I wrote the other day about spring cleaning, and about the importance of reviewing our inner assignments; and about the usefulness of using Sabian imagery to do that work.  What I did NOT do in that post was explain (for those who are not familiar with them) what Sabian Symbols are, and how they came to be.
Sabian Symbols are a collection of received images, one for each degree of the Zodiac.  They begin with 1• Aries (0.01 degrees = 1 degree) and run through 30• Pisces—360 in all, as in any circle.  They were channeled by Elsie Wheeler, a gifted Californian medium, at the request of the visionary astrologer Marc Edmund Jones.  On some unnamed day in 1925, Mr. Jones bundled Ms. Wheeler and her wheelchair—she was badly crippled by arthritis–into his Model A Ford and whisked her off to Balboa Park.  Over a 3-day period, during which he showed her blank flash-cards and she described the images that came to her, they managed to generate the basis for Sabian astrology.  Marc Edmund Jones wrote a book–The Sabian Symbols in Astrology—and thus was created an invaluable tool for modern astrologers.
Jones’s friend and astrological colleague, Dane Rudhyar, asked permission to expand upon the Symbols, which he laid out with Jungian overtones (he was himself a Jungian therapist of some note) in An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformations and Its 360 Symbolic Phases.  This is the earliest–and to my mind, the best–of the many tomes seeking to build on Jones and Wheeler’s research.
Fast-forward to now:  why use them?  Because they work.  Take any astrological chart and analyse it according to the nature of the planets and the Sabian degrees at which they fall, and you will have a remarkably complex and accurate understanding of the meaning of that chart—the thrust of its potential, as well as its pitfalls.  And when it’s your own?  Knowledge is power.