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Showing posts from 2009

Void-of-Course Moon Misunderstanding

I have already received three questions from different visitors of Lunarium with a similar content. They are asking: your lunar calendar shows that the Moon is void of course and at the same time it is in some sign of the Zodiac. That should be a mistake since when the Moon is void-of-course it isn't in any sign isn't it?
The answer is: NO, this isn't a mistake. The Moon is *always* in some sign of the Zodiac, there are no empty spaces between the signs. Consequently, the Moon cannot be in no sign.
It will take quite a bit of text and a few diagrams to explain what exactly void-of-course status is. So I will have to write an article on this topic, but that will take some time. In the meanwhile, let me try to explain the topic in as few words as possible. If you feel this explanation isn't comprehensible enough - wait for the article please.
First of all, the Zodiac is akin a ruler that helps us to specify where a planet is situated in the sky. I am going to explain this …

Difficult times

I am spending a lot of time and energy doing my new job, so I have only an hour or two in the evenings to work on Lunarium. Yes, and weekends of course. As a result, the work goes ahead very slowly, but it still moves.
I have completed rewriting of the article about planetary days and hours. I am gradually translating and uploading the descriptions of the lunar days, both by Vronsky and Globa. This last work goes exceptionally slowly, mainly thanks to Globa, his language and terminology. Please don't ask me what did he mean here or there: some of his advices are quite puzzling or ambiguous in the original, so all I can do is translate them as closely to the original as possible.
Translation goes so slowly that I allow myself to distract to the other topics. The next distraction is going to be the second lesson of the astro school, it will be devoted to the basic symbolism of planets.

Lunar Days etc. update

Finally, I started implementing something I have planned many years ago: an extended description of the lunar days from different sources. I decided to concentrate on the two main sources for now but will add more whenever I find some additional information. This work will take some time, and time is the scarcest resource for me these days, so it will continue for a while. But you will be able to see the progress if you check the status of About the Lunar Days article.However, this is not the only thing I am doing at the moment on Lunarium. I feel uncomfortable that the explanation of planetary hours and days that existed on the old site is missing now and I have started adding it again, gradually, updating and reviewing it bit by bit. There is a constant lack of time however, with most of the work done over weekends and the rest of it done on the evenings after the whole day of work. I have also just signed a contract and started writing a book on some aspects of iPhone development. …

Google Goo...

I was so happy when I thought that Google AppEngine team fixed their time zone implementation overnight - but I was wrong. Quite soon, time zones went awry again. Then returned back to normal, then got broken again. The truth is that this is an intermittent problem. I have recorded it in the AppEngine bug tracker and let's hope it will be really fixed one day.
But this is only one of the problems with which I am struggling at the moment, instead of filling Lunarium with interesting and useful content. Another major problem is that three Google Gadgets that I have created a few years ago stopped working. I have spent just too many evenings trying to find out what went wrong. Everything seemed to be right as before the migration of Lunarium to the new platform I made sure that the feeds used by the gadgets keep working.
Yesterday I have discovered that the problem was in the fact that the main URL of the site was changed from lunarium.co.uk to www.lunarium.co.uk. This change was force…

Time Zones Work Fine - Bravo Google Guys!

It looks like Google team has fixed the problem with the time zones overnight. If you couldn't get correct time - please check again, it should work now. Phew... What a relief!

Problems with time zones

Unfortunately, I have just discovered a problem that prevents Lunarium from working properly for many locations right now. This problem is not mine or yours, it is a problem of the platform on which Lunarium is running - Google AppEngine. The guys haven't implemented most of the world's time zones yet.
I have reported the problem to the AppEngine's news group, let's see if anything will happen soon...

