DICTIONARY - Z


Home Page    |    Flags    |    Logos & Emblems    |    Other Symbols
Mythological Deities    |    Shopping    |    Useful Links    |    Contact Us
0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Zener Cards Zener cards are cards used to conduct experiments for extrasensory perception (ESP), most often clairvoyance.  Perceptual psychologist Karl Zener (1903 - 1964) designed the cards in the early 1930s for experiments conducted with his colleague, parapsychologist Joseph Banks Rhine (1895 - 1980).

The Zener cards were a deck comprising five simple symbols being: a hollow Circle (one curve), a Greek Cross (two lines), three vertical wavy lines (or 'waves'), a hollow square (four lines), and a Pentagram.  There are 25 cards in a pack, five of each design.

In a test for ESP, the person conducting the test picks a card from a shuffled pack, observes the symbol on the card, and records the answer of the person being tested for extrasensory perception, who would guess which of the five designs is on the card in question.  The experimenter continues until all the cards in the pack have been tested.  Poor shuffling methods can make the order of cards in the deck easier to predict, and the cards could have been marked and manipulated.  In his experiments, Rhine first shuffled the cards by hand but later decided to use a machine for the purpose.

Rhine's experiments with Zener cards were discredited due to the discovery that sensory leakage or cheating could account for all of his results such as the subject being able to read the symbols from the back of the cards and being able to see and hear the experimenter to note subtle clues.




Zeus Zeus is the god of the sky and thunder who ruled as king of the gods of Mount Olympus in ancient Greek religion.  His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter, and his mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Indra, Perun, Thor, and Odin.

Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus's stomach.  In most traditions, he is married to Hera, by whom he is usually said to have fathered Ares, Hebe, and Hephaestus.  At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to be Dione, by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite.

Zeus was also infamous for his erotic escapades which resulted in many godly and heroic offspring, including Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Persephone, Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, and the Muses.




Zia Peoples The Zia are an indigenous tribe centred at Zia Pueblo, an Indian reservation in New Mexico, USA.  They are known for their pottery and use of the Sun symbol.  The people are a branch of the large Pueblo community.

Their symbol, a red circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions, is painted on ceremonial vases, drawn on the ground around campfires, and used to introduce new born children to the Sun.  The number four is sacred to the Zia Indians, and this emblem embodies this number as the powers of nature -- the Sun, the four directions, seasons, and the ages of man.




Zinc The image to the right was used by Alchemists to represent zinc, an essential mineral, required for prenatal and postnatal development.  Zinc deficiency affects about two billion people in the developing world and is associated with many diseases.  In children, deficiency causes growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, infection susceptibility, and diarrhoea.

Enzymes with a zinc atom in the reactive centre are widespread in biochemistry, such as alcohol dehydrogenase in humans.  Consumption of excess zinc can cause ataxia, lethargy and copper deficiency.

Philosophers' wool, or nix alba (white snow) was zinc oxide, made by burning zinc in air.  See also Alchemy.




Zoroastrianism Zoroastrianism was founded by the Prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) in ancient Persia (known as Iran since 1935 CE) approximately 3500 years ago, and is one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions.  For 1000 years Zoroastrianism was one of the most powerful religions in the world, and was the official religion of Persia.

However, according to the New York Times in 2006, it is now one of the world's smallest religions with probably fewer than 190,000 followers worldwide at that time.

Some facts:

Zoroastrians believe there is one God called Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord) and He created the world.
Ahura Mazda revealed the truth through the Prophet, Zoroaster.
Zoroastrians are not fire-worshippers, as some Westerners wrongly believe.
Zoroastrians believe that the elements are pure and that Fire represents God's light or wisdom.
Zoroastrians traditionally pray several times a day.
Zoroastrians worship communally in a Fire Temple or Agiary.
The Zoroastrian book of Holy Scriptures is called The Avesta which can be split into two sections:

  • The Gathas, which are seventeen hymns thought to be composed by Zoroaster himself.
  • The Younger Avesta containing commentaries to the older Avestan written in later years.  It also contains myths, stories and details of ritual observances.

Zoroastrians are roughly split into two groups:

  • The Iranians.
  • The Parsis who are majorly located in India with a few in Pakistan. According to the Qissa-i Sanjan, Parsis migrated from Greater Iran to Sindh and Gujarat between the 8th and 10th century CE, where they were given refuge to avoid persecution following the Arab conquest of Persia.



Return to top of page.


© dictionaryofsymbols.co.uk