Category Archives: SOTA 2018

SOTA 27 March 2018

Hi Everybody,

Well, the bad news is that the first registration cut-off has come and gone. However, we are trying to keep SOTA affordable, so the increases to Deluxe and Full packages are small, as are increases for luncheon lectures. There have been no increases to Pre or Post Conference fees as yet. So while we’re a bit more expensive, you’re still getting a pretty good deal. And we actually exceeded our target for early bird reg in terms of numbers. However, most of our reg at this point is from our wonderful and committed regulars.

And while we love our regulars, it would be nice to add some new attendees to the mix. And while I am including some new people in these mailings, I simply don’t know everybody. So could you do me a favor? Please let people know about SOTA. Share SOTAnews. Put a link on your website. Tell your students. Yes, many may be going to UAC, but some may not be for one reason or another. And they may be happy to find a little gem of a conference like SOTA. So please spread the word!

Meanwhile, I am happy to report that Kelly Surtees’ Pre-Conference is filling very rapidly. In fact, if it keeps filling at this rate, it could actually sell out. That said, right now there’s room and the rate hasn’t gone up, so if you want to be sure you have a space, you might want to register for this one now. It could very well be full by the time you get to the conference with plans to register at the door. I’ll keep you posted, but consider yourself forewarned! Oh, and just in case you can’t remember what she’s presenting, here’s the blurb again:

Kelly Surtees

The Power of Prediction, Pre-Conference

Discover how to time major life changes with astrology. Kelly will show you how to combine forecasting techniques like transits, progressions and firdaria, and guide you through the best ways to share your insights with clients. What do you say? How do you say it? Includes info on Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Capricorn.As you can see, this is going to be an extremely useful presentation, regardless of whether you’re a modern or a traditional astrologer. Don’t miss out! And don’t forget that Kelly will also be presenting on Friday. Here’s a description of that 2-hour talk:

What Should I Do With my Life?

What houses, planets and aspects really describe and define career? Where and how do we find life direction in the chart? Are there any special planetary phases or configurations to consider? Join Kelly for a deep dive into career and life direction through astrology.

Career is one of those topics that every consulting astrologer needs to have a good handle on. This presentation will offer you a good place to start!

Michael Barwick

Huber Aspects and Their Patterns, Luncheon Lecture

If you’re planning on heading to Michael Barwick’s luncheon lecture on Huber Aspects and Their Patterns, please bear in mind that as of today that one is 50% filled. We will not be able to add seats and this will not be recorded. So your best bet is to sign up soon, because I have a feeling space will be extremely limited, if, in fact, it is available at all come June.

Call for Vendors

I would also note that this is our first call for vendors. I’ve had a few suggestions already and will be contacting those people, but if you know someone with a good product, let me know. Our people tend to like oils, crafts, and originals of all types. If you know someone who might be a fit for our trade room, please have them get in touch with me. We’d love to have a good variety of product.

And on that note, I’ll wish you a good week and a happy Easter or Passover.


SOTA 8 March 2018

Hi Everybody,

We’re running late this week due to my birthday celebrations, but we don’t lack news.

Earlybird Registration Deadline

First of all, we’re now in March and March 21 is the last date for the early bird registration rates. So if you’re still sitting on the fence, you might want to jump down before the rates go up. Right now we’re 2 registrations short of our March 21 target; getting those two registrations will save me enormous stress.

Unlike UAC, there is no organization funding or backing me. Which as why as little as two registrations can make a difference. I know some people will go to UAC. And I know none of you have unlimited funds. So I am ever so grateful for all of you who have signed up and are supporting us. We are an option for those of you who either can’t afford UAC or prefer a smaller, more intimate conference. We are also an option for new regional speakers, which is important, because if you can’t get conference experience locally, you’re unlikely to go further afield.

We also try to bring in high-quality speakers and focus on friendliness and fun without a huge amount of glitz or pretense. And we’ve received stellar feedback from past speakers, current speakers, and attendees alike. So I AM hoping you’ll join us. No glitz, no pretense, just good, solid, astrology.

