by Doreen Valiente

A Review by G.M.Kelly

Phoenix Publishing Inc.
Portal Way
P.O. Box 10
Custer, Washington USA 98240
1989 E.V.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Those of you who have read my review of Ms. Valiente's An ABC of Witchcraft Past & Present [1973 E.V.] in TNN VI.2.9-10 will probably imagine where this is going and why right from the start.

Let me first say that I do not find The Rebirth of Witchcraft an "awful" book, nor do I think it a particularly "wonderful" book.  In fact, although Ms. Valiente chooses to think of herself as outrageously controversial, I found the book to be, like its author, rather hoo hum humdrum.  Certainly the book contains a number of interesting and sometimes amusing anecdotes, as well as bits of information that the student of the Craft may find interesting and even valuable.  However, the text of the book does not live up to the title if one expects to read about the history of the reemergence of the Craft of the Wise.  And I do not like the title as it implies that the Old Religion was dead and then, fundamentally, born again, whereas Ms. Valiente herself implies throughout the book that Wicca had merely gone underground - not that it had died and been buried to be later resurrected.  How Christian!

There is, by the way, a black and white photograph of the "author in witch costume" between pages 64 and 65 that seems to pictorially illustrate my [yawn] opinion of the author.

Throughout Rebirth Ms. Valiente tells stories about such people as Gerald Gardner, Charles Godfrey Leland, Dion Fortune, Robert Cochrane, Leslie Roberts, Rosaleen Norton, Alex Sanders, Zsuzsanna Budapest and George Pickingill which are somewhat interesting.  However, most of these people are dead and it is only Ms. Valiente's point of view we are here presented with and we must at times wonder about the objective accuracy of that viewpoint, as well as the hearsy and secondhand [or worse] information she also relies heavily upon.  For one thing, I noticed that Ms. Valiente habitually finds fault with the men she has written of - and of course they should have listened to her sage advice, failed to do so, and suffered as a result - while she generally finds little or no fault with the women.  Hmm.  While she makes minor concessions at times, her viewpoint can be clearly seen in such passages as these to be found on page 195:  "Certainly we have had a good deal of trouble among followers of the Old Religion today, caused by ego-tripping males".  And what about the at least equal number of "ego-tripping" females?  I won't name names, but perhaps Ms. Valiente is among their number.


"It can also be said that it is men who make wars, who are responsible for the majority of crimes, whose relentless greed is exploiting our natural resources on this planet to destruction, whose macho outlook and concern for status symbols substitute ruthless ambition for happiness and contentment, both for themselves and for others."

She neglects to mention that most of the advancements made in science and society in general were made by men, and if she were to check the statistics, Ms. Valiente may find that not only are many more women guilty of crimes including murder than she seems to think, but the number of female criminals is on the rise.  Furthermore, she seems to forget [or chooses to forget] that a large number of crimes and perhaps even wars have been instigated by women.  Helen of Troy, how many men have been sacrificed in your name?  One of the main reasons men do things is to satisfy a particular woman's whims and desires.  Women, generally speaking of course, being so extremely materialistic, desiring the "finer things in life", push men to great lengths to have their petty material desires satisfied.  The men, admittedly in some cases to live up to a macho image, feel pressured and will go to almost any lengths, even to the point of destroying our planet piece by piece, to give the woman what she wants - what she demands - often because of sexual blackmail.  How many men out there have had to take on a second job just to have enough money to take women to the expensive places that they like to go to and buy them the expensive "gifts" that they practically demand?  My favourite personal anecdote has to do with an exquisitely beautiful Arabian woman I was trying to plan a first date with - a date which should have been simple and quiet so that we could talk and get to know one another before going to all the wild, noisy and eventful places.  I humbly pointed out that I had had to give up my poor old '68 Buick station wagon, the "Blue Beast", and she told me that she did not want to use her car.  Then I apologetically explained that I had recently been laid off and was receiving only a mere pittance in Unemployment Compensation whereupon she whined "Well how much money do you have?"  I cancelled the date then and there before it even began with a heavy sigh as she did appear to be beautiful.  After all, I thought it was me she was interested in and not my bloody bank account.  I pray to the Gods that I meet That One Special Lady while I am still poor as I will be very suspicious of the motives and true desires of women I meet after I have become filthy rich!  No.  I am not cheap.  I love to spend money on a lady who does not demand it of me - take her places, surprise her with gifts, etc.  But let's get back to this review, shall we...

