After we calculate precisely the positions of the stars on the birth date in the current year, we will find the Ascendant as follows: while the sun is still in the natal sign, we examine where the moon was then and when the moon will come to the exact same degree where it was at the nativity, and we call that point the Ascendant.
(Vettius Valens – Anthologies, Book V, Riley trans., p.97)

Here I want to investigate one more interesting and quite fascinating technique similar to what we today call Solar Return.

Valens’ technique is as follows, calculate the chart for the birth date in the current year (what would we today called Solar Return) and note the planet’s position at that day. But you still don’t have the ascendant degree, which you will find by noting when the Moon will enter its moira (degree) which holds in the nativity. So, you don’t wait for the Moon to enter the precise minute, just the same degree as in the nativity while the Sun (by transit) is still in the same sign as it holds in the geniture. When Moon enters its natal moira, you notice the degree of the ascendant at that particular time, and you use that ascendant degree as the ascendant of the so called “solar return”. You then put the positions of the planets at the birth date of the year, in accordance to that ascendant degree and you will have the “solar return” in the style of Valens.

Schmidt in his translation of Vettius Valens has quite interesting explanation which can helps us in the process of “naming” this technique.

Riley translate “recasting of the horoscope“, while Schmidt “counter-nativity”, and the actual Greek word is antigenesis. Schmidt says that this is a standard Greek word for “Return“, but this has little to do with the actual word anti which means contrary to, against; and genesis which is a word which denotes nativity or beginning, origin and etc.

We must do the counter-nativity, for it contributes much to the occasional changes of the times, for at times one that confirms the power of the effects is significant, and at other times one that hinders the proper effects.
(Vettius Valens – The Anthology, Book V, Schmidt trans., p.10).

Valens here speaks about the hindering or confirming the effects of the more general time lords and not intensifying or relaxing the properties established by the time-lords as transits do (Schmidt notices this in his footnote to the translation).


I have previously discussed the chart of Nicolae Causescu in regard of Valens’ useful technique for finding the critical year:


On the left of the picture is the natal chart of Causescu, and on the right is calculated Solar Return in Morinus software but as we know it and use it today. The crossed line from Cancer to Capricorn is the Asc – Dsc axis of the Reutrn as explained by Valens.
I don’t have a software which can calculate this for me, so please bear with me with all these drawings 🙂
Also, I’m not sure if we should leave the Moon as it was on the birthday at the particular year (and use the  transiting Moon position as in birth for only calculating the ascendant degree of the year), or to use the natal position in the particular chart. Probably the later. However, at this point I’m only interested in the Asc-Dsc axis (for the sake of the example) and the position of Saturn and Mars in relation to these, so I will leave the Moon in the “real” solar return position (as I said, in the lack of software which will calculate this technique).

He is born February 5, but after that date Moon do not enter the natal sign while the Sun is still in aquarius. So I suppose that we should mark the degree of the Moon prior the birth date which in this case falls in 31 of January somewhere at 14:41h at place Scorniceşti. I can’t see other logic other then what I did for finding the Moon’s natal position while Sun is still transiting the natal sign, because the next time Moon enters the natal degree after the 5 February in 1989 is while Sun ingresses into Pisces.

As we can see this is some mix of lunar and solar returns.

OK. If I understood the technique right and calculated the chart exactly, let’s look what the significations are.

Let’s not forget that the technique was used from Valens for hindering or confirming the effects of the more general time lords operative in this period.

We would not like to mix a techniques of different authors when we speak about Valens here, but as a side note I would just mention that Causescu died at the age of 71, which is a period where general ruler by Ptolemaic ages is Saturn. So this would make Saturn general time lord, and in nativity we can see this Saturn afflicted by sign position (detriment), by retrogradation, and accidentially by ruling the 8th place of death, but also the 8th from Fortune by exaltation where Mars retrograde and in detriment is found. This Saturn is at IC (end of life) in conjunction with the syzygy and Lot of Affliction (AC + Mars – Saturn).
In the Solar Return in the style of Valens we can see that this Saturn is exactly, by degree, on the descendant in its own sign which would denote powerful open enemies. Here he again rules the 8th and 4th by exaltation. We can see how the theme is repeated as in natal. Angles often denotes events which are public. The axis is also in the signs which are crisis producing according to Valens (see my previous post, link above).

Furthermore, if we count 11 signs from the Sr Ascendant (in Cancer!) we will come at Mars in detriment. He was executed in the 11th month from the birthday in 1989, making Mars especially accentuated in that month. Mars is making superior sextile to the SR ASC to the degree!

We saw that Saturn is activated in general times by the Ptolemaic Ages. This is not Valens’ technique (which doesn’t mean that we should not use it).

However, Saturn is a ruler of the zodiacal releasing of the Fortune on a sub-level in Capricorn. Saturn rules from august 1989 and in the next 27 months, making him one of the general time-lords in regard to the health and overall state of the native’s body and fortunes in the period.

As a conclusion I would say that I’m in initial phase of investigating this technique. Maybe and most probably is that I miss something in the delineation through it. Further investigation on the matter should be made.
In some future post I want to address the profections in relation to this kind of Return which Valens suggest. At the moment I’m investigating the method.

Vettius Valens – Anthologies, Book V, Riley translation.
Vettius Valens – Anthology, Book V, Schmidt translation.

Astrology – X – Files

Charts are calculated in the free Morinus software:

One thought on “Solar Return in the style of Vettius Valens

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