To learn about all of the features of Kepler, please also explore my previous reviews here and here.|
My Published Kepler 7.0 Review
Since the last time I reviewed Kepler, Cosmic Patterns has released major updates every year and a half or so, and has many full-time programmers working on each version. This makes Kepler the fastest evolving Western astrology program in existence. Some of the enhancements have been stunningly beautiful "art wheels" with lovely colored backgrounds and custom designs, a full rectification module (see below), incredibly advanced astromapping features, and much more. With its excellently designed set of 47 lessons in astrology, high quality short natal, transit, and compatibility reports (each provided in four or more languages), and an astrological encyclopedia, Kepler has long been the program of choice for novices and beginning astrologers. And the many powerful advances in versions 6 (and now 7) are making Kepler the program of choice for a growing number of professional astrologers, too.
Note: For those unfamiliar with Kepler's capabilities, the program includes superb Swiss Ephemeris accuracy and a complete suite of astrological calculations, as well as many unique features such as a collection of 18,000 charts of famous people, events, and businesses; a Time Line Profile that shows when there will be peaks of performance, romance, solitude, etc.; Treasure Maps showing where one can travel for career, romance, inspiration, etc.; perhaps the most accurate time-change atlas in existence covering 260,000+ cities and towns, a collection of beautiful astrological graphics, and even a Live Mini reading, i.e. a spoken analysis of any person's chart. Cosmic Patterns also offers the largest selection of top-quality add-on interpretive reports, and a free automated online chart service for those who purchase at least one add-on report. Kepler has more features than I can possibly cover in this review.
Kepler runs under Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP, 32 MB RAM memory or more, and 500 MB disk space, and is also certified to run under Parallels or Boot Camp on the PowerMac computers. Besides the add-on interpretive reports, there are two new optional add-ons, a collection of over 130 new Pastel Art Wheels ($200) -- chart wheels beautiful enough to frame and mount on a wall, and the new MegaAtlas ($200), which has coordinates and time zones for over 2 million cities and towns.
Kepler's Rectification function allows you to enter a person's life events in 16 categories including births, deaths, marriages, divorces, accidents, relocation, etc. You can then select which of 32 predictive methods (including transit-to-natal, transit-to-transit, and several methods of progression and solar arc direction) to use in evaluating the events. Kepler than analyzes the event dates using the selected predictive methods, and displays the scores for each event by each predictive method, and then shows the total score for that birth time. By shifting the birth time forward or backward by any increment of time, you can redo the analysis to find the birth time with the highest score. This function is very well designed, and completely customizable.
One of the biggest changes was made in Kepler 6.0, when the program's user-interface was completely revamped. This made Kepler much easier to use and much easier to customize. In version 6, one could now change the aspect set, planets displayed, birth time, etc. and immediately see the results. Speed buttons, a row of icons at the top of the page, expedited such functions as saving a report, emailing charts or reports to others, and all other major functions. Additionally, aspect lines could now vary in width depending upon orb (thicker when stronger), and charts could be effectively resized for publication.
Also added in version 6 was the incredibly useful ability to go back and view any of the charts, tables, graphs, or maps generated during a computing session (even at the beginning of the next session). Further enhancements included a slew of new calculations, including the Centaurs, true and mean Lilith, the coascendant and polar ascendant, declination longitude equivalent charts, mundoscopes, antiscia charts, and more; and three types of Huber wheels, plus relocation reports for any number of places, a degree meanings reports (from 11 authors), a numerology report, and a full health encyclopedia including text on hundreds of herbs, a dictionary of herbal terminology, and traditional Native American herbal formulae.
In the Summer of 2004, Kepler 7.0 will be released. In order to do this review, I have received a very early copy of the program and was amazed at how solid and stable it was. Cosmic Patterns spends months polishing each version after program development is completed, so that their released versions are amazingly bug-free. Cosmic Patterns is also well known for their excellent customer service.
Some of the primary advances in Kepler 7 include more comprehensive Vedic features, much more powerful research features, advanced page design functions, the ability to customize the formulae in the Time Line Profiles, sky maps, medieval chart wheels, biwheels containing extra points, and more treasure maps, reports, and tables.
With this version, Kepler continues to become easier than ever to use, with more direct links to each of its functions; and more appealing, with lovely three dimensional astrological glyphs and chart wheels with improved color schemes. Version 7 adds a very fine short Harmonic Highlights report that interprets the harmonic themes in a person's chart, a new Vedic Astrology Insight Report, and a Vedic Chart Explorer, where you point to any planet in a Vedic chart, and then view surprisingly well written interpretations of both positive and negative effects of the planet as lord of specific houses (by the house that the planet occupies).
The Vedic Insight Report is an extensive and well-designed report that interprets the lunar nakshatra and lunar sign, and then analyzes the chart for hundreds of yogas and interprets the ones that apply to the chart (using text from Raman and Charak), and gives delineations for each house, by the sign on the cusp, house occupants, and more. It is one of the best Vedic reports available today, with a surprising degree of accuracy, and is an excellent learning tool for students of Vedic astrology.
The upgrade includes many new charts and tables. There are two new Medieval wheels, and new biwheels that show the positions of many fixed stars or Arabic Parts or asteroids in the outer ring, (and you can select which stars -- or parts or asteroids - you want shown). The lovely AstroClock can show you the planets moving in real time, or forward or backwards in time at an accelerated user-adjustable rate (with aspect lines forming and disappearing). There is also now an animated TriWheel, where you can watch the transiting and progressed planets move forward or backward over a natal chart. You can place either transiting or progressed chart in the middle wheel and see the inter-aspect lines forming between that chart and the natal chart.
