A Lantern in the Dark by Danielle Blackwood

A Lantern in the Dark by Danielle Blackwood

It has been a while since I have sat down and read a whole book in a few days, always with the excuse of being too busy etc. This month I gave myself the task of writing a book review for this season’s newsletter. There are so many good books that have been released over the last year, and I wanted to honour the sisters mostly, who had written them, by reading their work. I chose two books by authors I greatly admire. One of them is the new book by Jhenah Telyndru, and the other one is Danielle’s book as follows.

A Lantern in The Dark: Navigate Life’s Crossroads with Story, Ritual and Sacred Astrology

From the first page, I was hooked every single word, every sentence vibed with me. In fact, there was a point in the middle of the book, where I thought: ‘That’s it, I don’t need to teach anymore, I just recommend this book to everyone.’ It was almost uncanny how similarly we think. I am no astrologer, and that part of the book was new and exciting for me. I do pay attention to the astrology of the day, for spells and workings, but I know little of houses, trines and some such. 

The lovely thing about Danielle’s book is that she does not overload the reader with technical detail, yet still gives enough to allow it to make sense, even to the amateur like me. What I found in her work are compassionate, kind and loving explanations, allowing me to move with confidence into that work, sharing with me opinions, thoughts, ideas that I completely agree with. 

At one point, I shrieked in excitement when Danielle wrote about the new social media savvy teachers out there. Ask any of my friends and co teachers here in the Temple College, I have been banging on for a year about the quality, or better, lack thereof, of some of these self-styled new ‘teachers’ out there. 

What Danielle writes as advice to the seeker is exactly what I always say: ask questions before committing to any course of study. I could not agree more with that recommendation. Like, how long has the teacher/public figure been practising? Who were their teachers and influences? If they teach you to be a ceremonialist or healer, where have they conducted ceremonies and healings, how many, over how long?

The more I read, the more I feel I can not recommend this book strongly enough. It is both good for the beginner, and for the advanced learner. I thoroughly enjoyed all the new information that Danielle so clearly and eloquently conveys. I know that I will return and re-read passages for a long time to come. Having read it through once, I made copious notes of further enquiry. This is a book that keeps on giving. 

In parts of the book, she has laid out the average lifespan in astrological transits throughout the life of a human being. After reading about each transit, she recommends  stopping and making notes of what happened in that time in your life. I did that exercise each time, thought back to the moments of my own life during the major transits she describes. I looked at some of the sadness in my life through the lens of astrology which Danielle provides for us. Several of the hardest times of my life suddenly took on a different perspective. The teachings of this book helped me to understand my actions in those times better. They helped me to let go of some of my greatest regrets, and to have compassion for myself. Danielle warns about self-indulgence and passive aggressive behaviour patterns. I did recognise some of that in myself back then and found myself wishing I had had that book during those challenging times. .

I loved the way she mixes and weaves the myths of Baba Yaga and Inanna into her work. I am a great believer in the efficacy of myths and their lessons for our modern life. For me, the myth of Cerridwen is the guiding light of my personal spiritual development. 

I feel that I found a kindred spirit in Danielle. At one point, she recommends ‘Returning’ by Jennifer Berezan for a life rite. Well, again with the shrieking, as I took that as evidence that we must have been soul sisters in a previous life. There can be no greater groupie for Jennifer’s music than myself. 

I also appreciate the way that she too weaves together the magic of the herbs, the plants, the crystals, and the oil. As I said above, throughout the book I felt that she understood the essence of what I teach in my course. I believe that Goddess/God/the Divine channels Knowing to people, the same type of information, and some of us pick it up and create ways to pass this Knowing on to others for the betterment of all. 

Whether in books, Podcasts, videos, or blogs, we can all learn from each other, and going on that sacred journey to the heart of us and of the universe is holy work. For me it is the proof that we are all divinely guided in life, that the answers to the secrets of the universe are available to us, if only we open ourselves  to them. I feel that Danielle signposts a new pathway for the seeker to acquire the Key. 

I feel deeply grateful for the wisdom and the gentle guidance that the author provides for us. I do say to my students on a regular basis, that true inspiration from the Goddess is never gifted to just one person, because very often, we humans lose focus and concentration, get in our own way, get involved in Karma drama, and do not pass the gift of the Goddess on to others.

Therefore, She gifts the same Information to many of those who will help humanity move forward and grow; and the urgency for that spiritual growth is becoming ever more pressing. In this book I found that what is being said  will help me to pass on the clues and signposts that the Goddess leaves amongst us in the writings and teachings of the Gwyddion.Sorry, there is no English word for this, in Welsh it means The Knowing One’s. Here we have a perfect example of the Torchbearer, lighting the path for all of us.

This book gives me hope that there are many of us out there that are getting the blueprint for a better new world. It is a gift that you must present to yourself. I certainly will be buying more copies for those I love, and who will cherish it like me. 


Blessed Be



Bee Helygen

Adoratrix of Cerridwen

Priestess of the Llwyth


Bee Helygen - Priestess of Cerridwen

Website: cerridwen.co.uk

Bee is the creatrix and course tutor for the Priestess of Cerridwen training which has been running as part of the Glastonbury Goddess Temple since 2015. This year she opened the Temple College of Avalon here in Glastonbury and added the Priestess of the Dark Goddess training to the offerings. Full bio

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