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                The Church of All Worlds, a Brief History 
      It all began on April 7, 1962, when, after reading Stranger in a
 Strange Land, Tim Zell and Lance Christie shared water and formed a
 water-brotherhood called "Atl" at Westminster College at Fulton,
 Missouri. During the mid-1960s the group was centered on the University
 of Oklahoma campus at Norman under the name Atlan Foundation. A
 periodical, The Atlan Torch (later The Atlan Annals), was published from
 1962-1968. Following a move to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1968 the Church
 of All Worlds was legally incorporated. In March of that year, the first
 issue of Green Egg appeared and over the years made Tim Zell, its
 editor, a major force in Neo-Paganism, a term which Zell coined. CAW was
 the first Neo-Pagan/Earth Religion to obtain full federal recognition,
 although it was initially refused recognition by the Missouri Department
 of Revenue on the basis of its lack of primary concern about the
 hereafter, God, the destiny of souls, heaven, hell, sin and its
 punishment, and other supernatural matters. The ruling was overturned as
 unconstitutional in 1971.     The Church of All Worlds took much
 inspiration from the science fiction classic, Stranger in a Strange Land
 by Robert Heinlein. In the novel, Valentine Michael Smith was a human
 being born on Mars and raised by Martians. Upon being brought to Earth,
 he established the Church of All Worlds, built around "nests", a
 combination of a congregations and an intentional communities. A basic
 concept was "grokking", i.e., the ability to be fully empathic.
 Heinlein's CAW emphasized non-possessive love and joyous expression of
 sexuality as divine union. Their greeting was "Thou art God" or "Thou
 art Goddess", a recognition of  immanent divinity in each person.     The basic theology of the CAW is a pantheism focused on immanent rather
 than transcendent divinity, which is worshiped in female as well as a
 male form. 
      The most important thealogical statement came in revelatory
 writings by Zell in 1970-73, on a theory which later came to be known as
 the Gaia Thesis, a biological validation of the ancient intuition that
 the planet is a single living organism, Mother Earth.       Pantheists
 hold as divine the living spirit of Nature. Thus the CAW recognizes
 Mother Earth, the Horned God, the Green Man and other spirits of
 animistic totemism as the Divine Pantheon. Church of All Worlds was an
 early forerunner of the Deep Ecology movement. Through its focus on
 Mother Nature as Goddess and its recognition and ordination of women as
 Priestesses, CAW can also rightly be held to be the first Eco-Feminist
 Church. Its only creed states: "The Church of All Worlds is dedicated to
 the celebration of life, the maximal actualization of human potential
 and the realization of ultimate individual freedom and personal
 responsibility in harmonious eco-psychic relationship with the total
 Biosphere of Holy Mother Earth."
      In 1974, CAW reported nests in Missouri, California, Illinois,
 Kansas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Wyoming, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee,
 New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. It was then publishing two periodicals,
 Green Egg and The Pagan. Two years later Zell moved to Oregon with his
 new wife, Morning Glory, an ordained Priestess, for a rural life of
 writing, research and the practice of the religion he had developed.
 They left the administration of the CAW and the publication of the Green
 Egg in the hands of other Church leaders. After only a few more issues,
 the magazine ceased publication. Subsequently many Church Nests
 dissolved due to internal conflicts.
      By the mid-1980s CAW survived only in California, focused around
 the sanctuary land bequeathed to the Church by its Bard, Gwydion
 Pendderwen. On and around this rural retreat, a Pagan homesteading
 community grew which included the Zells (Tim Zell had changed his first
 name to Otter in 1979 following a vision quest) and other long-time
 Church members who had moved to California, as well as many new people.
 Two new clergy were ordained during that time, Orion Stormcrow (a Church
 member since 1969) and Anodea Judith. (In 1991, Deborah Hamouris was
 ordained, bringing the present number of active clergy to six.)  In the
 late 1980s, following Otter and Morning Glory's emergence from eight
 years of living in the wilderness, the Church of All Worlds began
 reorganizing under the leadership of Anodea Judith. The membership
 program was radically upgraded to include a Progressive Involvement
 Program (PIP), intensive training courses and a new members newsletter,
 The Scarlet Flame. Activities and membership increased dramatically
 during this period as CAW emerged from its slumber.    The first issue
 of Green Egg (The Next Generation!) appeared in May, 1988, the 20th
 anniversary of its original publication. It has risen to a position of
 prominence among Pagan periodicals. Diane Darling, who joined the Church
 in the mid-'80s, is its editrix, Otter its publisher and designer. In
 1991, with 52 pages and a four-color glossy cover, Green Egg won the
 Silver Award from the Wiccan/Pagan Press Alliance (WPPA) for "Most
 Professionally Formatted Pagan Publication". In 1992 Green Egg won the
 WPPA Gold Award for "Readers' Choice" as well as the Dragonfest Awards
 for "Most Attractive Format" and "Best Graphics". Diane won the Pentacle
 Award for "Favorite Pagan Editrix", and Otter for "Favorite Pagan
      The non-fictional Church of All Worlds has grown far beyond
 Heinlein's dream. There are nine concentric circles of member involve-
 ment, named after the planets and grouped into three rings. Each
 circle's activity includes study, writings, magical training, sen-
 sitivity and encounter-group experience, as well as active participation
 in the life of the Church. The First Ring, Circles 1, 2, and 3, is for
 Seekers, those who are only participants. Second Ring, Circles 4 through
 6, is made up of Scions, members who help run the church.  The clergy,
 Council of the Third Ring, consists of legally ordained priests and
 priestesses; longtime members who have worked through the other circles,
 undergone personal and leadership development, religious training, and
 completed the Church's ordination requirements.   There are two
 governing bodies in addition to the Clergy: the Board of Directors,
 which determines policy and business matters, and the Fun Committee,
 which implements the activities and functions of the Church. The Fun
 Committee is made up of a Board member, a clergy member, and one
 representative from each of the church functions, such as Rites and
 Festivals, Publications, Membership, Communications and each subsidiary.
