[Note: I no longer distribute Sirius but you can get it from Cosmic Patterns.]
According to the makers of Sirius, the 1.3 upgrade is a minor upgrade that will mainly appeal to those living in foreign countries who need an atlas that covers more international cities and towns.
Nevertheless, with the addition of hundreds of thousands of places to its atlas, Sirius 1.3 becomes the astrology software champion for those who want to have the most accurate and extensive time-change atlas available.
Update Wednesday, June 6, 2012
I have just received additional information on the Sirius 1.3 update:
1. The famous charts collection has been expanded to over 80,000 charts, making it the largest database in any available program.
2. Astromapping has been enhanced by the added ability to see city names and positions in the Eclipse mapping, parallels of latitude can be shown in AstroMaps, and specific planets can be selected in the Asteroids Map.
3. Kinetic Solar and Lunar Returns (i.e. to the progressed chart) can now be calculated.
4. The Harmonic Highlights Report now includes interpretations of planetary pictures of four planets in a symmetrical pattern.
5. Composite Charts can now be calculated using the direct distance between planets instead of only planetary longitude.
6. The Kepler Workshop Main Window is now movable and resizeable, and several of its screens (e.g. The Transit Text Listing and Clients Database) are now exportable.
My Mountain Astrologer review of Sirius 1.2
Cosmic Patterns, the creators of Kepler and Sirius, have just released a major update to Sirius, version 1.2. This new version includes many enhancements of existing features, refinements to the user-interface, and several new capabilities.
I would like to first mention that David Cochrane, the creator of Sirius, is exceptionally diligent about incorporating the latest time changes, and also important corrections for previous time zone errors, and the new version of Sirius not only has many such fixes and updates, but also adds 75,000+ places to its already superlative atlas. Therefore, Sirius 1.2 has the most accurate and most comprehensive atlas available for astrologers.
Sirius 1.2 offers one major new report: the Asteroid Report, which finds the asteroids that are conjunct the planets and angles (from 1,450 asteroids), and then delineates those within one degree of any point. This is a truly amazing report, a real labor of love, and will dazzle and inform astrologers about asteroids they never knew about. I can see people purchasing the upgrade just to get this report. (To see a sample of this report, please go to the TMA link page*)
You can now select reports within Sirius by astrological method, i.e. see all of the possible reports and tables available for many different astrological schools, each in their own menu, including ancient Western, Fixed Star, asteroids, midpoints, Vedic, Huber, Harmonics, degrees meanings, etc. I consider this to be of great value, because Sirius covers such a large number of astrological approaches, and it's wonderful to have all of the techniques that apply to each approach accessible in a single menu.
One of the deep strengths of Sirius is its huge database of charts (over 49,000 charts) which continues to grow and improve. These charts have been also been placed into categories (and sub-categories), such as famous people, businesses, countries, medical or psychological conditions, mundane events, and more, which is a boon for research. Version 1.2 makes it easy to select a category (and subcategories) of charts to explore or research, to switch categories, and to move charts from one category to another.
In addition to the program's already extensive set of research features, this update adds several tools for exploring planetary placement in Gauquelin Sectors, including the ability to assign points to each planet in a sector (and the program includes the entire set of Gauquelin charts in its database.)
In the bi-, tri-, and quad-wheel animation screen, the number of available progression methods has increased from 10 to 20, and now includes profections, Solar declination arc, Solar Right Ascension arc, and more. You can now add planetary nodes to chart wheels, and there's also a new well-designed color-coded harmonics table for the first 31 harmonics, based upon ideas in a new book by David Hamblin (To see an image of this table, please go to the TMA link page*).
Sirius has a discrete module called the Kepler Workshop, which also has a wide range of updates and new features. The Eclipse mapping module has been significantly enhanced in two ways: one can now view eclipse lines on map regions (like continents, countries, and individual states) in addition to the World map, and many cities for each area are shown. These are very valuable improvements.
