Note: You can get free astrology software, download free demo versions of professional programs, and read my published reviews and articles to learn more about computer programs for astrology at my web page: Ultimate Guide to Astrology Software.
I hope that these writings guide you to great experiences.
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
The Top Ten Astrology Software
It's been quite a while since I wrote an overview of the astrology programs that I think are most noteworthy, and so I created a new article called "The Top Ten Astrology Software"
May it guide you well.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Astronomy Guide & Events Calendar 2021-2022 Best Things to See in the Night Sky
I was recently contacted about a lovely free guide to the events in the night sky.
Feel free to enjoy the booklet and its photos here.
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
The Temporal Status of Planets as benefics and malefics
In Vedic astrology, the impact of house rulership is paramount, and there are planets that give challenging effects (temporal malefics) or uplifting effects (temporal benefics) depending upon what house(s) they rule.
I am just completing a course by Hart de Fouw on Heliacal Phases that has been very empowering and deeply insightful.
I never realized that, for example, a planet can be, on specific occasions, visible when only 3 degrees from the Sun (and so not combust), or invisible at far greater distances than one might expect.
In fact, there is no software that accurately calculates planetary visibility because they don't take into account enough factors (such as altitude, atmospheric density, differing speed of ascensions, actual magnitude, and location).
And in an amazing article called How bright are the planets? from Sky & Telescope is an amazing graph that shows that Mercury is sometimes dimmer than Neptune!
The article also shows that some planets vary widely in magnitude and others do not.
I highly recommend that you read this article.
Monday, June 7, 2021
Looking at Eclipses from Both Sides by Zane B Stein
Esoteric Technologies created this excellent article showing the difference between astrological and astronomical eclipses and how to adjust the settings in Solar Fire and Astro Gold for the Mac for each.
It's really brilliant!
Friday, May 21, 2021
Malware surges in Mac computers
According to both Apple and anti-malware vendors, "There is a rising tide of Mac threats hitting a population that still believes that 'Macs don't get viruses'. The amount of malware being detected on Macs last year was outpacing that on PCs for the first time. And he cited overconfident Apple users as one of the reasons." (attributed to Thomas Reed of Malwarebytes)
Apple themselves cited 'significant' malware on Mac recently. Apple's head of software engineering, Craig Federighi, says attacks have risen as well. "Today, we have a level of malware on the Mac that we don't find acceptable," he said this week.
So it's time for all Mac users to install an anti-malware program onto their Mac system.
I just wrote a new tutorial article here, exploring the times when few or no transits are happening.
I hope that these insights serve you well.
Monday, April 19, 2021
The Importance of the Ascendant and Confirming your Ascendant degree
The latest addition to my Ongoing Insights column reviews the importance of the Rising Sign and what to watch out for in order to know if your Ascendant is correct.
Monday, March 22, 2021
Predictive Graphs and Time Maps in Astrology Software Updated!
About a decade ago, I wrote my article on Transit Graphs and Time Maps in Astrology Software.
Since then, some of the programs added many capabilities and new software became available, so I just spent two days updating the article here, and added Time Graph images for every program in the article.
Time Maps are an incredible feature of astrology programs. They enable us to see what's happening in the sky and how various cycles overlap.
I hope that you enjoy it!
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Stunning Space Photographs
The Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 awards have been given and you can see the winning entries here.
Click through the galleries to find winning and shortlisted images from this year's competition, from incredible skyscapes and images of aurorae to remarkable photos of distant planets and galaxies.
They are truly amazing and beautiful and worth exploring.
A close friend of mine emailed me her client's chart, which she had created in the IO Edition software from Time Cycles Research (which is no longer being sold).
At first, I just helped her with the interpretation, but I wanted to see her Vedic chart, so I entered the birth data into Shri Jyoti Star and quickly noticed a discrepancy in the calculations.
It turned out that the time zone tables for the UK in the IO Edition are seriously flawed, and the software miscalculated the chart by an hour.
(I hadn't tested the IO Edition for decades because I don't own a Mac to use for evaluating software. I have no idea exactly how bad the time-zone atlas in it is.)
So if you are using the IO Edition from Time Cycles Research, Stop!
It will miscalculate many of your charts.
