Displaying items by tag: transits http://www.kepler.edu Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:24:06 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Unveiling the Modern Shadow http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/481-unveiling-the-modern-shadow http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/481-unveiling-the-modern-shadow Mary Wollstonecraft (mother of Mary Shelley)

Born Mary Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was the daughter of the revolutionary feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft (see portrait above), whose powerful treatise, Vindication of the Rights of Woman [pdf version], opened up new avenues of possibility for the education of women at the commencement of the 19th century. Her daughter was one such beneficiary of Wollstonecraft’s desire to reform women’s education, going on to publish the wildly popular novel Frankenstein at the young age of 20. A look at the planetary aspects of Mary Shelley’s natal chart, using the perspective of archetypal astrology, can help illustrate how the archetypal energies correlated with the planets of our solar system were expressed in her personal life and in her writing, with a particular focus on her masterwork, Frankenstein. An analysis of the world transits, and the personal transits they form to Shelley’s natal chart, at the time of the publication of Frankenstein provide further insight into Shelley’s writing.

Mary Shelley's ChartPortrait of Shelley by Alfred Clint (1819)Mary Godwin, who became Mary Shelley upon her marriage to the Romantic poet Percy Shelley (see portrait at left), was born August 30, 1797 at 11:20 pm in London, England (click on chart at right to open a new window with a large version). Most prominent in her chart is a triple conjunction of the Sun, Mars, and Uranus in the sign of Virgo, in a tight 180° opposition to Pluto, with Mars closest to Pluto in the opposition. The Sun is archetypally correlated with the principle of the self, of one’s central identity and focus, and the areas in which one shines or expresses oneself most prominently. Uranus, the first of the outer planets to be discovered in the modern era, is correlated with the revolutionary impulse, with breakthrough, rebellion, genius, brilliance, technology, electricity, the young, and the new. Sun-Uranus aspects are often found in the natal charts of brilliant individuals whose work has provided some kind of breakthrough or revolutionary shift in consciousness or worldview, from Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler, to Newton, Kant, and Freud. The planet Uranus is archetypally correlated with the Greek myth of Prometheus, the Titan who stole fire (a symbol for consciousness) from the Gods and gave it to humanity. Mary Shelley’s husband, Percy Shelley, was also a Sun-Uranus figure. His expression of the archetypal complex can clearly be seen in his poem Prometheus Unbound.

Mary Shelley’s personal expression of the Sun-Uranus combination comes through in the brilliance of her individual expression in her breakthrough first novel, which even has the apt subtitle The Modern Prometheus. The character of Victor Frankenstein is that of a rebel seeking to create life by means of technological innovation, all of which are Uranian themes. He desires to create new life alone, not as father and mother, but to elevate himself to the role of God the Father, the individual solar hero on his quest of technological prowess. Frankenstein takes on the role of both father and mother, rebelling against the order of nature, doing so in an act of technological breakthrough and brilliance. While working, Frankenstein speaks of those he would create, saying “No Father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs.” Yet, he must also suffer the consequences of achievement. Like Prometheus, whose gift to humanity leads to his eternal punishment—chained to a rock while an eagle consumes his liver each day only to have it grow back again each night—Frankenstein is haunted by the life he gave, the monster he created out of his own hubris and ambition.

Mary Shelley’s Sun-Mars-Uranus triple conjunction is, as mentioned above, in opposition to Pluto. The Uranus-Pluto opposition Shelley is born under is the primary transit that defined the tumultuous era of the French Revolutionary Period. The Uranus-Pluto impulse is toward revolutionary change on a mass scale, the liberation of the repressed and the oppressed, and the unleashing of the taboo. It is the same transit that defined the 1960s countercultural era and our current moment of world revolutions and protests, from the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movement, to the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act in the United States this current summer.

Frankenstein Published TransitsAn interesting connection between Mary Shelley and her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, is that Wollstonecraft was born with Uranus square Pluto in 1759 and published her masterwork, Vindication of the Rights of Woman, under the Uranus-opposite-Pluto in 1792. Her daughter was born just five years later in 1797 under the same Uranus-Pluto transit, and she went on to publish her own masterpiece, Frankenstein, under the subsequent Uranus square Pluto that was just beginning to come into the orb of influence in 1818 [click on the chart at right to open a large version in a new window]. Both mother and daughter’s writing has a revolutionary quality: they were both breaking through the gender barrier in their era that oppressed female writers, and female expression as a whole.

The quality of Shelley’s Frankenstein also expresses Uranus-Pluto archetypal themes in the eruption of the shadow in her story which tells of the creation, through the Uranian technological spark of life, of a Plutonic monster. Shelley reveals and shines light upon (Sun-Uranus) the potential monstrosity (Pluto) of technology (Uranus), as well as the hubris of the modern age and the notion of progress, demonstrating how the sudden break (Uranus) with from the course of nature (Pluto) can unleash (Uranus) tremendous horrors (Pluto). In Frankenstein’s words he describes,

One secret which I alone possessed was the hope to which I dedicated myself; and the moon gazed on my midnight labors, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding places.[3]

The relentless pursuit of nature, the reference to ‘her hiding places,’ and even the idea of a ‘secret. . . possessed’ evoke the underworld nature of the Plutonic, while the sense of the technological secret of life held by a single individual reflects the Sun-Uranus complex. Interestingly, this pursuit of nature is echoed by Dr. Frankenstein’s vengeful pursuit of the monster across the northern wilderness in the latter portion of the book. 

The manner in which the horror of Shelley’s narrative unfolds clearly reflects not only her Sun-Uranus conjunction opposite Pluto, but also the Mars-Pluto opposition that is part of this larger complex in her natal chart. Mars correlates with the archetype of the warrior, with a potential range of manifestations from energy, action, and athleticism, to anger and even violence. The archetype of Pluto deepens any archetype with which it is in aspect, so the Mars-Pluto combination can potentially come through as a deep rage or potentially murderous violence, which is clearly expressed in the revenge of the monster of Shelley’s narrative. That Shelley has the Sun in aspect with her Mars-Pluto opposition can be seen in the individual embodiment of the violent shadow, both literally in the monster but also in the individual acts of Frankenstein that brought about the monster’s creation. 

