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How to Contact Astrology Companies You can email every company for technical support, or call them to talk directly with tech support.

The Optimal Use of Astrology Software

I know this to be true both from talking to the companies and from the customer support I have given people. Next, if your data entry is definitely correct, write down each of the steps you took that got you the incorrect result and also write down any error messages that the software gave you so that the support personnel can reproduce your work , and then call the company that created the program. It is much rarer for the problem to involve your computer or printer or monitor than the program itself.

The astrology software firms want you to be happy with their products, and they want to fix and improve them, so please do contact them as soon as possible after a problem arises. Since the companies are market-driven, if you want to see a new feature added to your software, make sure you let them know.

The limitations due to birth times. I have just June completely rewritten this section of the article, greatly expanded it, and retested all of the calculations. This is a very important article called Astrological Techniques and Uncertain Birth Times that every astrologer should read to understand what astrological techniques are particularly sensitive to birth time errors.

You can read the full, new article by clicking here. Start watching a month in advance for an increase in Venus or Mars energy — which should last for a couple of days when they are within a degree of your Ascendant — and you will begin to ascertain whether or not your birth time is correct. Always watch Saturn's exact transits to the angles, too, as these are much more palpable. Limitations due to the accuracy of astronomical data. One of the world's experts on and source of the algorithms for planetary positions is Dr.

In talking to him, I was very pleased to learn that the equations that exist today are quite accurate for the positions of the outer planets even for 1 AD. On the other hand, the position of the comet Chiron cannot be determined with any degree of accuracy before AD due to an encounter with Saturn on that date, re: Alois Treindl of AstroDienst. Additionally, many programs cannot calculate asteroid positions accurately before about AD. Note: To test Vedic astrology software, with these tables, for accuracy, in your program, change the Ayanamsha to none or Tropical, if possible.

Remember to change it back afterwards! If you are an astrologer who likes to do planetary returns other than Solar or Lunar, be aware that the Ascendant position and houses of the returns will often be in error. When planets are moving slowly near their stations it becomes impossible to calculate returns accurately — the astronomical precision simply does not exist.

Additionally, it is very difficult to calculate the exact moment that a planet stations. If a person is born within twelve hours of a station, your software may mislabel the planet retrograde when it is actually direct, or vice versa. I was in the process of writing a review of the new DayWatch calendar software for The Mountain Astrologer when something funny happened.

I was looking at the date and time for Mercury's retrograde on April 6th and discovered that most software programs did not take into account the switch to Daylight Savings time on April 4th. As a result, the times were an hour off. The reason this problem occurred was that I began the one-month search for planetary stations at the beginning of April Almost none of the programs had the ability to switch to DST in the middle of a search. That is why it is so important not to trust software blindly, but instead to use one's common sense.

Check the software you use, doing a transit search for one month starting April 1, , to see how precise it is.

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One major program is 2 hours and 22 minutes off, while most programs are correct within a minute or two, or at most within 10 minutes. Electronic Atlas Issues. If the electronic, or paper, atlas you use to find longitudes, latitudes, time zones, and time changes has errors, birth charts will be one hour off, or more.

No Time Changes. Many novices mistakenly assume that their software has an accurate time-change atlas built in. Most programs now include the ACS or another electronic atlas. But smaller programs and those created in countries outside of the U. Old Atlas Data.

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Many people buy software and never update it. This is a big mistake where atlases are concerned, because time zones and daylight savings are in constant flux in the world. If you have an electronic software atlas that is several years old, the changes in Eastern Europe and South America will certainly not be up-to-date and many of the charts you do for children will be wrong. Even earlier versions of major programs have out-of-date atlas data. Navigating the time zone thicket is an incredibly complex task, and professionals like Tom Shanks of Astro Communication Services and David Cochrane of Cosmic Patterns continually scrutinize the changes taking place in the world and update their software the ACS atlas and Kepler.

Update your atlas and software regularly. Up-to-date Atlas test: The chart for October, 1, for Lisbon, Portugal for am should have a rising sign of 3 Scorpio 23 and a time zone of -1 because Daylight Savings time is in effect. Limited Number of Cities in Atlas. A few programs, e. One cannot and should not assume that nearby cities have the same time zone, especially in areas with complex zone boundaries, like the state of Illinois.

Duplicate Cities. Another atlas issue is the presence of two or more cities with the same name in the same state! Many programs handle this correctly by showing you both choices, and indicate which city is bigger.

