Religious symbols are part of our world, relating to another world. In order to understand the
process by which symbols grow and develop, the particular context of a symbol is important.
In this article a particular theory as to what symbols are, is presented. Religion presupposes
the existence of two worlds: this-worldly (profane) and the other-worldly (sacred). The means
of communication and reference between these two worlds are symbols. Two examples are
investigated so as to indicate how symbols can over time either be demoted or promoted. In
the case of the Asherah and asherah as related in the Old Testament a demotion of a symbol is
illustrated. The growth of ancient Egyptian religion is an example of a possible promotion of
symbols. The conditions under which these processes can occur are investigated.