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  • Writer's pictureYolanda McAdam

The Zodiac Decans

Do you feel like a typical (insert your Zodiac Sign here)? I know I only saw something of myself in the Sun sign descriptions. For example, I am a Cancer Sun and while I am family-oriented, love cooking and feeding family and friends, I don’t cry easily and I’m not big on cuddles. Most people, don't feel "typical" of their sun sign and this of course, has to do with the fact that you have to look at your birth chart as a whole. You have to take your Ascendant into consideration for example and any pile up of planets (referred to as a stellium in astrology) in a particular sign. However, here is a quick predictive technique that is not commonly used but is very effective in describing your character traits and it's known as decans.

But before we dive into that, here's a quick refresher on the 12 signs of the Zodiac.


March 21 to April 19


April 20 to May 20


May 21 to June 21


June 22 to July 22


July 23 to August 22


August 23 to September 22


September 23 to October 22


October 23 to November 21


November 22 to December 21


December 22 to January 20


January 21 to February 18


February 19 to March 20


Decans have their origin in ancient Egypt where they were part of their calendar system. The word decan comes from the Latin word for “ten”. Each sign of the zodiac is made up of 30º. These 30º can be further divided into groups of 3 made up of 10º. Some astrologers refer to decans as decanates.


10º - 19º59’

20º -29º59’

The first decan is from 0-9 degrees 59 minutes, the second 10-19 degrees 59 minutes and the third from 20-29 degrees 59 minutes.

The first decan always corresponds to the sign we are interested in. So if you’re an Aries Sun, then the first decan corresponds to Aries and is ruled by Mars.

The second decan takes on the characteristics of the next sign in the same element, in this example the element is Fire. So the next sign would be Leo, ruled by the Sun.

The last decan would correspond with the last sign in the sequence of the same element, so in the case of Aries it would be Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter.

This, by the way, is known as the Triplicity Scheme of Rulership. There is another scheme for decans and it’s the Chaldean scheme. For our purposes we are interested in the Triplicity scheme.

A person born into the first decan would have the strongest correspondence with the traits and qualities of the sign, while a person born in the second and third decans would be less typical and would associate with the signs in those degrees.

The find out your decan you need your birth chart. If you have not had your chart read by an astrologer you can print out your birth chart for free on You will need your birth date, time of birth and place of birth.

Here is a free PDF of the decans as well as their tarot correspondences.

Download PDF • 20KB

Quick Case Study

Let’s take a look at George Clooney’s chart. George is a Sun sign Taurus. The glyph for the Sun looks like this:☉.

His ☉ is at 15º Taurus which firmly places him in the 2nd decan which is ruled by Mercury. This tells us that George is a Mercurial Taurus and has many Virgo qualities. Mercury is the planet that rules communication, thought processes, learning and memory. We can tell that George is intelligent, witty and loves communicating.

Now over to you,

What is your Sun sign and decan? And does it does help describe your character better?




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