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Reviewing Your Solar Return Chart

Looking back at the past year is a valuable exercise

By Maria DeSimone

I have this annual ritual that some of you might find interesting. Every year around my birthday I'll take out my Solar Return chart and "check it" for accuracy. No, not the Solar Return chart for the coming year. I'm talking about the Solar Return chart for the year that is now basically over and done with.

Every time I do this my faith in the power of Astrology is strengthened just a little bit more. The accuracy of a Solar Return chart to account for major themes in your life for a one-year period is simply remarkable.

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What cracks me up most is how I'll always try to interpret this chart in advance (just like I do for my clients) but because I'm pretty bad at astro-analyzing myself, the themes invariably surprise me.

Last year I enjoyed a rare and close conjunction between the Sun and Jupiter in the 11th House of Friendship. This aspect will occur once every 12 years for all of us, but if you're extra lucky --like I was last year -- you might also have it imprinted into your Solar Return chart. That means you get to enjoy its influence for an entire year!

Good luck with group connections

I anticipated this conjunction would bring me a gorgeous dose of luck when it comes to my group connections. Networking, friendships and even the Internet would lead to gain for me. The 11th house is associated with hopes, wishes and dreams, so it was suggested that sometime in 2012 a significant wish would be granted.

The 11th house also rules money that you earn from your business, so if you're self-employed this house becomes a money house. Apparently my income would be on the rise. This was fortified by having Leo on the cusp of my 2nd House of Earned Income. That meant the Sun ruled my money. And in 2012, my Sun looked pretty darned prosperous. WOW! Good stuff, right?

I also had Uranus in the 10th House of Status in my Solar Return chart, and Uranus was close to the degree of my natal Venus. Uranus-Venus contacts suggest fluctuations in money, but it could be positive or difficult. Most likely it suggests a year of being all over the place financially. Fortunately, Uranus was trine the Moon in my Solar Return chart even though it was square Pluto.

That suggested sudden endings to sources of income and business partnerships (Pluto was placed in the 7th House of Partnership), while the trine to the Moon in the 6th House of Daily Routine suggested new work opportunity. A little nutty, I know. It's like good and bad all rolled into one.

Cancer was rising on last year's Solar Return chart, and it happened to be close to the degree of my natal 4th House of Family Life cusp. That told me home and family concerns would be a major part of my year.

Troubling aspects in 2012

Looking in my Solar Return 4th house I saw Saturn. Saturn was tightly opposing Mercury in the 10th house and Mercury was the ruler of my Solar Return 4th house cusp.

OK, this looked troublesome. Difficult communication connected to a family member was possible. I also saw that I might have difficulty with a sibling that year (Mercury rules siblings) or with my writing work (Mercury was in my 10th house, and I do a lot of writing as part of my profession).

Now that the 2012 Solar Return year is over, I'm looking at this opposition with serious appreciation. The symbolism is, once again, amazing.

As you may know, in late 2012 my home was devastated in hurricane Sandy, and my daughter and I were not able to live at home for several weeks. We lived with my brother and his family for most of the time. How literal that Mercury-Saturn opposition was! But I had no way to predict the events would be what they were. I just saw the symbolism.

I also had several problems last year with people I wrote for. I ended my partnership with several writing venues. Mercury in the 10th house opposite Saturn. Uranus in the 10th house square Pluto.

Friendships came through in 2012

But what about that amazing Sun-Jupiter conjunction? Well, it more than came to pass. While I was unable to work for nearly two months and suffered significant financial losses due to the hurricane, one of my students started a fundraiser on the Internet on my behalf. Her efforts helped to re-coup nearly one third of my losses. Friends also helped out in a significant way. And in 2012, a wish I had a few years back that I never thought was still an option actually came true.

Oh, and I must confess -- I gained weight in 2012. That's the not-so-fun side of a year with the Sun conjunct Jupiter in Taurus in your Solar Return. Oh, well. I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

The moral of the story? When you look over your Solar Return chart for the coming year and anticipate what the year ahead may have in store, don't forget to look at your most recent Solar Return. What you'll find will astound you.

This Astrology stuff. It really does work.

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