ASTROLABE®

FAQ's for Solar Fire


I am upgrading and installing my Solar Fire on to a new computer, will the upgrade install or do I need to install my old version first?

I am trying to install my new Solar Fire V8 from the download link, but I'm getting a "Win32" error. What's that?

How do I save my charts and data from Solar Fire onto a USB?

I had an earlier version of Solar Fire and have just purchased the upgrade to the latest Solar Fire; how do I update my Solar Fire Chart files?

Can I use Solar Fire Gold on my Mac?

My Solar Fire will not install and is telling me that I have an "Incorrect Password". What can I do?

Is your Solar Fire technical support free?

Can you help with customizing Dynamic reports in Solar Fire?

Can I transfer ownership of my Solar Fire to my partner or friend, or sell my copy secondhand?

How do I change Time Zone details in Solar Fire?

How do I create different dials in Solar Fire?

How do I get rid of the birth data info when I'm copying a Solar Fire chart to a gif file?

How do I do a lunar phase return in Solar Fire?

How do I change the Decan Rulerships in Solar Fire?

Does Solar Fire have the point Lilith?

Please could you clarify the use of interpretations in Solar Fire and Solar Writer? Can I use these interpretations in my client work and can I edit the text?

Can Solar Fire display and print European characters, like ä?

Does this product work on Windows Vista?

How can I see the Centaurs displayed on charts in Solar Fire?

Older Solar Fire versions

Can Solar Fire Deluxe help me calculate Draconic charts?

How do I copy my Solar Fire Deluxe charts and pages to my publishing program?

I am a little lost with the additional patterns or grand configs in a chart. Where might I find some definitions about some of these patterns, such as the Huber learning 1, 2, 3, 4 , or the Double Yod key, etc. ?

I wonder if anyone could point me in the direction of how to erect a tertiary chart using Solar Fire? I am trying to find a method using Solar Fire to re-create the tertiary charts in a book called "Dynamic Astrology" by Sven Frederik Fisher Svensson. The author's work was done before the advent of computers in astrology and therefore his method is long and laborious!

I purchased a copy of Solar Fire v5 a couple of years ago and I was wondering if you know how I can use SFv5 on my computer with Japanese Windows. I now have Windows XP.

I have seen two values for the solar year ie 365.2422 days and 365.2563 days. Why are there two different values?

Is Solar Fire compatible with Windows XP?

How do I add other places to the ACS PC ATLAS? (I mean to add to the existing database, not create a new one.)

The second and other pages of the Solar Fire dynamic report do not support local codes of letters in chart names. Why is that?

How do I combine two charts in a one biwheel type, where inner would be European type chart, outer would be French type chart (you have houses in inner chart, and houses of outer chart are as the "beams") - where it is graphically easier to read comparison of both together?

How do I define the same degree orientation of the charts in the pages with more than one chart on the page (for multiple comparison I need to have for example for all charts on the page on the left hand all 0 Aries, or all charts positioned with 19 Cancer for example, or all Asc on left - all on my choice)?

When an eclipse chart is produced in Solar Fire I note that the Sun and Moon are not at the very same minute of arc. For example, if I were to select the eclipse chart for 21 Jun 2001, 10:04pm (Melbourne) then the Sun and Moon are 3 minutes apart. Why is that?

Have you ever thought of leaving a space at the bottom of the "View Chart" screen in SF5? When I am writing and have to continually switch back and forth between SF and my word processor, it would be much quicker if I could access the bar at the bottom of the screen to click back into my other programs. Would that be very hard to do?

Can a logo be added to the objects list of the page editor or is there any other way that a logo can be added to the printouts of Solarfire 5?

This is just a quick question and I am sure I should know this or at least know where to look it up: On a chart for 6 1 1572 "OS" comes up next to the date. On a chart for 5 1 1893 "NS" comes up. What do OS and NS stand for?

Solar Fire Answers

I am upgrading and installing my Solar Fire on to a new computer, will the upgrade install or do I need to install my old version first?

Unlike other software, Solar Fire upgrades are complete and work as a new full software program. As a loyal Solar Fire user you pay an upgrade price, but you receive a totally new program. You may, of course, wish to back up your Chart and User files and transfer them on to your new computer.


I am trying to install my new Solar Fire V8 from the download link, but I'm getting a "Win32" error. What's that?

If you are trying to install Solar Fire V8 from the download link we provided you and you get a "Win32" error, then the download was incomplete or the file somehow got corrupted. You should delete that file and redownload the program.

Top of page

How do I save my charts and data from Solar Fire onto a USB?

Start up Solar Fire.  From the main menu screen, click on Utilities> Backup All User Files.

Select the USB drive letter by double clicking on it.

Under the drive letter, click on the make a new folder button and create a folder name e.g. "My SF backup files".  Click on this new folder, then click on the ok button, then confirm the next screen to begin saving all of your files.

Almost all things are saved such as core charts, customized wheel styles, customized page layouts and customized interpretation text. Retained charts are not saved.

