Category Archives: SOTA 2017

SOTA 4 October 2017

Hi Everybody,

Some of you may get this twice because I left some relatively important information out of the first draft of this.

Lots of news, so let’s get to it.

Last Day to Register Online

First of all, on-line reg will close October 10 at 10 pm. Registration for the Opening and Banquet will also close at that time. If you want to be at the Opening or the banquet, register NOW, because if you snooze, you’re gonna lose.

You CAN pay for Full Conference packages, single day admissions, or half-day admissions at the door. However, it will be US cash only. Another good reason to register online….

You can also sign up for luncheons on-site (in other words, at SOTA) as long as you sign up before 10 am that day.

Note, however, that Emmajay Paterson’s lecture on Saturday is now SOLD OUT. In fact, I think I have oversold it by one, so it’s going to be a full house. And obviously no tickets at the door.

John Marani’s lecture is also SOLD OUT as of this morning.

Tamara has about 4 spaces in her luncheon lecture, so if you really really really want to hear her topic, I’d advise you to register on-line. No guarantees of how many spaces will be left at the door.

We DO have room in all four Pre and Post conference lectures, though those too are filling. At this point, however, you can still pay at the door. More about one of those posts in a minute.

Trad Room ~ Discounted Space Available!

Meanwhile, due to some last-minute rearranging in the trade room, it looks like we have some space going begging. What I would REALLY like to see happen with this is for a lot of you creative types who can’t necessarily afford 2 6-foot tables to come in and show off your goods. I can offer you discounted space until it’s gone. The kicker is, it won’t be wall space. That space goes to our committed vendors. So yeah, it will be aisle space, but we’ll make sure you’re seen. This would be a good way to get yourself and your goods known. Contact me if you’re interested and I’ll fill you in!

We may even need a reader. Not sure on that one, but it wouldn’t do you any harm to ask.

Staff Positions and Roommate Wanted

We may also be looking for staff. I have had a number of people say they’re interested, but I don’t have firm commitments from most of them, and I NEED firm commitments. I am not crazy about playing do and undo this late in the process (and actually, not at all).

Also, I DO have one person who is keen to be on staff but needs a roommate, so if you’re looking to cut costs still further, email me and I’ll put the two of you in touch. It will help all of us. And as a community-based conference, that’s what it’s about.

Featured Speaker: Gary P. Caton

…OK, back to our Post-Conference speakers: Both Gary Caton and Adam Gainsburg are popular speakers and this will probably be your last chance to see them for a couple of years, as they will not be back next year. And I stress the “see” — both Gary and Adam are highly visual presenters and if you want to get the most out of these workshops, I would advise being there. I’m focusing on Gary this issue, but I’ll have plenty more to say about Adam next week. And BOTH are worth hearing.

Gary’s presentation will be THE MERCURY ELEMENTAL YEAR. Here’s the description:

The Mercury Elemental Year

This workshop will begin by illuminating the astronomy of Mercury and its yearly dance with the Sun, which traces a 6 pointed star in the heavens. Afterward, I reveal how Mercury’s cycles correspond with the ancient mystical document the Emerald Tablet -source of the famous alchemical aphorism “as above, so below.” Finally, I will teach you to see the underlying patterns behind Mercury’s three retrogrades each year and to harness their transformative power in your birth chart. Mercury spends more time in one element each year than all the other three combined! This means each of us was born with an unconscious preference for communicating via one element more than others, and that there are 3 houses in our chart that are deeply susceptible to the power of symbol making – where our ideas, images, and words matter most.

Note that this is based on Gary’s hot-off-the-press book. You will be able to buy that in the trade room. However, since the trade room is closed Monday, you’ll also be able to buy it at  Gary’s lecture, assuming we haven’t sold out…

And just in case you can’t make it Monday, you need to know that Gary also has a 2-hour presentation on Friday. Here it is:

The Centrality of Mercury to the Hermetic Worldview

So much more than mere “personal” planet, Mercury was originally revered as the original creator/inventor of Astrology! Moreover, this original hierophany or sacred revelation of Astrology was understood in the context of three “sister arts,” including alchemy and theurgy or magic. Renaissance era alchemical literature is quite literally littered with arcane figures with Mercury in a central place. An understanding of the deep reverence for Mercury and its central place within the Hermetic world-view can utterly transform our astrological practice and unleash enormous hidden communications potentials for both practitioners and their students and clients.

Mind you, he will not have his books for sale in that one, but they WILL be for sale in the trade room.

