15 Aug In Between Signs… Or Are You?

If you were born between the 20th – 24th day of any month, there would have been some confusion over which ‘sign’ you were. Depending on where you read your horoscopes, you would have been categorised in either one of 2 signs. For example, if you were born on 22 November, some books would say you were Scorpio, others say you’re Sagittarius.

Are these books wrong? How most of the ‘cusp-babies’ deal with it is to identify themselves as being half of one sign and half of the other. Well, the answer is:

There is no such thing as being ‘half’ of a sign. If you were born 22 November, you are either a Scorpio or Sagittarius, never half of each. Which one you are will depend on which year you were born.


The Scientific Explanation

Just as it’s either July or August (there’s never, ‘today’s half-July, half-August’), there’s a clear cutoff point after which we transit into the next month. It’s possible to be late July or early August, but never half of each.

Why the exact date for the transition cannot be specified properly is attributed to 3 phenomena:

1) The Earth takes approximately 365 and one quarter days to complete an orbit around the Sun

2) The Earth’s orbit around the Sun is not a perfect circle

3) Different time zones used around the world means that if you were born 22 November, you might be Scorpio if you were born in Sydney, but Sagittarius if you were born in New York

Let me explain each one:

1) The Earth takes approximately 365 and one quarter days to complete an orbit around the Sun

If you divide a 360-degree circle by the 12 astrological signs, each sign occupies 30 degrees of the zodiacal circle. Hypothetically, if the Earth’s orbit took exactly 360 days, the Sun would ‘move’ exactly one degree per day. Unfortunately the orbit takes 5 and one quarter extra days, so the 1-degree-per-day estimate is not exact, and each ‘sign’ actually lasts slightly more than the 30-day allocation. From one year to the next, the actual transition from one sign to another will never fall at exactly the same date and time.

2) The Earth’s orbit around the Sun is not a perfect circle

As the Earth’s orbit is slightly elliptical, some signs last slightly longer than others, making it additionally difficult to determine the exact time interval between sign transitions.

3) Different time zones used around the world means that if you were born 22 November, you might be Scorpio if you were born in Sydney, but Sagittarius if you were born in New York

Unfortunately, the MOMENT that the Sun transits into the next sign doesn’t occur exactly at midnight, for whose midnight are we talking about? At any given moment, Sydney and New York may not even be on the same day, let alone the impossibility of it being the same time at both places at once.

As an illustration, based on Singapore-time, which is where I’m based, the transition from Gemini to Cancer occurred on Friday 21 July 2013, 1.04pm. A baby born that day in Singapore at 12.30pm is a Gemini, while another born the same day at 4pm is a Cancer. If they were both born in New York, at 12.30pm and 4pm (New York time) respectively, they would both be Cancers.


Are you a cusp-baby?

If you’d like to put to rest once and for all which sign you are, just generate your FREE birth chart with your birth details here.

FAQs

1) How do astrologers know exactly when the Sun transits to a new sign?

Astrologers use a tool called an Ephemeris which records, according to astronomical calculations (read: the study of the science behind outer space – or what NASA does), the movements of the planets and other astrological elements. Most ephemerides are based on GMT time, so we need to be skilled in carrying out the right calculations to determine planetary placements, depending on your birth time zone, and birth location by latitude and longitude etc.

2) Based on your calculation, I’m a Sagittarius, but why do I still identify so strongly with Scorpio interpretations?

What we call your ‘sign’ is just the sign that the Sun happens to be in at the time of your birth. The Sun is just one of 10 planets (the Sun is technically a luminary, not a planet, but we’ll say so for the sake of simplicity) in a birth chart, and even if you’re a Sagittarius Sun, any number of the other 9 planets or other chart elements may be in Scorpio, possibly giving you more Scorpio traits than Sagittarian traits. I personally am a Taurus, but have only the Sun in Taurus, while I have 2 planets and a handful of asteroids in Aries, making me very Arien indeed (anyone who knows me will agree with that!)

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