Tuesday Toolbox

Many Happy Returns…

It’s my birthday tomorrow, and although I’ll be spending much of the day in transit from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney, I fully expect it will be a substantially better day than last year with the salmonella incident.

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 Aquarian- in both good and bad ways. Last year was about looking forward and future plans – and independence and detaching. I learnt a lot about saying goodbye over the last 12 months.

The purge that accompanied my birthday dose of food poisoning was the theme of much of the year.

Last year was a profected 2nd house Mars year (for more on this concept, check out this post) and Mars years tend to involve a lot of activity and unavoidable conflict. Both were also appropriate themes for last year.

Now, onto this year. First up, I’m experimenting a little with whole house signs at the moment, so my solar return chart probably looks a little different to last year. It’s something that I’m playing with, so if you are also interested in working with solar returns, feel free to use the house system you’re used to.

First Impressions…

Aries has been brought to the Ascendant. After 2 years of fixed sign ascendants, this feels as though rather than reacting, I’m now in a position to take the reins for myself. It very much has a new start feel to the chart.

The other things I’ve noticed first up is that the Ascendant and Uranus are both at 22 Aries – which is also the degree that my natal Uranus is at. This year feels very much as though it will be tied to my personal Uranian story. Independence, individuality, and self-reliance will be a theme for the year.

What sign is the Ascendant in?

This year my SR Ascendant is Aries. 22.

Check out the ruler of the Ascendant

Mars is the ruler of my Ascendant this year.

  • At 0 Taurus Mars is in the sign of his detriment ie not comfortable here. But 0 degrees of any sign is an important one – because the energy is fresh.
  • Mars forms an exact trine to the Moon in Virgo. I’ll be much more productive and comfortable this year by making a conscious effort to ground myself and form sustainable routines. Mars in Taurus can go the distance – once he sets his mind to it.

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 12th along with Mercury and Neptune. I’ll be working from home on the Sunshine Coast – splitting my time between some casual (remote) work for the partition job and a concentration on my own production.

Interestingly, where we’ve moved to is a place that has always been a place of both escape and spirit for me – and I intend to explore both of these concepts a lot more.

What part of life is being brought to the Ascendant?

Aries is natally in my 2nd house, so this brings 2nd house themes to the solar return chart. It’s not just about money and possessions – and how I earn and accumulate both – but also my attitude to them and what I hold to be of value.

What aspects are made by the Sun?

The Sun is sextile Pluto, conjunct Mercury and square Saturn (wide). There is a lot of progress that is possible to be made this year, but the danger will be if I dwell too much on regrets or do the glass half empty thing.

Where is the SR Moon?

This year it’s in Virgo – at 0 degrees – in the 6th house, exactly trine the Moon. There’s security to be found in routine and work, but chaos is also possible if I step too far away from these boundaries.

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

Yes – Uranus…on the Ascendant. Exactly. Pluto is also conjunct the SR Midheaven, so there could be big things happening from a career viewpoint. One of those – a major career bucket list item – has been offered to me. I can’t say any more than that just yet, but watch this space…

Check out also:

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

The planets are reasonably well scattered, although there’s an emphasis on the 1st and the 12th houses.

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. Venus rules the 2nd and is in the 1st house – I’ll be relying a lot on myself. Venus is, however, retrograde, so there could be delays around anything that’s coming. Mars rules the 8th house and is in the 2nd. Mars in Taurus is careful with money and quite risk adverse. This is a good thing while we establish ourselves and hubby looks for new work.

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

Jupiter is the ruler of the MC. It’s in the 7th house, opposite the Ascendant and Uranus. Partnership and collaboration will be an important factor this year – although maintaining independence within relationship will also be a theme.

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 Moon and Mars.

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) 50th birthday, I have moved into a 3rd house or Taurus profected year. This means that Venus, as the ruler of Taurus, 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: Venus

Profected House: 3rd

Houses ruled by the Time Lord in the natal chart: 2nd and 7th

House Time Lord occupies in the natal chart: 1st


  • Condition of the Time Lord in the natal chart: Venus is in Aries – in the 2nd house, aspecting Jupiter.
  • Examine the condition of the Time Lord in the Solar Return Chart: Venus in Aries is in the sign of her detriment. Venus is also retrograde in the SR. In all, she’s not in great shape, but is given extra power by being in the 1st Venus in Aries likes to move – something I haven’t done enough of lately.
  • Which house in the natal chart does 12 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. Yes – they are in the same sign.

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 1st
  • Is it retrograde? Yes
  • 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. Yes, opposite Jupiter (by sign) and (wide) trine to Saturn.
  • 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 2nd and 8th house themes. Yes, money and values, debt, taxes and other unspeakables. This year is all about me, my relationship to myself, my ability to work alone and my self-reliance.


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