Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 5, 2010

10 Things You May Not Know about Solar Returns

©July 5, 2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Today is my 68th birthday, but yesterday was my solar return. It’s apparently a tradition among astrology bloggers to write a piece about solar returns on their birthday. That’s what I discovered when I used the handy WordPress internal search engine to see who had written about this tropic.

In the hopes of, just this once, being socially and politically correct, I decided to follow suit with this miscellany of little-known acts about our annual birthday charts.

Why your solar return may or may not be on your actual birthday: In a 4-year cycle, the date and time of the solar return chart may occur anywhere from a day before to a day after your calendar birthday. That’s for the same reason we have The Leap Year and Leap Day – February 29  every 4 years. The year is not really 365 days but 365 ¼.

For many people, the SR Ascendant and house cusps are also on a 4-year cycle in which the Rising sign in the natal chart is regularly repeated. I don’t understand the math on that, but I do interpret  any repetition of the degrees, houses placements, and features of the natal chart as significant intervals. They’re like a highlighter pen that calls our attention to those particular features and the patterns in our lives they represent.

It is said thatyour solar return starts taking effect 3 months before your birthday.   The older astrologers taught us that you could “feel the vibe” of the solar return coming in way before the birthday. In years of observation, it does seem true, but this may be entirely subjectivity/suggestibility. OR it may be related to the fact that solar return aspects are related to slower-moving transits.

The Solar Return is a frozen slice of the transits you have around your birthday. In this chart, you are highly likely to see aspects that mirror the themes of transiting planets, especially the slower-moving outer planets that may not move more than 2-3° in a year. This is especially true of aspects to the Sun, but since Venus and Mercury are always close to the Sun, they’re likely to repeat as well.

In my view, transits are a better predictive tool than Solar Returns, so I seldom did them for clients unless they specifically asked. Nothing happens by a solar return, progression, eclipse or other variation that is not promised in the natal chart and confirmed by transits, so don’t get freaked out about your solar return.

Solar Returns aren’t based on your place of birth, but your location, though there are purists who only calculate it for the birthplace.  Purists are always trouble—another bone of contention is about something called a precessed SR vs. the usual SR.  One reader wrote to ask if I’d ever used the geocentric precessed chart, which I’d never heard of.

I think it really doesn’t matter WHICH solar return you use.  What I believe is that whatever the astrologer believes works, works.  We’re really just tuning into the planetary energies, and they’re talking to us.  The piece of paper called an astrology chart is merely a sort of mandala that gets us there.   Hmm.  That’s a radical belief that I’ve just articulated for the first time. It’s kind of like the Tarot and all the scads of more modern decks.  They all work too, if you believe in them and use them as a tool to attune to the person.

Entire astrology practices are based on telling clients where to travel in order to get the best solar return chart. Don’t like that Pluto in the 10th in your solar return? Find a better house placement and go there. In order for that chart to take effect, you need to stay a day and a half before through a day and a half after, so pack for 3 days.

Does it work or is it only a placebo effect? Is it just high astrological drama of a most self-indulgent nature?  Well, I’ve done it any number of times when there were owies in mission critical houses, and it made a big difference in the outcome. I chalk it up to the power of intention and of manifestation through commitment. (If you’re interested in using this technique, Continuum has a list of certified Astro*Carto*Graphy practitioners and a library of over 50 articles about relocation techniques here: Relocation Astrology Information and Practitioners.)

If there were ever a reason to want to travel to a better location for the SR, this would be it: All Solar Returns between June and September this year contain the Cardinal t-square of Pluto, Saturn, and Uranus.  If your solar return looks terrible, it may be some comfort to know that you aren’t being singled out for some Cosmic Pigeon Poop.

We’re all being buffeted by the current social, economic, political and environmental crises to some degree, but the extent it affects us personally is based on our individual charts. The houses that are involved in the t-square natally and in the SR chart can show us where we need to take action.

You can “progress” the Solar Return to find out the periods of peak activity between birthdays. Move the 4 angles of the SR chart (Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant, and IC) forward in the zodiac 1° per day to find the approximate intervals when issues suggested by  solar return aspects will heat up and become important to deal with.

