The Basic Ephemeris 1.0

And now for something quite different.

Jim Steigerwald has created an inexpensive ($51.50 + postage) program called The Basic Ephemeris that will calculate planetary positions (and house cusps) and display charts for a date range from 3000 BC to 2999 AD which can be purchased via his website:

The precision of the software is fine, since it uses the JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) ephemerides, but to get an accurate chart, users must lookup and enter both place coordinates (longitude and latitude) and correct time zones and time changes, because the software neither has an internal time-change atlas nor works with the ACS atlas.

Once the correct data is entered, the program calculates and can display a natal chart, table of planetary positions (including longitude, latitude, R.A., and declination, plus what it calls the "house degree", i.e. how many degrees into a house the planet is, as measured from its cusp. It also displays house cusp positions by longitude and declination.

You can choose from eight popular house systems, and set a default house system and location. You can also save and recall charts that you've calculated.

Among its additional features are its ephemeris page where you can see monthly ephemeris pages and easily move forward or backward a month or year at a time and set the time zone. The ephemeris page can display longitude, latitude, R.A., Declination, or Heliocentric positions of the planets and the node. There does not seem to be a built-in method of printing ephemeris pages in this version. There is also a daily aspectarian, which shows the exact timing of aspect between planets for the day, and an "almanac" which is displays the rise, culmination, set, and anticulmination times for each of the planets, one day at a time.

The Basic Ephemeris can also calculate progressed positions and display a transit-to-natal and progressed-to-natal hit listing indicating applying and separating events with aspect orbs.

Finally, the program also has a table of 101 Arabic Parts, showing the position by sign and house and the name and formula for each part. The program automatically adjusts the formula for day and night for parts (like the Part of Fortune) that are different for day births vs night births.

The author intends, in future versions, to add more features (e.g. the ability to export a chart to the Quick*Chart format) and may provide DLLs for programmers who want to develop their own astrological software.

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