On the Anaretic 29th “Master” Degree

There is much written on the anaretic, or 29th degree, that is easily searchable. In my own personal research I have read much of this material, and encourage you to do the same, but this article addresses points and perspectives that I have not found addressed beyond niche works that I have sought out specifically. I hope that it is of benefit to you, Seeker!

I have a particular interest in this degree because my Moon, which happens to also be my most elevated major body (by a very long shot), is at Aries at the 29th degree, in the 10th angular house and 9th whole sign house. As such, of course I am writing about this on my blog as an educational primer. Of course!

Anar-what???

A pomegranate cut in sections, but still attached at the bottom. The many juice-filled seeds are bright and look quite delicious.

The 29th degree (and also the 0th degree, but I will not be discussing that in this article) is referred to as “anaretic.” Because this is a word that does not exist in any non-astrological context that I have ever found (I don’t have access to the OED right now, but most likely, it isn’t in there either), I am inclined to interpret the word’s etymology myself.

Looking very quickly on my Mac’s “dictionary” app (quite the researcher, I know), the only reference that is not a Proper Name is the following: “Anar, the name for pomegranate in multiple languages.” A quick search and Wikipedia popping up shows that Persian is one of those languages. My knowledge of the origins of that language is basically nothing. I suspected that Persian would have been related to Arabic, which would have made me feel better, due to Astrology’s heavy influence by the Arabic tradition, but, according to this Quora thread with a graphic showing a language family tree, it is actually Indo-European, whereas Arabic is Afro-Asiatic. I won’t push this any further and instead chalk it up to synchronicity and interpret the symbol of the pomegranate: of course, this fruit is representative of Knowledge Itself, being the Fruit that Eve ate from in the Bible (it wasn’t an apple, guys!). Pomegranate represents life and death, the full seed bursting with juice, so fragile that to touch it gets its blood all over you! The membrane is thin “as f***” as people say these days. I know this much, that whenever I feel nutritionally depleted and am in the juice section, Pomegranate is what I run to. It’s my favorite “superfruit” for sure (yeah, I see you with your Chia, and Acai… good luck buddy, and a mocking cackle for the road!!!!!) It contains so much power, so much knowledge! So, we can call the anaretic degree the Pomegranate degree. This is very much in line with the traditional readings of it, as a body in the 29th is said to possess all of the knowledge of the sign. It is known to some as the Master degree, in the sense of, a native born under the anaretic degree will be challenged to Master what that planet means in that sign, before “dying” in that sign and being reborn in the next.

Exact Degree is Really Important in General!

Many practitioners in both the classical and contemporary worlds are very clear and adamant about each degree being very much its Own Thing, just as each Sign is its Own Thing. I wrote on the strictness of Signs considerably in my article “No, You’re Not “On the Cusp” of Two Zodiac Signs – & Why Not : a Text Lecture on the difference between Signs and Houses, Borders and Gradients, and finding your Sun on a Natal Chart Horoscope.” If that’s tl;dr for you right now, or you already know, simply put: because the Tropical signs are based off of the Aries Point, and thus our Solar Seasons (the Solstices and Equinoxes, not the constellations; Sidereal Astrology is based on the constellations/stars, thus the word “sidereal”), sign ingresses (moving into a new sign) is a Big Deal. That’s also why the Anaretic degree is such a Big Deal: because it is the final period before the ingress.

Contemporary practitioners tend to be more lax, but, in such systems such as the Sabian Symbols, exact degree actually is important. In traditional Astrology, though, it is much more of a big deal. For starters, just like every planet has two signs that it rules, and one that it is exalted within, there is one particular degree in the exaltation sign that the planet is even more exalted and that is called of course the “exaltation degree.” You can find more about this at the article “The Origin of the Planetary Exaltations: Signs and Degrees” by Andrew J. Bavan, QHP, DMS Astrol. I just found it right now while writing this! It explains exactly why each planet is exalted at its exaltation degree. Fascinating stuff and I highly recommend it.

But as far as the tradition goes, exact degree within the 360 system is extremely important.

There is a word known as partile that refers to “being in the same degree.” This can be used for a conjunction, or any aspect. For example, two points, one at 3°0’0″ and one at 3°59’59”, would be partile. If they were in, say, Aries and Cancer, that would be a “partile square.” I remember one time in one of the IAA classes that I took, I incorrectly used that word, thinking it meant “within 1° of each other,” and I was quickly corrected by my teacher. Even if, say, we had an aspect of two points at 2°59’29” and 3°0°00, that would still not be partile, despite being otherwise as close to exact as you can get. This is how important degree is in the Classical Tradition.

