The Full Review of Day Watch published in The Mountain Astrologer
by Hank Friedman
For over twenty years, I have waited for an astrology software company to release a comprehensive astrological calendar program for Western astrology, and now it has arrived. (Note: within some larger astrology programs, there are already a few quite versatile astrological calendars available, click here to see samples and descriptions of other programs' astrology calendar features.) DayWatch is an incredibly well-designed program that offers far more than just the ability to generate beautiful astrological calendars. DayWatch runs on PCs under Windows 98, ME, 2000, NT or XP, with 128 megabytes of memory and 32 megabytes of hard disk space, plus a printer. The program can read both Win*Star and Quick*Chart files. DayWatch can also export its charts, calendars, and reports in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format, making them easy to email, bring to a professional print shop, etc. For those who want to sell the many types of calendars and all of the interpretive reports and graphs and tables that DayWatch generates, the software includes a license to do so.
Let's start by describing the types of calendars the program offers. DayWatch offers a monthly calendar, a weekly calendar, and a daily calendar. The monthly calendar is a work of art. For each day of the month, it can show the transit-to-transit, the transit-to-natal, progressed-to-natal, and directed-to-natal aspects, or any combination of these. It also shows a Void of Course Moon table for the month, a listing of the aspects that are within 1 degree orb at the beginning of the month, the current time zone, and a table of planetary sign ingresses and stations.
The monthly calendar also shows the Moon sign – and the time that it changes, as well as the Solar/Lunar angle, the exact lunation times, and holidays. It also can show "Red and Green Days", i.e. days when you are likely to have high physical or mental energy. By clicking on any day, you can see a magnified image of the astrological events of that day. By right-clicking on any day, you can view a Day Watch screen that shows a bar graph of the day depicting the Void-of-Course Moon times and the personal Void-of-Course Moon times (explained below), and lists chronologically all of the house ingresses, the aspects for the day (and you can click on any major aspect to see an interpretation of it), and, at the push of a button, the Events & Appointments that you have entered into the program.
You can print up to two year's worth of monthly calendars at one time, starting at any month and year. Switching to a different month is simple. You can move forward or backwards one month at a time with the program's arrow buttons, or quickly enter a new month and year to display. You can even print out miniature monthly calendars, that fit on 1/4 of a standard page – so that you can have four consecutive months per page, to bring with you on your travels.
DayWatch is incredibly customizable. You can select the color for each of the four types of aspects (arc-to-natal, progressed-to-natal, transit-to-natal, and transit-to-transit) and the colors of the planets in charts. You can select the house system to be used, the current place, create your own logo, and more. You can create and edit aspect sets, defining aspects, and modifying both natal and predictive orbs, and easily select the set you want the software to use. You can select different sets of natal, transiting, progressed, and directed planets and points including the nodes, comet Chiron, four major asteroids, and Uranian points, and - for everything except transiting points - the East Point, Vertex, Part of Fortune, Ascendant, and Midheaven.
You can create calendars in portrait and landscape formats, and for a variety of paper sizes. DayWatch even automatically adjusts times for time changes and shows you when Daylight Savings Time begins or ends if it does during a month. The program also has excellent and thorough help screens to guide you to learning how to use all of the features of the software. Those who own Win*Star Plus can easily access their Win*Star Plus chart database to retrieve chart files.
One feature worth a special focus is the ability to add and edit holidays, personal holidays, and events and appointments. This Holidays feature in DayWatch is incredibly powerful. First, the software allows you to select from several built-in holiday sets, including U.S., U.K., Canadian, Chinese, French, Hindu, Islam, Italian, Jewish, and Wiccan holidays, or any combination of them. Next, you can add or remove specific holidays, and the add feature allows you to add holidays for a particular day of the month, a specific weekday of the month (e.g. the first Friday), a day of the week that is on or after a certain date, or a weekday plus or minus a user-specified number of days. This is an incredibly comprehensive set of tools.
And it gets even better. In addition to being able to add personal holidays, e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, or any additional category you wish to define, you can also import charts from Quick*Chart files to automatically include the birthdays of your family, friends, clients, etc. simply and easily. What a great way to be reminded of important birthdays! Finally, you can use DayWatch as your personal appointment calendar. The program makes it easy to enter events and appointments for any time and date, and adds an icon to the Monthly calendar (that you can click on to see the appointments and events), and lists these chronologically in the Weekly calendar.
