What Is Degree Theory?
If you’ve taken a good look at your birth chart, you might have noticed there are numbers next to the zodiac placements, referred to as degrees. Each degree represents one of the 12 zodiac signs giving it a specific energy and meaning—this is called degree theory astrology, invented by astrologer Nikola Stojanovic.
Definition of Degree Theory Astrology
“Degree theory is an analytical approach to astrology which adds layers of meaning to placements according to their degree,” explains astrologer and yoga teacher Emily Ridout. “This method works because astrology is a system of associations. By examining the degree of a planet, associations with other signs and personal tendencies can be understood in a more detailed way.”
Below, Ridout shares a simplified version of each astrology degree’s meaning.
Astrology Degrees Meaning
Aries — 1, 13, 25°
Taurus — 2, 14, 26°
READ MORE: Degrees in Astrology, Explained
Gemini — 3, 15, 27°
Cancer — 4, 16, 28°
Leo — 5, 17, 29°
Virgo — 6, 18°
These Virgo degrees denote analytical skills and health in the body thanks to their ruling planet Mercury.
READ MORE: All About Astrology Aspect Symbols
Libra — 7, 19°
Libra degrees focus on “connecting relationally and using the mind to understand the laws of cause and effect,” Ridout says.
Scorpio — 8, 20°
Sagittarius — 9, 21°
Capricorn — 10, 22°
Aquarius — 11, 23°
These degrees relate to Saturn and Uranus and are about self-expression and ingenuity.
Pisces — 12, 24°
Some degrees carry more weight in a birth chart. “If you have a critical degree in your chart, you are more likely to face challenges in that sign until the time comes that you transmute that challenge into your greatest strength,” Ridout says. “Once transmuted, critical degrees carry a weight of great power and influence.”
- For the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), the critical degrees are 0, 13, and 26.
- For the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius), the critical degrees are 8, 9, 21, and 22.
- For the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), the critical degrees are 4 and 17.
How do you read degrees in astrology?
“Each zodiac sign is composed of 30 degrees (0-29), which make up the circle (12 signs x 30 degrees = 360 degrees),” Ridout explains. “When you look at a chart, there is a number placed next to each planet. This is the degree and minute of that placement.”