Zodiac, Self

How Your Astrological Decan (For Cancer, Scorpio, And Pisces) Can Help You Better Understand Your Zodiac Sign

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what is a decan in astrology

This is the third of a four-part series on the three decans of each zodiac sign.

The twelve basic personality types described by the zodiac signs are just that — basic. Obviously, everyone in the world isn’t going to fit neatly into one of just twelve categories, but the Zodiac is far more versatile than many people realize.

The Sun sign is just a starting point. A full natal chart will provide a lot more information about the specific astrological details that you don’t share with anyone else, and can help you understand how the daily horoscopes affect you as an individual, especially if you might not feel like you fit in with your zodiac sign or read horoscopes that aren't specific enough.

If you don’t have a complete natal chart, you can always turn to the decans of your Sun sign for ideas about how you’re different than many other people who share your sign. Not all zodiac signs are the same, so you need specifics to learn more about yourself. And this is where decans can help.

But what is a decan in astrology? The decans are sub-groups of the Zodiac, and each sign has three of them, divided into roughly 10-day periods.

Each decan carries the overall qualities of the sign it describes, but shows how certain qualities are emphasized in some people, while others of the same sign behave and respond very differently. You won’t need any complicated charts to study your decan — it goes by birthdate.

This time, we’re looking at the decans of the three Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. In general, water signs are emotional, nurturing, and sensitive. They tend to live rich inner lives, but have to be careful about who they let into their heart, since they tend to be more vulnerable than the other signs.

Cancer loves privacy and is fiercely devoted to their family. Scorpio is sensual and mysterious. Pisces is the dreamer, a natural empath. Here’s the breakdown for the nine Water sign decans.

CANCER (June 21 – July 22)

Decan 1 (June 21 – July 1)

Following so closely in Leo’s wake, Decan 1 Cancers are probably the most extroverted members of this sign. If they have an opinion, you’ll hear about it... over and over again. Logical debate may not be their strong suit, but they’ll defend their point of view to the bitter end.

When it comes to their family, they show the same stubborn loyalty. They might not be the easiest family member to get along with, but just let someone threaten their home or loved ones and watch the sparks fly. For a Water sign, Cancer 1 is about as fiery as they come.

Decan 2 (July 2 – July 11)

Now Cancer has learned to support their position with wisdom and experience instead of just insistently stamping their feet. Decan 2 Cancer is quiet and determined. Although this can come off as a bit sulky, they’re the gentlest, most approachable members of this sign.

This doesn’t mean that they’re any less willing or able to turn fierce if they have to protect their family — after all, Cancer is the Mama (or Papa) Bear of the Zodiac, and their lives revolve around their home and loved ones.  

Decan 3 (July 12 – July 22)

Cancer’s ruling planet is the Moon, and the third decan is where the “Luna-cy” comes into play. Everything is either one extreme or the other for these Cancers, with very little middle ground.

They’ll find some relief for this constant internal stress if they can spend their energy taking care of others, so if they don’t have a family, they should pursue a career or seek volunteer work that will allow them to look after others. They make excellent artists, too, and this is a good way for them to safely express the wide spectrum of their emotional life.

RELATED: 15 Uplifting Quotes That Will Comfort Even The MOODIEST Cancers


SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21)

Decan 1 (October 23 – November 2)

Endurance is the keyword for Decan 1 Scorpio. They’re ambitious, to be sure, but they’re not going to make a lot of noise on their way their ultimate goal. It may not look like they’re making much of an effort, but they have a knack for slipping along under everyone’s radar.

No one realizes just how much control this Scorpio has over a situation until it’s all over and they’ve somehow managed to get everything they wanted.

Decan 2 (November 3 – November 12)

This is the mysterious, magnetic, manipulative version of Scorpio that we’re all most familiar with. Psychological enigmas, their emotions are buried in layers like an endless onion. They’re fascinated by puzzles and mind games, and they have a way of making you want to please them even while they’re trying to see how long they can push your buttons before you snap.

However, is Scorpio 3 actually being cruel for fun, or are they just living up to the expectations that you’ve set for them? Once you can show them that you’re a worthy partner and not a puppet, you’ll have a loyal friend for life.

Decan 3 (November 13 – November 21)

Not every version of Scorpio is out to see how many people they can bend to their will. Decan 3 may seem like the darkest and scariest of all, but this Scorpion is just here to observe.

Don’t think this means that you can get all cuddly with them right away — they can still pull all the standard tricks if they feel like it, but that’s not really what they’re about. They won’t let you see their vulnerabilities any sooner than the other Scorpio decans, but they’re also less likely to take advantage of yours.

RELATED: The Ultimate Scorpio Compatibility Guide: Understanding Love & Relationships According To The Zodiac

PISCES (February 19 – March 20)

Decan 1 (February 19 – February 28/29)

Artistic, kooky, and convivial, Decan 1 Pisces carries a lot of Aquarius’ energy from the previous month. They make great visionary leaders, but unfortunately they don’t have Aquarius’ momentum and follow-through.

Pisces 1 is going to need some help from their more practical friends if they’re going to accomplish anything big. It’s hard for them to “turn off” their idea factories, so they need to find healthy ways to calm their minds or they’re liable to turn to drugs and alcohol.

Decan 2 (March 1 – March 9)

Every version of Pisces is a natural empath, and Pisces 2 has an extra dose of this gift. They might not always consider it a “gift,” though, since it’s hard for them to turn it off.

Imagine being so open that you can’t avoid picking up on others’ feelings wherever you go. It’s exhausting and, what’s worse, they may eventually feel as though they’ve lost their own unique essence and sense of self. Decan 2 Pisces should practice regular meditation and shielding to keep their mind and aura free of unwanted energy build-up.

Decan 3 (March 10 – March 20)

This is the last segment along the Sun’s path before a new Zodiac year begins. Aries’ eagerness for action is beginning to bleed through, and Decan 3 Pisces always seems poised on the brink of something new.

They have a sense of wonder about them, and are more apt to take risks than the other Pisces decans. If things don’t change fast enough for them, they’ll create the changes themselves. 

RELATED: 11 Quotes That PROVE It's ALWAYS A Bad Idea To Double-Cross A Pisces

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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