Sybil Leek was one of the first witches to become public back in the 1960's. She was often accused of becoming a sell-out, because of her media attention and the odd ways. With the publishing of her autobiography, Diary of a Witch Sybil announced that her style of witchcraft was not dead and never had been.....She attracted public attention for almost everything that she did.
In the beginning of Sybil's public life as a witch, her adherence to the craft cost her dearly, as landlords cut off leases on her secular antique stores, and others made her targets of general prejudice against witches. Her family was acquainted with Alesister Crowley, and he felt that she would be the one to take over where he left off.
Sybil was one of the first popular witches to take to environmental causes... She was a master astrologer, and a gifted psychic. Sybil passed on in 1982, at an unknown age....and she lived to see the establishment of Wicca as a recognized religion.
Sybil was born on the 22nd February 1923 in Staffordshire, England. From an early age she lived and grew up in the New Forest area of Hampshire and demonstrated an early gift for writing. The New Forest is one of the oldest forests in England and is steeped in folklore and witchcraft associations. The same area is where Gerald B. Gardner first joined Old Dorothy Clutterbucks coven in 1939. That coven was reportedly descended from one of Old George Pickingill's famous nine covens. Sybil claims that during her time in the area, there were still four old covens that had survived from the days of King William Rufus.
In 1932 when she was only nine years old, Aleister Crowley became a frequent visitor to her home. She claims to have spent time with him climbing the mountainsides and wondering through forests near to her home. In her autobiography Diary of a Witch (New York: Signet 1969.). Sybil wrote that he talked to her about witchcraft and recited his poetry while encouraging her to write her own. He also instructed her on the use of certain magickal words used for their vibratory qualities when used in magick.
I will tell you more about Sybil in another post.......
I have been trying to collect her books for a few years now. These are all I have at the moment, including two of "have mania will collect". I would dearly love to get my hands on "Diary of a Witch" but they are hard to come by. All her books are out of print, and when at boot sales or charity shops I do trawl through all the books. I have read "Diary of a Witch" from the library and its a brilliant book, Your taken right back to Sybil's childhood in the New Forest and the time she spent with the Gypsies.