The Mystery Traditions: Secret Symbols and Sacred Art, by James Wasserman. Symbol in the esoteric sense is not to be confused with allegory; symbolic images are the alphabet of the "theory of correspondences" that underlies all the Mystery traditions of the West. This theory recognizes the interdependent relationship of all things and provides, for example, the basis of the belief that the position of the stars in the heavens will influence our thought, emotion, and perception. It also explains how the alchemist’s work with base metals will result in a transformation of his own consciousness. In The Mystery Traditions James Wasserman offers a full-color lexicon of occult imagery drawn from the Kabbalah and tarot as well as the traditions of magic, alchemy, and astrology, accompanied by commentary on each image’s significance and the wisdom teachings from which it derives. In this new edition he also looks at the pivotal role played by secret societies in safeguarding and transmitting these teachings and presents rarely seen artifacts of these societies. Among the splendid offerings in this collection are all 22 paintings of the medieval alchemical masterpiece Splendor Solis in full color and works by significant artists and esoteric thinkers such as Leonardo da Vinci, Robert Fludd, Austin Osman Spare, Harry Smith, Manly P. Hall, and Raymond Lull. This book provides an excellent introduction to the timeless and hidden dimensions of occult practice. An extensive bibliography of classical occult works also complements this unique collection.