All posts by Karen Sully

SOTA 12 June 2018

Hi Everybody,

We’re now heading down to the wire in terms of taking advantage of the current rates. Be aware that they expire on June 21 at 10 pm Eastern. If you snooze beyond that point, you’ll pay more. So why not reserve now?

And be aware that the lunches are selling out rapidly.  At this point there are only 2 spaces left in Julie Simmons’ Aftermath: Living in a Post-Mars-Square-Uranus World, 4 spaces in Michael Barwick’s Huber Aspects and Their Patterns, and 5 spaces left in Kathy Rose’s Mystery Midpoints. So if you were planning on signing up for these on site, think again. I am expecting ALL of these to be sold out by the end of June. Maybe before. Also note that these will NOT be recorded. ‘Nuff said.

We still have a call out for a roommate (female). And we still have space for a couple of vendors, though I still have several to contact. In short, it’s going to be a full house. So if you’re coming, my advice is to book now and also reserve your hotel room.

For you locals who wanted to come for just one lecture, well, that isn’t going to be possible. We’re still debating half-day registrations, and I’ll keep you posted on that. Full day registrations are available now and it will be cheaper to register now rather than paying at the door, though the price on these doesn’t go up until September 21.

Toby Aldren, Primary Directions

So now let’s look at one of our lecture offerings. Toby Aldren is a relatively new speaker, but his very positive reputation precedes him. He didn’t lecture at UAC this time, but at the rate he’s going, he could very will be on the invite list for the next one. And his topic is not a common one.

So who is this guy? Toby is a Vancouver-based consultant and teacher. He is also a Distance Learning tutor for England’s Faculty of Astrological Studies.He was very well-received at the 2017 Canadian Astrology Conference in Calgary, which is how SOTA came to hear of him. Good credentials, good speaker. I think you’ll like him… His topic:

We’ll begin by reviewing the fundamental principles of Primary Directions. From there, we’ll develop a technique that has its own special place in the toolbox of contemporary astrologers. As well, Toby will introduce his original method of manipulating diurnal circles to better see the proportional location of planets in the heavens.

Before closing, I just want to mention our closing ceremony and prize draw. Most conferences have a silent auction. We have a giveaway. Everyone who is there and has registered or otherwise participated in SOTA (meaning staff, speakers, and vendors) gets a ticket and is eligible to win some sort of prize. What sort of prize? Well, that depends, because they are all donated by speakers, vendors and attendees, but in  the past we’ve had minerals, oils, books, incense, jewelry, and consultations, among other things.

Pretty much what you’d find at a silent auction, only you don’t have to bid on it. Of course this may mean you don’t get quite what you were hoping for, but you can always try to negotiate with the winner of the prize you wanted. It adds to the fun! Or can. And yes, you can donate too. Just contact me and if I know before the time comes, we can get it on the prize list. Suffice to say that most winners and a lot of those who donate come away happy.

And on that note, I’ll close and wish you a good week. And yes, please share this with friends. We simply don’t know everybody…


SOTA 7 June 2018

Hi Everybody,

I’m back from UAC with  lots of news, so let’s  get right to it.

First of all, hotel rates: They are $109 a night, not $108. There was a typo on the flyer. It’s been corrected in the new flyer. Secondly, this is the price for a standard room. Courtyard rooms cost more. Just so you know. And since you know, it might be a good idea to reserve. We only get a small block of rooms, and while we can often increase it until September or October, I can’t guarantee that. So call the hotel (the number is on the flyer) and reserve now. It guarantees you a room and makes my work easier. Oh, and tell them you’re with SOTA to get the conference rate of $109. Otherwise, you’ll be paying a lot more.

Secondly, and much to my surprise, a lot of people from UAC are also registering for SOTA. A lot of people talked it up at UAC, and I think Jo Gleason’s brilliant graphics and posts have helped a goodly bit too. And Wade Caves and Gabriel Rosas and  Terry Johnson were also good cheerleaders. The result is that we’ve already met our June 21 registration target and you regulars can  expect a good influx of lively energy. All the more reason to reserve your room now! But do remember, rates will be going UP on June 22. Snooze and you may lose!!


