Category Archives: SOTA 2016

SOTA 25 September 2016

Hi All,

September 25 is the last day to get in at the current SOTA rates. I hope you made it. If not, PayPal will be up and running until October 31, though the new pricing will be in effect. Note that if you choose to pay at the door, it will be CASH ONLY.

Because I am not a US resident, I cannot process credit cards at a US event. I am trying to find a way around this, but so far I have had no success. So I’m very sorry for the inconvenience. And since someone asked, yes, we are more than open to locals or others just showing up and registering on site, though again, please note the cash only policy. Also note that we cannot guarantee that lunches or the banquet will be available at the door, so it would be good to check beforehand on those.

I will also mention that time is running out if you want to reserve a hotel room. Call now to reserve — and tell them you’re with SOTA. The number is 1-800-323-3331.

I will mention for you speakers that Samuel Reynolds and John Marani have graciously volunteered to rent out their LCD projectors. If you are looking for one, please contact them directly. If you need their email addresses, please let me know. I will provide them.

I would also like to mention that Sue Morris of Sue’s Salves will be creating perfumes just for you based on your chart and using good-quality botanical oils. She will be in the trade room — one more reason to check it out!

And don’t forget that Therese Taylor is giving you the opportunity to make your own intention doll. However, if you’re all thumbs and don’t want to make one, she will also have some ready-made ones available. This is almost like having an ongoing interactive workshop in the trade room, so do check it out.

And please tell your friends that the trade room will be open to the general public and is absolutely free. We will also have software, readers, jewelry and minerals, and books, among other things.

Featured Speaker: Donna Van Toen

Since somebody asked what I was doing this year (bad question — I rarely know what I’m doing), here are my lecture topics:

What Are We Doing Anyway?

What are we doing when we do a consultation? Who are we talking to? Do we really know? Astrology can be a wonderful growth tool, but as with any other tool it can be used in ways that are less than productive and do not bring about the desired results. Let’s talk about those desired results and the possible pitfalls that might stand in the way of getting them. This is a one-hour lecture.

Moon-Mars Phase Cycles and the Path to Self-Reliance

Every single planetary pair in your chart is in a phase. And each of these phases denotes a path to something, both by phase and by the aspect within the phase. In this lecture, we’ll discuss the path from dependence to self-reliance, as denoted by the Moon-Mars phase, house positions, and any aspects between them. Bring your chart! This is a 2-hour presentation.

Hope to see some of you at one of them!

Featured Speaker: Chantal Patenaude

And here’s Chantal Patenaude’s lecture. Many of you are very fond of Chantal. This is something a bit different from her usual presentations, but as usual it offers a new and different perspective:

A New Perspective on Chart Comparison:

Placing 2 charts in one Wheel can reveal patterns, not seen in standard comparison techniques: namely synastry, Davison charts or composite charts. Examples will be provided and discussed.

And there are lots more good lectures throughout the conference. Do yourself — and us — a favor and join us! And please share this newsletter with your friends.


SOTA 19 September 2016

Hi Everyone,

It’s now officially crunch time. If you haven’t reserved, September 25 (until 10 pm) is the last date to reserve at the current rate. And this is the last of the discount.

Banquet Menu

So what will you be missing? First of all, as promised, the banquet menu:

Antipasto Display
Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella with Basil Vinaigrette
Relish Tray

Sliced Roast Top Round of Beef
Lemon Glazed Chicken Breast
Bowtie Portobello Mushrooms with Asiago Cheese

Smashed Red Potatoes
Green Beans Almandine
Glazed Carrots

House Salad with Assorted Dressings
Rolls and Butter


Coffee, Tea

The banquet is included in the Deluxe Package. And it is buffet so you can choose what you want.

Please note that vegan meals will be arranged. Let me know if you need one.

And don’t forget that the banquet includes entertainment with the fabulous Franco and Friends and our 50/50 draw.

SOTA Speakers at UAC!

Secondly, I am very happy to announce that 5 of our speakers have made it onto the UAC roster. They are: April Elliot Kent, Christopher Renstrom, Brad Kochunas, Richard Smoot (who will be doing the Astrolabe demo) and yours truly. For those of you who don’t follow this stuff, getting on the UAC roster is a REALLY BIG DEAL. The people selected are touted as some of the best in the world. And we will have them here, which goes to show that we don’t just take anybody as a speaker.

The other thing you need to know is that unlike UAC, which is big and impersonal though very impressive, here you are able to actually talk to these experts. This is generally not the case at UAC, which is not only very busy but also pretty much old home week for many astrologers. They are busy talking to their peers, many of whom they haven’t seen in several years.So if you want to talk to them, you pretty much have to wait in line.

SOTA has, over the years, tried to make sure that our speakers are accessible. If they don’t have time for the attendees, they are not good fits for SOTA. And the few we had who weren’t accessible have not been asked back.

So again, just so you know, these are not only some of the best speakers out there, they are some of the nicest and most giving in terms of sharing information. We are blessed.

