Solar Return Houses: Introduction

Solar Returns are one of the best tools of Predictive Astrology we have at our disposal. However, because Solar Returns generate a temporary chart – only lasting for one year – interpreting the house positions of your planets in Solar Returns will be different from the meanings you will be familiar with from your Natal Chart.

So, in this post, I’m going to give you an outline of what each house in Solar Returns means, together with the Keywords for each Solar Return House which are so useful in analysing Solar Returns. Up front, I want to remind you of the basics – the Planets in your Solar Return Chart tell you ‘What’ will happen and the Solar Return Houses tell you ‘Where’. Keep that in mind and analysing your chart becomes a lot easier.

I’ve now updated this post to include a link to my post Planets in Solar Return Houses as the two posts give you the detail you need to start interpreting your own Solar Returns. Of course – if you would prefer a professional Solar Return Chart Report I’m happy to offer that service on this website.

If you would like to know more about Solar Returns, my book on this subject is now published and can be downloaded from the Astrology bookstore on this website, in .pdf or epub format, price £4.99GBP.

Solar Returns: An Introduction is also available from, Scribd and other online bookstores, using this Universal Book Link (UBL)

Solar Returns: First House

Look in the mirror and what do you see? The Solar Return First House is where you see yourself. The First House in an Astrological Chart has always been described as the face you show to the world. In Solar Returns, that remains true. However, the ‘face’ you present to the world is for the duration of one year only. You are showing yourself to the world in a particular way because of what is happening in your life right now.

You don’t become a different person, the persona shown by your Natal Chart is still there, however it has a temporary overlay which results from  changes in how you feel about yourself during the Solar Return Year. Changes in appearance or the start of something new often accompany Solar Return First House placements.

The notion of ‘self’ is a key concept in analysing the Solar Return First House. It is where you may feel the need to present your best self, or feel self conscious, self centred, self important or self controlled. It is where you make a conscious effort to open up to the world – or set up a barrier against it.

Planets in the Solar Return First House indicate how you feel you need to be, right here, right now – and that can mean a new beginning and paying particular attention to the matters signified by a planet in this house. The meaning of a planet in the Solar Return First House is always up front and personal – and on display. So get out the green hair dye…


The Self, Identity, Independence, Self image, Self Awareness, Self Assertion, Focus, New Beginnings, A New Approach, Enthusiasm, Seeking Attention, Paying Attention.

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Solar Returns: Second House

The Solar Return Second House is almost always to do with your personal finances and the resources you have at your disposal during the year. Those resources, financial or otherwise, enable your needs to be met – or not. So, the Solar Return Second House is about your income and any changes you may experience in your finances. However, it’s also about your attitudes towards your resources.

It’s where you may save, squander, find new ways to boost your earnings or find big bills heading your way. The Solar Return Second House is also where you develop your personal skills by managing what you have more efficiently as you learn to budget and prioritise. So, in The Solar Return Second House, you find  your material resources and also learn the skills of resourcefulness.

In this way, another aspect of the Solar Return Second House comes to the fore. Your decisions during the year will be value driven depending on the planetary placements within the Solar Return Second House. So will you improve your assets or be a complete liability? The choice is yours and this brings me onto the inner secret of the Solar Return Second House.

It’s about your values and very often, your self esteem, in other words, how you value yourself. How you deal with your resources – and this is not simply your wage slip but also your own talents – has a direct correlation with the price you put on your own head. The trick is to get the price right – not too much and not too little. Start counting those fingers if you don’t believe me.


Personal Finances, Personal Resources, Earnings, Talents, Income, Budgets, Bills, Spending, Values, Self Esteem, Self Worth, Stability, Security, Confidence.

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Solar Returns: Third House

The Solar Return Third House is where you think. And talk. And read, write, walk, text, email, exchange gossip, exchange numbers and change your mind. This house is where you connect – and you’ll find public transport, cars, phones, your laptop, your contacts and a lot of gossip keeping you busy this year.

It is also the first house in the chart where you engage with the outside world – usually your immediate environment or neighbourhood – and you may be more involved in local issues this year. You may experience a pressing need to write or communicate and make new contacts and this may be for external, social reasons or as a result of internal, mental pressure.

