PORTLAND, Ore — It was announced Thursday, June 7 that Valerie L. Walker, also known as Veedub, had passed away in the early morning hours. Veedub was a longtime member of the Feri community, a Witch, an author, artist, singer, priestess, and beloved teacher.Valerie Walker was born May 16 in London, England to Bee Brown and Louis Langham. Her family eventually moved to Chicago where she attended Roger Sullivan High School in Chicago.
Veedub’s spiritual journey began around 1955 when, at the age of 18, she discovered Robert Graves’ The White Goddess. The book, which had only been in publication for eight years at that point, opened up her mind to new ideas and concepts of the divine. In one memoir, she wrote, “I was instantly captured by the idea that everything I had ever been taught about history and religion was false, and that there had been goddess-worshiping religions long before the Greek Olympians. With a mounting sense of having been betrayed in some vital way, I paged quickly through the book.”
It would be approximately another 15 years before Veedub became involved with modern Pagans and goddess worshipers. During that hiatus she had been married and divorced three times and had become mother to three children. After moving from Chicago to San Francisco, she decided to attend a class on the book that had touched her as a young girl. The teacher of that class was Starhawk. She said, ” I sallied off to Cole Valley. Little did I know that the class was really Wicca 101, and that it would change my life again.”
Veedub attended classes as well as coven meetings. The Compost Coven, as it was called, was created by Starhawk and was one of the founding groups for Covenant of the Goddess. It offered eclectic Witchcraft teachings, which included Feri traditions and rituals. Veedub stayed with them through her initiations, eventually becoming the group’s high priestess in 1975. “I became a teacher of Witchcraft; I became a Faery initiate without quite realizing that that was what I had become,” she wrote.
Under her leadership, the Compost Coven was opened up to become a full teaching coven, and she was the group’s “mother.” She held her leadership position with Compost Coven through 1981, at which time she left San Francisco for five years. When she returned to San Francisco in 1986, Veedub continued her work with the Compost Coven again. The group became more public, offering rituals and a newsletter.
In a 2014 interview, Veedub said that she hadn’t first realized that she had been trained in Feri as well as Witchcraft, and during her continued studies it took much research to figure it all out. When she did finally learn what Feri was, she said, “I was really into it.” That was a yet another new beginning for her.
By 2001, she had received what she calls her second Feri initiation with Niklas Gander and Willow Moon. At the same time, she also became an informal student of Cora Anderson, and stayed with Anderson as her weekend caregiver through five of the nine years she had been disabled physically by a stroke.
“I found her to be not only a delightful person, but also a mine of information about the tradition. She has been the primary influence on me in both writing about Feri, and in my progress in the Craft,” recalled Veedub.
Veedub founded the DustBunny Feri tradition, teaching both in person and over the internet. She wrote and self-published several books based on the tradition, such as Grandma Vee’s First Book of Shadows, and The DustBunnies’ Big Damn Handout Book. In 2001, she published the Vee Deck, a non-tarot divination deck. In recent years, she had been working with and studying Feri with Storm Faerywolf.
She also published a book on her experience with cancer. She was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in July 2012, and went through chemotherapy. At the time, she said, “I am now in remission, so far, so good, but the questions still haunt me.”
In 2015, she and her husband, Ron Miller, decided to move from the Bay Area to Portland to enjoy their retirement. Then in April 2016, Ron passed away from cancer. In recent months, Veedub’s own cancer returned. She reportedly had tumors throughout her abdomen, and was in hospice with her daughter by her side. She died at 3:13 a.m. on June 7.
Since the announcement of her passing, several people have been posting about her on Faceook.
“She was one of the feistiest and funniest people I ever met . . . . Seemed like she was kinda stuck in that body towards the end, ready to go but not exactly able to. Now she’s free to rise beyond what we are able to perceive with these mortal eyes. Free to allow those molecules to move toward their next manifestation . . . . Have fun exploring with Ron, Veedub. I love you.” – Jenya T. Beachy
“Unto them from whose eyes the veil of life hath fallen may there be granted the accomplishment of their true wills; whether they will absorption in the infinite, or to be united with their chosen and preferred, or to be in contemplation, or to be at peace, or to achieve the labour and heroism of incarnation on this planet or another, or in any star, or aught else, unto them may there be granted the accomplishment of their wills; yea, the accomplishment of their wills. AUMGN. AUMGN. AUMGN. So mote it be!” – Diana, Veedub’s daughter
“True friend, sister-of-the-Craft, Clyde to my Bonnie, goodbye. I will speak your name aloud each Samhain, and I will remember you fondly. What is remembered, lives.” – Storm Faerywolf
Valerie L. Walker was a priestess, a Witch, a student, and a voice for both the Craft and for Feri. She was an artist, a performer, and a free spirit who loved music and laughter. Valerie was also a friend, a caregiver, a teacher, a mother, and a grandmother – one of her most treasured identities calling herself Grandmother Vee. Her life was woven in and out of the history of the Feri and the Witchcraft movement in the U.S, touching many and leaving a legacy of spirit and magic along the way.
What is remembered, lives.