several ways that the initiatory tradition of the Craft of the Wica left the
shores of the UK bound for the USA, probably the most fruitful route was
via a man called Raymond Buckland.
early 1960's, Raymond Buckland, after reading Gardner’s books,
decided to write to him about the Wica. As a result of this correspondence
it was arranged for Ray to be initiated by
Monique Wilson following
a 10 day intensive course. Resultantly, on the 18th of November 1963, Raymond
flew to the UK to begin the program.
return to the USA, Ray, along with his then-wife Rosemary, proceeded to
establish the 'Long Island' Coven at Queens. With time, this 'line'
(sometimes referred to as the 'Long Island Line'), has become the largest 'Gardnerian'
line in the USA.
In 1966, Raymond
proceeded to set up
‘First Museum of Witchcraft and Magic’ in his basement. Just as in the UK,
it would seem that the time was right for a resurgence of
interest in Witchcraft.
Over the ensuing
years modern Witchcraft enjoyed a huge increase in popularity and it could
be argued that Witchcraft is perhaps the only religion that the UK has given to
the world. Its subsequent diversification influenced the creation of many
different traditions of modern Witchcraft including Starhawk's Goddess
For an excellent
analysis of the growth of Pagan paths in the USA, I would recommend Margot
Drawing Down the Moon:
Witches, Druids and Goddess Worship and Chas C. Clifton's book
Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Contemporary Paganism in America.
In 1966, Saga
magazine did a small article entitled 'Space-Age Witches' which mentions the
Craft's arrival in the USA. You can download and read it here
In 1971, The
Palm Beach newspaper (Oct 9th) published an article about the Bucklands. You can download and read it
In 1972, The Day
newspaper (Oct 24th) published an article about the Bucklands. You can download and read it
Raymond Buckland has his own website with details about his books and
writings on: www.raybuckland.com
There is a short
Youtube interview with Raymond Buckland
You can hear an
online interview (May 17th 2008) with Raymond Buckland
here. (Thanks to Lynne)
A young Raymond and Rosemary Buckland