Celebrate all your ‘birthdays’ in style this summer, with astrologer Joanna Watters
We all know that a ‘sun return’ or solar return is a birthday. The sun ‘travels’ through the 12 signs once a year, so it’s when the sun returns to the same place as it was when you were born and why we say “many happy returns of the day”. You might also have heard of Saturn returns, which happen around our 30th birthdays. But what about the other planetary returns?
Count those special days
You’re not just your sun sign (or star sign). All the other planets have their own returns too. So when are these and what do they signify?
The ‘personal’ planets: sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn range from between a year to nearly 30 years to make a full lap of the Zodiac, which we know is Aries to Pisces. But the cycles of the outer or ‘generational’ planets, including Uranus, are significantly slower, The longer the cycle, the more important the return in terms of signalling major life events. The returns of the fast-moving Mercury, Venus and Mars therefore highlight significant but more minor events or messages connected to their concerns, and you can expect to see these play out over a few days – the date of the return and the couple of days either side.
Share during Mercury returns
Mercury is the winged messenger of the gods, so Mercury covers everything and anything that sits under the ‘communication’ umbrella. Expect important phone calls, emails or contact through social media; news, key information, personal or work decisions, ideas, light-bulb moments, introductions or hearing from someone special.
Be loving at Venus returns
Venus is the feminine planet of love and money, so this return concerns all matters connected to romance and lifestyle. Expect special moments or key developments in close relationships, especially with a partner, a lover or girlfriends. Celebrations, beautifying (a great hair day!), shopping, enjoying life’s pleasures and lots of good money news.
Focus your energy at Mars returns
The masculine planet of desire and action – Mars returns will bring a focus to all matters connected to sexual relationships and where or how you focus your energy. This time, expect significant moments or developments with the man in your life; great sex or a hot date and rediscover the importance of your male friends. The heat can also get turned up in challenging situations, with increased friction or anger. Focus on getting things done – doing rather than being, and look out for career news and moves.
Think big on Jupiter returns
These returns are the most frequent of the major planets, which we all experience, and happen roughly at 12-year intervals, at the ages of 12, 24, 36, 48 and so on. Luckily Jupiter’s principle is expansion, encouraging us to think big and widen our horizons in every possible sense. Major milestones can last a few weeks or will paint the backdrop for a period of many months. There will be opportunities related to education, travel, all things overseas, good luck and personal freedom. Expect to meet people who change your life for
Where do your planets sit?
We all know when our birthday is, and hence the zodiac where our sun is, but consult an astrologer or online birth chart to see where your other planets lie
Get it together for Saturn returns
The first one happens during the run up to our 30th birthday, a hugely formative time commonly referred to as the astrological coming of age. Saturn is Lord of Time, a sobering clock is ticking and we sense the importance of getting our act together. As with Jupiter, the Saturn return can last either weeks or months. Serious Saturn’s principle is maturity, so expect experiences that teach us realism, acceptance of duty or responsibility, strength through endurance, efforts and solid results.
Many people ‘settle down’ under their first Saturn return, through commitment either by marriage or to their career, or both. Conversely, relationships that are not working come to an end, especially between couples who married young and who find at this stage that they have outgrown one another. The more difficult face to Saturn plays out in endings, tough reality checks, that which cannot be mended or changed and also in issues with wellbeing.
The second Saturn return happens at roughly age 58 or 59, often coinciding with our plans for retirement. With Saturn’s link to age we often, but don’t always, experience a major bereavement on either of these returns.
Expect the unexpected with Uranus half return
Uranus has an erratic orbit so the midpoint of his journey falls anywhere between the ages of 38 and 42. Expect absolutely anything to happen! Unpredictable Uranus is also erratic in nature and rules the unexpected, so the half return is full of surprises and is commonly referred to as the astrological ‘midlife crisis’. Some area of life is restructured, sometimes dramatically, and often this manifests in something unlived up until this point, a sense of “if I don’t do it now I never will”. For example, sudden divorces, marriages and ‘last chance’ babies are incredibly common at this time. Actresses Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore both gave birth to their last children during their Uranus half returns.
Be inspired by these celeb stories
Life-changing events can happen on planetary returns, as these stories about well-known figures show us.
Barak Obama’s Jupiter return
Barack Obama was born on 4th August, 1961 and was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States on 20th January, 2009, on his fourth Jupiter return – planet of the free! It reflected this huge moment for a democrat and the first African American to hold the office. ‘A New Birth of Freedom’ was the theme of the inaugural speech.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Saturn return
Born 21st June, 1982, Prince William’s Saturn return lasted from mid-December 2010 to the beginning of September 2011. The wedding took place in the middle of these two dates on 29th April, 2011, and he married a Capricorn – one of the signs ruled by Saturn!
Born 9th January, 1982, Kate’s Saturn return was in October 2011, six months into her marriage and her new life as a working Royal.
They both have Saturn in Libra, the sign of partnership and Saturn’s ‘sign of exaltation’ – the sign he loves the best!
Joanna Watters is an astrology expert based in Greece. She runs courses, workshops and readings in Greece and London and also offers an online astrology course. Find out more and book at joannawatters.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org