Using Transits in Astrolog

by JM

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    Entering the Parameters   

Noting the times which transiting planets make aspects to sensitive points in a natal chart is a common tool used in astrology. This article will show how this can be achieved using Astrolog.

Our goal will be to display this list in Excel. We will mark the commands for Astrolog32 with a , and we will mark the commands for the 16-bit Astrolog with a .

First, open a chart, or enter the details of the natal chart of interest - the time and place.

Then set the default location and time zone to the location and time zone of the chart we are considering. If you omit this step, the transits will be inaccurate.

Then select only the natal points that we want to receive the transits.

Now select the transiting planets that we want to analyze.

Select the aspects that we want the transiting planets to make to the points in the natal chart. Note that if we want an aspect that doesn't appear here, then simply select any aspect and change the angle for that aspect to the one we want. Remember then that in the transit list when this transit aspect is listed, the angle will be different than that associated with than angle name.

If we are using the Moon's North Node in the natal chart, or as a transiting "planet", then select whether we want to use the mean node or the true node.

If we want the accuracy of the time of day that the transit occurred, then make sure times are displayed in 24h time rather than am/pm. Excel will recognise the date and time as a "date" if it is in this format. Also, make certain that the date is in the format that Excel recognises as a date in your country - m/d/y, or d/m/y.

Set the view is to text mode rather than graphics mode.

Ensure that the colours are turned off. If we save a chart as a colored text file, the file will contain a lot of unwanted characters.

    Calculating the Transits   

Now we are ready to calculate the actual transits. Press Enter to bring up the command line. We can calculate the transits for a single month, or for several years. If we wish to calculate the transits for a single month, we enter tm m yyyy. The m is the number of the month, and the yyyy is the year. If we wanted to know the transits for April 2001, we would enter tm 4 2001.

If we want to calculate the transits for several years, we would enter tY yyyy n. The yyyy provides the starting year, and the n states the number of years we want to calculate. If we wanted to know the transits for 2001 through 2003, we would enter tY 2001 3.

If we want to save this transit list, or manipulate it in Excel, then we need to save the list as a text file first.

Astrolog will save the list and then re-display the list on the screen. This may take quite a while, so be patient. When Astrolog has finished this process, you should turn off the transits by using the same command (simply tm or tY will also work) before you try to do anything else. Otherwise, Astrolog will calculate the entire transit list again. This can be annoying if you want to make more than one change to the settings.

If we want to log aspects made by a transiting hypothetical planet such as Transpluto, we will need to use a version of Astrolog that allows the use of the Matrix routines. This means Astrolog 5.4x or Astrolog 32 1.0. When Astrolog is using the Matrix routines, the positions are not as accurate as they could be. This is especially true for the asteroids. If we only have a few active natal points, then we can comfortably solve this problem. Use the ephemeris files to get accurate locations of the points you are interested in, to the nearest arc-second. Then, turn off the ephemeris files, and restrict all but one planet in the natal chart, say the Sun. Then adjust the date and time until the Sun is exactly where one of the natal planets were. Now do the transit list using only the transiting hypothetical planet/s. This procedure can be repeated for each of the natal points of interest. Just remember to change "Sun" to the name of the real natal planet/point later on (and also change the name of the planet in Astrolog substituting for the hypothetical planet). This can be easily done in Excel.

    Manipulating the Output   

We may want to manipulate and/or sort this data in Excel. After you have opened Excel, open the text file with the fixed width option in the text import wizard. Click next, go down past the natal chart locations, then select where we want the column boundaries to be. Remember that Excel will not recognise dates before 1900. If we want to sort these dates, the best format would be yyyymmdd. If we want yyyymmdd as our final date format, we need the month, day, and year in separate columns with no "/" between them. You should also place the time in a separate column. If all our dates are on or after 1/1/1900, we have no problems; the date and time can be in one column. Click finish. We can delete any unwanted rows or columns.

If we have dates before 1900 and want the date in the format yyyymmdd, then in another column we can sum yyyy*10000 + mm*100 + dd to get the date in the right format. Remember to copy this column and paste special -> values in another column before deleting the 3 columns with the years, months and days, or before using these dates for sorting purposes. If any planet names or aspect names need changing, then this can easily be done using the Edit -> Replace feature.

Now we can manipulate and sort the data as we wish. Data can be sorted by date, transiting planet, natal planet, aspect, or sign of the natal or transiting planet. If we want to sort by sign, then we must remove the brackets around the sign if we still want them to be sorted by date as well. Excel will distinguish between the round brackets used for direct planets and the square brackets used for retrograde planets. Simply use Edit -> Replace to do this.

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