Briefly, I would like to touch on a few other aspects in Shelley’s chart that come through in the nature and style of her writing. Shelley has a tight Sun-Neptune sextile which is beautifully captured in a sentence she used to describe herself as a child: “As a child I scribbled. . . Still I had a dearer pleasure than this, which was the formation of castles in the air.”[4] The archetype of Neptune correlates, in one form of its expression, with the imagination and transcendence, which come through in this whimsical, imaginal quote illustrating Shelley’s innate ability to create imaginative narrative. She is also born with a Mercury-Venus conjunction, which can be seen in the beautiful, lyrical quality of her writing. The archetype of Mercury correlates with all forms of communication and expression—from writing, to thinking, speaking, and sensing—while the archetype of Venus correlates to beauty and artistry. Shelley’s Mercury-Venus can also be seen in the romantic fairy-story qualities of some of her other works, such as The Dream or The Heir of Mandolfo. Furthermore, Mercury is in a tight sextile to the Moon in Shelley’s chart, an example of which is the narrative form in which Frankenstein is written: a series of letters. Letter-writing is often intimate and familiar, and in this case also familial, all of which are Lunar qualities, in this instance expressed in Mercurial written form. 

While much more could be elaborated in Mary Shelley’s natal chart, I would like to turn to the world transits that were in the sky at the time Frankenstein was published, on January 1, 1818. On that day, and for a short time before and after the publication date, there was a stellium in Sagittarius of Venus, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, with the smaller orbit of Venus bringing it briefly into the longer conjunction of Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune, and the even longer conjunction of Uranus-Neptune that defined much of the Romantic era. While there are many complex ways in which this quadruple conjunction manifested in world events, the particular expression in relation to the publication of Frankenstein can be seen in the successful release of a beautiful piece of literary art produced by the creative imagination. The archetype of Jupiter grants success to whatever it touches, while Venus relates to the artistic expression, and Neptune to the imagination behind the project. Jupiter-Uranus alignments in world history regularly correlate to successful breakthroughs and the inauguration of new initiatives, and have been found to correlate with the first successful publications of numerous authors, including of course Mary Shelley.[5] 

In her personal transits, the Venus-Jupiter-Uranus-Neptune stellium was conjoining Shelley’s natal Moon. While the archetype of the Moon is present in all individuals and certainly cannot be simply correlated with all women or “the feminine,” at the time Shelley lived women were often relegated or confined solely to the Lunar realms of home, family, and domestic matrimony by the then dominant patriarchal structures (which had largely appropriated the Solar archetypal role of the individual shining hero as a symbol of “the masculine”). The significance of the Venus-Jupiter-Uranus-Neptune stellium conjoining Shelley’s Moon can be seen in that she would have, in her time, been viewed, because she was a woman, as a Lunar figure who was successfully breaking out of the constrictive mold that did not encourage creative artistic or literary expression by women. The significance of the Moon in this particular case is not because she is a woman, but because of the primarily Lunar role women were usually required to take on. The archetypal energy of the successful Lunar figure is doubled by a transit that would have lasted for only a few hours on the particular day of publication: the Moon in the sky was transiting in opposition to Shelley’s natal Jupiter, which may have provided an increased sense of emotional joy and success for her.

Another significant world transit that was just beginning to come into orb at the time of publication, but which would have become more exact as the book was disseminated and read by the public, was the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 1818. The energy of this transit would have been intensified for Shelley because, at the time of publication, Saturn was conjoining her natal Pluto as well. The archetype of Saturn is the reality principle that correlates to mortality, death, and gravity, but also to maturity and wisdom; Saturn is archetypally both hard consequences and the learning acquired from consequences. Saturn-Pluto correlates to the shadow side of the encapsulated egoic will to power that is so clearly expressed in Frankenstein. In his book on archetypal astrology, Cosmos and Psyche, Richard Tarnas describes Frankenstein as Shelley’s “prophetic Gothic masterpiece that depicted the monstrous shadow of the technological will to power.”[6] Shelley’s tale is one of death (Saturn) and destruction (Pluto), of moral (Saturn) depravity (Pluto), and of the Saturnian consequences of the soaring heights of Dr. Frankenstein’s, and modernity’s, Sun-Uranus visions of progress.

Interestingly, the day Frankenstein was published the Sun in the sky was transiting opposite Shelley’s natal Saturn, shining a light on the principle of death, as well as the profound consequences of individual actions. Frankenstein is also a shining (Sun) example of a piece of narrative art that has withstood the test of time (Saturn) and come down to us today as a revered piece of literature: another expression of the Sun-Saturn archetypal complex that brought this book into the world from the pen of Mary Shelley.


End Notes

[1] Richard Tarnas, Prometheus the Awakener
[2] Mary Shelley, The Original Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus
[3] Shelly, Frankenstein
[4] Shelley, qtd. in Janet Bukovinsky Teacher, Women of Words: A Personal Introduction to Thirty-Five Important Writers (Philadelphia, PA: Courage Books, 1994), 17.
[5] Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche
[6] Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche, 268.

Works Cited

Shelley, Mary. The Original Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. Edited by Charles E Robinson. New York, NY: Vintage Classics, 2008.

Tarnas, Richard. Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View. New York, NY: Viking Penguin, 2006.

Tarnas, Richard. Prometheus the Awakener: An Essay on the Archetypal Meaning of the Planet Uranus. Woodstock, CT: Spring Publications, 1995.

Teacher, Janet Bukovinsky. Women of Words: A Personal Introduction to Thirty-Five Important Writers. Philadelphia, PA: Courage Books, 1994.

becca tarnasAuthor Biography

Becca Tarnas is an artist, writer, and doctoral student at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion program in San Francisco. She uses art and storytelling as a means to reconnect with our planet Earth in this critical time of ecological crisis. Becca was educated at the San Francisco Waldorf School for thirteen years before pursuing Environmental Studies and Theater Arts at Mount Holyoke, and she also holds a master’s degree from CIIS in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. She is also a practitioner of archetypal cosmology, a form of astrology particularly focused on the archetypal relationships of the planets.


