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A Deeper Look At The Sabian Symbols

The thing I hear most from people who have tried using the Sabian Symbols but have dismissed them, is that they find difficulty interpreting their meaning. Generally speaking, this is because many people look at them with a kind of ‘tunnel vision’ or take them too literally. If one reads the actual word phrase in the Symbol and takes it only literally, sometimes it will resonate with the situation, other times not at all. I remember posting something to an Internet astrology group after Princess Diana died. I said that Prince Charles’ tenth house North Node is Taurus 5: A Widow Standing at an Open Grave. I mentioned that for years I’d looked at that degree and figured that the major thing it meant in Charles’ life was that he had to wait for his mother to die before he could accept his destiny and become king. Looking at the words ‘open grave’ could also imply that he may never become King because Queen Elizabeth II could outlive him! However, with Diana’s death, it seemed that there was a further layer of interpretation that was obvious for his North Node – the fact that he not only lost his wife, but that he may never be able to let her go or be able to forget about her. I received a reply from someone saying that couldn’t possibly have anything to do with Prince Charles because he isn’t a woman! (She was concentrating on ‘the widow’). The ‘open grave’ implies that it is very hard for him to let go of loss and move on with life, although that is really what is required. Many things, most notably the media, would help see to that. Extraordinarily, someone wrote back and said that the Symbol A Widow Standing at an Open Grave doesn’t fit with Charles anyway, because he’s not a woman! I wrote and tried to explain that the Symbols don’t have to be gender specific, and in fact they can resonate through the exact opposite of what is implied. If we look at the Symbols with a narrow perspective, the inherent meaning may very well escape, but if we use our intuitive mind to see what the Symbol implies, whole worlds will open up.

A good case of them showing the exact opposite of the wording was revealed through an experience I had in Russia in 1995. I was lecturing at a Conference in Moscow and the speakers had a celebratory party on Saturday night. The room the party was held in was a rather large room in a very old student’s accommodation building where 3 of the male Russian astrology speakers were staying. One was a renowned surgeon and anaesthetist, another a ballistics missile expert and another a statistician. When several of us walked into the room and proceeded to put our bottles of wine down on the tables we were warned “not on that table!!! It will collapse!” – and “don’t sit on that chair, it is broken!” Later in the evening, as we settled in and the party got into full swing with lots of drinking and jokes and laughing, several more people arrived. There was not much spare room, so Sacha, our interpreter and missile expert decided to move his bed that was in the middle of the room. As he picked up the bed and tried to move it, he found that one side was supported by bricks and it was basically falling apart. The more he tried to move it, the more the bed disintegrated. The entire room screamed with laughter and fell about. Sacha ended up sliding down the wall, laughing so hard he was fit to burst. Somebody said “Hey Lynda, where’s your Oracle cards – why don’t you ask what they have to say?” I had no idea what the response of the Sabian Symbols might be, but chose a red and a blue card and could hardly contain myself as I read out the Symbol: Virgo 27: Aristocratic Elderly Ladies Drinking Afternoon Tea in a Wealthy Home…. the exact opposite of our situation. It seems the Symbols have a sense of humour!

In the same way that astrology will not map the actual consciousness of a person, neither will the Sabian Symbols. Merely reading the Symbols will not reveal the level of awareness of the person. Rather, they will point to an inherent disposition. There is no way of knowing, without actually considering the individual, whether the Symbolism inherent in a birth chart is going to be used for good or ill.

Hitler’s chart is a good case to use to show how the Symbols can operate through the negative as well as the positive. I’ve lectured many times using Hitler’s chart. Several times I didn’t reveal the data or where the person was born. The class analysed the chart using conventional methods and then I read out the Symbols and asked who they thought the chart belonged to. I was amazed to find that at three different lectures the answer was Gandhi. This is astounding, professional astrologers and students alike could see a ‘Gandhi’ in Hitler’s chart. But of course, we’ve seen this when we’ve tried to analyse between two charts, one a victim and the other the perpetrator of a crime. It’s very hard to distinguish, most probably impossible. In fact it’s easy to see how a figure like Gandhi could emerge out of a chart with Hitler’s placements. There’s purity present, the battle between right and wrong and the appeal to the masses. As I’m writing this, Saturn is transiting Hitler’s Mercury/Descendant conjunction – perhaps that’s why I feel so drawn to ‘revealing’ him through the Sabian Symbols!

Please keep in mind that all of the following degree Symbols have a positive as well as a negative interpretation. I hope that none of my readers feel offended by my choice of Hitler for this article – I chose him because his Symbols are so amazingly easy to visualise. Actually, it’s fascinating how Hitler just won’t go away. Barely a day passes when we don’t see him mentioned in print or in the media somehow.

Hitler’s 7th house Sun degree is Taurus 1: A Clear Mountain Stream. This Symbol shows his obscene fascination with the concept of the Aryan race and ‘purity’. The Clear Mountain Stream implies a certain aloofness, coldness and purity in terms of the fact that it comes from snow melting and from high altitudes. It speaks of purity because the stream has not, as yet, gone very far on its course downwards towards the sea. It has not mixed with other streams and has not been polluted by the mixture of streams that may stem from agriculture, cities or industry. As it moves further down the mountain it is bound to lose its own essential nature and blend with other waters. Hitler was obsessed with seeing that only blue-eyed blondes mated with other blue-eyed blondes and, indeed, set up institutions where Aryan women were used as baby-making machines, inseminated with men hand-picked by The Reich. It’s interesting to note that it’s possible that Hitler’s fraternal grandfather was Jewish.

Hitler spent most of his days either in Berlin or at his mountain retreat – often referred to as ‘The Mountain’. Hitler’s stays on the mountain provided him, as he often stressed, with the inner calm and assurance for his surprising decisions. He would procrastinate regularly and put off writing his speeches for days. In Inside the Third Reich Albert Speer stated “He let the content of his speeches or his thoughts ripen during these weeks of apparent idling until all that had accumulated poured out like a stream (my italics) bursting its bounds upon followings or negotiators.” And, further, from The Spear of Destiny a quote from August Kubizek “… like floodgates breaking their dykes, his words burst from him.” He alternated his time between his mountain retreat and an underground bunker in Berlin, where he eventually ended up committing suicide.

People often make the statement that Hitler appeared to be possessed “his words burst from him”. He would start off his speeches in a calm, almost reticent, manner and build to a crescendo of shouting and fist waving. His Moon/Jupiter conjunction in the 3rd house, coupled with the Symbols, would go a long way to explaining it. His Moon at 6Capricorn38 has the Symbol of Capricorn 7: A Veiled Prophet Speaks, Seized by the Power of a God. The interpretation from my book “The Sabian Symbols as an Oracle” has this to say about this Symbol:

‘Information or knowledge is coming through, and it is difficult to know whether to trust it. Look carefully for the signs – is it truth that you are being fed? This energy can be used for the good of all involved, or it can just lead people astray. Hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion. If negative – conscious manipulation.’

Quoting August Kubizek, a friend of Hitler’s, from The Spear of Destiny – “It was as if another being spoke out of his body and moved him as much as it did me. It was not all a case of a speaker carried away by his own words. On the contrary; I rather felt as though he himself listened with astonishment and emotion to what burst forth from him with elemental force…”

Although not meaning to draw any parallels between Hitler and Rajneesh, it’s interesting to note that Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh has this degree as his Mercury. I took darshan (had a personal audience) with Rajneesh in 1979 and before I went in someone advised me to get somebody to take notes on what he had to say to me. I asked why and was told that many people go into a type of trance and don’t remember. My reply was that would never happen to me as I wasn’t under his ‘spell’. Well, that proved to be famous last words as I couldn’t remember half of what was said, I didn’t remember him touching my forehead, as he’d done to everyone else and I was definitely sure they didn’t take my photograph. A few days later I received my photo and, sure enough, Rajneesh’s thumb was planted firmly between my eye-brows.

