In this article I will cover a brief history of the deans, What they actually are and explain how you can use them in your own horoscope. I have now finally finished all 36 Dean eBooks, a project that took me 5 years! The collection is now available as a single eBook and I am calling it Wheel of stars. (Scroll down for the link). The history of the deans begins in ancient Egypt around 3000 BC. It was based on the series of stars that appeared as a sunset over the horizon. Although the stars are a nocturnal phenomenon, this Egyptian star calendar was actually a solar calendar. Early calendars were lunar calendars that divided the months into 13 of 29.3 days each.
The deans fit perfectly in 360 degrees of the circle divided into 36 sets of 10, which is almost a perfect year. However, we still had 5/6 days. The Egyptians said these extra days were out of time and separated the old and the new year. Saturnalia the Romans would follow a similar way of thinking, since these were “different” times. Since all the deans were under the jurisdiction of a god or another, we could say that these extra days were godless. You can see why the rules for Saturnalia were turned upside down with the Romans. For the Egyptians, however, these extra days were actually considered more sacred.
Over time, different gods have presided over each dean, so there are no hard and fast rules about who rules them. Austin Coppock lists all the different gods and goddesses in his book The 36 Faces. In the past, the main star received control over it within the specified 10 degrees. Of course, with precession after 720 years, a dean would begin a whole 10 days later, so giving one star complete rulership over an entire dean was not a good long-term plan.
However, it is interesting that if you look at the lunar villas that come to us from the Arabs, you will see that they operate on a similar principle. There are 18 lunar villas, the meaning of which comes from the main star of this sector. Again we suffer from precessions where the constellations have moved over time. These lunar villas were very popular with astrologers of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, as well as for making astrological talismans. Some astrologers like Christopher Warnock still practice these traditions today.
The history of the deans
Back in the west, Hellenistic astrology changed the way the deans were used. The Egyptians had given the dean a meaning through the influence of a god or spirit. This was replaced by the Ptolemaic Order of Dignity, in which rule was given by the seven planets in the order of slowest to fastest. So we’re going backwards from Saturn to Jupiter, Mars and so on.
Wheel of stars
The ultimate guide for all 36 deans
eBOOK $ 36
Interestingly, the year for this system (also known as the Chaldean system) starts at 0º Leo and we work backwards from there. The deans were referred to as faces in medieval texts, and the Ptolemaic order of planets was also used for the planetary hours and days “The 4th century Sicilian astrologer, Firmicus Maternus, is one of many who placed great emphasis on the use of (the dean), saying that a planet is as good in its own dean as it is in its own sign.” ~ Skyscript
Often there is some confusion about who the rulers of the deans are. I prefer the Ptolemaic order, but a case can be made for the sign system. This was also a method of the Hellenistic astrologer Marcus Manilius. In his system, the signs are the rulers of the deans, so Aries rules Aries Dean 1, Taurus rules Aries Dean 2, Gemini rules Aries Dean 3, and so on. A similar system is popular today, but I haven’t been able to figure out where this came from for my whole life.
Modern astrology does not use Manilus’ command, but holds fire signs with fire, earth with earth, etc. This is called the triple system. Aries rules Aries dean 1, Leo rules Aries dean 2, and Sagittarius rules Aries dean 3. To me, this makes more sense than Manilus’ model and adds a different dimension to the deans, so I’ve added the modern rulers to the final version of my dean e-books.
The deans get lost a bit in time, as does astrology in general during the dark ages. (500 AD to 1500 AD. This period spans the fall of the Roman Empire to the rise of the Ottoman Empire.) The deans will be “Drekkanas” in the Vedic system and then we have the translations from Greek to Arabic and then back to Latin.
Eventually, the deans are revived by Renaissance astrologers, alchemists, and magicians. Here the concept of the pictorial representation of the deans for the use of talismans is used. There are some very amusing and powerful verses that describe each dean. These descriptions appear in magic books and various occult books.