Thus, a particular sticking point in the solar return will peak in importance about 4 times in the year—but so will a lucky or promising feature.  (The quick and dirty version would be to move the angle ahead one sign per month since the birthday+3 months=3 signs forward.)

Way more Cancerians and Leos will celebrate their solar return this year than Capricorns and Aquarians.

Is that because we Crabs are such sentimental slobs and Leos love to be the life of the party?  Nope, it’s a statistical fact I happened across in dry, dull Census Bureau publications. They tracked a pattern of birth rate highs and lows that had marked peaks in the summer months and marked valleys in the winter months[1]. These findings have been consistent for at least a century.

The result is that there are far more Taureans, Geminis, Cancers, and Leos than there are Sagittarians, Capricorns, Aquarians, and Pisces. So if you’re marketing zodiac jewelry, t-shirts, birthday cards, or other merchandise, adjust your stock accordingly.

A big thank you to all the readers who wrote to wish me a happy 68th birthday. To my fellow crabs, I wish:


Coming next:  More about solar return charts.  

Readers, did you ever travel for your solar return chart?  Or do you have any solar return stories or interesting info?  Share it in the comment section, down below this article. 

More articles to check out on Skywriter:

[1] The National Center for ­Health Statistics publishes a bulletin, The Monthly Vital ­Statistics Report. Drawing from Bureaus of Vital Statistics­ across the country, it periodically compiles rates of births, ­deaths, marriages, divorces, and causes of mortality.


  1. Happy 68th Birthday, Donna! and happy belated Solar Return. Hope you’re having a wonderful day.

    cheers from Germany,



    Wishing you the best that life has to offer today and every day. May you find peace and contentment as you celebrate your birthday, and know that the world is a much better place for having you in it!

  3. Happy Birthday Donna!
    Thank you for all you offer – uplifting us one astrological aspect at a time 🙂
    (from fellow crab (July 4th)

  4. Happy Solar Return Donna 😀

  5. I was surprised to find sth posted here today! With all the introspection and retrospection and making friends with fear that comes with every plutonian soul’s birthday, I honestly thought you’d pass on this one. But once again you chose to cast out all the unnecessary drama with your wicked sense of humour- the minute I saw the illustrations on this post, I knew exactly what to wish you. So, I wish for this year to be as light-hearted, joyous, sparkly and festive as the cartoons you chose for this post, and as deep,meaningful and healing as all your posts always have been. Happy birthday Donna!

    • I’m glad it made you laugh! Thank you all for your good wishes and tributes–they’ve brightened my day. Donna

  6. Donna, wishing you many very happy Solar returns. Have a fantastic 68th!

  7. Happy Birthday Donna! Hope today and your solar return year is wonderful in every way!

  8. Happy Birthday!

  9. Gosh, Donna, I just thought I was depressed — then I read this post!ha! I went to and tried Vegas and Honolulu — thinking I’d take your advice to try to outrun this T-square thingie:) BUT then I took solace in the fact that you apparently are sticking it out, too, and staying put. So, Happy Birthday, T-square and all:)

  10. Happy Birthday! 🙂

  11. Happy Birthday!
    May your day and year be filled with love, joy, and health!

    I am so happy you posted this article. My birthday and solar return were yesterday and I had already decided to try a solar return chart for the first time today. This really helps: )

    • Happy solar return to you, too< Mari. It's quite a corker of a return, though, with two entirely separate cardinal t-squares, one in the early degrees of the sign and one in the middle degrees. We'll be busy this year, for sure. Donna

  12. Happy birthday Donna! I hope you take some time to relax and do something completely non-verbal. Thanks so much for giving us huge chunks of substance all year round. xo

    • Lovely to hear from you, Lucy. But you have posed this stellium in Gemini with quite a challenge. Something NONverbal??? What would that look like? Donna

      • I know, it’s hard for me too. You’d probably end up waving your hands wildly.

    • Many happy gesticulations, Donna! LOL!!

  13. Congratulations…!

    Thanks for your great and beautiful work during many of your Solar Returns. Have a great Solar Return!


