All posts by Wendy Guy

SOTA News 10 June 2014

10 June 2014

Hi All,

My apologies for taking so long to get back to you. My husband died last week and as you might expect, there has been quite a bit of shuffling and rescheduling as a result. But aside from a late newsletter, SOTA has come out of the turmoil remarkably unscathed.

So let me tell you what’s going on:

First of all, a reminder that registration fees will go up right on schedule, so if you’re still sitting on the fence as of June 26, it will cost you extra to join in the fun.

The only rates not going up as of then are those for the luncheon lectures, the banquet, and the opening reception and keynote with Kelly Surtees. So you might want to do yourself a favor and go sign up now.

And yeah, Mercury is retrograde, but if it’s been something you’ve been THINKING about doing, then this REminder is apt, because once Mercury goes direct you’ll be paying more.

The website, by the way, is designed and maintained by our wonderful webmistress Wendy Guy, and you will find, thanks to her, a newly designed and easier to use PayPal form. Additionally, you will find all the back newsletters here along with a copy of the full schedule. So if you’re thinking you need a website of your own, contact Wendy. If not, I’m sure you’ll thank her for the new reg form anyway.

Note that all fees are in US funds. And if you pay by Canadian cheque or Interac, you’ll have to add 10% to the reg fee to cover the exchange rate. My apologies to those of you on this side of the border. Blame Harper. If you DO want to pay by check/cheque, please make it payable to Full Circle Seminars and send it to me at 35 Brock St., Suite 1405, Hamilton, ON, L8L 4L7 Canada.

Now let’s go back to the banquet and keynote for a minute.

Banquet first: As I mentioned before, the banquet is filling rapidly and there’s a very good chance that it will sell out well before September 25. I will let you know how many tickets are left in early July. Once those are sold, we will only have Full conference packages available. In other words, no banquet. Reception and keynote will be available for an additional fee beyond full registration ($20 or $25 depending on when you register.) So if you want to be at the banquet, register soon.

Usually we have tried to accommodate everyone who showed up at the last minute for the keynote. We will try to do that again this year, but I can’t guarantee we’ll succeed. Of course, some people don’t come to the keynote anyway because they think it’s just a bunch of announcements. Well, think again. Yes, there will be  announcements, but I can guarantee they will be kept to a minimum.

The main purpose of the reception is to hear Kelly Surtees, who will be giving us a dynamite keynote on Purpose and Passion.

Kelly is originally from Australia and travels between Australia and Ontario for lecturing and conferences. She has also lectured at UAC and has clients on two continents. She holds an FAA practitioner’s diploma plus qualifications in counseling and life coaching. Her clients love her, her students love her, and I think you’ll find her material very worthwhile.

And to add to your enjoyment, we will have a cash bar, coffee and tea, and an array of cheese, veggies, dips and hot and cold appetizers. Come early or stay after to meet and greet and then join us later at the AFAN hospitality suite hosted by none other than Eric Pride.

Even if you’ve never been to SOTA before you won’t be a stranger by the end of the opening reception. And you’ll have gotten an excellent lecture and some food as well as some good company. So don’t worry about getting your money’s worth. You will!

Speaking of Eric Pride, you’ll also be able to find him lecturing in our Open Forum program this year. Actually, I had hoped to have the full schedule for you this week, but two things happened: First of all, my husband’s death put the scheduling on hold. And secondly, we could still use at least one and possibly as many as 3 Open Forum lectures.

Maybe YOU could fill one of these slots. Or maybe you know somebody who could fill one of them. That would be fantastic! But do me a favor? Before you send me your topic suggestions and your bio, please email me for a copy of the guidelines. I’ve had to send back I don’t know how many blurbs and bios that were twice and three times as long as they should be — and I simply don’t have time to edit, so anything like this will be sent back.

Secondly, please note that our preference is for new speakers who have not spoken at SOTA before. If you already have a slot in the main roster, we can’t use you. And if you’ve spoken before, you can certainly apply according to the guidelines, but be aware that you will not be our first choice. It’s somebody else’s turn this time.

Deadline for Open Forum application: June 30th.

OK, I’ve been working on this for 3 days now. Time to get it out. Oh, and note that there may not be a newsletter next week. I’m hoping to get off to Niagara Falls to see what’s happening at the Sheraton, as I hear there are renovations going on. Meanwhile, please share the news with your friends.

Best,
Donna

SOTA News 11 May 2014

11 May 2014

Hi All,

Do you read your daily horoscope? Do you read any horoscope column at all? Whether you sneer at them or smile at them, I’d bet you a latte you read them. It’s one of those guilty little pleasures of the so-called “serious astrologer”.

Once upon a time I tried my hand at writing a horoscope column. After the first week, I hated every minute of it. Do you know how hard it is to say something meaningful and upbeat about each of the signs in 50 words or less each and every day? By the end of my 6 months I was reduced to things like “Did you enjoy yesterday? Well today is more of the same.” Or, “Not too much going on today. Feel free to roll over and go back to sleep.”

I was fortunate to find Nadiya Shah, who is a natural for this sort of thing and just loved doing it. I owe her a debt of gratitude to this day for taking the sucker off my hands.

 

However, no experience is wasted. I gained a new respect for the discipline and talent of those who take this job on and do it well. They attract both new clients and new students to our field. And fortunately, there are many good astrologers out there doing this kind of work.

One such person is Samuel Reynolds, and he has agreed to share a few tips with us. Here’s his topic:

Horoscope Writing for Money With Love

Horoscopes have gotten a bad rep, sometimes with good reason. The astrology seems to be missing from some horoscope columns, leaving us with vague cliches. Reynolds, a horoscope writer for several international publications, will show you how to write horoscope columns that can earn money while letting you keep your integrity and love for astrology.

No doubt about it, you CAN make money writing horoscope columns. And maybe if I’d attended this workshop a few years ago I’d be doing just that. But my loss is your gain. Don’t miss this one!

 

On other fronts, we’re once again looking for staff. Definitely one person and maybe even two. We’ve had lots of nibbles on that one slot, but so far we’ve had no takers. And fence-sitters are unfortunately just that until they commit, because we DEFINITELY need people to fill these positions. We do not pay hotel, but you do get a free conference. And if it falls upon you to work the banquet or a luncheon lecture we also pay for said banquet or luncheon.

That said, you do not get a choice of which lectures you get to work; if 5 people all want to work the same lecture and we only need 2, that guarantees 3 will be disappointed. So I draw names out of a shoebox (which reminds me, I’m gonna need to buy shoes). But I CAN guarantee that you will get a good mix of lectures that includes both astrologers from near or far.

So if you can’t afford conference AND hotel, this could be an option for you. Staff guidelines are available if you’re interested. Just ask and I’ll email them posthaste.

 

Staff are also welcome to present a lecture at our new Open Forum, as are all vendors and registered attendees who have never spoken at SOTA before. We’re open to a variety of topics — not just astrology — and pretty much the only restriction here is on very basic astrology or Tarot.

So if you’re one of those people who would love to get established on the lecture circuit but who always gets bypassed due to lack of experience, check this out. No, you won’t get paid, and yes, you have to be registered for the conference (standard procedure for this kind of track), but we will be looking very closely at your feedback and if you do well, you’ll definitely be considered for 2015. In fact, we’re really HOPING to find at least 3 new speakers we can put on the 2015 roster. So have a look at the Open Forum Guidelines, and if this appeals to you, send me a topic.

 

Also, if you haven’t reserved your hotel room as yet, this would be a good time to do it. We’ve already increased our room block once. We can’t guarantee we’ll be able to keep increasing it ad infinitum. So if you want to stay where the action is, make that call today! The hotel number is on the conference flyer. And don’t forget to tell them you’re with SOTA to get the special conference rate.

 

Last but not least, a reminder that if you’re planning to attend the banquet, it’s to your advantage to register early. Due to our current registration numbers, running out of banquet tickets before September is a distinct possibility. And once the space is full, it’s full — and all we’ll be able to do is put you on a waiting list.

