Morning Glory Legacy Preservation
Renowned Pagan Priestess and Goddess Historian Morning Glory Zell passed through the veil on May 13, 2014. Her dying wish was to preserve and secure for generations to come the knowledge and wisdom she carried of her incredible 350+ piece collection of Goddess figurines from around the world and throughout history. This GoFundMe Project successfully funded her students to compile a professional catalog of the figurines.
Morning Glory’s dream was that someday her collection would be housed in an educational institute or museum of some kind with the special designation that these Goddesses be made available—especially for women—to touch and hold, for personal empowerment as well as scholarly pursuits.
Her Vision is miraculously coming true! After months of searching in vain for a suitable property to establish a land-based community, Morning Glory’s widower Oberon and several other dedicated friends determined that the best course would be to create an exhibit center under the auspices of the Grey School of Wizardry, which was incorporated in 2004 as a secular 501(c)(3) educational institution.
And so, in November of 2015, to preserve and perpetuate this unparalleled accumulation of cultural relics, archives and artifacts, the Grey School established the Academy of Arcana in Santa Cruz, California. This public location at 428-a Front St. serves as an extensive library, museum, educational facility, community center, and lasting monument to two remarkable individuals whom millions of Pagans worldwide recognize as beloved founding figures.
The Academy is now seeking funding to ensure the continuation of this unique cultural heritage. Funds will be dedicated to building an infrastructure and covering the staffing and expenses required for the preservation, archiving, cataloging, display and storage of the legacy collections of Morning Glory and Oberon, as well as exhibits and collections of other important figures in the magickal community.
Donations to the Morning Glory Goddess Legacy will now be routed towards the Academy of Arcana to assist in this important project. The long term security of and public access to her Goddess Collection, as well as the Zell’s extensive library and museum-quality collection of historical archives and artifacts, will be established by the continuing maintenance of this facility.
Thank you so much for your donation to the legacy of the Goddess in honor of Her Priestess, Morning Glory Zell.
On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the Academy of Arcana will be celebrating our first anniversary! We have come a long way in the past year, opening the gift store, “Curiosities;” setting up our Library of Esoterica; and creating the exhibits in our Museum of Myth, Magick and Mysterie. We have held and hosted many events, and have brought in speakers on various topics, as well as musicians for concerts.
We have also assembled an illustrious Board of Advisors (see http://academyofarcana.com/advisors.cfm) who are willing to lend their names and credentials to the pursuit of securing financing for the purpose of safeguarding and perpetuating Oberon and Morning Glory's material collections and legacy. They come from these three different constituencies:
Pagan Elders, leaders and teachers who have known the Zells for decades;
Academics, scholars and authors in comparative religion, history and folklore;
Pagan celebrities, musicians, writers, poets and artists.
You've read their books. You've studied their lessons. You've attended their events. Now we invite you to support their cause. Here is a letter of support from Academy Advisor Dr. Ronald Hutton, author of Triumph of the Moon:
24 July 2016
Letter of Testimonial
As a professional historian, who has some reputation as a scholar of modern Paganism, I am delighted to support bids for support by the Academy of Arcana. I would define Paganism as an umbrella term for a complex of recently-appeared religions united by a reverence for the divine feminine and the natural world, and an ethic of responsible self-expression and self-fulfillment, and inspired by ideas and images drawn from the pre-Christian religions of Europe and the Near East. 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.
As an aspect of this historic work they have naturally amassed a considerable archive, including files of personal correspondence and founding documents; a considerable library, including books, magazines and DVDs; and a considerable collection of material objects, including figurines, tools, artifacts, models and memorabilia. 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.
The recently-founded Academy of Arcana in Santa Cruz, California seems ideally suited to serve this essential function, and is especially admirable in its commitment to welcome researchers and its ambition to become financially self-supporting. I am delighted to recommend it, as such, to any persons or institutions able to fund the initial infrastructure to enable the achievement of both aims.
Professor of History
Department of Historical Studies
Bristol University, UK
Your contributions in support of this Pagan legacy project are deeply appreciated! If everyone reading this would pledge just one dollar a month, our financial needs could be met and this unique heritage could be secured for posterity!
The Academy of Arcana
The work remaining to be done is to link the photos of each goddess to her data entry, and to fill out the remaining fields related to her, such as her history, culture, region, and lore. Of immense importance is the transcription of Morning Glory's interviews and recordings so that these too can be linked to each corresponding goddess.
The ultimate goal is to create a single database of Morning Glory's knowledge, connected to each and every goddess in her collection, so that in the future, people who come to view and handle the goddesses in their physical form can have access, via the database, to MG's collected wisdom about them simply by entering the catalog number into the database.
