Happy Birthday to Raymond Buckland, the man who brought Gardnerian Wicca to the States and whose books brought many of us into the Wiccan tradition. He would have been 85 years old today.
Raymond Buckland was the youngest son born to Eileen and Stanley Buckland in London on August 31, 1934. Sadly, he passed on September 27, 2017 from complications due to pneumonia.
With an English mother and Romany father, Buckland was raised in the Church of England. Growing up, he had no real interest in religion, and it wasn’t until his Uncle George introduced him to Spiritualism that he realized there was something else out there. This sparked his life-long interest in all things occult and led him down a path that would eventually influence all of us pagans in years to come.
Two books greatly influenced his life and religion: Margaret Murray’s “The Witch-Cult in Western Europe” and Gerald Gardner’s “Witchcraft Today.” Buckland quickly began corresponding with Gardner and the two became friends. It wasn’t long until Buckland became the American spokesperson for Wicca and Gardner.
In 1963, the first and only time the two friends physically met, Gardner oversaw Raymond and his wife Rosemary’s initiation into Wicca where they received the Craft names of Robat and Rowen. Upon returning to the states, the Bucklands created the New York Coven and started teaching students who were eager to learn this blossoming religion. Together, they taught Gardnerian Wicca until 1969 when they divorced and left the coven operation to a new High Priestess and High Priest.
After 11 years of teaching, Buckland decided to break away from the Gardnerian tradition and founded his own group called Seax-Wicca. He created a system which was less secretive and hierarchical and more open and democratic. The Seax-Wicca tradition is still alive and strong even though Buckland stepped away from teaching and being the public leader of the tradition in 1992. He wanted to devote his time to solitary practice and his writing.
Sadly, in September of 2017, Raymond Buckland passed away due to a prolonged issue with pneumonia. He left behind a legacy of firsts:
From his first book “A Pocket Guide to the Supernatural” published in 1969 to his “Complete Book of Witchcraft” in 1986 all the way to his last book in 2010, he has been responsible for bringing Wicca and Witchcraft into so many lives.
Inner Circle Sanctuary recognizes Raymond Buckland as an integral part of Wiccan teachings. His videos and candle spells are peppered throughout our curriculum, and many of his ritual lines are recited during our own sabbat celebrations. Any serious student of Wicca should own a copy of his big blue book, “Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft.”
Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn's Practical Magick) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0875420508/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_wtwxDbA167FVY?
The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick
Inner Circle Sanctuary
Inner Circle Sanctuary is a school for traditional style Wicca and holds eight sabbat festivals every year.