It can be hugely helpful to understand what your solar return means in astrocartography so you can make confident decisions for your year ahead!
Your solar return chart is calculated when the Sun returns to its natal place in your chart when you were born. The other personal planets – Mercury, the Moon, Mars and Venus – have not yet returned to their natal places, so the solar return chart is a biggie.
Your solar return indicates your themes for the upcoming year. But it indicates these themes in a very different way to your transit chart and suggests how these themes will play out for you.
Your other four personal planets – the Moon, Mars, Venus and Mercury – will often be in different signs than your natal chart, and so your element balance will be different, as will the emphasis on cardinal, fixed and mutable signs.
This is why a solar return chart is so different to a transit chart, as the balance of elements is often overlooked in astrology.
How is a solar return chart different to a transit chart?
The element balance of your transit chart will change, often daily, during the course of a transit year, whereas the element balance of a solar return chart will stay the same for the duration of the chart – i.e. a full calendar year.
Your natal chart may have an ongoing predominance of earth and water, but your solar return chart may have a predominance of fire and air for the relevant year, for example!
Similarly, your natal chart may be mostly mutable energy, but your solar return chart may have an excess of cardinal energy. That might mean that this is the year where you start lots of new projects as cardinal energy supports initiation and starting afresh.
Maybe the energy balance last year was mostly fixed and that energy is what you needed to allow you complete outstanding projects before taking on new ones.
How I laughed when I saw Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune all in my solar return eleventh house for 2022-23. Sailing all the way! This knowledge really inspired me to spend seven glorious weeks learning sailing theory on the Isle of Wight during the summer of 2022. As well as squeezing in an 800 mile trip on a 65 foot yacht!
That sailing theme will continue for me as I sail in Portugal and elsewhere in 2023, where there will be five months left of my solar return chart to manifest.
A transit chart would not have given this extra level of information, which was subsequently so crucial to my decision-making in 2023.
Marrying your solar return chart with insights from astrocartography
So, when we marry our solar return chart with places we are longing to visit or even move to, the solar return chart tells us what themes are playing out first. For the year. Before we then map astrocartography onto a relocated chart.
As I have written before, if are truly in alignment with our goals, the heavens really do open, and supportive people and situations manifest effortlessly. But we must take action for that to happen. You can start with buying magazines about places you would like to travel to. Or books that help you start writing or learning to paint
In my case, no, I am not buying a boat. Not just yet anyway!
But with Jupiter in the eleventh house in my solar return chart the likelihood is that I will share a boat with others, whether as a joint purchase or simply crewing for others, who knows? As my solar return Jupiter in the eleventh house indicates, that is in fact totally fitting!
Harness the energy of your solar return
So how can you harness the energy of your own upcoming solar return chart with your current transit chart? And yes indeed, your relocated solar return chart will mean that different themes will play out in your new location, as will the different element and energy balance.
After a solar return reading, you can blend both energies before moving to an astrocartography session, as the energy of the combined charts will play out in a combined manner.
You quite simply, learn to live between both charts while relocating.
You can absolutlely learn to “energy sense” the energy of where you were and are now, and learn to blend both. It takes practice, but it not as hard as you may think, and it is hugely, hugely rewarding!
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