Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 4, 2014

My 2014 Solar Return—and Yours!

©7-4-2014 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Though my actual birthday is tomorrow, today is my 2014 solar return. It seems like a good time to say a few words about solar returns in general and about the difficult patterns many thousands of us are seeing in our solar returns this year.

For those of you who are fairly new to astrology, the solar return happens once a year within a day of your actual birth day. It results in a chart drawn up for the date and time the Sun returns to the exact sign, degree, and minute that it occupied when you were born.

That chart describes the most important trends, issues, and events that you’ll experience in the year that follows from that date to next year’s return.

(There’s always been controversy among astrologers about whether the chart should be drawn up for your birthplace or the place you are on this year’s birthday. I fall into the current location school of thought.)

About this year’s solar return—mine and yours—I do know that most of us aren’t having easy ones. But, then, we’re living in an extremely difficult time. Remember the transiting Cardinal t-square or Grand Cross that astrologers have been fretting about for many months? Though it’s a transit, the solar return is based on those same current placements. Thus these formations will appear in the return charts of most of us this year.

There haven’t been many books written on solar returns, but there’s a new one out by astrologer Mary Fortier Shea, well known and respected for her newsletter that discusses the Best Electional Day this Month. Read about it—or order it—here: Planets in Solar Returns: Yearly Cycles in Transformation and Growth.

(I must confess that I haven’t read the book, being up to my earlobes in book projects of my own for the last two and a half years. However, I am enough of a fan of Mary’s work to be excited that she’s written it.)

Knowing that the Cardinal Grand Cross is still in effect this month, I have to confess I was nervous about what my solar return chart would be like before calculating it. And, no, it’s not easy in some respects, with concerns about my own health and the health of a number of close friends.

However, the Cross itself fell into four houses that represent my true self and my goals and projects for the year to come. My natal Sun—and therefore the solar return Sun—plus Jupiter fall into the 9th house, the house of publishing and teaching. Pluto is opposite it in the 3rd, the house of writing and communications—blogging included. To have Pluto there means my upcoming writing projects will dig very deeply into their topics. It also means that at age 72, I’m not about to disappear from the astrology world or to quit writing.

Uranus falls in the 6th, conjunct my natal Moon and Midheaven. I’m not ignoring the fact that that’s a health house, but it’s also the house that represents my daily work. The new book projects coming up are both exciting and trail-blazing. That it aspects the 9th house Sun and the 3rd house Pluto confirms that writing and teaching are involved.

The fourth planet in the cross is Mars in the 12th, conjunct the North Node. Both the 12th house and Mars are HUGE influences in my birth chart, so the creative work I’ll be doing will reflect my lifelong efforts to use those placements in a holistic way.

(And, yeah, I know the 12th is a health house, too. I can do enough stewing about that myself, so please don’t send your dire predictions or try to arm wrestle me into another 50 expensive supplements that are guaranteed to change my life. That’s why I’m not giving the data on the return chart.)

So what about you, Readers? Can you briefly tell us what you made of your own solar return chart this year? Despite the difficulties of the Cardinal planets, can you see some important new directions and some transformation that’s going on within you and in your life? 

No, folks, please don’t ask me to interpret your return—it IS my birthday, and I’m celebrating all week. In the months to come, I’ll be much too immersed in the new book projects to do any individual interpretations.

However, Mary prepares written reports about people’s solar returns. See a sample here: Sample Solar Return Report  and two more download files filled with information:  Solar Return Frequently Asked Questions  and: The Sun in the Solar Return.  Not to mention a you tube introductory video regarding solar returns. her I sent you!

Related articles on Skywriter:

10 Things You May Not Know about Solar Returns

10 Good Articles about Solar Returns

Your Birthday Headlines: A Day In The Life

A New Look at the Astrology of Twins  (includes astrotwins) 




  1. Happy Solar Return Donna! Happy to hear you plan on being active and prolific online and off.

  2. Happy birthday Donna!

  3. Happy Birthday, Donna! Many thanks for all you do to educate us!

    My birthday is in April. The Sun and Uranus are conjunct in the 12th in my SR chart . I’m definitely in hiding! And also working to understand/resolve an issue with my nerves (essential tremor). Mars in the 6th–putting effort into finding answers to this health problem. Jupiter in the 3rd opposing Pluto in the 9th. Well, we traveled abroad, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to. . .

