The Sabian Symbols

by Dane Rudhyar

My natal Moon is in the 20th degree of Cancer.


KEYNOTE: Happiness as an overtone of social integration  and conformity to custom.”

I do enjoy myself once I have accomplished something. I am very serious but I do have a sense of humour when I am secure (Moon), but even then I rarely conform. Maybe I haven’t solved or matured into this yet.

“Venice can be considered the symbol of a social consciousness  risen directly from the unconscious urges of human nature–because the city emerged out of the sea, just as the lotus flower  floats on top of the lake, its roots implanted in the bottom mud.”

My social consciousness does come from deep within my self and my meditation. Music has and is teaching me much about social relations. I have more difficulty with a city emerging out of the sea. It may have just been built  on the shore of the sea. The inter relatedness of city and sea I can identify with, but to compare Venice to a Lotus growing out of the mud seems to be stretching the issue. It is Venice that has polluted the sea making it more a septic system with all the stench and vermin that go with it.

“The serenading gondoliers ‘float’ over the water, their songs raised to the balconies where the “flower” of consciousness, the  beloved, may make her appearance.”

I think of Gondoliers as singing to lovers in a boat rather than to people in the balconies. To me the lovers taking a boat ride would be escaping from conformity to custom. It is not as if taking the ride is socially expected of them.

“This play of basic human  drives toward acceptance by the consciousness housed in the  structures of the ego is performed according to social tradition.”

“play of basic human  drives” cut the above sentence here and it is easy to relate to and makes sense to me.  The remainder of the sentence is too obscue and contrary to my own simple interpretation of a gondolier guiding and singing love songs to lovers in a boat.

“Everything plays its part, and man experiences social happiness  and a sense of fulfillment.”

How can it not play its part? This seems to refer to synchronicity.

This is the fifth of the twenty-second sequence of five symbols.

Here he is referring to 5 degree subdivisions of the zodiac.Rudhyar interprets thems as phases in a  sequence

of growth. Acording to the Pentan system of of the I Ching this 5 degree division would represent a Capricorn sub-theme.

The  urge for individual integration represented in the first–integration  through meditation on ancient traditional forms–is now reflected in  the drive for social integration through the elegant and standardized  play of acceptable emotions. The Keyword might be FESTIVITY.

“Individual integration through meditation on ancient traditional forms” … This part I can easily relate to. It makes good sense to me. I did meditate in India for several years and have continued to do so ever since. I do consider many ancient truths to be more valid than contemporary ones. I do work to integrate the present insights with the inner truths and traditions of older ways.

The last part of this sentence, “…reflected in the drive for social integration through the elegant and standardized  play of acceptable emotions” … I have a struggle with. It is as if too much is being rationalised. It seems as if Rudhyar is more concerned with the implications of process than the depth of content………ra

Degree            Focus on:       Hexagrams:           Person/Event

19CA06 57 d  IC. in H04       32L2:51L1:63L2     Mussolini, Alessandra..

                                                                                     Politicn/Mussolinis Daughter

19CA21 12 r   PLU in H06    32L2:51L3:55L6     Yeltsin, Boris..President USSR

19CA31 09 d  VTX in H08    32L2:51L4:30L6     Arnold, Tom..Comedian/actor

19CA48@  r   MER in H00   32L2:51L5:49L2     Bowles, Camilla Parker..

                                                                                     riend of Prince Charles

19CA52 12 d  MAR in H08   32L2:51L6:13L5     Glenn, John H. Jr…Astronaut

My Natal Moon is at 16° of Virgo.

VIRGO 16° (Rudhyar): “In the zoo children are brought face to face with an orang-utang”

KEY NOTE: A Direct confrontation with the “wild” power of primordial nature within oneself.

