If you were born on a day when the sun moves from one zodiac sign to another, chances are you're familiar with the idea of "cusps" in astrology. It is generally thought that people born on these transitional days are influenced by both the sign the sun was previously in and the sign it's going into, giving them traits of both zodiac signs. As it turns out, this doesn't quite hold up when you ask an astrologer. POPSUGAR spoke to Annabel Gat, resident astrologer at Vice, to address this popular myth.
What Is a Cusp in Astrology?
The myth about zodiac cusps comes from a pretty straightforward misunderstanding about how the sun moves from one sign to another. "When most people think of cusps, they think of a few-day period at the end of one zodiac sign's season and the beginning of the other," Gat tells POPSUGAR. "Some people believe that if they are born at the end of a zodiac sign's season, that means they take on qualities from the next zodiac sign, or if they are born in the beginning of one sign, that they also have the qualities of the sign previous."
As the myth would suggest, for example, someone born on Nov. 21, which is generally the day the sun moves from Scorpio to Sagittarius, would demonstrate traits from the mysterious and dark water sign and the loud and fun-loving fire sign. However, as Gat explains, "The vast majority of astrologers do not hold this to be true."
It may be the case that someone born on Nov. 21 feels that they have energy from Scorpio and Sagittarius, but it's not because they're a cusp - it could just mean they may have both signs elsewhere in their chart. Remember, we are more than our sun signs!
Why Cusps Aren't Real in Astrology
The reason cusps aren't real is because it's impossible for the sun to be in two places at once. The sun is either in Taurus or Gemini, but not both at the same time. "It cannot be in two zodiac signs at once, sort of like how it's either 7:59:59 or 8:00:00," Gat explains.
If you were born on a day when the sun changed positions, it makes your birth time all the more important. As astrologers will tell you, your sun sign comes down to the minute you were born. Because the sun moves from one sign to another at slightly different times each year, you'll need to calculate your chart to make sure you're reading the right horoscope.
What Astrologers Mean When They Talk About Cusps
Though it's not what we think, astrologers actually do mean something when they talk about cusps. "For astrologers, when we think of the word cusp, we are thinking of the dividing lines between the houses of a chart," Gat tells POPSUGAR.
There are 12 houses in astrology representing different sectors of our life, and the borders between these houses are called house cusps. "If a planet like Venus is about to enter the second house and is on that line, we would say, 'Venus is on the second-house cusp.'"
If the clarification about cusps is making you question everything you thought you knew about astrology, no need to worry! It's very easy to iron out the exact details of your chart. If your birthday falls on one or near one of these sun-sign dates and you feel like you relate more to the zodiac sign that comes before or after your true sun sign, you might want to use an astrology calculator to see what other signs are in your birth chart.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)