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Aries III: A Journey Through the Decans

The Sun has just finished its trek across the last ten degrees of Aries, the span of degrees known as the third decan of Aries. So far in our decan walk, we’ve encountered the initiatory, conquering energy of Aries I, and the stabilizing, judicious energy of Aries II. In Aries III, we encounter an energy of balance and beauty.


The planetary ruler of this decan is Venus, the counterpoint to Mars, the ruling planet of Aries. The drive to act and achieve in Aries I (the Mars-ruled decan of a Mars-ruled sign) is soothed into a place of harmony and pleasure in Aries III.


The tarot card associated with this decan is the 4 of Wands. In the Rider Waite Coleman-Smith deck, we see four wands festooned in ribbons and flowers, arranged like a chuppah and invoking the ideas of wedding and celebration. There are two people with flower garlands in their hair, raising bouquets above their head joyously, with other people in the background perhaps dancing or chatting. It is certainly the scene of a party! The name of this card is “Perfected Work” and there is a sense to this card of culmination and completion. Of accomplishment warranting celebration. 

There is something of creativity in this card also. The flowers convey a sense of verdancy. The melding of Mars and Venus can bring about new life. When we harness the potent driving power of Mars through the lens of Venusian beauty and harmony, what art can we create?


But Venus and Mars are not equal in this slice of the sky, T. Susan Chang notes in her book 36 Secrets. Aries is the house of Mars, and this decan but a guest room that Venus can call her own. So while beauty and celebration may be the energy of decan, the primary purpose is still martial. This could speak to the feigned friendliness required in diplomacy, or whispering sweet nothings to bend someone to your will.


How does this show up in the birth chart? If someone has their Sun or Mars here, do they feel the rage of Mars’s fire tempered by Venus’s beauty and harmony? If your Venus is here, do you relate to people passionately, are you draw to creative outlets, are you the life of the party? Decoding natal placements (or translating transiting astrology) through the lens of each decan is challenging but can offer additional richness and depth to the meaning of that astrology. Do you have any natal placements in this decan and, if so, do you see ways that the meanings of this decan influence how those planets express?

To learn more about this series and for links to all the other decan articles, check out the main Journey Through the Decans post.


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