Why you want this report: Astrologers tend to agree that the solar return is absolutely the best source for a preview of what to expect the year following your birthday. It’s different than a natal chart interpretation in that it will not only address the implications of planetary positions and aspects but also provide some prognostications. It will thus often indicate whether there’s a chance you’ll change jobs, move, what your financial situation will be, and the general emotional climate.
Chart Used: Your solar return chart which is sometimes called a birthday chart is calculated for the moment the Sun returns to its natal position each year. This may not always be on your actual birthday but is often the day before or after. Unlike the day you celebrate your birthday, it is strictly based on the Sun’s zodiacal degree, not the date. You may have noticed that seasonal markers like the equinoxes and solstices can vary by a day or so year to year which is the same idea since they define the moment the Sun goes into a Cardinal Sign.
Information Provided: A solar return chart is similar to a natal chart but it’s only in effect for one year. There will be a period of overlap between the previous and following year as one phases out and the other takes over. Some reports address the balance of Fire, Earth, Air and Water in the chart and their implications. It should address aspects between the Sun and Moon with each other as well as the planets but may not specify exactly what those aspects are. However, it will indicate whether they are positive or negative and provide the possible effects, which is more than adequate unless you’re an astrologer or perhaps a Virgo who wants all the bloody details. Aspects between the planets may not be covered or may be only for those with a tight orb of one degree or less. The significance of house placements is usually addressed, however, even though it will probably be at a fairly fundamental level.
Not Provided: Most computerized solar return reports will not compare your solar return to your natal chart. Noting the aspects created between the two charts is important for understanding how the year in question relates to your evolution as an individual. Planetary placements in the solar return can interact with and activate natal aspects which can relate to the natal promise and provide additional insights into what to expect. For example, the ascendant on the solar return will be in a certain sign and degree that is likely to be considerably different than your natal chart. That sign and degree will fall in a certain house in your natal chart which usually provides an important hint regarding which area of your life will hold the most importance during the coming year.
This report, like most computerized natal chart interpretations, also does not address aspect patterns such as the Grand Trine, Grand Square, Grand Sextile, Yod, Triangle of Potential and so forth which can provide a tremendous amount of energy and influence and indicate an important year.
Not to sound like a broken record (an analogy that younger readers probably don’t understand at all), but retrograde planets have important implications here as well yet are seldom addressed. If you have Mercury retrograde in your solar return you are likely to spend a lot of time redoing or finishing up projects already started as opposed to new endeavors. Knowing this can help you avoid a lot of frustration. Mars retrograde could induce a feeling of being stalemated and unable to take action or make any progress. Venus retrograde could be a time to rework or even undo a relationship. Don’t you think you’d want to know it if that was lurking in your chart?
Timing for events implied by a solar return is often related to the transiting Sun throughout the coming year as it contacts and activates the various planets and aspects. This timing is likewise not included in computerized reports and often isn’t included in personalized readings, either, unless requested. Nonetheless, solar returns are my most popular report and my personal favorite. I recommend getting yourself one of these each year as a well-deserved birthday present.
So now that you have a detailed overview of what to expect from the coming year, what lies between those still rather broad possibilities and your daily horoscopes? What about what this coming month is going to be like? As you would expect, again there’s an answer out there, no farther away than that other luminary in the sky. You know, the one that provides us with the root word for “month.”
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