Solar Return and Annual Tarot Card


The Lovers from Aleister Crowley's Thoth TarotA Solar Return is a chart erected for the exact day and time that the transiting Sun returns to the degree of its placement in at your birth – your birthday.

The Solar Return is shows how the transits for the year will affect you personally.

In tarot you have a birth card. Your birth card is determined by adding up the numbers of the month, day and year of your birth.

Each year you also have an annual tarot card.

Take your birth card number and add the number of the current year.

The annual card in the tarot is similar to a Solar Return in astrology – it shows the influences for the coming year and stays in effect from one birthday to the next.

My 2009 Solar Return

  • I had the Sun in the 9th house and the Moon in the 3rd house
  • The 9th house and the 3rd house are both associated with learning
  • In 2009 I considered going back to school to start an entirely new course of study- becoming a dietitian. For asteroid fans, I have Ceres (goddess of food and agriculture) and Hygeia (goddess of diet and hygiene) in my 10th house natally. After struggling with whether or not to go back to school to be a dietitian, I found myself instead embarking on a serious study of the tarot!
  • The 3rd house Moon translated to starting a blog.
  • Mercury conjunct my MC has worked to help me become known as a writer- kinda
  • Saturn in the 2nd definitely limited my personal finances
  • Neptune-Chiron-Jupiter had a healing effect on my personal relationship

Annual tarot card for 2009 The Hierophant – the one card most associated with learning and teaching, and it exactly corresponded to my 9th house Sun and 3rd house Moon. While I have been studying and learning with intensity this year, I have also been teaching what I know to other people.

2010 Solar Return

  • Moon in the 4th house and the Sun in the 6th house
  • My Ascendant is Libra and Venus is well placed in Taurus in the 7th house
  • The focus is on one-to-one relationships, working on a day to day basis, and home/family

Annual tarot card for 2010 The Lovers. This year is going to be about relationships. I’ll be cementing the good relationships, saying goodbye to the weak relationships and building a better relationship with my partner and with myself. Some of my tarot group think this is the year I will get married. Hm.

  • With Saturn in the 12th I think I’m going be working hard, alone
  • Mars in Leo loosely conjunct the Midheaven: putting creative energy into my career
  • Pluto and the North Node in the 3rd: it’s in my best interest to continue learning and to continue writing, and to take both seriously.
  • Mercury and Venus in Taurus in the 7th: the language of love
  • Jupiter and Uranus in the 5th: exciting good fortune in romance and pleasure
  • There are 6 quintiles and 1 biquintile in this chart: this should be a good year to tap into creative potential
Depending on which deck you use, 8 and 11 can trade places. Sometimes 8 is Strength and 11 is Justice, and other times 8 is Justice and 11 is Strength. If your birth number is 8 or 11 you should take a look at both descriptions and use your intuition to determine which card is a better match for you. According to Mary K. Greer, Strength and Justice at one time may have been two halves of the same card.

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  • alicia

    In my 2013 solar return, I have pluto conjunct my MC and the card for the year was The Death, in order to rebirth, and it says that the year when you do something you are most afraid of, when you change your career path or something.So I expect to change my career path….

  • My birth card is the Hermit, which fits very well actually.

    Interestingly – My rising sign for 2011 is Sagittarius and my annual tarot card is Temperance. Also, there is the New Moon on my birthday, which falls in my SR 9th house and is square Jupiter exact. I guess it will be a Sagittarius-y year!

    • Michelle

      Happy birthday 🙂

      What was your annual tarot card last year?

  • visions

    please take a look on my upcoming solar return because the 2 previous one was DISASTROUS!

    I think i will have a great year ! I would like to add that i have natal venus on 1° pisces sign so solar return venus is conjunct to my natal venus and solar return Midheaven !!!! please !

    and do you think we feel the effect of next sr upcoming chart before the birthday ?

    • Your chart looks good! Mercury and Jupiter in the 11th house should make you more comfortable with friends and groups. If you aren’t a part of a group or if you are unhappy with your current group, this situation likely going to change. This supports your Sun in the 10th, as you’ll probably be going through some changes within your career and life in general. These changes are likely to be significant, Pluto squaring these planets brings transformation.

      Those of us who were born with the Sun in Aries are going to receive some help from Jupiter. However, Jupiter’s excesses and Pluto’s obsessiveness need to be controlled. Moderation is everything in any situation, specially when planets contact Jupiter or Pluto, or both, as is your case. Saturn in Libra opposing Jupiter and the Sun may give you this very moderation, just be careful also to not moderate too much, Saturn in the 5th can bring some stiffness to you as this is the house of joy and creativity.

