Cover image for A book of womens altars : how to create sacred spaces for art, worship, solace, celebration
A book of womens altars : how to create sacred spaces for art, worship, solace, celebration
Cunningham, Nancy Brady, 1944-
Publication Information:
Boston : Red Wheel, [2002]

Physical Description:
143 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Balance between earth and sky : what is an altar? -- Your essential self, your essential space : why make an altar? -- The realm of possibility : what kind of altar? -- Your altar-ego : how to create a personal altar -- Spiritual journey : what to do at your altar -- Seasonal offerings : winter, spring, summer, and autumn altars -- Soul purpose : special intention altars -- Ceremony and tradition : special occasion altars -- Inspirational inventory : a summary -- My altar workbook.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL625.7 .C85 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Any surface can become an altar. Geddes and Cunningham, with beautiful, inspirational photos and text that's both instructive and poetic, show us how. For women, they say, an altar can become a sacred space upon which to place symbols of her true self. Whether indoors or out, permanent or fleeting, an altar helps you to quickly focus on the spirituality inherent in common things -- the flicker of a candle flame, the heady scent of freshly picked lilacs.
Part One of A Book of Women's Altars explains the cultural and historical background of the altar and why to create one. Making and using an altar literally clears a path for a woman through the clutter of her world. She creates a place where she is free to make her inner journey, where healing is abundant. Cunningham describes the process of selecting a theme, choosing a place, finding the right objects, and knowing when to change the altar.
Part Two focuses on what to do with altars on special occasions. The author and photographer have created and illustrated -- with photographs and stories -- sixteen special altars. There are altars for the seasons of the year and the seasons of our lives -- including loss, remembrance, celebration of new life, and many more. Each has its own purpose, story, and ritual.

Nancy Cunningham is an accomplished poet, author of A Book of Women's Altars, and workshop leader in yoga, meditation and ritual for more than 30 years.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

How do women create altars-and more importantly, why? This slim guide by Cunningham (I Am a Woman by Rite) explains the background of altar making, which she demystifies by observing that "an altar helps you to quickly focus on the spirituality inherent in common things," such as photographs, candles or fresh flowers. In the opening chapters, Cunningham describes various kinds of altars-indoor and outdoor, temporary and permanent, entirely private or open for public viewing. She guides women through the process of selecting objects for their altars, choosing a theme and creating meaningful rituals. These chapters will be useful to a wide range of women who want help in establishing their own altars. The last few chapters, which discuss special occasions, seasons and holidays, will be best appreciated by readers of a New Age or Neo-pagan bent. The book is generally well written (though the author's poetry is superfluous), and the 66 b&w photos by Denise Geddes offer valuable visual cues. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved