You might be familiar with your Solar Return -- the exact moment each year when the Sun in the sky reaches the exact position it was in at the time of your birth. This is a special event each year and it sets up a temporary themed chart that explains volumes about what significant energy patterns might make up your next year. I work with Solar Returns during every client session and I have found them to be incredibly accurate.
But the Sun is not the only planet that returns to its natal position. Every year or so Mercury and Venus in the sky will make a conjunction to your natal Mercury or Venus. Every two years Mars does the same thing. Every 12 years Jupiter returns to its natal placement, and every 29 years or so it's Saturn's turn. If you live to be 84 you'll even get a Uranus Return!
You would read a return chart the same way you read a birth chart, except this chart is only active until the next planetary return. Return charts are meaningful tools to add to your astrological toolbox. They add depth of flavor -- kind of like the difference between cooking a pot of soup using canned broth versus taking the time to make a homemade stock first.
Your Venus Return affects love and money
When it comes to love and money, Venus is the place to look. Yes, transits, progressions and eclipses to your natal Venus will be the major markers to look out for in anticipation of a major shift in money and romantic matters. But to add even more depth of flavor to your analysis, it's a good idea to look at your Venus Return chart each year.
If you happen to be ruled by Venus (Sun or Ascendant in Taurus or Libra) then a Venus Return will be even more sensitive for you.
Return charts are cast for the location you are in when you have the actual return. I typically cast it for my hometown because, where else would I be? Well, a few years back I was spending my Venus Return in Grand Case, St. Martin. How would the charts different? And what, exactly, did it mean for me in terms of love and money in the year ahead?
Well, no matter where I was for the return, there was a tight stellium (group of planets together) between Venus, the Sun, Uranus, and Mars in Aries. All of these planets make a supportive link to Jupiter. Having the Sun and Venus conjunct in a Venus Return symbolizes an extra special year in terms of finances and romance. So either way that pattern appears to be fated.
Why it was a money-making year ...
What did change due to the different location was that, instead of the stellium being in my 3rd House of Communication and Short Distance Travel, it was in my 2nd House of Earned Income. The 3rd house symbolism still fit because I did earn a chunk of my income from writing and teaching. According to my Venus Return, that would continue to grow over the next year.
What I really loved about the change of charts, though, is that in my "home" chart Pluto was conjunct the Ascendant and Uranus and Mars square Pluto on the Ascendant. To me, that was not a pretty combination. Now, with the St. Martin chart, Pluto was tucked way into my 12th House of Spirituality, possibly diluting the tension those nasty squares made. In the St. Martin chart, my Venus Return Ascendant was in early Aquarius and happened to form an exact sextile to the Sun and Venus.
Sudden, hidden expenses are a hallmark of this Venus Return chart, so although I'd be making considerably more money, I'd need to make smart investments and save because of an unexpected major aggravating expense to deal with.
Now, in terms of love ...
When the ruler of the Ascendant (also called your Rising sign) and Descendant in a Venus Return chart aspect one another in a friendly way, it does suggest that partnership may be coming together that year. Whether I looked at my "home" chart or my "vacation" chart, that was the case.
Believe it or not, I am not an astrologer who advocates relocating just to get one of your return charts to look better. I feel strongly that if you're meant to go through a cycle or experience, you cannot escape it. It will show in the transits, progressions and eclipses. The return chart simply adds more depth to help flesh out the storyline.
Even though the differences are subtle, it does seem as if the Venus Return in St. Martin was a bit kinder when it came to how the planets were arranged. Maybe my Venus needed a vacation that year. Overall, however, the themes for me in terms of love and money remained the same whether I stayed home and drank wine on my couch or sipped frozen drinks on the beach in St. Martin.
That was my first experience with consciously tracking a relocated return in my own life and I enjoyed taking notes. After all, I am a work in progress. Aren't we all?