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Solar Return Charts in Astrological Forecasting

Solar Return Charts in Astrological Forecasting

Solar Return Charts

A solar return chart is a chart cast for the exact time that the Sun reaches the same longitude (degree, minute and second) that it was placed at the time of your birth as shown in the natal chart.

Solar Return Place

A solar return chart is cast for the city you are in on your solar return date and not your birthplace. It is known as you solar return place or location.

Every year there will be a different solar return chart for you as the Sun will be in the same degree and sign, but the planets and angles will have moved.

Each of your solar return charts (year after year) will have the same sign, degree and minutes for the placement of the Sun as it is in your natal chart. In other words, your solar return Sun position on the zodiac is always the same as your solar return Sun every year.

When to Cast a Solar Return Chart

A solar return chart is cast every year on your birthday, or thereabouts, and can be used to predict the trends coming up for you each year.

A solar return chart is a direct astrological forecast method, which means it is based on transits, but it is crafted for you individually based on your natal Sun’s position.

If you can read a natal chart you can quickly interpret a solar return chart.


Solar Return Annual Forecasting Period

It is usual, and advisable, for clients to have a chart consultation on or near their birthday because of the power inherent in the solar return chart.

If you do a client consultation midyear you have to print the current and the next solar return chart.

Solar Return Charts can Stand Alone

A solar return chart is one forecasting technique that can be done alone and not combined with the other methods.

A solar return chart is useful for forecasting one year ahead which is a typical length of time for an astrological forecast for someone.

Relocate the Chart

Your birth chart is calculated for the town or city where you were born.

When the transiting Sun perfects the conjunction to its natal position you could be anywhere on Earth.

When using a solar return chart, it is necessary to cast the chart for the place that you are living in on that birthday.

As the potentials for the year are inhaled at the exact time of the Sun’s return.

If you move from your birthplace, each year’s solar return place can be different if you continue to move.

For example: If you were born in Toronto and now live in London then you would calculate the solar return chart for London for that year..

If you were born in Toronto and now live in London and are on vacation in Los Angeles on your birthday, then you would calculate the solar return chart for Los Angeles.

Solar Returns: Podcast Episode

Learn how to cast a SOLAR RETURN chart, what to look for and intrepret it.

In this episode, I (Alison) chat with Arwynne and discuss the direct forecasting technique of solar return charts.

We explain how to cast a new solar return chart, solar return travellers, and three key interpretation steps to understanding the message in the chart without being overwhelmed by too much data.

Date and Time Changes

All good astrology software such as Solar Fire and Astro Gold will calculate a solar return chart for you.

Check that the Sun’s position is the same as the natal Sun’s position and check the new location.

Solar Return Date

If you move extremely west or east of your birthplace then the solar return chart may end up being dated on the day before, or the day after, your actual calendar birthday.

Solar Return Time

The birth time for the solar return chart will be different to the natal time and different each year.

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Solar Return Chart Interpretations Interpretations

Interpretation of the solar return chart is not as complicated as re-analyzing a whole new chart.

There are specific details to look for and not every solar return chart will provide as much information as the next one.

How Often to Cast a Solar Return Chart

The solar return chart may come into effect one or two months before your birthday and last up to ten to twelve months after your birthday.

I find that it is best to start using the next solar return chart one month before your birthday.

That is when the Sun is at thirty degrees to its natal position, or one sign before.

This can be variable, and it depends on the placement of the planets that year.


When to Use a Solar Return Chart

You don’t just wake up one day under the effects of the new solar return chart.

It is a gradual process.

However, when the transiting Sun is in orb of a conjunction to your natal Sun (8 degrees) then the solar return chart begins its effect for sure and last year’s solar return chart fades away.


Using Two Solar Return Charts at Once Two Solar Return Charts

A situation may arise when you have to cast two solar return charts at once.

This would typically be the case if you were looking at the yearly forecast for someone and it was six months from their last birthday and therefore six months until their next birthday.

Previous Solar Return

You can use the previous year’s solar return up until the month before your next birthday.

Current Solar Return

The current solar return is cast for your last birthday and can be used for twelve months. You may begin to feel the effects of the next solar return chart when it is under one month to your next birthday.


Next Solar Return

The next solar return chart will come into effect around your next birthday. But the influences may start to develop at around one month before your next birthday.

If your birthday is in the next month use the next solar return chart.

