A Trusted Companion for Exploring Special Topics
• Ceres, Pallas, Juno Vesta, Hygeia, Astraea and Chiron are included in the standard point set. Positions, from the Swiss Ephemeris, now extend from 5401 BC to 5399 AD and have a likely accuracy to a few arc minutes in 3000 BC. These bodies have their own glyphs, and you can include them in virtually every part of the program, including the regular wheel rings and tables, dynamic hitlists, astro-mapping and planetarium views, and the new chart and electional searches. Asteroid interpretations include both natal and transiting sign and house interps for all 7 bodies, plus natal, transiting and synastry aspect interps for Chiron.
• 1,081 Extra Asteroids and minor planets are also supplied with Solar Fire 6. Besides bodies in the asteroid belt, these include the Centaurs and newly discovered transneptunian objects like Quaoar and Sedna. Positions are from the Swiss Ephemeris and extend from 1500 to 2100 AD. You can add ephemerides for more centuries and more asteroids from any source that is in Swiss Ephemeris or pre-2003 Pottenger format.
These extra bodies are indicated by alphanumeric characters, which you can choose. You can select and save your own asteroid sets, and can include them in extra-points wheel rings and tables; as transiting, progressed and natal points in dynamic hitlists, time maps and graphic ephemerides; and also in custom-generated ephemeris tables. The Flexible Points Lists that are available in page designs enable you to select columns that show the asteroid name, abbreviation, discovery number, coordinates, house, Gauquelin sector and other info, and you can sort the list alphabetically or numerically by any of these columns.
• 290 Major Stars are included, with coordinates, magnitude, spectral class, and in many cases keywords and interpretations. Plus, it’s easy to enter info for additional stars. You can also add black holes, quasars, etc. (like those in the Galastro nonstellar-object database which comes in Solar Fire format and is also available from Astrolabe).
• Fixed Stars Editor enables you to enter data for additional stars or deep-space objects, sort them in various ways, print out star tables, find their positions in eras remote from our own, and create special sets of stars for different uses. You could even use the Fixed Stars Editor to enter the day-by-day positions of a comet (which you could then display in the Planetarium View, with or without the planets of a natal chart).
• Planetarium View enables you to view the starry sphere either by itself or with a chart’s planets overlaid. This shows the true spatial relation of stars to a chart. You can click on a star (or on the planet nearest to it) to see the star’s name, constellation, catalog number, coordinates, magnitude, spectral class, and in many cases, its meaning. Also shown are the star’s rise/set/culminate/anticulminate times for the date and place of the birth chart. These can provide a clue as to whether the star is making parans with other bodies in the chart.
• Star Aspect and Paran Lists are available in the main body of the program. These show either aspects or parans between stars and the other points in a chart. (When a star is located a long way from the ecliptic, parans provide the most reliable way to show how it relates to the chart’s planets.)
• Star Interpretations: For 50 of the most prominent stars, you can point and click in the planetarium to see a carefully thought-out modern interpretation by star expert Bernadette Brady. Brief traditional designations are also given for the set of 31 stars mentioned by Ptolemy.
• Stars in Chart Wheels and Pages: Special extra-points rings enable you to embellish chart wheels with whatever stars you wish, and next to the chart wheels you can place flexible extra-points lists that give a key to the stars’ abbreviations and show their coordinates and other data that you think is relevant.
• Ephemeris Tables of Stars. You can use Solar Fire’s Ephemeris Generator to list the changing longitudes, latitudes, right ascensions and declinations of stars over long periods of time. (You can also adjust star positions for precession and proper motion by entering a new date in the Fixed Stars Editor.)
• Dynamic Hitlists can include dates, times and positions of solar and lunar eclipses.
• Eclipse Charts: Alternatively, you can calculate a continuous string of complete eclipse charts beginning at any start date. These charts show the moment of greatest eclipse (rather than the moment of the exact Sun-Moon aspect in longitude).
• 5,000-year Eclipse Search lets you search any timespan between 2000 BC 3000 AD. You can search for specific types of eclipses, eclipses in a given Saros series, or eclipses that aspect a specified zodiacal position or points in a given chart. For each eclipse found, you can see the eclipse type, Saros number, magnitude and duration, and you can double-click on it to view the full eclipse chart.
• Maps of Eclipse Paths cover eclipses from 1801 to 2200 and have lines showing where on earth each solar eclipses is total and where it is partial. The selection menu includes the eclipse type and Saros number.
• Prenatal Eclipse: Chart pages can show the dates and positions of the eclipses that are closest to the date of the chart. The eclipse just prior to the chart can also be shown as a sensitive point in extra-points tables and in an extra-points ring of chart wheels.
• Dynamic Hitlists can be tailored to show the dates, times and locations of any kind of ingress, station, transit of any specified degree or recurring angle between any two planets or asteroids over any time period you wish. You can do these in geo or helio coordinates, in the tropical or any sidereal zodiac, and you can export these lists to a word processor or spreadsheet in order to manipulate them further. In addition, Solar Fire 6 offers special facilities for:
• Moon Phase Charts. Also, charts for Pessin Moon phase families.
• Rising and Setting charts for any regular planet or asteroid, as seen from any specified locality, using either visual or true altitude. For fixed stars and extra asteroids, Solar Fire can provide tables of rising and setting times.
