A decan, also known as a decantes, is a portion of a zodiac sign. In astrology the thirty-six decans, each one is associated with traits that add a bit of extra taste and texture to each sign.
It can be said that decan-based astrology might be more effective because it gives a more personalized overview of your personality. How do you find your decan in astrology?
To find your decan, you must determine what set of days of your zodiac sign you were born in. Each zodiac sign covers a span of thirty days. The first ten days of any sign is the first decan. The second ten days the second decan and the last ten days the third.
By splitting each zodiac sign into 3 sections, thirty-six personalities emerge (watch out Sybil), this gives so much more depth and unique aspects for our signs. This breaking into sections of three is called a triplicity. Astrology is so full of threes.
The decans give additional depth and meaning to a horoscope sign. Its like adding toppings to an ice cream. it’s still chocolate but now it has additional taste and texture that sets it apart a bit.
Before we go into finding your decan in more detail, I wanted to point out the related articles section at the bottom of this page. I’ve collected a number of articles that I know you will enjoy. Make sure you check them out.
Table of Contents
Do you have to know what Decans are?
There is no hard and fast rule about whether you must use decans, not every astrologer does.
Some astrologers use all thirty-six, some only use a few here and there. The decans have shown themselves to be very useful in more than astrology. They can be used in tarot readings as well.
Some in the pagan communities use them to decide when to perform certain ceremonies and rites.
So, all in all, do you need to know the decans and every single degree there in? No, you do not, but they can enhance your knowledge and add depth to your sign.
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What Are Decans?
So this whole kit and caboodle came to us from Egypt. Decans were used to help keep time for ancient Egyptians. Over time these degrees of movements of the planets and stars collected more meaning. Now modern day astrologers use them to make highly detailed birth charts and horoscopes.
Okay back to math class for a minute. If we divide the zodiac up each sign gets thirty degrees. Here comes our triplicity, each sign now gets divided into three to get our decans. This gives each decan ten degrees. The decans of each sign are then used to further define each sign.
The first Decan of any sign are the purest for of that sign. Its like getting a power up for your sign (love them Mario stars). The last decan of any sign takes on characteristics of the following sign, almost a hybrid of the two. Now that brings us around to our middle child.
The second decan is an odd duck, your still your sign, there is no denying that. Yet you can get some odd characteristics that may not be what people traditionally think of when they think of your sign. The decans give each sign unique aspects that change the essential idea of each sign.
Let’s use Scorpio as an example, I so enjoy analogizing my Scorpio friends.
The Three Decans of Scorpio, For Example
Scorpio is a water sign. I would not be surprised if all the secrets of the ocean’s depths are hidden inside Scorpios. The three decans of Scorpio are as follows:
The First Decan of Scorpio – Mario Star
If your arrival date on this great big ball of blue was about October twenty-third to November first, you are a first decan Scorpio. This is what many astrologers refer to as a Scorpio/Scorpio (this is where that Mario star comes into play). You my friend are a Scorpio’s Scorpio, the most pure and adulterated version of Scorpio there is. For good or for evil, there you are.
Now if Mars and Pluto show their faces in your birth chart, watch out. These Scorpios are superhero like (or maybe I should say anti-hero) in the way they show no fear. They can stay calm in almost any dangerous situation. At the other end of the spectrum, if Pluto and Mars challenged in a Scorpio’s chart you end up with Courage the cowardly dog. Every fear possible lives in that poor Scorpio.
Scorpio/Scorpio are extreme people. They are incredibly driven. They have high libidos, and strong passions. They can be obsessive and prone to extreme feelings, especially those of the down sing such as loss and grief.
Despite this they are the ultimate survivors, willing to fight for what they want and overcome adversity at any cost. So as we can clearly see our first deans in any sign are the alpha of alpha, the real deal and real McCoy. They are beings of extremes and bigger than life.
The Second Decan of Scorpio – Minecraft Furnace
For our second decan, your travel plans needed to have you arriving on earth between November second and the eleventh. If you did make your arrival during your scheduled time that means you my friend are a Scorpio/Pisces.
