Why Do Sun Sign Dates Vary?

Dear Mystic,

Why Does Your Sun Sign Change? I was born at 4.30am in England, on Feb 18th.1947  Although not normally too thick, I  still cannot understand why, after some fifty-odd years being quite happy as an Aquarian, I am now – sometimes, but not always – listed as a Piscean.  Not that I have anything against Pisceans, but it has left me puzzled.  Do you have the time to explain, please?

The Now Extinct Aquarian.

This is such a cool and useful question that, when I found it in the archives, I added an extra answer from the epic Clarissa Dolphin – hers is the top response and my original one is below!

Dear Now Extinct Aquarian,

Sun Sign switch-ups have two main origins: cusp nativity blunders and zodiacal solar calendar preferences.

To be clear, Sun Sign variance via cusp nascency is NEVER a thing. With “edge births” – entering the corporal world right at the end of one zodiac sign before the Sun ingresses into another – solar flair is anchored in one sign only: always. No one is ever really born on a cusp, inhabiting two signs at once, period, it’s one or the other.

There are general zodiac sign windows, like Pisces begins February 18 and ends March 20, but the actual date the Sun ingresses into Pisces every year changes, these periods are approximate.

If you get astrology reports generated online and find that one puts you as a Pisces and another as an Aquarian, the cusp quandary most likely has to do with faulty calculation. Unfortunately, like every other professional in any field, some astrologers are sloppy, or the ingress timing is off for oafish mathematical reasons. In these cases, Sun Sign shifts are simple computational errors. 

The only thing that could mind-f**k a “dual sign” situation is if the astrologer decides to use a Sidereal versus Tropical solar year charting system. In this case, you CAN both be a Pisces AND an Aquarius, regardless of whether you were born on the cusp, due to the calculatory parameters of each respective system. A Tropical Pisces Sun IS a Sidereal Aquarius Sun.

So, what’s a Sidereal versus Tropical solar year? They’re both zodiacal timing methodologies steeped in personal ideology, thousands of years of astrological debate, and ultimately, choice. 

The Sidereal Zodiac, a Vedic astrology staple, adopts the purview that the zodiac “begins” (0° Aries) based on the placement of the fixed stars in relation to the Sun’s apparent motion from the perspective of earth (the ecliptic). 

The Tropical zodiacal perspective is more seasonal in that the beginning of the chart (0° Aries) ALWAYS starts at the vernal equinox (when the Sun appears to enter the Northern hemisphere on the celestial equator), regardless of how the fixed stars / constellations move. 

There was once only one zodiacal system (Sidereal), until precession of the equinoxes (Earth axis rotation / polar shifts) made the Sun move out of direct alignment with constellations.

The implementation of these systems, Sidereal versus Zodiac, really does boil down to individual inclination. We’re using the astrology chart as an apparatus to commune with infinity, it really doesn’t f**king matter what you choose – personal proclivity is key.

If you’re still wondering what Tropical Sun Sign you are, Mystic’s Astral DNA report will clear that up! And if you’re interested in Sidereal Solar analysis, check out the Sidereal Astral DNA report. You can explore both worlds.

AND, would love to hear your thoughts on cusping… should it be canceled or is it a relevant thing?


Dear Now Extinct Aquarian,

You are born on the cusp of a sign. ie; right near the very end or beginning. Your Sun is in Aquarius but the reason some scopes list you as Pisces is thus.

Every year the Sun changes signs at slightly different times. eg; people born on March 20 one year are a Pisces but the same birthday the next year would render them an Aries.

Horoscopes can’t work off the individual dates of everyone so they go for the most likely day or use the dates current that particular year.

It is a hot-button issue for some. Once I got an email from a Scorpio furious that she had “become a Sagittarius without my consent.

She loathed Saggos, found them feckless and unsubtle and could not bear their apparent refusal to face up to their responsibilities. Yes, a particular Sagittarius gentleman had inspired her wrath.

So you are the Sun Sign that you were at birth. The position of the Sun in the Zodiac at the moment you draw your first breath determines your so-called Sun Sign and that does not alter.

And, b.t.w, the word cusp refers to the border between two signs. It’s incorrect to say you were “born on the cusp” – the Sun was either in one sign or another when you were born.


11 thoughts on “Why Do Sun Sign Dates Vary?”

  1. I’ve alwasy felt confused about who I am, and all this isn’t helping;). Only 1 degree taurus, and no other taurus in chart, but don’t identify with aries at all. Once, when asked when my birthday was I gave the first date which came into my head – 15th June. Strange, as many people think I’m Gem, but absolutely no Gem in my chart. It’s still my “official” birthday tho.

    Feel more in tune with cancerian moon and jupiter in aquarius, but that can get mightily confusing and disorientating when in the midst of a deeply emotional situation and analysing it at the same time.

