If you lived in Brentwood, Long Island in the late 1960s and 70s, you may have encountered a charming, transplanted Englishman named Raymond Buckland. You many not have realized it at the time, but Buckland was in the process of establishing Wicca as a religion in America.
A private practitioner at first, introduced to Wicca by Gerald Gardner, Buckland was soon thrust into the public eye by the press. He then helped popularize Gardnerian Wicca through television appearances, newspaper interviews, and his own numerous writings on the subject. He went on to found his own museum and his own tradition of Seax Wicca.
On today’s episode, we talk with Peter Ward (Brentwood Public Library) and Ellen Edelstein (Brentwood Historical Society) about Buckland’s time in Brentwood, his connections to the library, and his position in the area’s long history of the colorful and spiritually-minded.
You can listen to the episode here.
The Long Island History Project is an independent podcast featuring stories and interviews with people passionate about Long Island history. It is hosted by academic librarian Chris Kretz.
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