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Finding Home - The MGZ Goddess Collection

Table of Goddesses

by Anne Duthers - 24 July 2015

The presence of the Goddess fills the room full of statuettes and figures. Lavender incense hangs in the air. Bright tapestries drape the walls, hung with carved plaques and decorated skulls gaze with strange animation as you enter. You are observed. What happens next is your choice.

A figure inside the lovingly made glass case catches your eye—the Goddess in all her glory, in the guise of...

Well, that's the thing. There are over 350 representations of the Goddess in this room. Most of them fit, snugly, inside the case originally constructed to exhibit the museum quality collection, the accumulated life's work of Oberon & Morning Glory Zell. The other figures, some too large and others in display upon the Western altar, each tempt you with unique beauty, seductive and cold. They are statues after all.

Goddesses each with their symbols. Beautiful, strong women with swords... torches... a chalice ...snakes ...a key—Goddesses from all over the world, every culture and age. Symbols so ancient they trigger a sensory dysphasia, with colors primary and audible as the beat of Pagan drums. It is broad day, yet they almost flicker in firelight.

One wonders about the hours spent collecting and recreating these works. The time spent with Sculpey clay and tiny wire tools on a tray, for hours sitting under the gaze of a frowning museum guard as ancient figures were discovered in the obscure corners of exhibits and displays around the world, and replicated with exacting duplication. Three hundred fifty of them, measured and recreated for scale representation, one Goddess at a time.

Then formed into three dimensions, these Goddesses tall and willowy, fit and muscular, or oh-so-round-and-curvy, with hands, tools and molds made of wax or clay. Then cast in bronze, clay, porcelain, or sturdy resin cast and hand painted in bold and delicate detail. These were Goddesses, not meant to be cloistered in a case, but studied, enjoyed and enjoined.

"Oooo, this is (goddess name)..." Oberon Zell picks up a figurine and fondles it as if the action were unconscious. "She is from (pick a place)... the goddess of (your favorite activity)." Oberon's enthusiasm for the collection and his intimacy with these goddesses, is apparent. His face shines with joy as he speaks.

Each replica boasts a descriptive entry prepared for museum display. The gathered accumulation of Morning Glory's Goddess studies, all 350 of them, are annotated and condensed to fit a tiny card designed to stand with each figure and hint at the story of the Goddess depicted. A daunting task in miniature.

Persephone, Hecate, Diana, Demeter... and every other Lovely Lady lose nothing in this smaller scale. Good thing, because life-sized goddesses can get pretty big (according to the ancient wall art) and housing just one would take a Parthenon, really. Did I mention there are 350 Goddesses in this collection?

More than that are magickal tools, including headdresses, chalices, athames, wands, Tarot decks and even Books of Shadows—the recorded magickal practices—of more than a few famous Wizards, Witches, Pagans, Druids and Bards who have now passed over into the Beyond, personal friends of MG, who also walked the path with Daddy Death in May '14, and OZ, who is the sole curator of this store.

It was more than I could do to dive into the cabinet without supervision. I needed a guided tour. Some items were used in yearly pageantry, others in daily practice. Many were gifted to the couple as items of magickal legacy. Others were love-gifts from admirers, crafted by hand.

“So many of these things used to just end up at a yard sale and then go off to GoodWill. I just couldn’t let that happen anymore,” declared Oberon as he negotiated exhibit space for the Collections. He talked about the thousands of books in the Library: magickal reference books, obscure science fiction, occult mysteries, and thick educational biopics on dinosaurs, there, beside the graphic novels.

The Library also contains a video catalog of another thousand entries. This includes selections in VHS because some classic movies have not been copied onto viable DVD yet. Each tale lost echoes the burning of Alexandria in Oberon’s eyes. It seems that his favorite part of any book or movie is sharing it with friends.

A vision rose to purchase property to become Pagan Sacred Land, an eco village, intentional community and event center. A place for the magickally-minded to live with magickal intention. One, then another parcel each loaded with potential like a realtor's wet dream, slipped aside in the labyrinthine quest. An eviction notice arrived for the Goddess Collection and her attendant household.

Time ticks mechanically by, because gears have hubs, not hearts. And now the lot of it must be boxed, and packed away. All of it, stored until...?

Until a new vision emerged. Now, Morning Glory's Goddess Collection is exploring possible locations to establish a visitor’s center, seeking a sanctuary, a home and a place of honor among Goddess groupies and Pagan pilgrims alike. It may be that you will find the Collection as an exhibit itself one day, or discover it at a place of celebration and sacrament. Seekers and seers away for a week, a weekend, or a month of Mondays may remember the Goddess in this magickal home. And come away with something of the experience in their hearts.

The MGZ Memorial Foundation vision remains: to bring the Goddess and Legacy Collections to the people, to teach Wizardry as a service to community and magick as a science, not a religion.

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