An emphasis on the Solar Return Third House is often characterised by restlessness and a need to be in several places at once or do more than one thing at a time. Short journeys – those carried out in your own country rather than overseas – are likely to be a feature in a year with a Solar Return Third House emphasis. T

he Solar Return Third House often indicates mobility and mental flexibility. Planetary placements here will give an indication of your state of mind as well as the issues that are demanding your attention. You may be kept busy by your placements in the Solar Return Third House – or at least you will think so. And boy, will you let everyone know about it…


Contacts, Communications, Exchanges, Language, Meetings, Email, Communications Devices, Cars, Public Transport, Mental State, Mental Flexibility, Ideas, Busy, Restlessness.

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Solar Returns: Fourth House

The Solar Return Fourth House is where you feel at home. In any Solar Return year, a tenanted fourth house brings all issues to do with home, family, belonging and your sense of stability to the fore. In my experience, The Solar Return Fourth House is very directly to do with all matters relating to the home and family as they are in the ‘here and now’.

So, it’s here you will find your parents (some astrologers place your parents in the 4th and 10th houses, I find the 4th is more representative of them both). You will both leave home and find new homes in the Solar Return Fourth House as this covers all things relating to your living and domestic situation – and that includes people living in your home and its state of repair or decor.

So, matters such as relocation, house repairs, remodelling and redecoration are found in the Solar Return Fourth House. Family matters are found in the SR Fourth house and, as we know, there is nothing like family to stir up the emotions – which they will do in this house.

One very important aspect of the Solar Return is to do with nurturing – you may need to look after others or may discover you need to nurture yourself rather more than you have been in the past. The Solar Return Fourth House is where we look after things so it’s where we cook, clean and grow things (flowers, families, ourselves) and those matters may demand significant amounts of your time and energy if your Solar Return Chart points that way.


Parents, Parenting, Families, Home, Houses, Land, Gardens, Nurture, Nature, Roots, Stability, Attachment, Food, Cooking, Kitchens, Lodgers, Tenants, Decorating, Repairs.

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Solar Returns: Fifth House

The Solar Return Fifth House is where you go to have fun, which is a relief after all those family issues. However, it’s more accurate to think of the Solar Return Fifth House as the place you express yourself and develop your own interests hence it’s association with creativity of all kinds. When many of us think about creativity, the tendency is to assume the concept refers only to artistic creativity.

If you are not already a putative Leonardo da Vinci, then you certainly won’t become one during a year that gives prominence to your Solar Return Fifth House. You will however, find yourself being creative in ways that are relevant in your own life and you will feel a desire to develop your creativity to express who you are.

This may involve artistic creation if you are so inclined, however creativity also applies to almost every other field of human endeavour so if you have a love of science, sewing, sport or sex, an emphasis on your Solar Return Fifth House may prompt you to take a risk and try something new, engage more with the thing you love, have more fun doing it and boost your confidence at the same time.

So, in this Solar Return House we create and also procreate. Our children are found in the Solar Return Fifth House – and they are our greatest creation of all. The Solar Return Fifth House is also where we play and where the child in us comes to the fore. It’s where we play games – but beware, children and games can often be cruel.


Theatre, Plays, Players, Games, Sport, Recreation, Creation, Creativity, Self Expression, Pleasure, Me-time, Romance, Flirtation, Enjoyment, Entertainment.

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Solar Returns: Sixth House

The Solar Return Sixth House is where you work. Rather unfairly, I think, because of this, the Sixth House has a rather dull and boring reputation. After the fun of the Fifth House, perhaps it’s only natural that the Sixth House should bring you back down to earth. This house acts as a reminder to get real about life and usually those matters which require us to be realistic are found here.

So, this means your work is found here – together with your work/life balance and all matters relating to your lifestyle choices. Changes to the nature of your work will be shown here as placements in the Solar Return Sixth often give you a snapshot of issues affecting your daily life over the course of the year.

The Solar Return Sixth House is, above all else, a practical house. It’s where you are asked to get your house in order, to become more organised and efficient because there may be issues in your life that could become a problem if you don’t pay attention to them – and that may include health issues and lifestyle choices you should be paying attention to.

