Category Archives: SOTA 2018

SOTA 3 Feb 2018

Hi Everybody,

Good news! It is looking like we will have a full contingent of staff. Possibly including Angie Agnoni as well as most of our staff from last year. In the event that we have openings, I’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, let’s look at a couple of our lecture offerings. I know a lot of you are interested in Chiron, so let’s look at what Brad Kochunas is offering this year:

Chiron: Learning to Fall

Brad Kochunas

Chiron is well-known as the “Wounded Healer.” In this we recognize that his (our) wound is a lifelong condition. How can we come to understand our perpetual woundedness (our various pathologies, failures, defects) as the necessary compost to spur our psychospiritual growth and help shape who we are, and how can psychological astrology help?

As most of you know, Brad is a licensed mental health counselor. His lectures are invariably thought-provoking, which is why we keep bringing him back. This lecture will be no doubt be the same.
And while we’re talking about Brad, a reminder about the CONFESSIONS OF FAILURE panel, which Brad will be moderating. He will be joined by Wade Caves, Kelly Surtees, and William Stickevers. They’ll be talking about what happens when a prediction fails and how that might impact both you and the client. Whether you predict, forecast, or simply do natal work, there will be food for thought courtesy of four seasoned astrologers. So DO join them for what we hope will be an exciting, informative, bullshit-free hour. Also note that this will not be taped.

Just prior to the panel, you can hear more about Chiron and the Four Major Asteroids, courtesy of Faith McInerney. Here’s a description:

Chiron and the Four Major Asteroids

Faith McInerne

Chiron’s influences on procreation, diet, dress, work and residence are described by its aspects to Ceres, Pallas, Vesta and Juno.

Clearly this is not the same old stuff. If you’re not afraid of asteroids and not afraid of midpoints, you’ve got some good information here to add to your bag of tricks.

So I DO hope you’ll consider joining us, for the day or for the duration. And please tell your friends to join us too. The more the merrier! We’re friendly and fun.

And now I have email to tend to. See you next week! And please tell your friends to join us too…


SOTA 24 Jan 2018

Hi Everyone,

Our featured speaker this week is John Green.
John is here from England. He has over 25 years in the field and is a teacher at Mercury Internet School of Astrology, as is another of our speakers, Shawn Nygaard. MISPA, by the way, is an  offshoot of Liz Greene’s Centre for Psychological Astrology in London. So we’re talking  about good credentials here. We’ve talked about Shawn before, so let’s now look at John’s topic:

Gods of War – Reclaiming the Mars Warrior: John Green

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

Additionally, John is one of our Post- Conference presenters. His topic there is Practical Synastry — Making Synastry Work for You and Your Clients. We chose this topic because he is the author of an excellent synastry book called “Do You Love Me? The Astrology of Relationships”. And we’ll talk about this more very shortly. Suffice to say for now that John’s approach is psychological. And yes, we’re hoping his book will be available in the trade room.

For those of you who have been asking, yes, both John and Shawn will be at UAC. They each have one slot. And their topics are different. John will have a full 5 hours at SOTA counting his post-conference. So if you want to experience a first-class teacher, try to take one of these presentations in.

Shawn  has a 2-hour lecture here. He also has one at UAC, no pre or post The lecture here is on Pluto. The lecture at UAC is on Neptune and it’s an hour and a quarter. It  all  depends on what information you’re looking for.

International Speakers

Note that we have 4 1/2 international speakers this year. Besides John, there is Baris Ilhan who will be doing a pre-conference, Alan Clay, who we have talked about before, Ehsan Khazani, who will also be lecturing on “Universal Nakshatras” at SOTA, and our half-international, Kelly Surtees, who divides her time between Australia and Canada. Kelly will also be doing a pre-conference — and believe me, she may be only half-international, but she’s a lecturer and a half  — dynamic, insightful, and easy to listen to.

