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A sample Planets in Solar Return Report. This report reveals the themes and circumstances likely to be encountered in the year ahead.

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Sample: Planets in Solar Return Report

 

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Planets in Solar Return Report for:

 
Annie
September 18, 1967
7:36 PM
Toronto, Canada

 
******

 
Solar Return calculated for:
September 18, 2006
6:02:57 AM
Montreal, Canada


 
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Cafe Astrology
http://www.cafeastrology.com

 



 
*** INTRODUCTION TO SOLAR RETURNS AND THEIR INTERPRETATION ***

What is a Solar Return Chart?

A solar return chart is a chart erected for the time that the transiting Sun returns to the position of the natal Sun. Approximately once every year the transiting Sun goes through the entire zodiac, every degree, minute, and second of each sign. When you are born, the Sun in your natal chart has a specific position in the zodiac. This position can be measured exactly. At some point in time during each subsequent year, the transiting Sun returns to this natal position, conjuncting your natal Sun. The date and time when the conjunction occurs down to the exact second of arc is the time of the solar return chart. A chart is then calculated for that date, using the time (of the transiting Sun's return to your natal Sun's position), and your location (longitude and latitude) at the time of the conjunction.

Tropical, Placidus, Nonprecessed Solar Return

There are many different types of solar return charts: tropical, sidereal, precessed, and nonprecessed. This report is based on research using tropical, Placidus or Koch, nonprecessed solar return charts. Interpretations are very similar to natal interpretations and this should make the material more understandable to both the professional and amateur astrologer.

Solar Return Location

The solar return chart is generally calculated for your location at the time of the Sun's return. This may occur on your birthday, or the day before or after. During leap years, it sometimes occurs two days before your birthday. If you are going to be away or traveling near your birthday, calculate the time of the Sun's return before you leave so you can note your position the exact moment of the solar return.

You can also calculate the chart for your natal birth location even if you no longer live there. The natal location solar return chart is not as definitive as the relocation solar return, but it can give you good information. The natal location solar return is like a progressed or solar arc chart; you are born with it. Therefore, a natal solar return cannot and will not reflect any free will choices you might have made regarding where you live or where you are when the sun returns. It is a good chart, but it does not mirror the whole picture, especially if you have moved a great distance.

Some individuals prefer the chart calculated for their place of residence regardless of where they are located at the time of the Sun's return. This chart can be useful also, but again, it tends to be secondary to the chart of your actual location at the time of the Sun's return to its natal zodiacal position.

Some individuals relocate for a short period of time, usually about 24 hours, to adjust the house placements of the planets in the solar return. Those who calculate the chart for where they are at the time of the transiting Sun's conjunction to the natal position sometimes travel to other locations to change the yearly interpretation. The relocation adjusts the angles and cusps, orienting the planets into different houses. The zodiacal degrees and aspects of the planets remain the same, but because of the different planetary placements different areas of life are emphasized. The free will choice to make this adjustment seems to bring this chart closest to the truth.

Period of the Solar Return's Significance

The significance of the solar return runs birthday to birthday with a three month overlap at the beginning and end of each year. The symbolism of the new solar return can be felt as much as three months before the birthday by very intuitive people. Usually, at this time, one becomes aware of new directions, opportunities, and problems. Many times there is even an event exactly three months before the birthday which triggers awareness and signals the beginning of the new solar return. This event is usually very much related to the new solar return and very much out of context with the old one. If you have plans to travel overseas during the three months before your birthday, do not look for the event in the old solar return even if you have been planning to take the trip all year. The old solar return will probably indicate the planning stage, but the new solar return will indicate the trip. The trip itself illustrates change, and since it occurs in the three months before your birthday, it will most likely be indicative of the new solar return chart.

On the other hand, the significance of the old solar return may not feel passť until three months after your birthday. The old themes and issues which you have worked with for the year should begin to lose their importance just as the new solar return starts to manifest itself. As your attention naturally shifts to new themes and issues, previous concerns are phased out. This is especially true if you experience a sense of completion relevant to the old tasks. However, there are times when the old solar return drags on. If you are working on a major project for the year, it may be impossible to complete it within the one year time span. If you normally procrastinate and avoid making decisions, tasks associated with the old solar return can easily last past your birthday and into the first three months of the new solar return year. Unresolved issues carried over from year to year become stumbling blocks to further advancement and development. Individuals who consistently avoid facing the real issues in their lives accumulate major problems which are very difficult to handle.

The important thing to remember about solar returns, and life experiences in general, is that they are part of a cumulative process. The more attentive and productive you are this year, the greater your options next year. The less you accomplish now, the more limited you will feel as time goes by. Unlike transits which can seem disconnected and singular, solar returns are closely aligned and can easily be viewed as building blocks, one upon the other, year after year. For this reason, each year becomes important and each task has a history and a future. The rhythmic pattern of the solar return helps us to see this.

The main transitional month for the change from the old solar return to the new solar return is the month directly preceding the birthday. Issues related to the old solar return are resolved at this time unless they drag on (as explained above), or they are part of the new solar return as well. Issues related to the new solar return become more pressing during this transitional month and are certainly full blown by the birthdate. Sometimes the new solar return simply gains strength during the three months before your birthday and sometimes it comes in with a bang on or near your birthday. Rarely does it happen that a solar return chart starts to change manifestation later in the year. Themes in the chart usually persist for the entire year, but once in a great while one new theme will appear later than expected. In every case, the new theme can be seen in the solar return chart, yet it lay there inactive for some unknown reason. An external event is the triggering mechanism used to activate this inert awareness, and the event generally occurs within the three months following the birthday. It can be hypothesized that unconscious factors help to avoid full involvement with this new issue until such time as it is associated with an external event of importance and thereafter becomes very obvious.

Planets conjunct a house cusp within a few degrees may be read in both houses. It is especially important to read outer planets in both houses since they eventually transit or retrograde into the other house, indicating dual or shifting concerns during the year. The more planets that are in a solar return house, the more emphasized that area of life will be during the coming year, especially if the Sun is one of the planets present. Four or more planets in any one house indicate a strong need to be involved with those themes and issues. But the individual may become so focused on this one area of life that perception is distorted and these themes are overemphasized. He or she may not want to think about anything else or accomplish tasks in other areas. The overloaded house becomes a symbol for obsessive preoccupation or emotional overload.




 
*** Astrological Data of Birth ***

The birth chart is a map of the positions of the planets at the time and place of birth. For the benefit of students of astrology, these positions and other technical information is listed below:

Sun     25 Vir 21                Neptune  22 Sco 09
Moon    28 Pis 25                Pluto    20 Vir 38
Mercury 14 Lib 37                Asc.      3 Ari 22
Venus   27 Leo 41                MC        1 Cap 40
Mars     5 Sag 55                2nd cusp 15 Tau 08
Jupiter 24 Leo 21                3rd cusp 10 Gem 59
Saturn  10 Ari 05                5th cusp 22 Can 38
Uranus  24 Vir 51                6th cusp 19 Leo 33

Tropical  Placidus   Daylight Time observed
September 18, 1967   7:36 PM
GMT: 23:36:00   Time Zone: 5 hours West
Lat. and Long. of birth place: 43 N 39    79 W 23  


Astrological Data of Solar Return:

Sun     25 Vir 21                Neptune  17 Aqu 28
Moon    11 Leo 02                Pluto    24 Sag 08
Mercury  9 Lib 15                Asc.     18 Vir 11
Venus   15 Vir 04                MC       15 Gem 36
Mars     6 Lib 38                2nd cusp 12 Lib 05
Jupiter 16 Sco 12                3rd cusp 11 Sco 25
Saturn  20 Leo 01                5th cusp 20 Cap 42
Uranus  12 Pis 14                6th cusp 21 Aqu 56

September 18, 2006   GMT: 10:02:57
Montreal, Canada 45 N 31    73 W 34  


Aspects and orbs:
        Sun and Moon only      All other planets
Conj.  :  8 Deg. 00 Min.       7 Deg. 00 Min.
Oppos. :  6 Deg. 00 Min.       6 Deg. 00
Square :  6 Deg. 00 Min.       6 Deg. 00 Min.
Trine  :  6 Deg. 00 Min.       6 Deg. 00 Min.
Sextile:  5 Deg. 00 Min.       4 Deg. 00 Min.



 
ELEMENTS, MODES, QUADRANTS, AND RETROGRADE PLANETS

Well Balanced Modes and Elements

When all of your elements and modes are balanced (meaning that there are no more than four planets and no less than two planets in any element or mode) this indicates that your thinking and actions are based on careful consideration of data from several sources of information. You are able to weigh physical, rational, emotional, and spiritual information when you are making decisions. You tend to be conservative rather than rash in making changes, even though you are open to change. At times you may be indecisive since you must take so much information into consideration; however, it is more likely that you will look at issues from all sides and not be overly influenced by any one personality factor.

 
THE SUN IN THE SOLAR RETURN CHART

The Sun is the most significant planet in the solar return chart. Its position by house shows the most emphasized area of life during the coming year, how and where you expend the greatest amount of energy. The house placement of the Sun is reflected in the interpretation of the other planets, and may be the motivating force behind their symbolism.

Sun in 1st house:

The Sun in the 1st house asks, "What can you accomplish on your own?" This is a time to do something by yourself and for yourself. It is likely that you have a project in mind that only you can complete. The 1st house is the house of self-discovery and you need to explore your talents and limitations in order to assess the feasibility of the project you have in mind. In reality, the project is only a focal point of attention urging you to investigate your own abilities. The true power of this placement lies in what you discover about yourself. Use the newfound traits for personal accomplishment. This is an excellent time for self-improvement, self-motivation, and personal change. Remember to initiate matters on your own since no one is going to push you along. Don't wait for others to do things for you. This is not to say that you will live alone, but this is a time to test your own strength and self-sufficiency. You want to be the one to make things happen.

This year is actually achievement-oriented, but all achievements are personal successes and not career triumphs. Advances are not so apparent to others since they tend to be internal rather than external. Growth is measured by the satisfaction that comes from reaching personal goals and making personal changes. During the year, character traits which either help or hinder your ambitions will surface. It is your job to foster the more positive qualities and to overcome deficiencies. This can be a year for healing and recuperation from a difficult relationship, or it can become more. It can be a time of great personal progress; it depends on what you are ready for.

If you start something career-wise this year, it will tend to grow and blossom next year when you will receive wider recognition for your work. Use this time to prepare for the career push that could occur next year when the solar return Sun will most likely be in the 10th house. You may need more professional training, experience, or education. But even personal changes and improvements you make now can support career or business goals later.

During the year, you tend to be oblivious to the needs of others. With a strong 1st house emphasis, the solar return shows a lot of subjectivity and diminished objectivity. Your perception of life narrows as you focus on your needs, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. This shift in emphasis is probably essential for the task at hand. You may need to keep your attention highly focused in order to channel your most positive traits into highly creative and productive tasks. Communicating your enthusiasm to others will help them to understand the importance of your endeavors.

Sun Aspects Pluto

The nature of a planet aspecting the Sun in the solar return chart and the aspect between them color the interpretation of both planets. Pluto aspects to the Sun (which usually last for a number of consecutive years) indicate an increased awareness of power. Awareness can come through conflicts and struggle with yourself or others, but it is the awareness that is most significant. How people get, maintain and use power for personal goals or for the control of others is more important than the struggle itself. It is the awareness which gives you a greater ability to control your own life. Power usage in confrontations and everyday situations will become more obvious, but even subtle shifts in power will be evident to you as you learn to recognize psychological motivations and manipulations. For some individuals this is a time to study psychology; however, many will notice examples of obsessive, compulsive, phobic, or manipulative behaviors in themselves or others regardless of their educational background. Unconscious needs are intensified and life becomes more complicated. Ambition and self-control are the more positive manifestations. Learning to deal with life on a deeper level is the hallmark of the Plutonian consciousness.

 
THE MOON IN THE SOLAR RETURN CHART

The solar return Moon seems to have two consistent themes throughout all of the houses. First and most simply, the Moon is associated with change and fluctuation according to its house position. Secondly, and probably more importantly, the Moon reflects the individual's emotional nature during the solar return year.

The Moon as an Emotional Indicator

While we speak of the Moon as simply an indication of one's emotional nature, the actual interpretation of the Moon is more complex than simple. The Moon is not just an indicator of feelings; one's emotional nature is a multidimensional conglomeration of feelings, temperament, needs, and unconscious responses. We cannot look at the Moon as one-sided; we must study its interpretation from a number of perspectives.

The Moon represents the individual's feelings regardless of whether or not they are expressed openly. The type of feelings you have during the year can be demonstrated by the Moon's sign, position, and aspects. The Moon's sign can be important even though the Moon has essentially only nineteen placements, because it is indicative of what the individual feels during the year and how he or she is most likely to exhibit those feelings.

The major difference between an individual's feelings and basic temperament is that feelings tend to make up one's basic temperament. The word temperament implies one's overall pattern of emotional response; it is an emotional factor that remains constant regardless of the circumstances. On the other hand, feelings imply a specific emotion in response to a particular event or situation. For example, moody people have emotional swings. Their feelings change depending whether or not they are experiencing happy or sad events; however, their proclivity toward emotional highs and lows remains constant regardless of their particular mood at any point in time. Despite feelings of joy or depression, they still have a moody disposition. The solar return Moon's sign is generally very descriptive of your emotional temperament. It can suggest an array of emotional characteristics including moodiness, sensitivity, coldness, or enthusiasm.

Emotional needs play a crucial role in the Moon's cycle of change and emotional maturation. As explained above, the Moon moves in an understandable pattern through the solar return. During each year, the individual knows certain emotional needs must be met in order to feel secure and fulfilled. These needs, which fluctuate from year to year, cause the individual to create the variety of situations necessary for emotional maturity.

Conscious or Unconscious Emphasis

The Moon also signifies the unconscious experience. While Mercury's placement will suggest what the person is consciously thinking, the Moon's placement will suggest what the individual is experiencing on an unconscious level. Together, the Moon and Mercury (and sometimes also the Sun) symbolize the balance between conscious and the unconscious processes. We like to think that our decisions are based on the integration of rational and emotional information, but during any given solar return year, one process more than the other can influence our decisions, perceptions, and motivations. The focus of attention shifts to accommodate fluctuations in individual patterns of growth. There will be years when you lean more heavily on your emotional responses, tending to trust your instincts and follow your intuition. But there will be other years when you depend more on a logical assessment of your situation.

The emphasis on the unconscious usually indicates a year in which the native will be interested in fostering emotional connections and unconscious insights. Logic and factual information may not be meaningful within the context of present situations, which will tend to be emotional. Example situations include (but are not limited to): involvement in counseling, therapy or self-help discussion groups; intense family situations (related to birth, child-rearing, sickness or death); and very nurturing social situations (e.g., communal living, helping the disabled, underprivileged or homeless). Emotional interactions and perceptions will naturally be more important if they are more likely to provide vital information needed to handle experiences during the coming year. An emphasis on the unconscious nature is conducive to emotional growth.

All forms of mental activity are associated with an emphasis on the conscious mind, including educational and informational activities. Teaching, learning, lecturing, and writing are several examples. An emphasis on the conscious mind is conducive to intellectual growth.

Solar Return Moon in 11th house:

The Moon in the 11th house suggests that you have a dream or goal you are working toward. This goal should be personally fulfilling and rewarding, when and if completed. Major tasks started during this year generally involve personal commitment to a project, idea or belief. You should be your own motivator, and many times you will be working alone. The goal need not necessarily be humanitarian or idealistic. Teenagers trying to pick a college or career can have this placement. They gather the pertinent information and make choices according to their needs.

You might have to work toward your goal despite much opposition and lack of assistance from family members. For example, a woman with the Moon in the 11th started her own cottage industry despite her husband's insecurity and messages of doom. Opposition to your goal can be a blessing in disguise if the tension increases your conviction and dedication to the task at hand. It can be a motivating force that pushes you onward. This is a good time to accomplish something that is truly your own. The Moon in the 11th implies personal goals. Therefore, it is very important that you reassess your present and future goals to determine if they are truly the product of your own needs and desires. Do they have great personal value to you as an individual, and will they be emotionally fulfilling when completed?

You may draw closer to friends during this time while becoming more detached from your family. This is especially true if family members object to your future goals or present situation. The Moon in the 11th suggests that you develop closer bonds in what are normally more detached relationships. Friends become family and you are more apt to confide in them. They, in turn, are more likely to help you with your project than your own family. If you are at an age when peer groups are especially important, you will depend heavily on the opinions and support of friends. There could be a logical reason for this. For example, if you are selecting a college or job, other teenagers should know a lot about schools and work programs. Information acquired from other students or through the grapevine is most helpful. In this case, the dependency and close contact with friends are important to the task at hand.

New patterns of closeness and independence evolve during the year and some vacillation may occur in all relationships. The basic interpretation for the Moon does not blend easily with that of the 11th house. The Moon is emotional and dependency-oriented while the 11th house is detached and independent. The lack of common ground can suggest a freedom-closeness conflict. You may be at a critical time period for your emotional maturation when you are about to take a big step toward greater independence. You could be planning to go away to school, live on your own, become self-employed or self-supporting. As much as you welcome the move toward greater independence, you will also be anxious, hence the frequent revisions in your plans.

Your sense of attachment to others will also fluctuate and you may experience some relationship issues. You may not be able to depend on significant others in your life for one reason or another. They may not be dependable or supportive, or you may not want their assistance. It is difficult to actively seek out nurturing situations while at the same time struggling to establish your independence. You can experience this freedom-closeness dilemma as relationship conflicts which seem to alternate between restriction and abandonment. Reassuring others of your love can ease these growing pains. Realize that if you appear unpredictable, others will feel threatened by your need for independence. Or this struggle might be completely reversed. You may be moving toward greater intimacy. If you have been on your own for a long time and you are now romantically involved, you could fear giving up your independence and committing to a permanent relationship. The dilemma is the same, only the situation is changed.

This placement is associated with all kinds of groups, but group meetings and activities will tend to be emotionally charged. Positively, you might be very concerned with an injustice or cause. The emotional impact of the group's efforts is a motivating force. Negatively, conflicts break out among members. Emotional and psychological factors within the group tend to complicate gatherings. This is an excellent time to join a therapy or self-help group. The Moon suggests emotional attachments within a detached setting, and you can spend a lot of time discussing your problems with your friends or group members. Whatever the situation, the goal is to share feelings. The give and take needed in relationships this year works well within support group situations where camaraderie occurs in a somewhat detached setting. In this type of group setting, you are able to experience strong emotions without being weighed down by emotional responsibility, a good combination for the individual with a freedom-closeness dilemma.

Moon Aspects Jupiter

Moon in aspect to Jupiter suggests that your ability to express your feelings within a significant relationship is important to your own emotional growth during the year, and also to the growth of the relationship. Jupiter symbolizes your ability to expand and the Moon symbolizes your feeling nature. Together in aspect, they emphasize the process of sharing emotions, having those emotions understood, and growing from the interchange. For example, if you are involved in counseling, this exchange is crucial to the therapeutic process. If you are involved in a serious relationship, sharing your feelings is very important for the development of greater intimacy. Problems expressing your feelings or reaching a level of understanding will cause emotional stagnation and eventually strain your relationships.

Some real or imagined barrier to expressing feelings can exist with this aspect, and it is important that you break through this barrier and be understood if emotional growth is to occur. Sometimes the barrier is really no problem at all, but a wonderful opportunity for openness. Expansion through emotional interchange and relatedness is the key. It can come about by overcoming barriers or creating rewarding opportunities.

Moon-Jupiter aspects sometimes imply overwhelming emotions. You do best with objective feedback from others. Your perception may be distorted if you keep your feelings isolated. It is just as important for you to convey cheerful emotions as serious feelings, especially if you are in a situation where enthusiasm could motivate others. For instance, if you are working on a humanitarian project and you need volunteers, your ability to inspire others with your enthusiasm will help your cause.

Moon Aspects Mars

Moon-Mars aspects imply involvement in a situation which is emotionally uncomfortable yet rewarding, a mixed blessing. The energies represented here suggest working at cross-purposes and you may have ambivalent feelings about your circumstances. An example for illustrative purposes might be found in the experience of trying to comfort a sick baby. You know the baby is sick and does not feel well so you do everything you can to comfort the poor child. But at the same time, you become very frustrated if nothing you do seems to stop the screaming. At that point, stress is competing with concern and mixed feelings arise.

Mars in aspect to the Moon is very suggestive of contradictory emotions. The Moon symbolizes our nurturing qualities and emotional nature. Mars, on the other hand, symbolizes our independence and assertiveness. The basic interpretations for these two planets are so different that they tend to remain separate like oil and water. They represent two sides of the coin or different perspectives on one situation. For instance, a common situation often involving mixed emotions is having to say good-bye to a good friend because one of you is moving. If you are the person left behind, you may feel happy for your friend, but still sad about your loss. If you are the person moving, you may be excited about the move, yet sorry to be leaving. The purpose of the mixed feelings is to call attention to your own emotional needs (Moon) and take appropriate action accordingly (Mars). The mother of the fussy infant may need to take five minutes away from the baby to cope with stress. The person who is moving may need to concentrate on maintaining friendships even after relocation.

Moon-Mars aspects suggest that emotional situations are not simple and usually involve a strange combination of contradictory emotions. They can also indicate that you might act in a way that detracts from your own sense of security and well-being, thereby creating stress. An example could be involvement in an extra-marital affair. A Moon-Mars combination is not necessarily difficult, nor must it involve your personal life. It can refer to professional endeavors or social activism. You can be motivated to act because you are affected emotionally by what you see. If you are upset by conditions in a poor section of town, you might be motivated to volunteer your services at a local soup kitchen. The unpleasantness you feel implies the need to look at your surroundings more closely and work to correct or improve conditions.

Moon Aspects Mercury

Moon-Mercury aspects emphasize the need for integration of unconscious feelings with conscious thoughts. If these two avenues for information and analysis are working together, they form a great combination; the integrated psyche is a powerful tool for intellectual and creative endeavors. You will be able to understand the total picture from your rational assessment combined with intuitive insight. When the conscious and unconscious are working together, you are more likely to make good decisions which satisfy your emotional needs. The conscious mind can be used to channel unconscious feelings into creative projects. Channeling can also be very therapeutic.