For more information and a free Astrolabe program that will help ensure that your files are saved and transferred without being lost, see our Astrobackup program on our download page.

Top of page

I had an earlier version of Solar Fire and have just purchased the upgrade to the latest Solar Fire; how do I update my Solar Fire Chart files?

If you have installed the latest Solar Fire onto your existing computer, then you simply need to import your Solar Fire chart files. You can do this by going to Utilities/Chart Import/Export on the main Solar Fire screen. This will take you to the Chart Conversion section of Solar Fire. From here you can locate your current Chart files and then Import.

If your old Solar Fire Chart files are on your old computer then we recommend that you transfer them to and from a USB key. You can save your Chart files on a USB key from the main menu screen. Click on Utilities> Backup All User Files.

Select the USB drive letter by double clicking on it.

Under the drive letter, click on the make a new folder button and create a folder name e.g. "My SF backup files". Click on this new folder, then click on the ok button, then confirm the next screen to begin saving all of your files.

Almost all things are saved such as core charts, customized wheel styles, customized page layouts and customized interpretation text. Retained charts are not saved. Once on your new computer with your new Solar Fire you can import these files from the USB key from the same Utilities/Chart Import/Export menu item.

Top of page

Can I use Solar Fire Gold on my Mac?

We do not officially support Solar Fire on the Mac, but we have a lot of customers who successfully use Solar Fire on a Mac equipped with an Intel chip, Windows and a Windows emulation program like Bootcamp, Parallels, Virtual PC or Virtual box and VMWare Fusion. In addition to doing emulation, these various options isolate the Windows environment from the Mac environment so viruses can't jump from one side to the other.

Putting Windows on your Mac
All of the Windows emulations on a Mac require that you have a Windows disk and license key (serial number) for Windows that you are currently using somewhere else. An old disk from an old derelict computer should work. Solar Fire will work on any Windows version from Windows 98 onwards, so you can use an old version of Windows with Virtual Box or Parallels. See below for details about the Windows requirements of the various emulator programs.

Using Virtual PC
The main problem we have had is with printers, especially Epson printers made for the Mac. There are possibly fixes for those problems on the Virtual PC website. When the Windows software says you need to control/click, in Virtual PC you have to press control/option/click instead.

Using Bootcamp
The Bootcamp method runs much faster than Virtual PC, but has some drawbacks. If you want to use Windows you have to restart your computer in Windows mode, and it might be more difficult or impossible to share files between the Macintosh part of your computer and the Windows part. However, Astrolabe has Solar Fire and Windows running on a Macbook laptop using Bootcamp, and it works great. Windows on Bootcamp runs as fast or faster than it does on a regular PC. Here is more info on Bootcamp: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1461

Bootcamp is included on new intel OS-X macs, and there are installation instructions in the Macintosh help (search for Bootcamp) and also here: https://www.apple.com/support/bootcamp/

It is easy to make a Windows partition, and you can change your mind later and easily take windows off again in a couple of minutes. With Bootcamp you need to load a full version of Windows XP or Vista. If possible XP rather than Vista. If you are installing an upgrade version of Windows, you can't eject the upgrade cd when you are asked to insert the older Windows cd. However, if you have an external cd drive you can insert both cds at the same time and it will work. Put the older Windows disk in the external cd drive and just press Enter when the Windows install program asks you to insert the old cd. By the way, Bootcamp will make a Windows partition and format it for you, but you still have to let the Windows install program format it again or it won't install properly. If you don't use Windows much, then let it make the default a small sized Fat32 partition, which OS-X can also use. If you use Windows a lot, you might want to make a bigger partition and let Windows format it with ntfs.

Using Parallels
Parallels lets you run Windows inside a window on the Mac desktop, and you can run other operating systems on the Mac without rebooting. Parallels is fast. You can find more information on Parallels at:
http://www.parallels.com
and http://kb.parallels.com.

If you use Parallels, you will need to shut off the shared options, shared folders, shared applications and especially shared profile, which is the setting most likely to cause a problem. Solar Fire Gold 7 puts its charts and other user files into a folder in My Documents, and if the sharing options in Parallels are not turned off, Solar Fire isn't able to find these files. Here is more information about this issue:
http://alabe.com/Ticket/kb/a3154/running-solar-fire-on-the-mac-with-parallels.aspx

Using Virtual Box
Sun Microsystems sponsors a free emulation program called Virtual Box. Virtual Box lets you set up Windows inside a file on your hard disk, thus enabling you to run Windows on the Mac desktop. It is fairly fast, and it also works on Linux. Compared to Parallels, it's only a little harder to set up, and it works quite well. You can find more information on Virtual Box at:
http://www.virtualbox.org/

The Virtual Box emulator will work with Windows XP or Vista. It will work on older Windows versions, but doesn't have drivers for hi-res video. The video driver that we used to load Windows ME and Solar Fire on VirtualBox is no longer available, but you can try this one, which is the only place we could find one any more:
http://bearwindows.boot-land.net/vbe9x.htm

Using VMware
There is a setting in VMware called “Shared Folders” that needs to be turned off. Be sure that the virtual machine is open in Workstation and click its tab to make it the active virtual machine. Choose VM > Settings > Options and make sure “Shared Folders” is turned off. There’s more information on shared folders in VMware at: http://www.vmware.com/support/ws5/doc/ws_running_shared_folders.html

Using Crossover or Wine
Solar Fire will not work on the limited Windows emulator called Crossover.

