The Witch’s Altar Book Review
I just finished reading “The Witch’s Altar: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Sacred Space (The Witch’s Tools Series)”, by Jason Mankey and Laura Tempest Zakroff, and it proved to be an enlightening time to say the least. It’s curious that I didn’t see any other book on the subject until now, making this a significant addition to any witch’s bookshelf.
I have read and seen chapters and articles about altars, how they should be arranged, decorated, the design, how to bless them, and many other topics, but a book solely on the subject with all the information in one place is something I haven’t seen. After finishing this one, I can only wonder why it took this long to have such a text in the market.
Mankey and Tempest Zakroff, although with very different styles and voices, each with their own personality and energy, did a wonderful job creating this book. The style is simple, direct, with very few holes that are meant for readers to answer the questions on their own way. I really liked how both authors handed the subject and made it more cohesive with a clean and neat structure.
One could be inclined to think of this as a long, thick book due the number of pages, but “The Witch’s Altar: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Sacred Space” handles the subject in way that makes this an entertaining, light process as the reader understands every sub-topic that is being explored. From history to symbols, deities and qualities, the book shines a light in many aspects of interest.
Perhaps the strangest addition could have been the “Altar-natives” sections, written by several collaborator that included their own point of views on the matter. I’m not a fan of having different styles in the same book, but to take the core of the ideas and get the point of what they say, it complements the rest of the text. Maybe not the most appealing option, but a curious, brave nonetheless.
Because of personal likes, I enjoyed more the parts written by Laura Tempest Zakroff. I don’t mean by this that Jason Mankey did a bad job or has a bad writing, but that I personally resonate with his partner’s more informal, happy tone. The two complement each other in most cases, but I certainly had an easier time with the lady. Not in vain she is becoming one of my favorite authors.
I want to end this review thanking the publisher for sending the ARC. This proved to be a thought-provoking book. “The Witch’s Altar: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Sacred Space” can add a lot of information to the more experienced witches and those who are just learning the Craft, paving their way in this world. I will be waiting for the next one on this collection!
The Witch’s Altar: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Sacred Space (The Witch’s Tools Series)
Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (November 8, 2018)
Publication Date: November 8, 2018
About the Authors
Jason Mankey is a Pagan blogger, a columnist for Witches and Pagans, and the managing editor of the Pagan Portal on Patheos. He talks about rock and roll, Pagan deities, and various aspects of Pagan history at Pagan and magic festivals across North America. Jason lives in California.
Laura Tempest Zakroff can be described as a professional artist, author, dancer, designer, muse, mythpunk, teacher, and witch. She holds a BFA from RISD (The Rhode Island School of Design) and her artwork has received awards and honors worldwide. Her work embodies myth and the esoteric through her drawings and paintings, jewelry, talismans, and other designs. As Tempest, she has been a major pioneer of fusion bellydance for over fifteen years. Her fascination with sacred and ritual dance lead her to bellydance, and she strives to help others connect mind, body, and spirit through movement.
Laura has been a practicing Modern Traditional Witch for over two decades and revels in the intersection of her various paths with witchcraft. She blogs for Patheos as A Modern Traditional Witch, Witches & Pagans as Fine Art Witchery, and contributes to The Witches’ Almanac. The Witch’s Cauldron is her first book, with a second book on sigil witchery due out in 2018. Laura resides in Seattle, Washington, with her partner Nathaniel Johnstone and at least three cats.
About the Reviewer
Bader Saab is a digital journalist and self-published writer; a solitary, eclectic Wiccan interested in the darker side of magic and divination; a gothic guy who tries to educate whenever he can. He hopes someday to succeed in one of them.