Question: Planets on Cusps

Hi, Thank you for taking the time to answer me. First you may use information and answers anywhere you want to. I have planets in all houses except 7 & 9. Venus intercepted in Aries in 12th and Neptune intercepted in Libra in 6th in opposition to each other. I have 2Gemini39 on 2nd house cusp. I have Uranus 0Gem46 and Saturn 6Gem03. 4th House 16cancer50 and Jupiter 15cancer21. 4th house 10Leo39 and Pluto 5Leo24. 9th house 25Sagit.43 with the Moon in 8th at 21Sagit00. 11th house cusp 11Aquarius39 and Mercury in 11th 14Aquarius35. 12th house 13Pisces13 and Sun in 11th at 9Pisces07. Now, how do you read these planets. As actually being in the house they are in or being in the next house because they are so close to the cusp? This chart was mathmatically figured out by hand by a fellow I have know for 40 years. Astrodienst is 2degrees off on moon. 2/28/43 9:15am cwt. 83w00, 39N58. Back in early 70’s I had astrologers license but moved to Calif. and didn’t practice for 30 years. Recently got interested again. I have no desire to do for money, just curious and want to help where I can. P. S. Guy I have know for 40 years told me I would die in 5years at age 72. He said if somehow I survived I would live to be 102. Any thoughts on that one. Thank you most sincerely, Sondra

Now, how do you read these planets. As actually being in the house they are in or being in the next house because they are so close to the cusp?

Having 3 planets on cusps in my own natal chart I continually ask myself this same question. Many astrologers use a 5 degree rule when it comes to planets on cusps- meaning that planets that are less than 5 degrees from the cusp are considered in the next house. I think this method is OK at the beginning, but the more I learn, the more unsatisfactory it feels. I’m beginning to favor a blending of the two house descriptions for most purposes but, even then, I think it’s important to take the speed of each planet, as well as how close to the cusp each planet is, into consideration during interpretation.

For example, the Moon, which is the fastest moving planet, progressed into your 9th house by the time you were a few months old. Pluto, which can take more than 12 years to transit each house, did not progress into the next house until you were approximately 2 years old, or a little older. Neither one is a very long, but how long does it take for the personality to set in?

If you check out your progressed chart for different years on you can determine exactly when each planet moved into the next house and that will help you to understand exactly how much influence each house position has for you.

Some people with interception in their charts find it useful to switch to the Equal House or Whole Sign house systems.

Guy I have know for 40 years told me I would die in 5years at age 72. He said if somehow I survived I would live to be 102. Any thoughts on that one.

If I were you I’d ignore this information. Giving out this type of information is dangerous and can have an insidious lingering effect on the mind. In my opinion, it is irresponsible.

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I’m Michelle and I have an Aries Sun, Leo Moon & Virgo rising.

  • As for the house cusps, what I learned was that if a planet is approaching a house by say, 2 or 3 degrees — like if Mars is at 6 Pisces approaching the 9th house cusp which is 8 Pisces, then Mars has a controlling say in matters pertaining to the 9th house moreso than the 8th. Planets on the cusp are always stronger than planets inside the house.

    In horary astrology if a planet is within 5 degrees of the next house it is considered to be in that house too.

    As for orbs, the closer the orb the stronger the combined energies of the two planets. I don’t use wider than 5 degrees. Then again I don’t place as much emphasis on aspects as on the qualities shown by dignities of the planets. Those alone provide a ton of information. For example, this week Mars sextiled Saturn from Leo to Libra. But Leo is detriment of Saturn, a bad energy, and Libra is detriment for Mars, so it wasn’t a very helpful sextile at all! It’s better to have a square between well-dignified planets than a trine or sextile between bad ones.

    • I think that every astrologer has a different technique. I tend to be fluid in what orbs I use and how much I pay attention to dignity or debility. I have 2 planets in detriment and one in fall natally, and it’s not the worst things in the world. Planets that are not well-placed by sign still have good qualities. I’m actually thinking of writing a post called “In Defense of Mars in Cancer” 😉

      • Planets in debility are definitely not the worst things in the world. They just tell you where the energy is not operating at its best and that is really good info for people wanting to know more about their own personal energies. I’d love to read your Mars in Cancer post. I always thought it was cool that Mars ruled the water triplicity, kind of like saying, “I’m not always about fire, you know, I do have some depth of feeling too …”

        BTW I have Neptune in Libra smack on my 8th cusp, conjunct 8th Mercury in Libra, conjunct 8th Venus in Libra, conjunct 8th Sun in Libra. Eighth house is intense – I love it! I just wish everybody would stop thinking I am a sex fiend, nothing could be further from the truth. They need to check out the 5th, not the 8th. ;-))

  • Anonymous

    whoa ten degrees? That’s insane and I don’t even use that for the Nodes, which Steven Forest suggests in his book. I am the orb nazi I am afraid – nothing outside of 2 degrees gets my notice and hasn’t been needed in the past! less with the asteroids. Ten degrees, that is like the whole chart, where’s the definition? But that’s just me.

