By Ron Bippus
The Solar Return chart is calculated for the exact moment in time that the Sun returns to its natal position, and is set in the place where you currently live. It forecasts the general outlook for the year ahead, and should be used as part of a whole spectrum of techniques that include transits, progressions, and directions. The Solar Return is a snapshot of the zodiac at the precise moment that the transiting Sun conjoins the natal Sun. This makes the Solar Return similar to a horary, which makes predictions based on the quality of time that a question is asked or an event occurs. It points out where the action is by its emphasis on certain houses and signs. The Solar Return is always set up for your present place of residence, not for your place of birth. Going somewhere else for your birthday to change the nature of the coming year does not really work, since you would have to stay there all year to experience the change in the rising sign.
1. The rising sign and the house cusp it represents in the natal chart are the prime focus for the year. If the sign is intercepted in the natal chart, it will be a very frustrating and difficult year. Any planets in the first house also strongly influence the emotional tenor, but the signs on all four angles are always important. The Solar Return Ascendant and its ruler show the general approach to life, and the attitude, health and fortunes for the year ahead.
2. The house that the Sun is in points at a major issue for the year, and shows where a great deal of energy is being applied. It shows the basic life pattern for the year, and if there are many aspects to the Sun, it will be a very active year. Fewer aspects indicate less activity and a more tranquil year. The house in which the Sun falls in the SR chart is the birthday month's forecast and influence, and each house after is the following month, since the Sun transits at the rate of one sign or house per month. Each house is treated as events in that month, and the sign and planet ruling the cusp influences the outlook for that month. The chart is used like a clock, with 12 months on its face instead of 12 hours. As the Sun conjoins or aspects other planets in the SR, it will generate events.
3. The Solar Return is a horary chart, and can be interpreted without reference to the natal chart. Special attention must be paid to the aspects of the transiting Moon, since its last aspect before it changes signs determines the final outcome of all issues.
a. If the Moon is void of course not much will change unless there are overwhelming indications for change by house and aspect.
b. If a planet changes signs before the Moon does, then all efforts for change are wasted, nothing will come of them.
c. If the final aspect is an opposition, then there will likely be a separation from lovers or employers.
d. If the final aspect is a square, then challenges are met successfully, indicating a very good year.
e. If the final aspect is a conjunction to a benefic, or a trine or sextile, then everything will turn out well.
4. The SR can be interpreted as a temporary natal chart for the year.
The houses with several planets in them have the strongest influence on the coming year. If the planets are somewhat scattered, then the chart must be assessed by hemisphere and quadrant. If there are more planets in angular houses, then this indicates many new projects for the year ahead. A preponderance of planets in the succeedent houses indicates the completion of work already under way. A majority of planets in the cadent houses suggest a year of changes and mental activity and stress.
The Moon in the Solar Return
The Moon shows every day activity. In Fire Signs, it's very active, social, and possibly temperamental and confrontational. In Earth, there are practical and material concerns. Financial affairs are important, and need to be worked on and balanced. Emotions are strong, but quiet and introverted. In Air, communications and social activities, learning and cooler, detached emotions prevail. Energy levels are fairly good. In Water Signs, it's an emotional year, with family and relationship concerns and low energy.
The Moon sign signifies people with the qualities of that sign in your life. The Moon's aspects, if strong and numerous, can cause emotional and health tensions, and a very active daily routine. If there are few aspects, life is more relaxed and slower, and you will have time to catch your breath. SR Moon above the horizon, your concerns are mostly focused on career and social connections. Below the horizon, the year involves subconscious personal problems.
Conjunct the MC, it is an indication of career changes and changes in personal goals. Conjunct the IC, family and emotional security issues are sharply highlighted. On the Ascendant, physical health and attitudes toward others are changeable, whereas on the Descendant it indicates long term relationships, legal partnerships or marriage undergoing change.
The ascendant is what you want to be or achieve that year. The Descendant is what you project to other people, how others see you. Planets on the Ascendant indicate the quality, character trait or goal you wish to achieve that year. Planets on the descendant are the qualities that you project to others.
CARDINAL signs rising indicate a very active year, with a lot of energy directed into all areas of life.
FIXED signs indicate concerns with financial or emotional security.
