Some of the most familiar icons we see around us every day--things we associate with luck or longevity, religion and magic--had deeper, more fascinating meanings at their inception. Since symbols predate writing as a way of communication, they became, for humanity, visual shorthand. Plants and animals, patterns and graphics, the cosmos, the human body--they each have played a significant part in the profound messages sent throughout the centuries. Complete with a reference section covering the major symbol systems, this volume offers a look at how symbolism constantly renews itself as a way for different cultures to give significance to human life.
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