So what makes reviewing this chart such a great birthday activity? The AstroTwins liken it to trying on a new persona or “cosmic costume” every year. “It can also direct your action for the year,” they explain.

To discern what direction your chart is pointing you towards, it definitely helps to know some basic astrology fundamentals, like what the different planets represent and the qualities of each sign.

For example, say you were born with your Venus (the love planet) in passionate Pisces, but this year, it’s stationed in dynamic Gemini; you might be in for a year of lots of casual dating, rather than anything too serious. Or, if you were born with your rising sign in homebody Cancer, and this year it falls under fiery Sagittarius, you can expect to be a lot more adventurous.

The twins, who recently celebrated a birthday, explain what this looks like in practice in saying: “We were born with a Capricorn rising, but this year, Tali in Seattle wound up with a Virgo rising and Ophi in New York has a Libra rising,” they say. “We’re already seeing this show up since Tali’s been project managing and Ophi’s doing lots of relationship building.”

Making a birthday ritual out of reading your solar return chart and journaling about each placement can give you a little leg-up on the year ahead, and help you more concretely plan how you want to show up in it. Happy cosmic calculating!