July 15, 2024
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decans of sagittarius

The Decans of Sagittarius

This year we enter the zodiac territory of Sagittarius 22 November and stay there until 21 December when we move into Capricorn.

The zodiac sign of Sagittarius, named after the constellation, is the ninth sign of the zodiac and rules the ninth House representing the concepts of Humanity, long distance travel, higher study and philosophy.

The constellation of Sagittarius
The constellation of Sagittarius, Wiki Public Domain

Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign, ruled by the giant planet Jupiter, planet of expansion, ambition and opportunity.

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This sign is the third and final fire sign of the year, also marking the start of the final third of the zodiac year, ending with Pisces

The Sagittarius Archetype

Sagittarius is the Archer, a Hunter, the Voyager, the Philosopher, the Seer, the Prophet, and an eternal student of life, aiming high and far.

All the zodiac signs represent archetypes, meaning something that is considered to be a perfect or typical example of a particular kind of person or thing.

Western or Tropical astrology is based on the seasons in the northern hemisphere, where Vedic or Sidereal astrology as mainly practiced in India, and the East is based on the positions of the constellations themselves.

The zodiac signs paint a ‘typical’ portrait of a person born at a particular time of year, in a particular season. A baby born in summer for example, arrives into a different physical environment from a winter baby; with differences of parental diet, temperatures, and hours of daylight, and so on, with a range of potential physical effects.

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This time of year was the time for hunting. The crops were gathered in and finished for the year. Meat would be caught and hung, cured, salted away for the hungrier months ahead.


But if western astrology is based on the seasons in the northern hemisphere, what if we live in the southern hemisphere? There are various theories about this, but no single clear answer. Some astrologers have suggested that if you were born in the southern hemisphere and your zodiac sign really doesn’t feel right, why not look up your opposite zodiac sign and try that on for size, see if that feels like a better fit. So, for Aries, read Libra’s horoscope, for Taurus read Scorpio, for Gemini read Sagittarius, and so on.

The image of Sagittarius is the archer or the centaur. It may be of interest to note there is another constellation called Centaurus. Greek myth suggests Sagittarius may have been based, not on a centaur, but on a faun, Krotos, who was a superb archer and a patron of the arts, a friend of the Nine Muses. One story says it was Krotos who invented the tradition of applause for a performance.

The major arcana card in the Tarot representing Sagittarius is Temperance, denoting healing, moderation, patience, the art of compromise, and the art of good timing (crucial to all good decision-making and a successful hunt.)

temperance card

The court card of Sagittarius is the adventurous Knight of Wands, wearing his yellow coat decorated with salamanders or fire dragons.

knight of wands card

Card Meanings

A quest, an adventure, heat, speed, movement, daring, challenge, determination, foreign travel, leadership, spontaneity, unpredictability.

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Sagittarius is a potential highflyer, like an arrow, well-aimed, hardworking and clever. They have an enlarged curiosity, always learning. And they are adventurous and progressive and work best in teams within large organizations. They tend to be good at earning money, but not so good at saving it, generally due to impulse buying.  And they need plenty of physical activity outdoors and to be in contact with nature. They tend to be animal lovers. At home, they tend to be happier married than single, and they are co-operative, fun, efficient, and reliable partners but they can be detached, reserved, restless and impulsive, and they sometimes fail in consideration to their partner in their search for independent fun, seeking new adventures outside the home.

They may be psychic; religious or spiritually inquiring, with a prophetic or visionary gift which they may express through music, writing, animal connections, or group endeavors for some common cause.

But of course, there is no such thing in reality as THE Sagittarius personality. You are a unique individual. Your zodiac sign (sun sign) is a major keynote, but it is nothing like the full picture in real life – or even in astrology.

There are many other factors in play, your rising sign, your Moon sign, and the planets in your houses, elements, modes, aspects, transits, and so on.  If you don’t feel like a ‘typical’ Sagittarius, perhaps you are a second or third decan Sagittarius, rather than a ‘most typical’ first decan Sagittarius.

What are the Decans?

The Zodiac is the arc of the sky we look up and see from earth, which tracks the path of the sun across the sky from dawn till dusk, day in and day out throughout the year. We call this pathway of the sun ‘the ecliptic,’ and the zodiac belt follows this same pathway. The zodiac belt is 16 degrees deep or across with the ecliptic running along the middle, rather like a layer of cream in a layer cake. The layers of this cake are 8 degrees above the sun’s pathway- the cream filling of the ecliptic, and 8 degrees below.

The Greeks divided this zodiac belt into twelve sections, choosing this number for ease of arithmetic, and named them after constellations found along this same pathway.  There are more than twelve constellations, above the ecliptic, or straddling it or below it, but the zodiac signs named after them, recorded by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Ptolemy of Alexandria get their name from just twelve, again, for reasons of arithmetic.

