TMA SoftStar News: January 2012
by Hank Friedman
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.
*All of the links mentioned in this article are posted on the TMA link page: /tma.htm
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