You can actively seek out more information about your feelings and motivations through discussions. But when the conscious and the unconscious function separately, the native experiences two distinct and contradictory pieces of information. It is often difficult to make decisions since you arrive at two mutually exclusive conclusions. You could consciously override or suppress your feelings and emotional needs. On the other hand, you may react without thinking. The key to using this aspect positively is to balance and integrate conscious and unconscious input and work toward a complete sense of self.

 
MERCURY IN THE SOLAR RETURN CHART

Mercury has two basic interpretations in the solar return chart: it symbolizes both your mental condition during the coming year and what you are thinking about. The first task involved in understanding Mercury's interpretation is to evaluate the indicators for mental conditioning and the possible sources of tension.

Mercury in 1st house (within 3 degree orb of 2nd house)

Mercury in the 1st house can show that your mind is very focused on self-interest. You will concentrate on your own needs, develop your own ideas and opinions, and/or make your own personal decisions. You will tend to be intellectually independent. You will rely more and more on your own thought processes and make decisions independently, possibly disregarding feedback or consultations with others. Subjective interpretation can be very strong. You may only see one side of an issue. Understanding other viewpoints may be difficult if you cannot relate to ideas other than your own. You value your own thoughts and opinions so highly that you may believe what you want regardless of what others tell you. This may not be a good time to truly understand others. You might have blind spots which make you unyielding and uninformed. You may stubbornly insist that you are right without reviewing the information. This can be a time of great conviction or great stupidity.

Intellectual development is possible during this time, but generally the individual prefers to be self-taught rather than return to school. More than likely, the emphasis is on testing and using already acquired intellectual abilities rather than focusing on further development. This is a time to put into action what you already know. Mercury in the 1st can be very good for reading, writing, studying, or any task that requires single-mindedness to complete. Even so, sometimes there are two major tasks being worked on.

Your mind is very active and very quick, perhaps even impulsive. You may choose to hammer out your ideas during conversations. Be aware that you will tend to be very opinionated and perhaps even dogmatic during the discussions. Because you are in the process of developing your ideas, your thoughts will change over the year. You may have to eat some of your dogmatic decrees, so it would be wise to talk softly.

If you are not learning, reading, writing, studying, or actively thinking in a productive manner, Mercury in the 1st can symbolize a negative use of mental energy. Misdirected thought processes can succumb to nervousness, anxiety, and depression. Inconsistencies between what you know and what you are told may be at the root of your anxiety. It would be better for you to get away from a preoccupation with your problems, and to focus instead on positive mental alternatives and solutions to your situation. This can be a highly productive year, one in which your personal preferences gain strength and significance.

Mercury within 3 degree orb of 2nd house

Mercury in the 2nd house is associated with financial planning and monetary decisions. Planning usually involves immediate financial needs rather than long-range retirement plans, which tend to be more closely related to placements in the 4th house of the solar return chart. More specific to Mercury in the 2nd house are conscious decisions about expenditures and income, and discussions about establishing a household budget. You need to discover how your money is being spent and may keep detailed lists of expenditures. If you have been an impulsive buyer in the past, you may decide that now is the time to carefully assess the necessity of each future purchase.

You may also want to make decisions about the amount of money you are earning. It may be necessary for you to get a job if you are not already employed, or earn more through overtime or part-time work. For those who are already working, this is a time to reassess the amount of money you are earning in relation to the quality of work you put out. The 2nd house rules one's sense of self-worth. Mercury in the 2nd can indicate that you decide that you deserve more money (rarely less), not because you need more or less to live on, but because your salary should be commensurate with your value as a worker. You are apt to be very vocal about renegotiating your salary. This is a good time to get your facts straight and graphically illustrate your increased productivity. Keep a log of money-saving ideas you have generated for your company and the amount of money you were able to save. Be certain of your facts and don't overestimate your productivity or worth. If you are self-employed, run a cost analysis of your office expenses and raise prices accordingly.

Self-worth issues are also common for those who are not employed or who only do volunteer work. You may feel that the services you offer to others are taken for granted. You need to hear how much you are appreciated. If you reassess what you do for others in regard to how well you are treated by these same people, you may decide that you should expect better treatment. Encourage others to appreciate what you do for them. Also learn to appreciate yourself. If time spent helping others drains away time you should spend on your own needs, it is essential that you prioritize tasks so that all the essential ones are completed first. Do not shortchange yourself. Your needs may be as important as the needs of others. This is a good time to make changes because you deserve more consideration and better treatment. Decide to limit your contact with people who do not respect your needs, to avoid situations that are not good for you.

Mercury Aspects Mars

Mars-Mercury aspects suggest an energetic thought process. This can be a time of great mental energy and an active search for knowledge. Your mind should be quick and alert, though not necessarily highly retentive. Learning can be very exciting and self-perpetuating even if you study alone.

What is great for the learning process may not be so advantageous when making decisions. The speed normally associated with Mars may indicate that you are impulsive and quick to jump to conclusions. You may not take the time necessary for careful consideration or thorough research. Instead, you may choose to handle situations with gut-level reactions rather than considered responses.

Mars-Mercury combinations imply assertive ability, but at their worst, these aspects can suggest aggressiveness and great anger. Ongoing conflicts and daily confrontations may occur with very negative manifestations. Those with strong tempers may have trouble controlling their anger. In the heat of the moment, they will say things without thinking about the consequences.

Old unconscious anger and resentment may fuel present conflicts. You may not be fighting for what you believe is right in this situation; instead you fight because you have been wronged in the past. Focusing on angry thoughts and acting out conflicts can be a terrible waste of a good mind. Mars-Mercury aspects show that thoughts can be put into action. Get motivated. Use this time to accomplish many things. Let your experiences teach you along the way.

Mercury's relationships to the other planets in the solar return chart indicates how information is gathered, assimilated and integrated into attitudes that persist for most of the year. How easily this is accomplished, and in what manner, is suggested by the aspects. What you are actually thinking about is indicated by Mercury's house placement. The important thing to remember about Mercury's placement is that it is indicative of a mental exercise only. Alone in a house, Mercury can show mental preoccupation without psychological pain or physical consequences. It suggests the ability to make decisions only, and may not be a clear indication of action in any particular area.

 
VENUS IN THE SOLAR RETURN CHART

Venus is the key to understanding your relationships and financial situation for the solar return year. Many times these two areas go hand in hand; financial security tends to be coupled with secure relationships while financial difficulties are more likely to occur when close relationships are strained. Although this correlation is common, it is not the rule, and interpretations for finances and relationships should always be viewed separately. When assessing Venus in the chart, evaluate Venus twice, first with respect to the other relationship factors in the solar return and then with respect to the other monetary indicators. In this way, you can develop a clear picture of each area of concern.

Venus also indicates a need for comfort and it is informative to note what has preceded Venus in its present house position. If, during this year, Venus resides in a house which last year represented an area of conflict, Venus would imply an improvement in the conditions associated with that house and may indicate a healing process. Benefits commonly follow after much hard work. A Venus placement in the solar return chart following a more difficult placement during the previous year can indicate great reward. Your awareness of this possibility may encourage you to work harder in more problematic areas since you can see the rewards in the following year.

Relationships

Venus, by house, shows what relationships will be important during the coming year. For example, Venus in the 3rd house might indicate that relationships with neighbors or community involvement will be emphasized. With Venus in the 6th house, pleasant office conditions, and good co-worker relationships will be important. But the interpretation of relationships as they appear in the solar return chart involves more than an understanding of Venus' house placement. Look at the 5th and the 7th houses, especially if you are interested in a love relationship. The more planets in these houses, particularly the 7th house, the greater the need to relate on a one-to-one basis. Generally, the 5th house shows sexual affairs, while the 7th house indicates a greater commitment (though not necessarily marriage). Clandestine affairs or secret relationships are more likely to occur when Venus and/or the Moon appear in the 12th house.

One fact about marriage and the solar return chart is surprising. The solar return is not necessarily a good indicator of a marriage during the year. The beginning of a relationship might be easily seen, but the marriage itself is more likely to be reflected in other techniques. On the other hand, postponement of a marriage or the refusal to make a commitment can be easily seen with Saturn, Uranus or Neptune in the 7th house.

Finances

Venus also relates to money and finances, and can be used to evaluate these circumstances for the coming solar return year. The house placement for Venus may indicate how you are most likely to generate income. This is sometimes true, but not always. Venus in the 9th implies a teaching salary, but if you don't teach, the emphasis will be on your beliefs concerning relationships. Don't stretch your economic interpretation of Venus' house placement. If the house position applies, the situation will be obvious. If the house position does not seem to apply to finances in particular, Venus will be more consistent with relationship situations during the year.

For finances, it is perhaps more important to look at the planetary placements in the 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 11th houses, especially if you are interested in the amount of money you will be able to earn by employment. The 2nd house is the primary money house, but it also gives indications of spending practices. Any planets in the 2nd can reflect your salary and/or your spending practices (regardless of how much money you earn); it is always possible to spend more than you make or make more than you spend.

Solar Return Venus in 12th house:

When Venus is in the 12th house, it indicates that inner emotional and spiritual qualities are valued more than material success or external achievement. Real success and achievement develop through helping relationships with others and the ability to maintain your own inner peace regardless of your immediate environment or previous involvements. For those who have recently come through a difficult period, this may be a time for inner healing and comfort. Values are centered on nonphysical attributes. Outer beauty and materialism will not be valued as highly as the inner qualities you now seek or possess. Having money is not as important as the quality of life and your ability to be happy with who you are and where you are headed.

The money you already have or presently earn may not concern you; however, a lack of money in the foreseeable future may be important. Venus in the 12th is not especially secure money-wise and it is the future money that is in question. Individuals commonly feel financially uncertain with a 12th house Venus. If you are employed, you may hear rumors of salary cuts, layoffs or decreasing sales commissions, or you yourself may actually be considering a job change, thereby threatening your financial security. Those who are self-employed may not be able to estimate earnings for one reason or another. Generally a 12th house Venus is more rumor and uncertainty than fact. If you consciously reassess your values and consider your options, you will discover that money is not the focus of your existence; other factors associated with the quality of life are more important.

Because of this internal focus, the spiritual side of your personality can grow and become more intimately involved with your interpretation of daily experiences, thereby making these daily experiences more meaningful and significant within a broader scope of understanding. This is a good time to foster spiritual evolvement through meditation and introspection. "Quiet times" may be essential to your pattern of growth, and consequently you may be socially withdrawn during the year. Being alone gives you time to focus on events, feelings and thoughts without distractions, thus enabling you to complete a process of absorption and integration.

During more sociable periods, your inner focus leads you to be attracted to people, places and things which possess inner strength and significance. Older people, grown wise with their years, and those who seem self-possessed and at peace with themselves are especially attractive to you. "Quality" social contacts are more important than "quantity."

Venus in the 12th house of the solar return also shows possible involvement in a hidden love relationship. New relationships will tend to have a clandestine quality this year. For one reason or another, you find it difficult to be openly attracted to this person. It may be that the two of you are very different and others will disapprove or one of you may have already made a commitment to someone else. Even if the relationship can be more open, the two of you may chose to spend most of your time at home alone with each other.