  • Mary Shelley
  • chart interpretation
  • mary wollstonecraft
  • Frankenstein
  • transits
    Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Wed, 21 Aug 2013 00:49:07 +0000
    Astrological Remediation: The subtle art of creating a brighter future, one transit at a time http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/editorials-opinions/item/471-astro-remediation http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/editorials-opinions/item/471-astro-remediation The Money Changer and His Wife

    Since coming into the study of astrology, I have deeply pondered the mechanism behind its magical and profound workings.  Any student of the subject has surely been amazed by its exactitude and precision in the timing of events, bodily illness, and passing moods that sweep through us in any given day. It is the unending and uncanny accuracy of astrology that keeps me motivated to continue my study. I also believe that astrology can be used to aid in healing. For instance, medical astrology can often be as accurate as a laboratory test, yet looking at the astrological chart is completely non-invasive.

    After working as a professional astrologer for over ten years, there came a point at which I could no longer stand idly by, merely observing malaise and joy as they were carried with the ebb and flow of planetary energies. Having watched these waves move through my own life, as well as the lives of friends, family, and clients, I craved some sort of method to help and heal during periods of great planetary duress.

    The moment I birthed my gorgeous daughter, this need to transmute energies became even more urgent. I vividly remember perusing the Ephemeris, only to notice that Saturn would be coming up to square her Sun, along with transiting Uranus, Mars, and the Moon. As an astrologer and new mother, this was quite upsetting, as her body was still tiny and new to the planetary energies. It was at this point that I began to ponder ways to optimally channel energies into their highest possible manifestation, thus beginning my life as an astrological remedialist. I have since devoted a great amount of time learning how to use astrology as a tool to remedy suffering of all kinds. It is my goal here to share a bit of what I have learned through experience, practice, and observation.

    Let us begin with the question:

    What is Astrology?  One definition could be:

    Astrology is the study of how the celestial bodies affect emotional, mental, and physical life on earth.

    And thus:

    Astrological Remediation is the use of any method necessary to heal and soothe problems indicated by celestial bodies in the astrological chart.

    A unique characteristic of astrological remediation is that it inherently examines and accepts the vibrational foundation of the individual who is seeking help. If Astrology could be described as a detailed study of individuality, astrological remediation could be understood as a fascinating journey into highly individualized healing methods.

    Many authors have described clearly the existence of illness as beginning within the energy-body. The energy-body (aura, soul essence, etc.) can easily be understood as the vibrational field surrounding each of us. The astrological chart wheel, planetary symbols, and aspects provide a schematic language to explain and describe the needs and tendencies of the energy-body.  

    Co-Counselling-CCI counsellor on the right (creative commons)Now let us look into an example of how we might use astrological remediation in real life. Suppose there is a man in his mid-forties who seems entirely unable to commit to a long-term relationship, even though marriage and children have been the most important dream of his entire adult life. Maybe he has always wanted a wife and children, but every time he finds himself in a healthy, happy relationship he instantaneously turns commitment-phobic and flees.

    Several different approaches could be used in an attempt to heal this self-defeating behavior. Behavioral therapy, one-on-one counseling, or discussing the problem with friends could all prove to be effective solutions. The man himself might try to remedy the problem through a repeated pattern of self-deprecating or shaming thoughts, during which he beats himself up over and over about his constant and unending ability to "control himself." While all of these methods do in fact try to attack the problem, none of them have yet looked into the underlying energetic difficulty that might be contributing to the behavior.   

    With astrological remediation, we will want to know why these behaviors keep occurring. And the why here may be very deep and at times surprising. The astrological chart of the fleeing man might show that the problem is caused by an unusually sensitive energy body. Perhaps we notice that he was born under the rays of a Sun/Moon/Saturn conjunction in Pisces. A combination such as this could indicate that through the process of intimately bonding with a partner, he begins to sense things that they are thinking and feeling. He might also experience suffocating sensations, or a sense of not knowing what is real and what is not. These feelings lead the man to the idea that something about the relationship is crazy-making. As a result, the man flees in order to escape feelings of suffocation and resurrect the ability to perceive and differentiate his own emotions and thoughts.

    The remediation for this problem could also be energetic, because the man's auric field happens to be very sensitive to vibrations in general. A stone, gem, flower essence, or homeopathic remedy could be used to alter the field to be less porous, or less apt to absorb outside energies. The astrological practitioner may also prescribe showers or swimming as methods of cleaning and clearing the man's energy-field, so that he might be able to better handle and manage outside influences.

    Now suppose that the same symptoms were to show up in the case of a woman who wanted to commit to a relationship but could not. Her behaviors might be almost identical to those of the overly sensitive man.    

    As soon as the woman settles into a healthy relationship, she ends up fleeing almost immediately. A look at the woman's astrological chart might indicate that the problem stems from a very different energetic combination--an extremely hot Mars, sitting together with the electric planet of Uranus. Every time the women were to experience a vibrational influxing to this part of her chart, she would unexpectedly feel excited and inflamed. These hot and electric feelings would lead her to get cranky with her boyfriends, unexpectedly cheat on them, or even break off these relationships entirely. The remedy used here would be very different than in the case of the overly sensitive man.

    As mentioned, the astrological remedial for the sensitive man might be something to block other people's vibrations from entering his field. In the case of the wily and excitable woman, the remedy would need to treat her overheated Mars, perhaps by cooling it off while also providing a healthy outlet for her overly rebellious side. A remedialist might prescribe an athletic outlet to this woman, such as boxing or mountain biking. The goal here would be to find an activity that would satisfy the riled-up cravings of her soul, in a manner that would be less destructive to the emotional relationships in her life.  

    Astrological remediation is an extremely useful method of healing, because it inherently approaches each situation as unique, and attempts to understand and fix the energetic root of the problems at hand. By healing the underlying difficulties within the chart, the problematic behaviors can be altered or fade away entirely.  

