Astrology and Horoscopes

solar lunar returns

Predicting Stages Of Growth Through Solar (and Lunar) Returns


The chart drawn on one’s birthday, at the time when the Sun reaches the same degree as at birthtime, which is known as Solar Return, has long been considered a useful tool to predict the main events of the individual in the lifespan of one year approximately. In the same way, the Lunar Return may predict the main events occurring during one month approximately, by considering the movement of the Moon when it reaches the same degree as at birthtime.

This study will explain how Solar and Lunar Returns depict stages of our “life project” as revealed in the birthchart, by considering them the “hour hand” and “minute hand” of our lifetime, and why predicting stages of our inner growth would be very helpful in order to better understand ouselves, the events we are confronted with, the changes in our character, etc.

Comprehending “stages of growth”

When we speak of our life project as we detect it from our birthchart, we should not forget that we cannot fulfill it without first learning through different life experiences that will develop a better understanding of the path leading to our inner evolution. It is therefore extremely important to recognize first and then be conscious of these experiences or “stages of growth”, as they guide us throughout our life towards the fullfilment of our life project. By understanding what kind of “lesson” we have to learn during a year or a month, for instance, we will be ready to face the experiences that will surely occur during that period, and which correspond to that particular lesson. We will go with the tide, without putting up resistance, a behaviour in life which is in itself a great leap forward toward our growth as responsible individuals.

How to pinpoint stages of growth

As we know, in order to interpret the Solar Return of a particular year, it is very important to consider its Ascendant related to our birthchart, that is what house exactly it falls into. The meaning of that house will therefore be most important throughout that year, and if we relate it to the position of North Node in house and sign together with all the other planets (and the Sun, of course) in their houses, we will already have a clear picture of what the individual should accomplish during that year.

The importance of North Node in detecting the direction of the inner growth of the individual in his birthchart has long been recognised, and astrologers researching in the field of evolution of the individual agree in giving to North Node’s sign and position in the houses, as well as to the aspects that it receives from the other planets, an “imprint” of the individual’s growth as a sentient being.

According to my experience, by always keeping in mind the life project of the individual as depicted in his birthchart, we may read the Solar Return in the same way as we read the birthchart when analysing the inner growth of the individual. We will then get an overall view of the experiences that will lead that person to a better understanding of his “stages of growth” in that particular year.

North Node in Solar Returns clearly tells us that we have to experience different “lessons” before we are able to fulfill our life project. Solar Returns teach us that each year we are confronted with new experiences concerning a different field of life. Our consciousness of the latter would make us not refuse that particular kind of experience and concentrate on the meaning of that year’s particular lesson related to our life project (the position of North Node at birth).

Lunar Returns may also be drawn in order to better understand the meaning and the direction of the evolution of the individual during the months, but I believe they should be given consideration only in years of great importance in the life of the individual.

The position of North Node in houses and signs is, of course, the best detector, whereas the aspects it forms with the other planets are not always relevant in this particular analysis.

Generally speaking, in Solar Returns as in the birthchart, we can immediately have a picture of the individual’s growth just by looking at North Node’s position in houses and signs.

Predicting inner growth through North Node in houses and signs

Here is a short description of the most common features of North Node related to the growth of the individual, which can be found and adapted in the birthchart as in Solar Returns.

North Node in the first house or in Aries would focus on the individual’s growth as an independent person. He should strive against temptation to depend on others (South Node in Libra or in the 7th house) trying to grasp the good qualities of the Aries sign. These two signs – Aries and Libra – will have to be blent together in himself and understood to the extent that the Arian faults be faced by him and overcome.

On the contrary, when North Node is found in the seventh house or in Libra, his relationships will be most important, and experiences will lead him to learn how to relate with others by getting rid of his tendency to be too independent. Here again, Aries and Libra signs will have to balance in order for the person to grow in the direction of his life project.

In the second house or in Taurus, North Node is requesting the individual to be concerned with material goods and achievements. Here, the blending of Taurean and Scorpio values would result in a new understanding of how to handle his possessions without him being completely involved in them.

