Altar (noun): an elevated surface upon which one displays meaningful objects.
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.