Vedic functionality has also been extended considerably. The Muhurta module now takes into account yogas and other factors in assessing whether a date and time is favorable or unfavorable for a specific task, and the tables are color-coded, making it simple to spot the best times. Several dasa systems have been added, such as Yogini, Drigdasa, Kalachakra, Niryaana Shoola, and Sudasa, with dasa-specific settings included. Sahams and Varshaphala (with Muntha and Harsha bala) have been added to the Chakra screen. There's a Sarvatobhadra Chakra screen, and the option to employ the two letter abbreviations (instead of glyphs) preferred by traditional Jyotishis. Finally, Vedic Marriage Matching shows how two charts compare according to several criteria.
The new transit listing allows you to view exact transit hits in sortable columns, selecting the planets, time range, aspects, starting date (including the birth date of any open chart), and transit-to-natal and/or transit-to-transit. I believe this module will be most useful when searching for the times in a person's life when a specific transit (e.g. Uranus square Sun) recurs.
An extensive reference on Ayurveda called The Ayurveda Encyclopedia by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha is built into Sirius. This has sections on the three Prakritis (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and diets for each, herbology, various therapeutic approaches, and even a tiny bit of Vedic astrology (but the text correctly warns not to use remedial gems without the guidance of an experienced Jyotishi).
Sirius is an incredibly powerful program that just keeps getting better and better. The new version has a wealth of new features, as well as important enhancements of existing functions. I highly recommend it.
My website review of Sirius 1.2
I just spent the last few weeks exploring the new Sirius 1.2 update. In the process, I also helped the company find and fix (small) bugs and to improve features. I love the process of diving into a new program (or new update), because it enables me to become very familiar with it. Some of the improvements in Sirius are subtle, so I compared every menu option between the previous version and this one to be sure I caught most of the improvements and changes.
One point of note: for those who purchase the update, be careful when unpacking it. In addition to the box containing the program discs are extra stapled sheets that explain where to find each new feature. (I had grabbed the box and threw out the packing, not noticing these pages.) Sirius is so extensive in its feature set that I couldn't find many of the new features until I was sent another copy of these sheets. (And I'm very good at finding functions in software, too.)
In talking with David Cochrane, the program's author, he mentioned that because he has many international customers, they help him to discover major problems in the time-change atlas and help him to fix them. Recently, significant corrections in the time zones in New Zealand and Russia have been incorporated into the atlas. In this version, he has also added over 30% more cities and towns to the atlas, making it the largest and most accurate atlas in the business.
One of my favorite new features is one that most people will want to explore: the new Asteroid Report (click here for a sample). For each person's chart, it finds the asteroids that are conjunct the planets (and angles) within one degree, from a data set of over 1,450 asteroids! The report gives the orb of the conjunction and then explores the history, mythology, and meaning of the relevant asteroids. You can change the orb, too, if you want to generate a longer or shorter report.
For astrologers who primarily work with the methods of one school of astrology, finding all of the techniques for a specific approach was a bit challenging up to now in Sirius, as they were scattered over several different menus. With version 1.2, once you have generated any table or listing, on the top right of the screen a menu is displayed which shows you all of the techniques for each approach in its own menu. The approaches include ancient Western, Vedic, Huber, harmonics, degrees meanings, Fixed Star, asteroids, and midpoints.
Many researchers flock to Sirius because it has a huge and growing database of charts, including mundane events (like earthquakes), businesses, countries, famous people, and more. Fortunately, the program also has every chart categorized into a major category, e.g. like famous people, a sub-category, like musicians, and even sub-sub-categories, like guitarist. This makes it very easy to inspect the charts of, and conduct research on, specific sets of charts. Version 1.2 has made it easier to move people from one category to another, to select people within specific categories or sub-categories, and also provides additional research elements, like Arabic Parts, Gauquelin Sectors, and Angular Distances.
Most people don't realize that Sirius is actually two programs in one: the main Sirius module and the Kepler Workshop module. When you run Sirius, you start up in the main module, from which you can recall charts that have already been calculated, and enter the data for new charts too. After the chart is displayed, you can work within the main module to perform a huge variety of functions, or go to the Kepler Workshop module for its specialized capabilities.
