Review of Intrepid in the Winter Solstice 2007 Issue of the NCGR Geocosmic Journal,

Review of Intrepid in the Winter Solstice 2007 Issue of the NCGR Geocosmic Journal, Page 101 by Scott Silverman

Intrepid Astrological Software
The Astrological Bureau of Ideas
$135.  PC or Mac.

There’s a new software program on the block called Intrepid from the Astrological Bureau of Ideas. (www.aboi.com).  The author of this program, Jeffrey Sayer Close believes that Intrepid, like its maritime namesakes (the famous WW II battleship and the yacht that won the America’s Cup twice) will indeed ferry its users into uncharted territory.

Right up front, this program is easy to use and the interface between user and program can be genuinely described as intuitive.  One of the great strengths of Intrepid is that a single click on the main display window will put a natal chart through its paces.  For example, to find the prior or upcoming Moon phase (quarter, full or new) one need only click on a button with a picture of the desired Moon phase.  Similar features are right there in the same window to generate eclipses, planetary returns, retrograde stations, etc., for when one planet will aspect another (your choice of planet and aspect) or even when a particular planet will hit a specific degree and minute of a sign.

Intrepid may be the program of choice for anybody who finds it distracting to keep multiple windows open when working with a chart.

A slide bar situated directly under these options allows one to set a time increment of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years by which to advance a chart, again a humble solitary keystroke.  To the lower left of the of the displayed chart, there are sequential numbers ranging from one to nine that identify a radix chart and up to eight variations–or subsequent charts cast. The ability to swiftly save and retrieve such user charts is among the many conveniences.

In addition to returns and advancing a chart by good ol’ Solar Arc, secondary, tertiary, minor progressions or even converse, five other types of advancement are offered that are, as far as I know, unique to Intrepid. Two of these relate Day with Lunation and Lunation with Year.  The other three address the slower moving cycle of the Moon’s nodes and embody the ratios of Day per Node Cycle, Lunation per Node Cycle and Year per Node Cycle.

Among multiple enabling features are: keyboard shortcuts, the Grand 360º Birth Sort (a listing of 78 mid-points and all the chart factors including planetary nodes), a chart display of those 78 mid-points, and the colorful and easy to use transit search.  Coming down the pike in Vers 2.0 and scheduled for release in February are Fixed stars, a graphic ephemeris, on-line help and the ability to cast precessed Solar and Lunar returns as well as heliocentric charts.

Close has been developing his own unique system of astrology since 1986 and its symbolism, for the most part, from modern astronomical knowledge.  He bought the Astrological Bureau of Ideas from his mentor, Capel N. McCutcheon in the mid 1990’s.  According to Close, “the basic principle of Self-Evident Astrology™ is that the meaning of the heavens is inherent in their physical characteristics and by the same token all bodies in the solar system have a meaning”.

Get ready, adventurous astrologers, because some of these bodies which Close refers to above, include planetary moons such as Deimos, Ganymede, Titan, Miranda, Triton and Charon, which along with the minor planets Flores and Juno are grouped together in an on screen sort labeled Upper Harmonics [Now called Planetary Companions]. A sort of 13 planetary moons is also available to place on charts.  Close regards the relationship between planets and their moons as similar to the one between parent and child and assumes “a degree of inheritance of meaning from a planet to each of its moons“.

The first 7000 numbered asteroids can be calculated and a numbered database can accommodate many others.  New arrivals, Eris and Sedna are among the celestial bodies on board.  Two lists, or sorts are available from which to choose; the first is based on the elegant and empirical work of Martha Lang-Wescott and the second upon J. Lee Lehman’s research that culminated in her Ultimate Asteroid Book.  Most important is the option to create user defined lists of asteroids (devotees of Wescott’s most recent work will want to add the missing minor planets to the sort of 54 asteroids already present).  Close is to be commended for giving credit to Wescott and Lehman where credit for this work is due!

One may chose to sort asteroids by name, number, declinatoin or longitude; there is also an option of inserting any two asteroids into a given chart as additional chart points.  I recently generated a chart for a friends infant daughter, Amelie, and so added the name asteroids of Amelie (#986) and Scott (my name, #876) just to see if anything interesting was going on.  Other pairs of onscreen extras one may likewise investigate include any two planet nodes, any two mid-points, and any two of the thirteen planetary moons, not already included in the Upper Harmonics set.

Another unique feature, is the bi-platform, in that Intrepid will work on both Mac and IBM type computers and because of a smart interface, one can successfully transfer saved data from an Apple Mac to an IBM type PC and back again–no worries or formatting issues.

Although the formulae, aside from the planetary moons, come from the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) data courtesy of the Swiss Ephemeris, Close notes that “we wrote all our own codes for the planetary moon positions“, which retain an accuracy of +/- 30 minutes of arc from the span 1900-2100, based on checks against the JPL Horizon system.

All things considered, Intrepid proves to be an excellent additional tool for the working astrologer who knows exactly what type of information he or she needs to see in a chart and needs it fast!

——–Reviewed by Scott Silverman in the Winter Solstice 2007 Issue of the NCGR Geocosmic Journal, page 101.   Scott is a practicing astrologian in Miami Beach.  He was born in NYC at the very start of Pluto in Virgo and later attended Vassar and Kepler colleges.  Trained as a Urainian astrologer, his special areas of interest and inquiry include Uranian, ancient astrologers, horary, minor planets and declination.

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