The Legacy of Oberon Zell

OZ with GlobeI have often been asked: “What do you want leave as your legacy to the Pagan Community?”

I truly hope that Morning Glory’s and my life and works will be a treasured legacy to the Pagan community we have loved so much. From its founding water-sharing on April 7, 1962, the Church of All Worlds was my first and most spectacular creation, but by no means my last. The intention there was to create an inclusive religion that I and others like me could believe in and be proud to be part of. The Mission Statement of our initial water-
brotherhood, ATL, was simply “To make the world safe for people like us.” 61 years and three “Phoenix Resurrections” later, I’m pleased to see that CAW is still going strong, and becoming more beautiful all the time with the beautiful people who are drawn to it. “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.”

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.

History Professor Ronald Hutton, author of Triumph of the Moon, has said:
“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.”

Of course, I can claim the entire Pagan community as a legacy, since I was the first to claim the term as a self-identification, way back in Sept. of 1967, and to promote it through the pages of Green Egg. For that matter, after 183 issues so far, I hope that Green Egg will continue to serve the Pagan community as a major interfaith journal for many years to come.

“In March of 1968, the Green Egg appeared. From its inauspicious beginnings as a one-page ditto sheet, it grew over 80 issues into a 60-page journal, becoming the most significant periodical in the Pagan movement during the 1970s and made Tim [Oberon] Zell, its editor, a major force in Neo-Paganism (a term which Zell coined).”

—Rev. Dr. J. Gordon Melton
Director, Institute for the Study of American Religions

I am pleased that Morning Glory’s coining in 1990 of the terms “polyamory” and “polyamorous,” and our lifetime of successful open relationships and 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.

I am particularly proud of the kids that MG and I have raised—both our own and the several “Goddess- Daughters” and “God-Sons” we’ve helped nurture. We have also been the honorary “aunt and uncle” (and now grandparents) to several generations of kids who have grown up around us, and we have trained a number of apprentices. They have all become phenomenal in their respective careers, and all are doing significant work to further the Ultimate Conspiracy of subverting the dominant paradigm towards the next phase of evolution. They are our truest immortality: “What is remembered, lives!”

And we brought Living Unicorns back to the world in 1980!

Wiccan Priestess and teacher Valerie Voigt says:
“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. 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.”

I am particularly proud of my networking efforts in the Pagan community, and I feel that they, too, 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 American Council of Witches
(1974); 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). While living in
NorCalifia, 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).
Vying for importance among my legacy accomplishments is the Gaea Thesis—the proposition that the entire
biosphere of Earth constitutes a single vast living creature—an entity we have known intuitively since time
immemorial as “Mother Earth.” She whom the ancient Greeks called Ge or Gaea—from whence we derive all
our terms for Earth-related subjects: Geology, Geography, Geocentric, Geodesic, Geode… In a Vision on Sept.
6, 1970, I saw that all life had developed from a single original cell that divided and subdivided, passing its
cellular material on and on. All life is interconnected, part of a single living organism. What we call “evolution”
is embryology on a planetary scale.
My initial “TheaGenesis” paper was followed by a number of other articles which had a strong influence on the
development of the Church of All Worlds and Neo-Paganism. CAW Co-founder Lance Christie wrote of them:
“You’ve begun the creation of a myth, and a most livable one at that. It is a myth which defines a role
for man and answers a lot of mystic questions. It seems to fit very will within the total tradition of man’s
symbols and myths, expressing in clearer and expanded form a theme as old as consciousness can
remember….the world view you are creating is compatible with objective consciousness and science in
a way no other religious myth is…”
Several years after my TheaGenesis papers were published, Newsweek magazine, as well as a number of less
popular journals, mentioned the work of British scientist James Lovelock, who had posited the ‘Gaia
Hypothesis:’ the living matter on Earth, air, oceans, and land was all part of a system that Lovelock called after
the Earth-Mother Goddess, Gaia… I entered into correspondence with Lovelock, comparing our world views.
After 20 years of sculpting dozens of votive figurines and museum replicas of Goddesses and Gods for the
Mythic Images Collection (another significant legacy), I finally turned my attention to sculpting a figure of

Mother Earth as I saw Her in my Vision. “The Millennial Gaia” was completed on May 1, 1998, and became
my magnum opus, and the flagship of our family business. In 2021 I published Song of Gaea: Paean to the Soul of
Nature (a full-color children’s book) with Kiri Johnson and art by Sage Lampros & Pratima Sarkar. And finally, in 2022,
my most important book, GaeaGenesis: Conception and Birth of the Living Earth.
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. His visionary sculpture of the ‘Millennial Gaia’ is a
three-dimensional revelation, an artistic masterpiece that fuses evolutionary biology with sculptural
elegance. For over 50 years he has been writing and lecturing on Gaian consciousness, and it is high
time that he put it all together into a book!

~ Ralph Metzner, Ph.D.
(Professor Emeritus, California Institute of Integral Studies
Founder-President, The Green Earth Foundation)
I am also particularly proud of my Grey School of Wizardry, which I founded in 2004. With more than 500
classes in 16 Departments, and seven levels of Apprenticeship, I hope GSW to be a valued educational resource
for the entire magickal community. In Nov. of 2022, I ceremonially passed the torch of Headmaster on to my
esteemed apprentice and protégé, Nicholas Kingsley. As one of our student Prefects, Aaran Sherwood wrote:
Just Imagine! Ten years from now. Over a hundred have graduated to Journeymen Wizards, and another
thousand Apprentices continue in training. The pendants we wear are no longer merely logos of the
school we attend, but the symbol of our Order. And our symbol is not just recognizable to those who we
call brother and sister, but to the greater world both Magickal and Mundane. We are respected as
honored and reliable sources of wisdom, guidance and hope to the communities we live in. We are
recognized in congress, the military, in covens and conclaves, and through our deeds we are recognized
as an organization devoted to helping influence the evolution of the world.
As Co-Founder and Curator of the Academy of Arcana in Santa Cruz, CA, I dedicated myself 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, Prof. Hutton 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.
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…
Oberon Zell is a man of Great Leadership, Wisdom and Vision. His work ethic is flawless and He is
well known for his philanthropic venues and the milestones He makes in education for his spiritual
community. He is an inspiration and excellent role model as an active citizen and spiritual Leader. His
record for success in organizational skills and networking proceed Him. He is an exceptional and ethical
Leader to support. I have enjoyed his associations through Green Egg Magazine and his Radio Talk
Show and many other venues that He supports and leads. He is an exceptional teacher, mentor and
guide. It is more than worth your while to align yourself with this Icon of spiritual humanism.

—Mama Astarte, CAE-Sales at Comcast Cable

“One is glad to be of service.” (Isaac Asimov, The Bicentennial Man)

Oberon Zell:
Church of All Worlds:
Green Egg:
Grey School of Wizardry:
Mythic Images:

OZ’s Patreon page:

Periodicals created, edited and published by Oberon:
The Cool Ghoul (high school: 1957-1960)
The Atlan Torch (college: 1962-1965)
Atlan Annals (grad school: 1965-1968)
Green Egg (CAW: 1968-1976; 1988-2000; 2007-present)
The Pagan! (CAW: 1969-1970)
UnicorNews (ERA: 1980-1984)
Greenfield Ranch Newsletter (1982-1985)
The Scarlet Flame (CAW: 1990-2003)
The Violet Vision (CAW: 1995-2000)