What is displayed in Zodiac Watch charts

At startup Zodiac Watch displays a standard zodiac wheel chart as given in figure 1. Charts of this type contain a wheel of signs, planets, maybe aspects between planets and houses, i.e. house system boundaries. I will explain what you see in such a chart, but not what it means or why it may have any relevance for you. (I am a coder not an astrologer, so please do not ask me details about astrology.) And there are other charts as well...

[standard zodiac wheel chart graphic]

Figure 1: standard zodiac wheel chart graphic


Let's start with an overview of the astronomical meaning of the Zodiac: Due to physical constraints, which will be omitted here, the planets travel through the same twelve (in fact thirteen) astronomical constellations. (This is because there are thirteen astronomical constellations that cross the ecliptic.) The names of these constellations are the names of the signs in the zodiac. But in today's astrology these constellations are ignored.

So we have some signs which were once constellations the planets traveled through. All signs are symbolized by special (well known) symbols:

[Ram symbol] Ram / Aries [Bull symbol] Bull / Taurus [Twins symbol] Twins / Gemini
[Crab symbol] Crab / Cancer [Lion symbol] Lion / Leo [Virgin symbol] Virgin / Virgo
[Scales symbol] Scales / Libra [Scorpion symbol] Scorpion / Scorpio [Archer symbol] Archer / Sagittarius
[Sea Goat symbol] Sea Goat / Capricorn [Water Bearer symbol] Water Bearer / Aquarius [Fishes symbol] Fishes / Pisces

Zodiac Watch shows the different signs like a watch, starting on top and going clockwise: "Ram" covers the area for 0 to 1 o'clock, "Bull" for 1 to 2 o'clock, etc. Each sign covers 30 degrees of the circle. The small ticks indicate steps of 5 and the larger ones steps of 10 degrees each. The signs are colored according to their base element: red for "Fire", green for "Earth", yellow for "Air" and blue for "Water".


I will use the term "planets" for all astronomical bodies in our sun system, including the Sun and the Moon, which are technically no planets. For a given time, a zodiac chart wheel graphic shows the positions of all these planets on the zodiac, which are identical to the angles of the astronomical bodies on the ecliptic. The planets' angles (positions) are indicated by special symbols:

[Sun symbol] Sun [Moon symbol] Moon [Mercury symbol] Mercury [Venus symbol] Venus [Mars symbol] Mars
[Jupiter symbol] Jupiter [Saturn symbol] Saturn [Uranus symbol] Uranus [Neptune symbol] Neptune [Pluto symbol] Pluto

Zodiac Watch calculates the planets' positions and draws the symbols according to the angle of the ecliptic coordinates. On the zodiac wheel a large tick-mark is drawn for each planet's position. To see the exact angles in tabular form, Zodiac Watch has to be configured to show calculations in Text List draw mode. Example output of this mode is given in figure 2. The table lists the names of the planets, their absolute angles on the zodiac, their relative angles inside the sign they are in, the sign itself and the house they are in.

Positions of Planets                                
 Sun      (126°20'48")  06°20'48"  Lion          8  
 Moon     (005°49'47")  05°49'47"  Ram           3  
 Mercury  (135°42'38")  15°42'38"  Lion          8  
 Venus    (170°44'12")  20°44'12"  Virgin        9  
 Mars     (130°16'26")  10°16'26"  Lion          8  
 Jupiter  (119°18'23")  29°18'23"  Crab          8  
 Saturn   (084°31'29")  24°31'29"  Twins         7  
 Uranus   (328°35'24")  28°35'24"  Water Bearer  2  
 Neptune  (309°04'42")  09°04'42"  Water Bearer  2  
 Pluto    (254°52'51")  14°52'51"  Archer       12  

[planet   (absolute °)  relative°  sign      house] 
Figure 2: standard zodiac planet-details

Aspects between Planets

As the planets are a main source of information in zodiac wheel chart, astrologers are interested in the relations between different planets. These relations are called aspects and are expressed in angles (differences of absolute angles). They have names, i.e. "Conjunct" for 0°, "Opposite" for 180° "Square" for 90°, etc.