However, I must stress, an emphasis on the Solar Return Sixth House is not all doom and gloom, the primary message is simply you must not let things slip or pass you by – and if that means you have to work harder at something or face up to something you would rather not deal with then so be it. Work is, after all, the rent you pay for life.


Lifestyle Choices, Practical, Responsibilities, Organisation, Time-keeping, Health and Fitness, Diet, Routines, Pets, Work Life Balance.

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Solar Returns: Seventh House

The Solar Return Seventh House is where you buddy up. All significant ‘one on one’ relationships are found here and for that reason it is often thought of in an almost exclusively romantic context. In a chart with an emphasis on the Solar Return Seventh House there may well be romantic partnership issues, but, not all partnerships are romantic and not all close associations come decorated with hearts and flowers.

Significant relationships  will be lit up by the Solar Return Seventh House but they are just as likely to be business or professional or ‘contractual’ in some way. You may spend much of the year dealing with business contracts and negotiations or legal matters, for example, as they are often indicated by this house.

One thing I have noticed about the Solar Return Seventh House is its immediacy – the relationship it points towards will be significant in your life even if temporarily so. Unlike the Natal Chart however, Solar Return Seventh House placements are not really about your capacity to relate or your relationship needs.

They are, however, often very descriptive (literally so) about a person you may meet, or a partnership you may enter into or an issue in an existing partnership and that can often manifest in an obvious way. In many ways this therefore correlates with a wider message brought by the Solar Return Seventh House. It reminds you that you need other people to help you to succeed in negotiating your way through life.


Partnerships, Contracts, Relationships, Legal Matters, Business Relationships, Professional Relationships, Negotiations, Commitments.

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Solar Returns: Eighth House

I think one of the best ways of describing the Solar Return Eighth House is as follows: it is transactional. We are all familiar with transactions and their key components – compromise and acceptance. Transactions are about give and take and that’s not always easy as it provokes some fairly heavy emotional responses when you have to part with something – or someone – precious to you.

Alternatively,  you may want something currently in the possession of someone else. Their money. Their body. Hence this house’s traditional association with power, big money, crime, sex, birth and death. These are transformational issues and you only need to experience them once for  your life to change forever – there is no turning back.

Put this way, you can see that the Solar Return Eighth House is where you meet a turning point in your life. Negotiate it well and it will enable you to grow and move on in some way. You meet an obligation, you realise that life is not all about you, you learn that relationships involve compromise, you have to give way to something more powerful than you – and you learn to accept that’s how things are in this life.

Placements in the Solar Return Eighth House are almost always feared because of their ‘death and taxes’ associations but this house is not about fear – it’s about change and how you deal with it. So draw the line and move on. And pay your dues.


Major Changes, Major Decisions, Sexual Relationships, Death, Birth, Phases of Life, Insurance, Taxation, Loans, Investments, Inheritance, Crime, Violation, Power.

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Solar Returns: Ninth House

So, by the time you reach the Solar Return Ninth House, you’ve learned a bit about life. Who you are, what you’ve got, you’ve got opinions, you know where you’re from, what you like, how to look after yourself, how to relate and pay your way. Now it’s time for you to get out and see the world. Everything from long distance travel to intellectual growth is found here.

So, in a year with a heavily accented Solar Return Ninth House, those issues will be part of your life. This house is where you feel optimistic. You want to expand your life in some way, have new experiences, make improvements – and you are prepared to take a risk and do something outside of your usual routine or sphere of experience in order to do so.

In my experience, in a year where your Solar Return Ninth house is prominent, long distance travel is a common result. Not your standard ‘family holiday’ type of travel but a journey to somewhere that you consider alien, unfamiliar and more challenging to you than your more usual destinations.

This will be a year where you encounter things foreign to you and that may include people and/or languages. You may expand your horizons by engaging with higher education if you decide to remain at home. The purpose of the Solar Return Ninth House is to broaden your mind and alter your world view during the course of the year. That’s what travel and education do. So book your ticket and go.


Optimism, World View, Travel, Higher Education, University of Life, Intellectual Development, Understanding, Perspective, Long Distance, Foreigners.