We’ve covered both Baris’ and Kelly’s Pre-Conferences before and also looked at Kelly’s 2-hour in the main conference “What Shall I Do With My Life?” And Baris will be doing an hour each on both the fourth and the twelfth houses. Now Baris and Kelly will both be lecturing at UAC, but they’ll be doing the usual hour and a quarter lectures. Which means if you want depth, you might want to check them out at SOTA. And Alan and Ehsan aren’t scheduled to lecture at UAC at all. So if Ehsan’s topic appeals or if you’re longing to learn more about Sedna from Alan, SOTA is the place to be. And yes, these are 2-hour presentations.

Post -Conference: William Sitckervers

And let’s not forget our other post-conference lecturer, William Stickevers. William is from California, so he’s not always around here in the EST and we’re again happy to have him. He will have a 5 full hours at SOTA, including his post-conference. In addition to his Post-Conference on Archetypal Astrology Through the Planetary Cyclic Index, he has two hour-long lectures in the main conference — The Coming Global Economic Reset, and 2030: Geopolitical Rise of the Red Dragon. He only has one lecture at UAC.

We are not UAC. But we have some excellent presenters and they won’t be rehashing their UAC lectures, assuming they’re presenting at UAC at all. You will get more depth for about half as many dollars. And you won’t have to sit through an awards banquet. Franco and friends are guaranteed to entertain rather than bore you. There is, of course, the 50/50 draw, but we’ll try to make that short and sweet, along with any other raffle we might have. (And often we don’t know until closer to the date).

So if you’re looking for an affordable conference experience, check us out. And tell your friends. At only $108 a night (plus tax) sharing a room is another way to save money. Oh, and speaking of sharing, as usual, we’d ask you to share this with your friends.


SOTA 17 Jan 2018

Hi Everybody,

Here we are again with another edition of SOTAnews. This time, let’s look at what Armand Diaz is doing. Armand was one of our top-drawing speakers last year and many of you asked us to bring him back. We were very happy to oblige. Here’s his topic:

As Above, So What? – Armand Diaz

Astrologers are fond of quoting the Hermetic maxim, but why does it work? If the stars indicate (or impel), we’re still left with question, why? Learn the past, present, and future of explanations of why astrology works, from ancient times to synchronicity to contemporary field and consciousness theories.

Armand’s lectures have a distinctly philosophical bent. He’s inclined to make you think. So if you’ve been thinking about — and wondering — why astrology works, this one’s for you. You can expect an enjoyable tour of existing thought. And you just may learn something in the process.

Luncheon Speakers

I also wanted to give you another reminder about our lunches. We have 3 good presenters with 3 good topics — Huber Aspects and Their Patterns with Michael Barwick on Friday, Aftermath: Living in a Post-Mars-Square Uranus World with Julie Simmons on Saturday, and Mystery Midpoints with Kathy Rose on Sunday.

There is an additional charge of $20 each for these, and that charge goes up to $25 on March 22. You will get a menu at the conference so you can choose your own lunch. Lunches tend to be simple — salads, wraps, etc. — however, you DO get your choice as per the menu and you get a good discussion to go with that lunch.

Now technically you can sign up for these by 10 pm on the day of the luncheon, but you need to know that the room only holds 15 people and for that reason by the time the conference rolls around, they are often sold out. Which means if you really, really, really want to hear one of these, I would be registering early if I were you. You should also note that these won’t be recorded.

Lunch Options for Conference

That said, I know some people just want to turn their brain off at lunch. And if that’s what you want to do, there are options there too. If you want to get some fresh air while you’re at it, there is a Panera right across the street. And the Walden Galleria Mall next door has TONS of options from smoothies to fast food of all sorts, to pubs. Check their website if you’re looking for something specific.

I would mention that The Cheesecake Factory, while tasty, is not a great option because service tends to be slow. A better option, might be Alton’s, which is a block or so down the road (and the shuttle will take you and pick you up again if you reserve in advance.) Alton’s is a local favorite with a little bit of everything and friendly, efficient servers. If you go, try the baklava cheesecake. It’s wonderful, and no, you can’t get it at The Cheesecake Factory.

