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Planetary Returns


Athen Chimenti

31 December 2023

What are Planet Returns?

Return charts on table

A planet return, refers to the time when a transiting planet revisits the exact degree it occupied at the time of birth. This celestial event triggers a new cycle of growth and evolution, offering new beginnings to the individual's life journey.

For instance, the well-known Solar Return, which occurs every year around your birthday, marks the Sun returning to its natal position, signifying a new personal year. However, planet returns aren't limited to the Sun. Each planet has its own return, offering unique insights and opportunities for growth.

Understanding the subtleties of each planet's return can provide a rich, nuanced perspective on your personal evolution. This article dives into the intricacies of the personal planet returns, providing practical insights on how to harness each of their unique energies.

Solar Return

Drawing of the Sun

The Solar Return is perhaps the most familiar of all returns. Occurring approximately every 365 days, it marks the start of a new personal year. This return is a potent time for setting intentions and initiating new beginnings. As the Sun rules our core essence, its return illuminates our fundamental self, highlighting areas of personal growth and potential challenges for the coming year.

The Solar Return chart, cast for the exact moment the Sun returns to its natal position, offers a snapshot of the year ahead. You can read it just like you do a natal chart, except as the main areas of focus for the year ahead. Each planetary position in the chart provides insights into potential events and experiences. For example, Venus in the 7th house could suggest a year focused on relationships, while Mars in the 10th house might indicate career advancements.

Lunar Return

Drawing of the Moon

Unlike the annual Solar Return, the Lunar Return occurs monthly, offering a more frequent cycle of personal renewal. The Moon, ruling our emotions, intuition, and subconscious, brings these aspects to the forefront during its return. The Lunar Return chart gives a preview of the emotional landscape for the upcoming month, highlighting potential emotional challenges and opportunities for emotional growth.

For instance, the Moon in the 4th house during a Lunar Return could indicate a month focused on home and family, while the Moon in the 12th house might suggest a period of introspection and solitude. Just like the Solar Return you can read the other planetary placements in the chart to give a holistic view of the month ahead. By understanding these lunar cycles, we can better navigate our emotional world and use these insights to foster personal growth in the month ahead.

Venus Return

Drawing of Venus

The Venus Return, happening approximately every year and a half, ushers in a fresh cycle of love, beauty, and harmony. Venus, ruling our relationships, values, and aesthetics, brings these themes to the forefront during its return. The Venus Return chart can reveal potential developments in our relationships and personal values, as well as opportunities for creative expression. It marks a new beginning to what we value and how we connect with others.

For example, Venus in the 5th house could indicate a period of heightened creativity and romance, while Venus in the 2nd might suggest a time to reassess personal values and finances. The other placements in the chart give clues as to which areas will be of value for the new cycle and the themes we'll likely experience in our relationships. By attuning to the Venus Return, we can refine our values, deepen our relationships, and connect to life in new and different ways.

Mars Return

Drawing of MarsThe Mars Return, occurring approximately every two years, marks a new cycle of action, desire, and motivation. Mars, the planet of drive and personal desire, imbues its return with a surge of energy and initiative. The Mars Return chart can reveal where this energy is likely to be directed and potential challenges that we can overcome.

For instance, Mars in the 1st house could indicate a time of heightened self-assertion and personal drive, while Mars in the 6th might suggest a period of hard work or potential challenges to overcome in the workplace. Like the other return charts, the planetary placements in the chart further show our sense of self and desires for the new Mars cycle. By understanding our Mars Return, we can harness this potent energy to initiate action and overcome obstacles.

How To Calculate Your Return Chart

The best way to calculate your returns is to use an astrology software. We recommend Prometheus since it uses the actual constellations in the sky. It also uses precession-correct dates for using the exact location in the sky that the planet returns to. However, you can also use online chart calculators for finding the house placements of the return since the house placements are the same between systems.

Remember that the easiest way to read the chart is to read it as if it was a natal chart, except you are reading it as a new cycle for that planet's energy. Solar returns are by far the easiest way to get a predictive reading for the time ahead, whether it's the month, year, or even larger time periods like Saturn's 29 year cycle. As long as you read the return chart in the context of the planet's energy then you will have an accurate look at the upcoming cycle of your life.

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