Ask Real Astrologers: What Location Should I Use for a Solar Return Chart?

This week’s question comes from Kerrie in Washington State:

I was in Paris, France, on my birthday, and it changes the house placement [of my Solar Return chart]. Is it appropriate to use my birthplace, which puts Libra on the Ascendant, or Paris, which moves it to Capricorn?

[NOTE: Neith is taking a much-needed rest after three harrowing days of upgrading our site. She will be back for next week’s Q&A.]

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

Excellent question, Kerrie. Before I answer, let me briefly explain what a Solar Return chart is for those who have never heard of it.

In astrology, a “return” occurs when a transiting planet moves back to its position in your birth chart. Many people have heard of the Saturn return, which happens to everyone in their late 20s and late 50s.

The Solar Return chart is cast for the exact moment when the Sun moves over the degree of your natal Sun. This may be on your birthday or a day or two on either side. Thus, the Solar Return is sometimes called a birthday chart.

The Solar Return chart is used as a predictive tool to determine the dominant themes in your life from one birthday to the next. The sign on the Ascendant is a key indicator and therefore very important. And yes, it changes depending on where you are.

That said, there is a big debate among astrologers as to whether you should cast your Solar Return chart for your primary place of residence or where you’re physically located on your birthday. Some go so far as to plan on being somewhere else on their birthday in order to influence the coming year!

I would say that if you were taking a short vacation to another place, it probably isn’t that significant, and you should use your primary residence. Conversely, if you were on an extended trip abroad, I would use your temporary location. I know there will be other astrologers who radically disagree with me, and that’s perfectly OK. You might want to look at both charts and then when your birthday rolls around in 2010, determine which was more accurate.

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous year, Kerrie!

Please note that Neith and I both do Solar Return charts. You can find more information on our forecast page.

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