Interpreting Solar Return Charts

BobZemco

Well-known member
People seem to be struggling to interpret Solar Return Charts so I'll present some examples that should help clarify things.

I don't use Solar Return Charts except for confirming death. They are simply a glorified transit chart. They will show trends for the coming year but they don't show timing, which is the key to predictive astrology. It is possible to get good timing if you use a technique that progresses the SR House Cusps (and not the SR Planets themselves). Unfortunately, there is no way to do that with any of the current software packages (although I might have found a work-around but haven't tested it yet) and I don't teach that. Suffice to say if you have a Table of Houses (preferably Regiomontanus or Placidus) and if you know how to calculate the House Cusps and construct charts by hand, and if you have plenty of time with absolutely nothing to do, you can progress the SR House Cusps (it is very time-consuming). A progressed SR House Cusp conjuncting a Significator in the SR Chart will indicate the time to within about 2 days.

The charts should be cast at the location of your permanent residence. Gallivanting around will only produce a chart that is incorrect. Likewise, you career/vocation is imprinted in your natal chart. If your natal chart says you are a grocery store clerk, spending 3 days on the Isle of Wight over the course of your birthday will not transform you into the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

I asked Professor Gumby if we could use his Natal and Solar Return Charts to examine, and this is what he had to say:

I'm going to take that as a "yes."

Since many are concerned with marriage/divorce, we'll look at those charts first.

Interpreting a SR Chart always starts with identifying the Natal Chart House that comes to the Ascendant. That will tell us the overall tenor of the year. Then we want to find the SR Ascendant Ruler and compare it with its place in the Natal Chart.

In the SR Chart, we see that 27° Taurus is rising. When we look at the Natal Chart, we see that 27° Taurus is located in the Natal 7th House.

That means the 7th House has come to the Ascendant of the Natal Chart. The trend for the year will be relationships.

The 7th House opposes the 1st House. Opposition means conflict, balance or cooperation. When the 7th House comes to the Ascendant, it means marriage or divorce, or the end or beginning of a relationship, whether that relationship is personal, social or professional.

How can you tell the difference? Find the SR Ascendant Ruler. We see Venus in the SR Chart in the 12th House at 20° Aries. We then look at the Natal Chart and see that 20° Aries falls in the 5th House.

That would be a good indicator of a new relationship, especially marriage. As it stands, the signification of Venus in either Aries or Scorpio means marriage, but it can also mean a whole bunch of very negative things.

At 20° Aries, SR Venus is in partile sextile to Natal Mercury at 20° Gemini, and Mercury rules both the 7th House and 8th House in the Natal Chart.

It looks more and more like marriage, and that's what happened. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing when Professor Gumby will marry using an SR Chart. However, in another post on another thread, we showed where Primary Directions accurately gave the timing of Professor Gumby's marriage (which is another reason I don't bother wasting my time with SR Charts).

Let's look at D-I-V-O-R-C-E

The Rising-sign for the SR Ascendant is 11° Taurus. Looking at the Natal Chart we see that falls in the 6th House, and so the 6th House has come to the Ascendant of the Natal Chart. The 6th House is inconjunct (quincunx) the 1st House, so this will be a difficult year.

The SR Ascendant Ruler Venus is conjunct Natal Mercury. We see SR Venus in the SR 2nd House so we know Professor Gumby's finances will be affected. SR Venus is square SR Mars who falls in the Natal 4th House. SR Moon and SR Jupiter are also square.

The key here is SR Moon in Capricorn in the SR 9th House (and also Natal 2nd House). SR Saturn in Taurus would also be an indicator of marital or relationship strife (especially for women) and also SR Saturn in Gemini or Virgo.

SR Sun rules the 5th House of Children, and that is why Professor Gumby divorced. His wife thought she could use the Jedi Mind Trick on Professor Gumby:

Professor Gumby: Let's make babies.
Evil Wife: [with a small wave of hand] You don't need to have any children.
Professor Gumby: I don't need to have any children.
Evil Wife: You wouldn't be happy with children.
Professor Gumby: I wouldn't be happy with children.
Evil Wife: Don't think about it any more.
Professor Gumby: I won't think about it any more.
Evil Wife: Move along.
Professor Gumby: Move along... move along.

