Sun Legend Arthurian Tarot

Relocation and the Solar Return Chart

Sun Legend Arthurian Tarot

EDIT AUGUST 2018 Please note that since writing this post, I have changed the way I work. I now use the birthplace for casting the solar return chart. I will write more about this at a later date.

“We cannot underestimate the power of the mind in this process. The relocated solar return is like a vision, intention or affirmation.”
Mary Fortier Shea. Planets in Solar Returns. Twin Stars. 1998

I received a question by email yesterday which I thought I should discuss here on the site. The question was about whether it is beneficial to relocate for your solar return. Relocation and the solar return chart is a fascinating area of consideration.

The solar return chart is calculated for the moment the Sun returns to its natal position. It typically happens on or around your birthday which is why we wish people ‘Many Happy Returns’. This chart captures the transits that are occurring at the time and is a snapshot of the themes and concerns for the year ahead. It is interpreted much like a birth chart only the themes are valid for a year rather than for a life time. Also, the solar return chart can be compared to the natal (by putting the natal chart in a bi-wheel around the solar return) for further information.

There are three schools of thought when it comes to the place you use to calculate your solar return. These are : –

  • Your natal birth place.
  • The place where you generally reside.
  • The place where you are when the solar return occurs.

Personally I am with option three after my own personal research which then leads into the question of travelling with the purpose of changing the solar return chart as a different location will shift the planets into different houses. For example, if your solar return in your normal place of residence will put one of the malefics on an angle or emphasise a particular house, travelling away will alter this, therefore altering your experience during the following year.

Solar returns, rather like transits tend to ebb in and ebb out. Around three months before the new solar return, the Sun will form its final square to its natal position. It is the perfect time to start putting plans in place to support your life purpose and what you would like to do in your next solar year. Squares require action. It’s also the time when the new solar return chart may start to become active. The upcoming solar return can be activated by preceding transits – for example a planet moving across one of the angles of the future chart.

This begs the question, how can this new solar return be active if someone hasn’t yet travelled to the new location?

I think there is something here about setting the intention as Mary Shea says in the quote I have included at the beginning of this post. It’s about the commitment to act – to consciously engage in a dialogue with the archetypal forces and planetary energies at work.

This act of intention is perhaps the whole reason for the idea of relocating in the first place. It reflects the concept of free will – choosing to choose. But in discussion, I did say that I think it is important to choose with a view to what is beneficial rather than choosing with the objective of avoidance.

Because we cannot avoid the teachings of the transits and progressions. If these support a relocated chart, then this certainly can mean it is beneficial to relocate. However if the solar return of the normal place of residence reiterates the transits, then travelling may not make a great deal of difference – the lesson still needs to be learned. The solar return chart will not cancel out the other elements at work. I’ll give you an example :-

In April 2016, my solar return will have Pluto conjunct the Ascendant exactly if I stay in my normal place of residence. Yes, I could panic and relocate to push Pluto off the Ascendant but on the day of my solar return, Pluto will be square natal Saturn by transit and the transiting North Node will be conjunct my natal Pluto. The feeling from this then is something about ‘inevitability’. The North Node alerts me that I may need to experience this Plutonic energy for my own personal and spiritual growth. If I run away to get Pluto off the Ascendant, I’m perhaps just avoiding what it has to teach me. Not to mention the fact that natal Saturn is in my 9th house of long distance travel which doesn’t particularly sit well with a far away trip!

(Update August 2018 – what actually happened in my life during this SR year was that I was devastated by the death of a close friend whilst she was on holiday abroad. A powerful life changing experience for me.).

As I write, I’m thinking about what I normally say to people about lucid dreaming. The ability to direct your dreams is a fascinating development and one that can be put to very practical use. But there are times when it’s necessary to drop the reins and let the unconscious take over. In terms of astrology and spiritual development, sometimes we need to hear what the universe has to say rather than telling it what we want to hear.

But often charts are not quite so emphatic as my 2016 example! Sometimes, you may want to switch that zinging solar return Venus with glorious aspects to your 7th house or a well aspected Jupiter to your 10th house and with corresponding transits that support relationship or career developments, this would be perfect. Actively relocating to commit to this can be part of the ‘magic’ of manifestation.

Essentially then, deciding whether to relocate needs to take into consideration the transits and progressions at the time of the solar return and look at how you can perhaps enhance those aspects that are most helpful whilst mitigating those that are more problematic. But it’s also about being open to experiencing what needs to be experienced and remaining conscious of your choice in how you respond.

Regardless of whether you choose to relocate or you stay in the same place, you can set your intentions based on the upcoming solar return chart and ritualise this. If you are staying at home, there’s nothing to stop you making a small pilgrimage to a local sacred space or even quietly lighting a candle in your own back garden or on an altar.

