Oberon Zell

 
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Oberon Zell is a modern-day Wizard, and a leading Elder in the worldwide magickal community. Oberon is a true “Renaissance Man:” a psychologist, metaphysician, theologian, naturalist, artist, inventor, carpenter, sculptor, teacher, author, and Priest.

Oberon received his B.A. (Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology and Pre-Med) from Westminster College in 1965, attended graduate school at Washington University on a scholarship in Clinical Psychology, received a Doctor of Divinity from Life Science College in 1967, and earned his Teacher’s Certificate from Harris Teacher’s College in 1968. He has served as a teacher and counselor in public and private schools, from Headstart to High School, as well as being Director of Services for the St Louis Human Development Corporation (1966-1975). He taught at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, in the late-‘70s.

Inspired by Robert A. Heinlein’s prophetic science-fiction novel, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), Oberon co-founded the Church of All Worlds on April 7, 1962 with the first water-sharing. An initiate in several different mystical traditions, he has founded and participated in many Pagan ecumenical groups and projects, including the Council of Themis, the Council of Earth Religions, the Universal Federation of Pagans, the Papal Apology Project, the Pagan Leaders Summit, the Grey Council, and the Sonoma County Pagan Network.

In 1967 Oberon was the first to adopt the terms “Pagan” and “Neo-Pagan” to describe the newly-emerging Nature religions of the 1960s. Through his award-winning magazine, Green Egg (1968-), Oberon played a major role in the founding and unification of the Pagan community, and in reclaiming the Earth/Nature-based spiritual heritage of pre-Christian Europe. The Neo-Pagan “Green Religion” is now considered to be the fastest-growing spiritual movement in the English-speaking world, claiming more than five million adherents worldwide. And Oberon is acknowledged as one of its founding Elders: “The Father of Neo-Paganism.”

In 1970, Oberon articulated the premise that all life on Earth is a single vast living Being, known as “Mother Earth,” or “Gaea” to the ancient Greeks. His initial paper, “TheaGenesis,” was published in Green Egg in 1971, two years before British atmospheric biochemist James Lovelock first presented his “Gaia Hypothesis” to the scientific community in 1973. Oberon’s theology of “deep ecology” has been universally embraced throughout the Pagan and New Age communities.

Oberon met and fell in love with the incomparable Morning Glory, his soulmate and beloved wife of 40 years, at the 1973 Gnostic Aquarian Festival in Minneapolis, where he was a keynote speaker. They married in April of ‘74, and from 1977-‘85 they lived in a 5,600-acre intentional community in the mountains of Northern California, creating a rural homestead and wilderness retreat center. On February 26, 1979, they designed and led a ritual with other Pagan leaders to celebrate the total solar eclipse at a full-scale recreation of Stonehenge in Washington State, a huge public event attended by an estimated 4,000 people.

Oberon and Morning Glory’s research into arcane lore and ancient legends resulted in the famous “Living Unicorn” project, initiated in 1979. The Zells traveled throughout North America in the early ‘80s exhibiting their authentic Unicorns at Renaissance Faires and other events, during which period they appeared on countless local and national television talk shows. The project culminated with the leasing of several of their living Unicorns to the Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Continuing to explore fables and mysteries, in 1985 Oberon organized a video diving expedition to Australia and New Guinea to solve and document the mystery of the Mermaid. Other adventures have taken Oberon to Peru, Hawaii, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico and archaeological sites throughout Europe and the Aegean. In 1999, he visited England for the final total solar eclipse of the Millennium, which he celebrated with local Pagans at an ancient stone circle in Cornwall.

For more than 50 years, Oberon has written and published countless articles and several books on mysteries of history, Gaean thealogy, magick, shamanism, mythology, anomalies, cryptozoology, archaeology, cosmology, and related topics. His best-selling Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard (New Page Books, 2004) is an essential basic reference work that will continue to serve as a resource throughout the reader’s lifetime. That book was followed by Companion for the Apprentice Wizard (2006), Creating Circles & Ceremonies (with Morning Glory; 2007), A Wizard’s Bestiary (with Ash DeKirk; 2007), and Green Egg Omelette (2008), an anthology of art and articles from 40 years of his legendary magazine.

As a follow-up to the Grimoire, Oberon founded the online Grey School of Wizardry in 2004. With dozens of highly-qualified teachers, the Grey School offers more than 500 unique and excellent classes on myth, magick and mystery—as well as Classical and modern Liberal Arts studies and ancient languages—in 16 Departments for Majors and Minors. As Headmaster, Oberon has been called “the real Albus Dumbledore to aspiring Harry Potters!” (Lee Prosser, Fate Magazine)

Oberon’s favorite art project is his ongoing sculpture and jewelry series of Gods, Goddesses, and mythological creatures, presented as “The Mythic Images Collection.” His masterwork is “The Millennial Gaia”—a sculptural representation of Mother Earth based on his 1970 “TheaGenesis” vision.

