The Sabian Symbols are a set of 360 phrases of words that correspond with each of the 360 degrees of the wheel of the zodiac, from Aries 1 to Pisces 30. The Sabian symbols were produced in 1925 by clairvoyant Elsie Wheeler. The symbols were developed by the astrologer Marc Edmund Jones (1888-1980). Dane Rudhyar played a major role in introducing the symbols to a wider public.
How to use them
- If the position of the planet is at an even degree (i.e., 27 Scorpio 00), read the Sabian symbol for that degree (i.e., 27 Scorpio).
- If the position of the planet is at least one minute over an even degree (i.e., 27 Scorpio 01 or 27 Scorpio 15) read the Sabian symbol for the next higher degree (i.e., 28 Scorpio).
- The most important points of the Zodiac to start your interpretation are the Sun and the North Node: how to embrace your individuality (Sun) and your development path (North Node).
I found the most comprehensive commentaries for each degree of the Zodiac made by James Burgess, an astrologer linked to Sufism. If you would like to purchase his book with complete information, please click here.
Sabian Symbols and commentaries
1 A woman has risen out of the ocean, a seal is embracing her.
2 A comedian entertaining the group.
3 A cameo profile of a man in the outline of his country.
4 Two lovers strolling through a secluded walk.
5 A triangle with wings.
6 A square brightly lighted on one side.
7 A man successfully expressing himself in two realms at once.
8 A woman’s hat with streamers blown by the east wind.
9 A crystal gazer.
10 A teacher gives new symbolic forms to traditional images.
11 The ruler of a nation.
12 A flock of wild geese.
13 A bomb which failed to explode is now safely concealed.
14 A serpent coiling near a man and a woman.
15 An Indian weaving a blanket.
16 Brownies dancing in the setting sun.
17 Two prim spinsters sitting together in silence.
18 An empty hammock.
19 The magic carpet of oriental imagery.
20 A young girl feeding birds in winter.
21 A pugilist entering the ring.
22 The gate to the garden of all fulfilled desires.
23 A woman in pastel colours carrying a heavy and valuable but veiled load.
24 An open window and a net curtain blowing into a cornucopia.
25 A double promise reveals its inner and outer meanings.
26 A man possessed of more gifts than he can hold.
27 Through imagination, a lost opportunity is regained.
28 A large disappointed audience.
29 The music of the spheres.
30 A duck pond and its brood.
1 A clear mountain stream.
2 An electrical storm.
3 Steps up to a lawn blooming with clover.
4 The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
5 A widow at an open grave.
6 A bridge being built across a gorge.
7 A woman of Samaria comes to draw water from the well.
8 A sleigh without snow.
9 A Christmas tree decorated.
10 A red cross nurse.
11 A woman sprinkling flowers.
12 A young couple walk down main- street, window-shopping.
13 A porter carrying heavy baggage.
14 On the beach, children play while shellfish grope at the edge of the water.
15 A man with rakish silk hat, muffled against the cold, braves a storm.
16 An old teacher fails to interest his pupils in traditional knowledge.
17 A symbolical battle between ‘swords’ and ‘torches’.
18 A woman airing an old bag through a sunny window.
19 A new continent rising out of the ocean.
20 Wisps of clouds, like wings, are streaming across the sky.
21 Moving finger points to significant passages in a book.
22 White dove flying over troubled waters.
23 A jewellery shop filled with the most magnificent jewels.
24 An Indian warrior riding fiercely, human scalps hanging at his belt.
25 A large well-kept public park.
26 A Spaniard serenading his senorita.
27 An old Indian woman selling beads.
28 A mature woman reawakened to romance.
29 Two cobblers working at a table.
30 A peacock parading on the terrace of an old castle.
1 A glass-bottomed boat reveals under-sea wonders.
2 Santa clause filling stockings furtively.
3 The garden of the Tuileries in Paris.
4 Holly and mistletoe bring Christmas spirit to a home.
5 A radical magazine, asking for action, displays a sensational front page.
6 Workmen drilling for oil.
7 An old-fashioned well.
8 Aroused strikers round a factory.
9 A quiver filled with arrows.
10 Aeroplane performing a nose-dive.
11 Newly opened lands offer the pioneer new opportunities for experience.
12 A black slave-girl demands her rights of her mistress.
13 World famous pianist giving a concert performance.
14 Two people, living far apart, in telepathic communication.
15 Two Dutch children talking.
16 A woman activist in an emotional speech, dramatizing her cause.
17 The head of a robust youth changes into that of a mature thinker.
18 Two Chinese men talking Chinese.
