Sabian Symbols are channelled 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 are the cornerstone of my work, because they accurately describe the themes of a chart.
Sabian Symbols were channelled 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 rheumatoid arthritis–into his Model A Ford and whisked her off to the beach at Balboa Park (San Diego). 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 publications 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 its planets’ Sabian Symbols, and you unlock the meaning of that chart—the thrust of its potential. And when it’s your own? Knowledge is power.