Sybil Leek..

by cobbies69

Sunday 6th January 2013…

High Priestess Witch…..

Sybil Leek  she claims she was born  22nd February 1922 but was actually born on 22 February 1917 in the village of Normacot in Stoke-on-TrentStaffordshireEngland to a well-to-do family. Sybil claimed to have a long family history of witchcraft which she traced back to the 16th century and to her ancestor Molly Leigh, (Molly Leigh (1685–1746) was an English woman who was accused of witchcraft, died before being tried, and had her grave disturbed following claims that she still haunted the town) who had been accused during the witch hunts.     Basically, when the British repealed the 1735 Witchcraft Act in 1951, she stepped out into the public eye. ( Can you believe it took them almost 200 years to repeal this act?)

Sybil Leek lived in Burley, Hampshire, in the late 1950;s.  The world’s media flocked to her door when she announced she was a white witch.  The Witchcraft Act was only repealed in 1951 and few witches dared to reveal their craft at this time.Her village was besieged by tourists and many residents were also uncomfortable having a white witch in their midst. Burley resident Dionis MacNair says, “People either thought she was a bit of’a joke or a fraud.”


Burley, a pretty little village in the New Forest, southern England, is famous for its witches. This began during the 1950’s, when witch Sybil moved to the area and opened a shop called A Coven of Witches at the Cross, Burley, Ringwood, Hampshire.The village also contains a cider farm, some excellent restaurants and a tea shop called The Black Cat. It is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. Sybil Leek was not the first witch to be associated with The New Forest. Gerald Gardner, who founded Gardnerian Wicca, the best known tradition of witchcraft in the UK today, claimed he had been initiated to the craft by New Forest witch Dorothy Clutterbuck.

If there are any of you guys thinking of visiting England, I would strongly suggest a visit to this beautiful little village. I used to live a few miles away from here in another small village, and some of my youth was spent in and around this village, I even played guitar with a band in one of the public houses. Burley has so much history, ranging from witch craft to smuggling and ghost and haunting’s.  That is another story. If you see the buildings in this village and visit the tea shop or the public house you would be fascinated, and with little imagination you could picture the history. By either drinking in the pub’s or having a tea in tea shop you can actually feel this atmosphere. The creaky floor boards, old style wooden chairs, occasional screech as the legs of them were scraped along the floor. The off coloured cream ceilings and dark wooden beams that haven’t been cleaned for years. The locals, I mean real locals, not the wealthy ones that drive 4×4 vehicles and speak with a posh accent. The ones that stand out, easily recognised, with pieces of straw hanging out of their mouths,,,

However  her story continues, when  Sybil was 16, she met a prominent concert pianist who first became her music teacher, and then husband, that same year. When he died two years later, Sybil returned home grief-stricken to her grandmother’s house, where her life took a significant turn. A short time later, she received her formal entry into the practice of witchcraft when her grandmother sent her to replace a distant relative as High Priestess of a French coven based at Gorge du Loup (Wolf Canyon) in the hills above Nice.

Eventually returning to England, Sybil then established a friendship with a clan of Romany Gypsies, eventually living with them in the English countryside, learning ancient folklore and more about the practical use of herbs. While living as an adopted Romany, Sybil attended rituals with the Horsa coven in the New Forest, of which she was High Priestess for a short time. At age 20, Sybil returned to her family, who had by then moved to the edge of the New Forest, at Burley.

Never one to hide her spiritual inclinations, the media soon began to take an interest in Sybil‘s public persona and activities. As public interest grew, Sybil found her personal life constantly invaded by reporters and tourists who routinely showed up on her doorstep. Sybil was forced to enlist friends to serve as decoys in order to be able to leave the village to attend secret meetings of her coven. Although the village itself thrived on the influx of tourists, residents were not happy about the traffic and attention Sybil drew, her landlord eventually asking her to leave for the good of the village.