 

OK, I’m off to do a review of Armand Diaz‘s latest book, Separating Aspects. You’ll find the review in NCGRmemberletter, and you’ll find the book at the conference. And yes, for those who have asked, we are hoping to confirm very shortly that Helene Arts will again be our bookseller.

Stay tuned, and have a good week! And don’t forget to share SOTAnews with your friends.

Best,
Donna

SOTA News 6 May 2014

6 May 2014

Hi All,

Once again we’ve got lots of news.

I mentioned last time that due to our amazingly good registration to date we were contemplating adding in some kind of extra track. It’s been done, and the guidelines for submitting a lecture are attached. Open Forum is SOTA’s version of what is normally called Free Speech.

When Free Speech was first instituted at UAC, the name was a good fit. Anyone who was registered for UAC could simply go and sign up to take a speaking slot until the slots were all filled. The results of this were, um, interesting to say the least. Quality of lectures was hit and miss and there was lots of duplication of topics. Some of the presenters were excellent. Some were not. And some slots weren’t filled at all.

So over the years, Free Speech evolved into what it is today, and the name is now a bit of a misnomer. It is not free to attend, and you can no longer simply walk in and sign up for a speaking slot. But the trade-off is that quality is much higher.

Open Forum is YOUR chance to get yourself known. All you have to do is submit a lecture topic and a bio as per the instructions. We don’t know how many submissions we will have, but we will be selecting at least a dozen presenters — maybe more if we get more. The only catch is you must be either staff, a vendor (and I don’t think I mentioned this in the guidelines, but yes, vendors are more than welcome to submit), or a registered attendee to qualify. The guidelines will give you all the details, and if you still need more information, by all means ask.

We’re hoping that many of you who present in Open Forum will be invited back to speak at SOTA in the future. How many? Well, that depends on how many lecturers we get and how many slots we have available for 2015. It also depends on your feedback. But we are definitely hoping that some of you will be back next year on the main roster — which means with a paid slot. So if you’ve been trying to get your foot in the lecture door, here’s your chance. Why not give it a try?

Download the instructions (PDF 24 KB)

 

…And speaking of vendors, we have one space left in the trade room. If you have a product — particularly a craft-y product, we’d love to hear from you. And personally, I would be very happy if we found a candy-maker. And Demetrius would be happy to if it was a vegan candy-maker, though that’s not essential.

 

Since last week we have filled 2 of the 3 open staff positions. I’ve had several inquiries about the third one, but so far I have no firm commitment. If the first person on the list is not able to commit, I will go to the second person on the list. So yes, there’s a back-up list, and at the moment we are not looking for more staff. That may change, and if it does you’ll hear about it.

 

For any of you who might happen to live in Sudbury or know people in Sudbury, I will be doing an all-day workshop on the elements (plus a little bit on the qualities) on May 25. This will cover correlations with Myers-Briggs as well as singletons by elements, absence of element, abundance of element, elements by progression, and some techniques for making friends with the elements.

That’s not the news, though. The news is that if you happen to be at that workshop and haven’t as yet registered for SOTA, I will be taking Canadian money at par for SOTA for that day only. That’s about a 10% savings as you know. And while the cheque or payment must be received on the 25th, you may post-date it until May 31. If you’re interested in attending this workshop, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the workshop convener.

 

And what about our main-conference presenters? Well, how about a reminder that Joe Polise is back. He drew raves last year — which is why he’s back — and I have no doubts that he’ll do it again this year. Here’s his topic:

Astrology and the Hermetic Worldview

The Hermetic phrase “As Above, So Below” captures astrology as language unifying natural and cosmic orders though universal correspondence and sympathy. This talk will highlight classic Hermetic tracts like The Kybalion and Emerald Tablet and these principles can continue to inform those for whom astrology is a spiritual path.

If you missed Joe last year, he is a teacher par excellence. And here’s another chance to check him out.

 

Ok, that’s it for this week. Don’t forget to reserve your hotel room and if you’re planning on attending the banquet, get that registration in soon. Franco will be entertaining entertainment ideas for his cabaret night very shortly — and we’re already running out of space.

