Category Archives: SOTA 2017

SOTA 13 March 2017

Hi All,

I’m going to start out this time with some feedback on last year’s conference that we got on the 2016 survey:

“This one exceeded my expectations. That’s probably because I decided to attend all of the evening events this year. And I found out that’s  where you really  have the time to get   to  know people and make lasting friendships,”

There you have it. Those evening events are worth the difference between  a full package  and a deluxe package. I have a lot of stories about people who  have become  friends at SOTA.  It  is easy to meet kindred spirits at SOTA. And we’re trying  hard  to  exceed your expectations,  both in terms of speakers and evening activities.

For example, our opening reception, in addition to having a cash bar and some tasty nibblies, will feature a keynote from one  of the speakers you told us you wanted back —— none other than David Cochrane. David’s topic, The Astrologer’s Journey: Roller Coasters  and Merry-Go-Rounds will no doubt be enjoyable for all — and I bet some of you have spent time  on one or both of these rides on your journey through the carnival of astrology. David will also have many anecdotes from his own journey to share with you.

Friday night is Divination Night, so there will be cookies, tea and coffee, and readings. We are still trying to confirm  readers, but  it’s certain that Mj Patterson, Dawn Silver, and John Marani will be three of them. Meanwhile, if  you’d like to volunteer your services as  a reader, please let me know. We DO have space…

Featured Speaker: David Cochrane

Saturday night is the banquet. We  will, as usual, have entertainment (and I never know the theme of that until it happens),  the 50/50 draw, and a very nice buffet. And yes, we accommodate vegetarians. Meanwhile,  we try to feature the show-cased (Pre and Post) speakers as well as some of those you’ve requested we ask back on Saturday. So  while you’re waiting for the banquet fun to begin, you can check out the following:

Neptune and Pluto: Trend Setters —— David  Cochrane

Neptune and Pluto are engaged in a cosmic dance that sets major political trends and life style changes. Using ideas in Vibrational Astrology David has made many accurate predictions over the past 15 years. We will learn how this is done using very simple rules.

And while you don’t need it  for this lecture, you might want to nip into the trade room and have a look at  Linda Berry and David Cochrane’s book, Vibrational Astrology, mentioned above. It truly is a breakthrough book!

Featured Speaker: Adam Gainsburg

You can also hear/see Adam Gainsburg’s All Conjunctions Are Not Created Equally:

All Conjunctions Are Not Created Equally

All Western astrology shares the round horoscopic wheel as its main tool.  Yet how much of the celestial reality do our chart wheels portray?  The truth is, not very much at all.  This lecture will utilize the visually compelling and misunderstood Conjunction to demonstrate the many “types” of conjunctions, and how a rudimentary understanding of the sky as a backdrop, against which each conjunction occurs, is essential for delineating each type.

If  you’ve never attended one of Adam’s lectures,  please note that they are always highly visual, so while they will be taped, it’s really not quite the same.

And speaking of Adam, we’re keeping him busy this year. He’ll also be lecturing on Sunday on Lunar Nodes and their Dispositors, and then finishing up the conference with a 3-hour Post-Conference on Phases of Saturn. So you fans should be able to make it to one of his presentations. Or more than one, if you’re a big fan…


For the 3 of you who didn’t know, I am currently also working on my gem book, and right  now I have a tree agate demanding my attention. So I’ll catch  you next week. Meanwhile, feel free to share this newsletter and/or direct your friends to

Time is running out for the early bird  special. Your friends will thank you for helping them save money while turning them on to some damned fine lectures.




SOTA 8 March 2017

Hi Everyone,

People often ask if it’s hard work putting on a conference. I will be blunt; it is. Mostly it’s a labour of love, but yes,  I get tired, and there are times I question  my  sanity. I know  people love SOTA, and  I definitely want it to continue, but I could use a little  help. No, not money, though if you have a spare $20,000  kicking around, I’d take it. Because that’s what it takes  each year to  run a conference.  But actually, the kind of help I’m thinking of will cost you nothing but a little  bit  of time. And in some instances it could  help both of us. So what kind of help do I need?

Ways You Can Help SOTA

First of all, I need you speakers to let your friends and those on your mailing  lists know that you’re speaking, Send them the flyer or send them to Let them know that this is a great conference and as conferences go, it’s fairly inexpensive to attend. Parking is free. Room rates are low. And our conference fees, for what we offer, are as reasonable as we can make them.To make them MORE reasonable, we need more attendees. And you speakers know probably have fans that we don’t know. So tell them about us. If they like you, there’s a good  chance they’ll like SOTA.

Attendees and staff, it’s easy to forward this newsletter to friends. No pressure, no hard sell. But if YOU like SOTA, they might too. And maybe you’d than have someone to share room or traveling expenses with.

