How Important Is The Sign On The Cusp Of A House?

Capricorn goat paintingHi Elsa,

I have a late degree ascendant. Therefore, the cusp of a given house is in sign x, while the majority of that house is in sign y. When trying to get a general feel for a particular house, is the sign on the cusp the only one to consider? Likewise, with planets in a given house, should I only be concerned with the sign the planet is in, or does the other sign within the same house have any say?

Thank you,
Seeking Clarity in California

Hi, Clarity. Good question!  I’m not sure there is consensus on this but I’ll be happy to share my view.

I also have a late degree ascendant. I am a Capricorn-rising. I consider myself Saturn-ruled.

This is akin to having Saturn conjunct my ascendant – I lead with Saturn. My first handshake is Saturnian. I am a person in control when I come into a room. I am serious character (even though I have dimples).   This is true, even if Aquarius takes up most of my first house.

It is my 2nd house that is Uranus-ruled. I may experiment with money. I am detached from makeup / vanity. All my life, people want to dress me up like a doll…and I say, no, no, no!  So this is very clear to me.  The sign ruling the house rules the house!

Now if you stick a planet in a house that is in the second sign, it will express itself in that sign.

For example, let’s say I had Mars in Aquarius in my Saturn-ruled first house (which I don’t). I would still come in the room the same way. But I might be prone to angry, unpredictable outbursts. I might be a pushy person in conservative clothing. I might get my way via unconventional means or any other number of ways this energy might express. But I would still be still runnin’ the thing. I would still be in charge of myself even if I were to act (Mars) weirdly in ways one would not expect (Aquarius)!

Does anyone else want to weigh in?

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How Important Is The Sign On The Cusp Of A House? — 21 Comments

  1. This is such a great question! I’ve been wondering about this too.

    I have a late Pisces ascendant. I never know where to put new moons, eclipses, or set up new intentions. I always assume it’s where I see the degree set up the event; but it’s very confusing.

    It’s also confusing that a chart set up like this means the houses are off (well for me anyway).

  2. Love the question and the answer. I have Virgo on the Cusp of my 1st house and absolutely my first step in a room is with Mercury leading, but not buzzing around all Gemini-about, I’m observant and quiet. But then I have Libra Mars and Saturn conjunct in the first house. My best friend said that when she first met me she found me too aloof and thought I was stuck-up when in truth we met at a women’s group where I felt completely intimated by the knowledgeable people around me. It was completely a deer in the headlights attack.

  3. I have a late cap ascendant too…definitely agree that a spade is a spade. The only case where I’ve found it useful to deviate is reading horoscopes for my rising sign. I will typically read for cap and Aquarius, and Aquarius is usually more spot on (since astrologers are usually writing as if one has a zero degree rising).

  4. Yeah I agree! The Cusp sign predominantly rules the house. But I always take into account other signs within a house (planets or no planets) always. Why? Because like a physical house if two people live there they will affect each other or interact in some way. This may not be obvious as you have already stated above.

    I am also a Capricorn Ascendant with Aquarius in my 1st house, so my nature plays something like this – I establish and play by the rules, but once that’s defined and understood clearly, with myself and others around me, I then say “let’s” have some fun and seriously bend the rules and rebel or do something unorthodox that can shock people!

    When I read someone’s chart I always look at all the signs within houses. I kinda see a progression story being told with how the energy rolls in a person’s house (whatever the house is).

    So for example, I find it useful to look at the 5th house in terms of romance – eg: Cusp Sign (how it starts and behaves initially) then other in-house sign (how it could change, or be favored over time). Also the 7th house of marriage is another good one looking at where things start strongly (Cusp sign) and how things mature over time (in-house sign).

    It’s like the layer of information underneath the covers that’s hidden, that unless you let the dust settle first and get to know a person, they won’t outwardly feel comfortable at a subconscious level expressing it to you.