During this twelfth subcycle closing in the first half of cycle we deal with phases of unfoldment which can be very broadly classified under education. i.e. leading out into the world of transcendent activity. Every hidden motive and depth energy has to be “led out” and objectively faced. According to occult  traditions, at least some of the ape species are actually throwbacks resulting from the perversion of the Man archetype when it belatedly came in touch with the elemental energies of an adolescent earth. Likewise many of so called “primitive” tribes in place like Australia, and New guinea should be consider degenerate

My interpretation of this would be  self-questioning, self-critical, want to really understand the feeling and experience. I really need to fight and to learn from experiences. Need to understand the motive deeply. Astrology is a good way of learning it. I usually don’t hide anything from people and I expect people to do the same thing. Of course reality is different. When I don’t understand my behavior or somebody’s behavior I have to analyze and understand why. If I can’t, I become really frustrated and powerless. Knowledge and understanding is, for me, the key to power

In my opinion, the explanation describes the naiveté of a subject. I often think that every body is nice and I don’t want to see the black side of people. The reality is there to remind me that when I trust people too much,  I become a victim. It’s a position that I cannot stand so I learned how to face the reality.

Naiveté also because I don’t always calculate the effort, the time or the ability to do something, then when I really have to something  I really have to fight.

In fact in this case. the orangutan is a challenge. …vm

Degree                Focus on:           Hexagrams:              Person/Event

15VI00 51    d    SUN       H01     29L3:24L1:33L1       Sellers, Peter..Comedian

15VI14 22    r     VEN       H12     29L3:24L2:31L3       Koresh,  David..

                                                                                               Cult leader/Waco Tx

My Sun is in the 24th Degree of Libra,

LIBRA 24° (Rudhyar): A BUTTERFLY WITH A THIRD WING  ON ITS LEFT SIDE. KEYNOTE: The ability to develop, for inner strengthening, new modes of response to basic life situations.

It seems as if my entire life has been filled with the need to find new responses to life, as my past social programming usually falls short of what is needed or is acceptable.

The butterfly is the ancient and traditional symbol of the results  of the process of spiritual rebirth.

I feel that most of my present life is the result of spiritual rebirths.

If the butterfly has three  wings instead of two, a special development of an aspect of the  spiritual life is shown. Three is a symbol of fulfillment. Some  power has been added to the normal spiritual life of the individual person. The left side usually refers to the instinctual field of  the consciousness, but it is also the heart’s side. A new strength  is shown, perhaps as yet unrealized.

Being the Libra butterfly, I have flown into three marriages. They could be considered wings in my life.When your heart opens, how can one stay grounded. With one wing or three you are still going to wing it!

A fourth stage symbol usually refers to some kind of technique or  technical achievement.

I have spent much of my life refining and evolving perceptive techniques and tools. Astrology is a big part of this.

What is implied here is that the contact with  the revivifying Life-force (cf. the first stage symbol) can result in the  appearance of a new faculty, the use of which may not as yet be  consciously evaluated. Indeed it is the establishment of such a contact  which constitutes a technique for ORIGINAL MUTATION.

Well I certainly never planned to be an astrologer. I was headed for science and math  ……..then poetry,  …….then I Ching,  …….then meditation,  …….then astrology,  ………. and then…..  and then……..

Mutation and evolution, against these ideas I can certainly see my life’s path and direction as symbolized by this symbol. ….ra

Degree                Focus on:           Hexagrams:              Person/Event

23LI42 09     d    MAR      H02     62L6:47L2:46L2       Sutherland, Donald..Actor

23LI47 43     d    VTX       H06     62L6:47L2: 6L2        Jordan, Michael Jeffry..

                                                                                               Basketball Star

My Jupiter is at 4°37’ SC in the 3rd House squared by Saturn (and Pluto).


This is a symbol filled with meaning and excitement for me. I have experienced this many times in my life. I love the rugged ocean coasts of Canada’s Pacific West coast and the North Eastern Atlantic shore. When I crossed the Atlantic by boat it was during a turbulent storm. I have even lived in a makeshift driftwood lean-to for over one month on a beautiful but rugged beach on Vancouver Island.

KEYNOTE: The inertia of all institutionalized procedures.

It is interesting that I consider the rocks to be formed by the process of the waves rather than resisting them. Even the greatest of institutions do not do justice to the spirit of the masters. All institutions, to me, seem subject to the waves and tides of humanity and its needs. They are the result of the process not the control of the process.