Here is an example from one of my favorite magic books, The Picatrix. (Latin translation) My ascending sign Gemini Decan 2. “A man whose face is like an eagle and whose head is covered with linen; He is dressed and protected in a coat made of lead mail. On his head there is an iron helmet with a silk crown over it. In his hand he has a bow and arrow. This is a face of oppression, evil, and subtlety. “ At some point I would like to illustrate every dean with these impressive paragraphs. But now we’re going to deal with the verses.
Research & inspiration for the wheel of stars
You will find that in his book there are many different descriptions of the deans that have evolved over time and Austin Coppock “The 36 Faces” lists all in the appendix. It looks like Coppock was inspired to name his individual deans after the pictures of those deans, which is why his book is called “The 36 Faces”.
My approach was to use the fixed stars similar to the astrologer Diana K Rosenberg, only that she divides her zodiac into sets of stars with a latitude of 3 degrees. Your book is very interesting from a fixed star point of view, it is very detailed and had great references for the constellations. However, I found that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees at every set of stars, as breaking it up into such small subdivisions meant there was no clear difference between them. For beginners, the information can be quite inundated with it, but for advanced users it is still a great resource.
When I started writing the deans for the website in 2013, Austin Coppock’s book hadn’t yet appeared and I was just writing the general meaning for the dean as a whole without the planet and angle specific meanings. I started adding the meanings of the sun and moon because I had used the deans in my lunar reports. Bernadette Brady also had a book that inspired me to add the planetary meanings also called “Star & Planet Combinations”.
The highly anticipated “The 36 Faces” The History, Astrology and Magic of the Deans by Austin Coppock was released in 2014 and I was further inspired to add the individual planetary meanings to my version. We must not forget that the astrologer Vivian Robson from the 1930s in his book “The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology” also has the planetary meanings for most of the large fixed stars individually, which has helped me build my own interpretations.
Many find Robson’s interpretations a little too harsh and old-fashioned. The guy certainly didn’t crush any words, but I find them amusing and quite quaint. You can get his material online for free as part of the great Constellation Of Words website. This sight had a great influence on my work on the fixed stars in general as well as on my dean book.
With Austin Coppock’s book, we overlap in relation to the dignity of the planet and rule within a dean, although we come from different directions in defining the meaning of the deans. As I researched and wrote the book, I first defined my meaning and then checked Coppock’s planets in dean meaning. I would find that we had derived quite similar meanings, which was gratifying.
After completing all of the deans, I realize that in another 100 years, as the stars move, their boundaries will blur, but at least the planetary strengths will remain the same. In November 2011, Regulus switched from the end of Leo Decan 3 to Virgo Decan 1.
The zodiac & precession
In case you don’t know anything about precession. The shaking of the earth creates this phenomenon, which means that the constellations fall back about 1 degree every 72 years. Anyone who has studied Vedic astrology that uses the star system will know the difference between Eastern and Western astrology, which means that their signs are 24 degrees behind ours.
If one chooses to include the fixed stars in one’s work, as traditional astrologers have done, one cannot ignore the phenomenon of precession. I have to hope that another astrologer will update my work in the very distant future! But for this generation at least, my interpretations will stay strong and I like the thought that meanings are not set in stone and can evolve over time.
In so far as I use the deans to understand your own diagram, there are a few things I need to explain. The fixed star interpretations in certain areas of the zodiac are far more dramatic and darker than in other areas. Some stars are considered to be downright unhappy and there are those who are referred to as “bad”. But astrology like the tarot and the iChing contain all the colors of the rainbow and all the seasons.
The deans are a book of archetypes and they are multifaceted. In writing this book, I had to take into account the traditional interpretations of the fixed stars, but I have also tried to update them for use in the 21st century. I also hope that I have shown that with any negative star, there is always the possibility of positive transmutation. In the same way, an overly successful and lucky star can also lapse into debauchery and excesses.
Astrology is not much different from the Bible or other religious works in that it becomes a dogma if read too literally. It is up to the individual to use these tools and maps and not let the tools use them. As the saying goes, a bad worker always blames his tools. One could also say that a bad soul always blames its ascending Saturn!
