Best of the Web, February 2012: Astrology Project
Donna O’Connor and Richard Smykowsky have put together an impressive, thought-provoking website as a basis to promote their teachings on astrology. The site is subtitled 'Reviewing the Gems of Heritage Astrology' and although it offers only tasters of the material they present in more detail through their 'intensives' there really are some gems of information which portray the depth of their astrological insights. Worth a look if you haven't noticed this site before.
I recently had the pleasure of attending lectures by the very knowledgeable Australian astrologers Mari Garcia and Joy Usher. Being so impressed by the content and delivery of their talks, I wanted to know more about their work, and discovered that they run the AstroMundi website to offer information on their activities and courses. The site contains some of their excellent articles and is elegantly designed with some nice innovative touches, such as the ability to hear extracts from their lectures. This is another good example of astrologers showing flair and effectiveness whilst marketing their services on the web and I'm pleased to be able to recommend AstroMundi as a place to learn more about astrology, competently steered by two highly talented researchers and passionate practitioners.
Best of the Web, March 2009: Astro-Databank Wiki Project
Astrodienst and the Astro-databank site have just made a very generous and important contribution to the astrological community by setting up a wiki to publish the huge collection of astrological data collected by Lois Rodden and her cooperators. Access to the data is now free of charge, allowing it to be used for astrological research, astrological publications and for serious astrological discussion.
Astrodienst is doing this to preserve the idealistic spirit of Lois Rodden and to continue her work. This is a great way to ensure that today's astrologers take care about the data they use, benefiting from the research that has already been done, and leaving a valuable legacy of new data for future generations. A big round of applause for all involved !
Best of the Web, October 2008: CURA's Digital International Astrology Library Online (DIAL)
by Patrice Guinard, PhD
This is an amazing site, for which generations of astrological researchers are going to bless the name of its developer: Patrice Guinard. I am already blessing everything from his name down to his cotton socks, since the site has saved me hours of chasing down original manuscripts for reference and study. Put simply, this is a project that had a definite need to exist, and it also had a need for someone capable and competent to do it right. The project and Patrice are perfectly suited to each other.
What Patrice has done, is to create a central reservoir of links to digital reproductions of documents relevant to the history and traditional practice of astrology. The site already lists about 300 works in various languages, ranging from documents concerning the prehistoric origins of astrology, up to early modern works. As well as the title, city, imprint and year of publication, we also get a description of the contents of the works included. As someone who has been trying to compile a similar list to this, and offer similar kinds of descriptions, I can only imagine how much work Patrice has put into this. I am now relieved to say that although the Skyscript list of texts will remain online, I will be promoting the Dial site from that page. Now that we have one credible central resource to refer to, we can all help to support the development of that site, and maximise its promise by adding it to our own list of links, immediately !
Best of the Web, June 2008: Academy of Astrology
This is a beautifully designed site with top-quality content from Helena Avelar and Luís Ribeiro of the Portugal-based Academy of Astrology. The site is still fairly new (launched last year) and developing its content, but already there are some great articles and resources. The artwork on the site is superb, being very much in keeping with its focus, and allowing for uncluttered, logical navigation. There are some interesting blogs, and the site sets a standard of professionalism in the way that it presents its aims and approach to services.
The Academy of Astrology has noble onjectives, one of them being to "to base the study of Astrology on an in-depth knowledge of its historical root, placing contemporary approaches in their proper context". They are doing an excellent job so far and show every sign of making a major contribution to our astrological knowledge.
There seems to be a lot of good traditional astrology coming out of Portugal. Paulo da Silva's Astrologia Medieval is also an essential site to visit for its wealth of texts, articles and resources; and that too, is very pleasant on the eye. I appreciate the effort taken to make these sites available in English, so here's a cheer to our Portuguese colleagues!
Best of the Web, December 2007: Maurice McCann Homepage
Maurice has now retired from astrology and this site appears to have been closed - if someone discovers otherwise, please let me know.Maurice McCann is an expert in horary and traditional astrological technique. He has been generously sharing his material via the web for many years and his personal homepage is a 'cut above' for being information-rich, attractively presented and easily navigated.
Maurice is also the conceptual designer of Tara Astrology Software, which - along with his books - takes the commercial focus of the site. A free trial download is available, supported through the updates, tutorials and purchase facilities made available online. The rest of the site presents a substantial collection of articles written by Maurice (all worth reading in my opinion); a very instructive and detailed glossary of terms, reproductions of charts by William Lilly, and a comprehensive list of books available on horary and traditional astrology.
