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Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, of Irish and Choctaw Indian ancestry, embarked upon her first vision quest in 1968 and has spent the past 27 years of her life pursuing the path of Eclectic Shamanism. She is a scholar of the many myths and legends of ancient Goddesses from all human cultures. She is also a Priestess serving that aspect of the Goddess known as Potnia Theron-- "Our Lady of the Beasts."
In 1969, she gave birth to a daughter, Gail, and pursued a part-time career as a writer in addition to being a full-time Mother. From her early writing and lecturing about the Great Mother, Morning Glory found herself more and more thrust into the position of serving as an untrained Priestess. She travelled to Minneapolis for the Gnostica Aquarian Convention in September of 1973 in order to network with other Wiccans and to arrange for the necessary training.
At the Gnostica Convention when she met Tim Zell (now known as Oberon), and heard his vision of the Earth as a living Goddess, the last pieces of the puzzle fell into place and Morning Glory moved to St. Louis to study theology with the Church of All Worlds, where she was ordained as a Priestess a year later. She and Oberon were married in 1974 and have had a working partnership for over 22 years.
Morning Glory is a Neo-Pagan poet and Priestess of Shamanic Arts. She has frequently been used as a behind-the-scenes resource person for authors researches interested in the New Age renaissance of Goddess reverence. She has written, lectured and taught intermittently, co-editing Green Egg with Oberon from 1973-75. Her primary focus for eight years (1977-85) was directed towards the establishment of a wilderness retreat center dedicated to Holy Mother Earth, where she and Oberon raised the famous Living unicorns. Morning Glory founded the Ecosophical Research Association in 1984, and was the women's cultural liaison and a SCUBA diver on the 1985 ERA diving expedition to New Guinea to study the endangered Indo-Pacific dugong and its relationship to local native myths about Mermaids.
She and Oberon also work with Critter Care, a local California wildlife rescue team, and have happily shared their lives with many wonderful creatures in a delightful interspecies household including: cats, owls, snakes, unicorns, weasels and opossums. They can speak from personal experience about the needs and personality of non-human animals. Their theology of Deep Ecology and Nature reverence is not only intellectual but is rooted in daily practice and personal experiences of interspecies communion. She is a trained facilitator for the "Council of All Beings" process developed by Joanna Macy and John Seed.
Morning Glory also writes fantasy stories, several of which have been published in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Swords and Sorceresses anthologies. Her sacred poetry has appeared in many magical and feminist journals. She is a superb ritualist, creating ceremonies of every kind and scale, from simple baby blessings, weddings and rites of passage to spectacular events such as the total solar eclipse at the Stonehenge replica in the Washington Dalles, attended by over 3,000 people. Morning Glory has become well-known for her presentations of her ever-growing Goddess collection of over 150 votive figures from around the world. She is also the manufacturer and proprietor of "Mythic Images," a company producing beautiful and authentic museum quality replicas of ancient Goddesses and Gods, sculpted in partnership with Oberon.
Morning Glory's article, "A Bouquet of Lovers" originally
published in Green Egg magazine (May 1990), first coined the term "polyamory" and was a germinal work in the ongoing Poly Love community dialogue. It has since been reprinted in an anthology on polyamory: Love Without Limits edited by Deborah Anapol. For information on how to order this book and to find out more about polyamory visit the Abundant Love Institute. Morning Glory is currently deeply involved in reawakening the ancient practices of Aphrodite and Eros.
Morning Glory brings to any of her projects a store of songs chants and folklore, plus a powerful vision of reawakening of the female principle, and initiation into a new cycle leading our next stage of planetary evolution: the Gaea Cycle -- a marriage of science and spirituality, ecology and feminism.
Morning Glory is featured in the following books:
- Adler, Margot, Drawing Down the Moon, 1979; revised and updated 1987.
- Bradley, Marion Zimmer, The Mists of Avalon, 1982 (consultant);
- Swords and Sorceresses V, 1988; Swords and Sorceresses VI, 1989;
- Gottlieb, Annie, Do You Believe in Magic?, 1989
- Zimmerman, Howard, ed., The Bank Street Book of Fantasy, 1989
- Anapol, Deborah, ed., Love Without Limits, 1992.
- Guiley, Rosemary Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, 1989
I just got home from being with Morning Glory at the hospital since yesterday afternoon. They rolled out a little cot for me to sleep on. I thought she'd be coming home yesterday or today, but they're still keeping her in there. This morning her surgeon did a chyphoidplasty on her to inject some hard dental filler into the breakage in her sacrum. She felt much better this afternoon, after the operation. Her weight is now distributed more evenly, taking the pressure off the spinal nerve, so she can walk with less pain. We're hoping they'll let her come home tomorrow.
She spent some time writing a message in her journal which she asked me to transcribe and send out to everyone, so here it isŠ
Please feel free to pass this on to anyone whom you think should knowŠ
MESSAGE FROM MORNING GLORY 5/9/06
For All my Beloved Family and Friends,
Today is the first day of the rest of my lifeŠreally!
Now the time has come to gather my words together and arrange them in a new pattern that will reveal truth in a way that is acceptable. They found a tumor on my spine and we needed to know if it was benign.
My Quest began with a fall in March which led to broken bones and many tests by doctors who were very competent but could not seem to find an answer to the pattern of information they were gleaning from my body. They took my tumor as a case before the Pacific Center Medical Board to review. This is a board of multiple specialties and they were able to make an educated guess about my diagnosis; and the first part of confirming that diagnosis was to perform a biopsy of the primary tumor on my spine.