Have a good week,
Donna

 

SOTA News 28 Apr 2014

28 April 2014

Hi All,

…Well, it’s been a while. As you may know, I was in Ann Arbor for GLAC, which was a wonderful small conference. They truly made up for what they lacked in size with a great deal of heart — and some wonderful speakers too. So if you missed it this year, buy yourself a raffle ticket at SOTA and maybe you too can enjoy it along with the rest of us. Meawhile, there’s plenty of news this month.

First of all, a funny thing has happened on our way to the June registration cut-off. Specifically, we’ve actually met our June registration target already! Yep, we’ve got record attendance at the moment, including registrations from a number of speakers who are coming even though they aren’t lecturing.

So what does this mean? Well first of all, it means that if you’re planning to stay at the hotel, you would be well advised to reserve your room NOW if you haven’t already done so by calling 1-866-961-3780 and telling them you’re with SOTA. As you know, we have only a small room block, and while we will attempt to increase it very shortly, once the rooms are gone, they are gone. So make sure you get yours before that happens.

Secondly, if you are planning on attending the banquet but haven’t registered yet, it’s to your advantage to do so now. If registration continues at this pace — and there are still quite a few regulars we HAVEN’T heard from yet — the banquet will be sold out by September and possibly even before. Last year, we sold out and we could not get a bigger room. This year may be no different. So snooze on this one and it’s very likely you’re going to lose.

Third, as a result of these wonderful registration numbers, we are now exploring adding in a few bonus lectures or panels — maybe even a small track. I should be able to tell you more about this next week, because before I can commit to adding stuff, I have to make sure that we’ll have sufficient space to put it in. So stay tuned on that one.

On other fronts, a reminder that if you have not paid your reader’s fee, it is now due. In fact it’s past due — and if I don’t hear from you in the next week or so, I will assume you’re no longer interested and offer it to the next person on the waiting list. So if you’re coming, contact me NOW and make arrangements to pay your fee before I give the slot away.

Likewise, we have a few vendors’ fees outstanding at the moment as well. We cannot hold these spaces open indefinitely, so if you’re planning on attending, please contact me. Current plans are to release all unpaid-for space by May 15. Again, snooze and you’ll lose.

Speaking of readers, we have one reader who is currently looking for a roommate. She is fun, interesting, and not a prima donna. So if you need a roommate, contact me and I’ll put her in touch with you. You’ll both save money and have a good time as well.

We’re also once again taking applications for staff to do taping and monitoring. At the moment we need at least one person; if we add in another track, we could use as many as 3 more people. These are unpaid positions, but you DO get the conference at no charge. If you want further details, let me know.
…OK, announcements over. Let’s look at one of our many great lectures, in this case one by Michelle Gould. Michelle is a consulting astrologer from Gainesville, Florida. I have enjoyed both her lectures and her columns very much, and I suspect you’ll enjoy her lecture offering this time as well. What is it???

Your Personal Story Arc

The progressed Sun moves through a few natal houses over the course of one’s life. Join me to see how to chart the Sun’s progress and create a framework in which clients can see their life as a journey, appreciate the distance they’ve traveled, and anticipate where they’ve yet to go.

This will be Michelle’s first time as a SOTA speaker. It may not be her last. Come out and give her a warm welcome.

Last but not least, I am saddened to report the passing of Stephanie Clement late last week. Stephanie spoke at SOTA several times in the early day and was well-liked for her generous sharing of information advice, and support to new astrologers. She was active within the AFA for many years as well as being an editor for Llewellyn and contributed much to the astrological community. She will definitely be missed.

And on that note, it’s time for me to get back to work. But before I do, one more thing: If you’re responding to something in the newsletter, please could you send a new email message rather than simply responding to the email? I send out quite a number of newsletters and as a result, the thread can get very long and unwieldy. You’ll get a much quicker response by sending a separate message.

Thanks — and catch you next week.

Donna

 

SOTA News 4 Apr 2014

4 April 2014

Special Offer for GLAC Attendees!