And those of you who haven’t registered yet could help us, and you, by registering early. That way you save money and we can better anticipate attendance. Plus I  won’t  have to go through neurosis because we’re under quota. This kind of stress  is definitely not good for  my diverticulitis.

That said, I know  some people just CAN’T register early. Many have to see if they can get the time off. I know 3 or  4 who don’t   even  KNOW  their October  work schedules until September. Others wait to get their tax refund. Still others save a little bit each month in order to be able to come. And if that’s how it  works  for you, that’s fine.

Many of you have supported  SOTA  year after year and I DO want you to know it is appreciated. We couldn’t do this without you. So thank  you. And thanks  in advance to those  of you who forward newsletters, mention SOTA in your own newsletters, or otherwise spread the word. Your efforts are appreciated and CAN make a big difference.

Featured Staff: Wendy Guy

One of the people who definitely is doing her part is our webmistress Wendy Guy. Wendy is  the one who did all those  wonderful banners. Which, by the way, are another way to promote SOTA. If you didn’t get one or can’t make it work, let me know  and  I’ll put you in touch with her. I fear this was not the easy solution I had hoped for and some of you got intimidated and just  didn’t try them…

But that’s not all Wendy does. She does a lot of behind (and in front of) the scenes,  including  keeping the dreaded Russian hackers and spammers away. So if YOU’D like to keep your website safe, or spiff  it  up, or even get  a new website up and running, contact me and I’d be happy to put you in touch with Wendy. I can certainly vouch for her  work.

Featured Speaker: Greg Bogart

Meanwhile, let’s  look at some speakers:

As you  know, Greg Bogart is doing one of our two pre-conferences (“Jung, Astrology, and Dreams”). But did you know  that he’s also lecturing  on Saturday? Well, he is. Here’s his topic:

Planets in Therapy: Therapeutic Astrology and the Art of Counseling

This talk explores how to approach planetary symbolism to facilitate emotional transformation, to navigate periods of depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, workplace stress, and bereavement, and to form the most adaptive responses to life’s challenge and adversities.

Describing his work as a psychotherapist-astrologer, Greg will discuss how therapeutic astrology helps us heal emotional injuries, evolve the personality, and turn crises into conscious and meaningful passages. Participants will experience a method of astrological process work combining meditation, visualization, and symbol amplification.

Greg is the author of one of my favorite books, Planets in Therapy, which will also be available at the conference.  He  is a seasoned and effective teacher and presenter. And we were lucky to get him as he rarely does regional conferences. So  check him out while he’s in the neighborhood!

Featured Speaker: Carmen Di Luccio

Another new speaker, this one from Toronto, is also speaking on  Saturday. Carmen Di Luccio  is an uncommonly humble  astrologer with a lot to offer, and a very worthwhile topic. Here it is:

Marketing In The Modern World: For Astrologers and Other Similar Vocations

Over the last decade we have witnessed major developments in the world of marketing through the rise of social media platforms. This has provided new opportunities for astrologers and others who are in consulting and healing professions. This talk is designed to help navigate and determine the best internet marketing strategies based on one’s natal chart.

This is a topic we don’t get to hear about very often. And I think I need to hear about it. So again, if you want to help me, please don’t have a crisis Saturday morning. I’d very much like to go to this. And I suspect I won’t be the only one.


So there you have it. Not the same old people or the same old stuff. Join us! And share those newsletters!!




SOTA 28 February 2017

Hi  Everyone,

We’re almost in March. And spring. Mind you, the weather has been very pleasant here for February, but I suspect that winter is going to have one last hurrah. It usually does… It DID snow last night here, but by noon it was all gone. Not exactly a hurrah… Just a reminder.

Single Day Registration

I’ve had a number of  queries  on a number of things. First of all, people who can only attend for a day and wonder which day would be best to attend. That’s a question I don’t feel I can answer, because to a large extent it depends on you and your choices. There are good speakers and good topics every day, it just depends on what you’re interested in and who you want to here.

Several of our most-requested speakers are speaking on Friday, so if you can make it on  Friday, that might be a good choice. But Saturday  is good too — especially  if you  like psychological. And Sunday  offers a lot of topic variety, plus the prize draw. So trust your gut and  choose accordingly. And yes,  you can come for a day or come for the duration. What works for you  works for us.

New and Returning Speakers

We have brought back those speakers whose feedback was particularly positive  last time, including Christopher Renstrom. Dawn Silver, Franco, Ellen Bourn,   and Jessica  Lanyadoo, so those of you who were here last year know some of what to expect. Additionally, we have our Pre and Post  Conference speakers,  Greg Bogart, Grace K. Morris, Gary  Caton, and Adam Gainsburg, all of whom are known for their high-quality presentations.

