The Decans

From Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa and Astrolabium Planum by Johannes Engel

Agrippa's description Image
Schifanoia
Image
Astrolabium Planum

Therefore it is said, that in the first face of Aries, ascendeth the image of a black man, standing and cloathed in a white garment, girdled about, of a great body, with reddish eyes, and great strength, and like one that is angry; and this image signifieth and causeth boldness, fortitude, loftiness and shamelesness;

Image of Decan - Aries 1st Image of Decan - Aries 1st

In the second face ascendeth a form of a woman, outwardly cloathed with a red garment, and under it a white, spreading abroad over her feet, and this image causeth nobleness, height of a Kingdom, and greatness of dominion:

Image of Decan - Aries 2nd Image of Decan - Aries 2nd

In the third face ariseth the figure of a white man, pale, with reddish hair, and cloathed with a red garment, who carrying on the one hand a golden Bracelet, and holding forth a wooden staff, is restless, and like one in wrath, because he cannot perform that good he would. This image bestoweth wit, meekness, joy and beauty:

Image of Decan - Aries 3rd Image of Decan - Aries 3rd

In the first face of Taurus ascendeth a naked man, an Archer, Harvester or Husbandman, and goeth forth to sow, plough, build, people, and divide the earth, according to the rules of Geometry;

Image of Decan - Taurus 1st Image of Decan - Taurus 1st

In the second face ascendeth a naked man, holding in his hand a key; it giveth power, nobility, and dominion over people:

Image of Decan - Taurus 2nd Image of Decan - Taurus 2nd

In the third face, ascendeth a man in whose hand is a Serpent, and a dart, and is the image of necessity and profit, and also of misery & slavery.

Image of Decan - Taurus 3rd Image of Decan - Taurus 3rd

In the first face of Gemini ascendeth a man in whose hand is a rod, and he is, as it were, serving another; it granteth wisdom, and the knowledge of numbers and arts in which there is no profit:

Image of Decan - Gemini 1st Image of Decan - Gemini 1st

In the second face ascendeth a man in whose hand is a Pipe, and another being bowed down, digging the earth: and they signifie infamous and dishonest agility, as that of Jesters and Juglers [jugglers]; it also signifies labours and painful searchings:

Image of Decan - Gemini 2nd Image of Decan - Gemini 2nd

In the third, ascendeth a man seeking for Arms, and a fool holding in the right hand a Bird, and in his left a pipe, and they are the significations of forgetfulness, wrath, boldness, jeasts [jests], scurrilities, and unprofitable words:

Image of Decan - Gemini 3rd Image of Decan - Gemini 3rd

In the first face of Cancer ascendeth the form of a young Virgin, adorned with fine cloathes [clothes], and having a Crown on her head; it giveth acuteness of senses, subtilty of wit, and the love of men:

Image of Decan - Cancer 1st

In the second face ascendeth a man cloathed in comely apparrel, or a man and woman sitting at the table and playing; it bestoweth riches, mirth, gladness, and the love of women:

Image of Decan - Cancer 2nd Image of Decan - Cancer 2nd

In the third face ascendeth a man a Hunter with his lance and horne, bringing out dogs for to hunt; the signification of this is the contention of men, the pursuing of those who fly, the hunting and possessing of things by arms and brawlings.

Image of Decan - Cancer 3rd Image of Decan - Cancer 3rd

In the first face of Leo ascendeth a man riding on a Lion; it signifieth boldness, violence, cruelty, wickedness, lust and labours to be sustained.

Image of Decan - Leo 1st Image of Decan - Leo 1st

In the second ascendeth an image with hands lifted up, and a man on whose head is a Crown; he hath the appearance of an angry man, and one that threatneth, having in his right hand a Sword drawn out of the scabbard, & in his left a buckler; it hath signification upon hidden contentions, and unknown victories, & upon base men, and upon the occasions of quarrels and battels [battles]:

Image of Decan - Leo 2nd Image of Decan - Leo 2nd

In the third face ascendeth a young man in whose hand is a Whip, and a man very sad, and of an ill aspect; they signifie love and society, and the loss of ones right for avoiding strife.

Image of Decan - Leo 3rd Image of Decan - Leo 3rd

In the first face of Virgo ascendeth the figure of a good maide, and a man casting seeds; it signifieth getting of wealth, ordering of diet, plowing, sowing, and peopling;

Image of Decan - Virgo 1st Image of Decan - Virgo 1st

In the second face ascendeth a black man cloathed with a skin, and a man having a bush of hair, holding a bag; they signifie gain, scraping together of wealth and covetousness.

