Who on Earth was Doreen Valiente? I know what most Witches & Wiccans are thinking..`Are you serious? Doreen Valiente IS the mother of modern Wicca (Witchcraft). Call your self a Wiccan High Priest. You must know this..” Well, actually, I do now.. But I didn’t have a clue…when I actually did meet her.. way back in 1997 or 1998 (must check my old records!)
It had been a few years after I had been initiated into a Coven (yes, one of the covens with a lineage that goes back to Gerald Gardner!).. and our Coven members went on a day trip.. to Brighton..for a Workshop.. where Doreen Valiente was present – rather fragile!
I remember getting there early.. and as far as I was concerned, it was a nice day out with my fellow coven members… and so I had said yes to attending the workshop. Buy I had no idea about the facilitators. It didn’t matter much.
It seems to matter a hell of a lot to thousands of people nowadays… lineage name-dropping, who they know, who initiated them, who they initiated, and all the similar stuff (let’s leave the who slept with, and who broke which coven ..when..out …for now. I’ll save that for `my’ autobiography..shall I ? )
I got all my spirituality, loyalty, kinship, brotherhood & sisterhood, nurturing High Priestess, kind and friendly High Priest..and a close bunch of Witches to be with…all in coven life. So the past, or the future didn’t matter. In fact, I actually didn’t know how lucky I had been, about my lineage, about my elders and all that.. I didn’t know any of it.. much..for the first 4 years of Coven / wiccan life. Somehow it mattered less..
It was long after my 2nd Degree, and the closing of our original coven.. (amicably!) ..when I started to guest at other covens.. that I started to get exposure of the politics, powerplay, history and all that . That was when the innocence truly broke.. and I fell from Garden of Eden (pardon me for using a Christian concept here. perhaps I should say `from Garden of Gaia?)
So the day I met Doreen Valiente, all those years ago, I didn’t know how `important’ she was. I was happy being with my craft brothers & sisters..and during lunch break, couldn’t wait to get to the sea-front and play with the waters…and made the most magical find to this date! (Apart from the gold ring with diamonds on it that I had found in Hastings a few years ago…that is..or the actual first kiss with my partner some 7-8 years ago).
So few years ago, while pondering about Doreen’s books, April (my wife) and I decided to explore some places for real.. and we made our way to the Chanctonbury Ring..
That’s for another blog.. 🙂
Bright Blessing ..on this day of Midsummer…
ps. Note of Art: The Doreen graphics used her was graphically `painted’ by me, using Photoimpact 11 software . I used soft brushes to block out shapes, then charcoal brushes..to do texture / skin.. and then use smudge ..and finally a small brush to put lines..and then used the `burn’ tool to darken areas…(and finish with more smudging & blurring). I’ve used this technique style before of course ..to create graphics of Prince Charles, Margaret Thatcher and Lady Diana in the past. Expect more such art of other people 😉
pps. Coming soon: A video of our trip to Chanctonbury Rings, famous for the Doreen Valiente’s `Chanctonbury Charge’ (found in all Book of Shadows) .