I'm mentioning this because many of the advances in the new 1.2 version are in the Kepler Workshop module. For example, its eclipse mapping function has been enhanced by the ability to show regions (countries, states, etc.) instead of just the eclipse map for the World, and it also now displays many cities on the eclipse maps (click here for a sample).
Similarly, all of the Vedic functions (with the exception of the interpretive report) reside in the Kepler Workshop, and they have also been significantly extended by adding several additional dasa systems: Yogini, Drigdasa, Kalachakra, Niryaana Shoola, and Sudasa; as well as by offering a Sarvatobhadra Chakra display, Vedic compatibility assessment, Varshaphala, and an enhanced Muhurta module (with color-coding and more factors analyzed).
In the KWS (as the Kepler Workshop is abbreviated), there's also a new transit hit listing. At present it's limited to exact hits only by the ten planets, using up to 18 aspects, and transit-to-transit and transit-to-natal, but it provides a very useful tool for finding out when specific events occur for the time range that you specify.
The Sirius 1.2 update has additional enhancements too, including the text of an entire book on Ayurveda, a new harmonic table (click here for a sample), an enhanced popup chart, and the ability to place planetary nodes in charts.
All in all, this is a very impressive update that further extends the incredible power and versatility of world-class Sirius program.
Introducing Sirius 1.2
Today, Thursday, December 15, 2011, Cosmic Patterns has released their new version of Sirius, called Sirius 1.2.
Sirius 1.2 adds many new features, but since it is just being shipped now, I don't have a copy yet, and can only tell you what the company says (a full review will be forthcoming).
The new update includes:
1. A full built-in Asteroid Report.
I have just installed Sirius 1.2 and ran my first Asteroid Report, for my chart. It is different from most commercial asteroid reports in that is looks at partile (1 degree) conjunctions of planets and the angles to a very wide set of asteroids.
As such it has much greater breadth than other reports, even though it lacks the depth in examining the four major asteroids rôle in a person's chart (e.g. their house position, sign, etc.)
To see the sample Asteroid Report from Sirius 1.2, click here.
2. Many new Vedic features including compatibility analysis, Varshaphal charts, more Dasas, improved Muhurta tables, and Sarvatobhadra Chakra.
3. A void-of-course Moon table.
4. The ability to focus on regions in Eclipse mapping, and search for a series of eclipses in the Saros Cycle.
5. A table of Harmonics.
6. Planetary nodes can be added to chart wheels.
7. Many enhanced research features.
To read my full Mountain Astrologer review of Sirius 1.1, click here.
Sirius 1.1 Review: Part One
Sirius 1.1 is a potent update to the already incredibly comprehensive Sirius software. The more I learn about Sirius, the more impressed I am with its breadth and depth of features. Because Sirius 1.1 is a major update, I will be exploring it in a series of articles, instead of all at once.
1. Harmonic charts. Harmonic charts are like magnifying glasses. They reveal what is otherwise hidden in a natal chart. For example, in the 9th harmonic chart, all ninth harmonic aspects between planets become conjunctions, so the chart makes it easy to see which, and how many, planets have important 9th harmonic connections.
However, when an astrology program depicts a harmonic chart, it usually treats it like a new natal chart, and draws aspect lines in the normal fashion. This makes it hard to see what actual harmonic aspects exist (from the natal chart) while viewing the harmonic chart.
The programmers of Sirius decided to provide another approach. While viewing any harmonic chart, you can see the actual harmonic indicated by each aspect line.
In the above example, you can see what most programs display on the left, and what Sirius is capable of displaying on the right. This extra information about what actual harmonics exist in the natal chart -- as depicted within a harmonic chart -- is a powerful feature.
2. Enhanced Primary Directions. The powerful Primary Direction features have been further enhanced in the update, with the ability to include the comet Chiron and the four major asteroids in listing, planet-to-planet primary directions, removing latitude from the calculation, and more.