Fortunately the Jedi Mind Trick didn't work (that was before Professor Gumby knew anything about Synastry Charts -- he knows now).

Anyway, looking for marriage, you should see the 7th House (sometimes the 8th House) come to the Ascendant and Venus in Aries or Scorpio, or in a trine or sextile to Mars, or the Natal 5th House Ruler, Moon in Taurus or Libra,

For divorce, 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th or 12th Houses coming to the Ascendant, Moon or Venus in Capricorn or Aquarius, or in aspect with Saturn, Saturn or Mars in Taurus, Mars in Libra and aspects with the 2nd/8th House Rules in the Natal Chart.

For children, the 5th House, or the "house of the child" (9th House for the 3rd child -- 7th House for the 2nd child etc) comes to the Ascendant and Jupiter in Sagittarius or Pisces, Moon in Sagittarius or Pisces and in aspect with 5th House Ruler or Jupiter, Sun in the SR 5th House.

Although I suppose they could, I haven't see where dispositors play any relevant role in SR Charts and no one really covers the issue in any detail (and most don't even mention it).

In the next post we'll look at other things.

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BobZemco

Well-known member
Two things people might be interested in are Travel and Surgery, and here's two examples.

The SR Rising-sign is 12° Leo and in the Natal Chart we that is in the 9th House so the 9th House has come to the Ascendant.

The 9th House trines the 1st House, so overall this is a good year for Professor Gumby, but a little trying, because Leo and Scorpio square each other.

The SR Moon falls in the Natal 8th House of Surgery, which is why Professor Gumby came back to the US.

You'll notice overall, there's a lack of aspects between the SR Planets and the Natal Planets and it was a rather uneventful year.

Mars has returned more or less to its natal position, and Venus is once again in the 5th House in sextile with natal Mercury, and there was a nice romance, except Professor Gumby had to leave.

In the next chart we see that the 11th House has come to the Ascendant. The 11th House sextiles the Ascendant, so this should be a decent year overall. The 11th House is appropriate since this is a goal (playing the bass guitar with 2 fingers just doesn't make it happen).

Note that the SR Sun and Mercury are in the SR 8th House of Surgery and that SR Mercury falls in the 6th House of illnesses/disease and SR Saturn in the 12th House opposes SR Jupiter in the 6th House. Mercury of course rules the arms and hands, and SR Uranus in the 6th House ruling the nerves and nervous system along with Mercury. There's been two surgeries and a third probably in about 8 weeks, and I guess that would be reflected by the Prolific Sign on the SR 6th House or maybe the Double-bodied Sign on the Natal 8th House.

Again, there's a lack of aspects between the Natal and SR Planets and so far, other than the surgeries, the year has been uneventful.

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BobZemco

Well-known member
Finally, are last two examples.

Here, the 10th House has come to the Ascendant and the SR Ascendant Ruler Mercury is in the 9th House of Travel.

Also again, SR Mercury falls into the Natal 6th House of Injury. We see the sextile between SR Mercury and SR Jupiter who falls into the Natal 8th House of Surgery. SR Mars is also in the SR 7th House ruling the SR 8th House.

With Natal Venus in the Natal 8th House and Natal Jupiter in the Natal 4th House, Professor Gumby is Bullet-Proof, but as he found out, he is not impervious to cluster bombs dropped on him by his own Air National Guard or idiot armored cavalry troops shooting at him or anything that falls out of the sky (especially if he's in it).

All's well that ends well. Not much else happened here.

I would just point out that even if Professor Gumby had decided to go sun-bathing on the Costa Brava in Lloret de Mar, Spain for his birthday, he still would have ended up in a foreign land playing war.

In this SR Chart, the 2nd House has come to the Ascendant. The 2nd House is inconjunct the 1st House, so this would be a bad year.

Professor Gumby's car was stolen twice. The first time, the police recovered it when they saw someone at a drive-thru at McDonald's. Professor Gumby happened to have "vanity" license plates with "Banatul" printed on them (our Serbian, Slovak, Magyar and Romanian friends know where that is -- that's where Professor Gumby lives when he isn't in the US) and the police seized the vehicle and the (really stupid thieves) and he got his car back.