      Your stellium (including your SR’s chart ruler Moon) in the 9th house may get you in contact with new spiritual experiences and knowledge, specially with Chiron and Neptune here. The Moon in the 9th is also an indication of travel.

      And, yes, from what I’ve read, apparently people begin to feel the effects of the solar return up to three months before or after the birthday. It’s a transition period in which you may feel confused. Things straighten up and get more obvious when the chart is fully “active”.

      By the way, despite anything you chart says, if you believe this year is going to be good, then it will be. Even the luckiest transits can bring misfortune if the person wants so. The opposite is also true. Your willingness to make a good year is more important than anything.

      • visions

        hello feu follet, i would like to thank you for the reading, you are the man ! and i read my sr chart like you, i have greatly appreciated your final comments and the life is what we make of it but some “beyond& external forces”(sr planet on angle or on natal planet) lead you always to some exend to the path you are meant to be and put a general atmosphere to the year that is more or less confortable for the native. Sometimes this force are able to change the life of someone : circumstances, hidden forces, events, unexpected help from people you don’t know(some uranus/jupiter things) etc…

        • I also wonder about a love relationship with Venus conjunct natal Venus and the partile conjunction to Chiron. Neptune conjunct the Moon in the 9th seems a little daydreamy. Adding to what FF said about Saturn, you may feel limited and restricted by outside forces.

          • visions

            i think i will have news from an ex girlfriend from the past. But i don’t think i will commit myself with one my ex girlfriend from the past because i was not totally in love with anyone of them except one but i never commit myself with her because she hurt me so much. So myabe it will be a new girlfriend and with the 9th house from a foreign country maybe, i think it can be a love for a new religion like taoism etc…i would like to tell you that my sr 9th house fall in my 6th house thus you will be able to read the meaning of this loaded SR 9th house.

            • Maybe you’ll have an opportunity to heal some of those old love wounds with a new relationship.

      • Good analysis feu follet! Thank you.

  • Wow, I’m so glad I ended up in this page while randomly reading your blog. This has provided me an immense insight into my natal and solar return charts. Seriously, I thought I had seen everything, but this adds much more depth to it.

    I’m very surprised. Seems like I’m going through a huge awakening now. I had a dream some days ago, in this dream someone I haven’t seen in a very long time told me something about making a solar return chart. I had never read much about solar returns and predictive astrology until now. I interpreted my solar return chart and made a tarot reading these days and they repeated the same message and patterns for the year. Yesterday I bought a book which explains pretty much everything about solar returns. Now the annual tarot card did, too, repeat the message. I did the same thing to a friend of mine and I got everything right.

    Seems like I’m in a very prophetic moment. I’ve always had prophetic insights but now they are more meaningful than ever. My vision has broadened greatly this month. My solar return chart also pointed to this.

    Weird. To say the least.

    • What is your annual tarot card for 2011?

      • X, The Wheel of Fortune.

        • You will get as much out of this year as you are willing to put in – you make your own destiny.

          • I thought so… Saturn has been telling me this lately. Thank you!

  • Thank you “tell me my future” 😉

  • Nice mix of tarot and numerology in this article !!!

  • watergirl

    Michelle i know i’ve asked you before, but shouldn’t we put more emphasis on our progressed chart?

    • From “The Only Way to Learn About Tomorrow” by Marion March and Joan McEvers:
      Why, you may ask, should we bother with a solar return chart each year? There are many valid reasons. It is a very personal way to assess how the transits will relate to your natal chart. It freezes transits into place and very dramatically points out where the action will occur during the year, by the emphasis on certain houses.

      They recommend looking at the progressed chart and the solar return chart. Because this chart is mine, and my progressed chart has barely budged since last year, I didn’t feel like addressing it.

  • watergirl

    I think my tarot cards are the same as yours Michelle (numbers).

    • That would be interesting if they are! Did you do the birth card calculator?

      I just checked, you are an 8 and you are in your Lovers year. You’ll switch to The Chariot at your next birthday. That’s cool- what has your year been like so far?

  • TUU

    First and foremost — happy belated birthday!

