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Doreen Edith Dominy Vlachopoulos Valiente (b. 4 January, 1922 in Mitcham, South London, England - d. 1 September, 1999 in Brighton, England) was a member of an early Wicca coven, led by Gerald Gardner.[1]

LifeEdit

Born Doreen Dominy, the daughter of Christian parents, the young Doreen was convinced from an early age that she possessed the power to use magic. Valiente was the name of Doreen's second husband, whom she married in 1944.

WiccaEdit

Shortly after Gardner made public his claims to have been initiated into a surviving witch cult, he was joined by Valiente in 1952, who collaborated with him in the creation of rituals. Valiente became Gardner's High Priestess in 1953 and wrote a number of poems for the use of Wiccans, including a rewritten version of Charge of the Goddess and also helped formulate the Wiccan Rede (Guiley p348). However Gardner's increasing desire for publicity caused conflict with Valiente. When she attempted to control him he suddenly produced the Wiccan Laws in 1957 which she could not accept, breaking from Gardner to create her own coven and eventually joining Robert Cochrane's coven after Gardner's death (Valiente 1989).

WritingEdit

In the '70s she published a series of books and gradually became one of the most well respected and influential leaders of Wicca meriting an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography. She was active in her promotion of modern witchcraft and neo-paganism, being particularly keen to emphasise that the movement was not related to Satanism, but did not seek publicity for its own sake. She was a notable figure in supporting the development of the Pagan Federation. Faced with challenges from sceptics Valiente attempted, with some success, to provide evidence for Gardner's claims concerning his initiation, notably by identifying Dorothy Clutterbuck in 1980, the old witch who was supposed to have performed Gardner's initiation, in an essay published in Eight Sabbats for Witches by Janet and Stewart Farrar.

Dr Leo Ruickbie examines her life and contribution to Wicca in his Witchcraft Out of the Shadows. According to Dr Ruickbie, Valiente was the 'Mother of Modern Witchcraft', playing a crucial role in re-writing much of Gardner's original ritual material, an assessment supported by Ronald Hutton.

Bibliography Edit

  • 1962: Where Witchcraft Lives
  • 1973: An ABC of Witchcraft
  • 1975: Natural Magic
  • 1978: Witchcraft for Tomorrow
  • 1989: The Rebirth of Witchcraft

ReferencesEdit

  1. Valiente, Doreen. An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present (1994) London: Robert Hale. ISBN 0-7090-5350-9

See also Edit

  • Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft. 1999.
  • Ruickbie, Leo, Witchcraft Out of the Shadows. Robert Hale, 2004. ISBN 0-7090-7567-7.

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