Professor Gumby then moved to a ritzy part of town where it was supposedly "safer" and someone stole the car a second time and exercising excellent driving skills, rolled the car down an embankment and wrapped it around a telephone poll. So that was the end of that.

The 2nd House is obviously finances and possessions, but honestly I don't really see it in the chart.

Maybe SR Mars and SR Saturn conjunct in Cancer in the SR 7th House, and both would fall in the Natal 8th House in a trine with Natal Neptune in the 12th House which signifies criminal activity. Both SR Mars/Saturn are in Detriment in Cancer so they would have been Malefic here.

SR Jupiter in the SR 8th House and in the Degree of the Nodes perhaps is another indicator.

There's no way I would have predicted that, but looking at it in hindsight, maybe I would be able to see theft or crime in future charts.

There's two other areas that we can look at, and those would be career advancement and imprisonment, and maybe a few charts with child birth and some more marriage/divorce charts.

As I said, one of the problems that you can see with Solar Return Charts is they basically tease you. They show a possibility but don't tell you when.

Really, as far as effort and time spent, Primary Directions, Profections and Secondary Progressions with Transits are much better for predictive astrology.

If you see indicators of marriage, divorce, childbirth, promotion/advancement or injury/illness in your directions and progressions/transits, you can look at a Solar Return Chart for confirmation. The Solar Return Chart will either support it, or it won't.

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julia

Well-known member
I noticed these things at my solar chart.
My ascendant solar return 2010/11 is at 25/02 cancer. Cancer rules my 4th house natally and this degree 25/25 of cancer is also the cusp of my 5th house natally!!!!! My solar mars is at my first house/leo and solar venus is at my 10th house at taurus.
My solar return 2011/12 : solar ascendant is libra which is my descendant at my natal chart. Solar sun/mars/mercury/jupiter are my at 7th house (aries) and solar venus is at my 6th house....
I am curious what will happen at these areas of my life.... I will surely update....

Munch

Well-known member
I love your post Bob. Super informative!

Quick questions though, I was really hoping that next year would be a great year for both travel and romance and my initial look at my SR for next year looked good, but it doesn't quite stack up to your 'requirements,' for either area.

SR Venus is in Scorpio and Sextile Mars but my 7th house has not made it to the ascendant. That said though, it is my understanding that when you have an SR containing a sun/moon conjunction then there is a good chance for marriage...(in my case, just a great relationship would be FABULOUS, lol). What are your thoughts on that? And why should Venus be in Scorpio or Aries - was that specific to the example?

As far as travel goes, Sagittarius is on my SR ascendant and my SR Mercury is conjunct it as wells as my natal Moon/Venus/Neptune stellium. This would lead me to believe that I will be lucky (finally) when it comes to actually hitting the road especially since Mercury rules my natal 9th. Once again, any thoughts??

I guess the ultimate question I am posing is this: Is there a good chance that I will finally meet someone and move to Spain? (Transiting Pluto will be conjunct my IC) Thanks Bob. As usual, I am learning soooo much from you!

Update: I met my boyfriend the year of this Solar Return. We have since moved in together and share an exceedingly loving and happy relationship with each other.

Sadly, I have not moved to Spain though, lol.

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Munch

Well-known member
scratch the question about venus in Aries/Scorpio...got it. haha

astrologer50

Banned
Solar returns
All solar returns are about ‘potential’ as is the natal chart, but we don’t always fulfil our potential, whether it’s due to ‘other people or unforeseen circumstances’ or a choice of two things and maybe possibly making different choices meant you didn’t fulfil that potential in this Solar return.

