Year of the Dark Goddess

A Journey of Ritual, Renewal & Rebirth

$18.95

2073 in stock

Imprint: Weiser Books
Availability: In stock
Year of The Dark Goddess is a treasury of practices and wisdom, walking The Wheel of The Year through musings, folklore, and practices. Lara Vesta has woven together a rich web of meaning around the many faces of the dark goddess, creating an illuminating framework for the reader who embarks on this deeply transformative journey.”
—Cyndi Brannen, Ph.D., author of Entering Hekate’s Cave

“Lara Vesta’s Year of the Dark Goddess is deeply archetypal but not formulaic. Wisdom and insight surges throughout this book, and its invitation into living a new sacred story and crafting your own rite of passage is—pardon the pun—simply magical. Inviting and inclusive, this is a book (and a journey) for anyone who yearns for the kind of interior transformation that the Dark Goddess offers.”
—Carl McColman, author of 366 Celt and coauthor of Spirit of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses

“Lara Vesta’s Year of the Dark Goddess is a poetic and profound journey into darkness, guiding us as we navigate challenging times and personal transitions to rediscover our power, our connection with the Wyrd, to Spirit, and the Ancestral Feminine. As a student of her Wild Soul School teachings, I am grateful that Lara Vesta has birthed this new book into the world, again offering us work that is both Spirit led, methodical, and lovingly woven with empowerment and authenticity.”
—Tara Rae Moss, holistic practitioner and author of The War Widow, The Ghosts of Paris, and other bestselling novels

Year of the Dark Goddess provides much-needed support in the form of myth and ancestral remembering for the challenging moments that accompany a lived life. I felt life breathed back into my lungs when I read Lara Vesta’s words—accompanied by a fascination in learning and remembering the ancestral roots of so many of our modern-day words and stories. I appreciate the way Lara frames this book as a rite of passage in itself and guides you through it with written ritual and journaling prompts to support your journey. This is a book you’ll want to keep close alongside a journal and candle.”
—Becca Piastrelli, author of Root & Ritual

“Lara Vesta’s Year of the Dark Goddess is the book that I didn’t know I needed. I am so grateful it exists. It is both an exploration of the Dark Goddess and a workbook to help us heal from past issues that we didn’t fully process. I do caution you; it is not a fast read, but as the author reminds us, ‘Slowness is an ancestral practice, too.’ With kindness and a storyteller’s flair, Lara Vesta delivers simple practices, offered each quarter, to help us with our health and prepare us for whatever may come in the future. The way is laid out for us to travel with stories, journaling, meditations, seasonal lore, and many suggestions to help us along the journey. I cannot wait to begin my Year with the Dark Goddess.”
—Christine Cunningham Ashworth, author of Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken
 
“Throughout the world, in culture after culture, the re-emergence of the Ancient Mothers is palpable. In song, dance, ritual, and poetry they are celebrated with delightful surprise. In joy, we speak the oldest names. In grief, we bend under the weight of this loss we didn’t know had occurred. In Lara Vesta’s delicious Year of the Dark Goddess we spend time in the endarkening, healing embrace of these Divine Beings. Welcome home to a place we desperately need—for respite, for desire, for completion.”
—H. Byron Ballard, priestess, author of Seasons of a Magical Life
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Book Details

Pages

232 Pages

Size

6 x 8

Format

Trade Paperback

Pub. Date

05/06/2024

ISBN

978-1-57863-827-7

Publisher

Red Wheel Weiser

Authors

Lara Vesta, MFA, is an artist, storyteller, and educator. She is the author of Wild Soul Runes: Reawakening the Ancestral Feminine, The Moon Divas Guidebook, and The Moon Divas Oracle Book. A certified Celebrant with the Celebrant Institute and Foundation, and a former PhD student in philosophy and religion, she has spent over a decade studying ritual in diverse communities and facilitating rituals for individuals and groups in hundreds of different environments. She also has been through multiple challenging rite-of-passage transitions due to disabling chronic illness, which framed her understanding of the Dark Goddess work.

She is currently guiding students both online and live through a year-long rite-of-passage process as she crafts the Dark Goddess book. She was a professor of English and Writing at Pacific University and in 2015 created the Wild Soul School, an online educational community offering classes in personal empowerment, ancestral connection, self-initiation, and ritual practice. 
 

A guided journey of empowerment and healing through life’s difficult passages, with practical tools, including embodied rituals, writing prompts, seasonal self-care practices, and community creation.
 

The journey of the Dark Goddess is a natural part of any difficult rite of passage. These transitions are often thought of as negative—death of a loved one, job loss, home loss, chronic illness, divorce—but even so-called “happy” transitions, such as marriage, the birth of a child, or retirement, can come with unexpected instability, grief, and a need for integration. In our culture, we may often feel like we should "move on" or "get back to normal." In studying myth, however, we come to understand that the purpose of challenging life transformations is not positive or negative.
 
Year of the Dark Goddess provides an anchor and a roadmap for navigating the disorientation of life transformations and offers resources for embracing changes as initiations that strengthen us and make clear our purpose and power. The book is modeled on ancient rite-of-passage ceremonies and journeys to the underworld and is structured as a four-phase rite-of-passage process: Preparation, Separation from the Known, Transition-Initiation, and Return-Integration. The book provides readers with practical tools—embodied rituals, writing practice, seasonal self-care and community creation—to ground and empower positive transformations in times of challenging change.

