What It Means To Be A Cusp Sign In Astrology

If you've ever felt like you were a bit too emotional for your sign — looking at you, Aquarius — or maybe you just didn't resonate with your zodiac sign, there's no need for panic. If you were born in the gray area when the sun is transitioning from one sign to another, chances are that your cosmic identity crisis is being caused by the energy of a cusp sign. 


"Cusps are a relatively new myth. Over the last couple of decades, this buzzword has circulated and gives people who don't identify with the traits of their sun sign a sort of 'out' to feel more understood," astrologer Meghan Rose tells Today. Astrology is an ancient art with many practices and delineations, which is what makes it both so enriching (and confusing) when you first get started. 

So, if you're curious to know what being born on the cusp of a zodiac sign actually means and how it influences your energy, keep reading to learn how to navigate this astrological phenomenon. 

What is a cusp sign in astrology?

When non-astrologers use the term cusp, they are typically referring to someone who is born a few days before or after the sun changes zodiac signs. Your sun sign is determined by which zodiac sign the sun was occupying in space the moment you were born. Cusp signs, therefore, occur when a birthday falls within the narrow window of time when the sun leaves one sign and enters another (via Astrology.com). And the dates between two signs may change slightly, depending on the exact moment the sun is in a specific constellation from one year to the next.


These people are thought to take on the characteristics of both zodiac signs, creating a unique blend of astrological energy. People who were born on the cusp of a sign often feel as though they have traits and characteristics of both zodiac signs they were born under. "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," astrologer Annabel 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."

So, are cusp signs really a thing?

While the idea of being a unique mix of two different zodiac energies is undeniably cool, it's not mathematically possible. "The sun cannot be in two signs at once. Therefore, you do not have two sun signs, ever," explains Evening Star Astrology on Twitter. There is an exact moment when the sun transitions from 29 degrees of one sign to 0 degrees of another sign, which marks the start of the new zodiac season. However, the confusion around cusps occurs because the earth's annual trip around the sun doesn't take exactly one calendar year to complete, so the date the sun moves from one sign to another changes (within one day) from year to year. So, if you were born on July 20, you might be a Gemini, or you might be a Cancer, depending on which year you were born. 


Simply put, the sun and every other planet in your birth chart can only occupy one zodiac sign at a time, so cusps are an impossible occurrence. "Even if someone was born on the day that the sun moved from one sign to the next, their sun sign will be determined by where the sun physically was at their exact moment of birth," astrologer Narayana Montúfar explains to Refinery29.

So, why might you feel like a cusp sign?

Although cusps aren't real, there are several other valid explanations for why you might feel like you are on the cusp of a sign. Some astrologers believe that being born within a certain decan of a zodiac sign, which is a "subdivision" of the zodiac signs based on degrees in order to "give a richer context" to their personalities and traits, can be a sign of someone who is starting a new journey into the energy of that sign, per Astrology.com. So, when your sun sign is positioned in the early degrees of a new sign, you are looking ahead and a bit preoccupied with what you need to learn in order to advance spiritually.


Another thing to look at? Your personal planets. The orbit of Mercury and Venus frequently overlap with the sun. For this reason, your sun, Mercury, and Venus signs will spend most of your life in close quarters with each other. It's very likely you'll spot your "cusp sign" in one of these other personal placements, which could explain why you identify with being a Taurus more than an Aries, for instance.

Ultimately, everyone has a bit of each zodiac sign within their personality because you are more than their sun sign. If you're curious why certain energy resonates with you more than your sun sign, you'll want to grab a full copy of your birth chart and do some investigating; you might be surprised by what you find!