Category Archives: SOTA 2016

SOTA 30 October 2016

Hi All,

Well, this is it — crunch time!

By the time this reaches some of you, on-line reg will be closed. For those of you who get this in time, it closes TODAY, October 30, at 10 pm Eastern. And you will see that at this time,  some of the options have been removed. For example, we have no more Deluxe packages, because we are currently sold out of both Openings and Banquets. We WILL create a waiting list at the conference for those who missed the boat, but it will be strictly first-come, first-served. So no guarantees.

We DO, however, have plenty of Full packages available. We also have room in both Pre and Post Conferences. And of course you can still get single-day admission for any day.

We have also decided to offer half-day admissions, which will consist of one one-hour and one two-hour lectures. These must be on the same day and both a.m. or both p.m. They are $65.

While we DO have a few luncheons left, they are starting to fill, so before you set out to attend JUST a luncheon, you might want to check and see if the one you want is still available. To find out, call the hotel and ask to be put in touch with someone from the reg desk. And preferably do it the day before. Things can change very rapidly at a conference.

The Friday evening was designed to accommodate those of you who decide to come to something at the last minute, so there’s no need to check on this one. Just show up!

Note that I will be at the hotel from the 7th onwards and will be hard to reach by email or otherwise. I expect to be offline entirely on the 7th.  The rest of the time I will be checking email sporadically and will respond as quickly as I can.

I DO hope you can make it to some of this.  We have a LOT of great speakers as well as great attendees. While we are not the biggest conference going, we are certainly one of the friendliest. And you won’t get lost in the shuffle for sure. You’ll go away with new knowledge, new acquaintances, and maybe even new things, between the trade room and the prize draw at closing.

…And speaking of that trade room, a reminder that it is FREE and it is open to the general public. You don’t need to register to get into the trade room. So tell your non-astrological friends. We DO have something for many, including readings, gemstones, and more. And it will be open until at least 8 pm Friday night.

Featured Speaker: Jessica Lanyadoo

OK, about those speakers. One that you will miss if you don’t attend is Jessica Lanyadoo. And since Jessica hails from California (though she was originally from Montreal), it may be a while before you get a chance to see her again. Jessica was here last year and was a huge hit. She has tons of information. And this year, she has two most intriguing lectures:

Making The Most Of Your Crazy

In this class we will explore what planets govern the most common mental health maladies (as opposed to severe mental illness), the spiritual roots of our struggles and predispositions, and how to best cope with them. We will explore the motivation of the planets that govern our issues to better understand our own needs.

Personally, I think we all have a crazy. If you agree, and if you’d like to cope with yours better, this lecture is for you.

Also check out:

Understanding and Maintaining Health Through Astrology

This talk will provide insight and strategies for coping with mental and body health issues in the birth chart and by transit.  We will focus on the influence of the outer planets, their impact on our medical predispositions and how to find them in the chart. This will be a lively discussion that is suitable for astrology connoisseurs of all levels.

We are asked every year for “more medical”. So here’s one for all of you who have been asking!

…And More Speakers!

Plus great lectures by many of your favorites— Julie Simmons, Samuel Reynolds, and Ryhan Butler, for example — and some excellent new speakers, including Emmajay Paterson, Shelley Ackerman, Christopher Renstrom, and others.
So try to make it, huh? Even if it’s only for one day. You won’t be sorry. And we’ll miss you if you’re not there!

And yes, as usual, please feel free to share this with your friends.

Hoping to see you there!



SOTA 26 October 2016

Hi All,

Well, this is the countdown. PayPal closes October 30 at 10 pm Eastern. After that, you can pay at the door — cash only — but there probably won’t be any Deluxe packages left. At the moment, I have 2 opening tickets and about the same for banquets. So if you want the whole deal, reserve now.

You will, however, be able to sign up for Pre or Post conferences at the door. Ditto for luncheons — at least until they run out — and Full packages and single days. So if there’s something you really want to see, yes, you will probably still be able to do it…

Thursday Opening

Speaking of the Opening, we have had one small change. Reverend Kathleen Barnard won’t be with us. Bill Duvendack will be replacing her. And yes, you’ve heard that name before, because Bill is one of our Friday night speakers (and yes, you can also sign up for the Friday night mini-lectures at the door). He’s a multi-capable kind of guy — astrologer, Tarot reader, medium, etc. And from all indications, he’s very, very good. So you might want to check him out at some point….Note that he will also be in the Trade Room doing readings for the duration of the conference. And the Trade Room is free if you just want to look. But expect to be tempted…

Featured Speaker: Sherrynne Dalby

What else will you miss by not coming? Sherrynne Dalby’s lectures, for one thing. Sherrynne is coming all the way from Australia, so no, you probably can’t hear her next year. And what is she lecturing on? On Saturday, it will be Astrolocaliity, Your Place in The World. Here’s a description:

Astrolocality, Your Place in the World.

