solar return

In Astrology, your birthday is known as your Solar Return – or the time when the sun returns to where it was on the day that you were born and we can run a solar return chart to give us insights into the year ahead.

Your Solar Return occurs each year on the day of, the day before, or the day after your birthday and solar return charts give us insight into the energy and themes of the year ahead. These are best done on or around your birthday. 

It was my birthday last week so I thought it would be fun to introduce you to this concept, how to run the solar return chart, and how to interpret it.

In a Solar Return chart, your Sun sign will not change but you’ll probably have a different moon and rising signs. These new signs do not replace the moon and rising signs in your birth chart. Rather, these are the signs that you’ll express for the next year – similar to a progressed planet.

Astrologer Stephanie Gailling said about a solar return chart:

“You can think of this like your birthday chart, a chart that gives you additional way finding tips for moving through this year, sensing what it may offer. It doesn’t supersede other insights {from your natal chart}  but adds another dimension that will help you see what this year is inviting for you. You can then take this and tune in to see how the new beginnings you’re sensing align with this, allowing it to inform this inquiry.”

How to calculate the Solar Return Chart

The solar return chart is calculated based on a number of factors

1) your time of birth 

2) your birthday (month and day) 

3) the current year

4) and your location as you celebrate your birthday that particular year.

Using your actual location, not your birth location is really important.

I like this calculator from Astroseek as it makes it really clear to put in the city you will be in on your birthday. It also has a great tab where you can see the chart shape really clearly.

However, if you want to use astro.com to create your solar return chart go to extended chart selection. From the chart type dropdown select “Solar Return Chart” but make sure that the correct location is set.

Things to look for in a solar return chart

Here is my solar return chart for the next year so that you can follow along with my interpretation.

Placement of the sun by house

Of particular importance is where your sun is placed in your solar return chart – this is where you are meant to shine brightly for the year ahead.

Your sun will be in the same exact spot it was in when you were born; however, it’s not necessarily going to be in the same house or making the same angles to other planets and luminaries.

For the 12 months from 26th November 2023-25th November 2023, my sun is placed in my 10th house of career & recognition conjunct my MC angle. This makes it a landmark year for me after a more introspective and behind-the-scenes year before.

During the next 12 months, I’ll spend the year preparing to launch my oracle deck with Hay House, working on my book proposal, and investing in a business program to help me with strategies relating to visibility & reach.

Sun conjunct a solar return angle

If your sun is conjunct with one of the angles in the solar return chart this is significant. This year mine is conjunct my MC angle which marks a landmark year.

Your Moon Placement

Your moon placement in a solar return chart tells us “where your heart is” in the coming year. Mine is in Taurus in the 3rd house and I thing my heart will be focused on creating ongoing stability and security through communications projects such as my oracle deck and future book. With my dad having cancer perhaps this also reflects my heart being with my other siblings and conjunct Uranus the potential for some emotional upsets and unexpected event.

Aspects between Sun & Moon

These are landmark years and will be particularly significant. I don’t have an aspect between the two in the upcoming year and I feel like each will work separately on what it needs.

Aspects your sun makes to other planets

You can also look at other aspects that your sun is making in your solar return chart – for example, mine is conjunct Mars and square Saturn.

So let’s break this down in a simple way.

Sun in the 10th house in Sagittarius

  • Conjunct Mars – My solar return sun is in the 10th house conjunct the MC and Mars in the 9th house. Both these planets are tightly conjunct the MC on either side. This makes the coming year quite a big year in terms of career and reputation. It’s a year for bravery, visibility and taking action particularly relating to publishing.
  • Square Saturn – Saturn is in Pisces and the 12th house, this could mean that I have to work harder (or more consciously) to be disciplined with my work after a big year of creation in 2023. I also feel this has some personal connections with my dad fighting stage iv cancer.

Solar Return Ascendant (or rising) sign & ruling planet

You can also look at your Ascendant sign in your solar return chart for an indication of your general temperament and attitude for the next 12 months. 

Mine is in Pisces for the next year and I feel like this represents the increased exposure and recognition that I’ll get this year for my spiritual and soulful work. Natally, Pisces rules my  7th house. I feel that partnerships such as the one with Hay House will be the focus of this year and perhaps other partnerships that come my way as a result.

Solar Return planets on solar return angles

You can also look for any solar return planets on solar return angles – for example, as I said earlier my solar return sun and Mars are conjunct my MC angle. Saturn is 5 degrees away from my Ascendant but with a solar return chart we are looking for tight conjunctions no more than 2 degrees orb.

Critical degrees

If you have any solar return planets at 0 degrees or 29 degrees these will be very significant themes for your year ahead. I have Saturn at 0 degrees Pisces and this feels like a new way of operating in the world – more intuitively and cyclically as well as needing to be compassionate with myself.

Want more

There is a lot more than we can learn about our year ahead from a Solar Return chart, I teach this technique in my Level 2 Advanced Business Astrology Certification and I’m also including a brand new Solar Return training in my Your Soulful Year Program which is on sale now.

Create your Solar Return Chart

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