I don't read SR's as stand alone cos you can get far more information from bi wheel, it can give a natal planet an opening or expression by conjuncting SR Asc or MC for example and any SR planets conj natal planets are important to.

when selecting a solar return chart from astro in Extended chart selection it's important to select 2nd option 'with houses' as this will put the degree onto planets and Angles --

http://cafeastrology.com/interpretingsolarreturns.html
http://wiki.astro.com/astrowiki/en/Solar_Return_Chart
http://www.maryshea.com/sr.html
http://www.skyviewzone.com/solarreturn.htm

The house in which the Sun falls in the SR chart is the birthday month's forecast and influence, and each house after is the following month, since the Sun transits at the rate of one sign or house per month. Each house is treated as events in that month, and the sign and planet ruling the cusp influences the outlook for that month. The chart is used like a clock, with 12 months on its face instead of 12 hours. As the Sun conjoins or aspects other planets in the SR, it will generate events
http://www.typhonvision.com/art-solarreturn.htm

Lastly, for something 'major' to happen, it should also be reflected in your transits, progressions and possibly solar arcs. So don't ignore these methods in favour of JUST solar returns

The house in which the Sun falls in the SR chart is the birthday month's forecast and influence, and each house after is the following month, since the Sun transits at the rate of one sign or house per month. Each house is treated as events in that month, and the sign and planet ruling the cusp influences the outlook for that month. The chart is used like a clock, with 12 months on its face instead of 12 hours. As the Sun conjoins or aspects other planets in the SR, it will generate events

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gamhal

Member
I get excellent results timing events with a Solar Return by taking each degree after the ascendant as a day subsequent to the day of the return. Planets and Arabic Parts indicate significant days of the year which I then elaborate on with transits.
Treating the natal ascendant (in the return) has similar effects.

dr. farr

Well-known member
I do the same with SR's when I use them in astro-therapeutics, counting 1 degree forward in the SR chart per day for each day after the SR date, up to the day of the client's consultation.

virgo18

Well-known member
Can someone explain me then, a way to calculate time in the transit/natal chart??
I am still amateur in this stuff of timing, I was sure that I could calculate time in SR, but from what I have seen, I can't.
I was watching 4 of my past solar returns, of the past 4 years, and I assert with the times of meeting significant persons. But from what bobzemco wrote, I think it was a coincidence.

ethertwist

Well-known member

Should more importance be given to the house placement of the SR Ruler (in the SR chart and the natal chart) than the location of the Sun in the SR chart?

I like the idea that the theme of each successive month correlates to the SR house the Sun is currently transiting, but is the theme of the entire solar year really determined more by the SR ruler placement, rather than that of the Sun (unless Leo is the SR Asc)? For example, if the SR Asc is Aries which brings the natal 9th to the Asc and SR Mars is in the SR 3rd house and the Sun is in the SR 4th house, would 3/9 house issues take on more prominence than say 4th house issues that year or is the objective to blend their meanings?

Claire19

Well-known member
Can someone explain me then, a way to calculate time in the transit/natal chart??
I am still amateur in this stuff of timing, I was sure that I could calculate time in SR, but from what I have seen, I can't.
I was watching 4 of my past solar returns, of the past 4 years, and I assert with the times of meeting significant persons. But from what bobzemco wrote, I think it was a coincidence.
Does not the solar return chart remain the same all year once you have erected for your birthday that particular year?? The Moon and Mercury may change if you put a different time perhaps? I am still rather skeptical about Solar returns and perhaps take notice of the aspects made only if there is a natal echo??? I am investigating and have an open mind on the subject. I do not find them particularly relevant and may use them if the natal chart is not showly clearly what is going on with transits etc.

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Munch

Well-known member
Update: I met my boyfriend the year of the Solar Return chart that I posted on this thread. We have since moved in together and share an exceedingly loving and happy relationship with each other. He's also a Sagittarius.

Sadly, I have not moved to Spain though, lol.

Claire19

Well-known member
People seem to be struggling to interpret Solar Return Charts so I'll present some examples that should help clarify things.

I don't use Solar Return Charts except for confirming death. They are simply a glorified transit chart. They will show trends for the coming year but they don't show timing, which is the key to predictive astrology. It is possible to get good timing if you use a technique that progresses the SR House Cusps (and not the SR Planets themselves). Unfortunately, there is no way to do that with any of the current software packages (although I might have found a work-around but haven't tested it yet) and I don't teach that. Suffice to say if you have a Table of Houses (preferably Regiomontanus or Placidus) and if you know how to calculate the House Cusps and construct charts by hand, and if you have plenty of time with absolutely nothing to do, you can progress the SR House Cusps (it is very time-consuming). A progressed SR House Cusp conjuncting a Significator in the SR Chart will indicate the time to within about 2 days.

