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 Witchvox Chapter: Pagan Books   Chapter Page Views: 8,043,282  

Book Specs.

ISBN: 978-8792632-09-8
Released: Sep - 2010
List Price: $19.95

Wvox Stats.

Vox ID: 391546

Book ID: 2219

Posted: 7.14.2010

WV Impressions: 65,600

Collectable numbered limited edition of 1000

Where Witchcraft Lives

Author: Doreen Valiente

Publisher: Whyte Tracks

Category: Witchcraft, Wicca, Folklore   Level: All

This little gem of a book, Doreen’s first ever writing, should really be treated as an historical document. Doreen researches and presents many folklore and witchcraft practices which had hitherto been consigned to a hidden world. In the book Doreen describes herself as a ‘student of witchcraft’ though at the time of writing she was a high priestess. She never stopped investigating and honing her own craft.
“I only just scratched the surface, ” she said to John Belham-Payne shortly before she died.

The Centre For Pagan Studies has now released this edition with the help of Ronald Hutton, Brighton Museum and Sussex Archaeological Society, as a foundation for the Doreen Valiente Trust which will look after all her artefacts and manuscripts for future generations. All proceeds of the book go to the Trust and the future museum that will exhibit her world famous collection.

Review by Morgana Sythove

When I bought the original publication of this book – it must have been the early 1980’s - I never imagined it would become a classic. In fact it was the first book I had read by Doreen, and inspired me when I first became involved in Wicca. It has been out of print a number of years now so it was wonderful to hear that it was being reprinted.
A slim volume of only 152 pages, it looks very innocent but as you read the various chapters you begin to realise how remarkable this book really is. Using Sussex (her adopted county) as her focus Doreen writes of witchcraft as being

“..strands of belief, aboriginal, Celtic, Roman and Saxon (which) will have eventually made up the fabric of witchcraft. Christian persecution and banning, as I shall show further on, drove it underground and made it into a secret society”.

And indeed Doreen discusses many diverse subjects using her own personal research. Research which is still valid in understanding what modern witchcraft is today. From extracts of Sussex Witch Trials to Folk Rites we see how deeply embedded pagan worship was and still is in rural England.
For modern witches the chapters on “White Witchcraft” and “Present day Witchcraft” are extremely interesting reading. From spells to charm warts away - to “modern-day practice”, according to her ‘informant’, these two chapters alone are gems. She notes that

“from what I have been told, and such scraps of information as have come my way ….. that Sussex is not the only county where witchcraft is still practiced. .. but also in Essex, the Cotswolds and Lancashire & Yorkshire. “

We now know who these “informants” could have been – for example, Gerald Gardner. The information about “The Old Religion” and “The Old Ones”, about initiations, the Sabbats and Esbats, about the working tools (including the Athamé, with accent) and the Elements, are straight from Gardnerian Wicca. Or perhaps it is the other way around!

In a down-to-earth, no nonsense, manner Doreen lets us see into her “kitchen”. I can even hear her talking with her unmistakable Sussex accent. A true village witch her vision and foresight helps to put a number of things into perspective. Her words still ring true today.
For anyone who wants to learn more about Wicca from the source then this book is a ‘must have’.

This version contains an introduction by John Belham –Payne (who is chiefly responsible for this new edition!) and a foreword by Professor Ronald Hutton. Complete with many unpublished photographs this edition will be highly sought after.

Morgana, Gardnerian HPs

Author's Notes: Over the years we have received many requests for this book to be made more readily available so that is exactly what we have done. We have printed only 1000 copies and each copy is numbered individually so you have your own special copy. We are taking pre-release orders and will be posting out after September 12th .

Where To Buy: Purchase is available from the publishers website and at the Day for Gerald Gardner London September 12 2010.
See for details.

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