Planetary Decans

I see there are a couple of astrologers on here, and because the subject interests me greatly, I hope that someone can clarify something for me.

It concerns the so-called decans of the planets.
How am I to interpret this? The Signs of the Zodiac have 3 decans because each sign has 30 degrees. A planet doesn’t have any degrees.

I first read about this in the Picatrix, where 2 talismans are given for each decan of every planet. In the footnote of the edition that I have, the translator admits he has no idea what could be meant by a decan of a planet.
In a thread by @deathreeper he gave an explanation of the term ‘Mansions of the planets’ in the description of the Spirit Orias. I mixed up the words ‘decan’ and ‘mansion’ and made an assumption based thereon in that thread, but I would appreciate some confirmation or clarification.

My original question was:

For each decan of the planets there are two talismans, who’s purposes are opposite in most cases. When would I make and / or use one of these?
If, let’s say, I am targeting someone with Venus in the first decan of Scorpio in their Natal Chart. Can I than only make one of the two Talismans for the first decan of Venus for this person?
AND when would I make the Talisman?

Searching for it online, I found a site
that gives a very strange interpretation of the term, without mentioning any relation to the use of the talismans. Their view is that when a planet is in the second decan of a sign (for example Aries) this means that also the second Sign of the same triplicity (Leo) and their planetary rulers is to be taken into consideration. I am not disputing this or claiming that I know anything about it, but this interpretation doesn’t relate to the (use and making of the) talismans that are given for the decans of the planets.

So. My question is:
When am I supposed to make and / or when am I supposed to use a talisman for a decan of a planet?
Thank you for reading, and if you have any suggestion – please reply.

Which edition and section of the Picatrix are you referring to? I have Greer & Warnock’s edition and Book 2, Chapters 11 & 12 mention decans but I don’t see any reference to a “decan of the planet”; instead each sign is divided into three decans and each decan has a given planet that is associated with it.



I have the German translation by Helmut Ritter and Martin Plessner. It is the list you mention, book 2 chapter 12. So you are saying in the Warnock edition the second list is also translated as decans of the planets?

For comparison, the first item on the list is the first Talisman for the first decan of Saturn, to envelop a person in darkness. (How) does this correspond with the list in your version? If you could please give the first item on the list I might be able to figure it out for myself. Thank you for responding.

From my edition’s Book 2, Chapter 12 the first in the list is:

The first in the list from Book 2, Chapter 11 is:

I don’t see any mention of “decans of the planets” (which like I said, earlier, doesn’t even make sense because planets belong to decans, not vice versa), nor anything that talks about “enveloping a person in darkness.”

There is, however, in Book 4, Chapter 9 a list of the Mansions of the Moon, which begins as follows:

This sounds more like what you’re talking about, but it’s referring to Mansions of the Moon rather than decans. There are 28 mansions in the sky compared to 36 decans–think of both as dividing the available 360 degrees into sections.

I know it doesn’t make any sense. I wrote that above. I also wrote that the translator himself even wrote this. This translation is directly from the Arabic.

The footnote reads:

> Was man sich unter Planetendekanen vorzustellen hat, ist unklar. Gundels Auffassung {Dekane, S. 296) hat keine Grundlage im Text. Insbesondere kann der Wortlaut der Arabers nicht so interpretiert werden, daB es sich um Dekane bellebiger Signa handele und die Wirkung des Planeten an die bloBe Nummer des Dekans im jeweiligen Signum gebunden sei; vielmehr spricht der Text von Dekanen der Planeten selbst. — Das fiir Dekan gebrauchte Wort ist hier wieder wie in Kap. 11 waih „facies".

Which translates to:

How one should imagine planetary decans is not clear. Gundels opinion (Decans, page 296) has no basis in the text. Especially, the wording of the Arabs can not be interpreted in such a way that it’s about the decans of the Signs and the effect of the planet in the decan of the Sign. The text deals with the decans of the planets themselves. - The word used for Decans here again, like in chapter 11 is ‘facies’.

I find it strange that (like you say) there is no mention at all of this in the Warnock edition.

And, I know that there are Mansions of the Moon :wink:
There are 28 of them. This list deals with 2 talismans per decan per planet = 2x3x7=42 It would be hard to confuse these.

Anyway, thank you for responding once again.

Yeah, to be honest it sounds like the two translations are drastically different. I’d be curious to read the Ritter edition and see how it compares, as at least in the Warnock version the astrology more or less makes sense.


I looked into it today. The list you mention IS in chapter 12, but following that list is the list that I was talking about, so this version actually has material that the Warnock edition doesn’t have.

I was searching online for some info on the one that you may have and I found a youtube video where he speaks about the 7 versions he has made.

In the beginning he says ‘Each of these 7 has the full text’

Later on as he describes the Red version: ‘Now this edition is special, as it has a part of text that isn’t included in the other versions’.

(That part also is in the edition I have by the way).

Thank you for your answers.

Ah, that explains it. The Warnock edition is also a lot newer, I believe (2015 compared to 1962?) so it’s odd that it left out portions. I’d compare the two more closely but it didn’t click that the Ritter version is in German which, alas, I am not fluent in. Thanks for the PM by the way! :slightly_smiling_face:

I am studying to become a jhotish; Vedic astrologer. I studied western for many years & found that the Sidereal timing is more accurate.
As far as your question, it would depend on the condition of the house. Is the planet exalted? Debilitated? Retrograde?
A talisman is considered a remedy, especially when pertaining to a specific Nakshatra. If the house is debilitated, a talisman for that particular house could draw more negative karma to u.

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Thank you for your response! I’m afraid either I don’t understand why you are saying what you’re saying or you misinterpreted my question. I was asking specifically for a group of talismans that are connected to the ‘decans of the planets’ and since I have no idea what this term implies, I first wanted to know

  • What are the decans of the Planets? And secondly:
  • When to construct a talisman that is attributed to a certain decan of a planet.

If you know, please share your knowledge. Thank you.

Decans as they are called are actually called Nakshatras. The origin if astrology is in the Vedasbof India. Greeks copied these works, and changed the timing and aspects of them, which is Western astrology.
To answer your quest. each house in astrology is is approximately 30 degrees.
They are separated in 3 sections called padas. For example, poorvabhadra nakshatra in a house can be either aquarius or pisces depending on the degrees.
If it were @ 27 degrees it would be in aquarius. If it was jn the 2nd house with Rahu it would gives good results later in life, however if Saturn was in the 2nd it would restrict the money u have at various times in life.
This is the type of information u need before determining what talisman is best for u.

Thank you. This is not an answer to my question, as I am asking what could be meant by the term ‘decans of the PLANETS’. But I appreciate you taking the time to write a response.

I know that the Signs are divided in decans (which you are referring to as Nakshatras and as Padas), and I know that each decan is ruled by a planet. This however is not what I am asking about.

Rahu (I quickly googled it…) is an entirely new concept to me and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Absolute hogwash. Both Hellenic and Vedic Astrology are derived from Chaldean Astrology. Please make sure you’re adequately versed on a subject before commenting upon it, unless you enjoy spreading disinformation.

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