    • I completely agree. At 10 degrees for all aspects, which planets don’t form an aspect?

      • Anonymous

        I know some people probably would think I go too far the other way, but I use astrolog as my quick astrology chart generator and the orbs I have plugged into it are 6 degrees for conjunctions and oppositions, 5 for trines and squares, 3 for sextiles, 2 for quincunxes and semisextiles, and 1 for everything else. If there’s a major factor in the sky on the point (high apparent magnitude star or critical degree for example) then I might fudge more, judging that the planet in question has more influence.

    • Christine

      That’s just what she told me! 🙂

    • Anonymous

      2 degrees for natal aspects? That simplifies things quite a bit!

      • Anonymous

        It sure does and I’ve never felt the need to move outside of it 🙂

        • Anonymous

          It reduces my chart to 5 easy to manage aspects, I should give it a shot! hehe. I don’t use asteroids, though, and don’t really plan on starting to. I guess that adds the complexity that increased orbs give others.

          • Anonymous

            Try it and see how you go 😉 I had an argument with an academic astrologer a few years back, who wanted to make my t-square into some cardinal grand cross. It just does not work as where it is positioned – I would be far more self motivated and much more successful with my writing skills lol BUT, it was a nice thought for five minutes 🙂

            • Anonymous

              The thing is, generally we’re on the same side of the argument, small orbs are good, it’s just I’ve never heard of orbs quite that small. You took my T-Square that a lot of astrologers want to make into a Grand Cross and turned it into a mere square. heh. Which I’m cool with, I hated being saddled with a crappy Neptune Square Mars my whole life! 5 degree orb but still I’m some kind of underhanded Jim Jones! :p With your method, it’s erased. The still existent Neptune square Moon is luxuriating in the complete evaporation of guilt which has now begun commencing! hahaha

              • Anonymous

                It is always up to what works ‘with’ you! If your studies show that the cross works with your life experiences and what not, then keep it 🙂 Astrologer’s work with all different tools – fixed stars, midpoints etc etc and if they’re doing their job, regardless of the tool, your life should be explained by their interpretation of your chart 🙂

          • I always use
            If the orbs for conjunctions/oppositions/trines/squares are set for 10 degrees, and I reduce the orbfact to 20% to make the orbs 2 degrees, I have 8 aspects (no asteroids except Chiron):
            Moon trine Venus
            Moon square Jupiter
            Mercury square Saturn
            Mars square Pluto
            Chiron conjunct Mercury
            Chiron square Saturn
            Ascendant sextile Mars
            Ascendant semi-square Saturn

        • How much do you rely on asteroids in natal interpretations? Is there a group of asteroids that you use consistently?

          • Anonymous

            These days, the more they impress me, the more I rely on them ‘after’ I have a basic run down of everything else in the natal. In the natal, you find that each individual has some ‘asteroid’ story going on. Despite there being such a high number of asteroids, it is amazing how many lay dormant and how individual specific they actually are. It’s not an archetype sort of thing, that is defined by the planet and luminary alignments, but it is definitely good and solid, predisposition information. It is freaky how they work. Today I have been writing up Kassandra who comes into play on the 6th. The classic and gross, tragic, beautiful female, dominant male love tale. You can think off the top of your head who might fit the stereotype and voila, they’re there. Olivia Newton John has her conjunct her Libra Sun and Farrah Fawcett had her in opposition to her Neptune. Another one, Icarus for example, and the deaths of Heath Ledger and Brittany Murphy. He was smack bang in harsh aspect in their natal charts – and their sad undoing was a complete failure in following instructions. So yes, it is simply defining what asteroids are strong in the natal and taking it from there! It really does add that extra detail from what is often a vast ocean of keywords 🙂

            • They really do fine tune the chart. I couldn’t believe it when I realized how my natal Icarus had been involved the transiting Chiron-Neptune-Jupiter conjunction at 22 Aquarius in my 6th house and how well that described an unbelievable experience I had at my last job.

