This remarkable and wide-ranging book is an inventory of symbols and the symbolic imagination. The editors and their fifteen contributors are drawn from a variety of scholarly backgrounds - including anthropology, ethnology, psychotherapy and art history. This diversity of approach is responsible for the book's unique character, a reflection of the multiplicity of symbols and signs and the phenomenal range of possible interpretations they offer. This book draws together folklore, literary and artistic sources, and focuses on the symbolic dimension of every colour, number, sound, gesture, expression or character trait that has benefitted from symbolic interpretation. The conscious and unconscious minds are explored, desire and dreams are treated alongside the known and the chronicled. Extraordinary in its range and eclecticism, this dictionary was originally published in French as the Dictionnaire des Symboles, and it is regarded as the standard work on the subject.
Leaning heavily on astrology, tarot, and other occult disciplines popular at the time of its first publication, 1969 in French, lists alphabetically the names of symbols and discusses the meanings attached to them. Bison gets three sentences, father gets nearly a page; serpent gets over 14. Includes colors, numbers, sounds, gestures, character traits, and other topics that have been given symbolic significance. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)