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The Book of Symbols. Reflections on Archetypal Images

Hardcover, 6.6 x 9.4 in., 3.95 lb, 808 pages
US$ 40
Availability: In Stock
This encyclopedia explores the hidden meanings of visual symbols across time and geography, from the sun to whales and the human hand. Spanning different eras and cultures, over 800 beautiful images combine with expert illuminations of symbol history, meanings, and psychic associations, offering readers a precious and fascinating resource for thoughtful interpretations of life, art, and spirituality.

Customer reviews (20)

Handbook of Visual Experience

An exploration of symbols and their meanings throughout history
The Book of Symbols combines original and incisive essays about particular symbols with representative images from all parts of the world and all eras of history. The highly readable texts and over 800 beautiful full-color images come together in a unique way to convey hidden dimensions of meaning. Each of the ca. 350 essays examines a given symbol’s psychic background, and how it evokes psychic processes and dynamics. Etymological roots, the play of opposites, paradox and shadow, the ways in which diverse cultures have engaged a symbolic image—all these factors are taken into consideration.

Authored by writers from the fields of psychology, religion, art, literature, and comparative myth, the essays flow into each other in ways that mirror the psyche’s unexpected convergences. There are no pat definitions of the kind that tend to collapse a symbol; a still vital symbol remains partially unknown, compels our attention and unfolds in new meanings and manifestations over time. Rather than merely categorize, The Book of Symbols illuminates how to move from the visual experience of a symbolic image in art, religion, life, or dreams to directly experiencing its personal and psychological resonance.

The Book of Symbols sets new standards for thoughtful exploration of symbols and their meanings, and will appeal to a wide range of readers: artists, designers, dreamers and dream interpreters, psychotherapists, self-helpers, gamers, comic book readers, religious and spiritual searchers, writers, students, and anyone curious about the power of archetypal images.
The editor and author

Drawing upon Carl Gustav Jung's work on the archetype and the collective unconscious, the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) is a pictorial and written archive of mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic images from all over the world and from all epochs of human experience. The collection of 17,000 photographic images, accompanied by commentary on their cultural and historical context, probes the universality of archetypal themes and provides a testament to the deep and abiding connections of all life.

The Book of Symbols. Reflections on Archetypal Images
Hardcover, 6.6 x 9.4 in., 3.95 lb, 808 pages
ISBN 978-3-8365-1448-4
Edition: English
ISBN 978-3-8365-2574-9
Edition: French
ISBN 978-3-8365-2573-2
Edition: Spanish

Customer reviews (20)

Not as useful as it could be

Elizabeth, June 23, 2022
Overly simplistic and obtusely organized, but pretty enough. Unfortunately the scant and oddly selected citations aren't even that useful as a jumping off point for further research. A fine choice if you're looking for something with pretty pictures to literally flip through, but doesn't really contain anything of substance. My most disappointing purchase from Taschen.


Abel, November 05, 2021
I could said, I am a huge fan of your works from long ago. Now, that I can afford money to buy and time to read, my life is more joyful. Thank you very much.


Lorenza, November 02, 2021
This is a very nice resource, with the same great print quality I've come to expect from TASCHEN. I didn't realize just how Jung-infused this book is when I purchased it – the author is credited as the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism. It does indeed make a great companion to Jung's writings on the collective unconscious.

A must have book

Maria, October 29, 2021
Great content and pictures. Great book quality.


Jade, October 28, 2021
Always a pleasure to have book from TASCHEN.

Not what I expected

Vincent, October 28, 2021
The book is well-made, but it's more a dictionary of symbolic meanings of things than an actual book of symbols. I was hoping that the symbols were abstract symbols from various civilizations for instance, things you would like as tattoos, but it's more what "air" or "gun" means. The articles are ok.

Blueprint to decode life

Kacper, October 28, 2021
If you're on a journey to find some answers, get to know what different things happening in front of us mean, this book, along Carol Jung & Kubrick stuff is the way to go. Phenomenal book, superbly written with exquisite visuals.

A book of beautiful metaphors

Maria, October 28, 2021
Every sign in the book is explained in a beautiful story that mixes myths, facts, conceptual narrative and great illustrations. Highly recommend this book for artists and creatives.

Jung and Inspiration

Joe, October 27, 2021
This wonderful collection of symbols with interpretive Jungian essays give a wonderful view of the way we see and interpret the world. An outstanding additional feature of this book is its use as an inspirational device for creative writing.

Très belle édition

Claire, October 27, 2021
Une très belle édition et de belles images au service d'un propos intéressant !
Gisele Bündchen

Gisele Bündchen

“I love The Book of Symbols. It’s a mystic encyclopedia that takes you on a journey throughout time and teaches you new ways to see the world.”
Illustration: Robert Nippoldt
The Book of Symbols. Reflections on Archetypal Images
The Book of Symbols.
Reflections on Archetypal Images
US$ 40
The Book of Symbols. Reflections on Archetypal Images