Instances When to Cast Two Solar Return Charts

If you had a client who came for an astrological consultation and required a forecast between their two birthdays, then you would cast two solar return charts, the previous one and the next one.


Angles in the Solar Return Chart

Solar Return Angles

When reading a solar return chart, the four angles are very important.

The natal sign over the solar return Ascendant clues you into the year ahead.

Any planet conjunct an angle in the solar return chart will be prominent that year.

Planets Conjunct the Angles

  • Ascendant – A planet conjunct the solar return Ascendant may play a role in how your project yourself.

  • Descendant – A planet conjunct the solar return Descendant may play a role in your close personal relationships.

  • Midheaven – A planet conjunct the solar return Midheaven may play a role in the public persona you can project that year.

  • IC-A planet conjunct the solar return IC may play a role in what your private life looks like.

Solar Return Ascendant Sign

The Ascendant sign in the solar return chart indicates the way you will present yourself this year.

It may be that same as your natal Ascendant, but in years when it is truly different, it offers you a chance to express yourself through a different lens, or filter.

Solar Return Ascendant in Your Natal Chart

The natal house which contains your solar return Ascendant needs close inspection for it is through this portal that you will express yourself in that year.

The Solar Return Sun

“Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns”

The Importance of the Solar Return Sun

The whole concept of solar return charts hinges on the Sun.

The Sun’s position in the natal chart dictates the Sun’s position in the solar return chart every year.

It follows that the Sun is the most important feature to be considered, not by sign (as it is the same as the natal) but by house and aspect.

Pattern of the Sun’s House Placement in Subsequent Solar Return Charts

Astrologers love patterns.

Having a pattern somehow makes astrology seem like it is part of a big plan.

Whose plan, we may not be sure, but a plan anyway.

The Solar Return Sun by House

Each year the solar return Sun will be in a different house of the solar return chart.

The solar return Sun moves through the houses in a particular pattern by type of house.

After around ten years, moves into the next kind of house (angular, succedent and cadent), eventually placed in each of the twelve houses in turn.

The pattern is loosely the angular houses (first, tenth, seventh and fourth), then the succedent houses (second, eleventh, eighth and fifth) and then the cadent houses (third, twelfth, ninth and sixth).

In this way the Sun may cover the whole twelve houses over a thirty year stretch.

This pattern is reliant on you not moving place.

The Solar Return Sun’s House Shift Pattern

This Sun house shift pattern works perfectly under three specific criteria:

  • If you live on the equator.
  • If you use the equal house system.
  • If you never move place.

But, if you use Placidus house system (which I do) or many of the other house systems, then the solar return Sun’s house shift pattern may be slightly out.

This is because the house widths are skewed by many house system cusps.


Relocating from Year to Year

Note: If you move place from one city to another for your solar return (that is your birthday) the pattern will be interrupted.

For around ten years the Sun is in angular houses and then it moves to succedent houses.

For example: You may have three returns with the Sun in the first house or only two returns.

It depends on your chart.


Solar Return Travellers

Therefore, the Sun could feasibly be in your solar return twelfth house for three years out of ten.

This twelfth house’s retiring and private position may or may not suit you.

For this reason, people travel for a better solar return Sun house position. 


First the Angular Houses

Sun in first house.

Sun in tenth house.

Sun in seventh house.

Sun in fourth house.

The Succedent Houses

Sun in the second house.

Sun in the eleventh house.

Sun in the eighth house.

Sun in the fifth house.

The Cadent Houses

Sun in the third house.

Sun in the twelfth house.

Sun in the ninth house.

Sun in the sixth house.


The Sun in the Solar Return Houses

The Spotlight is on Each House in Turn

The Sun’s house is very important as it shows which house has a spotlight on it for the forthcoming year.

It is where you can shine in your life.


First House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return first house it is a year to:

  • Focus on self-improvement.
  • Expect physical changes.
  • Let people get to know you.

Second House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return second house it is a year to:

  • Improve your self-esteem.
  • Improve your personal and core values.
  • Earn a good income.

Third House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return third house it is a year to:

  • Focus on short courses and learning skills.
  • Participate more in the neighborhood.
  • Allow self-expression to become important.

Fourth House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return fourth house it is a year to:

  • Spend time at home.
  • Stamp your personality on your home.
  • Identify with your family.

