"Reclaim Your Dark Goddess" book review
Last Updated: April 1, 2023
The “Reclaim Your Dark Goddess” book by Flavia Kate Peters is now available everywhere. Notes from Ronald Hutton to Flavia’s bestie Barbara Meiklejohn-Free (they’ve done some fantastic work together), I was so excited to get diving into this book and I was thrilled to see that it was a chunky 300+ pages long. I love the multifaceted elements of the dark goddess archetypes, and I was even more buzzing that some were obscure, which is 100% my vibe. Read on for a full, honest review of this deity-filled “The Alchemy of Transformation.”
Flavia writes honestly about her experiences and unique personal gnosis. Whether you intend to build a connection with your goddess or deepen your connection with your shadow, the variety of the Dark Goddesses in terms of content bring a freshness to shadow work and darker aspects of our witchcraft spiritual journeys. The purpose of the book is a “self-help survival manual” on a shadow work-like journey, a way to integrate within ourselves themes of shadow archetypes, of goddesses and deities considered dark, to feel more “whole again”.
What's In The Book?
Recommended?: Yes, but with caution – see below for full review!
Content: 300+ pages of personal stories, goddess-themed chapters, and exploring these themes through self-growth. It also covers offerings, spells, ceremonies and mini rituals for those who utilise a witchcraft practice too.
Artwork: Dark, whimsical gothic from Mira Nurdianti, who Barbara Mieklejohn-Free and Flavia Kate Peters have worked with on the “Oracle of the Witch” deck.
Total Goddesses: 11 in depth, but many more in reference or as comparison, so you’ll be familiar with at least one goddess in this book.
Inclusivity: Feminine based, and different origins than just Celtic deities.
Environmental Impact: TBC; Printed & Bound in China. (No charitable mentions, such as 1% for the Planet, etc)
Unique Book Points: I loved the obscure or lesser-known goddesses. The appendix of Shadow Aspects of a multitude of Goddesses; this was really cool to see for each Goddess, as it allowed personal reflections on their shadow aspects. The way that personal gnosis weaves along mythology and the archetypes as a guidance system to ensure we’ve shadow-proofed our magick is totally unique too!
Overall, I think my “Reclaim Your Dark Goddess” final review is a great start to those who want to explore their darker aspects and how that relates to embodied Goddesses from history and mythology. View it as if you’re talking with a friend about dark experiences you’re having, rather than a spiritual guide. The artwork is gorgeous, and there is so much content for you to pick into and pull from, but I wouldn’t advise this as a start to finish instruction for shadow work. I wouldn’t make it the most important part of your practice, but it’s an engaging viewpoint for those who do enjoy deity work. I would say this book is for witches who already know “the basics”, especially with protection magick, respecting nature and your own energy, and to utilise the archetype themes of the goddesses to layer on this knowledge (versus working with then actually leaving behind the goddesses once you’ve finished working with them – I can’t see how that would work out well long term).
The Downside of the Book
The pursuit of a journey to make you whole. Super disappointed that this is the stance that Lynne Franks (from SEED’s Women’s Empowerment Network) recommends this book for. This is where I disconnected from the book; a shadow work guide is amazing, and I will use the book for this around certain themes (like the Morrighan and rage), but to propose that we are less UNTIL we do the work makes shadow work that much harder. It’s not accessible – who genuinely has the time to go through this full process in the short time it takes to read the book in full? How do you know you’re getting it right? What does progress look like when you’re consistently feeling like crap? How do you know when you’re finally done? This level of emotional weight from this journey would have you too exhausted and unable to run your day-to-day.
This book definitely needs to include a disclaimer for those who are struggling with their mental health to seek therapeutic support alongside this journey they choose to go down – a random example references to healing a “negative feeling around your womb, your feminine cycle” to those who are reading this and facing modern traumas like the government literally ruling our bodies, forced pregnancies, stopping trans-health support, and forced non choices regarding hysterectomies or perimenopause – it would be best if in future editions there were a list of charities, foundations and official spaces that people can get the relevant support from, rather than trying a short 16 line witchcraft ritual. It should work in addition to, not instead of. Not only this, there are multiple examples of listing health symptoms that are due to a spiritual crisis – nope… that’s mental health taking a toll on the physical body. The anxiety causing you to not want to eat, may indeed take a toll on your spirit – and your energy, and your relationships, and your moods, and so on and so forth. Your safety should be a priority.
Again, there needs to be a disclaimer at the beginning or at the back of the book to explain this and to provide support. As an author if you’re going to position yourself as a guide for this experience, then the least you can do is take responsibility to offer a page of resources.
My Favourite Chapter
I’ve been looking deeper into Tyche and the Morrigan so those Fortuna and The Morrígna were where my interest fell. I also really liked the snippets of other goddesses or historical figures mentioned throughout, such as Boudicca. The format for each chapter is the same, so you know exactly what you’re getting, which is kinda nice when you have bookshelves of witchery and you just want to know quickly “wait what is the festival date for Fortuna?” or other correspondence information.
Why I Loved This Book
If you’re looking for ways to work on your deity connection, there are some fantastic suggestions in this book. If you’re looking for different rituals to aid you during shadow work, this book has plenty. The correspondence tables on each goddess is amazing – you just KNOW I love a data field, you see it all the time on my own Goddess tarot spreads! We also stay away from Goddesses of closed practices, which is something I thought Flavia may do, so that was awesome to see. I find it so respectful to leave some things alone.
I feel that those who would love this book are the femme witches who would love to get started with supporting and understanding feminine personalities and archetypes and darker aspects. Also, this is for those who want to begin exploring their own deity understanding. Those who may identify otherwise, then this isn’t really for you. Remember that a lot of this is UPG – mythology, history, experiences are all told by mouth, so there is not much of a reference to sources for findings (“You may have unwittingly called in the Cailleach when you had a temper tantrum” … so my five year old is an instant devotee?) It’s additionally great for those already familiar with pantheons who want to explore different routes of empowerment.
If you’re interested in learning more about the “Reclaim Your Dark Goddess” book, you can do so here. Any click-throughs may lead to the affiliate programme awarding us compensation which helps compensate the writers on the website, pays towards the web hosting and all the other boring behind-the-scenes bits.
Thank you for reading my review! Until next time xox
I love curating divination experiences for those invested in spiritual growth with secular honest vibes. I am that witch you come to for these honest, interesting and beneficial divination experiences!
The dark feminine is a term that is used to describe the aspects of the Feminine that are considered to be “shadowed” or negative.
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