Why Your Zodiac Sun Sign Changes

Posted on September 29, 2016
Updated on November 26, 2020

There’s been plenty of buzz lately about zodiac sun signs changing lately—and the truth is, they do. This happens more frequently than you might think, and it’s got nothing to do with inaccuracy. Your sun sign isn’t consistent. It’s all to do with the sun’s orbit, the Earth’s wobble, and other astronomical issues. This is going to be especially apparent for those of you who are born on the solstices and the equinoxes, for those dates change from year to year because the Earth’s orbit around the Sun isn’t exact. This is why a reputable astrologer will nag you for your time and place of birth when reading your birth chart.

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Time Zones & Seasonal Clocks

Think about it. Even times zones will throw a calendar off. When it’s 2 am in London, England, it’s only 8 pm the previous evening in New York City. A baby born at exactly the same time in each city is going to be born on two different dates, because of that time zone difference.

Then there are the seasonal clock changes, where we set the clocks back an hour in the autumn and forward an hour in the spring. Not everyone changes their clocks and even those who do don’t necessarily change them on the same date. That means that the time difference between New York and London may be four hours, or it may be six hours. This also influences just what date you were born and puts you into one sign or another.

Living On the Edge

If your birthday occurred right as the signs were changing, we say you were born ‘on the cusp.’ Now, when you know your time and place of birth, you’re definitely going to be one sign or the other. Astrology is measured in degrees, just like longitude and latitude. So, you could be on the cusp of Virgo, but you’re still Virgo. If you had been born just a few minutes later, you’d have been a Libra. Babies born at the exact same time, but one in London and one in New York, both share the same zodiac sign, even though one was born a day later than the other. This is why your Sun sign isn’t consistent through various different horoscopes and astrology readings, and why the time and place of birth are so important in order to work with a comprehensive chart.

If you’re on the cusp and don’t know your time of birth (sometimes it’s just not possible to find out), the best advice I’ll offer to you then is to read both signs. Being on the cusp means that you’re going to be a blend of each sign, even if you know what time you were born. It gets complicated, even without the astronomy, but let’s take a quick look at that, anyway.

If the Earth took exactly 365 days to orbit the sun, things could be calculated with a lot more regularity. However, that’s not the case. The Earth takes (approximately) 365 days and 6 hours to make it’s solar trip, and that’s why every four years we have a leap year where the extra 6 hours are added up to a day and thrown onto the calendar at the end of February (shout out to all the February 29th Pisceans out there). It’s because of those extra 6 hours that the dates of the equinoxes and the solstices change, and because those quarter days mark the start of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, those are the signs that move, which in turn will change the dates for the end of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius.

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There are always going to be discrepancies when working with a birth chart, because of these natural anomalies. Different astrologers work with different house systems, different ephemerides (sky maps), and more. The thing to remember is that, even though your Sun sign isn’t consistent through the different interpretations, you are. You are you, unique and irreplaceable. The planets are here to guide you, but they cannot take away your very essence — not even the angels themselves have the capability to do that. Find your niche, and then let astrology enhance you and help you to live your life to the fullest.

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Hi! I’m Charla Stone and I learned astrology and mysticism way back in the 1970s. I’ve spent the last four decades using the stars, tarot, runes, crystals, totems, and more to… Learn More About The Author »

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