At every stage of civilization, people have relied on symbolic expression, and advances in science and technology have only increased our dependence on symbols. An essential part of the ancient arts of the Orient and Western medieval traditions, symbolism underwent a 20th-century revival with the study of the unconscious. Indeed, symbolic language is considered a science, and this informative volume offers an indispensable tool in the study of symbology. Its alphabetical entries--drawn from a diverse range of sources, including all of the major world religions, astrology, alchemy, numerology, heraldry, and prehistoric art--clarify the essential and unvarying meanings of each symbol. Whether used as a reference or browsed for pleasure, this informative volume offers a valuable key to elucidating the symbolic worlds encountered in both the arts and the history of ideas. 32 black-and-white illus.