Each zodiac sign represents a 30-degree section of this 360-degree belt. Each sign is then sub-divided into three blocks of ten degrees, roughly ten days in length.  This gives us the decans of the zodiac, nicknamed ‘the thirty-six faces of astrology.’ The decans break down each zodiac sign into three sub-chapters, shining just a little extra light on the story of that sign.

First Decan Sagittarius


Dates:  22 November-30 November

Planetary rulers: Jupiter and Jupiter

Tarot card:  Eight of Wands

eight of wands card

Card Meanings: speed, changes, news, sudden developments, arrivals, departures, or situations that may prove to be short-lived- a ‘flash in the pan.’

Jupiter, the planet of expansion, progress, ambition, and optimism is both the ruler and sub-ruler of this decan. There is idealism and a love of knowledge here. Sagittarius-Sagittarius is an enthusiast for life, upbeat, spontaneous, and fun. They are highly competitive, and don’t like to lose, with intellectual capabilities of a high order and a keen sense of justice,

There is often a fascination with medicines, shamanism of any kind, and an interest in ancient cultures and their healing traditions. Sagittarius loves wide-open spaces, fresh air, and being close to nature.

Sagittarius-Sagittarius is outgoing, yet actually rather private and reserved, not easy to get to know well. They can be the life and soul of the party, but when it comes down to it, they confide in very few.

Famous first decan Sagittarius subjects:  Winston Churchill, Pablo Escobar, Tina Turner, CS Lewis, Britney Spears, Gianni Versace

Second Decan Sagittarius


Dates: 1 December-11 December

Planetary rulers: Mars and Moon (Aries Triplicity)

Tarot card: Nine of Wands

nine of wands card

Card Meanings:  courage, stamina, fortitude, stubbornness

Mars brings to this decan an adventurous spirit, energy, courage, and ambition. This decan could be an explorer or adventurer but does well in business and commerce with marked executive abilities. They are natural sportspeople or soldiers.

And they are often highly physically attractive to others, and though they are reserved, and may even push people away, guarding their space, they are passionate when in love with a reputation as potential heartbreakers. They are also known for having a bit of a short fuse, and for bearing grudges.

And they need to spend plenty of time outdoors and need lots of physical activity to be at their best.  

Second Decan Sagittarius is kind and courageous, clever, good with their hands, quick with their minds, technically proficient, independent, and no matter how rough a time they are having, as with the first decan, they will usually keep that to themselves, showing their best face to the world. 

Famous Second Decan Sagittarius subjects: John Kerry, Kirk Douglas, Jim Morrison, Tyra Banks, John Malkovich

Third Decan Sagittarius


Dates: 12 December-21 December

Planetary ruler: The Sun and Saturn (Leo Triplicity)

Tarot card- Ten of Wands

ten of wands card

Card Meanings:  effort, determination, shouldering a burden, ‘going to town,’ ‘taking it to town.’

Ruled by the Sun, the center of our solar system, this person is rather like the sun in their own environment. They are the center of their universe. There is a great love of change and a desire for reform. This decan is full of enterprise and novel ideas. They are realists, possibly cynics, but they are very much in tune with their instincts and can make great researchers, investigators, or teachers.

And they are not known for small talk. They say what they think, and this can give them a reputation for being rude or judgemental. They may have a dark sense of humor. But their sub-ruler, the Sun, which stands for warmth, pride, and vitality, joining up with beneficent Jupiter means they have initiative combined with magnetism, and when they feel like it, a talent for making other people laugh. (Not that there was much funny about Stalin but, every zodiac sign has its seriously bad boys and girls)

Famous Decan 3 Sagittarius:  Jane Austen, Beethoven, Nostradamus, Joseph Stalin, Steven Spielberg

The Cusps of Sagittarius

22 November- 25 November

This earlier native has Scorpio qualities. Their ruling planets are Jupiter and Mars. They are courageous with great physical endurance. And they tend to take on a lot of responsibility, maybe too much, which can lead them down and hold them back. They take much care over their work and have a vivid imagination but will voice share strong opinions, and though they are sensitive, they can be tactless, and in consequence, are sometimes misunderstood.

19 December -21 December

This later native has Capricorn tendencies. Their ruling planets are Jupiter and Saturn. They are generally very good company, entertaining, easy-going, witty, and well-informed although they sometimes rub other people up the wrong way. They will not hesitate to disagree with others and will criticize other viewpoints.  On the other hand, they have a strong sense of duty, they seldom betray confidence, and they don’t interfere in matters which don’t involve them directly.

Happy Birthday, Sagittarius! 2022 is looking like a pretty good year for you, with bright prospects for work and finances, thanks to a big Jupiter influence. Ambition and hard work really should pay off for you this year.

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