Kavad 4.8 – making sense of Decans

Ok, this is a quick post to show what’s been occupying my time the last few days. I’ve been reading up on the Decans, because I want them to be part of the Kavad… only, it turns out that they’re a ghastly mess of a system.

There’s evidence that there was something like a Decanate system in Egypt — thirty-six gods ruling over 10 (or sometimes 11) days each. The systems got exported to Babylonia, and probably from there to Hindu astrology, where it became hugely popular. Each face was further subdivided into three “munificences”, so that there was the Sign, and then its three decans, and then nine of these ‘officials’. The idea was that this was a spirit court of all the different layers of officials….

ANYWAY, it hardly seems to matter. Here’s the first Decan of Scorpio. None of the image descriptions from the major sources match each other. They’re not even closely related enough that you could borrow symbols from one and another to add to a third, to make a composite. And they’re all like this.

There’s three basic ways to solve this kind of mess:

1) Pick one person’s list, and stick to it.
2) Pick one person’s list, make that primary, and include a symbol or two from one other source’s list.
3) Sod it for a game of soldiers, and make a completely new list!

I’m unlikely to do #1 or #3… Option #2 is pretty likely. What do you readers think?

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