Projects by Oberon

OZ Books in Process (all partly written):

  • Death Rites and Rights: Home Funeral Considerations for the Pagan Family and Community, with Judith Fenley (Llewellyn)
  • Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard—special limited Master Edition (New Page, 201?)
  • HAM (How About Magick?) (all the issues of our Pagan kids’ magazine from the 1990s in a single volume) (ReSearch Books)
  • Song of Gaea, with Kiri Johnson (a children’s book)
  • GaeaGenesis: Conception and Birth of the Living Earth (New Page)
  • Grimoire for the Journeyman Wizard (New Page)
  • Wizards of the World, with Nikki “Solaris” Kirby & George Knowles
  • Goodbye Jesus, I’ve Gone Home to Mother (edit) (an anthology of stories by ex-Christian clergy who have come over to Paganism)
  • Unicorns in Our Garden, with Morning Glory Zell (a beautiful coffee-table book of color photos, news-clippings, and writings about our living Unicorns)
  • Legendary Journeys, with Belladona and Morning Glory (journal entries and photos from our travels to sacred sites around the world)
  • History’s Mysteries (Eden, Atlantis, the Underworld, Amazons, Lemuria, Mu, Middle Earth, The Hyborean Age, Lost Cities, Elven ships, the Sword in the Stone…)
  • A Wizard’s Guide to Girls, with Julie Epona O’Ryan
  • A Wizard’s Guide to Women, with Julie Epona O’Ryan
  • Children of the Lesser Gods (a companion to A Wizard’s Bestiary, about mythical peoples rather than animals)
  • The Gospel of Gaea (a narrative epic of the history of life on Earth, written in the lyric style of Genesis) (with Kiri Johnson?)
  • Sharing Water (on the Church of All Worlds)
  • Green Religion (on the Pagan Movement)

…more Green Egg anthologies:

  • Green Egg Sunny-Side Up (fiction & humor)
  • Green Egg Hard-Boiled (history, power & politics)
  • Green Egg Soft-Boiled (thealogy & philosophy)
  • Green Egg and Ham (kids & families)
  • Green Egg Poached (ecosophy & environmentalism)
  • Green Egg Over Easy (feminism & sacred sexuality)
  • Green Egg Benedict (comparative religions)
  • Green Egg Fried (psychedelics & consciousness)
  • Green Egg Scrambled (miscellaneous)
  • Green Egg Deviled (dark arts, Satanic Panic)

Projects by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

“Without Morning Glory and her husband Oberon, both the face and the depths of modern Paganism would look very, very different. It is largely thanks to them that the Pagan movement in the USA embraced the Goddess as Mother Nature.”
–Valerie Voigt
Wiccan Priestess and teacher

Church of All Worlds

I met Lance Christie in Sept. of 1961 at the start of our college years. Inspired by Robert A. Heinlein’s sci-fi novel, Stranger in a Strange Land, we shared water on April 7, 1962. Our initial Mission Statement was “to make the world safe for people like us.” Over the next five years, our “water-brotherhood,” called “Atl,” grew to more than 100 people before undergoing an amiable mitosis which resulted in two sister branches: the public Church of All Worlds (CAW) and the underground Association for the Tree of Life (ATL). It was at that juncture (Sept. 7, 1967), in a talk at a local Beatnik coffeehouse, that I first claimed the term “Pagan” as a religious identification for myself and the CAW. Six months later (March 4, 1968), the Church of Worlds was legally incorporated, and the first issue of Green Egg was printed that Ostara.

In 1985, CAW’s Mission Statement was updated to read:

“The Sacred Mission of the Church of All Worlds is to evolve a network of information, mythology and experience to awaken the Divine within and to provide a context and stimulus for reawakening Gaea and reuniting Her children through tribal community dedicated to responsible stewardship and the evolution of consciousness.”

Inspired by science-fiction as well as ancient mythology, CAW was the first fully-incorporated church in modern times to claim the identity of “Pagan;” to legally ordain women as Priestesses; to sanction and perform same-sex and multiple marriages; to sacralize entheogens, ritual nudity and sacred sexuality; and to revive and restore the ancient Cthonic Mysteries of Beltaine, Samhain, and Eleusis. We were also the first (in 1970) to articulate and develop the “Gaea Thesis” as our foundational theology, reconciling science and religion.