If, like me, you think Mercury gets kind of short shrift beyond the whole retrograde thing, these two lectures should help you fill the void. And if you’ve never heard Gary before, you owe it to yourself to do so. He is passionate, he is knowledgeable, and you for sure will not be bored. No, not even you old jaded types.

So there you have it. A couple more good reasons to come to SOTA. And if you can only do a half-day on Friday, you can follow Gary’s lecture up with Christopher Renstrom’s Sizzle or Fizzle,  or The Something Old, Something New panel contrasting traditional and modern astrology, or even a lecture on The Viking Runes with Franco.

Lecture Changes

And one good news bad news scenario. Jessica Lanyadoo has had to cancel. The replacement lectures for her slots are as follows:

For Saturday October 21, 9-10 am
Wade Caves
Power and Control: Saturn’s Role in Horary.
Right through the traditional texts we read of the difficulties that are encountered when Saturn is featured too prominently in a horary chart, but aphorism-laden texts can be a bit misleading. This talk explores how to work through the Greater Malefic in a fluent horary interpretation, and how Saturn finds his place with within a constructive horary consultation.

And for Sunday from 9-10 am
Dawn Silver
Midpoints in Healing
Midpoints are points of balance between planets, key points, and asteroids. They can be a profound tool in astrological health diagnostics by pinpointing pathologies.  We shall discuss    midpoints meanings for the bodily systems including: circulation, heart and kidneys, respiration, injury/accident/joint and degeneration, immune/wasting disorders, fertility, and more.Cosmic Patterns and Solar Fire have wonderful programs with mid-point lists.

We regret the inconvenience but hope you are as excited as we are by these options…

So there we have it. Hope to see some of you there. And yes, more next week.




SOTA 17 September 2017

Hi All,

I just got back from an all-day workshop on transiting Uranus for Astrology Toronto, where we covered everything BUT the transits through the houses. Not only was there a good turnout, I saw people I hadn’t seen in 30 years — literally — plus a friend I had lost touch with between her moves and mine. All in all, a great day. And yes, I DID give out SOTA flyers. Many thanks to those of you who came out and those of you who made this a reality and a happy memory for me!

Canadian Discount

A reminder that the Canadian discount for Full (no-frills) registrations is still on. $250 Canadian at the moment. However, that price will go up to $275 Canadian after the 21st and as I said last week, it’s checks or email transfer only. This is a good way to save money.

Monitor/Tapers Needed

Another good way to save money would be to volunteer to work as a monitor/taper. At the moment we are 2 people short, so we really could use you and you’ll get a FREE conference, plus some other perks like free lunch if you work the lunch or a free banquet if you work the banquet.

You don’t need to have experience, but you DO have to be at the training session at the hotel on the evening of the 18th at 7:30 pm. I’ve had a couple of people ask if they could get the training at other times. I fear that isn’t possible. We don’t have the staff to do training on demand. And we start bright and early Thursday morning. Sorry.

Maybe some of you speakers have a student or a friend who would love to come and can arrange to be free Wednesday night. If so, please spread the word. It is to your advantage and theirs. They get a free conference (and if they are friends, maybe they can share your room), and you get a guarantee that your lecture will be recorded, your handouts passed out, and your requests for water, etc. accommodated promptly.

Please spread the word. I fear I don’t know everybody and I can’t contact everybody myself. I count on you folks to spread the word. The same with the reg rates. People will thank you for saving them money, no matter which side of the border they’re on…

Featured Speaker: Patty Mac

And here’s another good reason to spread the word: Patty Mac is back! You loved her last year and wanted her in a longer format. We’re happy to accommodate. And yes, she’s doing mediumship basics and giving you a chance to experience some of these techniques firsthand. Here’s the blurb:

Basics of Mediumship

Mediumship has to be experienced. Everyone has the ability to connect to the other side of life/the spirit world. Using different exercises to open your third eye and activate your clairvoyance Patty Mac will demonstrate and show you how simple it is to be guided by your intuition as you put aside the material world and connect to the spiritual realm. This is a lecture and a hands-on demonstration for everyone to participate in, practicing Clairvoyance. Clairaudience and Clairsentience.

What about it? Sound good? Well, show up then…
More news next week. Until then, Happy Fall! And don’t forget to share SOTAnews!