    Astrological remediation was common throughout the ancient traditions, yet seems to have become sparse in the modern, western thought structure. In the eastern traditions, remediation has been consistently used and developed throughout the centuries. A traditional Indian astrologer might prescribe the use of certain gems to remedy problems within the chart. An astrologer who is using the Indian system might also prescribe a mantra to her client, or a spiritual pilgrimage to a sacred site for a problem deep within the soul. In medieval times, astrological remediation was often practiced through the use of talismans, amulets, alchemy, and spells. The process can be quite technical and precise, yet healing seems to also be inherent in the nature of simple astrology itself.

    This brings us back to the remedial gifts that are borne from a study such as astrology. We have all had the experience of going to a clinic or emergency room, only to have a medical professional ask us fifty contrived and scripted questions, vaguely listen to our answers, and then prescribe us medicine. To some individuals, this is a form of remediation. From an astral point of view, understanding the patient's medical and qualitative make up before prescribing a method of healing is an important step missing from this equation. Without this information, it is very hard to entirely remedy a problem.  

    Many forms of modern medicine can be used to cover up or mask symptoms, but rarely do they release the energetic blockage that has caused or contributed to the problem at hand. The healing methods employed by a remedialist can and will take on a variety of forms. Remediation could be a placebo pill. It could be a massage. It could be a hearty round of parcheesi while listening to the neighbors fight over their toy poodle. In certain very stressful situations, the least offensive remediation might even take on the form of a makeover, complete with plastic surgeries. Whatever the case may be, it could be proposed that a combination of modern medical services combined with astrological insight could successfully aid in healing the body, mind, and spirit.  


    About the Author

    Andrea GehrzAndrea L. Gehrz spends her days running the Moira Press, a publishing company dedicated to producing intelligent, high level astrological texts. Having performed countless astrological consultations, Ms. Gehrz now focuses her work exclusively on all forms of astrological remediation. She enjoys working with curious adults, children, couples, and groups, helping to overcome difficult challenges and optimize the possibilities of any life situation.

    This material is explored in more depth in Astrological Remediation: A Guide for the Modern Practitioner. Andrea's website is MoiraPress.org.

    • remediation
    • predictive astrology
    • transits
    • magic
    • medical astrology
    • chart interpretation
      Editorials Fri, 16 Aug 2013 02:17:19 +0000
      Solar Returns, Part 2 http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/332-solar-returns-part-2 http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/332-solar-returns-part-2 Solar Returns, Part 2

      Georgia Stathis is the owner of Starcycles, a faculty member at Kepler College and primary instructor for the Business & Finance Certificate in the Kepler Certificate Program.

      The Planets and Their Positions in the Solar Return

      What is the ascendant of the solar return?Where does its ruler lie in the solar return and in the natal?Is it on an angle?If so, then there is more action concerning the year and its activities.When you look at the solar return chart is it primarily angular, succedent, or cadent?What aspects are formed between the ruler of the solar return and the other planets?More challenging aspects, might suggest more challenge, and, actually more that gets done regarding that ruler.If they are supportive aspects, then things flow between the ruler of the solar return and the other planets.

      When a natal planet is in a tight orb to a solar return planet, this is significant, and it enhances the meaning of the solar return.In a book written by Deanna Rose , she states that a concentration in angular houses suggests the ‘gains that you work for in the coming year’.A concentration in the solar return succedent houses suggests talents acquired (i.e. acquisitions) this year, and, finally, a concentration of cadent houses, suggests the planning, thinking, studying, licensing required for the future.These are opportunities to gain strength for the future.Lynn Bell, of course, suggests that angularity suggests action.She states that “any planet conjunct an angle in the solar return helps shape the Sun’s purpose for the year ahead.” 

      Now when looking at the planets in the solar return, it is important to measure where they are geographically.In other words, say Saturn is at the tail end of the 7th house.There are several conclusions here:

      • Saturn in the solar return is where you will be tested
      • In this case, Saturn is in an angular house in the solar return, and, so, there are matters regarding relationships and Saturn issues.Perhaps this is the year for someone to set boundaries with others, to ally themselves with older individuals.In the old books, they even said that when Saturn is in the 7th, it suggests marriage to a widower J .We don’t know if this is true or not, but what we do know is that since Saturn is at the doorway of the 8th house, one of two things are suggested.
      • It is very clear that by transit Saturn will hit the solar return 8th house cusp at some time in the next year if it is close enough.Deanna Rose suggests that the 8th house represents a ‘crisis’ during the solar return year that deals with others’ monies, funds, working for an inheritance, or, just learning about discrimination regarding partnerships, legacies, spending, etc. So transiting Saturn could trigger such issues.

      As far as position of a planet in a solar return house, you need to check if it is close to the cusp, in the middle of the house, or, later in the house (how to calculate precisely when these progress backwards to the solar return cusps is discussed earlier in this lesson).When exploring this with a client, it is important to clarify the differences and to help them focus on preparation regarding the placements of these.

      The Moon in the solar return will be discussed later, but what about the other planets?The placement of Mercury in the solar return indicates the area in which the mind is engaged for this coming year.Since Mercury only travels 28º from the Sun, watch to see the distance between the Sun and Mercury to see if Mercury is about to go retrograde, or if it just went direct.This is important to know, as retrograde implication does shift the meaning of the Mercury during the course of the year.

      Where Venus is placed is where a lot of value will be placed during the year.It is where you will get attention or strive to gain attention and be assertive regarding what you want in that area.It is also important to include in the delineation the houses that hold Libra and Taurus, since Venus rules both signs.If Venus is far from the Sun, it is important to check the ephemeris to see if Venus went or is about to go retrograde in the solar return year.

      Mars tends to be the area where you react, where you are motivated, where you are on task, and where you push forward, leaving no stone unturned.If Mars is angular, you may expend more energy in this area of your solar return chart. If Mars is almost at an opposition to the Sun, then it is about to go retrograde and this is important, because this could slow down the actions of Mars until it goes direct during the year and catches up to where it left off (known as the shadow point).Always refer to the solar return house that Mars rules as well – either Aries or Scorpio, if using classical rulers.

      Jupiter is where you experience opportunities.Include the houses that hold Sagittarius and Pisces in your delineation and remember that Jupiter is where you may also overindulge.Are there any aspects to Jupiter that contains this overindulgent tendency, such as a hard Saturn aspect, or, not?For any of these planets it is important to qualify the aspects to it.

