Around the Cauldron · Pagan Blog Project 2014

Morning Glory Zell – America’s Priestess

Morning Glory Zell, 1948 – 2014

If you’ve never heard of Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart you either haven’t been practicing all that long, you’re not American (I’m not!) or you’ve never really looked outside of your Tradition. She was a pioneer of modern witchcraft who sadly crossed over to the Summerlands on May 13, 2014. She is someone I wish I had met, just for a moment, because there will never be such a woman like her again.

The Wild Hunt posted a beautiful and informative piece on her here.

Morning Glory has been incredibly active within the Pagan Community and the Goddess community for over 40 years. Ordained as a Priestess of the Church of All Worlds in 1974, she along with her soul mate Oberon Zell-Ravenheart helped jumpstart the neopagan movement in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Oberon and Morning Glory, circa 1970s

Morning Glory has created ceremonies of every kind and scale, from simple baby blessings and rites of passage, to spectacular events such as the total solar eclipse at the Stonehenge replica in the Oregon Dalles in 1979, attended by 4,000 people. In 1990 she researched and co-scripted what has become an annual modern revival of the Greek Eleusinian Mysteries. She conducted a recreation of the Panathenaia Celebration to consecrate the Athena statue completed for the Parthenon replica in Nashville, Tennessee in 1993. Her journeys have taken her to the Australian Blue Mountains, the depths of the Coral Sea, the jungles of New Guinea, the ruins of ancient Greece, the caves of Crete, and the Taoist Goddess Temples of China. (Church of All Worlds).

She was also a mentor and HP to my soul sister, SG.

Morning Glory, the Goddess – by SG.

What can you say about Morning Glory that has not already been said a thousand times, a thousand ways? She was a pillar in the Pagan community, a pioneer and founder of the Polyamory movement, a Goddess whisperer  and so much more.

To me she was something more. More than the pillar, the pioneer, the chant-ress, the pirate, the fairy Goddess Mother… she was the woman who opened my eyes and showed me the love and acceptance I never thought possible. She taught me to love myself as I loved others, and to accept myself for no other reason than because I should.

While I sat by her side in the hospital, at her home, and up at Annwfn, I reflected on all of the things she taught me. I thought about who she was to me specifically, and how I could pass all that on to others, but in a way that honored the MG I knew and loved.

As I sat up on Annwfn, listening to others talk about who she was to them, sharing her stories, it came to me, as if she was whispering it in my ear. “Remind others that they should love and accept themselves” I could feel her breath across my neck “Remind them of the village, of what it is to be a community.” With her words ever echoing in my mind, heart and soul, I hold strong that I can do this. I can keep MG alive in each one of the people I meet, simply by being accepting and loving towards others. By treating others the same way MG treated a shy, emotionally wounded woman, with no self- worth, and too much fear to believe she would ever be good enough. With open arms and an open heart.

Morning Glory was so many things, but most of all she was loved and loving. Her heart was bigger than her Goddess collection (over 350 Goddesses at last count), and her love more healing than any medicine, water, crystal or tree. She brought acceptance with a mere smile, and her hugs could turn the most curmudgeon heart to mush. Her wisdom was vast, yet it could not compare to the love she shared with others. This is who MG was to me.

To me Morning Glory IS the Goddess of love and acceptance. She is the one I go to when I question myself, question my worth. The one I ask for guidance when I have lost my way. For MG looks down to me, caresses my face, and reminds me that I AM loved, that I AM worth loving myself. She whispers stories of Goddesses old and new, tells me their struggles, their accomplishments.

She reminds me the story of the first villages. Of how each person in these villages was vital as a whole, as well as an individual. These villagers were so entwined and accepted that when they would come back for their next round on Earth, they would seek each other out. How over time we have all but lost that instinct to find our people. That disconnect is what we are feeling when we feel alone, when we question our purpose, our worth. That disconnect is what causes the doubt. Though we should not give up on our village, we need to love and accept ourselves first and foremost. The villagers we are supposed to meet again will come when the time is right.

She chants songs and fills me with the healing light of love, and I can see who I are, and remember that I am worthy to love and accept myself. This is who MG is to me. This is the MG I want to share with the world. Morning Glory, the Goddess.

Thou art Goddess and may you always remain juicy! I love you Morning Glory, and I will not let you down! ~ SG

Morning Glory and Oberon


3 thoughts on “Morning Glory Zell – America’s Priestess

  1. Reblogged this on Musings of a Hungry Girl and commented:
    Everyday I am so thankful for the people in my village. When we lost one of our village elders, I was lost… My dear friend helped my get to a place where I was able articulate some of what this woman was… Is still, to me. Thank you sister! Seeing my words out there is so scary, thinking they might help someone…. Worth the fear!!!

  2. I’m so glad to see this nice post about her! I was going to write about her, but then I was like, “I can’t really outdo that great piece on Wild Hunt since I have no personal attachment to her…”

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