Involvement in a savior-victim relationship is a real danger with Venus in the 12th house. Since you are more in tune with inner qualities and emotions, you are more likely to be sympathetic and compassionate. You are able to feel the pain and suffering of those you are close to, and consequently you have a strong desire to help. Your desire to be helpful is especially strong if you are romantically involved. It is to your advantage to help only those who are truly in need, respond to your assistance, and appreciate your help. Unless you are a mental health professional, do not seek to save the alcoholic, the drug addict or the emotionally disturbed. You are not trained to cope with these types of situations and you will be physically drained and emotionally victimized by the resulting frustration. Use your compassion wisely and don't play martyr.

Venus Aspects Uranus

Uranus-Venus aspects in the solar return chart usually denote changes in relationships. For some people, this can mean a sudden attraction and the excitement of a new love. Involvements may be very strong, very quick, and may or may not have staying power. New relationships might eventually lead to marriage, but probably not during this solar return year. Loose associations are common. Friends become lovers and some love relationships seem more like friendships. Occasionally, relationships and attractions are less than conventional. Affairs between or with married individuals, homosexual contacts, and long-distance romances are possible. A general mood of disruption may permeate all partnerships, whether old or new. Difficult relationships may end or become on-again, off-again involvements, but for those in a healthy relationship, changes will occur within the relationship itself and do not indicate a break in ties or a loss of commitment to one another. One or the other partner has a desire for greater freedom and openness. For some people, the changes involve a loss of comfort and stability, but a gain in newness and excitement. For example, the birth of a child brings both disruption and excitement to the new parents. Gone is the relaxing comfort of a stable schedule; expectations and behavioral patterns which were once taken for granted may now be nonexistent. New patterns must emerge, but while the necessary adjustments are being made, the continuing disruption can cause difficulties and temporary distancing between the people involved. Any strong change can cause this disruption in established relationship patterns. Common examples are relocation, retirement, heavy travel, and changes in the number of people living with you.

Financial changes are also likely to occur with Uranus-Venus aspects. If you are involved in a new and exciting relationship, you may give up your present home and job to relocate to his or her area. Some individuals dispose of much of what they own before the move. For one reason or another, you may decide to stop working or you may go out and get a job. The amount of money available to you is likely to change or fluctuate. You can be working on a commission or incentive basis, or be involved in a profit-sharing plan at work. Self-employment is also possible with Uranus-Venus aspects, especially if you are newly self-employed and have not established a steady clientele.

Venus Aspects Jupiter

Aspects from Jupiter to Venus have several possible interpretations. You can benefit, either directly or indirectly, through the influence or assistance of others. Relationships can be very rewarding and you reap what you have sown. If you have been helpful and understanding to others in the past, you can expect the same treatment now. Your lover, business partner, or spouse may be actively supportive of your goals, either financially or emotionally.

Indirect benefits can also come to you through your partnerships. For example, your spouse accepts a job transfer to Colorado and you always wanted to live in ski country. You may buy a house or expensive ski equipment when you get there since large purchases and expenses are commonly seen with Jupiter-Venus solar return aspects. Possibly you spend more than you can afford.

What you believe to be true about most relationships can either be consistent with your experience, or in conflict with the reality of your situation. As would be expected of anyone, it is more common to notice the conflicts than the periods of consistency. Issues concerning morals, ethics, and monogamy are important and you may discuss whether your relationship is an open or closed one. Either one of you can be involved in a second relationship which causes this issue to be raised. Defining the ethics of relating becomes a goal during the year.

 
MARS IN THE SOLAR RETURN CHART

The planet Mars represents an outward thrust of energy in a solar return chart. It is an active energy geared toward producing an external manifestation brought about through interchanges with the environment. The arrow on the symbol for Mars illustrates this outward thrust and movement. The interplay with the environment and the area of greatest energy expenditure are shown by the aspects to Mars and its house placement. There can be a number of ways in which the outward thrust of energy and activity manifests in the external environment. Positive manifestations implied by Mars include self-motivation, independent action, initiation of new projects, assertiveness, fulfilling sexual encounters, and original or pioneering creations. But anger, aggression, and sexual abuses represent negative and wasteful expenditures. Energy lost in negative exchanges cannot be used productively.

Mars, by its very nature, denotes the spark of initiation and self-motivation. Original pursuits, independent actions and new projects are fostered during the year and are typically associated with those areas of life denoted by the house placement of Mars. Because of the new endeavors and the enthusiasm generated, these areas then become the focus of energy use as the level of activity increases and you begin to feel driven to work, accomplish, and complete. Sometimes ambition and competitiveness augment the need to excel, but an energetic attitude can flow without these personality traits since self-motivation tends to spring naturally from an inner source.

During the year, activities may be specifically tied to your ability or inability to be assertive. In its most positive manifestation, the planet Mars denotes an active force. Except for a few of the more subtle interpretations for Mars, the implication is an external thrust which affects other people, places, things or circumstances. For example, if you install a home office, you make a change in your living situation. If you start your own business, you do, in effect, change the environment. If you insist on control over your own finances, you create a more independent relationship style. In each of these cases, you are the individual initiating the activity and asserting your own needs which are essential to the task at hand. The inability to be assertive can only lead to frustrated desires and anger. Your efforts will be thwarted until you make adjustments in your thinking. When extreme frustration occurs, more energy is expended toward being angry than working toward correcting the problem.

The house position of Mars and its aspects to the other solar return planets provide information about the circumstances which will trigger angry responses in you. Anger may arise from a number of different circumstances, including, but not limited to, frustration at the inability to fulfill your own needs, aggression from others, stressful surroundings or unconscious resentment that has not been resolved. Anger is a signal that your attitude and/or environment need to change. Energy lost to anger cannot be used creatively. Anger that stimulates creative action can be recouped. Your task for the year will be to learn to deal effectively with these anger-producing situations. Do not allow anger to be triggered when insight coupled with assertiveness, tact or corrective action would suit your purposes better. As you focus on negative situations and gain understanding, you can begin to funnel your energies into the most positive manifestations.

Aggression is a distortion of assertiveness. Assertion is the defense and maintenance of your own rights; aggression is the infringement or attack on the rights of others. Anger is most likely the motivation for the attack, although psychological idiosyncrasies may provide other motivations (of which fear is the main culprit). All acts of aggression, by their very nature, should produce anger in the person attacked, though some individuals, because of their own psychological nature, respond in other ways. Where you find Mars by house position indicates where you are most likely to meet the aggressor during the coming year. Either you will have to deal with a hostile person in the environment or you will be confronted with your own acts of aggression. If you are able to meet your own needs through assertion and you know your own rights while conscientiously defending them, you are less likely to be the aggressor or allow aggressive actions to arise in others. You should be able to strike a balance between your needs, and rights, and the needs and rights of others. In this way, you maintain your position relative to the environment. But regardless of how fair you are in your dealings with others, you may still have to defend your own rights.

Mars as an indicator of sexuality is not consistent with the interpretation for every house position. There is the possibility that sexual intrigue can apply to the situations denoted by any of the planet's placements, but the connection is not always obvious. Themes of initiation, high energy output, anger, and aggression appear more consistently. For example, Mars in the 10th may mean a sexual attraction between you and your boss, but it is more likely for you to be extremely active in career endeavors. Your boss can be a prime motivator toward career success or he could actually be very offensive and thwart your efforts. Note the aspects between Mars and your other personal planets for further information. The sexual implications of Mars seem more obvious in the relational houses, but then individual differences apply. Sexual fulfillment is directly related to the appropriateness of sexual activity given the particular situation and any restraints or inhibitions involved.

Solar Return Mars in 1st house:

This is a year when you seem to have more energy, especially if you do your own thing and enjoy what you are doing. You can get an earlier start, last longer, and work harder. For those who are interested in body work, this is a great time for physical exercise. You could have more energy than you can easily contain and it is to your advantage to work it off in a variety of ways, both physically and intellectually. The energy surge should also be channeled into practical projects. You have the ability to conceive of a plan and independently complete a task. Most likely, the task you choose to work on requires much personal initiative and self-motivation.

This is the year to get in touch with your unique drive for accomplishment. Ego fulfillment and self-interest are important at this time since personal needs are more pressing and demand your attention. You could accomplish a lot if you focus on these needs and allow activities to develop naturally. Much good can eventually arise from your desire to meet and fulfill present and future personal goals. For example, one individual started his own business with Mars in the 1st house with Saturn. He was able to channel his physical energy and organizational ability into a productive accomplishment which required many hours on the job. By the end of the year, he was totally self-sufficient and able to enjoy a very independent life-style. Before quitting his former job, he was very angry and frustrated, but the positive use of his feeling of job dissatisfaction led to the new career.

It is true that the seeds sown this year tend to reflect self-interest, but the goal may not be selfish at all. The intent is to apply energy toward self-actualization, and in doing so the ego is able to foster new projects and develop strengths which were previously unrealized. You should feel good about personal application and hard work as long as you don't overtax yourself and your energy is not drained away by conflict, or by too many diverse interests.

Despite your high level of energy, you can attempt to do too many things at one time. Time is limited and handling several activities adequately will be difficult. The conflicts you experience with others naturally push you toward functioning on your own (which may be the ultimate goal of this placement), but it is to your advantage to balance all the needs in your life. Failure to recognize personal needs while overemphasizing the needs of others can lead to much anger. Selfish preoccupation can lead to conflict.

Anger in any form is certainly an issue during the year. This is not the time for passivity, and you should be more vocal about what you want. If you feel compelled to defend your rights, you can do this without alienating others. Persistent anger is a negative manifestation and a misuse of energy. You can become your own worst enemy by either abusing others (in the name of anger and self-defense) or allowing yourself to be exploited (self-destruction). In either case, anger drains away your stamina and prevents you from being more productive. It undermines your ability to accomplish. Although your anger is aroused more quickly this year, it is important to handle conflicts effectively. Use assertiveness to take corrective action and then channel your energy in more positive ways.

 
JUPITER IN THE SOLAR RETURN CHART

Jupiter has a number of possible interpretations in the solar return chart and any or all of the following meanings can manifest according to house position. First and foremost, Jupiter tends to imply a benefic event associated with its placement. How these benefits come about and the area of life affected are usually shown by the house position.

All opportunities will probably involve expansion into new areas of activity. The primary function of the Jupiter principle is to expand beyond the scope of previous experience. One is not to remain in a static condition; growth is not only implied, but expected. Jupiter's slow and consistent movement through the zodiac implies the steady growth needed to advance.

One of the most common activities associated with growth and expansion is the pursuit of an education. The impetus to learn is closely associated with any push to grow and our definition of learning in this case is not limited to a structured environment (school), but can include self-teaching and life-experience training. Although education is not always a consideration for every Jupiter house placement, it can be considered to have an impact on any of the houses.

Areas of expansion can easily become areas of excess and this is a problem with Jupiter. Growth can be uncontrolled and purposeless, dwarfing any push for real attainment or benefit. For example, overeating may supplant a desire for nutritious food when Jupiter is in the 6th house. The weight gain takes the place of education. Already existing situations associated with any house placement of Jupiter may boil over if extreme limitations were previously the norm. This is especially true when emotions overwhelm the individual after a long period of emotional suppression. Any Jupiter placement can signal a false god. One or more activities associated with Jupiter's house may be emphasized to such a degree that a distortion of perception results, creating the false god.

