The Book of Symbols
Mystic encyclopedia, to explore the hidden meanings of visual symbols across time and geography. From TASCHEN.
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 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.