Buckland, Raymond (August 31, 1934—) - Witchcraft Hall of Fame

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Buckland, Raymond (August 31, 1934—)
Witchcraft Hall of Fame

Raymond Buckland is a prolific author, spiritual leader, authority on witchcraft, magic and the occult, and the person responsible for introducing Gardnerian Wicca to the United States.

Buckland describes his father as a “full-blood Romany” and a freelance writer who encouraged his son to write. At age twelve, Buckland was introduced to Spiritualism by a paternal uncle, beginning his life-long interest in all aspects of the occult.

In the late 1950s, having read Gerald Gardner’s Witchcraft Today he began a correspondence with Gardner and later with Gardner’s High Priestess, Monique Wilson (Lady Olwen). When Buckland emigrated to the United States in February 1962, he became Gardner’s spokesman there. At the end of 1963, during a trip to Perth, Scotland, Buckland was initiated by Lady Olwen and was able to meet Gardner, shortly before Gardner died.

Inspired by Gerald Gardner’s witchcraft collection, Buckland amassed his own vast collection, which became the first Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in the United States. The collection remains in Buckland’s possession.

Buckland has been instrumental in introducing two more Wiccan traditions to the States:

Image Seax-Wica was founded by Buckland in 1973. Buckland, despite introducing Gardnerian Wicca to the US, became frustrated and disappointed by some of the evolutions of this tradition. Therefore he founded Seax-Wica, intended to be a more open, democratically organized branch of Wicca.

PectiWita is based on Pictish traditions of Scotland. It is a solitary witchcraft practice with strong emphasis on shamanic rather than ceremonial aspects of witchcraft. The emphasis is on folk magic, divination, and magical healing. The father of the PectiWita tradition is considered to be Highlander Aidan Breac (1897—1989), whose foremother was burned at the stake as a witch in 1661.

Buckland has also written screenplays, fiction and is an accomplished ragtime musician. He served as technical advisor for Orson Welles’ film, Necromancy.