In April of 1964, Sybil took advantage of an invitation to appear on American television, to visit the United States. In New York, she quickly become a recognized celebrity, constantly mobbed by fans and the press. While there, she was contacted by Hans Holzer, a well-known parapsychologist who invited her to join him in investigating spirit haunting’s and other psychic phenomena. The two went on to do numerous TV and radio programs on the subject–making Sybil even more of a phenomenon. Moving to Los Angeles the following year, Sybil then met world-renown occultist and expert on ritual magic(k), Dr. Israel Regardie, the two reportedly spending a great deal of time discussing and practicing magic.

Because Sybil rose to fame in the 1960’s (after the repeal of the 1735 Witchcraft Act in 1951), she became a great influence on a generation of both old and aspiring young Neo-pagan practitioners, and inspired countless more to discover the “old religion,” or Wicca as it is known today. Always strongly in defense of her beliefs and spiritual convictions, Sybil became an outspoken opponent of nudity in rituals (a common tenet of many American Wiccans and a requirement in some traditions), strongly opposed the use of drugs both recreationally and ritually-related), and was also one of the first modern-day witches to take up environmental causes, aspiring Wiccan activism. Though dubbed “Britain’s most famous witch” by the BBC, Sybil did as much for the American craft scene as she did for Britain.

Sybil was well-loved by her neighbors and she gave many readings to local residents of Melbourne Beach Florida. She died at her Melbourne Beach home on 26 October 1982

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17 Responses to “Sybil Leek..”

  1. Oh to my delight!! This is a fabulous story to be told in such a main stream medium. Sybil Leek is a name from the 60’s & 70’s that I am familiar with.
    Even today it would not be an easy thing to be associated with beliefs tagged with the word witchcraft, albeit White with no dark or evil energy attached. That it took 200 yrs to repeal an asinine law that was created strictly out of fear is a testament to the myths, untruths, and rumors portrayed that are still told today, and the power they hold. .

    Something titled “The Cone of Power” puts the fear of all that is Holy in many who would rather live with the fear of the unknown than to simply learn that a majority of us practice this power every day. Possibly even those sadly living in fear are practicing it and have no idea.
    “Cone of Power” = a mass of mental energy that is raised and focused by a person or a group of people to achieve a purpose or goal of goodness and light.
    Today how many of us might pronounce it; “Collectively Practicing & Projecting Positive Energy?”

    Fascinating story of Sybil Leek’s history. and the genre is so different.
    I am a big fan My Kind Sir, and looking forward to more.~

    • I forgot to realise that after leaving the New Forest, not far from my home, that she made a good life in America. I have found several video’s of her on shows, but not sure how popular she was. So it did not register that you guys might know her as well. Wow my lady it certainly makes it a small world… Thank you for this lovely response. learning in a different aspect on my part.. thank you.. 😉

      • My Kind Sir, it is you who I thank for bringing these memoriesofanothe3rtime in my life rushing back into my heart,
        I forget the roots of where something have their beginnings

        , You are so good about sussing out those days of yester years and finding things that will spark one memory into another. It is one of the reasons I like the direction your restawyle is taking.

        Please continue in this direction, I for one an enjoying the Journey with you,

  2. Totally fascinating! We visited Burley on our last UK visit. One of our favourite places.

  3. Quite interesting. I am never surprised to learn of women with extraordinary powers of any variety! 😉

  4. Never heard of her, but this was very interesting. Fascinating that she could follow her family tree back to the 1600s. I do genealogy and haven’t come across anything quite so exciting. Would love to visit Burley; it sounds idyllic.

    • If you could ever get there you would love the small village and it’s buildings and history..No one could actually prove she could trace her tree back to then though. appreciated and thanks 😉

  5. What a fascinating story. I was glued to my chair.

  6. Actually, Sybil did not open Coven of Witches in Burley; she simply gave the shop its name. This is stated on the shop’s website and in an interview with the shop’s former owner, Jenny Tucker, at It’s a historic building and was built in 1790. Sybil renamed it in 1960. Also, this article could stand some editing, as information is repeated (the date the Witchcraft was repealed is mentioned no less than three times).

  7. Oops, the date the Witchcraft ACT was repealed, I meant.


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