The Book of Symbols combines original and incisive essays about particular symbols with representative images from all parts of the world and all eras of history. The highly readable texts and over 800 beautiful full-color images come together in a unique way to convey hidden dimensions of meaning. Each of the ca. 350 essays examines a given symbol's psychic background, and how it evokes psychic processes and dynamics. Etymological roots, the play of opposites, paradox and shadow, the ways in which diverse cultures have engaged a symbolic image--all these factors are taken into consideration.
Authored by writers from the fields of psychology, religion, art, literature, and comparative myth, the essays flow into each other in ways that mirror the psyche's unexpected convergences. There are no pat definitions of the kind that tend to collapse a symbol; a still vital symbol remains partially unknown, compels our attention and unfolds in new meanings and manifestations over time. Rather than merely categorize, The Book of Symbols illuminates how to move from the visual experience of a symbolic image in art, religion, life, or dreams to directly experiencing its personal and psychological resonance.The Book of Symbols sets new standards for thoughtful exploration of symbols and their meanings, and will appeal to a wide range of readers: artists, designers, dreamers and dream interpreters, psychotherapists, self-helpers, gamers, comic book readers, religious and spiritual searchers, writers, students, and anyone curious about the power of archetypal images.
Enhancing the dictionary is a series of fascinating discussions of various aspects of ideograms. These include a discussion of signs and meanings, an overview of the historical development of signs, as well as sections on ancient American ideograms, the astrological system of symbols, the mystical pentagram, and the signs of the alchemists. Two indexes aid the reader. The Word Index specifies signs with a given name or meaning, along with subject headings. The Graphic Index displays symbols based on their structural features.
Dictionary of Symbols serves both as a valuable reference on Western cultural history and as a professional tool for those working in design and the arts.
The crow spelled death for medieval Europeans, but for Native Americans it represents a guide from the spirit world. Dictionary of Symbols explores 1,000 symbols from across the world's cultures and throughout the ages. Unlike other books on the subject, it is truly comprehensive, including entries, arranged alphabetically, for everything from amaranth (a Greek symbol of immortality) to ziggurat (a temple-shaped Mesopotamian icon). Indexed, cross-referenced, and packed with over 100 drawings, this is an indispensable reference for writers, artists, and anyone intrigued by the power of primal metaphors.
This new edition of Chiron's popular guide to the meaning of symbols in religion, archaeology, mythology, art, dreams, fairy tales, and literature contains more than 450 illustrations and 1,000 entries from around the world. In handy pocket size, it is of great assistance to anyone interested in dream interpretation, understanding symbolism in religion and art, and the overlapping meanings of symbols from different cultures. Beautifully produced and authoritative, this detailed survey reveals an abundance of types of human symbolic thinking.
With over 200 illustrations and lively, informative and often ironic texts, she discusses and explains an enormous variety of symbols extending from the Arctic to Dahomey, from the Iroquois to Oceana, and coming from systems as diverse as Tao, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Tantra, the cult of Cybele and the Great Goddess, the Pre-Columbian religions of the Western Hemisphere and the Voodoo cults of Brazil and West Africa.
A tourist visiting the famous cathedral at Chartres might be surprised to discover an enormous labyrinth embedded in the thirteenth-century floor. Why is it there? In this fascinating book Craig Wright explores the complex symbolism of the labyrinth in architecture, religious thought, music, and dance from the Middle Ages to the present.
The mazes incorporated into church floors and illustrating religious books were symbolic of an epic journey through this sinful world to salvation. A savior figure typically led the way along this harrowing spiritual path. Wright looks at other meanings of the maze as well, from religious dancing on church labyrinths to pagan maze rituals outside the church. He demonstrates that the theme inherent in spiritual mazes is also present in medieval song, in the Armed Man Masses of the Renaissance, and in compositions of the Enlightenment, including the works of J. S. Bach. But the thread that binds the maze to the church, to music, and to dance also ties it to the therapeutic labyrinth that proliferates today. For as this richly interdisciplinary history reveals, the maze of the "new age" spiritualists also traces its lineage to the ancient myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. While the hero of the maze may change from one culture to the next, the symbol endures.
In this original and engrossing book, Jill Purce traces the significance of one man's central symbols from the double spirals of Stone Age art and the interlocking spirals of the Chinese Yin Yang symbol to the whorls of Celtic crosses, Maori tattoos and the Islamic arabesque. Many of the superb images here were intended as objects of contemplation; for the spiral is a cosmic symbol.
