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 [En attente de traduction] Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon (1942– ) American Pagan,

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Date d'inscription : 14/04/2010

[En attente de traduction] Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon (1942– ) American Pagan, Empty
MessageSujet: [En attente de traduction] Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon (1942– ) American Pagan,   [En attente de traduction] Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon (1942– ) American Pagan, EmptyDim 18 Avr - 11:23

Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon (1942– ) American Pagan,
visionary and author and the key founder of the Church
of All Worlds. Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (formerly Tim
Zell, Otter G’Zell and Otter Zell) has played a leading
role in Paganism. A self-described modern wizard, Zell
has worn many hats in his career: transpersonal psychologist,
naturalist, metaphysician, mystic, shaman,
theologian, teacher, author, artist, lecturer and ordained
Priest of the Earth-Mother, Gaea.
He was born Timothy Zell on November 30, 1942, in
St. Louis, Missouri. His father served in the armed forces
in the South Pacific during World War II. A year before
his birth, Zell’s maternal grandfather died at home. Zell
believes he reincarnated aspects of his grandfather’s personality.
As a child, he experienced dreams of dying and
going into a void. He exhibited many personality characteristics
of the man he never knew, and at an early age
he developed a love for spending time in the woods with
nature—just as his grandfather had loved to do.
After his father’s return from the war, the Zell family
moved to Clark Summit, a small town outside Scranton,
Pennsylvania. As a child, Oberon kept to himself and
spent virtually all of his free time in the woods behind
the family home. He would sit motionless and let the
wildlife come around him. Perhaps because of this solitary
time, he became telepathic at a young age and could
hear the thoughts of those around him. As a consequence,
he shunned large groups of people, because the telepathic
commotion was too much to handle. His early years
were fraught with serious illnesses (including a nervous
breakdown), which he says “erased and reprogrammed”
his mind several times.
During Oberon’s teenage years, his father was promoted
and the family moved to Crystal Lake, northwest
of Chicago, Illinois. Oberon took naturally to the lake,
as he had to the woods. He learned instinctively to swim
“like an otter,” folding his arms by his side and wiggling
through the water. Otter became his nickname. He was
introspective, read a wide range of literature, and delved
into science fiction and fantasy.
He enrolled at Westminster Fulton College in St. Louis,
where, in the early 1960s, he met Richard Lance Christie,
an association that eventually led to the formation of
the Church of All Worlds. Zell shaped the church to his
personal vision: Religion should not be concerned merely
with personal salvation, a goal overwhelmingly insignificant
within the total context of the cosmos, but should be
primarily focused on connecting with all time and space,
the lifeflow of the universe and the oneness of all things.
He coined the term “Neo-Pagan.”
Under Oberon’s leadership, the church, which filed
for incorporation in 1967 and was formally chartered in
1968, attracted a following of intellectuals. It and Oberon
played major roles in the coalescing and networking of
the budding Pagan movement and the alliance of Paganism
with the environmental movement. Oberon edited
the church’s journal, the Green Egg, and made featured
appearances at Pagan festivals and science fiction conventions.
Sometimes he carried his pet boa constrictor, Histah,
on his shoulders as he gave addresses.
In 1963, Zell married his first wife, Martha, with
whom he had a son, Bryan, his only child. That relationship
ended in 1971.
Between 1965 and 1968, Zell earned undergraduate
degrees in sociology/anthropology and clinical psychology,
a teaching certificate and a doctor of divinity from
Life Science College. He entered, but did not complete,
the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Washington
In 1970, Oberon formulated and published “the thealogy
[sic] of deep ecology,” which later became known as
The Gaea Hypothesis, the concept of Mother Earth as a
sentient being who, in order to survive, needs the harmonious
balance of all things on the planet. He preceded
James Lovelock, whose similar “Gaia hypothesis” was
published in 1974 and gained a popular acceptance.
Oberon was invited to give a keynote address at
the 1973 Gnosticon Pagan festival in Minneapolis on
“Theagenesis: The Birth of the Goddess,” his ideas about
Oneness with Earth. In the audience was Morning Glory
Ferns (see Morning Glory Rav enheart-Zell). In a dramatic
moment, the two recognized each other as soul
402 Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon
mates and experienced a profound, telepathic intimacy.
Oberon took Morning Glory back to his home in St Louis.
Six months later, they were legally married in a spectacular
Pagan handfasting ceremony at the 1974 Gnosticon
festival at Easter.
In 1976, Tim and Morning Glory left St. Louis and the
central nest of the Church of All Worlds. They bought an
old school bus and drove it to Illinois, where they converted
it into a mobile home. They visited Coeden Brith in
Mendocino County, California, land belonging to Alison
Harlow, a cofounder of the Pagan organization Nemeton
(see Gwydion Pendderwen). They then went to Eugene,
Oregon, where they taught classes on Witchcraft and shamanism
and third world religions at a local community
In the fall of 1976, Zell underwent a profound mystical
vision quest that proved to be a watershed in his life. For
two weeks, he fasted alone in the wilderness near a hot
spring by the Mackenzie River, with no clothes and only
a knife and a sleeping bag. He learned to be completely in
tune with nature, meditated, kept a journal and smoked
