Decans are 10° divisions of the zodiac that add just a little extra flavor to the signs. With the decans of Virgo, the earth signs Capricorn and Taurus add their influence to the second and third decans while the first decan is pure Virgo. Any planet located in Virgo will receive the planetary influence of Mercury (Virgo’s ruler) and a sub-ruler (Mercury, Saturn, or Venus). The ultra-modern and still under review rulers of Virgo and Taurus will also be explored.
Virgo is a mutable earth sign ruled by Mercury (although more and more modern astrologers are assigning it to Chiron) and is associated with the 6th house in the natural wheel of the zodiac. A few keywords are:
- Conscientious Worker
- Wants Practical Results
The 6th house of your chart indicates your approach to your job, the type of work environment you are drawn to, some health issues, healing modalities or therapies, employees, and the way you serve others.
Dates for birthdays in the descriptions of the decans are approximate. You would need to consult an ephemeris or have your chart drawn to be sure.
First Decan Virgo ~ 0-9.59°
This decan is both ruled and sub-ruled by Mercury and, therefore, carries the purest Virgo energy. Birthdays range from August 23rd ~ September 1st. If you’re a New Moon baby (both Sun and Moon in Virgo), have your sun within the first 2½ degrees of Virgo, or you have your Sun and other planets in the 6th house, the influence of Mercury and Virgo will be strengthened in your chart. Mercury may or may not be in Virgo, but it will be close by. If you ever need an editor, this is your Virgo! A fine eye for the printed word, they’ll get you out of plenty of snafus.
If you are working with Chiron as ruler of Virgo, look to its sign and house for how its energy is channeled through the chart in the same way you would look at Mercury. Chiron’s symbol looks like a k sitting on top of a circle.
Second Decan Virgo ~ 10-19.59°
Birthdays in this decan range from September 2nd ~ 11th. This is the Capricorn decan, sub-ruled by Saturn. The strongest Capricorn/Saturnian influence will be found from 10-12.29° of this decan, which is the Capricorn duad. This may add a stronger desire for ambition than other placements in Virgo. Planets aspecting your Sun from Capricorn will strengthen the influence, as will Saturn in aspect to your Sun. This is a Virgo who understands business and has a great head for numbers. With the Cap influence, a wry sense of humor is most likely part of the makeup. Planets in this decan get an added boost if placed in the 10th house, natural home of Saturn and Capricorn.
Third Decan Virgo ~ 20-29.59°
September 12th ~ 21st is the birthday range for this decan. Sub-ruled by Venus, this is the Taurus decan so these Virgos may be less self-critical than those born in the first or second decans. Money-wise and earth-smart, the strongest influence of Venus in this decan will be found at 20-22.29°. If Venus is aspecting your Sun, you have other planets in Taurus, or you have a second house Sun, the Taurean influence will be amplified. It’s easy to imagine a spectacular garden designed and tended by 3rd decan Virgos, with intricate landscape planning and all the knowledge and attention to detail necessary to keep a garden thriving in the worst conditions. Venus may express itself more dynamically through the arts than in the garden and any talent can be meticulously honed through study, skill, and technique.
A little something to ponder: Do you know how to find Earth in your chart? Look directly across from your Sun for this symbol. If your Sun is in Cancer, your Earth will be in Capricorn. If the Sun is in Virgo, Earth will be in Pisces. If in Scorpio, Earth will be in Taurus. There are plenty of reasons for our Earth to be the ruler of Taurus. Think gardens again or think of precious metals as money, the Taurean obsession with food and sensual pleasures. Maybe we could even call her Gaia or Eden ~ an earthly paradise, something most Taureans are busy securing. This is just a “what if,” but worth pondering nonetheless. (I thank Donna Cunningham at Sky Writer for the discussion that prompted all this pondering.)
Duads of Virgo
Each sign can be also be divided into 12 sections, with each 2½° falling under the rulership of a sign and planet. To determine the duads, always start with the first 2½ degrees belonging to the sign’s ruler and then progress through the zodiac. Duads are a much subtler influence than the decan’s ruler, but may give you a better understanding of any planet placed in Virgo. Starting degrees are noted for each duad.
Degrees and Rulers of Virgo’s Duads:
Virgo Decan: Ruled and Sub-ruled by Mercury (or Chiron, if you prefer)
0 ~ Virgo, Mercury
2½ ~ Libra, Venus
5 ~ Scorpio, Mars and Pluto
7½ ~ Sagittarius, Jupiter
Capricorn Decan: Ruled by Mercury, Sub ruled by Saturn
10 ~ Capricorn, Saturn
12½ ~ Aquarius, Saturn and Uranus
15 ~ Pisces, Jupiter and Neptune (This has a Full Moon feel as balance is needed in this polarity.)
17½ ~ Aries, Mars
Taurus Decan: Ruled by Mercury, Sub-ruled by Venus
20 ~ Taurus, Venus
22½ ~ Gemini, Mercury
25 ~ Cancer, The Moon
27½ ~ Leo, The Sun
The Anarectic Degree of Virgo ~ The 29th Degree
The 29th degree of any sign is a degree that is torn between two signs. In Virgo, the anarectic degree is torn between the influence of Virgo and Libra. Add the influence of the last duad and three signs are in play: Virgo, Taurus, and Leo, plus the strong pull toward Libra. These Virgos are probably less austere than most because both Leo and Taurus enjoy a life of luxury as star of the show or king of the castle.
Virgos, do you notice the added influence that the subrulers of your decan bring? How are they supported in your chart ~ by house placement, aspect, other planets?