Did you know that around the time of your birthday, a unique, temporary chart can be cast that encapsulates what you're likely to experience over the next year of your life? You give birth to this chart annually when the Sun reaches the precise degree and minute it occupied at your birth. This can occur on the day of, day before, or day after your birthday. Technically, this is the moment when you're really supposed to make those birthday wishes. So just what is this?
Solar Returns 101
Known as a Solar Revolution or Solar Return, it's a potent moment in time when you're infused once more with all of the potential your Sun sign infused you with. Ever notice how saturated you are with vitality around your birthday? That's the direct result of the Sun in the sky connecting to your natal Sun. This is your moment each year to begin the next chapter of your exciting life. What does that chapter contain? Well, interestingly enough, the outline can be found right there in your Solar Return.
Your Solar Return chart is cast for the date and time the Sun reaches your natal Sun placement. However, the location of your chart is not your birth location. Most astrologers prefer to use the location you are physically in during the moment of your return because this is technically where the energy imprint occurs. What is this energy imprint? Well, your birth chart works because at the moment you took your first live breath, the planetary energy patterns in the sky imprint onto your physical body. The same principle applies to the Solar Return chart. What's the difference? In a natal chart, you have this imprint for an entire lifetime, whereas your Solar Return chart is only active for one year. A Solar Return chart is read much like a birth chart, with an emphasis on the house placements of planets and their aspects. One of the most important considerations in a Solar Return chart, of course, is the placement of the Sun that year and any aspects it makes to the rest of the horoscope.
The Sun's placement in different houses
A year where the Sun is placed in the 1st House of Identity, for example, suggests a time of focus on self-development. On the other hand, a year that you find the Sun placed in your 7th House of Partnerships will be a year you focus on others -- particularly a close business or personal alliance. If other factors agree, a year where the Sun is in the seventh house might point to a marriage year. Is your Solar Return Sun in your 10th House of Career for the year? Expect significant themes surrounding professional advancement or shifts in your vocation. Wherever the Sun is placed in your horoscope is where you're meant to shine your light for your entire life. Wherever the Sun is placed in your Solar Return chart will be where you shine your light specifically for that year.
Of course this is a general, bare-bones analysis that does not include the aspects the Sun makes or other important considerations, but hopefully you get the idea. Remember: the Sun is the primary consideration in this Return chart.
The importance of comparing charts
Another major consideration in synthesizing a Solar Return is to then go and compare it with your natal chart. What sign, for example, is rising in your Solar Return chart? Where is that sign located in your birth chart? This means something vital since the Ascendant is an area of energy manifestation. Any angle is where the "stuff of life" happens. Do you have any natal planets conjunct a Solar Return angle? Again, this is important! All of these nuances add subtle but vital elements to a thorough assessment of your Solar Return.
As you can see, the Solar Return chart is an incredibly useful tool to add to your astrological toolbox. Think back on the years you had life-changing moments such as a marriage, career milestone, move, divorce, or major life change. Check over those Solar Return charts and you will be amazed. Then, look into the future as you create your upcoming Solar Return chart. Anticipate what is yet to come.