Adapting the Mac mouse
If the wireless mouse made by Apple doesn't work in Windows, you might have to use a wired USB mouse instead. This isn't as much of an issue as it used to be, especially since Apple has begun offering two-button mice.

Adapting the delete keys
On the Windows keyboard, the Delete key deletes the next character, and the Backspace key deletes the previous character. On the Mac keyboard, there is only a Delete key, and this deletes the previous character. If this bothers you, you can get a keyboard hotkey program and reprogram the Mac's right hand Command key to be a Delete key that works like the Delete key on PC's. the Command key on the Mac is the same as the Windows key in Windows.

Here's a link to a free hotkey program called AutoHotKey: http://www.autohotkey.com/docs/misc/Remap.htm

Top of page

My Solar Fire will not install and is telling me that I have an "Incorrect Password". What can I do?

There is no known problem with entering a password on the download version. Usually this problem is encountered when you are not entering your Registration details correctly. Please make sure that you are entering your details word and number perfect. Capitals must be capitals, lower case must be lower case etc. Also please ensure that you are not mistaking a numerical "0" for an alphabetical "o" and vice versa.  

Our password system does reply on the computer being set for English in the Windows settings, as well as an regular English keyboard. If you have you're your Windows to a language other than English or you are using a another language for the keyboard settings then, yes, there might be a problem.  

You will need to check the language setting in Windows, as follows:

Start > Control Panel > Regional and Language Options

Formats tab: Current format: English (USA) [or English (anything)]

Keyboards and Languages tab: click on "Change Keyboards" button and on the next screen, under the General tab, check that the keyboard is set to "US" for the English (USA) language.

Top of page

Is your Solar Fire technical support free?

Technical Support for Solar Fire products is FREE for all current versions. So that we can keep this service cost free and personal please make sure that you contact us for genuine technical difficulties only.


Can you help with customizing Dynamic reports in Solar Fire?

Yes! We have a free downloadable video recorded by Madalyn that will help you start customizing your Dynamic reports today.


Can I transfer ownership of my Solar Fire to my partner or friend, or sell my copy secondhand?

The short answer is "no". Please note that once a software license is registered in a person's name it is not transferable. This means that upgrades and technical support are available only to registered users. When purchasing software please ensure that the correct name is registered.

Astrolabe Inc. and Esoteric Technologies Pty Ltd have put this page together to share information on the issue of software piracy and the impact on both of our companies as well as on our valued customers.

As noted by the Business Software Alliance www.bsa.org

"Quite simply, to make or download unauthorized copies of software is to break the law, no matter how many copies are involved. Whether you are casually making a few copies for friends, loaning cd's, distributing and/or downloading pirated software via the Internet, or buying a single software program and then installing it on multiple company computers, you are committing a copyright infringement. It doesn't matter if you are doing it to make money or not - if you or your company is caught copying software, you may be held liable under both civil and criminal law."

Apart from legal consequences, using copied or counterfeit software also means:
Customers receive the best value for their software by purchasing legally obtained software programs that qualify them for product updates and special offers directly from Astrolabe, Inc. and Esoteric Technologies. Developing new software takes many months of time, testing and documentation. To continue to supply astrologers with top-grade astrology software, its makers need to recoup costs and keep staff on hand to give service and technical support.

If you are not sure if you have a legal copy of our products or have questions about whether an Astrolabe or Esoteric product you are considering buying is legal, please contact us.

If you need additional licenses, learn more about volume licensing.
Top of page

How do I change Time Zone details in Solar Fire?

  1. Select the required entry on the list of available zone tables.

  2. Click on the Edit... button. This will display the "Edit Time Zone Table" dialog displaying the data for the current zone table.
To set the title and other options

  1. Enter a Table Name - preferably a name that is descriptive of the locations to which this table applies.

  2. Optionally select the Next Table - From the Next Table drop-down list, select any other existing table that should be used for dates following the last date in the current table.
  3. In most cases you will want to leave this set to "None".

  4. Set the verification message option - If the time zones in this table are likely to continue changing regularly after the last entry in the table, then you may choose to have Solar Fire issue a warning message for charts with dates beyond the last entry in this table. If you want to see such messages, ensure that this option is checked.


How do I create different dials in Solar Fire?

Here is how you can create the dials:

Top of page

How do I get rid of the birth data info when I'm copying a Solar Fire chart to a gif file?

when you are copying a chart to a Metafile or a PDF file, you can omit the birth data notation simply by un-checking the Include Captions box in the Copy Image To... window. However, this box is grayed out and unusable if you choose a raster format like the Clipboard or a Bitmap, JPEG or GIF file. These copy whatever image is on the screen.