Yes.  Men more so than women have raped the earth, partly, I would like to add, to find the precious metals and gems that women love to adorn themselves with.  However, this is primarily because men are generally the pioneers, the builders, the movers and the shakers, and most of the destruction and waste of our natural resources has been the result of plain and simple ignorance, stupidity and lack of forethought rather than rude "macho" arrogance, and it continues now mostly because we have economically painted ourselves into a corner.  The point is, while I do not believe Ms. Valiente hates men in any pathological way, it certainly seems obvious to me that she does not like men very much and this tends to unbalance her point of view and fault her judgments.  Especially when you know who is the subject.

One has to wonder anyway when someone devoted to something has failed to convince her spouse, for instance, through her nature, et al, to freely devote himself to the same thing.  "My husband had never shared my interest in the occult, although he was not actively hostile to it", Ms. Valiente wrote on page 40.  So he tolerated it then.  If she really and truly understood Wicca and "the occult", and if Ms. Valiente is as exemplary a Wiccan as she seems to think she is and tries to convince us that she is, why did he not feel compelled to involve himself in that part of her life, a very important part of her life presumably?  Her thoughts, words and deeds should have convinced him of the worth of Wicca and "the occult" - unless, of course, she is not very conviincing.  And then why isn't she convincing?  Just something to think about.

Ms. Valiente, I think, made a fatal mistake in her life - a common mistake.  She mentions more than once in the book that she has always had a special love for "Old Horney", the Horned God, and it just may be that the god became the symbol of her Ideal Man and what reality can live up to an ideal?  And what man can be in all ways equal to a "god"?  In this it might surprise Ms. Valiente to know that she has something in common with one of her least favourite men, which she consistantly misjudges and misrepresents in print:  Aleister Crowley.  Despite what some people tend to read into his derogatory comments about women, ignoring his praises of women and womanhood in general, A.C. did not hate women.  He loved women.  He yearned to meet his ideal woman - Babalon incarnate.  Crowley worshipped the Goddess under the name and guise of the Egyptian Nuit.  Consequently, when he discovered the individual Stars in the Body of Nuit to be all too human and less than ideal, he was naturally and often bitterly disappointed.  Perhaps if Ms. Valiente knew herself better, she could better understand others and her judgment would not be so faulty, her evaluations more correct, more accurate.

Chapter 7 entitled "A Voice from the Past?" deals with "a series of communications from what purported to be the discarnate spirit of a traditional witch, who gave his name as John Brakespeare.  Just how to evaluate these communications I do not know."  And Ms. Valiente says "Critics may infer ... that most of Brakespeare's utterances have therefore no source other than my own subconscious mind."  This chapter is an example of the worst kind of spiritualistic nonsense available, and upon this "series of communcations" Ms. Valiente bases a great deal of her knowledge regarding traditional Witchcraft.  Worse than hearsay and secondhand information, I'd say!  Furthermore, while she has no idea as to how to evaluate these "communications", I would say that even an amateur historian might have an idea.  Ask this "discarnate spirit" questions and then check out the answers with historical records.  There are a number of ways to evaluate the objective reality of this "spirit" as well as the accuracy of "his" statements.

Of course, Ms. Valiente may have collected a sufficient amount of historical facts in her subconscious to create a fantasy and then "verify" it if pressed to do so, and of course she is really not interested in verifying the objective reality of Brakespeare.  She is content to accept her own very superficial judgments and beliefs as absolute fact - in all things.

And by the way, remember me mentioning that she claims to have given advice to men like Gardner who ignored her advice and suffered as a result?  On page 72 she wrote that "It soon gave me no pleasure whatever to find myself in the position of being able to say, 'I told you so'", yet it is obvious throughout her book that she delights in saying "I told you so".  As for her advice, if all of it is as that to be found upon page 212, it is no wonder her advice was ignored.

"The bully is always a coward at heart, and the occult bully is a bigger coward than most, in my experience."

She must not, then, be as experienced as she thinks, since nothing is ALWAYS anything.  While the above statement may be true most of the time, it is not always true, and if you believe it is and act faithfully upon that belief all the time you will sooner or later run into that one bully who is willing to back up his tough words with tough action.

But this is all beside the point.  I am a Thelemite and this is a Thelemic publication devoted to Thelema and the memory of Aleister Crowley - to defend these and correct misrepresentations.  And guess what?  Yep.  Ms. Valiente mentions Aleister Crowley frequently throughout her book.  So here goes!

