In astrology, a decan is the subdivision of a sign.

The concept of decans originated with the ancient Chaldeans when they divided the 360 degree circle of the heavens into 36 equal parts of 10 degrees each, and each part was ruled by a planet or other heavenly body in the sky.

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, such as air, water, earth or fire. Each sign is therefore subdivided into three equal parts of 10 degrees each, and these parts are referred to as decans, or decanates.

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

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

0-10 degrees
10-20 degrees
20-30 degrees
Aries Aries Leo Sagittarius
Taurus Taurus Virgo Capricorn
Gemini Gemini Libra Aquarius
Cancer Cancer Scorpio Pisces
Leo Leo Sagittarius Aries
Virgo Virgo Capricorn Taurus
Libra Libra Aquarius Gemini
Scorpio Scorpio Pisces Cancer
Sagittarius Sagittarius Aries Leo
Capricorn Capricorn Taurus Virgo
Aquarius Aquarius Gemini Libra
Pisces Pisces Cancer Scorpio

External links

  • 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.

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