Solar returns can be a very useful tool in a predictive/forecasting astrologer’s toolbox. My relationship with solar returns has changed over time. I used to be very detailed when using them. The current flavour of the month for me is to extract the big messages from them to identify any key messages that are not covered in transits. In any case, I think it’s useful to do a 10 to 15 minutes reading using the solar return (SR) chart before or after delving into transits.
Let’s look at the SR chart above for Ms Jodie who broke up with her partner one month before the date of the SR. Let’s note down the key messages that are screaming at us:
Sun is in the 4th house. Sun rules the 11th. Pluto is quite close to the Sun even though it’s slightly more than 5 degree orb away. Mercury in retrograde conjunct IC. Mercury rules the 12th and 8th. The concern for this year is about focusing on her inner foundations, including her private self for the years to come, perhaps regarding her hopes and wishes. Alternatively, it could refer to focusing her energies on home or family matters which could involve her friends.
There’s likely a huge transformation, change in the arenas of life mentioned above with her. Ms Jodie probably spent a lot of her time on inner contemplation regarding her domestic situation or private life which might have an effect on her profession (not that she has the energy or mood to focus on her career now). There could be documents involved relating to the home and family. But it’s likely that her thoughts are those of seclusion, feeling trapped and emotional grief.
Sun is in tight aspect to Mars and Neptune in the 6th. There might be a lot of creative drive as part of her daily (work) routine. This is in line with her hobbies. She could feel physically spaced-out easily this year.
T-square between Uranus, Jupiter and Pluto (focal planet). Her breakup with her partner and her urge for personal growth and expansion may lead to transformation within her inner self. It could also mean going deep within herself emotionally to grief over her breakup. This inner metamorphosis is one of the major theme for this year. As a result, her self-esteem, values and personal resources may be affected.
Uranus, Jupiter, Saturn and Chiron are in rather tight aspects. Further themes of this year include: the freedom from her separation from partner, personal growth, depressive thoughts and healing in/from daily routine. Daily productive work might help to take her mind off her breakup with her partner.
I discussed the above themes with a client in about 5 minutes which could be longer if Ms Jodie wanted to discuss further, which she didn’t. I could also have fleshed out the interpretation with more archetypal interpretations and the psychological processes involved. Or I could go on to compare the natal chart and the SR which I didn’t (and should have).
So, what is the SR chart shouting at you? If it ain’t shouting at you, it’s probably not that significant. Well, that’s my current approach anyway!