As a professional astrologer, I often have people asking me what it means to be born on the cusp. Recently, a lady told me she had been born on the cusp between Scorpio and Sagittarius, but that she felt much more Scorpio than Sagittarius – she wondered if that was normal for cusp people. The answer? Yes – but not for the reasons you might think.
The notion of being born on the cusp is one of the biggest misunderstandings about astrology. In reality, there is no such thing – at the moment of your birth, the Sun was in one sign, or a different sign. It was never, ever in between signs; it may have been in the final degree of Leo, or the first degree of Virgo, but it was not stuck in no-mans land in between the two. The problem is that non-astrologers often do not know the exact time that the Sun changes sign – so if you were born on a day when the change occurred, you may well not know which sign your Sun is actually in. An astrologer would be able to tell you immediately, however, as it’s a very simple thing to check.
So why might someone born on the cusp feel more like one Sun sign than the other – and not always like the Sun sign they actually are? Well, this can happen to anyone. Many people don’t “feel” like their Sun sign, or they might identify more closely with a different sign. There are many reasons for this, and a natal chart is a beautifully complex thing, but here are some of the commonest potential reasons.
Influence of the Ascendant
Astrology is about far more than just your Sun sign. A hugely important factor in any chart is the ascendant sign – the sign which was rising on the Eastern horizon at your time and place of birth. The degree of this sign changes every four minutes or so, so the whole sign changes every few hours. The lady in my example was actually a Sun sign Sagittarius, despite her sense that she was a Scorpio. She could have had any of the twelve signs as her ascendant sign, but it so happens that she had a Cancer ascendant. Cancer and Scorpio are easily confused by the non-astrologer, as their moody, watery vibe is quite similar in many ways – this probably accounts quite strongly for her feeling “more Scorpio” than Sagittarius.
Perhaps the most common reason for cusp people feeling more affinity with the sign which isn’t their Sun sign is the planet Mercury. Never more than 28 degrees from the Sun, Mercury is always found in the same sign as the Sun, or in the preceding or following sign. Since Mercury rules our intellect, our ability to reason and our communication style, its influence also features heavily in our mental image of ourselves. In my lady’s case, although the Sun was in Sagittarius when she was born, Mercury was still in Scorpio. She communicates in a Scorpionic manner, intensely, directly and with passion, rather than in a bright and breezy Sagittarian manner.
Do the Sun Sign Energies Blend?
Although some astrologers believe that the sun’s energies do blend from one sign to another as it is about to change sign, that has not been my experience. I tend to find that when a planet changes signs, it changes signs, with no overlap or energy blending. You can see this for yourself, if you use the Moon as an example. The Moon changes signs every 2-3 days, and you can easily find online moon calendars which will give you the dates and times. If you’re attuned to astrological energies, experiment and watch how your mood and energy levels change at the time the Moon changes sign – often quite suddenly. Although all astrology is about a synthesis of different energies from different planets filtered through different signs and different houses, there is no evidence to suggest that the any one planet’s individual energies are muddied and confused as it approaches a new sign.
When You Don’t “Feel” Like Your Sun Sign
As well as the Ascendant and Mercury, there are many other reasons why you might not feel particularly like your Sun sign, whether you were born on the cusp or not. Your Sun might have progressed to a new sign, or your Sun might be poorly aspected by a stronger planet, changing the nature of its expression through your sign. Another completely different planet and sign may dominate your natal chart. There is always an explanation. The moral of the story therefore, is to not place too much emphasis on Sun signs alone – astrology is so much more complex than that – and so are you!