…And a very belated Happy New Year to you all ! I’ve had emails from many of you wondering what’s going on with SOTA and if all is well. It certainly is, and as you’ll see from the attached flyer, we are up and running! However, it took us a little more time than usual this year to make sure we are offering the best conference we’re capable of offering.
For starters, that meant reading your feedback — all of it! (And to those of you who returned feedback forms and or responded to surveys, a BIG thank you! You make our work much easier.) And it seemed that a great many of you were less than enchanted with Sheraton at the Falls this year for many reasons. So were we!
So we have moved for 2015. We will be at The Millennium Hotel Buffalo, which is in suburban Buffalo near the airport. It is easy to get to for those driving as well as those flying. For those driving, note that parking is FREE this year. And for those flying, there is a FREE airport shuttle to and from the airport. The shuttle is also handy — and free — for those of you travelling by bus. I am REALLY happy about this and I suspect some of you will be too. I’ve wanted a hotel with an airport shuttle for years!
Secondly, the hotel is practically next door to Walden Galleria. For those of you who are not local, Walden Galleria is a large mall with a Macy’s, a Lord and Taylor, and lots of your favorite stores — Lush, Sephora, Old Navy, a wonderful tea shop, and many, many more, including a few that were new to me. And if that’s not enough, there are 11 sit-down restaurants, including The Cheesecake Factory, La Cucina, Jack Astor’s, and others. There are also oodles of fast-food places, so if your preference is a sub, a smoothie, or some other light fare, it’s there. There’s also a Kmart, a Barnes and Noble, and more restaurants across the street. So you should be able to find what you want or need pretty easily. The hotel also has a restaurant, as well as a pool and a fitness center.
And as for rooms, there are two room rates — $99 and $109 US. What’s the difference? Well, the room interiors are identical, but the $109 rooms overlook the pool and the inner courtyard where we will be having our evening entertainment, so they have little balconies with deck chairs. You can sit on your balcony and sip your drink while you watch the world below.
Meeting space is good and all on one level and convenient to the trade room. All of the meeting rooms are bigger, so we will no longer have to worry about overflow unless we get double the numbers we got last year — and if we do, we have contingency plans for that! The trade room is also bigger, with room for expansion if we need it. More on that when we get there.
Meanwhile, for those of you wanting to see SOTA move back to Canada, we DID look. It’s more expensive on this side of the border and additionally we stand to lose many of our vendors. We would need someone to round up vendors and work on increasing our Canadian attendance by 20% before we can do that. If you think you might be the person to facilitate that, contact me and we can talk before next year.
Secondly, when I set up Open Forum last year, I was hoping to find 3 or 4 new speakers for 2015 and reserved 3 slots in the 2015 roster accordingly. Little did I know that we would wind up with 12 speakers worthy of consideration, including 4 who drew absolute raves. So I went back to the drawing board and managed to find slots for 6 of them. To accommodate all 12 would require adding a fourth track, and not only is that something that some of you don’t seem to be keen on, it’s something that our budget won’t sustain at this time. I am hoping that those who weren’t selected this year will apply for a slot in 2016 come November. Meanwhile, I am happy to welcome John Marani, Wade Caves, Carol Mason Godzick, Alex Trenoweth, Jodie Cara Lindley, and Adrianna Dream to our 2015 roster as official presenters.
In addition to these 6 presenters from Open Forum, we have many of your favorites from last year back again, including Ellen Bourn, Dr. Patricia Bell, Samuel Reynolds, and many others. Plus new speakers like Shirley Soffer (one of the best-respected teachers in New York), and our featured speakers, Gary Caton and Eileen McCabe. Also, returning after lengthy absences are Ronnie Gale Dreyer and Sylvia Jean Smith.
You asked for more predictive materials, and we’ve been happy to oblige. We have a pre-conference on transits, 2 hours on profections, 2 hours on dashas, a Vedic forecasting technique that can be used to supplement your Western astrology, and more.
You asked for more traditional astrology, so in addition to the profections material, Wade Caves will be back talking about connections in horary, and one of our new speakers, Rhyan Butler, will be talking about temperament.
You asked for declination, so Pam Gallagher will be doing 2 hours on the lifetime declination cycle. Plus a lot of other neat topics. We didn’t manage to hook in any mundane, but we’ll try that again for 2016. The flyer is attached; check it out for yourself!
For those of you who attended last year, note that the attendees-only registration rate is still valid until January 30. That rate is valid only by cash, cheque, or Interac, but let me let you in on a little secret: I won’t BE here on January 30th. I’ll be in Cincinnati until February 2nd or 3rd. As long as your cheque is waiting for me on my return, it will qualify for the attendees-only rate. But you’ll need to hustle to get it in the mail. Make it payable to Full Circle Seminars, and send it to me at 35 Brock St., Suite 1405, Hamilton, ON L8L 4L7 Canada. Make sure you put sufficient postage on it, and make sure you put Canada on it if you are in the US. We’ve already had one check travel to Hamilton Bermuda or Ohio, or Australia or God-knows-where and as you know Mercury is retrograde. Do NOT send it special delivery because there will be no one here to sign for it and that will only slow the process down. Just get it in the mail or do the email transfer thing. But do it soon…If it shows up February 10th or something, you can be positive that it will be returned for additional funds.
For those of you who are not eligible for the attendees-only rate, PayPal will be up and running January 31st. You can also pay by cheque or Interac as above. Note that all fees are in US funds. If you are paying in Canadian currency, you will need to add a surcharge to cover the exchange rate. One Canadian dollar is now worth 78 cents US, so the exchange rate is about 22% at the banks. I will settle for 20% and wish I didn’t have to charge it, but it’s gotten to high to absorb. Blame Harper, blame OPEC, and blame King Abdullah may he rest in peace… (Or not, depending on your political persuasion…).
OK, as you know, we operate on a very small budget. We do not spend a lot on advertising, and we want to reach as many people as possible. So if you like SOTA, please tell your friends, and by all means share the newsletter and flyer. And if you’re on Facebook, we’d love for you to log in to our page, like it, and let us know you’re coming. Look for SOTA 2015 Astrology Conference on FB or use the full link: https://www.facebook.com/SotaAstrologyConference or you can use our shortlink: http://bit.ly/sota15fb
The FB page is a great way to get the latest news, find out who’s coming, check for ride shares or roommates, and a whole lot of other things.
As I mentioned earlier, I will be in Cincinnati lecturing at Midwest School of Astrology January 29th-31st. If you want details, let me know. I’d love to see some of you there.
And last but not least, if you’re in the Hamilton, ON area, I am starting a 12 week Basics of Esoteric Astrology course on February 4th at East Hamilton Spiritual Church. Check out their website or contact me for details. Again, I’d love to see some of you there.
Expect more SOTAnews around February 6, including a look at our wonderful Pre-Conference lectures. Meanwhile, stay warm.