The charts should be cast at the location of your permanent residence. Gallivanting around will only produce a chart that is incorrect. Likewise, you career/vocation is imprinted in your natal chart. If your natal chart says you are a grocery store clerk, spending 3 days on the Isle of Wight over the course of your birthday will not transform you into the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

I asked Professor Gumby if we could use his Natal and Solar Return Charts to examine, and this is what he had to say:

I'm going to take that as a "yes."

Since many are concerned with marriage/divorce, we'll look at those charts first.

Interpreting a SR Chart always starts with identifying the Natal Chart House that comes to the Ascendant. That will tell us the overall tenor of the year. Then we want to find the SR Ascendant Ruler and compare it with its place in the Natal Chart.

In the SR Chart, we see that 27° Taurus is rising. When we look at the Natal Chart, we see that 27° Taurus is located in the Natal 7th House.

That means the 7th House has come to the Ascendant of the Natal Chart. The trend for the year will be relationships.

The 7th House opposes the 1st House. Opposition means conflict, balance or cooperation. When the 7th House comes to the Ascendant, it means marriage or divorce, or the end or beginning of a relationship, whether that relationship is personal, social or professional.

How can you tell the difference? Find the SR Ascendant Ruler. We see Venus in the SR Chart in the 12th House at 20° Aries. We then look at the Natal Chart and see that 20° Aries falls in the 5th House.

That would be a good indicator of a new relationship, especially marriage. As it stands, the signification of Venus in either Aries or Scorpio means marriage, but it can also mean a whole bunch of very negative things.

At 20° Aries, SR Venus is in partile sextile to Natal Mercury at 20° Gemini, and Mercury rules both the 7th House and 8th House in the Natal Chart.

It looks more and more like marriage, and that's what happened. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing when Professor Gumby will marry using an SR Chart. However, in another post on another thread, we showed where Primary Directions accurately gave the timing of Professor Gumby's marriage (which is another reason I don't bother wasting my time with SR Charts).

Let's look at D-I-V-O-R-C-E

The Rising-sign for the SR Ascendant is 11° Taurus. Looking at the Natal Chart we see that falls in the 6th House, and so the 6th House has come to the Ascendant of the Natal Chart. The 6th House is inconjunct (quincunx) the 1st House, so this will be a difficult year.

The SR Ascendant Ruler Venus is conjunct Natal Mercury. We see SR Venus in the SR 2nd House so we know Professor Gumby's finances will be affected. SR Venus is square SR Mars who falls in the Natal 4th House. SR Moon and SR Jupiter are also square.

The key here is SR Moon in Capricorn in the SR 9th House (and also Natal 2nd House). SR Saturn in Taurus would also be an indicator of marital or relationship strife (especially for women) and also SR Saturn in Gemini or Virgo.

SR Sun rules the 5th House of Children, and that is why Professor Gumby divorced. His wife thought she could use the Jedi Mind Trick on Professor Gumby:

Professor Gumby: Let's make babies.
Evil Wife: [with a small wave of hand] You don't need to have any children.
Professor Gumby: I don't need to have any children.
Evil Wife: You wouldn't be happy with children.
Professor Gumby: I wouldn't be happy with children.
Evil Wife: Don't think about it any more.
Professor Gumby: I won't think about it any more.
Evil Wife: Move along.
Professor Gumby: Move along... move along.

Fortunately the Jedi Mind Trick didn't work (that was before Professor Gumby knew anything about Synastry Charts -- he knows now).

Anyway, looking for marriage, you should see the 7th House (sometimes the 8th House) come to the Ascendant and Venus in Aries or Scorpio, or in a trine or sextile to Mars, or the Natal 5th House Ruler, Moon in Taurus or Libra,

For divorce, 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th or 12th Houses coming to the Ascendant, Moon or Venus in Capricorn or Aquarius, or in aspect with Saturn, Saturn or Mars in Taurus, Mars in Libra and aspects with the 2nd/8th House Rules in the Natal Chart.

