Solar Returns: Books
Interpreting solar returns
Solar Returns - Comparison of Books
Solar Returns Feature: Page 7
On this seventh page of our Solar Returns Feature, we compare interpretive books on Solar Returns and suggest resources for further study. Note that we occasionally abbreviate "Solar Returns" as "SR".
On this Page:
Comparison of Books with Solar Return Interpretations
As is the case with most any "branch" of astrology, your best bet is to learn from, and refer to, more than one book on the subject.
My favorites on Solar Returns are Planets in Solar Returns by Mary Fortier Shea and Interpreting Solar Returns by James A. Eshelman.
Planets in Solar Returns offers cookbook-style interpretations of Solar Return positions of planets by house and aspect. The interpretations imply that self-development is an underlying goal. The author, Mary Fortier Shea, has an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and it shows in her interpretations, which focus on personal growth and problem-solving. Her book also offers a unique look at cycles, and encourages the reader to think in terms of learning from the past and preparing for future challenges. She identifies patterns, and, for example, if the native stays in the same place from year to year, there are distinct cycles concerning the house placements of the Sun. If the Sun is in the 10th house in one Solar Return year, the next year one is likely to find Sun in the 7th. The author attempts to put Solar Returns into a context, instead of viewing them as entirely new charts from year to year. The "double chart" technique of interpretation, as well as timing techniques are discussed in less detail. This book delivers exceptionally clear, thoughtful, and thorough interpretations of the Solar Return chart itself. For more information or to buy the book, click here: Planets in Solar Returns: Yearly Cycles of Transformation & Growth
Shea focuses less on the interplay between the solar return chart and the natal chart, and that is where Interpreting Solar Returns by James A. Eshelman is strong. Although he uses precessed tropical Solar Returns (I prefer non-precessed charts), his interpretations incorporate comparisons of the natal chart to the Solar Return chart, and vice versa. He interprets natal chart planets and houses coming to the "foreground" in the Solar Return chart, for example. Detailed interpretations are offered for planetary angularity (both Solar Return planets and natal planets, with different interpretations for each), SR Moon aspects, timing, and example charts. For more information or to buy the book, click here: Interpreting Solar Returns
Another book on Solar Returns that I have found particularly useful is Solar Returns: Formulas & Analyses (3) by Nance McCullough. She points out the significance of the ruling planet of the Solar Return chart (the ruler of the SR Ascendant) and where that planet is found in the SR chart by house. She writes about dispositors and their role in the SR, planets (either natal or SR) on SR angles, the placement of the SR Sun, the significance of the SR Moon, and more. Another topic is an emphasis on cardinal/fixed/cadent signs and how those can suggest whether the year will be a busy and eventful one, a fixed/unchanging one, or a year of restlessness and mental activity. She discusses the Solar Return charts before death and marriage, and she devotes a chapter to Solar Return progressions. This book is filled with keys/pointers to interpreting Solar Returns. The author works with equal houses, which is not my personal preference, but the interpretation guidelines are useful. For more information or to buy the book, click here: Solar Returns Formulas & Analyses
A book about many different predictive techniques, including Solar Returns, that I have found very useful is Identifying Planetary Triggers (4) by Celeste Teal. This book offers a lot of information on planetary returns, not only Solar Returns. For more information or to buy the book, click here: Identifying Planetary Triggers: Astrological Techniques for Prediction
Another Solar Return book available is The New Solar Return Book of Prediction by Ray Merriman. It is a sound book offering interpretations of some factors not covered, at least not in depth, in the other books mentioned here. Although it's a good book, I don't refer to it much for a few reasons. I don't put too much weight in Solar Return planets conjuncting the house cusps (except for the angles), and the Progressed Solar Return Moon for timing events. The book explores aspects between planets found in a house with the planet (both natal and SR) that rules that house. I like this method, although I find some of the interpretations a bit too black and white for my liking. However, the book does offer useful information and is recommended as something to add to your library of Solar Return books. I simply wouldn't use this one as a Solar Return "bible". For more information or to buy the book, click here: The New Solar Return Book of Prediction(revised edition)
page 1 of our Solar Returns Feature, we offered our preferred
techniques and key points to
consider when interpreting Solar Returns, as well as an example