Readers may use the book as both a linear guide through the initiation year, or a nonlinear tool for structuring their own unique rite-of-passage journey. Readers are invited to create personal challenges, reframe their rite-of-passage through myth work and sacred art, and create a potent and effective rite of passage ceremony to integrate their change.
 
The self-initiation process in Year of the Dark Goddess follows a ceremonial year, each quarter section is structured with the following:

  • An interactive brief of themes and objectives for the quarter, such as making an altar, writing with the ancestors, creating herbal infusions, and storytelling.
  • A seasonal ceremony template appropriate to the rite-of-passage phase.
  • A unique retelling of an ancient myth or fairy tale and instructions for deep myth work. These tales contain the formula for how to successfully navigate rites of passage, consciously and unconsciously.
  • Journaling prompts for reflection and projection, making visible the initiation journey.
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Year of The Dark Goddess is a treasury of practices and wisdom, walking The Wheel of The Year through musings, folklore, and practices. Lara Vesta has woven together a rich web of meaning around the many faces of the dark goddess, creating an illuminating framework for the reader who embarks on this deeply transformative journey.”
—Cyndi Brannen, Ph.D., author of Entering Hekate’s Cave

“Lara Vesta’s Year of the Dark Goddess is deeply archetypal but not formulaic. Wisdom and insight surges throughout this book, and its invitation into living a new sacred story and crafting your own rite of passage is—pardon the pun—simply magical. Inviting and inclusive, this is a book (and a journey) for anyone who yearns for the kind of interior transformation that the Dark Goddess offers.”
—Carl McColman, author of 366 Celt and coauthor of Spirit of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses

“Lara Vesta’s Year of the Dark Goddess is a poetic and profound journey into darkness, guiding us as we navigate challenging times and personal transitions to rediscover our power, our connection with the Wyrd, to Spirit, and the Ancestral Feminine. As a student of her Wild Soul School teachings, I am grateful that Lara Vesta has birthed this new book into the world, again offering us work that is both Spirit led, methodical, and lovingly woven with empowerment and authenticity.”
—Tara Rae Moss, holistic practitioner and author of The War Widow, The Ghosts of Paris, and other bestselling novels

Year of the Dark Goddess provides much-needed support in the form of myth and ancestral remembering for the challenging moments that accompany a lived life. I felt life breathed back into my lungs when I read Lara Vesta’s words—accompanied by a fascination in learning and remembering the ancestral roots of so many of our modern-day words and stories. I appreciate the way Lara frames this book as a rite of passage in itself and guides you through it with written ritual and journaling prompts to support your journey. This is a book you’ll want to keep close alongside a journal and candle.”
—Becca Piastrelli, author of Root & Ritual

“Lara Vesta’s Year of the Dark Goddess is the book that I didn’t know I needed. I am so grateful it exists. It is both an exploration of the Dark Goddess and a workbook to help us heal from past issues that we didn’t fully process. I do caution you; it is not a fast read, but as the author reminds us, ‘Slowness is an ancestral practice, too.’ With kindness and a storyteller’s flair, Lara Vesta delivers simple practices, offered each quarter, to help us with our health and prepare us for whatever may come in the future. The way is laid out for us to travel with stories, journaling, meditations, seasonal lore, and many suggestions to help us along the journey. I cannot wait to begin my Year with the Dark Goddess.”
—Christine Cunningham Ashworth, author of Scott Cunningham—The Path Taken
 
“Throughout the world, in culture after culture, the re-emergence of the Ancient Mothers is palpable. In song, dance, ritual, and poetry they are celebrated with delightful surprise. In joy, we speak the oldest names. In grief, we bend under the weight of this loss we didn’t know had occurred. In Lara Vesta’s delicious Year of the Dark Goddess we spend time in the endarkening, healing embrace of these Divine Beings. Welcome home to a place we desperately need—for respite, for desire, for completion.”
—H. Byron Ballard, priestess, author of Seasons of a Magical Life “Lara Vesta’s Year of the Dark Goddess is a symphony of rites designed to renew the spirit and initiate change from within. From her ‘No One Way, Only the Way,’ to sculpting a true understanding of ritual and developing local support networks, Vesta’s work seeks to create our world anew with kindness and compassion through an understanding of varied faces of the Dark Goddess.”
—Amy Blackthorn, author of Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic and Blackthorn’s Protection Magic

“Meeting life transitions can sometimes be daunting, especially if we don’t want to accept them or the changes they bring, as we navigate this realm. Working with valuable lessons from Underworld myths, Lara Vesta takes you on a transforming journey in Year of the Dark Goddess by embracing those rites of passage and making them a positive experience of growth.”
—John Hijatt, host of Gifts of the Wyrd podcast

“Lara Vesta’s Year of the Dark Goddess is the manual to help you honor and integrate your most profound changes. It gently guides you through a year-long initiation with the Dark Goddess in her many guises. When you’re feeling broken, this course in the form of a book can help you navigate your way to wholeness through myth and folktale, reflection and mindfulness, connecting with nature and performing sacred ritual. Lara has provided the perfect meeting place to get to know the Dark Goddess; are you ready for the greatest adventure of your life? This book is one I will return to every time I face grief, and I know it will be one that you will turn to again and again too.”
—Madame Pamita, author of Magical Tarot, Baba Yaga’s Book of Witchcraft, and The Book of Candle Magic