Degrees in Astrology: Significance of Each Zodiacal Position

Vanessa Castro
18 Min Read
degree in astrology

Astrology is like a deep dive into the human soul, using the cosmos as our guide.

It’s a practice that attempts to link our personalities, our destinies, and our connections to the world to the heavenly bodies that adorn the night sky.

Astrology suggests that our character traits and life events are not random, but rather a reflection of the planetary alignment at the moment of our birth.

Now, astrologers have a pretty handy tool for making sense of all this – the astrological chart.

Picture this chart as a cosmic snapshot, taken at the exact time and place when you first entered the world.

This celestial map is broken down into 360 degrees, just like the zodiac itself.

The zodiac is essentially a sky highway, divided into 12 lanes – or houses.

Each of these houses represents a different part of life, and getting to grips with them is key to unlocking what astrology has to say about us.

Understanding Astrological Degrees

understanding astrology degrees

Think of astrological degrees as a magnifying glass that gives astrologers a closer look at the celestial fingerprints influencing our lives.

In the grand 360-degree circle of the zodiac, each sign claims a 30-degree slice. Now, within those slices, every single degree can tweak the way a planet’s characteristics show up, depending on where it’s positioned.

This level of detail helps astrologers whip up a more nuanced interpretation of someone’s astrological chart.

Imagine that a planet in a sign is the star of a show. The sign hands them their script (which is like their core traits), but the degree can shape how they decide to perform.

Take Venus in Gemini, for instance, it usually signifies a person who seeks mental sparks in relationships.

Yet, the degree of Venus in Gemini can give us a more precise idea of their communication style in relationships, whether they favor breezy banter or profound heart-to-hearts.

Critical Degrees and their Significance

Zodiac Sign TypeDegrees
Cardinal (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn)0, 13, 26
Fixed (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius)9, 21
Mutable (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces)4, 17

In astrology, critical degrees are like the hotspots on a map, certain degrees in each sign pack a real punch in terms of their influence.

They’ve earned the label “critical” because they often pinpoint those make-or-break moments in a chart where big shifts or major life changes tend to happen.

Now, these high-power degrees aren’t spread randomly. There’s a method to the madness.

In the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn), you’ll find these key degrees at 0, 13, and 26.

Meanwhile, the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) sport them at 9 and 21 degrees.

And lastly, for the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), the hot spots lie at 4 and 17 degrees.

In the astrological playbook, these degrees often serve as the launchpads (0 degrees), pressure points (13 and 9 degrees), and finishing lines (26 and 21 degrees) of our lives.

They mirror our life’s cyclical rhythm, a continuous loop of fresh starts, hurdles, and resolutions.

A planet chilling out at a critical degree in someone’s chart? That’s a big deal.

It implies that this planet’s energy is going to play a starring role in that person’s life.

The house where this critical degree hangs out could be where the person faces most trials, transitions, or watershed moments.

For example, if someone has their Moon (which talks about emotions, gut feelings, and needs) sitting pretty at 0 degrees of Aries, it might suggest they have a deep-seated craving for autonomy and a knack for emotionally reinventing themselves.

It could also hint at an important life chapter revolving around the theme of emotional liberation.

Getting a handle on critical degrees adds another layer to how we read an astrological chart.

They bring more texture and subtlety to the mix, enabling us to sketch a more vivid and detailed portrait of an individual’s potential life path and challenges.

Anaretic Degree in Astrology

anaretic degree in astrology

In the world of astrology, there’s this thing called the Anaretic Degree, also known as the “degree of fate.”

It’s the last pit stop, the 29th degree of any sign, right before we cross the border into the next sign. This degree buzzes with a sort of “now or never” energy, a feeling of wrapping things up and getting ready to move on.

Now, planets chilling out in this degree tend to stick out from the crowd. They’re on the brink of hopping into the next sign, so their energy is cranked up to eleven, often leading to a bit of a drama or a “lightbulb” moment.

This heightened intensity can nudge us towards wrapping up loose ends and making some major life tweaks.

Let’s say someone’s got Mars (the planet of go-getters, high-octane energy, and desires) hanging out at the 29th degree of Capricorn (a sign that’s all about structure, self-discipline, and aiming high).

