Thursday, 14 December 2017

Solar Return Chart

An Overview of Solar Returns:
 Solar Return lesson 1  Ron Bippus does an excellent job of introducing solar returns and interprets what each of the solar return houses and planets tells us about the year ahead. 
 Solar Return Frequently Asked Questions by Mary Fortier Shea, M.A.   A downloadable FAQ by one of astrology’s top electional astrologers.
 Llewellyn Worldwide – Articles: Interpreting the Solar Return Celeste Teal explains the basics, gives excellent detail on interpretation, and presents case histories.
 Sample Journeys Yearly Solar Return Report A sample of a computerized solar return interpretation available at  
Traveling to Get the Best Solar Return:
Where in the World, Why in the World?  John Townley is in his usual good form as he explains how traveling for a solar return works. 
 The Astro*Carto*Graphy Solar Return Map  An excerpt from David Meadows’, Where in the World With Astro*Carto*Graphy, Tempe, AZ: American Federation of Astrologers, 1998.
If you’re interested in using this technique, Continuum has a list of certified Astro*Carto*Graphy practitioners and a library of over 50 articles about relocation techniques here: Relocation Astrology Information and Practitioners.
 Other Applications of the Technique: 
 Making Yourself a Birthday Essence At the Solar Return  An article of my own at Vibration Magazine.  Not based on flowers, this technique would help you work with the planetary energies in a harmonious way. 
Andrea Argoli:On the good and bad health according the solar Return of the year For real scholars only, translation from a classical Greek text.


by Starlink

A Solar Return chart is a chart made for only one year in the life. It is a very personal way to see how transits will relate to your natal chart and especially the personal planets give an important insight in how they work out this year. 

Once you understand the basics of your birth chart interpretation, you can use the same technique on your Solar Return chart. The Solar Return chart is a chart drawn up for the exact time when your Sun makes its yearly return to the position it was on at your birth. So you have a different Solar Return chart every year, but the Sun is always at the same sign and degree. Solar Return charts can be created at under "Free Horoscopes" "Extended Chart Selection". (excerpt from Wilscontc)

A Solar Return chart should always be looked at in connection with your natal chart , at least according to my own experiences, because we want to see what our natal planets are doing this year and looking at their positions in the SR chart is one way doing that. Putting them on a 2-wheel chart is a good way of viewing them. Put the natal chart in the inner wheel. Use different colours (for the planets, highlight them by hand if you print it out) for both charts. Personally I draw a Solar Return chart, then also a Natal chart with the SR positions around the wheel. That way you can also keep an eye on the natal chart positions of planets.

Note:You can also view the Solar Return as a chart on its own, but it wont tell you as much as when you compare with the natal chart.

It is not easy to interprete a Solar Return chart because very often what we see in there, reflects the hopes and wishes of the individual and not necessary what will happen to him/her. That is also why we have to look at the birth potential. If the Solar Return shows a fantastic career move, but in the natal chart it is clearly seen that any career attempt is going to be non existent (when the woman is a mother rather than a career type) or when there is no fire present, nor any ambition to be seen (Cardinal mode), then we have to be careful. It could be a wish, not a reality.

We start by only looking at the Solar Return chart.

Begin by looking at the overview of the SR chart, just like you would do it for a natal chart. 
If you have most planets in your natal chart above the horizon, but now all of a sudden most appear below the horizon in the SR chart, than this could show a year where you will tend to keep more to yourself, turn inwards and become more subjective.
When it is the opposite, then you could probably try to become more social or circumstances will force you to be more “public” this year.

When most planets fall on the Asc. side (east) of the SR chart, you might become more driven and action orientated. You will have more opportunities to do what you like without having to take too much into consideration what others might think or expect from you, which would not be so much the case when most planets would fall on the Desc. side (west).

Which quadrant is most occupied in the Solar Return:
1-4 shows personal needs
5-8 shows much involvement with other people
9-12 could show a transpersonal time in your life, much thinking about your life, your wishes and hopes for the future and more time spend in private, necessary to think things over.

Next, where are most planets situated looking at the houses of the Solar Return chart?
Most planets in angular houses (1-4-7-10), comparible with the Cardinal quality/signs. Angular houses are always very strong and much action could take place, new projects and /or relationships could be started, in any case, mostly anything new undertaken.

Most planets in succedent houses (2-5-8-11) are comparable with the fixed quality (signs)and could show that what you have started at the beginning of the SR year, could be finished (“fixed”) or needs to be finished . Depending on the aspects, opportunities for growth are possible.

