A comprehensive inquiry into the origins and meanings of the graphic/pictorial symbols which we see most often as artistic embellishments in visual art; stars, crosses, sunwheels, bells, candles, pillars, shields, swords, swastikas, fleur-de-lîs and many others, as well as the non-graphic symbols which we find throughout folklore, fairy tales and mythology, such as the shoes and mice in the Cinderella story. The author's investigation delves into the historical foundations of symbolism in secretive mystical traditions like Mythraism, the Knights Templar and Rosicrucianism, as well as in the widely known religious/spiritual traditions of numerous cultures. Symbols are usually much more ancient in origin than we imagine, says the author, most of them existing literally as far back as civilization has existed; they are handed down not merely from one generation to another, but from one culture to another, which suggests that they are, in some way, the premises upon which written and oral communication are founded. The two-volume set makes up what may be the most detailed and complete catalog of symbolism.
Paperback: 375 pages