Perhaps excesses are directly and proportionately related to suppressed urges. We now zoom ahead where we previously lagged behind, making up for lost time. The overwhelming impetus enables us to grow and expand at a rapid pace. The task is to avoid restricting this growth, while staying in control. The best option is one of channeled and structured enthusiasm.

A question of ethics and morals is often associated with the house placement of Jupiter. Unlike Saturn, which is more representative of societal structures and expectations, Jupiter implies the need for a philosophical (or sometimes religious) consistency between what you are doing physically and what you believe you should be doing ethically or morally. The underlying belief is always at the center of any conflict, not the external expectation. Jupiter by house indicates a desire to review those beliefs commanding a strong influence over one's philosophy of life and code of behavior. Current beliefs may be limiting future growth or freedom. Within this perspective, hypocrisy and moral dilemmas are more commonly a problem than the frustration associated with Saturnian external laws.

Solar Return Jupiter in 3rd house:

Jupiter in the 3rd house shows a great deal of daily activity. The pace of life picks up as you run around from one task to another. You have too many things to do and if the juggling act gets out of hand, you function in a state of crisis management for part of the year. It is common to have one specific project, thought or task dominate your attention and time. This interest crowds your days with activity; consequently, overscheduling is a problem. For example, a pregnant student needed to complete all her coursework before the baby was due. Papers, tests and homework took up all of her time and she had few outside interests until she was finished. Another woman volunteered to run a community event which was her whole focus of attention until the project was completed. An artist completely renovated his studio. The goal with this placement is to learn to focus only on the major tasks at hand while prioritizing lesser needs or delegating responsibilities to others. You cannot handle everything, and if you try, the day-to-day details of practical living will be easily lost in the flurry of activity. Concentration is necessary and when you are fully involved, everyday details get in your way. One tends to see only the big picture.

Despite all the activity, this is a great time to expand your mind either through school (teaching or learning), reading or writing. Many go to school or take a course sometime during the year, but a strong emphasis on being self-taught is also evident. New teachers will spend much time developing lesson plans and lectures. Writing with the hope of future publication is also possible, but the main emphasis is usually on community newsletters, magazine articles or children's stories.

Contrary to what one might expect with Jupiter in the 3rd house, this can be a mentally stressful year. Not only is the pace of life quick, the information you need to remember is greatly increased. You can get mentally overwhelmed by all the things you must do and recall. To further compound the stress you are already feeling, you could be involved in situations representative of ethical-moral dilemmas. If so, these dilemmas fall into the gray area of decision-making and are not simple black-or-white situations. Decisions involve major commitments to life-style patterns, and choices may be limited. You are forced to make the best decision possible given the present circumstances. Common issues include dilemmas associated with sexuality, questions of loyalty, spiritual applications in daily life, abortion, and conscientious objection. Ethical-moral dilemmas intrude on your consciousness, causing further stress in an already hectic life. Eventually the mind can feel overloaded by too much mental processing.

Learning to apply spiritual concepts to daily life situations is an important task for the coming year. It is not enough to believe in a philosophical concept; the concept must have a practical, mundane application to your life situation. Concepts may be tested by an ethical-moral dilemma. Only successful applications of spiritual concepts will lead to fulfillment and confirmation of your beliefs. Impractical ideals will fall short of satisfactory implementation. These pseudo-philosophical principles not only fail to improve one's circumstances, they also create additional stress when one unsuccessfully attempts what is unrealistic. Consistency above and below is the goal. You cannot be hypocritical this year. You must practice what you preach, and if you cannot, then you must preach what you practice.

 
SATURN IN THE SOLAR RETURN CHART

Saturn rules reality and the reality of any given situation is that we are all ultimately responsible for creating our own lives. The responses and choices we make to any given situation, together with the fears we avoid, form the backbone for our pattern of living. Only when we accept the responsibility for creating our own fate can we be freed from the necessity of living it. Only when we face our fears can we live unafraid. Saturn is the key to this change in orientation. It is the ultimate reality, the ultimate fear, the karmic avenger, and ruler of the universal laws of nature. It is through Saturn's house placement that we come face to face with ourselves, the structures, and limitations of reality, and the laws we must live by.

Growth is a complex process, occurring in a variety of ways. Saturnian growth begins by recognizing the existing structures we have incorporated into our lives, and possibly, the frustration or limitation caused by this edifice. It seems strange to talk about growth in terms of limitation, but astrologically Saturn rules structures which are at one point protective and at other times restrictive. Like the lobster or crab which sheds an outgrown, protective, hard shell in order to grow, individuals must periodically shed old structures grown restrictive with time. As with the crustaceans, the shedding process may be slow and laborious, followed by a period of extreme vulnerability until the new shell has formed and hardened into a protective structure. We often complacently mistake familiarity for security. We assume we'll be safe as long as we stick with the same old routine and keep doing what we've been doing all along. But what was once protective and safe eventually ends up inhibiting our evolutionary cycle of growth. Sometimes, only our frustration with things as they are awakens us to the need for change.

The movement of Saturn through the solar return chart coincides with an awareness of structure. Sometimes this awareness is associated with frustration, and the accentuation of restrictions now blocking evolution. It is through this realization process and frustration that we first become aware of the need to grow beyond our present structures. Therefore, the first step in the Saturnian process toward growth is recognizing structures, frustrations, and limitations imposed by our present patterns of living, particularly in those areas of life signified by Saturn's house placement in the solar return.

The second step toward growth is reassessment of the situation. A review of the facts yields further information, options, and understanding. Only by defining the inhibitors to the evolutionary cycle can we move toward resolution and continued growth. Self-criticism and constructive feedback from others may be appropriate at this time.

It is during the reassessment process that the reality of our situation becomes more obvious, as well as the laws by which we are governed. To succeed, we must deal with life realistically. We cannot twist nature to our own liking, nor can we expect others to compensate for our deficiencies and fears by solving our problems. Saturn rules the naked truth devoid of magical thinking. We must live within the laws of nature to succeed and survive. If you hate your job, quit. Do not wait for an act of God to find a new job. If you want to complete a major project, work on it. It is the only way it will get done. If you want to lose weight, diet, and exercise. Hard work and facing the issues head on will get you where you want to go. Wishful thinking will not.

These issues are all totally within your range of control and you are free to act upon them, but other problems may not be yours to control. You cannot make your husband stop drinking; you can only change the way you handle the situation. You cannot change hypocrisy in others; you can only reassess your own beliefs. During the reassessment process, develop realistic options which could feasibly lead to a resolution of the problem or to a change in the way you handle the problem. Successful solutions are those which are practical and realistic -that is, they conform to the laws of nature.

Once you understand the problem and the options available, you must assume responsibility for the outcome. Each man or woman contributes to his or her own fate. As the partial creator of any problem, you also have some control over the solution. But assuming responsibility for your present situation can be more threatening than blaming others. Some prefer to buck the system (defy the laws of nature) and complain, rather than take action. Remember, familiarity breeds a false sense of security and many prefer to hang on to their restrictions rather than venture into the unknown. They learn to live with their frustration rather than grow beyond it. Consciously making a decision implies assuming responsibility for your success or failure.

Facing your fears concerning success or failure is ultimately what Saturn is all about. At this point, you are very aware of the reality of your situation, and you have a list of options for the future, not all of which may work. You understand your own contribution to the situation and what you must do in order to move toward a resolution. You have seen your own shortcomings and become aware of your darker side. You comprehend the laws of nature relative to your situation and know everything is earned in this case, nothing is given, and nothing is guaranteed by the Universe. You now realize that you must stick your nose out and take a calculated risk. In order to progress, you must face your fears, and move toward your nightmare rather than back away. It is only by passing through a period of vulnerability that one can break out of a protective, yet restrictive structure and progress into a more suitable environment. You give up the security of the familiar and step into the unknown.

The test of any solution is that it works. Even chronic problems need to be solved and not just cosmetically concealed. Success requires much hard work and the systematic testing of solutions until the correct combination is found. Consequently, success may not come easily. If the first solution does not work, you must go on to test another and another. Thus with each failure begins a new cycle of awareness and reassessment, ultimately leading to a well-deserved success. There is plenty of room for hard work, discipline, and perseverance in the area of life indicated by Saturn's house placement. Eventually, every area of life will be touched by the need for reassessment and resolution. Chances are the time for reevaluation coincides with Saturn's placement in a particular house of the solar return. In that area of life, you must go above and beyond what is normally expected.

Saturn in 11th house (within 3 degree orb of 12th house)

Saturn in the 11th house indicates a need to reassess goals for the future. The goals you presently hold are no longer practical in light of new situations you are moving into or new information you are receiving. They are outdated either because of external changes in your environment or internal changes in your personality. Perhaps they are now inconsistent with your present or future needs for fulfillment. A lack or loss of goals can be implied by Saturn in the 11th house, but generally as old goals prove unworkable, new ones will arise to take their place. It is only rarely that the individual decides to take a year's vacation. Working mothers who take a year's leave of absence from work to care for a child sometimes have this placement.

Now is the time to rethink your future and take corrective action where necessary. A new college graduate, also a new army wife, followed her husband to Germany where she discovered she was not allowed to work in her chosen profession despite her degree. She had to rethink her goals for the coming year while overseas. Those who are newly divorced must also rethink their goals in light of their single life-style. This can be a year of great accomplishment for those who settle on a direction quickly and move steadily toward achievement. The new goals you develop tend to suit you better than the old ones, but they need a great deal of work to become a reality. Saturn is the ruler of hard work, practical applications and realistic ventures.

Working with a group of people may give you a better sense of discipline and organization than you would have on your own since you are more likely to take on extra responsibility. You can work harder for the sake of group goals and the extra push might prove ultimately beneficial for all. One astrologer with this Saturn placement taught a group of other astrologers a particular astrological technique and eventually used his organized notes to publish a complete course. However, group dynamics can be cumbersome. You might feel that your individual opinions and identity are lost because of the democratic process and the need to conform. There will be times when you disagree with group leadership or direction. Even if you are the leader, your ideas and opinions can still be watered down by the need for agreement. But working with a group might help you to get off the ground and push you toward making your goals a reality.

Friendships can be lost during the year and there are several possible reasons why this might occur. Most commonly, either you or your friend move, relocating at a great distance away. If you and your husband, wife, lover or partner are splitting up, friends will tend to fall into either camp. They drop away if they were primarily connected to your mate or set on seeing the two of you as a couple. Serious or older friends are also indicated by this placement. Those friends who were mere playmates tend to be less prominent as the year wears on. Your focus is more on business relationships geared toward making connections than on casual friendships. Obligatory friendships (more commonly seen in the business world) are possible.

Money from your career may decrease this year, especially if you are pursuing a goal that cannot be financially lucrative, at least in less than one year's time. Long-term goals tend to be more consistent with this placement than short-term goals or immediate compensation. In this sense, you may work harder for the same amount of money or even less. Wage freezes are rare but possible; raises may be delayed during the year. For any promotion, you may have to assume extra responsibility to receive any monetary increase. Volunteer work can also be implied by this placement.