3. Enhanced Atlas. Sirius already has the most up-to-date comprehensive time-change atlas, and now the update includes all of the major hospitals in the U.S. This is valuable because some cities are quite large and honing in on the precise hospital location will improve the accuracy of the Ascendant and house cusp calculations significantly.
4. Enhanced AstroMapping. The already very powerful astromapping features in Sirius have been augmented in two ways: 1. A new Arabic Parts Astromap is now included. You can select which planets and Uranian Points to use to compute the Arabic Parts.
You can also create Treasure maps depicting Planets in Houses. Treasure Maps are maps that are created showing locations which are optimal for pursuing a specific life theme. The themes offered determine which planets in houses that Sirius displays, as follows:
The house placements that are included:
Love & Romance: Venus in houses 5 or 7
Vocation & Career: Sun or Jupiter in houses 2, 6, or 10, Venus in house 2.
Friendship & Family: Moon or Venus in houses 4 or 7.
Imagination & Inspiration: Neptune in houses 1, 4, 7, or 10.
Friendship & Family Detail: Moon of Venus in houses 4 or 7.
Education & Communication: Mercury in houses 1, 3, 7, 9, 10, or 11.
Culture & Creativity: Sun, Venus, or Jupiter in house 5.
Optimism & Opportunity: Jupiter in houses 1, 7, or 10.
Note in the above image that the treasure map (for Friends and Family) has a green-shaded portion showing that one of the relevant planets is in the appropriate house for about half of the U.S.
This is the end of Part One of the Sirius 1.1 update review.
Sirius 1.1 Review: Part Two
1. The Fixed Star Report. Both Kepler and Sirius are known for having an amazing number of interpretive reports built-in. This latest version of Sirius includes two Fixed Star reports: a short one that examines conjunctions between natal planets and 40 Fixed Stars, and a larger one that interprets conjunctions to 349 Fixed Stars.
Each conjunction to a natal planet is delineated in great detail, beginning with the qualities given to the person having the conjunction, followed by extensive astronomical, mythical, and cultural information on the star involved, and finally a listing of famous people having the conjunctions.
Here's an example of Moon conjunct Jabbah:
Moon conjunct Jabbah, Orb: 0 deg 12 min
An intelligent, willful, opinionated and visionary individual with unique insights may be indicated. There may be a strong interest in cultural and social issues, as well as the inclination to challenge established modes of thought. Leadership abilities may manifest. New traditions and ideologies may be formed.
Jabbah is Nu Scorpii in the constellation of Scorpio, the Scorpion. The name Jabbah is derived from the Arabic Al Jabhah, meaning "the Forehead (of the Scorpion)". Along with Acrab (Beta Scorpii) and Dschubba (Delta Scorpii), Jabbah was included in the ancient Euphratean asterism Gis-gan-gu-sar. Gis-gan-gu-sar is often translated as "the Light of the Hero", and alternately as "Tree of the Garden of Light". The latter interpretation evokes an image of the Tree of Life which connects our world to both the ethereal heaven above and the chthonic underworld below. This "Tree of Life", or "World Tree", motif is evidenced in religious iconography worldwide and throughout history. In Norse myth it is known as Yggdrasil, and is thought to be the center of the universe and the connecting point of the nine cosmic worlds. Hungarian lore speaks of the Tree of Life, or Erig ero fa. The Samoyed people of Siberia also incorporate the image of a world-connecting tree into their mythos and magic, where it identified with the Earth Goddess and is used by shamans to travel between worlds. This phenomenon is not unique to the Eastern Hemisphere. The Tree of Life is a recurrent theme in the pre-Columbian art of the Americas. The Mayans identified it with the ceiba tree. The forehead is symbolic of one's capacity for insight, forethought, wisdom and willpower. The association of Jabbah with the forehead as well as with the Tree of Life may bespeak some visionary attributes in relation to the influence of this star.
