What's New in Solar Fire 9
Below is a list of the new and enhanced features from website of the creators of Solar Fire, with some comments (in parentheses) from me based upon the documentation from Astrolabe and my own insights. I will be writing my own reviews of Solar Fire 9 as I get more familiar with it.
The following is a list of the most significant changes that have been made for version 9 of Solar Fire. Many smaller changes have also been made but these aren't listed.
Primary Directions: This whole area has been revamped, particularly in Dynamic Reports. There is now the choice of Primary Mundane or Primary Zodiacal directions. Previously, we computed primary directions according to the semi-arc technique promoted by Placidus, but you can choose between Placidus' semi-arc projections and Regiomontanus' preferred projections based on hour circles to determine mundane position.
You have a choice of Placidus or Regiomontanus methods for computing the directions, several new direction rate keys (available in Preferences), and Classical or Modern definitions of "converse".
Additionally the help documentation on Primary Directions has been expanded to make them more understandable for the general user. Primary Directions to Radix now compute much faster.
Zodiacal Releasing: Zodiacal Releasings show whole periods in a native's life when certain general astrological influences are increasing in strength. A listing of these periods is now available as an interactive tabulation, so that any period in the past or future can be instantly generated and examined.
(You can read a PDF file on Zodiacal Releasing here.
Astrolabe also shares that "The user interface for Zodiacal Releasings introduces something new - - the dates in the Level 1, 2, and 3 releasings are clickable. Each level 1 period generates a set of level 2 periods, and so on; by clicking on a date in level 1, you get the corresponding list of dates in level 2. In this way you can zero in easily on a time in a person's life, or look for a particular combination of zodiacal influences. This feature also offers a "Target Date" option. If entered, this aligns the releasing periods with the date given, providing a full description of the influences around that date.
Graphing Financial Data: Data from financial markets that is in a compatible file format (CSV) can be imported into Solar Fire, and then graphed on a Graphic Ephemeris alongside the usual transits, progressions or directions.
Downloading stock or futures prices (from free sources like Finance.Yahoo.com) and overlaying them on SF9's graphic ephemerides can reveal striking and useful price-aspect correlations. Using regular CSV-type spreadsheet data, you can also correlate aspects with any time-series data -- things like sunspot numbers (from free government sources), the ups and downs of your business income, or even the fluctuations in your weight.
Chart Files Merge: Multiple chart files can now be merged together into a single file.
Lunar Gardening Calendar: The Calendar has been revised to include Gardening recommendations based on the phases and signs of the Moon.
Whole Sign (Fortune) house : A new house system is available that is a variation of the "Whole Sign" house system. The Whole Sign (Fortune) house system creates equal houses of 30 degrees, with the first house starting at 0 degrees of the sign that has the Part of Fortune in it.
Toolbar button: There is a new Toolbar toggle button for quickly switching charts between the Geocentric or Heliocentric coordinate system.
New Wheel and Dial Styles: Many more wheel and dial styles have been added to Solar Fire, including new bi-zodiac, nakshatra, Euro and other wheels.
More dials: Examine hidden planetary relationships in over 180 new uni, bi, tri and quad dials in both the major and minor harmonics.
New Page Styles: Including a new Sun Signs page to assist in writing sun sign columns.
New Chart Files: Including one containing famous race horses and jockeys, and other files containing over 200 new charts for politics, entertainment, royalty and more, Aus2014 expanded selection of Australian charts.
New Interpretation files: A new Solar Return report plus degree-meanings interpretations by Charubel.
New Social Media links: These can be found on the Help menu
Page Designer: When the "Temperaments" object is added to a page the rulership to use for calculating the temperament can now be specified.
The Page Designer and Page Browser in Solar Fire have been significantly revised to make it easier to work with the wide range of pages available in Solar Fire.
- - A Page Browser is now available in the Page Designer as well as in the Page Topic Index. I would add that the Page Browser is excellent because it not only shows a preview of each page, but also a written description of each page.
- - Graphic backgrounds are visible in both Page Designer, and in Page Browser.
- - Click-and-drag interactions in Page Designer more intuitive.
- - You can Shift-Drag pages in the Page Browser to add them to a second category. This is quite important because it allows you to organize and use the pages you prefer.
- - New Page Designs from Hank Friedman. Yes, I've contributed many very useful pages to the new version of Solar Fire. Here are descriptions of some of them.
Appointments Manager: Can now import contacts from a CSV (comma separated values) file.
User-Defined Points: Progressions and Transits are now calculated for these points.
Eclipses: Now you can view and print detailed eclipse information in one compact list, sort the list by type, date, degree, duration, Saros number or other factors, and click on any eclipse to instantly display the eclipse chart. Search result can be printed or copied, with aspect details included.
Asteroids: 15 new asteroids from the Swiss ephemeris have been added
Glyphs: New glyphs in the font file ET Asteroids1a (ETAst1a.ttf) - for asteroids Salacia 120347, Vulcano 4464, Orcus 90482; the Galactic Center, and the Super Galactic Center.
Atlas: The internal atlas in Solar Fire has been brought even more up-to-date with the latest revisions of time zone and time change data.
Emailing features: Version 9 allows you to use more alternative emailing methods, e.g. for mailing a chart or report to someone from within the program.
Nodal Axis: Now you can view an aspect line drawn between the North and South Nodes, clearly showing the nodal axis on the chart.
