The Decans of Taurus
Each sign of the zodiac is separated into three equal parts of ten degrees each called decans, each with their own individual character and sub-planetary ruler. As requested, I am writing a series of articles giving a deeper interpretation of what each decan means. In my second article, I write about the decans of Taurus, sign of the Bull.
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 decan s 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.
In my last article, I wrote about the decans of Aries, sign of the Ram. In this article, I am going to write about the decans of Taurus.
It's important to remember that all Taurus have the same basic soul mission. The decans don't change that. A 1st decan Taurus and 3rd decan Taurus will still probably be more alike than different. However, the decans provide more specific information about how that soul mission gets expressed.
What is Taurus?
Taurus, commonly seen as the 'second' sign of the zodiac, is represented by the sign of the bull. It is a fixed earth sign ruled by the planet Venus and exalted by the Moon. In contrast, Mars is in it's detriment here.
The Sun's entrance into the sign of Taurus coincides with the continuation of the Spring season, when the land is most fertile and beautiful. Due to it's association with agriculture, in ancient times, bulls were worshiped as a symbol of power and virility. Cows are still to this day revered as sacred in India & there is a good reason for this: cows are a representation of Mother; they are the givers and nurturers, providing us with milk, yogurt and cheese, while taking nothing in return but grass and grain. Some vegans may find this line of thinking problematic but as a friend from India once told me, at one point in history, there was a famine. The crops were dead & the people were starving so they turned to the cow for it's dairy, thereby ending the famine, and that's how it became a symbol of nourishment & life-giving. These associations make sense too when we look at Taurus as being ruled by Venus, planet of beauty, and exalted by the Moon, planet of the mother. It is the sign most strongly associated with the beauty and generosity of Mother Earth.
A lot of people who are not well-versed in astrology tend to get Taurus and Aries mixed up. The bull & the ram are both horned animals after all. Bulls, like rams, can be aggressive and territorial if threatened, especially during mating season. This is true for Taurus, as well: Taurus is known to be possessive of the things & people they want and value. Like Aries, they can fight to the death for what they want, but unlike Aries, Taurus is known to hold a grudge. Although domesticated, farmers find it difficult to move a bull without provoking an attack and likewise, it is hard to get a Taurus to do anything they don't want to do, and yet unlike Aries, Taurus is looked at as a very gentle & peaceful sign, overall. It makes sense when you consider that the bull is simply a male cow, and cows are peaceful creatures; social animals with a wide range of individual personalities and high emotional intelligence. They are some of the most sentient and aware animals alive & like Taurus, they have very good memories and sharp senses, particularly of hearing & smell.
Large and heavy animals, Taurus is primarily a sign of strength and willpower. As stated before, bulls were integral to the invention of agriculture; humans used these creatures to plow soil, allowing us to plant food for large populations at a rate never before possible. The invention of agriculture paved the way for the foundation of society as we know it, making Taurus a symbol of safety & security. Individuals born under this sign can be very protective, both of themselves and the ones they love. As a fixed sign, Taurus is known for it's stubbornness and bullheadedness. They can be hesitant, careful, and wary of new things. It may take them a while, but once they feel comfortable with something, they stick to it. They are some of the most loyal and reliable people out there. As an earth sign, their feet are planted firmly on the ground. They are realists, most at-home in the realm of the five senses. Not ones for meaningless fluff & lofty impractical words, Taurus appreciates all that is tangible & concrete. They can be hard workers, committing to whatever goals they've set and getting the job done. However, ruled by Venus, Taurus is the most pleasure-seeking out of all the earth signs, working for a purpose. Whether that be beautiful music, delicious food, beautiful art, or fashionable clothes, Taurus is a sensual creature that appreciates beauty in all it's forms.
Taurus Decan 1: Mercury & Venus
The first decan of Taurus (0 to 10 degrees of the sign) is ruled by Mercury according to the Chaldean system & Venus by triplicity. The Sun crosses this decan roughly between April 20th and April 30th.
Taurus rules the throat, and that fact is most clearly shown here. With Mercury ruling over the first decan of Taurus, people born under it's influence are often gifted speakers and writers. With Venus also having influence, these people usually have a strong ability to persuade and influence others, for better or for worse & the power of their voice can take on many forms.
