We are surrounded, at all times, by layer upon layer of hidden meaning. Our world is constructed out of symbolic abstractions, each one with its own assumptions and messages that speak to us on the deepest levels. Some are banal, designed to be obvious even at a conscious level, like arrows pointing the way. Others are manipulative, like the towering height of a cathedral nave, meant to inspire religious awe. Some are mysterious, occluded, left as messages and signposts to the few who knew how to read them, such as the traditional alchemical teachings of the Rose Cross, or Bernini's depiction of the Ecstasy of St Theresa. From the heights of religious art to the cultural depths of gang tattoos, hidden meaning is encoded into every aspect of society. "Symbols and Their Hidden Meanings" explores this hidden world, looking at over 100 of the most powerful, evocative, and mysterious and exciting symbolic skeins in the world today.