What is an Ephemeris? An ephemeris is defined as “a table or data file giving the calculated positions of a celestial object at regular intervals throughout a given time period.” They are used by astrologers to track and pinpoint the movement of the planets so that they can determine where they are located on any given day. Perhaps the most well known ephemeris is The New American Ephemeris for the 21st Century, which covers the year 2000 to 2100. However, some folks may find it somewhat expensive and if you are using the ephemeris to erect birth charts the old fashioned way, as opposed to a computer program, it will not be usable for those years prior to the year 2000. In these cases, the ephemeris is an invaluable tool used in predictive astrology. With it can you check aspects between transit planets and the placement of your birth planets; or quickly scan the tables to see when a planet changes signs, turns retrograde or moves direct. Typically it will also give the dates of solar and lunar eclipses and they signs in which they occur. The times and dates given in this ephemeris are calculated for Midnight UT (Universal Time) therefore, depending on where you are, you will have to convert the times to your location. For instance: If you are in the then Subtract Eastern Time Zone 5 hours Central Time Zone 6 hours Mountain Time Zone 7 hours Pacific Time Zone 8 hours However, you would subtract one hour less during During Daylight Saving Time. For those who may not quite be ready to invest in such a tome, there are alternatives. For instance, you may purchase a smaller book such such as Llewellyn Astrological Pocket Planner which is a daily ephemeris and aspectarian for any given year. Unlike the ephemeris mentioned above, the pocket planner is only good for one year and the times are given in both Eastern and Pacific time. If you have a smartphone, you can purchase iPhemeris from the app store. This app has the benefit of being able to use it in perpetuity and you can set the time to your individual location eliminating the need to convert time. Finally, you can find ephemeris tables online with a simple google search. However, these are often set to Universal Time (UT) which will, again, require you to convert the times given to your location.
The Ephemeris and You Once you are familiar with how to read an ephemeris, you can begin to see how this information relates to your own chart by tracking your transits.
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