19 A large archaic volume reveals a traditional wisdom.
20 A cafeteria with an abundance of choices.
21 A tumultuous labour demonstration.
22 Dancing couples crowd the barn in a harvest festival.
23 Three fledglings in a nest high in a tree.
24 Children skating on ice.
25 A gardener trimming large palm trees.
26 Winter frost in the woods.
27 A young gypsy emerging from the woods gazes at far cities.
28 Society granting bankruptcy to him, a man leaves the court.
29 The first mockingbird of spring sings from the tree top.
30 A parade of bathing beauties before large beach crowds.
1 On a ship the sailors lower an old flag and raise a new one.
2 A man on a magic carpet observes vast vistas below him.
3 An arctic explorer leads a reindeer through icy canyons.
4 A cat arguing with a mouse.
5 At a railroad crossing, an automobile is wrecked by a train.
6 Game birds feathering their nests.
7 Two fairies (nature spirits) dancing on a moonlit night.
8 A group rabbits dressed in clothes and on parade.
9 A small, naked girl bends over a pond trying to catch a fish.
10 A large diamond in the first stages of the cutting process.
11 A clown caricaturing well-known personalities.
12 Chinese woman with baby who is the reincarnation of a great teacher.
13 One hand slightly flexed with a very prominent thumb.
14 A very old man facing a vast dark space to the northeast.
15 A group of people who have overeaten and enjoyed it.
16 A man studying a mandala in front of him, with the help of a very ancient book.
17 The seed grows into knowledge and life.
18 A hen scratching for her chicks.
19 A priest performing a marriage ceremony.
20 Venetian gondoliers in a serenade.
21 A prima donna singing.
22 A young woman awaiting a sailboat.
23 The meeting of a literary society.
24 A woman and two men castaways on a small island of the south seas.
25 A leader of men wrapped in an invisible mantle of power.
26 Guests are reading in the library of a luxurious home.
27 A violent storm in a canyon filled with expensive homes.
28 Indian girl introduces college boy-friend to her assembled tribe.
29 A Greek muse weighing new born twins in golden scales.
30 A daughter of the American revolution.
1 Under emotional stress, blood rushes to a man’s head.
2 An epidemic of mumps.
3 A mature woman, keeping up with the times, having her hair bobbed.
4 Man stands near trophies he brought back from a hunting expedition.
5 Rock formations tower over a deep canyon.
6 An old fashioned ‘conservative’ woman is confronted by an up-to-date girl.
7 The constellations of stars in the sky.
8 A communist activist spreading his revolutionary ideals.
9 Glass blowers shape beautiful vases with their controlled breathing.
10 Early morning dew.
11 Children on a swing in a huge oak tree.
12 An evening lawn party of adults.
13 An old sea captain rocking on the porch of his cottage.
14 Cherub-like, a human soul whispers, seeking to manifest.
15 A pageant moving along a street packed with people.
16 Brilliant sunshine just after a storm.
17 Volunteer church choir makes social event of rehearsal.
18 A chemist conducts an experiment for his students.
19 A houseboat party.
20 American Indians perform a ritual to the sun.
21 Intoxicated chickens dizzily flap their wings trying to fly.
22 A carrier pigeon fulfilling its mission.
23 A bareback rider in a circus displays her dangerous skill.
24 Concentrated on spiritual attainment, man in state of neglect of his body.
25 A large camel crossing a vast and forbidding desert.
26 After a heavy storm, a rainbow.
27 Daybreak – the luminescence of dawn in the eastern sky.
28 Many little birds on the limb of a large tree.
29 A mermaid emerges from the ocean ready for rebirth in human form.
30 An unsealed letter.
1 In a portrait the best of a man’s features and traits are idealized.
2 A large white cross-dominating the landscape-stands alone on top of a high hill.
3 Two guardian angels bringing protection.
4 Black and white children playing happily together.
5 Man becoming aware of nature spirits and normally unseen spiritual energies.
6 A merry-go-round.
7 A harem.
8 A girl takes her first dancing instruction.
9 A expressionist painter making a futuristic drawing.
10 Two heads looking out and beyond the shadows.
11 A boy moulded in his mother’s aspirations for him.
12 A bride with her veil snatched away.
13 A powerful statesman overcomes a state of political hysteria.
14 A family tree.
15 A fine lace ornamental handkerchief.
16 Children crowd around the orangutan cage in a zoo.
17 A volcanic eruption.
18 Two girls playing with a Ouija board.
19 A swimming race.
20 A caravan of cars headed for promised lands.
21 A girls’ basketball team.
22 A royal coat of arms enriched with precious stones.
