Whether you're the kind of person who reads your horoscope every day or has trouble remembering which of the "C" signs you are (is it Capricorn or Cancer?), chances are you'll be curious to know your kid's zodiac sign. If your kid is born on the “cusp” of two zodiac signs (usually on the 19th or 20th of a month) you may be wondering if it’s possible to actually display the traits from two distinct signs. The answer is not as clear-cut as you might expect.
In fact, “astrologers debate if cusps are a real phenomenon," Kyle Thomas, celebrity and pop culture astrologer, tells Romper. "Some astrologers say that you are only on a cusp if you are the first or last degree of a zodiac sign. More lenient astrologers say that you are on a cusp if you are born within three days of the transition either way. The sign that your Sun falls in will be your predominant personality and temperament, but you will inherit a blend of traits from the other zodiac sign as well.”
This gets more complicated, because some astrologers say that there is no such thing as cusps at all; they argue that even if you’re born at the last second before a zodiac switch, you can still only ever be one sign. If this is as confusing to you as it was to me at first, you can think of this in the same way you would years; even if you’re born at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2019 you’re still born in 2019, not 2020.
One reason some people may feel that they are two signs is because, as astrologer Donna Stellhorn tells Romper, “Mercury and Venus never get that far from the sun, so they are often in the same sign or a neighboring sign at the time of your birth. So when people say they are born on the 'cusp' of, say, Leo, they may have Mercury and/or Venus in Virgo and they experience the qualities of both signs."
Or, you could be born a Pisces, for example, "but if your Mercury — the planet of the mind and communication — is in Aries, you’ll certainly communicate like a ram, which is to say, more quickly, aggressively, or impulsively than a typical Pisces," per Vice.
If you feel like your child who is born on a cusp is particularly emotional (or moody, but then again, who isn't?), it could be because their birthday is on the last day of their zodiac sign's time frame.
“There is something very important to note about being born at the time the zodiac sign changes (what people call the cusp),” Stellhorn says. People born on the last day of a sign have what's known as a 29 degree sun. "If you have a 29-degree sun everything in your life is more intense," Stellhorn explains. "You can be more emotional about setbacks. At the same time, the successes can be big and take you for quite a ride. It's like the volume is turned up to ten on your life.”
The flip side? If your kiddo is born on the first day of a sign, they have what’s called a zero-degree sun. Those children, regardless of zodiac sign, may be particularly laid-back and optimistic.
“If you're born with the sun at zero degrees you have many more options open to you during your life,” Stellhorn tells Romper. “The problem is with the zero degree, you can get stuck in perpetual optimism, doing the same thing over and over, thinking, ‘this time it's going to work.' And sometimes when you have a zero degree sun, you have trouble deciding what to do as you have so many options.”
So while it may be impossible to be a true hybrid of two signs (like a "Sagittaricorn" or an "Aquarices"), it is possible that someone born at the tail end of zodiac season will feel things more deeply, or be considered "sensitive" or emotional.
"If you fall on a cusp of a fire sign, you will have more of a fiery temperament infused within you," Thomas tells Romper. "If you fall on a cusp of an earth sign, you will be more grounded and practical. If you fall on the cusp of an air sign, you will inherit a logical and cooler demeanor. If you fall on a cusp of a water sign, you will be more moody and emotional."
It's important to remember that even if you identify strongly as your sign, everyone has pieces of all 12 signs within themselves. "We have the entire sky and all constellations infused within our personal natal chart. So yes, we have pieces of them all," Thomas tells Romper. "However, your rising sign and sun sign are the most predominant when it comes to personality, whereas your moon sign shows your reactions and emotional life. So your 'big three' are often the three zodiac signs that fall in those areas."
Both Stellhorn and Thomas agree that the most accurate way to get a handle on your child's zodiac is to visit a trusted astrologer who will be able to tell you all about their chart based on exactly where the planets were on the date and time of their birth. As Thomas says, "your Rising Sign (Ascendant) also informs a great deal about your temperament, and even more than the 'cusp' energy does." So if you think your child is showing traits of two signs, you may actually be picking up on their Rising Sign, not their cusp sign.
Donna Stellhorn, professional astrologer
Kyle Thomas, pop culture celebrity astrologer