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TimePassages Advanced Version 5.0
by Henry Seltzer
[Note: This review appeared in Aug/Sept 2008 issue of The Mountain Astrologer in the Little Giants article. Throughout this review we will be focusing on the features in the TimePassages Advanced Edition. The company also sells less expensive Standard and Basic Editions with fewer features.]
Little Giants Introduction:
Many astrologers and students of astrology neither need nor want the most extensive (and most expensive) astrology programs. Whether they are on a budget, or just want simpler-to-use software, many flock to programs in the under $200 price range. The programs reviewed in this article offer excellent accuracy, and have full time-change atlases (which automatically call up the longitude, latitude, time zone, and time changes for over 250,000 places in the U.S. and around the World). They run under the Microsoft Windows operating system. (Note: TimePassages Advanced is also available for Macintosh computers running OS X.)
All three offer many of the basic astrological functions, including creating chart wheels with aspect lines as well as biwheels & triwheels, calculating progressed and Solar and Lunar Return charts, chart and biwheel animation (seeing charts move forward or backwards in time, by a user-specified time interval ), and the option of showing the four major asteroids. They all have birth chart interpretation reports built-in, also offer interpretive report add-ons.
TimePassages was one of the first programs to offer chart animation, and to display the thickness of aspect lines as a reflection of the orb of the lines, i.e. the stronger the aspect, the thicker the line. In version 5, TimePassages extends its aspect-drawing capabilities with the ability to draw aspect lines directly between planets in any two rings of a tri-wheel. See Figure Five: Tri-wheel with aspect lines. It is easy to select what chart appears in each ring (natal, transit, progressed, another person's chart) and to choose from which two of the three rings inter-aspect lines will be displayed.
TimePassages offers well-written in-depth interpretations both onscreen and in printed reports of natal planets (by house, sign, and aspect) as well as delineations of transiting planets by house, and transit-to-natal and progressed-to natal aspects. One can click on any planet or aspect line and immediately read an interpretation for it.
The program's author is one of the pioneers in the use of the newly discovered minor planets. TimePassages can show the position of and aspects of Eris, Sedna, Chiron, Pholus, Nessus, Chariklo, Vulcan, and Lilith, as well as the four major asteroids, the Vertex, Earth, and Part of Fortune.
Over time, many features important to astrologers have been added to the program. There are now three types of midpoint listings, a graphic ephemeris, whole sign and natural house systems, easier program customization, and a full manual built in.
The most stunning feature in TimePassages 5.0 is its unique new style of astromaps. Instead of a flat map, the map is photo-realistic. See Figure Six: TimePassages Astromap.
The map shows the standard Astro*Carto*Graphy lines, and conveniently gives you the name of any line that you point to. It offers three levels of Zoom, is scrollable, and displays country and state boundaries and major city names. (The author plans to add Local Space lines to the maps in the near future.)
Another unique feature in TimePassages is its style of transit graph. Called the TimeLine, it displays transits for Mars through Pluto plus Chiron in 1, 3, 6, or 12 month durations. You can include any or all of these planets, choose all aspects or only Ptolemaic, set the orb to 1, 2, or 3 degrees, and specify the date to start. Once the graphs are displayed, you can click on any line to see which transit it is, and its entering, exact, and leaving dates.
For those wanting a fine set of interpretations and all of the basic astrological functions plus several lovely and unique features, TimePassages is a wonderful choice.
Review of earlier versions of TimePassages:
Most astrology software fits into one of two categories: programs that calculate a variety of astrological charts and tables, and programs that interpret chart factors. TimePassages is one of the very few that excels in both areas.
For the practicing astrologer, TimePassages offers natal, Secondary progressed, Solar Arc directed, Solar and Lunar return, Composite, relocated, and transit charts. You can choose from Equal, Koch, Placidus, and Campanus house systems, display the four major asteroids and the comet Chiron, and create sets of different aspect orbs for natal, transiting, progressed, and comparison work. The program displays additional information about charts, such as the sole dispositor, leading planet, focus planet, ascendant ruler, the major aspect pattern (e.g. t-square), overall chart pattern (e.g. funnel chart), and a table of elements and modes. The program has excellent accuracy and covers the period from 1500-2150.
Among the many unique capabilities of TimePassages is its depiction of the strength of aspect lines by varying their thickness. Stronger aspects are displayed as thicker lines, and weaker aspects as thinner lines. You can select the orbs at which thicker lines are shown, as well as the amount of thickness at each level.
TimePassages does a very good job of showing bi-wheels, with a second person's chart, or the progressed, directed, or transiting planets, around a natal chart, complete with interaspect lines between the two charts. Even more powerful, and also uniquely implemented, is the program's ability to animate the biwheels of transits, progressions, and directions around a natal chart. You can select the rate of animation (a minute, hour, day, week, month, quarter, or year per tick) forward or backwards in time, adjust the animation rate slower or faster as you watch the changes take place, and see all of the aspects forming and subsiding.
Also unique is the inclusion of the complete ACS U.S. and World electronic atlases for such a low additional price. Most companies charge $100 for the ACS Atlas. People who purchase the TimePassages version without the atlas can also upgrade for $59 later. The ACS electronic atlas is an essential utility that automatically enters the correct longitude, latitude, time zone, and time changes (e.g. daylight savings time) for about 300,000 cities throughout the world.
It is the inclusion of interpretations for both natal factors and transiting events that makes TimePassages an incredibly valuable program for both the general public and students of astrology. All of the interpretations can be viewed either one at a time by clicking on planets, aspect lines, or interaspect lines in a chart wheel or biwheel, or as full reports that can be both viewed and printed out.
Lengthy and often well-written paragraphs interpret not only each natal planet, chiron, and the asteroids by sign and house, but also aspect lines between planets. The natal report also thoughtfully focuses the reader on the planets which are activated by chart patterns and aspect patterns, and the aspects that are the strongest in the chart. Here's an example:
The Sun represents will and purpose, the sense of vitality, and the evolving higher Self. In Cancer it is Cardinal-Water and rules the stomach and breasts. Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Your ruling planet is the Moon, and you tend to be moody, with your emotions constantly changing. Cancer people are usually security-conscious. Your home is important to you. You are apt to appear passive, and to rely on your feelings. You are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around you. You are likely to be involved with the past in some way, because the sign of Cancer, the sign of nurturing, protecting, sustaining, is strongly tied to the past, and the principle of Karma. As a Cancer person, you tend to collect the residue of past experience and hold onto it, as a coloration of present activities, leading you to instinctual action. You can benefit from shedding the light of conscious reason on your habitual patterns, and focusing on your true goals.
TimePassages can create transit hit lists for transits by Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, with or without interpretive text. The transit reports can be 3, 6, or 12 months in length, sorted by beginning or exact date or transiting planet, for any time zone, entering orb, and date. The program lists (and interprets) both the ingresses of these planets into houses and the major and minor aspects they make to other planets (and to Chiron) in the chart. The interpretations are definitely worth including, and elucidate the meaning of each event. Here's an example:
1/12/99, exact 2/7/99, ends 3/9/99
Transiting Neptune in semi-square with natal Chiron
This can be a somewhat stressful period of time for you. What is affected that part of yourself that is a dissolver of old structures, for the purpose of making way for some hitherto unseen aspect of yourself to emerge, and you are likely to undergo a transformation of your spiritual values at this time. You may experience a tension between an old and outmoded way of being and a new vision of what could be possible. The shadow side is disappointment with yourself, for not being further along on the path you envision, and there could be confusion about what you truly want at this time. But the joy of this spiritual journey of discovery comes from making peace with yourself and beginning to fulfill your dreams. Something new, deep inside you, is awaiting birth. There are angels in the woodwork calling out for you to listen with your inner senses. You are dreaming a new realization into being for yourself, ultimately a new world, since the world is really what we are dreaming into being with each new moment. If you dream wisely at this time, you can make a difference, for yourself, and for others around you as well.
The crown jewel of the interpretations offered by TimePassages is the optional ($119) Synastry Module. This may very well be the best chart comparison report on the market, with in-depth and stunningly accurate delineations of all of the interaspects between two people's charts. The report also reveals both general and romantic meanings to each interaspect. Many of the interpretations are too lengthy (up to 25 lines!) to quote here. Here's one of the shorter sections:
Hank's Mars in strong sextile (within 0.6 degrees) with Sarah's Sun
This aspect, of Sun in flowing relation with partner's Mars, symbolizes positive self-expression, action, and mobility in your partnership energy, together with a sense of shared purpose. Together, you will be capable of rapid progress toward your goals, with up attitudes, helpfulness and just going for it. You will find abundant support by Hank for the strong leadership of Sarah, as you keep focus on the mutual awareness of vital life pursuits, and your drive to succeed together.
In a romantic context, physical attraction and sexual compatibility is strong. You may be inclined as a couple toward exercise and athletics. Together, you are fiery and determined, and ignite each other with drive and passion. This aspect symbolizes the principle of energy and motivation. You may be destined to accomplish much as a partnership, especially since there is likely to be support for permitting self-expression and independence in each other. Your passionate drive together leads to much doing, and enjoyable physical expression. There can be a sense of leading others as well, or taking charge of life together.
For those who wish to sell the reports that TimePassages creates, a one-time commercial license is available for $300. Considering the quality of the reports, this is a very good deal. The program also comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, which is unheard of in the astrology business. Clearly its author cares about his customers.
TimePassages succeeds wonderfully as the only program offering both a good range of charts and calculations, and a fine set of interpretive reports. It is also the only Western program offered for both PC and Mac users, and therefore will please a much wider audience. We are fortunate to have this software available to us.
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