The Book of Symbols is an invaluable reference book that details the use of symbols in our history. The book is broken down into types of symbols. Separate chapters include creation and cosmos, plant world, animal world, human world and spirit world.
Each chapter is then further broken down into specific type of symbol. As an example creation and cosmos also contains chapters on water, air-wind and weather, fire-light and darkness, and earth. Each specific symbol contains its own detailed analysis of the history of appearances as far back as the earliest written records and civilizations. References are included from a variety of different cultures and religions and are based on their written histories as well on archeological finds like cave drawings and pottery shards. There are also a wide variety of pictures used as examples of each type of symbol and where it has occurred in our past. Examples include sculptures, paintings (oil and watercolor), photographs, pottery, metalworking, carvings, drawings, wood blocks, etc.
This reference book is written by a number of experts in various fields including psychology, religion, art, literature, and comparative mythology. It also draws on Carl Jung’s work on the archetype and collective unconscious. It contains 350 essays and over 17,000 images. This reference book should appeal to anyone who is interested in history, art, mythology, architecture, religion, or psychology but would also appeal to anyone with an interest in what the symbols around us really mean and how they became what they are today.
The book has thumb cuts for easy reference and each section is color coded to make searching for a topic easier. There is also a detailed index by topic and by subject to make research simpler. A credits list is also included if you want to do more research on a particular subject or photograph.