History 10 – Raymond Buckland (1934 – 2017)

Wicca moves to the USRaymond Buckland

Raymond Buckland is considered to be the Father of American Wicca. He was the man responsible for bringing Wicca to the United States in 1964, author of the first American book on witchcraft (Witchcraft from the Inside) and founder of Seax – Wica. Born in England, 1934 to a Romany Gypsy father; Buckland was introduced to spiritualism at the young age of twelve by his uncle George.

Soon after World War II Buckland became involved with the theater, and later spent time as a technical director on a few movies working with actors such as Orson Wells, John Carradine, Vincent Price and William Friedkin.

After achieving his doctorate in anthropology from Brantridge Forest College in Sussex, Buckland worked as an engineer, then joined the Royal Air Force in 1957. After leaving the air force he worked as a retail manager in a publishing firm, using his spare time to play trombone in various jazz bands. Coming to the United States with his family in 1962 he spent the next 10 years working for British Airways.

Buckland’s first introduction to witchcraft as a religion was when he read two books on the subject by Margaret Murray and Gerald Gardner. (The Witch-Cult in Western Europe and Witchcraft Today). Soon after he contacted Gardner and after becoming close friends, became Gardner’s spokesperson in the US. In1963 Buckland and his wife Rosemary, (married in 1955) traveled back to the UK and were initiated there by High Priestess Monique Wilson. Gardner passed away a year later.

After their return, Raymond and Rosemary founded their own coven in Long Island (1964). The coven was taken over by Theos and Phoenix when Buckland’s marriage ended in 1973. In 1968 he founded the first “Museum of Witchcraft and Magic” in the US, starting with a few random items and eventually grew to fill an entire house by 1973.

Buckland’s first book, “A Pocket Guide to the Supernatural” was published in 1968, which launched his extensive writing career. Quitting his job with British Airways in 1973, he committed himself to running the museum and writing full time, publishing an average of a book a year totaling over 60.

In 1974 Buckland decided to develop his own Wiccan tradition which is now practiced world wide as “Seax – Wica”. He wrote “The Tree: Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft” during the same time. Buckland retired in 1992 and sold his museum items in 1999 to a Gardnerian High Priest and Priestess in New Orleans.

Books by Raymond Buckland:

A Pocket Guide to the Supernatural – 1969

Practical Candle Burning Rituals – 1970

Witchcraft Ancient and Modern – 1970

Witchcraft from the Inside – 1971

The Tree: Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft – 1974

Here is the Occult – 1974

Practical Color Magick – 1983

Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft – 1986 (2nd edition – 2002)

Scottish Witchcraft – 1991

Advanced Candle Magic – 1996

Coin Divination – 2000

Wicca for Life – 2001

for a complete list of published works – http://www.raybuckland.com/id5.html

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