Sabian symbols were channeled in 1925. The spiritualist astrologer Marc Edmund Jones spent the day with Elsie Wheeler, a clairvoyant confined to a wheelchair in a San Diego park.
Edmund Jones showed Wheeler one by one, 360 blank cards. On the back of each card he had drawn a symbol for each of the 360 degrees of the zodiacal wheel: 1° Aries through 30° Pisces.
Wheeler proceeded to come up with visual phrases for each card he presented. Edmund Jones wrote the phrase on the blank side of each card. He showed them to her in random order, not progressively.
There are several books that interpret the Sabian Symbols, which can be of value when first exploring them. Like analyzing dreams, symbols have a universal meaning, but also a personal, so don’t forgo your own intuition when you first read the phrase.
Because the Sabian Symbols were created using 1° through 30° and astronomical/ephemeris data is catalogued from 0° to 29°59″, there is sometimes confusion on how to read them. If the Sun’s degree at the time of birth is 0°30″ then you read the symbol for 1°. In other words, round up the number. This is the way the great astrologer Dane Rudyer used the symbols.
Not every astrologer uses them or even considers them of value. I am intrigued by the synchronicity of the process of their creation. The Sabian Symbols have a magic that is hard to decipher, yet can jog a new spin on interpretation which I appreciate.
I find the Sabian Symbols especially useful when analyzing a lunation, because of the combination of the solar energy (representing Ego and self-expression) and the lunar (emotional, memory and the instinctual).