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Dictionary of Symbols (Norton Paperback)

Dictionary of Symbols - Carl G. Luingman I highly recommend getting sick and then taking a day to hang around and read the dictionary. In the afternoon, when your fever's peaking and you're getting those unnerving light squiggles dancing on the inside of your eyelids, read the Dictionary of Symbols.

Slightly dated by its original publication date of 1973, the Dictionary of Symbols was put together by a very obsessive Scandinavian type who clearly totally rocks. Although excluding numbers and letters, the dictionary includes just about any symbol you can think of, with meanings from all over the globe. There are more different kinds of crosses than you can shake a stick at. Weirdly, there's a dizzying amount of hobo signs: "speak religiously, and they'll give," "ruined - too many have been here" or "mean dogs."

The dictionary had section titles like "mutli-axis symmetrical, soft, closed signs with crossing lines" or "asymmetric, both soft and straight lined, both open and closed signs without crossing lines." Doesn't that just make you all hot and bothered? I can't even begin to describe how transcendentally obsessive it is.

There's a ton of alchemical symbols, which snick nicely together with the astrological and astronomical symbols. Symbols are a manifestation of a world view, and as such give you tiny puzzle pieces of how people think. Although ultimately mistaken as a descriptor of natural processes (what it is, periodic table!), the alchemical stuff is totally fascinating as a functioning symbolic architecture.

Don't forget the cold medicine.