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  • Series: Studies in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, Vol. 4
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-907767-03-6
  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.0 x 9.2 inches


Human beings in all cultures have long used the sky to tell stories and weave myths that impart meaning to life on earth. The key to all such systems is symbolism, in which one thing is used to signify, imply, represent, or embody another. The papers included in this volume are all concerned, in one way or another, with various perceptions of the world of celestial phenomena as symbols. These explorations range from art history and analytical psychology to critiques and accounts of astrology, and roam from western to non-western cultures, as well as from the ancient world to the modern.

The papers, most of which were given at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Sophia Centre Conference in Bath, UK, in 2011, provide a valuable addition to the scholarly literature on our understanding of the origins, function, and nature of symbols, especially their use in relation to cultural applications of astronomy, astrology, and the sky.

Sky and Symbol

Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Sophia Centre Conference, 2011

Table of Contents




Introduction: Sky and Symbol
Nicholas Campion and Liz Greene

PART ONE: The Nature of Symbols

Is Astrology a Symbolic Language?
Nicholas Campion

Art, Astronomy and Symbolism in the Age of Science
Gary Wells

PART TWO: Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Expressions

The Burning Sun and the Killing Resheph: Proto-Astrological Symbolism and Ugaritic Epic
Ola Wikander

From Babylon to Jerusalem: The Roots of Jewish Astrological Symbolism
Andrea D. Lobel

The Perugia Fountain: An Encyclopaedia of Sky, Culture and Society
Darrelyn Gunzburg

Theosis, Vision, and the Astral Body in Medieval German Pietism and the Spanish Kabbalah
Elliot Wolfson

‘Chemistry, That Starry Science’: Early Modern Conjunctions of Astrology and Alchemy
Peter Forshaw

PART THREE: Celestial Symbolism in the Contemporary World

Katherine Maltwood, H. P. Blavatsky, and the Origins of the Glastonbury Landscape Zodiac
Anthony Thorley

Reading the Future in the Landscape: Astrology in Zanadroandrena land, Central East Madagascar
Christel Mattheeuws

The Celestial Imaginary in Weimar Cinema
Jennifer Zahrt

Receiving the ‘Messengers’: The Astrology of Jung’s Liber Novus
Liz Greene


The Sophia Centre



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