Asteroid Software

My Asteroid Software Reviews
for Serious Astrology Work

If you are an astrologer or astrological researcher,
you may like to check these software applications, below.

I have personally used
CWAstEph, Sirius, Solar Fire, Astro Gold,
and the now abandoned Phaethon project
(which was terrific in its day!).

And I do use Windows apps on my Mac!
(see below)

CWAstEph Asteroid App by Mark Pottenger

✓ My top pick

Windows-based software for asteroid calculation only (making it also more affordable for asteroid work).
While this is a stand-alone Asteroids Calculation app, Mark also has a CCRS Horoscope app that integrates with it. So, you have the choice of software for full astrology chart work, but you don’t need a chart calculation app to use this CWAstEph software. This gives you the advantage of choice.

The CWAstEph Asteroid App is super easy to use, with a single page input and very few fields to fill in (though, you’ll need to remember to change the birth time/date to its UT/GMT time as the input for the calculations), once you have it set up for your computer system. So, it’s very quick to use!

You have choices as to what kind of list you want to calculate (zodiac, alphabetical, and by degree sort) and a number of choices for which available sets of asteroids you want in the file, including the entire set of Named asteroids, which I recommend. You can also create your own asteroid sets with the bundled ASTNUM app.

CWAstEph comes with the full set of Named asteroids, and is updated every month or so by Mark Pottenger, himself!

This full list now contains 24,785 asteroids including some far objects (beyond Pluto) at my time of writing (May 2024)!

You can create PDF files directly for the output with a choice of one column section (shown here in a partial view), ideal for adding text-box notes, such as aspects or definitions, next to the asteroid; or two column sections. Searchable PDFs require you to opt for the letter notation for the signs (“Ar” for Aries, etc, as shown here), rather than the sign glyphs when calculating.

Partial Asterpoid List page | CWAstEph App by Mark Pottenger

Portion of a PDF page of the CWAstEph Asteroid App
list in a Longitudinal (Zodiac) sort

Back in the mid-1990s, I had started my asteroid research with Mark Pottenger’s CCRS Astrology program, buying small sets of his asteroid files for that, to slowly build up my collection — it’s been great to have the fullest set possible now via his CWAstEph Asteroid App alongside Astro Gold for MacOS for my chart calculations on the Mac.

I run CWAstEph on Windows 11 (you can use an external USB storage drive for Windows, if you prefer) via Parallels 18 on an M1 (Silicon) MacBook Pro running Sonoma macOS. Parallels latest version 19 (see promo video below) will run on either a Silicon Mac or previous Intel models, and works with Sonoma, though the “Print to PDF (Mac Desktop)” option has been deleted! So you can stick with v18 (I got a refund on Parallels v19), rather than updating in a hurry. I have found a way to get around this bug (link below)! I have no idea what the new Mac OS, Sequoia, will require.

The calculations on my Mac (including the Zodiac sorting) are very fast. Though, the speed will be determined by your computer’s processor capabilities. CWAstEph will run on earlier versions of Windows as well, on any Windows machine with enough Memory storage, RAM, and processing power (CPU).

My procedure for using CWAsteph on a Mac: BELOW↓

Sirius by Cosmic Patterns Software, Inc

Developers of the Windows-based astrology software programs: Pegasus; Kepler; and especially SIRIUS which has a comprehensive asteroid calculation add-on feature for astrologers.

SIRIUS has the capacity to provide complete listings of all of the astrologically-available officially Named asteroids, available in Zodiac (Longitude) order (necessary for serious asteroid work!), as well as Alphabetical, and in also sorts of various degree orders (such 45˚  for Cosmobiology charts).

SIRIUS firstly has an optional Asteroid add-on program of files for more than 19,000 Named asteroids (plus thousands of so-far Unnamed asteroids that later may receive names).
Plus, SIRIUS has a feature that automatically downloads extra asteroid files/names (providing you have the Sirius optional extra Asteroid app installed) from the ASTRODIENST website, while you are calculating a list when connected to the internet! So you always have the latest list that is available!

There is also an option in SIRIUS to create a small number of your own category groups of asteroids.

All asteroid listings appear on-screen 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, developed by David Cochrane, 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.) You can also check out David Cochrane’s YouTube videos.