Enhancements of Solar Maps:
Astrolabe shares these new features and improvements in the new Solar Maps module (included in Solar Fire 9):
You can now save a map image as a JPG
You can have map lines for new points such as Selena, Sedna, and Eris
Clicking on a point in "Relocate" mode will automatically display the relocated chart.
Navigation has been substantially improved:
- - The "Move" mode is now directly interactive; the map moves as you're dragging, rather than waiting until you release.
- - "Zoom" is now available in any interactive mode, by using the Page Down to zoom in and Page Up to zoom out.
- - Using "Shift" with Page Up / Page Down zooms by a more gradual amount.
- - Zooming works around the mouse point. For instance, if you have your mouse positioned over London, and you press Page Down to zoom in, the new map is positioned so that your mouse is still over London.
There's a new "Paran" command mode, where you can click on a Paran line to turn it off, or click on the intersection of displayed planetary lines to turn that paran line on. For instance, if you see that the Venus Rising line on a chart intersects the Sun Culmination line, you can click on that intersection to display the Venus Rising / Sun Culmination paran line.
And Zane Stein at Esoteric adds an updated feature list:
NEW FEATURES IN SOLAR FIRE
* Zodiacal Releasings report
* Ability to graph financial data in the Graphical Ephemeris
* Chart file merging
* Lunar Gardening Calendar
* Primary Directions improvements
* Primary Mundane or Primary Zodiacal options
* Placidus or Regiomontanus methods for computing directions
* Several new Primary Directions Rate Keys
* Classical or modern definitions of Converse directions
* Whole Sign Part of Fortune house system, and South node on 1st house cusp House system added
* Toolbar toggle button to switch between Geocentric and Heliocentric
* New improved icons for the Solar Fire suite of programs
* New symbols for Salacia, Orcus, Vulcano, Galactic Center, and Super Galactic Center
* Charubel and Solar Returns interpretation files
* Email features (such as mailing a chart, email registration, etc) have been extended to work with non-MAPI email systems.
* Dozens of new wheels and dials including Bizod2, Bizod3, Euro5c, Tri4
* 8 New Page Designs from Hank Friedman; loads of information available at a glance.
* Several new page files, including the new quadrant page style by Zane Stein.
* Page Designer and Page Browser in Solar Fire heavily revised to make it easier to work with the wide range of pages available in Solar Fire.
* Page Browser now available in Page Designer as well
* Graphic backgrounds visible in Page Designer, and in Page Browser if desired.
* Click-and-drag interactions in Page Designer more intuitive.
* Can Shift-Drag pages in the Page Browser to add them to a second category.
* Page Browser now shows helpful messages when there are no suitable pages available in a category.
* New Chart files
* Horse racing charts – 100 charts of well-known jockeys and horses
* Over 200 new chart files for Politics, Entertainment, Royalty, and more
* Aus2014 expanded selection of Australian charts
* New chart file of over 150 charts of famous astrologers added.
* Update to famous Australians chart file.
* New house system: South node on 1st house cusp
* The Appointments Manager has been redesigned to improve ease of use, with separate feature windows for Appointments, the Client List, Client Details, the Session Recorder, the Session Timer, Receipt Settings, and Client Import.
* Clients can now be imported from the existing Charts files, and can be imported or exported to CSV.
* We've added support for display of the Nakshatra in Solar Fire wheels,
using a new "Et Nakshatra" font developed by Hank Friedman.
* The Calendar and the Ephemeris are now both freely resizable.
* Added Chris Brennan's new design (the Greek Phi character) as an option
for the Part of Spirit glyph
* General precision improvements across program. Dynamic reports previously accurate to the minute now accurate to the second.
* Interpretations for lunar returns added.
* Updated time change data in the ACS atlas.
NEW FEATURES IN THE SOLAR MAPS MODULE
* Viewport navigation has been substantially improved.
* The Move mode is now directly interactive; the map moves as you're dragging, rather than waiting until you release.
* Zoom is now available in any interactive mode, by using the Page Down to zoom in and Page Up to zoom out.
* Using Shift with Page Up / Page Down zooms by a more gradual amount.
* Zooming works around the mouse point. For instance, if you have your mouse positioned over London, and you press Page Down to zoom in, The new map is positioned so that your mouse is still over London.
* There's a new Paran command mode, with a symbol like an asterisk
* Using this mode, you can click on a Paran line to turn it off, or click on the intersection of displayed planetary lines to turn that paran line on.
* While in this mode, when you hover over an existing paran line, or over an intersection that could be used to generate a paran line, the middle line on the cursor lights up to let you know you can click. You also get a tooltip indicating the two points involved.
* Any operation done with this mouse mode shifts you into a "Custom"paran mode. This can be seen on the Select Lines dialog (Charts /Displayed Lines), in the Parans section. You can click on the other Parans options to undo your custom changes.
* You may also save or load custom paran sets (*.paran files), if there are particular parans you like to work with. (Save and Load buttons are located in the Select Lines dialog.)
* You can now save a map image as a JPG (using the Chart/Copy To menu item)
* Support for more displayed points from Solar Fire (such as Selena, Sedna, and Eris)
* Clicking on a point in "Relocate" mode will automatically display the relocated chart.
* New "Options / Enable Chart Angles" menu item to enable display of a chart's Ascendant, Midheaven, Vertex, and Part of Fortune (normally not displayed in Solar Maps).
Remember, you can get Solar Fire 9 through me at the best price here, and upgrade from older versions here.
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