Decan (astrology)

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In astrology, a decan is the subdivision of an astrological sign (zodiac sign).

In order to give fuller interpretation to the zodiac signs, ancient astrologers subdivided each sign into periods of approximately ten days. These divisions are known as the "decans" or "decantes" and are somewhat arbitrary in order to allow for the five (and sometimes six) extra days in the year beyond the 360 days required for the thirty-six decans. [1]

Astrologers believe that each of the decans has its own individual character.

In modern times, however, the assignment of decans has changed considerably. Each sign is allocated a triplicity, consisting of three of the four classical elements air, water, earth or fire, and is therefore subdivided into three equal parts of 10 degrees each; these parts are referred to as decans or decanates.

Each decan of a sign is assigned rulership by the planet ruling the sign and secondary rulership by the planet ruling the decan.

The decans and their rulers are assigned as follows as based on the concepts of modern Western astrology:

Sign 0-10 degrees 10-20 degrees 20-30 degrees
Aries Mars Sun Jupiter
Taurus Venus Mercury Saturn
Gemini Mercury Venus Uranus
Cancer Moon Pluto Neptune
Leo Sun Jupiter Mars
Virgo Mercury Saturn Venus
Libra Venus Uranus Mercury
Scorpio Pluto Neptune Moon
Sagittarius Jupiter Mars Sun
Capricorn Saturn Venus Mercury
Aquarius Uranus Mercury Venus
Pisces Neptune Moon Pluto


The decans and their rulers are assigned as follows as based on the concepts of ancient Western astrology :

Sign Domicile ruler Exaltation ruler 0-10 degrees 10-20 degrees 20-30 degrees
Aries Mars Sun Mars Sun Venus
Taurus Venus Moon Mercury Moon Saturn
Gemini Mercury N/A Jupiter Mars Sun
Cancer Moon Jupiter Venus Mercury Moon
Leo Sun N/A Saturn Jupiter Mars
Virgo Mercury Mercury Sun Venus Mercury
Libra Venus Saturn Moon Saturn Jupiter
Scorpio Mars N/A Mars Sun Venus
Sagittarius Jupiter N/A Mercury Moon Saturn
Capricorn Saturn Mars Jupiter Mars Sun
Aquarius Saturn N/A Venus Mercury Moon
Pisces Jupiter Venus Saturn Jupiter Mars

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Decan meanings, from Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa and Astrolabium Planum by Johannes Engel.
  • 3rd Decan Aries Talisman Example of decan talisman using traditional astrology.