Solar Fire by Esoteric Technologies

Windows-based programs for all systems of astrology. Especially recommended for their comprehensive SOLAR FIRE program, and their Asteroid Add-On category-editing supplemental software, 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 below*) 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 your asteroid category files (plus quite a few categories are supplied for you there) that can, themselves, be easily edited and created (I had built up 300 of my own categories in SOLAR FIRE, though each category is incomplete without all the Named asteroids I have available in SIRIUS and now CWAstEph — but still very useful for the quick access to asteroid aspects within your categories.

SOLAR FIRE also runs well on Parallels on the Mac (actually, better than on a PC!).

Astro Gold by Cosmic Apps, Pty Ltd

I am including Astro Gold here, as this astrology chart calculation software for Mac also includes about 60  asteroids (as I write in Sept 2023). And the app has been updated and expanded over time, so I’m expecting more asteroids to arrive later. This is my chart calculation app of choice. Runs natively on Apple devices!

Astro Gold has versions for Mac desktop, iOS devices, and also Android. But at this stage, only the Mac desktop version has the extra asteroids (apart from the six that are often included in astrology apps), which can be shown on the chart wheel, and also in the Aspects listing, using their icons; plus now in Ephemeris files of your choosing!

This app can be helpful if you are just starting out with asteroids and want to ease in slowly. It has a clean open interface, offering many useful features without being bloated or complicated.

Astro Gold is available internationally, and has Support people in various countries. 

Astrodienst AG

A website (pronounced “astro-deenst”), not an app, but they have been preparing raw astronomical data, for decades, for software developers to use in all types of astrology software applications. And, like Mark Pottenger, they have also been preparing asteroid data for us.

You can view the full list of available asteroids on their site page All Named Asteroids with links to the NASA-JPL page for further astronomical information on each asteroid.

There is a download section of ASTRODIENST‘s website for downloading individual asteroid files for use in astrology apps that calculate asteroids. So,  if you already have the bulk asteroids CDs/files in SOLAR FIRE, you can add more to the Solar Fire backend in File Manager. 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 app’s file manager. You can find the download page HERE.

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 Treindlthe 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 to astrology software, generally.

Video interview with Alois Treindl
Founder of Astrodienst

Founder of Astrodienst. Recorded by Chris Brennan on May 24 2018. 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.

You can find Astrodienst at https://www.astro.com.

Mac Solutions:
Running Windows Apps on a Mac

It is possible to run Windows apps on your Mac.
There are two different ways to do this
:

  • Firstly, if you still have an Intel-based Apple computer (iMac, MacBook, or Mac, before the M series Silicon Apple computers that were released in 2022), you can partition part of your computer’s storage drive to install Boot Camp for free from the Apple site.
    Boot Camp is an interface that runs like a separate computer allowing you to add the Windows Operating System to a partitioned area of your Mac’s storage drive. But you have to provide the Windows 10 OS, so you’ll have to hunt around for that as Micrsoft no longer sell that version.
    The downside is that you will always have to reboot your computer between using the macOS and WindowsOS, as though they are two separate computers.
    So if you use the Mac side of your computer for your astrology work, you’ll need to put the asteroid PDF you calculate onto a thumb drive, or send it to a cloud storage service (Dropbox, Sync [✓], etc), to download the asteroids PDF onto your Apple desktop.
    You will find complete instructions for Boot Camp here:
    https://support.apple.com/boot-camp/
  • The other option is to download a ‘virtual machine‘ (VM software) on your Mac to mimic a computer. This is software that runs on your Mac’s desktop like an app, and simulates a Windows computer.
    It provides an interface between the macOS and WindowsOS.
    There are several Virtual Machines you can try, depending on whether your Apple computer has the original Intel or the new Silicon chip.
    Though, apparently Fusion by VMware will run on both Intel and Silicon based Macs. I have not tried Fusion, myself, so can’t advise here. It is premium software. But if I do try it, I’ll report back here.
    I had initially tried a couple of the free ‘open source’ virtual machines and gave up (they might be better now.). Just too complicated to install (some YouTube videos do exist now to help with this). But if you’re fairly tech-savvy, you can check those VMs out via SourceForge, the best site for legitimate open source software.
  • The VM software I have been using is Parallels. It is premium software, but may be worth the expense, if you want an easy installation.
    It provides a smooth virtual machine that is an interface between macOS and Windows where you can have Windows sitting on your desktop at any size like an app. You can then drag and drop files between the two desktops!
    — Just be aware, you’ll need plenty of free disk space to add Windows + Parallels + the CWAsteph asteroids to your Mac — but you can put Windows on an external storage drive with only Parallels on the Mac. 

