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 Musée 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.
Sarah Bartlett (D.Psych Astrol) is the author of international best-selling books such as The Tarot Bible, The Little Book of Practical Magic, The Witch's Spellbook and National Geographic's Guide to Supernatural Places. Contributing astrologer to media such as Cosmopolitan, She, Spirit & Destiny, the London Evening Standard and BBC Radio 2. Sarah now practices tarot, natural magic, astrology and other esoteric arts.
"The beautifully depicted signs, symbols, and objects in this work by astrologer Bartlett (Tarot Bible) illustrate 100 attempts to make sense of the world and our place in it. They are divided equally among chapters that cover "The Natural World," "The Divine World," "Signs and Systems," and "The Mystic World." The introduction explains what symbols are and their importance throughout history. It outlines the coverage in the book and discusses the "catalog pages" that illustrate groups of 12 symbols from various traditions. The entries that follow generally portray on a two-page spread each, an item and its history, handprints on cave walls in Argentina, the breastplate of Aaron, Vitruvian Man. Several entries address a type of item, such as tefillin (phylacteries worn by Jews), playing cards, or Fibonacci series. In many cases the book goes into extra detail. The summary on the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesha, for example, is accompanied by information on Kangi-ten, a Japanese pair of gods that are male and female elephants, and followed by pages on Hindu deities generally. Entries are accompanied by vivid reproductions of artworks. The accompanying captions provide basic facts on the items, though the descriptions are at times quite general rather than offering thorough explanations on the particular object shown. Since the spreads are fascinating but brief, some may wish for further reading advice that is unfortunately lacking. Still, this is a wonderful browse and a great jumping-off point for reports on history, mythology, and religion. VERDICT Books on 100 objects of various kinds are common now yet usually address history rather than signs and symbols. This is therefore a worthwhile addition to public library reference shelves." - Library Journal