Questions about “cusps” and birth signs

[A portion of this article is taken from earlier posts.]  The idea that a person was born on the “cusp” originates from Sun Sign astrology.  Your sign as you know it is actually the sign that the Sun was in at the time you were born.   If you pick up a book or newspaper horoscope about your Sun sign, or as some publications call it, your star sign (if you see a publication that refers to star signs, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction), it will refer to a range of dates for your sign.  This stems from the fact that the Sun doesn’t move from one sign into another on the same date each year and these publications have no way to calculate the exact position of the Sun in your chart.

born on the cusp Approximate dates of Sun Signs

For example, in this diagram Aries is said to begin on March 21st, but this year the Sun entered Aries on March 20th.

A question I was asked: “I am looking to understand the “CUSP” between a Virgo and a Libra? After reading [horoscopes for] both for several months, I am finding myself more inclined to be or leaning towards Libra. Can you give me any insight that might point me towards my true sign?”

This individual was born at 29 degrees 17 minutes Virgo. If you were born in the last four or five degrees of one sign, the qualities of the next sign begin bleeding through. He is moving away from the characteristics of Virgo, the previous sign, and his focus is more on the next which is Libra. Mercury in […]

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By |2017-05-15T10:30:44-04:00May 15th, 2017|Astrology, Lessons|5 Comments

The question of cusps and the 29th degree

sign cuspsIn response to a few questions I had from readers after other astrologers wrote about the New Moon being in Pisces, I thought it would be useful to discuss the idea of the “cusp.”  This is one of those concepts about which you can read a myriad of different opinions from very reputable astrologers.

The cusp idea comes mainly from the popular world of “sun sign astrology.”  Since the Sun doesn’t move from one sign to another on the same day every year in order to give readers an idea of which sign their birthdate fell in there was a need to find a way to describe those few days in which there could be some leeway between one sign or another as you can see in this image which put the cusp between Aquarius and Pisces as being between the 18th and 22nd of February.  For example, the Sun moved into Pisces last night right after the New Moon at 29 degrees Aquarius, the 18th of February.  But in 2012, the Sun moved into Pisces on the 19th of February.  Still, in the past 80 years the Sun has not moved into Pisces later than the 19th, so the idea that the Pisces cusp extends to the 22nd is not really valid.

Popular astrology columns often say that if you were born “on the cusp,” meaning in the few days before or after the day the Sun changed signs, that you have a dual influence as shown by the illustration above.  Astrologers reading birthcharts often extend the cusp idea to the nature of other planets and points, including the Ascendant and Midheaven angles.

What I have come to see in reading many charts over the years is that the last few degrees […]

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By |2019-04-15T04:47:25-04:00February 19th, 2015|Astrology|3 Comments

Born on the Cusp?

The signs of the zodiac change every 30 days, and there is a brief period while the Sun passes from one sign to another that is known as the “cusp.” Some people believe that individuals born several days before or after this time possess aspects of both signs, but I have not found this to be strictly true.

When the Sun is leaving a sign, during the last two degrees or so, it’s focus is moving towards the next sign and we often find an influence from the next sign beginning to make itself known; however, that doesn’t mean that individuals born during this time are hybrids of both signs. For example, today the Sun is at 28-29 degrees Sagittarius and will move into Capricorn around midnight EST December 22. If your birthday is today, you are definitely a Sagittarian, but aspects of Capricorn are peeking into your personality. You may possess a greater degree of responsibility than those born even just a few days before, you may be more goal oriented and have less of a desire for adventure.

Once the Sun passes into the next sign, however, it fully takes on the quality of that sign and there is no “cusp” effect. Think about a person in a doorway ready to walk from one room to another. Their body may be in the room they are leaving, but their attention is fully in the next room. Consequently, those born with the Sun in the first few degrees of an astrological sign can consider themselves fully members of that clan!

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By |2019-08-26T13:36:52-04:00December 20th, 2005|Astrology|Comments Off on Born on the Cusp?
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