Danielle Blackwood’s first introduction to astrology was at an early age; for it was during her teens that she developed a passion for psychism, magic, divination and all things metaphysical.
This led to a deepening interest in astrology and she taught herself to cast birth charts the good old-fashioned way—by hand, using mathematical calculations, a protractor, and ephemeris, and an old atlas. Blackwood’s spiritual unfolding then heightened when, at the age of 29, she experienced further mystical insights during a visit to Glastonbury, England.
In her book, The Twelve Faces of the Goddess, she describes the result of her experience after sitting on Glastonbury tour at sunrise on Beltane 1999 and viewing the magick around her in the following way,
“Somehow, I eventually extricated myself from this land where time ran so differently. I went back to my world, but I left the piece of myself there and brought a little bit of Faery back with me in my red backpack.”
A Marriage of Heaven and Earth
Today Danielle Blackwood is a registered counsellor and astrology columnist for Banyen Books and SageWoman Magazine. She has also been facilitating Goddess Gatherings, workshops, and classes on astrology and feminine spirituality since 1994. In her book Blackwood fuses all of these influences into a manual of instruction that drills down into the common ground that exists between astrology and magick.
Throughout its pages she challenges the old order — one in which traditional astrology is anchored within a very male-centric philosophy. As an antidote to this Blackwood investigates the archetypal feminine aspect to each zodiacal sign.
The author begins this journey by focusing upon the basics of astrology; starting with the elements, the modes, the signs, and the planets. This is followed by an exploration of the houses, a breakdown of the stellar archetypes within astrology and an extensive examination of the Wheel of the Year—a concept found mainly within Pagan or Earth-based spiritualities.
Here Blackwood reveals the meaning and importance eight Sabbats and how they reflect the changing seasons and ancient pagan festivals. As a way of bringing these to life the author follows up with a look at ritual, path-working and space clearing, grounding and centering as important preparations for engaging more directly with the archetypal powers of the heavens
The Heroines”s Journey
Part two of The Twelve Faces of the Goddess takes the reader on a journey through the signs of the zodiac with reference to a feminine perspective of the quest towards individuation. She explores each sign from a feminine psychospiritual perspective, associates them with a guiding goddess archetype, a path-working, ritual, and a set of general sign correspondences.
Blackwood closes her book with concluding remarks regarding the need to reclaim our connection to the goddess, a bibliography and acknowledgements
Paganism has traditionally shied away from engaging too closely with deep astrological analysis. Sure, it follows the cycles of the Sun and Moon but avoids the deeper science behind this ancient system of divination. The Twelve Faces of the Goddess outwardly challenges the often made assertion that astrology is far removed from the essential dynamics of a Pagan life.
Within the pages of this book the reader is treated to a new and exciting perspective on what for many is a dry and arcane practice. Throughout her book, Blackwood offers a point of entry into the feminine energy of the zodiac but in addition grounds it within traditional pagan or Wiccan practice. She brings to life an aspect to astrology which modern derivations fails to recognize and that is that the archetypal forces behind each zodiac sign are as real and tangible, active and transformative as any other denizens of the spiritual world. By working with them, we not only bring them to life but also animate our own key powers.
The Twelve Faces of the Goddess engages the worlds of astrology and magic, the Divine feminine and Paganism; but more significantly it reveals that all-important Journey of the Heroine. This beautiful perspective on the stars and our relationship to them is uplifting and inspiring, enlightening and intriguing.