And if you don’t want to go out, there is the hotel restaurant. A bit pricier than Alton’s, but they have good fish and chips. And if you haven’t tried the beef on weck sandwich, you need to unless you don’t eat meat. Again, this is a local favorite.

So there you have it. And you can make an informed choice.

Albuquerque in June

Apropos of nothing, it appears I will be busing it back from Albuquerque in June. If it happens that you have live in or have friends in Tulsa, OK, Joplin, MO, Indianapolis, IN, Cincinnati or Cleveland OH, or Erie, PA and you’re looking for a workshop or lecture in June, let me know and we can see if we can work something out. I have a fair number of topics and my fees are reasonable.

And with that said, I’ll be back again next week with more SOTAnews. Meanwhile, feel free to share this with your friends…


SOTA 12 Jan 2018

Hi Everybody,

Hope everyone has survived the cold snap…It warmed up here, but now it’s cold again…

Banquet Entertainment: Franco

I’ve been asked several times if Franco and/or his sidekick Joe Pardy will be doing the banquet entertainment again. I am happy to tell you that yes, Franco will be doing the banquet entertainment. No word on Joe Pardy, though. Which is not surprising because I am always the last to know who and what will be featured as the banquet entertainment. Franco never tells me. And I’m never disappointed. I hope YOU won’t be disappointed either, but I don’t think you will be.

We will have the usual 50/50 draw as well. And last year the food was very, very good. We’re going to try to keep it that way this year, though we won’t start working on the menu until spring. So if there’s something you’d like — or something you’re seriously hoping NOT to see between now and then, please let me know. And once I have menus — for this and for the Opening — I’ll let you know.

Birth Time Confirmation Techniques

Oh, and speaking of Franco, he is also presenting on Birth Time Confirmation Techniques on Saturday morning. Franco is a good presenter with solid material as well as a great entertainer. So do check this out please…

Featured Speaker: Alan Clay

Sedna Consciousness, the Soul’s Path of Destiny:

Meanwhile, SOTA is also happy to have Alan Clay presenting on Saturday. Alan hails from New Zealand This is his first time at SOTA. Alan is a seasoned speaker and this is new and original material. So do come and check it out. And give him a warm welcome while you’re at it. Here’s his topic:

Discover the evolutionary spiritual power of Sedna, the new esoteric outer limit of our solar system and learn of the profound implications for society and for each of us individually in the coming years, as she approaches her closest point to Earth.

Featured Speaker: Faith McInerne

Chiron and the Asteroids

And for those of you who are interested in asteroids and the like, let me also remind you that after lunch on Saturday, Faith McInerney will be presenting on Chiron and the Asteroids. This is another 2 hour presentation from a speaker who is easy to listen to and knows her material.

Should you want more Chiron, we can accommodate you there as well, but you’ll have to wait until Sunday, when Brad Kochunas presents: Chiron: Learning to Fall.

More about these another week. Meanwhile, keep warm and stay tuned!


SOTA 3 Jan 2018

Hi Everybody,
And Happy New Year!

It’s a new year, so it’s time to announce our new offering. Each year we try something new and this year is no exception. On Saturday at 8 am. Susi Rosinski will be joining us to lead a session of Qi Gong.

Susi Rosinski

Qi Gong

Susi has extensive training — some of it overseas — as well as an active program in the Buffalo area. This is a gentle exercise, so even if you hate exercise, there’s no need to be afraid of it. Beginners are welcome. In fact, all registered attendees are welcome, even if you’re new to Qi Gong. If weather is good, we’ll be doing it outdoors. If it’s raining (and no, folks, it won’t be snowing!) we’ll do it indoors, probably in the trade room. Either way, this is something to kick-start your energy level. And unlike coffee, you won’t be running on nervous energy afterwards. So try it — if you like it, we’ll do our best to bring you more next year!