Instead, I would recommend switching to Astro Gold for the Mac, which has excellent accuracy (because it uses the latest versions of both the ACS atlas and the Swiss Ephemeris).
If you already own the IO Edition, you can even get a very reduced "cross-grade" price here.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
A Journey into Vedic Astrology my latest tutorial
I've just completed my latest article on Jyotish, which includes these topics: a brief Vedic glossary, the Grahas (planets) in Jyotish, and a large section devoted to Elucidating the Vedic Perspective, plus an example chart.
I hope that you are enriched by it.
Friday, January 15, 2021
A New Course in Vedic Astrology
I am currently studying with my Guru's protégé Steven Highburger, who is a truly knowledgeable and excellent teacher of Vedic astrology.
He is starting up a new series of courses, and said that those who find him through me will receive $100 off the first series.
If you're interested in learning Jyotish, I highly recommend him.
I am deeply grateful, myself, to be able to study with him.
I love to see the latest images and videos of the planets, and using image data captured by a team of observers over six long nights at the Pic du Midi mountaintop observatory between October 8 and November 1, a video of Mars rotating was created and posted on YouTube.
While the colors aren't as vivid as those from the Hubble telescope, the video is still a joy to see.
They are not for beginners, but for those familiar with Vedic astrology and prediction.
Both are based upon the teachings of Sheshadri Iyer as given to me by my Vedic guru Hart de Fouw.
I hope that you find them valuable.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
You can't run your Windows astrology programs on the new M1 Macs
Yesterday, Apple announced it is abandoning the Intel processors that powered Macs for so long, and is shifting to an ARM processor called the M1.
As a result, Boot Camp (previously included in the Mac OS,) and Virtual Box are no more. And even Parallels for the Mac is unavailable for the new M1 Macs at this point. (Parallels for the new Macs will be released sometime next year.)
This means that Mac owners cannot install and run Windows or any Windows programs on the new Macs that were announced yesterday.
So if you want to own a new Mac and to run astrology software, you will be limited to the very few astrology programs that are Mac-native.
Note: the only exception to this are the very few Windows astrology programs like Shri Jyoti Star that can run using Crossover (a commercial program that runs some Windows programs on Macs).
Monday, November 2, 2020
The Importance of Placement in understanding Jyotish
The positive or negative placement of a planet, house, or sign, significator, or Nakshatra can alter it's meaning and effects in a major way.
Microsoft has developed quite a history of releasing versions of Windows, and now also hardware, that won't run most programs.
They started with Windows RT, then Windows 10 S, and now a computer called the Microsoft Surface Pro X that has a processor (ARM) that can't run most programs!
Astrology programs are mostly written for Windows, and will run on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 computers, but again not on Windows RT or Windows 10 S, or the just released Microsoft Surface Pro X.
It's a shame that Microsoft is creating so much confusion for people. Yes these smaller OS's are fast and use less power, but they lock you into apps only written by Microsoft and its partners.
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Astro Gold 5 for the Mac has been released
Astro Gold for the Mac is currently the best Mac-native Western astrology program by far, and it continues to be improved and enhanced at a rapid rate.
My Mountain Astrologer review of Parashara's Light 9
It has been a while since I reviewed Parashara's Light, and was very impressed with the latest version 9.
I updated my Parashara's Light web page, adding the full review of Parashara's Light that I recently published in The Mountain Astrologer.
Remember to also look at all of the screenshots, as they help to flesh out the article.
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Stunning astronomy videos of the Moon and of Mars in rotation
I just found two lovely videos of the Moon and of Mars rotating on their axes.
You can watch the Moon video here, and the Mars one here.
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Jyotish study materials prepared by Prof. Anthony Writer
I was "surfing the web" and ran across an impressive set of Jyotish lessons and articles from the Vedic astrology school Jyotisha Bharati written by Anthony Writer here.
There are very well-done articles on each of the Nakshatras, for example. Hint: a few of the links don't work, but if you google the name, e.g. vishaka_nakshatra.pdf, you will find it.
I am grateful to Jyotisha Bharati and Prof. Anthony Writer for posting these.
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Over 100 new minor planets beyond Neptune discovered
As astrologers who have been following astronomy know, many minor planets beyond Pluto have been discovered in the past two decades.
