Warning – long and technical post ahead…
It was my birthday while I was on holidays in New Zealand, and birthdays always mean a chance to look back at last years Solar Return, and look forward to the next one. I’m just later than usual this year in doing it.
The Solar Return (SR) Ascendant tells a lot about your approach to life in that year- and mine was very definitely a Cancer year – full of security and family issues.
Last year’s Solar Return chart was top heavy and it was very much a “me out there” type of year. The day job was very busy and involved me working on some relatively high-profile projects and tasks. There was a lot of work.
While I published my 4thnovel, Happy Ever After, with Mars, the ruler of the SR Midheaven in the 6thhouse and square Uranus and the MC itself, there was a lot of frustration at the amount of work I was doing for other people rather than working on my business. It’s fair to say that an underlying restlessness and dissatisfaction was very much a theme in my work life last year.
The 9thhouse SR Sun theme came out in both my publishing and travel. We spent 3 weeks in France, a couple of weeks road-tripping through country NSW in the winter, and quite a few interstate flights for both work (Sydney) and play (Melbourne). We also went glamping for the first time.
The Moon, the ruler of my SR, was in Capricorn – a sign she’s not at all comfortable in – and conjunct Saturn. This placement reinforced the themes of family and security and, while I’m not normally an anxious person, I did seem to be worrying way too much last year about money, family, what people thought of me, money, family, my father’s health, money, family, my father’s health. You get the idea.
Now, onto this year. As an aside, I’m using a Placidus house system for this for 2 reasons:
- I’ve had a lot of feedback that that’s the house system most of you use and
- It’s the house system we use when talking through SR charts in the Astro group I’m involved in and I tend to confuse myself.
I was in New Zealand for my birthday. This is just the 2ndtime in my life that I’ve been out of Australia on my birthday – the last time was all the way back in 1992. 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 – but it’s worth playing with and seeing what works for you.
Sagittarius has been brought to the Ascendant and Jupiter is in the 1sthouse. The degree being brought to the Ascendant is my natal 9thhouse.
The other things I noticed first up is that this chart is very bottom-heavy – in absolute contrast to last year. This year will be very much about “me in here”. In particular, the 5thand 6thhouses are emphasised.
The chart is a bowl shape (I’m not including the node) with all the planets within 6 signs or 180deg of the zodiac. Bowl charts need a mission to focus on and invest in. Jupiter and Mars are the planets on the rim of the bowl – so how I use them this year will be important.
What sign is the Ascendant in?
This year my SR Ascendant is 3 Sagittarius.
Sagittarian SR years tend to be years when you want to break out from a rut or a situation within which you’ve felt constrained or caged – and that is very much the case with me this year. I have my eye on the fence in the far paddock, so to speak, and want to gallop towards and over it.
There are still some family woes and worries hanging around – but despite this I’m feeling more hopeful and optimistic than I was at this time last year. Given that Neptune is conjunct my natal Ascendant at the moment I have no idea why or whether the optimism is simply delusion, but it’s there and I’m not arguing with it.
It’s about expansion, personal growth, adventure, publication and travel – and I have plenty of all of that on the horizon. I will, however, need to be careful to grow out metaphorically rather than physically – if you know what I mean,
Check out the ruler of the Ascendant
Jupiter is the ruler of my Ascendant this year.
- In Sagittarius Jupiter is in the sign that he rules – so in very good shape indeed. That gives him what the traditional call “essential dignity”.
- Jupiter is in the 1sthouse and the first house is a cardinal house associated with action and the self. Jupiter therefore has “accidental dignity” as well. Not only is he motivated to act, he has the ability to do so. This, if used wisely, is a good thing.
- Jupiter is square the Sun in the SR chart. The Sun and Jupiter get along well in my natal chart – being trine – so this is the same energy but a different aspect. I’ll need to be careful about being overly extravagant and generous, about taking on more than I can reasonably handle, and be careful not to overextend myself energetically. I also need to be careful about overindulging – there’s a big risk of weight gain this year, especially if I’m growing out instead of expanding out…if you know what I mean.
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 5th along with Neptune and (wide) Mercury.
I like 5thhouse themes – fun, play, creativity, self-expression. I’m hoping this means more opportunity doing the things that I love – although that tends to come at a cost of actually earning the money needed to spend more time doing the things that I love, so who knows. It could perhaps be finding new creative ways to fund the time doing things that I love.