How to use the deans in your horoscope
Nobody really knows how astrology works, but I’ve been doing this long enough to recognize patterns when I see them. History repeats itself, the cycles repeat itself, but we don’t want to go around in circles, we want to go forward.
A dean can be practiced on a very basic level ie; at the root chakra the level of survival depending on the stage of development of the individual. A difficult dean can be a hidden gift. It can be as challenging as Saturn, but the universe always rewards hard work.
Another problem with traditional astrology seen through the eyes of modern astrology is that the entire map becomes YOU. So, all negative / unfortunate stars are you too.
This “chart-is-all-me” astrology could actually be viewed as quite narcissistic. The way I read a chart follows the traditional approach where your rising dean is the only point on the chart that describes you personally. The ascendant is your person and your vehicle for this life. The position and dean of the ascending ruler also describe your personality.
The dean of the moon describes your karma, your genetic memory, your mother, how you experience the divine feminine and what challenges you will encounter in every house that the moon rules. The Dean of the Sun describes your Dharma, your higher self, your father, how you experience the divine masculine and what challenges you will encounter in every house that is ruled by the sun.
We are essentially a trinity and the signs come in tears of elements too. 3 signs for air, earth etc. This triad also has so many religions. The father, son and holy spirit of Christianity, Brahma in Hinduism, spirit, body and spirit of the new wrath or the triple moon goddess in virgin, mother and wife for the Gentiles.
The problem of the dark stars!
Horoscopes are a gateway drug into the psychedelic of astrology. I’m not a fan of mind altering drugs, but it’s a good analogy because it can be just as dangerous to absorb knowledge if you don’t understand the basics of natural law. Newbies to astrology may be afraid of the power of the planets, and that fear can create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
With the internet and technology, you have easy access to make your own chart and find the meanings yourself. This is all great and can be a nourishment, but like looking up disease symptoms online, you can also convince yourself that you are doomed by your deans!
The problem is, there are no longer the great universities of the past that studied astrology as part of a broader curriculum in philosophy, medicine, alchemy, and astronomy. Knowledge was much more holistic. Nowadays, most people come to astrology via sun sign pillars and women’s magazines, which are viewed as light-hearted, harmless entertainment.
Astrology also falls under the self-help / psychology realm, which means that you should feel better about yourself. So it’s no wonder that a newcomer from this area shrinks when he reads that the sun falls in Taurus Decan 3, which contains a frightening fixed star … ALGOL !! This beauty Causes misfortune, violence, beheading, hanging, electrocuted and mob violence, and gives the native or others a dogged and violent nature that causes death. It is the Worst Star in the sky. “ ~ Vivian Robson.
I chose Algol as my example because it is the most famous of the bad guys. So … how do we deal with this?
First of all, this is a general interpretation of the star. Not specific to the sun or any other planet coincident with Algol. The most negative manifestations of this star usually appear in event diagrams or in horary question charts, as they describe a moment in time.
In a natal chart we speak of a whole lifespan, so that these energies can only break out at a certain point in time, for example if they are triggered by a planetary transit or a solar eclipse. Then the question arises what this Algol planet actually represents. It can describe your partner or your enemies (7th ruler) or a parent or boss (10th ruler). Maybe you have to kill this algol potential.
If you look at the entire Taurus Decan 3, you can see that there are other influences. Some planets are better here than others and it is one of many other stars here. The interpretation is then far more complex than just this one star. The tarot card for the dean must also be taken into account and in this case is not a negative card.
This dean happens to be ruled by the greater malignant Saturn in both Chaldean and triple systems, so you can then see that it is doubly dark. But Saturn is representative of winter and not growing much in the west in winter. In this sense, it is not a sunny growing season, but a rest period in hibernation.
These times can be melancholy and lonely. The point I am making is that we cannot isolate a dean and brand it as unhappy. We have to see it in the context of the wheel of the year. Just like the wheel of fortune card in tarot, luck ebbs and flows. Nature is constantly in flux and in the process of birth and death.
