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!
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 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’s 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”—the 12 months that happen from one birthday to the next.
How do you make a solar return chart?
There are quite a few free tools online for casting an instant solar return chart. Our top choice is Astro-Seek which lets you do a free chart without creating a login or profile. The solar return chart is calculated based on 1) your time of birth, 2) your birthday (month and day) and the current year, 3) and your location as you celebrate your birthday.
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.
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 planets, zodiac signs and houses—or looking to deepen your knowledge?
You can watch our handy Birth Charts 101 video below to learn the fundamentals.
Happy charting…and birthday vacation planning!