Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
“Doreen Valiente Witch” by Philip Heselton
publishing date 22nd February 2016
Book Review by
George Knowles - 07th February 2016
Hail Ho Guys
Merry we meet
Book review: “Doreen
For anyone interested in the history of contemporary
Wicca/Witchcraft this book “Doreen Valiente Witch” by Philip Heselton
is a must have for your library collection.
While Gerald B. Gardner is commonly considered the founder and
“Father” of contemporary Witchcraft, perhaps more than anyone else before
and after his death in 1964, it was Doreen Valiente who nurtured his vision and
helped to change and shape it into the acceptable recognised religion and
spirituality it is today. Meticulously
researched and written by the author of “WitchFather:
A Life of Gerald Gardner”, here Philip expands his knowledge from
that biography into the fascinating life of Doreen Valiente, now considered the
“Mother” of contemporary Witchcraft.
While much of the broad and basic history of Doreen’s
life was already known, in this new biography Philip dig’s much deeper and
interviews many of the people she had known and worked with over the years.
Amply noted and quoted throughout the book (the list of contributors
reads like a veritable Who’s Who of Contemporary Paganism), they reveal many
personal details about her life previously unknown and brings us all the more
closer to understanding her as a normal regular person with common everyday
interests, wants and needs. For
instance it is interesting to learn that during the late 1950’s Doreen had
more than a passing interest in Horseracing and betting, and even created her
own unique methods of studying form. Philip
states: “An example in her notebook for August 1958 was very
technical and involved various methods and partial methods, such as which
courses had been best over the previous ten years for non-handicap favourites.
She also notes that 3 Year-old handicaps are very difficult to forecast,
form is likely to be upset by soft going caused by rain.”
Philip also reveals that her interests were not just
limited to Horseracing, but also included Football.
Quoting from an interview with Janet Farrar in 2013 (who with her husband
Stewart share a special relationship with Doreen), Janet states:
“There was one part of the year when nobody, and that included
Stewart and me, was welcome at Doreen's house.
When the World Cup was on, that was it!
The door of the flat was locked and nobody got inside until the World Cup
was over. She was a football
fanatic. We knew that was the one
time you 'did' not disturb Doreen Valiente...”
Perhaps the most intriguing part of Doreen’s life for me
was her time and working occupation during WWII, the years 1939-1945, much of
which is still clouded and shrouded in mystery.
Despite having left school early and without the advantages of a higher
education, Doreen appears to have become more than proficient in languages, as
such and throughout the duration of the war she became employed as a
linguist/translator by the MOD (Ministry of Defence). Sadly I have been cautioned by the publishers not to reveal
to much about this so you will need to purchase the book to find out more.
“Doreen Valiente Witch” was commissioned by John
Belham-Payne, the co-founder of the Centre for Pagan Studies (CFPS) in 1995 to
which Doreen Valiente became Patron, and in association with the Doreen Valiente
Foundation (DVF), officially formed on the 6th March 2011 as charitable trust
with the objective to preserve her extensive collection of historical books and
manuscripts, as well as her personal notebooks, other writings, copyrights and
artefacts bequeathed to him after her death in 1999.
Philip therefore was given unprecedented access to their archives to
begin his research, and his researches did indeed bear fruit.
As he retraces her life and path as a witch, this book goes a long way in
clearing up issues that over time have become clouded, such as her initial
meetings with Gerald Gardner and Dafo in 1952 and the real reasons for her split
with him in 1957, her association with and the conspiracies surrounding Charles
Cardell circa 1958, and later her meetings and workings with Robert Cochrane and
his Clan of Tubal Cain.
Doreen was a life-long book-a-holic, a credible researcher
on esoteric subjects, and a prolific writer and contributor to many of the
associated news media/magazine’s during her time. As an author her first book “Where Witchcraft Lives”
was published in 1962 and was followed by “An ABC of Witchcraft Past and
Present” in 1973, since then both these books have became classic best
sellers. She was also a prolific
and outstanding poet, and perhaps her most famous poem “The Charge of the
Goddess” has become the basic liturgy for initiation into Witchcraft used
all around the world. Throughout
this new biography, Philip give us a detailed breakdown view of most all of
Doreen’s published work’s and poetry. Philip
is also careful to point out that he doesn’t have all the answers, and for the
benefit of future researchers generously indicates those area’s were he has
made assumptions or simply didn’t know the answer.
One final comment before I close this brief review and for
me as a ex-serving member of the British Armed Forces (Army) something I found
most interesting, in Chapter 18 (Pg 254-255) entitled “Correspondence,
Visitors and Friends in High Places”, Philip reveals that Doreen was a
friend and confidante of the Queen Mother.
Well I certainly didn’t know that before!! There are many other surprising and interesting snippets of
information to be found in this book, but you will need to read it yourself to
As stated at the beginning of this review, for anyone
interested in the history of contemporary Wicca/Witchcraft this book “Doreen
Valiente Witch” by Philip Heselton is a must have for your library
collection. Buy it, read it and
Best wishes and Merry we part.
George Knowles (Man in Black).
E-mail - George@controverscial.com
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Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall not be
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
The Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) / Esbats & Full Moons / Links to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft Resources / What's a spell? / Circle Casting and Sacred Space / Pentagram - Pentacle / Marks of a Witch / The Witches Power / The Witches Hat / An esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope Innocent VIII / The papal Bull / The Malleus Maleficarum / An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum / The letter of approbation / Johann Nider’s Formicarius / Jacob Sprenger / Heinrich Kramer / Stefano Infessura / Montague Summers / The Waldenses / The Albigenses / The Hussites / The Native American Sun Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Festivals:
The Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Rituals contributed by Crone:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder
Rocks and Stones:
Stones - History, Myths and Lore
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:
Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Wisdom and Inspiration:
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murdered by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A Kelly / Albertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Henry Allan Bennett - the Ven. Ananda Metteyya / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake / Fiona Horne / Frederick McLaren Adams - Feraferia / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / Jack Whiteside Parsons - Rocket Science and Magick / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred / John Michael Greer / John Score / Joseph John Campbell / Karl von Eckartshausen / Lady Gwen Thompson - and "The Rede of the Wiccae" / Laurie Cabot - "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" / Michael A. Aquino - and The Temple of Set / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Olivia Durdin-Robertson - co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" / Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) / Rudolf Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough" / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - (includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / T. Thorn Coyle / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / Walter Ernest Butler / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest /
Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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