    It seems that my birth card is Wheel Of Fortune and this is my Wheel Of Fortune year.
    My Solar Return chart for 2009/10 is all about planets in angular houses — Sun conj. Saturn (plus Mercury) in 1st hse in opposition to Uranus in 7th, 4th hse Pluto and 10th hse Mars. Also, 5th hse Jupiter in opposition to Venus/Moon conjunction in Leo (Venus is in 12th).
    It’s a whirlwind and I catch myself repeating “I don’t know what’s going on” all the time.

    • Thank you TUU 😀

      That’s an intense Solar Return with so many angular planets. How is that Saturn-Sun-Mercury in the 1st affecting you?

  • Christine

    I checked the tarot thing, and I don’t know the language of Tarot, but I think my birth card is… the Chariot? of Sevens…? I don’t know, there’s just a seven on top.

    Also, I can’t believe I never noticed this before, but your Sun conjuncts my Descendant in the seven house. Again, does this mean that I should be hot for you? 🙂 Hope you’re enjoying your birthday, Michelle!

    • My tarot teacher says that The Chariot seems to be the most common birth card right now. I actually don’t know that many Chariots- one of my ex-boyfriends was one. They’re supposed to be “on the move” a lot.

      I think that if my Sun conjuncts your Descendant, then you see me as your equal, but opposite. I fill in missing pieces and become a mirror for you. Just remember- anything you see in me is also in you.

  • Elena

    I checked your Trot thing. Never done it before but it really corresponds. During my “Lovers” year I met someone that I thought was my soulmate. It was a T Pluto square Sun transit. Unforch it was also a T Uranus opposite Venus, so he didnt want to be with me. But boy oh boy-on my end it really was sth. I thought the earth was shaking every time he kissed me.
    My current one is Wheels of Fortune solar year-well see how that goes.

    • Wheel of Fortune years have to do with making your own luck. You have to take situations and put effort into them to get what you want out of them. I’ve also heard that whatever you did during your Emperor year comes to fruition during your Wheel of Fortune year.

  • Adding…about my 2010 Solar Return. I think Saturn in Virgo in the 12th might show that I’ll be very critical, and hard on myself, and that could be my self-undoing. The last few days I’ve already been really hard on myself for little mistakes I’ve made here and there. I think anyone with Virgo positions can relate. I’m my own toughest task master with my natal Mercury (ruler of my Virgo Ascendant) squaring Saturn.

  • Verena

    Thanks again, Michelle and sorry for giving you a hard time. It seems as though the system I’m familiar with is a bit different from what you’ve been taught. However, as in astrology it doesn’t really matter which one we use as long as it does work for us. 🙂 xoxoxo

  • Verena

    Thank you, Michelle. It’s the birthcard number that adds up to 19. All 3 cards you listed have been relevant to me throughout my life. 🙂 Your explanation is intriguing, but begs for another question. LOL If I get 3 cards for the birthday, which is the relevant number (1, 10 or 19) I have to add the year in question to?

    • If your birthday initially adds up to 19, without further reduction, then you add the current year to 19.

      My tarot teacher and my grandmother are 19-10-1 😀

      • This is not correct, I was thinking of numerology. I’ll fix it sometime this weekend.

        • So, I was only slightly wrong. I’ll use myself as an example.

          Birth card:
          I was born 4-8-1976.
          4+8= 12
          12+1976= 1988
          2+6=8 So, I’m a single 8.
          If my numbers added to 17 first, then I’d be a 17/8.

          For the annual year I take the month and day of my birth and add it to the current year, so…
          2+0+2+2=6 -The Lovers

  • Verena

    Nice post again, Michelle. Never heard of combining those methods before – it’s certainly very interesting. So, how do you look at a 19/10 – as a 1 or a 10? How about the card of the Fool, which has the number 0 assigned to it? Does it count at all or do we start the count there? Please enlighten me. Verena xo

    • Thanks Verena!

      As far as annual cards go, no one can have 1 as a number until December 31, 9957 A.D.
      The calculator I included in the post only assigns one number. If your birthday adds up to a double digit number you actually have 2 cards assigned at birth, and in the case of 19, 3 cards.

      When it comes to birth card numbers, people whose birthday adds up to 19 get to have 19, 10 and 1 as their numbers (The Sun, The Wheel of Fortune and The Magician).

      People whose birthday adds up to 10 have The Wheel of Fortune and The Magician (10-1).

      People whose birthday adds up to 22 get The Fool (0) and The Emperor (4). This is because the last major arcana card is The Universe (21) and then it cycles back to The Fool (0) again.

      • I should say “ever” in this lifetime. The number 1 will start again December 31, 9957 A.D.