It was my birthday yesterday and I have been playing around with my Solar Return chart. This is a chart that you can draw up of the transiting sky as the Sun returns to the exact degree of your natal Sun. The chart represents your intention or focus for the coming year. It can provide another layer of information for us.
Astrologers have many ways of gathering information that reflects our ongoing personal dynamics. We have the Natal Chart showing us the energy we carry for our entire life. Transits express the sky as it is at any point in time. They can trigger experiences when they resonate with aspects of our being by aligning with qualities we were born with, or by being so foreign to our innate qualities that we feel impelled to adjust our normal responses. Then we have progressions which show how we evolve and unfold on an inner level over time. They map the process of the seed as it transforms into the unique individual potential.
Compared to the swathe of time involved in these tools, a solar return just visits and focusses the energy for a year. It is like a subscription you get given for your birthday that lasts a year and then stops. One year you may get National Geographic and be filled with beautiful photos and wondrous stories of the world, next year you follow fashion with Vogue. You never lose what you gleaned or the sensibilities that the year added to your cache of experience, but it is transitory.
I don’t normally play much with the Solar Return but this year it has captured my imagination. In my post The Elephant I spoke about the transit that is defining our times. This is Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn. The energy of this connection can be expressed in many ways and at this moment I am looking at it as the future versus the past. Many philosophies at the moment are urging we relinquish the past as irrelevant to the future. ‘Today is the first day of the rest of our life’ was a popular quote from the sixties the last time Uranus and Pluto came together. We are all powerful, free beings who can create what we desire as long as we don’t get stuck in the beliefs of the current reality. If we focus on what is or what was we will just create more of the same. This idea is very different from the alternate wisdom that states that ‘history repeats itself’ and it is only by an intimate knowledge of what came before that we can create change. We are encouraged to be fully steeped in the full tradition of a discipline we wished to operate in before breaking with the past to find a new approach. The Capricorn view is that effective progress is only possible by ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ that came before us.
I have been weighing this conundrum for awhile. On the one hand, our birth chart offers a wonderful resource and map for self knowledge and becoming. On the other it can become a sticky web of self definition and outmoded concepts getting in the way of the free and true birth of a unique individual. Gemini, the energy we are experiencing, is the sign of paradox. This contributes to their reputation for being fickle or amoral. Today the twins may agree with your proposal as sound; tomorrow they may be equally excited by contradicting ideas. The one thing Gemini knows is there is not one truth but an infinitely giddy array of truths to discover and gleefully play with.
Recently I came across someone who claimed to be a walk-in. That is a soul who has inhabited an existing body in adulthood. This concept takes the idea of no past to new levels. If one was to draw a horoscope for such a being, when were they born? The birth of the body or the birth of the soul? Delicious Gemini questions, truth is irrelevant.
Now with my Solar Return I see the possibility of inhabiting it in a totally new way. What if I embraced it? Usually when you read transits or progressions, you place the circle of the natal chart in the centre and read the other energies in relation to this core. For a Solar Return it is suggested that you place it in the middle and the natal chart around.
For the first time I am considering becoming this new chart, living with its wisdoms and energies. I would be like an actor assuming a new role. I have butterflies at the possibilities. What would it be like to be this new person born in the now? Isn’t this the question we are all asking in this time of change? What if? What if my Gemini Sun was in the fourth instead of the ninth? What if I became comfortable with my shining self like a Leo Moon and approach life with the visionary zeal of an Aquarian instead of the cautious containment of my Virgo Ascendant.
OMG…really embrace the new?…I have goosebumps!
Image: The album cover of ‘Brain Salad Surgery’ by Emerson, Lake and Palmer illustrated by H.R. Giger
‘Today is the first day of the rest of our life’ attributed to Charles Dederich
‘History repeats itself’ Anonymous, popularised in the mid 1800
‘If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants.’ Isaac Newton