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The Decans of Aries

Originally posted on Vocal

What Are Decans?

I've been seeing a lot of posts circulating around astrology groups recently, claiming that, or asking if, the different months have an effect on your star sign. Is there any credence to the idea that for example, an April Taurus will behave differently than a May Taurus?

My answer is no. The months *themselves* have no effect on your star sign. However, decans do, and this applies to all planets, not just the Sun.

What are decans? Each sign is subdivided into three equal parts consisting of ten degrees, called decans. Each decan has their own individual character influenced by a secondary planetary ruler, helping astrologers to provide a fuller interpretation of each sign. For a fuller interpretation of the history of the decans and it's usage, click here.

Today, two main systems of rulership for the decans are used. There is the ancient system based on the Chaldean order of the planets and the more modernly used rulership by triplicity. For the sake of a deeper understanding, I am going to use both.

What is Aries?

Aries, commonly seen as the first sign of the zodiac, is represented by the ram. It is a cardinal, fire sign ruled by the planet Mars, and exalted by the Sun. In contrast, Venus is in detriment here and Saturn is in it's fall.

The Sun's entrance into the sign of Aries marks the beginning of Spring, or the Vernal Equinox, when the Sun is reborn after a harsh, cold winter and all life is once again sprung into action. In Egyptian & Hebrew cultures, the ram or lamb was sacrificed around the beginning of Spring to ensure a successful year ahead. Coinciding with the Passover and Easter holidays, Aries is a symbol of new beginnings and fresh starts. It is a symbol of regeneration and rebirth. These themes are also highlighted by the myth of the Golden Fleece.

As a cardinal sign, Aries is a leader, and the element of fire makes Aries a trailblazer, a pioneer, daring to go where no one has gone before. "Brave," and "risk-taking," are common adjectives used to describe the sign. Rams are animals known for their tendency to settle arguments by ramming their heads into each other. Likewise, Aries is known for its tendency to argue and butt heads with the people around them, but rams are actually herbivores, not predators, and likewise, Aries are generally well-intentioned and harmless creatures. As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries is kind of like a newborn baby and while this gives them a certain child-like innocence and simplicity, they can also be prone to impulsive and childish behavior. As a bestial sign, Aries is passionate and can find it hard to resist the temptation to give into their most selfish animalistic instincts, seeking instant gratification for their wants and desires. However, their directness and take-no-shit attitude is something to be admired.

All Aries have the same basic soul mission. The decans don't change that. A 1st decan Aries and 3rd decan Aries will still probably be more alike than different. However, the decans provide more specific information about how that soul mission gets expressed.

Aries Decan 1: Mars

The first decan of Aries (0-10 degrees of the sign) is ruled by Mars in both systems of rulership, and the Sun crosses this decan roughly between March 21st and March 30th (take or leave a day). It is fitting as the month of March actually comes from the word "Mars," as it marked the beginning of Roman war season.

Ruled by Mars, those born under this decan are the warriors of the zodiac. They are the most angry, aggressive, and prone to rash decisions out of all the Aries decans. Believe me, I dated one, I can confirm. These people are bold, blunt, and brash. While obviously it depends on the whole chart and how it is aspected, these natives are generally known to be quick to anger. They love a good fight (or at least a debate). However, they are also able to forgive and cool off just as quickly. The first decan of all the zodiac, these are the fresh young newborns, possessed with both a childlike honesty and childish sort of selfishness. Naïve in a way, they often just want to have fun and do their own thing without consequence. On a more positive note, these people are decisive in action, knowing exactly what they want and determined to pursuit it with all their strength. They may also have a special fondness for sports and/or sex.

Some notable fixed stars located in the first decan of Aries include Deneb Kaitos (at 2'35 degrees) and Algenib (at 9'09). Deneb Kaitos is a bright orange star located in the tail of Cetus the Sea-Monster or Whale. According to Ptolemy, Deneb Kaitos has the nature of Saturn and indicates inhibitions & limitations, mental disturbance, accidents, laziness and self-destruction, but also a charitable nature and a strong ability to command. This star can warn of danger, as a whale slaps it's tail to inform other whales that danger is near. Unfortunately, however, the slapping of a tail can also attract the attention of hunters, and similarly, people born under this star may have a tendency to attract trouble by speaking without thought. Algenib, on the other hand, is a blue-white star located on the wing of the Pegasus constellation. This star is of the nature of Mars and Mercury, indicating both a combative and fighting spirit as well as a penetrating mind and a love for learning. It can sometimes indicate misfortunate or dishonor but also strong speaking or writing abilities.