 There is an annual General Meeting to elect officers and make changes in
 the Church's ever-evolving Bylaws. Worship involves attending weekly or
 monthly Nest meetings usually held in the homes of Nest members.
 Autonomous nests are composed of at least three members of 2nd Circle
 meeting monthly or more often. The basic liturgical form is based on a
 circle where a chalice of water is shared around as part of the ritual
 part of the Nest meeting.     Longer events are celebrated at the Church
 sanctuary, Annwfn, a 55-acres of land in northern California. Annwfn has
 a two-story temple, cabins, garden, orchard and a small pond. It is
 maintained by a small community of resident caretakers.  In addition to
 the eight Celtic seasonal festivals, the Church holds handfastings
 (marriages), vision quests, initiations, workshops, retreats, work
 parties and meetings on the land.  As of 1993, the Church has ten
 chartered nests in California, with others in Florida, Illinois,
 Arizona, Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Australia (where CAW has
 become the first legally-incorporated Pagan church in that country). A
 number of proto-Nests are in the process of forming.  Current President
 is priest Tom Williams (a member since 1968).  Otter is presently
 engaged in the formation of the Universal Federation of Pagans (UFP), a
 worldwide association with which he hopes to unify the global Pagan
 community.  1992 was the 30th anniversary of the Church. A Grand
 Convocation was held in August, with an attendance of nearly 300.
 Membership at the end of 1993 was around 600.
      The Mission Statement of the Church of All Worlds is as follows:
 The mission of the Church of All Worlds is to evolve a network of
 information, mythology, and experience that provides a context and
 stimulus for reawakening Gaea, and reuniting Her children through tribal
 community dedicated to responsible stewardship and the general evolution
 of consciousness.   Over the years, the Church of All Worlds has
 chartered a number of subsidiary branches through which it practices and
 teaches its religion:
 *    Forever Forests : Box 212, Redwood Valley, CA 95470.  Founded in
 1977 by  Gwydion Pendderwen; the ecology branch.  Sponsors tree-planting
 events and rituals. 
 *    Lifeways : 2140 Shattuck #2093, Berkeley, CA 94704.  Founded in
 1983 by Anodea Judith; the teaching branch.  Offers workshops, classes,
 healing rituals, recovery programs, wilderness excursions, and training
 for the priesthood. Handles the Progressive Involvement Program.
 *    Nemeton : Box 610, Laytonville, CA 95454.  Founded in 1972 by
 Gwydion Pennderwen and Alison Harlow; the marketing branch.  Tapes and
 CDs, songbooks, T-shirts, philosophical tracts and books.  Catalog
 *    Ecosophical Research Assn. (ERA) : Box 982, Ukiah, CA 95482. 
 Founded in 1977 by Morning Glory Zell; devoted to research and explora-
 tion in the fields of history, mythology and natural sciences. Produced
 the Living Unicorn, the New Guinea Mermaid expedition and a Peruvian
 *    Holy Order of Mother Earth (HOME) : Box 212, Redwood Valley, CA
 95470  Founded in 1977 by the Zells and Alison Harlow; magical and
 shamanic branch open only to trained initiates. Creates and conducts the
 Church's rituals and ceremonies.*  Peaceful Order of the Earth Mother
 (POEM) : Box 5227, Clearlake, CA 95422.  Founded in 1988 by Willowoak
 Istarwood; dedicated to children and child nurturing.  Provides
 enriching activities for children at gatherings, summer camps and a
 quarterly magazine for Pagan youth, How About Magic? (HAM) :$7 per year.
 *    Green Egg : Box 1542, Ukiah, CA 95482.  Award-winning quarterly
 journal of the New Paganism and the Gaian Renaissance, founded in 1968
 by Otter Zell.  Sample $6; subscription $15/yr US bulk mail; $21/yr
 US/Canada 1st class/envelope; $27/yr trans-Atlantic; $30/yr trans-Pacif-
 *    Annwfn : Box 48, Calpella, CA 95418.  CAW's 55-acre land sanctuary
 and retreat in the Misty Mountains of Mendonesia.  Write for Visitor's
 *    CAW Membership and General Correspondence : 
 (Australian Headquaters) PO Box 408, Woden, ACT 2606.
   Further information on the Church of All Worlds may be found in the
 following books:
 Adler, Margot, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-
 Worshipers and other Pagans in America Today, Beacon Press, 1979;
 revised and updated 1987. (essential!)
 Ellwood, Robert, Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America, 1973.
 Gottleib, Annie, Do You Believe in Magic? The Second Coming of the
 Sixties Generation, Times Books, 1987
 Guiley, Rosemary, Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, Facts on File,
 1989; (extensive!)
 The Perennial Encyclopedia of Mystical and Psychic Experience, 1990.
 Jade, To Know, Delphi Press, 1991.
 Martello, Leo Louis, Witchcraft, the Old Religion, University Books,
 Melton, J. Gordon, The Encyclopedia of American Religions, from the
 Institute for the Study of American Religions, POB 90709, Santa Barbara,
 CA 93190 1979 ( 3rd edition, 1988); The Essential New Age, 1990.
 Wilson, Robert Anton, Coincidance, Falcon Press, 1988

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