• Return and Ingress Charts for any regular planet or asteroid to any chart point or specified point in the zodiac. You can do a whole string of return charts automatically starting from any specified date.
• Parallels and Contraparallels are shown in the standard square aspectarian grid, with how far they are from exact, and whether they are applying or separating.
• Declinations (or latitudes) of each chart point can be shown in both tables and graphic strips. Solar Fire’s flexible points lists can make parallels and out-of-bounds planets easy to spot by sorting the chart points in declination order.
• Dynamic Hitlists in Declination (or latitude) can show transiting, progressed and -- new in Solar Fire 6 -- solar arc and other directed hits in both declination and latitude (as advocated by Charles Jayne).
• Ephemeris Tables in Declination (or latitude) enable you to view and print declinations of any standard point at any interval over any time period.
• Graphic Ephemerides in Declination (or latitude) are available for transiting, progressed and directed positions.
• Longitude Equivalent Declination Charts convert the longitudes of all chart points to the longitude that the Sun would be in if it were at the point’s declination. This addition to Solar Fire 6 is a technique advocated by Charles Jayne and other declination experts.
• Page Designs: “Flexible List” page objects can include the Gauquelin sector, Placidus mundoscope position, prime vertical angle and amplitude, and altitude and azimuth of planets and extra points such as asteroids and stars.
• Maps: Astro-locality map lines show actual the horizon and meridian transits of planets (as Jim Lewis did) rather than conjunctions with chart angles. Also included are local space (azimuth) maps and wheels.
• Primary Directions: Mundane and new Van Dam primaries offer a choice of 3 rates of direction.
• Parans: There are are lists of parans (as well as aspects) between stars and planets. Also, the Flexible List tables can show times when planets, asteroids and stars cross the horizon (rise or set) or meridian (culminate or anticulminate) during a given day. (Two bodies are in paran if they cross any one or two of these great circles at the same time of day.)
• “3D” or True-Body Aspects are also available in the Advanced window of Solar Fire’s aspect editor. Instead of being measured along the ecliptic, 3D aspects are measured along the great circle that connects the two bodies as seen from Earth.
• Harmonic Charts can be calculated in any harmonic (including decimal harmonics). Equal houses are derived from the harmonic Ascendant.
• Arc Transform Charts are also available. These create a harmonic chart from the exact arc between any selected pair of points and are said to say something further about the themes symbolized by those two points.
• Harmonic Dials for harmonics 4, 6, 8, 12 and 16 are included, plus you can create dials for other harmonics by entering a decimal fractional modulus in the dial designer window. Harmonic dials provide one way to investigate midpoints and planetary pictures in a harmonic chart. (You can also, of course, look at a harmonic chart on a standard 360-degree or 90-degree dial.)
• Modulus Sort Strips can be inserted in page designs to show conjunctions in any harmonic. You can specify any modulus to the nearest minute of arc.
• Graphic Ephemerides are available in all harmonics from 1 through 12, plus 16. For graphs in other harmonics, you can type in the degrees and minutes of the modulus.
• Aspects in Each of the First 12 Harmonics and their multiples are included in Solar Fire, plus you can define additional aspects down to the nearest second of arc. You can use these higher harmonics along with regular aspects everywhere in the program.
• Age Harmonic Charts are new in Solar Fire 6. These calculate a chart for a given moment in someone’s life by recalculating the natal chart in a harmonic derived from the person’s exact age at the time (in years plus the elapsed fraction of the year). Also available, an “Age + 1” variation adds one year. You can view either type of age harmonic chart by itself or in a multi-wheel with other charts. You can also view transits to age-harmonic charts in the dynamic hitlists and transit graphs.
Cast each day for the time a person was born, a “diurnal” is a chart that symbolizes what sort of day it will be for that person. It’s easy to calculate a whole string of diurnals by putting up the natal chart in the Animated Chart view, and then changing the date to the present. Then you can click the Animated Chart forward in 24-hour increments, and print out a chart each time you advance it to the next day.
You can also use the “Astrologer’s Assistant” task recorder to make Solar Fire 6 display your diurnal for the day (for your default place and time zone) each time you open the program.
Solar Fire 6 allows you to experiment with many out-of-the-ordinary calculation options like geocentric and heliocentric planetary nodes, planetary distances from Earth, geocentric latitude, parallax-corrected Moon positions, Lunar Phase Families (introduced in Dietrech Pessin’s book Lunar Shadows), and numerous alternative progression and direction methods. It enables you to explore heliocentric astrology and the draconic zodiac. You can even mix these and other frameworks in the same bi, tri or quad wheel.
System Requirements: IBM-compatible PC with a Pentium or higher processor or Mac running Virtual PC; 64Mbytes of RAM; CD-ROM drive, SVGA 800x600 or higher resolution modes with High Color; hard disk drive with at least 75Mb of free disk space; Windows 98, NT4, 2000 or XP. Solar Fire 4 is recommended for those who cannot meet these hardware requirements.
Price: $289 - Includes built-in ACS Atlas
Upgrade from v. 4, 5 or 5.1, $99/$114*
Upgrade from v. 2 or v. 3, $169 (includes manual)
Upgrade from v. 1 or Nova, $229 (includes manual)
*First price includes disk and an on-disk manual; second has printed manual added.
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Getting the Most from Solar Fire with Madalyn Hillis-Dineen Instructional DVDs