  14. Happy Birthday, Donna!

    Thanks so much for this post on Solar Returns! I’ve been wondering about mine this past year. I was on a plane going to Hawaii for a 3-week vacation (and YES, it was WONDERFUL!!!) on my birthday. At the exact time of the Solar Return, I believe I was somewhere over Northern Arizona, which is what I plugged into my chart when I got home. What reference place would you use in this case?

    Also, when I was a flight attendant I was never in a layover city more than 36 hours. I spent one memorable birthday in Buenos Aires, but I wasn’t there a day and a half prior to the Return. Would I use my home city in this case?

    • Wow, Ellen, I honestly don’t know, and I don’t want to just make something up. I would imagine most flight attendants have a similar dilemma. Donna

  15. Happy Birthday Donna! Thanks for all your wisdom!

  16. Happy Birthday Donna!! 🙂 ❤

  17. Happy 68th, Donna, and here are heartfelt wishes for many more happy (solar returns) birthdays. Thanks for all your hard work on this blog (as well as on Vibrations), and all the great advice, teaching, and books you’ve contributed to this planet this lifetime.


    • Thank you, Peggy. I hope you’ll get back to blogging, too, at some point. You were a great help and support to me in my blogging baby steps. Donna

  18. Donna,
    Having just read your post I’m really glad I will be on my holiday in Malta on my birthday at the end of July as my solar return at home has a lovely Grand Cross of Pluto on the IC Squ Saturn at the ASC opposite Uranus/Jupiter on the DSC. Yikes!

    In Malta it all shifts backwards by an amazing 16 degrees which means none of these ‘owies’ are on my cross of matter!!!!! Still looks like a hard working year however though definitely easier with a T-cross on the 12th/3rd/6th houses than a grand cross on the cross of matter….
    Moon and Venus are in the 5th/11th Axis and not the 6th/12th which is also promising for a bit more fun – well this has cheered me up! Im sure the power of intention will work to make it an excellent year…..
    I hope that the Ash cloud doesn’t come back in July and ground me at home with that SR!
    Happy birthday Donna!
    best wishes

    • It looks like you have some angels on your side, niyati, and that they are solidy behind solar return trips.

      Sheesh, all I did was to fly to San Francisco for the last such trip, which was exotic enough for me. I stayed in a European style hostel in Isadora Duncan Alley, a virtually unknown cul de sac downtown. Donna

  19. Feliz Cumpleaños Donna!

    Wishing you many good years to come and share with your loved ones. You have being a great gift for us all who want to learn and look deep inside. May those gifts return to you multiplied! Love, Sabrina.

  20. Muy Feliz Cumple Donna!!

    And thanks for always sharing your knowledge!
    Be Blessed! 😉

    • Muchas gracias, Rosario and Sabrina, it’s glorious to have a community that includes so many countries, all as near as the stroke of a few keys. Donna

  21. Hi Donna! I knew a person (when I did tech support at Astrolabe) who actually was going to fly out to an island in the middle of the Pacific to “get a better solar return”! Ha ha.

    I have found sometimes Solar Returns “wrap it up” towards the end of it, ie, sometimes what they forecast will happen towards the end. Also, whatever is on the Rising (that house in the natal) has prominent signif in the year ahead….

    Happy Birthday, girl!


    • Thanks for the observations, Cindy, very interesting. Domna


  23. Happy birthday, and many happy Solar Returns!

  24. 68 and awesome! happy birthday, donna! 🙂

  25. Happy Birthday, Donna. Hope it was a very creative one.

    Re: astrocartography:
    In 1998 I was told to travela nd stay in one city for my July SR, because it would be beneficial for my earning power. And I did travel there.
    The following January I did up my income by $17K, and over the following three years that became an earning increase, topping out at $80K.

    But I would much rather have traveled to a location that would have upped my ability to work with my creativity rather than with my power over $$.
    Do you have links to folks who do this type for readings? I wouldn’t even know what to planet aspects to follow for a creativity boost.

    • Yes, actually, I should add a link for that to the post itself: is an organization that certifies Astro*Carto*Graphy practitioners. (A few weeks back, I put a link, but the site was down temporarily.) Donna

      • Thanks, so much Donna,
        this list might help a great deal!

