Decanates and Dwadashamsas

If you want to find subtle blends of planetary energies with the Ascendant, Midheaven, and the 10 planets in a chart, consider using Decanates ("decs") and Dwadashamsas ("dwads").

Both techniques are easy, and by refering to the chart below, you can enhance your astrological interpretations by discovering important yet often overlooked essences between planets and points in a chart. The more willing you are to take time doing homework on a chart, the more effective and reliable an astrologer you will be. The amount of study you put into chart delineation not only improves your ability to please your clients, but will also improve your reputation with other astrologers. (The more you can interact with good astrologers, the more you will learn. Beginning astrologers are welcomed by seasoned professionals, especially when the beginner is recognized as one who seriously intends to study the celestial science according it all the respect and precision it deserves).

A Decanate is one sign of the zodiac broken into three segments of 10 degrees each. The sum of the decanates for any sign equals 30 degrees, or the whole sign. Each of the 12 signs is divided into these 10 degree segments. Each division has its own sign and planetary ruler. Let's take Aries as an example. 0 Aries to 29 Aries equals all 30 degrees of the sign. If we divide Aries into 3 equal segments we get: 0-09; 10-19; and 20-29 degrees. Since we are starting at 0 degrees Aries instead of 1 degree Aries, we will end at 29 degrees of the sign instead of 30 degrees.

The Decanates for Aries would be: 1. Aries/Mars (0-9 degrees; 2. Leo/Sun (10-19 degrees); and 3. Sagittarius/Jupiter (20-29 degrees). Since Aries is a Cardinal fire sign and is the first decante of the sign Aries, we then proceed to the next fire sign in order to ascertain the second decanate of Aries which is Leo. Leo is a fixed fire sign which is ruled by the Sun. To find the third decanate of Aries, we proceed to the next fire sign in order of the zodiac. That sign is Sagittarius, the mutable fire sign which is ruled by Jupiter. Each of the decanates conforms to its element, whether it be fire, earth, air or water, and includes the three modalities: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. The chart below will help you find the decantes for each of the 12 signs.

Dwads are derived from a Sanskrit word meaning 12-division. Each sign of the zodiac is broken into 12 divisions of 2 1/2 degree segments each. In turn, the whole 360 degree wheel (all 12 signs) is broken into 2 1/2 degree intervals. Each dwad is associated with one of the 12 signs. For example, the first dwad of Scorpio is the Scorpio dwad. The second dwad of Scorpio is the Sagittarius dwad. The third dwad of Scorpio is the Capricorn dwad, and so on. The chart below will help you locate the dwad associated with the planet or chart point you want to examine.

First Decanate & Dwadashamsas

0 - 2 1/2AriesTaurusGeminiCancerLeoLibraScorpioSagittariusCapricornAquariusPisces
2 1/2 - 5TaurusGeminiCancerLeo
5 - 7 1/2GeminiCancerLeoLibra
7 1/2 - 10

Second Decanate & Dwadashamsas

10 - 12 1/2
12 1/2 - 15
15 - 17 1/2
17 1/2 - 20

Third Decanate & Dwadashamsas

20 - 22 1/2
22 1/2 - 25
25 - 27 1/2
27 1/2 - 30




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