What Watch
What Watch? - Tutorial Next chapter: FAQ 2 - The Planets Back to First Page

FAQ 1 - General Questions

Q - What does What Watch do?
A - What Watch is a powerful tool that covers many areas and techniques of astrology. Its purpose is to get quick access to relevant information and displaying it in a concise and no-nonsense way: Keep it simple while providing all that is necessary. What Watch draws and prints chart wheels, including synastry and composite, draws tables of essential dignities, calculates element and quality balances and allows analysing birth aspects using a "harmonic aspectarian". It is also a tool for the experienced astrologer who wants to follow closely transit, progression and solar arc cycles, including transits on composite charts. The program creates ephemeris lists for any given combination of planets providing dates of the transit itself, of stations and of sign changes.

Q - What's the use of the "Zone" field?
A - It's for the time zone (TZ). Enter "0" if you want to use UT, "+1" is CET, "+2" CET in summer, "+5:30" is the time for India and so on. When using data given in LMT (local mean time), please enter "L". The time zone field is filled in automatically by What Watch's atlas.

Time ZoneStandardDST
Tahiti: Papeete-10-
PST: San Francisco-8-7
MST: Denver-7-6
CST: Chicago-6-5
EST: New York-5-4
Chile: Santiago-4-3
BET: Rio de Janeiro-3-2
GMT: London0+1
CET: Berlin, Paris+1+2
EET: Istanbul, Kiew+2+3
South Africa: Jo'burg+2-
Russia 2: Moscow+3+4
Kenya: Nairobi+3-
Iraq: Baghdad+3+4
India: New Delhi+5:30-
Thailand: Bangkok+7-
China: Beijing+8-
Japan: Tokyo+9-
Australia: Sydney+10+11
New Zealand: Auckland+12+13

Q - What do I enter as birth time if I know nothing but the birth date?
A - Just leave the time field blank. What Watch will then calculate a noon chart for the time zone given, but will not display house positions.

Q - How do I mark a date that is given in the Julian calender?
A - Put a little "j" behind the date. The Gregorian calender was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII on 15 october 1582. For all dates before, What Watch will use the Julian calender by default unless you put a "g" behind the date indicating the use of the Gregorian calender.

Q - How do I mark a date from before the Christian era (BCE)?
A - Put a little "b" behind the date.

Q - I don't like the date format that What Watch is using. What can I do?
A - What Watch uses the Regional Settings of Windows. You can change them using the Control Panel to whatever format you prefer: year first, year last, double digit month, whatever.

Q - How can I move a planet or an axis quickly to a certain position?
A - With the mouse, drag the symbol of a planet, the AC or the MC to the desired position in the chart. What Watch will automatically recalculate the date and the position of the other planets. You may use this feature if you don't know the exact birthtime, and you want to experiment with several possible ascendants. Another typical question: when does eg Mars reach 14° Cancer? Calculate a chart for "Now" and drag Mars with the mouse to its new position. Or: when does transiting Jupiter reach my natal Moon? Activate synastry, and drag transiting Jupiter (in red) over your natal Moon (in black). Keep in mind that this method does not give exact timings – its purpose is to get a first, quick overview. If you need to know the exact timing of a transit, please use the list module.

Q - How does What Watch calculate houses in a composite chart?
A - What Watch follows Liz Greene and calculates houses as midpoints between houses in the original charts. Robert Hand and the Forrests only calculate the MC in this way. All other houses are newly calculated for the place where the relationship started. This method is not supported by What Watch.

Q - How can I create transit lists for a composite chart?
A - What Watch lets you handle two charts in parallel and creates automatically a composite chart from them. Transit lists can be calculated for each of the three charts. Select one of them via the tabs on the input panel, then choose your transit on the top panel, press "List" and the resulting list will appear in a separate tab on the lower right of the window.

Q - What's the meaning of the "Aspect" graphics? They do not look like a standard aspectarian.
A - I find standard aspectarians not very useful: a chaotic display of too much information, where you don't easily find the ones you're looking for. That's why What Watch – while still offering classic aspect lines – puts its emphasis on a display method derived from working with harmonic charts that I call a "harmonic aspectarian". Any conjunction in one of the rows represents an aspect. The numbers on the left of each bar indicate which aspects are concerned: 2,4,8 means opposition, square, semisquare or sesquiquadrate. 12 means anything that fits into 30 degree patterns: opposition, square, trine, sextile, quincunx. 3 gives information on trines. 5, 7 and 9 display information on quintiles, septiles and noniles that are normally omitted from a standard aspectarian. However, the ninth harmonic chart has always been an important factor in traditional Indian astrology.

Q - How to use the "harmonic aspectarian"?
A - Read it from the top to the bottom. The first row deals with the principle of Twoness, expressed in oppositions, squares, semisquares and sesquiquadrates. Aspects formed here mean that people are striving to bring these energies together, that they encounter problems that life needs them to overcome. The second bar shows the reFirsting classical aspects. It's the only place sextiles and quincunxes are shown. The third bar brings Threeness and shows trines. Planets in aspect here let the energy flow freely between the planets involved, even if these energies might be problematic if put together. The next bar is a purer expression of Threeness: three times three, nine. It's about pleasure, enjoyment and harmony between the energies involved. Fiveness, the next bar, is about building, forming and constructing, of man or woman establishing oneself in the world. And finally, Seven: Energies linked by this principle give us inspiration.

