- Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
- Format: Hardback | 80 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 130mm x 15mm | 159g
- Publication date: 1 November 1995
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0500060142
- ISBN 13: 9780500060148
- Illustrations note: 78 illustrations, 40 in colour
- Sales rank: 941,197
"Sacred Symbols" is a series of volumes that introduce the ancient, universal wisdoms of humankind. Symbol and ritual go to the heart of human experience. Throughout history humans have developed elaborate symbolic systems to help allay their fear of the unknown and to tap the deep well-springs of spirituality. Today, people are discovering the relevance of these belief systems to life in the 1990s. This volume covers the symbols of the Celts. The last significant tribal culture in Europe, the Celts are today associated with a particularly rich body of symbolism and mystery. Rituals, omens and signs were central to their religious beliefs, and these were expressed in a variety of beautiful designs and symbols found in Celtic stonework, metalwork and manuscripts. Relevant to contemporary New Age cults, the major symbols of the Celts are explained in this book.
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Back cover copy
The last significant tribal culture in Europe, the Celts are today associated with a particularly rich body of symbolism and mystery. Rituals, omens and signs were central to their religious beliefs, and these were expressed in a variety of beautiful designs and symbols found in Celtic stonework, metalwork and manuscripts. Especially relevant to contemporary spiritual curiosity, the major symbols of the Celts are here explained and beautifully illustrated.
Table of contents
The Celts in symbol and ritual. The sacred landscape: standing stones; the sacred site of Tara; mountain goddess; the well-springs of life; trees of life and death. Metamorphoses of gods and men: war-gods and warriors; hunters and hunted; mother-goddesses; phallus; heads and head-hunters; the triple head; the transformed beast; the ultimate sacrifice. Symbolic beasts: boar; bull; dog; horse; ram; stag; eagle. The spirit of things: boat; cauldron of rebirth; fire; helmet; the s-shape; swatika; torc; wheel. The Christian Celts: cross; shrine; a Celtic carpet; the Book of Kells.