Ameth is the first definitive biography of Doreen Valiente (1922 – 1999), an English Witch who became known as ‘the Mother of Modern Witchcraft’. Based on the author’s work of collating her artefacts, interviewing people who knew her, reading and researching numerous personal magical documents and correspondence bequeathed by Doreen, this book gives unparalleled insight into her magical life.
Evocatively recreating the atmosphere of post-1951 British Witchcraft, following the repeal of the Witchcraft Act, the author explores Doreen’s magical journey – including her initiation and relationship with Gerald Gardner. The reader is guided on a journey from the 1950’s through to the early 1970’s as she worked and interacted with Charles Cardell and the Coven of Atho, Robert Cochrane and the Clan of Tubal Cain, as well as the Regency coven.
Ameth chronicles the whole of Doreen Valiente’s colourful and varied life. It emphasises her fight to establish Pagan rights, and her subsequent role as one of the leading spokespersons for the Pagan revival from the 1960s until her death in 1999. Through her own published books and her contribution to the work of Janet and Stewart Farrar, she reinforced her position as one of the most significant and influential priestesses of the twentieth century. Her research to find Dorothy Clutterbuck may have saved the credibility of modern Witchcraft, and took her towards what was arguably the height of her achievements, her contribution to the foundations of the rapidly growing religion of Wicca.
As an author, priestess, researcher and pagan spokeswoman, Doreen Valiente occupied a unique position in leading the resurgence of magic, perhaps best exemplified by her creation of the Wiccan Rede – “an it harm none, do what ye will”. Possessed of a fiery spirit and willingness to challenge dogma in her search for truth (the meaning of Ameth, her witch name), Doreen’s tireless quest serves as an example of the power of the human spirit to accomplish transformation on a major scale.