by Robert Wilkinson
Over the years I've heard many wonder about the Solar Return chart and its importance in showing events in the year that follows that point in time. Is it the same as our birthday, and if not, what is the difference?
The Solar Return is a chart done for the moment the Sun returns to the exact point it occupied at birth. It is calculated for wherever we are at that exact moment, which is why we have some measure of control over what is on the angles of the chart. We have no ability to manipulate the aspects, since they hold true regardless of where we are.
As it is based on the moment the Sun returns to the exact degree, minute, and second of longitude of our natal Sun, it's the precise point in time when we can re-tune "the Great Instrument!" It can happen the day before our birthday, the day of our birthday, or the day after. It all depends on where we are.
For example, if it happens at 11 am in Santa Monica, then it happens at 2 pm in New York, 7 pm in London, and 8 pm in Amsterdam. Each of these changes the degree (and often sign) of the Ascendant, which in turn affects the signs on the house cusps and what houses the planets occupy. That affects everything from where the rulers of our natal houses fall in the Solar Return chart to where the rulers of the Solar Return houses fall in that chart.
That's the primary difference between the Solar Return and our birthday. The birthday is the same each year, but the Solar Return changes each year depending on where we are, and is an exact point in time.
Besides the Ascendant changing across time zones, there are often significant differences even within a time zone. For example, Santa Monica and Spokane WA are both PST, but though on the same time, they have different ascendants due to their relative latitudes and longitudes. The same is true for Austin TX, and Madison, Wisconsin. Both CST, but very different degrees on the angles even though their clocks read the same time.
I explored all these themes and more in the article The Solar Return and How It Relates To our Birthday. Please check it out, since I elaborate on many of the nuances about this important moment in time that happens to everyone once every year of our lives.
What I haven't done in other posts on this subject is share my personal meditation I do each year at the time of my Solar Return. It's an extremely good thing to meditate at the Solar Return, since our inner Sun is aligned with the outer Sun, bringing our heart Light/Life into attunement with the Cosmic Source of our Light/Life. As this is a general form, please adapt the ritual as needed:
If at all possible, find a really peaceful or powerful place, like a park, lake, or power point in the area where you can still the body and the mind. Of course, if you have an altar, that is a great place to open to the greater Light available at the Solar Return.
It's important to enter into meditation at least 15 minutes before the moment of the Solar Return, since that allows you some time to "get out of your own way." This meditation is specifically Light/Heart centered, so focus on opening to a greater receptivity that this is the moment of the "return of the Light" to your Life.
As you enter deeply into the receptivity of merging your individual Light with the on-going Greater Light, move into and stay centered in your heart. It is the source of all knowing, all illumination, all love, and all power in an individual life. Surrender and let go of your ego mind and your feelings, open to the highest and greatest Light you are and always have been, and allow the on-going greater light to illuminate your inner light.
If you can, please try to hold this meditation at least 15 minutes after the Solar Return moment, since this can help "fix the energy" in your various subtle bodies. (No, you don't have to reference your watch to make sure you're "doing it right.";-)) This attunement for 30 minutes can make all the difference in what follows in the days, weeks, and months after, since it sets up a pattern of attunement and attraction that can open us to "knowing" that transcends our mind.
Because I like as much information as possible about the "meaning" of the year to come, I also consult various "oracles" at my Solar Return to offer me symbols of what my next year will concern. Sometimes I do this before the meditation, other years afterward.
Examples of these symbolic messengers are the I Ching, Tarot, Angel cards, Animal cards, and other means to get a sense of the quality of the next year. Sometimes they indicate what I can expect, and/or what I am learning, and/or what tools I can use to move and groove through the next 12 months.
Mostly I suspect that due to synchronicity, these show me symbols of what's happening within me that will ex-press in the year to come. Occasionally they indicate external patterns, but again, these can never be separate from our power to choose which patterns we will embrace and which ones we'll ignore.
So by all means, remember to calculate your Solar Return chart to get insights into what's been, what is, and what will be. And though I don't like to repeat myself, please read The Solar Return and How It Relates To our Birthday, since it's an in-depth look at many things I haven't covered here about this important moment in time that happens to everyone once each year throughout our life.
© Copyright 2011 Robert Wilkinson