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.
Happy New Year! And congratulations on completing another magickal mystery tour around the sun! We’ve all travelled 584 million miles together in the past year, at an average speed of 19 miles per second, or 67,000 miles per hour! Who says we never go anywhere?
We’ve been getting some serious media attention at the Academy of Arcana! On June 3rd, The Chinese Travel Channel came all the way here from China with host Charlotte Macinnis and producer Wendy Hsu, to do a show about the Academy and the Grey School of Wizardry. The show aired in China in October, and as a result we’ve seen a lot of Chinese students entering the Grey School. We’re currently developing a whole new Major in Oriental Magicks.
On Oct. 10-11, “NBC’s 1st Look,” with superstar Ashley Roberts, filmed a show at the Academy. That was also fun! The show should be airing in January, so look for it. It comes on at midnight, right after “Saturday Night Live.”
On. Oct. 15, Anthony Murphy hosted a Telethon benefit for the Academy. This was a live webcast through Facebook. Guests included MG’s first and last apprentice, Kirsten "Kiri" Johnsen; magician and Academy Advisor Stan Grindstaff; and Oberon Zell. Anthony plans to do this again with other guests.
And on Oct. 18, Oberon was on “Circle Talk” radio show with Debra Rose.
Additionally, Oberon was featured (amusingly portrayed by an actor!) on the Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum,” hosted by Don Wildman. First aired on Nov. 17, the show was Season 13, Episode 9: “Lancelot the Unicorn.” Since they didn’t consult with Oberon himself, there were several significant inaccuracies; those who know the true story can try and spot them: http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/mysteries-at-the-museum/episode-9-season-13/lancelot-the-unicorn-prohibition-man-dragon-island-and-blood-rain/307750/
On the weekend of Dec. 17-18 we held a “Winter Wonderland Celebration” at the Academy of Arcana, with Oberon as our very own Santa Cruz Claus! This resulted in a nice article in the local Santa Cruz Sentinel: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/social-affairs/20161218/santa-cruzs-academy-of-arcana-wishes-a-pagan-christmas-to-one-and-all.
On Jan. 7, Francesca Gentile brought her current class of students to the Academy, for a 2-hour presentation by Oberon on the history of the modern Pagan revival and a tour of the museum—with stories on some of the exhibits. Academy Advisor Jozseph Schultz provided a table full of his exotic Moroccan appetizers. (His fabulous restaurant, India Joze, is right next door to the Academy.)
However, even with all the great things happening at the Academy, worldwide media attention, and the unique exhibits (360+ Goddesses; several cabinets of magickal tools and implements; a large collection of skulls; extensive collections of fossils, paleontology models, mythical and legendary creatures—including the Living Unicorns; thousands of books and films in the Academy Library; and 50 years of archives of Pagan publications, documents, and correspondence chronicling the history of the movement), it’s a real struggle financially to keep it going. We really don’t want to lose these priceless collections, but if we can’t pay the rent, we can’t stay open. We need your help!
Please go to the Academy site, and check out our stellar Board of Advisors, and read some of their testimonials to the importance of preserving this unique legacy for generations to come: www.AcademyofArcana.com
We are earnestly seeking significant patronage to keep the whole legacy intact. Interested? The Academy and the Grey School are 501(c)(3) non-profit educational institutions, and all donations are tax-deductible!
Even if you cannot become a major Patron of the Academy, please consider joining as a member, and/or being a regular donor via a monthly subscription. Even a few dollars a month from enough people will maintain the Academy and its collections for posterity. This has to be a community effort; Oberon cannot do this without you, and all his life savings have now been emptied into the Academy.
for Winter Wonderland Celebration with to raise money for the support of the Morning Glory Zell Goddess Collection.
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!
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.