They can be skilled propagandists. These people are often very intellectually rigorous. They may be hard-working in the field of academia, or any field that involves the power of the mind and mental concentration, but they are likely very opinionated about what they believe and study. This is the Aries cusp after all. It's natives can be outspoken and rigid, even extreme, in viewpoint, but Mercury is changeable so these people may the type to switch from one extreme to the other over the course of a lifetime without ever taking a middle ground. In fact, I know someone born in this decan - a straight A student - who was once a die-hard conservative; if you knew him then, you'd be surprised to find out that he is now a die-hard liberal.
They can also be skilled artists, however, particularly in the field of music. The combination of Mercurial & Venusian influence provides these natives with a beautiful voice, and many famous singers and song-writers were born under it's influence. They are also very romantic & perhaps the most sexual of the bunch, pursuing their interests with intensity and perseverance. They may be the most sensual, or even the most beautiful. Their way with words can make them very flirtatious and they have a strong ability to charm & attract others to them, the way musicians and artists usually do. Aesthetics may be very important to them.
Fixed stars located in this decan include Mirach, Mira & Mesarthim, as well as Sherathan, Hamal & Schedir. Mirach (located at 00'24 degrees) is located in the girdle of Andromeda, the Chained Woman. Represented by the qualities associated with the Divine Feminine, Mirach is of the nature of Venus, giving it's natives both beauty & brilliance, as well as devotion, kindness, altruism, artistic skills & good fortune in love and marriage. Their spiritual nature, however, can make them feel out of touch with this current plane of reality. Mira (1'31 degrees) is a miraculous star located in the tail of Cetus, the Whale. It is invisible for five months but gradually increases in brilliance until it is one of the brightest stars in the sky, and then it starts to fade, & perhaps that can give insight into it's astrological nature. In a chart, it can indicate perseverance, a progressive spirit and endurance in solving problems, but can also indicate melancholy and trouble. Mesartham & Sheratan (3 degrees) are located in the horns of Aries, the Ram. Of the nature of Mars & Saturn, these stars can be very violent, showing a bold, impulsive and foolhardy nature. Sheratan also rules the throat, giving it's native a powerful voice. Hamal (at 7'40 degrees) is of a similar nature. Also connected with Mars & Saturn and located in the head of Aries, the Ram, it can indicate cruelty, violence, & crime but also a headstrong and protective nature that can make it's natives great leaders looked up to by their communities. Lastly, Schedir (7'46 degrees) is located in the breast of Cassiopeia, the Queen of Seated Woman. This star is of the nature of Saturn & Venus, and can indicate strong leadership qualities that command respect, but potentially an arrogant & boastful nature. It can also indicate artistic talent, particularly in regards to jewelry-making.
This decan has bread many diverse figures, from amazing singers to terrible dictators, from Adolf Hitler to Ella Fitzgerald, but the one thing they all have in common is that their voices are indeed very powerful.
Taurus Decan 2: The Moon & Mercury
The second decan of Taurus (10-20 degrees of the sign) is ruled by the Moon according to the Chaldean system & Mercury by triplicity. The Sun passes through this decan roughly between April 30th and May 10th.
Taurus is exalted by the Moon, and that fact is most clearly shown here, in the second decan. The Moon represents our emotions but also our unconscious habits and the things we need to feel safe, comfortable & secure. Taurus is also about safety, comfort & security, associated with some of our most basic needs, such as food (going back to the sign's association with agriculture) and a home where we can feel rooted. Taurus is known to be one of the most stable or grounded positions for the Moon. With the Moon ruling this decan, its natives love their creature comforts. While this may not apply to everyone, I've found that people born under this decan are often foodies and can be particularly good cooks. Some may have a love or luxury or wealth, causing them to behave in ways that are greedy, or emotionally needy, while others are more generous and giving. They can act as a rock or stable pillar of support for others. They are nurturers, always aiming to make others feel comfortable. They have great patience and are usually great listeners. They can be mother-like, but can become smothering or possessive at times. They may be control freaks, unable to tolerate anything that threatens their comfort or sense of predictability. They seek comfort, pleasure & stability. They are probably some of the more emotional Taurus individuals, fixed on having all of their basic needs met. They may feel most comfortable being part of a family or having a stable home.
As with the first decan, the Mercury influence indicates that many born under the second decan of Taurus have powerful voices. Many famous singers were born under this decan, such as Bono, as well as many writers, philosophers and academics, such as Sigmund Freud & Karl Marx, both materialists in their own way. They may be stubborn in thought or interested in the material conditions of the world around them. Some may even have an interest in science.
