SOTAnews is FINALLY back after a lengthy absence — and before I do anything else, I want to thank all of you who were there for making SOTA 2015 our most successful conference ever — both in terms of feedback and in terms of attendance. Which explains our lengthy absence, We’ve got a tough act to follow and we have had to make some tough choices in terms of speakers, activities, and all else. We have a lot of new speakers and new offerings coming up, and I can’t cover them all in one newsletter, so I’ll simply direct you to the SOTA 2016 Flyer and let the roster speak for itself. I hope you will find a couple of favorite speakers and some worthy offerings there. But before I start talking about speakers and offerings, please allow me to get some administrivia out of the way.
First of all, some bad news: Our beloved registrar, Myra Lewis, is unable to join us this year. To say she will be missed is a gross understatement. Myra has functioned as my right arm, my left arm, and occasionally my brain at every conference but one. She is much-loved, and she will be much missed. We wish her much success with her plans for 2016 and hope that she is in fact SO successful that she’ll be able to return in some capacity in 2017. Meanwhile, I’m looking for a dozen or so people to replace her. Well, yeah, that’s a bit of an overstatement, but she IS going to be hard to replace and we ARE looking for people who might be interested in this position. If that sounds like you, email me and we’ll talk.
Secondly, we will most certainly be looking for at least one and possibly two people to serve as recorders/monitors, so again, if that interests you, let me know.
All of these are volunteer positions, so don’t expect to get rich. You can, however, expect to have a good time and have some of your conference paid for.
Third, this is first call for vendors. If you want to reserve a space, let me know and I’ll tell you what’s available and what I need from you. We already know that Billee Dommell will be back, along with A-C Tapes and several others from last year. But we’re also open to new vendors. Let me know if you’re interested and tell me about your product. We try very hard to get a variety of products because we’ve found that’s what makes both our vendors and our attendees the happiest.
And now, let’s talk about our program…
As some of you regulars know, we are always trying to offer new things. And this year because of feedback, we are going to offer both Pre Conference and Post Conference lectures. The aim in doing this was to present a variety of topics and speakers who would appeal to a variety of different interests and levels.
First, Jodie Forrest. Some of you may remember Jodie, because she lectured for us before, doing an excellent Pre-Conference based on her book, The Ascendant. Jodie is a multi-talented lady, not only a very fine astrologer, but also a successful fantasy writer and an artist. In short, a real Renaissance woman. I would describe her as eclectic/evolutionary. And she has the perfect topic to kick off the conference:
Fasten your seat belts as Jodie examines 2017’s major astrological events: specifically, the aspects and aspect patterns made by slowly moving outer planet transits, and those aspects’ triggers formed by eclipses and the faster-moving inner planets. If an aspect’s duration overlaps calendar year 2017, its whole time frame is briefly addressed.
Jodie is both knowledgeable and easy to listen to. This will be an excellent 3-hour overview of 2017. Bring your chart and come along for the ride. I think you’ll enjoy it, no matter what your astrological level.
Next up on November 10 is Ed Tamplin. Ed is an Australian astrologer with an excellent reputation and a very large following. I had heard about him for years, as we had a mutual friend. But I didn’t meet him until 2 years ago when I lectured at the FAA conference in Tasmania. And he knocked my socks off.
Now some of you know that I’m old and jaded and these days my socks don’t get knocked off all that easily. But not only does Ed know his stuff, he can also teach you old and jaded some new tricks in all probability. Since my return from that conference, I have followed Ed’s forecasts on Facebook in addition to having a bit of personal email with him. Not only did he call the Australian election before the fact, he called the Canadian election (much to my dismay because I was not rooting for Trudeau) and he’s called other elections as well. As well as other mundane events. All this and Sun Sign forecasts too. I’m impressed. I think you will be too. Here’s his topic:
The Mandala of Mundane – Essential Keys to Mundane Prediction
Social media has forever changed the astrological playing field. Accurate analysis of global trends – culturally, politically and financially – is becoming increasingly important for the professional astrologer. The tools and techniques of two decades as a global astrological reporter are presented in this pre-conference lecture. Knowing the news – before it happens.
We’ve had requests for mundane astrology for several years now. I will not only guarantee that Ed will give you the how-to, I can guarantee that he is NOT going to focus exclusively on the US. As he says in the blurb, he analyzes global trends. And he does a superb job. If you’re one of the people who has been clamoring for mundane over the past 2-3 years, take advantage of this opportunity. You won’t be sorry. And I would bet that even the old and jaded among you will learn something.
April Elliott Kent
That will lead us into our opening ceremonies, and I’m going to leave those for the time being so I can talk about the Post-Conferences, starting with April Elliott Kent. Now I’m really not sure if her book or her UAC lecture came first, but I DID meet April at the last UAC and enjoyed her immensely. Not only is she knowledgeable, she’s funny. And as far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with a combo like that. But what I really like about April is that she can take a really basic concept and explore it with depth and insight so that you come away with far more food for thought than you expected. Here’s April’s topic:
The Progressed Lunar Phase and Transiting Saturn Cycles
Transiting Saturn’s return every 29.5 prompts a critical evaluation of your success and status in the world. Concurrently, the progressed Sun and Moon duplicate their natal phase relationship, provokes a review of your emotional well-being. Understanding these lengthy, concurrent cycles can be helpful in combining worldly success and emotional satisfaction.
Not only will you enjoy April, I think you’ll learn something — maybe even if you think you already know this stuff. April has a way of making you think without paining your brain.
Last but not least, we have Joyce Levine. Joyce has been a SOTA presenter before. She’s also been a presenter at GLAC, our sister conference. And if you’re looking for clear, solid, information, you need look no further than Joyce. No fluff, no folderol, just psychologically-sound information presented in a clear, coherent way. Here’s her topic:
What’s Likely to Happen? Working with Transits.
Transits of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto to the birth chart represent major turning points in a person’s life. This talk spells out the meanings of these transits in terms of event orientation and psychological and spiritual understanding. It goes on to show how the same cycles affect people differently depending upon the make up of their birth chart. Lastly, it shows how to interpret differing cycles occurring at the same time in a person’s life. The participants will come away with a better understanding of how to make predictions, whether those predictions are event oriented or psychological.
Joyce has also told me that she will be happy to include some discussion of progressions and solar arcs as time permits. So what better way could there be to wind up your SOTA experience.
And yes, we know that most of you will not be able to take a full 5 days out of your life to attend. That’s why we’ve got 4 workshops. Hopefully you can make it to one or two. Especially those of you on my side of the border. The dollar sucks. I wish I could have found a venue in Canada that offered what The Millennium offers. I couldn’t. At least not at the price The Millennium was offering. Had I gone with a Canadian venue, it would have added AT LEAST $50 to the reg fee and you would not be getting rooms at $103 a night — which is what we negotiated with The Millennium.
We will look at some kind of price breaks as we move towards the conference, but the time of Canadian money at par is regrettably over. And until hotel rates in Canada change — which, to be blunt, they won’t because given the exchange rate, they have plenty of Americans to fill those rooms — I don’t see us going back to Canada. But as I say, we will try to hook in some price breaks somewhere along the way. I don’t like this any better than you do.
Meanwhile, if the flyer and the lecture descriptions pique your interest, you might want to check out the rest of our website at http://donnavantoen.com . If we’re not up and running, we will be very soon. Wendy is telling me Monday latest. [Wendy’s note: You can now register online!] Check us out and plan to join us. We’d love to have you!
Until next week, hang in and enjoy the mild weather if you’ve got it. If not, bundle up and stay cosy.