Vendor fees are due June 21, and I can already confirm a few vendors. LauraAnn Laroche of Young Living Oils will be joining us for starters. I am very happy about this because the oils have a good reputation and having come home with a starter kit, I can vouch for that. They are high-quality and wonderful. Many are food-grade so you can take them as a supplement. They also work in a diffuser. No synthetic smell here. And you can buy one or several, depending on your needs.

Secondly, yes, Astrolabe will be joining us again. Unfortunately, Cosmic Patterns will not be. While Pam and Mindy will be there, they both want time to attend lectures, so they have opted out of taking a booth. However, about 10 minutes later, Henry Seltzer of TimePassages expressed interest, and I hope to have a firm commitment in a couple of weeks. If he comes, Henry will also have his book, The Tenth Planet, available for sale. This is an extensive study of Eris in natal charts and it’s worth buying if Eris interests you. By the way, I heard Henry at UAC and he also has good information on Haumea and MakeMake, so if that interests you, let me know. It’s too late for this year, but we can definitely consider him for 2019.

OK, on other fronts, Steve and Lynn Barr will be back and they will have 4 tables of minerals and jewelry this year for your perusal and purchase. And it looks like Amy Lyre Turner of LipTherapy will also be coming. Lots of yummy lipsticks and glosses there. Guys, I’m sorry if this doesn’t interest you, but one of these might make a nice gift for someone. And who knows what else we will have. I DO know that I have several people to get back to and I’m hoping there will be other goodies in addition to these. I’ll let you know as soon as I know… Oh, and of course we will have books, too. Diane Wenzel will be our bookseller. And Sara Cartwright will again be selling recordings for the lectures you miss…

And a reminder, our hostess with the mostest, Terry Johnson, is still looking for a roommate. Terry is great energy. If you’re looking for a roommate, you can’t go wrong. Email me and I’ll put you in touch…

Going back to UAC, I heard MANY good lectures and already have some ideas for both pre- and post-conference speakers for 2019. Also for a keynote speaker. But it’s too early to share those ideas yet. You’ll have to wait until September.
Meanwhile, let’s look at one of your favorites and her offering this year.

Ellen Bourn

Kabbalistic Astrology is Ellen’s specialty. She is excellent. That’s why we keep bringing her back. You enjoy her and learn from her. As you will again this year I’m sure. Ellen always has something interesting to say.

A Kabbalistic Perspective of the Natal Chart

The ancient and unique wisdom of the Kabbalah has been available for about 5000 years. Until recently, this Philosophy was passed on through the Oral Tradition and not written down. The Kabbalah includes a framework for Astrology, Numerology, Meditation, Angelology, Tarot and White Magic. This information was cautiously offered to a select few. Learn how the Divine Energies and the planets speak to one another.  Clues about one’s Karma , Past Lives, Aspect Interpretation, from  Kabbalistic astrology allows one a better understanding of their own nativity and Soul’s Purpose.

And for those of you who will be sticking around for our great Post-Conferences with William Stickevers and John Green on Sunday, a reminder that we will do a bit of a Dead Dog Party Sunday night. Location to be decided soon, but I have found a nice Pub in the Mall area. Bravo is a  bit lame… This is better, though there are other options too, More as we get closer to the date. Last year I was too exhausted to even make it, but with Diane handling the books this year, it may be quite another story.

And by the way, John  was at UAC and he is great fun. William was there too, but I think he must have been surrounded with fans. We missed one another in any case. Not impossible for a conference that size…
OK, until next week. Have a good one!




‘ll be back in two weeks with more news. Hopefully by then our good weather will also be back. Meanwhile, enjoy, stay tuned, and if you’re at UAC, please come and say hello!



