What are Sabian Symbols?
Anyone who has had an astrology reading with me knows I work with Sabian Symbols to interpret charts of individuals.
“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.”
I like to explain it this way: these symbols are attempts at putting words to what is beyond words. The symbols evoke a quality & connect that quality to a context we can intellectually understand. They then ask us to contemplate & interpret the symbol in a non-intellectual, non-literal way. We are taking a quality that is unnamable, naming it & then forgetting the words in order to sense beyond them. This can make for a very unusual conversation.
For example, today MERCURY is at 18*Aquarius & the symbol is “A man unmasked.” The function of MERCURY includes communication, memory, thinking & learning. For now, while we are naming the quality of the symbol, we have permission to think about it literally in order to get closer to the quality. You could take some time now to think of some words or images that emerge when you hear the symbol for 18*Aquarius. Now, if I tell you this degree is currently active in your natal chart, you may have a whole new set of more subjective, perhaps not so literal thoughts or images coming to mind. Finally, when I inform you of which house (circumstance) this degree resides & furthermore, which planet (function) occupies this degree in the chart, you can then appreciate the personal connection & specific recognition that exists within you, beyond what can be put into words.
If this description of symbol works makes you curious or excited, please let me know. I would love to hear from you. There are 359 additional symbols. I would love to find others who feel drawn to explore them. Please get in touch to share your thoughts & questions.
What Do I Want to Hold?
Every time I try to write an astrology post I abandon it. My attempts to technically name the astrology of the moment, the planets involved, the sign, the aspect, read to me like someone who is trying to know something unknowable. Sure, I know what to look at and when but if you don’t speak that language what do you care? People come to astrology because they want to know about themselves and their loved ones. They want to know why they feel a certain way or find themselves in similar situations over and over again. Do they need to hear that their natal Moon is Quincunx their natal Saturn/Venus Conjunction or that Transiting Pluto is forming a T-Square to their Sun/Uranus Opposition? Probably not. What they DO need to hear, in plain English, is the meaning of all that and some insight around how to handle it. Occasionally after a reading folks want to learn astrology and that is definitely cool too.
The last time I posted was April 10th which feels like ancient history. Since I last wrote, the kids are bigger, our youngest turned 2, masks have their own hanger by the front door, I am homeschooling our kindergartner and our fascist President lost the election. Thank. The. Universe.
After abandoning several attempts to write a post about the eclipse, the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction and Chiron turning direct, I will instead try something different. I will simply share what is going on with me and see what comes of it.
A couple months ago I found myself gripped with fear. I was experiencing some significant Fall allergy symptoms which is not new. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t had a sniffle in several months that when these allergies kicked in, they felt severe and brought me total panic. What if it’s COVID-19? I can’t take a deep breath, my airway feels swollen, I’m tired, my head hurts, etc.… and the more I thought about it the worse it got and my heart would be racing. I would picture it all unfolding. Our parents getting sick. Total devastation.
I did not have COVID-19 and to this day no one in my immediate world has either. I am aware of how fortunate that makes me. This anxiety felt like a culmination of all I was trying to hold finally leaving my hands, falling on the ground. My body delivered the news and I had to catch up emotionally. I finally recognized; that was too much to hold on my own. Something shifted. It wasn’t just COVID-19 that was causing me distress, it was work, my kids, worry about the election, my wife’s work stress, money, weaning a toddler and lots of other little big things. As soon as I spoke with my doctor and my friends about the anxiety it lifted, and my allergy symptoms subsided. I finished & released a film I’d been working hard on for months (you can watch it here: https://vimeo.com/459125379 ), the election came and went and I started thinking about other stuff.
My five year old was hating his morning Kindergarten meets and I had been trying to reason with him like, “it’s not that bad, I know it’s hard but you have to just get through it, etc.…” but one morning, a few days after the anxiety had subsided I was sitting next to him and noticing an awakened feeling that was very new. I thought wait- why are we making him do this? The worksheets from his teacher are piled up, some of which we have not even looked at yet. He has no interest in any of it and for 90minutes in the morning he pleads with me for class to end. That morning I thought what if instead for 90minutes we were connecting about things we both care about? So, with the support of my wife I decided to start our own version of Kindergarten here at home. I’m still getting my bearings, but I already feel much better about my relationship with him.
