Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Decans

In order to give fuller interpretation to the Zodiac Signs, ancient astrologers subdivided each Sign into periods of approximately ten days. These divisions are known as the "decans" or "decantes" and cover modifications of individual traits, attributed to minor planetary influences, which temper or blend with the ruling influence of the period. The ten-day spans are somewhat arbitrary in order to allow for the five (and sometimes six) extra days in the year beyond the 360 days required for the thirty-six decans. According to accepted prodcedure, these days have thus been added to form various six-day periods instead of five. The earliest records of decans have been found inside coffin lids dating from the Tenth Egyptian Dynasty around 2100 B.C. Decans are also mentioned in the Babylonian Enuma Anu Enil, which dates approximately four centuries later. The root of the word "decante" is Greek in origin and means "ten days apart."

The planetary influences described under the decans are valuable in "shading" the traits of many individuals, but are generally subordinate to the stronger characteristics associated with the primary Zodiac Sign. In some people, the traits of the decans may only be slightly others, they are very marked. As a general rule, the primary Sign of an individual details his or her characteristics with what can be surprising exactitude, but where such individual traits may seem at variance with the accepted patterns of the Sign, then the answer may be found in that person's decan. A study of the decans may also reveal hidden factors to which a person may be susceptible, even though his or her major traits are fully delineated under his or her primary Sign.

First Decan May 23 to June 1

The First Decan of Gemini is also known as the Gemini Decante and the "Week of Freedom." This Decan is the most typical of its native Sign, meaning that individuals born during this period will most probably be of above-average intellect. These subjects could easily become good salespersons, writers or teachers of any number of varied topics. In short, they excel in the field of clear and concise communication. However, from a negative perspective, these individuals could also easily become flighty, gossipy and scatterbrained...a person whom others may find to be an interesting novelty for a time, but one with whom others would not want to become too involved for very long. These are restless souls who are likely to be somewhat uncomfortable if both minds and hands are not occupied. Reading may be a favorite pastime here and almost any subject will capture the interest...for a while, at least. However, reading choices should be directed into areas that are both useful and marketable. The youthful appearance of First Decan subjects can be a definite asset and may well keep acquaintances guessing as to how old this native truly might be. Many who fall under the jurisdiction of this Decan are left-handed or even ambidextrous. The influence of Mercury (the primary governing planet of this Decan) is apparent here in that these subjects will probably do more than the average amount of travelling in their lifetime and will most likely love to drive. This planetary influence also provides a nice blend of cretivity and logic. These natives want to be wanted, not needed, and nervous tension can frequently be a problem. The influence of Venus (one of the secondary planets governing this Decan) is at its strongest during the first five days and individuals born during this time period will find that their versatile Gemini natures are apt to become lacking in purpose. These natives may even lean toward indolence. Such people find sympathetic listeners for all their ideas and are prone to spend their time in planning schemes that usually have little if any success. These failures can lead to deceit and discouragement. In such instances, everything should be done in order to concentrate on a single purpose and take advantage of the self-discipline that is afforded by Jupiter (the other secondary planet governing this Decan) whose influence provides the ability to forestall failure. First Decan Gemini natives can be exceedingly intelligent, perceptive and skillful...particularly those born after the intial five days. There is often a great interest in communication and education with a strong affinity to the arts. Gemini subjects who fall under the jurisdication of this Decan detest waiting and possess an overwhelming urge to talk about everything going on around them...or at least make comments. There may also be something of an addiction to speed associated with this Decan and it is not unusual for its natives to be doing three or four things simultaneously. The motto of the First Decan of Gemini is "Intuition."

The constellation associated with this Decan is Ursa Minor (The Little Bear also known as The Little Dipper). Ursa Minor somewhat resembles a spoon whose handle has been bent backward. This group of stars was recognized as a constellation in 600 B.C. by Thales, a the Greek astronomer. According to Greek mythology, The Little Bear was Arcas, son of Callisto (or Ursa Major, The Great Bear). Arcas was placed in the heavens by Zeus, where he and his mother follow each other endlessly around the North Celestial Pole. The guiding pole star in this constellation is said to symbolize the important principle of truth that must constantly be a guide to humankind.