        I have a selection of six MFA programs I’m considering applying to for the Fall 2011 school year. And if more than 1 wants me, this service might help with decision making.

  26. Happy Birthday! !
    There are not enough words to thank you
    for all the fabulous information you provide
    in these blogs. With my Cancer sun,venus,
    uranus in the 12th the past few articles were like
    an early birthday gift & the reader comments also.
    Sending you wishes for a day filled with laughter
    and peace ~

    • I’m glad the series shed some light on the 12th for you, Coach. there seem to be many 12th house folk here at Skywriter, and I think the bad press that we typically hear about that house isn’t helpful at all. Donna

  27. Happy birthday, Donna! 🙂

  28. Happy Birthday, dear Donna!

    May I pose a question about stelliums and transits/solar returns? When a solar return or transiting planet hits one end of the stellium, is there a domino effect? I have a stellium of seven planets from mid-Libra to my mid Scorpio. Most transits even the heavy ones have had lighter moments and blessings. But I can’t always sort out what got the hit- was that Mercury or North Node groaning from that Neptune trine?

    This stellium is in the 12th house except for Venus- so far I’ve lived in an ashram, worked in a hospital and the courts, and been around lots of dying people. I meditate, run, do mixed martial arts and sing in a choir and write. That Jupiter/Uranus in Aries square has brought out the adolescent boy in me. I’ve learned to love rap, wear my son’s shorts and still be a mom. For me the 12th has been about integrating and synthesizing what I can and letting go of the rest. The letting go ain’t always easy.

    May your years ahead be as great a blessing to you as you have been for all of us out here who learn and laugh with you. Thank you so much for the timely wisdom you impart.


  29. Happy Birthday, Donna!

  30. Hi Donna,
    Happy Birthday!!! And many more pleasant returns!

  31. Happy birthday! In my country, we serenade the birthday girl. So, here is your serenade:

    • Thanks, Eme. We do it here, too. When you go out to a restaurant on your birthday, your friends sneak around and tell the waiters it’s your birthday, and if you’re very unlucky, the waiters come with a piece of cake and sing happy birthday to you, thereby embarassing you in front of all the other diners. Donna

  32. Warm wishes for your Donna 🙂
    68th… i didn’t thought that ..anyway 😀

    As regarding
    “All Solar Returns between June and September this year contain the Cardinal t-square of Pluto, Saturn, and Uranus”
    what about 31st May guys/gals ? some poop for them too? lol

    Regards again!

    • Yes, people in late May are advised to carry Handy wipes along with them too. The Uranus-Saturn opposition is strong and building to an on out-of-sign square to Pluto in Capricorn. Donna

  33. Happy Birthday! To one who gives, and gives, and gives…. Thank you!

  34. Happy Birthday, Donna!
    Thank you for being there.
    I love your work.

  35. Happy Birthday, Donna!

    Early July seems like a great time to be born. 😉

    Since you wrote this post about Solar Returns, and have a section on “You can “progress” the Solar Return to find out the periods of peak activity between birthdays”; I feel compelled to mention the incredible Progressed Sidereal Solar Return technique of Cyril Fagan. Before anyone panics over the word Sidereal in the above-mentioned technique, this technique is TROPICAL, but with the precession expunged.

    I mention this technique because it is one very important part of the confirmation that is used in rectification. The aspects are normally very reliable and this technique helps make sense of the timing of events that are “promised” within the Solar Return. ie. the Solar Return directly saying WHAT, with the PSSR technique saying WHEN.

    A few examples to illustrate what I mean…

    In SR (including date 3/9/1988), it can be seen that Mars will conjoin the Moon. When Mars came to within 0° 1′ of the Moon, my Mother died.

    In SR (including date 12/03/2000), it can be seen that the Moon will conjoin the Sun (high marriage potential if possible in personal reality). When the Moon conjoined the Sun to within 0° 2′, I did, in fact, get married.

    In SR (including 3/5/2005), it can be seen that Neptune will oppose Saturn. When Neptune opposed Saturn to within 0° 4′, I walked away from a well-paying gov’t job in order to pursue my Ideals, overseas.