Death and resurrection is a theme that runs through this decan. Transmutation is a driving for these Scorpio/Pisces. They love to load up things to transform in their lives. Scorpio/Pisces thrive by finding hidden meaning in the world around them with no fear of searching the shadows.
They can sacrifice almost anything in their quest. Some of you Scorpio/Pisces can use your transmutable energies for healing. They attract people by their very nature, this allows them to use that energy and direct it towards other ventures.
The second decan is transmutable. Just like the forge in Mine-craft you are all about taking something and turning it into something else. Our second decan friends love to constantly remake themselves and their environment in an almost magical way.
The Third Decan of Scorpio – Go Poke Ball Go
If your travel plans put your terrestrial arrival between November twelfth and November twenty-second you get the privilege of being in the third decan of Scorpio. You are a Scorpio/Cancer, this hybrid takes on aspects of Cancer which is a Moon ruled sign.
With so much water element energy in this sign there is no wonder these Scorpios are known for their emotional wisdom and maturity. You know your mind and trust your gut. You are also willing to sacrifice yourself for those you love.
Unfortunately, even as enlightened and evolved as you are you will still take revenge on those that betray you, waiting with the patience of a glacier for the perfect time to spring your trap. If you third decan dwellers do not evolve to your higher (Pokémon) forms, you can go dark with a startling depth that can set super villains on edge.
Speaking of those evolved forms Scorpio/Cancers have superhero like willpower and considerable self-confidence. You can be an incredible force, almost a full-fledged movement of charisma, charm and eloquence.
Third decans rise above and evolve, just like Pokémon for lack of a better term. They tend to seek out the spiritually higher characteristics of their horoscope sign and decan sign. This can make them seem like they have evolved past the first decan version of their sign.
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This may be where you think I would wrap this article up but, I have one more aspect of decans to share as I find it a bit fascinating. I am talking of course of progressions. Every year of your life the sun moves, or progresses if you will, one degree.
These degrees account for your personal growth. This is something you an see and track with a progressed birth chart. It will show the signs you will move through during your life, noting any significant changes you may make as each person usually goes through two to three other signs in their life.
Progressions and Decans
Sticking with my Scorpio example, one could possibly progress through all three decans of Scorpio in one’s life. For example, if you were born with your sun at seven degrees in Scorpio you would start progressing in the first decan as a Scorpio/Scorpio.
At the age of four you would progress into the second decan as a Scorpio progressed Scorpio/Pisces. At the age of fourteen you would then progress into Scorpio/Pisces. This sounding kind of familiar?
It can get a little confusing accounting for decans and progressed decans; this is why natal charts can be such a great tool. They can keep you from losing track of planet and star movements.
Progression and First Decan Scorpio
As the sun progresses through Scorpio/Scorpio (our first decan in our example), you would be that alpha version of Scorpio. Typically, this would dictate what things you may face in those years and how they will affect you.
Progression and Second Dean Scorpio
So just like the first progression, progression through the second decan of Scorpio would give you those cool transmutable powers that Scorpio/Pisces have.
This phase helps you to progress from the reactive state of Scorpio/Scorpio into a more mature state that allows you to think before you act.
Progression and Third Decan Scorpio
I bet you guessed it. Entering into the third decant of Scorpio gives you Scorpio/Cancer tendencies. This phase of your life would be the years of emotional security and spiritual growth.
This would affect your life by allowing you to see things in a clearer way. At this point you can look at your life almost philosophically. These progressions through the decans (all decans, not just our Scorpio example)add a new depth and insight to add to your horoscope sign and decan.
Interpreting the Decans
Now that we have picked our way through the topic of decans and gaming analogies, we can see how decans affect our signs, whether your sign is a Scorpio or not.
You should bear in mind that while decans help us gain more clarity, they do affect each person differently depending on what planets and those planets’ position happen to be in their chart.
This is why birth charts and birth chart analysis help to clarify things.
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