a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


What on Earth is the Church of All Worlds?

[from ]

Subject: What on Earth is the Church of All Worlds?

Where we're at:
        The Church of All Worlds offers a religious position uniquely
suited to the enlightened, inquiring modern mind.  In harmony with the
principles and conclusions of science, receptive to the values and wisdom
of the ancients and the great religions of humanity, cherishing diversity
and individuality, sensitive to the deep psychological and spiritual needs
of all people, the Church of All Worlds aspires to be the kind of free,
growing and unifying religion that today's and tomorrow's world so
urgently needs.
        The Church of All Worlds is Neo-Pagan:  a modern Earth Religionža
path chosen because of its traditional sanctification of Life and the
processes of Nature, which we consider an appropriate religious
orientation for the emerging Aquarian Age.  We are in accord with the
Greening of our Planet as both political and spiritual goals which are not
incompatible.  As western civilization has been to a great degree the
product of the past two thousand years of Piscean Age Christianity, so do
we envision a new whole-Earth culture of transformative religious ecology
to become the product of the next epoch of Aquarian Age Nature Religion.
In common with many other Neo-Pagan religions, CAW presents
alife-affirming religious philosophy for the joyous unification of eros,
ethos and ecos.
        We consider the Church of All Worlds to be radically evolutionary
in concept, rather than merely revolutionary.  We see the evolution of
Life on Earth as moving towards a point of actualization whereby the
entire planet will come to share a single vast g global consciousness.  We
see humanity as being instrumental in the course of that evolution.  As
humans seem to be the only creatures on the planet capable of disrupting
entire ecosystems, it becomes our manifest responsibility through our
unique freedom of choice to prevent such systems from being disrupted.  We
are not anti-technology or science, for we recognize that certain
scientific and technological advances, such as ecology, geology,
astronomy, psychology, archaeology, cybernetics, astrophysics,
communications and the appropriate technologies of the bio-renaissance can
be positively evolutionary and in harmony with the accelerating advance of
planetary consciousness.  What we oppose is the senseless use of
industrial technology and the economics of greed, which wreak havoc with
the planetary ecosystem, often in the name of the Biblical injunction that
Man is to have "dominion over the Earth."  We perceive our role not as
dominion, but as responsible stewardship.
        Applying evolutionary concepts to each individual, we agree with
Erich Fromm that the purpose of life is "to become what we potentially
are."  We identify strongly with the concepts of human self-actualization
identified by Abraham Maslow and found in transpersonal psychology and
ethics.  Rejecting utterly concepts of predestination and inherent sin, we
affirm the ultimate freedom and responsibility appropriate to conscious
entities, which we express in the phrase "Thou Art God/dess," derived from
Robert Heinlein's novel, Stranger in a Strange Land.  This implies that
each one of us must define our own specific purpose.  There is no excuse;
no shelter from the awesome responsibility of total freedom. We do not
seek power over other individuals for domination; rather we seek the
shaman's goal of power within for healing ourselves and the Earth.
        Recognizing that all life on Earth comprises a single vast living
Entity, which has been intuitively conceptualized as a feminine divinity
from time immemorial, we are in harmony with our Pagan ancestors who
worshiped The Goddess:  Mother Earth, Mother Nature.  Thus we also affirm
mystically and mythically the pantheistic conceptualization of immanent
divinity inherent in all living entities, as synergic living Nature, for
we define divinity as the highest level of aware consciousness accessible
to each living being, manifesting itself in the self-actualization of that
being.  Hence, "Thou Art God/dess" applies equally to a person, a tree, a
grasshopper or a planet.
        As Neo-Pagans, we are concerned, not with life after death, but
with life after birth.  We have no dogmas of immortality, considering that
whatever one believes about an afterlife may very well be what one gets.
We view death as an evolutionary prerequisite site for the emergence of new
life, and so we return the dead to the Earth, from which the elements of
their energy and matter will eventually be recycled and reconstituted into
the energy and matter of other life forms.  Other than our ecological
responsibility of returning to the Earth that which we have taken from
Her, we are not concerned with dying, but with living.
        We are deeply concerned with improving the quality of that life,
to which end we agree with population ecologists that its quantity (in
sheer numbers of people) must be drastically reduced.  Thus we are
strongly supportive of the various measures of birth h control advocated by
such agencies as Planned Parenthood, including full legalization of
abortion.  We greatly fear that if humanity does not choose to limit its
numbers by reducing births, Nature will do it for us by increasing deaths.

