We all know there are 12 zodiac signs and chances are you also know where your Sun is located. I’m a Scorpio you say? Well, what type of Scorpio 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 Scorpio it’s in the 1st decan of Scorpio but if it’s at 26 Scorpio 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, Scorpio is oft thought of as the guarded, suspicious, self-controlled person who always gets to the bottom of things. Keywords for Scorpio include controlling, passionate, compulsive, and brooding. The inherent theme of the Scorpion drama about the dynamics of desire and how she gets what she wants as well as how, at last, she lets it go.
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open you heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (on Death)
But quite how that all unfolds in any given native of Scorpio depends on the decan involved.
1st decan – In this decan of Scorpio ruled solely by the planet Mars, the native is challenged to confront his/her insatiable hunger, whether that be for knowledge, justice, sex, or another pleasure. As the archetypal warrior, Mars governs how the native asserts herself in getting what she wants as well as how she experiences conflict and aggression.
But sometimes, no matter how much we want something, it’s simply impossible to procure – even for Scorpio. Hence the tarot card associated with this decan is the 5 of Cups, known as the Lord of Disappointment. This card depicts a man who is clearly not pleased with the circumstances in which he finds himself: it might be that he has failed to get what he wanted or equally, what he actually got turned out not worth his effort.
The implicit question how is how one chooses to deal his/her desires keeping in mind that however much anyone has, in many respects, it will never be enough. It is the nature of man to always want more and more and more. But when we fail to understand this reality in all its complexity as well as how best to address it, it’s much too easy to let our desires define us as well as our hunger to run the show.
2nd decan – With the Sun and Jupiter as the joint rulers of this decan, the energy here is quite different. Whilst in the 1st decan, the mission was solo – i.e. ‘I want’, in the 2nd, it takes two to tango and so the lesson now is about the mutuality inherent in ‘give and take’.
Because Scorpio (a water sign) is involved, this lesson occurs on an emotional level. It’s also an intimate exchange but surprisingly, it’s not always about sex. Hence the tarot card associated with this decan is the 6 of Cups, The Lord of Pleasure and the picture is one of a young boy giving a charming gift to a young girl; the innocence of the exchange is obvious as well as their mutual pleasure.
Jupiter wants to ennoble and uplift and the Sun wants to personally bask in the glory of that. Sadly, as with any tango, things do go wrong and one or both parties will miss their step: either the recipient rejects the charming gift that was so innocently given or in reality, the gift (which may have some pretty potent strings attached) is more toxic than innocent and charming.
The best way forward for natives with planets in the decan is to always remain conscious of their intentions although that’s oft easier said than done.
3rd decan – With both the Moon and Venus as rulers of this decan, the energy is again quite different. The tarot card, the 7 of Cups known also as the Lord of Delusion, pretty much tells the story. The man is juggling all the different things in the cups, unable to decide what he wants and what he doesn’t.
Perhaps he already realises he can’t have it all or, perhaps, he’s about to learn that painful, albeit valuable lesson. Either way, he’s going to have to purposefully choose to let something go because if he doesn’t, he may, quite honestly, end up with nothing.
There comes a time for everyone when some cherished dream or aspiration or person or pet disappears from our lives and the more graciously, we can let it pass, the better.
This is not to say it won’t be painful. Especially with Scorpio, that’s a given. But although it’s trite, it is true that when one door closes, another opens. But it’s also true that if you remain focused on that door that has closed, you’ll never have a chance at enjoying that new opportunity.