Review of Intrepid by Hank Friedman in the FEB/MAR 2009 Mercury Rising Section of The Mountain Astrologer
Created By Jeffrey S. Close
Astrological Bureau of Ideas
Price: $135 for Intrepid 2.0, interpretation reports are extra
for Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, and Vista and Mac, G3, G4, G5 or Intel with OS X
(Intel Mac is native. Minimum resolution: is 1024×768)
Intrepid is a unique astrology program. It implements the techniques introduced by its author in his new approach to astrology called “Self-Evident Astrology™” (SEA). As such, it introduces new astrological symbols, an innovative way of reckoning the position of planetary moons relative to the planets they orbit (instead of relative to the Sun), and 5 new methods of progressions. The Self Evident approach emphasizes the astronomical perspective.
That’s why the program’s default setting is “Topocentric” (what most astrologers call parallax-corrected, i.e. planetary positions are measured from the surface of the Earth — what you would see if you looked up at the sky — instead of the more common Geocentric positions measured from the center of the Earth). The program does make it simple to switch to Geocentric, for those who prefer it.
Intrepid 2.0 doesn’t offer features like a progressed hit table, dials, research tools, astromapping, time graphs, a page designer, etc., but it does offer many new and innovative capabilities previously unavailable elsewhere, and especially empowers those using Macintosh computers.
Intrepid comes with a very detailed and useful 2 hour instructional DVD that demonstrates almost every feature in the program. There is also a help screen, “roll-over” pop-up help for all action buttons, and PDF files such as a graphical User Manual and concise essays on SEA topics. The program runs on both PCs with Windows, and on Intel Macs (in native mode). It uses the Swiss Ephemeris (planets & luminaries can be calculated from -5400 to +5400, and asteroids from +1500 to +2100) and its own planetary moon calculations (date range: +1900 to +2100) and includes the ACS atlas and automatic daylight savings time (for most of North America), ensuring excellent accuracy.
Intrepid gives you many different ways of executing common tasks. It offers two different menus, hot keys, and buttons that allow you to, for example, change a chart in one of the rings to a progressed chart. You can change a chart to converse with one mouse click.
The primary focus in Intrepid is its chart wheel screen, which it maximizes the size of for clarity. See Figure One: Intrepid’s Biwheel. You can view a very large single, bi, or tri-wheel and easily control what charts occupy each ring. It can create composite and relationship charts as well as natal, rotated, harmonic, transit, progressed, and directed charts.
There are buttons (and a slider bar) for moving the date and time in all (non-natal) rings forward or backward by any time increment, including automating the movement, and having it run in real time. Optional use of the keyboard arrow keys make time changes quick and easy.
You can step forward and backward to see charts of lunar phases, eclipses and returns. You can move forward for house and sign ingresses, stations or to a specific degree and minute for any of 23 major points. The program also offers precession-correction for Solar and Lunar Returns and can easily relocate any chart as well. For Arabic Parts fans, Intrepid can rotate a transit ring to have a specific planet on any house cusp.
For biwheels and single wheels, you can also quickly see the chart for when any point aspects any other point. This includes aspects from the outer ring to the inner ring. Intrepid allows you to choose from up to 9 aspects (conjunct, opposition, square, trine, sextile, quintile, semisextile, quincunx, and semisquare), 10 house systems, and the Tropical or Heliocentric coordinate systems. Orbs of aspects can be set to a specific degrees. Orb sets can be saved and restored.
It is easy to add to or remove from any ring any of major points. You can also add two additional points to any ring, choosing from the 8 transneptunians, the 9 largest Kuiper Belt Objects, 7000 asteroids, 78 midpoints, 8 planetary nodes, 1,000 fixed stars and 13 additional planetary moons. Once a point has been turned on, aspect lines are automatically drawn to it (in single wheels and biwheels). You can also switch all aspect lines off globally, and view a planetary interaspect grid between the two charts in a biwheel. All of the above capabilities can be used in any of Intrepid’s many predictive charts, not just for natal charts.