In March of this year, astronomers at the University of Pennsylvania announced that they’ve successfully pinpointed over 100 new TNOs (Trans Neptunian Objects).
How they did so, and what they found, is described beautifully in this article, along with an excellent image of the largest TNOs.
Saturday, July 11, 2020
New Update to ACS Atlas
Astrolabe, the keepers of the ACS atlas (both built-in to Solar Fire and used in many professional astrology programs) have issued an important update to the atlas.
As they mention on their website, they discontinued atlas updates for Solar Fire versions 7 and 7.3 four years ago, which is one of the most important reasons to upgrade to Solar Fire 9 (which you can do here if you need to).
If you own Solar Fire 8 or Solar Fire 9, you can download the new atlas update here.
Making sure that you are using the latest time zone and time change information is essential to being able to create accurate charts, and I'm very happy that Astrolabe continues to improve the ACS atlas.
Saturday, June 27, 2020
Websites and email working again a video of the Sun's changes over a decade and tips for astrology software owners
My internet service provider had a series of problems, causing all of my websites and my email to be down for a few days. I'm sorry if you tried to visit my sites and couldn't.
The good news is that all of my websites and my email are up and running again. I switched my website hosting to a truly green hosting firm called GreenGeeks. For every dollar of energy their servers use, they donate $3 to renewable energy. I think that's great!
Since I interact with astrology software owners on a daily basis, I would like to remind you of these important tips:
1. First and foremost, copy your chart files onto a flash drive regularly for backup. You never know when your PC will fail, and don't want to lose all of the charts that you've painstakingly entered into your software.
2. Also copy the downloaded astrology software installation file to a flash drive. If you have computer difficulties and need to install your program on a different PC, having the file at hand will make everything easier and faster.
I do provide links, when I can, so you can re-download your software, but can only do this for current versions.
3. When you first install your astrology program, reboot your PC before running the software. This can prevent a variety of problems.
Monday, June 8, 2020
Astrobackup for Solar Fire Astrolog 7.0 and How to Approach Oud/Agarwood oil
I continue to upload new articles to my websites, and improve existing articles, often without any fanfare.
Some of my many changes are:
Astrobackup for Solar Fire: Years ago, Astrolabe created a free utility for backing up (and restoring) user files for Solar Fire. This utility makes it easy to copy all of the important files to a flash drive so that you can restore them if your computer crashes, or to a new PC.
The files that are important include all of your chart files, and all of the settings that you've customized, and all of the pages and chart wheels.
Astrolabe provides an instructive video for Astrobackup too. The video is a little out of date (the path of the user files is incorrect) but the software itself functions perfectly.
Walter Pullen created Astrolog decades ago before the Windows OS even existed, and it has always been one of the most unique free astrology programs.
It has so many features, including dispositor graphs, a Gauquelin 36 sector wheel, Esoteric astrology, animations, and much more.
Version 7.0 now adds a phenomenal time zone and time changes atlas, and even an animated gif showing the global time changes over time!
Thank you Walter for serving astrology for so long!
Oud is a magical essential oil used as a perfume, for ceremonies and spiritual rituals, and for meditation.
It is capable of expanding ones consciousness profoundly.
My latest Oud page focuses on both how to approach Oud and how to start exploring Oud.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
The Solar System and Beyond Poster Set
NASA has just released a full set of posters of the planets, planetary moons, comets, and objects beyond our Solar System. The complete set has 21 destinations, and you can also download any of them individually.
They are being offered in JPEG, TIFF, and PDF formats, and can be printed on any color printer.
What lovely and wonderful gifts to us.
Sunday, May 10, 2020
Updated two articles: Ending the War between the Astrologers and Astrological Techniques and Uncertain Birth Times
When I first wrote Ending the War between the Astrologers 15 years ago, the polarization between Western and Vedic astrologers was very heated. But as recently as January 2018, an astrologer (Glenn Perry) presented an ignorant and divisive paper against Jyotish to a Vedic conference.
As NASA recently discovered, Uranus: "Not happy with being the coldest planet of them all and the only planet in the solar system to spin on its side (every 17 hours and 14 minutes), the “ice giant” now appears to be a “wobbly magnetic oddball” that’s leaking its atmosphere into space."
This web page shows a startling animation of the magnetic field of Uranus in motion, and describes the giant leak in its atmosphere.