    In SR (including 11/5/1999), it can be seen that Jupiter will conjoin my Descendant. When Jupiter conjoined the Descendant to within 0° 1′, I flew overseas and met my present Wife.

    As a confirmation technique for rectification, this technique would have to be reliable. Because this is, in fact, so… I present it here. It’s topical, since everyone reading the article is likely to look at their Solar Returns and see what is likely to be occurring. This technique is the best that I have found/seen for telling just WHEN these events are most likely to occur.

    Take care, Donna…again, a belated Happy Birthday…and thanks for all your help.


    • It’s certainly an amazing technique, James. Fagan was one of the greats. We can always count on you for technical feedback in a non-intimidating form, and I’m glad of it because the science part of astrology is not my forte. Donna

  36. May the celebration continue, Donna! I’m hoping there’s more cake and lots of birthday wishes come true.

  37. Dear Donna, may the year ahead be full of magic.
    happy birthday

  38. Happy Birthday!! (and thank you for all the 12th house insight last week!)

  39. Belated Birthday Blessings !

    I like working with Solar Returns, I even have a technique that I adapted from Dobereiner’s Munich Rhythm Theory. I overlay a year of SR dates ( for you July 4th on the ascendant, then Aug 4th on the 12th house cusp, Sept 4 on the 11th etc.) Then, I look at the planetary ruler of the house and any planets in it, and also the location and condition of these rulers in the SR and Natal chart. My study has consisted of a small sample… (the Belle Family) but I always do find that there will be something significant in the Return sectors that are being released.

    I also find that the Asc and the Moon in the Solar really make sense too. 🙂

    Maybe give it a try ?


    • Thanks, Belle. There seem to be a multitude of applications of the solar return–well, of almost any astrological technique. Every astrologer and student collects the techniques into their own personal tool kit. I keep mine really sparse–just the basic natal chart and transits–and the deeper I go into those features, the more answers I see. Donna

  40. Happy Birthday!! Best wishes for this year!!

  41. Happy birthday and many many more1

  42. Happy Birthday. Hope you had a great Day, and have a wonderful Birthday Year!

  43. Oh, happy belated birthday!! Have a wonderful solar year!

  44. Happy birthday, Donna! keep up rolling!

  45. Happiest Birthday Year Donna!!! Thanks for all your wonderful articles!

  46. Happy Birthday, Donna. I saw you speak at an NCGR meeting at Ken Negus’s in Princeton when I first felt I
    was becoming an astrologer. I loved your lecture and wanted to emulate you back then. Finding your website
    has been a real benefit to me. Have a wonderful year.

    • Thanks, Connie. Those were the good old days. I still get misty when I see Joan’s page on the Astrologers Memorial.

      Is Ken back in Princeton? At one point I know he was in Arizona or some other southwestern state. Donna

  47. A very belated birthday wish Donna from another fellow Cancerian! I love to read your articles!
    I will turn 69 on 7/11 and this year there is a solar eclipse on my 18 degree Sunsign right on my birthday! The 10th house is where my Sun and Mercury live, so hopefully I will see activity in my career. This actually occurred on my birthday in 1991 and that is when my Astrology business really took off! I’ll let you know what happens!!
    I found it very helpful to learn that there are more Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and Leo people born, I never knew that! I will make more Zodiac jewelry for those signs from now on.
    Thank you for all the wonderful information you share!

    • LOL! Glad to give you some marketing tips, courtesty of the Census Bureau. Hmm. I believe, though I could be entirely wrong, that the eclipse cycle (?Sarous Cycle) IS 19 years, which would jibe with 1991. Donna

  48. Belated birthday wishes!

  49. Thanks for all the SR information.
    While I’m not sure about the math involved either, I found a certain pattern upon my own SR chart very interesting.

    It began this year, with my SR asc falling conjunct my natal (capricorn) asc. just a few degrees earlier. Therefore, this SR year I have Pluto tightly conjunct the SR Asc.