Ms. Valiente begins badly by praising between pages 15 to 17 The Great Beast by John Symonds - "a remarkable book".  Obviously Ms. Valiente never really thought about the less than accurate and honest biography, and obviously she never read the five-part review and commentary of Symonds' book to be found in The Newaeon Newsletter, IV.6, V.1, V.3, V.4 and V.5 [and here in the Castle of the Silver Star].  She reminds me of a "good Christian" with her flock-mentality, simply accepting Symonds' lies, half- and twisted truths as fact because it was what she wanted to believe.  I thought Wiccans, adherents of the Craft of the Wise, were supposed to be - well - wise.

Doreen Valiente, despite her dislike of men and her especial dislike of Aleister Crowley, whom she has characteristically judged superficially upon very little and mostly inaccurate and slanted data, cannot help but to "give the devil his due" throughout her book.  It was Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practice that helped get her started along her way [page 35].

"It became obvious to me as soon as I had been given Gerald's 'Book of Shadows' to copy that it owed a good deal to the works of Aleister Crowley" [page 54].

"'Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will,' said Crowley - a definition which at once removes it from the realm of superstition and folklore" [page 17].

"There has been too much childish cloak-and-dagger business in the world of the occult, too much of what Aleister Crowley satirized as swearing someone to the most frightful penalties if they betray the secret knowledge and then confiding the Hebrew alphabet to their safe keeping" [page 54].

"The 'Charge of the Goddess' ... was derived partly from Charles Godfrey Leland's Aradia and partly from Aleister Crowley's Liber Legis.  Indeed, the influence of Crowley was very apparent throughout the rituals" [page 57].

"The oldest and possibly the purest form of the published rituals we have is that which appears in High Magic's Aid under the guise of fiction.  ... There is no Crowleyanity in them, except possibly in the occurrence of the phrase 'Perfect Love and Perfect Trust', which is used as a password.  This may derive from a passage in one of Aleister Crowley's essays, entitled 'The Revival of Magick'."

"One other derivation there is in these rituals, which came from the ceremonies of the Order of the Golden Dawn, probably via Crowley, who published the secrets of the Order in his periodical The Equinox" [pages 63-64].  Et cetera.

Despite anything Ms. Valiente or anyone else may say, despite the rude comments, the gossip and the typically false rumours spread about as if they were facts, Doreen is forced by the painfully obvious facts that not only does the entire occult community owe a very great deal to To Mega Therion, Aleister Crowley, but so too does modern day Wicca!  And yet the silliness goes on - the idiot denials, the constant use of Crowley's work and words while denying that he had anything to do with what is being discussed.  And why?  Here is one reason:

"I pointed out to him [Gerald Gardner] that in my opinion he would never succeed in doing this ["reviving the Old Religion"] so long as the influence of the late Aleister Crowley was so prevalent and obvious within the cult.  Crowley's name stank; not only because of his association in the popular press with black magic but because of the indubitable fact that for years he had lived 'upon involuntary contributions from his friends', as one of them told his biographer, John Symonds" [page 60].

Crowley's name does not "stink" half as bad as the word "Witch", so far as the general and uninitiated masses go, due to a concerted propaganda effort and inaccurate, slangerous tabloid journalism.  And someone whose religion has been so long slandered and unfairly judged should have a little more understand of and sympathy for how horribly Crowley and his work have been slandered and misjudged.  Yet with Crowley there is a common habit of sticking one's head in the sand and agreeing with the provably false slanders against him while defending the word "Witch".  [Although it should be noted that today's neo-pagans are shying away from the word "Witch" in favour of such words as "Wiccan" rather than proudly proclaiming themselves Witches and then educating the masses and the media, primarily by setting a good example. -ED]  The stupidity is that, like it or not, the name Aleister Crowley will forever be associated with the occult in general as well as Witchcraft, and it would be far better to thoroughly study the man, his character, his motives, et al, through his prolific writings, come to understand him, rather than to just skim over a few of his books without trying to see the man behind the words, and then carelessly agree with so-called biographers and journalists who are more interested in sensationalism and personal attacks than they are in truth and accuracy.

"Crowley may have been a brilliant writer and a splendid poet but as a person he was simply a nasty piece of work.  His great importance in the occult world was that he had wrenched open that treasure chest in which the Order of the Golden Dawn had locked up the secret knowledge of the Western Mystery Tradition, and had invited all to share the treasure" [page 61].

