Category Archives: SOTA 2017

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!




SOTA 7 February 2017

Hi All,

I am back from teaching in Cincinnati and ready  to  get back to work on SOTA.

Divination Night

First up, let’s talk about what has happened to the mediums. For several years now, we have had mediums, so this year we’re looking at trying something new.  Specifically,  a Divination Night. There are a lot of you — both attendees and speakers — who have divinatory talents.

We want  to give 10 of you a chance to show  your  stuff. We are hoping to get  a  variety  of  divinatory techniques, Tarot, runes, crystal ball, maybe numerology. We’ll take  mediums as well.  We may even take horary astrologers if we get any. And that’s the catch — we first of all have to get 10 of you willing to give somewhere between 6 and 10 ten-minute readings. These would be unpaid, but any beyond that would be at  attendee’s expense.

So every attendee will be guaranteed one reading, but if they want to try out  more than one discipline/reader,  there  will be a nominal charge, which will go to the  readers.

You’ll be hearing more about this as it evolves. Right now we are calling for volunteers. And be aware that  we already have one Tarot reader. We would prefer not to have more than 2, so if you apply after those two slots are taken, you will be put on a back-up list. The way to apply is to  email  me and tell me what  you are willing to do. I  will compile a list and we will take it from there. Interested? Contact me!

And yes,  for those of you who just want readings, the first reading — along with the coffee, tea, and cookies—  is  included as part of your  Deluxe registration package. Or if you  don’t  have a  Deluxe  registration package, you can get a ticket for only $15.00.

Breaks Between Lectures

Just one more thing to make the conference more interesting. Which is what  we try  to do. Our goal is a well-organized conference where attendees, speakers, vendors, and staff can learn in a comfortable environment at a comfortable pace. Which, by the way, is why we’re back to half hour breaks between lectures. Fifteen minutes  didn’t give people the time they wanted and needed to hit the trade room, the bathroom, etc.

Featured Speaker: Wade Caves

…And speaking of interesting, I’m happy to report that  Wade Caves will be back. And those of you who are interested in medical astrology — whether traditional or modern — should be very happy too. Decumbiture charts are  a  very useful tool  for medical  astrologers, or so I think. Read the blurb and see what YOU think…

The Horary Astrologer’s Guide to Decumbiture

Historically, astrology and natural philosophy formed the cornerstone of medicine. Through decumbiture charts, astrologers assessed the true root of an illness, identified its severity and also its cure, while forecasting the cycle of critical periods. Decumbiture charts are judged very similarly to horary figures, with a few unique techniques. This presentation explores the basics of humour theory, the use of decumbiture charts through historical and modern chart examples, and the doctrine of sympathy and antipathy in determining cause of illness and the path to treatment.

Does it sound good? I think so. And  by the way, while I am not a  traditional astrologer (though some of the people at this conference may convert me yet) I have managed to used  decumbiture  charts with remarkable accuracy. This one is truly one for your bag of tricks…

Webmistress: Wendy Guy

Last  but not least, a reminder that our webmistress, Wendy Guy, is for hire. And believe me, she will do a good job. I have  nothing but praise for her. But she’s happiest when she’s busy and I can’t always give her enough work to do. And since I’m happiest when she’s happy, you will make us both happy by checking out what she has to offer.

OK, folks, until next week.




SOTA 20 January 2017

Hi All,

In many respects, being an  astrologer is a rather solitary profession.  We  spend vast quantities of time alone — setting up  charts, studying  charts, reading, and studying. And most non-astrologers don’t understand what we do —not even if we explain. Some find it very glamorous — which it can be. If you do  well, you get to travel — but only after you’ve prepared all those charts and handouts. And once  you get there, you can expect to spend much of your time working. In fact, I know  several people who not only lecture and teach and  do  charts  while away but also take other work  with them. Some  people see it as an easy job and expect you to give them free readings. And some just plain  aren’t interested. And as you advance in your studies, it gets harder and harder to find kindred spirits to share your passion with on a fairly level playing field.

