. Now I’m coming to you! (or at least to a Pagan venue in your neighborhood).

I hit the road on June 15 of 2018. After many adventures in California, Reno, Las Vegas, Austin, Guatemala, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Kansas City, St Louis, Cincinnati, numerous places in Pennsylvania, and NYC, I arrived in Salem, MA on Oct. 10, in time for Samhain. I attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto the first week in Nov., and I’ll be based in Salem through the winter, working to open the Cosmic Connection Temple of Stars, before heading off on the eastern and southern part of my journey (including several big Pagan festivals) in the Spring.

I am being supported on this Walkabout by appearances, fundraising events, and generous donations, particularly via my Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/oberonzell.



Meeting Margaret Atwood

Tuesday 11/6/18

Another full and wonderful day at the Parliament. The highlight for us, however, was getting to spend over an hour and a half with Margaret Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” sitting in front of a nice fire in the drawing room of the historic Campbell House in downtown Toronto. We found so much to talk about! The entire meeting and conversation was filmed for a documentary on Margaret that is intended for release next October or so. Margaret’s husband Graeme Gibson and Gypsy joined us for part of the conversation, and Margaret gave me a pre-publication proof copy of her latest book, Hag-Seed, a modern adaptation of “The Tempest.” I can’t wait to read it! Then we all went back to the Convention Center for Margaret’s talk on “Climate Change and Women.” Lucy Cummings, who introduced her onstage and conducted the Q&A, referred to her as a “national treasure” of Canada.

Parliament of Religions

Monday 11/5/18

This is the 5th day of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto. Gypsy and I are having an amazing time! Connecting to so many people; fantastic workshops and panels, but even more significant are the conversations we get into with folks sitting around in the little conversation areas scattered throughout the convention center.

Since I’m wearing my Pagan and Wizardry ritual regalia, I attract a fair amount of attention. People want to know what religion I am, and when I tell them I’m a Pagan, they’re generally quite interested in learning more. Likewise, when Gypsy tells them she’s a Witch High Priesstess, Many already have a pretty good idea of what Paganism is–a food vendor outside the hall even said, “Oh, the Old Religion!”

Laney Goodman and her Mother Drum presentation invited Gypsy up onstage to sing with them–invoking the Four Elements, engaging all to drum and chant, blessing Mother Earth and the work of the Parliament. Their company included Imani, ALisa Starkweather, Kathleen Rouleau and others.

Much of the programming has to do with dealing with global climate change. But there are a lot of programs about women in religious leadership, including a panel on Priestesses, with Selena Fox, Dierdre Pulgram-Arthen, Angie Buchanon, Inija (Romuva HPs from Lithuania) and other Pagan Priestesses. Dierdre even gave a presentation on the main stage of the Plenary, where many individual religious leaders made short speeches.

There was also a gratifying amount of talk about the Goddess–particularly Mother Earth. Various indigenous American tribes were represented in a continuing series of talks by Elders in the large constructed Longhouse and tipis, and they were all about Mother Earth, Mother Nature, etc. All were extremely concerned, sharing warnings about the dire fates of the 4-legged, 2-leggeds, and their ancestral lands, urging us to act now to stop the tides of destruction that threaten all life.

At one presentation by indigenous people on prophecies of this time, I got to make a statement that in my travels throughout the world, I’ve spoken to indigenous shamans and elders of Australia, Peru, Guatemala, Hawaii, Siberia, North America, Nigeria, etc. And from all these conversations, a single word has emerged that I felt commissioned to bring here: “Awakening.” This is the Time of the Awakening. And all agreed enthusiastically.

Yesterday Belladonna Laveau of ATC (Aquarian Tabernacle Church), Andras Corban-Arthen of EarthSpirit and I had lunch together, and Andras and I had a pretty fierce argument over the capitalization of the name of our religion–Pagan. He refuses to capitalize it, insisting that Paganism isn’t really a religion, but merely a category of religions, like animism, monotheism, etc. I, however, maintain that several million of us identify our religion as “Pagan,” and to not capitalize it is a grievous insult. We’re not done with this…

At 4:30 in the afternoon, we had a “flash mob” spiral dance, chanting “Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna.” The spiral opened into a snake dance proceeding up and down escalators, throughout both convention halls, and we were joined by many others, including Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.