And we’ve even managed to hook in some new voices for the jaded among you — Gabriel Rosas  (who was drawing raves from a couple of  speakers last year, despite being  only an attendee), Darri Low-Murphy (who has lectured at major conferences but seems to be somewhat underknown), Carmen di Luccio, who is an  up-and-comer from Toronto,) Inge Lohse (a seasoned pro from Edmonton who has probably  forgotten more than some of you ever knew), and  Naomi Bennett (an astrologer from Texas who has many interesting  ideas.) So as usual, there’s no  lack of talent  or knowledge this year.

Featured Speaker: Dawn Silver

As an example,  let’s look at Dawn  Silver. Dawn was at SOTA for the first time last year,  and if request to bring her back are any indication, she was one of your favorites. Here’s her 2017 topic:

Cosmic Origins of Crystal Healing

We are one with the unified energy of the cosmos…. connected to the universal crystalline umbilical cord of coded light.  How did we get here?

In this class we shall explore the cosmic origins of crystals as seen thru the eyes of spiritual science and learn effective ways to utilize gemstone energies for your well being and their natural vibrational medicine healing.  You will learn which stones are best suited for you ancestral patterns.

We shall cover various techniques including: sympathetic resonance, the spectrograph (bio-illuminations of gems via color emanations), elemental signatures and cultural aspects, including Vedas and Anthroposophy. This class incorporates unique scientific and healing techniques, as well as astrology.

Some of you may know that I’m fairly snotty about a fair number of gem books, Not  Dawn’s, however. She knows her stuff! So  if this topic interests you, or if you enjoyed Dawn last year, you are guaranteed to enjoy this lecture!

And don’t forget that Dawn will also be reading with her Gemstone Oracle Deck at  the Divination Night on Friday night. This is definitely different from a traditional Tarot reading.  The Divination Night, including one free reading, is included in the Deluxe Conference Package.


If I’ve convinced you and you haven’t registered yet, I invite you to go to the Registration Page  and register now. Fees go up next month, so why pay more?? We’d love to see you there for the day or for the duration. Just choose the day that meets your needs and interest best. Sign-up is quick and easy.

And meanwhile,  please share SOTAnews with your friends. We NEED more attendees if we are to keep on growing — or just plain keeping on. So if you like us, share us. Let your friends like us too. There’s plenty of room for everybody, here, and you can be assured that you won’t be just another body…

Until next week, have a good one!




SOTA 21 February 2017

Hi All,

All is quiet on the SOTA front at the moment, possibly because the NCGR conference is on. I am sitting here feeling kind of sorry I missed it, but the weather really put me off. Last time  they did Baltimore in February I missed connections, missed the hotel shuttle because it wasn’t operating by the time I got there and then coming back, they lost my luggage, which had my diverticulitis meds in it and as a result wound up at emergency  2 days later with a flare-up. It was a great conference — and I’m sure this one is too — but not great enough to tempt me to go through the weather/transportation hassles again this time. And in any case, I had stuff to do here, some of which has been hanging fire for far too long. So here I am…

And speaking of being here, I want to thank the great many of you who are regulars at SOTA. Some of you have been coming  to SOTA  since the very beginning in Toronto. We appreciate your support and hope you’ll be once again supporting SOTA this year. Many of you talk about  SOTA being not only an educational experience with great lectures but also a  great  social experience and a gathering of the clan. We are very happy to see you once again and yes, for  me too it’s a great chance to catch up with as many of  you as possible.  That said, we’d also love to  attract new attendees, because without  growth, we can’t  keep SOTA   alive. So  as usual we’re asking you to  share  SOTAnews with friends and talk it up.

SOTA Banners

We’ll  also be asking you to spread the word by posting a SOTA banner on  your website or your email. If you are a speaker or have already registered, you’ve got yours already. Staff, yours will be coming. And if anyone else wants  one, just let me know. This is a tasteful banner, which was done by the amazing Wendy Guy.  We  even have  a special one for speakers that says you’re speaking. So keep your eyes open for this and please consider helping us by displaying it.

Price Increase: March 21st

Meanwhile, we are about a month away from the first cut-off, which is when prices increase. If you haven’t registered already, take a minute and go to the Registration Page. Why pay more? And if you wait until the rates go up, you will. Though you DO still have plenty of  time to get in on the lower  rates via PayPal.

For those of you who prefer to send a cheque, you can do that  too. Make it payable  to Full Circle Seminars and send it  to me at 35 Brock St., Suite 1405, Hamilton, ON, L8L 4L7 CANADA. And if you’re planning to pay by cheque, better do it soon. Canada Post is not speedy with international mail. A cheque from the  US  can sometimes take 2 weeks to get from you to me. Other times, it takes only 5-6 days, but since there is no rhyme or reason, you’re best to play it safe. If it doesn’t make  it  here by March 21, you’ll be in for the higher rate. And note that we don’t get mail here on Saturdays…

Featured Speaker: Ellen Bourn

And let’s talk about one of the speakers  who has become  a perennial favorite, Ellen Bourn. Ellen has been with us at  SOTA  almost since its inception. Why? Because she gets rave reviews, that’s why. She also has  excellent and original material. This year will be no exception. Here’s her topic:

Spiritual and Kabbalistic interpretation of Transits.

