The Zodiac 'Decan' For Aries, Leo and Sagittarius — How To Find Your Sub-Sign (And What It Says About You)

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what is a decan in astrology

There are three different sides to your Sun sign. Which one are you?

One common complaint about astrology is that there are only twelve signs, so how can everyone in the world be pigeonholed into these few basic personality types? Of course, this isn’t taking into account a full natal chart, which shows us how all the twelve signs and planets combine to make a unique person.

But even if you don’t have access to all the details of your complete birth chart, there are techniques to look deeper within your own Sun sign to see what sets you apart. Studying the decans is one such technique.

What is a decan in astrology? Each zodiac sign is divided into three decans (10-day periods), each with their own special way of expressing the qualities of that sign. If you have a friend with the same Sun sign as you, but you both react differently to the daily horoscopes, it might be because you’re each in a different decan of the sign.

All of the qualities described by the individual decans of a sign are present in that sign to some degree, but the decans show how different traits of that sign are emphasized throughout the month.

This article is the first of a four-part series in which we examine the qualities of each decan. We’ll start with the three Fire signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.

In general, fire signs are active, honest, creative and impulsive. They look forward and outward, and don’t connect easily on the emotional level. Aries is the independent loner, Leo the big-hearted performer, and Sagittarius the curious explorer.

Let’s see how the nine Fire decans further define their signs.

ARIES (March 21 - April 19)

Decan 1 (March 21 – March 30)

Get out of the way! In the first period of the first sign of the zodiac year, Decan 1 Aries loves to be in front. They’re fearless and determined.

While their charismatic enthusiasm is catching, think twice before following in their wake, since they’re also impulsive and need to learn to stop and think before jumping into new situations. They’re famous for forging new pathways, but these paths often lead to unexpected trouble.

Decan 2 (March 31 – April 9)

Patience is never Aries’ strong suit, but Decan 2 Aries has matured and learned to wait just a little bit. That doesn’t mean they like it, but they’ve seen what happens to people who don’t stop and think.

Quick to anger, they prefer to be left alone to do their own thing in their own way, without anyone trying to hold them back or trying to help.

Decan 3 (April 10 – April 19)

The most sociable of the Aries decans, number 3 has plenty of opinions, and won’t hesitate to let you know all about them. Although they’re not too concerned with eloquence, they are extremely expressive with their thoughts and desires — especially in matters of love, lust, and libido.

Their sex drive rivals Scorpio’s, but when it comes to subtlety and finesse, Decan 3 Aries could take some charm-school lessons from the Scorpion.


RELATED: Characteristics Of The Aries Horoscope Sign That Makes Astrology's Ram The BOSS


LEO (July 23 - August 22)

Decan 1 (July 23 – August 2)

All Leos love the spotlight, but Decan 1 Leo craves the real power that comes with being the star attraction. They’re not satisfied with being the star of the show; they want to be the director, as well.

While Leos aren’t hurtful in general, those in this decan are not averse to using other people to further their own goals. They’re opportunists and are always looking for a chance to get ahead, even by a little bit.

Decan 2 (August 3 – August 12)

Here is the grand performer that comes to mind when we think about Leo. Decan 2 Lions are dramatic, boisterous, friendly, and happiest when surrounded by admirers.

It’s easy to have a good time with Leo 2, since they really want everyone to enjoy themselves and think well of them. They enjoy a good debate, and their ability to project their voice ensures that everyone hears their side of things.

Decan 3 (August 13 – August 22)

“Opening night” excitement has settled down, and Decan 3 Leo doesn’t feel like they have to prove anything anymore; they can relax in the knowledge (or at least their own assumptions) that they are truly the most important person around.

They carry themselves regally, and appreciate loyalty from friends and underlings. In fact, if you have a problem with them, tell them to their face instead of complaining behind their back. Betraying a Leo 3 will earn you an enemy for life.


RELATED: Characteristics Of The Leo Horoscope Sign That Makes Astrology's Lion The RULER Of The Zodiac


SAGITTARIUS (November 22 - December 21)

Decan 1 (November 22 – December 2)

Decan 1 Sag has passed through Aries’ impatience, Leo’s obsession with the self, and is now beginning the search for true spirituality and enlightenment. They’re fascinated by ideas from other cultures and religions, and enthusiastically pursue new wisdom and experience.

They have a lot going on, and since they can’t turn down a new adventure (Gotta know everything, right now!), they spend a lot of time catching up to themselves.

Decan 2 (December 3 – December 12)

All Sagittarians have a strong philosophical side, and Decan 2 Sag tends to be the most intellectual and rational of them all when chewing on a new idea. They trust their own logical abilities, but frequently get involved in the creative arts to help them understand others’ thoughts, express their own, or find hidden connections between unrelated concepts.

It’s difficult for them to connect with people on a personal or emotional level, but their creations will tell you a lot about what’s going on inside.

Decan 3 (December 12 – December 21)

This is the last stop of the Fire signs. Now Sagittarius has reached the point where they can trust their own intuition. They learn a lot about the world simply by following their own instincts, and those connections they were searching for in the previous decan are coming through loud and clear (even though they still might not be able to express them clearly).

The earlier spiritual and philosophical interests have evolved into a true passion for metaphysics and esoterica. Decan 3 Sag spends a lot of time searching for hidden truths in obscure books that cross the line between science and fantasy. 


RELATED: Facts About The Sagittarius Zodiac Sign That Explain These Adventurous, Energetic People Perfectly


Trudi Mentior grew up in Great Falls, Montana, where she spent her formative years wondering just what might be beyond those vast plains, on the other side of those distant mountains. She now lives in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband, three cats, and a loudmouthed hyacinth macaw (who loves to scare the cats). 

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