      Uranus is where you break away, let go, wake-up and change.There tends to be a restless anxiety in the area in which we find Uranus, particularly if it is aspecting one of the more personal planets in either the natal chart or solar return chart or both.Out of the blue opportunities can present themselves in the area in which we find Uranus and our responses in that area of the solar return chart can be extreme in nature.For example, Uranus in the second house might indicate that money comes in just as quickly as it goes out, but since Uranus represents the larger picture, the second house and the year’s theme of values and cash flow and possessions may rapidly change from one day to the next.

      Neptune’s placement, particularly if there is a larger aspect cycle occurring (as in 2006 when Neptune opposes Saturn and squares Jupiter throughout the year), there may be major dismemberment in the area in which we find solar return Neptune as well as the area it rules (Pisces house).There can be dissolution OR creative inspiration as one moves towards a more spiritual perspective in that area of the solar return chart.

      Pluto is a very slow moving planet and its placement in the solar return chart indicates an area where one finds himself drawing boundaries and pushing for more personal choice that empowers them during the course of the year.If Pluto is aspecting one of the planets, particularly the Sun, then the aspect it is forming with the Sun this year may also be a similar aspect that it forms to that Sun in the following year since Pluto only moves 2º a year max.It may be found in a different house in the following year, of course, but the aspect may be a longer term aspect, because of its very slow movement.The two houses where Pluto is placed in subsequent years should be observed.Its appearance in the solar return directly relates to your ability to transform your life in that area if you are willing to face the issues that keeps you from making those changes.

      Moving the Sun through the Solar Return

      Another way to use the solar return, since it is, in fact, the Sun’s return to its natal position, is to watch the Sun as it transits the solar return’s cusps and planets through the year.When it aspects other planets in the solar return this too is important, particularly if there are challenging aspects such as squares and oppositions, particularly with such transits as the transiting solar return Sun opposing Mars or Pluto, or, squaring them….this is a theme than runs concurrent throughout that particular year.Ask in what houses are these oppositions or squares occurring and you get even more information.

      A fascinating study is to see which day (use an ephemeris to find this out), the Sun conjuncts each cusp of the solar return chart as well as each solar return planet.Of course, since the Sun is moving quickly, around 59’ 10” per day, this means that the aspect forms in a day applying, then the day it conjuncts the planet, and then the day it separates from the planet, lighting that planet up along the way. When the solar return Sun hits Venus, this could be a wonderfully social day, but the day it hits Saturn, or, Pluto, might be a day with Saturnian or Plutonian overtones.

      On the day the transiting solar return Sun conjuncts the solar return Moon (again look this up in the ephemeris) it is similar to a New Moon, and, begins a new direction in the life for that specific year. The house in which this occurs is where that new beginning starts. You might want to make up a form or sheet that lists these events.There is also the ‘year’ that the solar return Moon IS conjunct the solar return Sun, forming a New Moon and this is a year of great changes and new starts for that person.

      So…What about that Moon in the Solar Return?

      The Moon moves an approximate trine aspect each successive year for each solar return.This usually keeps it in the same element.For example, if in one year the solar return Moon is in Pisces, the next year it will probably be in Cancer, or, starting in early fire, Leo.This means that every fourth year or so it changes elements. 

      When placing the solar return Moon into the solar return chart, note the house that holds Cancer on the cusp.These two work together.In addition, place the natal moon into the solar return chart as well.

      The solar return Moon returns to its natal position about every 19 years, which is very similar to the nodal return cycle.This suggests that at 19 years of age, 38, 57, 76, and 95 the Moon returns to its own natal position.This means that in this year, the Moon may be more impacting bringing great change.These changes may come to the individual because of other peoples’ actions as well as their own.This change requires flexibility regardless of the Moon’s placement.The arena in which we find the solar return Moon becomes a reflection point and a lens for the Sun.

      In addition, be aware of the year(s) where the transiting Moon is more ‘out of bounds’ than in bounds.This occurs when the transiting nodes are in either Aries or Libra, or, possibly, Pisces or Virgo.The years in which the Moon is out of bounds are interesting years in that events take on an other-worldly, or, unusual events.On a larger mundane scale for the year, we see the Moon running regularly out of bounds and these are historically years when major political events or discoveries occur.

      Integrating the Natal and Solar Return Chart

      When you think about it, the solar return is the transiting chart to the natal chart.Many schools of thought suggest placing the Solar Return planets outside of the natal wheel, but then you lose the cusps of the solar return, which are important.A better way to do this is to immediately identify the line-up of the natal cusps with the solar return cusps by placing the solar return chart inside the bi-wheel and the natal planets and ASC and MC on the outside of the bi-wheel.In Volume 4 of the March and McEvers book, “The Only Way To Learn About Tomorrow”, they suggest placing the solar return planets in the outside wheel using the color ‘green’ and the natal planets on the inside using the color ‘red’.

      As mentioned earlier, but worth mentioning again, the solar return cusp (not just the Ascendant), but any solar return cusp that lines up within a few degrees of a natal chart is significant.This suggests that that solar return house and that natal house have an affinity with each other.Their ruler and its placement in either the solar return or the natal chart also suggest some sort of affinity between the two houses and house rulers.The delineation for such a thing would be up to you the person delineating the chart for that year.

      StathisSolarReturnChart1In our solar return example, note the natal chart on the top rightand the solar return for the 23rd year on the bottom left. Notice how the natal 2nd house cusp is very close to the solar return’s 6th house cusp.During the course of this year, this young student worked as a waitress (6th house) to help with her ‘cash flow’ issues!She also studied, cloistered in a library, about 12 hours a day.The ruler, Saturn, placed in the natal 9th house (education) and the ruler of the solar return 2nd house, placed in the solar return 12th house, suggests that she pushed hard to get what she needed to get done.There was a difficulty with sleeping, because she only had so much time during the day and during the entire year to complete her studies.



