My Astrological Software Reviews
for Serious Asteroid Work
If you are an astrologer or astrological researcher, you may like to check out these software applications, below. I have personally used Sirius, Solar Fire, and the now abandoned Phaethon project (which was terrific in its day!). I offer the link to Intrepid as a courtesy, as I haven’t tried this software as yet, though I have had very helpful email correspondence with the developers.
I cannot provide live (red) links to some of the software companies, below, that do not yet have encrypted sites, as their linked http addresses would prevent my website from validating.
But you can copy & paste their addresses into a new tab in the address bar or easily find them in a search engine—and politely ask them to please implement SSL/TLS security for their entire sites asap!
Cosmic Patterns Software, Inc.
Developers of the Windows-based astrology software programs: Pegasus; Kepler; and especially SIRIUS which has the most advanced asteroid chart features currently available for astrologers.
SIRIUS is the only astrology software I have found that provides complete up-to-date listings of all of the astrologically-available officially Named asteroids, and available in Zodiac (Longitude) order (necessary for serious asteroid work!).
SIRIUS firstly has an optional set of Asteroid disks for more than 15,000 Named asteroids (plus thousands of so-far Unnamed asteroids that later may receive names). Plus, SIRIUS has an amazing feature which automatically downloads extra asteroid files/names (providing you have their optional extra Asteroid CDs installed) from the ASTRODIENST website, while you are calculating a list when connected to the internet! How cool is that!! So you always have the latest list that is available!
So far, as I write (updated April 2018), the complete astrological database of Named asteroids contains more than 19,000 asteroids! You may not think you need all these asteroids, but would you really want to miss out on some of the newer ones such as #249521 Truth ? Truth was the 249,521st asteroid to be discovered, so would not likely show up in smaller lists from other software developers. There is also an option in SIRIUS to create a small number of your own category groups of asteroids.
All asteroid listings appear onscreen and are exportable as txt or pdf files. Before each calculation, you can choose how many columns you want per page, and which information to include, such as Name, ID Number, Longitude, Declaration, Speed, etc… See my procedure and general suggestions, below, under Here’s My Method in the Mac Solutions section.
Cosmic Patterns software applications are Windows-based, but also run well with Parallels (+ your own Windows OS) on a Mac. (See my instructions below for running and using these Windows apps on your Mac.)
I keep a pdf list of my own birthchart’s SIRIUS asteroids on my iPad in iBooks—easy to search there for Names in the Search field; and also readily accessible on my iPhone, iPad, and Macbook. Plus, iBooks and also Preview on Mac OSX also provides a right-click function for instant online searching of the meaning or references for an asteroid name you’ve highlighted, via: ‘Definition’ (from the Dictionary), ‘Wikipedia’, and ‘Websearch’—very handy!
Also, developer David Cochrane’s YouTube video tutorials are great, and the customer service is excellent. Only thing I’d love to see in SIRIUS is L H Weston’s Vulcan, which I have researched for decades and could not live without.
Cosmic Patterns Software can be found at http://www.astrosoftware.com
Windows-based programs for all systems of astrology. Especially recommended for their comprehensive SOLAR FIRE program, and their Asteroid Add-On category-editing supplemental disk, although it only contains 10,000 asteroids and many of those do not yet have names. But this number can be boosted by connecting to the ASTRODIENST site (see note at the bottom of this page*) for (tediously) downloading more asteroid files, one file at a time, which I used to do years ago!
SOLAR FIRE does uniquely have great asteroid aspects-to-planets listings within asteroid category files (quite a few categories are supplied for you there) that can, themselves, be easily edited and created (I have 300 of my own categories in SOLAR FIRE, though each category is incomplete without all the Named asteroids I have available in SIRIUS—but still very useful for the quick access to asteroid aspects within categories.
SOLAR FIRE also runs well on Parallels on the Mac (actually, better than on a PC!). (The heading link above is live.)
Intrepid Astrology Software
The most economical of the comprehensive software packages for astrologers on the world market; and the beauty of INTREPID is that it is available in two versions to run natively on either Mac or PC—so you won’t need Parallels or Boot Camp for your Mac.
I have not yet used it, so I’m providing information found on their site and via my email correspondence with the developers. It includes comprehensive asteroid functions. To date (as I write), 7,000 Named asteroids are included to get you started (and 150,000 Numbered-only asteroids), and you have the capability to hand-pick and download* others from ASTRODIENST, which you may want to include in the program (though, adding the extra 12,000+ would be quite a chore!)