Q - How can I see planets that may be behind the Wheel / Aspectarian / Dignities buttons in the aspectarian?
A - Right click with the mouse anywhere on the chart wheel and the button disappears. Clicking again makes the button reappear.

Q - I want to calculate the midpoints of the planets in my chart. What do I do?
A - Select the "Birth Planet" whose midpoints you're interested in. Press "Radix", and the midpoints are displayed in the right panel.

Q - What's the difference between the modes "Birthchart" and "Mundane"?
A - The first calculates transits and progressions based on a given birthchart, the second can be used for calculating planetary cycles independently from a birth chart. You will use "mundane" calculations to find out, for example, when the next New Moon will be.

Q - Why did you add some centaurs, Ceres, Quaoar, Sedna and Lilith to the planets available in What Watch?
A - It's my personal intuition that these might be the First extensions to the classical archetypes of the planets. I'm eagerly awaiting more research into these fields, and What Watch is my tool to get an own view on these matters. If you don't want these objects to be displayed in the chart wheel and aspectarian, you can deselect them on the preferences tab.

Q - What do the two letters next to the Moon's position mean?
A - They designate the Moon's phase: N = New, CR = Crescent, FQ = First Quarter, GB = Gibbous, FU = Full, DS = Disseminating, LQ = Last Quarter, BA = Balsamic. If it's an eclipse chart, the codes decribed in the next answer are used.

Q - In the lunation list, what do the occasional letters at the end of a line stand for?
A - It's about eclipses. On a new moon, "E" stands for a total solar eclipse, "PE" for a partial one and "AE" for an annular solar eclipse. On a full moon, "E" stands for a total lunar eclipse, "PE" for a partial one and "PeE" for a penumbral lunar eclipse.

Q - What's the sense of the second house position indicated with an arrow like this: "-> 4"?
A - Swiss Ephemeris gives the possibility to calculate house positions that take into account the inclination of a planet's orbital plane. If this position differs from the standard one, where all planets are projected onto the ecliptic, it's indicated here. This house position is also used in Astro*Carto*Graphy.

Q - What does the plus sign behind a house position signify?
A - It says that the planet is very near the cusp of the next house. What Watch calculates "very near" as being in the last tenth of the house's space.

Q - When a planet is underlined in the chart wheel and aspectarian, what does it mean?
A - The planet is in retrograde motion.

Q - What does "v = 157%" stand for in a planet tooltip?
A - It's about the speed of the planet, relative to its average speed. So 157% means it's moving faster than usual.

Q - The planet symbols look ragged. What's wrong?
A - If you use Windows 2000 or before, make sure font antialiasing is turned on. You find the switch on the effects tab in the display properties.

Q - How can I import or export AAF or Quick*Chart files that contain more than one horoscope?
A - The analysis module offers this possibility: that's where you can work with groups of charts. When you click on "Select Group", a dialog appears featuring the buttons "Import" and "Export". Choose the AAF or QCK files you want to work on. When importing, What Watch will create a new AAF file for each horoscope that you can then use as any other chart. If there happen to be problems, please send the trouble-making file to info@papertv.com.

Q - When searching my charts, there are no, or incomplete results. What's wrong?
A - Only charts that have complete planetary and house positions stored in their AAF file can be searched and analyzed. Charts saved prior to What Watch version 1.6 do not contain all necessary information. Unfortunately, due to a bug, even charts saved with What Watch 1.5 are not fully compliant. The workaround is to open the charts in What Watch and save them again.

Q - In the geography module, the globe is rendered wrongly or not at all. What happened?
A - The globe is a 3D object and calculated as a real sphere. What Watch uses the graphics standard OpenGL for this job, which is supported by the operating system since Windows 95b. If available, hardware acceleration is also used. In this case, problems may occur if the graphics driver does not fully support OpenGL. To remedy this problem, there is a slow, but reliable OpenGL driver available for download at www.papertv.com.

Q - I've problems with printing. What can I do?
A - Under Windows, printing is a heluva of problem. Depending on your Windows version, your printer driver and probably the weather in Timbuktu, the output may be distorted, or you just get a blank page. I'm using a third party library to get printing as reliable as possible. If you still have problems, send a mail to info@papertv.com, state your windows version and your printer and I'll see what I can do.

Q - Why did you call the software "What Watch" ?
A - What Watch is a program that gives very fine information about the structure and rhythms of time. So you might ask "What's the time?" and get an answer from the software that's much more detailed than just "a quarter to one". In the film "Casablanca", there are two German emigrants, Mr. and Mrs. Leuchtag who are proud of their first English sentences.
Mr. Leuchtag: Liebchen, what watch?
Mrs. Leuchtag: Ten watch.
Mr. Leuchtag: Such much?
Carl: Hm. You will get along beautiful in America, mm-hmm.

What Watch? - Tutorial Next chapter: FAQ 2 - The Planets Back to First Page