Last night Belladona and her ATC crowd took us back to their B&B for a fantastic home-cooked dinner and conversation that is going to have significant results down the line…stay tuned!

Today Gypsy and I will be meeting with Margaret Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and the meeting will be filmed by a company that’s doing a documentary on her.

More later…

Eastern Pennsylvania

Sunday 9/16/18

As you know, I’m currently in eastern PA. Last night was a huge fund-raising event put on in my honor by Kim Consoli and her Order of Avalon. It was held outdoors, at a local farm in Lebanon, PA, with a wide creek running behind the vending area. Around 60-70 people attended. There was vending, feasting, live music (3 bands!), dancing, raffles, auction, a Mabon ritual, fire-spinning, bonfire, etc. I sold all my remaining copies of “The Wizard & The Witch,” and gave a short talk on “Awakening into Quantum Consciousness.”

It was great to finally meet Silver Ravenwolf, as we’ve had friendly communications for nearly 30 years—since she created the WPPA (Wiccan/Pagan Press Alliance), for which Green Egg won numerous awards back in the ‘90s. But we’d never actually met face-to-face before last night! She was delightful, and told me about her current book project about the PowWow tradition.

The event concluded at midnight with a moving toast to both Morning Glory and me for our life’s work for the Pagan Community. The degree of honoring was really overwhelming.

By the time we got everything broken down and packed into the car, dropped off the photographer, and got back to Kim’s house, it was 2:00 in the morning. Kim made us all some midnight munchies, and it was 3:am when I finally crawled into bed.

We all got up late, Kim made coffee and breakfast, I got caught up with my email and messages, and musician Jimmy Clark and I had a long business meeting around his doing awesome covers of Gwydion’s songs. His main current project is an ambitious creation of music videos for each of the 22 Tarot Major Arcana, and he’s recruited me to portray “The Hermit” (#9) which we plan to film at David Donohue’s place in Barto, PA, on Oct. 5.


Satyrday 9/15/18

Tonight is the big bash that Kim is throwing in my honor from 6:pm-midnite with her store, The Order of Avalon. It’ll be at a beautiful farm in Lebanon, PA. Musician Jimmy Clark has done an amazing job planning and coordinating the program, which includes pot-luck feasting, book-signing, Mabon ritual, group meditation, music & dancing with three bands, fire-spinning, raffles, auction, and a talk by me on “The Awakening”… The Press will be covering it, with photos, video, and maybe even a drone. So far over 100 people have said they’re coming, including Silver Ravenwolf. This should be amazing!

Thursday I received a much-needed massage from Neil, one of Maedelyn’s housemates, who is staying there recovering from cancer surgery. Also living there is Will, Maedelyn’s long-time paramour, and Littlefox, who helps with housekeeping, cooking, etc. A delightful group household, much like MG and I used to have at RavenHaven and Shady Grove.

Neil took me out for lunch, and a visit to his regular home—an apartment among many in a magnificent labyrinthine mansion built by John Uri Lloyd (1849-1936), a Cincinnatti “pharmacognocist” and pharmaceutical manufacturer, and author of the remarkable 1895 allegorical sci-fi novel, “Etidorhpa (Aphrodite spelled backwards), or, the end of the earth: the strange history of a mysterious being and the account of a remarkable journey.”

According to Wikipedia, “The book purports to be a manuscript dictated by a strange being named “I-Am-The-Man” to a man named Llewyllyn Drury. Drury’s adventure culminates in a trek through a cave in Kentucky into the core of the Earth. Ideas presented in Etidorhpa include practical alchemy, secret Masonic orders, the Hollow Earth theory, and the concept of transcending the physical realm.” The book spawned a cult following, and was translated into seven languages.

Thursday evening we binge-watched the first half-dozen episodes of “Strange Angel,” a superb miniseries about Jack Parsons (1914–1952), early rocket scientist, founder of JPL and the entire US space program, and a Thelemite occultist whose involvement with Aleister Crowley, the OTO, and L. Ron Hubbard is well-known in Pagan circles. Parsons died in a mysterious explosion in his lab on June 17, 1952.

