Sabian Symbols and Stories

sdh3

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The 32nd five-pointed star consists of the following symbols:

Virgo 2626A boy with a censer
Taurus2An electrical storm
Sagittarius8Rocks and things forming therein
Cancer14A very old man facing a vast dark space to the northeast
Aquarius20A big white dove, a message bearer

The single-season Amazon series entitled "Night Sky" is based upon it. IMDb and Wikipedia give the series premise as follows: "Married couple Franklin and Irene York discover a portal in their backyard that leads to a deserted planet." Here's how Amazon describes the series:

"Irene and Franklin York, a retired couple, have a secret: a Chamber buried in their backyard that miraculously leads to a strange, deserted planet. When an enigmatic (young) man arrives, the Yorks' quiet existence is upended and the mysterious Chamber they thought they knew so well turns out to be much more than they could have ever imagined."

In this story, it's really an old couple (Frank and Irene) who are facing the "vast dark space" (Cancer 14).

The "boy" with the incense holder (censer) (Virgo 26) comes is "the an enigmatic young man who appears suddenly by the portal and becomes a caretaker for the Yorks." He's no "boy" but is young enough to be the son of this elderly couple. They actually did have a son but he is deceased, leaving behind a now college-aged daughter.

The "rocks and things forming therein" (Sagittarius 8) is the deserted planet that the Yorks can see from the portal in their backyard shed. Prior to finding the young man, Irene sees the portal in her mind's eye and the view has changed: a major dust storm, rather than electrical storm (Taurus 2), is seen forming on the surface of the deserted planet. I've not watched all of the episodes but do know that the electrical storm is seen in the first episode. After Franklin picks up Irene from a doctors appointment in the early evening, they run out of gas on the way home. As franklin gets help refilling the tank from road-side assistance, Irene looks at the stars in the clear night sky and says to the stars, "what do you want from me." The answer comes in the form of lightning and thunder, but not rain.

As the story unfolds, we realize that the young man is also a "message bearer" (Aquarius 20) , a message of peace (of which the dove is a symbol).

Perhaps the most remarkable confirmation of the relation of this story to the Sabian symbols listed above comes in the last scene of the first episode. Irene, old and frail, is seen heading to the backyard shed where lies hidden the portal to the rocky, deserted planet. She intends to go out through the door, effectively ending her life. As she walks, she is heard narrating the goodbye letter she was written to Franking. in it she quotes the poem "The More Loving One" by WH Auden. It is these lines that are most relevant as they clearly suggest Cancer 14.

“Were all stars to disappear and die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time."​

 

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sdh3

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The 15th five-pointed star is comprised of the following Sabian Symbols:

Scorpio21A soldier derelict in duty
Gemini27A gypsy coming out of the forest
Aquarius3A deserter from the Navy
Virgo9A man making a futurist drawing
Aries15An Indian weaving a blanket

The Amazon Original entitled "The Terminal List" is a straight-forward, uncomplicated, and unimaginative piece of revenge-fantasy with a military setting or backdrop. As Amazon describes it:

"Navy SEAL Commander James Reece turns to vengeance as he investigates the mysterious forces behind the murder of his entire platoon. Free from the military's command structure Reece applies the lessons he's learned from nearly two decades of warfare to hunt down the people responsible."

Soon after his entire platoon is murdered, Reece is blamed for the mishap (Scorpio 21). As he begins to investigate on his own, the answers he finds lead him to believe that his commanders may have been involved. They, he believes, are the "soldiers derelict in duty." Eventually, he turns against them (Aquarius 3) and kills every last one of them he deems responsible, all the way up and down the chain of command.

A Gypsy (Gemini 27) is "someone who does not like to live in one place for a long time but prefers to move around." And this is exactly what happens. Once having deserted the Navy (Aquarius 3) and turned against his own chain of command (Scorpio 21), Reece hides out in forests, and other remote locations, then emerges to kill his tormentors. At the end of the film we see him returning to the seas in a sailboat, charting a course for a voyage that woudl take many months and take him half way around the world, presumably to visit his wrath on even more evil-doers.

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sdh3

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The 24th five-pointed star is comprised of the following Sabian Symbols:

Cancer6Game birds feathering their nests
Aquarius12People on stairs graduated upwards
Virgo18An ouija board
Aries24An open window and a net curtain blowing into a cornucopia
Scorpio30The Halloween jester

If you weren't of age at the time, it's hard to appreciate now just how BIG of a hit film was Ghost (1990). Starring the late Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg, the film grossed over $500 million at the box office, garnered film Academy Award nominations--Best Picture, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, and winning Best Supporting Actress (Goldberg) and Best Original Screenplay.

The story begins with Sam Wheat, a banker (Patrick Swayze), and his girlfriend Molly Jensen (Demi Moore), an artist, renovating and moving into an apartment in Manhattan with the help of Sam's friend and co-worker Carl Bruner. This is clearly Cancer 6 (Game birds feathering their nest) but, since it's a love story, they're love-birds.

The apartment is an loft apartment that features a unique staircase (Aquarius 12), so unique that it even inspired a House & Home article that featured it. See below. The staircase factors into the story several times. Also, several of the widely used promotional photos used for the film, like the one below with Swayze, Moore, and Goldberg.

As everyone who as seen the film knows, Sam (Swayze's character) is murdered in botched robbery. After becoming completely lucid or aware that he is dead, he eventually "happens upon the parlor of psychic Oda Mae Brown (Whoppi Goldberg), a charlatan pretending to commune with spirits of the dead who is shocked to discover her true psychic gift when she can hear Sam speaking." (Source: Wikipedia)

It is two symbols that are combined here. The "charlatan" who "communes with the spirits of the dead" of the film is clearly a reference to both Scorpio 30 (A Halloween jester) and Virgo 18 (A ouija board). Recall that Halloween is the evening before All Saints Day, a Christian holiday that honors all saints of the past (dead holy men and women). And the role was written and played to comedic perfection by Goldberg, so yes she's a jester. A ouija board is "a board with the alphabet on it; used with a planchette to spell out supernatural messages." We never see one in the film but the idea is clear.

The remaining symbol--AR24--only figures in indirectly but powerfully. It is the ghost. It's like the wind, that invisible force that we can't see but whose effects we can see around us.

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sdh3

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The 19th five-pointed star consists of the following Sabian Symbols:

Cancer1A furled and an unfurled flag displayed from a vessel
Aquarius7A child born of an eggshell
Virgo13A strong hand supplanting political hysteria
Aries19The magic carpet
Scorpio25An x-ray

Several films in the science fiction genre have been built around this star--all of them involving aliens coming to Earth and/or interacting with earthlings in space. Among them are:

Starman (1984): Answering a NASA message intended for aliens, a space being tries to contact mankind, but an American missile grounds his ship. Scrambling, the so-called Starman (Jeff Bridges) inhabits the body of a late Wisconsinite and kidnaps the dead man's widow, Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen). Determined to reunite with a vessel from his home planet at a predetermined site, Starman and Jenny travel to Arizona. Pursued by military officials trying to kill him, Starman forges a lasting bond with Jenny.

The Brother from Another Planet (1984): A slave from outer space escapes to earth. Except for his three-toed feet, he looks like an ordinary young black man. He crash-lands on Ellis Island, appropriately enough, and ends up in Harlem. There he makes friends with the owner and the regulars of a bar. Because he can fix any machine (by simply touching it), he's able to make money. He's mute, which proves more of an advantage than a disadvantage. And he can heal himself and others with nothing but his hands. His real troubles begin when two extraterrestrial bounty hunters attempt to recapture him and bring him back to where he came from.

Alien (1979): In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and attaches itself to one of the crew, causing him to fall into a coma.

Martian Child (2007): Wanting to experience fatherhood, a science fiction writer (John Cusack) adopts a youngster (Bobby Coleman) who has an unusual crisis of identity, believing he is from Mars, and trouble arises when the man, who devotes himself to his strange son, begins to believe that the boy is indeed an alien.

E.T. (1982): After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, he is discovered and befriended by a 10-year-old boy named Elliott. Bringing him into his suburban California house, Elliott introduces E.T., as he is dubbed, to his brother, Michael, and sister, Gertie, and they decide to keep his existence a secret. Soon, however, he falls ill, resulting in government intervention and a dire situation for both him and Elliott.

In all of the films set in space, it is the spaceship itself which is the "magic carpet" (Aries 19) and or the "vessel" from which a flag is (un)furled (Cancer 1). These are vessels are capable of inter-planetary and/or interstellar travel, sometimes at or above light-speed.

The "child born of an eggshell" (Aquarius 7) appears in many forms. Martian Child, it's the adopted boy who believes himself to be an alien. In Alien, it's the alien beings in egg-shaped pods that use human bodies as wombs. In other films it can be the child-like innocence and purity of the aliens who have taken human form.

The "strong hand supplanting political hysteria" (Virgo 13) always shows up in the form of government agents, military, political or other authority figures who view the alien as a threat and wish to capture, kill, expel, or return him. In Martian child, it's the social worker.

As for the "x-ray" (Scorpio 25), remember that in 1925, the year that the Sabian Symbols were recorded, x-rays were very advanced technology, having only been put into use by doctors less than 30 years before. In general, the x-ray in the space alien films, x-rays are a stand in for all of the super-powers that the alien possesses--x-ray vision, mind reading, levitation, etc. When set in the future, the x-ray may also be represented by whatever are the advanced technologies of the day.

Attached is a poster from Alien (1979). It is described on Wikipedia as follows: A large egg-shaped object that is cracked and emits a yellowish light hovers in mid air against a black background and above a waffle-like floor.

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sdh3

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The tenth five-pointed star consists of symbols in two mutable signs (Gemini and Virgo), two cardinal signs (Aries and Capricorn) and one fixed sign (Scorpio):

Scorpio16A girl's face breaking into a smile
Gemini22A barn dance
Capricorn28A large aviary
Virgo4A colored child playing with white children
Aries10A man teaching new forms for old symbols

I've observed these symbols working out in several films about dancing, especially where it involves people of different cultures or lifestyles coming together through dance and music. Two very excellent examples are the Australian film Strictly Ballroom (1992) and the Japanese film Shall We Dance (1996), as well as its American re-make (2004) starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez.

Since the films focus on dance, Gemini 22 is very obviously present. The birds in the large aviary (Capricorn 28) are seen in the form of the numerous dancers in colorful and often feathered customs (Strictly Ballroom) and the tuxedos (penguin suits) worn by the men. The places, the dance floors where they gather to perform and dance competitively is the aviary itself. In the all films there is at least one beautiful woman whose approval (smile) many of the male dancers seek (Scorpio 16). She is either an instructor (Shall We Dance) or a potential/desirable dance partner (Strictly Ballroom). In Strictly Ballroom we see a protagonist who flouts the rules and tries to introduced flashy, crowd-pleasing moves, much to the consternation of the judges and officials (Aries 10). We also see all films either a clash of cultures--local versus immigrants (Strictly Ballroom) or upper versus lower class (Shall We Dance, 1996, Japan) and/or white vs. colored (Shall We Dance, 2004, USA).