Oberon’s and Morning Glory’s life story was released by Llewellyn in Feb. of 2014: The Wizard and the Witch (with John Sulak). Sadly, Morning Glory died of cancer on May 13, 2014. Subsequently, Oberon moved to Santa Cruz, CA, where he opened the Academy of Arcana in Nov. of 2015 as a physical campus of the Grey School, with a library, museum, and gift store. After two years of worldwide media attention, including an award-winning film, “The Wizard OZ,” the Academy was closed in Nov. of 2017.

Oberon is featured, quoted, interviewed, or otherwise referenced in more than 100 books chronicling the rise of the modern Pagan movement, cryptozoology, Gaia theory, polyamory, and other areas of his involvement over the past half-century.

Features contributed to The Witches' Almanac:

Annwfn & the Western Isles, The Witches’ Almanac 2019, p. 30

Bibliography:

Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, with the Grey Council, New Page, 2004
Companion for the Apprentice Wizard, with the Faculty of the Grey School of Wizardry, New Page, 2006
Creating Circles & Ceremonies: Rituals for All Seasons & Reasons, with Morning Glory Zell, New Page, 2006

A Wizard’s Bestiary, with Ash DeKirk, New Page, 2007
Green Egg Omelette: An Anthology of Art and Articles from the Legendary Pagan Journal, New Page, 2008
Prophecy & the End of the World (as we know it): Apocalypse or Solartopia? with Harvey Wasserman, TheaGenesis, 2012
Barsoom: A New Map of the Mars of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “John Carter of Mars” Novels TheaGenesis, 2012
The Wizard and the Witch: Seven Decades of Counterculture, Magick, and Paganism: An Oral History of Oberon Zell and Morning Glory, by John C. Sulak with Oberon & Morning Glory Zell, Llewellyn, 2014
Death Rites and Rights: Home Funeral Considerations for the Pagan Family and Community, with Judith Fenley, Llewellyn, 2019

Oberon wrote the Introductions for:
Gaia Eros, by Jesse Wolf Hardin, 2004
Dragonlore, by Ash DeKirk, 2006
Gargoyles, by Susan Pesznecker, 2006
Composing Magic by Elizabeth Barrette, 2007
Waking the Global Heart, Oberon was an acknowledged consultant for Anodea Judith’s, 2006

Oberon’s Art:

Oberon is internationally-renowned as an award-winning graphic artist, designer, and sculptor of plaques, figurines, and fine jewelry, widely marketed as “The Mythic Images Collection” since 1990. His signature sculpture is his inspired depiction of Mother Earth as “The Millennial Gaia” (1998).

Oberon was an acknowledged consultant for Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, (1982), and drew up an extensive Bestiary of all the alien animals mentioned in her Darkover science-fiction series. He illustrated Ann Forfreedom & Julie Ann’s Book of the Goddess (1980); Anodea Judith’s Wheels of Life (1987); The Flowering Rod by Kenny Klein (1993); Dragonlore, by Ash DeKirk (2006); Gargoyles, by Susan Pesznecker (2006); and Lost Civilizations & Mysteries of the Past, edited by Michael Pye & Kirsten Dalley (2012) as well as illustrating all his own books with hundreds of original graphics.

Oberon designed the covers for Urmas Kaldeveer’s Single Fathers’ Cookbook (1986), Phil Snow’sBlast from the Past (1986), and Jeanne Mara’s Listen to My Heart (1986). The cover of Patricia Monaghan’s New Book of Goddesses & Heroines (1997) features seven of Oberon’s sculptures, and the covers of Carl McColman’s Complete Idiot’s Guide to Paganism (2002), Radiant Circles by Rev. Luke Moonoak (2010), and Invented Religions (2010), Church of All Worlds (2018), and Fiction, Invention and Hyper-reality (2017) by Carole Cusack also feature his art. And Oberon’s “Astra” design appears on the cover and throughout "Goddess Wisdom" by Tanishka (2017).

Oberon’s sculptures, jewelry, and other art have been seen on several hit TV series: “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” “Mad, Mad House,” “Tanked,” “Grace & Frankie,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” His sculptures have also appeared in the following movies: The Witches of Eastwick, (1987), Pickman's Model, (2003), and The Feast of Love, (2007).

Oberon's Websites:

Personal: www.OberonZell.com
Oberon’s Patreon (for Patrons): https://www.patreon.com/oberonzell
Church of All Worlds: www.CAW.org
Grey School of Wizardry: www.GreySchool.com
Academy of Arcana: www.AcademyofArcana.com
Green Egg Magazine: http://www.greeneggemagazine.com/
The Mythic Images Collection: http://theguidingtree.com/mythic-images-collection
New Page Creatures of the Month (blogs): http://newpagebooks.blogspot.com/p/creatures.html
Oberon's Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberon_Zell-Ravenheart
“The Wizard OZ,” a short film by Danny Yourd: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/video/shorts/unicorns-and-mermaids-this-real-life-wizard-will-make-you-a-believer/