Esoteric study necessarily involves consideration of symbols, whether these are symbolic texts, sounds or visual glyphs. From the Indian tattvas to the trigrams of the Chinese I Ching (http://www.byzant.com/festivals/wheelofchanges.html), from the Jewish Kabbalah (http://www.byzant.com/kabbalah/) to the medieval Tarot cards (http://www.byzant.com/tarot/), from the astrological glyphs (http://www.byzant.com/astrology/) to the complex emblems of Ceremonial Magic, every area of spiritual knowledge has its own symbology. Symbols and concepts like the Cross, the Trinity and even the fish are vital to an appreciation and comprehension of Christianity, and a holistic grasp of symbols is even more important for esoteric understanding.
In our Library of Esoteric Symbols, a variety of important symbols are introduced for meditation and synthesis, and as a springboard to further exploration.
Stars are often encountered as esoteric symbols, and the meaning of any particular star symbol depends upon the number points it has, and sometimes the orientation of these points as well. In our Star Symbols (http://www.byzant.com/symbols/stars.html) section, we illustrate and discuss the meanings of stars from the pentagram (five-pointed star) to the nonagram (nine-pointed star).
Eastern religion, philosophy and mysticism have a variety of important and profound symbols, many of which are revered by those on other spiritual paths as well. In our Eastern Symbols (http://www.byzant.com/symbols/eastern.html) section, we illustrate and discuss important symbols from the wisdom teachings of the East, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism (http://www.byzant.com/biography/_showbiography.asp?ID=30) and Zen.
The main symbols of Judaism are covered in our Judaic Symbols (http://www.byzant.com/symbols/judaic.html) section. These ancient symbols have important links with the Kabbalah (http://www.byzant.com/kabbalah/), and they have also been applied outside the context of Jewish religion by mystics throughout the ages.
A range of mystical symbols from Western traditions are illustrated and discussed in our More Symbols (http://www.byzant.com/symbols/moresymbols.html) section, including the Rosicrucian Rose Cross, the Egyptian Eye of Horus, the mathematical lemniscate, the ancient spiral and the Christian ichthys.
The Tree of Life (http://www.byzant.com/kabbalah/treeoflife.html) is the symbol at the heart of the Kabbalah (http://www.byzant.com/kabbalah/). It encapsulates creation and existence, and in the Western Kabbalah forms a whole host of associations with other symbolic systems, such as astrology (http://www.byzant.com/astrology/) and the Tarot (http://www.byzant.com/tarot/).
There are important symbolic systems to be found in other areas of Byzant too. Byzant Astrology (http://www.byzant.com/astrology/) contains glyphs for all the astrological signs (http://www.byzant.com/astrology/zodiac.html), planets (http://www.byzant.com/astrology/planets.html) and important aspects (http://www.byzant.com/astrology/aspects.html). Byzant Tarot (http://www.byzant.com/tarot/) deals with the arcane symbolism contained in the Tarot. Finally, the Hebrew alphabet (http://www.byzant.com/kabbalah/hebrew.asp) is a significant symbolic system in itself, vital to any study of the Western Mysteries.