      StathisSolarReturnChart2When we compare the two charts, it is important to compare natal planets to any solar return planets or the nodes, particularly if we see conjunctions between the two charts.It will be very common, year after year, to see the same Mercury or Venus, because those two planets never run far from the Sun.But in this specific example, we see solar return Saturn at 27º Cancer conjunct the individual’s natal North Node in the natal 8th house at 24º Cancer 35’.This individual, though on a school grant, lived on a very strict budget for her living expenses.

      In addition, solar return Uranus at 2º Pisces was square her natal Moon at 1º Gemini, and, she ultimately relocated her home from one coast to the other during the course of the solar return year, traveling cross country in her car.Early in the solar return year, there was upheaval with her family, and, later in the solar return year, it was resolved.

      The examples we see in solar returns are not always as clear, but there are usually one or two very clear examples shining through the chart, particularly if there are many angular planets and, particularly, if any of the outer planets are aspecting any of the personal or solar return planets.

      Wrapping up the Things That Come Back – Solar, Lunar and other Returns

      • Solar Return Definition:The moment in any year when the Sun reaches its longitudinal placement in the natal chart.
      • Lunar Return Definition:The moment in any month when the Moon reaches its longitudinal placement in the natal chart.
      • Returns (in general):Whenever a planetary body returns to its original natal position.For Mercury this can be once a year.For Saturn that is about 29.5 years.The moment that planet returns to its natal position is when a chart is made for the ‘issues’ regarding that planet for that year.

      In Summary:

      • At the moment in time that a planet reaches its natal position, we calculate a chart that signifies the energy around that moment and it is called a return chart.
      • For a Solar Return, this is a ‘snapshot’ of the prediction of events for the upcoming year until the next solar return.
      • For the Lunar Return, this is a ‘snapshot’ of the prediction of events for the next month until the next lunar return.
      • For other Return charts, again, this is a ‘snapshot’ of the return of that planet, whether it is Mercury, Saturn, or Uranus.
      • It is highly unlikely that we can have a Neptune or Pluto return in someone’s chart unless life is extended miraculously! J
      • Sometimes people precess the Solar Return, taking into account the precession of the equinoxes.This is a matter of personal preference.However, remember that when you calculate the natal chart, you don’t precess it if you are working tropically.
      • Solar Returns are usually effective for the location at which the individual resides.
      • There are some schools of thought that suggest that if you travel for the Solar Return to a more favorable location for the birthday, then that chart works.However, this hasn’t been found to be really true from several sources such as March and McEvers, etc.
      • When we review the Solar Return, we must take into consideration the natal chart as well and work with both of them.
      • Solar Returns begin to affect us approximately 3 months prior to the return date and set into place no later than 3 months after the return date.
      • When the Sun aligns with the outer planets in a tight aspect, such as Uranus conjunct, square or opposing the Sun, this is a year of significant change that relate to Uranian issues.Remember, too, that this is already happening in the natal chart, and, so WHERE it is in the solar return is significant.
      • Whatever the aspect relationship between natal Sun and natal Venus at birth, and, since Venus has an eight-year cycle, then this suggests that every eighth year of someone’s life, the same aspect relationship appears in their solar return.So around 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, etc., that the same aspect returns to the solar return.
      • At age thirty-three, the solar return Ascendant comes very close to its degree in the birth chart, and Saturn is usually in the same house, if we calculate that solar return for the birth place. 
      • The Midheaven of the solar return will cycle through the same modality (cardinal, fixed, or mutable) for a few years in a row and then shift to another.
      • You will also notice that at each subsequent solar return, the sun moves backwards into the previous quadrant and that it appears in the same type of house for a while.In other words, the solar return Sun may stay a few years in cadent houses, then a few years in succedent, then a few years in angular and not necessarily in that order.This is significant in that these houses express varied energies, the angular houses being the most action oriented.The succedent houses are a time in which much is accomplished, getting something ‘done’ in that year regarding that house.And when in the cadent houses, a lot is going on and the individual should try to be as flexible as possible.
      • The solar return 8th pushes things to a point of confrontation and crisis, particularly if there is an emphasis in that house in any given solar return year.
      • The solar return 4th is crucial in terms of how you feel on a deep, psychological level.For example, if the Sun, or, Jupiter, or, Venus is there in the solar return year, then one might experience more comfort or peace.However, with Saturn or Mars there, they may not.
      • Watch where the nodes are in the solar return and the eclipses that accompany these.Measure off 90 days after those eclipses and the houses in the natal as well as the solar return in which they take place.These are points of crisis and consolidation. 

      Highly Suggested Reading:

      • Lynn Bell, Cycles of Light, Exploring the Mysteries of Solar Returns, Centre for Psychological Astrology Press, London, UK, 2005.
      • Marion March and Joan McEvers, The Only Way to Learn About Tomorrow, Volume 4, ACS Publishing, San Diego, California, 1988, pages 128 to 206.


      • James Eshleman:Interpreting Solar Returns
      • Raymond Merriman:The Solar Return Book of Predictions
      • Nance McCullough:Solar Returns Formulas and Analysis
      • Mary Fortier Shea:Planets in Solar Return
      • Deanna Rose:Easy Predictions with Solar Returns
      • John Townley:Lunar Returns



      [1] Deanna Rose, Easy Predictions with Solar Returns, 21stCentury Metaphysical Publishing, PO Box 960, Mundelein, IL, 60060, 1982, page 3-5.

      [2] Bell, page 5.

      [3] SEE JPEG of 24 years of Solar Returns at Blackboard. Note how this plays out in this example.

      [4] Bell, Page 94.

      [5] Georgia Stathis, 2006 Astrological Appointment Book, The Professionals House, marked by dates.

      Return to Part 1 of article

      • solar return
      • chart interpretation
      • transits
        georgiastathis@sbcglobal.net (Georgia Stathis) Working with the Chart Sun, 12 Dec 2010 14:56:25 +0000
        Timing Important Life Periods With Synodic Returns http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/329-timing-important-life-periods-with-synodic-returns http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/329-timing-important-life-periods-with-synodic-returns Timing Important Life Periods With Synodic Returns

        The synodic return is a double outer planet transit measured by the time interval between the successive conjunctions of any two planets. If one outer planet moves to aspect a natal planet, angle or close network of planets, two at once marks a particularly important life period. Synodic returns look at the moving planets, not just their static position in the natal chart.

