My system for dating the events during a Solar Return (SR) year is unique. The SR is the exact time when the Sun returns to the exact degree and minute it was when you were born. Because the length of the solar year always changes, the SR time of day and Rising sign — or Ascendant (ASC) — changes every year as well. If you were born at 3:00p.m., for example, your SR time might be the previous day early in the morning, or the next day in the evening. It is usually within a day either way. As your Rising sign is a major factor in your personality (the way you see yourself) for the year, it therefore determines which houses all the SR planets are in. It is a very important factor.
My technique, which I first created in the early 70s and documented in The Round Art (1978), dates the SR planets, using the ASC as the birthday. In a counterclockwise direction, you have 360 degrees and 365 days, so we move through the SR chart about a degree per day. One sign of 30 degrees after your SR ASC is one month later, etc. around the wheel.
The value to dating the SR is that you can know when each SR planet will “register,” and affect you. When you approach Saturn you will expect to experience constriction and seriousness, while nearing Venus might bring a love affair or artistic endeavor, and so on. The quality is further refined because the SR planet aspects other planets in the SR and also your natal chart planets. This means you are engaged in a series of influences within the SR, and also that certain of those trigger deeper, natal birth chart principles, and bring them into the present. Over the many years I have done SRs for clients, it has proven to be extremely accurate and helpful to them in working through their surface and deeper influences in their lives.
However there is an interesting issue at stake. Say your SR year ASC where you live in L.A. is Scorpio and you don’t like that. You can change it by moving Eastward to NY, where your SR ASC might be Sagittarius. Would it be worthwhile to move just for your birthday? It is an interesting issue, and many of my clients have done exactly that, either willingly, or accidentally (for example, if you go away on holiday for your birthday). A client recently asked about this, and my answer was that when people move to change their SR, it shows that they are endeavoring to change their lives. So you would tend to get mutable (changeable) signs on the angles, or planets in cadent houses (the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th), or planets like Uranus or Pluto (both signifying change) aspecting your ASC/Midheaven/Sun. It can bring change, but can also be destabilizing.
Next blog will be about how to map your SR birthday year from the events over 24 hours after your SR time.