And having said this,  there may be more, since the roster isn’t finalized yet. Each org sends out a letter to their membership with a list of their members to consider. And each membership votes. Right now there are two more orgs to vote. I won’t bore you with the details, which are convoluted, except to say that the people who are voted in are kind of the people’s choice, since it’s the memberships voting, not the UAC Board.

Featured Speaker: Brad Kochunas

So let’s look at one of these speakers — Brad Kochunas. Brad has been a regular here for a long time. He’s been a regular because he is good. He is a psychologist whose work is philosophical. He is also not afraid to embrace — or at least shake hands with — the Shadow. Which is not surprising, since he has worked in the prison system for many years.

Here’s his topic:

Locked In!

Whether literally or figuratively, the brothers, Neptune and Pluto, can foreshadow conditions under which we feel abandoned, imprisoned, victimized, or endangered. Let’s look at the charts of those actually incarcerated and also discuss those of us who experience these dark powers less concretely to gain a deeper understanding of their presence in our lives. Two hours of fun?

It may not be fun in the traditional sense, but you can bet that it’s going to be informative. It’s also very apt for the times. I’ve been hearing a lot of stories of people feeling abandoned, victimized, and trapped over the last month or two. So come to this lecture. You may very well learn something valuable!


Meanwhile, please share this newsletter with your friends. I had a mishap with my mailing list last week (thank you Windows 10 for again providing me with something I didn’t want) and I may as a result miss people.

Additionally, we’re still a couple of registrations short of our September target. Money has been tight for many, and additionally I am hearing fear about the November weather. From the research I’ve done, I think this fear is unwarranted, but yes, if you’re nervous you can certainly pay the higher price at the door. We still have space in everything, but I can’t guarantee for how much longer that will be true of the banquet and the luncheons. So be forewarned!


Until next week,


SOTA 11 September 2016

Hi All,

We are getting close to crunch time, so a few announcements are in order:

First of all, if you haven’t reserved your hotel room yet, please do it by calling the hotel at 1-800-323-3331 and telling them you’re with SOTA. Once space runs out, we won’t be able to guarantee to find you a room.

However, if you’re looking for a roommate, please let me know. We have had a few requests and I’m not sure of the status of these.

Third, we have one space left in the trade room. If you have an interesting product, it might be yours. Message me and tell me about your product and I’ll get back to you with further information. Note that our rates are very reasonable.

Fourth, current rates apply until September 25. PayPal is slated to close on October 30 at 10 pm but higher rates will apply from the 26th onward. And note that while we will take registrations at the door, please note that our policy is CASH ONLY. I have tried to arrange to take credit cards without success. The problem is that I am Canadian and therefore can’t get access to credit card processing in the US. Thank you for understanding. And if you pay via PayPal in advance, neither of us will have a problem.

And speaking of registration and the like, at the moment we have space in all pre and post conferences and all luncheons — although Aaron Fried is filling rapidly, so I would suggest you check on space before registering for that one. And since somebody asked, yes, you can sign up for just a luncheon and nothing else, but it would be best not to just turn up and expect there to be room. In fact, you have to be reserved by 10 am the day of the luncheon so we can get you food.

We will not be offering tickets to single lectures in the main portion of the conference. We MAY be offering half-day tickets at the door. We expect to be making a decision on that before month end. You can also sign on for just one day as usual.

I’ve had queries about the banquet. At the moment there is room. No guarantee at the door.  I am working on the menu as we speak. Suffice to say it will be buffet and there will be 3 offerings plus salad, veggies, potatoes, bread, and dessert. You can sample all 3 entrees or just stick to one, as you like. We got very few complaints about the food last year. If you can’t decide, wait for a bit and I SHOULD be able to post the menu. That will help.

Also, we are contemplating offering face painting for the banquet. Stay tuned on that one as well.

Featured Speaker: Phil Meade

OK, now let’s look at one of our Saturday lectures/lecturers:

Phil Meade is a first-time speaker at SOTA, but he is well-known in the Michigan area. He is a published author and poet whose articles have appeared in the ISAR Journal as well as in a couple of scholarly anthologies. He is also a very engaging speaker. Here’s his topic:

Astrological Yantras from the East and the West

Yantras are mystical diagrams that have been used in India and the countries where the Hindu and Buddhist faiths were and are practiced. There are also a complete set of western “Hermetic” Talismans that are quite similar to the eastern Yantras. This lecture will introduce both and explain their uses.

Phil will be lecturing on Saturday afternoon.

Come and join us!



SOTA 23 August 2016

Hi All,

It’s again been longer than I intended. Suffice to say that I had an urgent domestic situation that required me to put everything else on hold. I am now hoping things are back on track, because I am really, sincerely missing my normal routine — of which this is a part.

First of all, an announcement: We have space in the trade room. We would like to fill it. So if you are a vendor — or know a vendor — with interesting things to sell, consider displaying them at SOTA. Our rates are reasonable and our attendees like to shop — especially when they see unusual handcrafted stuff. You will make both me and the other attendees happy by bringing another vendor into the mix.

Secondly, Al and Carol Godzick will not be joining us this year. We are doing our best to arrange for taping and hope to be able to announce something soon.

Third, it’s time to book your hotel room. You can do that by calling the hotel at 1-800-323-3331 and telling them you’re with SOTA.

