What are The Sabian Symbols?
Astrologers use the Sabian Symbols in a multitude of ways and the symbols are sacred to their work. The Sabian Symbols are similar in nature to the Tarot, Kabbalah, and I Ching, in relating to humanity symbolically on a soul level, or as Jung termed the collective unconscious.
In the introduction of Dane Rudhyar’s remarkable book on the Sabian Symbols, An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformation and Its 360 Symbolic Phases, he writes, “The material in this book is to be used, to serve as a catalyst to deepen thinking about individual experiences and their essential meaning. It is a book about MEANING. And a life without meaning is hardly worth living.”
There are 360 Sabian Symbols, each symbol corresponds to a degree in the Tropical Zodiac. In natal chart readings, the Sabian Symbols associated with the Sun, Moon and Ascendent provide a great deal of information about one’s soul purpose or dharma in this life.
Where did the Sabian Symbols come from?
On one beautiful southern California day in 1925, Dr Marc Edmund Jones (an esteemed astrologer) and Elsie Wheeler (a psychic) set off for Balboa Park in San Diego California. Upon reaching the park they began the work of bringing the Sabian Symbols into being. By the end of the day Dr Jones had 360 index cards; each card with Sabian Symbol and associated degree of the Tropical Zodiac.
It should be noted that both Dr Jones and Elsie Wheeler were spiritual individuals, and felt as though this endeavor was part of something larger than themselves, part of something that was perhaps beyond their complete understanding at the time, and was perhaps more important than either one would ever realize in their lifetime.
Dane Rudhyar, a humanistic astrologer and author, studied and contemplated the Sabian Symbols for many years. In 1974, he published An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformation and Its 360 Symbolic Phases. This is the interpretation of the Sabian Symbols I will use for Sabian Art-Astrology for Evolution of Consciousness.