What they found in the biopsy was that the tumor was a Myeloma. This is a very aggressive cancer of the bone marrow and blood which turns the bones and marrow into plasma. It is a currently treatable disease but it is not curable. It can be sent into remission and patients can live for many years as long as they are careful and mindful of their needs for treatment. They did lot of additional bone scans and discovered that I have many of these lesions smaller or the same size all through my bones. I'm not sure that I will be a candidate for bone marrow transplant, but this is also right at the cutting edge of stem cell research. They will be making breakthroughs and holding clinical trials for many years. I will no doubt benefit from this sort of research.
In the meantime, I will continue to live my life and pursue my goals for as long as the gods permit me to. I have numerous books to write and I have a granddaughter to be born and watch to grow into maidenhood. I have Oberon to be by my side loving, supporting, and cheering me along with the same motivation as mine: "To Live and Learn and Love."
You have all been so kind to me and so generous with your interest, passion, and energy, I feel as though I am floating in the seas of your Love and bathing in the fire of your energy. I know that this outcome is not what any of us could have wished, least of all myself. I have been through the anguished dark night of my soul in which I raged at the Gods and Goddesses: "Why, Why, Why!!!" Why me, why this kind of cancer? But the only answer I received was that culling the herd has always been Gaia's way. Doctors say it is a mystery disease that comes about for no reason. It is not causative like some kinds of lung cancer or AIDS. This is a little sneaky silent joke of Eris just to keep things interesting. As the character Death from Terry Pratchett's Discworld books is wont to say: "There's no Justice; There's just Us." (Death always speaks in capital letters.)
So my Dear Ones, this is all that I think I can tell you at this point. I will be working toward being able to walk again without so much pain. There will be radiation treatments to kill the myeloma lesions; there will be various kinds of chemotherapy; and where the allopathic war ends I will begin the healing and reclamation surgery to repair the breakage in my spine. Then of course there will be accupuncture and vitamin therapy. You all are welcome to share healing remedies with me but be aware that I will pick and choose the ones that will be compatible with my overall plan of treatment.
I want to Live and II am willing to fight to keep on living. But now I have no guarantee. Most of us do not anyway, but now my life is bounded and I know how I will die. In many ways seeing the face of your killer is a comforting thing. At least the Mystery is solved.
I remember when I first met Maria Gimbutas‹how busy and directed she was. A Woman with a Mission! I heard later that she had lymphoma and I tried to fit that into the vibrant, driven woman that I knew. Maria lived to write her books and to see her work vindicated. An entire movement grew around her teachings. She left a true legacy. I hope to do as well as she did and leave a legacy behind like hers. I can only do that by the Grace of the Gods and the Love of my friends and family.
I need to tell you that there will be times I will need to draw inward to husband my strength. It is easy to get overwhelmed by so much good will and well-meaning gestures. So I thank you all here and now for all that you are giving me.
But sometimes the gift I must ask for is silence and absence. There will be days when I won't be able to answer the phone or solve problems or cook dinners or have visitors. Please understand that this is not my weakness; it is the necessity of turning inward to ground and center, so as to learn to endure the unendurable.
So my dear ones, as Galahad said, "Use well the days!" The Phoenix will rise in many ways and I am learning to soar on broken wings. Magick is not only what we useŠit is what we are. I will keep you posted on my progress.
It's taking me most of the evening to type these few words, because the keyboard keeps getting all wet and I can barely see, or breathe. I never thought anything could be this difficult to wrap my head around. Morning Glory and I are cosmic soulmates, and our 33-year romance and passion are legendary (our wedding anniversary is still listed every year in the Llewellyn Calendar!). We're supposed to grow old together, not this...
Morning Glory wrote this right after her diagnosis on Monday, and since then we have learned about a number of people who have lived quite a long time with this condition. As Mehitabel said, "There's a dance in the old dame yet; t'jours gai, t'jours gai!" (Archie & Mehitabel)
Since we first started letting people know that there was a problem, we have received many e-mails, letters, and gifts of love, support, prayers and magick. We thank you for these. I have printed out the e-mails and we have made them part of our Healing Altar for Morning Glory. I know that many of you will be writing back in response to this post, and I must apologize in advance for our being unable to respond personally to all of you.
But I have an imminent deadline to complete the editing and formatting for the book we were supposed to be writing together‹Creating Circles & Ceremonies. Our Publisher, New Page, has been very generous in extending all the time possible for this project, but MG's inability to contribute and the days I have been spending at the hospital are really making it difficult to complete this work on schedule. That's why we are sending these generic reports to all our many friends at once. So please forgive our inability to respond individually; we still read and appreciate all your letters. And if you wish to send anything by mail, our mailing address is below.
PO Box 758
Cotati, CA 94931
Invite for MGZ Yahoo Group
Dear Friends & Family,
Thank you for the hundreds of letters of love, support, and magick we are receiving. We have just created a Yahoo group for you all:
This group will be a place for everyone to learn what is going on with Morning Glory's healing process without emails having to be sent laboriously to each person who wishes to know...and so that we can share with each other the heartful responses that so many are sending. Please join if you wish to be kept abreast of unfolding news of the state of her health.
All letters we have received up to now are being archived on this YahooGroup site. And Davron Michaels of the WitchSchool and Corellian Tradition is planning on putting together a special website for MG's Healings Magicks, etc. There we will post photos of her, her healing altar, reports and info on her condition, new breakthroughs in myeloma therapies and research, and letters from supporters. We will also use this site to coordinate local folks who wish to volunteer time and energies to come to our home and help out in various ways.
With deep gratitude and bright blessings,
Oberon & Morning Glory
The phoenix candle below has been used as an energy focus for healing Morning Glory: