The Astrological Case For Actually Caring About Your Half Birthday

produced by Julie Borowsky; photographed by Rochelle Brock; modeled by Tess Mayer.
Once you hit adulthood, half birthdays aren't cool. If you even remember to notice when yours is coming up and remark on it, no one's going to pull out the stops to celebrate — and you probably wouldn't want them to, anyway. But, despite the fact that you haven't tacked "and a half" onto your age since you were in the single digits, marking your calendar for six months after your actual birthday may offer astrological benefits.
The case for observing your half birthday starts, appropriately, with your real and official birthday — or as it's known in the astro community, your solar return. Technically speaking, your birthday marks the moment that the sun returns to where it was on the Wheel of the Zodiac when you were born, thus its astrological name.
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It's common for astrologers to offer solar return readings in the same way that they offer birth chart readings, only in this case, the chart they're reading is based on your birth time, birthday, the current year (rather than your birth year), and your current location (rather than your birthplace). Where your birth chart provides insight into your basic character and life path, your solar return chart is thought to reveal what lies ahead for you in the next 12 months specifically.
With that in mind, you can pay your astrologer a visit on your half birthday for a sort of astrological checkup, or a "half-solar return" chart reading as astrologer Bob Marks refers to it on his site. It ought to give you insight into what you have left to do (and what may await you) before your next birthday, based on the planets' positions, Marks writes. Pay extra attention to your moon and rising signs on this chart, as they'll most closely affect your personality and feelings for the remaining six months of your personal year.
But, you don't have to get too deep into the weeds of your planetary placements to derive astrological meaning from your half birthday, writes astrologer Isabelle Ghaneh. All you have to do is look at the sun. If it makes a full rotation around the Wheel of the Zodiac in the span of a year, it's only six signs through when your half birthday rolls around. In other words, on your half birthday, the sun is in the sign that is opposite yours. For example, if you're a Capricorn, then the sun will be in Cancer on your half birthday.
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Ghaneh recommends taking this as an opportunity to reflect on your relationship with your opposite sign. Do you express any aspects of this sign in your personality? If you do, how does it affect your decisions and behavior? And, if you don't exhibit many traits of your opposite sign, is there a chance you'd benefit from doing so?
Given how, well, different opposite signs tend to be (again, see warm and nurturing Cancer and cold, dry-witted Capricorn), people born under each can stand to learn something from each other, Ghaneh writes. A Capricorn might spend their half birthday reflecting on how they might express their feelings more freely, while a Cancer may consider what more they could do to plan and work for their future success.
Whether you opt to have a whole new chart drawn up or simply do a little research on your sign's direct opposite, you can gain something from your half birthday (besides a corny gag gift). You just have to look to the stars.
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