Planetary Returns, an explanation

You may have heard the terms Solar Return and Saturn Return – along with Lunar Returns and others. What are they and what do they mean to the natal chart?
A planetary return occurs when a planet traverse the zodiac and returns to the position it held in the natal chart. Thus a Solar return occurs when the Sun returns to its natal position once a year, on your birthday. A chart drawn up for the exact time of the return (it can vary up to a day either side of your actual birthdate) gives a picture of the year ahead, showing what planetary influences will predominate.
A Lunar Return occurs once a month, and is often used as a timer for events in the Solar Return.
Other planets, like Mercury, Venus and Mars, also return at different times according to their orbits, and accentuate their positions and aspects in the natal chart. For example, if you have a very sociable Venus in Leo, you can expect the Venus Returns to be a time of social activity.
Jupiter returns about every 12 years or so (as Jupiter’s orbit can speed up, slow down and retrograde frequently, this does vary). Jupiter is generally fortunate so a Jupiter Return is seen as a fortunate time – but if you have a badly aspected Jupiter in your natal chart, it can also mean Jupiter’s negative side – gambling, poor financial choices etc – are accentuated.
The Saturn Return occurs about every 30 years and is a biggy. The first Saturn return, at around age 30, sees the person usually taking stock of their life and trying to consolidate for a secure future, while the second return at around age 60, sees the focus change to how the remainder of the life and the retirement years will be spent. Saturn Returns are sobering, because they always highlight areas where you forgot to plan ahead.
The outer planets – Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, move very slowly, and are not counted unless they have a close aspect to one of the personal, inner planets. As the fastest one, Uranus, takes 84 years to go through all the signs, the most impact it is likely to have is in the changes that will have taken place in a long life. However, the roughly 40-year half-returns – when Uranus opposes its own position in the natal chart – could be a time of sudden and significant change if this planet is active and aspected in the native chart.


~ by Heather Blakey on April 25, 2007.

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