I spent all day Friday driving nearly 500 miles to Kim’s house in eastern PA, arriving in time for dinner and a fun evening hanging out with Kim, her partner Shawn, Jimmy Clark, David, and “Mom.” Jimmy and David were rehearsing the music for the bash, and Jimmy played me some of the songs he’d already recorded for his ambitious Tarot Trumps project (for which he wants me to play the Hermit for the video), and a number of his fabulous covers of Gwydion’s songs.

I’ll be staying here for the next few weeks, before moving on to Salem in early October, where I’ll be spending the winter with Gypsy…

Travel Spell

Travel Spell
by OZ 9/14/18

The road ahead is clear before me;
Dame Fortuna favors me.
May the journey home restore me
To the one I’m meant to be.

My Mission in this indefinite Walkabout is to travel around the country making personal visits with old and new friends and lovers, interspersed with book-signings and talks at Pagan stores and gatherings. Previously people who wanted to meet me had to come to me. Now I’m coming to you! (or at least to a Pagan venue in your neighborhood). I am being supported on this journey (gas, food, motels, car maintenance…) by generous donations, particularly via my Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/oberonzell

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

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

–J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Workshops and New Friends

Tuesday, 7/31/18

Today is a brief break from the incredibly full and rich activities here at beautiful Lake Atitlan in the heart of Guatemala. The past three days have been intense, and I haven’t had a free moment to check my email and FaceBook, or write in this journal. In addition to Dona and me, a dozen guests showed up for the weekend. Amazing people, every one! Saturday I did a 3-hour presentation in two-parts on “Awakening into Quantum Consciousness.” Sunday we held a ceremony of Awakening in Carolina’s beautiful Temple of Illumination (see photo). And yesterday (Monday) Carolina, Maia, Baba John and I hiked and climbed to the top (1,892m) of the nearby mountain, Cerro de Oro (“Mountain of Gold”), also called “The Elephant,” to see a Mayan altar and spectacular views over the Lake. Tomorrow we’re going across the lake in a boat to visit with some of the participants of the past weekend, receive some body work, and do shamanic journeying with ayahuasca. I’ll catch you all up as best I can…

Ceremony in the Temple of Illumination

A Day of Rest

Saturday, 7/28/18

Today is the big day, and the reason I was brought here to Guatemala–my weekend seminar on “Awakening into Quantum Consciousness.” People start arriving in 2 hours, and there is much to set up and prepare…

Yesterday was so beautiful–perfect temperature, quiet and peaceful. Dona and I went swimming in the lake, and laid around on the grass watching the clouds.

Guatemala – Lake Atitlan

Thursday, 7/26/18

A lot in the past few days! I’ll try to catch up…

Dona and I spent all day Tuesday flying down to Guatemala City, where our host, Carolina, had told us she’d be putting us up for the night at her mother’s place. She picked us up at the airport as soon as we’d cleared customs, and took us for a late dinner at a local restaurant Pinche where she knew the people. We got there just minutes before closing. After a delicious dinner Carolina took us to her mom’s—which turned out to be a fabulous luxury green hotel—Terra Esperanza—in the middle of town! Our room was one of three on the 7th floor, with a big common sitting room and wide balcony overlooking the city. We were rather blown away, but the best was yet to come…

Yesterday morning we met for breakfast in the hotel’s café/restaurant Kardamomuss, with Carolina’s mother and sister, both named Lucrecia, and her utterly charming 8-year-old daughter Maia. A beautiful statue of Madre Esperanza graced the center of the restaurant. Esperanza means “hope,” which is the major theme of the whole family, and the name of the hotel. The name of the restaurant referenced Cardamon, an incredibly healthy spice locally-produced from seeds that is claimed to be “a panacea for every illness or medical disorder.” Dona and I agreed this was probably the best breakfast we’d ever had in our lives!