Here is how to omit the birth-data caption when copying charts into a raster format.

  1. In the Calculated Charts list on Solar Fire's main screen, select the chart that you want to copy.
  2. In the menu bar at the top of the Solar Fire main screen, select View > Current Chart (or just double-click on the chart name ).
  3. With the chart showing in the View Chart window, click the Pages button.
  4. The Page Selection by Topic window will appear, with the page design (normally the default single-wheel page design, uni.pag) that you're currently viewing highlighted. Click the Edit button.
  5. The Page Designer window will open, showing a screen version of the currently viewed page design. Click on the "Chart Details" page object so that red squares appear around its edges.
  6. Then select Delete > Object and it will disappear.
  7. If you look at the box in the upper right-hand corner of the Page Designer window you may see that there are page designs for several screen resolutions. If there is more than one "Screen" item in this list, select each one and repeat steps 4 and 5 for each. This will ensure that the caption will be deleted no matter what screen resolution you are using. Then,
  8. Select File > Save As, and type in a new filename (for example, NoCapt.pag) for your new page design.
  9. Select File > Exit to exit from the Page Designer and return to the Page Selection by Topic window.
  10. The new page design file that you have created (NoCapt.pag) will probably show up in the General category of page designs, and you should be able to see it when you click the plus sign next to "General." (If it doesn't show up at first, click on OK to exit from the "Page Selection by Topic" window, and then reopen this window by clicking the Pages button in the View Chart window.)
  11. In the Page Selection by Topic window, click on your new page design (nocapt.pag), and click on the Apply button. As the new page design is applied, the caption should disappear.
  12. Click OK to close the Page Selection by Topic window. The View Chart window should now show the wheel without the birth data caption, and you can proceed to use the Copy/Send button to copy the chart sans caption to a gif. bitmap, jpeg file or to the Clipboard.
  13. The next Calculated Chart that you view (by double-clicking on it or clicking on View > Current Chart) will appear on the screen in the old default page design (uni.pag), complete with its birth-data caption. To view and copy another chart without the birth-data caption, you will have to manually select the special no-caption page design that you have created. To do so, highlight the Calculated Chart that you want to copy, and select the View menu. Right beneath the "Page Topic Index" item you will see recently-viewed page designs, including the filename of the page design that you have just created. Select it, click the OK button, and you will be able to view and copy the wheel without the birth-data caption.

Top of page

How do I do a lunar phase return in Solar Fire?

  1. From the Solar Fire main screen, select Chart > Lunar Phase.
  2. At the top of the Lunar Phases & Eclipses dialog box, select the Base Chart so that it is highlighted.
  3. In the Chart Type to Generate menu, select Phase Returns.
  4. The Search for Phases Around area would ordinarily show today's date. If it doesn't, click on the Now button to fill in today's date. If you want the phase returns to start in a different month, type in another date or use the spin buttons to move to another month.
  5. In the Phases to Find area, type in a number or click on the spin buttons until you see the number of returns that you want.
  6. In the Location area, select Natal or (if you want to relocate the houses in the phase return chart), Relocated.
  7. If elected to relocate the chart, type in a different place in the Search for Phases Around area.
  8. Click the OK button, and the whole series of phase returns will show up in a little Chart Selection box.
  9. To select all of them, highlight the first one, then hold down the Shift key while you click on the last. To pick and choose which charts you want to calculate, hold down the Ctrl key while you click on each one.
  10. Click the OK button, and all the phase returns will show up in the main screen's Calculated Charts box ready for you to view.
Top of page

How do I change the Decan Rulerships in Solar Fire?

Decan rulers can be changed in SF v7.3.1 (and SFv8). To modify the assignments, click on Utilities > Edit Rulers/Weightings... and in the top half of this screen, you can change the rulerships. Just know that the present rulerships seem to be OK unless you have a very special case for a client.

The Modern rulerships for Decans can be seen on the Level 1 dropdown (the default), and you can read them off the dropdowns for the 1st Decan, 2nd Decan and 3rd decan, after clicking on each sign. The Traditional decan rulers are on Level 2 so if you now change the dropdown from Level 1 to Level 2, you will see that both the "Name of Set" and "Menu Name" changes from "Modern" to "Traditional" and again you can read off the traditional decan assignments.
For example, if you click on Pisces for Level 1 (Modern), you will see Neptune, Moon, Pluto as the decan rulers. If you now change the level to Level 2 (Traditional) then you will see Saturn, Jupiter, Mars as the decan rulers.

You will notice that there are also Level 3 for Esoteric rulerships, Level 4 for Hierarchical rulerships, and a relatively new one, Level 5, for the Nakshatra assignments, which is the one used in SFv8. Though Level 5 was available in SFv7.3.1, there was no wheel style for it to display the nakshatras but there is now in SFv8.

Top of page

Does Solar Fire have the point Lilith?

There are three points that have the name Lilith – the Black Moon Lilith, the asteroid Lilith and the Dark Moon Lilith. Solar Fire has all three.