That’s  where conferences come in. At a conference,  you can  spend 3 days with kindred  spirits, socializing and eating, sleeping, and  breathing astrology with knowledgeable people who share your passion.  They understand  what you   do. They’re  mostly  interested in what  you do and  how you do it. And they are often willing to share their knowledge both  in  lectures  and  out of them. In fact, some of the best discussions I’ve ever had have not been in the  lectures at  all but rather in the hospitality room or in someone’s room or in the bar after lectures where you start to compare notes and see  where those lectures have taken people.

The other neat thing about conferences is that you not only get to hear those speakers you’ve read or seen on video; you get to talk to them. No book or video can do that.

Keynote Speaker: David Cochrane

Take for example, our keynote  speaker David Cochrane. David  has some excellent videos on  YouTube. And yeah,  you can watch them  at home for free. But  you won’t  get your  questions answered that way.  And  you won’t have the  benefit of other people’s questions or input either. (And yes, sometimes these questions can  be annoying or the input irrelevant. A good speaker knows how to deal with that, though, so he or she can deliver  what was promised  and sometimes  more.) Last year, David  Cochrane was one  such  speaker and many of you  wanted more.  So this year he’s back. He’ll be lecturing in  the main  portion  of the conference and  additionally will be doing our keynote:

The Astrologer’s Journey: Roller Coasters and Merry-Go-Rounds

David will share with us how his passion for astrology has resulted in a life-long roller coaster ride. On the other hand, some astrologers are enjoying a pleasant ride on a merry-go-round. David illustrates his points with humorous stories that also have some serious implications for how we can best pursue astrology and best serve our clients.

This will be an informal and informative event, complete with good nibblies and a cash  bar. So while  it  may be more expensive than staying home, you will have all the  comforts of home while listening, except maybe your pajamas.  And so long as your pajamas cover all the  appropriate parts,  you can even  wear  your pajamas  if you really want to —  though frankly, one  of the  things  I like about conferences  is that they give  us a  chance to dress up a bit.

David  will also be  lecturing in the main portion of  the conference.  And when not lecturing, you may sometimes find him and Fei at the Cosmic Patterns table in the trade  room. Drop by and have  a  look  at their programs, which are also largely David’s work.

Trade Room

We are still at first call for the trade room — and  STILL looking  for  a  jewellry vendor — but   I have it on good authority that Silver Raven Soaps will  also be back—  and  Lisanne informs me that there could very well  be some new products. If  you are a  vendor, now is a good time to reserve your space. So  contact  me, huh? We’re trying to get a good variety of items in the trade  room, and you just might have what we’re  looking for!

Divination Night

Oh,  and  for those of you  who  are  scratching your head  and asking “Where are the mediums?” here’s the deal. We’re having  something  a little different this year  on  Friday night — a Divination night.  This  allows some  of you with various metaphysical skills  to show them off, and we’re  expecting to have Tarot,  runes, and crystal  ball  among other things. And yes, there could well be some mediums too. I hope to have more news on this in a couple  of weeks once I get the  kinks  worked out.  So stay tuned.

The next SOTAnews will appear around February 7, since I will be traveling to Midwest School of Astrology in the interim as well as dealing with some SOTA-related administrivia and doctor’s appointments. In the interim, stay warm and watch out for that  freezing  rain that’s going around.



SOTA 12 January 2017

Hi All,

We have found one monitor. Aerin Fogel will be joining us on staff this year. Please welcome her aboard. And yes, I will need a second monitor as well, so if anybody is looking for a way to cut costs for the conference, message me and I’ll fill you in.