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sdh3

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The thirty-first five-pointed star is comprised of the following degree symbols:

Taurus1A clear mountain stream
Sagittarius7Cupid knocking at the door
Cancer13One hand slightly flexed with a very prominent thumb
Aquarius19A forest fire quenched
Virgo25A flag at half-mast

By crosses, there is represented one Cardinal sign (Cancer 13), two Fixed (Aquarius 19, Taurus 1), and two Mutable (Virgo 25, Sagittarius 7).
By elements there are two Earth (Virgo 25, Taurus 1), one Fire (Sagittarius 7), one Water (Cancer 13), and one Air (Aquarius 19). One recent film that made effective use of these symbols is "Those Who Wish Me Dead" (2021), an action thriller starring Angelina Jolie as Hannah Faber, a smoke jumper Below I have annotated and added commentary below to a few excerpts from the plot summary provided by Wikipedia as a way of indicating where three of the symbols are observed in the story.

Plot (via Wikipedia)

"Hannah Faber, a smokejumper, is struggling after failing to prevent the deaths of three young campers and a fellow smokejumper in a forest fire. She is now posted in a fire lookout tower in Park County, Montana."

Smokejumpers are trained wildlands firefighters (Aquarius 19). The phrase 'half-mast' – or sometimes 'half-staff' refers to when a flag is flown below the top position on a flagpole. In most countries, flying a flag below the top of the structure is a mark of respect for a person or persons who have died (Virgo 25). Hannah is severely depressed and still traumatized over her failure in the previous fire season to save three campers and a fellow smoke jumper under her command. As such, she is assigned to a remote fire lookout tower in Park County Montana. According to Wikipedia, Park County has at least 114 named mountains (Taurus 1).

Owen Casserly, a forensic accountant in Florida, learns about the death of his district attorney boss and his family in an apparent gas explosion; believing that their deaths were actually a contracted killing and that he is the next target, Owen goes on the run with his son, Connor. He intends to seek refuge with his brother-in-law, Ethan Sawyer, a Deputy Sheriff in Park County. Reaching Montana, they are ambushed by the assassins "Jack" and "Patrick", who force them off the road and down a cliff. Trapped in the car, Owen gives Connor the evidence against the assassins' employer. Connor flees before the assassins kill Owen.

One of the last things the father Owen says to his son is for him to find a stream (Taurus 1) which will lead eventually to a river and then to a town and thus safety.

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sdh3

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The 34th five-pointed star is comprised of the following Sabian Symbols:

Cancer16A man before a square with a manuscript scroll before him
Aquarius22A rug placed on a floor for children to play
Virgo28A bald-headed man
Taurus4The rainbow's pot of gold
Sagittarius10A golden haired goddess of opportunity


Quite noteworthy is that fact that gold appears twice--The rainbow's pot of gold (Taurus 4) and the golden-haired goddess of opportunity. Though I've seen these symbols work out in many books and films, no done so with greater effect that than Annie. The first three paragraphs of the plot summary from the 1982 film make clear that at least four of the five symbols factor in prominently.

In 1933, during the Great Depression, a young orphan named Annie is living in the Hudson Street Orphanage in New York City. It is run by Agatha Hannigan, a cruel alcoholic who forces the orphans to clean the building daily. With half of a locket as her only possession, she remains optimistic that her parents, who left her on the doorstep as a baby, will return for her. Annie sneaks out with help from laundry man, Mr. Bundles, adopting a stray dog which she names Sandy. However, Annie is escorted back to the orphanage.

Though her hair is red in the films, Annie is the "golden-haired goddess of opportunity" (Sagittarius 10) in no small part because initially, she was in fact a blonde. And speaking of Daddy Warbuck's is famously bald (Virgo 28). His name also implies money--war BUCKS. The orphanage that must be constantly cleaned is the obviously how find the "rug placed on a floor for children to play" (Aquarius 22).

Grace Farrell, secretary to billionaire Oliver Warbucks, arrives to invite an orphan to live with Warbucks for a week, to improve his public image. Annie is chosen and she and Sandy travel to Warbucks' mansion, meeting his many servants and two bodyguards, Punjab and the Asp. Warbucks, at first dismissive of Annie due to her being female, is charmed into letting her stay. He takes Annie and Grace to Radio City Music Hall to watch a movie, Camille, and Warbucks begin to develop affection for Annie. Grace urges him to adopt Annie and he meets with Miss Hannigan, convincing her to sign the adoption papers.

Warbucks reveals his plans to Annie, even offering her a new locket, but she declines. She explains the purpose of her broken locket and her hope that her parents will return with the other half. Warbucks appears on Bert Healy's radio show and offers $50,000 to find Annie's parents. This causes mass hysteria with many would-be parents appearing to claim the money. To escape the madness, Warbucks flies Annie to the White House in Washington D.C., introducing her to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor. Roosevelt informs them of his plan to introduce a social welfare program to help America's impoverished and asks Warbucks to head it; Annie encourages him to help. Upon returning home, Annie is disheartened when Grace reveals none of the potential parents knew about the locket.

Few alive today know that in the early part of the last century, gold was redeemable and essentially treated as money. American president Roosevelt famously banned private ownership of gold during the Great Depression. He had the government confiscate it and then re-valued it 50% higher. The rainbow's pot of gold (Taurus 4) of course symbolizes good fortune and thus we see this in many ways including Daddy Warbucks tremendous wealth and Annie sunny personality and irrepressible optimism. Also, though not stated here, the locket that she famously wears is gold colored.

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sdh3

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The twentieth five-pointed star is comprised of the following symbols:

Scorpio26Indians making camp
Cancer2A man suspended over a vast level place
Aquarius8Beautifully gowned wax figures
Virgo14A family tree
Aries20A young girl feeding birds in winter


As shown in the synopsis below, the film Beautiful (2000) made use of last three of these symbols.

Mona Hibbard is a young woman from a troubled home who has one overarching goal: to become the winner of the Miss American Miss pageant. Her mother is an alcoholic who graduates from berating her young daughter for not doing well in kids' pageants to declaring she will not provide any money or support for Mona if she keeps competing. Mona becomes best friends with Ruby Stilwell (Joey Lauren Adams), and Ruby's kind grandmother (Herta Ware) joins her sweet granddaughter to support Mona as she begins her steady rise through the beauty pageant ranks. Mona becomes pregnant, but, as women with children are ineligible for the MAM crown, Ruby selflessly agrees to raise Mona's daughter Vanessa (Hallie Kate Eisenberg) as her own daughter.