This shows that she cannot help but to praise the man, but her perversity is that she must constantly denegrate a man she has never met in person nor even thoroughly studied by way of his many published and unpublished works, astrology, the science of graphology, etc., as I, for instance, have.  There is something wrong - not with the late Aleister Crowley, but with the present Doreen Valiente* and those like her who need very much to grow up and learn to use the brains that the God/dess gave them.  Furthermore, Crowley did a great deal more than to wrench open a treasure chest as he added a great deal of wealth to the total sum that we all draw from today.  As for him being a "nasty piece of work" - she never met the man and she is basing her opinion upon the provably slanderous work of John Symonds, a man guilty of the nastiest, most cowardly piece of character assassination imaginable.  Why?  Because that is what she wants to believe and it is the easiest course to take.

On page 71 she talks about Gardner's idea that the priest of Wicca should remain so for life while the priestess should be replaced by a younger woman after a certain age and Ms. Valiente comments that

"it was very reminiscent of the practices of Aleister Crowley, who had initiated and then cast aside a whole series of 'Scarlet Women', as his High Priestesses were called."

Again, instead of relying upon the slanderous and less than true secondhand stories told by John Stab-'Em-In-The-Back Symonds, she should carefully study the situations and look before she leaps to her inaccurate conclusions.  Rose was A.C.'s first wife and Scarlet Woman, for instance, and he did not carelessly cast her aside.  She was, before meeting Crowley, a budding alcoholic, a charming and perhaps even in her way a gifted but unfortunately flighty woman, and even after she had become a full-fledged alcoholic and been responsible out of carelessness for the death of their child during her husband's absence, Crowley still cared for her for a long time, after suffering with the problem for quite a while.  The situations to follow were similar, although as is normal and healthy, A.C. refused to allow the failings of others to pull him down and after doing all that he could do, the situation not improving, he got out of it and left the person to stand on his or her own two feet.  He had not only himself and his own life to consider, but also his Work, which was for him the most important thing.  I think too that one of Ms. Valiente's problems is her lack of experience.  If someone is bent upon self-destruction you try to help them.  If instead of helping that person you find that you are being pulled down as well, the wisest and healthiest thing to do is to get out of the situation as fast as possible and let that person sink or swim on his or her own.  I do not know about Ms. Valiente, but some of us have experienced this.  One tries too hard the first time, jeopardizing one's own mental and emotional health, one's own life and work, and finally wising up we get out of the situation, cast aside or banish the other person, if you will, and learn not to try too hard to make things work out in the future - we know how hard to work at the bad situation and we know when to bail out so as not to go down with the person bent upon self-destruction.  If Ms. Valiente would care to actually study the subject she is speaking so authoritatively about, Crowley, instead of merely relying upon inaccurate secondhand data and her own habit of superficial deduction and judgment, based in part upon her own faulted persona, she would find that in most ways Aleister Crowley was very much like most of us - for he was, after all, a man and only human.

And while Ms. Valiente points out the absurdity of two or three Crowley stories - the usual bits of nonsense about how he caused great harm to people that in fact never even existed, during times and in places that documentation easily proves Crowley was not then present - she still perpetuates some of those nonsensical slanders herself.  Look again at that quotation from page 60 of her book in which she quotes Symonds:

"...the indubitable fact that for years he [A.C.] had lived 'upon involuntary contributions from his friends' ..."

Emphasis on the two words mine.  "Indubitable":  "that cannot be doubted; unquestionable".  In the first place, anything coming from Symonds is highly questionable as far as accuracy and judgment is concerned.  In the second place, it is very questionable as a fact because the quotation makes no sense from the start:  "involuntary contributions"?  This is a wonderful way of saying BLACKMAIL.  Crowley is being accused of a crime by Symonds and Ms. Valiente is following his lead like a dumb animal.  Crowley blackmailed no one.  He was a very old man, died at the age of seventy-two, and he suffered from a number of illnesses caused by his world travelling and mostly his many mountain climbing expeditions and thanks to the tabloid journalism of his day he could not even earn money as a writer, which he was, although over the years he did manage to receive brief incomes from work on magazines, ghostwriting, translating, editing and annotating the works of others.  He lived out his final days in very modest surroundings and as head of a [more or less] masonic order, the O.T.O., it was only right that his "followers", if you will, should help support him, especially as he was still giving his all to Thelema, the Order, Magick in general.  His only material pleasures were a bit of brandy and a few cigars.  Can we deny such a man who has given us all so much such small pleasures after a hard life that had in no real way softened?  But this thing about "involuntary contributions" - just what the hell does that mean?  How was a man in his sixties and later seventies forcing anyone to give him money?  World War II was going on and he had no way whatsoever to force anyone to give him money, nor did he desire to.  Members of the last legitimate O.T.O. lodge in Pasadena, California sent him money, for instance, to help him get along and mostly to help privately publish his last few literary, magical works, but it was a pittance and only obtained through the efforts of one of his last true friends and associates, Karl Germer.  Otherwise, the whackos in California, as they have all proven to be, might have ignored him entirely - until they wanted something from Crowley.