marijuana. He emerged from the experience completely
transformed: his old identity as an urban social psychologist
had been obliterated, and he was now a mountain
man, ready to embark on new paths, live in the woods
and become a priest of Gaea. With Morning Glory, he performed
a ritual baptism, and initiated himself into the
Eighth Circle of the Church of All Worlds.
For the next eight years, Zell did little public work. In
1977, he and Morning Glory returned to Coeden Brith and
shared with Harlow their secret: that they had discovered
how to create unicorns from baby goats. Harlow offered
them a contract to live on the land as caretakers. They created
a monastic homestead and a Pagan retreat, conducted
seminars in the community, raised wild animals and
ran the Church of All Worlds as an umbrella organization
for several Pagan subsidiaries. Through one subsidiary,
the Ecosophical Research Association, they embarked on
various projects, including the breeding of unicorns and
a hunt for mermaids off Papua New Guinea.
In 1979, Zell decided to change his name from Tim.
He had been dissatisfied with it since leaving St. Louis,
for everywhere he went, he seemed to find a prominent
person named Tim, and it made him feel awkward. He
tried to forge new names without success. In March of that
year, he and Morning Glory sat by the banks of the river
that flows through Coeden Brith and discussed Oberon’s
identity crisis. Morning Glory suggested his nickname,
Otter. Zell rejected it, saying he wanted a name with more
“flash” that would be taken seriously by urban folk, with
whom they planned to do business with the unicorns.
Morning Glory then suggested asking the Mother for a
sign, which Zell did. At that moment, an otter popped
up out of the water, climbed on a rock, looked at them,
twirled around and dove back into the water. Zell had
never before seen an otter in the wild and has not seen
one since. “I hear and obey,” he said. He changed his last
name to G’Zell, a contraction of “Glory” and “Zell,” a style
borrowed from science fiction. For a time, the couple were
known as Otter G’Zell and Morning G’Zell.
From the beginning, the Zells had formed an open
marriage. Indeed, it was Morning Glory who later coined
the term polyamory. In 1984, they included a third primary
partner, Diane Darling, in their relationship.
In 1985, Harlow asked the couple to leave Coeden
Brith to make way for other plans; they moved to Ukiah,
where they lived for the next 11 years with their animals
and extended family near a bend in the Russian River.
Family members include Oberon’s son, Bryan, and Darling
and her son, Zack. Oberon emerged from retreat to
resume public appearances, including lectures, workshops
and classes. He and Morning Glory began to reactivate
the Church of All Worlds, which had shrunk to a
small, mostly California, base. Morning Glory and Diane
resurrected the Green Egg at Beltane in 1988.
Otter also worked as a freelance graphic artist and
computer operator. He is a prolific writer and artist. Since
the late 1960s, he has illustrated fantasy and science fiction
magazines and books and has designed posters, record
album covers and T-shirts. He illustrated Anodea
Judith’s book Wheels of Life, and drew a Darkovan Bestiary
for Marion Zimmer Bradley’s science fiction series.
In the ’80s, Otter began sculpting museum-quality
replicas of Goddess figurines, and in In 1990, the Zell
formed Mythic Images, a business offering goddess
and gods, jewelry, and other mythology products. The
business is now run as a Ravenheart family enterprise,
Theagenesis, LLC.
Otter officially changed his first name to Oberon in
the fall of 1994, following ritual and personal experiences
in which he understood that he had to come to terms with
his inner underworld, the shadow side. The new name
was taken in a river baptism.
The triad marriage with Diane Darling ended in the
summer of 1994, and three new persons joined the family:
Wolf Stiles, Liza Gabriel, and Wynter Rose. They adopted
Ravenheart as the extended family name, and all
moved in together in a succession of two large homes.
In 1997, the Ravenhearts were featured in a television
show, Strange Universe, and in a documentary in 2000,
The Love Chronicles: Love in the ’60s. In 1999, the Ravenheart
family moved to Sonoma County, California. There,
Oberon began a new career as a book author. His first
book, Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, was published
in 2004. As a contributing and advisory counsel for this
remarkable work, Oberon gathers together many of the
most respected and well-known leaders, founders, elders
and teachers in the worldwide Pagan community into The
Grey Council.
The instant success of the Grimoire inspired Oberon to
create his most ambitious project to date: the online Grey
School of Wizardry, which opened its virtual doors in
Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon 403
August of 2004. With dozens of faculty members and
hundreds of classes—in 16 departments, at seven “yearlevels”—
the Grey School offers the most comprehensive
apprenticeship in magickal practice and arcane lore that
has ever been offered in one place. Graduates are certified
Journeyman Wizards.
Since 2005, Oberon has been supportive of Morning
Glory’s recovery from cancer and has continued his work
with CAW, the Grey School, and other projects. Following
the Grimoire, he has published Companion for the Apprentice
Wizard (2006), Creating Circles & Ceremonies (with
Morning Glory; 2006), and A Wizard’s Bestiary (with Ash
DeKirk; 2007).
Further reading:
Church of All Worlds. Available online. URL: hrrp://www.
caw.org. Downloaded October 12, 2007.
Green Egg magazine. Available online. URL: http://www.
GreenEggzine.com. Downloaded October 12, 2007.
The Grey School of Wizardry. Available online. URL: http://
www.GreySchool.com. Downloaded October 12, 2007.
The Mythic Images Collection. Available online. URL: http://
www.MythicImages.com. Downloaded October 12, 2007.
Oberon Zell Web site. Available online. URL: http://www.
OberonZell.com. Downloaded October 12, 2007.
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