    Saturn in Scorpio is in the 7th in both my husband’s and my SR charts. Not too crazy about that one! But could it also bring a doctor who is both structured and willing to dig deeply???

  4. Happy birthday Donna! I hope you have a great remainder of 2014.

    MY solar return in Oct 2013 was a little cra-cra and still recovering- Ascendant conjunct Sun within 20 secs. I guess I am supposed to be “coming out” and figuring out who I am this year. I have really felt rebellious and a bit “it’s about me” this year…also have sun conjunct uranus this year by progression. That’s in the 9th and I’ve been obsessed with budget travel. I will start a round the world trip next April after I graduate from acupuncture school.

    Next year puts Sun/Venus/Mercury/node all at the top of the chart in the 9th by the MC. Pluto EXACTLY conjunct ascendant and square those guys, uranus opposed. I guess I’ll still be metamorphosing as I travel (totally fine territory for this 8th house stellium native).

    I haven’t seen much info out there for planets exactly conjunct ascendant in the SR, it would be interesting to hear more about that. Anyone else had these?

  5. Thank you for sharing this, Donna. It was also my solar return this morning, and I have been looking at the close opposition of the Sun and Pluto in my return chart and thinking ‘Yikes!’ In my case it falls across the 12th & 6th house axis. Since my health is good (and I have no intention of getting sick!) I am wondering if I will feel the pressure at work. Time will tell! Best Wishes for the coming year!

    • Happy birthday!

    • Very interesting, Laurien! Mine was at 3:02 PM, so very different house positions for everything, the degrees of planets all the same, but a couple of degrees different on the Moon. We should compare notes later in the year. Donna

      • My return was exact at 6:00 am local time, also the start time of my shift at work. I took this as a cosmic clue that Pluto in my solar return 6th house will mostly affect my daily work. Sure! This time next year I will let you know if this theory proves correct!

      • I said I’d be back in a year and here I am! In fact, I did feel most of the pressure from the Sun-Uranus-Pluto T-square in my solar return at work. Shortly after my birthday, we had an unexpected and shocking change of management (Uranus in the 10th). I spent the year withdrawing (Sun in 12th) in order to pursue studies with the intention of getting a more satisfying job with better working conditions (Pluto in the 6th). I did have some annoying but relatively minor health issues, including a bad cold and cough that lingered for months. But the focus was definitely on work and work-related courses. In this year’s solar return, my Sun is in the 10th house, and I’m hoping to finish my program of study and get the new job I’ve been aiming for! Thanks for listening!

  6. Mazel tov, friend! Xox

  7. Hi, Donna, Happy BDay and SR! My 59th comes 7/31 & my SR is 7/30, which is also my third wedding anniversary. Yes, astrology had a hand in that date selection, particularly the moon phase (new). I am an independent journalist. This year, I want to launch a website in which I cover extensively the gift economy. The MC is Cancer and the ASC is Libra. Satisfying people’s needs and seeing everyone as an equal who is entitled to an equitable distribution of resources are prime values in the gift economy. The MC is 25Can08 and so my SR 10th house has Mercury at 27 Can, Jup at 3 Leo and Sun at 7 Leo. (I have a huge natal Leo stellium). Venus is in the 9th house of publishing at 14 Can Sext Saturn at 16 Sco. Which is in my 1st house but 2 degrees away from my second. Having Sat in or on the cusp of my 2nd in SR is a frequent problem, My visions are always way bigger than my wallet. My Second Sat Ret was Nov 9. I have a Jup return (10Leo) coming up. ) Hi-tech Uranus is in my SR 6th, Mars is in my first, squaring Sun Jup this year. (The three are Conj Natally). My SR ASC is 22Lib and my SR North Node is 23 Lib. So I am hoping to meet the right people who will help me make this project a success. I also have a 3rd house Pluto this year, and the Moon, which is a marker of the public is in the SR 11th house of groups friends, goals and harvest. LBNL Dreamy Neptune is in my SR 5th house, Trine Mars in the first. Gift economy is considered idealistic, even Utopian, But my goal is to publicize gift projects that are happening today, as well as some cultural history, to show that it is not pie-in-the -sky, but actually has happened and is happening now. Side note is that my husband had his SR on Jun 1 & had a stellium in the 9th house of Long Journeys over water. He is a sailing instructor and hopes to get certifications this year than will allow him to get better employment in that field. We live on a sailboat. He also wrote his first book in a science fiction series he is planning and published in print and online last month. Anyone who likes SF should put Pridewar in their search engines. It also has certain kinds of sailing vessels in it.