Why did people listen to and follow Hitler, such a weird little man with a comical little moustache? Hitler’s Jupiter in the 3rd house at Capricorn 9 is very telling. The Symbol is ‘An Angel Carrying a Harp’. Certainly Hitler was no angel, but he played a tune that many people were ready and prepared to listen to. A little like the pied piper. The Angel will radiate harmonies that spread messages, in this case part of the tune he was playing was to bolster up the German people, to reinforce their economy and make Germany a world power. And people listened. As Speer says “Hitler was eternally exposed to the worship of the masses” and adds “The public credited Hitler and no one else with the achievements in economic and foreign policy of the period.” It’s interesting to note that he was often nicknamed the ‘Angel of Destruction’.

To further illustrate the conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter in the 3rd house, Liz Greene in The Outer Planets and Their Cycles says “You can see Hitler preparing to give a speech to an audience. He stands rather diffidently in the background, obviously unsure of himself, very eager to please. He climbs up to the podium, and smiles and dimples and shuffles a bit…. He begins to speak in a fairly ordinary voice. Then something begins to happen. His gestures change completely and begin to become rather jerky, and his voice alters, and his eyes glaze over. You can see the tenant in the basement rising up to take control of the house. All of a sudden this rather shy and diffident man begins to radiate immense charismatic power. He is giving voice to what everyone in the audience is caught by. The are all in a state of participation mystique, and the collective vision has taken possession of them all.”

His exact 7th house Venus/Mars conjunction at Taurus 17: ‘A Symbolical Battle Between Swords and Torches” . This Symbol speaks of the battle between ‘might’ versus ‘light’ – the ‘sword’ being might and the torch being ‘light’. It represents war, propaganda, arguments over ideals and the stranglehold the media has on information. Scenes from film footage often show hundreds of thousands of people at Nazi rallies holding torches. This Symbol hardly needs explaining in the light of what Hitler set out to achieve. He wrote in a directive to his Generals in 1938 “One might accuse me of wanting to fight and fight again. In struggle I see the fate of all beings. Nobody can avoid fighting if he does not want to go under.”

It’s fascinating to note that Hitler had an obsession with gaining possession of ‘The Spear of Longinus” – often called “The Spear of Destiny”. This spear was said to be the one that pierced the side of Christ whilst he hung on the Cross. According to the legend associated with this spear “the claimant to this talisman of power has a choice between the service of two opposing Spirits in the fulfilment of his world-historic claims – a Good and an Evil Spirit”. In terms of ‘the Torch’ Hitler spent years researching the spear, and was completely obsessed with obtaining it. Whoever possessed the Spear was said to hold the destiny of the world in their hands. Hitler was obsessed with Richard Wagner’s opera Parsival, at the centre of which was the struggle between the Grail Knights and their adversaries over the possession of the Holy Spear. From the book “The Spear of Destiny”, “..In the hands of the Knight, Sir Parsival, who served the Archangel of the Grail, the Spear was a holy symbol of the blood of Christ – a sacred talisman of healing and redemption. In the grasp of the sinister Klingsor, surrounded by his seductive flower maidens in the fastness of an eyrie in some southern clime, the Spear became a kind of phallic wand in service of black magic powers.” Hitler claimed possession of the Spear when he annexed Austria in 1937. This event ‘… must be regarded the most critical moment of the twentieth century until the Americans claimed the Spear in Nuremberg in 1945, and, while holding it in their possession, inaugurated the Atomic Age by dropping their bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.’ It seems clear that Hitler came into this world to teach us the evils of hatred and war. The hope would be that the torch (the light) will overcome the sword (issues of might).