Most planets in cadent houses? (3-6-9-12), comparable with the Mutable quality/signs. Therefore it could be a year of change and mental activity. Adaptability is necessary and one could tend to start several things at the same time, unable to really concentrate on one thing at a time.

NOTE: Rising planets, especially natal planets which are in the rising side of the SR chart, and especially the one’s in the 1st house and close to the SR Asc. have a lot of power in this year. 

It has also been seen, that natal planets positions in the Solar Return chart can have more impact in this year than Solar Return planets in the SR chart. Always look at both.

Lastly look at the Angles of your Solar Return chart.

Ascendant shows what you want, how you will express your personality.
MC Show what you will aim for and the IC how things could end.

See if they are Fixed,(wanting to stay the same) Cardinal( wanting to advance), or Mutable (wanting to change certain situations).


Cardinal Asc. and IC/MC Fixed: you could start something and end the year by completing what you wanted to do. The Cardinal energy could bring on an exciting and busy time, trying to get something done and the Fixed quality will help you to make it a finished (fixed) product or plan.
Fixed Asc. and Mutable IC/MC? Your conservative ideas or situations (fixed) might have to be changed or will undergo change (Mutability always shows changes with a great deal of activity indicated.
Mutable Asc. and Fixed IC/MC? Things you have not finished yet will need to be concluded . (mutable people have trouble to finish something they started). Try to accomplish something you started a while ago (if you think it is important of course) but listen to your own intuition, rather than to what others tell you.
Fixed Asc. and Cardinal IC/MC: You could expand or update established, (maybe oldfashioned) ideas and . Maybe now is the time to do what you actually wanted to do for a long time and take action (Cardinal attitude)

Intercepted signs and planets are also important to look at, because those houses will be so much bigger. Intercepted planets could have trouble to express their energy at the beginning of the year but when by progression of the angles, they move out of those interceptions they could express their energy later on in the year.

Now begin by comparing SR chart and natal chart.

Begin by looking at the SR Ascendant.

If the SR Ascendant is the same as your natal Asc. then this year could be a very important year with great integration from your part. It does not necessarily have to be an easy year however. The outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto will easily show you if they will cause difficulties or chances.

Should the Natal Descendant become the SR Ascendant, then a difficult year could be awaiting you, but not necessarily a bad year. You might be at the “mercy” of others this year (the East side is now seen on the Asc.,( West side) and East side is always associated with helping others, being of service to others or being dependent on others). Jupiter or Venus rising might help to diminish the problems a bit .

This position could also indicate health problems during the year. Look at the SR 6th house to determine that. Same problems can arise when SR Moon opposes the Sun.
When a marriage should take place in this year, then very often you also will see that the natal Descendant appears on the Solar Return Asc. In my opinion this cannot really show a “difficult” year. That’s why I always look at other transits to the natal chart AND progressed planets to the natal chart, to determine whether this will indeed be a difficult year or not.

The sign on the Asc. will colour your natal Ascendant sign. So if natal Asc. is Capricorn but Solar Asc. is Saggittarius, you might become a bit more adventurous this year, maybe get more interested in other cultures, travel or starting a new study.

As written above, the SR Ascendant ruler and any planets in the 1st SR house are very important.

Look into which house the SR Ascendant falls in your natal chart.
If it falls within 5° of the next house cusp then take the next house.
That house will usually get a lot of focus in the year to come, as well as the house where the Sun is in the SR chart. The Sun never changes sign, but does change house. Also look at both natal and SR rulers of that house.

NB: Should your SR. Asc. be ruled by a transpersonal planet (Uranus, Neptune or Pluto), then also look at this one. The traditionalists amongst us can look at Saturn, Jupiter and Mars or both modern and traditional to get an allround picture

The house in which the Sun falls in the SR chart is the birthday month's forecast and influence, and each house the Sun travels through after that show the following month, since the Sun transits at the rate of one sign or house per month. Each house the Sun gets into will get some focus that month and the sign and planet ruling the cusp of that house, influences the outlook for that month. Pay attention to the aspects the Sun makes to other planets as it will be possible that it could trigger an event.

Look at all the natal planets and see where they are now placed (which house and sign) in the SR chart. The sign will change their expression a bit or add to the natal expression, the house shows the area where they will “shine” this year.

Where the Solar Return MOON falls in the natal chart indicates an area of restlessness at the beginning of the year. The Progressed Moon has to be taken into account as well to form an idea of how your emotional state could be this year.

Natal Saturn in the SR 12th house can show the need to spend time alone, or even hospitalization. A good placement for solitary work. When it is near the Ascendant, then it should be seen as a 1st house planet and there it will show the necessity to concentrate and focus this year or the need for serious assessment of your life situation.