Also, tucked away and easily missed, is a an excellent tutorial on horary techniques, which examines in detail such principles as the VOC moon, translation or light, collection, combustion, refranation, and frustration.
This site was nominated as 'the best of the web' by the discerning members of the Skyscript forum. Informative, sharp, and understated, it's well worth a visit for anyone looking to learn more about traditional astrological technique.
January 2006: Night Sky Info
This is a simple but very useful site which is mainly concerned with getting us out looking at the sky and identifying the planets and interesting celestial activity. It is created by Emil Neata, an electrical engineering student and amateur astronomer living in Craiova, Romania.
What is great about this site is that the information is regularly updated and gives very clear instruction on planetary cycles (including where and when to look to find them at their best), and notable sky events, including details of the most asteroids and comets. Although some of the information is intended for telescopic study, most of it is readily applicable to naked-eye observation and with finder maps included (so you can see how the planets relate to the constellations behind them at any time) it is a perfect tool for keeping astrologers up to date on their astronomical basis. There are other similar sites, but none I have found where the most pertinent information is so quick to access and easy to understand.
November 2005: Jeff Prince Astrology
It's time I pointed out another great site, so I was pleased to come across this very professional, attractive and informative site by Jeff Prince. The site is currently mainly themed around Sun signs and Moon signs, but Jeff does an excellent job of this and his horoscope features rank amongst the best on the web.
May 2005: Paul Wade's Astrologywizard
It's been a while since I've awarded the Skyscript award. There are plenty of great sites out there but I've been waiting to come across one with something unique about it.
Now I've found it. Paul Wade's astrology site instantly appealed to me, and even though it features a musical background - which I generally hate - I have to admit it this overtone is in perfect keeping with the essence of the site. If you don't appreciate it, you're missing something.
Paul's site has a certain funkiness about it, and one imagines that's what you get with his presentations and services. Yes, it's mainly about him and the services he provides, but it also includes sign analyses, yearly and monthly star-sign features and good quality articles on 'astrology essentials'. There are some fun games to help beginners learn the symbols for the planets and signs, free screensavers, and a very interesting reproduction of a popular press article applauding Paul's success as an astrologer.
October 2004: Astro-Noetics.com
Bill Streett has put together a very attractive and informative site at Astro-Noetics.com. This is a pleasing site to look at, understated in its design, with a nicely integrated selection of commercial products, tutorials and essays. Streett's interest is in how astrology relates to the mind or the sciences of the mind, and the topical articles, planetary alignment reviews and monthly highlights featuring newsmakers make this one of the best sites on the web for analysis of current events. Well worth a visit.
August 2004: The Fixed Stars
This site is quite phenomenal and clearly a labour of love for its creator Anne Wright. Primarily focussed upon the traditional astrological influences of 290 fixed stars and 88 constellations, it includes the most comprehensive review of fixed star and constellation meanings that you'll find anywhere on the web. The information is well presented, being searchable by various criteria, and includes a wealth of introductory and extra reference material relating to their historical association and traditional use. Most definitely offers valuable research material of benefit to all astrological students.
June 2004: Astrodienst
Astrodienst astrology site is one of the largest, most popular and most reputable
astrology sites on the internet. A commercial site, it has a product to sell, but it is exceedingly generous in the information and free resources it makes available to its visitors. It offers a free chart calculation tool, as good as any on the web, and even astrologers with their own commercial software will find its latitude/longitude and time zone reference tool invaluable.
Astrodienst is a goldmine for developers and enthusiasts with a plethora of ephemeris files,
aspectarians and free code for programmers. There is something for everyone on this site,
from horoscopes and chart interpretation for the curious, tutorials for the interested and
advanced articles for the committed. With its close affiliation with Liz Greene, the site
acts as a reservoir for many of her excellent articles, some written exclusively for
Astrodienst. Presented with clean code and efficient navigation, it deservedly holds its place amongst the best on the web.