  8. Happy Birthday, Donna!

    I just saw this article and chimed in to wish you… Will drop in to discuss my solar returns chart for 2014-15 later (though I can’t make out much from it, to be honest). Bye for now, and all the best for the coming solar year! 😀

  9. Happy birthday, Donna!
    I keep reading your blog posts and learn a lot of things from your astrological insights. Especially, I appreciate that you share the wisdom of your stellium information, as I am a stellium person. I wish you a further success and good health!

  10. Donna,

    Happy Return. Seems we think similarly. I’ve written briefly about my just past Return. Here’s the link:

  11. Happy birthday, Donna! Keep on writing.

  12. My return was in January but the cross is similar to yours. Pluto in 3rd, Jupiter in 9th, Uranus in 6th barely in orb opposite Mars which in mine is in the 1st conjunct the Asc. My Sun is in the 3rd at my birthplace but in the 4th in my local place. All the 9th/3rd house stuff is conjunct the MC/IC axis. Lots of my natal stuff plus the Pluto falls in the SR 3rd, so maybe I will get a chance to fully (and deeply) understand this house which has seemed so insignificant to me. Oops, SR Saturn in second, another frugal year, lol. Hmm, SR Moon exactly conjunct natal Uranus in the 8th in Gemini?

  13. Hi Donna, first, happy birthday and I hope that writing a day after is not considered late =)

    About dire predictions of solar return involving planets in the 12th and 6th, I must say that for already 4 years my solar return has the sun and many other planets in the 12th, 8th and 6th. Yet, I had no health issues at all during these years, except for the occasional IBS or headache. I’m 41 years old now. Some people would think “oh but you’re too young to have health problems”, and I disagree to that. Accidents and fatal illnesses can happen at any age.

    In my case, 12th house meant exile in a general way, 8th house meant confronting my fears and having to let go of things in life.

    My point is that I believe that health and disease are much more complex than just 3 houses of a solar return…. and I know at least 3 people in the 70s that have much more energy and will to live than my friends and I in the 40s. haha!

    And as for your birthday, with that Sun and Jupiter in the 9th I wish you an opportunity to travel to a great place! yes! Leave the words and get out in the world! hehe I am kidding, but think of it, between writing, litigation, and travelling to know other cultures what sounds more fun? 😉

    • Glad to hear your experience of those health houses. As for travel, I spent a wonderful 10 years traveling the world to give astrology seminars in the 1980s. Now, however, in my 70s, I have mobility issues that make traveling very difficult, and I also don’t have the stamina, so it’s doubtful I’ll ever go to a conference in person again. However, I feel quite happy and fulfilled to have those memories. Donna

  14. Happy Birthday, Donna. Thanks for all you do for us!

  15. Happy Birthday and Solar Return Donna:) xxx
    May Your Life Be Blessed:) xxx

  16. I have a Grand Cross. Uranus in the 10th opposing Mars in the Third; Jupiter in the 12th opposing Pluto in the 6th. With the moon in the First and Neptune in the Eighth, I think I will be processing these experiences on an emotional/spiritual level. Big changes in my psyche and on the work/career front. I am kind of dreading it, to tell you the truth!

  17. Happy Birthday! So happy to see your flourishing in your creative “retirement”. xxoxoxo ~ Jen & Kent

    • Hi, Jen and Kent, I miss you guys, but delight in knowing that both of you are flourishing in your creativity also. Donna

  18. Hi Donna,

    I have Sun conjunct Jupiter in 12 and Jupiter is crossing my ascendant right now. Cancers need to change scales regularly and Jupiter loves growing. I guess that means growing out of scales. I’m ill, at home instead of working and changing my scales privately. Twelve years ago I got a lot of presents. Can’t wait to see what I get this time.

    And I found your blog searching for info about Jupiter in 12. I love it!

