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.

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

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 2022-25th November 2023 my sun is placed in my 12th house of rest and retreat. This aligns with my numerology number for the year and I get there sense that rest and introspection will be important over the next year.

But I also see myself shining whilst on retreat and I have a solo retreat planned as well as leading one in Tulum in 2023 for my students.

Sun conjunct a solar return angle

If your sun is conjunct one of the angles in the solar return chart this is significant. This year mine is not conjunct an angle.

Aspects between Sun & Moon

These are landmark years and will be particularly significant.

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 sextile my natal Jupiter, and part of fortune.

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

Sun in the 3rd in Sagittarius

  • Sextile Jupiter – I feel like this is going to be a really supportive year for further study, travel, and expansion and this aligns with my plans for 2023.
  • Sextile Part of Fortune – My part of Fortune is in Aquarius in the 5th House – Aquarius rules astrology and is also linked to technology. I feel like the next year will be very creative but in a way that harnesses technology to achieve my 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 Sagittarius which I LOVE because this is my natal sun sign and it makes me think of being recognised as a mentor, teacher, and adventurous freedom seeker. It feels like coming home.

Solar Return planets on solar return angles

You can also look for any solar return planets on solar return angles – for example, my Mars is within 1 degree of my DC angle which could mean that there are some issues with relationships in the coming year – perhaps needing to assert myself, be brave or fight for what I deserve.

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 my Moon at 29 degrees in Sagittarius, adding to the strongly Sagittarius energy for the next year meaning that travel, learning, and freedom are big themes (and emotional needs) for the next 12 months.

Elemental Balance

My solar return chart for 2022 is strongly fire and weaker in other elements. It makes me think that it will be a year of a lot of vision and ideas for the next stage of my life and business.

Quality Balance

My solar return chart for 2022 is strongly Mutable, in business astrology Mutable energy is a finishing off energy – I feel like it will be a year of refining and improving a lot of existing offerings and offerings that have been planned for some time like the Level 2 Certification. 

It will also likely be a year that is quite flexible and flowing – where I can adjust easily to changes as they come up.

Overall Shape

Looking at your solar return chart shape can give you an idea about your year. My chart is a bowl shape with all planets within approx 180 degrees and the lower hemisphere. 

This makes it a more introspective year where I focus on myself, my business foundations and communications, creativity, and day-to-day routine.

There is a cluster of energy in the 12th House and 4th House – I wonder if I may need more alone time, perhaps to grieve a loss or need to help more with extended family. Only time will tell!

There is also a large focus in Sagittarius with my sun, moon, venus, and mercury all there, I feel as if it will be a year where I really get to embrace my Sagittarian nature with travel, learning, and expansion.

Want more

There is a lot more than we can learn about our year ahead from a Solar Return chart, I’ll be teaching all about this when I launch my Level 2 Business Astrology Certification (advanced level) in 2023.

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