MUTABLE signs indicate social activity and communication with others. The only problem here is indecisiveness.
The transiting Sun moves at the rate of 1 sign or house per month. Therefore, if you count from the first house following the house that the Sun is in, then that would be the first month after your birthday. The other months are similarly counted. Watch for the Sun conjuncting planets or points in the SR, since this triggers events. Use all inner transiting planets for event prediction, especially the Sun, since it is the most important planet in a SR. The aspects made by the Sun as it moves through the zodiac generate events.
1. Put the natal planets around the inside of the chart, or print a bi-wheel. The natal/SR planetary aspects can be quite revealing. Also watch the transiting inner planets making aspects to both SR and natal planets.
2. SR Mercury by Aspect, Sign and House indicates thinking and communication patterns for the year. Watch for retrograde and direct stations on a sensitive natal or SR point.
3. SR Venus shows emotional and financial patterns, and how its conjunctions can be used to accomplish beneficial changes.
4. SR Mars shows action and energy patterns for the year. As it conjuncts planets in the SR and natal charts, it provokes temper and causes frustration, but can be source of strength and courage.
5. SR North Node indicates areas of challenge and growth, whereas the South Node indicates areas of stagnation and previous activity that needs to be left behind. The outer planets as always indicate major events and activities.
6. Natal planets conjunct SR planets or angles emphasise and bring natal influences into that month of life. Natal angles conjunct SR planets bring that natal house into that month of life.
7. Grand aspect patterns bring about major changes in life, as will any natal aspect pattern repeated in the SR.
Conjunctions - Emphasis for the year on those planetary house and sign energies
Oppositions - Reaction from others and to others in your environment. They are separating aspects.
Squares - Obstacles to be overcome, problems in life style, new drives, directions and actions
Trines - Benefits and enjoyment from your environment, time of rewards for use of talents
Sextiles - Others appreciate your insights and creative abilities, achieving goals through help from others
Inconjuct - Arguments with those close to you because of differences in philosophy, new working conditions and responsibilities
SOLAR RETURN ASCENDING SIGNS
ARIES This indicates a year of action, quick decisions, and increased physical energy. Often, there is an interest in relationships and added financial responsibilities and new enterprises.
TAURUS Financial, career and domestic situations dominate the year, and some need to consider physical appearance and pragmatic relationships with people in authority. Caution is called for, and stubborn wilfulness needs to be controlled. Career wise, this can be a time of heavy burdens and responsibilities.
GEMINI A head full of ideas and ever changing viewpoints accompany this sign. Travel and communication with family members are highlighted, and the social life may be very busy. There may be an addition to the family, or more than one romantic partner.
CANCER This indicates an emotionally sensitive time, but feelings are close to the surface and tempers may flare. Family security needs have to be addressed and resolved.
LEO A good time to be creative, have fun, or have children. A tendency toward extravagance needs to be watched. With hard aspects predominant, care should be taken that the relationship and career don't founder due to an excessive search for pleasure.
VIRGO A desire to change the type of work you do, and a discontent with the job in general and the people at work in particular may predominate. Because of job related stress, health may become an issue. Criticism from superiors may result in financial woes due to lost raises.
LIBRA Legal issues surrounding relationships and business partnerships may arise. Co-operation and persuasion rather than verbal aggression are called for.
SCORPIO Intensely repressed feelings and emotional issues dominate the year. There is a need to rely on your own inner resources and strength. This is not a good position for marriage and other personal relationships.
SAGITTARIUS Opportunities arise to make or spend money, and risky investments may be undertaken because of an over confident and optimistic attitude. There is a strong restlessness, so travel and other expressions of mental freedom are high on the list of priorities.
CAPRICORN Personal restrictions and heavy responsibilities may be encountered. There are likely to be changes in the career, and any opportunities that come along should be grasped. This is a good time to tend to personal affairs rather than career responsibilities.
AQUARIUS A need to detach from the usual social conventions and do your own thing is very strong. Personal relationships need some focus, otherwise they are likely to founder. Care should be taken not to spend all your time and money on humanitarian ideals or travel.
PISCES Intuition and feelings play larger parts than logic and reason. This indicates a wonderful romance, or hard times and confrontation over money. Time should be spent on the arts and other creative pursuits.
