Nick Dagan Best: The Human Ephemeris
An ephemeris is the "combined biography of billions of souls." And calendar zealot Dagan Best knows it like the back of his hand. (And did he really allude to Donald Trump in 2025?)
“Time is a game played beautifully by children.” —Heraclitus
Nick Dagan Best is a consulting astrologer and researcher and is producing a series of animated videos about planetary synodic cycles. A PDF of his book on Uranus can be purchased here.
ASK ASTROLOGER NICK DAGAN BEST what school of astrology he practices, and he will answer: “Astrology.”
His slightly sardonic response echoes his list of must-read books for beginning astrologers. When I requested recommendations for our interview, he offered, right at the number 1 spot: “The ephemeris—any version.” Because, as he explained: “It is the combined biography of billions of souls.”
And Nick oughta know. He has a reputation within the astro community for being a ‘human ephemeris.’ Though, as he told me when we met for some libations and philosophizing, “I still don’t have Mercury and the Moon entirely down pat yet.” (Me, thinking to myself: “Jesus, I’m still trying to recall what sign Mars is transiting right now.)
Name an event from history, and Best will tell you where Saturn and Jupiter were positioned and if Venus or Mars were retrograde or not on that date. This happened throughout the evening as we discussed the birth charts and defining moments (and the retrogrades that accompanied them) of Miles Davis, Alfred Hitchcock, and J. Edgar Hoover.
Dotted throughout with tidbits about the history of the United States and the planet Uranus (the subject of his last book) and the revelation that Joni Mitchell always referred to her favorite white Mercedes as her “baby” and, of course, where the planets were the night Joni’s “baby” was stolen.
As our conversation continued—always with ready examples on hand from his nearby laptop—I sensed that I was sitting within a holographic force field of astrology’s awe-inspiring chronologic annals. Complimenting Best’s unique grasp of Big Time is his database of over 30,000 event horoscopes—all of which cross-reference historical moments and history makers.
I asked Best how his acute sense of time informs his counseling skills. He explained that he always considers the client’s entire lifespan when studying his or her horoscope. Not that he trades in death predictions, but foremost in his mind is that we’re only on Earth for a limited duration of time, and that means we’re each unpacking our lives within a particular arc. A span that informs his analysis of short- and long-term transits and progressions (which he always considers together), regardless of a client’s focus on current quandaries.