Comparing the natal chart with the Solar Return

Written by Nina Gryphon

I often encounter students of astrology who have been frustrated with Solar returns, and as a result, they have given up on using Solar returns. As standalone charts, Solar returns are only somewhat helpful, but to get the most out of this technique, we have to use it in conjunction with a few other indicators. Solar returns a technique that many of us did not learn, as the twentieth century tradition has primarily used solar returns alone, to limited success. Since their usefulness was limited by being used in isolation, their popularity has fallen by the wayside in recent years, as people focus on predictive techniques that are more accurate.

With recent translations of medieval texts, we have started uncovering a much richer way to use Solar returns, like brushing away dirt from a mosaic reveals the complete picture. We now have a whole host of techniques that layer on one another to use with solar returns. For example, we can use techniques such as protections, firdaria, and, of course, the natal chart, in combination with Solar returns to create a multi-faceted image of one’s life in the upcoming year.

Comparing the natal chart with the Solar return is one technique that doesn’t get taught very often, but it’s essential to getting accurate information from the Solar return. It also helps us learn how various parts of the natal chart are triggered by Solar return transits to anticipate the way that the chart will react to future Solar returns and other techniques.

One of the best ways to learn to apply these techniques is to choose an important past year in one’s life and see how the methods coordinated with the Solar return to show that year’s events. In our Saturday workshop, we will use important Solar return charts from our own lives to illustrate and reinforce the techniques that we will study.

Nina Gryphon is a practicing astrologer and corporate lawyer living in Chicago, Illinois, with her husband, Robert. Her predictions have appeared in USA Today, Associated Press, Reuters, Chicago Tribune,, Times of India, and many other major publications, and she has been interviewed on radio and CNN/HLN. She received her JD, and MA/BA (English/Creative Writing) from Stanford University, and completed John Frawley’s Horary Apprenticeship. Since then, she has studied with Deborah Houlding, a leading traditional astrologer.

Nina practices traditional astrology, specializing in personal, financial, and political forecasting. She has taught classes on the use of traditional astrology to elect favorable times, financial analysis, and dream interpretation. She has been seeing clients for the last decade, writing articles for global publications and the Gryphon Astrology Blog, and teaching. For fun, she writes novels, listens to Baroque opera, and travels the world.

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