Traditional Astrology

Happy Birthday to me…

Warning – long and technical post ahead…

It’s my birthday tomorrow, and a birthday means that it’s time to look back at last years Solar Return, and look forward to the next one.

The Solar Return (SR) Ascendant tells a lot about your approach to life in that year- and mine was very definitely an Aries year – full of new starts and projects.

Last year was a profected 3rd house Venus year (for more on this concept, check out this post) and Venus years tend to be a lot more about pleasure and appreciation. It was a third house year in that I was actively (Aries) exploring my new neighbourhood (3rd house) and making new connections (3rd) house).

Mars, the ruler of my solar return chart was in Taurus, and while I wouldn’t say that I was inactive as such, I certainly didn’t have the getup and go that I would have liked. In a way that was fine – after the previous year and the energy involved with moving in the first quarter of 2017, I definitely needed some time to relax and physically take it a little easier.

With Uranus on the ASC my entire world was changed last year with the move. Pluto was conjunct the MC and I kicked a massive career goal when I spoke at last years RWA Conference. Other than this, on the whole, last year, with the SR Sun in the 12th house, it felt very much a year of background work, preparing the pastures, sowing the seeds…so to speak.

Now, onto this year. First up, you’ll notice that I use a whole house chart. I’m finding that this system really works for me – especially when looking at solar returns but feel free to use the house system you’re used to.

First Impressions…

For the first time ever I’m using a location other than my natal location for the chart. As for whether you should use birthplace or current location? Most astrologers you ask will have an opinion. I tend to think both are valid and have cast both. Not that it matters a huge amount in my case – it changes the degree of the Ascendant marginally.

Cancer has been brought to the Ascendant. 

The other things I’ve noticed first up is that this chart is very top-heavy. This year will be very much about “me out there”. In particular, the 9th and 10th houses are emphasised.

On that subject, the MC point itself is in the last degree of Aries and conjunct Uranus. There will be changes in the areas of career or public profile this year. With Mars trine this point, those changes – whether they be good or bad – will happen easily.

Given that my SR MC is natally in my 2nd house, there will be changes to finances as well. Wth Uranus involved it is likely those changes will be sudden.

What sign is the Ascendant in?


This year my SR Ascendant is 14 Cancer.

It’s a year where my heart will be even more prominently on my sleeve and where I will be even more emotionally sensitive than usual. Family will be on my mind, as will issues of security – and protection and maintenance of that security.

Check out the ruler of the Ascendant

The Moon is the ruler of my Ascendant this year.

  • At 9 Capricorn the Moon is in the sign of her detriment ie not comfortable.
  • The solar return Moon is conjunct Saturn, so reputation and ambition is something that is important this year. This is echoed by the dominance of the 10th house in my SR chart and the presence of Uranus at that point. It’s likely that there’ll be a change in this area.
  • The Moon in Capricorn in the SR chart can also mean a focus on work – a theme also carried by the Moon-Saturn conjunction.
  • Moon-Saturn can be a difficult and lonely aspect – but that could also be due to work and family responsibilities.
  • The Moon in angular houses sends to react more emotionally and impulsively to outside influences. With my Moon in the 1st house natally, that’s pretty much situation normal for me anyway.
  • The Moon in the 7th in the SR chart also indicates that relationships will very much be of concern, focus and interest this year. This is where my heart is invested – and also the area of life where I’ll be most concerned with matters of security.

What House is the SR Sun in?

This is the area of life that is most in focus for the next 12 months. Mine is in the 9th along with Neptune.

the 9th is associated with expansion and exploration beyond boundaries, travel and publication – and I have plenty of those things planned.

The 9th is also a house of learning and belief. This year will be about believing in myself and pushing my faith beyond the fear. It’s a time of proving that I can do what I say that I can. It’s also about recognising the opportunities the Universe provides and trusting them.

What part of life is being brought to the Ascendant?

Cancer is natally in my 5th house, so this brings 5th house themes to the solar return chart. It’s not just about play, children and creativity, it’s also about self-expression and emotional security…and the risks associated with this.

What aspects are made by the Sun?

The Sun is sextile Pluto (exact), conjunct Neptune (wide) and trine Jupiter.

Although security is a feature and both the Cancer Ascendant and Saturn-Moon can bring with them a fearful attitude, the Sun in the 9th trine Jupiter in the 5th speaks of a more optimistic and hopeful year. The 9th house is associated with Jupiter and Sagittarius and a generally more positive outlook.

This will be a year where I can seek out new places, experiences, and connections. It’s not so much that it will be an easy year, but relatively speaking there should be positive outcomes.

The SR Sun is also sextile Pluto – and this year it’s exact. Thi is a year where I can transform myself – in a positive way – and achieve goals that will help me live with more freedom in the future. As with all things Pluto, there will be work involved – and internal, confronting work requiring inner strength – but the outcome of this is one of renewal.