Mona is a highly ambitious beauty pageant contestant (Aquarius 8). Mona comes from a troubled home with an alcoholic mother who berates her for failing and belittles her aspirations (Virgo 14). Undeterred, Mona builds a support network comprised of her best friend and her best friend's grandmother (Virgo 14). Mona's ambition gets in the way of her role as a mother (Virgo 14).

Eventually, "Ruby refuses to fill her usual supportive role and bluntly tell Mona she needs to take care of her responsibilities in general and her daughter most of all. Mona comes to see that the pursuit of pageant fame is empty next to taking care of her family, and when she makes the MAM Final 3 she announces that she will be a role model to one little girl instead of a hero to countless strangers, confirming that she is Vanessa's mom and is withdrawing from the pageant. The judges see that the crowd is 100% in her favor, and change their rules so Mona becomes the new Miss American Miss. Joyce is left humiliated as her anti-Mona efforts, and chance to become a star TV personality, are both in ruins. Mona and Vanessa end the film having re-united with...Ruby and heading off to happier times."

As implied in Aries 20, Mona eventually realized the importance of sacrificing her personal needs and ambitions for her child, to "feed" her with the love and care to which she is rightly entitled.

The symbol for Scorpio 26 (Indians making camp) works in during the pageant. First, to qualify for the Miss America Miss pageant, Mona wins the Ms. Illinois contest. "Illinois" is the modern spelling for the early French Catholic missionaries and explorers' name for the Illinois Native Americans. Secondly, in the MAM competition, there is a scene or sequence where we see Mona dressed in a stylized "Indian" costume. Finally, it's worth remembering that the word "camp" also means "Deliberate affectation or exaggeration of style, especially of popular or outdated style, for ironic or humorous effect" as well as "Given to or characterized by exaggerated, effeminate mannerisms" and "to exaggerate or over-dramatize; To act in an exaggerated, effeminate manner." This much can be said about Mona's Indian costume, about the scene in which she wears it, about much of this film, more generally, as well as about beauty pageants and their contestants.


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sdh3

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The sixth five-pointed star consists of the following Sabian Symbols:

Aries6A square brightly lighted on one side
Scorpio12An embassy ball
Gemini18Two Chinese men talking Chinese
Capricorn24A woman entering a convent
Leo30An unsealed letter

If one does a Google search or one in the International Movie Database on "movies about nuns", one that's always near the top of the list is Black Narcissus (1947). That film is based on the 1939 novel by Rumer Godden and revolves around "the growing tensions within a small convent of Anglican nuns who are trying to establish a school and hospital in the old palace of an Indian Raja at the top of an isolated mountain above a fertile valley in the Himalayas. The palace has ancient Indian erotic paintings on its walls and is run by the agent of the Indian general who owns it, a handsome middle-aged Englishman who is a source of attraction for the nuns." The movie was re-made as a limited series by Hulu in 2020.

A more detailed plot summary is here. What it makes clear is that the palace is the "square brightly lighted on one side." In the 2020 version, the castle is white and set around three sides of court yard or square (Aries 6). It was where the local ruler kept his harem and doubled as a brothel (think red light). The nuns aim to bring "white" light, as the mother superior says "I know I can make a success of the new convent. To bring education and enlightenment to such a remote part of the world."

The British agent of the Indian general--the handsome middle-aged Englishman--is the ambassador of sorts to the Anglican nuns (Scorpio 12). And consistent with Scorpio, he is unwittingly their object of sexual desire and source of great temptation.

Although the setting is in India, the symbol "Chinese men speaking Chinese" works in the these that the villagers are speaking in their own native tongue, not the English of the nuns. Also, it's important to recognize that at the time the Sabian Symbols were wrought (1925), Chinese in America were a large and sometimes poorly integrated and assimilated ethnic group. Laws were passed in Canada and the USA to prevent their immigrating in greater numbers. As such, the nuns are also the foreigners or unassimilated immigrants speaking their immigrant language and sticking to their immigrant ways (Gemini 18).

The last symbol in this group is Leo 30 (An unsealed letter). About it I will only say that there are very strong parallels in this film and novel to the great historical novel "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne and published in 1850. "Set in the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony during the years 1642 to 1649, the novel tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter with a man to whom she is not married and then struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Containing a number of religious and historic allusions, the book explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt." Sarlet is a shade of red and the letter in "The Scarlet Letter" is, of course, the letter "A" for which stands for "Adultery." Below is the German poster for Black Narcissus from 1948.

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sdh3

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The 25th five-pointed star is comprised of the following Sabian Symbols

Sagittarius1A Grand Army of the Republic campfire
Cancer7Two fairies on a moonlit night
Aquarius13A barometer
Virgo19A swimming race
Aries25A double promise

I've yet to find a film that made use of more than two of these five. But among those that use two, the most common is a sub-genre of war film... ones about soldiers returning home after a long deployment and/or veterans coming back to civilian life after being discharged. The classic in this genre is The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). The film is about "three United States servicemen re-adjusting to societal changes and civilian life after coming home from World War II. The three men come from different services with different ranks that do not correspond with their civilian social class backgrounds." While this is clearly a reference to Sagittarius 1, the branch of the armed services is not always the Army.

The promises referred to in Aries 25 (a double promise) shows up in a few ways. There is the literal promise that is often made to a young woman left behind as the new recruit left to perform his armed service and fulfill his patriotic duty. Either it is the promise to marry her upon return or they hurriedly get married before he leaves. He promises to return and she promises to wait loyally for his return.

