The Progressed and Return Charts Defined
The Progressed charts and Solar Arc charts are slow moving and similar, in that they show the upcoming trends in an individuals life. They are used in conjunction with the Natal chart, but use a strict orb of 1 degree and 1.5 degrees for Sun and Moon, when comparing the two charts. They are more general and not too specific I find. They point you in the direction and narrow down a year, but do not give you the specific month or date. You can see the planets slowly moving in one direction and estimate the time they will be exact, so can see perhaps a few years in advance.
The Solar Return chart also shows the upcoming trend, but for that year only, until the Sun again reaches that exact degree again that it held at the time of birth. It will be similar to the information given in the Progressed charts, but more specifics are used since all the planets are interpreted not just the ones that are within 1-1.5 degrees of the Natal planets.
I tend to use both together, and find they tell the same story. If I was to get a different reading on one chart, I would think there was a problem with my calculations.
The other Return Charts are used in a similar manner as the Solar Return chart, but you have to keep in mind that it is the “flavor” of the planet emphasis you are concentrating on in each of the different Return charts. The Return Charts are only valid until the return planet enters that exact degree again in the current year of each return that it held at the time of birth. After that date, another return will have to be calculated.
The Lunar Return is only good for 28 days, there are usually 13 Lunar returns in a year. They tell your emotional level, and can be used in conjunction with the Solar Return chart to pinpoint a specific emphasis and timing in the Solar Return chart.
Venus returns are used for romance, or monetary indicators for the year. For males they usually show what is happening to the prominent female in his life.
The Mars return is action oriented, and indicates new ventures that may be started. For females this chart can show what is happening to the prominent male in her life. This chart usually lasts 2 years.
Mercury Return chart points us to an emphasis in communication, travel, children, siblings etc. These charts last for the year only.