The Black Moon is one of the chart points which may be displayed in any chart or grid also sometimes known as the Black Moon Lilith and is popular in Europe. This point is the empty focal point of the Moons orbit around the earth, which is also the apogee of the Moons orbit. The speed based on an orbital period of 3231.45 days. It is possible to select the Black Moon as either the true (osculating) apogee or the mean apogee in the Preferences section of Solar Fire.

True Apogee - is the position of the moon's apogee, taking into account short term fluctuations (osculations) in the plane of the moons orbit.

Mean Apogee - is the position of the moon's apogee according to a mathematical formula which ignores many of the minor perturbations in its orbit.

The selected Black Moon type is not saved with a chart - it is only applied when a chart is being calculated.

The asteroid Lilith - asteroid number 1181 – comes with the 1000 Asteroids in Solar Fire Gold

The Dark Moon Lilith a possible second satellite of the earth (not confirmed by modern astronomy), as first postulated by Waltemath, and written about by Delphine Jay. This can be found in the Jayne Hypotheticals Extra Points file in Solar Fire.

As a point of interest Solar Fire also includes Selena, also know as the White Moon which is also popular in Europe. It has a perfectly circular hypothetical orbit.

Top of page


Please could you clarify the use of interpretations in Solar Fire and Solar Writer? Can I use these interpretations in my client work and can I edit the text?

Thank you for contacting us regarding the use of interpretations text in Solar Fire and Solar Writer. This text has been provided for personal and professional use within these astrology software programs. As such you may use the text for your friends, family and clients as long as you are using the software to generate each report. You cannot, for instance, take the text and use it from another programs or directly on a web site. This would be breach of use.

You may edit the text, as long as you keep the copyright notice. You may also remove the supplied illustrations and use your own within the software. In fact we hope that you will customise your reports in a way that reflect your own style. Our aim is to support your astrology work and provide you with a wonderful tool for your satisfaction.

Top of page

Can Solar Fire display and print European characters, like ä?

For displaying and printing European characters in Solar Fire Gold (any version really), the user will need to change the font setting in Solar Fire Gold. On the menu Chart Options > Fonts, the defaults are "ET Sans Serif 2" and "ET Symbol 2" for Screen and Printer fonts respectively. It is best to change these fonts to "MS Sans Serif" and "Arial" (for Screen and Print fonts) so that any European characters, entered by the user, in a Name or Place may easily be displayed and/or printed.

For example, the user might type in "Gerhardt Schröeder" born in "München, Germany". Using the method above, this name and place can be displayed and printed. Saving a chart will also save these European characters and they reappear when the user opens the chart at another time.


Does this product work on Windows Vista?

The current release of Solar Fire Gold (v8) is fully compatible with Windows Vista, and all the latest versions of Esoteric Technologies' programs can be installed and run on Windows Vista.

However, the on-line help files in some programs are not accessible when running Windows Vista. This issue currently affects most older (non-current) versions of our programs, as well as earlier versions of the following current program versions: Solar Writer v2, Solar Maps v3, JigSaw v2, Solar Spark v2 and AstroTides v1. This issue has been resolved in minor version updates of these programs released as free patches on our "Downloads and Updates" page on our website: http://alabe.com/dlpage.htm or the Esoteric Technologies website (for Solar Spark and Solar Writer).

Due to the security features of Windows Vista, customers installing Solar Fire v5 onto a new computer with Windows Vista may experience a program crash upon startup immediately after first installation, although this has a fairly simple solution ie. to choose "Run as Administrator" from its desktop icon (using a right hand mouse click to bring up its menu). This needs to be done only once in order to fix the problem permanently.

There is also a much smaller likelihood of a similar problem with Solar Fire Deluxe v6.0.30 or earlier. However, this can be avoided altogether simply by ensuring that you allow the installation program to launch Solar Fire Deluxe at the end of the installation (ie. do not uncheck the option to run Solar Fire).

Also, users of Solar Writer v2.2.1.3 or earlier may find that graphics and illustrations are missing from the reports after installing onto Windows Vista. The solution is simply to apply the latest Solar Writer patch update from the Esoteric Technologies website.

Top of page

How can I see the Centaurs displayed on charts in Solar Fire?

We have had several requests to be able to view Pholus and Nessus on a wheel as well as seeing aspects to them in the Reports > Asteroids report.

You can achieve this by using the Extra Ring Points feature of Solar Fire Deluxe, plus some new chart wheels but first you need to make some setup changes, as follows:

