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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Dwad, or dwadashamsa, derived from the Sanskrit for 12-division, refers to the 12 subdivisions of 2½° that comprise a sign. It is one of the few concepts from Vedic astrology that has been regularly utilized by Western astrologers. Each of the 12 dwads is associated with one of the 12 signs, with the first dwad being associated with the larger sign being subdivided into twelfths. The second dwad is then associated with the next sign in the order of the zodiac, and so forth through all 12 signs. Thus, for example, the first dwad of Scorpio is the Scorpio dwad; the second dwad of Scorpio is the Sagittarius dwad; the third, Capricorn; the fourth, Aquarius; etc.

The dwads indicate a subsidiary influence. Thus, for example, someone born when the Sun was at 6° Scorpio will be slightly influenced by the sign Capricorn; although she or he will still be Scorpio, the normal influence of this sign will be somewhat modified by Capricorn. This modification is relatively minor and is usually ignored by Western astrologers unless they are examining the subtleties of a particular chart. When dwads are used at all, the focus is almost always the sun sign; in Western astrology, the dwads of the other planets are usually ignored.


Gettings, Fred. Dictionary of Astrology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985.
Lee, Dal. Dictionary of Astrology. New York: Paperback Library, 1969.
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