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The New Standard of Excellence in Sabian Symbols
on September 30, 2005
There have been a few books written in the last 10 years about the Sabian Symbols. Though each, in its own way, has relied on the genius of their creator, Marc Edmund Jones, several have liberally modified, "corrected" or altered the Jones symbol wording.
Enter "The Sabian Symbols & Astrological Analysis: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed" by Blain Bovee, a beautifully written look at the Sabian Symbols and their practical application as an illuminating tool in astrological analysis. Here is a book that brings Sabian symbol research to a new professional level. Bovee has chosen to work with the words of Marc Edmund Jones, noting that "Any alteration whatsoever risks deflecting the original genius of the Sabian Symbols, risks distorting, through interpretive assumptions, the intuitive integrity of how the Sabian Symbols came to be. I have discovered that the Sabian Symbols are richer and more internally consistent when the original wording is honored".
I highly recommend this book for several reasons. It is professional, fully attributed, erudite yet poetically sensitive. It has everything needed for practical application and advancement of understanding of the symbols. Bovee has organized the book in opposing symbol format which invites the reader to experience the interweaving of themes and shared motifs so important to a full illumination of the symbols. He also incorporates the fivefold cycle corresponding to five aspect relationships in astrology into his interpretations noting that through this cycle "one can easily detect an unfolding story, an unfolding of general themes throughout the text of consecutive degree-pairs". And, at last, here is a book that incorporates quick reference guides, one for the symbols themselves and one for useful keywords from both Jones and Bovee, both easily accessible at the back of the book making it very easy to use for practical purposes.
This is the must have book, whether you want to learn more about the Sabian Symbols as a practical tool for chart analysis or you just want to read for the sheer pleasure of enjoying the symbols for their own sake, and far outshines anything else that I have read. Bovee is a gifted writer whose work on the Sabian Symbols will surely stand the test of time. He deftly captures the essence of the symbols while leaving plenty of room for the reader to open to his or her own interpretations. His exploration of the meanings and background of the words held within each of the original symbols and his ability to take us on a journey through these beautiful symbols is unsurpassed. He intelligently, poetically and cogently demonstrates that they need no alteration or changes and are invaluable as presented by their originator. Bovee's book truly honours both the wonderful original symbols and the genius of Mark Edmund Jones.