This combo could translate into a kind of do-or-die push to smash career goals, often kick-starting some big changes in the professional department.

While this drive could be a potent motivator, it might also stir up a bit of stress or tension.

Understanding the Degrees of Detriment, Exaltation, and Fall

PlanetExalted at (Degree & Sign)Detriment at (Degree & Sign)Falls at (Degree & Sign)
Sun19 degrees Aries
Mercury15 degrees Virgo
Venus27 degrees Virgo
Mars28 degrees Taurus
Jupiter5 degrees Capricorn

In astrology, there’s this idea of Exaltation, Detriment, and Fall, which speaks to where planets can either flex their muscles the most (Exaltation) or struggle to keep their head above water (Fall).

This notion is tied up with what’s known as essential dignities and these spots in the sky are considered to be pretty powerful.

Basically, when planets find themselves at specific degrees, they could be hitting their Exaltation, Detriment, or Fall.

For instance, the Sun really shines at 10 degrees Aries. This placement supercharges your sense of self, your zest for life, and your life’s mission, putting a spotlight on Aries’ trailblazing and go-getter vibes.

Mercury hits its stride at 15 degrees Virgo, which turns up the volume on Mercury’s knack for analysis, attention to detail, and communication skills.

On the other hand, Venus is at its Fall at 27 degrees Virgo where it struggles to fully express its values and harmonious nature.

Mars is in Detriment at 28 degrees Taurus, indicating a challenge in asserting its energetic and assertive qualities.

And Jupiter’s not a fan of being at 5 degrees Capricorn. Here, Capricorn’s no-nonsense, play-by-the-rules style can put a

dampener on Jupiter’s usual sunny outlook and expansive spirit.

Degrees of the Zodiac and their Symbols

degree of the zodiac

Astrology has its own unique picture book called the Sabian Symbols.

Imagine a collection of 360 quirky images or catchphrases, each one matching up to one of the 360 degrees of the zodiac.

Back in the 1920s, a psychic named Elsie Wheeler “received” these symbols, and an astrologer called Marc Edmund Jones jotted them down to shed light on the deeper symbolic meaning of each degree.

Each Sabian Symbol tells its own story, a kind of metaphorical snapshot that captures the vibe of that particular degree.

They’re not meant to be taken at face value, but instead, they’re like food for thought, a prompt to trigger intuitive insights and understanding.

If a planet in someone’s chart is hanging out at a specific degree, the corresponding Sabian Symbol can offer a fresh perspective on how that planet’s energy plays out in their life.

For example, let’s say someone’s got their Moon (which talks about emotions, gut feelings, and needs) parked at 17 degrees of Gemini.

The Sabian Symbol for this degree is “The head of a robust youth changes into that of a mature thinker.

This could hint at a key life theme around emotional development through intellectual growth and communication.

Fixed Stars and Degrees

Fixed stars are like the steady old-timers of the night sky, celestial bodies that seem to hold their ground while the rest of the starry crowd moves around.

They played a big part in old-school astrology, especially before the idea of astrological houses came into the picture.

Each of these steadfast stars links up with a specific degree of the zodiac, and their vibes seep into that degree and any planet that happens to be visiting that degree in someone’s astrological chart.

The interpretations of fixed stars can run the gamut, and they often tie back to the mythology of the constellation they call home.

They add an extra pinch of flavor to a chart that goes beyond what the signs, houses, and planets alone can dish up.

Some of the heavy hitters in the fixed star world include Regulus, which is known for its ties to the leadership and winning streaks, and Algol, which has a rep for intensity and a knack for stirring up trouble.

Let’s say someone’s got their Sun (which stands for your core self, your life force, and your life’s mission) at the same degree as the fixed star Regulus.

This might mean they’ve got a powerful urge to succeed, the makings of a born leader, or a knack for making a big splash in their chosen field.

Decanates in Astrology

decanates in astrology

In the astrology world, there’s this thing called decanates, or decans for short.

Picture each astrological sign sliced up into three equal pizza slices, each one covering 10 degrees.

Considering the whole zodiac circle is 360 degrees and each zodiac sign takes up a 30-degree chunk of that, each decan gets a third of the pie.