In 1945, three veterans from different parts of the military (USAAF bombardier captain Fred Derry, U.S. Navy petty officer Homer Parrish, and U.S. Army sergeant Al Stephenson) meet on a return flight from service at the end of World War II. They travel together and arrive in their midwestern hometown of Boone City.​
Before the war, Fred had a menial job at a drug store as their soda jerk and lived with his parents in the poorer part of town. Before becoming an officer in the Army Air Corps, he married his girlfriend Marie after a brief engagement and shipped out shortly thereafter.​
Al worked as a high-level officer at the local bank and lived in an upscale apartment with his wife Millie and their two children, Peggy and Rob.​
Homer was a high school student living with his middle-class parents and younger sister. A star athlete at school, Homer also had been dating his next-door neighbor, Wilma, and they commit to marrying upon his return.​
Each man faces challenges integrating back into civilian life.​

There is also the promise of life after service is completed. Here is is promise as the indication of something favorable to come, of future excellence of success. And it is here that the films spend most of their time.

In this film, Cancer 7 (Two fairies on a moonlit night) works in very subtly. The moon is often a symbol of "lunacy" or uncontrolled emotions and thoughts in the subconscious mind. Fairies are, of course, unreal, imaginary, and etheral figures. Put those together with a veteran returning home (Cancer) from war (Sagittarius 7) and you have--PTSD, i.e. post-traumatic stress disorder. In this context, it plays out as follows as flashbacks or dreams, not helped one bit by the habit of late-night drinking binges.

"Fred suffers from PTSD flashbacks by night, and despite his Captain’s rank in the military, cannot find a civilian job because of his lack of experience at anything other than dropping bombs and is forced to return to the drug store to work behind the counter. The one bright spot for Fred is Al's daughter Peggy, whom he met when they first returned to town after a long night drinking binge. Peggy feels sympathy for Fred and gives him her room as he passes out that night."​


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sdh3

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The 28th five-pointed star consists of the following Sabian Symbols:

Aquarius16A big-business man at his desk
Virgo22A royal coat of arms
Aries28A large disappointed audience
Sagittarius4A little child learning to walk
Cancer10A large diamond not completely cut

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The 2006 film entitled "Blood Diamonds" starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou draws inspiration from this set of symbols. A following excerpts from the film's wikipedia page make this abundantly clear:

Cancer 10: A large diamond not completely cut

* Blood Diamond is a 2006 American political action thriller film... "The title refers to blood diamonds...which are diamonds mined in war zones and sold to finance conflicts, and thereby profit warlords and diamond companies around the world."

* " In 1999, Sierra Leone is ravaged in a civil war. Rebel factions such as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) frequently terrorize the countryside, intimidating Mende locals and enslaving many to harvest diamonds, which fund their increasingly successful war effort. Solomon Vandy, a local fisherman from Shenge, is captured. While his family escapes, Vandy is assigned to a workforce overseen by Captain Poison, a ruthless warlord.
While mining a river Vandy discovers an enormous pink diamond. Captain Poison attempts to take the stone, but government troops raid the area. Vandy buries the stone before being captured.


Sagittarius 4: a little child learning to walk

Children are among the "locals" that are captured and enslaved. The RUF also takes boys and forces them to become child soldiers. They figure prominently.

"Meanwhile, RUF insurgents escalate hostilities. Freetown falls and Vandy's son, Dia, is conscripted as a child soldier under a liberated Captain Poison."

Aquarius 16: a Big businessman behind his desk.

"While mining a river, Vandy discovers an enormous pink diamond. Captain Poison attempts to take the stone, but government troops raid the area. Vandy buries the stone before being captured. Both Vandy and Poison are incarcerated in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown, along with Danny Archer, a Rhodesian smuggler and mercenary who was caught smuggling diamonds into Liberia. The diamonds were intended for Rudolph van de Kaap, a corrupt South African mining executive and a major player in the international diamond industry."
Virgo 22: A royal coat of arms

"The film's ending, in which a conference is held concerning blood diamonds, refers to a historic meeting that took place in Kimberley, South Africa, in 2000. It led to development of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which sought to certify the origin of rough diamonds in order to curb the trade in conflict diamonds; the certification scheme has since been mostly abandoned as ineffective. "

A coat of arms is "coat of arms, the principal part of a system of hereditary symbols dating back to early medieval Europe, used primarily to establish identity in battle. Arms evolved to denote family descent, adoption, alliance, property ownership, and, eventually, profession."

Note: there are here also elements of Aries 28 (A large disappointed audience).
 

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sdh3

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The 12th five-pointed star is comprised of the following Sabian Symbols:

Virgo6A merry go-round
Aries12A flock of wild geese
Scorpio18A woods rich in autumn coloring
Gemini24Children skating on ice
Capricorn30A secret business conference

The 1978 war film "The Wild Geese" draws inspiration from the key symbol (Aries 12) and others on the star. Here are relevant excerpts from the film's Wikipedia page:

Aries 12: A flock of wild geese

"The screenplay by Reginald Rose was based on Daniel Carney's unpublished novel The Thin White Line. The film was named after the Wild Goose flag and shoulder patch used by Michael "Mad Mike" Hoare's Five Commando, ANC, which in turn was inspired by a 17th-century Irish mercenary army Wild Geese."

Capricorn 30: A secret business conference


"Allen Faulkner, a former British Army colonel turned mercenary, arrives in London to meet merchant banker Sir Edward Matheson. The latter proposes an operation to rescue Julius Limbani, the imprisoned President of a southern African nation who is due for execution by General Ndofa."

"Faulkner accepts the assignment and begins recruiting forty-nine mercenaries, including officers he had worked with previously: Capt. Rafer Janders, a skilled tactician, and Lt. Shawn Fynn, a former Irish Guards officer and pilot. Fynn also brings in Pieter Coetzee, a former soldier in the South African Defence Force who wishes only to return home and buy a farm. The mercenaries fly to Swaziland, where they are whipped into shape. With training complete, Janders exacts a promise from Faulkner to watch over his only son, Emile, should he not survive."