Hi All,

Here’s wishing you a happy April with foolishness of the best possible sort.

We had a very good early bird registration, and we’re hoping to add to that. A big thank you to all who contributed to that good registration. I know that attending conferences is expensive. It’s expensive because conferences are expensive to set up. Most people can only afford one a year, if that.

For example, I’ve heard from two or three of you who would love to attend both SOTA and GLAC (Great Lakes Astrology Conference – April 10-14, 2014) but just can’t afford it. And that’s a shame, because SOTA and GLAC are in many respects complementary conferences. Not that there aren’t differences.

SOTA is a 3-track conference; GLAC has only 2 tracks. GLAC has all 1 hour 15 minute lectures. SOTA has a mix of one-hour and two-hour lectures.

SOTA has a buffet-style banquet and entertainment by talented speakers and attendees. GLAC has a sit-down dinner and an absolutely fantastic ’60’s band.

SOTA has Niagara Falls. GLAC has Ann Arbor, which is equally wonderful in its own way.

GLAC has Ray Merriman, Chris McRae, Glenn Perry, Nick Dagan Best and Monica Dimino. Both GLAC and SOTA have Brad Kochunas, Pam Gallagher, and yours truly, though we will be doing different topics at each conference.

And SOTA? Well, here’s just one of the two-hour lectures we will be featuring, this one by none other than Patricia Bell, a well-known astrologer and medium from Lily Dale, NY:

From Heaven to Earth and Everywhere In Between

So many times we think that the unseen is airy-fairy but in reality it is more real than what we see. Your chart contains doorways that can take you to the realms of what is truly known. Making conscious choices to use the power of these realms can make significant changes in your own life and open new doors for clients.

Sound good? Well, in addition to Patricia Bell, we also have Lynn Koiner, Georgia Stathis, Kenneth Miller, Jacqueline Janes, Kelly Surtees and many other fine speakers, all of whom are regional favorites and many of whom have gained international recognition.

Now as I said earlier, we would love it if we could do something to help you attend both conferences. So here’s what we’ve come up with in SOTAland.

We are offering ALL GLAC attendees, speakers, and staff who are not already registered for SOTA a chance to purchase a Full Conference registration for SOTA at the ridiculously low price of $105 US.

Granted, this package doesn’t include the opening reception or the banquet or sweet messages, but it DOES offer you a chance to hear 11 speakers of your choice for what amounts to less than $10 a lecture. And of course if you decide you really really want to go to sweet messages or a luncheon or a pre-conference or whatever, you can always add that in for an additional fee. We just wanted to keep things no-frills and affordable.

There are, however, a few ground rules:

  1. This registration may not be used to replace an existing registration.
  2. You must actually be registered for GLAC to qualify for this rate. And since I run a conference myself, I know all about checking badges and reg lists.
  3. This offer is only good from April 11th to April 13th inclusive. You’ll be able to find me at my lectures, at other people’s lectures, at the banquet, and at the Meet and Greet. And probably wandering the halls and hanging out in between. If you CAN’T find me, call my room. Just don’t call before 9 am. I’m much more pleasant after I’ve had my coffee.
  4. I will accept either US funds or US checks. No PayPal or credit cards.

Oh, and since we’re offering this special rate for the Full SOTA package, we decided to upgrade the GLAC raffle prize we donated to a Deluxe Package, which means that you also stand a chance of winning that package for the cost of one measly ticket, which I think is $2.00. And if you sign up for the Full Package prior to the banquet and then win the Deluxe Package, I will be happy to tear up your check or refund your money. Or you can keep the Deluxe Package and give the Full Package to a friend. Or vice versa. Now wouldn’t THAT be a nice thing to do??? Nothing like making friends happy…

I realize this has come late in the game, and I apologize for that. We simply didn’t know if we could do it before this. But we can and we want to. And we hope maybe you can make it. Or maybe you know people in the Michigan area who can make it and would be interested in this. If so, please spread the word.

It would be wonderful to see GLAC get a good turnout, and it would be wonderful to see some of you there. Who needs competition when everybody can win???

Best,

Donna