The Decans of Leo – A Sense of Self

We all know there are 12 zodiac signs and chances are you also know where your Sun is located. I’m a Leo you say? Well, what type of Leo are you? If you didn’t know that there are subdivisions within each of the zodiac signs, then welcome to the 36 decans.

Each of the 12 zodiac signs is divided into 3 distinct parts of 10 degrees each. So if your Sun is at 8 Leo it’s in the 1st decan of Leo but if it’s at 26 Leo it’s in the last. We can consider the decans as 3 distinct acts in a 3-act play, the overarching theme of which is the zodiac sign involved. 

For example, Leo is oft thought of as the confident, dramatic individual filled with the joyful expression of his/her own creativity and self-expression.  Keywords for Leo include, magnetic, warm, arrogant, proud, and dynamic. The inherent theme of the Leo drama not so much about personal power but how he presents himself to and is perceived by others.

Your friend is your needs answered.

He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.

And he is your board and our fireside.

For you come to him with you hunger and you seek him for peace.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (on Friendship)

But quite how that all unfolds in any given native of Leo depends on the decan involved.

1st decan – Ruled by both Sun and Saturn, here the native is challenged to present him/herself to the world as she/he really is even if he/she is harshly judged for it. In the best of times, such authenticity is difficult to achieve. With the Sun and Saturn, chalk and cheese, both in charge, it requires an immense amount of honesty and courage.

Unfortunately because this is often so painful – especially for Leo – the tendency is instead to wear the mask the world wants to see. In doing so, it’s easy to loose touch with oneself. As the 5 of Wands, the tarot card associated with this decan, makes clear, this is a difficult placement for any natal planet.

Often this card, known as the Lord of Strife, appears when folks are in a situation of contesting wills and egos. People simply refuse to cooperate with each, or worse. There are clearly too many cooks in this kitchen. Perhaps the best way to deal with this is to grin and bear it – after all,  you know that at your core, you are a worthy individual – don’t you – or do you? Perhaps this is the biggest test this decan has to offer is to know yourself as you really are and still smile.

2nd decan – With Jupiter as the sole ruler of the decan, there’s the suggestion that native has triumphed not only with the tests presented in the 1st decan, but with life itself. At least that is what’s suggested by the tarot card associated with this decan, the 6 of Wands – the Lord of Victory. But take careful note that this card is in the middle of the suit, not at the end and so in reality, there is still much more to come.

A good way to think about this is to consider how the triumphant conqueror was celebrated in ancient Rome: in a very public ceremony, he was recognised for being amazingly awesome, for having achieved that for which he set out to achieve. For a single day, he was deified, treated like a king but he was not a king and so all too soon, his day was over and once again, he was just a regular guy.

Now the question come as to how he will deal with this; will he meet his next challenge as valiantly as he did his last or will he fail to go forward to make future conquests, instead choosing to live in his faded glory years, literally sitting on his laurels?

3rd decan – With Mars as the sole ruler, this is an extremely challenging decan. In the 1st decan, the native is called upon to be him/herself and meet the challenges with which he/she is confronted accordingly. In the 2nd decan, the native has won the day, even if there is already a seed of darkness in his/her magnificent victory.

But in this, the 3rd decan, although the native has established him/herself as the victor, he/she is more than aware there are those waiting in the wings for the perfect opportunity to topple him/her and steal his/her crown.

As the tarot card associated with this decan, the 7 of Wands – the Lord of Valour – makes clear the only way out of this mess is through pure, unadulterated courage, which is not the same thing as being clever and cunning and/or exercising physical strength.

Anyone can use their brains/brawn when they’re on top of the world but in this decan, you’re already in the difficult position of being down a couple of pegs.

One response to “The Decans of Leo – A Sense of Self”

  1. Wow, this is helpful. 1st Decan Leo here with the Sun in the 8th house, so I know that showing my true self is an ongoing process. Thank you for this!

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