A few days ago I posted on President Barack Obama's solar return birthday chart for a Washington DC location. I have since been told (thanks Bob!) that the president celebrated his birthday in Chicago and not in Washington DC. The theory behind solar return horoscopes (which are cast for your birthday and used to forecast how your next year will look) is that you can improve the dynamics of your year by traveling on your birthday. So if you live in Washington DC and decide to celebrate your birthday in Chicago, you have a different solar return chart.
Location can change many things - not all things but many things - by shifting the areas of stress and opportunities to different houses (life sectors). The aspects between the planets are the same, but thier energies can manifest in less or more critical areas of your life by changing the location of the chart. The further we travel from our birthplace or residence, the greaterer the change in the solar chart. It is a theory but a compelling theory for those of us who find astrology useful and meaningful.
When I ran Obama's solar chart for Chicago after analyzing it for Washington DC I thought "Did the president consult an astrologer for his birthday chart?" Indeed, it is a somewhat better chart for him even though there are many aspects of the two charts that are the same. How does President Obama's Solar Return chart look for 2010 now that we know that he was in Chicago on his birthday? His birth information is August 4, 1961 at 7:24pm in Honolulu. I ran his 2010 solar chart for a Chicago and here is what I see:
His Solar Return chart for August 4, 2010 in Chicago has independent Sagittarius on the Midheaven - just like his solar return chart for Washington, but Sagittarius is in different degrees. So we know that he can be frank and honest but may also rub people the wrong way. He needs to carefully tailor his message and not spontaneously say what is on his mind.
As with his Washington DC solar chart, in Chicago his chart still has a packed 7th house - four planets as well as the Vertex is in that house - one to one relationships and open enemies. There will be a lot of stressful activity in this area for him in the next year and relationships in general will be extremely important to him through the year.
Pluto continues to be the highest planet in the Chicago chart and still is a point in a Grand Cross but it has now shifted houses from career (an important sector for Obama) to friends and organizations which is a less impactful placement. It is as if all the stressful energy is channeled away from important matters and shifted to somewhat less important areas. That is not to say that Obama's associations are unimportant but I think they are less able to derail him and his professional plans.
As with the Washington chart, Pluto elevated in the chart indicates transformative and uncontrollable change, completely sweeping away the old to build anew. Unfortunately this Pluto placement is in a Grand Cross - making a hard square aspect to several planets- Venus (love), Mars (action and energy) and Saturn (problems) in the 7th house and Jupiter (luck and expansion) and Uranus (shocking surprises) in the first house of new beginnings. Does this mean that his need for transformative change will backfire? Does it mean that unexpected and unwelcomed upheaval will wreck certain relationships? Time will tell.
All the energy of this Grand Cross now pushes out through the 5th house - fun, creativity and romance - rather than the Washington DC 4th house of family, privacy and security. This is a much better placement indicating that there is a possibility of formulating creative solutions (on the bright side) or that this will not be a fun year for the president (on the negative side). These are difficult and momentous placements but in lesser houses in the chart. This is a great example of how traveling on your birthday can improve your solar chart.
In the Washington DC chart, Neptune in humanitarian Aquarius was in the 12th house of delusions, hidden enemies, spirituality and behind the scenes actions. In the Chicago chart it is in the first house of new beginnings, appearances and new acquaintance. The first house is an important sector. It is also still squaring Pluto and conjuncting Uranus and Jupiter. I see this as being a difficult year for him to implement new things, new laws and new actions. He will not be able to maximize his associations. There may not be a meeting of the minds.
The Vertex powerpoint in Chicago is squaring the Midheaven. Not great for getting things done. I think he will have more trouble in his relationships and will not be able to gain support for his professional goals.
On the bright side, his Sun in still in the 6th house is making a good aspect to the top of his chart indicating that in some area of his life he will succeed in his goals. But the Sun in the 6th house is not a particularly momentous house - it is health, pets and day to day work. So this bodes well for any detailed nitty gritty type of project. Successful passage of some archane law is a possibility under this placement.
And lucky and expansive Jupiter is making a trine aspect to the top of the chart indicating that he will have luck on his side to give him added oomph when he needs it. And energetic Mars and stern Saturn sextile the Midheaven - actions and energies taken with life lessons learned can beneficially impact his career plans and public persona. He is learning from the past and can make it work for him.
In the Chicago chart, Pisces is intercepted in the 1st house and therefore Virgo is intercepted in the 7th house. I see this as the hidden side to things. He may look confident but internally he is wracked by emotion, fear and foreboding. In relationships he is acutely aware of the details despite a more cavalier attitude publicly.
I still think that there are many challenges in his chart - you cannot avoid the Grand Cross - you can only shift it into a less powerful sector of your chart. But remember - Nothing is fate, everything is possible. But you have to be open to the possibilities. We will see how President Obama handles his 2010 solar year.
Solar returns are fascinating. Here is a great book on the subject if you want to learn more - Planets in Solar Returns: Yearly Cycles of Transformation & Growth