Gillian Helfgott
Gillian is a Fellow and Honorary Life member of the Federation of Australian Astrologers and Patron of the Astrological Guild of Educators, International. She is widely known in the Australian astrological community but is better known around the world from the film "Shine", as the wife of David Helfgott, the concert pianist.

She had a chance to explore Starlight on one of her visits to Adelaide, South Australia.

I have always been interested in the Fixed Stars but always struggled with their black and white meanings. I think Bernadette's work in her book Brady's Book of Fixed Stars has taken a large step forward in reintroducing Fixed Stars back into astrology. But when I saw Starlight, a software program based on her work and developed by her and her colleague in the UK, I was amazed. For me Starlight represents the next big step forward in fixed star work, not only in expanding their meanings but in making these meanings reachable, understandable and researchable for all astrologers.

I was amazed when I looked at my own and David's star and planet combinations and their meanings, particularly when Starlight picked up David's genius and his uniqueness. Bernadette has researched these star and planet combinations over thousands of charts and people's biographies and all of this appears in Starlight as short comments in a Paran Analysis report or else as a comprehensive delineation and mythology in the full Reports. It is an amazing body of work.

In addition, I loved the multiple charts. Having nearly everything in fire signs in my chart, I like speed and I like to see everything at once. In Starlight I could open a window for David and have his chart and the night sky for when he was born and in another window I could also have his chart, or mine, open with the star listing, or any number of different types of information. I could have many different windows open and dive back and forth from one window to another, looking at different information, or changing the contents of a window.

But what I really loved was when I told Bernadette that at this time of the year, as I lay in bed and looked out my window in the late evening, I could always see a particular bright star in the sky. I enjoyed watching this star and had often wondered what was its name and the constellation to which it belonged. With the click of a few buttons, Bernadette reconstructed the night sky for the location of my home and the compass direction that I could see from my window. That was impressive enough but when she readjusted the visual appearance of the night sky to look just like it does for David and I out in the country - where I can see a lot of stars - it just made it so easy for me to say: "There it is.. that is the star!". That was wonderful. Then all I had to do was click on the star and find out that it was Arcturus, the alpha star of Bootes, and that it represents encountering changes and new ways of doing things. No wonder I liked this star!

Later when I got home, I said hullo to Bootes and emailed Bernadette that I wanted Starlight now, not when it was launched, as I wanted to meet all the other stars that I could see from my balcony.

What a wonderful program! I really think it will "Return the Stars to Astrologers" and that astrology will be richer for the return. For all this mythology and meaning has been lost in the past and Starlight can now return the starry sky to our way of thinking.

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