Parallels for Mac Promo Video
for a quick overview

There are other ‘virtual machines’ out there, even free Open Source ones, but Parallels is the easiest to use as it runs Windows like an app on your Mac desktop and integrates seamlessly with your printer, Mac desktop, and Mac clipboard. But it’s premium software with a one year license for support (have to say, not great support!), but you can continue to use (without Support) it well after the license expires, if you don’t choose the Subscription option.

As Parallels is Virtualisation software (a ‘virtual machine’) that runs from an icon in your Mac’s Dock, there is no rebooting of your operating systems when you’re switching from one to the other. Windows can be treated like any other app running on your Mac desktop.

Anything you copy from your Windows programs will be instantly available to your Mac apps via the Mac’s Clipboard, including screenshots. You can copy & paste between the operating systems, and drag common file types across from one desktop to the other!

And if Windows is not set to completely full-screen, you can access your Mac apps from the Dock for, say, TextEdit or Notes and drag downloaded files from the Mac Downloads folder straight into folders in Windows! (Great for downloading updates to the CWAstEph Asteroid App!, as you don’t have to have Windows exposed to the internet for the download! You can use the Mac Download option instead, especially while Windows is not open!) So, if you’re only using Windows for the asteroids, you won’t need Edge or Chrome.

Even though Apple’s Mac operating system updates are always free (thank you, Apple!), you may want to pay for Parallels updates each year if you upgrade your Mac OS, and Windows OS — but it’s not strictly necessary, although you lose Parallels Support and future updates without the update payment. (Parallels will send an email to remind you to update, plus you may get annoying pop-ups in Windows if you’re online.)

How I Use the CWAsteph Asteroid App on my Mac:

When you purchase the CWAsteph App from Mark Pottenger, he provides you with the installation instructions (not complicated) that you need. So I won’t go into that here. And if you have a Windows computer, you shouldn’t have any probelms at all. 

But if you have a Mac, as I do, there is a way to allow you to take full advantage of this app which will give you the most up-to-date full list of all Named asteroids, updated usually every month (directly from Mark Pottenger).

So, firstly, you will need a VM, as I’ve explained above. So, I will describe my own experience of Parallels here: 

 With an older Intel model, you can use any version of Windows where Parallels, etc, is available to support it.
— But with a Silicon M-series Mac, you will need Parallels 18 or 19(+), as any Parallels version under 18 will not run on Silicon.

  • With an Intel Mac and Parallels, the Asteroid App should work ‘out of the box’ on Windows;
  • For an M-series Mac, follow the instructions for the M-series, just below.

When you open Windows on your Mac desktop,
it will behave like any other app,
so you can resize it and move it around.
So, for our procedure,
make sure your Mac’s Dock is showing
on the screen when you have Windows open.
You’ll also need the TextEdit app icon in your Dock.