Art and Imagination series: These large-format, gloriously-illustrated paperbacks cover Eastern and Western religion and philosophy, including myth and magic, alchemy and astrology. The distinguished authors bring a wealth of knowledge, visionary thinking and accessible writing to each intriguing subject.
This remarkable and wide-ranging book is an inventory of symbols and the symbolic imagination. The editors and their fifteen contributors are drawn from a variety of scholarly backgrounds--including anthropology, ethnology, psychotherapy and art history. This diversity of approach is responsible for the book's unique character, a reflection of the multiplicity of symbols and signs and the phenomenal range of possible interpretations they offer. This book draws together folklore, literary and artistic sources, and focuses on the symbolic dimension of every colour, number, sound, gesture, expression or character trait that has benefitted from symbolic interpretation. The conscious and unconscious minds are explored, desire and dreams are treated alongside the known and the chronicled. Extraordinary in its range and eclecticism, this dictionary was originally published in French as the Dictionnaire des Symboles, and it is regarded as the standard work on the subject.
Explore The Secrets of the Universe in 100 Symbols with this beautifully illustrated compendium of 100 diverse arcane tools and writings said to hold the key to the mysteries of the universe.Symbols carry weight and significance. Over time they grow as different cultures attribute new meanings to old signs. Did you know that the swastika, widely known now to be the key symbol for Hitler's Nazi party, used to be a Buddhist symbol for success? From the Aztec Calendar Stone and the Spear of Destiny to magic circles and Navaho sand paintings, each relic, symbol, and depiction is presented and analyzed in detail to reveal the beliefs and practices of past civilizations from all around the globe. Philosophers, astrologers, prophets, poets, and artists from every age and culture have whispered secrets to pharaohs, statesmen, kings, and queens. In Renaissance Europe, two powerful women--Catherine of Medici and, later, Elizabeth I of England--patronized the most important magi of the time. John Dee's obsidian mirror revealed the future of the nation to Elizabeth, while Nostradamus divulged spiritually inspired prophecies to Catherine at the Mus e du Louvre in Paris. Organized into three chapters--The Art of Divination; Enchantments, Symbols, and Talismans; and In Search of Secret Knowledge--the book's engaging and informative text brings to light the secrets and intrigues that surround each mysterious object and the obscure arts of the people who used them, highlighting how to decode their signs and symbols.
Certain symbols abound in modern Western culture that are instantly recognizable: the cross signifies Christianity, the six-pointed Star of David is revered by Jews, the golden arches frequently means it's time for lunch. Other symbols, however, require a bit of decoding-particularly those found in cemeteries.
Cemeteries are virtual encyclopedias of symbolism. Engravings on tombstones, mausoleums and memorials tell us just about everything there is to know about a person- date of birth and death as well as religion, ethnicity, occupation, community interests, and much more. In the fascinating new book Stories in Stone: The Complete Guide to Cemetery Symbolism by noted author Douglas Keister, the secrets of cemetery symbolism are finally revealed. For instance, did you know that it is quite rare to see a sunflower on a tombstone? Did you know that the human foot symbolizes humility and service since it consistently touches the earth? Or the humble sheaf of wheat-while it is often used to denote someone who has lived a long and fruitful life, do you know other meanings it might carry?
Stories in Stone provides history along with images of a wide variety of common and not-so-common cemetery symbols, and offers an in-depth examination of stone relics and the personal and intimate details they display-flora and fauna, religious icons, society symbols, and final impressions of how the deceased wished to be remembered. Douglas Keister has created a practical field guide that is compact and portable, perfect for those interested in family histories and genealogical research, and is the only book of its kind that unlocks the language of symbols in a comprehensive and easy-to-understand manner.
Douglas Keister has photographed fourteen award-winning, critically acclaimed books (including Red Tile Style: America's Spanish Revival Architecture, The Bungalow: America's Arts & Crafts Home, and Storybook Style: America's Whimsical Homes of the Twenties) earning him the title America's most noted photographer of historic architecture. He also writes and illustrates magazine articles and contributes photographs and essays to other books, calendars, posters, and greeting cards. Doug lives in Chico, California, and travels frequently to photograph and lecture on historic architecture and photography.