Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar about solar returns with Lynn Bell right here in Oxford (compliments of the Oxford Astrology Group). As usual, Lynn was brilliant.
I was also fortunate enough to have my current solar return (SR) chart used as a example in class – I say fortunate – tongue in cheek – for what it bodes for the coming year may prove difficult.
Keeping in mind the SR chart is a set of instructions showing what I need to accomplish during the year and how best to do it, I start by looking at the SR Ascendant at 15 Sagittarius.
This falls into my natal 6th house – so for me, it will be a 6th house kind of year – suggesting lots of hard work to be integrated into my daily routine. For more information, I look to the placement of Jupiter – the chart ruler of this SR.
Jupiter (JU) is exalted (highly elevated) in Cancer and conjunct the Moon (MO) which not only rules Cancer but is also in Cancer. This little (mutually receptive) conjunction is extremely powerful and bodes well for emotional happiness and security. JU/MO is also an aspect of the fertility goddess and because at my age it’s not likely that I will become pregnant, this probably has to do with my ‘creative child’ – my recently finished novel – The Curve of Capricorn. Not only that, but according to Lynn, MO/JU is about wish fulfilment = this year I can make my dreams come true (agents and publishers take note!).
This wish-fulfilment theme is echoed by Chiron (the wounded healer) making an almost exact trine (TR) to my SR MO. Chiron is in the 3rd house suggesting writing as a healing aspect and of course JU/MO in Cancer suggests healing as well.
HOWEVER – that MO in Cancer is also caught up in a cardinal grand cross (four planets in square aspect with each other) which signifies frustration and tension big time. Because it is a cardinal grand cross, I will have to actively take control else I suffer at the hands of those who would control me. 
The planets forming this cardinal grand cross are heavy hitters – the Sun (SO), Moon (MO), Pluto (PL), and Uranus (UR) and in this configuration they spell a frustrating attempt to free myself from my prior identity (as a lawyer) in order to honor my new writerly ‘self’ (as symbolized by the SR SO in opposition to UR suggesting the need to adopt a new self-image).
This theme of the new ‘writerly’ self image is echoed with SR SO in the 9th house (publishing) about to conjunct the MC (profession and public image) in three months.  Once that SR SO crashes through into the 10th house of career, there is a reasonable chance I’ll have some claim to ‘fame’ – exactly what that will entail is suggested by the MC in Libra (LI) and the placement of its ruler, Venus (VE), which is conjunct the fixed star Zubenelscemali (which associated with the Northern Scale in the constellation Libra, is translated into ‘The Price to be Received”).
While the Southern Scale in Libra is a true malefic (sounds bad and doubtless worse than it sounds), the Northern Scale (and with it Zubenelscemali) is considered a very fruitful and prosperous star – associated with riches, honor and good fortune.
All this sounds fantastic – but that cardinal grand cross suggests it comes at a price and because my SR has a predominance of water planets (Cancer, Pisces, Scorpio),this will be highly emotional.
That 11th house VE is in conjunction with Saturn (SA) in Scorpio – suggesting the only way to deal with it is through serious emotional transformation at the deepest levels. Because I have little water in my natal chart, emotions have never been my forte.
But because of all the water in my SR chart, I have a unique opportunity in 2013-14 to accomplish emotional integration and because the SR chart ruler is JU, I’m thrown back to that JU/MO in Cancer in the 7th house of relationship.
Because JU/MO are in conjunction, there’s a real chance for success – and because of its placement in the 7th house – doubtless this has something to do with my marriage. I can’t forget that JU/MO is very healing – especially in Cancer which itself suggests care and support.
Also because the SR MO is almost exact with SR UR, Lynn has suggested that my SR goals would be best accomplished by renegotiating the parameters of my husband’s and my existing relationship and building it anew on firmer emotional grounds.
Stay tuned as my 2013/14 SR unfolds over the course of the next ten months.
 Some astrologers use relocated solar charts especially if the indiviudal is living far away from where they were born. Lynn suggests looking at both – but gives precedence to the SR chart calculated for place of birth. Also in my experience, place of birth has much to tell regardless of where you are living.
 PL square UR is a current transit for everyone – and it’s the opening or waxing square (reactive and expanding – heading for culmination with the opposition in 2046-2048) for the PL/UR conjunction in VI (1963-1966). – As Liz Greene puts it (The Outer Planets and Their Cycles) – these two planets together suggest an urgent need to destroy old forms and attitudes – a striking out for freedom (UR) that will be obsessive and quite possibly violent (PL). In other words, whatever isn’t working can no longer last and to facilitate change in this regard, ‘control’ is the by-word.
 SR Mercury in Libra (LI) is in the SR 10th house – reinforcing my self-styled image that I be known or identified as a writer – and because Lynn suggests that SR charts be read much like horary charts – the fact that my SR Mercury is conjunct the Arabic part of ‘sudden advancement’ would suggest that as a ‘writer’, I’m about to become known.
 Lynn advises progressing the faster moving planets toward perfecting their applying aspects as one would do with a horary chart.