Raymond Buckland

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Raymond Buckland
Born 31 August 1934 (1934-08-31) (age 86)
London, England
Occupation Writer parents = Stanley Thomas Buckland ; Eileen Lizzie Wells

Raymond Buckland (born 31 August 1934), whose craft name is Robat, is an English American writer on the subject of Wicca and the occult, and a significant figure in the history of Wicca, of which he is a High Priest in both the Gardnerian and Seax traditions.

According to his written works, primarily Witchcraft from the Inside, published in 1971, he was the first person in the United States to openly admit to being a practitioner of Wicca,[citation needed] and he introduced the lineage of Gardnerian Wicca to the United States in 1964, after having been initiated by Gerald Gardner's then-high priestess Monique Wilson in Britain the previous year. He later formed his own tradition dubbed Seax-Wica which focuses on the symbolism of Anglo-Saxon paganism.[1]


Britain: 1934-1962

Buckland was born in London on 31 August 1934,[2] to Eileen and Stanley Buckland. Buckland was of mixed ethnicity; his mother was English, but his father was Romani.[3] He was raised in the Anglican Church but developed an interest in Spiritualism and the occult at about age 12, after encountering it from a Spiritualist uncle.[4][5]

When World War II broke out in 1939, the family moved to Nottingham, where Buckland attended Nottingham High School. It was here that he became involved in amateur dramatic productions.[1]

He went on to be educated at King's College School. In 1955 he married Rosemary Moss. From 1957 to 1959, he served in the Royal Air Force, and then went on to work in a London publishing company for four years, before he and his wife emigrated to the United States in 1962, where they lived on Long Island, New York.[2]

Whilst living in the United States, Buckland worked for British Airways.[3]

USA: 1962-

In the US, Buckland soon read the books The Witch-Cult in Western Europe by Margaret Murray and Witchcraft Today by Gerald Gardner, which gave him an insight into the Witchcraft religion, or Wicca as it is now more commonly known. Some sources relay that Buckland had established a relationship with Gardner when he was living on the Isle of Man and running his witchcraft museum; it seems this relationship was by correspondence.

The two became friends, and had several telephone conversations, which led to Buckland becoming Gardner's spokesman in America[citation needed]. Buckland also met and befriended Margaret St. Clair, author of the occult classic Sign of the Labrys.[6]

Both Buckland and his wife Rosemary travelled to Scotland, where, in Perth, they were initiated into the craft by the High Priestess Monique Wilson (known as the Lady Olwen).[7] Gardner attended the ceremony, but did not perform it himself. Gardner died shortly after, having never met Buckland again.

The Long Island Coven

The Bucklands returned home to the United States following their meeting with Gardner, bringing the Gardnerian Book of Shadows with them. That same year they founded a coven in Bay Shore, known as the Long Island Coven. This was the first group in the US following the Gardnerian Wicca lineage of direct initiation. Virtually all fully initiated Gardnerians in the US can trace their origins back to the Long Island Coven, which was a centre for neopaganism in America for twenty years.[2]

The Bucklands tried to keep their identities secret at first, due to concern about unwanted and negative attention, however journalist Lisa Hoffman of the New York Sunday News published a news story on them without permission.[5]

When Buckland and his wife separated in 1973, they both left the Long Island Coven.[4]

First Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in the United States, 1968-

In 1968 Buckland formed the First Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in the United States, as influenced by Gardner's Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. It started off as a by-appointment-only policy museum in his own basement. After his collection of artifacts grew he moved the museum to a 19th-century house in Bay Shore. The museum received some media attention, and a documentary was produced about it.

In 1973, following his separation from his wife, Buckland moved his museum to Weirs Beach in New Hampshire. In 1978, he moved to Virginia, disbanded the museum, and put all his artifacts in storage.

In 2008, the artifacts of the Museum were entrusted to the care of The Covenant of the Pentacle Wiccan Church (CPWC), based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and led by Arch Priestess Rev. Velvet Rieth. CPWC plans to raise funds to display the artifacts once more, either in a New Orleans area building, and/or as a traveling exhibit in select US cities.

Books, 1969-2008

In 1969 Buckland published his first book - A Pocket Guide to the Supernatural. He followed this in 1970 with Witchcraft Ancient and Modern and Practical Candleburning Rituals, as well as a novel called Mu Revealed, a spoof on the works of James Churchward, using the pseudonym Tony Earll (an anagram for 'not really'). By 1973 he was earning enough money with his books that he could take over running of his museum full-time. He has published a book almost every year since.

Seax-Wica, 1974-1982

Buckland formed his own Wiccan tradition, Seax-Wica, based upon symbolism taken from Anglo-Saxon paganism.[8] He published everything about the movement in The Tree: Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft. He then began a correspondence course to teach people about Seax-Wica, which grew to having around a thousand members.

