Ameth: The Life & Times of Doreen Valiente by Jonathan Tapsell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Most of the Pagan world knows her as Doreen Valiente. Mother of Modern Paganism and Midwife to modern Wicca. Born in the south English town of Surrey to Edward Dominy, a civil engineer , her birth name was Doreen Dominy. Raised in a strict catholic background Doreen began having magical experiences as young as 12 or thirteen. One of her first spells involved protecting her mother from a co worker ago was constantly harassing her. The black crow would follow the employee around until she finally quit her job. Doreen would also ride around the street on a broomstick and have mystical experiences while staring at the moon. This disturbed her parents to no end so they enrolled her in a catholic school. Doreen left as soon as she could.
While in her young adulthood Doreen was constantly interested in the occult and studied heavily the Golden Dawn. So Inteense was her interest that she was able to get her hands on rare Golden Dawn books and pamphlets that only initiates had access to. She was known to haunt used bookstores to hunt down rare tomes.
The second worl war changed life for Europeans in general. It was during the second world war that she met and lost her first husband. His body was never found. It was also the world war that the witches were called upon to perform magic to stop Hitler's aggression . Also involved was Gerald Gardrner and Cecil Williamson.
After the world war Doreen would eventually become involved with Gerald Gardner and become initiated in his coven. She would later part ways with him over his excessive publicity stunts and reckless behavior. While Gerald's book of shadows had lots of Crowley material and other borrowings. Doreen would totally rewrite it.
After parting ways with Gardner she would work with Robert Cochrane for a bit. Yet his talk about a nightbof long knives against Gardner and use of psychadelic, Doreen would part wYs with him also. She then joined the coven of atho but then soon moved on.
After 1964 when her second husband died is when she really came into her own and began publishing her books. She was also known as the witch queen. It was during this time that she wished to push Wicca forward . She was against the degree system, felt a witch did not need to be initiated as the power came from within. She also advocated gay rights and felt gays could be strong ptactiiners of magic. She passd away in 1997 of diabetes and pancreatic cancer
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