Solar Return

Solar Return Chart

The Solar Return is the return of the Sun to it’s natal position. The Return Chart is a summary of the year ahead. A striking year will be one where a planet is partile or within a degree to one of the angles like Ascendant or Midheaven. Donald A Bradley, author of “Solar and Lunar Returns”, and Eshelman in his book “Interpreting Solar Returns”, both recommend precessing the chart so that the Sun truly returns to it’s natal placing. Robert Hand also suggests using precession correction in return charts in “Planets in Transit“.

To draw up a Sidereal Solar Return Chart on Astrodienst

If you haven’t got a software program like Solar Fire to automatically precess the Solar Return, use this method: Go to the Astrodienst extended chart selection. First do the Solar Return as a Fagan/Bradley sidereal chart using the location of your birthday for the year you are doing it for, NOT the natal location (unless it happens to be the same). Then redo the chart as a normal tropical natal chart using the time and date from the SR sidereal chart. This will be a precession-corrected Solar Return. You can then run it as a bi-wheel putting the natal chart on the outside. If natal planets falls on or near an angle in the solar return then this too is significant

Solar Return Interpretation

Bradley and Eshelman also dispense with looking at the signs and read the chart by aspects alone. Though Bradley sticks to the Ptolemeic aspects, regarding the conjunction, opposition and square being most important. He disregards the hard aspects as being stressful, saying that the nature of the planets involved are more important. However he wouldn’t include the quincunx either which I have found to be important when a Solar return chart produces a Yod.

The most important things to look at in all Solar Returns are the planets in conjunct with the AC/DC, MC/IC. You can give quite a wide orb. Up to 8 degrees.  This is why precessing is so important. As this will be totally different on a precessed chart. The aspects between the planets will be exactly the same, but in different houses.  A planet conjunct the angle will be hugely emphasized fo that year. The tighter is is the more dramatic the year. It has been suggested using the methods above that a malefic, ie Mars, Saturn (or a difficult outer planet like Neptune and Pluto) on the angles, augurs a difficult year ahead. If they are partile it could even be quite a traumatic year.

The malefics on the angles theory is interesting. But what on earth do you say to a client who has Saturn on the AC!? The last two SR charts I did happened to have this, but I don’t think it helps to warn of impending doom. So I had a look at my own SR charts going back to test this theory. I looked at precessed compared to non-precessed using four big events.

Some Solar Return Charts 2004-2010

DEATH OF FATHER Non-precessed – Nothing angular. Precessed – Saturn conjunct DC, North Node conjunct IC. The souls evolution so tightly aligned to the parental axis and the deathly Saturn wins over the non-precessed hands down.

SEPARATED FROM HUSBAND  Non-precessed – Pluto conjunct AC. Precessed – Lilith conjunct AC, Mars conjunct MC, Uranus conjunct DC in 7th house. This was a hard year for me but not devastating. I relished in my new found freedom. Uranus on the DC set me free. Lilith the forbidden fruit that tempted me out of my domestic situation.

DIVORCED & BECAME AN ASTROLOGER Non-precessed – Mars conjunct IC. Precessed – Lilith/Pluto conjunct DC, Neptune conjunct MC. Neptune dissolved the marriage and brought me Astrology. Pluto/Lilith an intense new sexual relationship which transformed my life.

SECOND MARRIAGE Non-precessed – Moon conjunct IC. Precessed – Jupiter conjunct DC. Self explanatory, lucky Jupiter  conjunct my house of marriage gave me a wedding in a foreign country (Jupiter) and was far more descriptive of my year than the Moon on the IC even if it was closer.

Precessed works for me. Dads death the most convincing since that Saturn on my DC spelt death for my marriage also. It started going downhill from there. This happened two years before I finally left my husband.

I would regard Saturn on an angle as useful for business. I don’t think is necessarily always a bad thing though it does suggest depression. I had a great year financially the year I had Saturn on my DC. It was like my dear Dad was sending me cash from the grave. Giving me good old Saturn support.

