Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


July 14, 2006

Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

Founder & Primate, Church of All Worlds (
Headmaster, Grey School of Wizardry (
Designer, The Mythic Images Collection (

Today's Date: July 13, 2006

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

Wow-so many! I've had many, many pets and companion animals over my long lifetime. Possums raised from babies have been some of my favorites-I've had several of them, and they have been just adorable. Sadly, their lifespan is only a year or two. When I lived out in the woods from 1977-1985, I raised up a few baby deer, which continued to hang out with the wild herds, but would come when I called them. During that time, I also caught and raised a feral pig, which was quite an experience!

But certainly the two most important non-domestic animals I have had in my life were my boa constrictor, Hista (1967-1972), and my great horned owl, Archimedes (1986-1994). With each of them, I bonded so deeply that I could enter their minds in my dreams, and follow them about on their nocturnal journeys around the place (neither were kept caged). When Hista died (of wounds inflicted by a dog during a few weeks when she was lost outside, and before she returned, "calling" me to where she was hiding), I felt her death. I felt her mind join with mine as we'd often done in dreams, and then I felt her drop her body at the other end, and just move in with me permanently. She became part of me.

I've also had a few cats that were uncannily intelligent, and highly conversational-especially Octobriana, a tortoise-point Siamese who was a full member of the family. And one absolutely immense Burmese python (12 feet) named Ananta, who was a real sweetheart, and often climbed into bed to sleep with me. Octobriana liked to sleep in the middle of his huge coil.

Throughout the 1980s I also raised several living Unicorns, which I exhibited at Renaissance Faires all over North America and eventually leased on exhibition to the Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey Circus for four years. But that's a whole other story.

Oh yeah. And the weasels.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

Yes. The slew (marsh) near our suburban house, where I used to spend many hours alone building hideouts and tree platforms in the enormous weeping willows, sitting very still watching critters, catching swimming things to stock my aquaria and terraria, etc. My room was a miniature zoo and museum of collections (seashells, fossils, rocks, butterflies & moths .). I even had a pet little brown bat and a little screech owl for a time. Also many snakes and several lizards (including iguanas, geckos, and tegus). My parents were, now that I think back on it all, remarkably indulgent. Of course, there was the episode with the terrarium full of praying mantises that got loose in the house.


The 55-acre parcel of wilderness sanctuary called "Annwfn" that our Church inherited as a Deed of Trust in 1982. It is located in the mountains of Mendocino County, NorCalifia, and is completely off the grid. It is a very magickal place, with lovely gardens and orchards. For eight years I lived next door, on an adjacent 220-acre parcel, but I moved away over 20 years ago. However, I still go back for gatherings, and to see the forest that's grown from all the trees I planted so long ago.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

Probably the flying fox. Genuine "flying monkeys" straight out of the Wizard of Oz! Related to primates, not insectivores like other bats. I would love to be able to have one! I'm also particularly fond of snakes, and I have a lovely ball python at the moment.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Global warming and mass extinctions of many species. Rising sea levels, and a new Ice Age. The future will be a very different world than we have known for the past 10,000 years.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

Always keep in mind the most important maxim of Wizardry throughout all the ages: "Omnia vivunt; omnia inter se conexa." (Cicero) Everything is alive; everything is interconnected. Plant trees. Plant lots of trees. Grow your own vegetable garden. Reuse, recycle, renew, restore.

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