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,
and the now abandoned Phaethon project
(which was terrific in its day!).
And I do use Windows apps on my Mac!
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 is a big advantage.
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 is now 24,555 asteroids including some far objects (beyond Pluto) at my time of writing (Dec 21 2023)!
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.
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 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 my chart calculations on the Mac.
I run CWAstEph on Windows 11 (you can use an external USB storage drive, 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 I recommend you stick with v18 (I got a refund on Parallels v19). I have found a way to get around this bug!
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).
I will have more information here about this app, my procedure for using it on a Mac, and how you can access it, very soon…
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.
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 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 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!).
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.
It 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.
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.
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.
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, to download the asteroids PDF onto your Apple desktop.
You will find complete instructions for Boot Camp here:
- 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 when 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 to your Mac — but you can put Windows on an external storage drive with only Parallels on the Mac. Though, I have had a problem with Parallels which has now deleted the ‘Print to PDF (on Mac Desktop)‘ option, needed for CWAsteph for aligning the columns automatically in a PDF. But I have found an easy way to overcome that, which I’ll explain here very soon. (More, below, about Parallels.)
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!) 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.)
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:
- First calculate the natal chart
- Go to the Listing tab in the top 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 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 calculate 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). I also like to ‘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 not think you 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, 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 …
If you’re not using asteroids,
you’re guessing !
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Windows, Windows10, and Windows11 are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S.A. and other countries.
The above software applications are listed as recommendations for your consideration only. Kerrie Redgate is not 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.