Location is so important but especially in terms of our own energy. We are born into an energy dictated by time and space. Local space charts show how that energy impacts on everything around us from how comfortable we are in our own kitchen to where to plant the roses, a very personal feng shui.

Sherrynne’s Astrolocality knowledge has drawn high praise from none other than Ronnie Dreyer — and if you know Ronnie, you know she doesn’t bestow praise on just anybody. So why not come and check this out?

Sherrynne will also be lecturing on Childhood Stages on Friday. This will be material from her book of the same name. And no, I’m not sure we will have this one available because I’m not sure it’s still in print, but if it is I hope Sherrynne will bring at least 2 or 3… And in any case, here’s the description:

Childhood Stages

In this lecture we look at the developmental stages of childhood and their astrological correlations. Using astrology, we can understand why children develop and different rates and why they normally level out by the time they start school. Understanding this can make parenting a less stressful process for all concerned.

You will find Sherrynne a very down-to-earth lecturer who is both knowledgeable and easy to listen to. And yes, she has experience with children. Just ask her!

Roommate Wanted

On a whole other level, one of our speakers is hoping to get to Niagara Falls on Monday, but in order to stay, she needs to have a roommate for Monday. If you think that might be you, contact me and I’ll fill you in…


OK, keeping things short and sweet this time, as there’s still a lot of administrivia to deal with, but I hope this piques your interest. And as usual, I would ask you to pass the news along to those who might be interested.




SOTA 16 October 2016

Hi Everyone,

OK, I don’t need to tell you again to reserve your hotel room, do I? Or  to tell you that PayPal will close October 30 and after that it will be cash only at the door? I might need to tell you that the Opening and banquet are liable to fill, so you may not be able to get them at the door. Which means if you want one, it’s time to go to PayPal and register.

One bit of new news I want to mention is the location of the Half-Dead Astrologers’ Party Sunday night. It will be at El Agave Mexican Restaurant. And we will be getting the shuttle to take us and bring us back. Note that there is no set cost or menu for this; it’s all up to you. The food is authentic Mexican. There is vegetarian and also some vegan. And it gets rave reviews, too. Service is incredibly good. There are specialty drinks — and yes, tequila. And there will be good company. If you want to be a part of this, what you will need to do is tell Joanne at the reg desk. She will make a list and I will then take that list and reserve at the restaurant and reserve the shuttle. Please reserve by Saturday noon so I can be sure everything is under control. I DO hope you’ll join us if you’ll still be around on Sunday night…And I hope you will be, because we have 2 great Post-conference speakers on Monday.

…Speaking of which, several people have expressed disappointment at not being able to hear April and Joyce on Monday. And I DO commiserate, but if we’re going to do Post-Conferences, our only available day is Monday. However, April and Joyce are both going to be lecturing in the main portion of the the conference — in fact, Joyce will be lecturing twice. We talked about April last time (and that newsletter can be found on the website), so let’s look at Joyce’s lectures this time.

Featured Speaker: Joyce Levine

First of all, Joyce is going to be doing the requisite Pluto lecture. I mean, EVERYBODY wants a Pluto lecture, don’t they? So here’s Joyce’s. And by the way, I have heard this one, and it’s good!

Pluto — Death or Transformation

Get to know Pluto — the only planet over which we have no control. Pluto’s cycles coincide with dramatic life changes that strip away what’s no longer meant to be and wittingly or unwittingly return us to our essence. This talk provides an understanding of how the Pluto process affects both individuals and the collective and shows how the cycles bring what has previously been unconscious or suppressed to the surface.

Not only is this good, it’s timely, since the US is having it’s Pluto return this year…

Joyce will also be doing a lecture o:

Family Dynamics — How and Why We Get Along

Family patterns get transmitted astrologically as well as genetically. Sign, planet, and aspect patterns are handed down from generation to generation. So it’s not an accident that we prefer certain family members to others. And while we may swear never to marry anyone like our mother or father, we may discover similarities long after the wedding date.

This one probably has relevance to pretty much everybody…

Featured Speaker: David Cochrane

One  lecture that is generating a lot of interest is The Discovery of Why Astrology Works: Fractal Sacred Geometry. In fact, the presenter, David Cochrane, is also generating a lot of interest. So let’s look at this lecture first:

The Discovery of Why Astrology Works: Fractal Sacred Geometry

Astrologers have very recently discovered that the tropical zodiac is a perfect representation of prime number and Fibonacci number sequences! This is now understood in detail. Science, mysticism, astrology, and psychic ability are not antithetical to each other but rather are different lenses into the same awesome and mysterious reality.