Lunar Calendar Details and Broken Gadgets

Now I am having more constructive feedback, there are less and less emails saying that I have ruined my site by replacing a dark background with a light one...
The most important complaint is that Lunar Calendar now doesn't provide all the textual information that was provided by the old one. This is true, of course, but the information is coming and significantly more rich than it was before. My approach has two levels:
1. Right in the calendar, each bit of information will have a 'tooltip' - a brief textual explanation of what it is and what it means that appears when you hover your mouse over that bit of information. The information displayed in such tooltips is exactly same that was available in the old calendar.
Right now, I have implemented tooltips for the lunar days in the universal calendar. I believe this is a much more convenient solution than the old one. In the old calendar, you had to click on a link, say, for the same lunar day, and the link would bring you to…

A Rough Transition

The New Lunarium has replaced the old site. I have already received a number of emails asking to bring back the old site as people prefer the old design. Well, design is a very personal thing and although the old colour scheme wasn't too bad, it couldn't be used for a truly extensive resource - like what Lunarium is going to become in close future.
Many complaints are very fair though as I wasn't able to complete many important details before launching the new site. Also, a few things that were supposed to work, like Lunar Informer gadget, got broken despite of my best efforts.
Of the important details that are missing the two that I am going to fix in the first place are:
1. In the universal lunar calendar, clicking on various symbols will display an appropriate information, like what this or that lunar day means etc.
2. On the planetary hours page, the current hour will be highlighted and the time format will be the one that the user has selected in the Settings.
I am going t…

Only a Few Days Before Going Public

The New Lunarium is not completed yet but the core functionality is ready and I am receiving quite a few emails asking when lunar calendar for the next 2010 year will become available.
So I decided that on the 20th of October, soon after the Moon will enter Sagittarius, I will make New Lunarium public (which means I will redirect the lunarium.co.uk domain to the new online content). Many pages will be left empty, but those are pages with textual content and the text will be added to them gradually after the new site launch.
There will be already the first lesson in the Free Astro School.
In the overall, New Lunarium will be much bigger than the old site and I will keep adding content to it and grow it ever after the 20th October launch.

New Solution for Selecting Locations

As the date of New Lunarium becoming public approaches, I am concentrating on the most essential functionality, leaving cosmetic polishing for a later stage.
A number of volunteers has tested the solution for selecting locations on the Earth based on Google Maps, and most of them told me that although it is very flexible, too many steps are needed to select a location. Most people would prefer the old solution where a city can be selected from a drop-down box.
Well, the old solution was good for a limited number of locations only, while I am constantly receiving requests to add more and more cities. I wanted to find a solution that would involve as few steps as possible, like the old drop-down box, while at the same time provided the flexibility of Google Maps. And here is what I decided to do.
There will be two pages, one of them very simple, named Settings, the other one is Location, with Google Maps but redesigned to make it simpler.
The Settings page will offer two drop-down boxes: on…

Runic Oracle is updated

I have finally updated the iPhone / iPod touch version of my simple program for Runic divination named Runic Oracle. A small but annoying problem with animation was fixed and memory management was enhanced to eliminate occasional crashes. Still trying to submit the update to Apple - there seems to be some problem with their site - and then it will probably take a couple of weeks for them to approve the update. But everyone who has purchased the Runic Oracle for the massive price of $0.99 will get the updates automatically, as soon as they are approved.
The screenshots of the program can be seen here but they don't show you what I believe is the most attractive feature of this program - its animations. The texts are also quite good, I believe. I have written them many years ago for a UK Runic phone line.

Beginning the Astro School

Thanks to the awfulness of Sky Broadband I was left without an Internet connection for two weeks - what a pain! I hope my new provider will be more professional.
I still did some work on New Lunarium though. The Moon Sign Calculator is completed - except of some smaller details which I am leaving here and there for the final polishing stage. And I have started to write the texts for the Free Astro School which is going to be a major feature of the New Lunarium. An introduction that relates about the author and how the idea of a free online astrology school has developed is already completed, and I am now writing the first lesson. If anybody will wish to preview the texts before they go public and tell me if they are comprehensible enough, that will be great.
I have put for myself a deadline of the 20th of October to make the New Lunarium public. Most of the work that is left is bits and pieces here and there, plus adding a number of descriptive texts for different features.

