Here I am, late again. And there’s a lot of news, so let’s go!
First of all, I’m happy to say we met our early bird registration target.If you’re not registered yet, you missed the early bird deadline,and I’m sorry for your luck. You can still register, of course, but the rate has gone up. The new fee is good until June 20, but if you want to beat the rush, you can register NOW where you’ll find the PayPal form and all the other goodies our webmistress Wendy Guy has ready for you.
You can also pay by cheque or email transfer if you’re on this side of the border, but remember our fees are in US dollars and you’ll need to add in that exchange rate. And yes, I know — that exchange rate is a killer. I’ve heard from several of you who have not registered for that reason and are waiting to see if the rates go down — which I think they will ultimately do, but by the time they go down, the reg fee may have risen yet again. We are trying to figure out a way to give you a bit of a price break that won’t break your budget or ours, but bear in mind that I have to pay in US funds. That kind of limits what we can do…
Even if you’re not registering now, you DO need to take a look at the new flyer. Why? Because Patricia Bell has cancelled and we have two brand-new replacement speakers replacing her. On Saturday, Patricia Price will be taking over Patricia Bell’s 9 am slot. Her topic? Toning of the Planetary Vibrations: The Teachings of Pythagoras. Patricia is from Lily Dale, has lectured world-wide, and has a wealth of knowledge.
On Sunday, Marilyn will be replacing Patricia Bell, again in a 9 am slot. Her topic is Astrology and the Royal Path of Tarot. Marilyn was one of our Open Forum speakers last year, so it’s nice that we were able to offer her something on the main roster this year. That brings our count to 7 from Open Forum — and there are still 5 waiting in the wings as back-up. We’ll talk more about these speakers and their topics later on, so stay tuned…
We’re still looking for vendors, so if you are a vendor or if you know of vendors who might be a good fit for SOTA, please send them my way. Our fees are reasonable and people are anxious to have a variety of products available. We are also looking for at least one reader for the trade room. If that’s you, let me know and I’ll fill you in. Again, the fee is reasonable.
For those of you who have asked if we’ll be doing Sweet Messages again, the answer is yes. It will be on Friday night, with mediums TBA. For the most part it will be the same format as last year, with one exception: Specifically, it was noted last year that for some people, one reading was not enough. This year, we are going to insist that it is one reading per attendee. We want to be fair to the mediums who are donating their time as well as to those waiting for readings. If you want a second reading, most of the mediums will be available for private sessions. If, however, you try to sneak in a second reading, we will regrettably have to ask you to go to registration and pay again. I am hoping a word to the wise will be sufficient.
And for those of you who have been asking about a GLAC special, the answer is yes, there will be one. There may even be a couple of options. Expect more news on that next week, as I need to discuss this with Pam and Richard first.
Meanwhile, someone asked me why we don’t have more speakers and particularly more “big names”. Well, first of all, speakers cost money. They also need an audience. We would be happy to add more speakers if we had more attendees. There’s no point in adding more speakers and having only 4 or 5 people in a lecture. That’s disappointing for them and us. As for the “big names”, well, here’s the deal. We are a regional conference.
Our mandate has always been to bring in the best regional speakers we can find, both from the Buffalo/Niagara/GTA area and further afield. I am quite passionate about this. These are the people who are going to bring astrology to the next level. Many of them are working with fresh, new ideas. Without regional conferences, they would never be heard outside their own local area. And that would be a shame.
As for the “big names”, we try to bring in speakers who have lectured at major conferences such as UAC, and most years we have about a dozen of them. Which ones we have depends on who is available. It also depends on attendee interests. Over the years, we have had quite a number of big names, and we undoubtedly have more such names next year. But our aim has always been for a mix of people — not for a showcase for the people who are already well known.
Michael Barwick is a really good example of a top-notch regional speaker. He has been a familiar face and voice at Astrology Toronto lectures for many years, generally garnering very positive feedback. As a result of this he wound up on the SOTA roster. And as a result of that, he found his way to the MAC roster. And this year he’s back on the SOTA roster again, where we’re delighted to have him. Here’s his topic:
Wish Upon Your Fixed Stars!
Traditional astrology has pretty black-and-white meanings for the fixed stars. However, relatively recently, new voices have been talking about fresh approaches to connecting them to the horoscope and interpreting them. Come hear Michael discuss the tradition and new approaches while showcasing the fixed stars as aspirational symbols, each one with gifts, an agenda and a dark side. This presentation explores how knowledge of significant fixed star interactions with the horoscope can provide actionable insight for empowerment and self-actualization. Iconic horoscopes will be presented as examples.
If you dismissed Fixed Stars years ago as “too negative” this may just the lecture you need to hear to jump-start you’re thinking.
Another speaker we’re delighted to have back is Maria Mateus. I first heard Maria at UAC and was very impressed. And judging from your response to her at SOTA last year, you were too. Here’s her topic:
Profections: Reviving an ancient technique for astrological forecasting
Profections are among the oldest timing techniques in astrology. Originally, they were used in combination with the Solar Return to time annual, monthly, daily, and even hourly events. They continued to be used in Medieval and Renaissance Europe. In this talk I’ll be outlining my understanding of this forecasting technique and examining how it figures within the larger framework of timing methods.
Profections are fascinating and worth knowing about. And Maria is a very clear presenter. This one is worth hearing, so why not make a note of it now?
I am off to the Millennium on Wednesday to sort out a few things pertaining to luncheons and the trade room. More on that next time. Meanwhile, you can book YOUR room at the Millennium by calling 1-800-323-3331 and telling them you’re with SOTA. And remember, both the airport shuttle and parking are free this year.
More next time,