Saturday, April 25, 2020
My new tutorial: the Meaning of the Modes in astrology
I love the signs of the Zodiac, and all of their attributes.
I recently discovered that some astrology programs use +8:30 time zone for parts of China for earlier births, and others use +8:00. As a result, the charts are quite different.
And all of the programs that I trust use the +8:00, as does the very reliable Astro.com, but timeanddate.com uses the 8:30 tz.
Therefore, be very careful when calculating charts for people born in China. As Madalyn Hillis-Dineen graciously notes, "I wouldn't be too harsh about programs using different time zones in China, so much information wasn't available and there was a lot of variation from one place to another."
Therefore, astrologers should create charts for both time zone possibilities and then ascertain which chart better represents the person and their life events.
3. Astrocalc 6.5 -- A free program -- is updated. Astrocalc may not have as many features as a full-fledged professional astrology program, but it is both free and is currently being developed.
And it offers many quite useful features including harmonic analysis, mini Vedic planets in signs and houses delineations, Chinese animal compatibility table, progressions, returns, and more.
Recently, the author also added importing Quick Chart files, so that one doesn't have to enter all of the chart data over again.
After a recent Lunar eclipse, I decided to search online for images and information about Lunar eclipses.
I found a very informative NASA article here, and lovely NASA images of a recent Lunar eclipse here and here.
Monday, January 20, 2020
my upcoming The Mountain Astrologer article
In about two months, my new SoftStar Muse article will be published in The Mountain Astrologer.
Since Jim Maynard has retired from creating his excellent astrological calendar, I have received many inquiries about the calendars produced by astrology programs.
I encourage you to get the next issue (April/May 2020) to learn about the calendar features of the different astrology programs.
In the meantime, you can look over my Astrology Calendar Comparison Table (created for the article) here.
Friday, January 17, 2020
A Lovely Photo of the Moon's Phases
Here is composite photo of the position and phase of the moon over 28 days, each photo taken at the same time each day at the same exact place. The photo was taken by Giorgia Hofer Photography, and is both truly lovely and instructive.
Friday, January 10, 2020
Astrolabe's 2020 Hot Degrees and Retrograde Shadows
In rereading it recently, I was surprised how well it still held up. But I decided to polish it a little, add a new section at the end, and reintroduce it.
Tuesday, December 17,2019
The New Janus 5.3 Update
Astrology House, the creators of Janus, have done it again! A powerful new update that's free to all Janus 5 owners.
Currently, Janus is the fastest developing professional astrology program, and each update has many enhancements.
You can see all of the improvements and new features in Janus 5.3 here.
And you can purchase Janus 5.3 at my discounted price here.
And learn about Janus and read my reviews of earlier versions of Janus 5 here.
Friday, December 13, 2019
Hype and Astrology Software
Finding the right astrology program can be quite a challenge, especially since software authors sometime embellish and exaggerate the descriptions of their programs.
You can read about this issue, and solutions, here.
Friday, November 8, 2019
Mercury transits the Sun
In three days, on November 11th, Mercury will pass over the Sun's disk for the first time in 13 years.
If you would like to see whether and when it will be visible in your area, when Mercury has transited before or will transit the Sun next, or more about the event, here, here, and here are three resources.
Sunday, November 3, 2019
An incredible video tour of Pluto
Here is an amazing video of Pluto, its moons, and the amazing variations in both its surface and atmosphere.
Besides showing more images of Pluto than any I've seen before, the author shared an amazing find: Pluto and Charon are tidally locked to each other, i.e. they can't look away from each other. Imagine the astrological correlation with Pluto's association with obsession, and perhaps the compulsive bond that can occur between people.
We've all seen enhanced images of Pluto, with its colors exaggerated by filters, but now, finally, we can see what Pluto actually looks like to the naked eye.
NASA has processed all of the New Horizon's images to create the first photo of Pluto's true colors here.
We live in an amazing world!
P.s. Click on the image to see it full screen (and in high resolution).
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
IO Edition Astrologers: Don't Update your Mac to Catalina?
I'm getting quite a few emails from astrologers who have used the TimeCycles Research program (like the IO Edition) for years and are shocked that TCR is closing its doors and that all of the software will no longer run under the forthcoming Mac OS update called Catalina.