Spiritual Astrology believes that the Soul has selected its birth hour, place and time prior to incarnating on the Earth Plane. Your natal chart is a map of your Soul’s progression in this lifetime. Earthly conditions that arise during transits are an opportunity to reposition yourself Karmatically.

When there is also an understanding of the Spiritual and Evolutionary meaning of the Transit, in concert with the Spiritual lesson a more meaningful reading and life understanding can be offered by the Professional Astrologer. Our discussion will be regarding how to share this information for the client’s benefit and improve your ability as an Astrologer. You will be able to communicate this level of information and create a more meaningful reading for your client.

Sound good? Well then, come and join us. You won’t be disappointed.

OK,  see you next  week. Have a good one  folks!



SOTA 16 February 2017

Hi All,

Here we are again.  And it looks like winter is back too. Hang  in there. It will soon be spring, then summer, then fall and SOTA-time. The time passes quickly.

SOTA: A Friendly Setting

We know you count on SOTA to be an enjoyable conference with friendly, accessible speakers. At bigger conferences this isn’t always the case. Speakers hang  out with  other speakers and sometimes  have  little  time for rank-and-file attendees. That’s not the case here.  We all play nicely together and the speakers have time for you unless you’re trying to monopolize them. That said, there is also an element of reunion at  SOTA, because a great many of our attendees have been coming to SOTA for a long time. But don’t worry — if this is your first SOTA, they will also go out of the way to make you feel welcome. Because that’s how SOTA is.  And it’s very hard not to meet people at SOTA. A lot of friendships have formed over the years and each year a few more form. So don’t be afraid that you’ll be wandering around alone for the duration of the conference. You won’t be.

Featured Speaker: Grace K. Morris

Not only are we friendly, we pride ourselves on good, solid, interesting lectures from top-notch speakers, both well-known and not-so-well-known. One such lecturer is Grace K. Morris. As you  probably already know, Grace is doing a Pre-Conference  on Thursday  on The Stock Market and the Economy (as in Global Economy). But she’s also doing another 2-hour presentation that may be of particular interest for those of you looking to get your feet wet in Financial Astrology. Here it is:

Introduction to Financial Astrology

Everything you wanted to know about the field of financial astrology and how you can get started and profitably participate. Questions welcome.

Short, sweet, and to the point. Just like Grace, who is nothing if not clear. If you’ve always wanted to learn about financial astrology, come and check  this out! You’ll be learning from one of the best!
Grace has presented at SOTA before, but it’s been years since she’s been here. Please welcome her back.

Featured Speaker: Mj Patterson

Another lecturer back this year is Mj Patterson. Mj is a seasoned astrologer, but she’s only recently started to make a name for herself outside  of Canada. She is high-energy and dynamic in addition to having good material. So we’re going to keep her busy this year.  She will  be one of our openers on Friday with Discovering and Maximizing Personal Genius. Here’s a description of that lecture:

Fan Your Inner Flame –  Discovering & Maximizing Personal Genius

Each birthchart is unique and each of us possesses an inner magic uniquely our own. Let’s use the chart to unlock the secrets of that genius and discover how best to share it with the world.

Mj will then be back on Saturday to do a luncheon lecture:

Rocking Your Retrogrades

In our own charts and in the sky, retrogrades can drive us a special kind of crazy! Bring your chart – we will work hands-on to make lemonade of our retrograde lemons!

And you can also avail yourself of Mj’s expertise  at our Divination Night on Friday, where she will be Dukkering. And what’s that, you  might ask. It’s a Romany word for fortune telling with playing cards.  Should  be very interesting…

Divination Night

In fact,  we’re hoping our entire Divination Night will be interesting. Things are moving along there — we now have 3 committed readers: Mj, John Marani (Tarot), and  Dawn Silver (Jewels of the Lotus Gemstone Healing Oracle). I also have another 3 people to contact who have expressed interest. So it  looks like we will have  some interesting things for you to explore on Friday night too. If you would like to offer some divinatory wisdom, contact me.  We’re still open and you don’t have to be a speaker to have a table.

Promotional SOTA Banners Coming Soon

On other fronts, speakers will soon have a SOTA banner to put on their  website. In fact,  you will have your choice of  banner sizes. Please take advantage of this.  It will help you and us… And if you’re not a speaker but would  like to promote SOTA anyway, contact me. I’m sure we can arrange something.

Will catch you next week when  I hope it will be warmer!