Sunology uses the Sabian Sun symbols to add richness and definition to the meaning of the 360 degrees of the zodiac. These symbols are a set of images that were intuited in the 1920s when the meaning for the zodiac degrees was sought. Click here to see the complete list of Sabian symbols by sign and degree/Sun Number.
Each symbol is deep and complex, containing a massive amount of information. As it goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. These pictures present such depth that words alone are unable to express them fully. The images render feelings (over time), which help to identify the various vibrations more completely, are held within them. Looking at the symbols under the umbrella of the meaning of the degree (called herein a “sun number” and defined by correlating it to its zodiacal placement) will help you to understand a more precise meaning for both it and the symbol. So, the symbols support the sun number energy. They supply more detail and information while personalizing and adding life to the sun numbers’ meanings. Additionally, they stimulate your intuitive faculties to help you understand the degree’s meaning even better.
A study of the Sun symbols validates the theory presented in the clock. Again, applying correlating astrological meaning to a zodiac degree is the key to knowing the meaning of the days/degrees/Sun Numbers. It is imperative to have a consistent basis for interpretation in order that one’s own subjective filter does not interfere with the degree definitions. It is this foundation for interpretation that has been missing for the ninety-plus years that the symbols have been around. The history of the symbols shows how this happened.
The History of the Sabians*
Picture of Elsie Wheeler
In 1922, an astrologer, Dr. Marc Edmund Jones, and a well-known psychic, Elsie Wheeler, met in Balboa Park in San Diego, California, with the intention of creating a set of symbols that would help give meaning to the degrees of the zodiac. Dr. Jones had some spiritual experiences that led him to believe that symbols existed on the more subtle planes, dating back to ancient times, and that they were accessible via clairvoyance. These symbols are the manifestations of the naturally occurring blueprint that mirrors the paradigm of cycle that humanity lives within. They result from each symbol’s placement in the progression of a cycle.
These Two Together Actually Came Up With 360 Images in Six Hours!
Dr. Jones brought a stack of 360 index cards to his meeting with Ms. Wheeler. Each card had a number for the degrees, one through thirty, and an astrological sign (Aries through Pisces) on it. The cards were well shuffled, so as not to be in sequential order. Dr. Jones pulled a card, upside-down, and while neither of them knew what sign or number was on the card, Ms. Wheeler provided him with the image that she sensed through intuition. According to his diary, they did a three-hour session in the morning that revealed 180 images. They took a break and then did another three-hour session in the afternoon, during which they came up with the remaining 180 images. These two sessions yielded Dr. Jones’ complete set of Sabian symbols. He hoped that these symbols would provide the astrological community with insight into the meaning of the degrees of the zodiac.
Dr. Jones Worked With a Group To Interpret The Symbols
Originally, Dr. Jones and a group of his students studied the symbols extensively. His first book on the symbols, The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, was published in 1953. This book seeks to interpret each symbol based on the symbols of its opposing sign (Aries against Libra, Taurus against Scorpio, and so forth), finding and comparing the similarities. Their study and excitement about the symbols aroused the interest of another astrologer, Dane Rudhyar.
Dane Rudhyar Reworded and Raised Interest in the Symbols
Rudhyar was a famous astrologer of the mid-1900s. He was the founding father of humanistic astrology and used Carl Jung’s theories about psychology to present a new and progressive look at personality astrology. He transformed the practice of astrology for generations to come. He decided that he, too, wanted to unravel the mystery of the Sabians and offer meanings of the signs down to the detail of degree.
Rudhyar adopted the Sabian symbols as his own and used his own intuition to perceive interpretations for the symbols, and then wrote about them in The Astrology of Personality and An Astrological Mandala. Rudhyar changed the wording of the original symbols in both of his books, perhaps thinking this would help cement and clarify what he saw as the interpretations. Unfortunately, in doing so, it set the stage to lose the usage of the original wording for several decades. His re-wordings definitely contributed to confusing the matter for others to interpret the Sabian symbols, because everyone was now using his wordings (or even making up their own, in reflection). Finding the systematic method to know meanings just became harder.
Ultimately, it was important to maintain the original wording of the symbols to make the connection between the correlating method (to the zodiac) and the Sabians. The wording that was sensed by Elsie Wheeler was created by virtue of her psychic ability and needed to stay exactly as it was when it originally came in. It was those wordings that I used in my daily meditations, over a period of several years, that yielded the realization of a systematic method.
Although Sunology’s method to understand them is obvious and simple, this objective approach was veiled until now. Rudhyar was convinced that the Sabian symbols would be the symbols that would define the degrees in a way that all astrologers would be able to agree on. A simple perusal of the original symbols shows them rich in double meanings, clever wording, and precise arrangement. In fact, the meanings that are interpreted from the original wordings align with the meanings that come from the Sunology method so well, that the symbols’ origin and existence are miraculous. They don’t really line up so well with Rudhyar’s re-wordings – just take that as a caution. You will be able to see their magical quality when you take a deep look at them.
All this said, if you’re a Rudhyar fan (and it’s hard not to be!), his different wordings still offer more clues for you. It can be fun and illuminating to choose a few of those alternative wordings and work with them, too. Over the years, the Sabian symbols have astonished astrologers because they clearly express several levels of meaning simultaneously. Other people have made interpretative attempts that have merit and have added to the wealth of knowledge about the symbols. There are several books written on the Sabian symbols. These books are good references that can add other perspectives to your understanding and stimulate additional personal insight. Those who have worked with the symbols over time consistently find meaning in them.
Sabians Offer More Detail To Give More Ways to Flex
Obviously, the Sabian Sun symbols offer more depth and breadth to the moods and energies of your Sun Numbers than simply knowing that you are, say, an Aries. Honing in on your personality doesn’t put you in a box. Instead, it helps you see the box from which you view the world so that you can step outside your own constraints. When you gain a better sense of how you unknowingly and automatically limit yourself, you will improve the health of your relationships; lead a more creative, productive and fulfilling life; and experience your true self. Sunology stresses that the meanings of the symbols are not arbitrary or based on impressionistic interpretation. However, in your own interpretative efforts, the meanings for the symbols gain richness and depth when taken on their own, melded with your life experiences and not set within a strict rule.
There are other places around the web that you can read about the Elsie Wheeler and the creation of the Sabian symbols.
*Excerpt from my book, Sunology: A Guide to Source-Connection