A dear friend was getting ready for his birthday today. I mentioned that many astrologers believe that how you spend your birthday and what happens on this day are indicative of the energies of the year. We cast a solar return chart to see the energetic pattern of the planets when the Sun is in the exact same position as it was on the day of birth. This is the birthday of your year. Some astrologers look at the possible charts in various locations around the world and fly for a birthday vacation so that their solar return is more positive than it might be in the place they live. Others feel the solar return should be cast for the place of birth.
My friend, who has a deep sense of 'in the now' spirituality, simply responded 'I'm not sure I believe that to be true'. I could intuitively feel how he did not want to be sentenced to a year of whatever energy occurred on this one day, and I started thinking back to all of my birthdays and wondering if I could actually verify this statement I'd just made.
Then I started thinking about what I believe to be true about birthdays and solar returns -- in a deeper way. So often our beliefs and theories come from others. Someone reads something, they tell another, who tells another... After awhile all sorts of things become people's beliefs and truths. Karma, past lives, solar returns. They're all interesting possibilities. Even if people have believed in things for thousands of years they're still beliefs. Yet we 'know' or 'believe' that our thoughts and words create our reality. Or at least some of us feel that's true. My friend is more of an action person. He believes right action in the moment creates the next moment. That feels true to me too.
Many of my beliefs are loosely held. I'll cast a solar return chart for the place of birth, the place of habitation, and the vacation destination you'll be at on your birthday and consider all three valid in different ways. But I don't really believe you can radically change your life path for a year by flying to Tahiti for a week. I've found that each chart is valid while you're in that location. It's a flexible belief based on my experience so far.
More importantly, there will be interesting themes and possibilities to explore in a birthday chart. Talking about them might evoke your deepest desires and truths. The possibilities of your current choices are brought forward from the symbolic and unconscious to the conscious. And yet ultimately you are not a slave to your chart. You will make choices with the energies presented.
Our beliefs infuse our life with meaning. We sort out and make sense of complicated and sometimes challenging choices and events. I like that about spirituality and astrology.
Perhaps we can hold beliefs and not have the beliefs hold us.