A Solar Return happens every year on your birthday. They are a horoscope for the year ahead of you. Solar Returns reflect transits as they are each year when our sun moves back into it’s original position, down to the degree and minute.

The Solar Return chart is static, meaning it does not move. It does not represent our growth, like progressions do, or the sky as it is right now like transits, but can help give us insight into the next year. For me, personally, Solar Returns are best looked at in hindsight, but some like to use them to prepare for the year ahead. A chart for 2016 would not be valid for 2020. Each year would have its respective charts for you.

So how do you read a Solar Return Chart?

Look at the Solar Return chart separately. Only layer it on top of, or in aspect to, the natal chart after you have gained all the insights you can from the original chart. Any planets in a particular sign or house may symbolize a focus on that area of your life for a following year.

There is no aspect of astrology that is more important than another, but these are some steps I’d take to understanding your Solar Return chart.

  • Take note on any houses occupied, and the rulership of them, as these might reflect your views on that area of life for that year, or where you may find your energy directed to.

For example, an empty second house probably doesn’t mean you won’t have any money coming in, but you’d instead look towards the house ruler to see where you might earn your money, or where your values might be placed. It may also indicate where you spend your time. Planets in the eighth house might not mean that you’re going to lose all your money, it might mean that you come across some. It does not mean you’re going to die. A planet in the sixth house may recommend that you’re going to be working hard on something the next year, while a planet in the seventh may suggest that you focus more on your relationships. It is all within the context of the chart.

  • Look towards your angles and the rulerships of them.

For example, if you’re looking at your career for the year ahead, I’d look towards your Midheaven sign and ruler. I’d then look to see if any planets occupy the second or sixth houses. If that’s what you’re focused on and there’s nothing there- no worries. It just means your energy is put into something else for the following year.

  • Try to set a goal or intention in mind for the upcoming year. Maybe setting New Year’s Resolutions isn’t such a bad idea! When you set goals in mind for transits, progressions, or return charts, it can make them easier to manage. The planets do not rule you, they simply hold possibilities. And you control the path you take when establishing those goals.

If you’re experiencing fear about your upcoming Return, I just want you to know that this time will pass. Perhaps focus on the year after that to see when things will look up, but please be careful not to let your negative bias run the show.

Only after I have done all of these with a Solar Return chart do I look at it in aspect to the birth chart. Then I look at the signs, any aspects to the planets, angles, nodes involved, etc. The process starts again. What natal houses do the Solar Return planets occupy? Which signs? How does it interact with your angles and nodes? How does it interact with your natal chart in general?

Best wishes,


P.S. I also do birthday readings! Available here.