The Meaning, History, and Application of Scorpio Decans

scorpio decans

What on earth are Scorpio decans? As if reading your natal chart isn’t hard and confusing enough, here’s another thing you’ll need to figure out. Don’t worry, they’re not as complicated as they sound. It’s just that there are lots of refinements added to the planetary placements to give them depth and complexity.

In this post, we’ll try to make it as simple as possible to help you navigate through the decans of Scorpio. From its meaning, history, and practical applications. You will have a whole new appreciation for the discovery of this unique aspect in your zodiac sign. There are also some pretty good explanations about the following:

  • How are Scorpio and its decans related to your Sun sign?
  • Why does being a first decan Scorpio makes you pure and unadulterated?
  • What does death have to do with the second decan Scorpio?
  • How is the third decan Scorpio deeply connected with the Moon?
  • What vital roles do the three decans of Scorpio play in your natal chart?

Decans of Scorpio: An Overview

Before we go deep-sea diving about the decans of Scorpio, let us understand what are decans in the first place? Every sign of the zodiac is an arc of 30° in the 360° zodiac astrology. Each sign is then subdivided into three decans having 10° each. You can define the decans of each zodiac sign by the triplicity or three signs of the same element. As well as the ruling planets of these signs.

One associates the decans with the traits and characteristics. They either modify or reinforce the astrological Sun sign. Along with the other points and planets of a birth chart. To better understand this, you need to be aware of what degree the Scorpio Sun was during birth.

History of the Scorpio Decans

The history of the Scorpio decans or decans, in general, began around 3000BC. Based on a set of stars that became visible on the sunset horizon. Even if the stars were a nightly phenomenon, this particular Egyptian study calendar was a solar one. The early calendars were actually lunar, and you divide each month into thirteen and had 29.3 days. These decans fit perfectly into 360° of the circle. Which were then divided into 36 sets of ten. This was an almost perfect year.

Still, there are 5-6 extra days left per year. And the Egyptian stated that those extra days were outside of time. They separated the old year from the new one. And because the decans were under the jurisdiction of a specific god, you could say these extra days were practically godless ones. So you will start to understand why the Romans turned these rules upside down. According to the Egyptians, however, the said days were even holier.

As the years passed, various gods have presided over every decan. This is the reason why there are no hard or fast rules as to who actually rules them. Previously, the main star within had ten degrees. After 720 years of progression, a decan would start an entire ten days later. Therefore, assigning a star complete rulership for a whole decan is not really a good plan for the long term.

The Lunar Mansions

There’s an interesting thing you’ll notice right away when you look at lunar mansions. The one that came from the Arabs works by a similar principle. There exist 18 lunar mansions and the meanings come from the sector’s main star. Again, the procession happened as the constellations have already moved with time.

The lunar mansions were famous with the Medieval and Renaissance astrologers. They were utilized in making astrological talismans. To this day, some astrologers still practice the same traditions.

The decans’ use was different in the West. Egyptians had already assigned meanings to these decans influenced by a god or spirit. However, the Thalamic Order of Dignity assignment replaced them. In here, rulership involves the seven planets from the slowest to the fastest.

So you go backward. From Saturn to Jupiter, to Mars, and so on. Curiously, the year for the system begins at 0° Leo, then you work backward from there. So most probably it’s where the sphynx came about as well.

In the Medieval texts, phases refer to decans. And the thalamic planet’s orders were also used for planetary hours and days. Fourth Century Sicilian astrologer Julius Firmicus Maternus is one of the many who played a big emphasis on the decans. Saying that the planets on their own decan were just as good as their own sign.

More often than not there are some confusions as to who are the rulers of the decan. But some prefer to use the thalamic order. However, a case justifice for the sign system. It was a method that was also used by the Hellenistic astrologer Marcus Manilius. But there is a similar system famously used today where it goes with these signs. It’s called the triplicity system. Aries rules Aries decan one, Leo would rule Aries decan two, then Sagittarius, Aries decan three.

Yes, it’s quite confusing if you’re not used to it. But this makes a lot more sense compared to the Manilius model. It also gives you another dimension of the decan.

Decans In the Dark Ages

During the dark ages, the decans got a bit lost in time, as well as astrology in general. This was around 500AD to 1500AD. The time period begins with the fall of the Roman Empire, then the rise of the Ottoman Empire. You also have translations from Greek to Arabic, then back to Latin once again.

Until finally the Renaissance astrologers, magicians, and alchemists revived the decans. It is here that the pictorial representation of the decans came into being for use of the talismans. There are quite a few evocative and amusing verses describing each decan. These descriptions are present in various occult books.

One example is from the book Picatrix, a Gemini decan two. This man has a face like an eagle, whos head is covered in linen cloth. He has a coat of a laden male, and on his head sits an iron helmet. Above which you can see a silk crown, while in his hand there’s a bow and arrow. This face depicts evil, oppression, and subtlety.

The Evolution of the Decans Description

If you dig deeper you will discover there are lots of descriptions of the decans and they have indeed, evolved over time. Austin Coppock lists all of them in his book. Seemingly, Coppock’s inspiration to title the individual decans came from the imagery you see in the faces. Thus, the title, 36 Faces.

