Astrology Cusps – More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Them

Have you ever taken the time to explore a single word? If I am lacking in knowledge on a subject at times I will Google that subject and then follow several of the listings to gain a general grasp. This can be frustrating or fun depending on the choice of subject. For example, this morning I Googled the word “cusp,” a common word in my field of astrology. I did not look at astrological sites because after 35+ years of studying 6th house astrology I pretty much know that general information. I wondered what I might find on cusps if I reached outside my own field of astrology. Occasionally an explanation for one application can turn on the lights for another application.

Surprisingly, cusps come in several forms, according to the dictionary and encyclopedia. If you try my method of study, be prepared to spend a little time because some explanations take longer than others. I found…

· Beach cusps which relate to a beach shoreline and were described as a pointed and regular arc pattern of that shoreline

· In geometry and astrophysics, a cusp is a singular point of a curve (something like a shoreline?)

· Cusps in psychology are called behavioral cusps. This cusp apparently marks an important change in behavior that has a far-reaching consequence or in my words is pivotal to a change in a specific behavior

· A dentistry cusp may be found on three types of teeth, a molar, a premolar or a cuspid (there is our base word)

· Astrological house or sign cusps that I will explain below.

I saw cusp paired with other words such as a

· cusp catastrophe (a geometrical pattern where stability is lost),

· cusp form (modular form theory i.e., a cusp form is a modular form that vanishes at a cusp)

· cuspidal representation (automorphic representation) and I have no clue what that is other than the definition mentions algebraic groups. The rest of the description went right over my head.

From this, I got a picture in my mind that a cusp is a defined arc (curved line) with a specific point that can be pivotal and that the point may be or become unstable and could at some point disappear.

Astrologically cusp is a common word that is used for both signs and houses. A sign cusp is that point where the end of a sign gives way to the beginning of the next sign. A house cusp is a degree, sign, and minute of the dividing line between houses at a specific earthly longitude and latitude. Let us take a moment to back up and understand some basics before we attempt to move forward.

Signs: Think about the space outside our world where the zodiac seems to reside. Notice I said, “seems to.” Earth’s path and the path of most of the other planets around the Sun is called the ecliptic or the path on which eclipses occur. This ecliptic passes through twelve of the 60 or so constellations, depending on which constellation reference systems used. This specific collection of 12 signs is called the zodiac (circle of animals) that range on either side of the ecliptic, which again is the centerline of the zodiacal constellations. The constellations in general and the zodiac, in particular, are not located at a specific distance from Earth or anywhere else. The zodiac constellations are just somewhere out there outside the ecliptic and extend out into space an indeterminate distance. The stars that make up each constellation are light years apart within each grouping so each constellation is huge in terms of the space it occupies.

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