Did You Know There Are 3 Different Types Of Each Zodiac Sign? The Meaning Of Decans, Explained

·17 min read

Did you know that there are three different types of each zodiac sign? In astrology, they say Gemini’s can be two-faced, Tauruses are more stubborn than a drain clog and Virgo’s are so nit-picky that their behavior alone will drive you mad! But have you ever been the subject of these “one size fits all” descriptions of your own sign and felt misunderstood? That’s because there are actually three different versions of each zodiac sign, with each third known as a “decan”.

In astrology, decans refer to the subdivisions within each zodiac sign, broken up by degrees. On the zodiac wheel, there are 360 degrees that represent the sky, which is then divided into twelve sections, each governed by one of the 12 zodiac signs you’re probably familiar with. Each zodiac sign takes up 30 degrees of the zodiac wheel, with the first decan is situated within the first 0-10 degrees, the second stretches over 11-20 degrees and the third encompasses 21-30 degrees respectively. Because each zodiac sign accounts for only 28 days, these decans will be approximations of dates depending on the shifting degrees.

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Decans assign each zodiac sign a secondary ruler, giving a fuller representation of your personality than sun sign astrology, which simply says “each Leo will act the same”. Instead, some Leo’s will have Aries as their secondary ruler, giving them more relentless and impulsive energy than the typical Leo descriptions may have let on. And some Libras will have Aquarius as their secondary ruler, making them more aloof and rebellious than their typical harmonious Libra counterparts. Understanding decans can help you comprehend why might not fit in with the typical description of your zodiac sign. It can explain why you don’t behave like or connect with the entire twelfth of the population that you share your zodiac sign with. After all, there are many layers to astrology!

Image: Adobe. Design: Sasha Purdy / StyleCaster
Image: Adobe. Design: Sasha Purdy / StyleCaster

What Are Decans?

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Your decan will depend on when you were born during your zodiac sign’s solar season. If you are born within the first ten degrees of your zodiac sign (which is approximately the first ten days of each astrological season), you will be ruled by the same sign and planet, meaning Virgos born from August 22 to August 31 you will be Virgo ruled by Mercury with sub-ruler Virgo ruled by Mercury, showing up like a typical Virgo would. However, once you get into the second and third decan of each sign it can get a little more complex and unlike the stereotypical version of each zodiac sign.

As Decans progress, your secondary ruler will be based on something called “triplicity”, which is the group of zodiac signs represented by the same element. So, if you’re an earth sign (Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn) your secondary ruler will also be an earth sign. The first decan of each sign is going to be the same sign/planet, however, the second decan will always be the next sign in that same element. Listed below are the elements and their signs in chronological order, starting with Aries (the first sign in the zodiac):

  • Fire element signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

  • Earth element signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

  • Air element signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

  • Water element signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

As you look below to understand yourself (or someone you may be obsessing over—I mean “researching”), try delving deeper into what the planet and zodiac sign sign that is your sub-ruler means to you. It will give you deeper insight into who you are and what makes you tick. For example, a Taurus who was born during the second decan might differ from the typical Taurus because their sub-ruler also happens to be curious and heady Mercury (the Virgo decan). They may be more focused on researching, note-taking, and putting on a perfectionist’s front than their first decan neighbors who show up as traditional Tauruses.

How To Find Your Decan

iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Aries

March 21-30 (Decan I – Aries Decan)

The first decan of Aries season will present like the typical Aries: bold, innovative, fearless and embodies leadership qualities to their core. These folks are doubly ruled by Mars so they are action-oriented and can come off brash to those who take a slower approach to life. When agitated, their quick-response emotion is usually anger that stems from emotional reactivity. However, with time and patience, this decan can become gentle and soft-natured in their approach to life, while still staying true to their innate desire to explore and lead the way for others that follow in their life’s footsteps.

April 1-9 (Decan II – Leo Decan)

Aries born under the Leo decan are more likely to steal the spotlight and desire a bold, aesthetic approach to life. These folks are natural born performers and can tend to be more creative than a typical Aries. Decan 2 Aries will want to catch the eye of potential romantic suitors, friends, business partners, and the masses more than their Decan 1 neighbors. Because the sun is their secondary ruler, they are ruled by their Ego, and rely heavily on their outward expression to define themselves. 

