(And Solar Return Meditation)
Once a year, the transiting Sun returns to the exact same position it held in the sky at the moment of your birth. This happens at a different moment each year, within a day or two of your birthday. This fun-omenon is known as your Solar Return, and it is a powerful time to put out to the universe what you want to manifest during your birthday-to-birthday (solar) year.
Along with many other astrologers, I highly recommend that you meditate during this powerful time. Not only is it an excellent time to send your desires to the universe for fulfillment, but it is also an outstanding time to receive information. From his studies of the Mayan culture, Jose Arguelles, Father of the Harmonic Convergence, tells us that the Sun focuses information through the cosmos to us. If this is true, the Solar Return can almost be likened to the once a year you can count on a good connection for a two-way telephone conversation with God/Goddess/All That Is.
The value of knowing your exact Solar Return time is so that you can schedule your meditation to “peak” during the Solar Return moment. Some years, you’ll be lucky. Your Solar Return will happen at a convenient time of the day or one that is not too disruptive to your normal routine. Other years, you’ll have to set an alarm and get up in the middle of the night–or as one of my friends had to do once, you may find yourself taking a meditation break in the stall of a restroom at work, between meetings!
However you have to do it, don’t lose this once a year day, and this golden (sunshine!) opportunity to transmit your most heartfelt desires to the core of Collective Spirit, from which all things materialize. Just as importantly, you don’t want to miss receiving valuable information from the “heart of space.”
I suggest that you open your meditation with the Sun Conjunct Sun prayer from Alda Marian Jangl’s The Astrological Prayer Book. This book is an excellent way to get to know your chart and to work with it. (Some people may find the terminology too Christian, if not of that faith. Remember, you can simply substitute whatever invocations of spirit you prefer.) If you like your Sun Sign prayer, I suggest you consider purchasing The Astrological Prayer Book for continued work. It also contains prayers for the various aspects between planets in your natal chart and for aspects formed by transiting planets (where the planets are today compared to their positions when you were born).
For example, if my Solar Return time were 3:23 AM on September 21st this year, I would set my alarm to be up by 2:45 and awake by 3:00, when I would begin meditating. I’d devote at least a half-hour to this special meditation time, with the exact moment of 3:23 AM landing somewhere in the middle of the meditation. (We must also account for the possibility of your birth time being slightly off, since few astrologers assist at deliveries or have coached birth attendants about the importance of accuracy, during a time when a lot of other concerns have their attention.) By meditating with the “presumed time” in the middle, if your birth time is slightly off, you’ll also hit the “real time” during this interval.
One important note. The Solar Return is so powerful, ask and you WILL receive. Often, in our eagerness to grow, we request things we’re not quite ready for. Since we tend to be the least objective about ourselves, I suggest you use what I affectionately call “the cosmic escape clause” when asking for things from the universe: “THIS OR SOMETHING BETTER.”
By using this affirmation at the end of my wish list of things I want to happen during the upcoming year, I have always gotten everything I’m ready for during the 12 months from birthday to birthday. Whatever I didn’t manifest, I still made some sort of progress toward eventually having it–preliminary steps or a change in attitude or growth that would build the foundation necessary to have those wishes fulfilled later on. Alternatively, I have sometimes been gently guided to realize that what I thought I wanted was hardly in my best interests. (Thank God for “this or something better,” or I would have been stuck with it!) Pleasantly, I also discover the “something better.”)
The Solar Return chart, cast for the exact moment of the transiting and natal Sun conjunction, is another way of looking at the themes and nature of your birthday year. Often, it echoes issues evident by progression and transit, giving a general preview of the nature of your learning during the next year of life. Contact your astrologer or an astrology chart service to get your annual Solar Return time.
Solar Returns are also affected by where you are on the map at the moment of your Solar Birthday; therefore, where you are at that time can have an influence on the upcoming year. Astrologers vary in their views on this. I think the Solar Return location is the primary influence, but if your magic moment happens away from home, the place where you live will determine your “secondary chart,” where you spend most of your time. An analogy is: Your birth chart is always your birth chart, but wherever you live, your secondary chart is your relocated chart, cast for the same time at your new locale. Yes, I consider going away for every birthday! Sometimes that has yielded spectacular Solar Returns.
One of my favorites was my 1993 birthday in Questa, New Mexico–chosen because I felt strongly drawn there and my Solar Return chart “looked good.” A friend, a professional psychic, was my hostess in the gorgeous, Sangre de Christo Mountains, in an adobe house by a babbling brook, whose beauty alone was one of the best birthday gifts I had ever received. My Solar Return time was close to 10:30 p.m. My best laid plans to meditate to the babble of the brook went down the drain as a storm came up. (Even on a quest in Questa, I had enough sense to come out of the rain.)
My friend suggested I relocate to the protection of the porch, where the mist blew gently in my face, the music of the wind chimes played, and the lightning made fireworks on the backs of my closed eyelids. As the clock ticked toward My Moment, I got this overwhelming urge to open my eyes. Before me, in the sky, was a rainbow of moonlight. Later, I learned that lunar rainbows are extremely rare. Nothing will ever convince me I should have been anywhere but in Questa, New Mexico for my birthday that year. It was a good omen of healing from past storms, and it did indeed, presage a wonderful year to come.
Meanwhile, if it’s close to the anniversary of your incarnation, Happy Birthday, and Many Happy (Solar) Returns!
– by Joyce Lee Mason