This decan business goes way back to the ancient Egyptians and was later adopted into Hellenistic astrology. It adds another layer to the traits of each sign, helping to dish up more detailed readings.

Each decan has a planet boss, linked to the sign that’s at the head of the decan.

The pecking order of these planetary bosses follows the Chaldean order of the planets, starting with the planet that’s in charge of the sign, then moving on to the planet that’s calling the shots for the next sign of the same element.

Take Aries for example. The first decan (0 to 10 degrees) is under the command of Mars, who’s Aries’ go-to ruler.

The second decan (10 to 20 degrees) falls under the Sun, which is the head honcho for Leo, the next fire sign in line.

Jupiter, who rules Sagittarius, takes the reins for the third decan (20 to 30 degrees), the last of the fire signs.


What is the significance of Each Zodiacal Position in Astrology?

Each Zodiacal position signifies a specific angle in the celestial sphere. These positions can be used to interpret a person’s character traits, behaviors, and potential life events.

Can the degree of a planet in a zodiac sign influence a horoscope?

Yes, the degree of a planet in a zodiac sign can influence a horoscope. The degree indicates the exact location of a planet in the zodiac and can influence the strength and nature of its astrological influence.

How are the zodiac signs divided into degrees?

The Zodiac is a 360-degree circle that is divided into twelve equal parts, each representing a zodiac sign. Each zodiac sign consists of 30 degrees.

What is the difference between a Zodiacal Position and a House in a natal chart?

A Zodiacal Position represents where a planet is located within a specific zodiac sign, expressed in degrees.

A House, on the other hand, represents different areas of life and is determined by the time and place of birth.

There are 12 houses in a natal chart, each associated with different life aspects like self, money, communication, home, etc.

Does the degree of the Ascendant sign matter in astrology?

Yes, the degree of the Ascendant sign, also known as the Rising sign, is very important in astrology.

It represents the zodiac sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the exact moment of someone’s birth and helps in determining their outward behavior and personality.

Can the degrees in astrology indicate compatibility between two people?

Yes, the degrees can indicate compatibility between two people.

When the planets in one person’s natal chart form angles (or “aspects”) with the planets in another person’s natal chart, it can create harmonious or challenging dynamics in the relationship. This is often referred to as Synastry in astrology.

What are critical degrees in astrology?

Critical degrees in astrology are certain degrees of each sign that are considered more potent or significant.

Traditionally, these are 0, 13, and 26 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn), 9 and 21 degrees of fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), and 4 and 17 degrees of mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces).

How does a planet’s degree affect its strength, or “dignity” in astrology?

The degree of a planet can play a role in its “dignity,” or how comfortable and effective it is in a particular sign.

For example, each sign has certain “decans” (10-degree sections), and a planet in a decan ruled by a friendly planet may be considered to have more dignity.

However, dignity is a complex topic and is also heavily influenced by the planet’s sign, house placement, and aspects.

What is Sabian Symbol in Astrology?

Sabian Symbols are a set of 360 symbolic images, one for each degree of the zodiac, that were produced by Elsie Wheeler, a clairvoyant, in the early 20th century.

Each symbol provides a subtle interpretation of the energy of that specific degree.


From the 30-degree chunk that each zodiac sign lays claim to, right down to the finer points of decanates and the special degrees of Exaltation, Detriment, and Fall, every single degree packs a punch of potential insight into your astrological blueprint.

So why not dive in and explore your own natal chart? Check out which degrees your planets, points, and asteroids are hanging out in.

Are they cozying up to a critical degree? Maybe they’ve parked themselves in a degree of Exaltation, Detriment, or Fall? And what about the decans – how are they spread out?

Are any of them rubbing shoulders with a fixed star? Digging into all these placements can unearth a treasure trove of detail about your personality.

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Vanessa learned about astrology at an early age. Growing up she also explored music in different ways. When the time came to pick a career after school, she decided to dive deep into her natal chart in search for a guiding light. Ever since for the past 18 years Vanessa has been studying astrology. Unsure of what professional path to follow, she went to 3 different careers and universities between 2005 and 2018. Choosing a career path felt like a tremendous challenge, until she thought of dedicating to being a professional astrologer.Learn more about her