April 10-19 (Decan III – Sagittarius Decan)

Decan III Aries enjoy traveling, philosophizing, and learning about different cultures more than a typical Aries would. They may have a harder time committing to relationships, jobs, and homes as they have nomadic spirits. They are highly optimistic and prone to good luck, as their sub-ruler is Jupiter. 

iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Taurus

April 20-29 (Decan I – Taurus Decan)

Decan I Tauruses will show up more stereotypically. They enjoy structure, predictability, and loyalty in their lives and have an affinity for the finer things in life. They are primarily and secondarily ruled by Venus, so they are suckers for aesthetically pleasing homes, art, outfits, and environments. Having their senses heightened as often as possible is important to them. They prefer to work smarter, not harder, and although they don’t necessarily need to present as “lazy”, you would be hard pressed to find a Taurus that enjoys working hard if they don’t have to.

April 30-May 9 (Decan II – Virgo Decan)

Decan I Tauruses are sub ruled by Mercury as they are the Virgo decan. These folks will present as more meticulous, calculated, rigid, and prone to perfectionism than their decan I neighbors. They are more helpful, focused on philanthropy, intellectual, and curious than a traditional Taurus would be. 

May 10-May 20 (Decan III – Capricorn Decan)

Decan III Tauruses are sub-ruled by Saturn in the Capricorn decan, making them success driven and focused on titles and accolades. They are motivated by money, accomplishments and tend to be more hard-working and ambitious than other Tauruses.

iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Gemini

May 21-30 (Decan I – Gemini Decan)

These folks will show up in textbook Gemini fashion: curious and witty chatterboxes that are often hard-pressed to commit. They are knowledgeable, social and enjoy getting a taste of everything that the world has to offer, causing them to lean toward a more free-spirited lifestyle. They enjoy banter and debates at the cost of peace. 

May 31-June 9 (Decan II – Libra Decan)

Decan II Gemini’s are sub-ruled by Venus as they fall under the Libra decan. These folks are more likely to be charming, romantic and conflict-averse than a typical Gemini. They might even be hopeless romantics who love getting into relationships! Because of this, they tend to work very well in social settings, especially when it comes to facilitating parties and events.

June 10-20 (Decan III – Aquarius Decan)

Falling under the Aquarius decan, Uranus is the Decan III Gemini’s sub-ruler. This makes these folks more prone to rebellion, independence, and innovation in the name of embracing their unique nature in this lifetime. They are less concerned about social status and more concerned with adding value on a societal level.

iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Cancer

June 21-30 (Decan I – Cancer decan)

Decan I Cancer’s show up as stereotypical Cancers. They are sensitive, nostalgic, and typically live being ruled by the highs and lows of their emotions. Because they are ruled by the moon, their lives are ever changing and typically tend to be deep and intuitive. They’re also the classic nurturer; someone who makes everyone feel welcome and at home.

July 1-10 (Decan II – Scorpio decan)

Being born under the Scorpio decan, Decan II Cancers are sub-ruled by Pluto. This causes Decan II Cancers to have possessive, obsessive, dark, and brooding traits that aren’t as common in their Decan I neighbors. They are more introspective and can lean into their solitude more frequently than typical Cancers. They’re also more ambitious and focused on achieving their desires.

July 11-22 (Decan 3 – Pisces decan)

Pisces decan means that these Cancers are sub-ruled by Neptune, the planet of fantasy, illusion and the subconscious. They are more romantic, poetic, dreamy, and forgiving than typical Cancers. They may also find a deeper connection to their spirituality or spiritual studies, especially because their psychic abilities are often super strong.

iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Leo

July 23-August 1 (Decan I – Leo decan)

Showing up as typical Leos, this decan will typically be bold, loud, attention seeking, sensitive, and loyal to those they love. Decan I Leo’s are stereotypical and will care about their appearance, social status, reputation, and tend to be highly energetic and optimistic. They’re also the quintessential performers and love taking every opportunity to be playful and theatrical.

August 2-11 (Decan II – Sagittarius decan)

Being sub-ruled by Jupiter, Decan 2 Leos are more susceptible to free-spiritedness, partying, and blind optimism than their Decan 1 neighbors. These folks are capable of combining their egotistical core with a cultured outer layer, making them phenomenal travel buddies and tour guides! They would also do well to perform, keynote speak, and present their ideas on grandeur scales. 

