Witchology, the history of Wicca & Witchcraft
by Dr Leo Ruickbie

Study and learn the history of Witchcraft, Wicca, Paganism, Magic and the Occult with our courses and resources

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Read Dr Ruickbie on witchcraft and magic in Paranormal magazine.

What is Witchcraft?

That's what this website is here to find out. Witchology.com is the website of WICA - the Witchcraft Information Centre and Archive - founded in 1999 by Dr Leo Ruickbie as a research and education provider specialising in the areas of Witchcraft, Wicca, Paganism, Magic (Magick) and the Occult. We have been online continuously since 2000.

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Leo is an expert in the field and is known for his interesting insight into the world of the occult. (Dodgeblogium.com, 2004)

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Your pages are a Celebration of the Now, a Wellspring of Creativity for all to enjoy. (Michael Teal, 26th December, 2004)

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About Leo Ruickbie's Books:

The Supernatural"The Supernatural is the perfect introduction to the world of all things eerie, inexplicable and otherworldly." - Jason Karl, Most Haunted
Coming in 2012!

Witchcraft out of the Shadows: A Complete History"Witchcraft out of the Shadows: A Complete History is an engaging book which deserves to be the benchmark for all future analyses of the Craft." More

Faustus: The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician"Dr Ruickbie has re-evaluated the Faust tradition from a position of authority. A work of meticulous scholarship that can be read as a gripping page-turner." More

Open Source WiccaHistories of the Barbarians: Vandals, Goths and FranksBeowulf in Anglo-Saxon and English Translation

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About Leo Ruickbie, Director of WICA - The Witchcraft Information Centre and Archive

About Dr Leo Ruickbie

Here you will find out who runs WICA - The Witchcraft Information Centre and Archive - and find out why he is uniquely qualified for this mission. You can also click here and here to read what people are saying about his work.

Brief Biography

Dr Leo Ruickbie is the founder and director of the Witchcraft Information Centre & Archive.

More Than Just a Name

I was rather surprised when the Sunday Herald newspaper (16th of June, 2002) called me "uniquely named", but I suppose they have a point. You can't spell it and you don't know how to pronounce it. Right? It's easy, take another look: R U I C K B I E, pronounced rookbee.

Out of a Land of Legend

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, he has always been fascinated by witchcraft and the occult. It is a fascination that has led to over ten years academic study at some of the UK's most prestigious institutions and which continues to drive his writing career.

Scotland is a country suffused with legend and folklore. Edinburgh in particular is a place long associated with witchcraft and the supernatural. Growing up there had a profound impact on me, from listening to tales like Tam O'Shanter and of the body-snatchers Burke and Hare, to going 'guising' on Hallowe'en when we all dressed up as ghosts and ghouls to terrorize the neighbours.

On the Road to Re-Enchantment: Education

Re-Enchanting the World

Torn between philosophy and sociology, Leo decided to find out what society was really all about, rather than what it should be about, and took his first degree in sociology. He went on to study at Lancaster University, doing a Masters in sociology and religion in the country's top-rated research departments of sociology and religious studies. He was awarded a distinction for his dissertation on 'The Re-Enchantment of The World'.

The Witch Doctor

Leo studied at King's College, University of London, for a doctorate in the sociology of modern Witchcraft. His thesis, entitled The Re-Enchanters: Theorising Re-Enchantment and Testing for its Presence in Modern Witchcraft, dealt with Max Weber's diagnosis of modern society as disenchanted and demonstrated that those involved in modern Witchcraft can be considered to be 're-enchanted'. He is the first person to have been made a doctor in the sociology of modern Witchcraft. He has also been made an Associate of King's College and awarded the First Tinniswood Prize for the excellence of his work.

  • Leo Ruickbie, The Re-Enchanters: Theorising Re-Enchantment and Testing for its Presence in Modern Witchcraft, Unpublished PhD Thesis, King's College, University of London.

Amongst Witches

Leo Ruickbie has been actively engaged in serious research into modern forms of witchcraft, including Wicca, since 1994.

Although my PhD work was concerned with sociological theory, it wasn't always abstract. Part of my work involved participant observation, i.e., getting out there and doing it. I've had many adventures during my research. I've danced with witches under the full moon and seen them work magic.

Leo has used this invaluable first-hand experience to bring his writing alive with a rare degree of insight and understanding.

Witchcraft Out of the Shadows

In 2004 Leo's historical and sociological researches were published by Robert Hale as Witchcraft Out of the Shadows. Leo wrote Witchcraft Out of the Shadows to do just that: bring witchcraft out of the shadows of confusion and misunderstanding that have darkened its long history. Click here to read more about the writing of Witchcraft Out of the Shadows.

Witchcraft Over the Airwaves: Radio and TV

In 2001 Leo Ruickbie was invited onto the Breakfast Club, the most listened to morning show on Jamaican radio hosted by former First Lady Beverley Anderson and Anthony Abrams. He used the opportunity to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding witchcraft.

Witchcraft on the Web: Internet Projects

Leo Ruickbie is also committed to furthering the understanding of witchcraft, Wicca and magic through the medium of the Internet. On the 10th of June, 2000, he brought WICA, the Witchcraft Information Centre & Archive, onto the web. He is the webmaster and designer for all of WICA's internet projects, including www.WitchcraftOutOfTheShadows.com and www.Witchology.com

Sympathy for the Devil?

Well no, not quite, Leo has also led charitable fund-rasing campaigns to support Witches facing religious discrimination.

Witchcraft in Words: Public Speaker and Writer

Leo Ruickbie's Published Works
Leo Ruickbie's Talks and Lectures
Interviews with Leo Ruickbie
Specially Commissioned Research
  • 'Pagan Practices in Eastern Europe', for a38films/BBCi, 17th January, 2003.
Other Work
  • Peer reviewer for the ASANAS.org.uk Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies.

Witchcraft in Pictures: Artist and Designer

Leo Ruickbie is also an artist and designer, responsible for the unique, eye-catching designs used on the Witch Wear product range. Leo provided much of the photographic content for Witchcraft Out of the Shadows, including the dramatic cover photo.


Leo Ruickbie's work has been reviewed and recommended by British newspapers The Guardian and the Sunday Herald, Germany's L!VE Magazine, the Graduate Planet website, the All About Eve BBC Magazines website and the American WorthFinding website. Read the reviews for Witchcraft Out of the Shadows, or the WICA website.

Further Information

Wikipedia entry on Dr Leo Ruickbie