  • First thing:
    Mark Pottenger provides you with his exclusive CCRSDuo font set (text and astrological glyphs) used in his Asteroid App.
    It is vital that you add that CCRSDuo Font to your Mac’s FontBook. You can slide that file directly from the Asteroid App files in Windows into your open FontBook on the Mac side. You will be asked to install it, as usual on the Mac. Too easy.
  • Using the Asteroid app in Windows is the same as Mark’s instructions until you get to creating a PDF from the .CWO output file.
  • After installation, you will see the icon for the CWAsteph Asteroid App on your Windows desktop. Remember, in Windows you have to double-click to open things!
  • There is also another app there, Astnum, from Mark Pottenger, which lets you create your own asteroid group files (Mark provides you with the instructions for that).
  • Calculation:
    It is VITAL that you first reconfigure the time of birth as UT/GMT time, adjusting the date as necessary. You don’t need the latitude and longitude as this app does not calculate a birthchart, it’s purely for asteroid positions.
    — The date field is in digits only and seems to pick up the format (M/D/Y vs D/M/Y) based on your computer’s clock preference, but double-check the text date on the output file to be sure your input was formatted correctly.
  • The app’s form fields are simple:
    Name,
    Date (adjust for UT),
    UT (birthtime as Universal Time),
    Zodiac (Tropical/Sidereal),
    Coordinates (8 choices: I use Geocentric),
    Arc (degrees, normally 30),
    Order (List [Alphabetical], Zodiac, Degree in Sign [a 30˚  sort], Latitude),
    List (heaps of them — see the documentation (and you can create your own Asteroid lists in the Astnum app): Choose ASTNUM 999 for the full set of Named asteroids)
  • Selections at Bottom of Screen:
    — Select Text instead of Glyphs for the output file (even with the CCRSDuo font installed on both Windows and the Mac, the glyphs won’t display in print on the Mac side, and things get weird! But you need the CCRSDuo font installed on the Mac for the rest of the text and to maintain the columns’ formatting integrity.)
    — You have the choice to have Force One Column of each asteroid’s data (rather than two columns), so you can add information next to it — Mark Pottenger added this feature for me as I add information on the blank side of the page, explained below.
    — The next 2 selections are explained in the documentation.
  • Click Calculate. That’s it!
    — The speed of calculation will depend on your computer. With an M1 MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM, it takes around 40-seconds for a full list of 24,785 asteroids (as of May 2024) in a Zodiac sort. Amazing!
  • Accessing the Calculated List:
    Click on the yellow File Manager folder icon in the Windows dock (or go to C: in File Manager), if that’s where you’d installed the Asteroid app (as per Mark’s suggestion).
  • Open the Asteroids app folder (from wherever you’d installed it).
  • Viewing the files there in Date order, you  can see a new .CWO file at the top of the list. This file is unintelligible. So you need to export it.
  • Parallels has deleted the “Print to PDF (Mac Desktop)” option (!), and I couldn’t get “Print to PDF” to work at all on Windows in Parallels. I tried for 10 months to get a PDF file for my Mac where all the columns would be perfectly intact and the page had tighter margins, rather than being an image in the centre of a big page.
  • Here’s the easy solution I discovered! :
    Simply drag that .CWO file you just calculated down (or across, depending on your Mac screen setup) to your Mac’s Dock, dropping it into your TextEdit app icon there.
  • Click on the TextEdit icon and you will see the .CWO file there. Open the file (if it doesn’t open instantly), make any changes you want (such as adding your name/business name and email address/URL etc to the header area if it’s for a client — it’s OK to add an extra line of text if you need it, as the asteroids on every page will automatically move down a line, you won’t lose any).
  • Go to File (in the TextEdit menu) and slide down to click on Export as PDF. This will open in Preview.
  • Rename the file appropriately, Save, and voila! Too easy! You can then save it where you like and share the file as an email attachment, if you wish, for any operating system, as it can also be opened in Adobe Reader. (The PDF will maintain the columns, etc.)
  • This PDF is searchable for names and zodiac positions, via the Search Field in Preview.
    — the good thing about not using astrological glyphs, is that degree positions are searchable for quick access! For example, if you want to check what asteroids are trining a planet at 8˚  Taurus, you can search: 8Cp and the list will scroll to that spot for you, then try 8Vi Easy!
  • Use the Markup option in Preview to highlight asteroid names (in the colour of your choice there), and also use the Textbox (and you can format the text in the textbox) to create a note beside the asteroid, such as the meaning of/references for the asteroid name and the Aspects the asteroid is making in the chart! A Text box can be moved around to line up beside the asteroid.
  • So, by using the Search field, you can find the significant asteroids for a chart via the Zodiac listing, making it easy to search the conjunctions and all other Aspects by degree.
    — To speed this process, I also calculate a 30˚   sort for quickly spotting the asteroids that are at the same degree (not Sign) of a chart’s planet that I’m investigating — showing you all the Aspects to a planet or Point at once — if you are astrology-savvy — as well as any significant asteroids Aspecting each other (via their Signs) to fill in the story. For the orientation of my own work, I only use conjuctions and the six Aspects that are multiples of 30˚  .

