What does it really mean to be born on a zodiac sign cusp?
In astrology, a cusp is a dividing line between two zodiac signs or houses. Think of it like a celestial property line separating your yard from your neighbor’s…or, in astrology terms, setting the Libras apart from the Scorpios.
If you or someone you know has a birthday that falls around the 21st of any calendar month, you’re said to be born on a cusp.
But what does it really mean in astrology to be born on a cusp?
Maybe you’ve heard someone say “I was born on the cusp of Pisces and Aries” or “I’m a cusp zodiac sign.”
There are many misconceptions about cusps. Are you two zodiac signs instead of just one? Should you read two different horoscopes?
In short: no.
While the idea of being a “hybrid” zodiac sign seems kind of cool (“Capriquarius” has a ring to it, amiright?), this is the deal:
You can only be ONE zodiac sign.
But why? The zodiac sign cusp is one of the most misunderstood parts of Sun sign astrology. So let’s clear up the cusp-fusion already, shall we?
If you were born on a cusp, we’re going to FINALLY show you how to find out the ONE horoscope you should be reading.
Cusp Sign Dates in Astrology
If you or someone you know was born in this date range, they would be considered to be born on a cusp.
- January 18-21: Capricorn/Aquarius Cusp
- February 17-29: Aquarius/Pisces Cusp
- March 18-21: Pisces/Aries Cusp
- April 19-21: Aries/Taurus Cusp
- May 19-21: Taurus/Gemini Cusp
- June 19-21: Gemini/Cancer Cusp
- July 19-23: Cancer/Leo Cusp
- August 21-23: Leo/Virgo Cusp
- September 20-23: Virgo/Libra Cusp
- October 21-23: Libra/Scorpio Cusp
- November 20-23: Scorpio/Sagittarius Cusp
- December 20-22: Sagittarius/Capricorn Cusp
Cusp sign meaning: Here’s why you can’t be two zodiac signs at once
A cusp simply means that you were born on or near the date that the Sun crossed the celestial property line and moved into its next zodiac sign.
This happens during the third week of every month, when the Sun finishes its journey through one of the 12 zodiac signs in the sky and moves on to the next one. For example, it’s now “Taurus season” instead of “Aries season.”
Here’s the catch:
The Sun changes signs at a different hour, minute and second every year.
That’s right—the Sun’s zodiac sign change occurs at a precise moment that can be measured, mapped and calculated down to the nanosecond.
So every season starts on a different date each year?
Yup. This solar switcheroo has a slight variation from year to year. So even if Aries season started March 19 last year, it could start on March 20 the next.
How the heck do I track that?
Professional astrologers find the date of planetary transits (movements) by using a special guide called an ephemeris. The ephemeris is based on NASA-level astronomy data (#TrustTheTelescope).
The ephemeris will map out the exact time, day and minute that the Sun switches signs. Luckily, this cosmic data has been entered into chart-making software and apps.
Thus, if you want to know which side of the zodiac cusp your birthday falls on, you have to do this…
So how do I find my TRUE zodiac sign if I have a cusp birthday?
If you were born during one of these cusp zodiac sign date ranges, you can find out your TRUE zodiac sign by doing a free birth chart here.
Clear the cusp-fusion — do your birth chart now!
You’ll need your exact time, date and place of birth to do an accurate chart and solve the zodiac cusp sign mystery.
OMG I just found out that I’m a different zodiac sign. Now what?
Prepare for a minor existential crisis if you’ve been reading the wrong horoscope all these years. You might even go through psychologist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ 5 Stages of Grief:
“But..but…there’s no way I’m a Gemini! I’ve been reading the Taurus horoscope my whole life! I can’t stand Geminis…nooooooo!”
“Dammit, Mom, could you have kept me in your womb just 19 minutes longer?
“Let me check my birth certificate. This has GOT to be a typo!”
“No more justifying those expensive meals and vacations with “But I’m a Taurus, I can’t help overspending. This sucks.”
“Fine. Okay. There are good things about being a Gemini. I guess I can learn to live with this. One day at a time…”
Then again, maybe you’ll just be relieved. Who has time to keep up with two horoscopes? There’s enough to remember just by reading one!
Wait! Zodiac cusp people also have a magical, mystical role in this lifetime…
Okay, Cuspites, you might be feeling a little tender. So allow us to reassure you: Your cusp birthday is still VERY special!
Some astrologers describe the cusp period as the “twilight” of signs, when one sign is rising over the horizon and another is setting.
So if you were born during a cusp period, you are a Change Agent. You have a special role in this lifetime—a gift for being powerful and grounded during a transition.
You have the ability to “hold space” for loved ones during difficult moments. In fact, you could be more comfortable with change than most folks.
Maybe you’re always shape-shifting: changing careers, outfits, homes more than the average bear. If you thought of that as a character flaw or negative trait, we urge you to embrace it. This is part of your soul’s path, and why, from an Evolutionary Astrology perspective, your soul “chose” to be born on a cusp.
Treat your cusp birthday like a superpower. It is one, and you’re not required to have two zodiac signs to don that cosmic cape!
Zodiac cusp astrology (or “WTH is really happening in the sky?”)
If you’re an astrogeek like us, you might not rest until you know: What the heck is going on in the sky that causes there to be a cusp?
Here’s how cusp astrology works:
- In Western (Tropical) astrology, the Earth is the center of the horoscope
- We measure the Sun’s apparent path* around our planet with an imaginary circle in the sky, AKA the zodiac. (*We say “apparent path” because the Earth actually revolves around the Sun, not vice-versa!)
- The zodiac is divided into 12 equal pieces, like a pizza. These are the “signs” of the zodiac.
- When the Sun moves from one slice of pizza, er, zodiac sign (sorry, we’re hungry!) to the next, it “changes signs.” That means it’s moved over the “cusp” (or borderline) of one sign into the next.
So on August 22 or 23 (depending on the year) as the Sun crosses the Leo/Virgo cusp, it finishes traversing the spicy pepperoni slice of Leo and moves on to a healthy gluten-free veggie hunk of Virgo pie for the next 30 days or so.
Sometimes, pizza explains everything.
So are cusp signs real…or a horoscope hoax?
Ask a person born on a zodiac cusp and you might get a surprising answer. Turns out, many people born on a cusp report “feeling like both signs.”
Says Janet, “I’m born on October 22 and I’ve always felt like both a Libra and a Scorpio. I love pretty things like any proper Libra would, but I also have a strong sexual appetite, which is stereotypical Scorpio.
Janet concludes, “So even though I recently found out that I’m a Libra, I’m keeping my cusp identity. I don’t care what anyone says—I’m both!”
Here’s what we’d say to Janet and other cuspers: Do your whole birth chart. You may discover that the cusp zodiac sign appears in there elsewhere, even prominently!
How does that happen?
Well, since Mercury and Venus are located close to the Sun, they often travel in the same zodiac sign—or accurately, the same part of the sky—as the Sun is moving through.
In our own chart, we were born while the Sun was in Sagittarius, and the moon, Mercury, Venus AND Mars were all in the next-door sign of Scorpio.
As a result, we have many Scorpio traits (a desire to unpack human psychology, strong interest in astrology, strategic superpowers). Our chart could create a Scorpio/Sagittarius “cusp effect.”
When we looked at Janet’s chart, we indeed found that she had Mercury (and a couple other planets) in Scorpio. This explained why she felt that parts of her personality lined up more with the typical Scorpio traits than with those of Libra.
We hope that reading this has brought newfound cusp sign date clarity and banished birthday confusion for our astrology loving friends!