I now add the yearly profection of the natal ascendant to the interpretation of the Solar return for a more detailed reading. Cost is $199 USD. If you order a natal and solar return together I can give you a 10% discount. Use the contact link on the readings page for details.


Author: Marina Macario

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  1. Oh I don’t deny that. Sorry if it sounded like I was trying to sway you all the other way over. I was just a bit nervous about posting a comment to you is all. Even though I have been working with my own chart for years and also generally on personal growth I have always noticed for transits of the slower planets to have the complete spectrum of the experience, starting with the hardest manifestations then over to the more pleasant. Adding to greyness of the topic, I have noticed some folk who aren’t particularly self aware at all to just have a great result from a transit from one of the far away planets. (Obviously there are other factors involved, the whole chart, progressions and transits needing to be taken into account, and that’s why astrologers are needed! :) )

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  2. Question: when you rerun the chart as a tropical natal chart, are you running it for the location you will be in or your natal location (assuming they are different)…thanks!

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  3. The precession correction technique is an interesting one, but I’m suddenly wishing I hadn’t stumbled onto this article. I looked at my precession corrected solar return for my 33rd year, which doesn’t start for another 2 months. Neptune is RIGHT on the AC (less than a degree)!! Plus Sun is conjunct Uranus in an opposition to Moon, all of which forms a T-Square with Pluto. I’m barely hanging on as it is (Pluto square to my natal Sun goes exact tomorrow), but I don’t think I can bear another year of trauma.

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  4. Thought I would share this with you because it’s quite amazing in regard to precessing the chart for solar returns. I’ve been doing a study on my solar return chart for up coming birthday. I’m from California but living in Pushkar,India my birth info is: April 9, 1951, 2:07am Philadelphia,PA and I’m looking at different locations to relocate for the return because after doing an Index Risk for many locations those where the two that came up with more positive results. Jaisalmer,India 28pos/26neg and Jeruselam 36pos/26neg. I was looking at Jaisalmer, India because it’s near by and makes for a better ascendent and Jerusalem because it puts the ascendent in the 10th house with a bundle of 5th house planets but in both there’s problems with angles. Saturn/Moon conj Ascendent in Jeruselam plus more in Jaisalmer. So I did what you suggested the precessing of the chart and much to my surprise when I did Jasilmer I was looking at the same chart I have for Jerusalem, with the bundle of planets in the 5th with Saturn conj the ascendent and Venus in the 5th. It’s got to be some sort of destiny or did I do something wrong. My father is about to be 92 and is completely gone mentally Alzheimer, his wife just passed away last month and I believe that he will pass in this next year. Saturn conj Ascendent. I’m headed back to CA so I thought I would take a route threw a city that would have a better chart configuration on my solar return chart. Every location travel wise leaving threw Asia or Europe back and U.S. looked bad. So I’m hoping a train ride to Jaisalmer or flight to Jerusalem might be better, then I fly back to California for business. Check it out how, Any suggestions welcome.

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    • Sorry if I sound rude, but you can’t use the astrology that way. The astrology is about using your potential the best way you can and not about manipulating the planets. “Using the best way” means doing something which is good for your own developement or that of other people / society, or both. Becoming a better person. Your father is not going to pass away or live longer only because you celebrate your birthday in Jerusalem instead of L.A. So the best advise you can get is to spend your birthday with your father, since it could be the last chance to do so. Perhaps your chart won’t be perfect, but it will give you a good feeling.

  5. My SR and precessed SR seem to tell the same story. Tight Juno Jupiter conjunction on my natal ASC NN conjunction. The precessed houses are square the regular SR houses so that H1 becomes H4. Regular has VE on the ASC, precessed has VE in H4. J/J in H2; J/J in H5.

    Interesting, my Venus Return a few weeks previous has the ASC within one degree of natal with J/J on the ASC, MC conj natal Vertex. Fated love affair on the way!

    I think I know who this is and I swear the air vibrates around him. We’ve been staring at each other for 20 years! Both dumbstruck whenever we get near each other.

    Unless I’m wrong…

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