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Sybil Leek (née Fawcett; 22 February 1917 – 26 October 1982) was an English witch, astrologer, occult author and self-proclaimed psychic. She wrote many books on occult and esoteric subjects, and was dubbed "Britain's most famous witch" by the BBC.
|Born||22 February 1917|
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England
|Died||26 October 1982 (aged 65)|
Melbourne, Florida, United States
|Occupation||White Witch, Antiques Dealer, Author, Television Personality|
Sybil Leek was born on 22 February 1917 in the village of Normacot in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England to a comfortable, middle-class family. She claimed to have been descended from the historical Molly Leigh, who had been accused during the witch hunts. At the age of 16 she married her music teacher, though he died two years later, whereupon Leek returned to live with her grandmother, quitting the Witchcraft research association. She later stayed with an acquaintance in Lyndhurst, in the New Forest, and claimed to have spent some of the following years living amongst the New Forest gypsies. When she was 20, Sybil returned to her family, who had now moved to the edge of the New Forest. She opened three antique shops; one in Ringwood, one in Somerset, and one in the New Forest village of Burley. She soon moved to Burley herself, into a house behind the shop Lawfords of Burley.
Her eccentric habits as a self-described witch soon resulted in problems. Media interest grew, and Sybil became tired of the attention from news reporters and tourists. According to a contemporary, "People either thought she was a bit of a joke or a fraud." Although the village itself benefited from the extra tourism and visitors, some were unhappy with the extra traffic and noise. Her landlord eventually refused to renew her lease, prompting Leek to move away from the area and emigrate to the United States of America.
When Leek moved to America, she became an astrologer, describing astrology as her "first love". In April 1964, an American publishing house wanted Sybil to speak about her new book A Shop in the High Street, and she was invited to appear on To Tell the Truth, a TV programme in the States; her appearance occurred on April 13, 1964. She took the opportunity to go, and flew to New York City, where she gave many interviews. While in New York, she was contacted by Hans Holzer, a parapsychologist, who invited her to join him investigating hauntings and psychic phenomena. They went on to do numerous TV and radio programmes on the subject. She would later move to Los Angeles, where she met Israel Regardie, an authority on Kabbalah and ritual magic.
Sybil was also a close friend to Valerie Morrison, a psychic medium. Valerie's psychic accuracy had gained the attention of Sybil Leek, who flew Valerie down to her mansion home in Florida to be a part of a very important séance, whom Sybil was to perform for a special client of hers. After the very successful séance that Valerie performed together with Sybil, as a favor in return during the next few months that followed, Sybil taught Valerie her centuries old secret knowledge and enlightenment. A picture was also taken by Valerie's husband where Sybil giving training to all her students including Valerie which is at the far right of the picture.
Strong in the defence of her beliefs, Leek sometimes differed and even quarrelled with other witches. She disapproved of nudity in rituals, a requirement in some reconstructed traditions, and was strongly against the use of drugs, but she was at odds with most other witches in that she did believe in cursing. She also claimed to have had an out-of-body experience.
Her student Christine Jones stated that Leek "mixed truths with untruths liberally, causing great harm as she went."
She died of cancer on 26 October 1982 at the Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida.
- "BBC Inside Out - Sybil Leek; White witch". bbc.co.uk. 28 October 2002.
- Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Judika Iles, p. 746
- "The G-T Big 4: To Tell the Truth (CBS Nighttime)". kinescopes.com.
- "Sybil Leek Biography And Original Photos". www.valeriemorrison.com. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- "wiki.geekwu.org". July 2019.
- "between the water and the wild". between the water and the wild. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- Carrera, Nath Ann (26 December 2017). "WITCH CAMP... At @NowhereNYC this Friday, December 29th, with archaic thematic vinyl from @msambermartin and I! 10-4! No Cover/Skyclad!pic.twitter.com/ko6RxqddvT". @nathanncarrera. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- "Sybil Leek and friends". Pinterest. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- Jones 2010, p. 121.
- Bramshaw, Vikki. Craft of the Wise: A Practical Guide to Paganism & Witchcraft. ISBN 1-84694-232-2.
- Jones, Christine. Sybil Leek: Out of the Shadows. ISBN 978-0-9827263-6-5.
- The Raveness. Molly, Sybil and Crowley a popular poem from her book Lavinia : Volume one. (2006) ISBN 978-1-5023139-6-6.
- Leek, Sybil, Diary of a Witch (Prentice-Hall, 1968).