April 2004: CyberWorld Khaldea
CyberWorld Khaldea is an amazing web project designed and programmed by Michael R. Meyer. It is dedicated to humanistic and transpersonal astrology and features the Rudhyar Archival Project, which includes a considerable array of articles, biographical material and resources connected to the life and work of Dane Rudhyar (1895-1985). That alone is pretty outstanding but this site also has a great library of additional online articles; a wonderfully accessible ephemeris covering 3000 years, (available in a wide variety of time zones); a beautiful calendar of aspects (including VOC Moon periods), and a huge gallery of celebrity data, all of which are accompanied by natal charts. This is a truly remarkable site offering items of immense value to all astrological students. Take some time out to explore its contents - it is bound to end up in your 'favourites' list.
February 2004: Astrology in the Year Zero
Last year I gave this award to Garry Phillipson for the online reproduction of his article Astrology and the Anatomy of Doubt. Garry's site Astrology in the Year Zero has always featured great content, but in the past the 'web experience' has been a little undermined by poor navigation and static presentation. That has now changed. The site has been redesigned to offer a very attractive interface for the presentation of challenging ideas and alternate viewpoints from critics and adherents of astrology. The clean, clear and professional navigation sets this site apart as one that is leading the field in offering a fair meeting ground for philosophical discussion and scientific debate.
Much of the discussion centres upon the distinctions and contradictions that exist in a subject seen by some as an objective reality, by others as a subjective art. The site originated as a means to develop the discussion that followed the publication of Garry's book of the same title, and has led to lively dialogue and contributions from the likes of Dennis Elwell, Geoffrey Dean, Suitbert Ertel, James Randi, Mike Harding, Maurice McCann, Robin Heath and others.
Garry, who has been studying astrology since 1976 and is currently preparing his PhD thesis on this subject, lived as a Buddhist monk between 1986 and 1993, and clearly promotes a sense of integrity and thoughtful analysis that allows well considered arguments to meet, (or clash) in a fitting arena devoid of biased and unnecessary commentary. The site is increasingly acting as a platform for the publication of papers pertaining to research and the validation of astrology's role, and deserves regular attendance by all those interested in evaluating astrology's place in today's academic world.
December 2003: Chaos Astrology
Astrologer Michelle Jacobs, has put together a very beautiful and thought-provoking site exploring the theme of Chaos astrology - the application of complexity and chaos theory to astrology. Chaos Astrology seeks to understand the interconnected nature of the Universe, the specific qualities that characterize moments in time, and the ways that our lives can be synchronised with natural cycles. The articles on site are intelligently written and attractively presented (Michelle is a professional web designer as well as an astrologer with over 25 years experience); the links are well considered, and the site benefits because it has a strong identity within a specific theme. This is not a vast site because it has kept a narrow focus, but it is well worth a visit and will prove to be an excellent starting place for anyone wishing to develop their interest in this area.
November 2003: Radical Astrology
Radical Astrology is the very fitting title of Irish astrologer, Bill Sheeran's 'place of work' on the web. I really like this site; although the design is not startling, it does break away from the mould in its simplicity of theme. There's nothing fluffy or distracting about it, and the emphasis is very much on the philosophical and theoretical dimensions of astrology and its use for examining political and current affairs. There is also a worthy and valuable exploration of Irish astrology that highlights the life and work of notable characters such as John Whalley and Cyril Fagan and pulls together articles on the history and origins of Irish astrology by contributors such as Peter Berresford Ellis. This is a very credible site and the articles provide food for deep thought. It seems clear that Bill has set out to create a web presence that is full of integrity, reflects his own character, and allows us to explore his sophisticated and progressive views. I think he has succeeded beautifully.
October 2003: The Charles Carter Homepage
The Charles Carter Homepage is a great website entirely dedicated to the life, work and memory of an outstanding astrologer, recalled here as 'The Greatest British Astrologer of the Twentieth Century'. The content has been researched and presented by the Wessex Astrology Group, who deserve due credit for demonstrating collective investment into a project that gives lasting benefit to fellow students. The site is attractive and well organised. I sincerely hope it sets a precedent for similar ventures that follow the same high standards. I recommend all astrologers to take a look at this site.
July 2003: Elemental Astrology
Every now and then you come across a site on the web that really makes you sit back and feel good about astrology being attractively presented and intelligently described. Brooklyn astrologer Darcy Woodall's site Elemental Astrology is at the top of my list of favourites and sets a standard for presenting astrological services on the web. Easy to navigate, pleasant to look at, informative on services and what the client can expect, and framed with well-written articles and useful information. The site is a credit to Darcy and her presence on the web is a credit to astrology.