U.K. — It is arguable that Doreen Valiente was one of the most influential women in British Wicca during the 20th century. A magical practitioner, writer, and recipient of a commemorative blue plaque on her home in the south coast city of Brighton – the only Witch in the world to be so honoured – Doreen’s legacy also lives on in the form of the Doreen Valiente Foundation. This foundation has now attained full recognition as a charity, providing an opportunity to look back at Valiente’s life, the work of the foundation, and its transition into charitable status. Valiente was born in 1922 in Surrey. She became interested in magic as a teenager, running around the household on a broomstick and being sent to convent school as a consequence.
If, as is proclaimed in the Charge of the Goddess, “all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals,” then the pleasure of poetry is among those rituals, too. April is National Poetry Month in the United States. Here’s a look at the works of three female poets: a Wiccan priestess, a pioneer in the modern women’s/goddess spirituality movement, and a priestess in the Welsh Bardic Tradition. The Charge of the Goddess: the Poetry of Doreen Valiente
Doreen Valiente Foundation in association with the Centre for Pagan Studies, expanded edition 2014, 142 p.
Ironically, the Charge of the Goddess included is this collection by the acclaimed “mother of modern witchcraft” is not her rhyming, poetic rendition but rather her far more famous prose version. The late John Belham-Payne, a friend and “working magical partner” of Valiente’s, shepherded her poetry into publication following her death in 1999, thus fulfilling a deathbed request by the Wiccan priestess who had been initiated into Gerald Gardner’s coven by the man himself in 1953.
There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans and Heathens out there, more than our team can write about in depth in any given week. Therefore, the Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.
Today marks the birthday of Doreen Valiente, who is largely considered to be the mother of modern Witchcraft and Wicca. Valiente was born in London in 1922, and eventually found her way into Witchcraft. Much of the written work used today in Gardnerian practice was written by Valiente. Upon her death in 1999, Valiente left her legacy to the care of John Belham Payne.
Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. As Samhain approaches, we turn instead to the voices of those who have gone before us, be they Pagan leaders themselves or influential in the intersecting Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist communities. Look into the cauldron, and hear the words of those who came before us. Aleister Crowley
To practice black magic you have to violate every principle of science, decency, and intelligence. You must be obsessed with an insane idea of the importance of the petty object of your wretched and selfish desires. .
BRIGHTON — For people travelling to this year’s Witchfest in Brighton, there will be additional entertainment option: the premiere of the play Doreen: An English Witch. This new theatrical production is the brainchild of director Roman Withers and writer Gavin Caine of Normal People Productions. The Wild Hunt caught up with Caine and Withers to talk about the play, its impact, and the creative process that led to its birth. Withers explained how a meeting with the late John Belham Payne inspired the very latest celebration of Valiente’s life:
“We met John Belham Payne last November, as he was the Head of the Doreen Valiente Foundation, and knew Doreen, so I decided it would be really good to put a play on. We’re both in the craft ourselves and it seemed only fitting as Doreen lived in Brighton and spent many, many years here.”
The play Doreen: An English Witch is the second outing of Normal People Productions, an up and coming new theatre company.