Planning the New Moon Sign Calculator

Hey, it is already September! And New Lunarium still isn't open to the public! I need to think about priorities... There are many valuable pages that can be added without too much effort, but the main priority should be to open the new site - and then I can keep adding new pages forever.
To open the new site, I need to reproduce those features that already exist on the old Lunarium, and the last missing dynamic feature is the Moon Sign Calculator. And as with all the other features, I want to not just reproduce the existing functionality but to go one or two steps further.
With the Moon Sign Calculator, I want to add the following:
1) Warn is the Moon is in the very last or very first degrees of a sign, in which case the influence of the adjacent sign can be quite noticeable.
2) List any precise aspects that the Moon has with planets. They can modify the Moon's manifestations quite a bit. Also give brief descriptions of these aspects.
3) Give a list of celebrities and other people …

The Moon, Its Phases, Influences And The Different Parts Of The Lunar Month

I was asked a question by a visitor of Lunarium and I believe my answer can be useful for many people, as there is a lot of misunderstanding about the use of different terms, even in some books. So I decided to post it here.

The original question was: does the New Moon influence lasts to the First Quarter, First Quarter to the Full Moon etc - or just on that day?

And here is my answer.

As you probably know, the Moon's phases are technically the specific angles, measured in ecliptical longitude, between the Sun and the Moon as seen from the Earth. Say, New Moon is the moment when the angle between the Sun and the Moon is 0 degrees, Full Moon - 180 degrees, First Quarter - 90 degrees, measured from the Sun, Last Quarter - 270 degrees, measured from the Sun.

This means that there is a specific moment in time when the phase is precise and its influence is most pronounced. The influence can be noticed for some time before it culminates, as well as for some time after the culmination. How …

Moon and Surgery

I was asked by a Lunarium visitor about a good day for a hip surgery. I've answered and then thought that my answer can be useful for other people too, so I post it here. 
The traditional rules relating to surgery say that it is not recommended to do any surgery close to the Full Moon and that the Moon should not be in the sign of the Zodiac that rules the operated part of the body, in your case it's Sagittarius.
It is also reasonable to avoid New Moons as vital force is low at that time.
I am not sure about whether to prefer waning or waxing Moon for your surgery. In any case I'd say that this is a secondary consideration. The general idea is that if something is removed from the body, it should be done during the waning Moon, but if the surgery creates something good in the body, like restores a function, why not to do it on the waxing Moon.

Constellations and Gardening

I was surprised to find out that the boundaries of the constellations as suggested by Steiner aren't widely known, even by those who should actually know them. I asked some biodynamic gardeners - silence, I asked some very knowledgeable fellow astrologers - they just keep recommending me someone else...
Finally, I had to order a couple of books by Maria Thun and I hope to find the information in them. For now, the Lunar Gardening Calendar displays the Moon's entries into the signs of the regular Sidereal Zodiac only.

Planet's Dignities and Current Positions

I am ill these days, so my work on the New Lunarium has slowed down somewhat - but it hasn't stopped! And thanks to the fact that I am working more slowly, I was able to recollect some of my plans that I have almost forgotten.
Currently on the Planetary Hours page, I decided I need to display the planets' dignities for the selected day. I mean the essential dignities that depend on the planet's position in the Zodiac, using the points given by William Lilly. This will be a little bit tricky as fast planets can move during one day from term to term or even from sign to sign. I will probably need to provide a way to select a specific moment in time. And if so, I will be able to display the accidental dignities - those that depend on position in the houses and other transitory things.
The other pieces of information that I am going to display are the current planetary positions as well as current aspects, including parallels of declination and counterparallels.
Haven't decid…

Starting the Planetary Hours Page

As I spent last weekend learning to sail in the local water sports centre, Lunarium didn't progress much. Well, I need to have some rest from time to time.
Today I am beginning to work on the Planetary Hours page. It is going to be quite simple. At the top there will be a line of planetary days rulers, the one ruling the selected day will be highlighted. Below there will be a table of planetary hours for that day.
Initially, the current day will be displayed, but there's going to be a nice JavaScript calendar that will allow to select any day in a wide range of years... Let it be 1960 - 2020 to begin with.
There will be no textual descriptions, like those displayed right now. This is because, as I know from the visitors feedback, those people who are using planetary hours do not actually need my interpretations of what this or that hour might be good for. However, it will be possible to click a planet's symbol and see in a pop-up the planet's name and keywords - for th…

