SoftStar News

February 2005

Free Astrology Books Online

In searching the 'net, I found a great source of free astrology books online. By clicking here, you can go to the website and read books by Charles E. O. Carter, Dane Rudhyar, Michael R. Meyer, and many more classical works of astrology.

This is a great resource!

What is an Astrology Software Suite?

Most people understand that programs like Microsoft Office and WordPerfect Office are software suites, i.e. collections of several programs that work together within one framework. Both of these Office products, for example, offer word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software (i.e. for creating slide shows), and more.

Similarly, astrological software suites are very powerful astrology programs that offer many diverse functions within one program. All of these suites offer a complete set of basic astrological functions plus much more. Examples of astrological software suites include:

Solar Fire, which has a planetarium, time search module (see below), a job recorder (to record and play back a set of astrological tasks), sophisticated animation features (including animating pages, quad-wheels, biwheels with aspect lines, and more), new research capabilities (again see below), and much more.

Win*Star Plus has an exceptional ephemeris creation module, a chart publishing function, a complete astrological encyclopedia, desktop publishing quality astro-maps, an astrological query language for research, and much more.

Kepler's many internal programs include a whole slew of excellent interpretive reports (relocation, Vedic, harmonic, natal, synastry, degree meanings, numerology, etc.), a huge collection of timed charts (famous people, events, and businesses), framing quality stunning chart wheels, a huge variety of relocation functions, and much more.

Millennium offers astrologers an incredibly unique set of powerful predictive tools including a circular Time Tunnel graphic ephemeris, cumulative transit graphs, a Vertical graphic ephemeris, an astrological monthly calendar, planetary phases, pattern searchs, and much more.

I mention the idea of software suites because most astrologers do not realize that the major astrology programs are actually several programs in one, and, as a result, an incredible bargain. In most other venues, each of the modules would be packaged and sold separately, costing much more for all of them.

My new Tips and Tricks Astrology Software Column

Here is the second installment of my Tips and Tricks column, focusing on one outstanding feature of the Kepler program.

Configuring Kepler's Time Line Forecast

One of Kepler's most understated features is its excellent Time Line Forecast. This is essentially way of depicting transits and progressions, one event per line, with shading to indicate applying and separating orbs, an underline to show direct and retrograde motion of the transiting planet, and the date of exact hit.

What many users of Kepler do not realize, however, is that the Time Line can be customized to be even more useful and more powerful.

Here are some of the ways to do so:

Note: to do any of these customizings, first run Kepler, and select a person and view their chart. Then under the top menu item Forecast, click on Time Line Format to open the Time Line window.

1. You can get the Time Line to show natal aspects between the transiting and natal planet, to see if the transit will be potentiated by a natal relationship. Click here to see an example.

a. Click on the Customize Planets and Aspects rectangular button at the left bottom of the window. Click on F=Display House or Sign Position.

b. At upper right of screen, click to add a check to the checkbox next to the words Display Natal Aspects.

c. Also, you can check the "also display aspects with planets ruling signs of planets in aspect" to include not only a listing of natal planets but also planets that are ruling the signs of the transiting (or progressed) planets that are in aspect. Some astrologers like to know if these planets are in aspect in the natal chart as well. You can use ancient or modern rulership rules.

d. Note that on the same screen as in step b above, you can choose to show planetary stations and Void-of-Course Moon (if the Moon is selected as a transiting point), but only for Transit-to-Transit (not Transit-to-Natal) searches.

When customizing the Time Line in Kepler, note that the forecast highlighted at the top of the screen is the one being customized. For example, if you highlight "Day-for-a-Year: Prog-to-Natal", then at the bottom of the screen "Day-fora-Year: Prog-to-Natal" will be displayed again with a blue highlight color, confirming that you are customizing the progressed to natal selections. When producing a forecast for 1 year, you may, for example, want only outer planet transits (that is, Jupiter through Pluto transits), but want all of the progressed planets. You can customize each type of forecast individually.

