Critical Degrees in Astrology: Explained!

While most people don’t usually associate astrology with math, astrologers actually have to do a lot of math and geometry when generating horoscopes and reading birth charts. 

A birth chart is laid out in a 360-degree circle (because of the ecliptic). That circle is then divided into 12 segments (made up of the 12 zodiac signs) at 30 degrees each. These are then divided once more into three decans of 10 degrees each. 

The Critical Degrees 

Critical degrees are an ideal in degree theory that some degrees on the zodiac wheel bring more challenges than others. They can bring the worst, but also the best of a sign. The challenges that the degree brings can help create insight on how to make the best of your life’s journey. 

The Ingress — 0° 

The Ingress degree occurs the moment a planet moves into a new sign. This is truly the beginning of an astrological season or the beginning of a planet’s journey through a sign.


Right in the middle between the first degree (0°) and the last (29°), 15 degrees represents the key issue of the sign.  If you have 15 degrees in a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius), this is called “The Avatar Degree.”

The Avatar Degree means you’re the “go-to” person for your friends, family and colleagues. You make things happen with your bountiful luck and resourcefulness. 

Anaretic — 29° 

The Anaretic degree occurs when a planet is at 29 degrees in a sign, which is the last placement of the sign before a planet moves into the next sign. This is a degree of karmic completion, and people with this degree usually appear to be “old souls.” 

This marks the end of a cycle and is often considered the “degree of faith.” In this area and sign in this lifetime, you’ve done everything you can, and now your soul just has to wait for the next season to arrive. 

Degrees Associated with the Zodiac Signs

Every degree is also associated with a zodiac sign. If you have a planet with one of these degrees, expect to feel the traits of that sign with more depth and intensity.  

ARIES = 1, 13, 24°

Taurus = 2, 14, 25°

GEMINI = 3, 15, 26°

CANCER =4, 16, 27°

Leo = 5, 17, 28°

Virgo = 6, 18°

Libra = 7, 18°

Scorpio =8, 19°

Sagittarius =9, 20°

Capricorn = 10, 21°

Aquarius =11, 22°

PISCES = 12, 23°