There’s a rather impressive article by Steve Appleford in the latest edition of City Beat: Looking For A Sign.

It’s a fairly detailed account of Led Zeppelin’s relationship with mysticism and symbology.

The real attractions for Page were Crowley’s theories on self-liberation, and nothing as crass as the two-fingered devil’s horns salute, the manu cornuto of Italy. Page’s business wasn’t recruitment and sloganeering. If he signed his own deal at his own crossroads, somewhere outside swinging London, any devotion to the occult was private, a quiet avocation. In 1998, the reunited Page & Plant invited the young violinist Lili Haydn to join the tour as opening act. By chance, her father had published a volume of Crowley writings in the ’60s, but Page had no interest in discussing it. No comment at all. He just smiled and nodded.

Read on for more from the same article…
http://www.lacitybeat.com/article.php?id=4431&IssueNum=174

The first time was an ancient time, back through the mists and muck and memories of good times, bad times past, seated once more in a junior high school auditorium halfway through the heavy ’70s. It was dark in there. And we were gathered for an unexpected bit of entertainment, a far-out light show for the kids set to the pop sounds of the moment. Of this I remember little, except how it ended: with an epic tune, slowly unfolding with a lilting acoustic guitar and a weary voice uttering the mysterious words, “There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold …”

That was weird, and strangely inviting, a sound to soothe the onset of early teen angst. But that wasn’t the good part. The thing kept going, getting louder, faster, building finally into a flash of electric guitar, an apocalyptic beat, and a furious wail that exploded right past the leftover psychedelia splashing across my little campus movie screen. It was “Stairway to Heaven,” destined to become a “classic” and a punchline, a career peak for a band called Led Zeppelin and a sing-along for burnouts.

[…]

This is part of what had Zeppelin dabbling with things ancient and mystic, right down to labeling itself with a quartet of symbols, a concept that ultimately came from Page. The guitarist’s interest in the occult is documented and mysterious. Astrological symbols were sewn right onto his velvet flares. And he lived for a decade in a house overlooking Loch Ness once owned by the occultist Aleister Crowley, a property where a church and its congregation had burned down centuries before, as he told young Cameron Crowe in 1975. “The bad vibes were already there,” Page explained. “A man was beheaded there and sometimes you can hear the head rolling down … . Of course, after Crowley, there have been suicides, people carted off to mental hospitals … .”

The real attractions for Page were Crowley’s theories on self-liberation, and nothing as crass as the two-fingered devil’s horns salute, the manu cornuto of Italy. Page’s business wasn’t recruitment and sloganeering. If he signed his own deal at his own crossroads, somewhere outside swinging London, any devotion to the occult was private, a quiet avocation. In 1998, the reunited Page & Plant invited the young violinist Lili Haydn to join the tour as opening act. By chance, her father had published a volume of Crowley writings in the ’60s, but Page had no interest in discussing it. No comment at all. He just smiled and nodded.

***

There is a man in New Zealand with the answers. Duncan Watson is the author of a slim, self-published book, Symbology and Led Zeppelin, each copy printed at home and numbered by hand. (Mine is No. 68.) Inside, he carefully documents the likely sources, the ongoing mystery, as only one obsessed with the mighty Zep and the occult could.

[…]

Less obvious was Page’s Zoso. Was it the password to Hell or just a clever marketing trademark? He has never explained it, but it seems to be drawn from the 1557 Cardan symbol for Saturn. It’s right there in Watson’s book, a vintage scrawl that virtually mirrors the final Page signature. What this means to Page is not clear. And maybe some of us would rather not know anyway. Fans will always have questions, but the mystery is part of the package, a reason to keep wondering, ready for the next teenage freak or one more Cadillac commercial, as the mighty Robert Plant croons that crazy tune from his mansion deep in the Shire: “Ennas na híril isto-ilye bril na malmel … and she’s buying a stairway to heaven … .”