As for the larger constellation of Scorpio, it is representative of the mythical scorpion which defeated the hunter Orion. Different variations on this legend credit such goddesses as Hera, Artemis and Gaia with invoking the scorpion's wrath against the hunter. The constellations of Scorpio and Orion are in opposition to each other in the sky, as if perpetually chasing and fleeing one another. The association of this constellation with the venomous scorpion has a long history. The Akkadians knew it as Girtab, which translates to "Stinger", "Seizer", or "Place Where One Bows Down". The Ancient Egyptians associated the scorpion with the Serket, a goddess of healing and medicinal knowledge who played the role of patron deity to many pharaohs. In China, however, this constellation was known as the Azure Dragon, a benevolent creature very different from the scorpion. The Azure Dragon was associated with the east, the season of spring, and new beginnings. According to Robson, Scorpio corresponds to the Hebrew letter Oin (Ayin) and the 16th Tarot Trump, "The Lighting Struck Tower".
Christie, Julie Orb = 0°16'
Copernicus, Nicolaus Orb = 0°56'
Costner, Kevin Orb = 0°14'
Dern, Bruce Orb = 0°23'
Didion, Joan Orb = 0°59'
Ford, Gerald Orb = 0°29'
Francis II, King of France Orb = 0°19'
Grafton, Sue Orb = 0°33'
Hussein, Saddam Orb = 0°23'
Luciano, Lucky Orb = 0°15'
Onassis, Aristotle Orb = 0°05'
Raphael Orb = 0°56'
Sutherland, Joan Orb = 0°28'
Ventura, Jesse Orb = 0°20'
Weber, Carl Maria Von Orb = 0°01'
Woollcott, Alexander Orb = 0°01'
Sirius 1.1's Fixed Star report is comparable to add-on and standalone Fixed Star reports, and therefore a very valuable addition to the program.
2. Enhanced Hellenistic Features:
Sirius already included a huge range of Hellenistic features, but the update now adds the ability to select from several choices of Essential Dignities calculations (Ptolemaeic, Dorothean, Egyptian - with or without points for mixed triplicity rulers, etc. ). One can also view a table that includes the Anareta (killing planet) in addition to the Almutens, Compound Almutens, and Almudebit.
3. New Glyphs.
Sirius 1.1 offers 3 Uranus glyphs, 2 Neptune glyphs, 4 Pluto glyphs, and 4 Eris glyphs.
3. More accurate chart database.
The huge collection of famous people's charts (and events, company IPO's, etc) is improved with each upgrade. Birth times have been corrected and new charts have been added.
4. Even more AstroMap enhancements. In Part One of this article, I mentioned two astromap enhancements. In fact, there are even more!
One can now create Paran Maps showing the latitudes at which Parans exist for an person's chart.
Even better, there are now a whole set of very useful tools available when you view an astromap, including the ability to "grab" the map and move it in any direction to show different areas, the capability of setting the mouse click to either pop up an interpretation for the point on the map clicked on or to pop up a relocated chart wheel or to measure the distance between two points, and zoom in and zoom out buttons (which can be configured to varying degrees of zoom per click).
So the astromap enhancements in Sirius 1.1 are very significant, all told.
5. Improved accuracy of progressed calculations. One of the Achille's Heels of Kepler and Sirius was the imprecision of the progressed entering and leaving calculations. I notified the author of Sirius about this and he has just completed an update that greatly improves the accuracy of these calculations. This will be very important to anyone who uses progressions in their work.
This is the end of the Sirius 1.1 review, Part Two.
Sirius 1.1 Review: Conclusion
As mentioned already, Sirius 1.1 is without question a major update to Sirius, with more enhancements than I can cover in this review.
But to mention a few more:
1. Enhanced Vedic Features. In addition to adding the Lagna Kendradi dasa system, you can now see tables showing many more chart factors including deities, genders, colors, governance, caginet, varnas, gunas, abodes, dhaatus, periods, tastes, ritus, moola, and jeeva. One additional nice touch is the ability to make Vedic charts prettier by adding graphical backgrounds.