    As for labels, grrr, don’t get me started … always try to not reveal true birthday because hate being judged as something I don’t own to. Oh dear, maybe I’m a highly individualistic taurus after all.

  2. Unpredictable Pisces

    Multiple Pisces…i agree…I would love to know what it’s like to be a sweet, diplomatic Libran who is unfailingly socially acceptable, or a Leo with very sound self-esteem, great grooming and an inability to doubt oneself.
    I mean, it does happen sometimes but only in the kaleidoscopic whirl of other moments in my life consisting of crazy hair days, workaholic-ness, self doubt, weekends of isolated creative whimsy, blunt social encounters where I lose patience with associates or some event, and long evenings of study, and plotting world domination. Plus time for loved ones somewhere in there… we’re all only human I suppose though…

  3. Gawd I’d love to find out am actually a Sagg, a la the various examples in your post. Sadly as a Pisces/Aquarius cusp it will never be…

  4. I remember Dennis Elwell, a brilliant English astrologer, saying that there isn’t an actual door out there in the night sky where one sign or house ends and the other begins. He was into shades of grey, wide orbs and the reminder that we each have all 12 signs of the zodiac in our charts.

    There is also Mercury and Venus to consider. They orbit no further from the sun than 30 and 45 degrees so the Sun can be 19 Aquarius 55 , just about to change signs, and Mercury (the spokesperson for the sun) already in Pisces. That alone can make people seem ‘cuspy’. 🙂

  5. Sometime the cusp does have its downfalls. My wonderful, beautiful, articulate mother is the cusp of Taurus and Gemini…. she dons both cloaks, but this mean that she can not make up her mind, but she is going to be incredibly stubborn about it.

    1. taurean with the HMBOTS

      oh ha ha ha, LMAO, venus a go go, i’m 2 1/2 hours a taurus and spent most of my life thinking i was a gem though now i’ve been labelled a taurus (though rather a fast one, LOL!) can see how ridiculous to ever think myself a gem.

      and as a complete non sequitur: where is Cheshire Cap????

      1. Leonine Librarian

        westward direction…charleville with her friend that wanted to set her up with a couple of likely blokes. I think…still?

        1. HMBOTS: There is one trait of my mothers that I have _absolutely_ no idea how she pulls it off (and I admire it greatly). Its her ability to get people to do stuff for her. People (family, friends, passers by) will pop around the house and she will have them doing some chore within minutes.
          … Only her children really be-grudge her ability… the other don’t have it happen often enough to care (vocally), but even after all these years I will find myself going over for lunch (which will be delicious and bountiful) and find myself clean out her gutters whilst she has gone shopping.

  6. Unpredictable Pisces

    Indeed FA…why stick to one boring old sign for one’s whole life when you can chop and change as the need arises 🙂 hee hee

  7. Oh Angel of the Fall, did you see me go out for an icecream and end up in Bangladesh. We must have been in Singapore the same time looking at the BananaMoon in a reverie.
    My rising sign has changed from Aquarius to Capricorn the last few years.
    In Aquarius it explained my new age hippiness.and why i gravitated to Aqua’s.
    In Cap it has explained my dedication to career & tenacity.
    Both worked for me…..one astro symbol evolves into the next anyway,
    doesn’t it?
    If the moon changes signs approx every 2 days, then we can be a different persona to match.
    Pour quoir pas?

  8. Darling Extinct, I too live on the border and spent the first 4-5 years of my life as a Gemini, until all of a sudden, I was shunted off to the Camp of Cancer and there I have remained ever since. You can imagine what it did to my budding astro sensibilities when suddenly I am tagged as moody, emotional, and everything else sooky goo goo, as well as having all my comms reduced to a range of meaningful looks and silence.. Surely not, I chatted away in hyper Gemini fashion at age 4…

    Then as if that were not quite enough to confound me, I had no idea, regardless of my love of astro what rising sign I was – until a few months ago when my birth certificate was located. A Virgo Rising. But I have found that rather than being oppressed via the bureaucracy of border crossings and inherit a stress knot on one’s bursa, I had begun to think of that line as a bit more porous to me.

    I’m happy to be a Moon Child as my intuition fruitfully bears but am also quite comfortable in quick silvery expressiveness. It sounds a contradiction but inherently, I think one’s chart would reflect the uniqueness of your position. So revel!

    Plus sometimes I think we labor under misconceptions such as the Now Not Capp but Sagg friend for a reason? Would she have reached such career heights if suddenly as an acknowledged Sagg she had license to drop everything for what was originally a midnight run for ice cream which turned to a pilgrimage to Tibet sort of thing?? She may not have ended up contributing to the creation of jobs and the GNP…

    Or to be over-simplistic, think of it as having two wardrobes and you can get to don things from both…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *