If you were born on a day when the Sun changes sign, you’ll be familiar with the notion of being “born on the cusp”. People born on these days often report that they don’t feel like their Sun sign, but more like the other sign.
Actually, nobody is truly born on the cusp – the Sun changes sign at an exact moment during the cusp day; if you were born on or after that moment, your Sun is in the second sign, if were born before, even one minute before, your Sun is in the first sign. However, there are sound astrological reasons why people born on a cusp day often don’t identify all that much with the qualities of their Sun sign.
The Ascendant Matters
First of all, it’s important to understand that the Sun is just one of hundreds of factors in your birth chart. Just as important is your Ascendant sign – the sign which was rising in the East in the place and at the moment of your birth. This changes every two hours and is a vital factor in anyone’s personality. Say you were born moments after the Sun moved from Gemini to Cancer, but you’ve always felt “more Gemini”. If your Ascendant happens to be Gemini, that would account for you feeling like a Gemini. It’s often hard for a non-astrologer to tell the difference between signs which belong to the same element, so if your Ascendant is one of the other two air signs, Libra or Aquarius, that may well have the same effect.
Mercury Matters Too
Mercury is never more than 28 degrees from the Sun; this means that on the Gemini/Cancer cusp day, Mercury will be in either Gemini or Cancer, but not necessarily the same sign as the Sun at the moment of your birth. Mercury rules our intellect and our thought processes, so it’s very possible for someone with a Sun sign Cancer to have Mercury in Gemini, which will definitely make them identify strongly with Gemini.
Factor in the Progressed Sun
As you grow up, your astrological Sun progresses by one degree per year, symbolically, in your chart. So if you were born with the Sun only just in Cancer, by the time you reach your early 30s, your progressed Sun will be in Gemini. If you were born in the last degrees of Gemini, your progressed Sun may be in Cancer by the time you are 3 or 4 years old and will remain there as you grow up. Progressions are a fascinating way to track trends in our lives, and a progressed Sun often accounts for someone not identifying all that well with their actual Sun sign.
Other Planets and Points at Work
In addition to the influence of the Ascendant, Mercury and the progressed Sun, it’s important to note that any one of the other planets or points may simply be more dominant in your chart than the Sun is. The Sun is always important in a chart, but it’s often not THE most important thing. A ruling planet, or a planet touching an important angle in the chart, can easily modify the Sun’s influence on your basic personality.
Most people do identify with their Sun sign to a reasonable extent. The fact that many do not can be explained by a combination of the above points – if this applies to you, it’s worth getting your full astrological chart done so that you can learn what’s what. There is so much more to you than just a Sun sign, and the question of people born on the cusp is a great example which proves that.