Imagine, for a moment, that you were suddenly able to see through your third eye, as though it had the ocular abilities of your first two; as though the mudra you’d be practising during your last yin yoga class broke through to some other plane, opening your ability to see what might be or what is truly possible, highlighting patterns in your life and layering them on top of what is directly in front of you. A new level of awareness might join your thought process and consciousness, making you keener to act, more resolute, and in tune with what the future had in store. Danielle Blackwood is your third eye.
Based on Salt Spring Island, the archetypal astrologer, registered counsellor, and writer breathes new life into an ancient intuitive practice and offers an ocean’s depth of insight compared to the trope-heavy personas that litter the web. To Blackwood, astrology is a symbolic language of energy, connected to the seasons, rhythms of life, and wheel of the year. Her readings begin with a full natal chart, or soul contract, which examines the rich crossings of sun, moon, and rising signs; the houses, planets, and sign location; as well as past life experience, which helps identify the soul’s evolutionary intent in this lifetime. “The birth chart is a map of the sky, drawn from the moment someone takes their first breath,” explains Blackwood. “It is very specific to each person—like a fingerprint. No person will ever have the same chart again.”
Readings take place either over skype, phone, or at Blackwood’s daffodil-coloured home, just a five-minute walk from Fulford Harbour. An in-person visit is recommended, since those with little astrological study will be faced with a mountain of new information. Inside the character home, a broom is laid quietly by the fireplace, pointing the way to her reading room. A table is set with crystals, candles, and a tarot deck, while Blackwood’s stack of notes and a few key reference materials remain at the ready. Blackwood is no slouch when it comes to providing clients with materials to back up her findings. Pages of notes, charts, and further reading recommendations are part and parcel to the experience.
To Blackwood, astrology is a symbolic language of energy, connected to the seasons, rhythms of life, and wheel of the year.
“I try to weed people out,” she admits. “I don’t want to do a reading with someone who is going to ask, ‘So, is that guy going to call me or what?’” For Blackwood, the highest use of astrology is self awareness and self development, not predictive fortune-telling tricks. Her forthcoming nature, warm demeanour, and willingness to instruct as she reads have made her a draw for seekers the continent over, but it is her studied assuredness and deep insight that make her truly unique in a field starting to crowd with rookie tarot readers and astrologers.
“It’s important to realize that astrology is so much more than just a cookbook list of sun sign traits,” she echoes. “Look at the planets as archetypal functions or drives of the psyche. The signs are an archetypal journey beginning at the spring equinox with Aries and culminating with the last sign, Pisces, which connects with the collective. They are all lessons on the path.”
While Mercury retrograde seems to get all the punishing infamy online (becoming more of a pop culture reference, blamed for everything from a bad hair day to poor week at work), a Saturn return may actually be one of the hardest transits of a person’s life. “The archetype of Saturn is reality—the schoolmaster, or Lord Karma—and when we go through our Saturn return (every 29.5 or so years), it brings up things that we absolutely must look at realistically,” Blackwood explains. “We can’t hide under the covers anymore. A lot of times it can be brutal, because looking at things realistically is not always easy or fun.” This is where Blackwood advises clients to look at where they’ve been coasting, and discover the truth of something or someone that is known deep down: “If you’re not walking the path you’re supposed to be on, things will happen to wake you up.”
Blackwood is adamant that what is done with her advice, however, is clearly in the hands of the individual. “Even though we can look ahead and see cycles that are likely to unfold, I always tell people that they have the choice about how they are going to have a certain type of energy manifest in their life,” she cautions. “And the more conscious you are, the more we can co-create with the universe.”
All the pieces Blackwood lays out in front of her clients are so huge and impressive that it is easy to become transfixed on the vastness of what lies ahead. Thankfully, she is so attuned to what is beyond our world that a calming connectedness emerges. Her personal learnings, which began with psychic dreaming at a young age and expand to her own transits and lessons over the years, have come to craft Blackwood as an archetype of her own—the cosmic communicator, transfixed on the cycles and classical elements; in tune with the planets; and tied to magical tradition, all while grounded in an earthly path as a present-day spiritual guide.
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