Saturn within 3 degree orb of 12th house

Saturn in the 12th house implies the presence of unconscious blockages which must be overcome. Failure to overcome these inhibitions will lead to limitations in what would usually be considered normal activity. The emotions governing these limitations are fear and guilt, and breaking free generally involves much anxiety. You must face your own fears before you can go on with the maturation process, since presently they prevent you from branching out and taking risks when you should develop greater freedom of movement. Frequent fear issues include, but are not limited to: fears of not being loved or being rejected; fears of inadequacy with a constant need for reassurance; fears concerning sexual performance or orientation; and fears of losing control or being overpowered. Many times the fear-producing issue is ill-defined and ill-founded, but supported by self-defeating attitudes, free-floating anxiety, and heightened vulnerability. For these reasons, fears associated with psychic impressions are not unheard of.

Guilt is the other most common unconscious restriction. There may be certain things you will do, or other things you will not do, simply because of the guilt you will feel one way or the other. If you are being controlled by guilt and do not investigate or understand these feelings, you will continue to feel forced to behave in certain ways. For example, a middle-aged woman who lived with and cared for her elderly mother found she was both tied down and drained by her mother's constant need for care and attention. But she repeatedly refused to seek out a part-time nurse or companion to stay with her mother while she pursued her own interests. Every time she left her mother with other family members, she would return to find the older woman somewhat disoriented and confused. She would interpret this disorientation as her own fault and feel guilty for leaving. Eventually, she became totally tied down by her mother's unconscious signals for attention.

Saturn in the 12th is the astrological equivalent of a responsibility vacuum cleaner. There is the tendency to feel responsible (and subsequently guilty) for everything that goes wrong. You will tend not to delegate authority easily and will try to do everything yourself, perfectly, all the time. In short, you overcompensate for real or imagined shortcomings. Only by facing your fears and confronting your feelings of guilt can you begin to live a more normal life-style.

There is a lack of "reality presence" with the placement of Saturn in this house. Saturn rules reality, but here in the 12th house (normally ruled by Neptune) reality seems to lose some of its clarity. Truth is more elusive. The fears, guilt, and unconscious inhibitions normally associated with this placement are partly caused by an inability to discern what is real and what is fantasy. Here there is no objective or even subjective reality, only vague impressions of what is presumed to be real. This makes the going tough. Without a clear base to work from, it becomes easier to worry about future possibilities and past mistakes. Consequently, fears and guilt tend to prosper and grow at this time.

The main goal of this house placement is to come in contact with the weaker, more irrational parts of your personality which inhibit your progress. This is easier to do if you are in the process of being thwarted or feeling afraid. Only by experiencing the frustration and fear inherent in the conflict, will you actively seek ways to overcome the blockages and resolve the associated issues or problems, so life can begin to return to normal. It is to your advantage to move toward the fear rather than retreat. Investigate the issues which seem to block your progress. Look for alternatives. The tendency is to miss the obvious or not understand what is normal under the given conditions. Only by discussing your situation with others and looking for new options can you alleviate the pressure. Unfortunately, you will be doing this while feeling your most vulnerable. But you must analyze your behavior and question those actions that you do not understand. Fear and guilt are sure signals that you need to investigate unconscious blockages and make adjustments in the way you are living and handling issues.

Saturn in the 12th can also show strong obligations that cannot be avoided, or the need to become responsible for someone less fortunate. Couples with newborn babies and children with elderly parents to care for frequently have this placement. Family members in need must be cared for, but friends in trouble or those less fortunate can also be the object of your concern. The need to behave in a responsible manner includes the desire to care for someone who is unable to be responsible for him or herself or needs to be saved from a difficult situation. Occasionally, the person you are most concerned about is hospitalized during the year. The need to care and the need to face a fear are usually intertwined in some way. Sometimes, the person you care most for is the person you fear. If so, by giving, you receive; by protecting, you become less vulnerable; by reaching out, you cross the bridge from fear to understanding.

If Saturn is in the 12th house, but close to the Ascendent, tasks and responsibilities will tend to become stronger and more visible as Saturn crosses the Ascendant by transit and moves into the 1st house.

 
URANUS IN THE SOLAR RETURN CHART

Uranus is commonly seen as an indicator of change, and this is true for the solar return placements also. Conditions associated with the house position of Uranus are likely to evolve significantly over the year. Major changes or incessant fluctuations emerge as the pattern of manifestation, depending on how the individual copes with his or her situation and needs. Transformations may occur quickly and require a long period of adjustment, or progress slowly, possibly occurring late in the year and only after a long period of anticipation or restlessness. As a rule, most changes are expected, predicted, and initiated by the native him or herself. Many are carefully planned and well executed, involving a minimum of tension and anxiety. When working positively with the Uranian principle, the key is in the restlessness. Those who are very attuned to their own need for growth will feel the restlessness arising in outgrown situations and respond accordingly. They will welcome the opportunity for adjustment, and make all the necessary preparations for the coming change. They will not lock themselves into one particular situation or pattern of growth, but will allow changes and insights to develop and evolve naturally along the way.

Generally, it is only when the individual thwarts his or her own desires or tightly controls situations that tensions manifest in the form of anxiety and nervousness. This anxiety results from ambivalent feelings which develop in those who resist needed changes. These people get caught between their own fear of change and a strong desire for the very change being thwarted. An ambivalent mind-set takes over, one built on an approach to, and also an avoidance of, a set goal or change. Remember, Uranus is associated with conscious and unconscious choices for change. Its appearance somewhere in the native's solar return chart implies the area of life in which the individual desires to progress through change. When one is unable to face or effect needed and desired changes, the mind splits between two mutually exclusive goals and anxiety results. Eventually, the mental ambivalence and erratic commitments to two very different paths are reflected in fluctuating external conditions. Long overdue, yet still avoided changes, tend to manifest in the environment as disruption caused by others, or by neglected areas of attention.

Adding to the anxiety is a perceived loss of control over external situations. Eventually, the restlessness and tension rise to a feverish pitch until one finally agrees to make changes, or can no longer prevent their occurrence. When conditions reach this intensity, individuals usually make reactive changes, without careful consideration or adequate preparation. Sudden upheavals occur rather than welcomed transitions. If we would truly be in control of our own destiny, we should listen to the need for change and respond to the earliest hints of restlessness. We should give ourselves the freedom to work toward a conscious transition before a crisis arises.

Consistent with the desire for change is the need for freedom. You cannot maneuver if you are locked into a restrictive environment. Sometimes the push for freedom is a prerequisite for change. At other times, the change itself becomes the motivating force behind the process. Occasionally, both mechanisms are operating. For example, you may have to convince your boss to give you the freedom to make needed changes in the daily office routine; at the same time, the changes you make could streamline procedures, creating more leeway in your work schedule.

Freedom allows the process of change to occur smoothly. When we are functioning at our best and working positively with the Uranian concept, we move easily through a series of attractions, detachments and independent actions. We learn and grow from each of these encounters. While in the process of attraction, we are drawn to certain situations, persons or concepts. It is important to observe what experiences we are drawn to because they indicate conscious or unconscious needs and patterns of growth. By accepting different situations, interacting with different individuals, or listening to new ideas, we take in new information and learn to value various facets of life. We see that no one person, place or idea is perfect. The same is true of our existing circumstances, which we hold onto so tightly.

With this insight begins the period of detachment from those situations, persons, or concepts which restrict our growth or no longer have anything to teach us. We are able to step back and intellectually reassess our involvement and commitment. We can either choose to separate physically from difficult situations, or take the corrective action needed to adjust present circumstances to our needs.

Uranus does not always imply a complete and total separation. We are capable of detaching from the original attraction while still maintaining the experience, relationship, or train of thought. It is the independent action we ultimately take which defines the degree of separation.

We learn as much from separation as we do from attraction when we define what we don't like as well as what we do like. The changing environment, the comparisons and contrasts, accentuate what is important and what is not. One should remember that this process of change through attachment, detachment and independent action is ongoing, occurring on many different levels simultaneously. The process can be either quick, occurring numerous times in one day, or drawn out, requiring a year's time span. For example, suppose you are building a new home. This is a year-long project and during this time you will be drawn to many different construction plans, ideas, and subcontractors. But as you begin to work with the possibilities, you will accept, reject, or change options to suit your needs. This process takes place over months, but also simultaneously many times in one day.

The exposure to various ideas, situations and people stimulates creative thought through sudden insight into changing situations. All planets represent a creative process. Venus is the planet of creativity experienced through beauty, while Uranus is the process experienced through change. Because of the changing panorama of people, ideas, and situations, one becomes accustomed to looking at life from different perspectives. The multifaceted approach encourages the mind to create still newer ideas. In this way the individual begins to participate in the process of attachment, detachment and independent action by creating his or her own original options, and change becomes a process of perception, integrated into the pattern of growth.

Solar Return Uranus in 6th house:

Uranus in the 6th house can show a job change during the year or a change in working conditions. Changes could be either self-initiated or beyond your control. Temporary working positions or breaks in employment are possible. For example, one woman worked for a nonprofit organization. Her salary was paid for by a government grant and when the grant money ran out, she was let go, only to return when new funds came in. If you are presently working for someone other than yourself and dissatisfied with your job, now is the time to investigate new placements. You can change companies entirely, but it is possible simply to transfer to another office under your present employer. Some individuals will ask to work on independent projects of their own choosing, or go one step further and create their own businesses, becoming self-employed.

If you maintain your old job, changes in your daily routine are likely and can involve relocation of the office, temporary change of duty station (travel), new office procedures, or the installation of new computer equipment. During the period of transition, simple procedures become very complicated and normal operations will be disrupted. In very negative situations, especially those involving conflict and even sabotage, work can come to a standstill.

Scheduling changes are also possible during the year. Your office adopts a flexible or rotating schedule, and you might be able to set your own hours. If there is no change in your job at all, work can become very nerve-wracking, tedious and stressful, particularly if you are restless and need a change of pace. You will be easily bored with repetitious tasks and needless restrictions. If all goes well, any change in your job will involve a variety of tasks and greater freedom. You need a position that gives you a new challenge, coupled with a changing schedule and the freedom to work to your potential.

Trying to stay at the same job doing the same thing in the same way will create stress. Changes are not only likely, but necessary for progress to occur. Until adjustments are accomplished and your office streamlined and better organized, your normal workday can be constantly disrupted by little crises. This is also true if you own your own business. You should be contemplating adjustments which will eventually lead to a more efficiently run business. The disruptions may occur during the period of transition to the new procedures or may actually prompt the procedure changes.

All this stress and tension at work can affect your health if you do not protect yourself. Your physical and emotional well-being is directly tied into your job situation and should be watched carefully, especially during a time of stress. Learn relaxation techniques and use them to rid your body of tension at the end of the day. Do not bring work or problems home with you. You need your free time for recuperation. Cut back on caffeine drinks and take stress-preventative vitamins when necessary. Most importantly, correct those job situations which are the most stressful.

Health habits tend to be erratic during the year, and consequently, you may experience sporadic health problems. A lot depends on age. Generally the younger and healthier you are, the less likely you are to be sick. Tensions at work are the most likely cause of stress-related illnesses. Work demands can disrupt health routines, especially if you must travel for your job or work crazy hours. Wide variations in your eating habits (including rapid weight losses or gains) can occur. Stressful work habits or rotating sleeping patterns are not in your best interest. Practice moderation in all things. This is a good time to change your health regimen consciously in order to foster a healthier body.