Quentin has always been fascinated with the natural world. He has been foraging for berries and herbs since he was 2. Since moving to EcoVillage, I have been increasingly curious about permaculture. I am very drawn to the idea of biodiversity, self-supporting eco-systems and plant communities. Sustainability and environmental responsibility has always been a virtue I believe in but I never went as far as to make a real plan for my own role within it. Over the Summer I was able to make a connection between my desire to pursue permaculture and my own natal Virgo placements. The first time I learned about Virgo, my teacher told me that it functions like the digestive system. You put a piece of food on your tongue and your body takes over from there. It knows where everything goes. I liked that description. I couldn’t fully know how it related to me, (it was my first astrology reading) but it resonated deeply.
Last night I was reading “Gaia’s Garden – Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture” and on the last page of the first chapter the author writes… “Think of how the lower digestive tract filters all the nutrition it can from food by making multiple passes on a meal. The small intestine extracts a portion of the nutrient load, then the large intestine absorbs more, and the bacteria in the gut convert yet more to a useful form. This multilayered approach ekes out nearly all available sustenance from food. In the same way, a garden with several layers of water-conserving techniques, frost protection, disease proofing, wind deflection, or soil-building strategies will gain a cumulative benefit from the multiple techniques.”
After lots of thought and some initial planning I have begun to center this Kindergarten experience with Quentin around permaculture so that he and I can learn together. The coolest thing about permaculture is that it contains everything; social justice and activism, science and math, art, physical education, farming, history- anything is relevant material.
As I said, we haven’t quite gotten off the ground yet, but we are building something and when I dive into it I notice awakening energy and vibration that is very new. I have never identified as a teacher but always as a learner and I am incredibly enthusiastic about connecting this to my astrology practice, my filmmaking and ultimately my parenting.
I am excited to share this journey here on this blog as it unfolds. I hope you’ll stay tuned for more!
I am still offering astrology readings. I am also happy to share that I now offer ongoing mentorship. Please get in touch if you are interested in any of that. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Current As Currency
noun: current; plural noun: currents
1650s, "condition of flowing," a sense now rare or obsolete, from Latin currens, present participle of currere "to run" (from PIE root *kers- "to run"). The notion of "state or fact of flowing from person to person" led to the senses "continuity in public knowledge" (1722) and "that which is current as a medium of exchange, money" (1729).
Something’s been trying to come through me. I recognize it in what I’m reading & remembering but this morning when I heard my yoga teacher say the word “current” it brought me closer.
What is this virus doing to the human population besides subtracting from it? Imagine every conscious person on the planet is having the same exact thought right now. It’s an outlandish idea, right? Yet it almost defines our current reality.
Right now, we all share a particular awareness that has never before been present. A conscious current carrying collective perception around the globe. The algorithm shifting only as the news is updated in real time, slowing and quickening our understanding between the silence and the surges.
It’s true that humans have always been this interconnected, but the channel has never been so open. The current has never been so strong.
Together, we are all experiencing an unfamiliar kind of contemplation that gets more kaleidoscopic every day. The collective awareness makes it impersonal even though we experience it on such a deeply intimate level.
This invisible yet palpable current is conducting each of us to attune to what is possible. Good or bad seems irrelevant with this level of uncertainty looming.
Over this last week I’ve been wavering between despondent and agitated with a sinking sensation, the awareness of the death toll paired with the demand to show up for my kids and make them laugh. What keeps me hopeful in the midst of it all is the potential for expansive meaningful human connection. We all have so much to gain as well as give simply from being “in this together” and letting the current take us where it will.
So, I am stuck on this idea of “the current as currency.”
I recognize that a lot of us don’t know how our financial situation is going to shake out after all this and it feels like a time to make an offering. My material income isn’t guaranteed right now, but I can continue connecting with others and staying current by offering “pay what you can” astrology readings.
If you’re curious about how a conversation about astrology might offer some insight right now, please get in touch. Any amount that’s good for you will work for me too.
The Big Picture
These days I have one foot on the side of okay and the other dangling somewhere above nowhere near it.
I'm a Mother, an astrologer, a writer and a filmmaker.