        Now to look at contacts to the natal chart:


        If Jupiter takes 12 years to complete a cycle and Saturn takes 29 ½ years to complete a cycle, then it is logical that it would take Jupiter, the faster moving body, even more time than its own cycle to reach Saturn’s new position to be conjunct again. The Jupiter/Saturn synodic cycle is 19.859 years [often rounded off to 20 years]. If one knows when the last Jupiter/Saturn conjunction took place, then rather predictably, future such synodic returns can be estimated even without an ephemeris.  In Tables of Planetary Phenomena by Neil F. Michelsen one can find the outer planet conjunctions from 501 B.C. to 2100 plus their major aspects including the quarter and half cycles from 1700 to 2050. There is no need to immediately purchase this text, but be aware that such reference texts are valuable additions to your professional library.

        The Neptune/Pluto synodic return or conjunction occurs approximately every 500 years; the Uranus/Neptune return every 170 years; and the Uranus/Pluto return every 140 years so none fit the human life span very well. Rather, modern astrologers use those synodic returns to describe larger mundane changes in the world. In fact, most modern mundane astrologers rely heavily upon the synodic returns of all of the outer planets to fill out their interpretations and forecasts.

        The synodic returns most noticeable in personal charts are the Saturn synodic returns: 45 years Saturn/Uranus; 36 years Saturn/Neptune; 33 years Saturn/Pluto and the Jupiter returns: 20 years Jupiter/Saturn; 14 years Jupiter/Uranus; 13 years Jupiter/Neptune and 12 years the Jupiter/Pluto return. These synodic returns are only important if their conjunction closely aspects a planet, angle or sensitive point in the natal chart or even the natal chart of a country, a corporation, etc. Yes, we are talking about transit cycles of the outer planets, but particularly, the synodic return as an interplanetary “dance”.

        Table of Planetary Pairs in Synodic Conjunction Late 19th-Early 21st Century

        Nep/Pl 1891*
        8 Ge 19
        Ur/Nep 1993*
        18 Cp 48
        Ur/Pl 1966*
        16 Vi 28
        Sat/Ur 1897*
        26 Sc 26
        29 Ta 20
        27 Sg 49
        28 Ge 01
        28 Cp 13
        Sat/Nep 1882
        16 Ta 29
        4 Le 45
        22 Li 47
        11 Cp 14
        0 Ar 45
        Sat/Pl 1883
        29 Ta 46
        2 Ca 04
        13 Le 07
        27 Li 36
        22 Cp 46
        14 Pi 22
        Jup/Sat 1881*
        1 Ta 36
        14 Cp 00
        26 Vi 36
        12 Ta 28
        25 Cp 12
        8 Li 06
        22 Ta 43
        0 Aq 29
        Jup/Ur 1900
        10 Sg 06
        9 Aq 32
        3 Ar 00
        25 Ta 38
        26 Ca 04
        2 Li 27
        7 Sg 41
        5 Aq 56
        Jup/Nep 1907
        10 Ca 50
        9 Le 12
        8 Vi 25
        5 Li 54
        3 Sc 18
        1 Sg 44
        0 Cp 01
        27 Cp 09
        Jup/Pl 1906
        22 Ge 31
        6 Ca 03
        19 Ca 16
        6 Le 53
        27 Le 36
        23 Vi 40
        24 Li 53
        28 Sc 26

        *Asterisk denotes the middle point of the direct, retrograde and direct conjunction of the planetary pair extending the contact effect to over 8 months, and longer for Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

        Look at the table above to find the most recent synodic conjunctions of the outer planetary pairs most pertinent to human affairs. If you are interested in mundane astrology you may notice the correlation of synodic planetary returns to appropriate historical events such as the 1914 triple Sat/Pluto synodic return at 2 Cancer 04 and the Jupiter/Uranus synodic return at 9 Aquarius 32 that same year to mark the beginning of WW I. Then again in 1941 a triple Jupiter/Saturn synodic return at 12 Taurus 08 and a Jupiter/Uranus synodic return that same year at 25 Taurus 38 mark the beginning of the U.S. entry into WW II with the1942 Saturn/Uranus synodic return at 29 Taurus 20 following soon after. See what other mundane correlations you can make.



        The Neptune-Pluto return will not occur again in our lifetime since the synodic cycle is approximately 500 years. The last return was on August 2nd, November 5th, 1891, and April 30th, 1892 from 7:42 – 8:38 Gemini, so only historical charts will show evidence of activated personal planets. And by 2385, or so, when Neptune and Pluto next conjoin in their synodic return, none of us will be here tell the story – at least in this incarnation.


        Even though this planetary pair only joins up every 170 years or so, 1993 is the only year in the twentieth or twenty-first century for a Uranus-Neptune conjunction. As stated earlier, this synodic return is larger than the human life span and more accurately describes mundane events and situations. However, if such a conjunction occurs within a close orb of aspect (one to two degrees) to any of the natal chart inner planets or angles, then expect the impact of the planetary influences to be expressed through the house and planet or point activated. For instance, if the Uranus-Neptune synodic return of February 2nd, August 20th and October 24th of 1993 from 18:33 – 19:34 Capricorn hit a personal planet or point in 16 – 21 degrees of cardinal signs, the impact would trigger sudden insights toward spiritual understanding, or even heightened psychic ability. The fact that the conjunction occurred in Capricorn brings a Saturn influence of some responsibility and discipline to the creative potential of this combination. Certainly, creative experimentation would be appropriate to unfold one’s inner vision of beauty. Use your understanding of the nature of each planet’s energy in its expression through the life situations described by the house placement. As in all multiple planet combinations, one must always remember to add into the mix any other natal planets that natally are in 1-2 degree orb of aspect, and therefore also activated.