              Reducing the orbs of the major players probably helps to the let the more subtle influence of the asteroids shine through.

              • Anonymous

                Yes, they’re amazing! Persephone is a huge explanation of a great deal in my life, but discovering Niobe, absolutely floored me. My jaw literally dropped and I was WOW, for about a week!

                and natal Icarus? :O wow, definitely watch that one with the self medicating. I would love to study that one more but it is hard data to find

          • Anonymous

            I do begrudgingly use Chiron, because it really seems like we have a hold on what it means and aren’t relying on nameology to guide us. And I’m closely watching Ceres in my transits and progressions with the hypothesis that perhaps Ceres, as a “minor planet” on the same level as Pluto perhaps has dominion over the whole asteroid belt and could be associated with Virgo (the Virgoan idea of discrimination, i.e. seeing the small parts amidst the larger picture fits very well here) could very well be an important factor in the natus, but we don’t really know what it portends yet and won’t until we can predict with it. It’s not enough to just say “well Ceres in Taurus means you’re an earth mother” because all kinds of factors could be at play. If Ceres is about abundance and nature and crops, we should be able to predict famines. And believe me, I know astrologers who can predict the weather and famines without any asteroids. So I’m dubious about the necessity for asteroids to begin with. But I’m watching.

            • Anonymous

              With all of the new discoveries in the Kuiper belt at the moment, there are changes ahead in the astrology world, that’s for sure. I think it’s great to debunk as a means to define influential meaning, but the mind has to be open at the moment to the possibility of more and more objects being available for study and contemplation.

              I have to admit that I am struggling with Haumea and Makemake myself. It is not mythology that I am familar with and I am uncertain of MakeMake’s naming, due to the influence of the Easter Bunny and the astronomer’s revolving everything around his daughter. Like this new one, object Snow White. They HAVE to name the minor planets after a God or Goddess of creation, but the Easter Bunny? I am waiting for those in the better know to make more progress there.

              • Anonymous

                I think that astrologers over the next 50 years should compare notes and then we’ll have a good knowledge base for newly discovered objects. Until then, we have a treasure trove of rediscovered techniques from the ancient, classical, and medieval worlds being translated all the time, and I think they’re making huge contributions to astrology and setting us a-right from a path that had gone astray in the 20th century.

                • Anonymous

                  Definitely, but if no one touches the ‘new’ stuff, there will be nothing to compare to! Anyway, I must fly!

              • Anonymous

                Oh and I think astronomers are naming objects to spite astrologers at this point and it certainly points out that much of asteroid astrology is just nameology.

                • Anonymous

                  I think you flatter the relevancy of astrology in the mind of the astronomer with your first comment and with the second ‘nameology’ reference,there is solid data that says otherwise, outside of personal opinion. I don’t know how anyone can decide what objects in the sky are relevant and what are not. If one affects us to a degree, then they all must or none do. That is simple logic.


  • Woops! Edited the Moon- it took 4-5 months, not 4-5 years.

    • And Pluto, approximately 2 years, not 12.5 years! So, sorry. My math was definitely not on target this morning.

      Pluto takes one year to travel approximately 2.5 degrees. If Pluto is 5 degrees from the next cusp, then it took about 2 years to transit those 5 degrees.

  • Christine

    On a slightly related question, what is your orb rule for conjunctions and oppositions (and maybe some others)? And do you have any exceptions? For example, a woman I met uses an orb of 10 degrees for everything, and will count the Sun and Moon as being conjunct if they are both in the same sign and opposing if they are merely in opposite signs.

    • I give leeway to the Sun, the Moon, the ruler of the Ascendant, the ruler of the Sun, and planets involved in stelliums and other major configurations (Grand Trines, Grand Crosses, T-squares, etc…).

      I tend to max out at 10 for conjunctions and oppositions, 8 for squares and trines, 6 for sextiles. 2 for quincunxes, and 1-1.5 for everything else- but, I frequently keep the orbs even tighter.

      I wouldn’t consider 2 planets in the same sign to be conjunct unless they were in orb of conjunction. I would however count them as having a similar mode of expression. Same with 2 planets in opposite signs though not in strict opposition by orb. An example of this is that my Mercury in Aries opposes my boyfriend’s Mercury in Libra by sign, but not by degree. So, our modes of expression in communication are opposite, but we don’t butt heads the way that two Mercurys in true opposition might.

      For someone who has the Moon in Leo trine Venus in Pisces by degree, like you do, I would consider the trine to be relevant for the planets and I would take into consideration the quincunx relationship of the signs.

    • Anonymous

      Wow 10 degree orbs for everything…. charts for her must be a crazy mess! I am on the other side, I use tiny orbs just because I’d rather err on the side of caution and get a look at what are the most powerful influences in the chart. There’s so much to see anyway if you are using classical dignities, sect, almutens, and other ancient techniques that have been rediscovered or repopularized.

      • I agree. I rarely even use a 10 degree orb unless the planets involved are high profile.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think you can just ignore what basically amounts to a curse. You have to counter-program it with a “blessing” or de-hexing program. Which involves moving your consciousness into gnosis through your favorite method and programming a message like “So-and-so’s curse has no effect on me” or “I will live as long as God as ordained” or “So-and-so’s programs will now end” (which is what I’d use, neutral and all-encompassing, adding in the name of the guy who told him that he would die.) But ignoring it, it’s always going to be in the back of your mind that the guy told you you’d die. Like you said, “insidious lingering effect.”

    • Deprogramming, but how? I had a palm reader tell me that my life was going to completely change at age 59 and that I would never be the same- very vague. Will I be involved in a terrible accident that paralyzes me? Will I reach nirvana? Predictions need to be taken with a gigantic grain of salt.

      • Anonymous

        Well, I described the deprogramming in my above comment. Obviously you aren’t in need of it though, because your heavily programmed skepticism was successful at deflecting anything the palm reader was able to fling at you. When you say that predictions need to be taken with a grain of salt, I just have to go “whuh?” Because to me, there’s no point to astrology without prediction. For me, the point of astrology IS prediction, and not the silly psychology stuff that gets thrown around a lot. I realize why it’s an important base, but from there one needs to move forward into transits and especially progressions and returns. Leave psychology to the psychologers. :p

        • Anonymous

          (I don’t mean to imply that astrological counseling is silly… it just seems strange to me to ignore the future and fixate on the past, which is really what the personality is… habituated patterns from the past which can be transformed with work and knowledge of the stars.)

          • I think that examining the past is helpful up to a point and then it’s time to move on.

            • Anonymous

              I really like the aspects my progressed planets are making to my natus right now, so I guess I’m just in a Looking Forward mood. 🙂

        • So, just by using affirmations to eliminate the effect- sorry, my mind is mushy today. Side note: I’m beginning to notice myself getting more and more Neptunian but I haven’t been able to place my finger on why.

          I’m really just referring to predictions like “when will I die?” and “when will I get married?” I think that those types of predictions can be detrimental.

          I tend to think of progressions and transits as guidelines rather than predictions. When Saturn transits the houses, there are certain guidelines that we should follow, and there are certain things that have a better chance of happening (which is prediction), but there’s no way to say for sure what absolutely will happen.

          I actually like the psychological aspect of astrology :p

          • Anonymous

            First, you use whatever method you like to put yourself into the consciousness state known as gnosis. (There are five states: gnosis, awareness, robotic, dreaming, unconsciousness.) Most of us live most of our lives in the robotic state of consciousness, which is fine. It works pretty well for daily life. In order to metaprogram your consciousness though, you need to change into gnosis. There are a lot of methods, like vigorous dancing, magickal sex, ritual, energized meditation. THEN you use the affirmation. Otherwise it’s just a lousy old affirmation you are telling your robotic self whilst in your robotic state of consciousness, and so what. Talk doesn’t change much. Thought changes everything! Of course I make it sound simple, and some things, like telling yourself that some guy’s prediction that you will die at the age of 92 or whatever is bunk, are pretty easy. Other things are harder, if they’re buried in your natus. Stuff you’re meant to be dealing with during this incarnation. It’s not going to be so easy to metaprogram yourself into bliss like that!

            I’m fascinated by the implications of the predictive side of astrology– that the multiverse is a hologram, that the hermetic idea “As above, so below” holds true. It really makes me feel at one with the universe, like I am moving in sync with the stars.

            • Thank you for taking the time to explain that Gracehoper. That makes sense. I find that speaking affirmations, in an attempt to change habitual thinking patterns, don’t work for me unless there’s some kind of physical action involved in the process- something needs to happen physically and not just verbally/ mentally.