Calculating charts used to be the biggest hurdle for those who wanted to practice astrology. But modern astrologers have been blessed with the modern computer. What a relief!
Your computer makes the job of running charts so much easier. But how do you choose the right astrology software for your needs? I’ll lay out what I think are the best options available. I encourage you to leave your feedback, comments, and questions at the end of the post.
Whoever said nothing in life is free never visited Astrodienst (say it: astro-DEENST) at astro.com. This is a great place for an astrology student, hobbyist, or enthusiast to calculate charts online, for free. They are based in Switzerland, so you know the charts are accurate. Astro.com has a ton of useful options, some great free reports, and valuable subscription services. I really like their “Personal Daily Horoscope” service. They also host Astrodatabank, an extensive collection of charts for research and education, and Astrowiki, a wonderful resource for astrology students.
AstroApp is a subscription-based program that lives securely “in the cloud.” The free trial is limited, but it shows you what the app does– which is a lot! Click around, as I did, and you might also be excited by the promise of those greyed-out options.
I signed up for a month so I could review the pro-level subscription for this post. The charts and transit lists are great. It almost does everything I need it to. Printing functionality still runs a little buggy.
Assuming this project is still in the early stages, I really think the hearts and minds behind AstroApp have created something promising! The full-featured pro-level subscription is well-priced at less than $100/year. Still too much? A monthly subscription option is available for the commitment-phobic!
Astro Gold is a suite of Android and iOS apps. Astro Gold makes it easy to get charts, bi-wheels, and a basic transit hit list. It’s not quite robust enough for my work with clients (yet), but Astro Gold is fast and easy to use. It’s my go-to when I check the “chart of the day” on my iPad in the mornings, and it’s handy for calculating charts on the run.
At $25 for Android, $40 for your iPhone/iPad, this is a great addition to your mobile toolbox.
Astro Gold is relatively new. The scuttlebutt has it that programmers from Solar Fire are now working on this competing package for the Mac. I cannot hide my love for this software. Astro Gold has incorporated some of my favorite features from the old Io series from Time Cycles Research– and made them a lot more user-friendly, too.
$180 gets you a full-featured copy for your Mac. Astro Gold is constantly improving and adding new features, making your software investment more valuable as time passes. Customer service is friendly and quick to respond to bug reports.
Solar Fire is the only software I use for my professional work, and the only reason I still have a computer with a Windows operating system. It’s the deluxe toolkit. It has everything and the kitchen sink when it comes to astrological tricks and techniques!! It’s also fully customizable– configure the settings to get just the chart you want.
There is a learning curve with the Solar Fire interface. It’s not the most intuitive. If you struggle to work your computer, this may not be the right package for you. Check out the online tutorials to see if it looks like something you can comfortably handle. Once you have the “lay of the land” and know your way around the software, it is pretty fast and easy to get what you want out of it.
Solar Fire’s $360 price tag may put it out of reach for astrologers who are on a limited budget. (But– keep your eye on it on Black Friday!)
Pegasus is a robust little entry-level astrology software package that I was able to preview at the 2019 NCGR conference in Baltimore. It almost looks perfect for students, but you might eventually want to upgrade. Their top-of-the-line package, Sirius, goes for $550 and has all the bells and whistles.
Matrix probably has the biggest and best selection of computer-interpreted chart reports. (Preview some here.) Of course, a live reading is so much better than a computer, but the reports are fun and often enlightening.
The Io Series was a suite of professional astrology software programs ($$$) for the Mac OS. Unfortunately, they announced in 2019 that they will not be updating their software anymore, and it will no longer work on newer Mac systems. Current users can import their chart files to Astro Gold.
There are scads of astrology software programs available for the Windows platform, and many of them are free! I couldn’t even begin to review them all.
Luckily, someone else has done the hard work for us. If you dare go down the rabbit hole, check out Hank Friedman’s extensive astrology software reviews.
Are you a software company looking for a review? Please leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you quickly.
What do you think? Did I miss a good one? Let me know in the comments.