The Zodiac Chart You Should Be Calculating On Your Birthday Every Year

Looking for a new, astro-inspired birthday tradition? Enter: the solar return chart. Referring to this handy map of the cosmos is a fun annual activity that can give you insights into what’s to come for you in the year ahead. Here’s what solar return charts are all about, plus why mbg’s resident astrologists, the AstroTwins, love to use them on every single birthday.

What’s a solar return chart?

Every year on your birthday, at the exact time of your birth, the Sun returns to its position when you were born. The other planets, however, won’t necessarily be in the same place. The solar return chart “maps where the planets will be positioned and housed on your birthday each year,” the twins explain to mbg, which can help you predict the themes that will arise for you during the next 12 months. Think of the solar return chart as an ever-evolving offshoot of your classic birth chart. Your birth chart never changes, but your solar return chart very much does.

You can use the twins’ solar return calculator to get started mapping yours. And just as an FYI, some astrologers like to use your birth city for the solar return chart, while others use the location you’re actually in for your birthday that year. “We prefer the method of entering the location that you’re in on your actual birthday,” Ophi and Tali tell mbg.

How to use it on your birthday:

So what makes reviewing this chart such a great birthday activity? The AstroTwins liken it to trying on a new persona or “cosmic costume” every year. “It can also direct your action for the year,” they explain.

To discern what direction your chart is pointing you towards, it definitely helps to know some basic astrology fundamentals, like what the different planets represent and the qualities of each sign.

For example, say you were born with your Venus (the love planet) in passionate Pisces, but this year, it’s stationed in dynamic Gemini; you might be in for a year of lots of casual dating, rather than anything too serious. Or, if you were born with your rising sign in homebody Cancer, and this year it falls under fiery Sagittarius, you can expect to be a lot more adventurous.

The twins, who recently celebrated a birthday, explain what this looks like in practice in saying: “We were born with a Capricorn rising, but this year, Tali in Seattle wound up with a Virgo rising and Ophi in New York has a Libra rising,” they say. “We’re already seeing this show up since Tali’s been project managing and Ophi’s doing lots of relationship building.”

Making a birthday ritual out of reading your solar return chart and journaling about each placement can give you a little leg-up on the year ahead, and help you more concretely plan how you want to show up in it. Happy cosmic calculating!

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