For children, the 5th House, or the "house of the child" (9th House for the 3rd child -- 7th House for the 2nd child etc) comes to the Ascendant and Jupiter in Sagittarius or Pisces, Moon in Sagittarius or Pisces and in aspect with 5th House Ruler or Jupiter, Sun in the SR 5th House.

Although I suppose they could, I haven't see where dispositors play any relevant role in SR Charts and no one really covers the issue in any detail (and most don't even mention it).

In the next post we'll look at other things.
I tend to agree that solar returns are really not so relevant and do we only take notice of aspects that are echoed in the natal chart??
As for dealing with death, I hope it is after the fact only. It is morally reprehensible to answer anyone's query on their death or someone they know. Most good astrologers will not go there and rightly so.

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
As for dealing with death, I hope it is after the fact only. It is morally reprehensible to answer anyone's query on their death or someone they know. Most good astrologers will not go there and rightly so.
IMO, Good astrologers quite rightly use techniques, not for "answering anyone's query on their death or someone they know" but instead for the following reasons http://www.astrologyweekly.com/forum/showthread.php?p=365435#post365435
... the Hyleg and Alcocoden are an indication regarding the Vital Life Force of the native - meaning the potential Vital Life Force in the absence of any form of intervention

So, Hyleg and Alcocoden are showing the Vital Life Force of the native. They show how much years in life do you have according to the 'Esse' or the condition of your body and soul. With the modern medicine it seems out that this Esse is prolonged,

If the nativity dies from a serial killer, or a car accident H & A does not count, they do not show the accidents, they show the condition of the body and soul and accordingly how much years one have
.

dr. farr has underlined the value of this approach of assessing potential Vital Life Force of the native for simply therapeutic purposes:

However, I do think that many use this kind of thing for indications of potential critical years rather than fatalistic death clock predicting

-I KNOW that most reputable jyotish use "longevity" evaluations for just that purpose (indications of critical years), and in astro-therapeutics these "red flag" indications, derived from such methods, are of value in preventive therapeutics.

For example - and completely different from the technique described in this thread - use of simple symbolic progression (1 year = 1 degree, first mentioned in the 12th century by Ibn Ezra in his "Beginning of Wisdom") can be quite valuable in pointing out potentially critical times: use of the progressed SN to various natal points is one of these valuable methods:

in the case of Whitney Houston, her progressed SN conjuncted her ascending degree (8 Pisces) at her 48th birthday (natal SN @ 20 Capricorn): astro-therapeutically, this would have been a red flag that her 48th year was a definite critical period,

and preventive measures (low stress, much care about drugs and medication, tonification for her heart -which her natal indicated as a potential weak area in her health, etc) would have been prescribed for her by a knowledgeable practitioner;

the fact that classical hyleg/alcohedron analysis (which I myself do not use) also indicated her 48th year as possibly anaretic (as one of 3 such possible critical years using the analysis given in this thread) would have decidedly underscored the critical-ness of the 48th year and the importance of undertaking natural (non-drug) preventive and corrective measures, during that time...

IMO dr. farr has highlighted the importance of these techniques in SUPPORTING the native at critical times during the life

CapAquaPis

Well-known member
OK...I upload my star chart and would like someone to provide a way to calculate and project when's my solar return, the most important day in my life: could it be about when marriage is set, the future birth event of children, relocation possibilities or the predicted date of death? I want to know when my first or foremost solar return based on my chart below.

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JUPITERASC

Well-known member
OK...I upload my star chart and would like someone to provide a way to calculate and project when's my solar return, the most important day in my life: could it be about when marriage is set, the future birth event of children, relocation possibilities or the predicted date of death? I want to know when my first or foremost solar return based on my chart below.
CapAquaPis - IMO Roy made a useful comment when he said:
.....these types of questions, there's hardly anyone in the world that can do this properly

melina

Well-known member
Is it true that the effects of the solar return actually begin 3 months before your birthday?

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
Is it true that the effects of the solar return actually begin 3 months before your birthday?
That is what modern astrologer Mary Fortier Shea says in paragraph 4. of this pdf http://www.maryshea.com/srfaq.pdf

However, there are different astrological schools of thought - so astrologers tend to have different opinions on the subject. Therefore it is a good idea to test the matter for yourself by calculating your solar return chart and then observing if/when it takes effect