"Involuntary contributions"?  A typically idiot phrase invented to slander Crowley - calling him a blackmailer in the most cowardly way, accusing him of a crime that he not only had no desire to commit, but had no way whatsoever of committing!  Ms. Valiente, you should be ashamed of yourself.  You act no better than the past and present persecutors of Witchcraft.

Page 45:  "...Wilkinson told Francis King exactly the same thing that Gerald Gardner had told me about Crowley, namely that Crowley claimed to have been offered initiation into the British witch cult as a young man but had refused it because, 'He didn't want to be bossed around by women.'"

Nice story.  Note again that it is secondhand.  It is possible Crowley said this, not wishing to accept initiation for some other reason, but making a joke about his decision.  And a good question might be:  Which women in particular might Crowley have been referring to?  Were they perhaps man-hating bossy shrews?  Also, people tend to have less than perfect memories and the reason Crowley did not accept initiation [if indeed the story is even true] may be a matter of the other person's judgment of what A.C. really said.  If I, for instance, were offered initiation into the Craft and expected to accept Ms. Valiente as the High Priestess you can be damn sure I would refuse initiation because there is no way I would allow that particular woman to "boss" me around.  This does not mean I would reject another as being "superior" to me in a Coven, Fraternity, or whatever - so long as she has not only seniority, but the knowledge, wisdom and experience to exercise superior judgment.  And considering myself to be all too common and hardly a genius, I would wager to say that there are quite a few ladies out there who are more than capable.  It should also be noted that Crowley could not have been offered initiation at a very early age as he was being raised in a strictly fundamentalist Christian family, attending Christian schools, and could have had no contact with anything "occult".  It was not until his twenties that he came into contact with the occult community, and the evidence is that if indeed he had any contact whatsoever with Witchcraft before his latter years, it was with either very degenerate or pseudo-covens that Witches today would not accept as true Witches or Pagans.  That being the case, and considering the type of people, men and women, involved in such "blasphemies", would it be any wonder if A.C. would turn down initiation into those groups and not wish to be bossed around by, probably, petty ego-dominated tyrants?  And finally, since Crowley was one of the greatest leg-pullers in history, how can we be sure that he had not simply made a joke that was - as all too many of his witticisms have been - taken too seriously by another whose sense of humour was not as acute as Crowley's?  Of course this is all beside the point since a reading of Crowley's work seems to indicate that until quite late in life he was not even aware that Witchcraft was alive and well, albeit of small numbers and underground.  His references to Witchcraft, scarce as they are, seem to indicate a belief that the Old Religion was something lost to history, his knowledge of it coming more from Montague Summers, William Seabrook and the records of the Inquisition and Witchcraft trials.  I am of the opinion that he had no idea that there were any Witches left until, late in life, he met Gerald Gardner.  And as a truly final word on this subject, it should be noted that while Crowley worshipped the Goddess in the form of Nuit, the first chapter of The Book of the Law [Liber AL vel Legis sub figura CCXX] being devoted to Her, he had hoped with every fibre of his being to meet a woman who could fully represent Her on earth, a real incarnation of Babalon - strong and dominant - not necessarily a woman that he would submit to as today's "submissive 'men'" look for in Mistress Olga the Dominatrix, but one whom he would want to defer to because while different in some ways she would be equal to him in strength of character and intellect.  Crowley had a powerful personality and intellect, and such women were very rare during the Victorian Era.  Some of those that stood out were merely caricatures of men.  Crowley would have had more luck today - although still a large proportion of today's "liberated women" are wearing but a fragile mask, carrying on a poor act, and are not as "liberated" as they would like to believe.  A.C. would have gladly deferred to a true Woman, as he was a true Man.  Neither physical characteristics nor chronological age does a Woman or Man make.  In point of fact, the majority of men and women in my considerable experience are but little children playing at being adult, despite their age; learning how to become human.  It is the duty of the Wiccan, the Magician, the Initiate in general, having achieved true humanity, to rise above this and realize something more - the God/dess Within, if you will - while those on the step below us must first become fully human before taking that Next Step.  They must "grow up" and "mature".  In essence, no one is inferior or superior to anyone, but we are all at different levels upon the spiritual and intellectual evolutionary scale.  While there will always be others on a "lower" level to you, there will also be others upon a "higher" level.  Crowley was a Man - not just a little boy, insecure, playing at manhood with the goal of achieving that one day - he was a Man, and naturally he then craved the companionship of a Woman.  Sadly, humanity itself is the one thing most lacking in humanity in general as it takes quite a long time for men and women to achieve the fullness of that humanity and go beyond.

