What Makes SABIAN ASTROLOGY™ Sabian?

The question,"What makes Sabian astrology Sabian?" was posed to one of our members who practices Sabian Astrology. The answer given by our Sabian astrologer is based on her own personal experience. It is shared here for the benefit of those who have also asked this question.

"Many things come to mind as I try to answer this question. The first thing that comes to mind is that Sabian Astrology reflects the Sabian concept of "a search for competent rather than easy answers to the problems of life." Sabian Astrology embodies all the philosophical, spiritual and practical concepts of the Sabian vision.

The next thing that comes to mind is what I consider the hallmark of Sabian Astrology — pattern and structure. The Temperament Types (or patterns) that Dr. Jones pioneered provide the astrologer a place to begin, a preliminary introduction to a whole-view of the horoscope. Structure can be defined as the methodical, step-by-step process of analysis, each step designed to determine and qualify potential assets as well as potential negative tendencies unique to each individual. The significance of this approach is that it is not "cookbook" astrology or that which gives quick and easy, rather than competent, answers. And, it is "people-oriented" rather than "event-oriented."

Sabian astrology is a system in which the approach is methodical, philosophical and practical. It embodies concepts by which self-discovery, individuality, and the achievement of a level of understanding of the problems of life is made possible. From a practical standpoint, it also points out those elements of self-expression that can lead to disappointment or frustration if improperly applied. Ultimately, I knew that I had discovered an astrological system that, rather than having a negative impact on my senses, was an approach that made sense, was more positive and more constructive. Sabian astrology is a system that identifies and encourages the most effective application of our energies in our actions and reactions in order to achieve a more positive result in our own ongoing.

To paraphrase from the "Sabian Brochure," the Assembly concerns itself with various step-by-step ways that assist and make possible each individual's outreach to gain understanding in every stage of growth. This, to me, is the ultimate purpose for the seeker. It is what makes Sabian astrology "Sabian."

My first exposure to astrology began with a paperback book I picked up in a bookstore, some thirty years ago, mainly out of curiosity. I knew nothing about astrology but that book stimulated my interest. Consequently, I purchased and devoured every book I could find on astrology. All those definitions of planets, houses, signs and aspects were interesting but how to begin putting all that together eluded me. Some definitions were enlightening, some were titillating, and some were downright negative. But even the books that had some merit didn't tell me how I could put it all together.

As fate would have it, I (like many others) discovered the Sabian Assembly and that led to my introduction to Sabian astrology. That's when I knew I had discovered an astrology that was very different from the astrology I had been reading about in other books. That difference changed my perspective and set me on a new path of study — a journey that led to better understanding.

In my previous studies of astrology, I noticed that the term "malefic" was usually associated with certain planets. It was a term used by the ancients and traditional astrologers because of a mind set that correlated ill-fortune or disasters with the cyclic movements of those planets. They were unable or unwilling to recognize that there was another, and more constructive, meaning to the planets. Perhaps the people of those times unknowingly contributed to their own misfortunes and found it easier to blame the stars.

In his teachings, Dr. Jones refrained from using the term "malefic," as such. I believe his purpose for this was because he felt that the term was fatalistic and restrictive in its connotation when applied to certain planets and their meaning in an individual's horoscope. Although he did not dismiss the negative potential associated with those planets, he was persistent in his teachings that these planets represent challenges and a measure of self-discipline rather than some presupposed disaster. The efforts put forth in meeting those challenges will likely test an individual's abilities while, at the same time, provide a valuable learning experience that can assist us in our growth and understanding.

It is important to recognize the fact that these so-called malefics appear in every individual's chart. As human beings, we all have our ups and downs, our good times and our bad times. And, not infrequently, both the good and bad times will correspond to a specific planetary relationship in an individual's chart. The planets didn't cause this. Dr. Jones was clear in impressing upon the student that the stars wield no influences. A quotation from one of his astrological lesson sets states: "The stars do not influence human life and destiny, they merely measure the influence at play in any given case." I believe the point made by that statement is not to get caught up in the idea that the planets influence our destiny or that our fate is predetermined. Rather than suppose we are at the mercy of those planetary influences, we should never lose sight of the fact that free will determines both our actions and reactions which, in turn, influences our destiny.

It all goes back to the dictum of "as above, so below." In other words, as the planets in the cosmos form relationships with one another, they will be either harmonious or inharmonious relationships. Planets represent specific principles and energies. The critical consideration is how we act or react to those principles and energies when they correspond with a particular planet or house in our own charts.

In many instances, circumstances are often out of our control. We may not be able to control circumstances but we do have control of our actions or reactions to circumstances and events. Whenever a planetary relationship in the cosmos corresponds to a planet or pattern in your own chart, it measures to that influence at play that Dr. Jones spoke of. Consequently, it may be said that it is not the event or circumstance but, more importantly, how you act or react and how best to deal with those circumstances according to the planetary principles brought to significance in respect to your own chart."