Where is the SR Moon?

This year it’s in Capricorn. I looked at the condition of that above.

Are there any planets on the angles of the SR chart?

Yes – Uranus…on the MC. There are changes coming regarding career.

Next Steps

Much as you would a normal chart, are the planets scattered or concentrated in one hemisphere of the chart.

This is very much a bowl-shaped chart with an emphasis on the 9th, 10th and 7th houses. The right-hand side of the chart is more “us” than “me”, and the top of the chart is about being “out there”.  I suspect this year will be more about connections and being out and about in the world than it has been in previous years.

Much as you would a natal chart check out the position and condition of planets ruling your money house or relationship houses.

Even though this is essentially a transit chart, it is still interesting to see. The Sun rules the 2nd and is in the 9th house and is trine Jupiter and sextile Pluto. There are opportunities for positive financial outcomes.

Saturn rules the 8th house and is in the 7th. We’re still on one income and security is important – as is fiscal restraint. This is playing on my mind and I am, perhaps, worrying more about it than the astrology tells me that I should.

In the same vein, check out the ruler of the Midheaven.

Mars is the ruler of the MC. It’s in the 6th house in Sagittarius trine the MC and (exactly) trine Uranus. Mars adds energy to the changes and the nature of the trine is that it will happen relatively easily – although work and routine (6th house effort) will be required.

I also need to put effort into health and fitness this year (6th house). That will be necessary to sustain my work and see me through the busy times.

Are any planets or points in the natal chart brought to angles in the SR Chart?

Not within a few degrees.

Are any planets or points in the degree of the nodes?


Are any planets or points in the critical degrees of a sign? Ie 0 or 29?

Yes- the MC.

A Different Sort of Time Lord- Annual Profections & the Solar Return

(For a recap, check out the link to last years post.)

So this year, on my (gulp) 51st birthday, I have moved into a 4th house or Gemini profected year. This means that Mercury, as the ruler of Gemini, is my “Time Lord” for the year. This planet will be sensitive to giving and receiving transits and progressions over the coming 12 months. The concerns of this planet will be important this year.

Time Lord: Mercury

Profected House: 4th, reinforcing the themes of family and security that come from the SR Cancer Ascendant

Houses ruled by the Time Lord in the natal chart: 4th and 7th

House Time Lord occupies in the natal chart: 1st

  • Condition of the Time Lord in the natal chart:  Mercury in Pisces – in the 1st house, aspecting Mars. Mercury natally, is not in great shape.
  • Examine the condition of the Time Lord in the Solar Return Chart: Mercury is in Aries conjunct Venus in the 10th house.  Overall, he’s in reasonable shape – conjunct Venus and, being in the 10th, accidentally dignified.
  • Which house in the natal chart does 7 Aries (the position of the Time Lord in the SR chart) fall? This is the natal 2nd
  • Does the position of the Time Lord in the SR chart form an aspect to the natal position of the Time Lord? By sign is enough. No.

Look at the strength of the Time Lord in the SR chart. The better the condition, the more ability the planet has to act on your side in the coming year – even if it is a malefic like Saturn.

  • Is it in a sign where it has dignity through rulership or exaltation (see the table in last years post). No.
  • Does it have accidental dignity ie does it have more strength by being close to the angles or the cusps of the 1st, 4th, 7th or 10th houses? Yes, in the 10th
  • Is it retrograde? No
  • Is it combust ie does it fall within 8.5 degrees of the Sun? There is no greater affliction as the planet is said to be blinded & unable to see clearly. No.
  • Is it cazimi ie with 17’ from being exactly conjunct the Sun? This is, in contrast, as really good thing as the planet is considered to be in the heart of the king. Note, to be either combust or cazimi, it must be in the same sign as the Sun. No.
  • Is the Time Lord aspected by either of the malefics (Mars or Saturn) or the benefics (Venus or Jupiter)? By sign is enough. Conjunct Venus.
  • Aspects to the Nodes. Any time the SR Time Lord conjoins the natal nodal axis is a big year. Not this year.

What else?

Check out any repetition of themes. For me, there are many 9th and 10th house themes. This year is about putting myself out there and believing in my talents.


Remember, the Solar Return builds on the previous years solar returns and can only deliver to the promise of the natal chart. The interpretation of a SR chart must be done with knowledge of the condition of the planets and how they operate for you natally.

2 replies on “Happy Birthday to me…”

Thank you for this! Although parts of it were a bit to technical for an novice like me, it does help me interpret my solar return a bit better. My birthday is 15th March, so I’ll be having similar aspects to you (Jupiter trine Sun yay! And Mars trine Uranus fun! ) . I will also have Pluto very close to my MC this solar year and I’m literally starting a new job that I’m really looking forward to, a few days after my birthday. Should be an interesting year! Happy Birthday.xx

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