Use astrology’s critical degrees to gain a better understanding of your birth chart.
Since Hammurabi’s reign, astrology has been used to predict deaths, plan conquests, and awaken destinies. Because of the craft’s precision, the possibilities are endless. Degrees, in addition to planets, asteroids, and houses, can take your chart study to a whole new level.
Every sign in the zodiac is divided into thirty degrees, with 360 encompassing the entire chart. If a chart represents a full day, the degrees within it mark it down to the minute. Naturally, each ticker has its own meaning and can provide a wealth of information about you, your power, and the nature of your mission in this lifetime.
We could explain the minute-by-minute calculations of chart degrees, but it would give you — and us — a headache. What matters is this: There are thirty micro-markers within each sign that provide information about the progression of the planets. If your Jupiter appears at two degrees Aries, we can deduce that the planet of wisdom and synthesis was just getting started in the sign of initiation and combustion. If you were born with your rising sign in the final degrees of a sign, we can assume you came here to finish the lessons of that sign.
Every sign operates within the framework of a perfect trilogy, with the thirty degrees divided into three sections known as decans. The first decan introduces the sign’s themes; the second completes them; and the third prepares us for what’s to come. Not only is the degree location important in alchemy, but so is the nature of the planet involved. Is your Mars here to blast open the themes of Libra at an early degree, or is it ready to teach the world what it’s integrated at a later degree? Allow yourself time to experiment with location and context.
Degrees vs. Cusps
It is our duty to inform you that cusps do not exist. Planets and important markers, such as the ascendant and midheaven, can fall anywhere between zero and 29 degrees in a sign. There is no such thing as a nether-realm between signs. This is why birth dates are so important when creating a chart. You could have been born on January 20, 1991, in the final moments of Capricorn. That doesn’t mean you’re half Capricorn and half Aquarius. Rather, your sun, at 29 degrees Capricorn, is poised to complete and transcend the goat’s mission, allowing you to fully embrace what Aquarius has in store for you. However, you are a Capricorn.
Pay close attention to the degree of your ascendant, or rising sign. If your ascendant determines the direction and themes of your chart, and thus your life, you’ll want to know how far it is in each sign. You’re nearing the end of multiple lifetimes of sacrifice and reinvention at 28 degrees rising in Scorpio. Let us now integrate so that we can get to the Sagittarius goods. However, if you were born with your rising sign at only two degrees Leo, you may still be discovering how to claim the lion’s pride and power. When it comes to using astrology to access past lives, the rising sign placement has a lot to tell you.
This is especially true for the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn). Consider it a direct download into a completely new life. Whatever lands at zero is eager to initiate, lead, and begin with the zeal of youth. Assume you were born in April 1995, just as Uranus was entering Aquarius. You’ll most likely be at the forefront of your generation, leading the digital natives to rise and rebel against their tired-ass elders. If a planet’s gravity is zero, it did not come to compromise.
Any planets or markers that arrive in the 15-16 range represent and fully embody the themes of the sign. If you’ve never truly understood your sign, you’re being summoned to rediscover and reclaim its power. Consider yourself to be its sole representative. Those born with planets at 15 degrees of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) have the endlessly fashionable “Avatar Degree,” which can only occur exactly midway between the cardinal equinox and solstice, according to astrologer Paul Sanders. You are called, like the Avatars Aang, Korra, and the fierce queen Kyoshi, to claim a higher vantage point at the crossroads of the seasons and put your gifts to universal service.
This is known as the anaretic degree, and it represents the final synthesis of a sign’s themes. This is your final time here before your next life throws you a completely new assignment. An anaretic placement, also known as “the degree of faith,” is concerned with personal culmination and the dissemination of learned wisdom.
Other Critical Degrees
This can get a little technical, with endless cosmic conspiracies ready to tempt you on the internet (don’t bother with the bogus 22 degrees “kill or be killed” theory). However, in general, triplicities, or sign groupings, all have a few numbers with significant charge. Look for 0, 13, and 26 as potent, propulsive, and a little volatile for the cardinals (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn); these placements want to act now and have no interest in waiting around. Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius should keep an eye out for the aforementioned 15, as well as 8-9 and 21-22. These placements will highlight the core strength and challenge of this type of sign: they will be fully realized but resistant to change. You’ll have to work to remove the layers of defense and expose what’s beneath. For the Mutables (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces), the numbers 4 and 17 bring to life your sign’s magical, morphable nature, which can help you ride the collective current or fall into it.
Degrees & Tarot
Naturally, the Tarot cards have long had associations with the zodiac decans. T. Susan Chang’s 36 Secrets teaches you how to see the cards of your daily pull through the lens of their corresponding cosmic degrees. If you haven’t already guessed, everything in astrology has meaning down to the second. Play the numbers game, and you might discover a more profound reality than you previously knew.
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