Solar Returns Featured in the New York Times
This week an article was on the front page of the New York Times (gifted link at the bottom of the article))where the author spoke about her experience traveling 4000 miles for her solar return. I posted on Facebook noting that I had worked with numerous clients over the years and received so many questions I decided to write a brief article about solar returns.
Technically a solar return chart is an astrological chart drawn for the time that your Sun, the heart of your natal chart, returns mathematically to its own place. It is in essence a personal astrological New Year. Unlike your calendar birthday the time varies a bit as it is based on the speed of the earth's orbit around the Sun rather than a specific date, so for example, if you were born on May 1st, your solar return might land on that date but it might also land on April 30 or even May 2nd. I like to call those years the year you have two official birthdays.
Charts are time and space-based which means the latitude and longitude you occupy impacts the chart and its meaning.
The little slices of pie pictured are referred to as houses. They represent where the action is taking place. For example among other things the 10th house represents your career, the 7th committed relationships, the 9th long distance travel but also publishing.
In a solar return chart, the house where the Sun falls highlights the chief focus of the year and the theory is that by moving location (usually more than 300 miles) you can shift the focus, highlighting different parts of your life. Think of it this way, the Sun shines a light on things. It is life-giving.
From this point you interpret the chart as a whole, looking at the placement of the Moon (mood of the year), ascendent, etc but the Sun is the chief driver of the chart.
I have worked with many clients over the years a few months prior to their birthday selecting a location to launch the year and one year at the last moment (what can I say, sometimes the cobbler's children have no shoes. I didn’t pay attention until the last moment…long time ago now I look months in advance) I decided to make a quick trip to Los Angeles to tweak a difficult chart slightly. This year I actively decided to stay in Sedona after I considered trying to visit a dear friend in the UK because my solar return Sun was in a more prominent position here in Sedona.
As a visual example, I include my solar return in Sedona and in the UK and you really don’t need to know anything about astrology to see the difference between the two charts.
*Moving to tweak your solar return is similar to using astro cartography and locational astrology, both of which I practice as well. From an astrological perspective, it is why we resonate with certain places. They enliven us in a particular way. For example, move to a Venus line and relationships are highlighted but you have to use astrocartography in concert with a relocated natal chart. For example, Mars and Pluto lines are very notoriously considered hard or bad places to live yet Mars is the ruler of my chart and Pluto sits right next to my north node (signifying our evolving purpose, the path forward) and in Sedona where I have now resided for the better part of 30 years I am living on those two lines. Sedona has enriched my life enormously. It is home for me.