Second Decan June 2 to June 11

The Second Decan of Gemini is also known as the Libra Decante and the "Week of New Language." The influence of Venus, one of the secondary planets governing this Decan, can induce many rather interesting differences but chiefly makes for an individual more concerned with the "me too" than the "I am." Relationships with others is extrememly important and may well either "make or break" the lives of those who fall under the jurisdiction of this Decan. Thus, these natives need to be particularly careful in the selection of companions and associates...and the choice of a life partners is, of course, of the utmost importance. Here, rushing into any given situation should be avoided while the subject is too young to fully realize what he or she is doing. Courtesy of Venus, individuals ruled by this Decan are usually charming and possess a love of beauty. They may be artistic or musically gifted and, if so, such talents will need to be expressed. Something of a "closet romantic," these natives yearn for lasting love and have a good chance of finding it, assuming that the inherent fears associated with this Decan can be put aside. The combined influences of Venus and Mercury (the primary governing planet of this Decan) result in special abilities in the field of mathematics. These natives might become accountants, bookkeepers or instructors in the mathematical arena. Other good career choices might be in interior/exterior design, advertising layout and architecture. There is also an indication of good success in the legal profession, particularly as a trial attorney since these subjects are effective speakers who can communicate information in both a clear and convincing manner. It is inherent in the nature of this Decan to keep the personal environment in proper order at all times. Uneven wall hangings or other items which appear out of balance can be very upsetting to Second Decan individuals. In general, they insist upon harmony and good taste. The disposition tends toward being positive and friendly, but these individuals will stand up for ideals. Alternatively, if the influence of Mars (the other secondary planet governing this Decan) is overly-prominent, then these natives may be more aggressive. In this instance, the versatile Gemini nature will display a powerful and unexpected drive. Although this variation of the Second Decan is undoubtedly Gemini in character, it will be one that is "stepped-up" to such a high degree that it could reach the point of ruthlessness. Here, the quick and scheming ways of Mercury are "hitched" to the bull-dozing tactics of Mars, but may well be directed toward good instead of wasteful purposes...particularly if the sympathetic understanding of Venus is cultivated. The bigger and better the purpose, then the more individuals who fall under the jurisdiction of this Decan should adhere to their goals. It is of paramount importance that distractions and unnecessary details be avoided and that the voice of conscience be heeded. Second Decan Gemini individuals are loyal and faithful, particularly in marriage and partnerships, but hate to be alone. In addition, these natives can be diplomatic (in both social and political situations) and possess an outstanding sense of color and design. They are also romantic and tactile souls who are often natural peacemakers. The motto of the Second Decan of Gemini is "Fidelity."

The constellation associated with this Decan is Canis Major (The Great Dog). One of the most striking of all constallations in the heavens, Canis Major is marked by the brilliant Sirius (commonly called the Dog Star), which is the brightest star in the entire sky. Sirius is said to be responsible for the Northern Hemisphere's hot and muggy "dog days" which occur in September. According to certain legend, because Sirius rises at the same time as the Sun during late Summer, its brightness adds to the Sun's energy, thus producing additional warmth. In mythology, Canis Major...and its neighboring constellation, Canis Minor or The Little Dog...feature in a number of tales. One legend has the two dogs sitting patiently under a table at which the Twins, Castor and Pollux, are dining. Thus, the faint stars that can be observed between Canis Minor and the constellation of Gemini are the crumbs that the Twins have been feeding to the animals. According to the Ancient Greeks, Canis Major could run incredibly fast. "Laelaps" (as they called him) is said to have won a race against a fox which was the fastest creature in the world. Zeus placed the dog in the sky to celebrate the victory. In yet other myths, Great Dog and Little Dog are described as being Orion's hunting companions. To the Ancient Egyptians, who held Canis Major in the highest esteem, the dog symbolized loyalty to a master, and Sirius was particularly respected for its association with the annual flooding of the Nile.