John Green

Like John Green, for example. John is from England where he teaches for Liz Greene’s school and on-line.He has been involved with astrology for over 25 years. His material is solid and his presentation is excellent. And he is doing not only a 2-hour presentation on Mars on Saturday, but also a 3-hour Post-Conference on Monday. Here’s his post-conference topic:

Post-Conference Topic: Practical Synastry — Making Synastry Work for You and Your Client’s Relationships

Synastry gives us a wealth of information about the relationship between two people, but how can we use it effectively with our clients or our own relationships? In this practical workshop, we will explore how to use the natal chart and synastry to help us understand relationships and make them work.

John also has a book Do You Love Me? The Astrology of Relationships. And yes, we hope to have this in the trade room.

And just in case you missed it the first time, here’s his 2-hour main conference offering, which will be on Saturday afternoon:

Saturday Afternoon: Gods of War — Reclaiming the Mars Warrior – John Green

Will, drive, aggression, overt masculinity. These words have negative connotations in our modern world. The warrior has been demoted to a safe fictional character or demonized in war. In this re-evaluation of Mars, we look at its importance to us all and the problems arising if we ignore it.

Some of you know I wrote a book on Mars many years ago on a similar theme. It’s still important and it’s good to see it revisited.

John will be doing one hour and a quarter lecture at UAC, but not on either of these topics.

And yes, you’re probably safe to sign up for this on-site, though it will cost you more. But there will be BIG rooms for both the Pre and Post Conference workshops, so there will probably be room. Unless, of course, John is such a hit at UAC that it sells out after that. However, these days, that kind of stardom is rare in astrology…

Alan Clay – Sedna: the Soul’s Path of Destiny

Last but not least, if you’re coming in for Saturday and are interested in hearing people from overseas, I would remind you that Alan Clay will be doing a two-hour presentation on Sedna: the Soul’s Path of Destiny. Alan is not lecturing at UAC at this point. He hails from New Zealand and this is original work, so you might want to catch him while he’s here.

Single-day tickets are available now. There will probably also be half-day tickets available at the door, but again you’ll pay more.

OK, off I go for another week. Have a great weekend folks…


SOTA 28 Feb 2018

Hi Everyone,

Please give a big welcome to our staff: Pam Wenzel, registrar, Char Preston (aka Mrs. Sara’s mother), assistant registrar, Sara Cartwright, recordings, Jo Gleason, program book and social media coordinator, and Karen Sully, webmistress. And our monitors and tapers: Angie Agnoni, Heather Gronachan, Mo Saladin, Wende Sharma, Wendy Tutt, and Suki Seagull and Debbie Jocko. This conference wouldn’t happen without these people.

Now that staff is confirmed, I’ll be looking at vendors. So if you’re a vendor, stay tuned. If you want to be a vendor, or if you know someone you think would be ideal, message me.

Michael Barwick

And now I’m happy to announce that Michael Barwick is back as a speaker. And he’s got a topic I think a lot of you will be interested in. Here it is:

Many Happy Returns!

Every year, the Sun returns to the point where it was when you were born, on or near your birthday and charts cast for that moment are called solar returns. Did you know that there are two such points a chart can be cast: the natal position of the Sun and the precessed position of the Sun? This means every person has two Solar Return horoscopes for any given year. Join with Michael as he explores the meanings and applications of these two kinds of returns.

Nobody talks much about the differences between precessed and unprecessed returns. So if solar returns interest you, why not come to this? You may learn something.

And meanwhile, here’s a description of that luncheon lecture I’ve been telling you to keep your eye on:

Luncheon: Huber Aspects and Their Configurations

The Huber system of psychological astrology holds that aspect patterns in themselves have motivational significance. This luncheon talk will introduce Huber notions about the different kinds of aspects and how to approach interpreting them when they combine into different configurations. Although there are a lot of possible configurations, Michael will present some simple principles for synthesis of the major patterns.

Huber was very popular maybe 10 years ago. You hear less about it now, perhaps because both Hubers have left us. However, there’s even software specifiically designed for working with the Huber system. And the principles used here can be used no matter what your system of astrology. Join Michael for lunch, explore these ideas, and see how they work in your chart.

Meanwhile, please share SOTAnews with your friends. As always, we have something to offer at an affordable price.


SOTA 14 Feb 2018

Hi Everyone,

Neither rain nor sleet nor hail will keep this from going out. I mention that only because we had sleet today and I am now growing quite a large assortment of icicles on my balcony.I hope all of your are warm and dry.

