Embolismic Lunation Returns – example of a hellish year

Recently I’ve been experimenting with Placidus’ method of progressing a birth chart via ’embolismic lunations’ (returns of the Sun and Moon to the same phase angle they held in the birth chart).

In reading Martin Gansten’s recent book Annual Predictive Techniques, a particular chart (on page 72) peaked my interest because the native described his year from age 36 to 37 as ‘hellish’. It occurred to me that if Placidus’ method held water, such a year from hell should show up in the embolismic return.

Gansten uses the sidereal zodiac and Alcabitius houses. Placidus uses the tropical zodiac with Placidus houses, so I cast the chart using the parameters of Placidus. The native was born on 18 Dec 1973 at 10:05 EET, 60n27, 22e17.

Chart of a man who experienced a “hellish” year at age 36 as his marriage fell apart due to his wife’s ongoing and severe mental illness.

We can see the potential for marital difficulties in the natal chart. Saturn Rx in Cancer (the sign of its detriment) occupies the 7th of marriage and conjoins its cusp. Ketu (the lunar south node) lies within the orb of Saturn and the two will conjoin by transit within a few weeks of the birth. The Moon rules the 7th cusp and occupies the unfortunate 8th house (loss, crisis, death) where Luna conjoins and is besieged by the outer planets Pluto and Uranus. Moon/Pluto can signify intense emotionality. Moon/Uranus can signify emotion disruptions and potential breakup of the marriage.

We want to know which embolismic return was in effect at age 36, using the formula one embolismic cycle is equivalent to one year of life. The mean synodic cycle of the Moon with respect to the Sun is about 29.532 days. Dividing the length of the tropical year by the lunar cyclce:

365.2422 / 29.532 = 12.37 cycles per year, which is equivalent to 12 embolismic lunations plus 11.2 days

In other words, every tropical year consists of 12 embolismic lunations plus 11.2 days.

At age 36 he will have completed 36 embolismic lunations, which should occur three years after his birth date minus 33 days (subtracting 11.2 days for each year). He was born on 18 Dec 1973 with the Sun and Moon 70deg 22min apart, so three years later would be 18 Dec 1976, and 33 days prior would be around 16 Nov 1976. It turns out that the Sun and Moon were 70deg 22min apart on 16 Nov 1976 at 14:11:10 EET (-2:00). Here is the chart for the embolismic return which corresponds to his year of life beginning at age 36:

Embolismic return corresponding to age 36 when his marriage deteriorated in a ‘hellish’ fashion.

The embolismic chart is ruled by Saturn, which occupies the 6th house (12th of the 7th) and conjoins the 7th cusp. The Moon, which rules the natal 7th, occupies the embolismic 7th and squares Neptune. Jupiter, which rules the natal 12th, is opposed by Mars, the out-of-sect malefic and a planet of separation.

Superimposing the return chart on the natal chart, we get the following.

Embolismic return for age 36 superimposed on the natal chart.

In the superimposed charts, return Venus closely conjoins the natal Ascendant and closely opposes natal Saturn Rx in the 7th, indicating significant problems in intimate relationships. Venus also rules the natal 4th cusp of home and domestic life.

Return Moon, which rules the natal 7th of marriage, lies in the natal 8th and squares return Neptune as well as natal Mercury, ruler of the natal 8th (crisis, loss, death). Mercury also rules the natal 6th, which is the derived 12th of the 7th, indicating the dissolution of the marriage.

Return Sun, which rules Leo in the natal 7th and occupies the unfortunate natal 12th, is on the natal MC, indicating the prominence of marital issues at age 36. Return Sun/Mars/Mercury conjoin in Scorpio and form a quincunx to natal Mars in Aries. In addition, this cluster of return planets in Scorpio opposes return Jupiter in the natal 4th (his domestic life), with Jupiter ruling the natal 12th of misfortune.

It does appear that the embolismic return provides an additional predictive method which can be used with other standard techniques as part of an annual forecast.

Addendum: Online calculator of soli-lunar returns.

The site https://horoscopes.astro-seek.com/calculate-planet-revolutions-returns/ offers the option to calculate soli-lunar returns. The embolismic return is calculated for the birth place. Placidus paired each soli-lunar return after the birth date with a corresponding year of life.

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