Morning Glory hoped that someday her collection could be housed in an institute of higher learning of some kind with the special designation that the Goddesses be made available for women to touch and hold, to use for personal empowerment as well as scholarly pursuits. In fulfillment of that dream, in November of 2015, the Grey School of Wizardry established the Academy of Arcana in Santa Cruz, California. This public location at 428-a Front St. serves as an extensive library, museum, and educational facility to preserve and exhibit Morning Glory’s Goddess Collection and the Zell’s unparalleled accumulation of cultural relics, archives and artifacts,
Our deepest thanks and appreciation to all of you who have supported the continuation of this unique cultural heritage. Additional funds will be dedicated to building an infrastructure and covering the staffing and expenses required for the preservation, archiving, cataloging, display and storage of the Goddesses and other legacy collections of Morning Glory and Oberon, as well as exhibits and collections of other important figures in the magickal community.
Thank you, and Blessed Be!
In November of 2015, the Grey School of Wizardry rented a 2,080-square-foot storefront in Santa Cruz, California, to become a learning center and magickal vortex. The “Academy of Arcana” is chartered under the Grey School as an Educational Center, a Museum of Magick and Goddesses, and a Library of Esoterica.
As the first physical campus for the Grey School, the Academy is bringing in teachers for classes and workshops. The library and museum provide resources for studies in arcane lore and mystic history, with a gift store to support it all, offering for sale various magickal artifacts, collectibles and oddities from the Zell collections, as well as items from other local artists and craftspeople.
The largest area at the back of the Academy is a non-denominational Goddess Temple and meeting/workshop/class space, featuring Morning Glory’s collection of more than 333 Goddess votive figurines from around the world and throughout history. Other cabinets and cases contain our large collection of magickal tools, Books of Shadows, devotional items, altar setups, posters, and crafts supplies.
We are also creating special memorial exhibits showcasing the lives and legends of various other notable Pagans. In addition to assorted Morning Glory memorabilia, we have hand-written Mohsian Books of Shadows and other artifacts from Bran & Moria Starbuck; and altar tools from Margaret St. Claire (author of Sign of the Labrys). We have recently acquired some beautiful God & Goddess medallions and other items from Ray Buckland, and in exchange we’re sending some items of MG’s to his new Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magic in Marysville, Ohio.
The Museum and Goddess Temple opened on Feb. 7, 2016, with a gala ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Santa Cruz Downtown Association, followed by a keynote presentation by noted feminist Witch Elder Z Budapest on “The Politics of Women’s Myths.”
As with any new enterprise, the Academy will take awhile to become fully self-supporting. Your contributions in support of this Pagan legacy project will be deeply appreciated! See our Facebook page facebook.com/academyofarcana and website: AcademyofArcana.com.
Tears flowed from her Beloveds' eyes as Morning Glory was remembered in ritual. It is another step among many in this long journey of farewell to one we wish could have stayed with us even just a little longer.
Many visitors touched base at her altar: friends and lovers, strangers and intimates. Some received gifts of goddess images from her collection to place on their own altars at home. Here are some of the images shared from Morning Glory's altar at the Spiral Dance.
For those who have just now arrived at this gofundme site, be welcome! Read the story that unfolds in these pages of MG's last days and her blessed passage. Please, if you may, spread the word to others in your networks to help us along in this project to preserve her amazing legacy. Maybe someday you too will have the chance to hold her goddesses in your own hands and marvel at this unique inheritance, a worldwide cultural treasury of Womankind.
I had the pleasure to meet Oberon Zell 7 years ago. I've been so disconnected from the wiccan coven that I didn't know. My deepest condolences, and my brightest blessings to them both. May we meet again, my dear dear friends. I was indeed touched by her work, I never forgot and I never will.
Perhaps in St. Louis with the women's history collection donated by Laura X.
It won't be long now.On myexperience, and i have done this before, if everyone leaves her to be alone, she will let go. Our loved ones do not want to leave.as long as we hold them there they will wait. Blessings on your work as those who midwife the transition. Roe
Hear my voice wise women. Let us circle together in different places but the same time and honor Morning Glory by holding a Goddess storytelling event. Summer Solstice lends itself well for this kind of gathering.
It's wonderful that there have been 2000 visits to this site. It's unrealistic to expect that I will donate each and every time. This is about visit 8 for me--I like to check up and see how things are going. Best wishes for Morning Glory, and the preservation of her work.
Where can this wonderful collection be housed? Is there a school or Women's Studies department where many can access it? If not, should we try to create one? Many blessings and prayers for you.