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Visual Astrology
by Michael Erlewine


Whatever may be said about astrology itself, the mathematics involved in calculating precise positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets are anything but trivial. And the system of interlocking movable spheres used to calculate a typical astrology chart with its houses and angles is something that only a trig major could love. I should know. I have been learning to program this kind of stuff for almost 25 years.

I was lucky enough to have some guidance from astrologer/astronomer James Neely, a pioneer in astrological programming. It was Neely who took the time to point out many of the methods that were needed to create the first commercial astrological software, which was made available by my company as early as 1977 for home computers. Prior to that, we had programs that ran on the small programmable calculators.

When it comes to visualizing the various systems of astrological spheres and their interrelation, a picture is well worth a thousand words. And that is what this section is all about -- a graphic introduction to some of the more technical areas of astrology. Not intended for light reading, these diagrams and the text that accompanies them should be examined until you can see the reasoning behind the various statements. A careful study of this material can do a lot to improve your astrological understanding.


The Three Primary Astrological Coordinate Systems:
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  Ecliptic Coordinate System

  Equatorial Coordinates

  Horizon Coordinate System

A Graphic Overview of Astrology:
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  The Tropical Zodiac or Ecliptic

  Constellations Above and Below the Ecliptic

  From the Sky to the Chart Form

  The Zodiac or Ecliptic Coordinate System

  Simplifying to the Chart Form

  Declination and Latitude

  Parallels of Latitude & Declination (Part 1)

  Parallels of Latitude & Declination (Part 2)

  The Zodiac and the Seasons

  Astrological Coordinates: A Recap

  The Horizon System (additional notes)

  Graphing the Natal Chart on a Star Map

  Snapshots of Earth at a Birth

  The Discovery of Coordinate Systems


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