Sybil Fawcett Leek
"We of the Horsa Coven have a long history-both as a group and individually. Everyone is dedicated to witchcraft
and the Old Religion, everyone has a flair for healing and we are all determined to use our powers for good and to
deflect some of the evil which Black Magic tries to create throughout the world. If we can remain true to these basic
ideals, so rooted in tradition, then we are doing our duty." (Sybil Leek, as quoted in The Anatomy of Witchcraft,
Peter Haining, p.105)
Sybil Fawcett Leek was one of the most publicized Witches of the 20th century and was one of the first Witches to
become public back in the 1960's. If Raymond Buckland was "the Father of modern Witchcraft in America", then
Sybil Leek was "Truly the Mother".
Born February 22, 1917 in Stoke-on Trent, England. Sybil claimed to be able to trace her mother's ancestry back to
the witches of southern Ireland in 1134, and her father's ancestry to occultists close to royalty in czarist Russia. She
was born with a witch's mark and claimed to be a hereditary witch of Irish and Russian Descent. She always wore a
crystal necklace that she claimed had been passed down to her from a psychic Russian grandmother. Sybil's family
was well-to-do and she grew up as a young lady of privileged societal standing.
When she was fifteen years old and during one of the family's regular trips to the south of France, Sybil was
initiated into a French coven based at George du Loup in the hills above Nice. According to Sybil, she was initiated
to replace an elderly Russian aunt who had been High Priestess of the coven, and it was from this coven that the
New Forest covens in England were descended.
Returning home, Sybil met a well-known pianist-conductor who was 24 years her senior. Despite the age difference
they fell in love and were married shortly after her 16th birthday. During the relative quiet of the pre-war years they
toured and traveled about England and Europe. He died two years later and she returned home to Hampshire.
During World War II, Sybil joined the Red Cross and worked as a nurse in a military hospital near Southampton.
Later she was sent to help nurse the wounded at Anzio Beach, before returning to England and being stationed at
a military barracks in the isolated Scottish Hebrides Islands. She ended the War with a handful of medals, but the
prosperity of her family had been lost to the austerity of the War.
After the war and into her twenties, Sybil returned to Hampshire and lived in a small village called Burley situated in
the heart of the New Forest. There she mixed with and lived among the Gypsies. She also joined their 'Horsa'
coven, a coven they claimed had existed for 700 years. The Gypsy, knowing she was a witch, accepted Sybil as
one of their own. From them she learned a great deal about herbal potions and elixirs. When the time came for her
to move on, they honored her in the traditional Gypsy way reserved only for the most respected of outsiders. They
made her a 'blood-sister'. This was done by cutting her wrist and mixing her blood with the blood of the Gypsy
While living in Burley, Sybil started up and ran a successful antique shop. Then at some point she met and married
a man called Brian. Together they had two sons Stephan and Julian who are reported to have inherited the family's
psychic gifts. While walking in the woods one day Sybil had a vision. It brought to her the realization that her
purpose in life was to promote the craft and the Old Religion. She began to do just that and into the 1950's her
reputation as a Psychic, Astrologer and Witch, began to attract attention. Media publicity brought tourists to her
village but in the wake of autograph seekers her antique business began to suffer. Witchcraft was still viewed with
suspicion in those times and her landlord refused to renew her lease unless she publicly denounced it. Sybil
declined and was forced to close up shop.
With the revival of a modern Witchcraft movement in the late 1950's early 60's, and Sybil feeling she still had more
to do, she accepted an invitation to visit the United States, where witchcraft in general was still in its infancy. After
making several media appearances in the States, she decided to stay and become a resident. She settled first in
New York but found it a depressing city and particularlygloomy in winter. Later she moved on to Los Angeles which
was much more agreeable.
In her later years Sybil moved again to Melbourne in Florida, and divided her time between there and her work base
in Houston. She continued to promote the craft and the Old Religion in a positive sense, both as an author and a
media celebrity, dispelling myths and educating the public. She worked as an astrologer and gained quite a
reputation in the field, editing and publishing her own astrological journal. Such was her reputation that she toured
frequently holding lectures throughout the States as well as making trips to England and Europe.
