Understanding the enumeration of the degrees


Well-known member
Greetings. There seems to be a lot of confusion as to how to read the degrees when dealing with degree symbols.
First off, there are thirty degrees numbered 1 through 30...not 0 through 29.
...There is no such thing as a Zero degree as there is no 00* 00' 00"...a sign starts at 00* 00' 01"...but more accurately it is actually 00* 00' 00.oooooooo....................................... ...........................................o1" but it would be ridiculous to have to write it out that way...thus we say it begins at 00* 00' 01". [as they don't break down seconds of degrees to anything smaller]
That is the beginning of the first degree which culminates at 01* 00' 00" and includes it....the next degree...the 2nd degree starts at 01* 00' 01' which culminates at 02* 00' 00" and includes it...and so on...and then that sign culminates at 30* 00' 00" and includes it...

Here's a link to a list of all the symbols..you will notice that they are numbered from 1 to 30...not 0 to 29...as a further visual aid to understanding.

http://www.mindfire.ca/An Astrological Mandala/An Astrological Mandala - Contents.htm
Last edited:


Well-known member
Hi. I responded to this sticky on a thread following a reference to it, so I thought I would also place an edited version of that response here.

It is noted in the above post that if we were to be ultra-precise, we would start a sign at 00*00'00.00000000.......01" but that since we only work to seconds of arc we use 00*00'01"

Actually, 00*00'00.00000....01" is much much closer to 00*00'00' than it is to 00*00'01"

On the other thread, you say that today ends at 12:00:00, and tomorrow begins at 12:00:01, but then what is the date at 12:00:00.5 ?

Actually, as you suggest when talking about degrees, it would be more accurate to say that tomorrow starts at 12:00:00.00000.....01 than to say it starts at 12:00:01

In each case, we are trying to find the smallest increment possible, so that our notation doesn't suggest that there is a gap between the beginning of one degree/sign/day and the next. In other words, we are saying that the point in time when a day ends and another begins, or the point on the ecliptic where one sign/degree ends and another begins, is infinitesimally small.

In the past I have thought of a sign ending at 29*59'59", but on reflection I wouldn't use this method or the method you suggested - I would say that a sign ends at 30*00'00" and the next sign begins at 00*00'00" and that these are exactly the same point.

Software that astrologers use often rounds values off to the nearest second of arc. This means that when a value of 00*00'00" or 30*00'00" is given, we don't actually know if it is at the very end of one sign or the very beginning of the next. And it means that when a value of 03*00'00" is given, we don't know if it is at the very end of the 3rd degree of the sign, or the very beginning of the 4th degree.

Only one in every 3600 values will be given as 00'00" where values are rounded off to the nearest second of arc. But often we only see degrees and minutes, which means that one in 60 values are ambiguous. In these cases, we can investigate further if we want to try to find out which side of that infinitesimally small point the factor is on. Personally I would shy away from using the Sabian symbol in such cases.


Well-known member
Here's a chart for January 11, 2014 and I'm focusing on Mercury here.
This is the last second in time by astrodienst that Mercury registered at 29* Capricorn 59' 59"

and here is the next second in time by astrodienst.



Well-known member
Well it seems that astrodienst doesn't recognize a 30* 00' 00" increment.
But when taken into consideration that they refer to the last degree, i.e. the anaretic degree, of any sign they call it the 29th degree. Check it out in this screen shot I took of Googles' search index results for "Anaretic Degree"

What do they call the first degree...the Zeroith degree...!?!?:rolleyes:

If I was the programmer that designed this I would have had the first second following 29* 59' 59" as 30* 00' 00" and the very next second as 00* 00' 01".

Granted it is far more fleeting an event than a second in time...or is it? There are objects and even planets yet to be rediscovered in our solar system that are even slower moving than Pluto...likely far slower moving...they might just connect at 30* 00' 00" for as much as a full second, maybe even more.
And what about "fixed stars"?


Well-known member
My advice to anyone that gets a figure of 00* 00' 00" on a chart cast by astrodienst, is to check back one second in time. If the result is 29* 59' 59" then consider what you have as to possibly be 30* 00' 00".