Carolina’s mother told us that the property had originally been a family farm where her husband had grown up. They’d met at the age of 14, married at 18, and had 40 happy years before he died suddenly in front of her of a heart attack, 14 years ago. During their time together, they’d built this amazing “green” hotel/residence/office building, all with local labor and materials.

Lucrecia (the mother) gave us the grand tour, from the swank swimming pool with all-around floor-to-ceiling windows, the well-equipped gym, spa, and healing facilities, to the rooftop garden that could have been a lovely landscaped back yard until you looked beyond the border flowers to the city all round and far below. Several major volcanoes were visible on the horizon, including one called Fuego (“fire”) that had famously erupted last month, much like Pompei, sending pyroclastic flows down the slopes that killed a number of people. They were still cleaning up ash from the eruption. A news report said:

Eruption of Fuego
June 4, 2018: A volcano southwest of Guatemala City has erupted for the second time in five months, sending a deadly plume of super-heated rock and gas into the rural communities below. At least 65 people have been killed, but the death toll is expected to rise.

When the Fuego volcano erupted in February, it produced a one-mile-high plume of ash, but yesterday’s eruption was of a different sort. On Sunday afternoon, the 12,346-foot-tall mountain erupted, hurtling a column of ash a full 3.7 miles into the sky. The explosion also triggered a deadly pyroclastic flow—a hot, fast-moving plume of rock and gas—that engulfed farms, streets, cars, and entire homes at the bottom of the southern slope.

The Fuego volcano is located about 25 miles south of Guatemala City. In 2012, the volcano triggered an evacuation of 10,000 residents, and in 2015 it forced an airport closure. This is the deadliest eruption in Guatemala since 1902, when the Santa Maria volcano killed thousands of people.

After the tour of “mom’s place,” Carolina, Maia, Dona and I ran a few errands around the city, visited an art gallery, and hit the road for the 3-hour drive to Lake Atitlan where we’d be staying at the La KzonA eco-resort. During the ride we were engaged with Maia’s wit and intelligence in running word games, mostly between her and me, regarding who (or what) we’d accept as students in my Wizard School. We even had a competition of  wicked laughs and mad cackles, which Maia won hands-down with an uncanny impression of the cackle of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. We stopped at a market to pick up food and supplies, where a total stranger named Lily came up to me, saying I reminded her of Jesus, and lamenting to Dona that she wished she could have a boyfriend like me. She gave Carolina her phone number, and invited us to come visit her. Maia said it was good we had tinted windows on the car, or there’s be a crowd of women chasing after me!

After harrowing encounters with buses and trucks on the narrow and sometimes unpaved road, we finally arrived at Cerro de Oro, the tiny lakeside village near the resort in Lake Atitlan. Lake Atitlan is a caldera lake and what remains of the original volcano are three semi-dormant volcanoes: Toliman, Atitlan and San Pedro. It was after dark as we were shown the lovely stone cottage right on the lake where we’d be staying. Carolina even set us up with WiFi so we could do email, FB, and catch up on Rachel Maddow and Steven Colbert.

This morning I made omelets, we took a wade in the clear lake, and I caught up on my email, FB, and writing this journal. Carolina picked us up around 1:00 to take us to the little farm in Santiago where she, Maia, and her husband David live. Dave is back in the States this month, and Carolina had to supervise the avocado harvest, but Maia proudly showed us all around, introducing us to her horses, ducks, dogs and peacocks—and to her father’s beautiful free-form sculpted and painted adobe that comprise their rooms, temple, and other structures.

Afterwards we stopped at the market in Santiago to get a few items, and then we climbed aboard one of the two main forms of public transportation: a pick-up truck (flete) with high sides around the bed where people stood all packed together and hung on for dear life. Although this is supposed to be the rainy season here, it hasn’t rained yet all summer, and isn’t expected to during our stay. But on the way, a sudden downpour would have drenched us, but the driver tossed up a big blue tarp, which I caught (being in the front left corner of the bed), and everyone spread over us all. We got off at the Charismatic Catholic Church Carolina had shown us earlier, and her guardian/groundskeeper Manuel met us and walked us home.

And so ends our first day at Lake Atitlan…