Wednesday Witch: Doreen Valiente

220px-Doreen_ValienteI believe that if you follow Wicca (in any tradition) you should have a good understanding of its history to put the teachings into context.

Historically speaking, Doreen Valiente 1922-1999) is an important figure to the Wiccan movement as she is the one that expanded the Wiccan Rede.

She was initiated by Gerald Gardner, ‘father of Wicca’, and helped to modernize as well as bring about Wicca to the masses. Some debate argues historical accuracy, but I don’t think anyone can deny that providing books and information on coven workings helps the community as a whole. (In my humble opinion).

Gardner invented the ‘As it harm none, do what thou wilt”, but Valiente expanded upon that. This is known as ‘the long version’. She also rewrote other books by him, as well as the Charge of the Goddess. I feel she softened the Wiccan traditions, even feminizing the language, in light Gardner was influenced by the teachings of Crowley.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Rede is not a law at all. The word ‘rede’ means ‘advice’ or ‘counsel’. For those who adhere to the idea of “An it harm none, do what thou wilt’, read the rest of the lengthy Rede (Valiente’s version) and you find tons more expectations on how one is to practice their craft.

Whatever your opinion of the earlier witches of the Wiccan movement, or any occult path, its important to read the history and establish your own opinion of them.

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