The Moon & Mercury may seem like two very different planets but they both represent the internal, subjective world. The Moon represents a person's emotions, while Mercury represents a persons thoughts. The combination of emotional intelligence and logical intelligence or communication skills may also help them out socially. They may be natural psychologists, instinctively knowing how other people work and what makes them tick. If their intentions aren't pure, this can potentially lead them to becoming manipulation. The combination of lunar and mercurial influences can lead to neurotic behavior and obsessives worries. Mostly, however, they are simply drawn to social groups and have a keen curiosity about other people. They may have an interest in politics and perhaps, a desire to influence the world around them.
Two major fixed stars that pass through the second decan of Taurus include Almach & Menkar. Located at the foot of Andromeda, Almach (at 14'14 degrees Taurus) is a double star. One star has the influence of Venus & Jupiter, while the other has the nature of Mars. Those influenced by this star are said to alternate between Venusian and Martian characteristics. It gives it's native a strong patience during difficulty times, stemming from a firm trust & faith in the divine. It is said to give a cheerful & fun-loving demeanor, and a popularity that can bring upon benefit to others, as well as skills and success in both artistic & military endeavors. Menkar (at 14'19 degrees), on the other hand, is located in the nose of Cetus, the Whale. Of the nature of Saturn, it can indicate illnesses and impediments in it's natives, as well as anxiety, but also tests of endurance that if/when passed, can make one even stronger. If well aspected, it can also indicate good practical sense.
Taurus Decan 3: Saturn
The third decan of Taurus (20-30 degrees of the sign) is ruled by Saturn in both the Chaldean & the triplicity systems. The Sun passes through this decan roughly between May 10th & May 20th.
With Saturn ruling over this decan, those burn in the third decan of Taurus are probably the most rigid and inflexible in their thinking. However, they are also the most sophisticated and responsible. This is Taurus at its most ambitious and hardworking, doing everything and anything they can to succeed. Stubborn & headstrong, they don't let any obstacles get in their way or anyone persuade them to change their mind. Saturn is the god of time, and astrologically, associated with boundaries, rules, and limitations. This gives Taurus Decan 3 individuals a strong awareness of the limitations of the material world. They are cautious and stoic. They appreciate structure and may have great respect for authority. Alternatively, they may rebel against authority, using their organizational skills and strong sense of structure to create a better society. These people can be quite political and may have strong ambitions to lead. Saturn is traditionally known as the great malefic so those born under these decan may also be prone to periods of depression, loneliness or melancholy. Sometimes, even anger. Many of them may feel like outcasts, different from the rest. They may feel stuck in a rut, at times, or controlled, unable to express themselves freely. Some can also become controlling, over-rational or materialistic. However, they are patient, goal-orientated & self-disciplined, and this allows them get stuff done. They are very independent & self-motivated, and able to create things that others have only dreamed of. Not only do they succeed in politics & business, but many are skilled artists, creators & performers. Perhaps, the hardships many of them experience help to inspire them in some way. This is the Taurus-Gemini cusp after all (known as the Cusp of Energy to those who believe in it) so perhaps that gives them some ability to multi-task; many of them are polymaths and always on the move.
Fixed stars located in the third decan of Taurus include Zaurak, Capulus & Algol. Zaurak (23'52 degrees) is the Boat located in the constellation of the River, Eridanus. Of the nature of Saturn & Mercury, if negatively aspected, it can indicate melancholy, loneliness and a preoccupation with death. If positively aspected, however, it can give it's natives the faith that no one is ever really alone. This star is found in the charts of many writers and poets. Capulus (24'12 degrees) is the sword handle in the constellation of Perseus. Associated with Mars & Mercury, it can give it's natives a combative nature. Traditionally, it was associated with murder or execution, particularly hanging or beheading, as well as blindness. Algol (26'10 degrees) is a triple star located in Medusa's Head, and the most widely feared stars in astrology & even translates to "Demon Star". The Gorgon Medusa was beheaded by Perseus, associating this star with violence and danger. Of the nature of Saturn & Jupiter, it is often found in the charts of those who meet a violent death, but along with Capulus, it has been argued by some modern astrologers to have a spiritual significance too.