So one approach could be using fixed stars the just like Diana Rosenberg did in her book entitled The Secrets of the Ancient Skies. She divides the zodiacs into star sets being 3° wide. Quite interesting if you look at it from a fixed star’s point of view. Super detailed and has magnificent references for the constellations. But when reading it it’s hard to see the wood for the trees in each of the star sets. And then dividing them into small divisions. This meant there’s hardly any distinction between them.

It can be problematic for beginners because you have the tendency to be swamped by all that information. Though for advanced practitioners it’s a very good resource. 

Understanding the First, Second, and Third Scorpio Decans

Now that you’ve had a glimpse of the meaning and history of the decans in general, let’s go ahead and discuss the first, second, and third Scorpio decans one by one.

Scorpio First Decan (October 23- November 1)

scorpio first decan

First, among the Scorpio decans,Pluto and Mars are your rulers. Indicating a pure and unadulterated Scorpio within you. Your energy is not in any way modified. Enhanced is more like it. Thus, you should feel free to use the full force of Scorpio, Mars, and Pluto.

Looking at your birth chart, these individuals have an incredible ability. They can look danger in the eye and keep calm even in the most pressing situations. Consequently, if there’s a challenge to Mars and Pluto in the natal chart, the fears they harbor may also be quite extreme. Either way, these people always know what to do.

Scorpios are always driven, passionate, and come with obsessive behaviors. They are also prone to loss, grief, suffering, and sorrow. Scorpios are aware good things in life come at a price. And they don’t mind working their butts off to achieve their goals. They have the will and resilience to bounce back from any obstacles and setbacks they may encounter in the process.

They enjoy being alone and tend to keep a fairly private life. Scorpios are not overly friendly or talkative. Getting to know them could be quite intimidating at first, but once you do, you will realize they are for keeps.

Scorpio Second Decan (November 2- November 11)

If you were born within these dates, you are a Scorpio/Pisces. You’re still driven. But those who were born with their Suns in the second decan have Pisces moderating energy, along with their rulers, Jupiter and Neptune. Death and resurrection are some of the themes found in those born during these days.

You feel like your life has a higher purpose. And will do anything in your power to discover what it is. If Jupiter and Neptune are well-placed in the natal chart, it’s so easy to get in touch with your deep-seated talents and gifts. But if they’re not well-placed, you may have some hidden insecurities and unreasonable fears you may need to deal with.

These people are not scared of the dark side of life. Anything mystical, esoteric religion, and the occult charms you. You determine to search for what is real and true and will sacrifice anything to find it.

Scorpio Third Decan (November 12- November 22)

If you were born within these dates, you’re considered a Scorpio/Cancer. This means Scorpio energy is being modified by Cancer as well its ruling planet, the Moon. People born during the past ten days of the passage of the Sun via Scorpio have strong integrity. Strong gut feels, and are rarely willing to compromise their beliefs.

Yes, they can also be selfless and take good care of their loved ones. But they’re extremely sensitive and get emotionally hurt easily. They will never show you how they truly feel, but deep inside its serious agony. Know though, that they are always waiting for the perfect timing for revenge if you have wronged them.

They have a dark emotional nature you would rather not know about. If their Moon is challenged, they’re usually lost, lonely, and feel abandoned. But if their Moon has good placement, these emotions are easier to process and examine. Thus, making them more forgiving and kind towards others who hurt them.

Using Decans In Your Horoscope


A decan can be used at a very base level. The root chakra survival level. It depends on the person’s stage of evolution. But a hard decan may be a gift in disguise. It could be challenging just like Saturn, but the Universe will always reward your hard work.

One problem with traditional astrology though is the whole chart becomes that person. Like all the negative and unfortunate stars are you. This is dangerous because it could turn pretty narcissistic very quickly. Here’s one good way to read the chart following the traditional approach. Your rising decan must be the only point of the chart describing your personality.

The ascendant serves as your persona and vehicle for this lifetime. Additionally, your position and the decan of your ascendant ruler also describe your personality and all its aspects.

Now the Moon’s decan is descriptive of your karma, your genetic memory, and your mother. How you experience the divine feminine. As well as the challenges you need to face whatever house your Moon will be ruling.

And then there’s the Sun’s decan. This describes your drama, your higher self, and your father. It’s how you experience the divine masculine. And the challenges you must get past in whatever house your Sun will be ruling.

So essentially trinity and these signs come in trines of elements as well. Three signs for the earth, etc. So plenty of religions have this type of triad too. Like the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit in Christianity. Or Brahma in Hinduism. And the mind, body, and spirit of the New Age.

Basically, horoscopes can be a gateway drug to the psychedelia known as astrology. Not everyone is a fan of mind-altering drugs. But it’s an analogy you should really think about and it’s because of this. It’s highly dangerous to absorb any knowledge if you do not know or understand the fundamentals of the natural law.

Draw 6 cards

Pick your cards and get your FREE reading instantly (no email required) Try to be calm during your session



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Key

Related Posts