To thyself be true – is very much a mantra for a 5thhouse SR Sun.
What part of life is being brought to the Ascendant?
3 Sagittarius falls into the 9thhouse in my natal chart. That means that 9thhouse themes are being brought front and centre of my life for the next 12 months. Travel? Yeah! Publishing? Yeah! Maybe even some higher learning?
What aspects are made by the Sun?
The Sun is square Jupiter – which I’ve already talked about – but is also conjunct Neptune.
Sun conjunct Neptune is very much about imagination, perception, and trusting your own judgement and intuition. It’s emphasising both the natal promise of my Pisces Sun which is trine Neptune and Jupiter, and also the transit of Neptune to my natal Ascendant and Sun.
On the downside Sun-Neptune often brings a risk of wanting to escape reality instead of confronting what needs to be confronted. It’s a little like what Freddie Mercury said in Bohemian Rhapsody “the human condition requires some anathaesia.” There’s also the risk of not seeing a situation clearly, of mistaking fantasy with reality. Given that I’m uber-Pisces this is situation normal for me anyway.
This tendency is tempered somewhat by a sextile from the Sun to Saturn. This will help me with all of those over-extension tendencies of the Sun-Jupiter square and assist me in directing my energies in a practical and sustained way. Who knows, it could also help give me the discipline needed to deliver the promise in the chart.
A sextile to SR Pluto will also help with focusing my efforts and again reinforces and assists a natal pattern in my chart (I have Sun opposite Pluto natally). This year is about trusting my own strength and moving forward – not running away.
Slightly wider is a sextile to Mars in Taurus – again providing some sustained albeit perhaps cautionary or slow-to-start energy – and another to the Moon, also in Taurus.
Wider still is a conjunction to Mercury – at 7deg I’m not going to dwell on that too much, although it is conjunct my natal Moon (exactly) so can’t be ignored completely.
Where is the SR Moon?
This year it’s in Taurus – the sign of its exaltation. It is, however, in the 6thhouse so it’s purpose this year will be more about learning than doing.
In Taurus the Moon is motivated by stability and security. It also adds some practicality to my usually emotionally strung natal Moon. There will be upsets this year, but the core strength of Taurus might help me get through those.
I will, however, need to guard against any recurring or underlying health problems.
Are there any planets on the angles of the SR chart?
Yes – Venus is on the IC in Aquarius.
Much as you would a normal chart, are the planets scattered or concentrated in one hemisphere of the chart.
As mentioned above, this is a bowl-shaped chart with the emphasis very much on the southern hemisphere.
Much as you would a natal chart check out the position and condition of planets ruling your money house or relationship houses.
Jupiter rules the 2ndhouse so there are opportunities for positive financial outcomes – and opportunities for overspending!
Mercury is the ruler of the 7thhouse and is retrograde in Pisces. Hmmmm, could be some work needing to be done there..
In the same vein, check out the ruler of the Midheaven.
The Sun is the ruler of the Midheaven and located in the 5th. This actually replicates my natal patterns in that Jupiter rules my natal MC and is located in the 5th. Maybe this year one of my books takes off…Fingers crossed.
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 – Uranus, in the 6th. There could be sudden changes in my work life.
A Different Sort of Time Lord- Annual Profections & the Solar Return
So this year, on my (gulp) 52nd birthday, I have moved into a 5th house or Cancer profected year. This means that the Moon, as the ruler of Cancer 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: Moon
Profected House: 5th, reinforcing the 5thhouse themes mentioned above.
Houses ruled by the Time Lord in the natal chart: The 5th
House Time Lord occupies in the natal chart: 1st
- Condition of the Time Lord in the natal chart: The Moon is in Pisces and in the 1sthouse so accidentally dignified.
- Examine the condition of the Time Lord in the Solar Return Chart: The Moon is in Taurus – so exalted – but in the 6thso not really motivated to act.
- Which house in the natal chart does 7 Aries (the position of the Time Lord in the SR chart) fall? This is the natal 3rd.
- 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. A sextile, but wide.
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). Yes
- 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? No
- 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 Mars, trine Saturn and square Venus.
- Aspects to the Nodes. Any time the SR Time Lord conjoins the natal nodal axis is a big year. Not this year.
Check out any repetition of themes. For me, there are many 5th house themes. This year is about creativity, expression, play, fun, and expansion.
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.