Aspects between Planets                             
 Opposite       (180°) Mars      -  Neptune         
 Trine          (120°) Sun       -  Moon            
 Trine          (120°) Mercury   -  Pluto           

Nearly Aspects between Planets                      
 Conjunct       (  0°) Sun       -  Mars            
 Opposite       (180°) Sun       -  Neptune         
 Square         ( 90°) Venus     -  Saturn          
Figure 3: standard zodiac aspect list

In the wheel chart (figure 1) aspects are shown as colored angles connecting the planets. For example the "Opposite" between Pluto and Saturn is drawn as two olive green lines. When showing calculations in Text List draw mode, Zodiac Watch displays a list of the aspects, as given in figure 3. The number of aspects may be configured up to 31. A special feature is the display of nearly aspects, i.e. angles between planets which fail to be a true aspect but lie near that aspect.


Beside the twelve signs, the whole wheel is divided into further twelve segments, called houses. A house systems starts with the "Ascendant", which is also the beginning of the first house. On the opposite there is the "Descendant", the beginning of the seventh house. The beginning of the tenth house is called "Midheaven". Unlike the planet positions, which are the same for all locations on earth, the house system depends on an exact location. Some house systems are not defined for latitudes below or beyond fixed values.

Houses due to Placidus                              
 Ascendant   (257°42'17")  17°42'17"  Archer        
 House 2     (295°48'30")  25°48'30"  Sea Goat      
 House 3     (340°13'31")  10°13'31"  Fishes        
 House 4     (015°53'45")  15°53'45"  Ram           
 House 5     (041°12'25")  11°12'25"  Bull          
 House 6     (060°36'28")  00°36'28"  Twins         
 Descendant  (077°42'17")  17°42'17"  Twins         
 House 8     (115°48'30")  25°48'30"  Crab          
 House 9     (160°13'31")  10°13'31"  Virgin        
 Midheaven   (195°53'45")  15°53'45"  Scales        
 House 11    (221°12'25")  11°12'25"  Scorpion      
 House 12    (240°36'28")  00°36'28"  Archer        

[house       (absolute °)  relative°  sign]         
Figure 4: standard zodiac house-details

Zodiac Watch draws the house system with dark grey lines, as seen in figure 1. There are a lot of different house systems, most common used are "Placidus" or "Koch". The table given in figure 4 is an example for house details: the names of the houses, their absolute angles on the zodiac, their relative angles inside the sign they are in and the sign itself.

Statistics of Planets                               
 Ram           1(10%) House  1    0( 0%) =  1( 5%)  
 Bull          0( 0%) House  2    2(20%) =  2(10%)  
 Twins         1(10%) House  3    1(10%) =  2(10%)  
 Crab          1(10%) House  4    0( 0%) =  1( 5%)  
 Lion          3(30%) House  5    0( 0%) =  3(15%)  
 Virgin        1(10%) House  6    0( 0%) =  1( 5%)  
 Scales        0( 0%) House  7    1(10%) =  1( 5%)  
 Scorpion      0( 0%) House  8    4(40%) =  4(20%)  
 Archer        1(10%) House  9    1(10%) =  2(10%)  
 Sea Goat      0( 0%) House 10    0( 0%) =  0( 0%)  
 Water Bearer  2(20%) House 11    0( 0%) =  2(10%)  
 Fishes        0( 0%) House 12    1(10%) =  1( 5%)  
Figure 5: standard zodiac planet-position-statistics

Zodiac Watch offers further statistics, as shown in figure 5: All signs and the number of planets inside these signs are given together with their percentage. A high percentage indicates an accumulations of planets in that particular sign. Then all houses, the number of planets inside and their percentage is listed. Again a high percentage indicates an accumulations of planets in that particular house. At last both values are added. This yields an artificial total number of planets together with total percentage. (But in terms of astrology this may be senseless.)