Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.

The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

Uncle Bucky’s Big Blue Book

This article was written by Raymond Buckland
posted under Pagan

Today, with the many books available and with more and more movie and television shows providing more-or-less accurate portrayals of Wicca, a tremendous interest in the Old Religion has developed, with many, many people seeking to come into it. Yet even today it is not easy to make contact with an authentic Wicca group, let alone actually join a coven. Imagine, then, how it was fifteen to twenty years ago. Although there were some public Wiccans, and even a few groups offering public rituals at that time, it was extremely hard to make that contact. Because of this, a lot of people decided to stop searching and to “do their own thing.” Using works varying from records of the late medieval witchcraft trials to modern novels like Rosemary’s Baby (!) as their references, people began to write their own rituals and simply declare themselves “Witches.”

Correcting Misconceptions
Since the early 1960s I had personally been working to straighten the public misconceptions of Witchcraft. I had started by writing books on the general principles of the Craft, trying to fill-in the gaps left when Gerald Gardner’s books went out of print. Over the years I added lectures and workshops, to teach as much as practicable, to as many people as I could reach. It quickly became obvious that lectures, workshops, even one-to-one correspondence courses, could not reach everyone. I thought of people who lived miles from any populated areas; in areas where you could be hundreds of miles from your nearest neighbor. How best to reach those people, and give them the true basics of the Craft? The best way seemed to be with a book. A complete book on the Old Religion.

So it was that I came to write Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft. I tried to include in it everything that anyone would need in order to practice Wicca; either as a group or as a Solitary. I based what I presented on (at that time) over twenty years Craft practice and nearly forty years of occult study. I included some of the history of the Craft, but did not dwell on it since I had detailed that in my book Witchcraft From the Inside. I felt that the emphasis needed to be on the practical side.

Our Own Paths
I believe that we all need to find our own religious paths. Some people prefer a great deal of ritual, while others want only simplicity. For this reason it is good that there are, today, so many Wiccan traditions from which to choose. When I wrote this book, I knew that I should not base it on any one tradition; it had to be nondenominational. It is therefore not Gardnerian, not Saxon, not Celtic…it is what you make it. I wrote completely new rituals, just for this book, and urged the reader to use them until familiar, then to make any necessary changes for personal comfort. I simply wanted to give a good, solid foundation on which the newcomer to the Craft could build, and build to suit the self.

No book-on Witchcraft or any other subject-can ever be truly “complete.” There are always variations, advanced techniques, little-known secret practices, personal approaches, that have not been included. But I called it a complete book because it did contain everything that was needed to allow a person to practice the Craft: initiation, religious rites for all occasions, healing, divination, magic in many different forms, and so on. I am presently at work on a book of advanced Witchcraft which, I hope, will complement this present book. But the present book will, in this sense, always remain “complete.”

It has been extremely gratifying to me, over the years, to meet people who tell me what “Big Blue” has meant to them; most admitting that it was their first book on the Craft. I am asked to sign tattered, well-used copies that are almost falling apart. I think this is a tremendous compliment; the book was written to be used, so I love to see that indeed it has been used.

New Edition
What is written in the book has obviously passed the test of time. It is as relevant today as when first written. But it was thought that a new edition might be appreciated, if only in bringing it up-to-date in its overall “look;” its layout and format. Some new photographs have been added and some of the illustrations redrawn, but it is essentially the same book as before. And this is so that those who already have it are not forced into going out and buying a new copy. I hope that, in its new format, it will continue to help Witches and Wiccans, new and old, for many more generations. As I mentioned at the beginning, even today it is not easy to make contact with Wiccan groups and to gain access to a coven. I think this is as it should be. I think we gain a lot from having to do a little work to get what we want; having to search to find those we want to be a part of. It makes that final contact all the sweeter. So, hopefully, there is still a place for my book with those who are seeking, just as there is a place for it with those who have already “come home.”

In love and light
-Raymond Buckland

Raymond BucklandRaymond Buckland
Raymond Buckland has been actively involved in metaphysics and the occult for fifty years and has writing about it for nearly thirty. He is the author of more than sixty books, including such best-selling titles as Buckland's Complete Book of...  Read more


Buckland's Book of Spirit Communications
Buckland's Book of Spirit Communications
Raymond Buckland
$19.99 US,  $22.95 CAN
$15.99 US,  $18.36 CAN On Sale! | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

Stress and anxiety affect us on all levels. Be it the body's pounding heart, the rapid pace of breath, overwhelming feelings, racing thoughts, or a disconnection from our deeper beliefs, stress weaves its way into all levels of our experience. Yoga Therapy teaches us to understand how to address our stress on all layers of being. Ancient yogis... read this article
The Patron Saint of LGBT Persons: 4 Ways La Santa Muerte Empowers the Tribe
The Mutable Grand Cross from the Perspective of Evolutionary Astrology
Realizing the Green Witch Tarot
Three Theories to Explain the Chupacabra
40 Years of Yoga on the Chakra Path

Most recent posts:
Yoga Therapy Goes Beyond Stress Management
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Robert Butera, PhD, Erin Byron, MA, and Staffan Elgelid, PhD, PT, co-authors of the new Yoga Therapy...

Magic of Flowers Oracle
Magic of Flowers Oracle By Tess Whitehurst with are by Anne Wetheim This oracle deck was inspired by Tess’s book The Magic of Flowers: A...

Necromancy Made Easy
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Tomás Prower, author of the new La Santa Muerte. "How can I get in contact with the spirits of the...

Gathering Deep Gathering Deep
By: Lisa Maxwell
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband
By: E. J. Copperman, Jeff Cohen
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Dream Alchemy Dream Alchemy
Shaping Our Dreams to Transform Our Lives

By: Ted Andrews
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!