Where we're going:
        The word religion means "re-linking."  The basic commitment of the
Church of All Worlds is to the re-integration of people with themselves,
their fellow humans, and with the whole of living Nature.  In company with
all other Pagan peoples, we create no artificial demarcations between the
sacred and the secular, for we recognize that religion must ultimately be
an entire way of life, not merely some ritual acts performed once a week.
We are committed to developing an organic, vitalistic philosophy of life e
and its expression in an organic culture.
        To this end, then, the Church of All Worlds devotes itself to
those who need or want the help and understanding of others through the
processes of unlearning and learning.  It is our aim to offer assistance
through any personal expansion programs found t o be effective.  Further,
we intend to remain open-minded and receptive to new ideas, interests and
goals, and learn to live responsibly and responsively with each other.
        We advocate involvement with every conceivable aspect of the
emerging Gaean culture, from religious service and mythology to family
relations and child rearing; from education to ecology; from psychic
development to space travel; from the sensual to the sexual; from
intentional communities to planetary government and world peace.  "Nothing
short of everything will ever really do."  We are engaged in the eclectic
reconstruction of ancient Nature religions, combining archetypes of many
cultures with other mystic and spiritual disciplines.  But we are not just
trying to recreate a Paradise Lost; we are actively working to actualize a
visionary future.  With roots deep in the Earth and branches reaching
towards the stars, we evoke and create myths not only of a Golden Age long
past, but also of one yet to come...
        Since we are concerned with the emergent evolution of a total new
culture and lifestyle, and since we perceive no distinction between the
sacred and the secular, we consider every activity to be essentially a
religious activity.  For us, taking our cans and bottles to the recycling
center is as much a religious duty as prayer and meditation.  And so are
composting our garbage, growing organic vegetables, practicing safe sex
and birth control, using biodegradable products, boycotting ivory,
training and study, protecting animals and celebration of the seasons.
We recognize that the essence of a religion is in the living of it.

Where we came from:
        The Church traces its history back to 1962, when a
"water-brotherhood" called Atl was formed by Tim Zell and Lance Christie
at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.  During the mid-to-late 1960s
the group was centered on the University of Oklahoma cam pus at Norman and
operated under the name Atlan Foundation.  In 1968, with a number of
Atlans in St. Louis, the Church of All Worlds was incorporated, becoming
the first of the Neo-Pagan/Earth Religions to obtain full state and
federal recognition.  In March of that year, the Green Egg appeared.
From its inauspicious beginnings as a one-page ditto sheet, it grew over
80 issues into a 60-page journal, evolving into the most significant
periodical in the Pagan movement during the 1970s.  After a ten-year
hiatus the Green Egg resumed publication in 1988 with its 81st issue and
has been published quarterly ever since.
        The Church of All Worlds took much of its original inspiration
from the 1961 science fiction classic, Stranger in a Strange Land by
Robert Heinlein.  In the novel, the "stranger," Valentine Michael Smith,
was an Earthman born on Mars and raised by Martians ns.  Among his other
adventures upon being brought to Earth was the formation of the fictional
"Church of All Worlds."  The church was built around "nests" a combination
of a congregation and an expanded family.  A basic concept was grokking,
i.e., the ability  to be fully empathic.  It also emphasized the
experience of non-possessive love and joyous expression of sexuality as
divine union.  The common greeting was "Thou art God;" a recognition of
immanent divinity in each person.
        The basic theology of the real-life Church of All Worlds is a form
of pantheism which focuses on immanent rather than transcendent divinity.
The most important theological statement came in the form of revelatory
writings by Tim (now Otter) Zell in 1970-73, on the theory which later
came to be known as the Gaia Thesis.  This concept is a biological
validation of an ancient intuition:  that the planet is a single living
organism; Mother Earth (Gaia).  Pantheists hold as divine the living
spirit of Nature .  Thus the CAW, recognizes Gaia, Pan and other nature
spirits as the Divine Pantheon.  In this manner, the Church of All Worlds
became an early for-runner of the Deep Ecology movement.
        Though the Church maintains an egalitarian rather than matriarchal
social structure, nevertheless, through its focus on Mother Nature as
Goddess, its recognition and ordination of women as priestesses, and the
important central policy-making positions he ld by women in the Church,
CAW can rightly be held to be the first Eco-Feminist Church.  We are not a
secret or members-only organization, as are many Wiccan covens, and we
welcome participation by all who are sincerely interested in our path
regardless o f race, sex, national or cultural origins or sexual
preference.  We support unity through diversity.  Our only creed states:
"The Church of All Worlds is dedicated to the celebration of life, the
maximal actualization of human potential and the realization ion of ultimate
individual freedom and personal responsibility in harmonious eco-psychic
relationship with the total Biosphere of Holy Mother Earth."
        Worship in the Church involves weekly or monthly meetings which
are held usually in the homes of nest members on a rotational basis.  The
basic liturgical form is a Circle where members take turns sharing their
creativity.  A chalice of water is always s hared around the Circle either