Hitler’s North Node at Cancer 16: ‘A Man Studying a Mandala in Front of Him, with the Help of a Very Ancient Book’. Amongst other things, this Symbol speaks of the hours and hours of study Hitler did. He studied architecture, Goethe, Dante, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche along with the Eastern religions, Theosophy, Yoga, Occultism, Hypnotism and Astrology. The ‘Mandala’ can mean many things, amongst them astrology, but Hitler’s ‘Mandala’ was often the tables mapped out with war manoeuvers and his pouring over architectural plans.

Hitler’s South Node at Capricorn 16 clearly describes Hitler Youth – it’s ‘Boys and Girls in Gymnasium Suits’. Although not particularly physically fit himself, he was determined to amass a nation full of fit and healthy youths. Germany was renowned for it’s focus on physical fitness and tens of millions of young people were members of various Youth organisations. On December 1, 1936 Hitler decreed a law outlawing all non-Nazi youth organisations, thereby assuring the membership of those tens of millions in his Nazi organisation. Children, from the age of 6 to 18 were forced to sign up with their parents being threatened with imprisonment for non-compliance. Documentaries on Hitler always contain scenes of vast numbers of young people, all dressed in the same uniforms, all doing exercises. From the age of 18, conscription to the armed forces was mandatory. It’s interesting to note that Pauline Hanson has her North node on this degree and one of her political platforms is compulsory conscription for youth and the unemployed.

His Mercury at Aries 26 shows his ability to accomplish many things and his desire to attain almost the entire world. It’s A Man Possessed of More Gifts Than He Can Hold. Many people said that he was talented in many fields and, indeed, he had many interests. But a large part of the negative expression of this Symbol lies in the looting and plundering that went on all through the years of the Third Reich.

Perhaps the most astounding Symbol, and the key to the underlying psychosis of Hitler, is the one for his twelfth house Uranus. It’s Libra 20: A Jewish Rabbi Performing His Duties. Marc Edmund Jones’ 1931 version of the Symbols has it as In a Tiny Room Ridiculously Cluttered With Manuscripts and Books Sits a Jewish Rabbi at Ease With Self and the World. Hitler projected almost all of his 12th house rage onto the Jewish race, perhaps in part because of the surety of their religion and their scholarly ways. Robert Pelletier says in his book ‘Planets in Houses’;

“This house shows the spiritual debts carried over from previous life experiences, which may haunt you on occasion as you observe injustices in your environment or throughout the world. This house represents the gnawing feeling you have when you hear about individuals who are caught in physically painful situations or who must endure dehumanizing conditioning because of social, political, economic or religious constraints. … All of your unresolved problems lie here, buried under the debris of consciousness.”

Progressions in the Birth Chart.

The Symbols for progressions are extremely revealing, as well.
Some examples:

Hitler dodged the draft in 1910 and 1911 – his progressed Sun was on Taurus 22: A White Dove Flying Over Troubled Waters. From the Sabian Symbols as an Oracle – “Although there is trouble all around, you are able to rise above this and find safe ground”. His progressed Mars was exactly conjunct progressed Neptune on Gemini 2: Santa Clause Filling Stockings Furtively. When negatively expressed, this Symbol speaks of “hiding true gestures behind futile pretence…” and “concealing one’s true intentions behind a facade and trying to get away with something.” He lied to get out of military service. Hitler couldn’t continue to evade the authorities and was ordered to have a medical examination in 1914. With the Mars/Neptune progression still in effect, he was rejected for military service because of poor health. To further illustrate this degree – this is O.J. Simpson’s North
Node degree.

Alan Bullock, author of “Hitler – A Study in Tyranny” speaks of how Hitler’s “racist views began to percolate in an obscene fashion” whilst in Vienna in 1912-13. His progressed Sun was on Taurus 24: An Indian Warrior Riding Fiercely, Human Scalps Hanging at his Belt. This Symbol speaks of fighting for one’s territory, trophies of aggression (scalps), basic instincts and territoriality. It’s also about claiming one’s soil and one’s due rewards as a result. These attitudes were recorded in Mein Kampf. He wrote “My inner aversion to the Hapsburg State was increasing daily… This motley of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Ruthenians, Serbs and Croats… the Jew, here and there and everywhere – the whole spectacle was repugnant to me… The longer I lived in that city the stronger became my hatred for the promiscuous swarm of foreign peoples which had begun to batten on that old nursery ground of German culture”. I have edited out some appalling statements. He really wrote some very vile accounts of his feelings towards other races which don’t need to be repeated here..

In 1923, Hitler attempted to overthrow the government in the Munich Beer-Hall Putsch. This failed. He was tried for treason and ended up in jail. His progressed Sun had come to conjunct his natal Pluto on Gemini 5: A Radical Magazine, Asking for Action, Displays a Sensational Front Page. Before the judges and representatives of the world press in Munich, Hitler proclaimed loudly, “I alone bear the responsibility. But I am not a criminal because of that. If today I stand here as a revolutionary, it is as a revolutionary against the revolution.” It was during this time in prison that he wrote his famous book “Mein Kampf” (My Struggle) – certainly a “Radical Magazine Asking for Action”! M.E. Jones’ 1931 version has this Symbol as: A Publication Devoted to Some Vital Moment in Human Welfare Flaunts an Attention-Compelling Cover.

Hitler’s progressed New Moon was in March, 1928. The Symbolism is very telling when one considers his life after this date. The New Moon was at Gemini 9: A Quiver Filled With Arrows.

To quote from The Sabian Symbols as an Oracle:

“You need to arm yourself before hunting for what you want. There is no need to rush forward and hope for the best, this will only leave you feeling inadequate when you do find something. Compose yourself for a moment and realise that you have the ammunition and the sure marksmanship. Getting to the point. If negative – going into battle unprepared. Overconfidence in a mission.”

It was in the Summer of 1928 Hitler met and consequently fell in love with his twenty-year old niece, Geli Raubal. She was actually said to be the love of his life. His progressed Moon was on The Slave Girl Demanding Her Rights. It’s not known whether they actually had a sexual affair but they were both very possessive of each other. He suspected that she had had a clandestine affair with his bodyguard. She objected to her uncle’s tyranny
over her. He forbade her to go to Vienna to continue her singing lessons, squelching her ambition for a career on the operatic stage. He wanted her for himself.

The interpretation of this degree from The Sabian Symbols as an Oracle: ‘You want to be taken seriously. You’re tired of being treated like the slave or dutiful underling. You have rights and need to spread your wings to improve your situation. Rising above conditioning and limitations. Standing up for one’s self. If negative – feeling hard done by and deserving better. Blaming others for the situation. Bucking authority.’

In the Summer of 1931, Geli announced that she was returning to Vienna to resume her voice studies. Hitler forbade her to go. There was a scene between the two when Hitler left his Munich apartment to go to Hamburg on September 17, 1931. The young girl was heard to cry to him from the window as her uncle was getting into his car, “Then you won’t let me go to Vienna?” He was heard to respond “No!”. The next morning Geli Raubal was found shot dead in her room. It was found to be suicide. By this time Hitler’s progressed Sun was at Gemini 11: The Slave Girl Demanding Her Rights. Transiting Mars was on Scorpio 1: Tourists on a Sight-Seeing Bus, (showing that he was angry about her wanting to go off to another city to pursue her dream) was opposing his Taurus 1 Sun. Transiting Mercury was also conjunct Neptune (to the degree) on Virgo 7: A Harem which speaks of the pain and angst often involved in the waiting to be ‘the chosen one’. For months after her death he was inconsolable. His progressed Venus was on Taurus 5: A Widow Standing at an Open Grave. It was to be another 14 years before he finally married, to Eva Braun, on the day of his own suicide. His progressed Venus had come to Taurus 13: A Man Handling Baggage. Eva Braun did not have to join him in the bunker in order to marry him and to end her life with him on the same day. It is said that she did it because she felt that it was her duty.

Examples of Hitler’s Arabic Parts –

Part of Fortune – Cancer 4: A Cat Arguing With a Mouse. He profited by gaining unfair advantage against weaker opponents. He would often bicker and argue.

Part of Increase – Cancer 5: At a Railroad Crossing, an Automobile is Wrecked by a Train. This describes a situation where the individual’s will is pitted against the will of the collective (or vice versa). From the Sabian Symbols as an Oracle “The individual’s ideas will not survive in a collision with the more powerful collective. This is not a time for one to be insisting bravely that one should be considered. The collective has too much momentum and will not stop. If someone pits themselves and their energies against society, sooner or later they are going to lose…being prepared to sacrifice other individuals for the sake of larger gains”

Part of Spirit – Aquarius 20: A Large White Dove Bearing a Message – negatively, it can be shooting the messenger. Perhaps this degree confirms that it was Hitler’s mission to drive home the message of the uselessness and waste of war. The following Symbol is Aquarius 21: A Woman Disappointed and Disillusioned, Courageously Facing a Seemingly Empty Life. It was said by everyone who knew him that he was a brooder, rarely happy and often spending time alone. This Symbol also describes the millions of widows left behind.

Part of Fatality – Aquarius 10: A Popularity That Proves to be Fleeting. Rudhyar’s Mandala has this Symbol as A Man Who Had For a Time Become the Embodiment of a Popular Ideal is Made to Realize That as a Person He is Not This Ideal. This image can certainly be defined as his ‘part of fatality’ as it was with the realisation that he’d lost the war that he committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin as the Russians were advancing on the city

Part of Organisation – Sagittarius 1: Retired Army Veterans Gather to Reawaken Old Memories. This Symbol surely shows what Hitler wanted for the Third Reich – victory and things achieved. Jones’ 1931 version has it as: A Group of Elderly Men in Uniforms; Eyes Bright with Reminiscence, are gathered at a Grand Army of the Republic campfire.

Part of Sudden Advancement – Virgo 17: A Volcano in Eruption. Hitler certainly advanced through the ranks very quick – almost like an ‘eruption’ of irresistible forces.

The Part of Inheritances and the Part of Bondage are particularly telling and rather awe-inspiring, conjunct at Pisces 21: A Prophet Carrying Tablets of the New Law is Walking Down the Slopes of Mount Sinai. Jones’ 1931 version has it as Down the Man-Made Mountain of Industry in Allegorical Representation Comes the Prophet With Tablets of a New Law. Rudhyar says of this degree: “The Symbol obviously refers to Moses after he received from the God of his people the basic principles upon which a new religion, and even more a new ritual of living, should be founded. This basic “Law” has to be “brought down”. It represents a descent of formative and structuring power, a divine Revelation….The keyword Mandate is appropriate; but the basic problem is how to fulfill it in the right spirit.”

An examination of such a prominent, well documented character in our recent history allows us to examine the extraordinary subtlety of revelation inspired by the Sabian symbols. This article has revealed the positive, the straightforward, the complex and the negative aspects of Hitler’s chart in a way that, at the very least, reinforces our notion that there is a pattern of existence that is reflected in the astrological chart. The Sabian Symbols are tools that expand our understanding to both the inner and outer meanings in not only the literal and intellectual, but also in the inner and personal. I pray that when someone with a chart like this comes again he chooses to be a ‘Gandhi’ and not a ‘Hitler’.

by Lynda Hill Email me at


Hitler. A Study in Tyranny by Alan Bullock. Penguin Books. 1962

The Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft. Sphere Books. 1990

Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer. Cardinal (Sphere Books) 1971

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. Mandarin Paperbacks. 1997

An Astrological Mandala by Dane Rudhyar. Vintage Books. 1974

The Sabian Symbols as an Oracle by Lynda and Richard Hill. White Horse Books. 1995

The Sabian Symbol Mimeographed Sheets – Dr Marc Edmund Jones. Private distribution.