The only thing missing for me in INTREPID is L H Weston’s ‘hypothetical’ Vulcan, which I always add to charts, as it holds valuable information—I will be elaborating on this in one of my books to be published in late 2018.) This software program sounds like very good value for money if you’re not yet ready for the full list of all Named asteroids or the expense of SIRIUS just yet.
You can find Intrepid software at http://intrepidastrologysoftware.com.
Russian Professional Astrology
Now an abandoned asteroid calculation project, PHAETHON, by Albert Timashev, is an MSDOS (yes!) software program that may still be available if you inquire, as it is still (to date) on the website (which hasn’t been updated or copyrighted since 2000!) I had used this on Windows for a number of years.
Phaethon is a stand-alone asteroid calculation & (uniquely) description-editing program. In its heyday, it calculated over 11,200 Named asteroids (… of course, now we have well over 19,000). Excellent for editing asteroid meanings you have researched, so you never lose the information for other charts—whatever you had written pops up at the bottom of the screen when an asteroid is selected in the list. Very innovative, especially for MSDOS! All the operations were performed using the Function keys on the keyboard. Those were the days!
Due to its editing capacity, this program really escalated my asteroid research in the late ’90s. Also, full lists of asteroid positions for any chart were easily exported as text files and reformatted as pdfs. Asteroid lists could be calculated in a variety of orders such as Zodiac (recommended for serious asteroid work), Alphabetical, Conjunctions to planets, Speed, and has both Named and Numbered asteroids (choose both or either).
I found it worked well and quickly in Windows operating systems including Vista & Windows7, probably fine in more recent Windows as well, but I haven’t tried it; and of course on Windows via Parallels on a Mac. To check this out, a free demo version with 64 asteroids looks to be still available for download: once in the site, go to Computer Room (or use the Phaethon link above).
You can find Russian Astrology site at https://www.astrologer.ru or use the live PHAETHON link above—that page is encrypted.
A website (pronounced “astro-deenst”), not an app, but they are our industry standard for the marvellous job they have been doing for decades, preparing raw astronomical data for software developers to use in astrology software applications.
You can view the full list of available asteroids on their site page All Named Asteroids (http://www.astro.com/swisseph/astlist.htm) with links to the NASA-JPL page for further astronomical information on each asteroid.
Hopefully, most of the apps listed above are now making it easier to add more asteroids to their lists of asteroid files. I’m not sure of their progress in that regard. (But as stated, SIRIUS downloads them automatically during the next asteroid list calculation!—You just have to be online while calculating.).
But in any case, there is also a download section of ASTRODIENST‘s website for adding extra asteroid files if you already have the bulk asteroids CDs/files in SOLAR FIRE or INTREPID. Remember, without their asteroid software, you won’t be able to use these asteroid files, as they need to be manually placed into the correct asteroid folders in your file manager. You can find the download page at http://www.astro.com/ftp/swisseph/ephe/.
A PRACTICAL WARNING about asteroid downloads from ASTRODIENST ! :
Never download complete asteroid folders from the ASTRODIENST listings as they contain a huge number of Unnamed Asteroid files along with some Named ones, and this will bloat your software and computer’s storage drive and calculation capacity (your calculation app might even freeze under the strain), plus it places a strain on Astrodienst’s server. I don’t think there is a way to differentiate the Named ones as yet, but keep checking in with them. (In the olden days, I used to hand-pick and download every file I needed by it’s ID number, which you still need to do in ASTRODIENST! It’s a labour of love.)
ASTRODIENST will now allow you to download up to 3,000 asteroids in one 24-hour period (any more can overtax their server). But, again, I suggest you stick to only the ones that are pertinent, as you need them. It’s very tedious!
This recent video interview, below, with Alois Treindl, the founder of Astrodienst, recorded by Chris Brennan on May 24 2018, is a rare look at the beginnings and purpose of Astrodienst and its services. You may not be aware of what has gone on behind the scenes within the global astrology community since the 1980s, and how significant, and indeed vital, Alois Treindl’s contribution has been.
Mac Solutions: Running Windows Apps on a Mac
If you’ve switched to Apple, hang on to that shiny Windows label on the back of your dead PC/notebook for the OS registration details!
— Or you can now buy a separate Windows OS disk and set it up on Windows on the Mac via Parallels (premium software). Just be aware, you’ll need plenty of free disk space to add Windows + Parallels to your Mac.
— Or use the Boot Camp app that comes free with your Mac, which will require reboots between operating systems (well, it’s free). Be sure to check out Apple’s support page for Boot Camp at https://support.apple.com/en-au/boot-camp .