SOTA 9 May 2018

Hi Everybody,

A few reminders and updates:

First of all, we’re STILL looking for vendors. Pretty much everything except gems and minerals, and books. Please spread the word and let me know if you’re interested. Fees are reasonable —$150 for two 6-foot tables for the duration. We are particularly interested in crafts and oils…

Secondly, I wanted everyone to know that Melody-Ann Summers is once again donating an afghan, which will be raffled off at our banquet. She calls it Rose Garden and it sounds stunning. Tickets will be $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00 and will be available at the reg desk as well as at the banquet where the draw will take place.

We will also have our usual 50/50 draw at the banquet. Same price for the tickets, but these will only be available at the banquet — and you must be present to win.

Either one of these wins would certainly give you back the equivalent cost of your banquet.

And yes, Franco and friends will be back with entertainment. Which friends? I dunno — he never tells me. What kind of entertainment? He rarely tells me that either. But Franco is multi-talented and generally very funny. If you’ve not encountered him yet, there is a little video on SOTA Astrology Conference Page on Facebook that will give you a wee taste. Note that this is not from the conference; this is just Franco killing time. And he may or may not have his guitar at the conference. But he will have something, and it will be good.

As for the banquet itself, we’re still a couple of months away from finalizing it, but it WILL be buffet, and you WILL be able to choose from several things or have a bit of everything. And yes, there will be vegetarian fare as well as choices for carnivores and fish-eaters. No worry there! If, however, you want a vegan meal, it would help me to know that now so we can make accommodations. And yes, if there are enough vegans, we’ll include a strictly vegan offering in the buffet. If not, we can special-order something for you. Just let me know.

Ehsan Khazani

OK, let’s serve up some info on a speaker, and a blurb now:

Ehsan Khazani is from Iran. This will be his first time lecturing at SOTA, though he is a seasoned lecturer and has in the past lectured at Dennis Harness’s conference in Sedona where he was very well-received. Here’s his topic description:

Universal Nakshatras

“Universal Nakshatras” is a bridge between ancient knowledge of Vedic lunar mansions and concepts of modern astrology. In Universal Nakshtras, despite the traditional teachings, there is a meaningful order for Nakshatras which shows how the lunar mansions of vedic astrology are sequentially interconnected. It demonstrates how the next and previous mansion for every planet can give us some information and how all mansions occupied by planets in the chart can be employed in our interpretations. Universal Nakshatras provides a set of tools and techniques for both tropical and sidereal astrologers to apply the Nakshatras effectively in their interpretations.

This is something a little bit different and yes, it’s suitable and accessible for Western astrologers. Come and check it out! Ehsan will be at UAC but he’s not lecturing there. Their loss is our gain…

So there you go! Don’t say there’s nothing new under the Sun! Come, join us, and learn. Not all the breakthrough stuff is at UAC.

Meanwhile, please share this with your friends. I hope to see you at SOTA!




SOTA 1 May 2018

Hi Everybody,

This will be an abbreviated edition of SOTAnews, as I am pretty much behind the eight-ball this week. Coffee to get, bus ticket to get, a backlog of emails, and teaching. We will hopefully get back to normal next week.

Julie Simmons

Meanwhile, I’d like to feature one of our excellent Canadian speakers.

Julie Simmons has studied with some of the best astrologers in the field, including Diana Stone. She is a seasoned astrologer with many years of experience, and she definitely has something to say. That’s why she’s a regular at SOTA. Here are her topics for this year, one a one-hour lecture, and the other a luncheon lecture. Here’s the one-hour lecture:

Individuation in a World Gone Mad

How does the chart as a tool for personal growth need to adapt in the age of chaos? Narcissism, polarization, conflict, estrangement, and loneliness. What is the meaning of life when it’s all about me?

