Solar Return Fun – The Importance of your Rising Sign for the Year

House on the Hill by orvaratli.

Photo by orvaratli; creative commons license

I’m a huge fan of solar return charts.  These are special “birthday” charts that give you an idea of the influences around you for the year following your most recent birthday, though you may feel some of these influences up to three months before and after your actual birthday year, depending on the progress you make throughout the year.

Your solar return is your astrological birthday (usually the day before your calendar birthday).  This is the day that the sun returns the exact position it was in when you were born.  That date, plus your location on that date, sets the influences for the coming year in the same way that your birth chart sets the influences for your coming…life.

(With my birthday coming up next month, it’s time for me to look closely again at my chart, so there’ll be many more articles coming up about solar returns and how to use them to your advantage.)

One of the best ways to determine the overall feel to the year is to look at the rising sign, or ascendant, of the solar return (SR) chart.  This is the sign that is on the horizon at the exact moment of the solar return, just as your natal ascendant is the sign that is on the horizon at the exact moment of your birth.

Last year, my SR rising sign was in Taurus, meaning that the year took on the feel of that particular sign.  Taurus seeks material stability and earthy sensuality/sexuality, which describes my year quite well.  I made major repairs in my home, and the feel of it was very Taurean–stable, sensual, comfortable.  Since there can be strong effects from the opposite side of the zodiac where the Solar Return descendant lies, was I influenced in relationships by Scorpio types?  OMG, yes. To a degree I cannot put in words, though I’ve certainly tried. Though I dealt very positively with several Scorpios in the last year, the single biggest change in my life came through a very charming and romantic Scorpio.

So looking at my next SR year, Leo is on the SR ascendant.  This should be a very interesting year!  Leo qualities are bold, individualistic, assertive, playful, romantic, creative, dramatically expressive.  I’m already feeling the tug of that.  The last time I had Leo as my SR rising sign, I had a stunning romantic interest in an Aquarius and a very playful and dramatic year full of new experiences.  These aren’t always romances, of course–sometimes they’re confrontations but in all cases, they are heavy influences in the year and very important to the progression of our year, whether it’s in a good or bad way.

If you’ve never explored solar return charts, check out‘s free charts (just a recommendation–not associated or affiliated with The Spiritual Eclectic).  Look specifically at where the SR ascendant lies to see which sign represents the qualities of the overall year and the SR descendant to see the type of people who will influence you heavily during the year.

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