Your Solar Return Is The Key To Your Next Glow-Up. Here's Why

A birthday is more than just the day you arrived on this earth -– it marks the moment you began your journey in the world as an individual. And as a unique person with their own way of doing things, there's a lot to celebrate about turning another year older and wiser. In fact, there are countless unique birthday celebrations from around the world that are used to celebrate life. Many people spend this time reflecting on where they've been and where they'd like to go in the next year. And although nobody can truly predict where life will take you, it's always fun to see if you can get a glimpse behind the curtain of your future glow–up.

'Glowing up' has become a popular trend in pop culture over the years, and in turn, people are looking for tips on how to step into their power as an individual. While a glow-up can cover a lot of things, it's usually referenced as a time when a person focuses on a personal transformation of the mind, body, spirit, and soul (via The Glow Up Queen). In astrology, your solar return chart can give you the blueprint for the next year of your life. In fact, the insights gleaned from your solar return chart can show you which areas of life will have a major focus, whether you might find love, and much more. If you're looking to make this trip around the sun extra special, there's something in the stars that might have all the answers.

What is a solar return?

When you look at your birth chart, you'll see that each of your placements fall within a certain zodiac sign and house. These placements will also list a corresponding degree and minute that tells you precisely where and when each of these luminary bodies was located in the sky when you were born. When the transiting planets find themselves back in the same birth position as they're listed in your chart -– you'll experience what's known as a planetary return. As the experts at AstroStyle explain, planetary returns show when a transiting planet "returns" to the exact same sign and degree it's listed in your natal chart after making its way through the zodiac band in the sky. And a solar return is when the sun returns to the position in the sky where it was when we were born.

In order to understand the significance of your solar return, it's important to understand why your sun sign matters so much. "The sun is your identity; it's your will and your sense of self," astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo says (via HuffPost). The energy of the sun informs your life force, your social position, your authority, and your power. As astrologer Bernadette Brady writes in her book "Predictive Astrology," solar return charts are one of the oldest and most frequently used return charts around; and as such, the reading of a chart cast for the return of the sun can show you a lot about the evolution of your soul and the journey you're taking to become your best self.

How do you create a solar return chart?

Your birthday is a big deal –- and what better way to ring in another year older and wiser than with the help of astrology? A solar return chart is a special type of astrology event chart that can be calculated annually on your birthday to give you insight into the larger themes and events that may influence your life over the next calendar year. Solar return charts are calculated for the exact moment in time that the transiting Sun returns to its natal position in your birth chart and is set in the city where you currently live. It's only valid for a single year until the sun goes another round and returns there again the next year, per Astro.

Calculating your solar return chart is easy; you'll just need: your time of birth, your birthday, and the location you plan to spend the majority of the next calendar year. Once you have this info on hand, use a free online astrology calculator (like this one) to create your solar return chart. It's important that you don't use your birth location for a solar return chart unless you still live in the same town you grew up in, per astrologer Kathryn Hocking. In a solar return chart, your sun sign will not change, but you'll probably have a different moon and rising signs. It's also important to note that a solar return chart isn't meant to replace your birth chart but rather give you an additional way of finding context for what the year ahead has in store for you.

What your solar return chart can tell you

Reading your solar return chart can be approached the same way you'd read your birth chart, placing an extra focus on the new house placements of planets and their aspects to one another. You'll want to start by locating your sun sign first, and though your sun will be located in the same exact spot it was in when you were born, it will shift house placements and form new aspects to other planets, luminaries, and asteroids. This is a crucial first step to finding where you are meant to shine your brightest in the year ahead. For example, a solar return chart with your sun in the tenth house would indicate a fruitful year for your career (via Big Sky Astrology).

Once you've figured out the position of your sun, you can expand out to your moon and rising signs. Your moon sign position will highlight where your emotional focus for the year will be, and as astrologer and actress Novi Brown shares on Twitter, the rising sign of your solar return chart will show where a lot of action for the next year of your life will be. You'll also want to check the ruler of the rising sign in your return chart. These, along with the position of your other personal planets, will paint the picture of what's to come. And one last tip? Check the position of your North Node to see where destiny might unexpectedly take you this year, or maybe even your Saturn placement to see where you find some push–back.