2. Harmonic Returns. Many astrologers who use Solar and/or Lunar Returns like to create series of returns based upon specific harmonics like 1/8 or 1/9, and this capability has been added to Sirius.
3. AstroSignature with Accurate Charts. When one is doing research involving house positions, house rulers, gauquelin sectors, or precise Moon placements, one needs to exclude birth data that is imprecise. The AstroSignature module in Sirius 1.1 allows you to do so.
4. The DeVore Encyclopedia. The new update includes the entire text of the DeVore Encyclopedia, which you can navigate alphabetically or search for specific topics.
Sirius 1.1 is a very impressive update. The already very comprehensive features of Sirius have been significantly augmented and polished, in very many useful ways.
Sirius -- Frequently Asked Questions
I have just updated my Frequently Asked Questions about Sirius article on this website. To read it, click here.
A review of Sirius 1.0 by Hank Friedman
Several years of development have gone into Cosmic Pattern's new program Sirius. Sirius is a "super-set" of Kepler, i.e. it's the Kepler program plus much more. [Note: Sirius could have been called Kepler 8.0, because it uses exactly the same user-interface as Kepler, and offers virtually all of the features of Kepler 7.0 (and more).]
Fans of Kepler will be right at home with Sirius. Like Kepler, it has two different styles of interfaces, one in the main program and a different one in the Kepler Workshop. Sirius adds many completely new features, as well significantly enhanced versions of features offered in previous versions of Kepler.
I just spent many days exploring Sirius and examining all of the features mentioned below. Over time, I've become more and more impressed by how much has been included in Sirius, and the improvements (over Kepler) that have been made.
A.New Features in Sirius:
1. The Business Manager.
This module is designed for astrologers who want to keep track of client information (address, telephone number, email address, website) and also of each session they have with every client (date, time, and length of each appointment, payment details, notes).
It allows you to start a timer at the beginning of each session and can even calculate and apply an hourly rate to the session, generate receipts for the client, and even compute the taxes on each session.
You can use it to print envelopes, schedule appointments, and to see a calendar showing which days appointments are already scheduled.
2. A Monthly Astrological Calendar.
Sirius now joins the ranks of other astrology programs that offer astrological calendars. It produces monthly calendars showing exact transit-to-natal and/or transit-to-transit hits, plus sign ingresses, void-of-course times, Sunrise and Sunset times, four lunar phases (in the Mundane calendar only), and holidays and any birthdays or other special events you have added to the calendar.
While the personal and mundane formats show either transits-to-natal or transits-to-transits respectively in a normal monthly calendar format, if you want to see both transit-to-natal and transit-to-transit in the same calendar, Sirius depicts the month as eight rows of four days across. Among the customizing features is the ability to show an astrological graphic as a background image for each month.
3. Ancient Astrology functions.
To meet the growing interest in Hellenistic astrology, Sirius includes calculations for profections,
Firdaria, Decennials, Lunar Monomoiria, Circumambulations, Zodiacal Aphesis, and the Balbillus Method; as well as an extensive listing of Hellenistic natal chart information including dignities, conjunctions to fixed stars by planets and lots, and a table of their positions by Dwadashamsha and Dodekatamoria.
Sirius also offers a detailed page of ancient astrology factors including an excellent listing of past and future times of partile aspects and stations, the previous and next 20 aspects made by the Moon, classical and modern dispositors (with final dispositors indicated), essential dignities, alcochodon and hyleg calculations, basic and compound almutens, lunar mansions, and planetary hour table,
Finally, Sirius includes a new Hellenistic wheel showing the antiscia of planets (each glyph within a circle) plus -- optionally -- asteroids and 9 Hellenistic lots, and a page full of useful tables.
4. A Pop-up Chart.
Sirius can display a small natal chart which you can move anywhere on the screen, and keep in sight while you look at reports, tables, listings, astro-maps, etc. This simple feature has great utility.
