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Interpreting Solar Returns

solar return

A solar return chart is erected for the exact moment when the Sun returns to its position in the natal chart. A chart is erected for the time and place a native happens to be when the transiting Sun reaches this degree. By analysing the solar return chart you can discover what life themes will be significant over the coming year, and these themes can usually be felt one or two months before the actual birthday.

Essential factors to consider when analysing a solar return chart:

  • The Solar Ascendant shows how an individual will approach life in general in the coming year (for example, a Solar Return Ascendant in Virgo would indicate a year where work, health matters and being organised take on the primary focus)
  • What natal house is ascending in the SR? (12 house rising -> 12th house matters -> work in isolation, hospitals, imprisonment etc.)
  • Any solar return planets on angles (example: Saturn angular -> unfulfillment, Saturn on the ascendant=not an easy year, Jupiter -> prosperity, optimism)
  • The placement of the ruler of the SR ascendant sign within the SR chart (example: with Capricorn ascendant, Saturn would be the ruler of the SR chart ->if placed in the 6th house, this may suggest working with the father)
  • The degree of the ascending sign. If 29 degrees of any sign is ascending in the SR chart, that means the native is about to finish something or is about to close a chapter/phase in their life. This is also valid for the degree position of the ruler of the ascending sign, since the SR ascendant indicates the native. It is also worth considering any planets in the last degree of any sign, as it can show that the theme which they symbolise will undergo some important change or endings. When the first degree of a sign ascends, it means the native is about to begin something. This is valid for the ruler of the ascending sign as well.
  • The next thing we should consider is observe the quality of the SR angles, to see if they are cardinal signs (you will take initiation to make a change), fixed signs (change is not likely) or mutable signs (something is about to change).
  • Next we should look at the aspects of the SR planets to the SR Ascendant, and where these aspects are coming from (the nature of the aspecting planet, its SR house location and the houses it rules.
  • Next we should look at the SR 10th house if there are any planets and then the SR location of the lord of the SR 10th house – the house it is in indicates the results of the native’s actions and undertakings, and will give information about his career and profession in the upcoming year.
  • Also, look at the Sun placement. We should never read the SR chart in isolation from the nativity. After analysing the SR chart, we should begin to compare it with the natal chart and see where the natal planets are now located in the SR; for any natal planet, where was it in the nativity, and where did it move to in the SR chart. When a planet is in a SR house which is different from the one it was in the natal chart, it manifests its natal influences through the SR house – in other words, each planet carries its natal influence into the SR chart. So you should never ignore the promises of the natal chart when evaluating the SR chart, even though its specific SR influences have priority in that year. Each planet will try to actualise itself each year, through the SR house it is in.
  • The sign of each planet is also important: if a planet is in the same sign in both charts, it manifests its natal promise; if it is also in the same degree, it is called ‘a perfect return’. If it is in the same sign, but not in the same degree, then it is called uncompleted return.
  • Contacts between natal planets and SR planets should be evaluated and predictions should be based on their themes: positive contacts between planets bring positive results, and negative contacts bring negative results.
  • Natal stellium in a sign or a house indicates the lifetime focus, and SR stellium indicates the yearly focus of the native.