as the opening or closing of the ceremony.
        Other events are celebrated at the Church retreat sanctuary, a
55-acre parcel of sacred land called Annwfn, in Northern Califia.  It is
maintained by a small residential community of caretakers.  In addition to
various campfire and ritual areas, the land has several handbuilt
buildings including a two-story temple, plus a garden, an orchard and a
small pond.  It has limited solar electricity and propane hot water, but
no telephone or TV.  In addition to the eight Celtic seasonal festivals we
hold handfastings, vision quests, rites of passage, workshops, retreats,
work parties, summer camps and staff meetings on the land.
        As in Stranger in a Strange Land, congregations of the CAW are
called "Nests," and quite a few are currently in existence throughout the
world.  See the latest issue of Green Egg for listings to find the Nest
nearest you.
        Over the years, the Church has chartered a number of subsidiary
branch orders through which we practice and teach our religion.  These

Nemeton POB 610, Laytonville, CA 95454.  Founded in 1972 by Gwydion
Pendderwen and Alison Harlow, this is the publishing arm.  Tapes,
songbooks, books, T-shirts, Goddess figurines, God & Goddess jewelry and
philosophical tracts.  Catalog available.

Forever Forests POB 212, Redwood Valley, CA 95470.  Founded in 1977 by
Gwydion Pendderwen, this is the Church's ecology branch.  Sponsors tree
planting rituals and environmental actions.  Has stewardship of Annwfn,
the Church land.

Ecosophical Research Assn. POB 982, Ukiah, CA 95482.  Founded in 1977 by
Morning Glory Zell, the ERA is devoted to research and exploration in the
fields of history, mythology, and natural sciences.  ERA focuses on the
borderline between science and magic .  Sponsored the Living Unicorn
project, the New Guinea Mermaid expedition, a Peruvian Pilgrimage and
other "magical mystery tours," and a Goddess collection and sculpture

Lifeways 2140 Shattuck #2093, Berkeley, CA 94704.  Founded in 1983 by
Anodea Judith, this is the teaching order.  Offers workshops, classes,
healing rituals and training for the priesthood.  In 1990, Lifeways
president Marilee Lewis inaugurated a Pagan re recovery program called WEBS
(Women Emerging and Becoming Sane).

Peaceful Order of the Earth Mother POB 5227, Clearlake, CA 95422.  Founded
in 1988 by Willowoak, POEM is 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).  HAM is
available by subscription for $7/yr (US) from POB 1542, Ukiah, CA 95482.

Green Egg POB 1542, Ukiah, CA 95482.  Founded in 1968 by Tim (now Otter)
Zell, GE is a professionally-produced quarterly magazine of Neo-Paganism.
56-64 pages, with a four-color glossy cover, GE features articles,
fiction, interviews, comics, environment  action, columns and an
extensive "Readers' Forum."  Cover price $4.95.  Back issues $6.
Subscription $15 (US), $21 (Canada), $27 (trans-Atlantic), $30
(trans-Pacific).  POB 1542, Ukiah, CA 95482.

        Membership in the Church of All worlds is based on a nine-circle
system of involvement which falls into three main bodies (Rings):
Seekers, Scions and ordained Clergy.  The Church is governed by a Board of
Directors with members from all Three Rings.  A All members also receive a
quarterly membership newsletter, The Scarlet Flame.  For more information
and membership applications, write to CAW, POB 1542, Ukiah, CA 95482

For More Information on CAW: Adler Margot, Drawing Down the Moon; Witches,
Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, Beacon
Press, Boston, 1979 (revised and expanded 1986).

Guiley, Rosemary Ellen, The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, Facts
on File, New York, 1989.

Melton, Gordon, The Encyclopedia of American Religions, from the Institute
for the Study of American Religions, POB 90709, Santa Barbara, CA 93190
(3rd edition, 1988).

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races