Slow is the rise of the land from the vast ocean, but once it is  formed it develops a formidable resistance to change in spite of  storms.

Very little in life changes as drastically as the coast of the ocean. It may appear not to change, from a distance, but go visit and see for yourself.

Likewise, once a culture has expressed its basic symbols  and its particular way of thinking, feeling and acting in concrete  institutions, these change very slowly indeed.

To me, it seems that a culture develops, blossoms, matures, and dies as part of a very natural cycle. The collapse of cultures and instiututions is usually quite rapid as in wars, corruption and bankruptcy. Cultures are continually growing, dying, merging, and developing.

The individual  who came to the great city (Scorpio 1° symbol) soon finds his life  set by the rhythms of city living, which obliterate vaster life  processes and the moving tides of evolution.

I consider the rhythms of city living to be the result of vaster life forces and the moving tides of evolution. These tides I do not believe could be obliterated by any city or institution. An individual in a city is beset with choices and options. The city has its heart beat but is composed of many rhythms. In a city there is a greater choice in the manner and rhythm one’s circumstances. Not everyone is carried away!

This is the last of the five symbols of the forty-third sequence. We see  in it how binding and resistant a communal way of life can become.  In this there is strength and stability, and these are necessary factors  in the social life of man–until new horizons beckon. The Keyword is  STABILITY.

I can relate to the need to overcome, ignorance and inertia; personally and communally. The tides of truth and inspiration must pour ferociously against structures that crystallize. I cannot stand self-righteousness or patronage within institutions, but it does develop. To me the group or community is only as stable or strong as the individuals that compose it. This is a symphony with harmony, rhythm, and melody. Even so there is still a wonderful freshness filled with wonder and surprise. If anything is stable, it is the constant state of change.

I must say that I have spent much time on the outside side of stagnant or corrupt institutions, and I have spent much of my life reacting to, fighting, or leaving behind social and political injustice. However in the balance of life’s karma, I have also reaped the rewards of many institutions as well. Some people believe that it doesn’t matter if you rip off an institution. It’s not as if it is a person. However, it is yourself and your own conscience that is being diminished, and with it your own relationship to life’s institutions. The strongest of structures and institutions will collapse against the waves of conscience. There are many ways to establish your relationship to life. Institutions are not the heart of the matter. ….ra

Degree            Focus on:       Hexagrams:         Person/Event

04SC27 39  d  NEP in H02    39L5:53L3:59L2   Koresh,  David..Cult leader/Waco Tx

04SC59 11  d  MC. in H10     39L5:53L6: 7L1    Signoret, Simone..Author

My Sun is in the 28th Degree of Scorpio

SCORPIO 28°(Rudhyar): THE KING OF THE FAIRIES APPROACHING HIS DOMAIN. KEYNOTE: The capacity in man to recognize and to pay  homage to an integrating Principle at the core of all  existence. This rather peculiar picture tells us perhaps a good deal about  the limitations of the mind of the clairvoyant who saw it, though  it can be related to the symbolism of the various creatures of a  spirit world mentioned in some alchemical and Rosicrucian  books. What seems to be implied is that beyond both outer  nature and the realm of the proud ego, a spiritual world exists  to which the intuitive consciousness of man can pay allegiance.  In that world, all manifested entities are seen as multiple aspects of a central Power and Consciousness. It is such a central  principle of unity that human societies have sought to revere  symbolically in human, all-too-human kings. In an individual  sense, this principle is the Self.  

This is the third stage in the forty-eighth five-fold pattern of symbols.  It adds a new dimension to the two preceding ones. At this stage the  presence of a spiritual unifying factor begins to be sensed by the  individual perhaps weary of the outer shows of his culture. An INNER  ALLEGIANCE begins to polarize the consciousness.

THE KING OF THE FAIRIES APPROACHING HIS DOMAIN”,  in my eyes, is the realization of spirituality from the meshes of the materialistic and psychic world.  The FAIRIES are my desires and HIS DOMAIN is the centre of my SELF where eternal contentness lies.  This path in finding MY DOMAIN is part of my life presently and very rewarding and euphoric.

