Book Review: The Twelve Faces of the Goddess by Danielle Blackwood

Review and Photo by Briony Silver | Website | Podcast | Instagram

About the Author

Danielle Blackwood is the bestselling author of The Twelve Faces of The Goddess: Transform Your Life with Astrology, Magick and the Sacred Feminine (Llewellyn, 2018). Her work appears regularly in The Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook, The Witches’ Calendar, and The Magical Almanac. She is also a professional astrologer and Registered Counselor (RTC). Her passion is helping others through their rites of passage, finding meaning on their journey and consciously reframing their stories through an archetypal lens. Look for Danielle’s forthcoming book, A Lantern in the Dark: Navigating Life’s Crossroads with Story, Ritual and Sacred Astrology in 2021. Danielle has been a priestess and educator since 1994, and lives in an enchanted cottage on magical Salt Spring Island, the original lands and unceded territory of the xʷənen̕əč. Follow Danielle on Instagram @danielleblackwoodastrologer.

About The Twelve Faces of the Goddess

This is the astrology book I wish I had found when taking my first steps along my magical path. Like so many witches, that initial spark of curiosity meant that I wanted to sample as many different topics as I could get my hands on, figuring out what resonated with me, and where I might want to dive more deeply. While The Twelve Faces of the Goddess surely would have been an invaluable resource to have at that early stage of my practice, I still found that there was plenty to learn from it all these years later, as someone with a slightly-more-than-basic understanding of astrology. 

“Our lives are unfolding stories, and for every circumstance we face, the Goddess provides a tale, which comes down to us across time and through every culture to provide insight and illumination when we most need it.”

The Twelve Faces of the Goddess

Blackwood does an exquisite job of illustrating the magic and complexity of this many-faceted subject. It is apparent from page one that she has spent much of her life absolutely steeped in these mysteries, and this book is the gateway through which she invites you, taking your hand and expertly guiding you along your own journey of discovery. It is worth highlighting as well that while this book may be focused on the “sacred feminine,” it is by no means exclusionary. Blackwood is mindful to open with a thorough discussion of why she chose to write the book from the perspective that she did; she acknowledges that the field of astrology is rife with with gender essentialism, reflective of “a long history of patriarchal dominance,” and is clear that this book is for anyone and everyone who wishes to learn about how to personally connect with the twelve faces of the Goddess. 

New Witches will Love…

…the way that this book truly takes you from A to Z. Whereas magical books are often written for a specific “level” of practitioner (novice, intermediate, advanced, etc.), The Twelve Faces of the Goddess is more all-encompassing, but Blackwood is mindful to take her time laying out the basics of astrology, the Wheel of the Year, and ritual / spellcasting, all in her uniquely beautiful style. There is absolutely no hint of talking “down” at folks who are unfamiliar with these concepts; in fact, it reads more as a supportive and encouraging friend might share their knowledge and experience with you.

Experienced Witches will Love…

… the Pathworking exercises found in each zodiac sign’s chapter. You might think of these as being similar to a guided meditation – they are both a visualization and sensory meditation, in which you can take a deeper dive into the energies of each prominently-featured goddess. It will likely be helpful for many folks to have at least some experience with meditation before attempting these exercises, and there are a few ways that you can approach them. If you’re like me and find it difficult to remember long paragraphs of instructions, then you might consider recording yourself reading the passages, turning them into your own personal audio guided experience as you play them back. In addition, simply reading the exercises with intention can produce a powerful result!

About Briony: Briony Silver is an eclectic witch based in the Pacific Northwest, and the host of the Eclectic Witchery podcast. A proud Cancerian, water and the moon heavily influence her individual Craft – so you can almost always find her wearing something lunar-inspired, while toting a variety of jars, bottles, and vials in her bag. With a background teaching yoga and mindfulness, she enjoys weaving those two practices into her magic, and vice versa. You can connect with her on Instagram at @eclectic_witchery to talk water magic, crystals, moon magic, divination tools, and witchy books galore!

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