The blurb is taken from a quote from a book by Margaret Wheatly, and you will no doubt hear more about this book in the lecture. Suffice to say that this appears to be a very timely topic. And you can expect Julie to be an insightful presenter. If you don’t know her work, it’s worth your while to sit in on either this lecture or her luncheon lecture. And here’s a description of her luncheon lecture:

Aftermath: Living in a Post Mars-Square-Uranus World

The ingress of Uranus to Taurus was fraught with the retrograde period of Mars which brought with it three powerful squares. Now what? BYOC

Note that there is an additional charge for luncheon lectures and they DO fill fast. Right now there is room in this one but that may not be the case if you decide to register for it on-site. Snooze, and you may lose. Though how can you snooze when Mars is square Uranus? Oh, and by the way, DO bring your own chart to this. Julie likes to make things interactive and relevant to participants. Also note that luncheon lectures are not recorded. You’ve gotta be there…

Julie is one of two dozen top-notch lecturers SOTA is happy to have this year. And you can come for the day or come for the duration, though I will again mention that if you plan on taking in this luncheon lecture it’s to your advantage to register beforehand. Our website is listed on the flyer below. We also have a Facebook Page which is again listed on the flyer. So do have a look, and do share SOTAnews with your friends. We look forward to seeing you there!




SOTA 24 April 2018

Hi Everybody,

I made a brief site inspection at the hotel last week and am happy to say they are ready for us. And yes, you can reserve your hotel room any time by calling 1-800-323-3331 and telling them you’re with SOTA. Please note that if you choose to get a courtyard room, it will be $10.00 extra. And if you’re a speaker, please note that we don’t cover that extra $10.00. Sorry…

Also, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, this would be a good time to let me know that so I can set up the opening and banquet accordingly. Note that we ALWAYS offer vegetarian items for both of these, but there may not be any vegan if you don’t let me know.

Meanwhile, I am very happy to report that we’ve already made our June reg target, two months ahead of the cut-off. I am very pleased and thank all of you for your support. This being a UAC year, and this being an independent conference, I had been sweating blood. But so far it looks like we’re ok.

Wade Caves

So let’s look at some speakers, huh? One we haven’t talked about yet is Wade Caves. Now Wade probably needs no introduction at this point. He was one of our top-drawing speakers last year and one of those most frequently mentioned on the ask-back list. His 2018 topic is a hot one. Have a look:

Today, on Mythbusters: A Critical Review of Length of Life Techniques

Historical sources are not entirely aligned on the determination of the hyleg (giver of life) and alcocoden (giver of years), yet the lion’s share of medieval and Renaissance texts teach you how to determine length of life starting with these two planets. How reliable are these techniques, really? Generous handouts provided for further study.

It is rare to get ANY information on length of life in a lecture. In this one you’re getting both information and handouts for further study.  This is going to be worth the price of a day’s admission in itself. Also note that Wade has recently moved to England. This could most certainly impact his availability

David Perloff

And let’s not forget about David Perloff. David will be doing two one-hour lectures on Marc Edmund Jones techniques. Here they are. The first one is on Friday at 4:30, and the second one is on Sunday at 9 a.m.

Mental Chemistry – A Legacy of Marc Edmund Jones

Mental Chemistry gives tremendous insight into how we receive and process information of all sorts. We will discuss how to determine Mental Chemistry (not complicated!), and how to use it to better understand ourselves, our clients, and the people around us. This largely-underused technique should be in every astrologer’s toolkit.

Planetary Patterns – Another Legacy of Marc Edmund Jones

Astrologer Marc Edmund Jones developed Planetary Patterns (aka Temperament Types), a powerful technique determined by how the planets are arranged around the wheel. We will look each of the planetary patterns: Bundle, Bowl, Bucket, Locomotive, Splash, SeeSaw, Splay – and see how they can be a tremendous aid in chart interpretation.

Now those of you who know me, know that I find both of these techniques invaluable. You will be getting instruction from a master here, but be aware, the Sunday lecture will of necessity move quickly because David only has an hour. However, this will be a good introduction as well as a good review.  You will use this information again and again!

And on that note, I will see you next week. Enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures in the meantime!