seax wica lyblacSeax Wica And Lyblac


Lyblac Anglo Saxon Witchcraft

A Distant Drumming From The Depths Of Time, And The Wheel Turns Once More

A little info since some have asked in my intro.

The British Isles has a strong tradition of divination, magical protection, cursing and above all healing. Way back in the mists of time when the English nation was in its infancy the then Witches who practised the art of healing through magic and herbs where called the Lyblác - Lyblaeca (m) and Lybbestra (f).

Often the sole practitioner and solitary wise man/woman of the village they were the Priests and Priestesses of the Pagan Gods. Healers of the sick, councillors to Kings, keepers of secrets and all things magical.

The Lyblác at that time were hated and maligned by the Church as Satanic sorcerers and devil worshipers, they were feared and revered as the true voice of the Islands with a connection to the folk that had to be broken at any cost.

The laws of king Edmund 1st 939-946 A.D.
Those who swear falsely and are Lyblác, let them be forever cast out of all commission with God, unless they turn to right repentance.

For more information about the laws of King Edmund check this link out

We can tell now through the translation of historical text and archaeological evidence that many of the things associated with modern day Witchcraft or Wiccan practice can be directly attributed to our Anglo Saxon ancestors the Lyblác.

Take for instance the blade or Athame that is an integral part of Wicca today. The Lyblác used a sacred ritual knife known as a Laecseax (healers knife) it was used especially for the preparation of magical herbs and made to the highest of standards. The handle was fashioned of Yellow horn and held in place by three bronze nails and was inscribed with runic charms to give it powers and wake it unto life.

Now let us look at the casting of circles. The circle was of great importance to our Witch brothers and sisters of the Anglo Saxon period. From the great monuments and temples to their humble homes all where built to a circular pattern. The sacred circle was a symbol of protection just as those who practice today cast one for there own protection.

The Lyblác were around over a thousand years ago. Their legacy can be felt to the present day throughout many Pagan traditions. From magical runic charms to the Galdor b'oc (Book of Shadows) and from the Eorthe M'odor (Earth Mother) to the use of Lacnunga (Magical & Medicinal Herbs) they are the roots of the craft and without them there would be no Wiccan path.

So to honour our ancestors and recognise their worth we happily call ourselves Lyblác. Their craft shall live on through us for as a wise man once said " We are nourished as the left foot is planted firmly at the source but we shall grow strong and true as the other foot is planted in the here and now"

Welga Lyblác Wiccan.
Welga Eorthen M'odor.
Welga Forgenga Eall.

Coincidence or Heritage...

No matter what anybody could say about the theories as to the origins of Wicca/Witchcraft. It is easy for anyone to read through the masses of research and various translations of historical Anglo-Saxon/ Roman texts, to see with their own eyes the overwhelming evidence that the craft of the wise has definitely got its roots firmly planted in Anglo Saxon England.

Here are just a few of the "facts" that many seem to pretend are "Coincidences" Why? For that one you will have to make up your own mind!

Modern Wicca Anglo Saxon Lyblác

The circle. A representation of Brosingamene, Freya’s necklace & protection.

The Athame. The Laecseax used by the Lyblác witch for the preparation of magical herbs

The Staff. Used to transcend the nine worlds and also to cast and break the circle.

The Broom. The staff had to be disguised because of persecution. Birch twigs were added creating the broom.

Flying. A mixture of the Staff & the Broom

The Familiar. Known as a "Fetch" a guardian spirit. Many times in the form of an animal.

Spells. Casting of a magical alphabet, spelling the intent of the Witch. The Runes.

Cords. A Red cord was always used for binding and unbinding magical energy.

The Elements/Quarters. 1. North-Ice. 2. East-Air 3.South-Fire 4. West-Water 5 Earth.

Magical Herbalism. Leechcraft/Lacnunga.

Triple Goddess. The Norns. Three sisters who weave the fates through the web of Wyrd. Guardians of the world tree.

Mother Earth. The Goddess Nerthus. Hail to the Earth mother.

Pouch. The Witches bag made of animal skin which would hold the tools of their trade potions, Herbs and talismans.

Crystals. The Lyblác would use various stones especially black and white in rounded form. Also holed Amber.

Cauldron. The Kettle used for the preparation magical substances.

Chalice. This is the drinking horn that can represent both male & female energies.

Wicca. Wicca = Wicha,
Wicce = Wichuh,
(cc in old English is pronounced ch)
(the cce as chuh)

The Circle

Way back in the mists of time as the ancients sat around their encampment fire it was in no doubt that the heat and flames not only kept them warm it also warded off dangerous animals. So from this time the outer circle of the light produced by the fire was deemed the edge of its protection. It symbolically became the ring of protection.

To our Anglo Saxon ancestors not only was this circle of protection ingrained into the psyche of the people it would take on an even greater significance.

The number 3 was of great importance in Anglo Saxon England and anything vaguely magical would have had to be in multiples of 3. The circle made up of eight stones with a central hearth was a physical representation of protection and the necklace ‘Brosingamene’ belonging to the Goddess Freya/Ostara. It was also the temple of the Witch/Lyblác where unshaped power could be manifested, directed and even projected using their astral body's (with the help of the staff)as they travelled into the realms of the other nine worlds.

