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The Overlooked 6th house in Solar Returns

By Steven Glen Thomas, a long-time member of the AOA and a past president.

In this essay, Steve shares his thoughts and experiences with solar return charts.

For the last 25 years I’ve gone somewhere in the world to set up my Solar Return, to try and make it more in harmony with what I want to accomplish in the coming year.  It’s been a hit and miss learning experience, to say the least.  But I have had some amazing vacations out of this odd hobby.

To start with, a Solar return is a chart created for that moment when the Sun returns to the exact location in the Zodiac that it was when you were born.  The coming year is then predicted from that chart.  So, where you are on the Earth at that moment determines the Ascendant and house placements.  A lot of astrologers don’t think this is a valid astrological technique, but I have found it to be one of the most powerful things in astrology, the ability to actually tweak the future, a bit.  Of course the planets and their aspects don’t change, but in what part of your life (houses) you are going to experience those planets and their rulerships can be changed.

Traveling East and West for ones birthday (may be off a day) causes the most change to the Solar Return.  But as soon as you fix one problem in the chart it can cause another.  And as always things don’t always manifest the way we think they will.  Interpretation is always a challenge.  And being too optimistic in ones interpretations can lead to all sorts of problems, because throughout the year, as things unfold, the negative side of something will manifest sooner or later.

This brings me to the 6th house: Daily routine, Health and Job.

When trying to set up a Solar return quite often we try to set it up for success in business or Love.  Such as putting Venus or Jupiter on the Ascendant.  Or maybe there is some very stressful aspects and we want to put it somewhere where it won’t cause too much damage throughout the year.

For Solar Returns, after looking at many charts and consulting with other astrologers, I find the Precession Corrected charts to be more accurate with what actually happens to the person during the year.

The follow is a friend’s chart.  He had 2 heart attacks during this year along with several job issues.


Pluto on the Asc of Solar is never a good idea.  It probably will be a very traumatic year; something is going to cause some big changes.

Asc and Pluto Square Sun, ruler of the Heart.

The Ruler of the 6th is Mercury and its Opposite Chiron, indicating health issues.

Ruler of the 6th is also in the 8th, brings negativity to the 6th.

The Pluto on the Asc would have been a big concern for this Solar return, but it would have been very easy for any astrologer to overlook the issues of the 6th house and miss the resulting health problems that developed.

The following is my chart:



This was supposed to be a very fun, successful year:

Jupiter, the great benefic, on the Ascendant with it ruling the MC.  A very social and good for career year.

The Sun in the 5th house of fun and creativity. More fun, creativity and maybe some romance.

But as the year has unfolded, it has not been much fun.

In Oct. I had an incident at work that resulted in me being suspended for 30 days, without pay.

And throughout the year I had several heath issues, the biggest being an acute pancreatitis that landed me in the emergency room.  Not fun.

I had overlooked the issues of the 6th when I went to Memphis to set this chart up.

Mars in the 6th being a malefic can cause problems, although I thought as long as I did some exercise I could work that energy off (too optimistic).

Ruler of the 6th Moon is Oppose Uranus, brings unexpected events and causes stress in areas where we are stuck.

Moon square Saturn, its wide but still, brings challenges, restrictions and problems.

Moon Square Venus and Mars, brings more stress, pain and challenges.

As you can tell neglecting the 6th house can lead to real problems.  Especially if you are giving a reading to an older person.

The 6th House can be of utmost importance and if negative can completely undermine any positive influence in the chart.  If your health goes bad it really does not matter how positive everything else is, it’s not going to be a good year.

Throughout the year the Solar Return Chart will manifest in one way or another.  And just where do we spend most of our time?  The 6th House,  the Daily routine, the Daily grind.

We get up in the morning and we brush our teeth and proceed through all the regular daily activities we do (6th) that allow us to function in this world and somewhere along the way all the things that make up the memorable events of our life somehow get inserted in between all these daily events.  So to be a really good astrologer we must take into account the 6th House whenever we do a reading.

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