Fifth House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return fifth house it is a year to:

  • Fall pregnant
  • Enjoy children and play
  • Give birth to your creative projects.

Sixth House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return sixth house it is a year to:

  • Begin your own business
  • Go back to work
  • Attend to your heart health.

Seventh House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return seventh house it is a year to:

  • Consider marriage.
  • Feel an individual within a partnership.
  • Experience legal matters.

Eight House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return eighth house it is a year to:

  • Possibly inherit from your father.
  • Acquire individual debt.
  • Spend time on personal inward looking.

Ninth House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return ninth house it is a year to:

  • Expect to travel.
  • Be attracted to and identify with foreign things.
  • Begin a self-improvement courses.

Tenth House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return tenth house it is a year to:

  • Finally get your career to take off.
  • Gain public accolades for any previous endeavors.
  • Become known and have a reputation in the public domain.

Eleventh House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return eleventh house it is a year to:

  • Identify with a cause close to your heart.
  • Become humanitarian and concerned about humanity.
  • Begin a self-interest group.

Twelfth House

When the solar return Sun is in your solar return twelfth house it is a year to:

  • Retire and withdraw from life.
  • Reflect on your life path.
  • Recharge and replenish your inner self.

Planetary House Emphasis

Any house in the solar return chart that has more than three tenants needs special attention.

The areas of life indicated by the house will be of importance in the following year.


The Importance of the Solar Return Sun’s Aspects

The aspects the solar return Sun makes in the solar return chart (and therefore to the transiting planets at the time) are very important is showing the year’s identity and ego for the individual.

At the exact solar return, the Sun will be transiting the natal chart and triggering all the natal solar aspects that are in the natal chart.

This transiting Sun conjoined the natal Sun tends to recalibrate the meanings of the solar aspects.

The most important Sun aspects in the solar return chart in sequence are:

  • Conjunctions

  • Other Ptolemaic aspects; the square, trine, opposition and sextile

  • Minor aspects; the semi-sextile, quincunx, semi-square and sesquiquadrate

  • Lesser used aspects such as the quintile, septile and novile

  • Tip: I usually only consider the conjunction and the Ptolemaic aspects.

Transiting Sun Reinforces the Natal Sun’s Aspects

As the Sun moves into its natal position each year it remakes all the solar aspects that are in the natal chart.

For instance, if you have a natal Sun square Moon, then you will have a transiting Sun square natal Moon at the solar return.

Solar Return Videos on YouTube

There are 3 videos in this series.


Part 1: How to correctly cast a solar return chart

This gives you some specifics about the correct time, date, and place for your solar return chart.


Part 2: The solar return Sun’s house and the solar return Sun’s aspects.

This video explains what each house position of teh Sun means in your solar return chart.

It also explains the importance of the Sun’s aspects and which aspects to choose.


Part 3: Solar return chart retrograde planets and other planetary returns

This video looks at retrograde planets in your solar return chart. It also covers other types of planetary return charts that you may wish to use someday.

There is a checklist for when you work with solar return charts.


Have a prosperous day,

Alison ⭐️


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Author Bio

Alison Price: Astrology Coach

Alison specializes in guiding Aspiring Astrologers. Her aim is to help you uncover your individual creativity and lead a fulfilling life using your own astrology. She shares her wisdom from the heart, often sprinkled with a touch of humor.

To learn more about Alison’s journey, visit this page.

If you’d like to get in touch with Alison, you can reach out to her via email at

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Astrological Forecasting Techniques

Astrological Forecasting Techniques

Astrological Forecasting: Overview

Astrological forecasting is a popular use for astrology and many people come to astrology exactly for the predictions you can get.

But not all forecasting techniques are created equal. Some are easy to understand and some are more complex.

Forecasting is in two broad sectors, the direct forecasting methods and the indirect forecasting techniques.

Direct Forecasting

Direct forecasting techniques use the current positions of the planets in the sky as we speak. You need an ephemeris for transit work.

Examples of direct forecasting techniques are:

Indirect Forecasting

The indirect forecasting techniques are often those that equate one day’s planetary movement to one year of life. They are also known as symbolic forecasting techniques.

Examples of indirect forecasting techniques are:

  • Secondary progressions
  • Solar arc directions (Venus arc directions etc.)