August 12-22 (Decan III – Aries decan)

Leos born in the Aries decan are sub-ruled by Mars making them passionate, driven, and action-oriented. They are more likely to follow through with their whimsical optimism and take on leadership roles than other Aries. They are potentially aggressive, and can turn their Leo roar into a bite in an instant – one that you don’t want to mess with.

iMaxTree; Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree; Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Virgo

August 23-September 1 (Decan I – Virgo decan)

Virgos born under the first decan are predictable, reliable, helpful  and somewhat nitpicky. They are detail-oriented and feel more comfortable when their home spaces, schedules and relationships are in order. They do not do well with messes, chaos or criticism and being ruled by Mercury find themselves to be both intellectual and curious.

September 2-11 (Decan II – Capricorn decan)

Being born under the Capricorn decan, these folks are sub-ruled by Saturn, the taskmaster of the zodiac. These folks are almost guaranteed for success in their lifetime and do best with praise and accolades to validate their life experience. They are hard-working, resilient, determined and innovative, doing whatever it takes to reach their goals.

September 12-22 (Decan III – Taurus decan)

Decan III Virgos are sub-ruled by Venus, making them slightly more indulgent, luxurious, and reliable than other Virgos. They are less worried about perfectionism, and more motivated by the sensual pleasures in life. They are focused on aesthetics and are typically very beautiful while preferring to be in beautiful clothing, environments, or careers related to design or coordination of some sort.

iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Libra

September 23-October 2 (Decan I – Libra decan)

These folks will show up as textbook Libras: conflict-averse, harmonious, balanced, and hopeless romantics at heart. They are ruled by Venus and enjoy the lovely pleasures of life such as accessories, design, gift-giving, aesthetics, and art. They can struggle to stay grounded and do well with structure and time in nature to balance out their natural disposition to keeping their head in the clouds.

October 3-12 (Decan II – Aquarius decan)

Decan II Libras are sub-ruled by Uranus, making them more rebellious and sharp-tongued than typical Libras. With more of a focus on giving back on a global scale and trend-setting, they can find that their energy is best spent in expanding their minds, thought-sharing in groups, or traveling to foreign places rather than focusing on the minutiae of conflict-resolution within a 1:1 conversation.  

October 13-22 (Decan III – Gemini decan)

Libras born under the Gemini decan are sub-ruled by Mercury making them more social, witty, and free-spirited than a typical Libra. They likely have an affinity for reading, live performance, and social outings – anyone or anything that can keep their minds busy. They are phenomenal communicators and do well to combine the Libra traits of harmony with their Gemini traits of socialization to bring people together through their natural “connector” abilities. 

iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Scorpio

October 23-November 1 (Decan I – Scorpio decan)

These folks will likely show up as typical Scorpios: dark, deep, brooding and prone to enjoy their solitude. They are ruled by Pluto, the planet of secrets and taboo. They are intense and passionate, leaving very little room for confusion with their intention, feelings or goals. They’re famous for undergoing many transformations throughout their lives, always coming away from an intense situation feeling like a brand new person.

November 2-11 (Decan II – Pisces decan)

Scorpios born under the Pisces decan are sub-ruled by Neptune and will tend to be more dreamy, flighty and light-hearted than typical Scorpios. They are poetic, sensitive, and creative which can lead them to be less grounded and prone to having their head in the clouds. However, this also makes them incredibly artistic and in tune with their creative side. After all, Pisces is a zodiac sign that’s always trying to make reality more beautiful.

November 12-21 (Decan III – Cancer decan)

Being sub-ruled by the moon, decan III Scorpios are more sensitive, intuitive, and emotional than their typical Scorpio counterparts. They can be more nurturing and gentle with the moon as their secondary ruler, which could make them great parents, caretakers and medical professionals. Scorpios born under the Cancer decan can be incredibly empathetic people, but also highly protective of themselves and those they love.

iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Sagittarius

November 22-December 1 (Decan I – Sagittarius decan)

Being ruled by Jupiter, Decan I Sagittarians will show up in their typical fashion of being optimistic, open-minded, brash, philosophical, curious, and free-spirited. They crave new experiences and want novelty to be a through-line in all that they do in this lifetime. This zodiac sign is famous for being the quintessential adventure-seeker of the zodiac, as they’re always aiming to get the most out of life and learn all that there is to learn.