This Was My Mac Setup for SIRIUS:

  • I originally ran Parallels (the older version 10) on an i5 (Intel) Macbook Air, with 8GB RAM on the machine; and I ran ol’ Windows XP and Sirius on an external hard drive to save space on my Mac — this slows the calculation down by about double the time, but this is still only a couple of minutes. [March 2023 Note: I now have an M1 MacBook Pro and have updated to Parallels 18 and Windows 11 which will run on M1 Silicon — and no longer using Sirius, see CWAstEph above].
  • I used 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 SIRIUS);
  • I was able to save the Asteroid Category files I’d originally made in SOLAR FIRE by accessing them from the backend files of Solar Fire and saving them as Wordpad documents that I could also later save as Text documents on the Mac (via TextEdit). I then copy-&-pasted the lists into individual files in my Apple Notes app, where they are automatically placed in alphabetical order for easy access when I’m researching charts, so I don’t forget all the ones I can look up in a particular category in clients’ lists.
  • In Solar Fire, many years ago, I used their Wheel Designer to reduce the size of glyphs, and the spacing and sizes of the degree notation, bunching them all up closer to the wheel rim; and I reduced the size of the inner circle (I don’t use aspect lines on the chart) to accommodate only the House numbers. This allowed me to create a basic chart with heaps of white space in the centre for asteroids to be drawn in by hand, which I write radially from their degree position on the wheel.
  • I now print the basic charts on A3 paper so I can scribble in up to 200 asteroids! But I think I may need something bigger soon, like wall!

Here’s the Method I’d Used for Sirius:

To calculate a complete Asteroid List file in SIRIUS — this will only work if you have bought the optional extra Asteroid Add-On Files for SIRIUS:

  1. First calculate the natal chart
  2. Go to the Listing tab in the top menu:
  3. Choose Planets or Asteroids Positions List
  4. 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 conjunctions and 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, for example, 120˚  will show all asteroids huddled together that produce conjunctions and trines to any planetary position or point you’re investigating by its zodiac degree;
    90˚  will show the squares, conjunctions, and oppositions, all huddled together on the list … etc.
    The zodiac signs are there so you can see what the obvious aspects would be (and you can choose to show the actual astrological glyphs or not).
  • I calculated two sets: one in pure longitude (Zodiac listing), and the other in the 30˚  listing to put all aspecting asteroids side by side (as I use all the angles that are multiples of 30˚, being the 360˚  harmonic of the natural circle divided into 12 — I don’t use sesquiquadrates and quintiles, etc., as they can’t be used to resonate with the harmony of the chart)
  • 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 (as I don’t require the other information columns)
  • Number of Columns of Asteroids per page (I use one, as I can add comments beside asteroids via textboxes in Preview on the Mac);
  • Lines per page (for formatting a printed copy — if you have a ream of paper and plenty of ink to spare!)
  • Then choose Over 18,000 named asteroids from the right-side list).
  • When the asteroids appear (generally only a minute or two!), I Copy it (under the little SAVE  icon in the top-right side column of the now visible chart pane > Select & Copy All Text To Clipboard).
  • Then I open a blank TextEdit page, right from my Mac’s dock, choose Format > Wrap to Window (so you don’t lose asteroids between pages if wrapped to  ‘Page’ — this happens!)
  • Paste the asteroids directly from the clipboard into a blank TextEdit page on the Mac side  (which maintains the columns and glyphs formatting). If you prefer, you can also ‘Select All’ ⌘A and BOLD the text ⌘B.
  • DO NOT change the font for the list or you will lose the Sign glyphs. But you can change the format of the Information text at the top of the first page by highlighting it.
  • For a personal touch for clients, I now type ‘via Kerrie Redgate’ with my site URL (which can be chosen as a live link via the menu) in the first page header section as well.
  • I am then ready to save that TextEdit file as a PDF file (File > Export as PDF).
  • Name the file, then you can delete the TextEdit copy. This PDF can be saved to your Mac’s desktop for immediate work with that file or emailed to the client, etc — all seemless, no rebooting!

You may think you don’t need the full set of Named 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 (there are millions up there, most without names yet!), so would not likely show up in smaller sets of asteroids provided by some software developers.

Lastly, I keep a PDF of my personal asteroid list, in Zodiac order, in my Apple Books app, so the list is available to me on all my Apple devices. So, when references pop up in life, I can look them up in real time. (Ever the researcher!)

It may seem like a lot of extra work (it is!),
but asteroids never lie, and

If you’re not using asteroids,
you’re guessing !

Kerrie Redgate logomark
Disclaimer :

The above software applications are listed as recommendations for your consideration only. Kerrie Redgate is not financially affiliated with these software companies and can in no way be held responsible for your use of the above listed software or dealings with these companies, though they are recommended in good faith and from experience.

MacMacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iPhone are registered trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries and regions.
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