Forecasting Techniques You Need to Know

Most astrology students learn the forecasting techniques in the following order:

  1. Transits
  2. Secondary progressions
  3. Eclipses
  4. Solar returns
  5. Graphic ephemeris
  6. Solar arc directions
  7. Other (primary directions, firdaria etc.)

Learn to Love Transits

It is common to learn transits first.

Many astrologers only use transits as they are easier to learn. Every Sun sign horoscope column relies on transits only and this makes transits the most popular forecasting method in any astrologer’s repertoire.


“Transits are the most popular forecasting method.”


If you work on several charts and need to do the forecasting then if you know that Uranus will change signs into Taurus in May 2018 it will do so for everyone.

Once you know a transit movement you can use that knowledge for every single chart you every look at. This makes transits the go to astrological forecasting technique.

Everyone needs to know transits.

Secondary Progressions

The second most popular forecasting technique is conveniently called secondary progressions.

In this case, the movement of a planet for each day of life from birth is symbolised as the corresponding yearly movement.

If you are thirty-three then you will cast a secondary progressed chart for the thirty-third day after your birthday and use the planet’s positions that day to cast the secondary progressed chart.

Each person’s secondary progressed chart is different. No two are the same unless you were born at the same time, date and place.

This means it is more work for the astrologer because it is almost as another chart to read. Professional astrologers will probably use secondary progressions for your full forecasting picture.

Solar Returns

In a solar return chart you cast a chart each year for the exact time the Sun returns to its natal position.

If your birth Sun is at 15 degrees 45 minutes of Virgo then each year when the Sun returns to the precise position you cast another chart.

Each year you will have a new solar return chart.

People with the same birth date (but not the same year) will have similar solar return charts but not exactly the same.

So, everyone born on September 15th will have the Moon here and Venus there in their solar return chart but the ascendant will be different.

This makes solar return charts popular as they are based on the transits of the day and astrologers know where the Sun and Moon are and the other planets.

Graphic Ephemeris

The graphic ephemeris is a special diagram that has to be read by the astrologer and it typically shows the superior planets and their cycles over a year or two. See image.

This is probably the most useful tool I personally use in my astrological forecasting.


Solar and lunar eclipses are transits and are special due to the close alignment of the Sun, Moon and the Earth on the eclipse day.

Eclipses can be further broken down into:

  • General eclipse forecasts
  • Personal eclipse forecasts
  • Collective eclipse forecasts

Solar Arc Directions

In solar arc directed charts you take the progressed movement of the Sun (as found in the secondary progressed chart) and add the longitudinal measurement to all the planets positions at birth. From this you will create a new chart called the solar arc directed chart.

From this you will create a new chart called the solar arc directed chart.

If your natal sun is at 15 Virgo and you are 33 years old you add 33 to 15 Virgo and the result is 18 Libra. This is the position of your solar arc directed Sun.

You do the same for the other planets. Add the Sun’s movement to every planet in your chart and find the new placement which will be 33 degrees further in the zodiac.

In a solar arc directed chart the aspects between the planets remain the same but the planets change house and sign.

The solar arc directed chart changes slightly every day as you get older.

How Much to Learn in Forecasting

How much you have to learn about astrological forecasting depends on who you are now and who you want to be later. There are 5 levels of astrologer and you can see where you fit in.

Hobbyist Astrologer

If you are simply trying to learn some more about astrology to make your life easier and more understandable then stick to transits.

Student Astrologer

If you are a student astrologer and plan to be a professional astrologer one day then learn transits first and the work down the list, (secondary progressions, solar returns, solar arc directions, eclipses and other).

Professional Astrologer

To be a professional astrologer you really do need to know at least four forecasting techniques.

They will compliment each other and underline the trends in the clients forecasting picture.

You are a Client

If you are a member of the public and you are looking for a professional consulting astrologer then do yourself a favour and find one who does advanced forecasting techniques.

Ask your prospective astrologer, “Which forecasting techniques will you use when you do my predictions?” and see what their answer is.


“Which forecasting techniques will you use when you do my predictions?”


If they only use transits be wary as they may not be fully trained in the more complicated astrological forecasting techniques. This may imply they do not have a broad astrological education.

Creative Growth

If you have got this far then you will likely want to grow your astrological forecasting techniques and begin to understand the differences in each one. To be a better astrologer you need to know these things. Forecasting often separates the “men from the boys” in the astrology world.