Intrepid offers direct and converse arc directions for any planetary arc, transits, and direct and converse progressions including secondary, tertiary, and minor, plus 5 new progressions: Day per Lunation, Lunation per Year, Day per Node Cycle, Lunation per Node Cycle, and Year per Node Cycle. Those wishing to explore new types of progressions will have a field day with Intrepid.
Another major innovation in the program is its use of eight bodies, which are called Planetary Companions, that act as reinforcers of the true planets (i.e. Mercury through Pluto). The author has chosen one of the moons of each of the planets that have moons, and the asteroid Flores for Mercury and the asteroid Juno for Venus. Mr. Close sees the 8 Planetary Companions as indicating multiple occurrences at once of the meaning of the companion planet or to represent a series of events all related to the meaning of the companion planet. Intrepid’s author’s research has determined that the use of these Planetary Companions in progressed charts is particularly visible as planetary moons move faster than the planets.
The program also has two “super birth charts”, one depicting 78 natal midpoints in a triwheel, See Figure 2, and the second showing a biwheel with all of the major points, planetary nodes, and 19 planetary moons. Since the author of the program has created new glyphs for many of the points, it is fortunate that you can point the cursor at any glyph and find out what point it represents.
Among the outstanding list capabilities within Intrepid are extensive asteroid list including Lehman’s 56 asteroids, Wescott’s 54 asteroids, the ability to create many user sets of asteroids, and the ability to sort listings by asteroid name, number, longitude, or declination (the listing shows speed too). To create user lists, you can search for asteroids from a listing of 150,000 asteroids (by name, number, or designation) or view a list in alphabetical order. You can also create sets of fixed stars and sort them on constellation, name, designation, longitude, or latitude.
There are also midpoint trees, 360 degree midpoint sorts, and a 126 point 360 degree sort that can include 27 major points, 8 planetary nodes, 13 planetary moons and 78 midpoints.
Both graphic ephemeride, one for planets and one for the major asteroids, use a modulus of 360 degrees, and place Aries at the bottom (so when planets retrograde, they move down the page).
Intrepid prints out text ephemeride, one month at a time for up to a year, for planets and the node.
Of particular utility is the transit listing. Unlike most programs, Intrepid isn’t limited to showing entering orb, exact hit, and leaving orb dates. It also shows, in color, when planets station within orb, which is exceptionally useful. In fact, stations within orb are often critical times in a person’s life. Well done! (Note: at present, it omits transits to the MC.)
Intrepid also has several valuable chart saving and database features. Nine active user charts can be named, saved and switched to at any time.. These can be single wheel, biwheels, or triwheels (Tropical or Heliocentric). These charts can be exchanged between Intrepid users, whether on Windows or Macintosh.
One use of the 9 active charts would be to show the same birth record on the inner ring of each of the active charts and then put a different progression on each, lock their time in synch; then move to an important date and then view the active charts to see how each type of progression looks at the new time.
You can also organize your birth records (in the birth database) into 27 sets, with comments and the current location of the individual (the transit location is automatically set to the current location). It is simple to view birth records from just one set, and you can easily find records by typing in a few characters of the birth name. Intrepid can import and export birth records to and from other Intrepid users, as well as import/export birth records in the Quick*Charts format.
Printing charts and lists in Intrepid is wonderfully facilitated by a dedicated Deluxe Print Menu which allows you to select up to six items to print at one time. You can choose from a large list including birth chart + chart data pages, a 78 midpoint tri-wheel, Intrepid’s lovely cover pages (unique zodiacal images designed for each sign), any of the program’s progressed or rotated or planetary arc charts, listing of the transits or sets of asteroids or trans-neptunians, midpoint trees or sorts, 8 harmonic charts, or six progressed-around-natal biwheels.
Intrepid has optional (add-on) Interpretation reports including Uranus, Neptune & Pluto Transit reports by Stephanie Jean Clement. A geocentric and 8 planetocentric natal reports are in the works.
For those who want to explore a new approach to astrology, with several new predictive methods, and for those who want to explore planetary moons and nodes, asteroids, KBO’s, and fixed stars, Intrepid is an excellent value, is accurate and powerful, and introduces unique ways of working with the stars.