SOTA 5 September 2017

Hi Everyone,

Price Break for Canadians

The big news this month is for you Canadians. Now that the dollar is rising, we are able to give you a little bit of a price break for Full or Single Day admissions. By which I mean, you can pay in Canadian funds at par for these until September 30. This is a savings of about $50 until September 21 when the price goes up. Then it’s actually a savings of about $55 in exchange.

As usual, there are some kickers, though:

First of all, this offer is restricted to Canadians. I say this because it wouldn’t be the first time an American has tried to send me Canadian funds when I’ve done this. It won’t work, so be forewarned. This is Canadians only.

Secondly, this is cheque-only. No PayPal. We can’t afford PayPal fees on top of this kind of discount.

Third, this offer is ONLY good for Full Conference or single days. You would STILL have to pay in US funds for Pre and Post Conference stuff and for food functions such as the opening, divination night (yes, there will be snacks at divination night), the banquet, and luncheons. And those can STILL be paid for on the web site.

Fourth, note that our fees go up on the 22nd. The current rates will only be honored until the 21st. That means your cheque must be received by that date. However, you can still pay the increased rate for Full or single-day admissions after that date and until September 30th.

Offer expires September 30th. Cheques should be made payable to Full Circle Seminars and sent to me at 35 Brock St,, Suite 1405, Hamilton, ON L8L 4L7. Or if you happen to be going to my September 16 workshop at Astrology Toronto, (on t.Uranus aspects) you can bring them there and save yourself the postage. And yes, I will also have flyers at the event.

So there it is. I wish it could be more, but it’s the best we can do. And it IS a deal open to all Canadians, so please share the news with your friends.

Special 2018 Price for Attendees

And note, that ALL registrants for at least one day this year are eligible to take advantage of the attendees-only rate for next year. This is again a limited-time, cheques-only thing, but the price is even lower than the early bird rate. And this is the ONLY time we take Canadian funds at par for the Deluxe package at this point. So this is another reason you might want to show up for at least a day this year. We’re hoping to have a good line-up including a couple of overseas speakers next year, so it will again be good.

Half-Day Admissions

For all of you on tight time or money budgets, note that you will be able to get a half-day admission at the door for $55 US. This is cash only. In fact, all registrations at the door are cash only. Please note.

And note that once again we have decided against offering single-session admissions. Sorry. And regrettably, half-day admissions are not eligible for the attendees-only rate for 2018. Sorry again.

Book Your Hotel Room NOW

And if you haven’t reserved your hotel room, it’s time. Call the hotel at 1-800-323-3331 and tell them you’re with SOTA to get the discount. Speakers, you need to do this too. We don’t reserve rooms. You have to do that.

Meanwhile, have you seen our page at SotaAstrologyConference on Facebook??? Check it out! It has all kinds of little tidbits including some wonderful speakers/posters featuring those on our roster and links to their lecture blurbs. All thanks to the amazing Jo Gleason!

Featured Speaker: Marilyn

And speaking of speakers, here’s another blurb, this time from Marilyn :

Moon Families

Just as life often displays patterns, so does our moon. Each new moon creates a cycle. This pattern spans approximately 2 1/4 years. When a new moon cycle conjoins a planet, in our chart, it could activate a very profound working tool for timing. A great concept for all astrologers who uses forecasting or predictive astrology.

Marilyn lectured last year. If you heard her then, you may want to hear her again. If you didn’t, well, here’s another chance.


Note that there will be no newsletter next week. I need to catch up on program book stuff and also to prepare for my workshop in Toronto on the 16th. I will, however, be back with more news the following week.

Meanwhile, have a good one! And please share this newsletter!



SOTA 30 August 2017

Hi Everyone,

Going to start this edition of SOTAnews with:

A Few Requests…

Speaking Slots 2018

First of all, if you are interested in a speaking slot, there aren’t any. You would need to apply in November for 2018. I will be looking at blurbs and bios for 2018 at that time. Sending them now will NOT get you a foot in the door. In fact, chances are good that I’ll misplace them between now and then.

Trade Room 2017

Secondly, we have some space in the trade room. Can you please tell your friends? We are open to pretty much anything other than books, soaps, minerals, or software. These are small spaces, so the cost for the duration (Thursday -Sunday) would be only $100 US. Have your friends contact me or contact me yourself if you’re interested.

Reserve Your Hotel Room NOW

Third, please reserve your hotel room if you haven’t already done so. Once the rooms are gone, they are probably gone, since we can’t guarantee that we can get any more. Reserve NOW by calling the hotel at 1-800-323-3331 and tell them you’re with SOTA. This will save both of us headaches.

