Note: If there are astrological terms that you do not understand consult my glossary.
Developer’s website: https://www.jcremers.com/Home.html
- Professional level software
- Frequent updates
- Available also for Android
- Free (PC version)
- Friendly and helping author
- In some systems can occur little anomalies
Although astrology is a “marginal” discipline these days, regarded as a remain from superstitious and unilluminated times, at most useful to have a laugh with that mockery of the art that are the horoscopes that find place in magazines and TV programs, the software offer for those wanting to practice it seriously is surprisingly vast.
In fact, whoever dealing with astral charts, recognises immediately the usefulness of a software that automatically creates them, allowing to save a lot of time and focus on the most interesting part of the work.
This allowed the birth of various valid programs, usually commercial software because of the range of skills needed to develop these products; but free software can be found as well, and some is very good too.
In my life I worked mainly with these and this in particular, available both for pc (Windows) and for Android, surprised me for its completeness, the more so since it has been made by a single person.
The author is Jean Cremers, a Dutch hippy and programmer, that initially decided to sell the program, but after he chose to give the pc version for free (while I am writing the Android app costs 5.49 euros), leaving the possibility to make a donation by paypal or bank transfer using the coordinates given on his website.
I say beforehand that, not having a smartphone, I tried only the pc version.
The software is in English and, obviously, Dutch; the options allow other languages: Italian, German, Spanish, Russian and Polish; but only the menus are translated, the instructions and the interpretations included in the software remains in English. It is anyway a nice effort from the author to help those not accustomed with foreign languages.
The program is very customizable, offering the opportunity to change different parameters, from the graphical elements, included the planets’ symbols, to the date format, but also more essential things like the aspects that must be taken into consideration for the different elements of the astral chart, the grade span that allow an aspect, which planet governs a sign, the bounds set to use (it is possible to choose among Egyptians, Ptolemaics, Caldeans and those of Lilly) etc.
When we begin the true work we can appreciate the software versatility even more: beside the tropical system of western astrology, in fact, it can manage also heliocentric or sidereal systems; of these last ones we have a vast choice according to the reference point used by the different astrological traditions: from different variants attributed to the Babylonians, to the Sassanian one, from the Indians variants to more recent approaches by western astrologers like that of Cochrane. Seems missing only the purely sidereal astrologies of Walter Berg and Stephen Schmidt that use the constellations instead of the signs.
It is possible to do synastries associating up to four nativities, the composite chart, the combin, calculating the solar returns and those of the other planets, different types of directions and progressions; Planetdance allow to consult the ephemeris and gives various thorough informations to help the interpretation of the birth chart, from the fixed stars and Arabian parts list (the Arabians parts strangely are not customizable), functions that give the lord of the hour, the nativity’s almuten, the midpoints, functions for astrocartography and astrobiology; the program allows even to create charts according to the graphical organization of Vedic astrology… as you will have understood Planetdance is a Swiss knife that can be used by nearly anyone, traditional astrologers, modern astrologers, sidereal astrologers, vedic astrologers. There are so many functions that you will feel even sorry for using only a part of them.
One of the functions that I use the most for predictive astrology can pass unnoticed: in the menu “Horoscope” the entry “list” can be very useful since it allows, starting from a birth chart, to create a list of transits and/or progressions that touch an element of the chart, with the relative dates, allowing to find quickly where to concentrate our researches, delving deeper for example with solar and lunar returns, the full progression etc.
Planetdance allows also to see the evolution of an astral chart starting from a given date, even in relation to a birth chart, an element that will be surely liked by the practitioners of elective astrology.
It is offered even an automatic chart interpretation, but personally I believe that automatic scripts can’t manage an operation of the variety and complexity that the interpretation of a birth chart involves, so I suggest to do it by your own.
The program is fast, without downtimes, I use it since some years and, as far I remember, it never crashed, so even from this point of view we can be more than satisfied.
Anyway I personally experienced some minor anomalies, for example the malfunction of a keyboard shortcut; sadly the author couldn’t replicate the inconvenience on his system and so couldn’t examinate and, in case, solve the matter. Even reinstalling the software the problem remains, apparently there is something in my pc that interacts in a suboptimal way, but anyway these are small problems that, probably, you won’t experience anyway.
I inform that, in a single occasion, I found wrong coordinates for a city, so it could be a good idea verifying the exactness of the selected places the first time that they are used.
Support and extras
A thing that can’t take for granted, the more so with free programs, is the support, but this time it is excellent: besides the manual included in the software there is a forum in the website, a facebook group and even a youtube channel with some videotutorials; the community is friendly and Jean Cremers is very present and helping.
The updates are constant and very frequent, testifying the passion of the author for its creation and astrology in general.
The software allow to download, from the help section, some interesting extras. There are broader ephemeris than those included in the basic software and some birth chart databases gathered by Gauquelin during his researches.
These are divided among more files, one downloadable at the entry “Gauquelin Database” ready for use; other five, that can be instead downloaded all together at the entry “Gauquelin Research”, are data imported from somewhere in their original form, so for every entry you must reinsert the place of birth in order to have the birth chart, since it is written in a form incompatible with the program; besides, working on the military database, I noticed some typing errors on the birth dates (that are a responsibility of the person that made the database, not Cremers), so they must be used with caution.
Besides the “Gauquelin Research” entries are anonymous, personally I am relying on this site: http://cura.free.fr/gauq/17archg.html to retrace the names associated to the various birth dates.
As you will have understood, it is an excellent program, that can compete with commercial software, and after trying it you will concur with me that Jean Cremers merits a donation for his excellent job.
- The Cat