This classic work is now available for the first time in paperback. Since 1951, when the last of the Witchcraft Acts was repealed, many books have been written about the reappearance of witchcraft and the development of a pagan theology. Churchmen have denounced it. Sociologists have wondered at it. Journalists have penned sensational stories about it. But until the publication of this book, no one had told the real story of it from the inside as frankly as it is told here.
Doreen Valiente, one of witchcraft’s most widely known figures, was a close friend of the late Gerald Gardner, generally regarded as the founder of present-day witchcraft. Initiated by him and for a time High Priestess of his coven, Doreen Valiente helped him rewrite his seminal Book of Shadows. She records the break with Gardner that split his coven, the controversy surrounding Alex Sanders, ‘King of the Witches’ and memories of many other witches whom she has known, including the lady called ‘Dafo’, Robert Cochrane, Leslie Roberts and Sybil Leek. Doreen Valiente took part in many witchcraft rituals and had strange psychic experiences as a result. Described here are the clairvoyant communications she received purporting to come from ‘John Brakespeare’, an eighteenth-century witch. The Rebirth of Witchcraft traces the lineage of the present-day witchcraft from its forerunners through to modern feminist neo-paganism and the new wave of interest in ecology and holistic medicine.