April 18, 2024

An Easy Way with Duads

by guest astrologer Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott is an eminent Australian astrologer who, as Alice Portman, has consulted and taught astrology professionally for 35 years. In 1984, she received her Professional Member of the Federation of Australian Astrologers (PMFAA) qualification and became Examiner of the FAA in 1986-88

Duads or Dwads are both correct ways of spelling the division of each sign of the
zodiac into twelve 2°30′ segments, making a mini zodiac within each sign.

Each sign starts the duad division with its own sign: for example if you have a planet or angle at 2° of Cancer, it is in the first, Cancer duad of Cancer; if you have a planet or angle at 2°31′ of Cancer, it is in the second, Leo duad of Cancer; if you have a planet or angle at 5° 10′ of Cancer it is in the third, Virgo duad of Cancer, and so on. You can access a Duad Table which shows these divisions here: http://aliceportman.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Duad-Table1.pdf

There is a second kind of division where the 1st dwad of any sign is the Aries dwad, the 2nd is the Taurus dwad .. and so on. These are easy to calculate on a computer because they are the 12th harmonic chart.

For convenience in differentiation I spell the first type of division ‘duads’ and the
second type of division ‘dwads’.

To illustrate let us look at the duads and dwads of the birth chart of Noel Tyl born on the 31st December 1936, 3.57 pm, West Chester, PA.

His Ascendant is 0Cancer03, so it is in the first (Aries) dwad and Cancer duad of

His Sun is 10Capricorn02, just in the 5th (Leo) dwad and Taurus duad of Capricorn.

His Moon is 27Leo23, at the tail end of the 11th (Aquarius) dwad and Gemini duad of

His MC is 7Pisces01 in the 3rd (Gemini) dwad and Taurus duad of Pisces.

His Mean North Node is 23Sagitarius33 in the 10th (Capricorn) dwad and Virgo duad of Sagittarius .. and so on.

Duads in Relationships

To a very great extent the duads describe the type of person to whom you are drawn for various reasons. Those who carry in their natal chart the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, MC, Nodal Axis or Vertex axis in the same sign as your relevant duad or dwad can have a very strong impact.

The type of attraction is described by the planet involved, so if you are drawn to
someone who manifests the duads of your Moon, it is likely you want to nurture
them; if you are drawn to someone who manifests the duads of your Sun it is likely you will find they shine for you.

Noel would find he is drawn to the thought processes of those who have their Mercury in Sagittarius and/or those with Mercury in Pisces as these are the duad
and dwad of his natal Mercury at 29Capricorn23. He would find those with Venus in Scorpio and those with Venus in Capricorn very attractive or magnetic, as these are the duad and dwad of his natal Venus at 23Aquarius55. –For friendships with men, he would be drawn to those with Mars in Leo and those with Mars in Aquarius as these are the duad and dwad of his natal Mars at 27Libra16.

The duads of the Vertex axis are particularly powerful as those who carry these
signs can open doors of quite different realities in your life. For example, my own
Vertex duad degree is exactly conjunct the Sun of my ex-husband, who was from a different country, class and culture to my own.

Of course a lot can depend on the condition of your natal planet or angle. If there
are traumas connected to any placement then you might find you are repelled by
rather than attracted to those whose natal charts manifest that planet’s duad.
However, you will still draw them into your life.

Duads in the Family

I think the duads describe the genetic flow in a family line, particularly the duads of
the MC-IC, Sun, Moon, Ascendant and Nodes.

For example, The duads or dwads of your Sun and Moon can describe the Sun sign or Moon sign of a parent, if these don’t then in a natural birth the MC-IC, and their duads will describe the Sun sign of at least one of the parents and sometimes both. A parent or grandparent will often have the Ascendant, Moon or Nodes in the sign or the duad of the sign of the Ascendant or Descendant.

There is always an interchange between the sign and duads of the Moon and
Ascendant-Descendant of parent and child in a natural birth. –For example, Noel has the Moon in the Gemini duad of Leo, so it is highly likely his mother and/or father had an Ascendant-Descendant of either Leo or Gemini or the Leo or Gemini duad of any sign rising.

So from duads you can see which qualities are genetically inherited from which
parent and their family line, as well as the qualities you pass through to your

If the birth was not natural but had some form of medical assistance or the baby was stuck in the birth canal during labor, then you may not find this pattern in the family line. The person would still be drawn to those whose natal chart echoed his or her duads and perhaps find these people more like ‘family’ than their own.

Duad Charts

As the duads describe a mini zodiac within each sign, it is easy to work out a
separate duad chart. The method can be seen here: http://aliceportman.com/?p=606

These charts refine the duad attraction to very close to the degree – so the closer a person’s natal planet is to your duad degree the stronger the draw. For example, well-known Australian astrologer Jill Amery (1 May 1944, 2.50 am, Adelaide, Australia) has her duad Saturn at 15Pisces55 – very close to Noel’s natal Saturn at 17Pisces21. As both Jupiter and Saturn describe ‘The Teacher, Jill was very drawn to Noel’s concise astrological methods and attained a Highest Honor Degree through his Master’s Certification Course. –There are a number of other strong connections between them as well, including Noel’s duad Vertex axis straddling Jill’s natal MC-IC, describing a ‘destined’ association.

Basil Fearrington (1st August 1954, 7.31 pm, Philadelphia, PA) – a famous pupil of Noel’s – has his duad Jupiter exactly conjunct Noel’s natal Jupiter, describing a powerful and beneficial ‘teacher-pupil’ connection. He also has many other connections, all describing an important and destined association.


Duad-to-natal synastry is much more powerful and often more compulsive than natal-to-natal synastry and is the precursor to natal synastry. If the duad or dwad
connections to each other’s natal are not there, you are just not very drawn to that person regardless of how powerful your natal to natal synastry seems.

If there are exact degree connections in duad to natal synastry, then the relationship and/or association tend to be close. It will strongly respond to transits over that

Composite and Davison charts

The duads of these charts are particularly important. Time and time again I have
Found that they echo the natal placements of the people involved – often to the degree.

The closer a composite duad degree is to an individual’s natal degree, the stronger the draw of the relationship is to that person.

These charts can often supply what is missing in the duad-to-natal connections in synastry. E.g. one person’s duad may require the other to have the Sun or Moon in Aquarius, but this is not the case, however the Relationship chart does have that placement thus supplying the missing quality.