by Rob Hand
For years, I've heard astrologers rave about Chartwheels II, and while we wait for Rob Hand to finish his Windows version of Chartwheels (with its much-anticipated ability to perform ancient Greek and Latin analyses and predictive calculations), let's see what all of the fuss about this version is.
Chartwheels II runs under DOS, and is designed for working with charts onscreen, although all of the screens can be printed out. It accurately calculates charts for over a 3500 year range, from 1236 BC to 2378 AD. Chartwheels reads and writes files in the same format as Nova, making it accessible from many other programs, and uses whatever house system was used to calculate the stored chart. The program can create new charts, for Tropical and Sidereal Zodiacs, in any of 14 house systems, using Geocentric, Heliocentric, or R.A. coordinates, in a 360 wheel, 90 degree dial, or any harmonic. It can include positions for the comet Chiron, Vulcan, Transpluto, the four major asteroids, the Uranian points, the Part of Fortune, the Vertex, and the East Point. Chartwheels II also calculates Secondary Progressed (using Naibod, Solar Arc in Longitude, or Quotidian rates 1 or 2), Tertiary and Minor Progressed, Solar Arc directed, and Solar or Lunar Return positions (with or without the precession correction) and places the second chart's planets around the natal wheel.
Chartwheels II offers astrologers unique ways of working with charts onscreen (not available in any other software). Perhaps the most useful feature is the ability to step through time and display a series of charts sequentially. For example, after placing a Solar Return's planets around a natal wheel, you can step forward and see the next return's planets, and following one, and so on, and even go backwards to the original return (or prior ones) too. Each time the program shows you a new return, it draws the aspects between the two charts, enabling you to immediately explore the new dynamics. Chartwheels allows you to step through transits, progressions, Lunar Returns, and Solar Arc charts too, and even allows you to set the interval for each step. For example, if you were going to give a talk at 7:30 pm on a Monday in May, you would set the step interval to seven days, and then view the aspects formed each Monday evening. For secondary progressions, you might set a step of three months, and watch your progressions unfold. If you want to home in on a time period, you can change the interval at any time (while you are watching a chart). Since Chartwheels is incredibly fast in its calculations, it's like instantly viewing one chart after another. I love this feature. You can also view an astroclock, i.e. a continuously updating chart of the current planet positions, either as a single wheel or in a biwheel around another chart.
Another very useful tool in Chartwheels is it's pointer. You move the pointer around the chart by minute (of arc), degree, or planet, and whenever a midpoint picture is formed, the pointer displays it as lines (connecting the planets involved) crossing the pointer line. When the midpoint picture becomes exact, the pointer shows a dashed triangle to let you know. You can search for pictures within a chart or between the two charts (if you've placed a second chart around the inner one). This is an excellent way to explore midpoint structures.
Chartwheels also has a rectify function, which allows you to specify a position for the Moon, Sun, Ascendant, or M.C. (and the chart will be redrawn) or you can simply move the arrow keys to move forwards and backwards in time to see new charts.
Chartwheels II deserves the praise it has received throughout the years by astrologers. As an onscreen astrology tool with specific and valuable functions, it is unsurpassed in its speed, accuracy, and fine design.
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