  1. Start up Solar Fire Deluxe.
  2. Click on "Chart Options" menu item then click on the "Extra Ring Points..." item. You will see a list of Extra Ring Points files already setup. However, you will probably need to now setup a new one for your
    specific needs.
  3. Click on the "Create" button and enter a filename, something like "MyExtras" and a MyExtras.pte file will be added to the list of files and highlighted.
  4. Click on the "Edit" button and you should see that the "Selected Points" column on the left-hand side should be blank.
  5. On the right-hand side, click on the "Asteroid" option in the "Point Type" section then click on the "Select File" button in that same section. On the resulting list of Asteroid files, locate and click on the CENTAURS.AST file and click on the "Select" button. A list of the centaurs will display in the column headed "Available Points".
  6. Click on Nessus then click on the "<- Add" button below that list, and this action will put Nessus in the "Selected Points" column. Do the same for Pholus.
  7. Now, click on the "Save" button then the "Select" button on the previous screen and these actions will now complete the definition and selection of the Extra Ring Points file.
To display these extra points on a wheel, do the following:
  1. On the main screen of Solar Fire Deluxe, open a natal chart and have it highlighted on the "Calculated Charts" list.
  2. Click on the "View" menu item then click on the "Page Topic Index..." item to see a list of page topics. Locate the "Basic" category and double-click on it to see the items under that category.
  3. On the list, locate the entry "Wheel with extra points [Uniextr4.wh1] [uniextra2.pag]" and double-click on it. You will now see a wheel with the regular planets in the centre, as usual, and the extra points, Nessus and Pholus in your case, around the outside.

For a BiWheel, such as looking at a natal chart with the current transits around the outside, and to also see the extra points for both of these charts, you need to do the following:
  1. On the main screen of Solar Fire Deluxe, you should have a natal chart already opened on the "Calculated Charts" list. Now, create the current transit chart using Chart > New, so that it now also displays on the "Calculated Charts" list.
  2. With the two charts now on the Calculated Charts" list, hold the "Ctrl" key down on the keyboard and click on the natal chart then the transit chart so that both charts are now highlighted on the "Calculated Charts" list.
  3. You now need to setup your BiWheel for the new type of chart showing the "extras". Click on the "Chart Options" menu item then click on the "Wheel Styles" item then click on the "BiWheel..." item to see a list of files.
  4. Click on the "BiExtra1.WH2" file to highlight it and then click on the "Select" button.
  5. Finally, click on the "View" menu item then click on the "BiWheel" item and your new BiWheel will display both charts and include the extra ring points on both wheels.
Top of page

Can Solar Fire Deluxe help me calculate Draconic charts?

Your Solar Fire Deluxe can certainly help you with draconic charts, and save you a lot of time. Here are the steps you need to run a draconic chart using Solar Fire Deluxe:

i) Enter a new chart or open an existing chart of a person so that the chart is listed on the Calculated Charts List. This chart will be your "normal" chart - one that you are already familiar with in tropical or western astrology.

ii) With the Calculated Charts List displaying, right-click on this chart entry (it is likely to be highlighted) to display a menu then click on the "Edit" item then click on the "Copy & Edit Chart..." item. This action will display a New Chart Data Entry screen ready for editing.

iii) You will see the details for the person already entered so all you need to do is to change the Zodiac setting. You do this by clicking on the down arrow next to the Zodiac that is currently displaying (likely to be Tropical). Scroll down this list of zodiacs until you locate "Draconic" and click on it to select it. iv) Click on the "OK" button and this new chart with the Draconic zodiac will be placed on the Calculated Charts List. As you will see from the Preview wheel, the Moon's North Node is set to 0* Aries - the beginning of the draconic zodiac.

v) From here you can simply double-click on that new entry on the Calculated Charts List and this action will display this chart in a single wheel on your Solar Fire Deluxe's default page layout.

vi) Pamela A. F. Crane's "Draconic Astrology" book displays both the "normal" tropical chart and the draconic chart around a zodiac wheel, the "normal" on the inside and the draconic one on the outside. You can do this too with Solar Fire Deluxe. To do this, get back to the Calculated Charts List then highlight both your "normal" chart and your draconic chart by first holding down the "Ctrl" key on the keyboard and then click on each of these two charts to highlight them. Now release the "Ctrl" key.

vii) Click on the "View" menu item on the menu bar at the top of that screen then click on the "BiWheel..." option to display the two charts. NOTE: if your "normal" chart is not the inside one then simply click on the "Swap" button to make it so.

viii) Finally, we need to select a BiWheel layout that displays both charts around a zodiac wheel. To do this, click on the "Wheel Style" button and you will see a list of possible BiWheel options. Click on the TRANSITS2.WH2 entry then click on the "Select" button. This action will now display the two charts in a somewhat similar fashion to the charts shown in Pamela Crane's book.

Top of page

How do I copy my Solar Fire Deluxe charts and pages to my publishing program?

To achieve sending a Solar Fire Deluxe chart image from the Clipboard to the Microsoft Publisher, follow these steps:

i) Within Solar Fire, get up to the point where you are displaying your required chart on the "View Chart" screen, using your required page layout

ii) On that screen, click on the "Copy/Send" button then click on the "Clipboard" Destination then click on the "Metafile (*.wmf)" Output File Type then click on the "OK" button. This action copies this page layout to the Clipboard in Metafile format.

iii) Start up your Microsoft Publisher program and get to a blank page. If the page layout you selected in Solar Fire Deluxe was in a landscape format then click on File -> Page Setup menu items, click on the "Landscape" option then click on the "OK" button.

iv) Now set your page layout guides. Click on Arrange -> Layout Guides menu items and set the Left, Right, Top, Bottom margins to 1cm and click on the "OK" button

v) With the image still in the Clipboard, click on the Edit -> Paste menu items and your Solar Fire chart image will be put onto the page in a smaller frame

vi) Hold down the "Ctrl" key on the keyboard then, using the mouse, grab one of the corner anchors of the image and re-size the image to fill the page.

vii) Finally, you can click on the File -> Save As menu items to save that publication or click on File -> Print menu items to print it out. NOTE: The "Metafile (*.wmf)" setting in Solar Fire Deluxe yields a much better image quality for than the "Bitmap (*.bmp)" setting.

