We invite you to join us on a journey full of Harmony , Beauty , ancient wisdom and symbolism. Chaldean Astrology - The Chaldean Order " Seven are the passages to perfection of matter " Count Allessandro Cagliostro The Chaldean order is really a hierarchy of the forces represented by celestial bodies.
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This order expresses itself in a timeline and is taken from the orbits of the seven visible planets, and their relative distance, therefore every one of the planets in its turn rules a stage in the linear process of time. The hierarchy is from the slowest of the visible seven - Saturn, all the way through to the fastest and closest - the moon.
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Today we will continue to divide the zodiac and our next division is the 3 rd division called drekkana, dreshkana, dekanoi, decans or decanates. Interestingly this is the one division that somehow found its way into the popular Sun sign astrology and some people are aware that their Sun is in one of the three 10 degree portions of a sign. However, interpretations of this are for the most part scarce.
Both Hellenistic and Indian astrological systems use this 3 rd division, albeit in different ways. There are two opinions regarding their origin. One is that they originate from the Mesopotamian tradition and the other credits Ancient Egyptian astrologers as the ones who used the decans first.
The Egyptians divided the ecliptic into 36 parts of 10 degrees each. They did not use the 12 fold division, the Zodiac. Although they used stellar references in order to easier locate the decans, the decans themselves were not the stars, but were actually segments of space and it seems that they were tropical in nature, that is to say, they were anchored to the equinoxes and solstices which is confirmed by the updated tables of star references.
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They had to do that in order for the starry reference points to remain valid and not drift away with precession. Each one of the decans was a home of a particular Egyptian deity and in this way the decans were an important part for timing religious rituals. During the Hellenistic period of astrological synthesis decans were integrated into the system and were given rulerships of planets according to the so called Chaldean order of the planets, which starts from the slowest Saturn and ends with the Moon.
This is also the order from which we get the seven planetary days, the days of a week. Picture no. Even if this was pretty much a standard way of assigning decan rulers in Hellenistic astrology the Chaldean order of planets used for rulership of decans raises some questions. First, the order of the planets does not end with Jupiter at the last decan of Pisces and then start with Mars in Aries.
Instead it starts with Mars in Aries and ends with Mars in Pisces. Although this seems quite strange it is interesting to note that Mars is emphasized in this way. At this point I shall highlight a common thread throughout the different types of decans.
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It seems that Mars, fire and of course number 3 is what they all have in common. Note that in Chaldean order decans both domiciles of Mars, Aries and Scorpio have the first decan ruled by Mars. No other planet rules the first decan of its domicile, only Mars. The focus in the Hellenistic decans is on the rulership and the decans do not belong to any particular sign. It is important to state at this point that no matter what astrological text we read we will find either emphasis on the sole symbolism of the decans with vivid descriptions of figures, full of various symbols, or emphasis on the planets ruling the decans or even signs that belong to decans as sort of a micro zodiac within a zodiac.
The symbolism connected to decans seems to be in line with the Egyptian tradition which assigned Gods to the decans , which we also find later in the Hellenistic tradition which mixes Greek and Egyptian deities. Because of these vivid figures the decans are also called faces.
This seems to be the primary style of decans , but later we see more and more development towards assigning planetary rulership or signs to them, although the later is in minority. An example of decan symbolism from the text called Liber Hermetis whose author is supposedly the legendary Hermes Trismegistus, Brihat Jataka of Varahamihira and Yavanajataka of Sphujidhvaja:. He bears golden mail and bright arrows and his hand is upraised with an axe. While there are differences all three have two things in common.
The figure is a violent warrior and has a lifted axe. The similarity has to be there as in all three systems the first decan of Aries belongs to Mars. Here all systems give a different decan ruler. On his chin there is a growing of fine hairs and on his face there is a beard hanging down to his neck from both parts of his chin.
She is pre-eminent as she stands on one foot holding a jar. She is always intent on eating and drinking, and delights in gardens and woods.
Nature of Signs & Planets in Classical Astrology
From these examples it is quite clear that a lot of the imagery was derived from the combination of the sign and the ruler of the decan , although the Liber Hermetis description of the second decan of Taurus ruled by the Moon is a matter of a debate. We find this drekkana or dreshkana in Brihat Parashara Hora chapter 6, verses 7, 8 and Brihat Jataka of Varahamihira chapter 1, verse Subsequently we find it in most of Indian astrological literature. Here we have three modalities within one sign and all three are of the same element, thus we can call this a triplicity drekkana.
Remember that a part of this research is to find out if the vargas really show the geometrical relationship or in other words, they show major and minor aspects which are used by modern Western astrologers. The theme of siblings is in accord with the number 3, which is the number of Mars, the planet that is the natural significator of siblings. I think we should think about it deeper. What is the characteristic of a relationship between two siblings?
There is competition, there is resilience, there is courage, there are fights and there is also protection, all related to Mars. Thus it is these that should be seen from this division and not only siblings. They construct what in modern Western astrology we call a harmonic chart.
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Here the rulers of the drekkanas from Aries to Cancer are the rulers of the 12 signs in natural order and this repeats from Leo and Sagittarius. While Somanatha emphasizes the rulers of the signs, Jaimini and Manilius emphasize the signs themselves. We can see an equilateral triangle formed in this type of drekkana , so number 3 is there in its full glory, thus only this type of drekkana shows a geometrical relationship the planets or points that fall in the same drekkana form in the main chart. Here the three drekkanas of each sign are always cardinal, fixed and mutable, in this order.