Both Gerald Gardner and Sybil Leek were incredible witches during their lifetimes and have been recorded into the history books of occult legends.
As we approach thanksgiving, I think it is not only important to remember and give thanks to your loved ones and friends, but also to those that have been trailblazers of the religion of witchcraft.
This is not meant to be a mini-biography of the two, just a simple list of some books that seekers into the mysteries of witchcraft may be interested in.
Let’s first start with Gardner…
Gerald is frequently said to be the “Father of modern witchcraft.” He has written a number of books on witchcraft or with themes of Goddess imagery. Below is a photo of some of Gardner’s books:
My two personal favorites are “Witchcraft Today” and “High Magic’s Aid.” His book “The Meaning of Witchcraft” is a little harder to get through, so in terms of recommendations, start with WT and HMA before progressing on to TMoW.
Gardner has a lastly legacy, as the branch of witchcraft in his direct down-line is called “Gardnerian.”
I don’t think people give Gerald enough credit. It upsets me a little when folks try to brush him off, because all witches and Wiccans owe Gardner a debt of gratitude as he helped to bring the Wicca out of the shadows. Of the hundreds of traditions that have been founded after Gardner and possibly the few other covens before Gardner have all have been touched by his legacy or by one of the Priestess’s he initiated. Most modern groups have at least probably incorporated at least one idea or more that he helped popularize.
Now on to Leek….
Even though Sybil Leek was High Priestess of the Horsa Coven outside of Burley, a mere 8 miles from the location of Gardner’s initiation, she didn’t become as famous as she did until she came to America.
During the 1960s and 1970s, when folks thought of what a witch was, they thought of Sybil. She was indeed the “world’s most famous witch.”
She has written more books (over 60) than I could possibly list here, although, most of her books were on astrology which was a major love of Sybil’s.
The books most heavily related in some ways to witchcraft are:
1. The Jackdaw and the Witch, a true fable
2. Diary of a Witch
3. Cast Your Own Spell
4. The Complete Art of Witchcraft
Both Gerald Gardner and Sybil Leek have written quality books on The Craft that have all became classics.
Today, Gardnerian Wicca is probably the largest branch of initiatory witchcraft in existence today. The many Priestesses he initiated and covens he helped form have carried on their proud tradition, and I can count as my friends a few Gardnerians who are always well-educated and kind and. The influence that he had is still quite fascinating to this day. His collection of magical artifacts that he acquired or had handmade shows great skill, passion and love for what he did and wrote about. The lasting legacy of the folks he left behind to continue the work speaks for itself.
Sybil Leek’s books have sold more copies and garnered more attention to the subject of witchcraft than any other books to date. No other witch has been televised or interviewed as much or as common as she was. The hype that was generated by her books has never been matched even to this day in the occult publishing. She frequently wrote on many occult subjects with great authority including ESP, faith healing, astrology, telepathy, numerology, phrenology, fortune telling, exorcism, and many, many other subjects. She even had her own records, astrological merchandise and was publisher of her own mainstream magazine:
Blessed Be to both Gerald Gardner and Sybil Leek. As we approach thanksgiving, I know I am truly grateful for the impact that you each uniquely had on the world.