How Have Computers Revolutionized Astrology?

How have computer programs changed the way astrologers do their jobs?

Before computers, astrologers needed to maintain a library of planetary ephemeris books for all the birth years for which they might have clients. Even with a calculator, it would take the astrologer two hours to calculate the planet and house positions and fill in the blank chart form. If they wanted to list the aspects between the planets in the birth chart, that took more time. A computer program automates these calculations. It will also save calculated charts to file for easy retrieval in the future. The program will easily compare saved charts, calculate a list of dates for the transiting aspects to the chart, progress a chart to a future date, or automatically find when the Sun returns to its own place each year and erect the solar return chart. It is no wonder that so many astrologers say that they love their computer program. It saves them a lot of tedious work, freeing them up to concentrate upon what each chart means.

What has technology enabled modern astrologers to do today that was unthinkable in earlier centuries?

Technology has brought astrology to the masses in a way that was not possible before. Professional astrologers may criticize computer-generated interpretation reports for their lack of synthesized meaning, but there is enough truth in their cookbook-style interpretations to be helpful to the curious masses who could never afford the valuable time of a professional astrologer.

When I became acquainted with Janice Barsky from San Francisco around 1989, she had written excellent natal, compatibility, and transits interpretations for all the sign and house placements and all the planetary aspects, and she was using her word processor to cut and paste her interpretations together for client reports. Her written interpretations perfectly complemented my AstrolDeluxe calculation software, enabling anyone to buy the new AstrolDeluxe ReportWriter program that would draw upon the calculated chart and a database of interpretations in order to stitch together Personal Path, StarMatch, or LifeTrends reports for themselves, their family and friends, or their clients. The previously arcane subject of astrology went from being hidden to being accessible.

What have been the major breakthroughs?

Astrology is based upon studying charts and seeing what people with a particular chart factor have in common. This goes all the way back to the Babylonians. One hundred years ago, students seeking to improve their knowledge of astrology pored over the charts in Alan Leo's 1001 Notable Nativities book. Since then, we can easily look up the biographical details of well-known chart subjects in huge computer databases. And technology has discovered and added new chart factors like Pluto and Chiron.

The biggest breakthrough for me came when I programmed my software to automatically search for and detect aspect patterns or configurations involving three or more planets in saved charts. It enabled me to spend a nine-month period reading the biographies of well-known people who had particular patterns and pattern focus planets in order to write interpretations for a synthesized report. The ability to quickly scan ten or twenty biographies at a time to see what the men and women have in common makes the actual writing pretty easy. I then did the same kind of research and writing for natal aspects involving the previously mysterious points of Chiron, the Moon's Nodes, and the Black Moon Lilith. You still get out based on the work that you put in, but modern databases make it easier for astrological researchers to replace armchair theorizing with actual and useful information.

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Last modified on December 10, 2015.