Solar Return Chart: Meaning and Interpretations
A solar return chart calculates when the sun returns to its natal position in your birth chart. Learn about its meaning from astrologer Julia Michas.
What Is a Solar Return?
Your solar return chart uses your natal chart to help you dictate what kind of birthday and year you’ll have ahead of you. Julia Michas, astrologer and creator behind @juliamichasastrology, chatted with us about what it is and why you should care.
“A solar return is one of astrology’s predictive techniques,” she says. “You cast a return chart at the moment the sun reaches the exact degree and minute in the sky when you were born […] If you have your sun in 3º Libra, then you cast a solar return chart for when the sun reaches that exact place in the sky again.”
The reason for casting this kind of chart is to help dictate what kind of year is ahead of you. “Solar returns are like yearly chapters of your life,” Michas says, “and an astrologer can study each one as an annual cross-section of what cosmic influences you will experience that year.”
When Is My Solar Return?
This chart is cast from your natal chart—otherwise known as your birthday.
Funny enough, though, the solar return chart might not actually fall on your birthday. As Michas says, “the actual solar return day can sometimes be a day or two off from your birthday because some years have an extra day, known as leap years.”
Solar Return vs. Natal Chart
So, if both of these charts use your birthday, what’s the difference?
The natal chart is cast at the moment you were born. You use this blueprint to then cast your solar return, a more in-the-moment, present-day version of the natal chart.
How to Read a Solar Return Chart
The ascendant, sun, and moon are considered “luminaries.” Michas suggests giving them the most value in a solar return.
There are a number of ways to read a solar return chart. Here are a couple that Michas finds helpful.
“Wherever the luminaries are located is where you may find a strong focus that year,” Michas says. “Let’s say you had your sun in the ninth house in your return—then ‘ninth house issues’ may be significant that year. Maybe that means you go on a big international trip, or you enroll in higher education, or publish a book.”
Planets Near the Angles
The angles are defined as the four corners of a chart: the ascendant, descendant, midheaven, and nadir. Any planet that falls close to one of these points in the solar return chart will be extremely important.
“Let’s say your solar return has Venus four degrees from your descendant,” Michas says. “Then, perhaps, a romantic relationship begins that year. Let’s say that you had Saturn on your midheaven, then work could be a total slog that year.”