Here’s my setup:
- I actually run Parallels and ol’ Windows XP on an i5 Macbook Air, with 8GB RAM on the machine.
I use SIRIUS for the complete asteroid files (making sure my computer is connected to the net when calculating asteroid files so that any extra available asteroids will be automatically downloaded into my SIRIUS files in the Windows File Manager);
I use SOLAR FIRE for some of my Asteroid category files, and the basic chart template I was able to design (with small glyphs and degrees close to the rim) in SOLAR FIRE, decades ago, to accommodate the space for scribbling in large numbers of asteroids;
and I use their Mac OS and iOS Astro Gold apps (especially the iPad version) for calculating Transits and for basic chart analysis on the fly (but it can only accommodate the usual 6 asteroids on the chart wheel).
So, I use three astrology apps for my work for each client.
- I also invested in an Epson A3 printer, as I needed a larger page so I could read my own writing when adding asteroid names to charts!
- See my SIRIUS procedure for asteroid calculation in the Here’s My Method section, below.
- The beauty of Parallels over most other Virtual Machine software, is that it shares the Mac clipboard, printer, and internet connection, while it runs like an app on your Mac desktop. This means there is no rebooting of your operating systems when you’re switching from one to the other. Anything you copy from your Windows programs will be instantly available to your Mac apps, including screenshots.
- Even though Apple’s Macbook operating system updates are always free (thank you, Apple!), you may want to pay for Parallels updates each year when you upgrade your Mac OS, depending on how many apps you are using on Windows—I only use it for my Windows astrology apps, so I’ve stopped updating Parallels for now, especially as I’m not updating my Windows OS. (Parallels may send an email to remind you to update, plus you’ll get an annoying pop-up in Windows when you boot-up while online.)
Here’s my Method (while using Parallels Desktop for Windows on my Mac)
To calculate a complete Asteroid List file in SIRIUS (this will only work if you have the optional extra asteroid CD files for SIRIUS), first calculate the natal chart.
- Go to the Listing tab in the menu:
- Choose Planets or Asteroids Positions List,
- Then My Asteroids List > revealing the Customizable Asteroid List pane:
Here you can customise the output of your list by selecting—if you don’t want to change this every time, your customisations will become the default, so you only have to do this once: The Order of the List: Alphabetical or Zodiac (the Zodiac Listing also shows the planetary and Moon’s Nodes positions.
(I first choose Longitude to give the Zodiac positions for easy access to obvious aspects to planets, etc) How you want the listing Sorted by Degrees: 360˚, 90˚, 120˚, 30˚, 180˚, 45˚, or 60˚. For example, a pure zodiac listing from Aries to Pisces is the 360˚ listing. An aspect listing of, for example, 120˚ will show all asteroids huddled together in a column that produce conjunctions and trines to any planetary position or point you’re investigating; a 90˚ sort will show the squares, conjunctions, and oppositions … etc.
- The zodiac signs are there so you can see what the obvious aspects would be between them (and you can choose to show the actual astrological glyphs or first few letters).
I calculate two sets: one in pure longitude (360˚ sort); and the other in the 30˚ sort listing to put all aspecting asteroids together in the column (as I use all the aspects that are multiples of 30˚, being the 360˚ harmonic of the circle, divided into 12)
- Choose Data: I keep it simple by requesting only the Asteroid Name, Zodiac (Longitude) position, and ID Number. This also makes the calculation process much faster (and I don’t require the other information columns, such as declination, etc)
- Number of Columns of Asteroids per page;
- Lines per page (for formatting a printed copy—if you have a reem of paper to spare!)
- Then choose Over 18,000 named asteroids from the right-side list).
- When the asteroids appear (generally less than a minute!), I copy it (under the little SAVE icon on the top-left side column of the now visible chart pane > Select & Copy All Text To Clipboard). That’s it for the Windows side.
- I then go to my Mac’s dock and open a blank TextEdit file (or use any plain text editor if you’re in Windows exclusively) and simply Paste (⌘+v — that is, command + v) the asteroid file directly from the clipboard into the TextEdit page on the Mac side (which maintains the columns and glyphs formatting).
I also like to ‘Select All‘ ⌘+a and BOLD ⌘+b the text (or format the text font as you choose).
- From there (in TextEdit) I save that open asteroid file as a PDF file (which can later be emailed, etc.) to my Mac’s desktop for immediate work with that file. Seemless, no rebooting in any part of the process.
It may seem like a lot of extra work, but …