Natal Jupiter in the SR 12th can show a certain amount of protection during the year. (Same is said of natal Jupiter in the 12th house.) When near the Asc. it will be more noticeable in the 1st house and can show more optimism and the need for freedom and/or expansion.

Indicators of Marriage: 3rd, 7th houses accentuated. Sun or Venus conj.SR Ascendant. 5th and 7th houses both activated and Venus prominent could show a love affair (5) which might end into a commitment (7). Also see if progressed Venus is making an important aspect to the MC or Ascendant of the natal chart the following year(s).

Childbirth or Pregnancy: 4th, 5th and 11th houses activated, North Node in the 5th house, ruler of the 5th in the 1st house. Moon in the 5th could mean thinking about it but not necessarily becoming pregnant.

Career/Job change: 2nd, 6th and 10th houses activated. Uranus or Moon in 6th and 10th especially show change. Also look at Uranus transits over the natal chart’s 10th or 6th house.

Home change: 4th house prominent. Moon or Uranus in 4th. Uranus can also show changes within the home as well, like an addition made or changing the furniture. Mars could show more activity regarding family or home matters.
Saturn in SR 4th shows staying in the same place.

Health:1st, 6th and 12th houses. Sun-Moon oppositions could show health problems. Good aspects between them show good health.

Surgery : 8th and Mars in the 8th or on the Asc. or the Moon in the 8th, challenged. (also for dental surgery and caesarian section delivery) but also look at the transiting or progressed Mars aspecting the Ascendant.

Inheritance: strong 2nd/8th activity.

Divorce: 3rd (dissolution of contract), 7th (break with partner), 8th (financial settlements) and the 9th (legal activities). Pluto, Uranus and Mars angular (because they will conjunct, square or oppose the 7th house.


Solar Return planets are only to be considered active when they aspect a natal planet!Any planet within 3° of a cusp, activates that house.
Any planet on an angle or within 5° before the angle should get extra attention, as well as the house this planet rules.
Any Solar Return planet which conjuncts the same natal planet, like SR Venus conjunct natal Venus (within 3° to 4°) is particularly significant and the SR houses ruled by them also need special attention.

SR planets forming a T-square or Grand Square with a natal opposition or T-square or a YOD with a natal quincunx can show great activity in the natal houses. 

A Solar Return chart can be progressed by moving the housecusps. This is done with the moving of the MC. The MC moves 1° every 4 days which comes then to 7.5° per month etc. When you have found the new position of the MC, then look in your table of houses to find the corresponding Ascendant and other housecusps.
So in this case it is not the planets which move, but the angles which move towards the planets! When any planet gets to less than 5° distance from a SR planet, that could then show that something might happen in relation to that planet and the house it rules.

General Notes:

Do keep all aspects between natal and Solar Return planets within 5° orb.

Below you find some links, also explaining the Solar Return by Celeste Teal and Mary Shea:

Frequently asked questions about Solar Returns, also which location you should use to draw the SR chart, your present location (where you spend most of your time during the year), your place of birth or the place you are at the time of your birthday (on vacation in another country for instance) are explained here:

Solar returns

InterpretationAn interpretation of the solar return chart only makes sense against the backdrop of the natal chart. It makes little sense to interpret it on its own. The following list includes the main criteria for interpretation:
  • The Solar Ascendant: It shows an individual's approach to life in general in the coming year.
  • The Solar Medium Coeli: It shows the general aim in the coming year.
  • These houses will be activated:
    • The natal houses in which the solar Ascendant and Medium Coeli fall.
    • The natal house and the solar house in which the ruler of the solar Ascendant stands.
    • The solar house in which the Sun stands.
    • Any solar house with three or more solar planets in it.
  • Planets which aspect the axes in the solar return chart - they are particularly significant if they are conjunct the Ascendant.
  • Repetition of aspects: Aspects that occur in both the solar chart and the natal chart are particularly significant. When this happens the themes this aspect represents in the natal chart are emphasised and can find new forms of expression or impetus. For example, if there is a square between Saturn and the Sun in the natal chart and a trine between the same two planets in the solar return chart, the horoscope owner will probably find it easier to cope with Saturn/Sun themes in the coming year.
  • Any planets in the natal chart which receive many aspects from solar planets will be activated in the coming year.
It is not necessary to carry out such a detailed psychological interpretation of the solar return chart as is the case with the natal chart. It is possible to be far more concrete - although this doesn't mean [[Event Prediction|prediction of events]]. The natal chart reveals the deeper motivations whereas the solar return chart is more concerned with current events.
The Sun is not the only "planet" for which it is possible to erect a return chart - this can also be done for the Moon (Lunar Return Chart), for Mercury (Mercury Return Chart), Venus (Venus Return Chart) and Mars (Mars Return Chart).