Ellen Bourn

Our featured speaker this week needs no introduction to your regulars. If you’re new to SOTA, however, you need to know that Ellen Bourn is one of our regulars — and a popular one at that. She has been a psychiatric nurse; she is a medium; and she is very knowledgeable about the Kabbalah. In fact one of her preferred topics is Astrological Kabbalah and that’s what she’s doing this year. Her topic is Kabbalistic Natal Chart Interpretation. I can tell you that I took this workshop a very long time ago and I liked it so much that I kept some of the notes.. Suffice to say that this system is quite unique and should be of interest to those of you with more metaphysical interests. Here’s her blurb for your perusal:

A Kabbalistic Perspective of the Natal Chart

The ancient and unique wisdom of the Kabbalah has been available for about 5000 years. Until recently, this Philosophy was passed on through the Oral Tradition and not written down. The Kabbalah includes a framework for Astrology, Numerology, Meditation, Angelology, Tarot and White Magic. This information was cautiously offered to a select few. Learn how the Divine Energies and the planets speak to one another. Join this conversation.

Metaphysical Offerings

I would also mention that for those of you who are metaphysically inclined, we have several more metaphysical offerings. There’s Your Birth Chart’s Reincarnation Story by Dawn Silver, for example. And Experience Mediumship: An Interactive Workshop with Patty Mac. And last but not least, there’s Telling Time with Tarot by John Marani. Note that ALL of these people are back by popular demand and all of these are included in the Deluxe Conference package.
Blurbs will follow on all of them.

Closing Ceremony and Prize Draw

Many conferences have silent auctions. We have a prize draw. And it’s free! If you’re registered for the conference, if you’re a speaker, or if you’re staff, you will get a ticket. However, you must be present on Sunday to win. All prizes are donated by speakers, vendors, and attendees. I never know what there will be until close to the draw itself. However, last year we had a vast array of books, some very nice Japanese ceramics, gift certificates for readings, jewelry, and more. So you can actually win a very nice prize to round out your conference weekend. All you have to do is be there on Sunday at 3:15. And if you want to donate something to this, by all means let me know. The more the merrier. If you have a book or a service you wish to donate, just let me know. Maybe you have a perfectly nice gift that isn’t you. You can regift it. Just let me know.

And on that note, off I go to fight with an article that keeps insisting on morphing on me. Please DO share this with people you know. Many thanks!

See you next week,

SOTA 7 Feb 2018

Hi All,

This week we have a request from one of our international speakers, Baris Ilhan.  She is looking for a ride to Chatauqua for sight-seeing during her stay.  Since I don’t drive, I’m calling for a volunteer. She is available Wednesday before the conference or possibly Sunday or Monday (which would be during the conference). If you know someone, perhaps a local, who might enjoy showing Baris Chatauqua and spending a few hours with a knowledgeable and lovely astrologer from Turkey, let me know. I’ll put you in touch. And by the way, this could earn you a day pass to SOTA, so it’s not a bad deal at all…

We have had requests for more local excursions as part of SOTA. I would LOVE to oblige on this, because Buffalo and surrounding areas are truly gorgeous and interesting. However, I fear that organizing outings is labour-intensive, especially when I’m doing it from across the border. So frankly, I’m not the right person to take this on. If one of you locals would like to do this, let me know. It’s probably too late for this year, but we could certainly add it into the mix for next year. And yes, there would be some kind of perk for the organizer, depending on how much work they have to do… Meanwhile, for those of you who want to explore, I would mention that there are local buses with good connections readily available and leaving from the airport.

I am waiting to hear from a couple of staff but it looks like we have staff positions for 2018 covered. So hopefully that bit of the work is done or close to done and I can focus on the trade room and other things.

Primary Directions – Toby Aldren

Our featured speaker this week is Toby Aldren. Toby is from Vancouver, and his good reputation precedes him. He lectured at the astrology conference in Calgary last September and drew absolute raves from some of our speakers, so here he is and here’s his topic for your perusal:

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

Now yes, this is the same topic Toby did in Calgary. However, it’s a 2-hour format and the material on diurnal circles wasn’t covered in that presentation. And if you STILL don’t want to hear it again, you can always go hear Brad Kochunas on Chiron (which we discussed last week) or Ellen Bourn on Kabbalistic Astrology (which we’ll discuss next week)

And until next week, have a good one and please share this with your friends.