In the 1960's, Sybil said that her witchcraft was different from Gardner's and she was concerned about the split in
Witchcraft that had taken place during the 20th century. At the time, there were two major systems. One was the
old Celtic Tradition which she followed with her coven, Horsa, in the New Forest in England. The other was led by
the late Gerald Gardner, and was stronger in another part of England and on the Isle of Man. Hers was not of
Gerald Gardner's line.
Sybil was strong in her beliefs and sometimes differed and quarreled with other witches. She disapproved of nudity
in rituals and was strongly against the use of drugs, as are most modern Witches, but did believe in using curses
when called for. She was one of the first to take up environmental causes.
Sybil died at the age of 65 on a Tuesday morning October 26, 1982 in Melbourne, Florida, after a nine- month
battle with cancer. She was a remarkable woman of many accomplishments. She was a gifted Psychic, Astrologer,
and Witch; a Grand Old Lady of the Craft. She did much to influence the revival of Witchcraft.
Sybil is buried at Melbourne Cemetery, Melbourne, Florida.
"All human beings have magic in them. The secret is to know how to use this magic... " Sybil Leek, 1972.
Sybil wrote approximately 60 different books covering a wide range of subjects including: Astrology, Witchcraft,
Curses, Dreams, Fortune Telling, Healing, Numerology, Phrenology, Reincarnation, Spells, and Telepathy.
Books by Sybil Leek:
A fool and a tree
A Ring of Magic Islands by Sybil Leek, Stephen Leek
A Shop in the High Street
Astrological Guide to Financial Success
Astrological Guide to Love and Sex
Astrological guide to the presidential candidates
Astrology and Love
Bicycle: That Curious Invention by Sybil Leek, Stephen Leek
Cast Your Own Spell
The Complete Art of Witchcraft (THE first book to actually publish the Tenets of Wicca, and for that reason alone should be on your bookshelf.
When this book was first published back in 1973, it was practically alone in its field. Despite being over 35 years
old (the book was re-released in 1991) it can hardly be called dated. If anything, the information provided is
less corrupted and closer to the original 'New Forest ideals'.)
Diary of a Witch
Driving Out the Devils
ESP--The Magic Within You
Have Mania--Will Collect!
Herbs : Medicine and Mysticism
How to Be Your Own Astrologer
How to Succeed Through Astrology
My Life in Astrology
Numerology: The Magic of Numbers
Reincarnation : The Second Chance
Star Speak : Your Body Language from the Stars
Sybil Leek's Astrological Guide to Successful Everyday Living
Sybil Leek's Book of Curses
Sybil Leek's Book of the Curious and the Occult
Sybil Leek's Book of Fortune Telling
Sybil Leek's of Herbs
Sybil Leek on Exorcism : Driving Out the Devils
Sybil Leek Zodiac of Love
Telepathy : The Respectable Phenomenon
The Assassination Chain
The Astrological Cookbook
The Best of Sybil Leek Edited By Glen A. Hilken ( Sybil Leek )
The Jackdaw & The Witch (first published as Mr. Hotfoot Jackson)
The Magic Within
The Night Voyagers : You and Your Dreams
The Story of Faith Healing
The Sybil Leek Book of Fortune Telling
The Tree That Conquered the World
Tomorrow's Headlines Today
In The News: The following are transcripts of found newspaper articles re: Mrs. Leek
1974 - August 30 Friday The Kingsport Times (Kingsport, Tennessee)
Sybil Leek: Witch Or Psychic Put-On?
1963 - October 28 The Beckley Post-Herald (Beckley, West Virigina)
Real Live Witch Awaits Thursday
1963 - October 28 The Post Standard (Syracuse, New York)
Look Kids, A Real Witch!
1974 - April 22 The Kingsport Times (Kingsport, Tennessee)
What others Have To Say
1964 - February 20 New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania)
Man Calls 30 Witches Phonies
1968 - October 23 Anderson Herald (Anderson, Indiana)
High Priestess Says Interest In Witchcraft Increasing
1974 - September 22 Sunday The Bridgeport Post (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
Sybil Leek Bows to Scientists For Solutions to Reincarnation
1917 - 1982
Kreskin meets Dame Sybil Leek
1964 - April 12 Montana Standard (Butte Montana)
She's a Witch