2. You can configure the Time Line to include Solar and Lunar Eclipses that aspect a person's natal planets (or all Solar and Lunar eclipses).

a. Click on the Customize Planets and Aspects rectangular button at the left bottom of the window. Click on A. Planets (planet-to-planet). Under the left column, Transiting Planets, if the checkbox to the left of the word Sun is unchecked, click on it to place a check in the box. Then click OK at the bottom left of the window.

b. Next click on C. Aspects (planet-to-planet) and on the right side of the screen in the section Detect Transiting Sun, add a check (by clicking on the empty checkbox) next to Solar Eclipses, and Lunar Eclipses. Then in the section below that, add a check to Eclipses, New/Full Moons only. Then click on the OK button below that.

c. Click on the Done. Return to previous menu button.

d. Select the Starting Date and Duration for your Time Line graph at the top left of the screen, and then click the OK button at the bottom right of the window to see the graph.

Note: There may or may not be any eclipse on a natal point during the time period you are looking for. I suggest choosing a duration of 1 year, and looking at a few years, to see when eclipses hit your chart.

Kepler offers many, many customizing features throughout the program, and it is well worth your while to explore these and implement the ones that you want.

Solar Fire Deluxe

Two of the most common questions that I am asked nowadays is, "What are the new features of the forthcoming Solar Fire upgrade?" and "When will it be released?"

The answer to the second question is that it has just been released in Australia by Esoteric Technologies, and will be released to the rest of the World by its distributor Astrolabe in a few months. Astrolabe prefers to give the program a chance to get field-tested in Australia before releasing it everywhere else.

(Stay tuned to this column for a special introductory price for the full program and for the upgrade.)

Since the program has been released, I have been given permission by Esoteric Technologies to share details about its capabilities. I worked many hours helping them to debug the program, and I can say that it is in very fine shape already.

Among the new features are:

1. The ability to display separating aspect lines as dotted lines. This is an excellent feature, when used in creating birth charts, you can see which energies are culminating in this life (i.e. the applying aspect lines) and which are declining in intensity (the dotted, separating lines.) Click here to see an example.

But in Solar Fire's superlative animation module, this feature really shines. Here you can watch -- in a biwheel -- transiting planets move around a natal chart, and now immediately see when they have passed exact aspect, because the lines become dotted! A Truly Great Feature!

2. The ability to have aspect lines become thicker when the aspect is closer to exact (i.e. as the orb is smaller). Several programs already have thick lines for strong aspects and thin lines for weak aspects, but Solar Fire offers the most flexibility in determining how thick the lines should be as the orb tightens. Superbly implemented.

3. Incredibly powerful Time Search and Chart Search features. You can search the past or future, or your chart file, for huge number of planetary patterns (e.g. not just Grand Trines, etc., but Thor's Hammer, Grand Quintiles, and many, many more), horary considerations (e.g. Void-of-Course Moon), ancient dignities, planetary phases, at specific positions or ranges in various coordinate systems (including slower than a specific daily motion, above a certain latitude, etc.) and much more.

4. Chart Previews. While in a chart file, or after a chart search, or even on the main screen, as you click on a chart name, you can see a full preview wheel to the left of the listing. You can even move the arrow key down a listing, and view chart after chart as each is highlighted. A very useful feature!

5. Progressed Interpretations. In addition to the natal, transit, and synastry interpretations, Solar Fire Deluxe now has interpretations for progressed planets. This will be very helpful for beginners trying to understand how to interpret their progressions.

There are so many features to Solar Fire Deluxe that I can't possibly review them all in this column. Please read my forthcoming review in The Mountain Astrologer's June/July 2005 issue.

Solar Fire Deluxe is an upgrade worthwhile for everyone, from beginners to advanced practitioners. I highly encourage you to get it!

For more information on my introductory pricing for the program, click here.

Discounts on Software

Software discounts starting February 2005: When you purchase astrology software through me, you will get:

1. My free expert guidance in choosing the right program.

2. The best pricing distributors are allowed to offer.

3. Free U.S. shipping, unless prohibited by the manufacturer, and for some programs, free Express shipping Worldwide.

4. Additional benefits. E.g. I offer a very inexpensive excellent transit report for purchasers of Kepler & Sirius, over 60 free beautiful extra artistic wheels for Solar Fire Gold, etc.

5. You are supporting my website, allowing me to continue posting astrology tutorials, software reviews, and much more.

6. Your software is fully registered to you and shipped to you directly from the manufacturer, with their full customer support as well as mine.

To go to my secure astrology software order form, click here.

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Telling others about our website.

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