What is a Solar Return?
According to Ray Merriman, the esteemed astrologer who wrote the book and the report, The Solar Return, solar return charts are "calculated for the place where you are on your birthday." He reminds us that "the Sun may return to its birth position the day before or after your actual date of birth. Therefore, a difference of one day is not uncommon. You can see the position of the Sun, is the same for both the natal chart and the Solar Return chart."
When calculating a NON-PRECESSED chart, the Return Chart is calculated for the moment the Sun is exactly at it's degree in your natal chart-- for wherever you when it happens.
If you are using a PRECESSED chart, this is calculated using the sidereal zodiac and the degree of your Return Sun will be slightly different than your natal Sun.
The influence of a Solar Return chart lasts until your next birthday. So it's your very personal opportunity to get ready for the year ahead.
The exact time of one's solar return is a sacred annual event for each individual. It happens at only one specific moment each year. It is at that moment - and only that moment - in which the Earth/Sun relationship is exactly the same as when you were born. Such a moment constitutes an "event", and as with all events, this one too is the basis for a horoscope of import.
However the importance of this horoscope is unique only to the individual to whom it applies. The quality of that "moment" (i.e. the time of one's solar return) becomes the "seed" of that annual cycle. It is the basis for a horoscope that will describe the astrological factors in effect for that one-year cycle. A "moment" of such importance favors a certain mind-set of the individual as it occurs. This is especially true if one accepts the premise that thought creates (or influences) reality. If every moment of time has its own unique quality, then one would want the "quality" of the solar return "moment" to be special in a favorable way, especially since it becomes the horoscope for the year in that person's life.
Given this premise, the individual is encouraged to enter the solar return moment with a sense of reverence. The individual is encouraged to put some thought and effort into assuring that this moment is somehow empowered, infused, with an energy or thoughts consistent with what that individual would want to experience in the coming year.
What should one do at this moment? That of course is up to each individual (you). Obviously it would not be a favorable omen if you engaged in an argument, or sat home brooding, or went to work in an atmosphere of frustration or boredom. Such experiences at the time of your solar return would likely set the foundation for your mind-set for the entire year - and it would be negative.
The following ideas are intended only as suggestions. They take into account the premise that your solar return is the most personally sacred of all days of the year for you. Therefore, going into the moment of a solar return, you are advised to plan something special, something ideally that would "empower" that moment for you. A ritual of some sort might be a good idea.
For instance, you might take into account your location-to-be at that moment. Choose some place special, some place in which you are comfortable, happy, and in harmony with. Perhaps it is near a lake, ocean, river, or mountain. Perhaps it is on a beach or in a forest. Or perhaps it is in a favorite room. Set the "stage". Perhaps you wish to have a candle burning, and/or music playing. Perhaps the direction you are facing (North, East, West or South - facing the Sun, or the Moon) has special meaning to you. Perhaps there are artifacts (i.e. pets, jewelry, stones) that have personal meaning, and you wish to display them in your "circle." Perhaps there is a special person whom you have decided to share this moment with.
The setting (if effected) should be completely set at least ten minutes prior to the solar return moment. As you enter the 10 minute time band leading into the solar return moment, you may consider beginning a meditation. How one meditates is completely individualistic. Perhaps you prefer to just enter a very relaxed state. Perhaps you like to chant. Perhaps you use visualization or affirmation exercises. If the latter, then after achieving a state of relaxation, you might visualize the areas of interest coming up in the next year. In this visualization exercise, you might try to see yourself happy and successful in each situation.
This meditation should last into - and slightly beyond - the solar return moment. Once the moment has passed, and the meditation is complete, you are encouraged to give thanks. This may be done in a prayer, or whatever form is sacred to you. In this way, you bring a gentle closure to the sacred moment which has just passed, a moment which has now become the foundation for the one-year cycle about to begin.
You cannot be late for this moment. Otherwise, you might be symbolically late throughout the entire year. Do not take this moment in time lightly. Otherwise, all of your affairs may be symbolically taken lightly all year. The solar return is best viewed in the spirit of a pilgrimage, or a mission. It is the most important "holiday" of the year to you. It is the one time during the year that you are "connected" to the Infinite through the special relationship of the Earth and Sun. It is a moment when you are potentially in tune with your destiny, which is signified by the Earth/Sun relationship. The Sun is what you are becoming (the future, your growth potential). The Earth is where you have incarnated (present, your being). Give it the reverence it is due.
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