December 2-11 (Decan II – Aries decan)

Aries decan Sagittarians are sub-ruled by Mars making them more prone to aggression, action-orientation, leadership and naivety. They are focused on confidence and self-expression more so than a typical Sagittarius. They can also be more competitive and motivated to succeed, making them capable of surmounting great feats and besting everyone around them.

December 12-21 (Decan III – Leo decan)

These folks are sub-ruled by the sun, making them focused on their appearance, reputation, and validation than a typical Sagittarius may be. A Leo decan Sagittarius will show up social, fun-loving and charismatic, but they can lean into being self-centered. After all, Leo is an incredibly artistic zodiac sign and their main mission in life is to express themselves beautifully. These people make great performers, especially in front of an audience.

iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Capricorn

December 22-31 (Decan I – Capricorn decan)

Decan I Capricorns are ruled by Saturn, making them task-oriented, structured and hard-working. They make their own rules and do best in environments where they can succeed and stand out. They can come off cold as their natural disposition is to lean into their determined energy and focus most of their attention on stability and structure. When you think of Capricorn, you probably think of someone who radiates authority and success. That person was probably born during the first decan of Capricorn.

January 1-10 (Decan II – Taurus decan)

These folks are sub-ruled by Venus, making Taurus decan Capricorns more sensual, indulgent, and hedonistic than typical Capricorns. They more deeply enjoy the Venusian qualities of life, such as touch, taste, design, beauty, pleasure, and rest. They do best when all five of their senses are heightened as often as possible. They tend to be incredibly attractive people and are often the most artistic Capricorns of them all.

January 11-19 (Decan III – Virgo decan)

A Virgo decan Capricorn is sub-ruled by Mercury, making these folks much better teachers, healers, and confidants than their typical Capricorn counterparts. They are curious, book smart, helpful and gentle, lessening some of the rigid edges of a textbook Capricorn. These Capricorns are known for being truth-seekers who want to learn everything there is to know about everything. They’re also famous for keeping track of everyone around them and making sure they’re on track. 

iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Aquarius

January 20-29 (Decan I – Aquarius decan)

Decan I Aquarians are ruled by Uranus and show up as typical Aquarius folks do: innovators, humanitarians, trend-setters, and rebels. They are less concerned with fitting in and more focused on how they can break the mold. They see the world as it could be rather than how it currently is. They live outside of the box, and always want to give proper time and space to their outlandish ideas. If they feel restricted, they will do whatever it takes to reclaim their independence and individuality.

January 30-February 8 (Decan II – Gemini decan)

Gemini decan Aqaurians will have their sub-ruler Mercury adding an extra flair for communication, education, and intellectual-stimulation. They are witty and blessed with the gift of gab, making them great in group dynamics or in a career where they are able to sell, present or host. With their Gemini intellect, these Aquarians are capable of concocting brilliant, game-changing ideas and regaling everyone with them.

February 9-18 (Decan III – Libra decan)

February 9-18 (Decan 3 – Libra decan): Libra decan Aquarians are sub-ruled by Venus, making them more romantic, harmonious, and balanced than their typical Aqaurius counterparts. They are less focused on standing out and more focused on fitting in and keeping the peace. They will also be prone to following trends in beauty, design, and aesthetics, making the beautiful parts of life a priority. FYI, Paris Hilton was born during this decan.

iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.
iMaxTree;Adobe. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Pisces

February 19-29 (Decan 1 – Pisces decan)

Pisces are ruled by Neptune and tend to be dreamy, romantic, gentle, and sensitive. They are ruled by the planet of illusions and dreams, so they tend to focus on the hypothetical aspects of life and romanticize people, places, and experiences. They do well when they follow careers that are creative or spiritual in nature, as they have no problem taking their egos out of a situation and living in the moment.

March 1-10 (Decan II – Cancer decan)

Cancer decan Pisces people are sub-ruled by the moon, making them more emotional, unpredictable and nurturing than typical Pisces. They make great caregivers and love taking every opportunity to make their loved ones feel safe and sound. They’re probably the person everyone in their life turns to for a shoulder to cry on because they’re such great listeners.

March 11-20 (Decan III – Scorpio decan)

Scorpio decan Pisces are sub-ruled by Pluto, making them more secretive, deep, and mysterious than their typical Pisces counterparts. They do well when they allow themselves alone time and get comfortable with solitude. They are intense, possessive, and can be obsessive if they don’t keep themselves grounded. They are highly intuitive and can even embody psychic traits more so than their fellow Pisces decans.

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