So it’s the eve of my Solar Return and as I sat here looking at my chart, I decided I would share some of my thoughts about it with you as well as giving you some insight into how I conduct a Solar Return reading.
For those of you who don’t know, the Solar Return chart is cast for the moment when the Sun returns to the exact degree it was at when you were born. This occurs on or close to (within a day normally) your birthday each year. The place is taken from where you currently reside (or if you are on holiday/away, it’s taken from that location). The Solar Return chart is a stand alone chart although I do look at some connections to the natal chart. It represents a snapshot of the year ahead. It’s much like a natal chart but it is only valid for one year. It shows themes and challenges and the areas of life affected. Whilst the Solar Return chart can be read alone, as you will see below, I do also reference major transits that are going on as well when an overall theme starts to emerge from the symbolic story.
I have to be honest, I’m darn happy to be leaving behind last year Solar Return which was hard. Saturn in the first house opposite Moon and Venus hard. Unaspected Sun in the sixth house hard. Jupiter in the 10th house sextile to Venus gave me some fabulous work developments with the invitation to write for Mountain Astrologer and of course client work was and is wonderful but I cannot deny, aside from that, it was tough, tough, tough.
But I’ve toughened up in the process, made some big changes in my life and learned a heck of a lot about myself along the way. So, let’s see what this year is going to bring…
Here’s my Solar Return chart :-
Firstly I notice that there’s a cardinal earth (Capricorn) overtone to the chart, very different from my normal fixed fiery natal nature. So perhaps I’m setting things in motion with that cardinal energy and it relates to practical matters – business, work, money, ambitions, the physical world. The planets lean somewhat more to the Eastern hemisphere (the side of the Ascendant) so I am perhaps more self directing than influenced by others.
What leaps out at you? Yes, Pluto on the Ascendant from the 12th house. So much for it being a quiet year! Any planet this near to the Ascendant is going to make itself known. Pluto is waiting in the wings and I would anticipate that whatever is going on unconsciously in the background will manifest when Pluto transits over the Ascendant at the end of January 2017. Pluto in this chart rules my 11th house of long term goals, friendships and priorities In my natal chart Pluto rules my 4th house. I want to move, desperately! I have been looking, in Lisbon, Portugal and in Brighton, UK. Whilst Lisbon is my ultimate goal, I’ve thrown it out to the universe that I will take whichever comes first.
And look at where the all important Sun is in the SR chart – the 4th house! So home is becoming a major issue. The Sun however is technically unaspected as it makes no major ptolemic aspects to the major planets (conjunction, sextile, square, trine, opposition) so there is still a feeling of disconnection like last years chart although not quite so stark as in 2015.
The Sun is at the apex of a Thor’s Hammer pattern with Saturn retrograde in the 11th house and Jupiter retrograde in the 8th House at the base. I may need to watch the tendency to over-extend myself when it comes to moving/home issues or over emphasising it. Thor’s hammer is incredibly powerful but I need to wield that hammer wisely – use it to protect myself and not beat myself about the head with it! Saturn and Jupiter make me think of delay, much like the appearance of Mars retrograde in the chart too. It won’t benefit me to get frustrated or even to feel defeated with Mars square to Neptune in the 2nd house. With Mars conjunct asteroid Thalia (The Muse of comedy) I’m reminded to keep my sense of humour as this will keep my motivation up. Being self employed, my income fluctuates and that’s very much a Neptune in the 2nd house affair although it can also represent the work of a spiritual warrior (square Mars) which provides my income.
Talking of warrior, the Sabian symbol for the Ascendant of this chart is :-
The Union Jack Flag Files From A British Warship
So there’s more here about protecting myself and I also need to be strong this year. I was also thinking that a warship makes its presence known. In the last year, my presence in the world and online has been somewhat diminished by health issues. Now, this needs to change. Pluto always reminds us to work with what’s in our control. This is a powerful symbol, amped up by the presence of Pluto. In her description of this symbol, Lynda Hill poses the question ‘do you run a tight ship?’. That caught my eye. Yes, I need to tighten things up, streamline, hold it together. I have a battle ahead to stay afloat but also I’m given the strength to do so with Pluto standing guard nearby. Deep inner fears and complexes (Pluto in the 12th house) must be faced to bring out the true power of Pluto.