Personal life

Buckland married his first wife, Rosemary, in 1955. They separated in 1973.[2] In 1974 Raymond married Joan Helen Taylor.[3] In 1992 Buckland and his third wife, Tara, moved to a farm in North Cental Ohio, where he continued to write, and work as a solitary Wiccan.[1]


Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft (1986)
  • A Pocket Guide to the Supernatural. Ace Books, NY. 1975 [1969].<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Practical Candleburning Rituals. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1970, 1976, 1982, 200. Check date values in: |year= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Witchcraft Ancient and Modern. House of Collectibles, NY. 1970.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Witchcraft From the Inside: Origins of the Fastest Growing Religious Movement in America. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1971, 1975, 1995. Check date values in: |year= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • pseudonym Tony Earll (1970, 1972). MU Revealed. Warner Paperback Library, NY. Check date values in: |year= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • with Hereward Carrington (1975). Amazing Secrets of the Psychic World. Parker/Prentice Hall, NJ.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Tree: Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft. Samuel Weiser (Red Wheel/Weiser), ME. 1974, 1978, 2005. Check date values in: |year= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Here is the Occult. House of Collectibles, NY. 2009 [1974].<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Anatomy of the Occult. Samuel Weiser, ME. 1977.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Magick of Chant-O-Matics. Parker/Prentice Hall, NJ. 1980 [1978].<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Practical Color Magick. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1983.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Color Magick: Unleash Your Inner Powers. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 2002.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 2002 [1986].<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Secrets of Gypsy Fortune Telling. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1988.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Secrets of Gypsy Love Magick. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1990.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Secrets of Gypsy Dream Reading. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1990.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scottish Witchcraft: The History and Magick of the Picts. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1991.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • with Kathleen Binger (1992). The Book of African Divination. Inner Traditions, VT.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Doors to Other Worlds. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1993.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Truth About Spirit Communication. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1995.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Committee (novel). Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1993.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Cardinal's Sin: Psychic Defenders Uncover Evil in the Vatican (novel). Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1996.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Ray Buckland's Magic Cauldron. Galde Press, MN. 1995.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Advanced Candle Magick: More Spells and Rituals for Every Purpose. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1996.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Witchcraft: Yesterday and Today (video). Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1990.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Gypsy Witchcraft & Magic. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1998.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Gypsy Dream Dictionary. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 1999.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Coin Divination. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 2000.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Buckland Romani Tarot. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 2001.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Wicca for Life. Citadel, NY. 2001.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism. Visible Ink Press, NY. 2001.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Fortune-Telling Book. Visible Ink Press, NY. 2003.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Signs, Symbols & Omens: An Illustrated Guide to Magical & Spiritual Symbolism. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 2003.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Cards of Alchemy. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 2003.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Wicca For One. Citadel, NY. 2004.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Buckland's Book of Spirit Communications. Llewellyn Publications, MN. 2004.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Spirit Book: The Encyclopedia of Clairvoyance, Channeling, and Spirit Communication. Visible Ink Press, NY. 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Mediumship and Spirit Communication. Buckland Books. 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Face to Face with God?. Buckland Books. 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Ouija - "Yes! Yes!". Doorway Publications. 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Death, Where is Thy Sting?. Buckland Books. 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Dragons, Shamans & Spiritualists. Buckland Books. 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Buckland's Doorway to Candle Magic. Buckland Books. 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • the Torque of Kernow (novel). Galde Press/Buckland Books. 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • The Weiser's Field Guide to Ghosts. Red Wheel/Weiser. 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Buckland's Book of Gypsy Magic. Red Wheel/Weiser. 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Knowles, George (3 June 2007). "Raymond Buckland (1934 - )". Controverscial.Com. Retrieved 16 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Lewis, James R. Lewis (1999). Witchcraft Today: An Encyclopedia of Wiccan and Neopagan Traditions. ABC=CLIO. pp. xxix. ISBN 9781576071342.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Rhuddlwm Gawr; Taliesin Enion Vawr (2002). he Word: Welsh Witchcraft, the Grail of Immortality and the Sacred Keys. Camelot Press. p. 54. ISBN 0595258085.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Drury, Nevill (2005). The Watkins Dictionary of Magic. Duncan Baird Publishers. ISBN 1780283628.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "An Interview with Raymond Buckland". Cyber Witchcraft. CyberWytchLLC. Retrieved 16 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Letter From Hardscrabble Creek: Chasing Margaret" by Chas. S. Clifton, Hardscrabble #17, June 1997.
  7. Davis, Morgan S. "Monique Wilson" (PDF). Gerald Gardner. Morgan S. Davis. Retrieved 17 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/bos045.htm

External links