Image of Decan - Virgo 2nd Image of Decan - Virgo 2nd

In the third face ascendeth a white woman and deaf, or an old man leaning on a staff; the signification of this is to shew weakness, infirmity, loss of members, destruction of trees, and depopulation of lands.

Image of Decan - Virgo 3rd Image of Decan - Virgo 3rd

In the first face of Libra ascendeth the form of an angry man, in whose hand is a Pipe, and the form of a man reading in a book; the operation of this is in justifying and helping the miserable and weak against the powerful and wicked:

Image of Decan - Libra 1st Image of Decan - Libra 1st

In the second face ascend two men furious and wrathful and a man in a comely garment, sitting in a chair; and the signification of these is to shew indignation against the evil, and quietness and security of life with plenty of good things.

Image of Decan - Libra 2nd Image of Decan - Libra 2nd

In the third face ascendeth a violent man holding a bow, and before him a naked man, and also another man holding bread in one hand, and a cup of wine in the other; the signification of these is to shew wicked lusts, singings, sports and gluttony.

Image of Decan - Libra 3rd Image of Decan - Libra 3rd

In the first face of Scorpio ascendeth a woman of good face and habit, and two men striking her; the operations of these are for comliness, beauty, and for strifes, treacheries, deceits, detractations, and perditions;

Image of Decan - Scorpio 1st

In the second face ascendeth a man naked, and a woman naked, and a man sitting on the earth, and before him two dogs biting one another; and their operation is for impudence, deceit, and false dealing, and for to lend mischief and strife amongst men;

Image of Decan - Scorpio 2nd

In the third face ascendeth a man bowed downward upon his knees, and a woman striking him with a staff, and it is the signification of drunkenness, fornication, wrath, violence, and strife.

Image of Decan - Scorpio 3rd

In the first face of Sagittariys ascendeth the form of a man armed with a coat of male [mail], and holding a naked sword in his hand; the operation of this is for boldness, malice, and liberty:

Image of Decan - Sagittarius 1st

In the second face ascendeth a woman weeping, and covered with cloathes; the operation of this is for sadness and fear of his own body.

Image of Decan - Sagittarius 2nd

In the third face ascendeth a man like in colour to gold, or an idle man playing with a staff; and the signification of this is in following our own wills,and obstinacy in them, and in activeness for evil things, contentions, and horrible matters.

Image of Decan - Sagittarius 3rd

In the first face of Capricorn ascendeth the form of a woman, and a man carrying full bags; and the signification of these is for to go forth and to rejoyce [rejoice], to gain and to lose with weakness and baseness:

Image of Decan - Capricorn 1st

In the second face ascendeth two women, and a man looking towards a Bird flying in the Air; and the signification of these is for the requiring those things which cannot be done, and for the searching after those things which cannot be known:

Image of Decan - Capricorn 2nd

In the third face ascendeth a woman chast [chaste] in body, and wise in her work, and a banker gathering his mony [money] together on the table; the signification of this is to govern in prudence, in covetousness of money, and in avarice.

Image of Decan - Capricorn 3rd

In the first face of Aquarius ascendeth the form of a prudent man, and of a woman spinning; and the signification of these is in the thought and labour for gain, in poverty and baseness:

Image of Decan - Aquarius 1st

In the second face ascendeth the form of a man with a long beard; and the signification of this belongeth to the understanding, meeknes, modesty, liberty and good maners:

Image of Decan - Aquarius 2nd

In the third face ascendeth a black and angry man; and the signification of this is in expressing insolence; and impudence.

Image of Decan - Aquarius 3rd

In the first face of Pisces ascendeth a man carrying burthens [burdens] on his shoulder, and well cloathed; it hath his significion in journeys, change of place, and in carefulness of getting wealth and cloaths:

Image of Decan - Pisces 1st

In the second face ascendeth a woman of a good countenance, and well adorned; and the signification is to desire and put ones self on about high and great matters:

Image of Decan - Pisces 2nd

In the third face ascendeth a man naked, or a youth, and nigh him a beautiful maide, whose head is adorned with flowers, and it hath his signification for rest, idleness, delight, fornication, and for imbracings of women.

Image of Decan - Pisces 3rd



For further reading
  1. The Decans in Astrology, by Benjamin Dykes, Ph.D., DMA.

  2. Translation of the figures in the Zodiac of Denderah, by Jim A. Cornwell

  3. The Medieval Symbols Of Faces And Degrees, a complete translation of medieval symbols of degrees and faces from Astrolabium Planum by Johannes Engel.



Back to my home page.