An illustrated encyclopaedia of traditional symbols by J. C. Cooper

By J. C. Cooper

In approximately 1500 entries, lots of them illustrated, the writer has documented the background and evolution of symbols from prehistory to our personal day. With over two hundred illustrations and informative and infrequently ironic texts, she discusses and explains a major number of symbols extending from the Arctic to Dahomey, from the Iroquois to Oceana, and coming from structures as various as Tao, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism,

With over 2 hundred illustrations and energetic, informative and infrequently ironic texts, she discusses and explains a big number of symbols extending from the Arctic to Dahomey, from the Iroquois to Oceana, and coming from platforms as assorted as Tao, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Tantra, the cult of Cybele and the good Goddess, the Pre-Columbian religions of the Western Hemisphere and the Voodoo cults of Brazil and West Africa."--Pub. desc. Read more...

summary: In approximately 1500 entries, a lot of them illustrated, the writer has documented the background and evolution of symbols from prehistory to our personal day. With over two hundred illustrations and informative and infrequently ironic texts, she discusses and explains an incredible number of symbols extending from the Arctic to Dahomey, from the Iroquois to Oceana, and coming from structures as various as Tao, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Tantra, the cult of Cybele and the nice Goddess, the Pre-Columbian religions of the Western Hemisphere and the Voodoo cults of Brazil and West Africa. -- Publisher's descrption.

With over two hundred illustrations and vigorous, informative and infrequently ironic texts, she discusses and explains a major number of symbols extending from the Arctic to Dahomey, from the Iroquois to Oceana, and coming from structures as varied as Tao, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Tantra, the cult of Cybele and the nice Goddess, the Pre-Columbian religions of the Western Hemisphere and the Voodoo cults of Brazil and West Africa."--Pub. desc

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Hindu: Varahi, the third incarnation of Vishnu, or Parjapati, who, in the form of a boar, saved the earth from the waters of chaos and was the first tiller of the soil. The boar also represents Vajravrahi, goddess of dawn and Queen of Heaven, as the sow, source of life and fertility. Iranian: The ‘shining boar’ is associated with the sun in the Zendavesta. Japanese: The white boar is the moon; courage; conquest and all warrior qualities. Mycenaean: Warriors wore a boar’s tusk helmet. Scandinavian and Teutonic: Fertility; the harvest; a storm animal; funerary; sacrificed to Frey at Yule; sacred to Woden/Odin, Frey and Freyja, who ride boars.

Flocks of birds are magic or supernatural powers connected with gods or heroes. Birds’ claws portray the Harpies as symbolic of the dark, destructive aspect of the Great Mother. Alchemic: Two contending birds are the dual nature of Mercurius, the philosophical mercury, the nous; this can also be depicted by birds flying upwards and downwards. Buddhist: A bird is a symbol of the Lord Buddha; it also signifies auspiciousness. Celtic: Ambivalent as both divinity and the happy otherworld, or as magic power and malevolence, as with the raven and wren.

Soma, the moon, was called a bee. Islamic: The faithful; intelligence; wisdom; harmlessness. Bees ‘benefit fruit blossoms, practise useful things, work in the daytime, do not eat food gathered by others, dislike dirt and bad smells, and obey their ruler; they dislike the darkness of indiscretion, the clouds of doubt, the storm of revolt, the smoke of the prohibited, the water of superfluity, the fire of lust’ (Ibn al-Athir). Mithraic: The soul; the vital principle springing from the bull as connected with the bull-ox-bone-bee.

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