Understanding Planetary Returns

Understanding Planetary Returns

Last week, NASA released stunning new images of the planet Pluto, as the exploration mission New Horizons finally reached the distant dwarf planet. This is, of course, of tremendous interest to astrologers, as despite its distance Pluto, like the other planets, plays a significant part in the calculation of horoscopes.


A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on

When calculating a birth horoscope, astrologers establish the location of each of the planets when you were born. Obviously, some move faster than others, which is why you get a more accurate horoscope if you know the exact time of your birth.

As you move through life, the changing positions of the planets, as they move or transit from one sign to the next, exert different influences upon you. The strongest of these influences is the planetary return; when a planet returns to the same place in your horoscope that it occupied at the time of your birth.

Because Pluto takes an extraordinary 248 years to orbit the sun, no individual will experience a Pluto return; its influence is on a historical scale. Similarly, Neptune’s orbit of 165 years means that its influence is more societal than individual. The nearest planets, the moon, Venus, Mercury and Mars, will make planetary returns very often, so their influences are subtle and frequent. The most obvious, then, are those which create a sea-change in the individual’s life.


Uranus governs genius, individuality and invention; it is the planet of sudden changes and revolution. If you should happen to be fit and healthy at 84 years of age, when it completes a full return, you may experience a new interest in life. For most, however, Uranus’s influence is seen at its half-return, around the age of 42, which most recognise as the “mid-life crisis”. This time can be stressful, but by understanding that there is an astrological influence to change, you can use this power productively.


Saturn, the planet of authority and responsibility, completes its return approximately every thirty years. This promotes the recognition of your responsibilities and the undertaking of serious commitments; it can also be a time for change, and for letting go of responsibilities that you have outgrown. The first return is the age when many start to settle down, whilst the second is the point at which you might begin to consider retirement.


Jupiter is associated with good fortune, growth and expansion. It completes its return around every twelve years, and its influence promotes phases of growth in life; the first around the age of puberty, the second as you adjust to the adult world, etc. The year of your Jupiter return will often be a good one, if you are prepared for the changes involved.

Whether you are experiencing a significant planetary return or not, call me or a member of my team to get a reading now.

To call me, the number for UK callers is 0800 999 3831. Australia 1800 558 140, Canada 1866 403 3407, USA 1855 864 9382, Ireland 015 060 692, Rest of the world +44 1749 860 777.

To call a member of my team, the number for UK callers is 0800 999 8831. Australia 1800 018 367, Canada 1866 76 9422, USA 1855 864 9383, Ireland 015 060 693, Rest of the world +44 207 111 6115.

Tony Hyland