"Some months later, Faulkner returns to London and breaks into Matheson's home to confront him. Faulkner takes the half a million dollars in Matheson's safe to compensate the survivors and the families of those who died. Faulkner then kills Matheson and makes a swift getaway with Fynn. Faulkner fulfils his promise to Janders by visiting Emile at his boarding school."

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The 44th five-pointed star is comprised of the following Sabian Symbols:

Cancer26Contentment and happiness in luxury, people reading on davenports
Pisces2A squirrel hiding from hunters
Libra8A blazing fireplace in a deserted home
Taurus14Shellfish groping and children playing
Sagittarius20Men cutting through ice

One story that draws obvious inspiration from this star is the book and film "Where the Crawdads Sing."

Here's Wikipedia's synopsis of the first part of the novel entitled "The Marsh."

"In 1952, six-year-old Catherine Danielle Clark (nicknamed "Kya") watches her mother abandon her and her family due to violent abuse from her husband, Kya's father. While Kya waits in vain for her mother's return, she witnesses her older siblings, Missy, Murph, Mandy, and Jodie, all leave as well, due to their father's drinking and physical abuse.

Alone with her father—who temporarily stops drinking—Kya learns to fish. Her father gives her his knapsack to hold her collections of shells and feathers. The illiterate Kya paints these shells and feathers, as well as the marsh's creatures and shorelines, with watercolors her mother left behind.

One day Kya finds a letter in the mailbox and runs to her father, squealing with delight that they finally received a letter from her mother. He snatches the letter from her hands and after reading it becomes infuriated; he burns the letter along with most of her mother's wardrobe and canvases. He returns to drinking and takes long, frequent trips away to gamble. Eventually he does not return at all and Kya assumes he is dead, making him the last of the family to leave her alone in the marsh. Without money and family, she survives by gardening and trading fresh mussels and smoked fish for money and gas from Jumpin', a black man who owns a gasoline station at the boat dock. Jumpin' and his wife Mabel become lifelong friends to Kya, and Mabel collects donated clothing for her.

As Kya grows up, she faces prejudice from the townspeople of Barkley Cove, North Carolina, who nickname her "The Marsh Girl". She is laughed at by the schoolchildren the only day she goes to school and is called "nasty" and "filthy" by the pastor's wife. However, she becomes friendly with Tate Walker, an old friend of Jodie's who sometimes fishes in the marsh. When Kya loses her bearings one day, Tate leads her home in his boat. Years later, he leaves her feathers from rare birds, then teaches her how to read and write. The two form a romantic relationship until Tate leaves for college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He promises to return, yet later realizes Kya cannot live in his more civilized world because of how wild and independent she is, and leaves her without saying goodbye."

Cancer 26: Contentment and happiness in luxury, people reading on davenports. This symbol is initially turned on its head. She and her family live in destitution. Tate wants to give her that life.

Taurus 14: Shellfish groping and children playing. This is obviously the core symbol from which the story draws inspiration. Crawdads are shellfish. Kya spends her time as a child collecting seashells.

Libra 8: A blazing fireplace in a deserted home. The home in which Kya is raised becomes progressively more and more deserted. First she is abandoned by her mother, then older siblings, and finally her father.

Pisces 2: A squirrel hiding from hunters. This theme is worked into the second half of the novel (The Swamp) where Kya is wrongly accused and tried for murder of Chase, a former lover who beat and attempted to rape her. She hides from him in the swamp each time he returns.

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The 35th five-pointed star consists of these symbols:

Sagittarius11The lamp of physical enlightenment at the left temple
Cancer17The germ grows into knowledge and life
Aquarius23A big bear sitting down and waving all its paws
Virgo29A man gaining secret knowledge from a paper he is reading
Taurus5A widow at an open grave

The 1979 novel, Vision Quest, as well as the 1985 film by the same name draw inspiration from this star, particularly the first three listed in above. Here's Wikipedia's summary of the novel:

"In first-person, present-tense narrative, it tells the story of a few months in the life of Louden Swain, a high school wrestler in Spokane, Washington who is cutting weight and working toward the state championships. The book takes its title from the vision quest ritual of some Native American tribes, of going into the wilderness alone to 'discover who you are and who your people are and how you fit into the circle of birth and growth and death and rebirth."

Here's Wikipedia's summary of the 1985 film:

Louden Swain is a wrestler at Thompson High School who has just turned 18 years old. He has decided that he needs to do something truly meaningful in his life. He embarks on a mission or, in a Native American term, a vision quest. His goal is to drop two weight classes to challenge the area's toughest opponent, Brian Shute, a menacing three-time state champion from nearby rival Hoover High School, who has never been defeated in his high school career. In his zeal to drop from 190 pounds (86 kilograms) to 168 pounds (76 kg), against the wishes of his coach and teammates, he disrupts the team around him and creates health problems of his own.

Meanwhile, his father has taken on a boarder named Carla from Trenton, New Jersey, passing through on her way to San Francisco. Louden falls in love with her and begins to lose sight of his goals as a wrestler. Worse, his drastic weight loss culminates in an unhealthy situation, where he gets frequent nosebleeds which, Louden assumes, is due to a lack of iron in his diet (and results in him having to forfeit a match he was winning). The two finally admit their love for each other, but Carla realizes she is distracting him from his goals.

Carla decides to move out and continue on to San Francisco, but not before seeing Louden's big match, in which he makes a comeback from losing and pins Shute in the final seconds with a hip throw. As Louden celebrates his victory, he monologues to the audience, "...I guess that's why we got to love those people who deserve it like there's no tomorrow. 'Cause when you get right down to it—there isn't."


