We all know there are 12 zodiac signs and chances are you also know where your Sun is located. I’m a Capricorn you say? Well, what type of Capricorn 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 Capricorn it’s in the 1st decan of Capricorn but if it’s at 26 Capricorn 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, Capricorn is oft thought of as the hard-working businessman who, having been unfortunately type-cast as the hard-hearted, tight-fisted Scrooge, doesn’t care about anything but his money. As you will see, that’s not exactly true. Keywords for Capricorn include authoritarian, reliable, conscientious, and selfish. The inherent theme of the Capricorn drama is about building something of significance and doing what’s needed to keep it in place.
You delight in laying down laws,
Yet you delight more in breaking them.
Like children playing by the ocean who build sand-towers with constancy and then destroy them with laughter.
But while you build your sand-towers the ocean brings more sand to the shore,
And when you destroy them the ocean laughs with you.
Verily the ocean laughs always with the innocent.
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (on Laws)
But quite how that all unfolds in any given native of Capricorn depends on the decan involved.
1st decan – In the first decan of Capricorn, ruled by both Jupiter and Saturn, the native is challenged to get down and dirty, to get to grips with the lay of the land and make his plans accordingly.
Unlike Taurus, whose challenge also involves rigorous planning, Capricorn adds to the mix the reality that sometimes achieving one’s goals requires more than just working harder and smarter, but instead a complete change of pace/place.
Little wonder the tarot card associated with this decan is the 2 of Coins, known as the Lord of Change, symbolising one’s need to roll with the punches. Interestingly, this challenge becomes much easier once you’ve sucessfully sussed out how things really work.
For example, if you are part of a large organisation and you are eager to climb the corporate ladder, you will first need to determine where you best fit into that structure. After that , you will address the politics involved in ensuring your ambitions come to fruition.
Natives with key planets in this decan are often challenged to decipher the underlying structure or laws in play in various places so as to enable him to use them to his best advantage. Magically, talismans invoking decan can be used to suss out the nature of these laws as well as to understand the powers that bind them.
2nd decan – With Mars and Venus as joint rulers of this decan, the challenge ahead will be different. Whilst in the 1st decan, the mission was to correctly survey the lay of the land, here it’s about building something of lasting significance on it.
The tarot card associated with this decan is the 3 of Coins, The Lord of Works. It depicts two men checking out the architect’s plans whilst a third is busy building a what promises to be a magnificent cathedral in keeping with those plans. Clearly if this ambitious project is going to be a success, the whole team must continue to work well together, which is of easier said than accomplished.
Mars is exalted here; this bodes well for that good outcome as long as everyone involved remains clear on the difference between debilitating hubris and enabling ambition. Yet the real key to getting this right is to remember that instead of being a one-man job, this is a social decan, one that is tasked with making best use of the charms of Venus to keep everyone involved happy.
Magically, a talisman for this decan is good binding people together to work on a project. It also wouldn’t hurt to invoke the science of good project management!
3rd decan – With both the Sun and Mercury as rulers of this decan, the challenge takes a new turn. Once the great work of the 2nd decan is completed, it needs someone strong and smart enough to keep it going. This is the image of power, of executive intelligence. Picture a man sitting behind a big desk counting (and recounting) piles of money.
The tarot card associated with this decan is the 4 of Coins, the Lord of Power. But to be successful, the native with planets in this decan needs to exercise not just power but responsible power.
Sadly, the demands imposed by decan can quickly shift from exhilarating to debilitating. Although it may sound trite, it is true: it’s lonely at the top and ‘the buck stops here’. Capricorn is cardinal earth: the successful native must be authoritative, assertive, and well grounded.
Magical talismans invoking this decan can be used not only to help you get to the top but also to gain favour from those already there. Beware: when you dabble with such talismans, you might inadvertently bring situations into your life that require you to shoulder more responsibility than you are actually able to carry. This is especially the case for those with difficult aspects to their planets involved here. Does this king pictured in this tarot card really look happy?