If after checking back one second it then still comes up as 00* 00' 00", then it is unquestionably in the 1st degree of the following sign. [that is as far as astrodienst being infallibly accurate, that is:whistling:]

But any measure that comes in that close one way or the other is likely to have barely any noticeable amount of comparatively more influence from the [precept that is presentationally given as a] Sabian Symbol as to the one preceding or as to that of the following... imho, of course ...but there will be a difference and it may make a world of difference to the Creator all the same and as in regard to those individuals born as avatars, archetypes, those destined to be "World Servers" of the highest regard, the first order, or as the such then I would have to say that, "yes it probably does make quite the world of difference to our Creator".
If you were to ask me if any one of those so deemed, as those aforementioned, has ever been born on so exact a cusp that it would be regarded by our Creator as to be on the XX* 00' 00" of any degree of the Zodiac, I could only honestly answer, "God only knows".:wink:
Last edited:


Well-known member

...I just picked that date at random as I pulled up astrodiensts' printed ephemeris for this year and naturally took a peek at January first off and saw Mercury about to change and went with it...

,,and you know what, I just noticed the test charts have the 20th of Virgo for Asc. with a M.C. of the 19th of Gemini ...that is what my brother has for his natal chart axis...:sideways:

...and the 19th of Gemini is what is produced for the position of Mars for the date 0003 A.D. at 5:23 on April 2, by the Gregorian calendar.
That is a theoretical chart I cast using the date given by renowned 20th century American clairvoyant Edgar Cayce for the actual birth of Jesus/Yeshu'a of Nazareth...

...I mean, what are the odds of that?:wink::biggrin:

I just love it when the Cosmos likes to play syncronisticism with me:cool:


Well-known member


UPDATE, APRIL 7, 2021. Now mindfire has their web page back online but the web page containing Marc Edmond Jones is now defunct... Sheeesh... Like I've got nothing better to do than constantly check websites to see 'what is' and 'what is no more'...
I updated the link to mindfire's presentation of Rudhyar's book on the Sabian Symbols in my first post above [as of today, April 7, 2021]
The best advice I can give is to try to obtain both in book form , either printed or in "E" form... and in fact it's best to have both printed and "E" form for both Rudhyar's and Jones'.

Mindfire has the entire book except for chapter two in Part three. That missing chapter is titled "Binary Relationships between Zodiacal Signs" and it is about how, starting with Aries and Taurus, Rudhyar presents an understanding taken from the Indian Theosophist, Subba Row, that every two successive Signs in pairs, six pairs altogether, combine as one of six different "zyzygies" ... in the philosophical meaning of the word and not the astronomical. Every two Signs, one male followed by one that is female [as Aries is a male Sign while Taurus is female] are one of six different collective types of energy, and power, to each which are identified as one of six types of yogic energies, given in Sanskrit taken from the Vedas, six types of shakti.

They are as follows..

Aries' and Taurus' form a zyzygy of Parashakti,

Gemini and Cancer form Gnanashakt,

Leo and Virgo form Ichchashakti,

Libra and Scorpio form Kriyashakti, [and those of you familiar with the Self Realization Fellowship, Paramahansa Yogananda's legacy, should recognize the word as He taught a synthesized type of yoga called Kriya Yoga],

Sagittarius and Capricorn form Kundalinishakti, and

Aquarius and Pisces form Matrikashakti.
[this means "literally the force or power of letters or speech, or music.The whole of the ancient Mantra Shastra has this force or power in all its manifestations for its subject matter. The power of the Word which Jesus Christ speaks of is a manifestation of this shakti. The influence of music is one of its ordinary manifestations. The power of the mirific ineffable Name is the crown of this Shakti." Subba Row]
Rudhyar, in this chapter, mentions that Subba Row wrote, [from "The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac" in A Collection of Esoteric Writings of Subba Row, Bombay, 1917]. "The ancients held that any idea will manifest itself externally if one's attention is deeply concentrated upon it... A yogi generally performs his wonders by means of Ichchashakti and Kriyashakti." And it is the combination of Ichchashakti, [which is the power of the Will] combined with Matrikashakti [the power of the Word] by which the entire Universe was created
Last edited: