Birthday Astrology: How to Do Your Solar Return Chart

Every year on your birthday, you get a brand-new astrological chart that will influence the year ahead, called the solar return chart.

While your natal (birth) chart never changes, each year the stars present a chance to reinvent yourself for 12 unique months. The key? Location, location, location!

What’s the difference between a solar return chart and a birth chart?

You might have heard of astrology charts, and there’s a good chance you’re done yours in an app or online. Your birth chart, or natal chart, is a snapshot of the exact position of the planets at the moment you were born. It never changes and is always the go-to foundation of your life path and essence. But there are lots of other charts that decode relationships, explain a certain phase of your life or help make short-term predictions; the solar return chart is one of those.

Watch Ophi’s live demonstration of how to do a solar return chart

Why is it called a solar return?

Fancy as it sounds, “solar return” is another way of saying “birthday.” You may have heard astro-savvy types saying “Happy solar return!” instead of “Happy birthday!” Ummm, namaste…and thanks.

What is a solar return chart?

At the exact time of your birth each year, the Sun returns to the position in the sky that it was in when you were born. The solar return chart is an astrology chart that is calculated for the exact moment the Sun returns to its “natal” or birth position. It’s an excellent tool to help you assess and predict the themes that will arise for you during your next “solar year.” A solar year is the 12 months that happen from one birthday to the next. What a birthday gift!

How do you make a solar return chart?

We’ve got you covered! Go to our handy calculator below to cast a solar return chart! The solar return chart is calculated based on

  1. your time of birth (exact is best, if you know it or can ask a family member; if not, use midnight)
  2. your birthday (month and day) and the current year
  3. your location as you celebrate your birthday

Find your Solar Return

Calculate Yours!

Location is everything—so your birthday plans REALLY matter

When casting a solar return chart, it’s not how you spend your birthday, but where. You’d get an entirely different chart if you blow out your candles in Miami than you would for Minneapolis, Mumbai or Marrakesh.

Example of a solar return chart

Say you were born at 8:00 pm in London on August 10, 1989.

It’s 2019, and you’re debating whether to celebrate your 30th birthday in Mexico City or Paris, two places on your travel bucket list.

In your astro chart calculator, you input 8:00 pm on August 10, 2019, in Mexico City, then see what the chart looks like. To compare options, you would then do a chart for August 10, 2019, at 8:00 pm in Paris.

Et voila! Ya esta! Two different charts and choices. You could book your travel plans according to which outcome you prefer for the next 12 months. And if you didn’t like the looks of one of those charts, well…disaster averted?!

Just getting started? Do your birth chart first (here’s how)

The first chart you should do is your birth (natal) chart, and you can do one for free right here. New to planetszodiac signs and houses—or looking to deepen your knowledge?

You can watch our handy Birth Charts 101 video below to learn the fundamentals of charts and read more about it here.

Happy charting…and birthday vacation planning!


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Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are the founders of and the authors of multiple bestselling astrology books. Their horoscopes reach millions here and through their resident astrologer column at ELLE Magazine.