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Have you ever had anyone tell you that if you were born the first or last few days when the sun is changing sign that you were born "On the cusp"? Most people with even a little knowledge of astrology have heard this at one time or another, and it has even been put into print in several Sun Sign books. Yet, the entire idea was only created to simplify why people of a certain Sun Sign display some of the characteristics of the next sign. It is one of the myths created to raise interest in the subject of astrology and to bring it in an understandable light to those with no previous knowledge of it. Unfortunately, it caught on, and now it is a mess! This is simply an example of good intentions gone awry.

The most critical factor in explaining why you hold the characteristics for more than one sign is that you have all twelve signs in your astrological make-up. The Sun's position is indeed important for finding your ego state and sense of self, but it is only one part of a much larger, personalized picture. You may very well have quite a few planets in the signs before or after the sign the sun is in.

One of the common reasons that explains why you would especially have strong characteristics corresponding to the symbols from the sign just ahead of your Sun, or just behind, is Mercury. Mercury is the planet that symbolizes your thought process and your communications. Mercury, due to its location, spends all of its time near The Sun. They spend the majority of their time in the same sign, but when the Sun is moving from one sign to the next, Mercury will be a little ahead or behind, depending on what side of The Sun it is on. This can happen for a few days or several weeks, also depending on where Mercury is compared to the Sun. So, if you are born with the Sun at the beginning of say, Gemini, and Mercury is still in Taurus, your ego will reflect the symbol of Gemini, but your way of processing information and your thought process (very noticeable and important things!) will be symbolized by Taurus. You would notice both sign descriptions in your daily life.

Another factor in this is what is called progressions. After you are born, though you keep your astrological make-up that you were born with, you chart progresses to show what you have learned, accomplished and evolved to in your life. The Sun progresses at about one degree per year, meaning if you were born when the Sun is at the very end of a sign, by the time you were three or so, you would have a progressed chart with The Sun in the next sign. This sign would be holding steady as a part of your sense of self into your 30s. You would feel this to be an extension of your personality.

Most studies done by large astrological groups have shown that when a planet changes sign, it changes sign, period. There is no lag in the symbol before or after. There is always another way to show why the traits of the sign following the Sun's sign are present in your character. The astrological term cusp actually means the division between houses in a natal chart. Studies by many astrologers, myself included, have seen that the changing of a planet or point at a particular time of the day show an immediate shift of consciousness or work related to the new sign the planet or point has entered.

The best way to find out where your Sun, Mercury, and other planets really are, and where different symbols fit in your life, is to have a natal chart cast for the moment you were born.

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