Aries Decan 2: the Sun

The second decan of Aries (10-20 degrees of the sign) is ruled by the Sun in both systems of rulership. The Sun crosses this decan between roughly March 30th to April 9th (take or leave a day).

Ruled by the Sun, people born under this decan may possess great creativity. They shine like a star and love to be the center of attention. In fact, many famous people are born under this decan. They also make strong leaders. Because Sun is the ego, they may at times exhibit some of the more selfish characteristics of Aries. They may sometimes have difficulty understanding other people's perspectives as their desires always come first. They also possess a strong sense of sovereignty and independence & love being in charge; they can't stand other people telling them what to do. On a more positive note, however, their leadership skills often lend itself to a more noble and upright character. While obviously a lot depends upon other placements and how it is aspected, these natives are generally not known to lie, cheat, or steal but possess a strong sense of honesty, and a good sense of right and wrong.

Some notable fixed stars located in this decan include Alderamin (at 12'47 degrees) and Alpheratz (at 14'18). Alderamin is a blue star located on the right arm of the King Cepheus constellation. Of the nature of Saturn & Jupiter, it is generally regarded as a fortunate influence indicating an austere, upright character and a sober mind. It is often seen in the charts of judges, as well as actors, playwriters, and others involved in theatre, as you can expect from the decan associated with the Sun. Meanwhile, Alpheratz is a white & purple binary star located in the head of the constellation, Andromeda, the Chained Princess. Of the nature of Venus & Jupiter, it indicates popularity, honor, good fortune & a love for freedom or independence. Common in the charts of those who are well-known & even famous, it can sometimes, unfortunately, indicate infamy, or a loss or weakening of reputation when aspected by transiting Saturn.

Aries Decan 3: Venus & Jupiter

The third decan of Aries (20-30 degrees of the sign) is ruled by Venus, according to the Chaldean system, and Jupiter by triplicity. The Sun crosses this decan roughly between April 9th and April 20th (take or leave a day).

The Venus rulership makes sense, considering that the later days mark the cusp of Taurus, a Venus-ruled sign. I don't believe in cusps - at least not in that sense; your Sun is either in one sign or the other - but many of the Aries I know do. The majority of Aries I'm friends with are born in this decan, and often say they "don't relate to their sign," that they "feel more like a Taurus" despite the lack of Taurus in their charts. While some of this does have to do with their other placements (Virgo, Libra & Pisces placements, depending on which friend we're talking about) I do find this decan to be a lot "tamer," than the other two. They are ruled by the two benefics after all.

They are tamer, that is, at first glance. Traditionally ruled by Venus, these people care a lot about their relationships and I mean, a LOT. This is where the Aries rage really makes itself known. These natives love with an unending passion. While they are known to be highly sexual, they sometimes treat their friendships this way as well. They can be very all-or-nothing in love, or even with their friendships, swinging back and forth between extremes of love and hate; if their lover or friend doesn't match what they have to give, that love can easily turn to anger in a second. That said, they are generally more peaceful than the other two decans, and the modern rulership of Jupiter indicates that they are warriors with a cause. Jupiter rules over philosophy and religion. While these natives are not the type to get angry easily and for no reason, they do possess a strong sense of right and wrong and will fight for what they believe. Even the most peaceful and harmless of these individuals will have no patience for lies and injustice.

Important fixed stars located in the third decan of Aries include Baten Kaitos (21'57 degrees), Acamar (23'16) and Alrisha (29'23). Baten Kaitos, a yellow star located in the belly of Cetus, is of the nature of Saturn, and said to be indicative of depression and isolation in it's natives as well as emigration, exile & shipwrecks. Associated with the Jonah legend, it often marks situations in which people become stuck for a while. Acamar, located in the constellation of Eridanus, the River, is more fortunate. Of the nature of Jupiter, it supposedly indicates a spiritual nature and success in public office or the church. Alrisha, a double star located in the constellation of the knot binding the fishes of the Pisces constellation, is of the nature of Mercury & Mars. It is a positive and unifying influence.

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