Third Decan June 12 to June 21

The Third Decan of Gemini is also known as the Aquarius Decante and the "Week of the Seeker." The influence of Uranus, one of the secondary planets governing this Decan, can induce interesting external characteristics and personality differences but chiefly makes for a social type of individual who is friend-oriented. These natives possess an inherent desire to reform beliefs and situations to the benefit of all, not merely a select few. They are optimistic, believing...sometimes mistakenly...that the better side of humankind will ultimately come to the forefront. Third Decan subjects may (or would like to) belong to clubs, organizations and groups that are supportive of personal beliefs and ideals. Indeed, those ruled by this Third Decan would make for excellent leaders or officers in such organizations and, on occasion, will form their own. However, courtesy of Uranus, these natives may also be innovative loners who love people and ideas but rarely stick with either for very long since social causes and friendships with kindred spirits are valued more highly on a personal level than are family ties or romantic prospects. Friends should be wisely and carefully selected by this Decan since they can either aid in accomplishing more or serve to hold back these natives. There is no doubt that the influence of Uranus adds uniqueness to this personality which will manifest itself through such things as mannerisms and speech patterns, for example. In short, this Third Decan Gemini individual is "one of a kind." Natives of this Decan often combine the mamy talents afforded by Gemini and Mercury (the primary planet governing this Decan) toward one singular goal. Here, the influence of the Sun (another secondary planet governing this Decan) will help to make such a goal one of the highest possible caliber. Saturn (the third secondary planet governing this Decan) supplies knowledge and scholarly effort which is seldom found in the customary fickle nature of Gemini individuals. However, Saturn also brings worry that can serve to curb the exuberance provided by the Sun. If these two influences should happen to conflict, then the individual will fall into the Gemini habit of switching to whatever comes along...good or bad. Thus, ambition may be frustrated and study wasted. Third Decan Gemini natives should strive for the greatest things they can attain while trying to avoid worry in the process. Those born under the jurisdiction of this Decan are usually self-absorbed and inventive, with a hesitatation of allowing those around them to get too close. They may place other goals ahead of relationships, or seek much freedom within any partnership. As an iconoclast, this Decan will always question authority and the status quo. The motto of the Third Decan of Gemini is "Reason."

The constellation associated with this Decan is Ursa Major (The Great Bear), one of the oldest and perhaps best-known of the star patterns. Numerous legends have been associated with this constellation. Particularly famous is the group of seven stars which make up what is commonly known as The Big Dipper or The Plough. According to Cherokee legend, the handle of The Big Dipper represents a team of hunters pursuing the bear from the time it is high in the Springtime sky until it sets on Autumn evenings. The Iroquois of Canada's St. Lawrence River Valley and the Micmacs of Nova Scotia tell a more elaborate tale: represented by the Dipper bowl, the bear is hunted by seven warriors. Each Spring, the hunt begins where the bear leaves its den in Corona Borealis. The bear is not killed until the Fall, at which time his skeleton remains in the sky until the following Spring. Then, a new bear emerges from Corono Borealis and the hunt begins all over again. Instead of a bear, the Sioux of Central North America perceive Ursa Major as a long-tailed skunk. According to Chinese legend, the stars of The Big Dipper form a bushel measure to deliver food in fair amounts to the population during times of famine. The Ancient Hebrews also interpreted this constallation to be a bushel measure. To the early Britons, The Big Dipper formed the chariot of King Arthur, while the German people pictured the group of stars as a wagon and three horses. To the Romans, this grouping was a team of seven oxen harnessed and driven by Arcturus. In mythological legend, Zeus and a mortal woman named Callisto produced a son called Arcas. Hera, the jealous wife of Zeus, turned Callisto into a bear and one day while out hunting, Arcas almost killed the bear, unaware that it was his mother. Rescuing Callisto, Zeus placed both her and Arcas (whom he also turned into a bear) into the heavens together...Callisto as Ursa Major and Arcas as Ursa Minor.