For statistics, people often use SPSS, a statistical package that is around for quite some time.
However, the hegemony of SPSS is pretty much challenged by R, an environment and programming language that is open source, free and offers an extremely wide spectrum of statistical functionality. Currently, R is gaining momentum and certainly a worthy replacement for SPSS. R does not offer a graphical user interface but another party supplies RStudio, both in a commercial and in a free version. RStudio is available as a free open source version and the only difference with the commercial versions is the support provided.
So R and RStudio offer a good way to handle statistics. Therefore I will make it possible for Enigma to export data to an R environment and possibly even make a direct connection. If you want to use SPSS that should not be a problem as the data can be exported in a generic format that is also recognizable by SPSS. But the focus of Enigma will be on R.
You can find more information on R at https://www.r-project.org/
For RStudio have a look at https://www.rstudio.com/products/rstudio/
Enigma will show a lot of astronomical data. In the screenshot, you see some data as currently calculated. This is done in release 0.2 which now is finished. The next release 0.3 will be mostly about improving the code. The result of that release will be published. For an executable program, you will need to wait until release 0.6 which will appear in a few months.
Enigma is not yet available as initial work is still in progress.
The following releases have been defined:
- 0.1 This first release contains a basic setup and integrates the Swiss Ephemeris. It contains a minimal user interface that shows a startup screen (dashboard) and an input screen for the calculation of a chart. The input screen performs validation for the inputted data.
- 0.2 Calculates positions for Sun, Moon, planets, mean node and houses and shows them in tabular form. Calculations are performed for longitude, latitude, right ascension, declination, including the daily speed. Azimuth and altitude are also calculated but without speed. For celestial objects (not houses) the distance and its daily speed are calculated.
- 0.3 A technical release. The application is refactored using insights learned from the first releases. Some checks are added, mainly for the existence of the correct ephemeris files. The only visible change is the addition of the current version number.
- 0.4 Add a database. Enigma now handles several house systems, ayanamshas, and selections of celestial objects. The data for these selections are retrieved from the database.
- 0.5 Enigma shows a graph of the chart and has a font with astrological glyphs available. In tabular presentations, the user can select the use of glyphs or the use of abbreviations.
- 0.6 Personal configurations are added. The user can define multiple configurations and select one of them for calculations.
Release 0.1 is finished and I am about to finish release 0.2.
Starting with release 0.3 I will make the code of each release available for programmers at GitLab.
After finishing 0.6 I will supply a first – obviously simple – version of the application to the interested users. Expect new versions after almost every later release.
Starting with release 0.7 I will focus on cycles but also add interpretation techniques to the radix and make a small start with statistics. I intend to start with ArchaeoAstronomy in later releases.
Most astrology programs provide you with the possibility to configure the application to your liking. You can define values for orbs, select your favorite house system etc. You automatically apply such a configuration in your calculations and interpretations.
That is fine if you want to stick to the approach you are used to. If you are primarily doing consulting this probably is a good way to organize your work.
But this approach can become cumbersome if you want to do research and want to compare different techniques. Suppose you want to compare a variant of classical astrology with a variant that incorporates all newly found planets and also adds some asteroids. Both approaches are used often so such a comparison does make sense.
However, this requires you to redefine several different settings. These might be in the configuration or elsewhere in the program, but you do need to adjust them.
In the example above this could be the house system, e.g. Placidus for the modern variant and Whole Sign houses for the classical variant. The number of planets you want to take into account is very different. The orbs of the aspects will be different, in the classic version this might be whole sign orbs and in the modern version a pretty small orb because there are so many possibilities to form an aspect.
To facilitate comparisons, Enigma will support multiple configurations. You can define a configuration, give it a name, and save it. If you want a variant on an existing configuration, you can copy the existing one, change it, and save it under a different name.
It will always be possible to switch between configurations, even with an already calculated chart. So if you want to compare two techniques, you select one configuration and then another.
You can make as many configurations as you like but for simple changes, you are not forced to do so. Several items can be changed separately from the configuration, e.g. house system, ayanamsha, position (geocentric, topocentric, heliocentric).
The number of configurable items will grow during the development of Enigma. If a new release is installed that changes the possibilities of the configuration, all existing configurations will be updated automatically.
I started a new software project for astrological research. The package I will develop is called Enigma as I believe a big part of astrology is still covered in veils. I will describe some of the intended functionality in this blog and I will discuss functional issues on a Facebook group. For now just this short announcement. If you subscribe to the Facebook group you will receive messages if new information is published.