On the Cusp: What it means when your birthday is on the cusp of Cancer and Leo


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Each month with On the Cusp, we point our astrological magnifying glass on all the people born between two zodiac signs. Because when your birthday falls at either the tail end or very beginning of your sun sign’s season, your personality may be influenced by your cosmic neighbor.

Deep in the midst of summer, Cancer and Leo are getting their turn. Below, Stefanie Iris Weiss, astrologer and co-author of Surviving Saturn’s Return: Overcoming the Most Tumultuous Time of Your Life, explains how Group Mom Cancer and Proud Queen Leo may exist in one star-powered person.

Cancer season is coming to a close, so wave good-bye to the crustaceans riding emotional waters, and prepare for the lions, because Leo—in a near-opposite move of its crabby astrological neighbor—is about to take center stage (typical). But when you’re born between these completely, on the Cancer Leo cusp, what does that mean for your personality? First, remember that when it comes to being on the cusp, you are always one sign and simply shaded with notes from the other one in question. In this case, it means you’re either a Cancer swayed by Leo traits or a Leo swayed by Cancer traits. Below, learn what you can expect when these claws and paws go hand in hand.

But first, Cancer personality traits look a little like this:

Cancers are known for being intuitive, nurturing, and above all else, emotional: They’re the type of friend who will cry for you and cry with you. And because they have artistic sensibilities, you can usually see that meld into their career or care-taking style. If you’re planning a party with a Cancer, trust them to think up imaginative decorations or deliver a birthday cake that looks legitimately Pinterest-worthy. Creative and kind, Cancers can have a sweet and quiet presence.

They’re also generally seeking love and validation, and their emotional side belies moodiness. Basically, Cancers can sometimes be overwhelming and needy. Still, they’re the type of person you do want in your corner and on your side, so it’s worth taking the good with the…clingy.

And this is the deal with Leo signs:

Thanks to their magnetizing presence, you can spot a Leo from a mile away. They radiate confidence and command attention; they’re warm, kindhearted, dynamic, and natural-born leaders. Like, of course Harry Potter is a Leo—he serves Big Gryffindor Energy day in and out. My boyfriend is also Leo—but he’s very anti-Leo, except when he’s playing music onstage. The first time I ever saw him do a show (before we started dating), I was enthralled. (“He’s super hot and seems like the most egomaniacal person I have ever seen in my life,” I scribbled into my diary afterward.)

That’s the other thing: Leos are strong, dominating, and sometimes a pain in the ass. They tend to want everything their way and throw a fit if attention isn’t on them, so don’t expect to share the spotlight or the bedsheets with a Leo. Lions can be majestic for sure—just always be wary of their teeth.

So if you’re born on the Cancer Leo cusp, here’s what to know:

“The Cancer Leo cusp is all about the ritual and ceremony of ‘coming out of your shell’,” Weiss says. “It’s where shy Cancerian energy first tastes what it means to outstretch its arms and gaze at the Sun, the ruling luminary of Leo,” Weiss says. “People born in the late degrees of Cancer tend to be rich in fully-developed intuition and pretty confident about it, given the nearness to the early degrees of Leo—a fixed fire sign who knows how powerful she is.”

“The Cancer Leo cusp is all about the ritual and ceremony of ‘coming out of your shell.'” —astrologer Stefanie Iris Weiss

If you’re a Leo on the edge of Cancer, though, you may find yourself with a dose of insecurity that’s unusual for proud lions. Even if early-degree Leos know they were born to strut down the runway of life, they may hesitate and start to question if it’s all just too much sometimes.

“It takes them a while to get their bearings and come into the totally dramatic energy that we know and love in our Leo friends,” Weiss says. “They’re still a bit security-conscious given their proximity to Cancer energy, but once they hit their stride, there is no stopping them.”

Ultimately, because Cancers and Leos have drastically different confidence levels, it may cause a bit of an identity crisis. Think about how the moon is the ruler of Cancer and the Sun is the ruler of Leo; we’re literally going from night to day with this cusp. “People born near this cusp are perpetually in a state of waking up and reexamining their role in the world.” Weiss explains. “[They] need to find the middle ground between their inner life and being ‘on’ all the time.”

And when you’re able to calm that inner conflict, you’ll be able to enjoy all the people who want to be surrounded by your warmth.

Curious about the other marriages between signs? Learn more about the other summery unions with the Gemini Cancer cusp or Taurus Gemini cusp

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