SOTA 13 February 2015

Hi All,

I hope you’re all warm and snug. It’s COLD here…

I returned last week from a wonderful time at Midwest School of Astrology, where I enjoyed connecting with Pam Gallagher, Mindy Witt and many of you. Unfortunately, I came home with an unexpected souvenir in my computer, something called Taplika. It locked me out of Windows and created all kind of annoyance, as did the Dell service people. However, I found a live person who knew what he was doing and I’m now back in business. So let’s get to it!
First of all, our redesigned flyer is available for download (PDF). Demetrius Bagley has listened to your advice and listed lectures according to times, rather than according to rooms. It should make things easier to follow. And yes, the program book will be designed the same way.

Secondly, if you were eligible for the attendee’s only rate and didn’t take advantage of it, well, um, it’s too late. But you can still get in on the early bird rate when you register online any time between now and 10 pm Eastern on March 20. Yes, I know, it’s usually midnight, but our webmistress, the amazing Wendy Guy, sometimes has to be up bright and early for paid work and hanging around until midnight to change everything is not always helpful if you need to be bright and perky the next day. The earlier changeover will help her greatly. And if you’re prone to doing late-night registration, you can do it on the 19th or even at 3 am on the 20th. Just do it before 10 pm. Wendy and I will both thank you.

You can also pay by cheque by making the cheque payable to Full Circle Seminars and sending it to me at 35 Brock St., Suite #1405, Hamilton, ON L8L 4L7 Canada. Or you can pay by Interac if you’re on this side of the border. Note, however, that the fees listed are in US Dollars. If you’re paying in Canadian funds, there will be a 20% surcharge, which is still a bit less than the bank will charge you. We will review the exchange rate periodically and revise if our dollar starts doing better. We don’t like it either, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

…And speaking of too late, some of you got $20 off coupons for GLAC (Great Lakes Astrology Conference). I’ve been asked to remind you that those expire March 10. Like SOTA, GLAC is small, friendly, and fun — and Ann Arbor is lovely! Their speakers this year include Nick Dagan Best, Anne Ortelee, Joyce Levine, and yours truly. So do check them out!

Oh, and for those of you who have asked if GLAC attendees will get a discount for SOTA 2015, no decision has been made on that yet. However, the early bird rate will have expired by GLAC time, so any discount would be on the next highest rate. Bottom line: the best way to make sure you save money on SOTA is to reserve before March 21.

Third, I have heard from the hotel and they’re ready for us. You can reserve your room at The Millennium by calling 1-800-323-3331 and telling them you’re with SOTA. Rooms are $99 and $109 per night, plus tax. And again, the rooms are identical except for the fact that the $109 rooms overlook the indoor courtyard where we’ll have our food functions and have balconies with deck chairs.

OK, so I’ve been perusing the 2014 feedback and one of the things you want is “more stuff in the trade room”. We’ve taken the first step towards this by getting a bigger trade room — and we’ve already had a couple of vendors ask for more space. As for getting more vendors, we first of all have to find them. We also have to know what you want. We are not a big conference, so we try very hard to find vendors who offer what you want. They incur expenses as vendors and we want them to cover those expenses and ideally make a profit over and above those expenses.

So here’s the deal: if you want a bigger/better trade room, you need to tell me what you want to SEE in that trade room. If we don’t know what you’re looking for, how the devil can we provide it? Secondly — and this applies primarily to those of you who live in the Buffalo/Niagara area — please tell your friends to drop by and check us out. Vendors just LOVE shoppers — and the more they sell, the happier they are and the more willing they are to come back. And while we DO try to promote locally, I don’t live in Buffalo, Demetrius doesn’t live in Buffalo, and neither does Myra. Or Carol and Al. We need help from you Buffalonians and Cheektowagans, and Amhertians and the like. If we can count on you to promote the trade room, that will make our job ever so much easier. It will also make our vendors very, very, happy. And remember, the trade room is free to everyone. You just have to show up.

At the moment, it looks like Billee Dommell and David Jordan will be back with their wonderful jewelry and minerals, Helene Arts will be back with books, Fei Cochrane and Pam Gallagher will be back representing Sirius/Kepler, Joy White and Mary Lou Vaughan are planning to be back with their wonderful carvings, and Nora Sturtevant Bouvier will be back with her gorgeous prints. And of course Carol and Al Godzick will be back with CDs for your listening pleasure. I will also be talking to Astrolabe to see if they can find us a rep this year.

And I have several other people to talk to as well. But before I fill the space, I’d like to hear from you as to what you’d like to see. I have already had requests for chocolate or similar goodies and for T-shirts, bags, etc. What else?? Let me know,  and I’ll do my best. And yes, we will have at least 4 readers again and more if attendance warrants. One will be Tim Brainard. I’m hoping another will be Patricia Beers. Note that in terms of readers, we’ve had a specific request for a numerologist; if that sounds like you, email me and we can talk.

I’ll be making a formal call for vendors in late March. Meanwhile, if you’re ready to commit or if you simply want more information, drop me a note and I’ll be happy to fill you in.

And now let’s talk about speakers… And let me tell you one of the reasons Gary Caton is one of our featured speakers this time.

Gary P. Caton

Once upon a time at the Denver UAC, I was sitting on the patio with my long-time friend Inge Lohse from Edmonton. She was lamenting, as those of us who are old and jaded are wont to do, about the dearth of fresh, new material in some of the lectures. She shoved her program at me, and said ” So you know what I like. Who do you recommend here?” After discussion of a couple of old favorites who nearly always have a little something new to say, I said, “How about Gary Caton? He’s relatively new on the circuit and I like his slant on things.” So off she went.

I ran into her later that evening and her comment was “I must thank you for directing me towards Gary Caton. That was the best lecture I’ve heard so far in the entire conference. He was just excellent.” Now some of you don’t know Inge, but I do. She doesn’t do platitudes and she sings praises sparingly. She’s also been around at least as long as I have, so she’s well past the stage where she’s going to settle for the same old stuff. If Gary Caton can impress my friend Inge and me, I think he just might be somebody whose knowledge will impress you too.

So here’s his Pre-Conference lecture blurb:

Secrets of the Venus-Mars Cycle and the Sacred Marriage

You may have noticed that there are three Venus-Mars conjunctions in 2015, but did you know that this is the only Ptolemaic aspect they will make all year? In this workshop we’ll put the entire 300-year Venus-Mars epoch into context from a mundane perspective. Then we’ll zoom in on the particular cycles of the current era and see how things have drastically changed since the baby boomers were born. This, of course, informs us about relationship styles and trends as well as giving insight into self-improvement strategies. Come find your own unique place in both the macro and the micro Venus-Mars cycles — which may be very different from what you expected!

See? Definitely not the same old stuff. Gary is dynamic, he is feisty, he is well-read, and he is deep without being abstruse. If you’re ready to learn something new, you’re gonna like him. And he’ll also be lecturing on Friday on Secrets of the Venus Retrograde Loops. So check him out!


And stay tuned. SOTAnews will be back next week. Meanwhile, stay warm.