Call For Vendors

This is also our first call for vendors. And last year, I fear our 15-minutes between classes did not help the trade room. So if you were a vendor last year, we are going to offer you a price break — only $100 for 2 tables for you this year! While we never guarantee that you will break even, we DO feel that you were at a disadvantage and the price break is a bit of an apology. Note that it applies only to those of you who were vendors at SOTA 2016. New vendors will be paying the going rate of $150 because we are back to a schedule that SHOULD allow people reasonable opportunity to browse and buy.

What we will not be doing is offering vendors a conference pass beyond the opening. I have explained why not several times, but bear with me while I explain it again: First of all, the normal vendor’s fee is $150. The normal early bird conference fee is $210. This is not a charity. Yes, it costs you money to be here. That’s the cost of doing business. And it also cost US to have you here. It works both ways. Secondly, not only are you not making money when you’re in the lectures, your trade table is also unattended, which COULD be an invitation to theft. And we are not willing to take responsibility for unattended tables. So I fear this one is a non-negotiable no. The purpose of a vendor is to vend. If you want to be in lectures AND have a trade table, you will need to buy yourself a conference pass and also have someone to attend your table while you’re in lectures. You can’t have it both ways. Especially not for a $100 fee.

And while we’re on the subject of vendors, we are looking for a gem, mineral, and jewelry vendor. Unfortunately Billee assumed we would be running in November again and booked herself into another trade show for our conference dates. I know we will all miss her enormously and am hoping she will be back in 2018. Meanwhile, I am looking for one —or even two—gem, mineral, and jewelry vendors to replace her. So if you know someone, please have them get in touch with me or email me with their address and a bit about them.

Featured Speaker: Grace K. Morris

Ok, on to lectures, I am once again noticing fear creeping into conversations when it comes to 2017. Between Trump and Brexit, there are a lot of unanswered questions about the economy. So what better time to have a workshop on the economy. And who better to have doing this than Grace K. Morris?

Grace is an experienced, accessible speaker. She has been here before and has always been well-received. Here’s her topic:

The Stock Market and the Economy

Grace has successfully forecast the direction of the stock market and the economy for over 30 years, picking favorable sectors and winning stocks, and accurately predicting interest rates, Inflation/deflation cycles and the real estate values has proven profitable for her clients and subscribers. She will share with you the resource she uses so you, too can profit.

Now in answer to questions you might have, first of all, yes, this will involve astrology, including the charts of various stocks. And secondly, no, this is not just applicable to the US. She will be talking about the global economy. You stand to both learn from this and enjoy it.

Keynote Speaker: David Cochrane

And if you stick around after the lecture, you can also join us for the Opening Reception. Cash bar, good nibblies, and a keynote by David Cochrane:

The Astrologer’s Journey: Roller-Coasters and Merry-Go-Rounds.

More on this next week, but if the title intrigues you, by all means stick around. The Opening Reception, and David’s Keynote are included for all Deluxe attendees, staff, speakers, and vendors.

More next week. Meanwhile, I have to sort out my transportation to Cincinnati. You can still get there from here but they’ve changed the schedule so you either have to get up at 3 am to make the bus or ask people to pick you up after midnight. I am hoping there’s another way and will persevere. So until next week, stay warm and stay out of trouble — not that astrologers ever get into trouble of course!




SOTA 3 January 2017

Hi All,

Here it is — the first SOTA 2017 flyer!

And incidentally,  flyer production is now in  the capable hands of Jo Gleason. Jo replaces Demetrius Bagley who has gone on to, among other things, setting up vegan food tours in Italy and elsewhere. I’m actually a little envious, but also happy for him. Jo, meanwhile, was the AFAN scholarship winner (and I hope some of you looked into that program — too late now,I fear) in 2016 and it turned out that she had just the skills we needed. So now she’ll be a regular. Please join me in welcoming her aboard.

