The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005
Valiente, Doreen (1922—September 1, 1999)
Witchcraft Hall of Fame
Doreen Valiente is the Founding Mother of modern Wicca and the author of many of its most beloved rituals. She served as one of Gerald Gardner’s High Priestesses and with him co-authored what is now known as the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, the book of rituals that has become the standard text and liturgy of Wicca.
Doreen Dominy was born in London and educated at a convent school. Her clairvoyant skills manifested in her youth. She studied various occult traditions and Theosophy. (See Blavatsky, page 711.)
In 1944, Doreen married Casimiro Valiente, who disapproved of his wife’s occult interests and psychic skills. However, Doreen began corresponding with Cecil Williamson (see page 769); from him she learned of covens in the New Forest and eventually met Gerald Gardner, who had been initiated into one of those covens. In 1953, Gardner initiated Valiente into his own new coven.
Together with Gardner, Valiente revised his liturgy, deleting much of Aleister Crowley’s contributions (which she found offensive) and incorporating her own poetry instead, including “The Charge of the Goddess” and “The Witches’ Rune.”
Valiente had read and admired Charles Leland’s work prior to meeting Gardner and modeled “Charge of the Goddess” after his Aradia. She labored over the Book of Shadows from 1954 until 1957 before she and Gardner were completely satisfied with the results. In 1957, Valiente left Gardner’s coven to form her own.
Doreen Valiente died of cancer in 1991. Her books include Natural Magic, An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present, and Witchcraft for Tomorrow.