You can view natal charts, biwheels (with the transiting or progressed planets around the natal and the interaspects drawn in), and lunation charts (new and full Moon charts for your location) in four different wheel styles. You can print out the lunation charts (New and Full Moon) for a single month on one page, or for the entire calendar year.
DayWatch also creates a number of graphs, including Lilly Strength graphs for the day and the month. These can be used to select the best day and time to initiate activities in your life. The Lilly Strength graph can display lines of the varying strengths of each planet as determined by accidental dignities, essential dignities, total dignities or any combination of these, and you can select the planets to be shown in the graph. You can also view an excellently written explanation of Lilly Strengths, which includes how to use the graphs, what the different dignities mean, and keywords for each of the planets. The Lunar Cycle Graph shows, for a month at a time, when the Moon is conjunct, square, and opposite to either the other transiting planets or the natal planets. Again, DayWatch provides a detailed explanation of both how to use the graph, and what results you might expect from combinations of the Moon with each of the planets. Finally, there is a graph of Monthly Declinations for all of the transiting planets.
There are also several tables, including a listing of Lunar Apogees and Perigees for the year, a Natal Planets on Angles table showing the exact times each natal planet reaches an angle for any specific date and place, complete with (optional) interpretations, and a monthly planetary ephemeris that can easily be printed or emailed to others. DayWatch can print out Void-of-Course Moon tables for a month at a time, showing the starting and ending times, the Moon sign, and the last angle the Moon makes. The program also introduces the concept of the Personal Void-of-Course Moon. In this table, similar to the regular Void-of-Course Moon table, it shows when the transiting Moon makes its last aspect (in the sign the Moon is in) to a person's chart. There is even a calculator that shows you the number of days, months, and years between any two dates.
DayWatch offers a large number of reports, with the option to include or exclude interpretive text. (Note: while most professional transit reports include entering orb and leaving orb dates, DayWatch's reports only lists the date of exact hit or station.) In all of the reports, there is a graphical bar at the beginning of each event depicting whether the event is of short, medium, or long duration. These reports are very well formatted and quite pleasing to the eye.
The Yearly Highlights Report shows the stations, progressed-to-natal, outer planet transit-to-natal, outer planet transit-to-transit, and arc-to-natal events for the calendar year (i.e. January through December). It shows what natal houses the stations fall in, and the exact date and time for each event. For events involving the major aspects (conjunction, square, sextile, trine, and opposition) it also provides interpretations of the event. For the astrologer who want s a quick and interpretive look at the major events of the year, this will be a useful report.
The Monthly Highlights Report is more comprehensive, for those who want more information, because it shows all of the same types of events as the yearly report that are within one degree aspect orb at the beginning of the month (and whether each event is applying or separating), and also includes lunations and inner planet transits and ingresses.
The Monthly Details Report is the most detailed report of all. In the 35-40 page report, it covers all of the events of the Monthly Highlights Report, plus all of the aspects and sign ingresses made by the Moon and the inner planets. For someone who wants a report that covers all of their transits, progressions, etc., this is the one to use.
The Weekly Report allows you to turn on or off Void of Course, Personal Void of Course, Transit-to-Transit, Aspect to Natal, Holidays, Personal Dates, and Appointments & Events. It can be used for one's weekly appointment calendar, and includes (in its Aspect to Natal setting) progressed-to-natal, arc-to-natal, and transit-to-natal exact hits.
The Daily Report is also comprehensive, and again allows you to select which options you want shown (see the Weekly Report paragraph above). With everything turned on, it gives the Moon sign, phase, phase angle during the day, the time of lunar ingress into the next sign (if it occurs during the day), graphic bars showing the Void of Course and Personal Void of Course times, and all of the events that happened during the day, holidays, and any appointments or events you have scheduled.
The Stations Report generates a nice and useful graphical representation of each planet's stations for the year, showing any natal planets conjuncted by the stationing planet during the period, the house(s) occupied, the exact time and date of each station, and (optionally) interpretations for the conjunctions formed (with different interpretations for when the transiting planet is direct or retrograde), and for the house occupied by the transiting planet at the time of planetary station.
Whether one is just starting out in astrology, or runs a business selling astrological reports or (now) calendars, or a professional who has done astrological work for decades, DayWatch is a lovely program that will help each of us to "follow the stars".
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