I was a member of B.O.T.A for many years and have studied Tarot for decades, but I don’t use it for readings and divination, ever. To me it is a 78 page book of Ancient Wisdom accessible through the symbols of an orthodox deck. It contains all the material in Kabbalah, astrology, numerology, gematria and much else, all hyper linked by the numbers involved and the Hebrew alphabet, not to mention the sychronicity of the time when the book is opened to read about the laws of the universe, within and without.
There are dozens of Tarot decks on the market now it is true that a user doesn’t risk persecution or job loss when a liking for Tarot is discovered by friends, enemies or employers. Many of them are beautifully drawn and colored productions of gifted artists who are not occultists and don’t understand the basic magical framework behind the work of the original producers of the book. Some are undoubtedly beautiful works of art, and collectors add them to the dozens of decks they already possess, for that reason alone.
I have studied Runes too, also for decades, both the Armanen and Elder Futhark from the Germanic ancestry and the Uthark from the Swedish ancestry, and the Icelandic sagas connected with all of them. These too are collections of pages of a well disguised book of Ancient Wisdom and insights into old gods and goddesses still available as archetypal forces to those willing to contact them, using the symbols and the songs. But I never do readings with runes.
It may be coming clear now that I regard using these powerful tools to tell someone whether they are going to get ‘laid or paid’ as the psychics categorize most of the questions they answer, is almost an insult to the tools concerned. Somewhat like using an exquisitely Swiss-engineered eye scalpel to peel an apple, or carve a whistle from an elder twig. Possible, but disrespectful.
So, I was very surprised to encounter the Sabian symbols, which are definitely designed for readings and divination inside and outside astrology. A word about my encounter and the unexpected shock it gave me will be in order.
There were three words that resonated with me very strongly as a youthful occult student, Merlin, Templars and the Sabian symbols. The Merlin material I studied intensively and wrote several books about it for my students and a book about the Grail Mystery. The Templar material I went into for years, as it became available, and finally made a contact with far memory that made research easier. I wrote a book about the Templars too, long before they became newsworthy. But the Sabian symbols, for some reason, I never made part of my magickal curriculum.
Every now and again in my less than 100% successful astrological forays into galactic minds like the astrologers Dane Rudhyar and Marc Edmond Jones, I would see references made with great respect to the Sabian symbols, usually associated with their use in astrology. But I never followed through as I did with Merlin and Templars. A Sufi mystic named Abdurahman told me that the reason I could learn anything occult except astrology was because I had been an astrologer too many times before and doing it this time would be a cop out. Successful life maybe, but no progress. Maybe it was the association with astrology that subconsciously stopped my investigation of the Sabian symbols.
How I finally made contact was in this fashion. Very frequently I get a sales catalog from E.R.Hamilton, the monster bookseller specializing in overruns and returns. Sometimes there are 10,000 titles in the tabloid sized catalog, each with a summary and a price. I read every single one because of the amazing bargains. I buy all my medical and mathematical titles and many of my occult and computer titles from E.R.Hamilton. I have on several occasions bought books for less than $5 that cost from $75 to $120 new, but were overprinted for a niche market, and the publisher now needs the warehouse space. E.R.Hamilton probably buys them by the pound. But they charge less than $4 for postage and handling no matter how many books you order.
I sometimes get packages of over a dozen large books for that shipping cost. And the books are new, not secondhand. Every category of books is included in their catalog and I unreservedly recommend looking at it or at the website and requesting the catalog.
Well very recently I was looking through the latest catalog with my very large magnifying glass and strange bifocals, and came across the book 360 Degrees of Wisdom by Lynda Hill in the Occult section, for my maximum price, which is $4.95. It’s $20 plus sales tax in a store. The summary said that it was about the famous Sabian symbols. Interest revived and I immediately sent for it and the usual half dozen other books from the catalog, to read or to give away.
It seemed a harmless enough book when I paged through it. There were 360 oracle pages, each one with a sentence describing a picture and a page about the symbolism that the picture could evoke. It didn’t seem too different from the many fortune telling books like Napoleon’s Oracle and other harmless pseudo gypsy trifles.
I investigated the story about the original Sabeans being mystics and alchemists in the ancient cradle of human civilization that we are currently destroying, now known as Iraq. The story didn’t impress me at all as a reason for using the oracle. The many stories of how the Tarot came about are of little interest to me when compared to its efficacy as a study aid in magickal and occult matters. I am a Reiki Master Teacher, and the story about how Mrs. Takata became the sole representative of the Reiki of Dr. Usui never held any water for me when I heard it years ago, and has since been proven to be fiction. But Reiki works, as even the Mayo clinic recently announced. The story is not necessary any more. And I am a Dar’ Shem Master Teacher of the feminine Reiki, the Reiki of Sophia as we call it. And the story of how it happened to get to the Western world leaked like a sieve as soon as historical insight was focused on it, but the Dar’ Shem works amazingly well, and the story is not necessary.
