Happy Birthday to me…

Orange cupcake with sparkler

It was my birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday to me. How did I spend it? I’m glad you asked. Close to the bathroom thanks to a bout of food poisoning. Salmonella, apparently. Let’s just say that it was a purge of epic proportions. Ecliptical even. And, given that the eclipse on Wednesday fell conjunct my Sun and ASC and opposite Pluto, well, it was text book. I tend to think it was also more than a tad prophetic. On the up-side, I had an alcohol free birthday, and lost weight- rather than putting it on.

Anyways, 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 Ascendant tells a lot about your approach to life in that year- and mine was very definitely Scorpionic- in both good and bad ways. There was definitely intensity, compulsion, focus, obsession, emotional tidal waves and the occasional revenge fantasy. Too much information? Speaking of too much information, there was a lot that I kept to myself.

It was, as I said in my annual round-up at the end of the year, one of the hardest, most intensely stressful years I’ve had. This year has started in much the same way, and I suspect there will be a certain amount of completion to the stuff that’s been lurking about for the past couple of years. Whether it will be a satisfactory completion, well, I’m not so sure about that. I suspect that’s where this years Scorpio MC will come into it.

There was no such thing as a routine, and the initiative definitely was mine to take. So take it I did and published my first two books. Given that my 9th house was being brought to the Ascendant, this was quite appropriate- the 9th being associated with publishing and all that. Oh, and travel- we certainly did plenty of that!

Last year was a profected1st house Jupiter year (for more on this, check out this post) and Jupiter years tend (for me) to be super busy, and this was absolutely the case.

Now, onto this year…My Solar Return chart is here. If you want to have a go at yours, there are options on astro.com, and astrology for your device. First, a warning, the post below is long and a little more technical than we usually talk about. If you want to know more about Solar Returns and what they are, you’ll need to also look at this post, and this one.

Ok. Let’s go…

Jo Solar Return

First Impressions…

For the 2nd year in a row, the angles on my SR chart are in fixed signs. Obviously the Universe believes I need some stability, stubbornness and strength of purpose at the moment. Having said that, with a very mutable natal chart, fixed energy is unfamiliar to me.

There are also a lot of squares and a challenging t-square in this years SR chart. Squares are also unfamiliar energy to me, yet absolutely integral to achieving the potential in my natal chart. If I don’t let it all get too much and do the Piscean escape act, I could just achieve some big stuff this year.

What sign is the Ascendant in?

This year my SR Ascendant is Aquarius. I suspect that this year I’ll be focused on independence, individuality and possibly even a little more emotional detachment than is normal for me. With what I know is around the corner, this is a good thing. This is also a year for looking forward, and not back. Whatever is done this year will be with the future in mind.

Check out the ruler of the Ascendant

I work on traditional rulerships when it comes to return charts, so Saturn is the ruler of my Ascendant this year.

  • Saturn is in the SR 11th, in a t-square with Jupiter (8th) and the Sun (2nd). When it comes to t-squares we look at points of release:
  • A trine or sextile off one of the points. In this case, there’s a trine to the Moon/Uranus conjunction in the 3rd. Given that Uranus is the modern ruler of Aquarius, I suspect this will be important. There’s also a trine from Jupiter across to Pluto.
  • Look also to the part of the chart opposite the main point- ie the 5th house

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 2nd– along with pretty well everything else. I think it’s safe to say that 2nd house concerns will be pretty active this year. Money, values- what’s really important, and what’s not.

What part of life is being brought to the Ascendant?

The 11th– hopes, dreams, goals, the rewards for the work that’s been done.

What aspects are made by the Sun?

For the 2nd year in a row, the Sun is conjunct Chiron. I have Sun conjunct Chiron natally, so it’s a reinforcement of what is already in my chart. The Sun is also opposite Jupiter and square Saturn.

Where is the SR Moon?

This year it’s in Aries, in the 3rd house, conjunct Uranus, trine Saturn and square Pluto. This is another reminder to look forward and not back.

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

Not this year.

Check out also:

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

This year the solar return chart is mostly in the left hemisphere. Me in here, me out there. This will be a year relying on my internal resources- the stuff that comes from within me. There’s an emphasis on the 2nd house.

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. Jupiter rules the 2nd and is in the 8th house. Jupiter is, however, retrograde, so there could be delays around anything that’s coming.

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

Mars is the traditional ruler of the MC. It’s in the 10th house. Pluto is the modern ruler, and is in the 12th.

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

Yes, natal Mars is at 3 Scorpio, so is being brought to the SR MC.

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- Midheaven (and, therefore IC) are at 0 Scorpio and Taurus respectively.

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) 49th birthday, I have moved into a 2nd house or Aries profected year. This means that Mars, as the ruler of Aries, 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.

Examine the condition of the Time Lord in the natal chart:

Time Lord: Mars

Profected House: 2nd

Houses ruled by the Time Lord in the natal chart: 2nd and 9th

House Time Lord occupies in the natal chart: 8th

  • Condition of the Time Lord in the natal chart: Mars in Scorpio is in the sign he rules. Aside from being natally retrograde, Mars is very strong natally for me.
  • Examine the condition of the Time Lord in the Solar Return Chart: Mars has just moved into Sagittarius. Although he has no special dignity in Sagittarius, he’s given power by being in the 10th
  • Which house in the natal chart does 1 Sagittarius (the position of the Time Lord in the SR chart) fall? This is the natal 9th house.
  • 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. In the same sign as Saturn.
  • Aspects to the Nodes. Any time the SR Time Lord conjoins the natal nodal axis is a big year.

What else?

Check out any repetition of themes. For me, there are many 2nd and 8th house themes. Yes, money and values, debt, taxes and other unspeakables. The 10th will be an area of big action too.


Remember, the Solar Return can only deliver to the promise of the natal chart!