Top of page

I am a little lost with the additional patterns or grand configs in a chart. Where might I find some definitions about some of these patterns, such as the Huber learning 1, 2, 3, 4 , or the Double Yod key, etc. ?

Solar Fire includes all the major patterns to which we had found references in astrological literature. Note that, due to lack of any single authoritative reference to aspect patterns, many patterns have been attributed with more than one name, and we have therefore included all the alternative names known to us.

However, interpretations of aspect patterns (beyond the most commonly used ones) are rarely found in the available astrological literature. This is perhaps understandable given that the interpretation of a pattern in a particular chart depends to a large degree on which planets are involved, in which combination, and in which signs and houses.

However, it may still be possible to attribute certain traits to particular patterns in general, and the following sources do give some further information along these lines:

The patterns dubbed "Rosetta", ""Hele" and "Double Yod key" were discussed in a recent article by Sally Fisher (Astrology Quarterly, The Astrological Lodge of London, Vol 74 No 2, Spring 2004 - "Astrological Keystones - New aspect formations for the new millennium?").

The Huber school's learning aspect patterns are also referred to as "learning triangles", and are made up of three aspects with colors red, blue and green. There are "good" and "bad" learning triangles, depending on the order in which the aspects occur. The "good" triangles progress from red to green to blue aspects (clockwise), whereas the "bad" triangles progress from red to blue to green. In this context, learning relates to one's experiences in life, and how we approach it. In the Huber method, only planets are used in these aspect patterns - nodes and chart angles are not included. The Huber school of astrology is popular especially in Europe, and further information is available from various sources, including a book called "The Cosmic Egg" eg. http://www.astrocora.com.ar/acart/Review.htm

Top of page

I wonder if anyone could point me in the direction of how to erect a tertiary chart using Solar Fire?

You can calculate tertiary progressed charts for a given date and time, or find hits to a natal charts over any given period of time, using tertiary progressions.

To calculate a tertiary progressed chart

1) Chart / Progressed
2) Choose "Chart Type to Generate"as either "Mean Tertiary Progressed" or "True Tertiary Progressed".

To calculate a dynamic report using tertiary progressions

1) Dynamic / Transits & Progressions
2) Under Event Selection, select "Progs to Radix"
3) Under Dynamic Type / Progressions, choose "Tertiary.


I purchased a copy of Solar Fire v5 a couple of years ago and I was wondering if you know how I can use SF v5 on my computer with Japanese Windows. I now have Windows XP.

The astrological font used in Solar Fire v5 does not display correctly on Japanese Windows. This problem also affects all other Eastern language Windows that use "Double Byte Character Set" i.e. those languages which have large character sets. From a technical perspective, the problem is caused by a deficiency in the programming language used for Solar Fire v5 (Microsoft's Visual Basic v5), and unfortunately there is no straightforward way for us to resolve this. A glimmer of hope that we have recently discovered is that if you have the Japanese version of Windows XP, then you may have the option of switching it to English language within the Regional Language settings, and when you do so Solar Fire should work correctly.

Top of page

I have seen two values for the solar year ie 365.2422 days and 365.2563 days. Why are there two different values?

One value (the lesser one) is the average solar tropical year - this is the time taken for the Sun to return to the same position in the precessing tropical zodiac. The other value (the larger one) is the average solar sidereal year - this is the time taken for the sun to return to the same position relative to the stars.

Top of page

Is Solar Fire compatible with Windows XP?

Solar Fire version 5 has been tested on Windows XP with no known problems. This is also true for Solar Fire version 4 and Solar Fire - Standard Edition. Solar Fire version 5 is compatible with Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT4 (SP3+), 2000 and XP. Please note that you need to have a version later than v5.0.11. to ensure up-to-date compatibility with the latest Windows software. Windows NT4 (prior to Service Pack 3 - SP3) requires installation of special font files, which can be supplied on request with the program. Our Australian and New Zealand customers can contact us at support@esotech.com.au if you have further queries or need help on this subject; all other customers please contact us at support@alabe.com.


How do I add other places to the ACS PC ATLAS? (I mean to add to the existing database, not create a new one.)

You cannot add places the the ACS Atlas from within Solar Fire, but you CAN add your own places to the ACS Atlas by using the Atlas program that is installed with the atlas itself. This program us called ACSATLAS.EXE, and you can find it in the ACS atlas folder (usually called ATLAS or PCATLAS). When you run this, you will see that there are menu options to add or delete places. The help file for this program contains more information if you need it.