All of this energy is poured into my long term goals (as Pluto rules the 11th house). Moving would mean major changes to significant friendships too (friendships are connected to the 11th house). Pluto also rules the Midheaven which I often suggest shows where things are headed in the SR chart.
The Sabian symbol for the Midheaven is :-
American Indians Making Camp After Moving Into A New Territory.
The MC of the SR chart is conjunct my natal Neptune in the 4th house. I long to live by the sea. So there are already several suggestions here that I may move but again, now I see Mars retrograde rules the 4th house cusp so once again delay is suggested.
When a planet is retrograde in an SR chart, it’s important to look at when that planet will return to the same degree it was at when the SR was cast. In this case, Mars will cross over this degree again on the 22nd August so there may be developments around that time. Mars is still on its station retrograde Sabian ‘A Mother Leads Her Small Child Step By Step Up A Steep Stairway‘ so I imagine moving may be an uphill battle. I need to take it step by step and I have to look after myself in the process.
Venus is square to Pluto and the catalyst for moving has been the end of a relationship but also it’s a way to re-empower myself. I have felt weakened by living in a place where I feel deeply unhappy. I note Venus is trine to Saturn however so whilst I may have to display some tough love (towards myself and others), there is the potential to gain stability, certainly on an inner level.
We can’t ignore Venus conjunct Uranus either. Venus is in the 3rd house (just) and Uranus in the 4th. The latter again can indicate change/instability at home. Both planets are square to the Ascendant/Descendant axis so whilst it won’t necessarily be easy, I’m attracted to (Venus) something different (Uranus). I’m not anticipating any love interest but of course, if I were looking, we could say that this combination could suggest a sudden, intense love affair – but I’m not looking so I’m just mentioning other ways of interpreting this. If we were going to look more at love, then I note that the Moon is the ruler of the Cancer 7th house and is situated in the 9th house sextile to Mars. So any relationship opportunity is more likely to be found overseas or far from my current home.
When interpreting a Solar Return chart, it’s important to see which natal house the SR Ascendant falls in as this brings that area of life into play. The SR Ascendant conjunct Pluto falls in my 6th house so health as well as daily routine are brought firmly into focus. I also have Pluto transiting my natal 6th house square Saturn the ruler of my 6th house this year so there are still issues to contend with. I’ve been having chiropractic treatment which I’ve found extremely helpful so far. My chiropractor’s Sun is conjunct my natal Saturn (and the North Node). Saturn rules the bones and my natal 6th house so that’s a rather auspicious connection! I am also about to see my doctor to push for a hip replacement (Saturn also rules arthritis) so this will also be an issue. Pluto conjunct the Ascendant may indicate my terror of surgery re. the hip operation! However, with Mercury ruling the 6th and in a grand trine with Jupiter and Pluto, this gives me confidence that health issues will improve. The sextile from Mercury to the South Node (ending, releasing) and Chiron (pain) further confirms this. It also perhaps lightly connects to improvement coming from chiropractic (with the word having the same route as Chiron).
Mercury also rules the 9th house and with the trine to Jupiter and the Moon in the 9th house too, I do anticipate that I will be able travel during this Solar Return year which will be an absolute blessing to me! Writing of course too is enhanced by this Grand trine and I need to make the most of it. Mercury is in the 5th house urging me to express myself creatively. With Mercury conjunct Vesta, I need to devote myself to my writing. Mercury trine Jupiter gives me many words and a big story. Mercury trine Pluto gives me perception and offers power to my words to make an impact. Mercury is also widely conjunct the IC, indicative of roots and again home. Mercury here could also be another indicator of things ‘moving’ or picking up pace but remember Mercury is in shadow even though he’s not retrograde, another suggestion of delay. When it comes to all of the creative impetus, I may occasionally drag my heels – procrastination, that old chestnut 😀
The Moon too can also represent ‘home’ as well as emotions. The Moon is on the Sabian symbol :-
A Blazing Fireplace In A Deserted Home’
Yes, there’s really a pattern going on here with home references. What I need to watch however is my increasing sense of isolation and loneliness where I am currently – and possibly also be aware that if I moved to Portugal for example, I may also experience that. If I ‘abandon’ my home here, I need to ensure that I have the security and support both emotionally and physically in any new abode. At this point, I note the asteroid Sirene conjunct Pluto in the SR chart. Ages ago, I wrote of Sirene :-
“Sirene is named after the beautiful sirens who lured sailors to their death. The danger is that you may be seriously drawn off track by the promise of something better. It’s a grass is greener aspect that may thrill you with excitement but ultimately is just be a distraction. The safest way may be to catch on to the inspiration but allow it to linger a little. Let it tantalise you without making any rash moves. Enjoy the excitement but save the leap for another day.”