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Solar Returns: Tenth House

The Solar Return Tenth House begins at the apex of your chart and it’s where your achievements become visible. The Tenth House is public and highly visible, however, a prominent Solar Return Tenth House does not necessarily mean you will make front page news during the course of the year. Public, in the context of this house, is more about social standing than social media.

In our world, social standing is our public identity and however you define yourself it’s found here – your career, marital status or any other way in which you are regarded by wider society – including your reputation. If it’s been brought to public attention in some way you will find it here.

In the Solar Return Chart, placements in the Tenth House usually give an indication of where our careers are headed in any one year. On occasion however, placements in the Solar Return Tenth House can be an indication of marriage, if that’s where you are in your life. It’s about public image, social responsibility and public or social commitments – all the big issues we have to live up to.

In the Solar Return Tenth House you succeed or fail and the course of your life (in terms of your career or public status) is adjusted as a result. Placements in the Solar Return Tenth House give you the opportunity to redefine yourself in the eyes of the world – but remember pride comes before a fall.


Career, Ambition, Life Direction, Status, Reputation, Important Matters, Responsibility, Executive, Decision Maker, Boss, Important Person, Marriage (indicator), Public Identity.

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Solar Returns: Eleventh House

The Eleventh house can seem a bit of a hotchpotch. Friends, the future, hopes and wishes, social contacts, social media, technology and invention, freedom, ideals and good fortune. Not to mention step-children, profits and personal aspirations. If I can attempt to shoehorn the Solar Return Eleventh House into a more succinct definition, it would run along the following lines.

It’s where you feel a sense of belonging in a communal sense.  It is, therefore, the house of society in both the broadest and most personal sense as society means nothing without personal membership. The Solar Return Eleventh House is not about ‘you and them’ because you are one of ‘them’.

In a year when you have a tenanted Solar Return Eleventh House, your social relationships are usually highlighted in some way. This can indicate issues with friendships, shifts in allegiances, even alterations in your political outlook. We gain a sense of comfort from associating with like minded people and a sense of freedom from aligning ourselves with those who are like ourselves – our tribe.

The Solar Return Eleventh House is where you may ‘come out’ or have your ‘me too’ moment, knowing there are others out there who will have your back, no questions asked. Looked at in this way, you can see how placements in the Solar Return Eleventh House make you realise you’re not alone.


Friendships, Group membership, Team Player, Social Life, Social Media, Technology, Social Conscience, Politics, Ideology, Political Activism, Idealism, Aspiration, Step Children, Profits – material and otherwise.

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Solar Returns: Twelfth House

The Solar Return Twelfth House is where you go to get away from it all. This house is filled with dream holidays on deserted beaches. The ashrams, temples and bars you visit on your quest for spiritual enlightenment are also found here. ‘Bars?’ I hear you ask. Indeed. Addictions of all types fill this house and the Twelfth House makes no distinction between meditation and marijuana.

This does not mean, however, that a heavily tenanted Solar Return Twelfth House will turn you into a substance abuser – your previous life history will be the most important factor in this. However, it’s fair to say that the Solar Return Twelfth House is where you will have to face up to many of the things you have been trying to avoid.

Psychological issues you have avoided for years may surface here and demand to be heard. The ghosts of the past can be exorcised in the Solar Return Twelfth House as this house is as the place you can let go. Drop your baggage – after all, thats why you came here. Try to get away from everything by being kind to yourself.

Soothe yourself with music, art, a good book, the theatre or cinema – losing yourself in another world does not have to be expensive or illegal. Alternatively, you may benefit by putting the needs of others first. Caring for others, visiting those in hospitals or even jail time is often found in the twelfth house – getting away from it all is not necessarily a voluntary exercise.


Hospitals, Drugs, Alcohol, Addiction, Shadows, Physical Therapy, Psychological Therapy, Dreams, Escapism, The Past, Dream Holidays, Beaches, The Sea, Sailing, Undercurrents, Cinema, Music, Dance, Trance, The Soul.

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Next: Solar Returns: How To Interpret The Planets

© Sara Shipman 2020

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