In the eighth house or in Scorpio, he will have instead to understand that his material achievements are not all his life; he will have to learn lessons concerning detachment and all that is related to the immaterial world.

In the third house or in Gemini, North Node demands the individual to learn a simpler way of communicating and relating, by blending the Gemini and Sagittarius sign characteristics. In a Solar Return, this position might correspond to a year in which the individual is called to publicly communicate his thoughts and ideas.

In the ninth house or in Sagittarius, on the other hand, the person should acquire a more thoughtful mind, probably by trying to work out his own ideas on life.

When North Node is found in the fourth house or in Cancer we have to face experiences related with our family life. Here ambition may hinder inner development, which will be achieved only when we will care enough for our family members, by understanding their importance in our lives.

On the contrary, when North Node is posited in our tenth house or in Capricorn, we will have to learn to detach from our roots, from our family, in order to develop ambition in life. This does not mean that we should not care for our family members and that we should develop only careerwise, but here, as with North Node in the fourth house, we should be able to blend both our Saturnian and Lunar good qualities. However, here experiences will focus on the need to expand toward the realization of ourselves outside our family environment.

When our North Node is found in the fifth house or in Leo, experiences related with children, our love life, or the expression of ourselves will have to be faced, as we tend to hold on to our individuality. Here we should learn how to express ourselves or deal with our love-partner and children without getting rid of our individuality: a blend of the Aquarian Saturn/Uranus and Leo’s Sun.

In the eleventh house or in Aquarius the lesson is the opposite: one should learn about one’s individuality and friendships. Therefore, life experiences will bring the individual toward the understanding of how to express himself in association with other people. In order to do so, here we have to get rid of Leo’s egocentricity in order to be accepted by the others.

North Node in the sixth house or in Virgo is plunging us in everyday life. We are called to be practical here, to consider every detail when fulfilling our daily duties. Here, we are also called to understand about our health and body care, as we are prone to get psycho-somatic illnesses until we balance the Virgo/Pisces qualities.

When North Node is in the twelfth house or in Pisces we will have to learn that life is not only daily work and materiality: experiences about Jupiter/Neptune’s high spirituality will have to be understood without forgetting about our duties in daily life.

Further considerations

According to my own experience, the house where North Node is placed gives more indications as to the individual’s path toward inner growth or the experiences he will have to go through, whereas North Node’s sign would rather show how this evolution is going to occur, that is according to what kind of energies. Therefore, if North Node is found in the first house and in Aries, experiences will surely be related toward the understanding of oneself in relation with the others, and the way for the person to fulfill this condition will mainly be connected with the energies of the Arian planet Mars, therefore focusing on action and will power.

If North Node is instead in the first house but in Leo, for instance, the manner in which this person will achieve his independence will focus on the expression of himself and all the qualities and faults related with the energies of the Sun being Leo’s ruler.

Moreover, it is interesting to notice how, in the process of moving from South Node’s to North Node’s position, the individual will first be attracted by the faults of North Node’s sign or house, instead of its good qualities. For example, if North Node is posited in Aries or in the first house, the person will at first grasp the selfishness typical of Aries, before moving toward his independent status. In Taurus, he will be attracted by possessiveness leading to jealousy or stinginess, before understanding concreteness and steadiness. And so forth. It seems that the difficulty stands in comprehending the good qualities of the sign and house where North Node is posited! It is like if the person is confused at first: he instinctively feels he has to change something of his character, but he is not yet aware of his path. It takes some time before he gets a clear vision of his life project, and this is one of the reasons why it is extremely important for him to become aware of it through a right interpretation of his birthchart and Solar Returns.


As with our birthchart, prediction of our inner growth is most important in Solar Returns because it makes us conscious of the kind of experiences we have to deal with during a particular year, and therefore it never withdraws us from considering our life not only as an accomplishment of material deeds, but as a manifestation of a higher meaning, that is the attainment of a spiritual growth.

Lecture delivered in Jamshedpur, India, on the occasion of the 7th International Astrologers' Conference)

Last updated on March 26, 2017 at 12:04 am. Word Count: 1884