But I read about the Sabians and the Sabeans on the Web, and the possible misspelling that occurred during translation because of the two different S’s in Arabic and much else. None of it really matters except to those dedicated to proving an ancient lineage to enhance their current teachings, as so many now point with awe back to ancient Egypt or some outer space alien voice as authority, rather than letting the works speak for themselves.
What is undeniable about the symbols is that they were produced in one day, using the amazing clairvoyant capacities of an invalid spiritualist medium named Elsie Wheeler, at the request of the noted astrologer of the time Marc Edmund Jones. The time incidentally was 1925 A.D., not 1925 B.C. or anything outlandish. The production of the symbols occurred in a park in San Diego, where Elsie could sit undisturbed in a car, but near enough to the city to be in the vicinity of thousands of people.
Marc already had a theory about a mind matrix of ancient Sabian alchemists of Mesopotamia, what I call an egregore, and had prepared 360 index cards, each with the name of a sign of the Zodiac and a degree number 1-30. He shuffled the deck and placed a card, blank side up, in front of Elsie who had been primed by her inner contacts to do something very important in astrology. She verbalized the image she got, and he wrote it on the card, put it to one side, shuffled the remainder and did it again. She worked four hours in the morning and four hours in the afternoon for 360 symbols, which works out to a new symbol every one and a half minutes, a definite marathon run even for an accomplished medium, and not likely to be conscious creation.
Marc applied these symbols to his astrology as did Dane Rudhyar independently. The results obtained seemed to warrant more attention than from two people and now there are groups and societies around who base their reason for existence on the symbols. Check www.sabian.org for a sample.
So, what happened when I decided to try out the oracle? I did the usual thing I do when presented with what appears to be a possible new avenue of inner and outer knowledge and insight. I treat it magickally to attune it to my own resonance and then challenge it. My challenge is always the same…“IF you are an oracle that can be used by me show me something very significant to me and my current life, first time.” Most oracles don't pass it.
With the book came a set of tear out cards…red for Zodiac signs and blue for numbers 1-30. I shuffled the cards into two decks, cut and chose two. Up came Virgo 11. I looked it up, without expectations, and this was the picture described: A boy molded in his mother’s aspirations for him. Right next to it was a quote from my hero Carl Jung, which said. “Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of their parent.
To say I was momentarily stunned would be nothing but the truth. The sentence was not just a sentence, as it may be to others. It was a blow. All my adult life I have been a teacher. I have taught every grade, as you say in this country, from two through second year college. Six subjects in high school and two in college. Single sex and coed students. Day schools and boarding schools. I have been the principal of a secondary comprehensive school in England, founded two hospital schools, written modern mathematics courses used throughout the land, taught Indians in Canada, been a senior editor of school texts for an American publishing company and have taught many students of all ages in various magickal modalities.
BUT, every time I did it and changed from one teaching job to another, no matter how rewarding in myriads of other ways, it was not satisfactory from a financial point of view. Teachers are the bottom of the professional heap in most countries, and those where I taught were no exceptions.
I remember one of my classmates meeting me a few years after college and asking me how I was doing financially. This was in the early 50’s. I said I was getting just over thirty. He opined that thirty thousand wasn’t too bad at this stage. I was too stunned to explain to him that I meant thirty a month, not thirty thousand a year. My first encounter of many of the vast difference between myself and other people with a like or inferior education who went into fields other than teaching.
And then I remembered with a jolt like running into a horizontal scaffolding pole, that my mother’s lifelong ambition was to be a teacher. She was very gifted intellectually but came from a family with fifteen children, and only the boys were allowed to make any advances in education. She taught me how to read and write long before I went to school. Had I been living her life vicariously?
Maybe it was just a coincidence that I was such a successful teacher. Questions were asked in the House of Commons in London when I emigrated to Canada, using me as an example of the brain drain. Maybe that was what I was supposed to do anyway. But I acknowledged to the oracle that it had certainly said something very significant and that I needed to process it. I may have been living someone else’s life with some success for nearly sixty years now, without ever living my own. And as Krishna says in the Gita, it is better to live your own destiny poorly than that of another, no matter how well.
I have tried the oracle once since when waking up with disturbing thoughts from a suddenly remembered incident from the past, at 3 in the morning. Once again it was a direct hit, connected with the first, and will need much work. And processing for myself has never been my forte, though I seem to do it with effortless ease and effectiveness for others. If it is easy for you wish me buena suerte.
Check out the book and the website. You may find the oracle of your dreams decades in advance of where it might be found if you are leading someone else’s life, even VERY successfully, as may be the case. Follow your bliss says Jospeph Campbell, not someone else's bliss.