But other programs fail completely, showing only one city perhaps even the smaller one! Always ask your clients, if they are born in a state with two or more cities with the same name, which county they were born in i. Company-created atlases. While most mainstream U.

In the case of Cosmic Patterns, the makers of Kepler, they actually have incorporated both their own research and the ACS data, and so offer an incredibly up-to-date and comprehensive time change atlas. But many firms, in an attempt to save money by not paying licensing fees, develop their own atlas, which may or may not be as comprehensive or as accurate as the ACS or Kepler ones.

Always test the accuracy of the atlases for programs that have chosen this path, using the tests in this article. The Advanced Atlas Test. Here are some cities that are particularly good for testing whether your atlas is completely trustworthy. Even atlases that generally do well may fail at some of these. When software authors choose to develop their own atlases, instead of using the industry-standard ACS atlas data, errors can creep it and places omitted. At the time of testing, December , several major programs couldn't find a city or gave the wrong time zone for a place or two, but I'm happy to report that every manufacturer immediately addressed the issue.

Please remember to get the latest atlas updates when they become available for your software. Important Note : If you are creating charts for newborns living in foreign countries, go to www. According to David Cochrane of Cosmic Patterns, this website is an excellent source for accurate contemporary time zone information. For example, Venezuela has changed the time zone used countrywide.

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Thanks to David Cochrane for this alert. Unfortunately, the ACS atlas has not been updated to reflect this change, and so programs that rely on it -- such as Solar Fire, TimePassages, Shri Jyoti Star -- will create incorrect charts for Venezuela for newborns until this issue has been addressed. Even versions of Kepler or Sirius that have not been recently updated will have this problem. So for recent births outside of the U.

To test whether your program can calculate time zones correctly: You can use 12 noon i. Limitations in software design: A.

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Missed Events. A longstanding problem that existed in earlier versions of many astrology programs -- and still exists in one current program -- is that if you rely on your astrology software to search for outer planet transits and you limit the search to only a couple of months, they left out very major events. Note: The Time Line graphical transit display in Kepler and Sirius does not have this problem, and it is possible to configure their hit listings to avoid this too by going to Dates and Times to Print, and changing "the number of months before and after printout to find: aspects in orb" to two months.

They find events that have already entered orb but have not reached an exact hit. The problem is the result of the fact that Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto slow down and change direction twice a year, and near each station, they may approach an exact aspect for several months. If the beginning date of the transit search happens to be after the transiting planet has entered a one degree orb, and for the duration of the search the transiting planet never exactly aspects the natal planet, then the software will not list the event at all!

Here's an example: Bill Clinton was in a period of Neptune opposed Saturn during September and October of , but almost every astrology program completely omitted this transit if the search period was from September 1, thru November 15, because at the starting date the transit has passed the entering orb, and it didn't reach the exact hit until November 27, In the above image, we can see that Neptune entered one degree orb on July 20 and reached exactness on August But in October, Neptune stationed, and so Neptune doesn't exactly oppose Saturn again until November 27th.

If an astrologer searches for major transits during September and October for Bill Clinton using most astrology programs, the transit will not show up. Feel free to test your software using the above example. Bill Clinton's birth data is: August 19 , am, Hope, Arkansas. This very serious deficiency in most astrology programs and can only be compensated for by setting your software to look for periods of at least three months at a time if you are using a one degree approaching orb. If you are an astrologer who uses much wider transit orbs, like 6 degrees, your software becomes won't find many major transits unless you do scans of two years or more.

Missed Events in Kepler and Sirius Hit Lists : The transit text listings in both Kepler and Sirius will omit some stationary events for short transit scans, but you can fix this if you make one small change in them.

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After running a transit listing, you right-click and customize the report: changing the Aspects in Orb to 1 instead of 0. Stations within Orb. Most astrology programs can list planetary stations, but not in relationship to specific transits.

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Since, often, the most powerful transits are ones where the transiting planet approaches a natal point and then stands still nearby before reaching an exact hit, this omission is significant. Always look to see if there are stations within orb of major transits, because your software will not show them. Note: starting with Kepler 7. These regions are further explored in Aquarius from a more holistic viewpoint, but for now our itinerary is to explore the many domains of Human understanding to discover who and what lives there.

We must expand our horizons on every level, find new truths, scout out unexplored territory and be open to all that we encounter.