When you project the Earth’s equator into space (the “ecliptic”), you will find that the Sun, and all the planets orbiting the Sun, are at a 23 some-odd degree incline to it. The Sun exactly crosses the equator twice a year, once on about March 21st (the Vernal Equinox, when spring begins), and once again on about September 21st (The Autumnal Equinox, when autumn begins). Additionally, the Sun is the most north of the equator on about June 21st (the Summer Solstice, when summer begins) and is the most south of the equator on about December 21st (the Winter Solstice, when winter begins).

Remember the basics: The Sun and all the planets move through a narrow band of stars called the Zodiac. That zodiac is at a roughly 23º incline to the Earth’s equator.  Half of the zodiac signs are north of the equator. The other half are south of it.

Which ones?

It is hard to say exactly because the 23º tilt of the earth is not stable. It progresses to incline and decline through the aeons. In the Tropical Zodiac system, which aligns itself not to the stars but to the season, it is simple: The beginning of Aries through to the end of Virgo are north of the equator. The beginning of Libra through to the end of Pisces are south of it. The Summer Solstice occurs at the most northern point of the Tropical Zodiac: the beginning of Cancer. The Winter Solstice occurs at the most southern point: the beginning of Capricorn.

Therefore we use the tropical zodiac whenever we calculate declination.

“Declination” is a measurement of how far north or south of the equator a planet currently is. It’s pretty easy to tell just by knowing what sign a planet is in. A planet in Cancer will always be much more northerly than a planet in Capricorn, for example. But each planet also has a slightly unique tilt towards our equator. Knowing this would let you know which planet would have a higher northern declination if they were both near the same degree of the zodiac.

Declination is a (small) part of what makes a planet strong or weak. Different planets are strong at different points:

Strongest Weakest
Moon & Saturn Southern Declination –
0º Cancer
Northern Declination –
0º Capricorn
Sun, Jupiter, Mars & Venus Northern Declination –
0º Capricorn
Southern Declination –
0º Cancer
Mercury Souther or Northern –
0º Cancer or 0º Capricorn
Equatorial –
0º Aries or 0º Libra
– Vic DiCara
© 2010 Vic DiCara, All Rights Reserved


  1. jesse says:


    i have been practicing astrology for the last three years,
    this article declination and astrology is confusing me a bit.

    the reason is we live in northern hemisphere and also the most of the population. of the world.

    this declination seems with respect to north. but what about the southern hemisphere. there must exists the inclination.
    when here is summer in north then there is winter in the south.

    my question arises is why the perspective of astrology is not different in the southern hemisphere?



    1. vicdicara says:

      Declination is relative to the celestial equator. Thus when a planet has northern declination it has northern declination everywhere on earth. The declination is relative to the projection of the equator. No matter where you or I might be the equator is still in the same place.


      1. jessee says:


        thanks for the comments.

        but the question is again the same.
        we have two poles but one equator.
        every thing form season and other many natural activities goes just opposite to the north in the south. seasons are opposite, direction of air flow to water flow or direction and rotation of cyclones….. everything is opposite. why we mark the existing north pole as north pole. why not we marked the south pole the north pole. in the space there is no direction then why north is taken upside and south as down side.

        my reason to say this is if all the above things are true then we should change directions and perspective in the south hemisphere. we can say sun rises in the west in the southern hemisphere due to rotation of earth. north node is the south node in the southern hemisphere and vice verse. and so on to the other things.



    2. vicdicara says:

      Astrology is not practiced for people who live in space. It is practiced for us on earth.

      Seasons are different in the northern and southern hemisphere, declination is not. Where the sun rises is called “east” it is the same regardless of your hemisphere. The noon position is called the 10th house, regardless of your position on the globe, the stars set in the west, etc. etc. All these things have nothing to do with what hemisphere you live in. The “northern” and “southern” nodes have nothing to do with earthly north and south poles. The reason you are asking all these questions is because dont have a sound understanding of how astrology operates. Take the fundamental course I offer, or at least read the textbook – Symbolic Keys of Astrology.


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