Many other now-common Pagan traditions—such as water-sharing—originated in CAW. Our journal, Green Egg, is legendary, and we host the 8 Sabbats on our land sanctuary of Annwfn in NorCalifia.

“The Church of All Worlds has been one of the three most important and influential expressions of Paganism in America, the others being Pagan Witchcraft and Druidry, and it has been primarily developed and sustained by Oberon Zell and his late partner Morning Glory.”

–History Professor Ronald Hutton
author of Triumph of the Moon

Green Egg Magazine

Founded on March 21, 1968, Green Egg is the oldest and longest-running Pagan publication in the world, with 170 issues published to date. It has won many awards, and is now available as an online e-zine.

“In March of 1968, the Green Egg appeared. From its inauspicious beginnings as a one-page ditto sheet, it grew into a 70-page journal, becoming the most significant periodical in the Pagan movement since the 1970s, and made Oberon Zell, its editor, a major force in Neo-Paganism (a term which Zell coined).”

—Rev. Dr. J. Gordon Melton
Encyclopedia of American Religions

“The Zells articulated the Gaea Thesis and spread the word about it in Green Egg in the early 1970s. Back then, Green Egg, published by the Church of All Worlds, was the only real pan-Pagan publication, and it was the one place where regularly-published unfettered and uncensored discussion and debate occurred among many different individual practitioners and paths of Pagan practice.

“Green Egg was what we had: No Aquarian Tabernacle, no Circle Network, no Witchvox, no Pagan music publishing companies, no Internet, no Pagan or occult section at Barnes and Noble—indeed, precious few books at all, really. Green Egg was the lifeline that let us connect to each other.”

–Valerie Voigt
Wiccan Priestess and teacher

Neo-Pagan Renaissance

Promoting the identity of “Pagan” through Green Egg inspired other early groups to adopt the designation as well, and thus a movement of “Green Religion” was launched, embracing Nature worship, pantheism, polytheism, Goddesses, Priestesses, the Gaea Thesis, the Wheel of the Year, sexual diversity, polyamory, and many other features rejected by the mainstream religions.

Some religion scholars, such as Dr. J. Gordon Melton of the Institute for the Study of American Religions (ISAR), have cited Neo-Paganism as the fastest-growing religion in the English-speaking world. We really have no idea of our numbers in America, as questions of religious identity were removed from the U.S. Census as of 1990. However, estimates based on publishers’ records of Pagan-themed book sales (specifically Drawing Down the Moon and The Spiral Dance) bring those figures into the several millions.

But there is also a strong and growing resurgence of the Old Religion (i.e. Paganism) in many other non-English-speaking countries throughout the world, such as Scandinavia, the Balkans (particularly Lithuania and Latvia), the Slavic countries, Greece, Guatemala, Peru, Japan, India… In these countries, the Old Religion is seen as a reclaiming of lost ancestral heritage—a restoration of “roots.” Commonly in reaction to the brutal cultural oppression of national identity under the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, the British Empire, and Soviet communism.

So how do we count our numbers? Only the several million English-speakers? Or do we also count 900 million Hindus (as they do), and all the other national adherents of their respective ancestral Old Religions? As Rev. Palaniswami said in his cover story on the Hindu-Pagan link: “Europe’s Ancient Nature Worshippers, the Pagans, Call for a Hindu Alliance,” in the Feb. 1991 issue of Hinduism Today—the primary publication for English-speaking Hindus throughout the world: “Being bold, we may count as Pagan the entire human race prior to the Christian era and all those following the Christian era but not following Judaism, Christianity, Islam or Buddhism. Most of the human family, in other words.”

Pagan Ecumenical Councils

I have been involved in numerous networking efforts in the Pagan community, and I feel that they are a significant legacy: I have founded, co-founded and/or been a major player in the Council of Themis (1968), the first Pagan ecumenical council; the Council of Earth Religions (1972); The Covenant of the Goddess (1976); Bay Area Pagan Assemblies (1980s); the Universal Federation of Pagans (1990); The Papal Apology Petition (1999); the Pagan Leaders Summit (2001); the Grey Council (2002); the Coalition of Scholars in Pagan Studies (2013); and the Office of Wardens (2013). Locally, I was privileged to have served on the Board of the Sonoma County Pagan Network (SCPN) and helped to found a local chapter of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS).
Gaean Thealogy

“The Gaea Thesis was developed by Oberon Zell (formerly Tim Zell). Zell describes Gaea as the archetypal image of the Great Mother Goddess, a living, sentient being with a soul-essence that can be perceived by humans.

“The genesis of Gaea was a profound vision experienced by Zell on September 6, 1970. In the vision, Zell saw Earth as a single biological organism that has evolved from a single original cell, making all life forms on the planet ‘a single vast creature.’ Mankind serves as the brain and nervous system, to ensure the optimal functioning of Gaea, a maturing system, and to prevent damage and disruption to her vital systems.”

—Rosemary Ellen Guiley
—from The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft

“Oberon Zell was the first person to conceive and publish the biological and metaphysical foundations of what has become known as the “Gaia Theory”—the unified body and emergent soul of the living Earth. Oberon’s profound reconciliation of science, mythology and spirituality inspired and infused a worldwide neo-Pagan, panentheistic movement. For 47 years he has been writing and lecturing on Gaean consciousness! His visionary sculpture of the ‘Millennial Gaia’ is a three-dimensional revelation, an artistic masterpiece that fuses evolutionary biology with sculptural elegance.”

—Ralph Metzner, Ph.D.
Founder-President, The Green Earth Foundation
Professor Emeritus, California Institute of Integral Studies

Polyamory Movement

Morning Glory’s coining in 1990 of the terms “polyamory” and “polyamorous,” and our 40 years of successful open relationships, including two 10-year group marriages, have inspired a vast movement of expanded relationships involving multiple partners. We were both very active in the early days of the Poly movement (the 1990s), and helped get it off the ground. Polyamory has become a mainstream movement, and a 2013 TV documentary, “Hidden America,” on the Discovery Channel, claimed 500,000 self-identified polyamorous folk in the U.S.

Here is Morning Glory’s definition, which she gave to the Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary when they contacted her to enter the term: “Polyamory: The practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved.”

The Living Unicorn

Morning Glory and I have always been fascinated by myths and legends, and we decided early on to write a book about the truths behind the myths. In 1976, in the process of our research, we discovered the secret of the Unicorn. Unicorns weren’t just figments of imagination, or distorted images of rhinoceroses; they had been actual living animals created by a closely-guarded secret process at various times throughout history, and derived from different species of horned animals. We realized that it was in our power to resurrect the authentic medieval Unicorn into the modern world.

So we moved to the country to create a Unicorn farm. The magick worked, and Lancelot was born at the Spring Equinox of 1980, to be followed two weeks later, at the full moon, by his brother Bedivere (named for knights of the round table). They were certainly beautiful. Their coats were iridescent white in the sunlight, with the texture of satin, and their long manes were like cloud fluff.

And we discovered an amazing magickal synchronicity. That spring, for the first time, virtually every gift catalog was highlighting Unicorns. Books, jewelry, T-shirts, figurines, calendars, posters, decorations, greeting cards, teapots, TV cartoons, gimcracks, and tchotchkes—everywhere we looked it was the Year of the Unicorn!

For the next several years, as we continued to produce a couple more Unicorns each year, we appeared at Renaissance Faires all over the United States and Canada. Some of them we exhibited on a rotating schedule at Marine World/Africa U.S.A., near San Francisco, where they were featured as billboard attractions.

In 1984, we finally obtained a patent on the unicorning process, and our booking agents landed us a four-year exhibition contract with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. For the rest of the decade, our Unicorns were the stars of the Greatest Show on Earth, seen by millions. Kenneth Feld of the RB/B&B Circus publicly stated that this was their greatest attraction since Jumbo—and most financially successful ever!

We kept several of them at home as our own companions, and placed some for a while at local animal parks. Decades later, we still hear from people whose lives were transformed by their encounter with “the impossible dream” made manifest, and the epiphany that if a Unicorn can be real, then anything is possible!

On Nov. 17, 2016, the Travel Channel show, “Mysteries at the Museum,” hosted by Don Wildman, featured a rather garbled account of “Lancelot the Unicorn.” Currently, our friend and agent, Jeffrey Siegel, is preparing a traveling exhibit of “The Living Unicorn,” featuring a genuine Unicorn skull as its centerpiece.

The Great And Powerful Oz – interview http://www.sideshowworld.com/9-ms-pi/interview-OZ.html
http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/mysteries-at-the-museum/episodes/lancelot-the-unicorn-prohibition-man-dragon-island-and-blood-rain

Mythic Images Collection

Among Morning Glory’s and my many common interests was the proliferation of little Goddess figurines during the “Creative Explosion” of 26,000 years ago—the last time we entered the Age of Aquarius. In 1984, I signed up for a ceramics class at the local community college, and began sculpting replicas of these, beginning a collection that now comprises more than 360 Goddess figurines from around the world and throughout history. In the late ‘80s, we began reproducing and marketing my figurines as “The Mythic Images Collection.”
In 1995, with our second group marriage, the Ravenhearts, we incorporated “TheaGenesis LLC” as a 5-partner family business. Starting with precise museum-quality reproductions of ancient artifacts, Morning Glory and I soon began creating unique original interpretations of familiar mythological subjects. From altar statues, we expanded our designs into wall plaques and eventually jewelry. At one point we had everyone in our family, as well as most of our friends and neighbors casting and painting these images! The business was quite successful, and continues to be my major source of income to this day.

The centerpiece of the Mythic Images Collection is the Millennial Gaia, based on my 1970 “TheaGenesis” vision. She is an inspiring and exquisitely-detailed representation of Mother Earth, and my masterwork. We are currently arranging to have Her reproduced as a life-size garden statue.

Grey School of Wizardry

The Grey School of Wizardry opened to students on Lughnasadh (Aug. 1) 2004. Its motto is: Omnia vivunt, omnia inter se conexa (“Everything is alive; everything is interconnected” — Cicero). The Grey School was incorporated as a non-profit Educational Institution in California on March 14, 2004, and on Sept. 27, 2007, the School received a 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service for charitable and educational purposes.

It should be understood that the Grey School is a secular institution of learning, not a religious one. Wizardry is not a religion, and Wizards are not religious functionaries or clerics. Wizardry (literally, “wisdom”), like philosophy (“love of wisdom”), science (“knowledge”), medicine, etc. is a calling or vocation, but not a profession of faith. Historically, Wizards have been found in all cultures, and all religions.

Designed for youth and adult students aged 11 or older, the Grey School provides an extensive program of apprentice studies over a full spectrum 16 Departments of Wizardry and Magick. Those who complete a course of study culminating in completion of a Departmental Major are certified as “Journeyman Wizards.”

Academy of Arcana

As Co-Founder and Curator of the Academy of Arcana in Santa Cruz, CA, I am dedicated to fulfilling my beloved Lifemate Morning Glory’s dying wish that I not let die the dream and the legacy that we created during our 40½ adventuresome years together. All of our extensive library of arcana and various collections of archives and artifacts—including MG’s renowned collection of more than 360 Goddess figurines from around the world, spanning 30,000 years—were on exhibit for two years at the Academy of Arcana in Santa Cruz, California, the first physical campus of the Grey School of Wizardry. Of these materials, Academy Advisor Prof. Ronald Hutton has said:

“It is beyond doubt one of the most significant bodies of source material for the history of Paganism on this planet, and as such richly deserves preservation in a form accessible to responsible scholars.”
–History Professor Ronald Hutton
author of Triumph of the Moon

Sadly, lacking patronage, the expenses of the Academy drained all my personal savings and resources until there was nothing left to pay the rent, and everything had to be packed up and put into storage. With the Academy now closed, I’m seeking a new home for myself and these legacy collections and archives—as well as financial support to exhibit and maintain them all…

Love, OZ