The book is the material incarnation of knowledge and wisdom. It contains the central doctrine of nearly every existing religion: in holy scriptures, it contains the Word, the divine message. It is the container of intellect; open books depict the book of life, learning, and the spirit of wisdom. It is truth and mercy. Closed book is in the hands of God, Divine Mystery. One of the eight Chinese emblems with the power to ward off evil spirits. Also related to weaving.

Closely tied to symbol of SWORD, specifically related to a double-edge sword in the mouth showing the book is written 'inside and outside', or esoteric and exoteric knowledge.

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