On this first page of our Solar Returns Feature, you’ll find my preferred techniques and key points to consider when interpreting Solar Returns, as well as an example Solar Return interpretation. Note that I sometimes abbreviate “Solar Returns” as “SR”. On page 2 of our Solar Returns Feature, a second example of a Solar Return at work.
On page 3 of our Solar Returns Feature, more techniques for fine-tuning a Solar Return analysis.
On page 4 of our Solar Returns Feature, interpretations of the Ascendant sign in the Solar Return chart, as well as the natal house brought to the Solar Ascendant.
On page 5 of our Solar Returns Feature, interpretations of the Solar Return Sun in aspect to other Solar Return planets and points.
On page 6 of our Solar Returns Feature, the importance of the Moon in the Solar Return chart, by sign, house, and aspect.
On page 7 of our Solar Returns Feature, comparison of books and suggestion of resources for interpreting Solar Returns.


A Solar Return chart is a chart calculated for the exact moment when the Sun returns to its natal position (within 2 days of one’s birthday). This chart can be read much like a natal chart, except that it must be kept in mind that it is in effect only for the course of a year—–approximately from birthday to birthday. [Some astrologers believe the Solar Return is in effect for a longer period of time.]
It is especially important to have an accurate birth time when working with Return charts.
Note that astrologers work with lunar returns and planetary returns as well. I interpret Venus Returns here.

Keys to Interpreting Solar Returns:

A Solar Return chart can be read in as much detail as desired. Some key points to consider are as follows:
1- The Ascendant of the Solar Return chart will color the individual’s approach to his or her environment for the year. For example, if Aries is on the Ascendant in the Solar Return chart, the individual may approach the year with increased energy and enterprise, and perhaps with some impatience. It describes the individual’s overall temperament and attitude during the period. Read more about the Solar Return Ascendant signThe ruler of the Ascending sign, and its position by sign, house, and aspect, will hold more information as to the individual’s general temperament and focus for the year.
2- Note which planets and points in the natal chart, if any, are effectively brought to an angle of the Solar Return chart. Let’s say, for example, that the Solar Return Ascendant is 22 degrees Virgo, and the natal position of Venus is 24 degrees Virgo. The natal Venus is, therefore, conjunct the Solar Return Ascendant, and one can presume that the condition and issues surrounding the individual’s natal Venus will be highlighted (effectively coming to the fore) in the Solar Return year. This consideration shows us what natal conditions, or inherent personality issues, are highlighted in the year of the Solar Return. If, for example, you have a natal Sun square Mars, and the Sun is on the Solar Return Ascendant, perhaps with Mars on the Midheaven as well, we can safely presume that the Sun-Mars struggle or challenge will be especially highlighted in both a personal (Ascendant) and public (Midheaven) manner.
3- Similarly, note which Solar Return planets are on or aspecting Solar Return angles. These are transits that are emphasized in the year of the Solar Return.
4- What is the condition of the Sun? Where is it located by house? (We know the sign, of course, because it will be at the exact natal position). This can show a strong area of focus for the upcoming year. The house position of the Sun in the SR chart shows where (which areas of life) the individual wants to shine. The individual will take pride in this part of his or her life, and a big ego investment lies in this area. He or she has the opportunity to rejuvenate this area. What kind of aspects does the Sun make? See interpretations of the Solar Return Sun in aspect.
5- Another area of focus this year can be found by determining which natal house is effectively brought to the Ascendant. For example, if the Solar Return Ascendant is 14 degrees Cancer, and this degree is found in the natal fifth house, the natal fifth house is effectively “brought” to the Ascendant, and will be another area of focus.
6- Where is the Moon? The position of the Moon by house and sign will show where your heart is, so to speak. If, for example, the Solar Return Moon is in Libra in the 5th house, you will likely to be emotionally tied up in, and concentrated on, love and relationship. A strong need for personal self-expression will be characteristic of the year, and emotional ups and downs are likely to occur in this area of life, simply because this is where your heart is—this is the area of life that you have the biggest emotional investment in—and you may not be completely rational and “in control” in this area. More than simple fluctuations will be in store in this area of life if, for example, the Moon is also forming a square to Pluto in the Solar Return chart. Profound changes are likely to occur here. Thus, factoring in the Moon’s aspects will help refine the reading. Read more about the Solar Return Moon by sign, house, and aspect.
7- Note that a Solar Return chart can be read much like a natal chart, always keeping in mind that it is transient rather than permanent. If you are interested in looking at a specific area, such as finances, you can study the Return’s second house, eighth house, and the condition of Venus. For example, if Solar Return Venus is opposite Solar Return Neptune, especially if Venus also rules the second house in the Solar Return, you might presume that either this coming year there is less emphasis on materialism, or that your income might be fluctuating and somewhat unstable.
8- Get an overall feel for the Solar Return chart by examining hemispheric emphasis, whether or not it is scattered, and which houses (angular, succedent, and cadent) are emphasized. Also, note the qualities of the dominant signs of the year (cardinal, fixed, or mutable).
9- You know the upcoming year will be a “big” one (in a transitional sense) when the Solar Return Sun forms a hard angle with the Solar Return Moon. This is also true when the Sun is conjunct a Solar Return angle.
10- A consideration that I have found to be particularly significant is critical degrees. The most significant critical degrees in Solar Return interpretation are 29 degrees and 0 degrees of any sign. When found in the SR chart, there can be significant events surrounding the energy of the planet/point itself, and/or the house it rules in the chart. I do look at the classic critical degrees as well but as a secondary consideration.
For an insightful and rather thorough analysis of the Solar Return chart, look to Planets in Solar Returns: Yearly Cycles of Transformation & Growth by Mary Fortier Shea.

