The Boundaries Between the Zodiac Signs - Cusps, Equinox and Solstice

The ancient Sumerians bequeathed us many gifts but shining among them is the wheel and/or astrology. As things tend to be synchronized, astrology and the wheel are one and the same. The signs appear to begin with the Spring Equinox, 21st of March, first day of the “first” sign, Aries, and end with Pisces, but in “reality” it is Pisces that is imagining Aries and the rest of the zodiac, therefore, as Sefer Yetzirah (The Kabbalistic Book of Creation) states: the signs’ “end is embedded in the beginning and the beginning in the end.” The wheel has no beginning nor an end. It never starts and does not end.

Sacred places, such as Varanasi, Kaaba, Jerusalem, Stonehenge, Mount Sinai, the Bodhi Tree, Uluru, to name a few, are called by the great religion historian, Eliade Marcia, hierophonies, a place where a manifestation of the sacred appeared in the material world. These holy places are an axis-mundi, a liminal location connecting heaven and earth, death and life, past and future.

The ancient Sumerians were masters of time and the sexagesimal mathematical system is still used today by everyone on the globe to keep time. They were also masters of space, not only inventing writing and charting maps, but they were also the first to build sailboats, the plow, and use the chariot. No wonder they also initiated the methodical study of the sky, yielding astrological charts which captured where (space) and when (time) an event occurred or will take place.

The Sumerian divided the wheel’s circumference into twelve segments, the zodiac signs. It was assumed that Aries, the ram, the leader of the flock, is the first sign beginning right on the vernal equinox. As nature springs into life, so does the astrological as well as agricultural year begins. But as was suggested earlier, Pisces, the last sign, which was given dominion over imagination and dreaming, could be the first sign since there is a chance the little mermaid is dreaming of a handsome ram followed by Taurus, Gemini, Cancer etc.

Now, once we established the zodiac wheel is a true wheel with no beginning and no end, let’s look at the boundaries between the zodiac signs. Sometimes I get to read a chart of a person born on the border between two signs. Often these people assume they are one sign when in fact they are the adjacent sign. Consider, for example, someone born on the 20 of April. All their life they thought they were an Aries only to discover that due to their time and location, they were a Taurus. For some clients it is a shock, but to others, who know the idea of cusps, it is not such a revelation. People who are born right at the end or beginning of a sign are called cusp. It is like being born on the border between two friendly countries enjoying the best of two worlds. Let’s say they are born between Germany and France, then most likely you are fluent in both languages, maybe very punctual (German) but also enjoy good food and a daily glass of wine (France). So, if you are born on the cusp between Cancer and Gemini, you still have the high EQ of Cancers but compared to other people in your tribe, you are far more reasonable and logical (Gemini) in handling your feelings.

That is all good, but we all know that not all countries are on the best of terms with each other. Between some countries there is a hard border with towering electric fences, army patrols, and security cameras. This can also be found in the zodiac wheel. Since the wheel has no beginning and no end, where will we place the spokes that hold the wheel together, connecting the outer rim (zodiac) with the axis (oneness). These four hard borders in the zodiac wheel are not a simple cusp, nor are they a smooth fade in fade out. They are a jump cut. To cross these abysses you need a visa, permits, effort, and a leap of faith. These four borders are between Pisces and Aries, Gemini and Cancer, the cusp of Virgo and Libra and the border between Sagittarius and Capricorn. Yes, they are the Equinoxes and the Solstices. These borders while harsh, are sacred places, they are holy cusps. No wonder, Easter and Passover were placed close to the Equinox, as well as Christmas and Yule to the Solstice.

Whenever I do compatibility charts for business or love partners which are from neighboring signs, I always tell them that there might be some border disputes here and there, you know, the tree from your property is damaging my fence etc. But it is all good, you can work through them easily. However, when the couples are composed of Aries and Pisces; Gemini and Cancer; Virgo and Libra; and Sagittarius and Capricorn, the challenges can run deep and need more work. They need a UN intervention or some sort of a Camp David. The reason is that these borders are more serious, they are like a natural border between countries (lakes, rivers, mountain ranges), for example: the Rio Grande, the Alps, or the Dead Sea. These are monumental borders and one needs more energy and skill to cross them. Usually these borders represent a major duality that needs to be overcome.   

The leap of faith between Aries and Pisces we already mentioned: the border between beginning and end, as well as masculine and feminine, active and receptive. Pisces contains all the signs and yet Aries wants a fresh start. He is asking Pisces to get rid of all the excesses and dump them before the Equinox starts. The leap of faith between Cancer and Gemini we already encountered as well, it is the emotions and compassion of Cancer versus the logic, reason, and intellect of Gemini. Subjective versus objective, stay home like a nesting Cancer, or travel like a curious Gemini. The border between Gemini and Cancer is the Solstice. The border between Virgo and Libra is the equinox and represents the forces of self-reliance, self-sufficiency, monastic and reclusive (Virgo) versus the need for companionship, relationship, and partnership (Libra). Virgo is functional (Bauhaus) while Libra is beauty and art (Art Nouveau). The last hard border falls again on a solstice and is between Capricorn and Sagittarius. Capricorn is dark, Sagittarius is light. Capricorn is practical, Sagittarius is idealistic. Capricorn is frugal and pessimistic while Sagittarius tends to overspend due to overoptimistic.

Since Astrology traces its source to the Space Time conjunction, regardless of your sign or your partner’s sign, it is highly recommended to follow the ancient ones and celebrate the equinoxes and solstices. Find your sacred place at these scared times and do something meaningful for you and for your loved ones.

Happy Equinox!