Management of Measurement Constructs

Analytical Techniques, June 30, 2005

The Sabian Symbol Analytical Weave

The Analytical Techniques essay for November 30, 2004 [see Archives following this essay] was written by guest astrologer-author Blain Bovee, whose splendid book, The Sabian Symbols & Astrological Analysis had just been published. –I would like to echo his Symbols interpretation essay with this one, six months later, focusing on the practical deployment of his Sabian symbol insights in consultation casework.

For me, the Sabian Symbols are not just more “this-means-that” fodder for superficial analysis. Rather, they are inspiring guidelines into realms of individual developmental consciousness. From the symbol for the Midheaven, for example, we can learn an appreciation of an individual’s quest in life, the focus of difficulties perhaps, a way to freedom.

In using the symbols, we don’t slap them onto the table verbatim and wait for the client to smile and pat us on the back! Rather, we appreciate the sense of the symbol and weave that sense into the consultation conversation.

For example: A young lady has a Midheaven of 23 Capricorn 43, the 24th degree of Capricorn. The Symbol presentation by Bovee in his book –of course, incorporating the opposite degree as well, 24 Cancer—reads, “Facing the full light of day, but tending to withdraw from the fray.”and then, Bovee continues about the pressure to choose between options, with personal freedom at stake; he conceptualizes a triangulation, like a woman and two men on a sunny porch! …You can already feel the image building in scope and depth, the hallmark signal of this lady’s development.

Read that again! Think of each word. See each accumulating image.

The “light” is the beacon for resolution, for free expression, which is possible out of the choice between options, but there is always a third (triangulation) component within the process that can easily bewilder the person and stimulate defensive withdrawal. –What is that third corner? for my client?

Now, the lady’s natal horoscope shows much tension focused on the ruler of the 10th, the 4th, the 2nd, and the 11th … the classic parental difficulty blanket statement submerging fiery Sun-Moon potentials, fostering self-worth anxiety and the feeling of not being lovable.

All of this was confirmed dramatically strongly, and she offered that this was the focus of her several years of therapy.

--I added a bit more to this picture, suggesting her obsession to be free (gaining her spontaneous, enormous corroboration) but always facing the dilemma of a “triangulation tension between variables”, some third element was always upsettingly involved in the choices she made. She concurred dramatically. I then suggested that this third component was/is the legacy of parental suppression, defeating the decision-making process (for lack of confidence) and denying freedom. --With a gentle “BAM!”, we had isolated the problem into just a few words inspired by the reigning Sabian Symbol on the Midheaven.

This was a rich analytical image, and I could hear in her voice her response to its clarity. She was now a nation apart from the parents, starting a new life, and the debilitating triangulation could gradually be dispensed with. Freedom would bloom.

Additionally, astrologically, her Mc equaled Saturn/Pluto (skeletons in the closet). Another corroboration within the Sabian weave.

With all of this now out on the table, objectification was vivid, understanding was crystal clear, and to break habits of self-doubt was now a much easier challenge.

A second example is a lady with 8 Gemini 42 on her MC,the 9th degree of Gemini. The symbol presentation by Bovee in his book –incorporating the opposite degree symbolism as well—reads, ”A quiver filled with arrows” and “a mother with her children on the stairs.” Bovee develops this into our “awareness of many potentials, and an unsureness with the first steps, or the complicated steps we need to take.”

The lady’s astrological vocational profile indeed reveals the potential for several different lines of work to express herself, to fulfill her needs –from medical science to real estate!. Do we ‘quiver’ with the burden of doing everything at once? How do we make certain of a strategy among professional goals? What helping hands can we take in order to ascend the stairs? How do we avoid floating as an “eternal student”?

In our consultation, we were able to weave these thoughts into the conversation and securely clarify a hierarchy of concerns and plans to bring efficiency into the mix … to guide the arrows to their targets.

Again, it was remarkable how the Sabian symbology enriched the development of the consultation: corroboration of the astrology, suggesting key words and concepts, adding to the memorable dimension of our time together.

A third example is a gentleman with 12 Capricorn 58 on his MC, the13th degree of Capricorn. The symbol presentation by Bovee in his book –incorporating the opposite degree symbolism as well—reads, ”A personal imprint regarding a view of life and a devotion to a way of living.” Bovee develops this into “grasping for emphatic signs of approval or disapproval”, wanting to burn with devotion to something one can believe in.

The gentleman’s horoscope suggests a tremendously influential mother relationship, and a stifling by privileged family ways. In his thirties, he passionately tries to conceive something he can do on his own, call his own, that can receive his individual imprint … after several years of underachievement, a bit of rebellion, and, most recently, stark long-term unemployment.

The Sabian symbol flavored everything we discussed. Everything was vivid: what vocational pursuit could this man in his thirties call his own? That was the key for the rest of his life, his young family’s life. –Bringing years of rationalizations and excuses, achievements and failures down to this essential ‘nut’ of significance did wonders to bring honesty and practicality front and center in the consultation; the personal imprint, heretofore impossible; what did HE want to do come hell or high water?

---There is no way easily to capture the appreciation we must have for the magical Sabian symbols, except to repeat over and over again how essentially inspiring they are. And to say without any hesitancy whatsoever, that Bovee’s The Sabian Symbols & Astrological Analysis is a study book no astrologer can be without.

Please see the Archives immediately following here for access to some 70,000 words of educative essays in this department.


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