 
NEPTUNE IN THE SOLAR RETURN CHART

Neptune is many things on many levels, but first and foremost it is the aspiration for a higher manifestation as opposed to a lower one. The distinctions between higher and lower influences are not limited to the spiritual plane alone, but can occur on the emotional, mental and physical levels also. At all times, it is up to the individual to steer his or her consciousness toward the highest manifestation possible. For example, Neptune on the spiritual level is associated with Universal Oneness, Karmic Laws, Ideals, God, and higher beliefs which form the backbone of spirituality. A strong sense of trust in God and the Universe supports the growth process on the spiritual level, but has ramifications on the other levels as well. Each level of experience supports and triggers the others. It is all the insights on all of the levels which eventually help us toward a more rewarding and fulfilling life-style. The lower manifestation of Neptune on the spiritual level is disillusionment with higher principles. Here the individual falls off the true path and becomes entangled in fanatical beliefs or outright fantasy. Spiritual despair rather than enlightenment is the result, and the support needed for growth on all levels is thwarted.

The same dichotomy of higher and lower is present on the emotional, mental and physical planes also. At the emotional level, the individual is capable of great compassion and sensitivity to others. This is a time when empathic understanding strengthens the bonds between loved ones. The lower manifestation of Neptune is a susceptibility to anxiety and worry. The sensitivity which is meant to foster true understanding instead heightens a sense of vulnerability to life, others and the future. There is no trust in God emanating from the spiritual level to support decisions. In negative situations, true understanding of others does not develop because the individual is too involved with personal feelings and issues to focus on others.

At the mental level, creativity and inspiration help to expand the individual's intellectual capacity. Neptune is more closely associated with the right brain than the left, and indicates the ability to let the mind float free to new and better insights. The lower manifestation is confusion and deception. What you are told is different from what you intuitively feel. Thoughts contradict insights and you are unable to comprehend the truth. There is no trust of the higher right brain inspirational or spiritual processes. Creativity is thwarted. Without an understanding of the big picture, mental energy is wasted through a lack of cohesiveness as one begins to focus on the insignificant, confusing details.

And finally, Neptune on the physical level is service to others. Principles which have filtered down from the various levels and have been understood in each of the higher manifestations begin to flow into daily practices on the mundane plane. There is a consistency; as above, so below. It is possible to physically manifest the spirituality to which you aspire. When only lower manifestations have filtered down to the physical level, confusion, disorganization and exhaustion are most apt to occur. You lack a total concept necessary to unify your actions and prioritize tasks according to their importance. Neptune at its highest level of manifestation on the physical plane is a direct reflection of the enlightened promise made at the spiritual level.

In all of the houses, either the higher or lower manifestations will be operating. The more the individual focuses on the higher energies, the more cohesive and insightful actions will become. The more the individual is sensitive to spiritual insight, the easier it will be to deal with issues on every plane. The unifying principles of the spiritual level and the higher manifestations combine to focus energy and understanding right on down the line.

Solar Return Neptune in 5th house:

Spiritual concepts of unity among all human beings can soften the way you express yourself. A gentler involvement with the world is warranted at this time. As with all Neptune placements, higher principles are seeking a practical application in the real world. An increased sensitivity to specific situations, and uncertainty or confusion associated with actions or thoughts, tend to signal this infusion. While Neptune is in the solar return 5th house, spiritual concepts which are already understood need to find a mode of expression. Principles of Universal love can be expanded upon through compassionate interactions with lovers, children and others. Working with creative and artistic projects can also heighten your awareness. What is needed is an evolution in self-expression toward a more spiritual and insightful manifestation. Inconsistencies between the self and the Higher Self must be eliminated. You cannot believe one thing spiritually, yet express something else to others. The self (external expression) must be one with the Higher Self (spiritual ideal).

As you gentle your approach to the world, you may not be sure what you wish to express or represent. Tentative self-expression is common during the transition period. Sometimes external changes in the social milieu trigger the shift, but often gentleness is brought on by an increased awareness of the way you interact. Careful consideration is warranted. How are you perceived by others? Do you reflect your spiritual beliefs? Do you allow your true self to come through, or do you hide behind a persona? Is someone questioning the way you express yourself or what you purport to represent?

Consistency is important. Ask yourself, "Am I real? Or do blockages keep me from expressing who I really am, or what I really feel?" During this time, others tend to point out your inconsistencies. Occasionally, they add to your tentativeness by giving you very negative messages which are not truly insightful. Self-discernment is a task associated with this placement and you must learn to discriminate between helpful insights and negative comments. The lack of certainty along the way allows for the development of the softer side of your personality by making you hesitant enough to reflect on the other person's perception of you and what you truly wish to impart. For this reason, it's important to view self-expression from the other side, seeing yourself as others see you. Confusion about your identity is likely to continue until you begin to manifest the spiritual directive you purport to understand.

Increased compassion and sensitivity to others will bring about positive changes in self-expression. Loving and nurturing relationships can lead to an evolution in consciousness. Nonsexual spiritual relationships are possible with this placement, though sexual involvement is not necessarily prohibited. Nonetheless, it is the spiritual love which is important. You can love someone dearly without any thought of return or commitment. Assurances will not be necessary, nor will they be forthcoming. A lack of definition tends to permeate love affairs while Neptune is in the solar return 5th. You can never be sure where the relationship is headed, and the future is often left hanging. Sometimes you are not even sure when you will see each other again. This is a time to let relationships simply "be" what they are meant to be. Real limitations may or may not exist. For example, your lover might be away much of the time or previously committed to someone else.

On the other hand, the lack of definition or commitment could be totally confusing to you. You may not understand your lover's reservations and a sense of vagueness or mystery could surround your interaction. Conversely, you might be the one to want to keep things loose. In any case, guarantees are not given. Part of the problem might be your tendency to idealize the person or romance you are involved with. If your judgment is clouded, lovers can appear more attractive, attentive, or spiritual than they really are. Eventually these misconceptions lead to disillusionment. In the most negative situations, you are attracted to someone because one of you needs help and expects to be saved. Savior-victim relationships tend to be one-sided, with one person giving all while the other wants to receive.

If you have children, or deal with them daily, they can be a great source of insight and calmness. On the other hand, they might depend on you for direction, appearing lost when left to their own devices. This can be a time when children seem slightly out of character, acting up more than usual, especially at school. Or they might be extremely quiet. In either case, your extra sensitivity should be used to draw them out. Compassionate interchanges can help you to better understand them, their needs and their abilities. Spending quiet times with children can be mutually beneficial. This is a time when parents traditionally tend to sacrifice their own needs for the special needs of their children.

Increased sensitivity can also be channeled through creative or artistic projects, if you are so inclined. You might become aware of new subtleties in self-expression and design. New methods will focus on more delicate techniques. Aesthetic appreciation and insight also increase.

 
PLUTO IN THE SOLAR RETURN CHART

In the solar return chart, the interpretation of Pluto includes an understanding of the issue of power and its various manifestations, which can be directed toward three different points of focus and through three different life processes. Complications are associated with all of these orientations and processes since each manifestation is multidimensional and complex, occurring not only on the physical level, but on the intellectual, emotional and spiritual levels as well. Within these complex situations, power can be focused on three different targets: the self, others, and/or circumstances. As a rule, the power to control oneself is mostly beneficial, the power to control others is mostly detrimental and the power to control situations varies according to the circumstances involved. By studying Pluto's house placement in the solar return chart, you can assess in which areas of life these control issues are most likely to arise. The scope and effects of the power issues are seen through the connections to other solar return planets.

Power also manifests through three different processes. One may choose sameness, elimination or transformation. When you choose to keep things the way they are, it is implied that there is some force urging you to change and you are resisting this force. A possible power struggle might ensue. When you choose elimination, you relinquish control over some facet of your life or refuse to have further contact. When you choose change, you may be either yielding to an outside power or actively seeking transformation of that which already exists. Let us explore the power orientations and processes further.

Three Different Points of Focus

Generally, the focal point of self is beneficial. As long as you are using Plutonian insights and techniques to control yourself, to own your own power and to further your own growth, the process will be a positive learning experience, unless you overcontrol yourself, succumbing to hair-shirt asceticism, taking self-denial to absurd extremes. The greater your awareness of yourself and Universal principles, the more likely you are to make good decisions. You become the captain of your own destiny. Enlightenment leads to power and power leads to enlightenment as a rewarding cycle of manifestation is set in motion.

However, those who use psychological insights to control and block their own growth waste precious energy. They set up a negative pattern of stagnation wherein insights are not accepted as they are, but twisted to fit previously conceived notions about life and self. Rather than progressing through enlightenment, the individual uses insights as weapons against growth and understanding, opting for sameness despite new information. Contradictory realizations are not allowed to surface; instead they are either suppressed or misinterpreted. In very negative situations such as these, the power associated with increased Plutonian awareness and its creative potential is never realized.

The same thwarting of personal growth is evident when you shift your attention from self to the need to control others. By and large, this is not a good focal orientation. The symbolism of the planets exists in your consciousness so that you can grow and prosper from insight. Since growth begins at home, the main thrust of the focus should always be toward self, and it is generally unnecessary and also counterproductive to shift the emphasis to an external struggle. The most efficient use of power exists on the internal plane because it takes much less energy to control your own reactions than to seek power over someone else. Once power is removed from the inner self and used to control others, the effectiveness is reduced. Stalemated power struggles are particularly detrimental because they deplete resources. It is conceivable that there are life situations where it is essential to control another person. For example, children, disabled or elderly loved ones may not be able to make informed decisions. In these situations you might be asked or forced to wield power over another. You are meant to grow from all your experiences. Even in these instances, self-awareness and insight are crucial to the decisions you make. Start with yourself first, then work your way outward. Blaming others for your problems distorts the perception of self and the realization of your own personal involvement. Always be aware of the interactive process and the role you play in it. This internal perspective is of primary importance, much more so than the process of controlling someone else.

Trying to control life situations can lead to power struggles, but at some point in your life it may be essential to make a stand for the good of your own growth or that of world consciousness. Ultimately, it is much better for you to control yourself, but this is not always possible. Someone can be seeking to control you, your family or your livelihood. Certain injustices must be corrected for everyone to progress, and sometimes the only viable option is to work for change. Always be aware of the struggle you take on. It is usually easier to correct a situation than to convince your opponent he or she is wrong. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission. Go for the simplest task that gets the job done. For example, your office routine might be very inefficient and next to impossible to accomplish in a day's time. Perhaps you see where improvements can be made, but your immediate boss disagrees with you or thwarts your efforts. As long as you continue to try and convince your immediate boss of the need for change, you will get nowhere. If you can easily go over his or her head to a higher boss, this could be an effective way to handle the stalemate. Seek the quickest solution to a problem if one is available. Do not get locked into long, drawn-out struggles if they are not necessary.