SOLAR RETURN HOUSES
The Solar Return houses are the most significant part of the interpretation, since they indicate in what area of life the action will take place. The natal house placement of the Solar Return Ascendant ruler shows how the planet operates for the year. Its house placement in the Solar Return shows how that function can work out.
1st. A strong need for self-expression and initiating action without the help of others. Opportunities for personal growth and self-development will likely arise.
2nd. The emphasis is on personal values and finances, as well as financial problems or opportunities. Earning capacity may be stressed, and personal self-esteem may become a problem.
3rd. The expression of ideas, and research into those ideas, will occupy most of the spare time. Writing, travel, and relationships with family members are emphasised.
4th. Home, family, and health become major issues for the year. Get back to your roots, keep in touch with the family, and settle some unresolved family issues.
5th. Romance and creativity are highlighted, and care should be taken that a romance does not threaten relationships with your children. Have fun and play games, enjoy life and take some risks, or bet at the racetrack. Write a book, or make some paintings, or follow whatever creative streak you have.
6th. Relationships in the work place, and the kind of work being done are likely to change. This change can be stressful, so physical health may suffer. The kind of work you do may be in a state of flux, so try not to make long range career commitments. Don't over work and burn out.
7th. Marital, partnership and legal issues need some work. This may be a good year to get married, or to end a marriage. Let others express their opinions without getting angry, but remain diplomatic, and try to see the other person's perspective. Resolve conflicts and differences through negotiation, rather than direct action.
8th. Settlements in partnership disputes as well as in legal and marital affairs are likely. Inheritances, taxes, or alimony may get some attention. Birth, death, and other major changes are emphasised. This is an excellent time to make money, especially through real estate and other investments.
9th. The urge to travel and expand your horizons may be very strong, or may be enjoyed vicariously by reading books. Other people's legal affairs may intrude on your personal life. Involvement with churches or political groups is likely.
10th. Career and business matters come sharply into focus. A change in professional status is likely. Relationships with parents, or behaviour as a parent, become major issues. There is a desire for public recognition and social approval.
11th. Old or new acquaintances become very important. Work related creativity might acquire an outlet. Social activity of all kinds takes up a large amount of time.
12th. The need to relax and get away from work and other pressures becomes very important. This may take the form of romantic affairs, involvement with drugs and alcohol, or spiritual pursuits. A year to be spent in quiet surroundings to recharge the emotional batteries.
SUN A time of personal accomplishments which will be of benefit to oneself and the family. There is an enormous amount of energy available. A feeling of confidence and being in control persists throughout the year.
MOON A year of being emotional changes and tending to relationships and domestic issues. Take care that the emotions don't run away with you. Restlessness and a desire for travel and general changeability persist through the year, so don't make permanent commitments.
MERCURY Intellectual interests and communication dominate the year, but nervous exhaustion can be a problem unless there are periods of rest and relaxation. Take care not to make hasty and careless decisions.
VENUS This is a good time to tend to romantic and financial interests. Make sure that self-satisfaction is not the only goal. This is a good time for intimacy, social affairs and fun, but investment opportunities should not be neglected.
MARS This is a year of exceptional energy, but good planning is needed to prevent wasting a lot of time in aimlessly running from interest to interest without accomplishing anything. Self-assurance is fine, but don't become arrogant and confrontational.
JUPITER Great self-confidence and self-assurance come with Jupiter rising. This is a good time for travel and seeking knowledge in foreign places, or to withdraw to a quiet place and seek inner wisdom.
SATURN Self-worth will be tested severely, and confidence often evaporates. Focus on practical matters, and accept responsibility when it comes along. Don't give away opportunities, because the failure to take action will haunt you.
URANUS Take your freedom wherever you find it, and make sudden changes when the opportunities arise. Be flexible and open to change, and don't try to hang onto the past. Feel free to express your opinions, but don't be too outrageously different.
NEPTUNE Kick back, chill out and relax. This is not a year to push outward, but rather to look inward and tend to spiritual needs. Be creative, take up acting or painting, or write a book.
PLUTO A year of drastic and permanent changes is likely. Permanent relationships and financial matters will dominate, and both may change for better or for worse. Others may try to control and dominate you, so this is the chance to make permanent improvements.