Yesterday was my birthday.
In astrology it is known as my Solar Return, when the sun returns to the same spot in the sky as it occupied when I was born.
It was also my Mercury Return, when Mercury returned to the same spot in the sky.
It was also my Lunar Return.
And it was my Lunar Phase Return: the moon was in the same phase as it was when I was born.
What are the odds of all of these lining up? I can’t give you statistics, but it’s rare.
First, some background.
What is a Natal Chart
Astrology is effectively the study of patterns in the sky and the relationships between and among planets as they move through the sky.
In astrology, a natal chart is a map showing the location of each planet in the sky at the time of our birth. For this purpose, the sun and the moon are considered planets.
The sky is divided into 12 sections, with each assigned an area of the Zodiac. These sections are also called houses, and each house represents an area of our lives.
When a planet returns to the spot in the sky where it was when we were born (from the perspective of Earth, obviously), it’s called a “return.”
A solar return is when the sun returns to the position in the sky where it was when we were born. It’s your astrological birthday, and it generally happens within a day of your actual birthday.
The planets travel at different speeds, so the frequency of their returns vary greatly. The planets will never line up exactly as they did at the moment of our birth.
The sun takes about a year to travel through.
The moon does a revolution in approximately 29 days — a month. The word “month” comes from “moon.”
Mercury and Venus also take about 12–14 months — from the perspective of Earth — to travel around the sky. Mars takes about 2 years.
Jupiter takes about 12 years and Saturn takes about 30 years.
The outer planets are much slower. Uranus takes 84 years, Neptune 148 and Pluto is over 209 years.
When Planets Align
Back to my trifecta of returns. I was curious about the likelihood of this confluence of a solar return, lunar return and Mercury return all happening on my actual birthday. Plus the moon is in the same phase as it was when I was born.
So I looked up each individually to see how often they’ve occurred on my birthday.
So far in my lifetime, my Mercury Return has fallen on my actual birthday only once before, in 1988. It’s fallen within 2 days of my birthday about 9 times.
This is the first time ever that my Lunar Return return has fallen on my birthday.
To check the moon phase around my birthday would require more time consuming research, but I’ve read that this happens approximately every 19 years.
You don’t need to be a statistician to understand that the confluence of Solar Return, Lunar Return, Mercury Return, and the Lunar Phase Return is very rare.
It’s a once in a lifetime event.
So what does it mean?
Here’s what each of these planetary returns mean on their own.
The sun represents our identity, our ego. Who we are, how we see ourselves and how the world sees us. Birthdays in general are the start of a new personal year. It’s a potent time to pause and take stock, release what no longer serves us and set intentions for the year ahead. A birthday can be a powerful time to reset.
The moon represents our intuition, our bodies, and our emotions. The monthly lunar return transit is a time for inner self-reflection and emotional healing.
Mercury is the messenger. It is the planet of communication, travel, speaking, teaching, learning. It represents the mind and is involved with decisions.
Astrologers advise listening to the conversations you’re having around your Mercury Return, as it tells you about the conversations you’ll be having in the coming year.
How do I work with this, practically?
On the most basic level, what I am doing with all of this for the moment is listening.
The first step in communication is to hear what is being said. Astrology is a vehicle for strengthening intuition, which requires listening deeply to ourselves as we observe patterns around us.
I am reviewing the areas of my life where these planets sit to listen to the messages I’m receiving there and what I’m being called to do.
What I’m intuiting so far is that this means a year of big change. A reset. A chance to wipe the slate clean on numerous fronts.
It means forging a new identity, releasing what’s stuck, and telling a different story.