Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Software Review Janus 3.0
Free Trial Version Available at

A while ago I was approached by Janus Software with an offer to review their Janus 3.0 program. I have been going through a particularly challenging set of transits, and kept putting it off. I had a minor problem installing it because I work on a computer with no floppy drive, but the good folks at Janus got me fixed up. Now that I have had some time to play with it, I like what I see. What I first noticed about the program is its non-traditional, un-Windows-like interface. The different features are laid out in easy to find button-icons. Those who are used to the Windows interfaces will still be able to navigate around … the file/edit navigation is also there for you. It’s just nice to see something a little different for a change.

The help file contains a valuable and comprehensive glossary. Chartwheels are easy to read, easily customized in full color and many functions can be customized within the viewing window. It is very easy to switch between different modules for the same chart. So if you are studying a natal chart and want to switch between graphs, reports, Horary and AstroLocality charts, you just click a button.

Janus 3.0 is also packed with features that will appeal to more advanced students of astrology. The ASC Electronic Atlas is included. It is very comprehensive, with linked time zones. I have reviewed other programs that did not have my birth town … so that is one of my little “tests”. I was happy to find it there, along with several hundred Canadian towns I have never heard of. I particularly enjoy the ability to link notes with charts. Now I don’t have to fiddle around looking for the note I wrote for this chart or that, it’s right in the program, linked to my chart. There are built-in Horary, Electional, Astro-Locality Maps, MidPoints, Eclipse Tracker, Arabic Parts, and an interesting oddity for an astrological program (ironically enough) an actual astronomical star map. There is a built-in rectification that is extremely easy to use.

The Synastry chart is pretty good, though my favorite methods for doing couple compatibility is the combined chart. I did find this feature in Janus 3.0 as well with a little digging. About the only thing I can think of that is missing would be an ability to more easily switch between charts in the current session, but that is a bit of a nitpick really.

The reports are comprehensive and well-written, despite the fact that there are some missing elements like Chiron and the Asteroids, but this is still common in most commercial astrological software at this point. I found the report better than many I have read, few punches pulled on the challenges, yet these are explained in a positive way. I particularly enjoy the transit reports. Most enlightening, and accurate for my current circumstances. I especially like that you can set up and write your own interpretations for different kinds of charts. Say you want to do children’s charts, or gay couple charts or business charts … you just set up a new file with your own interpretations, and you are off and running.

Overall, Janus 3.0 is an excellent option, either as a first program for the beginning student of astrology, or for the more advanced student or professional. If you are considering purchasing a report-writing program for your professional business, and want to write your own unique reports, this is the program I’d recommend.