So when we look at our own diagrams, the wheel is always spinning. We all have to fight the monster in the basement at some point and every time we do it we get stronger. Someone with Taurus Decan 3 as an aspiring Decan will enjoy killing demons and will love playing the devil’s advocate.
Most of the time, the Dean’s potential can be turned on when his ruler is under a transit of the outer planet. With this example for Taurus, Taurus will be turned on when it is your ascendant in solar yield or by profection, or when Taurus is activated as a period by zodiac release. The last two are advanced techniques, but I am trying to indicate that even if you happen to have a somewhat challenging dean as your ascending dean, he will not always be active.
There are other deans like Taurus Decan 3 that some might find just as challenging. For those of you who have them in prominent locations, you need to take into account that they are really only one twelfth of life! Yes, as an ascendant they will affect you the most as this is the most personal point on the table, but it is NOT your core being. It is the incarnation, the vehicle that you have been given.
Think of this as an acting role for you to play. So in the case of Taurus Decan 3, you can play both the demon slayer and the demon! Lots of us love playing the bad guy anyway and you get the most interesting lines!
The ascendant is not the soul as we build our soul over many lifetimes. The most challenging acting parts, like these deans, just give us more shot to carve our diamond selves out of. You also have the option of trying other roles throughout your life as your ascendant also scrolls the table.
Every 10 years we get a role change and a new dean to play. However, our stem diagram is always in the background, which is why it is called radix. It’s kind of a standard position when we can’t bother trying something new, or when our souls have changed too much via transits to cope with.
For those of us who have overjoyed deans, don’t think you can rest on your laurels! It is easy to get complacent and approach the world with an air of pretension. As the chart advances, you may have to work on keeping the dean you were born with rather than working out at the gym to keep your figure!
As a starting point, I would put the ascending Dean as the most important, followed by the Dean and the house position of the ruler on the map. Traditional astrologers regard the ascending ruler as the helmsman and the chart as the ship. Next comes the sun and then the moon. Your descendant’s dean should describe the type of partner that you are attracted to or want to be attracted to! See Descendant’s Ruler Position for more information. Your MC dean and the dean of his ruler describe your career. Your IC and its ruler describe your family of origin.
Structure of the ebook
You will see, as you go through the deans, that some have more fixed stars than others. Not all stars have specific interpretations for the planets within them. Therefore, some individual Dean eBooks have more pages. This is exactly how the constellations are arranged and are not uniform. Taurus / Gemini and Scorpio / Sagittarius in particular appear to be the fullest, and likely because they fall over the Milky Way. The so-called 13th sign of Ophiuchus meets the latter Scorpio and Sagittarius, and I found that I had a lot to say about these deans. The whole book consists of 18,000,000 words and 348 pages.
The Dean eBooks begin with a general meaning section, followed by a list of the fixed stars in that Dean and what they mean. Every 10 days I post the “Weekly Fixed Stars”, which lists the fixed stars with which the sun connects during this time. You can check out this post to get an idea of the fixed stars section. The sun moves 1º per day. A larger star closer to Earth will associate more mythology with influence over more days than a smaller, distant star. For more information about the fixed stars themselves, see the article: Using Fixed Stars. Then I listed the meanings for Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Midheaven, Mercury, Venus and Mars within the deans in the eBooks.
There are also lists of famous people and events with these planets in this dean. In time, I’d like to add Jupiter and Saturn meanings that work better on a worldly level. I will possibly add Uranus and Neptune as well, as Robson actually includes their meanings in his interpretations. But now I’m going to give this project a break and release the meaning of the outer planet as Volume 2 sometime in the future. Until then, I hope this article gives you a better idea of how to use the deans and how to remove fears of their sometimes serious interpretations. Astrology is part of a series of divination tools that can be used to ignite your intuition, weed out demons, and get to know yourself. However, a toolbox would not be an effective toolbox if it did not contain sharp blades.