5. Planetary Mandalas.
By plotting the orbits of one or two planets over time, Sirius creates lovely mandalas. There are many, many choices, and you can even create your own custom mandalas, choosing the planets you want, the starting date, step interval, number of calculations, colors, and more. Some of the mandalas may take your breath away.
6. Huber Astrology.
The Hubers of Switzerland developed their own system of astrology, and Sirius supports those who want to explore this system by providing a comprehensive set of Huber Aspect Patterns, three types of Huber chart wheels, a table of Huber planetary strengths, and a Huber Lifeclock Age Progression listing.
7. Integrated Listings.
Sirius has several listings that give long-range predictive information. E.g. the Lifetime Solar Returns listing shows 100 years of Solar Returns. For each Return it shows the positions of all of the planets in the Return, aspects in the Return chart, and aspects between the Solar Return planets and the natal planets.
You can view listings for other planetary Returns (and Phase Returns for the outer planets), 10 year periods of Transiting Lunations (complete with Transit-to-Transit and Transit-to-Natal aspects), Lifetime Progressed Lunations, Ingresses, and Stations, and transiting conjunctions between any two planets (also with Transit-to-Transit and Transit-to-Natal aspects).
8. Two copies of Sirius running at once.
Sirius offers the option to have two completely different copies of the program running simultaneously. This allows researchers and others needing to have different calculations running at the same time (e.g. the AstroClock) to do so. As mentioned in the documentation, Sirius is fast and responsive enough (and makes it simple to display calculations and reports already generated in a session) that most users won't need this feature.
9. Planetary Patterns.
In addition to the Huber chart patterns mentioned previously, Sirius displays a variety of planetary patterns for both single charts and between two charts. When viewing the "between-two-charts" patterns, you can quickly see which planets come from which chart because they are color-coded.
10. New Midpoint Dials.
Cosmobiologists and other midpoint-oriented astrologers will welcome Sirius' ability to display single, bi-, tri-, and quad-wheels in dial format. By clicking on the inner wheel, or using the arrow keys, you can move a dial pointer about the wheel, which shows what midpoints exist at any location on the wheel. The pointer can be set to move by a minute or degree of arc at a time, or from planet to planet.
This feature is quite impressive, especially when viewing the pointer moving in a quad-dial, where it sequentially can point to each planet in each wheel, and show all of the midpoints it makes to planets in each other wheel. Sirius even makes it easy to see which ring's planets are involved, by color-coding the lines drawn to the color of the planets in each ring.
B. Enhanced Features:
1. The Page Designer.
Kepler's Page Designer enabled users to create their own pages, resizing and positioning objects by changing numeric values in tables. Additionally, Kepler's Page Designer used a tabbed interface.
Now Sirius's Page Designer allows one to more easily position objects by dragging them to where you want them on a page (and although resizing is still done with numeric values, it is much easier to do so). Adding additional page objects, such as a depiction of Aspect Patterns in the chart, has become much easier too. Sirius provides more choices of objects you can place on a page, too.
Finding the Page Designer in Sirius requires navigating sub-menus (but fewer than in Kepler). One first must right-click on a chart wheel, then select Customize, and then click on the Page Designer button. Sirius thoughtfully provides a third tab in the Wheel Style menu for users to define 14 of their own unique pages.
2. Added Vedic Features.
Sirius offers additional Vedic features not found in Kepler or other Western astrology programs. There is a basic Panchang listing showing the rising and setting times for the Sun and Moon, as well as the Lunar Nakshatra, Tithi, Yoga and Karana entry times for each day. There is also a very basic Muhurta module, which displays a monthly list of the daily lunar nakshatra changes and whether each is positive or negative for one of the ten classical themes provided by the module.
3. Chart Animation.
Kepler offers one type of animation: a triwheel of transiting and progressed planets around a natal chart with moving aspect lines from both sets of points to the natal chart.
Sirius has a completely revamped set of chart animations that are both much more powerful and much easier to use. You can animate up to four single wheels or a quad-wheel, and in the biwheel animation easily see the aspects forming between planets in the outer chart and those in the natal chart.
