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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic work on the roots of paganism and Wicca, 8 Jan 2008
This review is from: The Rebirth of Witchcraft (Paperback)
I read this book as a semi-beginner in Wicca, after hearing Doreen Valiente's name dropped often and seeing how accessible this book looked. If you think you know how Wicca came about then read this - it goes into detail without being boring and reaffirms your belief in Wicca if, like me, you sometimes have a hard time justifying a religion which is so new (The Meaning of Witchcraft by Gerald Gardner is also fantastic for this). Valiente covers so many topics here without it feeling 'Wicca 101', writing engagingly and intelligently. I found myself of many of the same opinions as her which helped - she is obviously an open-minded and, at times, slightly sceptic person.

Her communications with the 18th century witch John Brakespeare, whether you believe them or not, are inspiring as he tells you how the craft should be practised ie. simply and easily.

When I first started on the path I felt overwhelmed with all the names I heard, which it was (I was told) important to know about; eg. George Pickingill, Robert Cochrane, Alex Sanders. This book has a chapter on each one, which you can either be perfectly happy with or use as a springboard for your own research. I feel I know so much more about the path from this book, and it enables the transition from beginner to intermediate. Valiente also opens your mind to topics and new names you might not have known or thought you didn't care about, such as feminist Wicca and the fantastic artist Monica Sjoo.

Easy and quick to read, with so much info and inspiring and belief-affirming stuff, every Pagan should read this if they want to know more about the roots of the new age of Paganism.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars really interesting, 29 Jun 2008
This review is from: The Rebirth of Witchcraft (Paperback)
This is a really interesting book on the history of modern witchcraft, starting with the founder of modern witchcraft Gerald Gardner and the authors early involvement with him. Valiente also details her involvement with non Gardnerian branches of witchcraft: Robert Cochranes coven and writes a chapter on Alex Sanders. Probably the most intrigueing chapter is where Valiente describes and details a spirit cummunication she recieved from a witch who lead a coven in the nineteenth century, obviously some people will say Valiente just made the whole thing up but all I will say is keep an open mind and remember that all results that come from occult practices are subjective. Overall I would say this is a really good book and highly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gem for Wiccans, 19 Dec 2008
This review is from: The Rebirth of Witchcraft (Paperback)
"The Rebirth of Witchcraft" is one of the most important, and perhaps best, books about the history of the neopagan religion of Wicca. Doreen Valiente is, after Gerald Gardner, the most important figure in Wiccan history - she was a High Priestess of the Gardnerian Bricket Wood coven, and was also a member of Cochrane's Clan of Tubal Cain coven. She helped to rewrite the Charge of the Goddess, probably the most sacred scripture of Wiccans, and played a part in uniting the Neopagan groups through the Pagan Federation, and also, along with the Farrars, helped to open Wicca up into becoming a public religion and no longer simply a mystery cult.

This book, her fifth and final, is a history of Wicca (or "Witchcraft" as she called it, she disliked the term "Wicca", which was introduced in 1966 by June Johns in her biography of Alex Sanders). This history is not quite as long and detailed as several others by professional historians (such as "Triumph of the Moon" by Ronald Hutton), but it is very easy to read, and is written by a person who was actually there!
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 6 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Rebirth of Witchcraft (Hardcover)
excellent very interesting reading just what I reaquired at the time , the informations was really good and helped me
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5.0 out of 5 stars the rebirth of witchcraft, 19 May 2012
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This review is from: The Rebirth of Witchcraft (Paperback)
One of the most interesting books I have read in ages. In fact I read it twice and keep referring to it. The facts are well investigated and it is based in Britain.
The Rebirth of Witchcraft
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Finding the roots', 15 April 2009
By 
Bruce Adams (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Rebirth of Witchcraft (Paperback)
This is a very through look by Doreen Valiente at what made the roots of witchcraft in this country. I had already read the book by Gerald Gardner entitles 'Witchcraft Today' and was struck about Gardner's flair for recounting a lot of his life's experience. However I was less happy with the contents actually matching up to the title of the book and I felt a certain reinforcement of my bias towards Gardner in Valiente's book. She describes very clearly her own life path and meeting a lot of the people to whom we owe a great amount of thanks for the survival of witchcraft today.
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The Rebirth of Witchcraft
The Rebirth of Witchcraft by Doreen Valiente (Paperback - 31 May 2007)
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