Sorry, You Were Not Born On The Cusp

I have some news. There is no such thing as being "born on the cusp" of two astrological signs.

                                                                                                              This poster is lying to you.

                                                                                                              This poster is lying to you.

This idea originated with popular sun sign astrology, with its oversimplified explanations that leave out the rest of the birth chart. One thing sun sign astrology glosses over is the fact that the sun doesn't change signs on the same exact day of the month every year.

Because the sun doesn't change signs on the same days each year, two people with the same birthday can have different sun signs. Here's an example: Henry is born at 10:00 AM in Brooklyn on September 22, 1968. The sun at that moment is at 29 degrees of Virgo, so Henry is a Virgo. 40 years later, Henry's daughter Elsa is born at 3:00 PM in Brooklyn on September 22, 2008. What a coincidence; they have the same birthday! But the sun was at 0 degrees of Libra when Elsa was born, so Elsa is a Libra.

To simplify this and cover all bases, some pseudo-astrologer invented the idea of the "cusp", a blend between two signs, to make it seem like the year, place, and time of birth didn't matter. Consequently, a lot of people born between the 19th and 24th of the month believe that they are born on a cusp, and it can be very hard to talk them out of it.

The truth is that you have one sun sign. You're either one or the other, not both. The moment you were born, the sun was anywhere from 0 - 29 degrees of a sign. When the sun moves from 29 degrees of Virgo to 0 degrees of Libra, there is no in-between cuspy blended energy. One moment is Virgo, the other is Libra.

I tried to explain this once to someone who thought she was on the cusp of Cancer and Leo, but was in fact a Leo. She got very angry with me. Some people are deeply attached to this version of themselves. Either she was a Leo who wanted to feel extra special by bragging that she was "on the cusp," or she was ashamed of some of her Leo traits and wanted to use Cancer as a security blanket. 

It's not unlikely that you have planets in the sign you think you're "on the cusp" of. Henry, the Virgo from our earlier example, has the moon, Mercury, and Venus in Libra. Perhaps some of the qualities of Libra feel right to Henry when he's reading the descriptions of a Libra sun sign, or a "Virgo-Libra cusp" analysis, because he does have planets in Libra. But Henry is still a Virgo.

People who are unsure of their sun sign should have their birth charts cast to find out. You can contact me here, and I'll send you a free chart. 

If you feel let down by my cusp-busting, think about what you're trying to distance yourself from. What qualities of your sign make you squirm? You might need to get more comfortable with the shadow side of your sun sign. And remember that the other sign is still a part of you. Your chart is made up of all twelve zodiac signs. Your sun sign is only one piece of that pie.

Taurus New Moon: Prosper

The moon is new at 6.27 degrees of Taurus at 8:16 AM on Wednesday, April 26th.

It seems like everything blooms in Taurus season. It's the time when trees begin to bud, flowers open, and birds start singing. The April rain makes everything lush and green. By May most of us are enjoying a sunny spring. There's a reason that Earth Day and Mother's Day both happen during Taurus season. It's a time of fertility and earthly abundance -- the original definition of prosperity.

Many spiritual and artistic people dislike thinking or talking about the concept of prosperity. Money is vital, useful, enhancing, rewarding, dirty, corrupting, and crass. In this era of vast inequality, money is ever more desirable and sinful, in equal parts. But if you try to separate money from positive or negative judgments, it's just an abstract sort of fuel that pays for the food you eat, the bed you sleep in, the home you live in. The energy of money can fuel your artistic pursuits and yoga retreats. Taurus knows this. Even better: Taurus knows there is a way to create and appreciate wealth without isolating herself; the wealth flows in to her, and back out to the community.

Taurus is the chef who plates mouthwatering dishes in the restaurant he owns, and prospers because his patrons are grateful for his talents. Taurus is the fashion designer who makes beautiful, affordable clothes for more diverse bodies, and prospers because her community appreciates the gift. Taurus people know that luxury isn't only about mansions and private islands; it's about living in appreciation for the sensory world. Soft fabrics, rich colors, floral scents, fresh fruit, beautiful music -- these are the ways Taurus defines prosperity.

New moons are times for new beginnings, for writing down new intentions or wishes. This moon, which makes no aspects to other planets, is perfect for a ritual to manifest prosperity. You can define prosperity however you like -- an abundance of money, time, love, fun, or maybe all of the above. Jan Spiller, author of New Moon Astrology, calls new moon days Power Days. She recommends handwriting up to ten wishes on the day of the new moon to align your manifesting practice with the astrological energy.

