Raymond Buckland

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Raymond Buckland
Born 31 August 1934 (1934-08-31) (age 82)
London, England


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[edit]

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-[edit]

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[edit]

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 Magick in the United States, 1968-[edit]

In 1968 Buckland formed the First Museum of Witchcraft and Magick in the United States, as influenced by Gardner's Museum of Witchcraft and Magick. 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 housed and 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. After a period of neglect and mismanagement of the previous curator, Rev. Velvet, along with many members of her church, were able to begin the restoration process.

In 2015, the artifacts were turned over to the Temple of Sacrifice. A coven based in Columbus, Ohio, and co-founded by Raymond Buckland. Restoration and cataloging efforts are ongoing, and sites for a permanent relocation are being considered.

Seax-Wica, 1974-1982[edit]

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[edit]

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 Central Ohio, where he continued to write, and work as a solitary Wiccan.[1]


Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft (1986)

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, which was written 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, although he shifted largely to fiction in the 21st century.

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


  1. ^ a b c Knowles, George (3 June 2007). "Raymond Buckland (1934 - )". Controverscial.Com. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Lewis, James R. Lewis (1999). Witchcraft Today: An Encyclopedia of Wiccan and Neopagan Traditions. ABC=CLIO. pp. xxix. ISBN 9781576071342. 
  3. ^ a b c Rhuddlwm Gawr; Taliesin Enion Vawr (2002). he Word: Welsh Witchcraft, the Grail of Immortality and the Sacred Keys. Camelot Press. p. 54. ISBN 0595258085. 
  4. ^ a b Drury, Nevill (2005). The Watkins Dictionary of Magic. Duncan Baird Publishers. ISBN 1780283628. 
  5. ^ a b "An Interview with Raymond Buckland". Cyber Witchcraft. CyberWytchLLC. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  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. 
  8. ^ http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/bos045.htm

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