Two More iPhone Applications: Five Signs and Moon Sign

Two more of my iPhone and iPod touch applications were just approved by Apple and appeared on the App Store. Moon Sign is a free application that does exactly what its title promises: calculates the Moon Sign for any date and time.
Five Signs goes a bit further. If you know your Sun Sign (well, everybody knows it although some people call it Star Sign) and you can easily find out your Moon Sign with the help of my programs, why don't you want to find out three other important facets of your personality - your Mercury Sign, Venus Sign and Mars Sign? This application costs $1.99.
These programs are a part of implementation of my strategy - give people just enough of astrology to keep them interested, not too much, not too little. I am aiming to be somewhere in the middle between the Sun Sign columns of magazines and newspapers on the one hand and computerized "whole chart interpretations" on the other hand. I believe that the former are not individual while the latter are h…

New Moon is Coming

I used to work non-stop - every evening, and most of weekends. But before the New Moon I allow myself to relax and to do nothing essential, just to drift with desires and do whatever makes me most comfortable at the moment - whether it is a movie or a bottle of beer.
The coming New Moon is close to Regulus, the Royal Star. Since we say that New Moons (or, more precisely, the next day after a New Moon) are good for beginning, this New Moon will be appropriate for some really ambitious beginning... I have a couple of ideas what that could be, will decide tomorrow.

Moon's Nodal Transits Were Added

Just added to the Lunar Gardening Calendar another bit of useful information - the Moon's transits through its North and South nodes. It is recommended not to plant anything on the days when they happen.
I understand that at the moment those few people who can see the new site are able to see only a huge number of symbols, dates and times without any comments. This is not how it will stay though - there will be sufficient explanation for each and every bit of information, with further references to the books, from which a more extended knowledge can be gained.
The plan is, first, to complete the computational core of the New Lunarium. Most of this is already done. Just to add moonset/moonrise times to the Gardening Calendars, display planetary hours and retrograde planets, calculate Moon Sign - that's it. I hope to complete all this by the end of the next week.
The next step will be to add the text, and a lot of it. Then I will need to "ajaxify" the site to make its in…

Ode to Microsoft and IE6

I am spending whopping amounts of time trying to make the New Lunarium looking not too bad and retaining some degree of usability in just one browser - Internet Explorer 6. I could use this time for something much more valuable, indeed! But statistics show that a quarter of Lunarium's visitors are still using this buggy piece of software.
Every other browser shows everything properly, including IE7 and IE8. But no, a quarter of the web users stick to the old rusty piece of rubbish. I have a temptation to hang a big red sign at the entrance to Lunarium: please get rid of IE6! Use just any major browser but not IE6!
Thank you, Microsoft, for inundating the world with your awful product!

Free Astro School on New Lunarium

I decided to create a free astrology school on the new version of Lunarium. Already created a few empty pages for it and will be filling them with content as soon as I have a little bit of time, and a proper mood.

I already have a well-structured system of online lessons - dozens of them - as well as a "Teach Yourself Astrology" book, published originally in 2001 and still in print. However, all this is not in English... Besides, it was written several years ago, I will probably write many things anew rather than simply translate them. Also the computing power of New Lunarium will allow me to add many interesting features that were not possible before.

As soon as I have a few pages ready, I will be showing them to those who will volunteer to be a reviewer. New Lunarium is currently hosted at a temporary location, so to be able to see it you will have to email to master at lunarium dot co dot uk.

Planetary Aspects in Lunar Gardening Calendar

Phew... It was a long, long working day (this is how I am spending my Sundays), but the Lunar Gardening Calendar is now able to display lunar and planetary aspects for each day of each year from 2001 to 2020 - and for each location too!
I haven't uploaded the latest code yet as there is a minor bug - some aspects are displayed twice - but will do that tomorrow, as soon as the bug is caught.
After this, I will add moonrises/moonsets and Moon's transits through its Nodes. Then I will consider the Gardening Calendar completed and start working on Planetary Hours feature.
In the completed version of New Lunarium, everything will be described and explained - like why lunar aspects or the time of moonrise are important in gardening - but for now I am completing the core functionality, leaving explanations and other texts for a later stage.

