The #Astrology of Anaretic Degrees

fixed stars

(Astrology Explored) Why Is The 29º Of A Planet (the anaretic degree) considered More Than All The Other degrees?

Mercury is retrograde which is my excuse. I have bunches of good astrology articles on Quora that aren’t getting as much love as they should and the WordPress phone app makes it easy to post, so I’m sharing a few here.

Astrologer Anthony Picco asked me the above question on Quora, and pleased as punch I answered it straight away.

Astrologers consider 29 degrees of any sign an anaretic, or critical degree. Actually, there is a broad list of critical degrees, and not just the number 29.

Here is a list critical degrees I got from Cafe Astrology:

Classic critical degrees are as follows:

0, 13, and 26 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn)

8-9 and 21-22 degrees of fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius); and

4 and 17 degrees of mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces).

And then there are 29 degrees which also seems significant. But why?

It’s ancient astrology.

I got this bit off of Sky Script: :: View topic

Anthony Louis has described the Critical Degrees in his book ‘Horary Astrology Plain and Simple” and mentions that these degrees were in fact based on the Lunar Mansions. These Mansions were, however, not Indian, but Arabian. The Arabian system has 28 Mansions whereas the Indian system has only 27 as Sari mentioned. (The Chinese had also their own system of Lunar Mansions btw). 

As far as I understand it the Lunar Mansions is one of the oldest systems around, but the origin is not clear. They were apparently originally used to teach people to locate the most (?) important fixed stars in the heaven. There is a debate going on whether this system can be used with the tropical zodiac or should be used only sidearally since it is based on the fixed stars.

The earliest astrology, from which we have cuneiform records from Mesopotamia made predictions from the position of the seven visible planets against fixed stars. What are the origins of astrology? (My Quora answer)

And Anthony is right. When you look at these critical degrees, they correspond to fixed stars in these degrees. Astrom Council | Astrology | Birth Charts | and Readings in Johua Tree

0, 13, and 26 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn

1°03 Aries – Kerb: Danger of being jilted by a lover. Neutral; Mars/ Mercury

12°47 Aries – Alderamin: Gravity, sternness, judgment, severe trials, poetry, drama. Fortunate; Saturn/ Jupiter

14°18 Aries – Alpheratz: Grace, popularity, independence, honors. Fortunate; Venus

13°48 Cancer – Dziban (The Two Jackals): Artistic, emotional but sombre; penetrating, analytical mind, much travel, many friends; danger of robbery and accidental poisoning. Craft, ingenuity, valour. A binary star in Draco, the Dragon. Unfortunate; Saturn/ Mars

14°05 Cancer – *Sirius (the Dog Star; the Sun of the Sun; the prime Sun of our Galaxy): Ambition, pride, emotionality, fame, leadership, wealth, fires, drought, danger through impetuosity. Fortunate; Jupiter/ Mars

14°51 Cancer – *Canopus (Ship of the Desert): Voyages, journeys, creativity; scandal, violence; great glory, fame, wealth; changes evil to good; the Rishi (Hindu sage) Agasthya; star of St Catharine; helmsman of the Argo. Fortunate; Saturn/ Jupiter

25°47 Cancer – *Procyon: Violence, sudden success then disaster, occult, politics, dissipation. Unfortunate; Mars/ Mercury

13°27 Libra – Algorab: Scavenging, destructiveness, repulsiveness, malevolence, fiendishness and lying, suicide, greed, injuries. Unfortunate; Mars/ Saturn

24°14 Libra – *Arcturus: Inspiration, riches, fame, honour, popularity, benefits through travel, success through work. Very Fortunate; Jupiter/ Mars

1°04 Capricorn – Spiculum: Eye trouble, blindness, depression, hopelessly doomed, morbid religious outlook, no concern for human life. Unfortunate; Mars/ Moon

1°16 Capricorn – Alnasl: Eye trouble, blindness (or bad eyesight). Unfortunate; Mars/ Moon

15°19 Capricorn – *Vega: Luck in politics, artistic talent, fleeting fame, double dealing, generosity, practicality. Fortunate; Venus/ Mercury

25°51 Capricorn – Terebellum: Strength and power, rise in life, riches, cunning, disgrace. Fortunate; Venus/ Saturn

8-9 and 21-22 degrees of fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius);

7°12 Leo – *Praesaepe: Inner drive, reclusive, blindness, murder, tragedy, fires. Unfortunate; Mars/ Moon

7°24 Leo – *North Asellus (Asellus Borealis): Patience, beneficence and courage, heroic and defiant leader. Fortunate; Sun/ Mars

8°35 Leo – *South Asellus (Asellus Australis): Military preferment, blindness, eye trouble, shipwreck, mass murder, horrors, self-willed, uncooperative. Unfortunate; Sun/ Mars

20°42 Leo – Ras Elased Aust (Algenubi): Cruel, heartless, bold, bombastic, brutish, destructive, artistic appreciation. power of expression, spiritual gifts, leadership. Neutral; Saturn/ Mars

22°00 Leo – “Own Worst Enemy”: An unfortunate degree. No freedom to act on one’s own behalf.