    • Among the articles you’ll find about the 12th house here is one on what happens when transiting planets, including Jupiter, cross over the Ascendant and into the 1st. Have a look. (It’s a good thing, if we use its transit through the 12th to go inward and look at what we’ve learned in the course of the last 12-year Jupiter cycle. Donna

  19. Hi Donna. We met at NORWAC in 2013. I gave you that carnelian stone. I’ve had a very good year from my solar return 2013 (b. 7.19.46, 2:32 am, Berkeley, CA ), traveled quite a bit promoting my first novel VIRGIN SOUL, finished the 2nd and 3rd mss. And repaired some fraying family ties. The 2014/15 solar return has Sun/Jupiter conj. MH. So more good stuff on the way. It’s been a while, decades, since I’ve been out of the line of fire, aspect wise. I’m enjoying it.

    • I love that big beautiful carnelian heart, and it’s on one of my shelves for all to see. Glad you’ve had a good solar return, and best wishes for another. Donna

  20. Belated Happy Birthday, Donna! I have to confess I have never got into Solar Returns too much – maybe time to do so now; with Jupiter in Leo crossing an embarrassing number of Leo planets, it may be safe-ish to stick my head above the S.R. parapet…

  21. I reviewed my SR 2014 and found I had SR Moon in SR 8th house (conjunct natal Uranus). My mother passed away in June (at 103). I then looked at the solar return for 1982 (when my father died) and found SR Moon also in the SR 8th. Has anyone else observed a pattern in the deaths of their parents? Thanks

    • My Dad died in 2012 about 7 weeks after my birthday. My SR Sun was in the 8th house, square SR Uranus, and opposite my SR Moon conjunct Pluto. My SR Ascendant was in Scorpio, suggesting life & death themes for the year. Transiting Uranus was closely conjunct my natal 8th house Moon at the time. While not identical, I would say these aspects are similar to yours. Wonderful that your Mom lived to such a wise old age. Sorry for your loss. My Mom is still with us but in a care home with Alzheimer’s. I will now pay close attention to see if these patterns repeat in my SR chart when she passes. Thank you.

      • Thank you, Laurien, for the condolences and sharing that configuration. You had some supporting aspects to the 8th house stuff. Thanks for sharing. Hope you mother doesn’t suffer much.

      • You are welcome. My Mom has a Grand Cross involving Pluto-Saturn-Uranus and the Moon at 19-20 of the cardinal signs. I will be watching keenly when the current Uranus-Pluto square triggers those points. She is receiving excellent care so I too am hopeful she doesn’t suffer much. Thank you.

      • The elaboration on supporting aspects made me look at mine, thanks. SR Pluto on natal ASC, SR Sun, Merc and Venus on SR IC. SR Venus ruled SR 8th, SR Merc is dispositor of SR Moon in SR 8th, SR SN conj natal IC. Ruler of SR 4 (Saturn) in Scorpio. SR Uranus filling in the empty leg of my natal T-square (may be something else; as Dona pointed out, other things happen in a year, lol). SR NN conj natal MC which is in Scorpio. Thanks for the stimulus to look at other stuff.

      • Very interesting and thorough! What strikes me about your SR chart is how many planets and points were angular, confirming this would be an important year for you. I’ve gotten into a habit of looking at my future SRs not just because they are a good predictive tool in themselves, but because they provide a snapshot of each year’s transits to compare against my natal chart. Some years definitely stand out from others, and 2014 sounds like one of those years for you.

      • Hi Laurien, if Donna okays it and you are interested I would like to correspond about all things astrological. I have no one I know who knows and is interested in astrology. My email is I’m taking the AFA course and reading about 5 other books but want to correspond with someone about what I am learning. Please, Donna? Thanks

      • Quite interested to hear about your experience with the AFA course so yes I will be in touch shortly!

      • Great. looking forward to it. Thanks Donna.

    • My Sun ( one indication of the father) is square my Moon (mother) and Midheaven (dominant parent). My father died under Pluto square my Sun, my mother under Pluto opposite my Moon and Midheaven. There were lots of other important events during that time (got involved with a Scorpio man), so those transits don’t always coincide with a parent’s death. After all, Pluto makes aspects of one kind or another to the Sun and Moon at about 12-13 year intervals. Donna Cunningham

  22. That’s a new one to me…solar returns interesting, resonate with 9th house Sun and Jupiter….and 12th house…my natal Neptune conjunct ascendent with Mars in there conjunct Neptune 🙂

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