23 A lion-tamer rushes fearlessly into the circus arena.
24 Mary and her white lamb.
25 A flag at half-mast in front of a public building.
26 A boy with a censer serves near the priest at the altar.
27 Aristocratic elderly ladies drinking afternoon tea in a wealthy home.
28 A bald-headed man who has seized power.
29 A man gaining secret knowledge from an ancient scroll he is reading.
30 Having an urgent task to complete, a man doesn’t look to any distractions.
1 A butterfly preserved and made perfect with a dart through it.
2 The light of the sixth race transmuted to the seventh.
3 The dawn of a new day reveals everything changed.
4 A group of young people sit in spiritual communion around a campfire.
5 A man teaching the true inner knowledge of the new world to his students.
6 A man watches his ideals taking a concrete form before his inner vision.
7 A woman feeding chickens and protecting them from the hawks.
8 A blazing fireplace in a deserted home.
9 Three old masters hanging in a special room in an art gallery.
10 A canoe approaching safety through dangerous waters.
11 A professor peering over his glasses at his students.
12 Miners are emerging from a deep coal mine.
13 Children blowing soap bubbles.
14 In the heat of the noon, a man takes a siesta.
15 Circular paths.
16 After a storm, a boat landing stands in need of reconstruction.
17 A retired sea captain watches ships entering and leaving the harbour.
18 Two men placed under arrest.
19 A gang of robbers in hiding.
20 A Jewish rabbi performing his duties.
21 A crowd upon a beach.
22 A child giving birds a drink at a fountain.
23 Chanticleer’s voice heralds the rising sun with exuberant tones.
24 A third wing on the left side of a butterfly.
25 Autumn leaf brings to pilgrim sudden revelation of the mystery of life and death.
26 An eagle and a large white dove turning into each other.
27 An airplane sails, high in the clear sky.
28 A man in deep gloom. Unnoticed, angels come to his help.
29 Mankind’s effort for knowledge transferable from generation to generation.
30 Three mounds of knowledge on a philosopher’s head.
1 A sight-seeing bus filled with tourists.
2 A broken bottle and spilled perfume.
3 Neighbours help in a house- raising party in a small village.
4 A youth holding a lighted candle in a devotional ritual.
5 A massive, rocky shore resists the pounding of the sea.
6 A gold rush tears men away from their native soil.
7 Deep-sea divers.
8 The moon shining across a lake.
9 A dentist at work.
10 A fellowship supper reunites old comrades.
11 A drowning man is being rescued.
12 An official embassy ball.
13 An inventor performs a laboratory experiment.
14 Telephone linemen at work installing new connections.
15 Children playing around five mounds of sand.
16 A girl’s face breaking into a smile.
17 A woman, filled with her own spirit, is the father of her own child.
18 A path through woods rich in autumn colouring.
19 A parrot listening and then talking, repeats a conversation he has overheard.
20 Woman drawing aside 2 curtains that closed the entrance to a sacred pathway.
21 Obeying his conscience, a soldier resists orders.
22 Hunters shooting wild ducks.
23 A rabbit metamorphosed into a fairy (nature spirit).
24 Crowds coming down the mountain to listen to one inspired man.
25 An x ray photograph.
26 Indians making camp (in new territory)
27 A military band marches noisily on through the city streets.
28 The king of the fairies approaching his domain.
29 An Indian woman pleading to the chief for the lives of her children.
30 Children in Halloween costumes indulging in various pranks.
1 Retired army veterans gather to reawaken old memories.
2 The ocean covered with whitecaps.
3 Two men playing chess.
4 A little child learning to walk.
5 An old owl up in a tree.
6 A game of cricket.
7 Cupid knocking at the door of a human heart.
8 Deep within the depths of the earth, new elements are being formed.
9 A mother leads her small child step by step up the stairs.
10 A theatrical representation of a golden haired ‘goddess of opportunity’.
11 The lamp of physical enlightenment at the left temple.
12 A flag that turns into an eagle that crows.
13 A widow’s past is brought to light.
14 The pyramids and the sphinx.
15 The ground hog looking for its shadow on ground hog day.
16 Sea gulls fly around a ship looking for food.
17 An Easter sunrise service.
18 Tiny children in sunbonnets.
19 Pelicans, disturbed by the garbage of people move their young to a new habitat.
20 In winter people cutting ice from a frozen pond, for summer use.
21 A child and a dog wearing borrowed eyeglasses.
22 A Chinese laundry.
23 Immigrants entering a new country.
24 A bluebird standing at the door of the house.
25 A chubby boy on a hobbyhorse.
