Below you will find and interview with wizard, author, world traveler, artist, transpersonal psychologist, metaphysician, naturalist, theologian, shaman, author, sculptor, lecturer, teacher, and ordained Priest of the Earth-Mother Gaia, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart.
Oberon was featured in the mini-documentary “The Wizard Oz” which can he seen here.
Q: What do you consider your greatest magical achievement?
A: Launching and fostering a revolutionary worldwide religious movement, now numbering in the millions. It’ll be 50 years this Sept. 7 since I first claimed “Pagan” as my religious identity—and that of the Church I’d founded: the Church of All Worlds. And subsequently, the whole Nature Religion movement.
Of course, bringing living Unicorns back into the world was a pretty significant magical achievement… And so was developing and promoting the Gaea Thesis. Publishing Green Egg magazine. Launching the Polyamory movement. And of course, creating the Grey School of Wizardry. Oh, and my magickal art, statues, jewelry, books…
Q: Who are your personal heroes, those who most inspired you on your own journey?
A: My first childhood fantasy heroes were Tarzan and Captain Nemo. Later Merlin, Gandalf, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Charles Xavier, Ged, Harry Dresden, Albus Dumbledore, and other great Wizards of literary legend.
In real life, Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla, Werner von Braun, Richard Branson, Neil deGrasse Tyson…
Influential literary mentors: Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Marian Zimmer Bradley, Mary Stewart, Thomas Burnett Swan, Gael Baudino, Orson Scott Card, Sir Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaimon, Alan Moore, Jim Butcher…
Influential teachers and friends: Lance Christie, Gale Fuller, Deborah Letter, Robert Anton Wilson, Anodea Judith, Diana Paxson, Terence McKenna, Isaac Bonewits, Ray Buckland, Fred Lamond, Jeff McBride…
And, of course, the Incomparable Morning Glory! And all our family, friends and lovers…
Q: How did you come up with the name Oberon Zell Ravenheart?
A: “Zell” is my patronymic, from my German Swiss ancestry. “Oberon” was given to me in Sept. 1995 by a “namer” from the Rajneesh community named Devaka. My previous name had been “Otter,” and she told me that she saw me as “Oberon” instead. And it just seemed right at the time.
“Ravenheart” was a family name adopted by me, Morning Glory, Wolf, Wynter and Liza in 1997 after we all moved in together in a big house in the country as a poly family. We were all about “heart” as our core value, and we had several significant raven omens when we were trying to come up with a family name. So it became “Ravenheart.”
Q: What importance, if any, do you place on full visual manifestation of a spirit during evocation?
A: Not sure exactly what you mean. Visions and lucid dreams are fairly normal in such workings. As an artist, I have vivid visualizations. Shamanic sacraments certainly enhance visualizations in practice…
Q: What was your first “oh fuck, this shit is real” moment in your personal magical practice?
A: Certainly the most significant was the great “TheaGenesis” revelation I had on acid on Sept. 7, 1970, in which I saw the entire biosphere of Earth as a vast single living organism. And that brought everything I’d ever studied together into one coherent paradigm. I’d just begun studying Witchcraft magick with Deborah Letter, and one of the first lessons was on seeing auras… which was how the Vision began…
And then, of course, there was meeting Morning Glory—a totally magickal event, presaged by dreams!
Clearing the clouds for the Feb. 1979 total eclipse of the sun at the Stonehenge replica in Washington was pretty impressive (4,000 people!)—and now we do that sort of thing all the time. And I’ve had many stunningly impressive results from various workings—especially with sex magick.
Q: What is one piece of magical tech you could not live without?
A: Well, these days it would have to be my cell phone! Also my office computer.
Q: At what age did you start practicing magic and why?
A: I started doing magickal stuff as a kid, from reading about it in books. I didn’t know the difference between what was possible or impossible, so I just did stuff. I practiced telepathy, psychokinesis, hypnosis, lucid dreaming, astral projection, etc. the way other kids practiced basketball.
Q: What is your advice to the young aspiring magician just getting started today?
A: Dive in! Learn everything! Have obsessive curiosity. Read books, go to magickal gatherings and events and participate in rituals, practice, take martial arts, get into theatre and music, talk to magickal people, travel to magickal places, dissect roadkills, learn arts and crafts and make your own magickal tools, hang out in museums and study all the exhibits… Get my book, Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard. And enroll in the Grey School of Wizardry!
Q: Of the books you have written, do you have a personal favorite? If so, which one?
A: My favorite has to be A Wizard’s Bestiary (New Page, 2006). Morning Glory and I conceived that book in 1974, but it took us 32 years to get around to writing it, as in the course of our research we discovered the secret of the Unicorn, and that led to a long diversion…
Q: How do you respond to Christian evangelists knocking on your door at dinner time?
A: I invite them in and tell them the story (having them look up the quotes in their own bibles) of how “We are the Other People.” (Google it!) However, it’s been decades since any of them have come around… I think they’ve figured out that it’s a waste of time to try and proselytize Pagans; and beside, too many of their missionaries don’t come back!
Q: What effect and focus do you think magic should have upon politics and world events?
A: Magick is probability enhancement. And the more people who focus on a particular intention, the stronger and more likely that probability becomes. Together we can change the world, and in the course of my life, we have already. I encourage people to envision the world they want to live in, and make it so! But do NOT envision dystopias! See the movie, “Tomorrowland.”