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The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects


The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects

This fascinating guide to the history and mythology of woman-related symbols features:

  • Unique organization by shape of symbol or type of sacred object

  • 21 different sections including Round and Oval Motifs, Sacred Objects, Secular-Sacred Objects, Rituals, Deities’ Signs, Supernaturals, Body Parts, Nature, Birds, Plants, Minerals, Stones and Shells, and more

  • Introductory essays for each section

  • 753 entries and 636 illustrations

  • Alphabetical index for easy reference

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).

If you look up the word lion in the dictionary on your desk, odds are you’ll learn it’s a large, carnivorous mammal. The entry may note that it’s the emblem of Great Britain, too, and mention courage and literary acumen, but you won’t find out that two lions pulled the chariot of the goddess Cybele when she took it out for a spin. To learn that, you’d need to flip through The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects. At the top of each page are drawings of the symbols discussed on that page. This well-organized tome is fascinating reading with a female-centric spin. Thus, poppet is not just a doll, but one used by witches as a proxy for the person they wanted to harm. Vase symbolizes the Earth Mother’s womb, and, according to author Barbara G. Walker, the Greek word for vase, pithos, was mistakenly translated as pyxis, box, in that tale about Pandora.

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What customers say about The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects?

  1. 40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    The woman’s encyclopedia of myths and secrets, December 6, 2001
    By 
    Ann Covalt (NJ United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects (Paperback)
    Barbare G. Walker has done a great job with wonderful attention to detail. This book is good for the novice or more advanced people interested in Feminie/spiritual studies. Granted the information contained is contrary to what I had been brought up with my whole life, I find the information revealing and mentally inspiring. I am no historian, nor bible thumper.. I have read some of the other reviews her book has generated. That is what prompted me to write this review. I had to speak out on the books behalf. The material in her book is going to be controversial. History has long been censored and rewritten by the winners. You know, the people who only want you to know ‘so much’. Show me an author who does not write with a point of view and I’ll show you a phone book. So in order to wake from ignorance one must educate themselves. This book can have a nice part in that.
    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

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  2. 22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A wonderful encounter with symbology and mythology, April 20, 2003
    By 
    Jennifer S. Murphy (Melbourne. Australia) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects (Paperback)
    Barbara Walker has superbly researched this book and its sister publication, Myths and Secrets. For those involved in meditation or spiritual development work, this book is a must and will assist in understanding that which comes to us in dreams and reflection.
    As someone who teaches interpretation of symbology in spiritual work, Barbara Walker’s book has been invaluable and is a major recommendation to all course participants.
    I have yet to find a better book on symbology
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  3. 37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Just get the Myths and Secrets one instead, January 5, 2005
    By 
    Timothy Boucher (Pittsburgh, PA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects (Paperback)
    I LOVED her other book, Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, and so I snapped this one up, but was hugely disappointed by it. The content and the research in it are just not as good. And the artwork that accompanies stuff is not very good, nor is there very much of it.

    Frankly, I think this book was churned out in order to cash in on the success of the Myths and Secrets book. A lot of the material in it is a re-hashing of that book, which I personally can’t recommend enough. It really realigned my whole perception of all different kinds of religious and cultural stuff, and I sincerely recommend that if you’re wondering whether or not to buy this book or that one, go get the Myths and Secrets one instead. I don’t think this adds substantially to her work.

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