Here's how the Wikipedia defines a vision quest:

The process includes a complete fast for four days and nights, alone at a sacred site in nature which is chosen by the Elders for this purpose.[1] Some communities have used the same sites for many generations. During this time, the young person prays and cries out to the spirits that they may have a vision, one that will help them find their purpose in life, their role in a community, and how they may best serve the People.

In the film it's the "cutting weight" that stands in for the fasting in the Native American ritual. The trance state's are experienced in his training sessions and fainting spells when over-training and cutting calories to drastically. Also, the film and novel are set in Spokane, Washington. The city name is derived from the native language and means "children of the stars" or "the star people." The protagonist's family name is Swain which means "boy or young male."

Given all of this information, it's completely obvious how Sagittarius 11 (The lamp of physical enlightenment at the left temple) and Cancer 17 (The germ grows into knowledge and life) are related to this story.

The manner in which the third symbol Aquarius 23 (A big bear sitting down and waving all its paws) works in is very clever. It takes the form of Louden's nemesis... "the area's toughest opponent, Brian Shute, a menacing three-time state champion from nearby rival Hoover High School, who has never been defeated in his high school career." Recall that Louden is dropping weight to challenge this big bear of a man. The "sitting down and waving it's paws" is the wrestlers spinning and rolling around on the mats. Below is a picture of the Shute character in the film.

Finally, the fourth ( Virgo 29: A man gaining secret knowledge from a paper he is reading) and fifth Taurus 5 (A widow at an open grave) symbols are relatively muted. As I recall, Louden does read about the vision quest before embarking on it. And in the novel, his mother divorced his father. The father doesn't die.

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The 46th five-pointed star is comprised of the following symbols:

Taurus16An old man attempting vainly to reveal the Mysteries
Sagittarius22A Chinese (or immigrant) laundry
Cancer28A modern Pocahontas
Pisces4Heavy traffic on a narrow isthmus
Libra10A canoe approaching safety through dangerous waters


The Disney film "Pocahantas" draws inspiration from this star, especially the third symbol (Cancer 28: A modern Pocahantas) and the fifth (Libra 10: A canoe approaching safety through dangerous waters)


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The 36th five-pointed star is comprised of these five Sabian Symbols:

Taurus6A bridge being built across a gorge
Sagittarius12A flag that turns into a eagle that crows
Cancer18A hen scratching for her chicks
Aquarius24A man turning his back on his passions and teaching from his experience
Virgo30A false call unheard in attention to immediate service


As evidenced by its plot summary on Wikipedia, the 1995 American dramatic film "The Bridges of Madison County" draws inspiration from this set of symbols:

"In the present, adult siblings Michael and Carolyn Johnson arrive at the Iowa farmhouse of their recently deceased mother, Francesca, to settle her estate. They are shocked upon learning that Francesca requested to be cremated and her ashes scattered from Roseman Covered Bridge, rather than be buried next to her late husband, Richard.

Michael initially refuses, but while he and Carolyn look through the safe deposit box, they discover an envelope containing photographs, letters, and a key. The photos are of Francesca taken at the Holliwell Covered Bridge and the letters are from a man named Robert Kincaid. The key is to Francesca's locked hope chest. In it are three hardbound notebooks. There are also several National Geographic magazines, including one featuring Madison County's covered wooden bridges,[6] old cameras, a book, and other mementos. The magazine includes a photo of Kincaid, who photographed the bridges; he is wearing Francesca's crucifix pendant.

As Michael and Carolyn begin reading Francesca's notebooks, the film flashes back to 1965. Francesca, a WWII Italian war bride, stays home while her husband and teenaged son and daughter attend the state fair for the next four days. Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photojournalist on assignment to photograph the county's historic bridges, arrives at the Johnson farm, asking for directions to Roseman Bridge. Francesca rides along to show him the way. Their subsequent affair occurs over four days.

Francesca details the intense affair and its lasting influence on both her and Robert, hoping Michael and Carolyn will understand and honor her final request. Francesca and Robert fell deeply in love and nearly ran away together. Francesca, confined to a passionless marriage, was unable to abandon her teenage children and loyal husband. Though she loved Robert, she questioned whether their spontaneous relationship could survive over time. Robert, moved by their brief encounter, found renewed meaning in his life and true calling as an artist. Francesca's memories helped sustain her through the remaining years on the farm.

After her husband's death, Francesca attempted to contact Robert, but he had left National Geographic and his whereabouts were unknown. She later learned that Robert died about three years after her husband, and he left his belongings to her. His ashes were scattered from Roseman Bridge.

In the present, Michael and Carolyn, struggling with their own marriages, are deeply moved by their mother's story. They find new direction to their individual lives and carry out their mother's wishes to scatter her ashes at Roseman Bridge."

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The 48th five-pointed star is comprised of these Sabian Symbols:

Pisces6Officers on dress parade
Libra12Miners emerging from a mine
Taurus18A woman holding a bag out of a window
Sagittarius24A bluebird standing at the door of the house
Cancer30A Daughter of the American Revolution

Drawing inspiration from this star is the film "Coal Miner's Daughter", based on the life and times of country singer Loretta Lynn aka "The First Lady of Country Music." Here's Wikipedia's plot summary:

In 1945, 13-year-old Loretta Webb is one of eight children of Ted Webb, a Van Lear coal miner raising a family with his wife in the midst of grinding poverty in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky (pronounced by locals as "Butcher Holler").

In 1948, at the age of 15, Loretta marries 22-year-old Oliver "Mooney" (aka Doo, short for Doolittle) Lynn, becoming a mother of four by the time she is 19. The family moves to northern Washington State, where Doo works in the forest industry and Loretta sings occasionally at local honky-tonks on weekends. After some time, Loretta makes an occasional appearance on local radio.