Featured Speaker: Jessica Lanyadoo

And now without further ado, let’s have a look at a couple of lectures from one of our returning speakers, Jessica Lanyadoo. Jessica is back by popular demand and will be doing two lectures this year. The first of these is on Saturday from 9 to 10 and is called Making The Most of Your Crazy. And yes, we all have a crazy. In fact some of us have several. So here’s what Jessica is going to be talking about. And even if you don’t have a crazy, you may be able to find some insight into someone else who is driving you bonkers (which in itself is probably a form of crazy).

Making The Most Of Your Crazy

In this class we will explore what planets govern the most common mental health maladies (as opposed to severe mental illness), the spiritual roots of our struggles and predispositions, and how to best cope with them. We will explore the motivation of the planets that govern our issues to better understand our own needs.


Jessica’s second lecture is on Sunday from 2 to 3 and it’s about Understanding and Maintaining Health through Astrology. Here’s the description:

Understanding and Maintaining Health Through Astrology

This talk will provide insight and strategies for coping with mental and body health issues in the birth chart and by transit.  We will focus on the influence of the outer planets, their impact on our medical predispositions and how to find them in the chart. This will be a lively discussion that is suitable for astrology connoisseurs of all levels.

Two great topics, don’t you think? And if you were there last year, you know that Jessica has a wealth of good material. So why not join us for one or both of these…


…Speaking of which, rates will be going up again in September. Do yourself a favor and save yourself some money while you can!

Meanwhile, you’ll be hearing from me again in a couple of weeks. I am expecting to be in Michigan over Labour Day, so there’s apt to be another small disruption. In the interim. please share this newsletter with your friends. We’d love to see a good crowd in attendance, and I’m pretty sure most of you know people I don’t who might be interested…

Have a good end-of-summer,



SOTA 24 July 2016

Hi All,

Once again we have a fair bit of news this week, so let’s dive right into it.

Needed: Lecture Recording Service for SOTA

First of all, the bad news: Al and Carol Godzick will not be joining us this year. Carol is in the process of starting a new business venture and simply doesn’t feel she has the time to do a good job with both SOTA and her new venture. They will definitely be missed.

Meanwhile, the search is on for someone responsible and reliable who might be willing to take on the recording for SOTA 2016. If that sounds like you — or someone you know — please message me and I will fill you in with details just as soon as possible. We are committed to having recordings available, so please help us do just that.

And speaking of the trade room, yes, we still have space. Contact me and I’ll fill you in on that too!

Secondly, we may or may not have a staff position opening up within the next month. Again, if this interests you, please let me know.

Third, the How To schedule is now up on the website. Please check it out. And definitely tell your friends. Tickets WILL be available at the door for this one.

Fourth, it’s time to reserve your hotel room if you haven’t already done so. This includes speakers and staff.

Fifth, it will probably be at least another week before I can give you further details about the Half-Asleep Prophet’s Party. Demetrius and I are both multi-tasking at the moment and we both agree that we want to find the best venue possible for this. That means somewhere that can accommodate vegans, carnivores, anti-carb types and everyone else.

We are also looking for a price-friendly option since this party is not included in the Deluxe package. The good news on that front is that we are trying to find a place where you can order whatever you want at any price-point you want. We’re also looking for an option that can accommodate those of you who do not drive. So this may take us a while. Please stay tuned.

Last but not least if you got an email from me hawking baby cribs and the like, my apologies. It wasn’t me and I’m not trying to supplement my income; if I was I’d be selling jewelry or something that appeals to me.

Apparently I somehow and somewhere acquired something called an ago-bot that does a fair number of nasty things — including sending out phishing emails. To compound the problem, this sucker hides in the kernel of your computer, so it’s not easily spotted by most anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. Took me 2 tries to find someone who could find and remove it. I am hoping all is well now, though given that I had it for almost a month and my anti-virus didn’t spot it DOES make me a bit paranoid.

So if you DO get one of these phishing emails from me, please forward it to me so I can yell at the techie who said he’d removed it…

Speaker: Emmajay Paterson

Since the news is out of the way now, let’s look at a lecture. How does Easy Tips and Tricks for Accurate Prediction by Emmajay Paterson sound to you? Here’s the description:

Easy Tips and Tricks for Happy Clients & Accurate Predictions

Computers have revolutionized how we cast charts – but we all know that a few minutes in time can make a big difference in chart interpretation. How disheartening to do all that work only to realize the birth time is off!  Here are a few quick and dirty time-check techniques… and best of all – no math required!

Emmajay is a Nova Scotia -based astrologer with many years of experience. I have known her since the 1980’s, when she lived in Ottawa. She is bright, dynamic, and passionate, and I have no doubt that she’ll take you on an exciting ride in this lecture.  And if we’re lucky, she may bring her guitar and entertain you at one of our several hospitalities.


So there you have it — another good reason to come to SOTA. Our registration is up and running, the hotel is awaiting your reservation, and we are all looking forward to seeing you there.

Until next week, stay cool, have fun, and don’t forget to share SOTAnews with your friends.