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Looking back: Witch Doreen flew in face of critics
7:00pm Friday 28th June 2013 in News
It is believed that life as a witch for Doreen begun during her childhood when she became fascinated by carrying around a broomstick.
But it wasn’t until 1953 that she was initiated as a witch.
Although she was regarded as a strong-minded successful witch, it took her many years to tell people about her beliefs in witchcraft.
Doreen only told people she was a witch after her husband passed away in 1972.
She had worried that prejudicial views could result in her losing her job or friends, and that this would therefore affect her relationship with her husband.
In addition to this, her mother did not agree with her belief in witchcraft which caused great conflict.
In 1985, Doreen spoke about her mother saying: “She thought it was all dreadful; she’s had a strong chapel upbringing – so I compromised and people thought I was just a student of witchcraft.”
But after both her mother and husband had passed away she was able to openly admit her life as a witch saying: “By then, I hadn’t a job to lose or any family left alive.”
Although she struggled to have an open life as a witch, once it became public knowledge she fought to make sure witches were accepted.
In 1978 she expressed her views to Parliament about how she thought witches were discriminated against.
She said: “I personally know a number of people who have been terrified to reveal their religion in case they found themselves out of a job or publicly vilified.”
Mrs Valiente added more to her argument by saying: “There is a gap in the law that could be used by a bigoted employer to get round the Race Relations Act, what concerns me most is the basic social injustice contained in this situation.”
Mrs Valiente was also known throughout her time to express her views against people using black magic.
In 1964 she said: “They are very peculiar people, these people who believe in black magic.
“They are very arrogant and quite convinced that their occult powers put them above the law.”
Many of The Argus’s archives also recall that when Doreen published her books, they proved to be most influential throughout her years as a witch.
Her best-known work was her first book, An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present, published in 1973.
This was known as her most powerful book because it demonstrated a new way to perceive witchcraft.
She explained it as “a new society of which a regenerated and enlightened paganism is to be part”.
Readers could then understand witchcraft as a religion and way of life.
She spoke in 1978 about her third book which was a guide to witchcraft, saying: “I believe people should know more about witchcraft and be able to get involved on their own if they wish to.”
The book, Witchcraft For Tomorrow, was another way in which Doreen took a stand for witchcraft.
She argued that it was often easily misconceived and judged, when really it should be accepted.
In 1999, she died from cancer, while more than 100,000 copies of her books had been sold and were still being reprinted.
She had happily spoken out to defend witchcraft, as well as being open about her life as a witch.
This is why she is still remembered as a significant woman of witchcraft.
ON THIS DAY
1838: Coronation of Queen Victoria.
1904: The SS Norge runs aground and sinks
1914: Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife are assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, sparking the First World War.
1919: The Treaty of Versailles is signed in Paris, bringing fighting to an end between Germany and the Allies of
World War I.
1930: Frank Whittle (later Sir) patented the jet engine.
1997: Mike Tyson is disqualified for biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear.
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