For starters, you might be a bit of a know-it-all. – by Lindsay Gellar
If you’ve always felt like you have a little bit of emo Cancer in you despite being a hard-core Gemini, no need for an identity crisis—you may just be a cusp sign.
A whatta sign? A cusp sign is someone who is born toward the end of a zodiac sign—you know, “on the cusp” between your Sun sign and the one that follows it—and it can leave you feeling slightly unheard when you read your horoscope each month.
Trust me, I know: Born on January 20, I’m on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius. But I didn’t know this was even a ~thing~ until an astro-obsessed friend filled me in, explaining why I may not always agree with how I’m described. (Btw, I spent the first twelve years of my life thinking I was a Capricorn, not an Aquarius, because my mum got the dates of the signs wrong. Not cool, Mum, not cool.)
So if you’re similarly mind-boggled, don’t sweat it. Being a cusp sign is nbd (you’re still special, tho). Here’s exactly what it means and everything you need to know about it.
Let’s set the record straight: If you’re a cusp, can you be two zodiac signs at once?
Nope, so you can put down that second horoscope (wish someone had told me that years ago). “Your Sun sign is your Sun sign,” says Linda Joyce, professional astrologer and author of The Day You Were Born: A Journey to Wholeness Through Astrology and Numerology. That holds true even if you were born in the very last degree of that sign, like 11:55 p.m. on April 20, for instance. You’re still an Aries, not a Taurus.
FYI: Each sign is divided into 30 degrees (the Sun moves one degree each day, so each degree correlates with a different day). Anyone with their Sun at 27, 28, or 29 degrees of a sign—basically the last three days—is born on the cusp, explains Joyce.
Some astrologers consider people born in the first three days of a new sign as being on the cusp, too, but Joyce believes coming into the world at the beginning of a sign is different than the end.
“When you are in a new sign, you are looking ahead. You are occupied with what you need to learn in order to advance,” she explains. “The difficulty of being on the cusp or end of a sign is that you can feel stuck. You don’t know what to expect.” That can either lead to confusion or taking charge of the moment—the choice is yours, fellow cuspies.
But either way, you’re not some hip, new zodiac-sign hybrid (sorry). Turns out, just because you’re close to another sign doesn’t automatically mean it has a powerful influence on your personality. “The planets resonate with where they are. Yes, they influence each other, but it doesn’t take away from their own position,” says Joyce.
In other words, your actual Sun sign is your main identity; the sign next to you is more like a little salt and pepper on your original flavor.
You can also think of it like sitting next to a stranger at a dinner party—you might direct the conversation toward your shared interests, but it won’t fundamentally change who you are when you get home. (Unless, of course, that stranger is Oprah.)
So, what the heck does it mean to be on the cusp?
For starters, you might be a bit of a know-it-all, but that’s not necessarily a negative trait. (So don’t @ the messenger, okay?) “Cusp souls feel they know more than others—and often, they do,” says Joyce, noting that some are even geniuses.
Because cusp signs are born during a time of transition, it’s up to you to either lead the way, running toward change or jog in place, staying where it’s comfortable. Not so surprisingly, the first path “requires courage and risk,” says Joyce, but hey, isn’t that what life is all about?
“You won’t get help taking the first step. That has to come from you…Take the risk for what you believe in—own your talent, beliefs, and genius,” she advises. “The world will pay attention.” (Solid advice for anyone, amirite?)
If you don’t see being a cuspie as an advantage, you might feel a little lost because your position in your Sun sign doesn’t speak to all of you. But take heart in knowing that you’re not the only person who feels that way about their astrological fate: Few of us are spitting images of what our Sun sign indicates.
“The Sun is the most important planet in your chart, but its power can be diminished by other factors,” Joyce explains. Namely: Mercury and Venus.
Let’s say your Sun sign is on the cusp of Taurus, but your Mercury and Venus signs are in Gemini. Your personality will still resonate with Gemini on some level because you have two planets there.
What else should you know about being a cusp sign?
As much as you might love your Sun sign, here’s the tea: It’s not nearly as important as you think—cusp or not. Whether you’re on the hunt for a romantic match, figuring out your life purpose, or just trying to get through Monday, astrology is complex, and you need to see the “whole picture,” says Joyce. That means looking at your birth chart as a whole.
With that in mind, she encourages you not to get discouraged by your sign’s reputation (looking at you, Scorpios) or the challenges of your chart. Instead, she says, “It’s how you use them that makes you special, strong, or noticed.”
In fact, some of the most successful people have the most challenging charts because they’re not afraid of difficulties. They might even seek those challenges out, knowing that it’s the struggle—not the success—that actually makes you strong, hones your wisdom, and can give you an edge in life.
Bottom line: “If you’re a cusp soul, own it.”
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.