26 A flag-bearer in a battle.
27 The sculptor’s vision is taking form.
28 An old bridge over a beautiful stream in constant use.
29 A fat boy mowing the lawn.
30 The pope blessing the faithful.
1 An Indian chief claims power from the assembled tribe.
2 Three stained-glass windows in a gothic church, one damaged by war.
3 The human soul, in its eagerness for new experiences, seeks embodiment.
4 A group of people entering a large canoe for a journey by water.
5 Indians – some rowing a canoe and others dancing a war dance in it.
6 Ten logs lie under an archway leading to darker woods.
7 A veiled prophet speaks, seized by the power of a god.
8 Birds in the house singing happily.
9 An angel carrying a harp.
10 An albatross feeding from the hand of a sailor.
11 Pheasants display their brilliant colours on a private estate.
12 A student of nature lecturing revealing little-known aspects of life.
13 A fire worshipper meditates on the ultimate realities of existence.
14 Ancient bas-relief carved in granite is witness to a long- forgotten culture.
15 In a hospital, the children’s ward is filled with toys.
16 School grounds filled with boys and girls in gymnasium suits.
17 A girl surreptitiously bathing in the nude.
18 The union jack flies from a new British warship.
19 A child of about five carrying a huge shopping bag filled with groceries.
20 A hidden choir singing during a religious service.
21 A relay race.
22 A general accepting defeat gracefully.
23 A soldier receiving two awards for bravery in combat.
24 A woman entering a convent.
25 An oriental rug dealer in a store filled with precious ornamental rugs.
26 A nature spirit dancing in the mist of a waterfall.
27 A mountain pilgrimage.
28 A large aviary.
29 A woman reading tea leaves.
30 Directors of a large firm meet in secret conference.
1 An old adobe mission.
2 An unexpected thunderstorm.
3 A deserter from the navy.
4 A Hindu healer.
5 A council of ancestors.
6 A masked figure performs ritualistic acts in a mystery play.
7 A child born out of an eggshell.
8 Beautifully gowned wax figures on display.
9 A flag is seen turning into an eagle.
10 A popularity that proves to be fleeting.
11 During silent hour, a man receives a new inspiration which may change his life.
12 People on a vast staircase, graduated upwards.
13 A barometer.
14 A train entering a tunnel.
15 Two lovebirds sitting on a fence and singing happily.
16 A big-businessman at his desk.
17 A watchdog standing guard, protecting his master and his possessions.
18 A man being unmasked at a masquerade.
19 A forest fire quenched.
20 A large white dove bearing a message.
21 Woman disappointed, disillusioned, courageously facing a seemingly empty life.
22 A rug placed on a floor for children to play on.
23 A big bear sitting down and waving all its paws.
24 Man turning his back on his passions teaches deep wisdom from his experience.
25 A butterfly with the right wing more perfectly formed.
26 A garage man testing a car’s battery with a hydrometer.
27 An ancient pottery bowl filled with fresh violets.
28 A tree felled and sawed to ensure a supply of wood for the winter.
29 Butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.
30 Moon-lit fields, once Babylon, are blooming white.
1 A crowded public market place.
2 A squirrel hiding from hunters.
3 A petrified forest.
4 Heavy car traffic on a narrow isthmus linking two seaside resorts.
5 A church bazaar.
6 A parade of army officers in full dress.
7 Illuminated by shaft of light, cross lies on rocks surrounded by sea and mist.
8 A girl blowing a bugle.
9 The race begins: to outdistance rivals, a jockey spurs his horse to great speed.
10 An aviator in the clouds.
11 Men travelling a narrow path, seeking illumination.
12 An examination of initiates in the sanctuary of an occult brotherhood.
13 A sword, used in many battles, in a museum.
14 A lady wrapped in fox fur.
15 An officer drilling his men in a simulated attack.
16 In a quiet moment, a creative individual experiences the flow of inspiration.
17 An Easter promenade.
18 In huge tent revivalist conducts his meeting with spectacular performance.
19 A master instructing his disciple.
20 A table set for an evening meal.
21 A little white lamb, a child and a Chinese servant.
22 A prophet bringing down the new law from Mount Sinai.
23 A ‘materializing medium’ giving a séance.
24 An inhabited island.
25 The purging of the priesthood.
26 New moon reveals it is time for people to go ahead with their different projects.
27 A harvest moon illuminates the sky.
28 A fertile garden under the full moon.
29 Light breaking into many colours as it passes through a prism.
30 Majestic rock formation like a face idealized by a boy who begins to look like it.