Friday, June 12, 2020

Book Review: The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces by Anjou Kiernan

The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces by Anjou Kiernan, book review, witch, witchcraft, altar, sacred space, witchy, occult, Wheel of the Year, sabbats

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I was provided a copy of this book for an honest review.

I know I've said it a dozen times, but I really like altars and decorating them. Honestly, I just like home decor and the creativity that comes with placing items to make a beautiful scape. Needless to say, when I saw The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces by Anjou Kiernan, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to read the book.

The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces is a fairly short read, meaning you could sit down as flip through it in an afternoon. Kiernan breaks down the Wheel of the Year, describing each of the pagan holidays mixed with altar and scared space ideas for each. With about 50 ideas, Kiernan provides well-thought-out inspiration for new and old witches alike. Each idea comes with gorgeous pictures and a complete breakdown peppered with ritual on how to set up the altar and the symbolism behind each. I found myself mesmerized by the pictures and yearning to celebrate all the sabbats at once simply so I could use the ideas inspired by this book.

Unfortunately, the book, as I mentioned, is not very long. I was also hoping for more information on creating sacred space, instead of just how to set up different altars. While I certainly enjoyed the pictures, I felt this book is best as a table prop that you occasionally flip through when you are bored or looking for inspiration instead of an actual informational text you reference often. The information on the sabbats is very basic, and contains several of the common, historical fallacies found in other introductory books. This isn't to say that this information isn't useful (except for the historical inaccuracies). As I mentioned, Kiernan gives historical context for each of her altars, which is great for beginner witches struggling with the symbolism behind each sabbat. Furthermore, if you are anything like me, you learn best when information is coupled with ample visuals and this book does just that.

Overall, I was impressed with Kiernan's ideas and enjoyed flipping through the book. The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces by Anjou Kiernan is currently available for pre-order, with a publication date of June 16, 2020. If you are struggling to find inspiration, this is definitely the book for you.

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  1. Thank you very much for this honest, engaging review, dear Willow. I'm seeing a trend towards both shorter books in the witchy/Pagan sphere as well as ones with more photos. Neither is new, of course, but, again, I've been spotting more of them as of late and wonder if both their relative brevity and inclusion of images may be influenced by things like Instagram (just a theory, of course).

    Historical inaccuracies and tinier length aside, I too find this title appealing and enjoy having references like this around for those days when you want to dip in and out of something tactile that can provide quick inspiration in book form. It's certainly one I'll be considering picking up myself, too.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Autumn, you will absolutely adore her altars. They are almost all vintage. In fact, I thought about you the entire time I was reading it. Haha! I have a feeling books are shortening and including more pictures to entice readers because of things like IG as well. They are also catering to a younger generation that communicates almost entirely through pictures.

  2. An absolute must buy for beginners. This book is not only beautifully illustrated, but also exceptionally laid out and informative.


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