Freeing yourself of “the cusp”…

“Since I was born so close to being a Capricorn does it make me more of a blend of the two signs?”@jermainsmom

I get this question a lot. Another variant is, “I’m born on the cusp. Am I both signs?” It’s only fitting since I once wondered the same thing before I got deeper into astrology. In fact, I took to calling myself a “Scagittarius” since I couldn’t decide whether I was more a Scorpio or a Sagittarius. (Or more so, I couldn’t decide whether I cared about astrology enough at the time to decide which one I was.)  Now that I’ve studied astrology for over two decades now, let me just say this:

There is no such thing as someone who is born on the cusp, at least not in the way that most people mean. There are only people who don’t know when they’re born or who haven’t had their chart done.

Everyone is actually the blending of ALL 12 signs of the Zodiac. What an astrologer attempts to figure out is the composition of the blend, so to speak.  You may not have planets in all 12 signs of the Zodiac, but you definitely have those signs signifying something in your chart. We look to the planets to figure out what they might reveal about your life. Some signs fall in places in your chart that signify topics of more importance than others, however. For instance, your moon’s sign or rising sign might signify more about your life than the signs where you might find other planets.  Yet there’s still a blend.

However, when you are born near the end of a sign, there is something special about it, even magical. Many astrologers call this a critical degree. It’s also called the anaretic degree. Once I learned I was born at an anaretic degree, I finally knew I had specific work and intentions for my life rather than juggling an understand of myself betwixt signs. I came to see my 29 degrees as being more about my reserve in letting one sign go before I moved on to the next.

Here’s a snapshot of my chart, exclusively focused on my Sun sign (which is what most people mean when they say they’re born on the cusp.)


Since I was born at 1:19p EST, November 22, 1967, my Sun is at 29 degrees and 45 minutes of Scorpio. There are only 30 degrees in each sign.  I happen to know that because when I first went to an astrologer, this is what he told me. And since learning astrology on my own, I’ve been able to draw up charts that say the same thing. More important, I know that as close as 29 degrees seems to be to Sagittarius, it’s still only close by six hours.  So I could be born a whole five hours later and still be a Scorpio. Despite what this says:

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 12.50.20 PM
This is taken from my own horoscopes that I write for According to what I have above, I should and would be a Sagittarius. So why aren’t I? Because what you see in horoscopes are guesstimates of where the Sun will be by sign, but there’s only one way to know for sure: get your chart calculated or do it yourself.  If you know what time you’re born, as I happen to know, then you can know exactly where the Sun was by sign, degree AND minute. The Sun doesn’t always go into a sign at the same time each year, despite what your horoscope or calendar might say (if it’s not an astrological one.)

But isn’t true then that you would be the blend of the next sign too? Possibly, but not because you were born at the end of a sign. Remember, you’re a blend of all of the signs, but it depends on where the planets are when you’re born. You could be born smack dab in the middle of a sign and still have stronger cocktail of planets in the next sign.  Or you might not. Again, it all depends when you were born, perhaps down to the hour and minute.

For instance, I don’t have any planets in Sagittarius.  So there’s no literal blend that way. What I do have are other signatures in my chart that make me more of a Sagittarius Scorpio, but that’s not really because I was born near “the cusp.” One reason is because I was born at a particular time that puts my Sun in a Sagittarius like position called the 9th house. However, if I were born earlier on November 22 or a few hours later, I wouldn’t have that signature at all.

So the cusp is mostly a fiction, for multiple reasons. It’s a fiction for someone who doesn’t know the exact time of their birth and subsequently where their planets fall by sign and degree. Once you’re in the know, however,  “the cusp” is no longer necessary and the whole Zodiac can be yours, even minute by minute. This specificity can lead to a transformation.  A transformation similar to what Rumi says in one of my favorite poems, “that way a thorn expands to a rose. A particular glows with the universal.” Be free of the cusp and glow with the particularity of knowing you’re all of it!

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