All posts by Wendy Guy

SOTA News 29 June 2014

29 June 2014

Hi All,

And a happy July 1 or a happy July 4, whichever you celebrate. Here in SOTAland the fireworks started on June 27, and will probably continue until July 2nd if last year was any indicator. Because I am blessed with a view of both the Harbour and the Mountain I don’t even have to leave my house to see a good display. Which is wonderful because I truly enjoy them.

OK, so what’s new with SOTA? Not a lot this week. We’re close to finalizing Open Forum and close to finalizing Sweet Messages; I’m hoping to bring you more news about those next week. Meanwhile, a few updates:

As you probably already know, SOTA registration rates increased as of June 26. You can check the attached flyer and /or http://donnavantoen.com for further details on that. I’ve heard from a couple of people who missed the deadline and wanted to know if they could get in at the earlier rate anyway. The answer to that one is “no”. I mean that wouldn’t be very fair to those people who got their fees in on time, now would it?

For those who prefer to pay by cheque ( or email transfer  on this side of the border), yes, you can still do that, but if you’re paying in Canadian funds, there is a 10% surcharge to cover the exchange rate. In other words, the $110 single day rate of $110 US is $122 Canadian..

For those of you who have asked about Pre-Conference workshops, yes we still have space available in both workshops and we will continue to sell tickets until they are sold out or until the workshop starts. There are two things you need to know about paying at the door, though. First of all, rates will again increase as of September 26. Right now you can sign up for one Pre-Conference for $75 or both for $110. After September 25 the rate goes up to $80 for one Pre-Conference or $120 for both. Also note that if you register at the door it’s cash only in US funds.

For those of you who ARE planning to come to one or both Pre-Conferences, you need to know that our hotel room block for Wednesday night is very close to full, so I would advise you to reserve your room NOW by calling 1-866-961-3780 and telling them you’re with SOTA.

And if you ARE going to be there Wednesday night, don’t forget our wonderful early bird meet and greet in the AFAN hospitality room. Your host will once again be Eric Pride, possibly with assistance from the one and only Terry Johnson, whom of you may remember from previous years. We’re happy to have both Eric and Terry back.

As a bit of incentive, let’s talk about our morning Pre-Conference workshop with none other than Lynn Koiner. Lynn has lectured at SOTA in the past, and some of you have been asking to have her back ever since. Additionally, many of you have asked for more on medical astrology, which happens to be Lynn’s specialty.

Her Pre-Conference will cover psychological patterns of disease as they relate to the four lobes of the brain, and she will be discussing a whole boatload of different diseases from Alzheimer’s to diabetes and many, many more. Then, as a follow-up, on Friday morning she’ll be offering a 1-hour lecture on transits and progressions in medical astrology. This should give you an excellent overview of various factors in medical astrology.

Lynn has lectured at UAC, at NCGR conferences, and also throughout Europe. She is also a teacher for the International Academy of Astrology, where she teaches medical astrology of course. She has been a professional astrologer since 1969.

And if that’s not enough, she is also an excellent bargain-hunter and an absolutely delightful dining companion.  I’m sure you’ll not only enjoy her workshop and lecture but will also enjoy her as well. She is accessible and knowledgeable in addition to being an experienced presenter.

OK, that’s it for this week. As always, please feel free to share this with your friends and to let me know if you have any questions.
Enjoy those fireworks. And try to stay cool.

Best,
Donna

SOTA News 24 June 2014

24 June 2014

Hi All,

Last week I visited the hotel and it appears they are ready for us. Some updates:

  • Front desk appears to have its act together this year. I will be back again to double-check on that.
  • There is now an ice cream and fudge shop located just off the Starbucks. I am told the milkshakes are good. I can vouch for the fudge.
  • Around the corner from the hotel there is now a Smokin’ Joes, which not only has the usual cigarettes and souvenirs, but also a great coffee shop with lattes, and cappucinos, and excellent truffles and more. They also have a rather interesting show each evening featuring native dancers, music, and myth. It’s something you might want to check out.
  • Also around the corner there is a culinary center. This has a restaurant, a deli, a pastry shop, a wine boutique featuring Niagara Wines, and a Barnes and Noble. This looks like something we may use for events in future years; for this year, it’s merely something else to check out.

Meanwhile, JUNE 25 is the last day to save money on SOTA rates. As of the 26th, Deluxe and Full conference registrations increase by $50, while single-day admissions go up by $30. So if you haven’t already registered, now is the time to do it. By the weekend, the rates will have gone up…

In terms of banquets, it is now very clear that we are very likely to sell out before September, as the big room we used two years ago is no longer available for banquets. While I haven’t done a final count yet, I am guesstimating that there are about 15 spaces left. That means 15 Deluxe conference packages left. After that it will be Full Conferences only, with the option to add on the Opening Ceremonies. We will try very hard to accommodate everyone for the Opening Ceremonies, but at the moment there are no guarantees.

In terms of hotel, we still have a fair bit of space available for all nights but Wednesday. So if you’re planning to come in for the Pre-Conference workshops you need to reserve your room NOW by calling 866-961-3780 and telling them you’re with SOTA.

And speaking of Pre-Conferences, I’ve been asked about Georgia Stathis and about her workshop on Business Astrology. Georgia is an internationally-known business astrologer who has been lecturing since 1977. She has an MBA from Pepperdine College in California.

In addition to her extensive astrology and lecturing work, she is a licensed California realtor, with much expertise in forecasting real estate cycles. In fact, I initially tried to get her to lecture on real estate cycles, but she declined because a) she is not familiar with the Canadian real estate market and b), NOBODY seems to understand the Toronto real estate market. They’ve been predicting a bust for years and it still hasn’t happened. There have even been articles in the New York Times and elsewhere. So your guess is as good as anybody’s on that one.

Having said that, you can expect to get a good background in business astrology from Georgia’s workshop — not just basic stuff, but also some forecasting tips and techniques. I have heard Georgia lecture more that once. She is clear, she is accessible, and she delivers. This workshop isn’t called Basics and Beyond for nothing… And if that isn’t enough, she is also an expert on Synodic Cycles, which are crucial in forecasting.

Register before June 26th, and you can attend this lecture for a mere $70. Or you can register for both workshops for only $90. We will accept registrations right up until the workshop starts,but the longer you wait, the more you can expect to pay. So why not do yourself a favor and register now???

And don’t forget that Georgia will also be doing a 2-hour presentation on Synodics on Friday.

On other fronts, a reminder that we still have two vacant slots at Open Forum. If you want one, message me for guidelines. We COULD fill those slots with panels, but I’d just love to see some of you showing of your knowledge in them instead.

OK, I’ve been running late all week and I want to get this out to as many people as possible before the rates go up. I’d love it if you want to lend a hand and spread the word. Meanwhile, have a terrific week.

Best,
Donna

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