What’s The Difference Between Transits, Progressions & Solar Returns?

transit stargazingDear Elsa,

I recently had a solar return done. I would be very interested, if you could comment on the difference in use of: the progressive horoscope, transits and a solar return?


Hi, Curious. Great question!

Your natal chart is a map of your personality. No one understands themselves, fully. We all have parts of our character, in the blind.

Transits to natal planets bring things out to live.  For example, a person may not see themselves as “angry”.  Then they have a transit involving Mars. Next thing they know, they’re raging and their raging enough to notice!  In that moment, they know anger lives inside them.

Progressions show a person’s evolution. We mature over time. Our tastes (Venus) evolve.  We move through different feeling states (Moon).

A person who is fearful (Moon in Capricorn) becomes detached (Moon in Aquarius) a year later. You’ve probably witnessed this, yourself

The Solar Return shows what a person will be dealing with in a given year, where the year runs from birthday to birthday.  The house where the Sun falls in a solar return will tell the stage where that person’s creative self will be expressed. Where they’ll shine.

For example, someone with a 3rd house solar return Sun, might be highly involved with siblings or neighbors and running ’round town a lot, talking to a variety of people.  They’d act as a communications hub or something along those lines.

Each of these tools offer a specific, different perspective. Some astrologers favor one method over another. I use all three.

Re-running this because someone in my class asked about it. For more info see:

Progressed Chart Report
Solar Return Report
Deluxe Transit Report

9 thoughts on “What’s The Difference Between Transits, Progressions & Solar Returns?”

  1. I agree with neptunianplacebo. I’ve been reviewing my Progressed Chart, and your explanation helps clarify the usefulness of the different charts, especially in view of the Solar chart which I have never paid much attention to (until now!). Thanks Elsa.

  2. I think I remember that the equal house was favored around here. But I’ve read a few books thay have suggested that placidius ia good for the natal chart but that the koch house system seems to be a bit more spot on as far as transits go. Any thoughts?

  3. I’ve only looked at my progressed Sun. What I’ve discovered is that when my Sun enters a new sign, my life changes drastically…

  4. What about aspects in a progressed chart? Do we look at the progressed planet making an aspect to a natal planet or do we look at progressed planet making an aspect to the progressed ascendant/or planet for example? Should I be on guard as prog pluto will square my prog ascendant?
    Also, wanted to add- progressed moon IS a thing. Deeply felt. The change of house and sign is very obvious.

  5. I’ve found that conjunctions in a progressed chart often predict important events in my life, particularly lunar conjunctions with Saturn, and progressed ascendant with planets…What do you think?

  6. Progressed moon has been in my 6th house of health for awhile now and I’ve had so many health issues these past 10 months and Transiting Pluto is in my 1st house as well and I have progressed sun in my 1st house. Solar Return chart has Neptune in 6th house of health. I really hate what’s happening to me astrologically.

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