Customizing is generally easier in Sirius than in Kepler, and on the animated chart screens, you can quickly select what wheel or dial to display, customize the planets displayed in wheels, and which charts are displayed in each of the wheels, dials, and rings around a natal chart.
The AstroClock is greatly enhanced in Sirius. Not only can you precisely set the time-step interval (e.g. one second, five days, etc. per step), but you can manually move forward or backward in time by any interval.
Additionally, however, you can also use the AstroClock to display the next time (or next 10 times, or most recent previous time) that any aspect occurred between any two planets (or house cusps) or house ingresses or when any point reaches a particular Zodiacal position (e.g. 20 degrees 5 minutes of Aries).
You can save any of the charts viewed in the AstroClock as new chart entries to work with and examine later.
Additionally, Sirius has an Interactive Chart Adjust feature with a similar interface. It allows you, like the AstroClock, to look at charts for various dates and times, specific planetary aspects, etc. and you can "hold" any number of the charts found to review later. This screen also shows a listing of all of the aspects made to any selected chart point, and their orb. This is a very useful feature.
5. Graphic Ephemeris.
The Graphic Ephemeris enhancements in Sirius include the ability to add asteroids and midpoints to the graphic ephemeris, as well as the ability to show angular separations between planets.
Configuring the Graphic Ephemeris is easier than ever too, with the ability to customize it in many ways, including the color scheme.
Note: on my very fast PC, it took Sirius about 35 seconds to first display the graphic ephemeris after selecting it, so be patient when activating this feature.
You can now click on any place on an astro-map in Sirius and instantly see a relocated chart wheel for the location you clicked on. You can also have Sirius display an interpretive report for any location that you click on which is more extensive than the report offered in Kepler; the new report offers a listing of how strongly ten different life themes (e.g. romance, career, imagination, etc.) are activated for each location, and has delineations of fixed star conjunctions .
You can also view astro-maps of fixed star lines and asteroid lines, as well as an astro-map of the constellations as projected upon the Earth.
All of these are very useful additions to Kepler's already powerful mapping features.
I have long been a critic of those trying to use astrology software, by itself, to rectify a chart. In my testing of programs, most programs have failed miserably at finding correct birth times.
I am happy to report that Sirius has an amazingly well-designed rectification feature that performed admirably during my testing. (For those interested in what setting I used, I restricted the astrological method to transit-to-natal only, because I have found transits to be the most reliable tool for rectification.)
Sirius' rectification tool is a vast improvement of the one provided in Kepler, and is both easy to use and very effective.
Sirius is indeed a seriously powerful professional astrology software program with an incredibly wide range of features of great depth. It has so many capabilities that even after many days of working with it, I still have much to discover.
In the future, I will continue to explore Sirius and will add additional articles on it to my SoftStar News bimonthly astrology software newsletter. You can read any of the SoftStar News-letters by clicking here.
From the company's description of the program Sirius has many enhancements including:
1. Resources for Ancient Western Astrology:
Partile and Refranation table, Almutens Table, Hyleg and Alcochodon Table, Almudebit table, Temperament table, Lunar Mansions table, Dispositors table, and Planetary Hour for Day of Birth.
For Hellenistic astrologers: listings of Zodiacal Aphesis, Decennials, 129 year system, Annual Profection, Circumambulation, Lunar Monomoiria, and Balbillus method.
2. Resources for Vedic Astrology:
Chakras, Vargas, Panchanga, Muhurta, Ashtakavarga, Gochara, Shad Bala, Upagrahas, Bhava Arudha, Special Lagnas, Chara Karakas, etc.
3. A New Page Designer.
4. Enhanced Animation features.
5. New Chart Wheels.
Nakshatra wheel, Hellenistic wheel, a popup wheel (to keep a chart in view while looking at transit graphs, etc.), and more.
6. Animated Dials (for Cosmobiology) for up to four sets of data at once.
7. Animated Sky Maps, Planetary Mandalas, new AstroMaps, Phase Angle Returns, and much more.
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