The meaning of your solar return is far more straightforward and less traumatic than your Saturn return. Specifically, it’s the moment that the sun comes back to the same spot it was when you were born. While this can occur on your actual birthday, Gailing says some years it can be the day before or after. Many people tend to feel it within a week or so before their birthday, and it comes with a really charged up feeling. You get a sense that a new chapter is about to emerge and that some of the things that you’ve been focusing upon since your last birthday are releasing.
“The solar return often feels like a reminder time, reminding us of what it is that has us filled with vitality, the unique way we want to shine in the world, what it is that has us feel lit up,” says Gailing. “We connect to a deep sense of our personal essence.”
Basically, we’re in a good position to really shine around our birthday when we lean into that energy. Curious about how to make your solar return really count? Here’s what she advises.
How to radiate the hardest during your solar return, according to an astrologer
1. Pay attention to the stories that are wrapping up to their arc
If you’re approaching your birthday, it helps to remember the things in your life that filled you with vitality this year. What do you want to keep with you? If you feel like you’re starting a new chapter, notice the important year-defining story lines that ended (or should end) with the new year.
“I’d encourage people to pay attention to this awareness,” Gailing says. “Be mindful of it. What are you ready to release? What do you feel like you’re about to embark upon, and how do you want to mindfully invite that into your life? Connect to what makes you feel you, committing to it, while galvanizing the strength to release the chords of ways of expressing yourself that are not aligned with the depth of who you know yourself to be.”
2. Cast a solar return chart
“You can think of this like your birthday chart, a chart that gives you additional way finding tips for moving through this year, sensing what it may offer,” says Gailing. “It doesn’t supersede other insights that help you understand where you’re at—for example, insights from your Saturn return—but adds another dimension that will help you see what this year is inviting for you. You can then take this and tune in to see how the new beginnings you’re sensing align with this, allowing it to inform this inquiry.”
You can find your solar return chart by plugging in your birthdate and location where you’ll be on your birthday into a generator like this one. If you want something super in depth, ask an astrologer to do it for you and share the insights with you (because I’m looking at mine and it’s all Greek to me).
3. Embrace the chance of a fresh start
One of the beautiful things about birthdays is that they inspire fresh start energy, and you know what that means—out with the old! “Birthdays are like our personal New Years,” says Gailing “We have further inspiration to say au revoir or basta to the year that we just moved through—notably anything that sucks our energy or spirit—and claim that we are embarking upon a new stage of our hero’s journey. This itself can be so powerful.”
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