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Why There's No Such Thing As Zodiac Cusps, According To Astrologers

mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant By Sarah Regan
mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant

Sarah Regan is a writer, registered yoga instructor, and Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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If you've ever met someone whose birthday fell near the meeting point of two zodiac signs—i.e., Gemini and Cancer—they may have insisted they're a Gemini-Cancer cusp. Maybe you've even referred to yourself as a "cusp" before, with regards to your own sign. But we consulted mbg's resident astrologists, the AstroTwins, on the question of cusps, and according to them, they might just be another astrology myth.

What is the zodiac cusp theory?

Simply put, to be born within a few days of the Sun's transition from one sign to the next would mean you were born on the cusp of two signs. This includes the following dates:

  • Aries-Taurus, aka the Cusp of Power: April 16–22
  • Taurus-Gemini, aka the Cusp of Energy: May 17–23
  • Gemini-Cancer, aka the Cusp of Magic: June 17–23
  • Cancer-Leo, aka the Cusp of Oscillation: July 19–25
  • Leo-Virgo, aka the Cusp of Exposure: August 19–25
  • Virgo-Libra, aka the Cusp of Beauty: September 19–25
  • Libra-Scorpio, aka the Cusp of Drama: October 19–25
  • Scorpio-Sagittarius, aka the Cusp of Revolution: November 18–24
  • Sagittarius-Capricorn, aka the Cusp of Prophecy: December 18–24
  • Capricorn-Aquarius, aka the Cusp of Mystery: January 16–23
  • Aquarius-Pisces, aka the Cusp of Sensitivity: February 15–21
  • Pisces-Aries, aka the Cusp of Rebirth: March 17–23

The commonly held misconception is that being born on the cusp of two signs gives you a combination of traits from those two signs. According to the AstroTwins, the cusp theory developed "mainly because, in the 20th century, newspaper and magazine horoscopes became very popular" and introduced the ideas of cusps to the mainstream.

"Since the Sun changes signs at a different time each year, it can vary by a day or so. In order to help people decide which horoscope to read in these offerings, they approximated the date that the Sun would change to the next sign. Some years, Gemini season starts on June 20, others on June 21. Because there are 365 days a year and 12 signs, you can't evenly divide the year by 12 without having 5 days remaining."

Nevertheless, the AstroTwins don't subscribe to cusp theory—here's why.

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Why being born on a cusp doesn't change your sign.

"There is actually no such thing as cusps," the twins say. Due to the way the Sun transitions from signs, it's not possible to be under two at the same time. There is an exact moment when the switch happens.

Of course, that's not to say you can't have a combination of traits from different signs. After all, that's what your birth chart is all about. A Scorpio-Sagittarius cusp, for example, might actually be a true Scorpio, but perhaps their Venus is in Sagittarius. As far as the sign the Sun was under while transitioning from one to the next, though, it's never under both.

"In order to know your Sun sign (and you only have one!)," the twins note, "you need your exact minute of birth, along with your time and date." (You can map your birth chart with the twins' handy natal chart generator if you haven't already).

Sorry to burst your bubble if you were sure of your cusp identity, but again, it doesn't mean you don't have that sign's energy somewhere else in your chart. But when it comes to your Sun sign, there can be only one.

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