Today is a beautiful day for a ritual. It's best done within 24 hours of a new moon, but you could do this effectively anytime until Friday. As the moon waxes, intentions come to fruition. How you perform your ritual is a personal choice. You can simply find some quiet time to write what you wish for, or light candles and incense and call on a higher power. You could use Victoria Young's blank check prosperity ritual, if you would like a guide. After some difficult astrological patterns, this new moon offers some healing generosity. So go forth and prosper.

Dear Rebel: Was Taking the Promotion a Good Career Move?

Dear Rebel,

I’d like to know if my recent promotion was a good career move for me. I am in the same field, Victims Rights Advocacy, but the new position is much more stressful than my old one. I loved my old job. Did I make the right choice?

Brightest Blessings,
Hassled Helper

Read my advice to Hassled Helper.

Would you like your own question answered? Write to Dear Rebel!



Saturn and Pluto Retrograde: An Asshole-Free Life

I gave a reading to someone recently who had all but completed her second Saturn Return. That's every 28-30 years, when Saturn returns to the exact degree of your chart that it occupied when you were born, and checks up on how responsible you've been. Pluto in Capricorn had also been making some key contacts with her natal chart. She explained that the work she had done during this time was to set clear boundaries in her relationships after years of being a people pleaser. "I have a No Asshole policy, and an asshole-free life," she said proudly.

I love this idea. The policy, the boundary setting, the reality that she's now living her life surrounded only by people who treat her well. I think instituting a No Asshole Policy is a perfect plan for any transit involving Saturn and/or Pluto: both of which will be retrograde for a few months this year. Saturn is retrograde until August 25th. Pluto stations retrograde tomorrow, moving direct on September 28th.

Why? Saturn transits are about growing up, developing discipline, and setting boundaries. Pluto transits are about living your truth, leaving behind what no longer serves you in order to be more authentic. People don't just breeze through these transits. First, usually, your problems rise to the surface. The shit hits the fan, to use a Plutonic metaphor. The longer you ignore them, the worse they get. But as you accept the transformation (Pluto transit) or develop the discipline (Saturn transit), you begin to clean it up. You begin to change your patterns. You're growing. It's inevitable that some of the people and behaviors you tolerated in your old life will no longer be tolerable after this process begins.

Who are these assholes? People who repeatedly don't respect your boundaries when you've made them clear, who have a pattern of acting selfishly in your relationship, and especially those who repeatedly try to make you feel bad about yourself or undermine you. Please note that I'm not referring to abuse. If someone is abusing you, it is never your fault. This post is about run-of-the-mill asshole behavior, e.g. clients who call you at all hours of the day and night, or friends who only serve their compliments backhanded.

 Here are the steps to an asshole-free life:

1. Define who you are now. Define your values. Decide what living with integrity means to you.

2. Set your No Asshole policy. How do you expect people to behave towards you? What are your boundaries? What will you no longer put up with? Conversely, what would healthy, positive relationships look like to you?

3. Communicate lovingly with the people in your life who you feel are overstepping your boundaries. I don't buy into this idea that suffering relationships are always the fault of one Toxic Person who must be cut out of your life. You are one half of the relationship, and you may never have stated your boundaries clearly before. Give people a chance to relate to the new you. Sometimes the asshole is a member of your family, which makes your work much harder, and you might choose to enlist the help of a qualified therapist.

4. See if your behavior towards others might change the way they behave towards you. Are you listening to other people? Are you treating others with kindness? Are you respecting their boundaries? A Saturn or Pluto transit is about taking responsibility for yourself and your behavior, not blaming others for your problems.

5. Maintain your No Asshole policy. Some people will not be able to meet you where you are. It could just be that you've grown apart from an old friend, or it could be as dramatic a change as leaving a toxic workplace because you need an asshole-free job. Do what you need to do to create the life you want.

6. Enjoy your asshole-free life. :)

When Pluto moves retrograde tomorrow, it may stir up some shit. You're likely to encounter some of the truths that you'd rather not face or find yourself in a power struggle. Pluto transformations help you come into your own power, but it's a slow and often painful process. Setting some Saturnine boundaries can be a helpful exercise for a Pluto transit.

Where are Pluto and Saturn transiting your chart?

Saturn: 27 - 21 Sagittarius. Transiting natal planets and points from 11-30 degrees of mutable signs (Sagittarius, Gemini, Pisces, Virgo) and fellow fire signs (Aries, Leo).

Pluto: 19 - 16 Capricorn. Transiting natal planets and points from 6-29 degrees of cardinal signs (Capricorn, Cancer, Aries, Libra) and fellow earth signs (Taurus, Virgo).

If you don't have your chart, contact me and I'll send it to you for free.

Are you currently undergoing a Saturn or Pluto transit? Let us know how it's going in the comments.