Lecture Recordings

Fourth, I am already getting asked about the availability of recordings. I don’t handle this. That would be Sara Cartwright. And Sara can’t guarantee availability until she knows the lecture has been recorded successfully. So again, your best bet is to wait until AFTER the conference to submit your requests. That said, I will  include Sara’s email closer to the date.

Featured Speaker: Julie Simmons

OK, announcements/requests over. Let’s look at another lecture topic: As you know, Julie Simmons is one of our regulars. And she has a very good knack for coming up with something fresh and timely each and every year.

Here’s her topic for 2017:

Astrology in the age of Gender Bending

The language of astrology is as fraught with stereotypes and political correctness the same as the surrounding culture. In this session we will challenge our assumptions and play with possibilities.

Julie LIKES to be gently experiential, so be prepared to literally play with those possibilities as required.

Also note that Julie will be a part of the Something Old, Something New Panel, along with several others. This will also be good — especially for those of you trying to sort out your primary astrological focus, be it modern or traditional.


OK, I am behind with everything tonight, so II’m going to keep this short and sweet. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share:




SOTA 23 August 2017

Hi Everyone,

First of all, a reminder that if you are planning to attend David Cochrane’s Opening, pre-registration is strongly advised. Once we put in our food orders, we will be unable to add anyone else in.

And speaking of food, this is what we’ve tentatively got planned for the Opening. I’m still waiting to hear from the hotel about several things, so this, as well as our banquet, is still subject to change. Here we go:

  • Assorted finger sandwiches (depending on what they can offer)
  • Fresh seasonal vegetable display with dip
  • Prosciutto and melon
  • Assorted mini quiche (depending on what they can offer)
  • Baked brie with French bread and raspberry sauce, fresh sliced apples, and pears
  • Swedish meatballs
  • There is a cash bar and there will additionally be coffee and tea.
  • And we may add to this later on, depending on what we hear from the chef.

Vegetarians, this is your last chance to give input. So far I’ve heard from nobody. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem!

Still on the subject of food, I promised to give you the luncheon lecture descriptions. But before I do that, I just want to let people know how luncheons work.

  1. First of all, you can sign up on site.
  2. Go to the reg desk and you’ll get a menu.
  3. Fill it out and return it to the reg desk by 10 am.

That’s all there is to it. But please note that they DO need to be in by 10 am. We can’t guarantee to accommodate you after that, as we have to turn the menus in. Lunches, by the way, are generally sandwiches or salads in one variety or another.

And what about the lectures du jour?

Featured Speakers: Luncheon Lectures

On Friday our feature is Tamara Small:

Stricture or Warning Sign:  Debunking the Myth of the Invalid Horary Chart

This workshop will explore the “considerations before judgment,” giving the astrologer the interpretive understanding for each of them, with chart examples.  Participants are encouraged to bring questions or so-called “invalid” charts of their own for discussion as well.

Tamara was well-received last year. I’m sure this year will be the same. She is both passionate about and experienced with horary.


On Saturday our feature is Emmajay Paterson:

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!

Also note that Emmajay will be lecturing on Friday morning on Discovering and Maximizing Personal Genius.


On Sunday our feature is John Marani:

Learning Tarot Archetypes Through Pop Culture

This presentation will examine several archetypes in the major arcana of the tarot and discuss how pop culture can play a pivotal role in understanding the true nature of each card.

John is a knowledgeable and entertaining presenter. If the Tarot interests you, this will interest you.

Featured Speaker: Donna Van Toen

Also, I am doing a transiting Uranus lecture on Saturday, September 16, and as a result, I have been asked what the differences will be between that and my conference lecture. Well, first of all, the September event is an all-day workshop and it will be focusing very heavily on aspects and phase cycles. This is the blurb for the conference lecture:

Uranus Transits and Liberation

Yes, Uranus can symbolize things breaking up or breaking down. It can also symbolize the process of liberation. Uranus helps us change and move beyond conditioning and what we’re used  to. We’ll explore the Uranus cycle of transits through the houses in this lecture. Find out where your next breakthrough is coming from and what you might be freeing yourself from.

This is not quite as entry level as it sounds, as we’ll be discussing the impact of Uranus in the houses in quite a bit of depth as well as how to spot your next breakthrough, We know that Uranus will not be active for the full duration of its time in the house. Learn to spot when it WILL be active and what it will be doing.


And there you have it. A bunch of food for thought about food for the mind and food for the body.

Catch you next week!.