And of course along with the Qi Gong, we have plenty of new speakers with new topics. You’ve heard about some of them already. What I’d like to do to kick off the new year is talk about one of our top-draw speakers from last year, Ryhan Butler. Here’s his Saturday topic:

Ryhan Butler

Crisis Alert: Illness, the Moon, and Critical Days

The critical days are a technique native to the field of medical astrology which tracks the progress of an illness by following the motion of the Moon. Explore the history and development of this inventive technique and how it unites astrology and medicine.

I know a great many of you are interested in medical astrology topics and additionally a great many of you are Ryhan fans. So how could this not be a good idea? Come and check it out!

Meanwhile, Ryhan is also doing the keynote and we haven’t talked about that yet. Here’s the description:

Keynote Address – Putting the U in Community

Astrology has experienced several ups and downs throughout its long history. How does the current state of astrology relate to some of these peaks, valleys, shifts, and developments of our art’s past? What are we astrologers doing to facilitate our own sense of community and represent that to the outside world? Are we to devolve into warring tribes or can a greater sense of togetherness prevail?

Now for those of you who are sighing heavily, I’d like to reassure you that this is NOT going to be either tedious or political. This is Ryhan. He is neither tedious nor political. If I’d wanted a tedious political keynote I could have done it myself and then you WOULD have been sorry!

And now for some politics…

Secondly, and I hate to say this, but pretty much EVERYTHING has a political component to it. Just going out for dinner with friends these days can have a political component. Some won’t eat meat, some won’t eat carbs, some don’t eat salads, and on and on we go. Sometimes you win the vote and get to go to the place of your choice. Sometimes you don’t and you then have to decide whether the company will make up for the food or not. And if it doesn’t, you may have to go looking for dining companions with whom you have more agreement or a restaurant that will meet everyone’s needs.

The thing about politics is that the majority generally wins. And yeah, there are times when what’s good for the majority is not good for you or at least is not your preference. Third, I know some of you are going to say that you’re not part of the astrological community.

Astrological Communities

You don’t belong to ISAR, NCGR, AFAN, AFA, or ACVA. Well, yeah, ok, fine. But if you’re coming to SOTA, you’re still part of a community. Because everyone who comes to SOTA will tell you right away that there is a sense of community here. You feel it.Many make friends. And if you’re not here, many ask if you’re ok. Note that this is not about speaking or not speaking; it’s about being here.

Oh, and those acronyms you don’t belong to? I just want you to know that if there was no AFAN, there’d be no hospitality suite, because SOTA probably couldn’t afford it. Also note that AFAN never asks for your membership card before they let you in or feed you or serve you. They do this for the community. And yeah, of course they’d like you to join, but I have never seen them hard-selling anybody. Oh, and AFA? If it wasn’t for AFA, we wouldn’t have books. They are pretty much the only place where you can do a one-stop book order. They are also very active publishers, which is important to all of us.

The deal with any community and any segment of any community is that you get and you give. There are benefits to all of them, not the least of which is the people you meet. But don’t just take my word for it. Come and hear what Ryhan has to say. And yes. there will be good food and some drink to make the medicine go down, but I have a feeling it won’t come to that. Expect lots of food for thought and a pleasant evening. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

Oh, and speaking of AFAN, here’s information on scholarships that can be used for SOTA:


(2) $300 Conference-of-Your-Choice Scholarships (such as AFA, NORWAC, NCGR, SOTA, or similar conferences)

Recipients of the Conference-of-Your-Choice scholarships will be required to perform a minimum of 1 hour per day service at the AFAN booth during the conference should AFAN host one at that specific conference.

(2) $700 Full Conference Scholarships, for registration, hotel, and meal expenses at a conference of your choice.

One Full Conference Scholarship is reserved for an international (non-U.S. or Canada based) applicant while the second is open to any recipient regardless of location. Recipients of the Full Conference Scholarships will be required to perform a minimum of 1 hour per day service at the AFAN booth during the conference.

And yes, you DO have to be a member to be eligible…

Now off I go for another week. Stay warm. Don’t want anybody in this community losing fingers or toes or ears the this god-awful cold…Keep counting down the days to spring. It will be here before you know it. At least I hope so…

And as usual, please share SOTAnews with your friends…