Whichever you decide, this is about connecting with your inner light, thinking about your life purpose and celebrating the fact that you are here!

 Image – ‘The Sun’ from the Legend Arthurian Tarot



17 thoughts on “Relocation and the Solar Return Chart”

  1. My April 2016 solar return also has Pluto smack on the Ascendant to within minutes… and I’m thinking about relocating. I have tr. Pluto square natal Mars exactly right then though, and North Node opposing my moon.

  2. Leah, thanks for this post. It is helpful to me. My California relocated Solar return chart for this next year (officially active this Wednesday), has Mars and Saturn in my 6th with Saturn conjunct my Descendent. This concerned me since it suggests the likelihood of a year of hard work and potential health challenges.

    My natal Return based on my birthplace of the Bronx, NY has the Mars Satun in my 5th and Jupiter in the second. The contrast is startling. At the same time I do not have any transits suggesting work or health related difficulties.

    I know that I will not be traveling back to the Bronx for my birthday and I’m happy to fully embrace the lessons and opportunities for this coming year. I’m very strong in my intentions for the year I want to create and also able to see great upside potential.

    My relocated return has many other powerful aspects pointing to increased productivity, creativity and breakthroughs in marketing especially with JV partnerships and technology. So it will indeed be a great year ahead. Thanks again!

  3. So what happend with you guys who had solar pluto conj Asc? 🙂
    My friend’s solar is showing the same for this year. Please share your experience..

  4. You recommend travelling to avoid a disaster solar return. Let me tell you one thing:
    when it comes to the natal chart, WE ALL KNOW BY EXPERIENCE, that relocation to another place on earth will give you the house angles of the new location, if you want it or not!
    now, what is the difference between a solar return and an natal horoscope? I mean: if a natal chart is open to relocation, -and that is a fact – why should not a solar return chart be equally able to be relocated? this implies: if you travel to avoid a catastrophe (like 12 house sun and asc), once you return to your home place, the catastrophe will be waiting for you. And even if you move away for one year to a new place upon earth just after yr birthday at home: the solar return for your new location will, in 9 out of 10 cases or so, ALSO GIVE YOU A 12TH HOUSE ASCENDANT OR SUN.
    SO, as a result of these considerations: you might well avoid afflicted horoscope axes by moving to another place on earth, but FATE WILL HIT YOU ANYWHERE YOU ARE ON EARTH WHEN IT COMES TO SOLAR RETURNS! -of course, if you travel on your birthday to a new place, the first days might be fine, but if you stay there for good, you will soon be tuning in to the natal houses of this particular place, which, in turn, most probable will give you the same disaster chart (which to me – and most others, I suppose – will be a 12 house sun or a 12th house coming to the ascendant.) I am an old man and have analysed my SR’s for the last 40 years or so – whenever the 12 house was involved, it meant disaster, and I mean disaster. Now, retrospective, it comes like something of a relief to me: there was no way I could have avoided it. Its fate! Leah, by the way: you learn nothing, mere nothing, from the 12 house experiences. It just a lawn mower of critical events and breakdowns which hit you, its like a debt you just cannot avoid paying, all you learn is to stop crying, as you might not have tears left to cry when the year has passed, well, if you can call that a learning experience….
    best wishes

  5. Hi Gerdt
    Thank you so much for your comment. In my article, I do say that we cannot escape the transits and the progressions simply by changing the solar return chart. Whilst I have noted from my own studies that the relocated SR seems far more expressive of the experience of the native, I do not think this supersedes the teachings of the transits. As you say, it is most likely the chart is going to contain elements of the main events to come anyway.
    And, to acknowledge your experience of the 12th house placement, indeed that past solar return year was disastrous for me. However I will also stress that there were other movements connecting Pluto going on. I said I had a feeling of inevitability…or what we might call ‘fate’ in other words. What actually happened is one of my closest friend’s died suddenly abroad (noting my reference to Saturn in the 9th!) and I also suffered a cataclysmic breakdown in my health where I have been unable to walk more than a few short meters without severe pain since then (Pluto transiting my 6th squaring Saturn). Both events, terrible as they have been and of course connected in some way, have taken me through a process of transformation as one would expect from Pluto. Yes, many, many tears cried, yet also a profound sense of peace that comes from facing the worst things we can face.

