The Solar Return Chart in Astrology

A Solar Return chart, in astrology, is essentially a snapshot of the cosmos at the exact moment the sun returns to its birth position in a particular year, typically your upcoming birthday. This means it’s the exact time the sun, on its solar revolution, reaches the same degree, minute, and second as it occupied at your time of birth. 

The Solar Return chart, often called a birthday chart, maps out your general outlook, main themes, and significant happenings for the next year of your life, from one birthday to the next. As such, it becomes a crucial astrological tool for personal reflection and planning.

Preparing a Solar Return Chart

To prepare this chart, an astrologer needs your birth date and time, just like your birth chart. But instead of your birth location, they require your location on your upcoming birthday. Your geographical position affects the positioning of the planets on the Zodiac wheel, altering your planetary signs.

Your sun sign remains constant, as it returns to your birth sign, but your moon and rising signs may change. These new signs are not substitutes for those in your birth chart, but represent the signs you will embody for the coming year.

For instance, if your solar return moon sign is Virgo, your emotional self during the upcoming year may be characterized by practicality, analytical thinking, and a desire for order and efficiency.  You may also be more critical of yourself and others, focusing on flaws and problems that need fixing.

If your solar return moon sign is Capricorn, the year ahead might see you taking a more disciplined, pragmatic approach to your emotions. Your focus might be more on your responsibilities, goals, and ambitions, often at the expense of your emotional needs.  Recognizing your solar return moon sign can help you understand your emotional motivations and innermost thoughts throughout the year.

Key Features

  1. Sun’s position: While the sun’s sign remains the same as your birth chart, its house or its angles to other planets may change, reflecting shifts in life focus for the year ahead.
  2. Sun’s aspects to other planets: This can help predict your focus for the coming year. For instance, if the sun is close to Saturn, it often suggests a year that may require discipline, hard work, and responsibility. 
  3. Rising sign/Ascendant of the chart: This sign suggests how you’ll approach the world in the upcoming year. For example, if Leo is the rising sign, you may become more assertive and crave luxury.
  4. The planet ruling the ascendant: The planet ruling the ascendant in the return chart indicates what will drive you for the year.

Important Considerations

Every house, planet, and aspect in the solar return chart is significant, but the house position of the sun is one of the most important considerations. For instance, the sun in the second house might suggest a good time for financial growth, while it might hint at a new love interest in the seventh house.

Retrograde planets, and new and full moons in the solar return chart also hold important implications. For example, a solar return of Venus in retrograde could signify a review of your relationships or potential issues in your love life.

Remember, the solar return chart doesn’t replace natal chart readings or a transit chart but complements them. Reading your solar return chart in conjunction with these is beneficial to get a comprehensive astrological outlook.

Calculating Your Solar Return Chart

Creating your own solar return chart typically requires specialized astrology software, like this free calculator on Astro-seek. It will need your birth date, exact time of birth, and current location. 

If calculating your chart seems daunting, you can hire a professional astrologer. They know to accurately determine the precise degree and exact position of your solar return planets and have the expertise to provide an in-depth interpretation, including critical degrees, major aspects, and the chart shape, based on general rules of astrology and their own experience.

A solar return chart provides insightful themes of the year, helping you prepare for the following year. It is a spiritual tool for personal and spiritual development, revealing opportunities for growth in different areas of life. 

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