Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October 2016 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store†and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.

The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Doreen Valiente

This article was written by John Michael Greer on April 01, 2005
posted under Doreen Valiente

English Witch and author, 1922-1999. Among the most influential figures in modern Wiccan history, Valiente was born in south London but raised in the West Country, where Witchcraft folklore was a significant part of everyday life well into the twentieth century. Her parents were devout Christians who attempted to raise her in that faith, sending her to a convent school; she walked out at age fifteen and refused to return.

Her interest in the occult dated to her childhood, and she was already casting simple spells in her teen years. Shortly after the repeal of the Witchcraft Act in 1951, she contacted Cecil Williamson, then owner of a museum of Witchcraft on the Isle of Man, hoping to make contact with a Witch. Williamson put her in touch with Gerald Gardner (1884-1964), the founder of Wicca, who initiated her in 1953. Valiente became Gardnerís High Priestess shortly thereafter, and played a major role in revising the original Wiccan rituals, excising substantial passages borrowed from the works of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). Her works include the standard version of the Charge of the Goddess, which is used by most modern Wiccan traditions.

She left Gardnerís coven in 1957 to start the first of her own. In 1964 she was initiated by Robert Cochrane into the Clan of Tubal-Cain, a tradition of Witchcraft that Cochrane claimed to have inherited through his family since ancient times. She broke with Cochrane a few years later over his increasingly erratic behavior.

For the remainder of her life, Valiente was active in English Wiccan circles; she wrote a number of books on the subject of Wicca, and by her last years was widely seen as the grande dame of English Wicca. In 1972, she successfully lobbied Parliament to prevent the reenactment of the Witchcraft Act. She spent her last years in Sussex, where she died of cancer in 1999.

While most people are probably familiar with legendary creatures such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Chupacabra, and Jersey Devil, there is a myriad of weird beasts that are less known, but equally as elusive. What is surprising is that there are accounts of modern encounters with these enigmatic monsters on record, indicating that there... read this article
Four Powerful Ways to Live a Joyful Life Today
A Tarot Built for Magick: Modern Spellcaster's Tarot
Exercise: How to Feel Good
Investigating Haunted Bridges
Bodies of the Gods

Most recent posts:
The Biggest Challenge
Psychic Tarot by Nancy Antenucci and Melanie Howard In Psychic Tarot, Antenucci and Howard tell us that integrating the wisdom from a reading...

Author Michael Newton Has Passed
Today we sadly mark the passing of author Dr. Michael Newton, who authored several bestselling books, including Destiny of Souls, Journey of Souls,...

Demons and Pagan Gods: Re-evaluating My Stance
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical...

Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN
Wheels of Life Wheels of Life
A User's Guide to the Chakra System

By: Anodea Judith
Price: $21.95 US,  $25.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Pacific Homicide Pacific Homicide
A Mystery

By: Patricia Smiley
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN