The Solar Return (SR) is a chart for the moment the Sun returns to its natal position. This happens once a year, and a chart for that moment can be a useful guide to the themes and events of the coming year.
This year's Solar Return for New Labour in power is crammed with squares and oppositions, suggesting that it is going to be a very challenging and difficult year for the government and for the Labour Party – not a good omen for Gordon Brown’s leadership.
New Labour Solar Return: 2 May 2007 13.16 London
Gordon Brown Solar Return: 19 Feb 2007 23.38 London (Relocated)
It was confirmed yesterday that Brown will be the next leader of Labour and therefore the next British PM (from 27 June), due to no MPs getting sufficient backing to stand against him in a leadership election. He of course sees this as a humbling affirmation of how highly he is regarded by his colleagues; on the other hand he is known as a vindictive personality who could be counted on to block the career of anyone who had opposed him.
Brown’s SR chart is characterised by having all the planets bunched up near the bottom of the chart, apart from Saturn in Leo in the 10th House. For a man with a natal chart that suggests a hidden personality – lots in 12th House Pisces, and Moon conjunct Pluto – this Return chart is telling us we can expect more of the same, with nearly all the planets hidden near the bottom of the chart.
Yes, there is Saturn in the 10th House, which is where Saturn loves to be: the place of worldly achievement, which is exactly what is happening for Brown – at last, as he sees it, though in my opinion it will always be his 10 years as Chancellor which will be seen as his real achievement. This Saturn placing can give us confidence in him as PM, for it suggests someone who takes their responsibilities seriously. Saturn is of course opposite Neptune, suggesting a compassionate element to his sense of responsibility, but also a sense of him getting bogged down.
But what about all this hidden stuff? I think that at best someone with a weight of planets below the horizon thinks before they act: it is getting it right that matters, it is about having depth to what you do. You may not do as much as the more extraverted personality, but when you do act, it is more likely to have some wisdom in it.
Brown has said that he is more about substance than style, and this chart proves that it is not just a defensive remark: he does mean it, and the policies he presents are likely to have been well thought through beforehand (unlike, for example, a certain person’s invasion of Iraq, against which Brown held out until the last minute.)
So yes, there will be depth to his policies over the next year, and he will take his responsibilities seriously. BUT he will remain unknowable, and that is hard to trust. The Sun is unaspected apart from a wide conjunction to Mercury, again stressing his unknowability. SR Venus is square to Pluto, a bad aspect for popular appeal. The Moon is also square to Pluto. We can expect to see the interpersonal power struggles for which he is so well known, but this time there will be no boss to contain them.
To sum up, the SR chart, put together with the Labour SR chart, confirms what many people probably already think: Brown will be good on policy, but he will spoil things by engaging in power politics with his colleagues, and by his inability to present himself well to the public.