Period of the Solar Return's Significance
The significance of the solar return runs birthday to birthday with a three month overlap at the beginning and end of each year. The symbolism of the new solar return can be felt as much as three months before the birthday by very intuitive people. Usually, at this time, one becomes aware of new directions, opportunities, and problems. Many times there is even an event exactly three months before the birthday which triggers awareness and signals the beginning of the new solar return. This event is usually very much related to the new solar return and very much out of context with the old one. If you have plans to travel overseas during the three months before your birthday, do not look for the event in the old solar return even if you have been planning to take the trip all year. The old solar return will probably indicate the planning stage, but the new solar return will indicate the trip. The trip itself illustrates change, and since it occurs in the three months before your birthday, it will most likely be indicative of the new solar return chart.
On the other hand, the significance of the old solar return may not feel pass� until three months after your birthday. The old themes and issues which you have worked with for the year should begin to lose their importance just as the new solar return starts to manifest itself. As your attention naturally shifts to new themes and issues, previous concerns are phased out. This is especially true if you experience a sense of completion relevant to the old tasks. However, there are times when the old solar return drags on. If you are working on a major project for the year, it may be impossible to complete it within the one year time span. If you normally procrastinate and avoid making decisions, tasks associated with the old solar return can easily last past your birthday and into the first three months of the new solar return year. Unresolved issues carried over from year to year become stumbling blocks to further advancement and development. Individuals who consistently avoid facing the real issues in their lives accumulate major problems which are very difficult to handle.
The important thing to remember about solar returns, and life experiences in general, is that they are part of a cumulative process. The more attentive and productive you are this year, the greater your options next year. The less you accomplish now, the more limited you will feel as time goes by. Unlike transits which can seem disconnected and singular, solar returns are closely aligned and can easily be viewed as building blocks, one upon the other, year after year. For this reason, each year becomes important and each task has a history and a future. The rhythmic pattern of the solar return helps us to see this.
The main transitional month for the change from the old solar return to the new solar return is the month directly preceding the birthday. Issues related to the old solar return are resolved at this time unless they drag on (as explained above), or they are part of the new solar return as well. Issues related to the new solar return become more pressing during this transitional month and are certainly full blown by the birthdate. Sometimes the new solar return simply gains strength during the three months before your birthday and sometimes it comes in with a bang on or near your birthday. Rarely does it happen that a solar return chart starts to change manifestation later in the year. Themes in the chart usually persist for the entire year, but once in a great while one new theme will appear later than expected. In every case, the new theme can be seen in the solar return chart, yet it lay there inactive for some unknown reason. An external event is the triggering mechanism used to activate this inert awareness, and the event generally occurs within the three months following the birthday. It can be hypothesized that unconscious factors help to avoid full involvement with this new issue until such time as it is associated with an external event of importance and thereafter becomes very obvious.
Planets conjunct a house cusp within a few degrees may be read in both houses. It is especially important to read outer planets in both houses since they eventually transit or retrograde into the other house, indicating dual or shifting concerns during the year. The more planets that are in a solar return house, the more emphasized that area of life will be during the coming year, especially if the Sun is one of the planets present. Four or more planets in any one house indicate a strong need to be involved with those themes and issues. But the individual may become so focused on this one area of life that perception is distorted and these themes are overemphasized. He or she may not want to think about anything else or accomplish tasks in other areas. The overloaded house becomes a symbol for obsessive preoccupation or emotional overload.