Several of the program's features have been enhanced. There are 800 more charts (of famous people, etc.) included in the database (now 19,300 total); five additional treasure maps that show where to travel to for education, creativity, opportunity, focus, and family; revised time zone tables for Hungary, a Paran table including major cities, and the ability to view as many Varga charts as you want and Ashtakavarga tables and a graph (showing changing Ashtakavarga values for a month at a time) in the Vedic module.
Many other tables have been added, including Vedic Ashtottari and Narayana Dasa listings, and tables of Secondary Progressed sign ingresses and planetary stations, void of course Moon times, sign ingresses and stations for transiting planets, the ancient forecasting technique of Firdaria, and two innovative Fixed Star listings, one that shows which stars are on the horizon, zenith, or nadir for a person's chart, and a second which shows rotated Parans between planets and Fixed Stars (i.e. derived by placing one point on an angle, and seeing what other points fall on the other angles).
The Sky Map feature displays the celestial sphere either as two circles (of the Northern and Southern sky) or a rectangular image of the sky -- in the ecliptic, horizon, or equatorial plane - showing the ecliptic, equator, and horizon lines, all of the planets, and the fixed stars of whatever magnitude you select. As you move the mouse pointer over the map, it shows the exact celestial longitude, latitude, and zodiac sign for any object you point to. The Sky Map enables you to see what stars are rising or setting for a person, and what stars are closest to natal planets. Kepler also has a huge Star Catalogue, a table of over 10,000 fixed stars for any date, with columns showing their zodiacal, celestial, and mundane coordinates, magnitude, constellation, etc. and you can sort the list by any column, e.g. see them listed in order of increasing zodiacal longitude. We can definitely say that Kepler 7 is stellar!
Among the major enhancements in version 7 is a new Page Designer. This tool allows you to select from a variety of tables and place them wherever you want on a page. You can choose which points (and other information such as Sidereal Time) that you want in a table, and then select which table you want. The Page Designer has tables of parallels, elements & modes, legends -- e.g. showing the symbols for aspects or planets or signs, planetary positions (with the option to include columns for speed, latitude, sidereal or heliocentric positions, declination, etc.), fixed stars, essential dignities, and almutens & sect. You can also place a wheel on a page, and make it any size you want. The Page Designer is interactive, i.e. as you add or move a table or resize a wheel, you immediately see the results onscreen.
Amazingly powerful are the newly enhanced research features. In earlier versions, Kepler enabled users to search for a wide set of factors in individual charts (e.g. planets in specific signs, houses, aspects, degrees, plus midpoints, stationary planets, etc.), and for factors between two charts (e.g. inter-aspects and one person's planet(s) in a second's houses).
Kepler 7 provides astrologers with an incredibly formidable set of research tools. For natal research, the program comes with almost 30 AstroSignatures already created, that you can edit and modify. AstroSignatures are sets of astrological criteria that indicate the presence of a specific trait. You could, for example, create your own AstroSignature for depression, building it by specifying the number of points you would give for particular planets in signs, houses, aspects, midpoints, parallels, harmonic aspects, harmonic signs, degree ranges, lordships, and more. You can even apply And/Or multiple condition statements, such as Saturn conjunct the Ascendant AND in Capricorn gets 10 points. Upon creating an AstroSignature, you can then see the score of everyone in your chart file, to ascertain whether you are on the right track. Finally, after creating a set of signatures, you can use it to evaluate new charts for as many signatures as you have created.
Perhaps even more exciting -- and never before seen in any software -- is the ability to create Forecasting AstroSignatures, i.e. sets of transit-to-natal, progressed-to-natal, progressed-to-progressed, transit-to-transit, and progressed-to-transit events that relate to a specific theme like physical energy, romance, etc. In other words, you can design a set of astrological criteria for the sky that you believe will create particular conditions for a person. Kepler comes with 14 forecast signatures already, which you can add to, modify, and build upon, that indicate times of increasing and decreasing sensitivity, inspiration, drive, mental acuity, etc. Best of all, once you have created forecast AstroSignatures, you can run them on any chart (or any set of charts, like a football team) for any time period, and see a graph of the rising and falling energies over time. Wow!!!
Equally impressive are the robust compatibility (Match Making) and pair research tools. Once again, you can design your own compatibility or interpersonal AstroSignatures, e.g. one person's planet aspecting a second's, or in a second's specific house, or aspects in the composite chart, etc., or modify the eight compatibility AstroSignatures included in the program. You can then run analyses on everyone in the chart file, or subsets thereof, and see the scores each pair achieves for that signature. Among the signatures provided are romantic attraction, similarity of interests, good communication, and adventurousness. Kepler 7 can also print out a report, called Compatibility Scores, showing the values for each of the compatibility AstroSignatures achieved by any two people.
In the excellently designed pair research feature, you can compare individuals to other specific charts (e.g. the chart of their partner, children, or an event such as their divorce, auto accident, death, etc.). The software makes it easy to select people and events to pair up, by displaying two columns alphabetically listing every chart on file, from which you can easily select each pair that you wish to evaluate. The creativity that has gone into all of these research features is very, very impressive.
I can truly say that Kepler now offers something for everyone. From its unparalleled learning tools, to its stunningly beautiful chart wheels, to its graphical time lines and treasure maps showing when and where many themes are strongest, to its incredibly powerful astromapping and research capabilities, to its amazing array of fine interpretive reports, Kepler is a brightly shining star in the firmament of astrology software.
To read my reviews of earlier versions of Kepler, click here.
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