The tale of Freya & Brosingamene can be found on page 19 of The Tree.
The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft. By Raymond Buckland.

The Blade/Laecseax

Not only did the Lyblác Witches use a magical blade (Laecseax) in the execution of their craft, it was of such importance that it had to be made of specific materials and enthused with the power of the Runes.

The blades handle was made of Yellow horn held in place by three bronze nails. Along the shaft was burned a runic charm which gave the Laecseax the magical craft (Galdorcraeft) to stop the piercing attacks of anything that would do harm spiritual or otherwise.

The charm could read:

The legacy of Woden protect this work
Lyblác victory-blessed blade

The Lyblác Witch/Sorcerers Staff

As did the Shaman/Sorcerers in many cultures the Lyblác Witches carried a ceremonial staff of power. The staff, made from various woods was a representation of the world tree & gave the Witch power to journey to other realms.

These visits to the spiritual worlds helped the Witches to commune with the Gods and learn answers to events that had and would occur.

This symbol of "flying" eventually becoming the now familiar "bessom" or Witches broom as Lyblác were said to ride their staffs travelling between the worlds. Soon enough though due to the religious climate we all know that it would not have been wise for any Witch to be seen holding a staff of power. The Churches persecution of those who worshiped the old Gods was viscous; it was very prudent and altogether less conspicuous to hide the staff inside a broom.

The staff's "decoration" before the persecutions would depend largely upon the individuals creativity and could sometimes be very elaborate. Some were inlaid with patterns of swirling brass, others with arrangements of "Thunder stones" * but all were symbolic of the lower, middle and upper worlds and their journeys to and from these realms.

* Thunderstones; Black, round and heavy, possibly ammonite also Jet, for protection against lightning.

The Lyblác Witch/Sorcerers Pouch

The Witches of the Anglo-Saxon period carried the implements of their craft in a large animal skin bag/pouch, which hung from a belt around their waists. In the bag were a number of items that represented vision quests that the Witch had undertaken. Visits to the other worlds, potions, spells and most important the nine realms of the World Tree.

In the roots of the world tree it was said there swam the very first swans in existence, so of course a swan's feather would be one of the items representing purity and loyalty placed inside the Lyblác`s bag.

High up in the world of the Gods there flew an eagle, for this a claw was placed inside. Also a piece of snakeskin to represent the snake that encircles the middle world. A piece of Ash to represent the world tree and the skull of a squirrel of who it was said would run up and down the great tree delivering messages and insults.

Some items of inclusion

A knife.
A pair of tweezers.
Swan feathers.
Wood, especially if struck by lightning.
Herbs & Roots.
Red thread & twine.
Squirrel skull.
A needle.
Black & White stones.
A Spider.
Animal bones.
Metal nails & clippings, Brass, Bronze and silver.
Runes carved on wood.

Archaeologists have found all of the above items in pouches belonging to the time of the Lyblác.

The Key:
The sign of the Lyblác

Found in many Anglo Saxon graves and worn on the right side hanging from the belt/girdle the key was a symbol of power.

Although the many Keys that have been found are deemed "none functional" in as much as they did not appear to open physical doors, they were symbolic of the Lybbestra`s/Lyblaeca`s cunning and served to show all others that the wearer was privy to secret and magical knowledge, unlocking the doors to other worlds, to the hidden forces of magic and also direct council with the Gods.

The Crystal Ball

Again found in many graves the small spherical clear crystal was a sign to others of the wearers magical prowess. Held in a Silver box on a silver chain and hung from the belt/girdle this crystal was seen as harnessing the power of the sun.

The Lyblác had instant fire, for held in a certain way this mirror of the sun would be used as a magnifying glass and at that time for everyday folk to see the Witch "Take the fire of the sun" and redirecting it from the sky manifest it at will was altogether amazing to the villagers of Olde England.

The crystal was also used as a tool for healing. After it had soaked up the rays of the sun it would be either put into the patients mouth or dropped into a goblet of water and then the water drunk as a magical tonic to revitalise and magically restore the recipient back to health.

Calendar of Festivals/feast days

Although in contemporary Seax Wica the festivals that we celebrate are the eight main Sabats of Wicca, the feast days and festivals of our Anglo Saxon ancestors were somewhat different.

The year was split into two halves, Winter & Summer. Winter starting at Winterfylleth but the year actually began on the Winter Solstice known then as Geol.

Month Modern Name Anglo Saxon Seax Wica

December 21st Yule Geol Winter Solstice

December 24th Mothers night Modranect

January After Yule Aeftera Geola

February Sun month Solmonath Imbolc (Feb eve)

March Goddess Hreth Hrethmonath Spring Equinox

April Goddess Eostra Eostremonath

May Three milkings Thrimilci Beltane (May eve)

June Summer Solstice Litha Mid-Summer

August Weed month Weodmonath Lughnasadh (Aug eve)

September Harvest Haerfestmonath Autumn Equinox

October 1st Full Moon of Winter Winterfylleth

November Culling month Blotmonath Samhain (Nov eve)

If you would like to know more of the tradition of Lyblác Witchcraft and about the forth-coming book: “Lyblác, Anglo Saxon Witchcraft” please contact us through the website

Sean Percival.
Ealdormann & founder of the Lybl'ac High Witan.

Copyright Sean Perival 2003

Spiral Seax UK 2006