The 360° dial being divided in that way also lends itself to the sign divisions that we know as “decans” or “faces” (every 10°). There are also the “terms,” of which there are 5 in every sign, but not at exact divisions, and there are multiple “term” systems that have slightly different demarcations. I won’t get into that here because I don’t use them much, nor have I researched the different term systems enough to have an opinion on their selection (and also because it has nothing to do with the topic at hand), but it is worth mentioning.

To elaborate on how degree-specific the classical tradition is, a quotation from Helena Avelar & Luis Ribeiro’s “On the Heavenly Spheres” page 223:

“According to the tradition, the individual degrees of each sign also contain specific qualities that allow for greater detail in delineation. Degrees can be classified as feminine or masculine, fortunate, obscure, void, luminous, etc.”

So, it is pretty inarguable that according to tradition, each degree is actually really important, and can and does have many specific qualities. However, many critics of the tradition have said things like that these parameters are “splitting hairs.” Vic Dicara (who is Vedic, but uses the Tropical zodiac, which he argues very well is supported by the Vedas, and, who grew up just a few towns away from me, a decade and a half before my time! Hi Homeboy Vic!!!) wrote in a recent Facebook post that I am not taking the time to link, that these measures are useless anyway because observational astrology has a 2-3° margin of error in the first place (is that true? Don’t ask me). More “spiritually” as opposed to “mathematically” oriented astrologers (and I shudder to draw that dichotomy anyway, but, drawing a point here) often criticize to this tune. And, myself, having started to touch my toes into the Mayan 13:20 matrix, through the work of Jose Arguelles, and this great blog The 13:20 Frequency Shift by Stephanie South (one article I had in mind particularly, “Clear Seeing in a World Gone Mad,” discusses these issues, but the whole blog is worth reading), am questioning all of this anyway! From what I glean from the linked article, and my limited knowledge, the point is that the entirety of the 360° or 12:60 (divided by 2) system is considered the automation from which we are working to break free from in this time, instead moving forward into Freedom. I’m not doing any justice to me Mayan knowledge here: I’m still learning, and I don’t know nearly enough about 13:20 to profess it. But, I have been focusing a lot more on the Lunar energies lately, and would really like to see our existence break out of its perceptual cages. We have to, if we are going to make it through this time.

OK back on track. I forget sometimes that people are trying to follow me here. Sticking with the task at hand.

But does it have to be 29? My Planet is at 28 and I want to be a Master too!!!

This was a side note, but, of course, I have to get to the bottom of things, or at least do my best to examine this as holistically as I can.

In my research of what others had to say about this degree, I found a page by an Astrologer named Zarathu that addressed what may seem to be a minor question, as I haven’t read many other inquiries about it, but it is actually very important. I had read many references to Zarathu before, as apparently they had contributed in a HUGE way to the online discussion of advanced and professional astrology over the past many years, both on his own forum (apparently defunct) and the one on Astrology Weekly. Thus I very much respect Z, as a ceaseless giver of unique and experienced teachings in the field. When I found their page 22 Points on the 29th, I was pretty excited. I don’t want to go off the deep end here (OK I do, sorry guys), but the one point I am bringing this up for is Point 6:

“My wife who leaves everything to being changeable into the future has Saturn at the 28ARI44, which is 29th by any other name…”

How challenging, for me to address the question of whether a planet at 28°44 Aries is anaretic, considering that this all began because of my 29°42 Aries Moon! You gotta be kidding me!!!

Where is the line, on the same-sign side? I don’t know, mann, you gotta find your own stride.

Sorry, slipped into Bard Mode. Ok, Back now.

Because the Pomegranate Degree is considered so special because of its position marking the very end of a sign before a new one begins, and because the 0th degree is also considered anaretic (for the juxtaposing reason of that it is the “newborn” of that sign, then, I am less inclined to be harsh with the mathematics here. I also have worked with a person with an “anaretic by any other name”,” a Pisces Moon at 28°12′, and they are so much an anaretic Pisces Moon that I thought they were actually a 29th degree before I checked the chart again. I would say that allowing some leeway for an anaretic Moon or faster body is much more allowable than allowing for a 28° than a slower body. I mean, think about it: if you’re on a DMV line, let’s say, and each person ahead of you takes 10 minutes at the counter, you’re going to notice each 10 minutes a lot more than if it’s only a 30 second one-off. Of course, Zarathu thinks that even Saturn can be anaretic at the 28th and 44, but, that actually DOES round up to 29, whereas 28°12 rounds down. Hair splitting again! It gets even more complicated when we read what Bavan has to say about Venus and Mars’ exaltation degrees: we receive even more support for both the the “faster bodies have more anaretic leeway” and the “any body has a certain amount of anaretic leeway” stances:

Venus is exalted in 27 degrees Pisces because here she has yet two degrees ahead of her and has a solid grip at the end of the last sign. This symbolises completion, contention, peace and rest.

