Womack offers a concise and easy-to-read overview of the power and meaning of symbols in all human societies. She describes how symbols_images, words, or behaviors with multi-layered meanings_are mechanism of communication. She demonstrates how we experience the power of symbols in all aspects of human life: birth, death, love, sexual desire, and the need for food and shelter. Womack investigates the use of symbols in the language of religion, healing, politics, social organization and control, popular culture, psychology, philosophy, semiotics, magic and expressive culture, including art, aesthetics, literature, theater, sports, and music. The author's eclectic, anthropological approach incorporates the social, conceptual and psychological dynamics of symbols. Her new book is an essential introductory textbook for courses that define fundamental concepts in religion, cultural anthropology, communication, and art.