The second and other pages of the Solar Fire dynamic report do not support local codes of letters in chart names. Why is that?

The dynamic report is created using a font which contains astrological glyphs instead of accented European language characters. Therefore, if you generate a report which includes a chart name with accented characters, those accented characters will probably appear as spurious astrological glyphs instead. This is a limitation of Solar Fire's design, the only solution to which would be to enter chart names without any accented characters. However, the Solar Fire team has noted this European language issue issue for future review.

Top of page

How do I combine two charts in a one biwheel type, where inner would be European type chart, outer would be French type chart (you have houses in inner chart, and houses of outer chart are as the "beams") - so it is graphically easier to read comparison of both together?

I assume that you are wanting to display a bi-wheel where the two charts are aligned by their houses instead of the more common anglo convention of aligning the chart's zodiacs. The simplest way to do this in Solar Fire is to choose the wheel style for bi-wheels called "BIZOD.WH2". Then you must choose the Chart Options / Multiwheel Superimposition menu option, and select "By exact position of selected points" and set Base Point to Ascendant and Superimposition point to Ascendant. This will align the two charts by their ascendants, which is equivalent to rotating the outer chart until its houses match those of the inner chart. Also note that you can use Solar Fire's wheel designer to modify or create your own bi-wheel design according to European and/or French style preferences as you wish. This may require a little more expertise than a beginner might possess, but the Solar Fire team would be happy to help design your wheel if you can send a sample (preferably as a computer graphic) of what you are trying to achieve.


How do I define the same degree orientation of the charts in the pages with more than one chart on the page (for multiple comparison I need to have for example all charts on the page on the left hand all 0 Aries, or all charts positioned with 19 Cancer for example, or all Asc on left - all on my choice)?

Solar Fire's wheel designer allows you to specify a fixed anchor angle within a particular wheel style design file. Therefore, you could design a wheel style that anchors 0 Aries on the left, and then use that wheel style for all your displayed charts. Similarly you could design a style that anchors at 19 Cancer. However, it is not possible to alter the anchor position part by selecting a specially pre-designed wheel style, so you cannot easily select an arbitrary degree and quickly align all the chart to that degree.

Top of page

When an eclipse chart is produced in Solar Fire I note that the Sun and Moon are not at the very same minute of arc. For example, if I was to select the eclipse chart for 21 Jun 2001, 10:04pm (Melbourne) then the Sun and Moon are 3 minutes apart. Why is that?

For a solar eclipse, the exact time of maximum Solar eclipse varies by location. This is because it occurs with a conjunction of the topocentric (ie. parallax corrected) moon with the sun, rather than the geocentric moon with the sun. If you want to find the time of maximum eclipse for a specific location, then you need to cast a chart which has the parallax corrected moon exactly conjunct the sun for that location. However, a generalized (global) eclipse chart can also be done for the time of maximum (global) eclipse, and this is what Solar Fire does. However, this chart is not necessarily the time of exact conjunction of the geocentric moon and sun by longitude alone, but it would be very close to the time of nearest conjunction in longitude and latitude together.


Have you ever thought of leaving a space at the bottom of the "View Chart" screen in SF5? When I am writing and have to continually switch back and forth between SF and my word processor, it would be much quicker if I could access the bar at the bottom of the screen to click back into my other programs. Would that be very hard to do?

There is no easy way to alter Solar Fire's behavior in this regard. However, there is a good shortcut in Windows which allows you to switch applications easily without using the taskbar: hold down the Alt key, and then press the Tab key. This will pop up a list of open applications, and pressing Tab again allows you to move through the list and choose an application to switch to. I find that once you get the hang of this, it is actually easier than using the taskbar.

Top of page

Can a logo be added to the objects list of the page editor or is there any other way that a logo can be added to the printouts of Solar Fire 5?

Yes, it is possible to add a logo as a graphic to a page design, both for viewing on the screen and as a print-out. In SFv4 this may be any file of type *.bmp, *.wmf. In SFv5 it may also be *.jpg, *.ico, *.gif, *.emf. In Solar Fire v4 the graphic has to be first copied into the Solar Fire directory. However, in SF5 the graphic can be selected from any location on the computer. The process is: Edit Page Insert New Object Choose Graphical/Graphic from the list and Insert (and move and size as required) Highlight Graphic File in the white dialog box Click on the arrow at the top of the list Choose your graphic from a file with the Select Graphic File box.


This is just a quick question and I am sure I should know this or at least know where to look it up: On a chart for 6 1 1572 "OS" comes up next to the date. On a chart for 5 1 1893 "NS" comes up. What do OS and NS stand for?

NS = New Style Calendar = Gregorian Calendar OS = Old Style Calendar = Julian Calendar The best place to get a full description of the calendar types is in the manual or online help file (eg. look in the index under "Dates / entering" and see the section titled "Modern and Old Calendars").

Top of page


If you have a question please email:
support@alabe.com


HOMEPAGEPRODUCTS MENU