By the time Loretta turns 25, Norm Burley, the owner of Zero Records, a small Canadian record label, hears Loretta sing during one of her early radio appearances. Burley gives the couple the money needed to travel to Los Angeles to cut a demo tape from which her first single, "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl," is made. After returning home from the sessions, Doo suggests he and Loretta go on a promotional tour to push the record. Doo shoots his own publicity photo for Loretta, and spends many late nights writing letters to show promoters and to radio disc jockeys all over the South. After Loretta receives an emergency phone call from her mother telling her that her father had died, she and Doo hit the road with records, photos, and their children. The two embark on an extensive promotional tour of radio stations across the South.

En route, and unbeknownst to the couple, Loretta's first single, "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl," hits the charts based on radio and jukebox plays, and earns her a spot on the Grand Ole Opry. In the summer of 1961, after 17 straight weekly performances on the Opry, she is invited to sing at Ernest Tubb Record Shop's Midnite Jamboree after her performance that night. Country superstar Patsy Cline, one of Loretta's idols, who had recently been hospitalized from a near-fatal car wreck, inspires Loretta to dedicate Patsy's newest hit "I Fall to Pieces" to the singer herself as a musical get-well card. Cline listens to the broadcast that night from her hospital room and sends her husband Charlie Dick to Ernest Tubb Record Shop to fetch Loretta so the two can meet. A close friendship with Cline follows, which abruptly was ended by Cline's death in a plane crash on March 5, 1963.

The next few years are a whirlwind. The stress of extensive touring, keeping up her image, overwork, and trying to keep her marriage and family together cause Loretta a nervous breakdown, which she suffers onstage at the beginning of a concert. After a year off at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, Loretta goes back on the road, returning to establish herself as the "First Lady of Country Music."

The film closes with Loretta recounting the story of her life through her 1970 hit song "Coal Miner's Daughter" to a sold-out audience.


Note: The film is considered "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and was selected to be preserved in the United States National Film Registry in 2019.



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The 50th five-pointed star is comprised of these symbols:

Sagittarius26A flag-bearer
Leo2An epidemic of mumps
Pisces8A girl blowing a bugle
Libra14A noon siesta
Taurus20Wind clouds and haste

One film that draws inspiration from this set is 2002 American film Drumline.

Here's the first paragraph of Wikipedia's plot summary:

The story revolves around Devon Miles, a teen who has just graduated from high school in New York City. Upon graduating, Devon heads to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Atlanta A&T University, a historically black college that takes enormous pride in its marching band. En route to A&T, Devon befriends fellow band mates Charles, Jayson, and Ernest. Devon was personally invited to attend on a full scholarship by Dr. Lee, head of the band, for his prodigious talents. The A&T band separates itself from its competitors by requiring all members to read music, by focusing on various styles of music rather than what is currently popular on the radio, and by dedication to the teamwork emphasized "one band, one sound" concept. Preseason band camp is physically and mentally challenging, designed to push members past what they previously thought were their limits. At the end of preseason, the musicians audition for spots on the field, and Devon is the only freshman to make P1, the highest-level player. While going through this rigorous process, Devon also finds time to romance an upperclassman dancer, Laila.



Analysis:

Sagittarius 28: A flag-bearer


In Roman and medieval armies the flag- or standard-bearer

...had an important role on the battlefield. The standard-bearer acted as an indicator of where the position of a military unit was, with the bright, colorful standard or flag acting as a strong visual beacon to surrounding soldiers.

Soldiers were typically ordered to follow and stay close to the standard or flag in order to maintain unit cohesion, and for a single commander to easily position his troops by only positioning his standard-bearer, typically with the aid of musical cues or loud verbal commands.


The image below is not from the film but from Wikipedia's page on "Marching Percussion." On that page we get this definition of "drum line."

A "drumline," also known as the "battery," or "batterie," is a section of percussion instruments usually played as part of a musical marching ensemble. A drumline can also be a section on their own competing against other drumlines. Marching bands, drum and bugle corps, and indoor percussion ensembles are some examples of groups that include a drumline.

At the high-school and collegiate level, half-time entertainment in American football frequently involves marching bands where drumlines are accompanied by flag bearers who carry the school's insignia or colors, as shown below. As noted above, drum lines may be combined with or be part of a drum and bugle corps which Wikipedia defines as "A modern drum and bugle corps is a musical marching unit consisting of brass instruments, percussion instruments, electronic instruments, and color guard."

Note: How the fourth symbol (Libra 14: A noon siesta) works in is the most interesting and subtle.


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The 23rd five-pointed start is comprised of:

Aquarius11Man tete-a-tete with his inspiration
Virgo17A volcano in eruption
Aries23A woman in pastel colors carrying a heavy and valuable but veiled load
Scorpio29An Indian squaw pleading to the chief for the lives of her children
Cancer5An automobile wrecked by a train

The 2010 American disaster action thriller "Unstoppable" draws inspiration from this set of five symbols. "It is based on the real-life CSX 8888 incident, telling the story of a runaway freight train and the two men who attempt to stop it."

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The 45th five-pointed star is comprised of following Sabian Symbols:

Sagittarius21A child and a dog with borrowed eyeglasses
Cancer27A storm in a canyon
Pisces3A petrified forest
Libra9Three old masters hanging in an art gallery
Taurus15A man muffled up, with a rakish silk hat


Both the 2020 American adventure film and the 1903 novel "The Call of the Wild" are built upon this set. Concerning the latter, it is

...a short adventure novel by Jack London, published in 1903 and set in Yukon, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The central character of the novel is a dog named Buck. The story opens at a ranch in Santa Clara Valley, California, when Buck is stolen from his home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska. He becomes progressively more primitive and wild in the harsh environment, where he is forced to fight to survive and dominate other dogs. By the end, he sheds the veneer of civilization, and relies on primordial instinct and learned experience to emerge as a leader in the wild.



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