One choice is to not update your Mac. That way, all of your 32 programs will still be useable. Of course, that means that any new security updates won't be installed, nor other new features. Still, it's a viable option for the short run.
I'm getting asked a lot what should Mac astrologers do for the long run.
One choice is to get either Astro Gold for the Mac, which I reviewed and offer at a discount here.
What is the right Zodiac to use for astrological work?
My latest article on my Learn Astrology Free website explores the issues around using the Sidereal and Tropical Zodiacs in astrological work.
You can read it here, and hopefully it will clarify your understanding of the conundrum.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Greatly improved search engines for my websites
One of the complaints that I've received a few times in the past is that the Search engines on my websites don't find every item.
I recently upgraded the software that I use to provide the Search function, and spent many hours the past two days re-indexing my two main websites (Soulhealing.com and Learn Astrology Free) and improving the results of searches.
Now virtually every page is indexed, and when you search for a term or set of terms, each link will go to the section of the web page with the word(s) that you searched for.
[Note: occasionally, the search goes to the next line, so just go up one line.]
I hope that the improved Searches will make it easier to find what you want.
Monday, June 24, 2019
The Analemma at Sunset
Have you ever been curious to see the Sun's movement from one Solstice to another? Marcella Giulia Pace painstakingly photographed the Sun from the Winter Solstice to the Summer Solstice and combined all of the images into a great montage.
Improved tutorials and Learn Astrology Free website
As many of you know, my Learn Astrology Website is my most beloved website. I post new free tutorials there bimonthly, and have been given great acknowledgement and praise for my writings by both students and teachers of astrology.
I looked at it last week and realized that it needed sprucing up. I added a beautiful image, updated the menus to include the latest articles, and edited and improved two articles:
An amazing video: Earth's motion around the Sun not as simple as I thought
An amazingly detailed graphic exploration of the many complex cycles that make up the Earth's movement around the Sun.
Far beyond what most people know. You can watch it here.
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Infographic: Astronomy Highlights Spring 2019
Once again, the folks at universe2go have created an astronomical graphic of what to watch in the night sky this Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere).
They do an amazing job and you can see the new image here.
Saturday, February 16, 2019
My newest tutorial: The Most Important Transits and Dashas
Many years ago, I wrote an article on what transits are likely to have the greatest effect on a person's life.
I have just written a much more extensive tutorial on the same subject. Feel free to read it here.
May it serve you.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
A Lovely Jupiter Flyby
The NASA spacecraft Juno continues to orbit Jupiter and you can watch a video that has been composed of its images here.
I think it's amazing in both its beauty and detail.
Monday, January 21, 2019
What Planets Are Visible Tonight? 2019 Astronomer’s Guide to the Night Sky
Here's an amazingly wonderful astronomy website that not only gives you a guide for the entire year of meteor showers, eclipses, and planetary events, but also how and when to find planets in the night sky, a list of links to astronomical resources on the web, and more.
This is a lovely, well-written, and well-organized website and clearly a labor of love. I encourage you to explore it.
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Tonight's Supermoon Eclipse
Tonight there will be a powerful Supermoon eclipse.
The eclipse is unique because it happens while the Moon is at Perigee (I.e. at its closest to the Earth).
Monday, January 14, 2019
The new changes and enhancements in
Janus is currently the fastest improving astrology program on the planet.
As those following this column know, version 5.0 was revolutionary, not evolutionary, with both a completely new user interface even better than its best-in-class previous one, but with an incredible number of new major features, many very profound and unique to Janus. You can learn more about Janus here.
(You can download a free 30 day fully-working demo here, and purchase it at the best price here.)
I recently also created an introductory YouTube video of Janus 5.1 here.
But Astrology House, the creators of Janus, haven't rested. They recently released a new Janus 5.1 upgrade, and are hard at work on the next upgrade. You can see a PDF listing of the improvements and enhancements in Janus 5.1 here.
Look over the listing carefully. While it is a "no frills" summary of the advances in the program, they are frequently very significant changes.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Everything in a chart influences each planet's expression
I've just written a short article on how everything about a planet's placement will influence its expression.
It is naïve to think, for example, that everyone with the Sun in Leo is sunny, generous, and open.
Read the article here, and may it expand your awareness of how astrology works.