Symbols are central to literature, religion and national identity, but they are also at the heart of our inner dreamworlds, a potent source of insight into our unconscious minds. This remarkable dictionary explores the huge variety of interpretations - sexual and spiritual, official and subversive, analytical and emotional - different cultures have given to the fundamental symbols of humankind. Compiled by an international team of fifteen experts, bringing together the insights of theologians and travel writers, philosophers and psychotherapists, classicists, astrologers and art critics. The meanings which have become attached all over the worl to colours, instruments, numbers, precious stones and parts of the body. Essay length entries on seminal symbols such as the Cavern, the Cross and the Crossroads, the Serpent, the Soul, and the Sphere. Central figures from the Bible, antiquity, and the mythologies of East and West.