        The Uranus-Pluto synodic return occurs approximately every 140 years and the most recent conjunction occurred on October 9th of 1965 and on April 4th and June 30th of 1966 in 16:06 – 17:10 Virgo. The planetary influence of Uranus is said to upset the status quo and to explore new ideas. Most modern astrologers would say the influence of Pluto is to tear down old structures and build new, even wielding the power of the masses to do so. Those individuals with personal planets or angles from 14 – 19 degrees of mutable signs were the “shakers and movers”, as suggested by the planet(s) and house(s) activated, who by their own personal transformation paved the way for massive societal change. As you can see from the chart of synodic returns, several other returns occurred during the 1960’s compounding the ground swell for major change. Civil Rights and Human Rights were causes championed by many amidst the Vietnam War protests. The drug culture seems more shaped by the synodic returns of Jupiter to Pluto in 1968, to Uranus in 1969 and to Neptune in 1971 when the down side of side of abuse became evident as a serious social problem. The era of the 1960’s was such a major sea-change for many people of all cultures because of the several synodic returns that occurred in such short succession.


        The Saturn-Uranus synodic return occurs every 44-45 years and most recently in 1988 in Sagittarius. Saturn represents discipline and responsibility meeting innovation and independence, two opposite influences. This combination represents structure and tearing down of that same structure. It is the established rule of society coming into contact with the fresh new ideas about how to make things better. Saturn will add caution, limits, delays and restrictions to the unique innovations and free-spiritedness of the Uranus influence. Uranus shocks and rebels against the established structures and commitments of Saturn. If the polarity of those ideals can be integrated to address the great issues for the betterment of mankind, the results could impact the world in a solid and lasting way. The natural tendency if for these planets to polarize people rather than bring them together. This most recent conjunction in Sagittarius indicates that the impact may be to polarize people into philosophical or religious ideologies. Extremism is a distinct possibility.


        Saturn and Neptune conjoin every 35-36 years, and most recently in 1989 in Capricorn. The Saturn and Neptune combination represents reality colliding with unrealistic ideals either on an individual or societal level. Morals (Saturn) and values (Neptune) may be open to criticism or even criminal prosecution because those affected will have difficulty accepting the consequences of their actions. Indeed, the Saturn/Neptune conjunction if making close hard aspect to a personal planet or angle can bring much guilt or remorse for some action that was less than noble. On a material level, consequences are again the issue. Responsibility is at odds with dreams or fantasies. Money can be squandered, but also addictions can be cured. The key is to find the optimum balance between living one’s ideals and being responsible for the consequences that might engender. The most recent conjunction of Saturn and Neptune in Capricorn adds another count for Saturn, so the message of responsibility is doubly emphasized for those impacted by this synodic return.


        Saturn and Pluto conjoin in synodic return every 34-35 years. This powerhouse combination is where the politically correct meets hidden motives aimed toward control. The last conjunction in Libra in 1982 defined the “go-go” eighties where corporate greed and materialism ruled the day. Certainly, many affected by this synodic pair experienced excesses in career over-drive, sexual experimentation and personal control issues. Those strongly affected by major hard aspects to inner planets, may build a wall of protection for fear of probing too deeply into past wounds. There is a “don’t get too close” caution from those directly affected, or possibly manipulation from hidden enemies. Whatever the case, this combination can be quite explosive when that which is restrained breaks loose. Envision a volcano or an earthquake as a metaphor.


        Jupiter and Saturn make their synodic return approximately every 20 years. This combination is widely associated with leadership and political or humanitarian overtones, and is particularly associated with leaders that define generations. If this combination activates a chart angle or personal planet, then prominence of some sort is suggested as described by the house position and any aspects from other planets. In itself, the focused goals and caution of Saturn may be expanded by the optimism and opportunity of Jupiter. The philosophical influence of Jupiter may express in the more traditional ways of Saturn through political action or humanitarian aid. Last occurring in 2000 in Taurus, a presidential election year, issues of finances, moral values and self-worth were the emphasis.


        Occurring every 14 years, the Jupiter-Uranus synodic return was last in Aquarius in 1997. Since then, the “Age of the Internet” has mushroomed. Uranus in its own sign provides fertile ground for the natural expansiveness of everything Jupiter touches. Expansion as well as sudden change are keywords most associated with this pair which can be confirmed by the 80% drop in the NASDAQ from 2000-2003 when the bottom dropped out of tech stocks. Increasing independence and freedom to explore new ideas and places is an urge for those whose personal planets and angles are activated by this pair.


        The Jupiter-Neptune synodic return occurs every 13 years and the last return was in 1997 in Capricorn. This combination lends itself to high hopes and grand visions. Hopefully, other positive confirmations in the chart will support this potential when it contacts charts angles or personal planets. The boundaries of illusions and delusion are expanded which can express in day-dreaming, and fantasizing. Clearly, this combination has a philosophical bent with the natural rulers of the 9th and 12th houses conjoined. Though drugs or alcohol could be an issue, more likely interest in meditation, religion, metaphysics or higher education can be the case. Sometimes the “rose-colored glasses” of this combination may lead one to believe the “grass is greener” somewhere else. Most recently in Capricorn lends a good balance of reality to the combination.


        Jupiter and Pluto make their synodic return every 12-13 years, the last pairing occurring in 1994 in Scorpio. Imagine the eternal optimist meeting the dark side, the philosopher delving into psycho-analysis. Natural rulers of the 8th and 9th houses conjoined suggests joint ventures, foreign investment, or religious leaders plagued by scandal. Jupiter and Pluto together can also be about exercising power and control in a big way. At home in Scorpio, the combination suggests the extremes of Pluto.



        Celeste Teal's, Identifying Planetary Triggers, provides a full explanation of planetary returns to their own natal position. Though this article focused on synodic returns of planetary pairs, her Chapter Three, “Introducing the Returns” provides good basic explanation of the concept of returns including how to calculate them. Remember, the synodic return is when a faster moving planet not only returns to any starting point in its own cycle, but moves beyond that point to again conjunct another slower moving planet; therefore, the principles of calculating a return apply equally to calculating a synodic return.

        • synodic returns
        • transits
        • chart interpretation
          CarolTebbs@aol.com (Carol Tebbs) Working with the Chart Tue, 26 Oct 2010 20:55:11 +0000