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. This can occur on the day of, the day before, or the day after your birthday

We can also do Solar Return charts which 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.

Solar Return Chart

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.

Whilst I typically use I like this calculator at astroseek as it makes it really clar 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 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

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 2021-25th November 2022 my sun is placed in my 3rd house of communications conjunct my south node and mercury, Mars is also in this house.

This tells me that Communication is going to be a big theme for the next 12 months likely with old (or even past life) issues coming up. There will also be a strong drive (Mars) around communication and I know that 2022 will have a lot of writing and teaching projects because I am writing my guide for an upcoming astrology deck, I’ll be writing the level 2 teaching content and I have another potential writing project in the works. 

Sun conjunct a solar return angle

If your sun is conjunct one of the angles in the solar return chart this is significant. Mine is 6 degrees away from my IC line meaning that themes around family and stability will likely be part of the next 12 months. Hopefully a happy period within my family of origin with a family wedding and hopefully being able to see them more after a few years of lockdown.

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 trine my moon, square Jupiter and AC, sextile Saturn, opposite North Node and MC and trine Chiron.

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

Sun in the 3rd in Sagittarius

  • trine moon in Leo in the 12th – I get a sense that a lot of alone and introspective time will be really important over the next year and this will help me to achieve all these writing goals.
  • square Jupiter and sextile Saturn in the 6th – This tends to suggest that I will need good structure and day to day routine in order to expand this year and achieve my sun in the 3rd house themes. To a certain extent my Jupiter will be restricted because I need to focus on less exciting things.
  • Square my AC in Leo – I feel like my sun goals for this year will be challenging to showing up in a Leo way because it is less about visibility and more about writing and more introspective work.
  • Opposite North Node – in my solar return chart the north node is in the 9th which is all about learning and my sun is in the 3rd house which is more about writing and sharing knowledge. So I feel like there will be a push and pull between wanting to learn more and needing to write and teach and I’ll need to balance these desires.
  • Opposite MC in Gemini – a Gemini MC (my natal MC line) indicates someone who is multi-passionate and who wants to do all.the.things. With my sun opposite in this chart I’ll need to work hard to stay focused on the core sun goals. 

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 Leo – this makes me think about fun, pleasure, generosity, being a bit “extra” – funny how on my birthday dinner on Saturday night I dressed up in a pink “carrie” shirt and felt totally over the top and extra. 

This also means that the sun in my solar return chart is the chart ruler and this gives even more prominence to the 3rd house themes for the year ahead.

Solar Return planets on solar return angles

You can also look for any solar return planets on solar return angles – for example, my Jupiter is within 2 degrees of my DC angle meaning that I will experience luck, abundance, and expansion in relationships over the coming year.

Critical degrees

If you have any solar return planets at 1 degree or 29 degrees these will be very significant themes for your year ahead. I have my Mercury, North Node, and South Node at 1 degree – meaning that learning, writing, and teaching are big themes for the next 12 months.

Overall Shape

If you look at your solar return chart shape it can give you an idea about your year. My chart is a bucket shape with my moon alone on the left hemisphere far apart from other planets. It has a lot of aspects and I get the sense that giving myself the alone time my 12th house moon needs over the next 12 months will be critical. One of the things I am doing right now to enable this is bringing on a couple of team members to support me.

Want more

There are a number of other things you can look at in a solar return chart particularly the interaction between your natal chart and solar return chart. 

If you would like to learn more about your solar return book in for a Solar Return Reading on or around your birthday.

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