    Out of curiousity, I looked at the next year and on, as I continued to find either natal Pluto or SR return Pluto conjunct on one of the four SR angles…first Asc, then MC, then Dsc, then IC, then back to MC, Dsc, MC and then IC…Bascially, I’m entering a pattern/period in which I will have Pluto (either natal degree/sign, or SR degree/sign) conjunct one the angles in the solar return for the next 8 years, that is considering I do not relocate and remain physically alive. Again, I have no idea about the math or likely occurance of such a pattern, though it makes perfect sense considering that for the next couple years I’ll have transit Pluto conjunct natal Asc. Then once it crosses my Asc, it will begin to square itself over, and then it would move on to square my IC/MC.
    I’m just fascinated at how accurately this shows up in the SR charts.

    • I’m glad you checked out the pattern, Eris, and it makes sense that it correlates with the transits. That’s one reason I mostly stick with transits when doing predictive work–that’s where I find the clearest, cleanest info. It’s that old rule of 3 again–if anything important is going to happen, it will show up in the chart in several ways–like transits, progressions, and solar return, all dovetailing with what you could see in the natal chart to begin with. Donna

  50. Just saw this post for the first time! Just on time to wish you
    Happy 69th!
    You are the same age as my long standing Virgo friend who broke both her ankles last summer! Shes finally walking around again but with a cane when she chooses to use it. The ruler of bones, Sarurn is moving on…yeaaaahhh!
    She has a Capricorn ascendant.
    My birthday is in August and I got grounded last April, by having my car die during the Gulf Oil spill. Got a car again this month!
    We still got the Uranus square to Pluto to look forward to, that will be in the Solar return charts….and transit.
    Best of everything for yours!

    • Thank you, Barehand. There are a few good trines in my solar return chart–and most Cancerians–this year, despite Pluto square Uranus. Mercury in Leo trine Uranus; Venus in Cancer trine Neptune, and Mars in Gemini trine Saturn. I expect they’ll all come in handy. Donna

  51. I have a question about SR charts.

    I do not understand how my close friend who is born on
    March 24 1976 1:03 am NYC USA
    can have the exact same SR Asc as I do from
    June 1 1950 3:30 pm Picton ON Canada.

    Therefore Pluto is directly on the IC square Uranus on DC in both charts

    Is there any validity to comparing SR charts
    or is this a coincidence?

    (Hard to believe in coincidence in such a heavy dysfunctional relationship)

    His SR Pluto squares Sun/Mercury/Uranus in VI and Moon in VII

    This SR Asc is CONJUNCT my Natal Asc
    I also have Pluto on IC by TRANSIT in a few months (double whammy?)

    My past experience with Pluto crossing important points is multiple deaths
    5 when going over Asc (in a 3 month period)
    4 when going over Moon in III (in a 2 week period)

    • It’s a roll of the dice, as solar returns are different each year and different depending on location at the birthday, and yet scarcely a coincidence. There is a 4-year pattern with solar returns, often, with the Natal and SR Asc being in the same sign once each 4 years. In this instance, it would appear the two of you are bound to be very important to one another this year and reacting similarly to relationship issues…upheaval, possibly a split. I suspect you mean multiple deaths when Pluto is going over natal Ascendant, yet not everyone has that experience. I’m retired from doing charts, but you might want a relationship reading from someone if you need more detail. Donna

  52. Thank you for your response and you are right about the split. We went to opposite sides of the globe 6 weeks ago but the sturm und drang is still there.

    When the SR is relocated, correctly, to Bogota Colombia the Ascendant moves 3 degrees into exact conjunction with my Natal ascendant but the IC stays the same so the essential nature of the chart remains intact. I am currently in the same time zone as Bogota, but north of the 49th parallel.
    Can one conclude from this that relocating the chart is more profoundly influenced by longitude than by latitude?

    It is interesting (possibly relevant?) that you mention a 4 year SR cycle.
    R Hand rectified and did the Natal synastry 4 years ago when this man came into my life. He stated 3 things that I recall:
    1) he had never seen anything like it
    2) that I could do nothing to help this man and
    3) that he would end up hating me.
    These things have been born out.
    One might ask, why seek advice and not act on it…
    I suspect the answer is in the Natal synastry as my Moon sits on his Ascendant and his Pluto sits on my Ascendant. Composite Sun opposes Neptune from the VI house which is salient in characterizing this relationship (saviour/saved). My judgment was suspended, I felt powerless to remove myself and my obsession with keeping him alive has led to financial ruin.

