What is a Solar Return?
A Solar Return refers to the exact moment when the Sun returns to the same position it held at your time of birth. This marks a kind of ‘mini-rebirth’ and the initiation of a new solar cycle. The Solar Return often aligns closely with your calendar birthdate but may occur a day earlier or later. This is significant for everyone but especially for those whose Sun is in a strong position in their natal chart—like in Leo or Aries, or angular houses, or otherwise prominently aspected.
The Solar Return chart, drawn up to display the Sun at the exact degree it occupied at the time of your birth, can be easily generated by many astrological software programs. This chart illuminates the astrological backdrop for the coming year and the sectors of your life that will be activated.
Does Location Matter?
Some people, seeking to enhance their yearly trends, choose to celebrate their birthday in a location where favorable solar return aspects would be strengthened and challenging aspects would be weakened. Astrologers have different opinions on this: some say you should live in that location for at least a week, others suggest a month, while others advise residing there for the entire year. The speed at which new energies activate also depends on the individual’s capability to work with these energies, their level of awareness, focus, and intention. In any case, the setting in which we meet significant cycles—be it a solar return, the New Year, equinoxes, or even a New Moon—greatly influences the entire cycle.
This is similar to a crossroads: the direction you choose will define your path, and the people you interact with will likely recur throughout the cycle. Consciousness and intention are therefore vital in these moments.
Ideal Approach to Your Solar Return
Classic astrology suggests that one should be alone at the exact moment of the solar return, avoiding intense social interactions. Why?
Firstly, it allows you to better tune into your inner processes, hear potential opportunities, and open up to them. This is not a time for action but for reflection. Mindfulness and positive intention are key.
Another point is that if you aim to be the master of your destiny, the beginning of a new cycle is the time to be centered on your connection with your higher self or spirit. Given the vulnerable, “skinless” nature of the solar return moment, external negative emotions or thoughts can have an outsized impact on the cycle ahead. Therefore, it’s beneficial to not just be calm but to also ask for spiritual protection and guidance in whatever tradition or method feels most authentic to you.
Of course, the specifics of your solar return are influenced by both your natal and solar return charts, but general guidelines suggest:
- Stay sober to prevent a foggy consciousness throughout the year.
- Be optimistic and open to positive possibilities.
- Avoid being in a negative environment, amidst angry or jealous people, or engaging in conflicts and dramas.
- Don’t obsess over illnesses, debts, or troubles. Celebrate what you have and find beauty and abundance around you.
- Meditate, reflecting on your true self and soul’s needs.
- Limit social interactions, keep a loving view of the world but focus inward.
- Minimize dependencies: settle debts before the solar return and don’t get entangled in others’ issues.
- Allow yourself to dream about what you would want in your life.
Remember, the solar return is an opportunity to reset and start anew, so approaching it with the right mindset can set the tone for the year to come