Ultimately, power struggles can have either beneficial or detrimental results, depending on your perspective. In the external environment, you may or may not win, assuming there can be a victor. More than likely, victory, if it comes, involves compromise for all involved. But the inner process of awakening one's own ability to effect a creative change in the environment is usually beneficial. You can make a difference. The creative potential associated with Pluto comes from a penetrating insight into the hidden worlds of the unconscious and an understanding of the Universal laws of Karma. Powerful insights should spring spontaneously from the situations associated with Pluto's placement in the solar return chart. Suddenly you can become aware of new forces, subtle and previously unnoticed, which seem to influence personal decisions and situations you are involved in. Once you have the insight, what you do with the information becomes crucial to the creative process.

The primary goal of the Plutonian process should be growth through awareness. Therefore it is essential, no matter what your focal orientation, to use information and insight gleaned from experiences to foster a new understanding of self and Universal principles. The main growth process begins and ends with the self.

Three Different Plutonian Processes

Plutonian power is associated with three different processes: keeping things the way they are, usually by resisting an internal or external force; changing the form of what already exists, i.e., transformation; or eliminating what is no longer useful or essential, a form of death. Any of these powers can be either beneficial or detrimental to the user or others involved. It is the purpose and intent of the process that is important.

The power to keep things the way they are can sometimes be an awakening to personal power. Implied here is a resistance to a force seeking change, and sometimes the intent of change is negative. The pressure can come from an external or internal source, and the changes desired may be either external or internal also. For example, if you are a recovering alcoholic facing a difficult life situation, you might feel the pressure to start drinking again. The pressure could come from your own wish to avoid major decisions, or from a person you are associating with.

In actuality the internal and external sources are really one and the same, a reflection of each other since internal needs draw external situations. In the situation given above, the individual seeks to remain a recovering alcoholic despite internal and external pressure. This is a positive goal and if attained, implies personal power. It is also beneficial to remain the same when others seek to control your actions and thwart free will. Pluto represents the insight necessary to perceive manipulative efforts as they arise and avoid ploys whenever possible.

In some instances, the power to remain the same can be a negative manifestation, actually causing the stagnation of growth. If you resist all new internal and external insights which would enhance your growth or cause you to make changes, little progress will result. You will stall. When your purposes are not in keeping with Universal Good or personal benefit, you are more likely to be involved in a negative use of Plutonian power.

The process of elimination can be very cleansing, even though a symbolic death is involved. If you streamline your business or office procedures, letting go of compulsive and unnecessary activities, this is a death of sorts, but much to your benefit. So is a budgetary review which eliminates the fat from your spending practices and allows you to cut back on your work schedule. In more serious circumstances, perhaps all you can do is release a situation that is detrimental to your progress. Letting go can be a positive choice, but it might also be a negative one if you cut someone out of your life without resolving or releasing the conflict. If this is true in your case, avoiding persons or situations will consume your energy. Transformation is the process whereby a situation, thing or level of consciousness is changed into a new, and hopefully higher, manifestation. Careers, marriages and self-images can all be transformed for the better. Commonly, though, we think of the transformation process in terms of psychological insight and level of consciousness. Information from subtle sources or the unconscious is gradually or suddenly made available to either the rational mind or the Higher Self, and subsequently a change occurs on the mental, emotional or spiritual level. Information that was previously unavailable becomes understandable through the process of insight, and power is released through new awareness. This can be a very enlightening and beneficial transition, but naturally it is what you do with the information that is important. If intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth are triggered by the new awareness, the process continues to be positive; however, if instead you use your newfound insight to control others or block growth, you have used your knowledge in a negative way.

Misuse of the Plutonian process creates an inability to continue on the life path until issues are resolved and lessons are learned. Stagnation occurs as the individual fails to progress to the next level of comprehension or misinterprets the task at hand. Power struggles can be the cause of such stagnation, and should be taken on only after careful consideration of the issues and implications. Power struggles are expensive in terms of time and energy. Some are essential to growth, others are self-inflicted. Know the source. Ideally, if you avoid a conflict in Pluto's solar return house placement, you should have more resources available for higher awareness. Conflicts consume energy and sap the strength necessary for the ascent. Without opposition, one can move quickly when concentrating on insight and awareness. Barriers can be torn down and the connections among all things become apparent.

But a world without struggle is the ideal, and not necessarily the reality. Your situation may require that growth be attained through struggle. The resistance may stimulate your awareness and creativity. Real progress might only occur after the resolution of conflict or during respites in the battle. However, within a long-lasting, stalemated struggle, one is more likely to get caught in a circular argument going nowhere. Nonproductive battles can be avoided by those who work toward increased awareness.

Solar Return Pluto in 4th house:

Pluto in the solar return 4th house is the single best indicator of moving from one home to another. Uranus in the 4th house can also indicate relocation, but when Uranus is in the solar return 4th you are more likely to have changes or disruption within the domestic environment, particularly involving family members or roommates. Pluto, on the other hand, is more representative of moving from one home to another, or major renovations to the living structure itself along with a disorientation or upheaval that lasts for a period of one year. These are fine-line distinctions, and of course, variations will occur. If you purchase a home during this year, it may need a lot of work. Redecoration is likely, and the repair of unforeseen problems a possibility. It is in your best interest to have an engineer inspect any home you are seeking to purchase. Hidden or unanticipated difficulties can then be made known before any transaction takes place.

Relocation complications can arise for a number of reasons, though, and are not limited to repair problems. If you are building a new home, construction can take longer than expected. You may have to live in several temporary residences or stay with relatives for a period of time. Once you finally move in, you must decorate from scratch, purchasing everything an established home is already likely to have. Moves over great distances are very complicated in and of themselves, and generally require a full year's time for preparation and settling in. The hassles of adjusting to a new state, climate, culture, or environment can take the place of problems with the house structure itself.

Major renovations are also seen while Pluto is in the 4th house. These kinds of renovations necessarily cause a prolonged upheaval in the domestic situation. Large additions, modernizations, or construction which involves moving walls or piping is likely, and the disruption caused by the dust and building will probably last for most of the solar return year.

If you do not move or renovate, it is still likely that changes in the domestic situation will occur. Commonly, someone either moves in or out, and living arrangements must be adjusted accordingly. New situations will take a while to get used to. All changes involve the consideration of many different factors, and simple decisions are not likely. In addition, transitions are likely to be complicated by psychological issues, and may even be unconsciously motivated. For example, your mother moves in and you must make arrangements for her to get to the senior citizen center during the day. She is somewhat incapacitated and needs daytime care. She also requires a living space on one floor and you must rearrange rooms and put in a new bathroom for her use. Psychologically, you must make the adjustment from living alone to caring for an elderly parent. Certain childhood issues might arise as you search for new patterns of behavior.

It is true that complications and struggles are associated with domestic situations when Pluto is in the 4th house; however, the complications and struggles are inherent in the project or transition you wish to complete and not the planetary placement itself. This is a time when individuals naturally seem to choose to make major changes in their home and/or living style, and it is unlikely that a transformation of this caliber could be made quickly and easily, without some hassle.

The desire to make strong and sweeping changes in the physical home is accompanied by corresponding emotional transformations. Sometimes the two manifestations are directly connected; sometimes they are totally separate; commonly, they are at least symbolically related. For example, during a long period of domestic upheaval, you could feel disconnected or not grounded, without a sense of "home," or a base for operations. If you are living with others, caught in a limbo between residences, you might be forced to subsist for a while without your own space, possessions, privacy, personal control, or sense of organization. You might feel stripped to the essence of your being, devoid of any external trappings, left to exist as you are, without the familiarity of what you own or can accomplish. Without the inner sanctum of your home for protection, you could feel exposed, and it is true that you are vulnerable to the idiosyncrasies of temporary housemates. Emotions are bound to fluctuate under such conditions. Old behavior patterns break down quickly as new patterns and coping mechanisms are necessitated by changing circumstances. In this way, Pluto in the 4th house usually indicates an emotionally unsettled time, as well as a physically unsettled time.

Sometimes this emotional upheaval can occur because of a coincidental physical change in another's situation, but a transition in the native's own consciousness is essential for growth. Suppose your parents decide to sell your childhood home and move out of state. If you are still attached to your parents' residence, you must make adjustments in your thinking. You can still visit your parents, but you can never go home again if the trip involves one particular building or location. Perhaps it is time for you to think of your own residence as "home."

When Pluto is in the 4th house, emotions are not only the motivating force behind physical changes, but also the end result. The purpose and desire associated with this placement is the need to establish an emotionally fulfilling environment, both on the internal and external planes. This is why moving or changes in the physical home (external) are as important as evolutionary growth in the feeling nature or unconscious (internal). The two levels of manifestation go hand in hand during the year, and you can be sure that if your physical surroundings are in a state of transition, corresponding changes are also affecting your emotional level.

By the same token, the inability to make wanted and needed external changes probably indicates the presence of internal blockages and external resistances. A search is underway to form stronger roots in the physical and emotional environment. Shallow connections will not do. One must either dig deeper or move on; reaffirm the commitment to the existing structure (renovation), or begin anew (move). The same process is occurring on the emotional level. Individuals must reaffirm a commitment to family members and roommates, or seek support elsewhere.

Unlike other 4th house placements which also indicate changes in the physical and emotional home, Pluto generally indicates that not only are changes long overdue, but there are also some inner and outer resistances which must be overcome to fully realize the internal potential in the external world. Consequently, a power struggle with oneself and others is likely, both before and during change, and the arena for this struggle takes place in the home and among family members. Conflicts arise when others do not want the same home environment you envision. In the best of circumstances, negotiation and compromise may be all that are necessary to resolve differences. However, in some families the word "negotiation" is really a cover for manipulative tactics and controlling influences. Nothing is ever resolved, issues remain unsettled, and decisions are not finalized. Within this domestic milieu, the creative urge toward rootedness and its resultant manifestations on the physical and emotional planes are stifled before they can be realized. For this reason, you should consciously work to undo old, existing response patterns which allow others to psychologically control your emotional nature and rob you of its creative potential. Being emotionally controlled is generally synonymous with also being physically controlled, and therefore unable to create the home and home life you desire.

This is a good time to enter therapy, especially if unconscious manifestations (fear, guilt, negativity, power struggles, etc.) are blocking new and old commitments, or stifling your urge toward growth and change. Repetitive issues, unfulfilling emotional interchanges, and the inability to cope with your home and necessary changes signal the need to reassess response patterns for power leakages. During the year, heightened sensitivity will cause you to become aware of psychological games which rob you of personal power in the emotional arena. At this time, even an intellectual interest in psychology can give you great insight into domestic and familial patterns.

Because of the issue of creative emotional power and its manifestation on the physical plane, life seems more crucial, decisions more important, problems more complicated. Everything leads to something else and you have a vested interest in how matters finally turn out. Commonly, the meaning of life is discussed, and within this climate the issue of death arises, causing you to face the issue of your own mortality. There may be a death in the family during the year, but more often you are merely acquainted with someone your own age who must deal with a potentially life-threatening illness. His or her situation calls you to consider the possibility of your own death, and the reason for your existence. The interplay between the creative emotional nature and the issue of mortality leads you to understand the extent and limitations of your own power. One does not have control over death; all living things die. However, one does have power over the emotional response to death, and for that matter, all emotional responses. The need to direct your own emotions toward a rewarding and fulfilling expression is at the root of this Pluto placement.

 

  

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