    Sorry to be unclear, yes I did mean Pluto transiting Natal Ascendant.
    RH suggested that I needed to resolve issues about death and that Pluto doesn’t affect others in this way because it is not their issue…. but its not as easy as putting it on your “to do” list.
    Mon: doctor
    Tues: kids to soccer
    Wed: resolve death issues
    Thurs. lunch with Donna
    .Fri: gym

    I will check with RH to see if he does SR’s too.
    I haven’t used them before but this “coincidence” has piqued my curiosity..

    • thanks for the clarification, Leslie. If RH is the RH I’m thinking of, he’s one of astrology’s heroes and pioneer software developers, so he will doubtlessly be able to clarify many things for you. Donna

  53. I love your articles!
    I really liked the part where you said astrologers tuned with the energies. I find this to be true!

  54. Donna, Happy Birthday!!

    THANK YOU for your blog about solar returns, I pulled mine recently and freaked out. My birthday was June 9th 1961 6:44 am Minneapolis MN.

    The first thing I noticed is the 29th degree Pisces as my rising degree, with a 29 degree on each angle. Pluto is my 10th house, an area of change for too long now, But my biggest fear lies in my 12th house with Neptune and Chiron located there and then there’s all the oppositions.


  55. A little astronomy: the ACTUAL year (from Sun position exactly at the same place is 365.25 (really 365.24237) days. Thus the True Solar Return is about 6 hours later (1/4 of a day) each succeeding year. Leap years keep it from getting more than a day later. Also, note that since even this is not exactly correct, only centuries divisible by 400 are leap years (2000 was a leap year, 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not). The end (thankfully, lol?)

  56. Hello Donna,
    I have a question, in your article you mention natal promises that go together with transits in order for an event to happen. Natally what aspects can I look at that can indicate foreign travel, foreign settlement?

    Thank you.

    • Hi, Fiore, you’d be looking at the 9th house primarily for matters having to do with foreign countries. That would be true of 9th house planets, but also possibly in the solar return, you might see it with the Sun, Moon, Venus, or Jupiter or perhaps with Sagittarian planets. In the natal chart, a 9th house Moon (signifying the residence) could signify good things coming from living abroad or at the very least, settling far from your birth place. Less favorable would be Saturn, Neptune, or Pluto, especially if they’re within 10 degrees of the Midheaven.

  57. I’m a working astrologer in Queensland, Australia and have noticed with my own SR and thousands of others that relocation during the year will soften emphasis and sometimes completely change it. For example last January I had my sun conjunct Pluto at 13 degrees exactly on my SR ascendant. A move in June moved this conjunction into the 12th house. I went from a state of strong outward transformation to a deep inward transformation within weeks of the move. I agree that our minds/intention are all powerful but from the state of observer this was profound.

  58. I’ve noticed the 3 months prior influences of a Solar return and came to that conclusion independently. I’m just over a month out from my birthday and almost could “smell” a difficult year. So i ordered my Solar return. Fears confirmed!

    Very keen to soften it by travelling and i can think of a few different locations. I wonder though, If it makes sense travelling along the same longitude? i.e. north/south or do i need to be travelling along latitudes? east/west? or both?

    Really appreciate the advice. Thanks!

    • It is usually better to travel along the east west axis. Try getting an Astro*Carto*Graphy map for the solar return. Donna

  59. Thank you for your insightful article Donna. I have travelled for my Solar Return and have been suggesting to my clients that they travel too, in the cases where I see potentially difficult planetary placements on the angles. What convinced me was that I experimented with how it would turn out, placing an exalted Jupiter in Cancer on my Midheaven that year. I gotten my biggest comission to date then that year, sold many paintings and made the most money from my art then as a result of my SR. I also advised a friend to travel for his SR as he was wanting to make money and Saturn was in his SR 2nd house. Venus was also in the 12th, and he had been having a tense time with his wife. They told me that everything in their relationship and life shifted for the better once they got back home. It was something they both felt strongly.

    • Great stories! Thanks for sharing. Donna Cunningham

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