Steiner's Irregular Constellations

I thought I have this information somewhere, but alas, a search in the books as well as googling the web produced no result. I couldn't find the boundaries of constellations as defined by Rudolf Steiner in 1920's.
I will continue the search, but for now will implement only the regular Sidereal Zodiac, as advocated by Nick Kollerstrom. However, all the programmatic support for Steiner's constellations is already there, and I will add that option to the Gardening Calendar as soon as I have the information on the boundaries.

Lunar Gardening Calendar - which exactly?

The next feature of the New Lunarium that will be added to the site is the Lunar Gardening Calendar, i.e. the calendar for those who is using the knowledge of the Lunar Lore in their gardening.
However, there are two significantly different approaches to Lunar Gardening, both having their proponents and convincing references to literature. These approaches are:
1. American. 2. European.
I have to admit that the labels for the approaches are quite arbitrarily selected by myself. There are certainly many followers of the European approach in different parts of the world, and the American approach, due to its simplicity, is known to some degree to most students of astrology. But I had to name these two approaches somehow, and in a few moments you will understand why I have selected exactly these labels.
American Approach
This approach is best of all represented by Llewellyn's Moon Sign Book. Its basic ideas are: "plant annuals producing their yield above the ground" when the Moo…

The New Lunar Calendar is truly universal!

Finally, I have implemented the feature that was long awaited by many people. It is now possible to select just any location on the Earth, and to have Lunar Calendar calculated precisely for that location. Also, it can now be calculated for any month of any year from 1960 to 2020. I am now inviting volunteer testers to play with the new calendar.
The next step will be the Gardening Calendar that will be universal in the same way and that will provide the information used by biodynamic gardeners.
After that, the new Planetarium will offer an extended range of information about planetary days, hours, retrograde planets and a few other interesting things.

How to define whether the eclipse is important for you personally

Eclipses produce a shake-up in the aura of our planet. The day of the eclipse can be disturbing for our health and emotional state. These are more or less general things. However, for some people an eclipse can produce a powerful impulse which can dramatically change the direction of their life, their relationships, position in the society and so on. It was noticed that important changes can start a few months before the eclipse (they say that the eclipse "throws shadow in front of it") and continue after it for years.
Some of the changes provoked or stimulated by the eclipse can be disturbing, even destructive. But such a shake-up can also help us to see new horizons, to understand something, it can awake us from lethargy and give an outlet to our creativity.
Using some simple astrological rules, it is possible to conjecture whether the coming eclipse will touch our life, and if it will then how strongly and what kind of changes might be expected - disruptive or creative.
I wi…

New Lunarium is Taking Shape

I made completing the new version of Lunarium a priority and hope to complete it by the end of August.
The first "bare bones" version of the New Lunarium will reproduce everything available on the old version but on a completely different level. These are the main differences between the Old Lunarium and the emerging New Lunarium:
1. You will not need to request adding a new city to the list of locations. This ancient procedure is replaced with a completely different solution. There will be a map (actually a Google Map) where you will be able to select just any place on the Earth, click on it, give it a name, select a time zone and confirm your selection. That's it - Lunarium will use the specified location for the Lunar Calendar, for the Planetary Hours and everywhere else where the information will be location-specific. 
2. There will be significantly more information available. The Old Lunarium displays information about lunar phases, days, signs and void-of-course perio…

Still moving...

Quite a few years after the last post... The time is running so quickly. The new Lunarium is still in works - now I just must to make it ready by the end of the year, or the whole system will be broken. And I do have some good ideas of how to implement it. 

For many people it became a shock that Jonas Method Calculator was first renamed to Lunar Conception Calculator and then became paid. Well, both steps have a good reason. First of all, I was contacted by some lawyers who informed me that Jonas Method is a trade mark reserved by someone else, so I had to drop it.

Around the same time, I have purchased a license for Swiss Ephemeris which allowed me to do the necessary astronomical calculations with the highest possible precision and to overcome the shortcomings of the old calculator (which, because of its low precision algorithm, went ballistic for the births close to the New Moon).

Around the same time I have moved the conception calculator to the new expensive hosting that allowed me …