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The Basics of Astrology
The Symbolic Degrees in Astrology
Use our application to display the meaning of the symbolic degrees you are interested in. The most important degrees are those of the ruler of the Ascendant, the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. If you know your precise time of birth, you may also want to check the degrees on which your Ascendant and your Midheaven are.
The symbolic images of the zodiacal degrees are also referred to as "monomeric". They come from various sources, the most ancient one being the Thebaic calendar. It is believed that monomers date back to a millennium BC, but some authors believe that they were already known in the time of Ramses II.
In addition to these Thebaic degrees of Egyptian origins, there are also Hindu degrees which Sepharial passed down to us with his translation of the Volasfera. Both degrees, Thebaic and Hindu, belong to the Tradition.
In a less distant past, Charubel, Maurice Wemyss and Marc Edmund Jones also listed the symbolic degrees, which are referred to as Sabian Symbols.
There is a linking between degrees which are on the same cross (angles of 90° and 180°). This means for instance that, when a planet is on the 5th degree of Libra, it may be interesting to also check the meanings of the 5th degree of Aries, Cancer, and Capricorn.
Each word used in the description of an image has its own value. The meaning of an image taken as a whole may not necessarily apply. When dealing with several descriptions, it is the sum of similar words and the recurrence of analogous bits of sentence which indicate the nature of the prevailing influence.
The images describe certain details of an individual in small dashes which could be likened to impressionist painting. We suggest that you let yourself be soaked with the words and the actions described, and that you abandon yourself to their inspiration and dynamism. This is how you can grasp people's motivations and environment.
To understand the meaning of the symbolic degrees in any given chart, please read the description first. Then try to infer the main energies from the text and identify repeated or converging trends. Symbolic degrees must never be taken literally. We insist that attention should be paid to repeated words, and that synonyms or similar meanings, and even similar sounds ought to be put together. Do the sum of the analogies found and, if the total is significant, you can draw the conclusion that its influence is active.
The common practice is to give specific emphasis to the zodiacal degrees where the ruler of the Ascendant, the Sun, the Moon, and fast-moving planets are posited, and to be extremely cautious about the degrees of the charts' angles (AS, MC, DS, FC). Indeed, their accurateness may not be reliable, since a four minute gap in the time of birth moves the angles by one degree. On the other hand, if the time of birth is very accurate, the meaning of the four angles may be very interesting. Out of curiosity, one may also check the meaning of the Lunar Nodes' degree, as many authors find it valuable. The interpretation of symbolic degrees for planets from Jupiter through to Pluto – except if one of those planets is the Ascendant's ruler – should be taken with a grain of salt.