6°57 Scorpio – Khambalia: Deep research of any kind, police investigation, espionage and esoteric subjects. Fortunate; Mercury/ Mars

19°00 Scorpio – Serpentis (the “Accursed Degree”): A malefic degree, tragedy, misfortune, the “Accursed Degree”. This degree does not precess; Unfortunate; Mars/ Saturn

19°23 Scorpio – *North Scale (Zuben Alschemali): Honours, wealth, distinction, brilliant mind, success in sports, politics, war, religion, writing, tragedy, violence, melancholy. Fortunate; Jupiter/ Mercury/ Mars

22°04 Scorpio – *Alpha Serpentis (Unukalhai): Success followed by fall, suicide, insanity, accidents, success in war, politics, writing, problems in love, forgery, shipwreck, loss, earthquake. Unfortunate; Saturn/ Mars

23°48 Scorpio – Agena: Good health, high morals, disillusion through love, success with the masses. Fortunate; Venus/ Jupiter

20°12 Aquarius – Castra: Destructiveness, uncontrollable temper, malevolence. Unfortunate; Saturn/ Jupiter

21°47 Aquarius – *Nashira: Writing, government, religion, overcomes evil. Fortunate; Saturn/ Jupiter

23°07 Aquarius – Kitalpha: Gives friendship and sagacity but frivolity and love of pleasure. Neutral; Mercury/ Venus

23°46 Aquarius – *Sadalsuud: Fortuna Fortunarum, great fortune; astrology, occult, government, business, psychic, visionary, originality; personal charm; temperance; aviation. Fortunate; Saturn/ Mercury

23°50 Aquarius – Deneb Algedi: A wise leader; finding the joy inherent in sorrow – and vice versa; glory and fame if death is avoided; betrayal, loss of position if associated with Sun or Moon. Fortunate; Saturn/ Jupiter

4 and 17 degrees of mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces

02°05 Gemini – Mirfak (Alpha Perseus): Indicative of events effecting large numbers of people, especially those caused by major meteorological phenomena. Bold, adventurous, somewhat dishonest. Fortunate; Jupiter/ Saturn

5°45 Gemini – *Hyades: Scandal, violence, disgrace, imprisonment. Unfortunate; Saturn/ Mercury

15°19 Pisces – Achernar: Sudden success in public office, religious benefits, access to another realm. Fortunate; Jupiter (“the mouth of the River” a constellation extending over several Signs. NOTE: stars in this constellation (Eridanus) are ruled by Saturn, with the exception of Achernar, the brightest)

2°18 Sagittarius – *Yed Prior: Success in astrology & 9th house matters, shrewd. Fortunate; Saturn/ Venus

5°36 Sagittarius – Marfik: Passionate, blindly good-hearted, easily seduced, healer with herbs. Neutral; Saturn/ Venus

17°58 Sagittarius – Sabik: Wastefulness and lost energy, perverted moral, success in evil deeds. Unfortunate; Saturn/ Venus

3°52 Pisces – *Fomalhaut: A Royal Star. Archangel Gabriel, the Watcher of the South. Congenital birth defects, magic, fame, occult, faith, “Star of Alchemy”, addiction, undesirable associates. Fortunate; Venus/ Mercury/ Neptune

5°16 Pisces – *Deneb Adige (Alpha Cygnus): Intelligent, creative, original, naive, astrology, writing, the public, dog bites. Fortunate; Venus/ Mercury

15°19 Pisces – Achernar: Sudden success in public office, religious benefits, access to another realm. Fortunate; Jupiter (“the mouth of the River” a constellation extending over several Signs. NOTE: stars in this constellation (Eridanus) are ruled by Saturn, with the exception of Achernar, the brightest)

29 Degrees:

29°23 Aries – Alrisha: Unifying influence with groups. Fortunate; Mars/ Mercury

29°58 Taurus – Pleiades (The Seven Sisters): Accidents, blindness, violence, homosexuality, feminine power. Unfortunate; Constellation of 7 stars (refer Alcyone)

28°34 Gemini – Polaris * (The Pole Star): Sickness, trouble, loss, affliction, spiritual powers. Unfortunate; Saturn/ Venus

28°45 Gemini – Betelgeuse * (Orion’s Right Shoulder): Calamities, danger, violence. Unfortunate; Mars/ Mercury

29°53 Leo – *Regulus (Lion’s Heart): The most Royal Star. Raphael, the Healing Archangel, the Watcher of the North. Nobility, ambition, alertness, great power, status, leadership, sudden downfall, accidents, violence. Fortunate; Mars/ Jupiter/ Uranus

28°54 Virgo – Markeb: Voyages, educational work, broad knowledge, piety. Fortunate; Saturn/ Jupiter

29°36 Scorpio – Toliman (Bungula): Occult and philosophical learning, self analysis, honours, stubborn, cruel. Fortunate; Venus/ Jupiter

27°58 Sagittarius – Etamin: Liking solitude, good concentration, dishonour, downfall and loss of prestige, esoteric and philosophical studies. Neutral; Mars/ Moon

27°45 Aquarius – Gienah: Soar to great heights, potential of sudden downfall. Neutral; Venus/ Mercury

29°22 Pisces – *Scheat: Imprisonment, murder, suicide, drowning, extreme misfortune. Unfortunate; Mars/ Mercury

What can we conclude?

If you notice, many of these degrees contain the most extreme of predictions, great wealth and good fortune or horrible death.

Is this a perfect system? No, there are gaps, and there are more fixed stars than what’s in this list. But some unnamed astrologer or groups of astrologers saw a pattern with the fixed stars and used them for predictions. Through the millennia it became the part of the general body of traditional knowledge handed down and assumed to be true.

Whether they are valuable in predictive astrology, or if the anaretic degrees are useful of prediction remains up for debate.


For an excellent article on the origins of the zodiac see Bob’s hand’s article on Astrodienst: Robert Hand: History of Astrology

Read more of Tony Louis’ excellent understanding of astrology at Anthony Louis – Astrology & Tarot Blog

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