Ankh, an ancient Egyptian symbol of life, was often carried
by the Egyptians as an amulet providing protection. In the game
it is both the starting and finishing point. There are as many theories
as to the exact meaning of the Ankh as there are Ankhs, everything
from a stylized womb to a sandal strap, but no single theory has
been universally accepted.
is often depicted being carried by a god or goddess, particularly
the Goddess Isis, sometimes touching a human, symbolizing conception.
codex is a manuscript, used since the fourth century, made
of parchment or papyrus and is the predecessor of the modern book.
It is useful for secret messages that may need to be hastily destroyed
as it corrodes easily. Leonardo Da Vinci also used backwards writing
and other codes on the codex for added secrecy. They are used in
the game for riddles revealing a secret word.
key is a symbol of power and of wealth, it denotes power
over whatever it is that the key unlocks. In fairy stories a key
represents a mystery to be solved or an indication that the hero
or heroine is a step closer to their goal.
key is topped by the lily of France or fleur-de-lis, which originated
in Egypt and was then adopted by the Merovingians to signify their
sacred origins. By the 14th century, the three petals were said
to represent faith, wisdom and chivalry. The concept of a key is
used here as the symbol for the logic clues, where logic is needed
to unlock a numeric answer.
are a traditional gift symbolizing romantic love. They have different
meanings depending on their color, the white rose is symbolic of
innocence and the feminine and the red rose, true love and the masculine,
in The Da Vinci Game a pink rose has been used to signify a graceful
merging of both feminine and masculine.
commonly colored roses include yellow for platonic love, orange
for passion and blue for mystery. The rose has been used here to
denote geographical locations on our planet, many of them, but not
all, reflecting the beauty of the rose.
Vitruvian Man was painted by many artists of the Renaissance
and since, this was supposed to show the perfect human dimensions
and is indicative of the divine number Phi. In The Da Vinci Game,
the Vitruvian Man represents creative genius, art, music, film,
and literature and the amazing people who created them, their names
and creations hidden in anagrams.
triskel or triskelion is symbolic of the three stages of
womanhood, the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone and tied to this
is the concept of eternity, with the three spirals representing
the Past, Present and Future.
often considered to be a Celtic symbol however actually predates
the Celts, having previously appeared in the Mycenaean era. Here
it gives free turns or extra tokens to help players reach their
the Greeks, the owl was associated with the goddess Athena,
who was a bird goddess and could take the form of an owl. She was
considered spiritual and wise. The owl was also considered by many
other ancient people, including the Celts and Native Americans to
symbolize the qualities of spirituality and wisdom.
find yourself drawn towards the owl for your playing piece, maybe
this indicates your wisdom, spirituality and grace, or perhaps you
just stay up all night, live in a tree and snack on mice.
dolphin is seen as a joyful and playful animal of the sea
and has always symbolized fun and harmony, playfulness and joy,
both now and in ancient times.
'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams, dolphins are
a highly intelligent species (second only to mice) and attempt to
warn the humans of Earth's impending destruction to make way for
an interspatial bypass. Unfortunately humans are too stupid to understand
their message and the dolphins flee Earth shortly before its destruction.
significant symbol of femininity and independence, the cat
has been regarded as the embodiment of mystery. In ancient Egypt,
she had her own goddess, Bastet. The cat has always been seen as
a sacred familiar to witches. In Vietnam the cat is one of the signs
of the Zodiac, an alternative to the rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac.
means many things, perhaps because cats can be both independent,
gentle play mates and wild predators.
himself said 'The smallest feline is a masterpiece'.
are often used in rituals to focus the mind, summon spirits and
cleanse an area of negative energy. Their shape also signals femininity
and they are used in broadcasting news, both good and bad.
famous bell is perhaps the Liberty Bell, which on 8 July, 1776 summoned
the residents of Philadelphia to hear the reading of the Declaration
chalice is an ancient symbol. Long before it became the symbol
of the Holy Grail or the cup that caught Christ's blood, it was
completely female in its symbolism, from the water it carried, the
female element, to its shape as a womb-like receptacle. Given the
origin of this symbol, it is no real surprise that books now abound
claiming that the Holy Grail was in fact Mary Magdalene.
Grail is conspicuous by its absence in Leonardo Da Vinci's painting
of The Last Supper, where instead of just one chalice on the table,
each disciple has their own cup.
shell was originally called an Ammonite because of its resemblance
to the ram-like horns of Ammon, the Egyptian god of life and reproduction.
It is found on all continents and is the fossilized shell of an
say that it is a symbol of the complexity and interconnectedness
of life, others perceive it as an icon of friendship and when worn
it is thought to help the wearer build stronger relationships.
Da Vinci Game uses as its board the Pentacle, an ancient
symbol representing peace, harmony and cosmic order.
point of the Pentacle has a different meaning and these are written
in reverse writing round the outside of the circle: The All, Spirit,
the Divine. Intelligence and the Arts. Stability and the Physical.
Courage and Strength and lastly Emotions and Intuitions. Since ancient
times these have all been guiding forces for the good of humanity.
Never more so than now do we need to be reminded of the importance
of the balance and harmony between all the people of the Earth and
between humanity and the natural world.
out from behind the pentacle is Leonardo's most famous painting, now
called the Mona Lisa. There is actually no record of Leonardo
himself naming this painting, it got its name instead from Giorgio
Vasari's biography of Leonardo, published in 1550 after his death.
In the biography, he identified the sitter as Lisa Gherardini, the
wife of a successful Florentine businessman. Her name will have been
prefixed by 'Mona', which is the short form of the Italian 'Madonna',
meaning 'my lady'.
title for the painting is La Gioconda. Both 'Mona Lisa' and 'La
Gioconda' have only been in common use since the 19th century, before
which time the painting was referred to as 'a Florentine lady' or
by other similar names.
carried this painting with him all his life, held it so dear and
never considered it finished. The Mona Lisa epitomizes the constant
experimentation and the quest for understanding of this incredible
mind and Mona Lisa's smile is considered by many to be the ultimate
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- Codex - Key - Rose
- Vitruvian Man - Triskel
Owl - Dolphin - Cat
- Bell - Chalice - Ammonite
The Pentacle or the Mona