This really seems to hit home. I really must be careful with a move – not leaping for the sake of it but thinking carefully about what is on offer rather than taking absolutely anything just because I’m desperate. In fact, as I write that, I need to work on that ‘desperate‘ feeling because logic tends to go out of the window where desperation is involved. As I type, I quietly remind myself that whilst I many not be living where I want to be, I do have a roof over my head, I do have good neighbours and I do have a home – even if I wish I could pick it up and put it down somewhere else.
The Sun in the 4th house of the chart also relates to being at home with myself. The Sun rules the SR 8th house showing again that I am going through deep inner changes behind closed doors. In order for me to succeed, some parts of me have to die (8th house) to fertilise the land for future growth. The opposition from the Sun to Juno in the 10th house shows that I may feel some pressure building between the commitments of my work and my inner need for personal security, privacy and time for myself. I need to centre myself to fulfil both.
Sirene and the Lunar Sabian symbol quietly suggests that I have everything I need inside – I just need to remember that and come back to myself. The Moon is also widely opposite Ceres in the 3rd house. I must to nourish myself emotionally and physically. This aspect also makes me think of the elimination diet that I am currently on as both the Moon and Ceres are connected to food. I must be mindful of how what I consume makes me feel and to make sure I keep the balance right (Moon in Libra).
Jupiter in the 8th house can sometimes indicate increasing debt or needing to address debt with the square to Saturn and yes, I can relate to that. It isn’t a massive issue but I do need to make some major purchases this year if possible so Jupiter may come into play there. Still, I need to be conservative with Saturn involved and also with Neptune in the 2nd house. Venus too also relates to money as I mentioned earlier. Venus conjunct Uranus can simply mean money coming from astrology. It can also mean instability financially. I could also experience dramatic change financially during this year (Venus square Pluto).
SR Venus is conjunct my natal Saturn so being conservative with finances and thinking in the long term regarding my resources is of the utmost importance. Pallas in the 2nd house too shows that I have an opportunity to negotiate a better deal for myself – and to keep my head screwed on when it comes to money. Pallas also reminds me to be aware of patterns in my attitude to money and resources. Old and new rulers of my SR 2nd house (Saturn and Uranus) are trine each other however so overall, despite some uncertainly, fluctuation and sometimes dramatic shifts, I feel buoyed by that configuration. I do however have that t-square between Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune to contend with. Saturn retrograde at the apex of this pattern really pushes me to keep my long term goals in mind and to be realistic.
Note that Venus rules my 5th and 10th houses so I need to be trying different things in my career, getting more creative, expressing my unique point of view (also with Mercury in the 5th house) in order to make the best of these aspects. It’s funny because Venus is also conjunct the asteroid Epona who is a British horse Goddess – and yes that horse is white. Asteroids Hekate and Heracles are also conjunct Venus suggesting love is my magic (Hekate) and my strength (Heracles). I need to keep my heart open. The North Node in the 9th house of the chart shows that higher learning/teaching, travel, going beyond what I already know and of course writing are the way forward when it comes to my personal and spiritual development. The North Node of the SR chart is conjunct my natal Pluto in the 2nd house so gaining control over my finances through doing the work I’m meant to be doing is indicated.
I know Pluto can be tough on the Ascendant of an SR chart and I may need to face a lot of inner demons during the year in order to climb my own personal mountain (Capricorn). I have already been doing a lot of shadow work in preparation but I imagine there’s more to come. As I often say, healing and development is a process. But overall, whilst this may be an intense year, I think there could be some excitement too.
This is just a glimpse into my Solar Return process. If you would like to know more about your own Solar Return this year, you can book a Solar Return reading here