Mars is exalted in 28 degrees Capricorn because here he is in the height of the sign, which represents the achievement of ambitions. But he is also ready for redirection, because the degree of his exaltation touches the 29th degree and a planet in the last 3 degrees of a sign is already looking for the next (derived from Bonatus aph.30,p19 & Lilly, CA p122). This makes him restless and impatient, ready to move towards new aims.

Bavan references Bonati and Lilly (who are Foundational Parents of our tradition) in his claim that the anaretic area is not only the 29th, but the last 3 degrees. And you know, to be quite frank, despite the hair-splitting that is often done, and that I often do myself in many cases, in the case of the Final Anaretic (as opposed to the First Anaretic, the 0th, which again we are not talking about here, besides in passing), we can really have some leeway here. The 27th or 28th degree is not as anaretic, or ripe with juice, as the 29th, no. Obviously, the ante is upped as we go along until we cross over. In many cases, they most certainly could be considered within the same anaretic energetic function, though.

A quick expansion, then conclusion to move forward, just as 29° calls for us to do! How meta of me!!!!!

But, if we look at this all from a numerological point of view, we find that the hair-splitting is necessary more than ever, and that, in fact, no, the 29th degree is explicit. It is a PRIME number, after all. It stands alone. In fact, my true catalyst for writing this article in the first place was reading in my Brand Spanking New copy of Aleister Crowley’s 777 the following, under “THE MEANING OF THE PRIMES FROM 11 TO 97”:

29: The magick force itself, the masculine current.”

As I have begun my Thoth Tarot and Crowley studies again after putting them to the side for a very long time, I am starting to see things in the Numerological perspective more than I have in the past when I was focusing purely on Astrology “as it is.” Numerology is not explicitly addressed much in the Classical Astrology tradition, but, if we approach Astrology as one of many Divinitory/Psychomagical modalities in the Western tradition, alongside its Sisters, we can greatly expand our understanding of it, and therefore our potential as practitioners of Divinitory/Psychomagical Arts. Just like cross-training can help an Athlete to take their performance to previously unknown new heights, cross-training in the Sacred Arts is proving to help my own growth in these fields.

Have I mastered this? Certainly not, but, maybe one day.

Thanks for reading, Seeker! If I have been unclear, or if you would like elaboration, or to start a conversation, please, jump at the chance and comment. Otherwise, I hope that I have served you well in this writing. Be well.

13 comments

  1. Oh my, yes, grounding is something I am more actively working on incorporating this year! I often feel like I am going to lose my tether completely and float off into space lol Lots of air to go with my fire :)
    I’m afraid we’ve gone way beyond my experience with astrology in referencing Progressions..lol I can definitely see myself studying more and more in-depth as I move through my own chart, though. I had an incident yesterday that caused me to focus on my Second house (I have Pluto, Uranus and Part of Fortune there, all in Libra) and I have a wonderful book called Healing Pluto Problems that I am working my way through a second time, since I have a little bit better grasp on it this time around. So interesting how it all intersects. As you said, sooooo easy to get lost in any number of rabbit holes here!!

    • Linette, sorry for the delay in response. Most of the time I get alerts on my Reader, but sometimes some of them “fall through” and I only see them when I go to my Admin page, which isn’t as often.

      Yeah, progressions are a whole other thing. If you wanted to look at that, start with the Moon. It is worth taking a glance at the chart anyway to notice if there is anything really pertinent, like a planet that just switched signs, or is conjunct to an angle, or something of that nature. Knowing if there is a very important Progression happening can really illuminate a lot: for example, I have been lamenting my seeming inability to move residence for years, but, when I checked my progressions, I saw that my Prog IC and Prog Saturn were in a conjunction, which can create barriers and blocks that prevent change for moving house. On the flip side, if Uranus were there instead, one may find themselves moving house many times! But for the most part, yes, transits are much easier to work with.

      Your Fortune there with Pluto and Uranus is a powerful placement. Look at your Venus, the ruler of Libra: she “provides” for whatever is going on in your Libra house. This begins study of “dispositor chains” which is simple, sort of like a chain of command or power: each sign has a ruler. If you have planets in a sign, they are “provided for” or “disposed to” by the planet that rules that sign. Then, we look at the planet that rules the sign that THAT planet is in, until we get to either a final dispositor/top ruler, or a loop of some sort. That can really help with figuring out which planets have the most power in the chart. It’s a simple traditional technique that when I learned, I found really opened a lot for me.

      The Healing Pluto Problems book looks really good! I myself have been slowly chipping away at Hades Moon by Judy Hall. It’s pretty advanced and dense so I don’t think I’d strongly recommend it to a beginner. But, yet, Pluto doesn’t really let us get away with only staying on the surface anyway!

    • As for grounding, I struggle with that, too, due to having no Earth in my chart besides Neptune, who can’t really BE Earthy much if you ask me. I mitigate this by using grounding stones. Pyrite is my go-to: a nice good chunk of Pyrite that you can hold in your right hand (to send intense energy back into Earth) is a very affordable choice. It’s the Iron in the Pyrite that works for this. Also, Hematite, or Smokey Quartz (which works slowly, so should be more of a “backup”), are good, or most black stones, besides Obsdian which is a fire stone (due to being forged in lava). I also find that slow breathing and visualizing my energy being attached to the core of the Earth really helps.

      Of course, according to our science, the center of the Earth is actually Earth so hot that if it would touch Air it would be fire… so in many ways fire is the core of Earth. In fact our Astrology teaches Fire came first (Aries) and then Earth (Taurus). But, practically speaking, especially when getting really excited about learning (aka “gnosis”), being ungrounded can lead to kundalini problems. It doesn’t have to be mystical, either, the grounding thing… something someone pointed out to me recently! Even just taking a break and eating a meal of carbs, or taking a walk in nature and connecting with the trees or ground can work wonders. But, our fire is what gives us our Spirit: so, balance is important, but, if we think about the yin/yang, even just a little bit of the opposite can keep the balance.

      If a time is coming where we will have the choice to spiritually “move on” from Earth, then, fire and air people will find this easier. This is mysticism relating to Mayan knowledge, that I am not versed enough in to be able to discuss, but, there is a blog that I follow that discusses this stuff: https://1320frequencyshift.com/ Most of it flies over my head, but what I do understand really helps when I feel confused about why sometimes I feel so ungrounded, like the energies that I have always known are somehow “no longer the same.” We can see that Earth is experiencing great peril right now, and this reality has to be addressed, even while we still work toward understanding within the knowledge base that we already have. It’s worth looking into, if you feel like your spirit get untethered, because if it’s getting untethered, that means it’s seeking something… this is my experience, anyway. I’m only at the very beginning of learning about this stuff, myself.

    • Black Tourmaline also is highly recommended for grounding, and for many other things, considered a most important crystal. I credit that stone with saving me many times. Many a time have I walked with BT in my hand (or even in other places…) under dire or dangerous circumstances. I even went mining for it last year. I would say, get yourself a BT and some Pyrite, and some Selenite to balance a bit, helping the ascension process in a gentle and peaceful way (BT and Selenite are very often combined and these days people sell them as the “empath’s combination”).

  2. Second article of yours that I have read this morning, and so synchronous for me to have found it! I was researching not long ago this exact subject because I have a lot of 29 degree energy in my chart. Again, I am pretty new to astrology, but here is what I am looking at: Sun in Sag at 29 degrees 07 sec (pardon my terminology if it is wrong…), Mars in Aries at 29 degrees 04 sec, north node in Sag at 28 degrees 29 sec (not 29, but still feels significant), and Midheaven in Taurus at 29 degrees 50 sec. A astrologically savvy acquaintance pointed out that that is a lot of 29s in one chart, so I have been trying to research on my own. There’s so much info in your post that I will need a little bit to unpack it all, but thanks sooooooo much for all you’ve written here! 2020 Feels like it will be a life-changer for me (in numerology, I am in a 9 personal year and this is a 4 universal year- a combo that has always held major life events for me), and I suspect these 29s play a part. Thanks, again! I am enjoying your blog so much!

    • Thank you for your comments Linette! Wow that is a LOT of 29. Definitely an indication of great challenges but also a remarkable life path. And Mars in Aries too… Mars rules Aries so that gives you a lot of power, besides the degree. Any planet in a sign it rules can accomplish its goals much easier. Fire Trine your NN, well, you could lead an army with that one. 29 Taurus is a powerful placement at MC also. In general you would want to be careful of the shadow side of these placements which would be dangers from aggression, accidents, etc. Lots of lessons. My 29 Aries Moon literally hit me in the face (Aries rules the head) tonight when I walked into a glass door on the way into a meeting, bc the inner door was open and the glass was so clean, I did not know it was there. Aries moves so fast we don’t think sometimes before leaping.