The reason I have said so much about this one point - still only skimming the surface, although not nearly as superficially as Ms. Valiente has - is that she repeated this thing about A.C. not wanting to be bossed around by women more than once in her book and it is obvious that the author has misjudged Crowley according to misinformation, superficial judgment and the dictates of an outraged and emotionally upset female ego.  Yes.  That's right.  Big surprise.  Women have egos too.  We hear a lot of derogatory talk about the "male ego", but I am quite certain that just about every psychologist, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, whatever his or her own particular school of thought may be, will agree that women too have egos that are fragile and easily upset, and which, once upset, tend to cloud the reason when making judgments.

We are all growing tired of the subject, and Doreen Valiente I am sure, so let me make only one more specific comment regarding what she wrote on page 188.  Speaking of Crowley's views on Magick - which again she must admit to be quite enlightened - Ms. Valiente wrote:  "such magic, of course, being for his benefit, not hers" - in reference to whatever woman, priestess or Scarlet Woman, was working with him at the time.  Balderdash!  The fact of the matter is quite simply this:  It is true that Crowley did not practise Magick for the sake of his priestesses - except by way of the fact that any performance of the High Art and Science tends to purify one's being and bring one closer to that next level upon the Ladder of Lights, the Path of the Wise.  However, he also did not practise Magick for his own personal sake.  [How petty and small Ms. Valiente must be to think in such terms.]  Aleister Crowley was absolutely and completely devoted to Thelema and Magick as well as human evolution in general and his Magical Work was always devoted to this three-in-one point of focus.  If he sought financial backing it was to publish books, for instance, which would spread his teachings further, to far more people, than standing on a street corner and shouting could have done.  Even a few simple pleasures in life were for his emotional well being so that he could remain healthy and better serve the Gods and humanity.  Today we know that mental and emotional health are just as important as is physical health - and sometimes a vacation, a night out on the town, for me a good video or a trip to the theatre - might be just the right amount of relaxation necessary to keep one from snapping under the strain of life and work.

The women in Crowley's life got just as much, materially, out of their Magical Work with him as he did.  Getting things should not be what Magick is all about.  And if these women failed to get as much spiritually out of it as he did, they had no one to blame but themselves - and so too for those men who worked with A.C. and failed to learn how to stand on their own two feet once he was no longer around to support them.  There is a nasty habit in the occult community of blaming Crowley for the failings and weaknesses of others.  We all must learn to stand or fall without the support of others.  If one falls, no matter what the circumstances, that person has no one to blame for the fall but him- or herself.  One is not driven crazy by another.  One is not turned into an alcoholic or a drug addict by another.  One is not forced to commit suicide.  These are all conscious choices that one makes for oneself, and no matter what the circumstance or influences in one's life at the time, whether one rises up or falls depends solely upon oneself and the ultimate credit or blame is one's own.

Doreen Valiente, despite her age and years, is still very childish [not to be confused with childlike] - extremely immature and superficial.  Therefore her methods of research, her evaluations and judgments tend to be immature and superficial.  If she looks at a cube she can only see the one side facing her, not the other three, the top and the bottom, and she has no idea whatsoever as to what may be within that cube, nor is she even capable, at least at this point, of determining through intelligent deduction what may be within.

However, despite Ms. Valiente's failings and the failings of her book, The Rebirth of Witchcraft is not an "awful" book.  It is amusing and I am sure that some of the facts and evaluations in the book are accurate - at least from one point of view.  I suppose that my most serious objection to Ms. Valiente's book is that, considering what one gets for one's money, $12.50 [the price of the book at this time - ED] is too much to pay for it and $8.00 might be a fairer price.

So what do you think now, Doreen?  I guess I am living proof that, deep down inside, all men are pigs.  Just remember one thing:  I am not the one wallowing in the mud and filth of gossip.

Love is the law, love under will.

*Ms. Doreen Valiente died in 1999 E.V. and mention is made of this in the Preface attached to the review of her earlier book, An ABC of Witchcraft.

[Encyclical Letter, Summer Solstice 1990 E.V.]