  6. hello
    thanks for your reply. I could not find your first article, so maybe I missed your point completely. Anyway, we do agree completely about transits, which are constantly transforming our natal universal footprint, and, if serious enough, will bring to you/force you to another deeper level of spirituality – a recognition of the so called fate, as you tell. What provoked my comment in the first place, however, was the mere fact that you can find astrologers out there recommending a short birthday trip in order to obtain a solar return chart more to your liking. My personal experience in this matter is negative, as already told,because your solar return chart will be relocated to your home place, once you return home (or to any other place, for that sake), in the same way your natal chart also relocates whenever you change residence(Nixon and Watergate is one famous relocation case, most people know about it..).
    Well, to look at the brighter side:
    my SR trips were not wasted altogether, last October took me to Barcelona, for a week, in the middle of the political upheaval, which was something of an experience. Two years ago I visited Dublin, had a great time there, too, but when I returned home my new – and wisely chosen ascendant – soon vanished.
    one last remark:
    Some – even estimated – astrologers claim that when you are abroad on your birthday, you might tune in to the new SR chart and mentally keep it for the rest of the year. I tried that, it just does not work, as I only fooled myself for some months. Thus I disregarded natal Saturn square my SR ascendant, and could not understand why people I use to know suddenly became more “hostile” to me, until I learned about my real SR, relocated to where I live.
    All my best wishes to you, and your readers – time will heal all wounds, also yours, that’s for sure

  7. I enjoyed listening to your words. I have disastreous SR to come. Pluto in the cusp of 6 house and Mars at the very last degree of 6 house in conjunction to DC. My SR Asc falls into natal 12th house. I have very hard and rare autoimmune disease. I think of the worst and I am so scared. There is no cure and there is no exit. Relocation for 600 kilometres would change my Mars from 6th to 7th house cusp. I believe in Gerdt words and his experience but I have nothing left…

  8. Hi Jo
    I’m sorry to hear you are living with a difficult autoimmune disease. I can understand that given your circumstances, you are seeing the worst of what could happen in the chart. It must be a very frightening situation for you. I hope you have the support you need. I certainly hope too, that Mars and Pluto offer up the best that they have to give, great power and strength.

  9. Leah, Hi! The Asc of my SR is in the 8th house Birth Chart. I can not travel because my husband is doing a checkup. I always travelled. What can I do? I am not very easy going then I do not feel good at all.
    Live near Düsseldorf and the nearest was Rome. I had the tickets and so on and had to cancel.
    Please help! Fish-Asc Cancer-Moon Libra- Middle Heaven: Taurus.- The Asc in 2018 will be Fish! ( Have Sun in House 8th) Will be grateful if you could say some words. by the way I subscribed on your site. Have many roots. Was not born in Germany.


  11. Dearest Leah, I am so thankful for your answer. I am from Serbia, unemployed, and I really dont have money for your reading. If I could chose, you would be my first choice astrologer.I think that you are the best astrologer I have ever read. So intuitive, emotional, so deeply connected with astrology. I can hardly wait 8.30h for your posts. It is probably divine to have you as spiritual guide. I am jelaous! I am in such despaire situation- I have Venus conj Nessus and I dont have support you mentioned neither by my husband, family or doctors…My Uranus, IC is on 22 scorpio and when Saturn transited there a very strange rare disease appeared…I really hope your legs are better. If you would like any advice or talk about it I am very interested to help you. Since I have leg problems , too. Please contact me via email. My chiron conjuncts MC and Part of Fortune. Chiron is opp point of water Kite formation. My south node is in 6. I think I can help others better than myself

  12. I am so happy to read this. I have always lived relative near to my place of birth and always used SR charts. Since I moved to another country they do not work. I could not find any info anywhere. I will use my place of birth from now on. Thanks so much!

  13. Dear Leah, personally I think that just going for a week or so to another place only to get another sort of Solar Return is not the answer. My son was born in Barcelona but we only lived there for about 6 month before moving abroad. I consider a good place to calculate my or someone else’s SR chart, the place where I live the longest. My son lives now already for 5 years in the same place (not in Spain but in Europe), so I do his SR chart calculation with the place he lives in right now, not his birthplace because there he only lived 6 month.
    In my own experience, I am living now for more then 35 years in the same place but only lived 12 years in my birth country (where I moved, due to my fathers job, constantly), so I don’t use the birthplace for my Solar Return calculations. I suggest doing 2 charts, one with the birthplace, one where you live at the moment and just see which one resonates.

  14. If you are doing a solar return in a city other than your city, how long do you have to stay in said city for the solar return chart can take effect?

  15. Hi Dalia – Technically, you only need to be there for the moment the Sun returns to the point it was when you were born. Personally, as noted at the top of the article, I no longer relocate charts. I use the birth place instead. However it can be an interesting exercise to see what happens if you choose to relocate and then compare that relocated chart to the birth place chart at the end of the SR year to see which speaks to you most.

  16. Hi, I view SR charts , for my birthplace, and my new country, where ive lived for almost 10 years, Although 2020 was nasty , onset of global health situation, lots of personal , expensive, necessary, unexpected dental work, my favourite, much loved pet was attacked and died a horrible painful death, both charts describe in their own way, or I should say hint at the above, but neither , to my knowing are as accurate as the transits or the directed chart for the year,

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