Symbols, namely sabian symbols

by Luiza Azancot. Average Reading Time: about 3 minutes.

Symbols are powerful tools.  They are keys that open the gates to our mental and emotional worlds.  They drive our imagination forward and when they touch unused psychological switches they might even lead us into new roads.

Astrology, as practiced nowadays, is a symbolic language. We use geometric symbols to indicate signs and planets.  The images representing a sign contain the essence of that sign… And so it was for many centuries.

Until Marc Edmund Jones (1888 – 1980) came along.  He was important in the advancement of astrological symbolism.  He was a prolific writer and as a young man sold a considerable number of movie scripts.  Later he studied theology and was ordained minister.  He went on to Columbia University where he obtained a Ph.D. in Philosophy.  But his greatest fame is as an astrologer and student of esoteric subjects.

In 1925 in San Diego, California, Marc Edmund Jones prepared 360 cards, one for each degree of the zodiac. One afternoon, in collaboration with the psychic Elsie Wheeler, he extracted the cards one by one, presented them to Elsie and registered the visionary symbol she described.  The task was completed and Marc Edmund Jones named it the Sabian Symbols because he believed that Elsie Wheeler had channeled what he called the “ancient mind matrix” of the Sabian alchemists of Mesopotamia / Sumeria.

Marc Edmund Jones was a serious and learned man and it took him almost 30 years to publish the Sabian Symbols.  During that time they had been applied and worked on by his students.  As an astrologer the fought to get rid of the fatalistic and predictive elements in astrology and left remarkable advances in others areas of astrological interpretation.

LivroIn my daily practice of astrology I rarely use the Sabian Symbols even if I take into consideration some of his other teachings. I do have esteemed colleagues like Sonia Beth from Brazil, who use them daily. Once in a while, maybe responding to a call from the ancient mind matrix I pick up the book.  On page 281, the symbol for the 11th degree of Aquarius reads as follows:

bannerThe New Moon of January 30th occurs in the 11th degree of Aquarius and the interpretation of the chart using the regular astrological symbols is in perfect accordance with Elsie Wheeler’s vision. Ouch! Another blow to my Cartesian approach to astrology!


11 de Aquariocarta

The Sun / Moon conjunction (New Moon) is in an angle with Uranus, the planet that rules the sign of Aquarius that enhances its energy.  Uranus is squaring Jupiter in Cancer and Pluto / Venus in Capricorn. Summarizing the delineation: this chart speaks of inspiration, of change and of deep realization of the role that each of us can have in this world. This realization can only come if we withdraw and self-reflect, thus the reference to tête – à – tête. They were near Hollywood and in the 20’s which explains the use of this Gallicism. In a more modern discourse Marc Edmund Jones warns that 11° Aquarius can be lived positively with “enthusiastic idealism and relentless desire to serve others,” or negatively as a “complete self-obsession”.

Best wishes for a fruitful and positive New Moon. The world is in dire need for a shift in perspective inspired by altruist and equalitarian ideals but to march in that direction we need to face our fears and reclaim the power that we lost.

If these symbols do not fit your world view, there is an alternative.  The Chinese New Year always falls on the Aquarius New Moon. On January 31st (new moon in china) the year of the Wooden Horse begins and with it the virtues of strength, perseverance, purity and loyalty are called forward.  Much can be done applying them!



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