Wendy Guy is continuing on as our webmistress and will be  putting up the flyer and registration page as  soon as the corrections are made. And if any of you are looking for a webmistress, you really should talk to her. She handles all of the technical stuff on the website, promptly, efficiently, and mostly with a smile. Those of you who know me also know that I am the undisputed Queen of the Luddites, I simply couldn’t do this without Wendy’s assistance. So if any of you are looking for website help, email me and I will be happy to pass along her email address. Her rates are reasonable and frankly, you can’t go wrong. And yes, Wendy will be putting the SOTA 2017 flyer and the registration page up just as soon as we get the kinks out of the flyer. She is nothing if not prompt.

Sara Cartwright will be  back doing our taping. She did a superb job last year, so we’re happy.

We have a new  crew manning — actually ladying, like  why do they always  refer to people doing things as “manning” when it’s often women doing  the job?— the reg desk this year. Pam Wenzel, who also ran reg at GLAC, will be assisted by  Charlene  Preston (also known as Mrs. Sara’s Mother). I am delighted to have them aboard. Please welcome them.

We will be looking for one monitor this year and possibly two. So if you are on  a tight budget and would like to get a free conference in exchange  for doing a  bit of  work, contact  me and I’ll  fill you in. Work consists of taping and monitoring. And yes,you will get training. We are looking for people  who are prompt, pleasant, and efficient.  So  if this  STILL sounds like you, let’s talk!

Our flyer  is now online. Once again, I think people are going to have some tough choices to make in some time slots, and I don’t  think too many  will be tempted to miss sessions. That means we are going back to  half  hour breaks between session. A few years back, people complained that this was  too  long. Last year, people practically begged me to restore the half hour breaks. So they’re back.  Better for you, better for the vendors, who really didn’t get the attention  they deserved last year. And really, it only adds half an hour on to the day…

We will again be back at The Millennium. Now I know some of you would like to go back to the Falls, but there are many reasons not to. Much lower room rates (the hotel we used to use now charges $129 US a night, plus some kind of resort fee), free parking, free shuttle to and from the airport (and it will also take you anywhere within 3 miles of the hotel), decent food, and loads of restaurants and shopping right next door. And if you REALLY want to get to The Falls, there is a bus from the airport for cheap. Or bring your car. We’re not moving so we can pay more for less…

Featured Speaker: Greg Bogart

OK, enough back story. What about speakers??? Well, let’s talk about one of our Pre-Conference Speakers. Greg Bogart is a psychotherapist  as  well as  an astrologer.  He teaches Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, And he’s authored 5 books, 4 of which  I have read and enjoyed immensely. In  fact, Therapeutic Astrology still gets read every  year or  so — there’s that much meat in it. And yes, some of that meat is astrology. This will not be all psychobabble. You will be hearing  material from his latest book on dreamwork. Have  a look:

Jung, Astrology, and Dreams: An Experiential Workshop

Jung cast birth charts for his patients and also studied their dreams. Following Jung’s example, this presentation explores the connection between planetary symbols and archetypal figures and themes appearing in our dreams. We’ll consider how dreams reflect celestial symbolism while astrology reveals the internal order and meaning of dreams. Combining astrology and dreams is a dynamic practice that has the power to awaken us emotionally and energetically.  In this experiential workshop, participants are invited to share a dream along with their natal chart and transits.

Now I know some of you people.  Don’t be put off by the word  “experiential”. It simply means to experience, you know. And  this promises to be both a gentle and a soulful experience. We are very fortunate to have Greg since he rarely does small conferences  like ours.  So come and soak up some knowledge and some insight.

More Key Speakers

Greg  will be followed on the program by Grace K. Morris, a financial astrologer who has been here several times before.

And then on Thursday night, there will be a keynote by none  other than David Cochrane. That’s right — he agreed to come back. We may  eventually develop a reputation for being the conference that hosts speakers who  don’t do regional conferences.

More about these next week. Meanwhile, why not consider coming out for the Pre-Conference and Opening, even if you can’t attend the whole conference? With this line-up, you  can’t go wrong…

Stay warm and  have a good week,