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EPHEMERIS FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

North American Transit Ephemeris




What is a North American Daily Ephemeris?
Why bother doing a North American listing?
What's included in this ephemeris?
How do I read the ephemeris?
Where did the ephemeris calculations come from?
Are there any glitches in this ephemeris?
Is this ephemeris free?



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What is a North American Daily Ephemeris?

Very simply it is an ephemeris set to North American time zones rather than the usual European times zones. (Beginners note: An ephemeris is a mathematically precise listing of where the planetary bodies are located in the sky. Both astrologers and astronomers deem an accurate ephemeris very important.)


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Why bother doing a North American listing?

For North American astrologers, this represents ease of use for quick reference. I'm a North American astrologer, and I see a lot a clients. The conversions of time and date from the European time zone listings to North American time zones, frankly, is a pain, when I'm doing transit work with clients. I need an ephemeris that's fast and accurate for the time zone I live in (I'm Virgo, so there's no nonsense on these things).

As a result I whipped together this ephemeris as a short cut. Gosh, is it handy when a client asks a question during a reading about what's up in the next two or three weeks (or years, or decades). I've developed quite a reputation for pin-pointing energy exactly to the day in transit work. This ephemeris is the reason why, and I'm happy to share it with you.


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What's included in this ephemeris?

Daily listing for the 10 standard planets in the tropical zodiac as well as daily listings for Chiron and the mean Moon's node for the entire 21st Century and 22nd Century. The ephemeris actually covers years 2000 through 2235 in all, and each year is a separate ascii file. An ephemeris for the entire 21st Century is very difficult to find (for reasons I do not understand), and don't even ask about a 22nd Century ephemeris unless you want people giving you weird looks. As far as I know, this is the only 22nd Century ephemeris available anywhere, so here is a must-have for the serious astrologer.

In addition it's not at all easy to get daily listings for Chiron included in any other ephemeris that I've seen, so this is an additional useful feature which also is hard to get elsewhere. BTW, if you haven't tracked Chiron on a daily basis in your own chart or in your clients' charts, be prepared to learn a few things about the influence of the Centaur in your life.

In the much shorter HTML version on this website, note the light blue division between each Saturday and Sunday so you know which day of the week it is. Sorry the HTML version is not available for download. You'll have to click "Save File As" if you'd like a copy on your hard drive.


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How do I read the ephemeris?

This ephemeris file is set for 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (New York City / Toronto time).

The advantage of this setting for North American astrologers is that you can see where planets will finish the day in question without having to do the mental gymnastics the European (GMT) ephemerides require. If you do any kindof daily transit work in North America, you'll spot the advantage of this right away.

Example:

DATE SUN MOON MERC VENUS MARS JUPIT SAT URAN NEPT PLUTO CHIRON NODE
3/12/99 22Pi09 24Cp22 3Ar28. 23Ar40 12Sc01 6Ar28 1Ta15 14Aq55 3Aq34 10Sg29 3Sg52 20Le37.

For instance at the end of the day (11:59 p.m. EST) March 12, 1999 Mercury was located at 3 Aries 28 Retrograde (the period next to the location is how Astrolog indicates a retrograde planet) for the eastern time zone, ie, New York City or Toronto. That same 3 Aries 28 Retrograde position for Mercury would occur at 8:59 p.m. in the pacific time zone, ie, Los Angeles or Vancouver.

No attempt to take into account daylight savings time has been made, given that daylight time in North America is only partially standardized yet. You'll have to make the adjustments yourself for daylight time, atlantic time, central time, mountain time, and pacific time, etc.

Regardless, for North American locations, this ephemeris will always be within 3 hours or less of your local time, which is much easier than the 5-8 hour shifts involved with a GMT ephemeris. You will know where the planets are today right where you live.


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Where did the ephemeris calculations come from?

The calculations came from that wonderful piece of astrology freeware, Astrolog, which contains some fine mathematical capability. I used the Astrolog version which is based on the Swiss Ephemeris in order to get maximum accuracy. Despite its clunky user interface, I recommend Astrolog to the working astrologer. (Warning to newbies: Astrolog is not easy to use at all). Yet it has features like this which aren't available even in most professional astrological software packages. My links page can whisk you directly to Astrolog's home page for this freebie. Be sure to download all the ephemeris files.

If you already have Astrolog and you've missed this ephemeris feature, don't despair. Like so many good features in Astrolog it is not at all obvious or intuitive. It can take many hours of both line commands in DOS and mouse clicking in Windows just to get the raw data buried inside, and often enough the data is buried amongst an abundance of programing "hash". It then took me even more hours of work writing and executing several macro editing programs to process the "hash" out of the data using the old 16-bit ED.EXE hex editor which came with WordPerfect 5.1, an editor no longer available. Still, it has features the fancy 32-bit editors do not have. Newer is not necessarily better.


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Are there any glitches in this ephemeris?

Note that the Astrolog indication for planetary stations can differ as much as a day from the stations listed in Michelsen's American Ephemeris. You'll have to decide for yourself which one you take as the final authority. I lean toward Michelsen. There is also an omission of eclipses and moon phases in this ephemeris. That's my conscious omission as I'm content to look them up in Michelsen or my software the few times that I need them.


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Is this ephemeris free?

Yes. Astrolog is free, and so is this ephemeris. Pass it along if you like. But please include this FAQ if you distribute the ephemeris so people don't get confused about what's going on with the time of day.


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