The KEYNOTE describes exactly what I’m partaking presently in my life.  I’m learning astrology but not  intellectually but spiritually with all it’s implications and meaning which is very deep and where I want to be.

In the past six months I’ve been opening up beyond the “proud ego” and seeing the spiritual truth.  Complete allegiance is my goal and I’m voraciously reading and contemplating about spiritual life becoming more and more tolerant and understanding.

This INNER ALLEGIANCE has come in the form of meditation spending hours at a time in silence listening to my thoughts and to my inner voice. …dd

Degree            Focus on:       Hexagrams:         Person/Event

27SC05 59  d  NEP in H08    35L3:30L6: 8L3    Kerrigan, Nancy..Skater Olympics94

27SC12 11  d  IC. in H04       35L3:30L5:23L5   Allen, Woody..Actor/producer/writer

27SC28 51  d  MON in H11   35L3:30L4: 2L1    Depardieu, Gerard..Actor

My Sun in in the 17th Degree of Aquarius.

AQUARIUS 17° (Rudhyar): A WATCHDOG STANDS GUARD, PROTECTING HIS MASTER AND HIS POSSESSIONS. KEYNOTE: The development of the capacity to protect oneself and to safeguard one’s individual rights under  complex social pressures.

Rudhyar seems more than Jones to focus on self-reliance and I can relate to this. Protecting myself is something I’ve had to do all my life to some extent, and I usually could not get much help from people who were supposed to be in protective roles, such as parents, teachers, doctors, and other health care providers.

What seems to be implied in this symbol, considering its position  in the entire cycle, is that under present-day social conditions  the individual person needs protection against the ever-growing encroachments of society upon his theoretically recognized  right to lead a private life free from public interference. Seen  in this light the symbol stands in contrast to the preceding one

depicting the power of big business and the totalitarian implications of large-scale organization.

Again my comments on Jones apply here as well: living in larger American cities I felt that legal and social rights were not adequate for people without good incomes as reflected in lack of health insurance, the power of landlords over tenants, inadequate and overloaded public transportation, high crime rates.

At a deeper occult level of  interpretation it also reveals the need to protect oneself against  “astral” intrusions and perhaps “black magic,” the more so as  one ventures into supernormal states of consciousness. It is said  that the Adept trains certain subhuman entities (”Elementals”)  to protect him. The Christian religion speaks of Guardian Angels in a related sense.

This type of occult interest never interested me. I’ve always avoided it.

At this second stage we see the individual able to master natural  energies which he enlists in his service, so he may pursue his individualized work of destiny in security. This is another aspect of the relationship of individual-to-society. Individuals of course do also seek to  rob or injure other persons, but the state of affairs resulting from a  society glorifying competition, ambition and success at any cost is  largely responsible for individual violence.

Astrology helps me to use ‘natural energies’ to my advantage but I haven’t been able to achieve any long lasting security. There are always recurring problems with health, work, and housing. I have over the years been injured and robbed, usually by people pretending to be on my side, but their motives were more diverse than ‘competition’ or ‘ambition’! Unlike Rudhyar, I believe that some people are born with violent or dishonest tendencies and they seem to find me.

The more creative the  person, the greater his or her NEED FOR PROTECTION.

Rudhyar really hits the nail on the head here. What I see as my creativity was always interpreted by others, particularly authority figures, as belligerent non-conformity, which they would immediately smash. This has always been a problem on my jobs. I know that I have also attracted attacks by being too different, in other ways, different in appearance, tall and thin, different values, such as being vegetarian and an astrologer.

Adlai Stevenson and Ronald Reagan also have their Sun in this degree. Margaret Millard has her Uranus in this degree.  …….dn

Degree            Focus on:       Hexagrams:         Person/Event

16aq08 32   d  MER in H03   6L2:28L1:52L6    Mandela, Nelson President S.Africa

16AQ19 58 d  MC. in H10     36L2:28L2:12L1   Gauquelin,  Francoise


16AQ38 42 d  SAT in H05    36L2:28L4:35L1   O’Neal, Tatum..Actress