    Cheers – Shane

  5. So my Libra ruled 2nd house with late Venus there means I’m fair with my resources, then my Scorpio sun in the 2nd half means I make it joint? And dissolve it legally. Heavy sigh. At least I’ve learned to protect myself.

    • Lol – perhaps!

      But I would see it as on the surface you live to appear balanced and fair with resources and how you appear to others, however underneath you definitely want to secretively be in control of both. If someone made a frontal assault or brought into serious question upon your Libran expression in these areas, heaven help them, because your stinging tail would quickly set the respect and boundaries that were required. :-)))

      Cheers Shane

  6. I’ve been wondering the same thing for quite some time. My 5th house starts at late Cancer and the rest of it is in Leo where I have Moon/Jupiter conjunction. And I always wondered if Sun or Moon ruled my 5th house. Because after all practically all of it is in Leo.

  7. Good explanation.
    My 4th (Cap) and 10th (Cancer) cusps are at 29° (Placidus). In Equal they are at 22°, which makes it more obvious.
    I keep forgetting this, thinking my tenth is a Sun-ruled Leo house, & 4th Uranus-ruled Aqua house. Not so – the rulers Saturn and Moon are in mutual reception in opposition, which tells a different story.

  8. I agree with Shane. As late Cancer rising I’m seen as emotional. Once I’m ‘safe’ (Libra Sun in 4th) my Leo sunny playfulness comes out which feels so great.

  9. I have Pisces MC late degrees, but I have Venus and mars in Aries in the 10th and also my progresses sun in Aries in the 10th. I’m definitely way more Aries in my career, very pushy and ambitious and lots of strong and driven energy. I don’t really resonate with the Piscean descriptions for the 10th house.

  10. DEAR ELSA: WHAT A GREAT ANSWER ! I HAVE LIBRA ON 2nd HOUSE CUSP & LIPSTICK IS THE FIRST THING I PUT ON IN THE MORNING…..AND THE LAST THING I PUT ON AT NIGHT…..EXCEPT IT HAS TO BE PINK BECAUSE I HAVE VENUS IN SAG 4th H cuSp IN MUTUAL RECEPTION TO JUPITER IN VENUS-RULED TAURUS CUSP 9th ! So bEFORE I CAN GO TO BED AND LISTEN TO CLASSICAL MUSIC AND READ MY BIG STASH OF METAPHYSICAL BOOKS< I HAVE TO HAVE ON MY LIPSTICK PERFUME & LINGERIE!fancy NATURAL MARE !

  11. I love this question too!
    I have a late degree Scorpio Rising. I come into a room with checking everything out – whose here? What are they doing? What’s the vibe? Is something going on I need to protect myself from? It’s not like I dwell on this stuff but I think it’s like a flash of perception I take in. But once there I’m open, friendly if approached and talkative. I have Jupiter ruling my second house and Mercury and Saturn are there to offer their take on anything you want to talk about. Or sometimes I just listen and don’t say too much if they seem to need an ear.

  12. Scorpio rising here constsntly reading the room when I enter a situation before I can open up and have some sag fun. Saturn is in Scorpio in first as well so always taking a read on the limitations, ie what is the status quo in the situation and how do I function here, who do I handle carefully, who can I work with, who can I be open with. I deal with people differently based on how limited or how open they are. However, sometimes there is someone who likes to stir things up spreading falsehoods about me and that takes Saturnian time as the truth of me dissolves the falsehood. Surprising how people are so apt to believe the crap some people make up. I think something about me reminds me of someone in their life in some way, someone they dislike, so they project their feelings about that person on me. Such is life. I am not a shrink so find the transference unfair. There are professionals out there they can work that stuff through.

    • Am thinking about sag in first. Natal Venus is in cancer and with Venus transiting sag I feel like a foreigner in my own environment. I think I do feel like that when I enter a room as well.

  13. While on the subject of ascendents, I consider how children’s asendents follow each other. Like child one is libra asc child two is Scorpio asc and child three is sag asc. Is there anything to that I wonder.

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