Example #1:

Let’s look at an example. The following is the natal chart of Ann:
The Solar Return chart for the year we are studying is presented below, along with Ann’s natal chart in the outer wheel so that we can easily see which natal planets conjunct the Solar Return angles.
Immediately, I honed in on a few standout features involving the angles:
  1. Solar Return Jupiter is conjunct the Ascendant (rising) in the Solar Return chart, and it opposes a conjunction of Mars and Neptune on the Descendant. Mercury squares this opposition, forming a T-square. All planets involved are in the foreground (angular), in prominent positions in the Return chart.
  2. The natal Moon conjuncts the Solar Return Midheaven.
  3. Solar Return Mercury is conjunct the natal Midheaven.
We also note that there is a conjunction of the Moon and Pluto in the Return chart, and that it trines SR Jupiter, and sextiles SR Mars and Pluto.
Many different issues came to the fore in the year in question. Most notably, her good friend with whom she maintained a friendship with for a few years, committed suicide and a murder on the same day. This, of course, came as a complete shock, and the violent act rocked Ann’s world. She had no clue that this man who seemed to be quite “together” could have committed such acts.
Ann, of course, struggled with this tragedy for some time after it happened. She struggled with guilt (did she ignore signs he may have been displaying?), loss (of a friendship), shock, and anger. If we had looked at the Solar Return chart before the events happened, we would not have been able to predict what actually happened. However, we may have easily seen that Ann would confront some powerful emotional issues, perhaps in a public manner (natal Moon conjunct the SR Midheaven), and that she would struggle with illusion/guilt/anger/excess with regards to her personal relationships (Mars conjunct Neptune at the Descendant). Mercury rules her natal 11th house of friendships, and it also rules her Solar Return 11th house. Mercury (both natal and Solar Return) is found in the 10th house conjunct her natal Midheaven, effectively bringing 11th house issues into the fore in a public manner.
The SR Moon conjunction to Pluto suggests an emotional crisis of sorts. James A. Eshelman, in his book Interpreting Solar Returns, describes this aspect as “Sharp, intensive alterations in life situations; dramatic transformations…Experiences elicit a profound, climactic emotional response (crisis, shock)…Encountering the unlikely, improbable, unbelievable.” (1)
Of course, we cannot expect something as dramatic as what happened in Ann’s life to occur as a result of the individual factors found in the Solar Return chart and noted here. For example, Neptune conjunct the Descendant in a Solar Return chart, taken alone, can very certainly represent the encountering of disillusionments in close relationships. It can also suggest a year in which the native looks for new meanings in relationships, for example.
It is interesting to find Jupiter prominent in Solar Returns and transits when, for example, a person has had an accident, or goes through something like Ann did. At first, it seems counter-intuitive because we consider Jupiter the planet of luck. Indeed, it does have a protective influence. Perhaps prominent Jupiter suggests a level of protection in the sense that the person survived the incident or crisis. Another way of looking at it is that Jupiter is the planet of expansion and excess. Effectively, it does represent some level of drama. Involved with Neptune and Mars, and we can easily see that it expanded or emphasized the Mars/Neptune issues of disillusionment. When in difficult aspect especially, Jupiter can suggest over-confidence and recklessness or misjudgment as a result.
See Example 2 

References & suggested further reading:

(1) Interpreting Solar Returns by James A. Eshelman.