      Almost… it is degrees, then minutes, then seconds. We never get close enough for seconds with angles bc we only measure births by time minutes, which are different from arcminutes.

      This year is a life changer for everyone lol…. with your arrangements and numbers you may find yourself propelled into change very fast. 9 is culmination: much you have worked toward can manifest this year. Long held goals coming to fruition.

      Also, 29 Sag is very close to our Galactic Center. People with that in their chart tend to be compelled toward cosmic evolution. NN there (and applying to GC bc NN is always Rx and GC is at about 27) signifies a very important fate. Anyone born during that month or so shares your NN but your 29s give leadership potential.

      Hope that helps a bit 😊

      • Oh my, that helps a lot! Thank you! I definitely feel the connection Galactic center. And the fire of Mars in Aries! I can be quite fierce when the need arises. lol I hope you’re ok after your run-in (lol) with that door… I find it particularly interesting that there is so much leadership potential. I am definitely a late bloomer (Saturn is in Taurus/10th house, which I am told often signifies late bloomers), but recently began hosting a women’s circle where I am teaching various spiritual and metaphysical principles in order to help us all love ourselves more, which I believe to be the key to transforming ourselves and the world. That feels like a powerful transition to me, intuitively, but even moreso with all you’ve said about all this 29 energy in my chart. Thank you so much for your in-depth explanation. I will be sure to do my best to understand and work with the shadow aspects, so I am bringing the highest possible vibration to my life <3

    • AND your Sun at 29 Sag.., missed that sorry, I am reading on a tablet and in the wee hours besides. So take what I said and multiply it by Holy Fuck 😆 in other words, that fire trine so close to galactic center is super powerful. The Capricorn events this year will be squaring your Mars, which creates immense pressure to act. Look at your Jupiter bc he rules Sag. Where he is in your chart says a lot about where in life you can channel these energies productively.

      • <3 LOL Yeah, I have kinda felt the Holy Fuck of it all haha Jupiter sits in my 6th house in Aquarius. Best believe I will be studying that one more closely now. lol Thanks again so, so much for the insight. I resisted studying astrology for so long (an ex's cheating partner was into it, and it kinda spoiled it for me for a while), but I love, love, love complex, layered tools of any kind, so, here I am at 46 learning astrology lol <3 Happy Full Moon Lunar Eclipse!

      • I looked at the Ephemerides to see your Jupiter degree, because Mine is 11°39 Aqu…and yours is 12 Aqu, yes? So, we are exploring very much the same stuff, as far as Jupiter goes. Mine is Rx natally, and yours is Direct natally. But, less than a degree apart, so, effectively the same :) Jupiter has a 12 year cycle btw.

        You were also born 2 days before a Solar Eclipse. Huge deal! Definitely worth researching that.

      • Yes, my Jupiter is at 12 deg 6 min :) That’s cool that ours are so close! Nice to have a compadre in some of this! I looked up that solar eclipse, and it was 4 days after I was born (b. Dec 20, 1973 and the eclipse was the day I went home from the hospital – Dec 24, 1973). Does that lessen the effect of the eclipse? I assume it does, although it seems like being born in an eclipse window (there was a lunar eclipse on Dec 10 that year) would be significant. The 4 has been a significant number for me, too, though, so I guess one could make a case for more than one layer of meaning there.

        All in all, absolutely fascinating! The more I dig, the more I understand. I so appreciate your feedback and sharing your knowledge!

      • Well, yes, it does reduce the effect, in a way. Being born during the actual portal would be Really Huge and would be undoubtedly the most important factor in a chart like that. For you, it colors the chart, especially that you were born applying to, rather than separating from, the eclipse. And, that you were taken home that day also makes it important. Look at your Secondary Progressed charts for that year. I say chartS because the Progressed Moon moves fast (about a half of a sign a year), as does infancy, and you may notice something important with that. This is a lot easier in a program where you can move the dial by a time-jump or fast-forward/reverse, rather than cast separate charts. If you don’t have that, Prog Moon moves about a degree a month.

        Many astrologers consider the Progressed Moon to be the most important thing to look at in Progression, and predictive/research work in general.

        As far as eclipses go, researching Moon Wobble (squaring the Nodes, aka the Bendings) is another worthwhile project.

        Being born at the turn of the Solstice too is also significant. Much about your birth timing is remarkable.

        Yes, and the more you dig, the more you will find that there is so much more to know. Hee hee. It is easy to float off and get lost in research in this study. Staying grounded is really important! Easy to say when we are casting ourselves into the sky, I know… I work on grounding every day! Especially being so firey. Fire goes out if it has no Earth to ground it, right?

        You are welcome! Glad to help you, friend :)

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