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The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects (More Crystals and New Age)by Barbara G Walker
"One of my favorite ways of reading is to pull a book off the shelf and open it at random. That's the great thing about reference books like dictionaries or encyclopedias. These books are treasure troves dip in anywhere, let chance take you, lead you off. Where did that come from? What is that old saying? Which god or goddess was that? These books have been a jump-start many times when I'm stuck for an idea. I can see them inspiring poetry, stories, or songs in others, too. Each contains many brief entries and some longer articles. For instance, from Walker's Myths and Secrets: 'Fly: popular soul-symbol in many ancient religions, due to a belief that women could conceive children by swallowing a fly bearing the soul of a previously deceased person.' Other entries discuss holidays, historical figures, tall tales, and origins of folk songs such as 'Turkey in the Straw.'"
Synopses & Reviews
This fascinating guide to the history and mythology of woman-related symbols features:
Three-Rayed Sun The sun suspended in heaven by three powers, perhaps the Triple Goddess who gave birth to it (see Three-Way Motifs).
Corn Dolly An embodiment of the harvest to be set in the center of the harvest dance, or fed to the cattle to `make them thrive year round' (see Secular-Sacred Objects).
Tongue In Asia, the extended tongue was a sign of life-force as the tongue between the lips imitated the sacred lingam-yoni: male within female genital. Sticking out the tongue is still a polite sign of greeting in northern India and Tibet (see Body Parts).
Cosmic Egg In ancient times the primeval universe-or the Great Mother-took the form of an egg. It carried all numbers and letters within an ellipse, to show that everything is contained within one form at the beginning (see Round and Oval Motifs).
Book News Annotation:
On the language of symbols, many of which, the author maintains, were stolen from ancient women-centered systems and reinterpreted from a male standpoint. This guide is organized by shape of symbol or type of sacred object and includes 21 different sections, introductory essays for each section, 753 entries and 636 illustrations, and an alphabetical index for cross-reference purposes.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This comprehensively, profusely illustrated dictionary presents the feminist history and relevance of many common symbols of Western civilization. Features more than 750 entries organized according to the shape or nature of the symbol discussed. 636 black-and-white line illustrations.
About the Author
Barbara G. Walker, author of The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, and many other books, is a member of the Morris Museum Mineralogical Society and the Trailside Mineral Club of the New Jersey Earth Science Association.
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