Meanwhile,  here’s his second topic:

Marriage and the Navamsa Chart

Vedic astrologers regard the navamsa chart as extremely important. It is not possible to give an astrological reading without it. It is often called a chart of dharma, marriage, and happiness. We will learn what the navamsa chart is and we will see examples of its power in relationships.

And don’t forget, David will also be doing a Sirius Demo as part of the How To Night on Friday. I may take this one in myself because there is so much good stuff in Sirius that I still haven’t used all of it. Though for asteroids and for harmonics, it’s superb.

Featured Speaker: Wendy Guy

One other speaker who is eliciting interest is Wendy Guy. If you have read her Evolving Door columns and wondered if she is just as interesting in person, you can find out. And what you will find out is that she’s even more interesting. Here’s her topic:

Hindsight/Foresight – Context is Everything

Where you’re going depends a lot on where you’ve been. Recent transits and progressions lay the groundwork for what lies ahead and make a difference in how future influences manifest.  Understanding what happened is useful, sometimes essential, in anticipating what comes next. Case studies will show how transits and progressions play out following different planetary events.

This is a very important lecture for anyone who wants to understand transits and progressions. Check it out!


I hope this motivates any fence-sitters who still might be out there to get off the fence and come on out. We’d love to have you join us. And by all means, please share SOTAnews with your friends.





SOTA 13 October 2016

Hi All,

It looks like the house is getting full, and if you snooze, you COULD lose. So if you haven’t registered yet, do it now.

Filling Up!

At this time, it looks like Dawn Silver’s luncheon lecture will have few, if any, tickets left at the door. The same holds true for the Opening, which is your chance to meet and greet friends old and new, have some great nibblies (and there will be a cash bar too) and possibly get a message from one of the 5 excellent mediums who will be serving that night.

Now for those of you with Deluxe packages who are NOT coming [to the Opening], you could give me a big hand by letting me know that. Last year, as some of you know, we ran out of food. We don’t want to do that this year, but by the same token, we don’t want to order food that will go to waste. So as it stands, we will probably close registration for the Opening at month-end to ensure not running out of food. But if you have a Deluxe registration and are NOT coming (because some people don’t), let me know so I can see where we stand between now and month-end. Thanks!

And I WILL keep you all posted on the availability of tickets at the door.

So far, there is space in the banquet, but again whether or not we still have space at the door remains to be seen.

Speaker Changes

Next up, we have had a couple of changes to the roster. I mentioned last newsletter that Aaron Fried has canceled. He is being replaced for the Friday luncheon by Dawn Silver. Her lecture is Stars in Your Bowl and it will cover a lot of things — from vitamins to disciplines — that can be used to stay in optimum health. A full description, should you want it, is in last week’s newsletter, which is on the website. And speaking about filling up, there are only 3 spaces left in this one because our room is small. Also, because you get to choose your own lunch, there needs to be a limit so the kitchen can have the food ready. And I fear you DO have to be there, because luncheon sessions are not taped. So if you want to be sure of a seat, reserve now!

Meanwhile, Patty Mac has agreed to be the replacement speaker for Friday night. Some of you may know Patty from Sweet Messages. If you don’t, you’re in for a treat. She is dynamic, she is knowledgeable, and she is an excellent teacher. As a medium. she has clients across Canada. Her topic will be Evidential Mediumship. Now this may not be what you think. There are a lot of so-called mediums who give no evidence whatsoever that they are talking to your dear departed. They may be very good psychics, but they’re not mediums. Patty will explain all of this. And additionally, there will be a how-to component. I should have a full description for the next newsletter.

Patty’s lecture is one of 9 How-To mini lectures on Friday night. And you can go to any 3 of these (because you have a choice of 3 in each slot) for the small sum of $30. And you’ll get coffee, tea, and a cookie or some fruit on top of the information. Again, these will not be taped and they are decidedly worth coming out for. So if you’re local, why not consider these. Again, the schedule is on the website.

Open Hospitality

Also note that we will again have Open Hospitality on Thursday night after the Opening and on Saturday after the banquet. This is co-sponsored by AFAN and Astrology Toronto. Terry Johnson will be representing AFAN; I am waiting to hear who the Astrology Toronto rep is. These are two excellent groups with something offer, so by all means come to the hospitalities, and make sure you check out what these groups can offer you when they’re not busy doing hospitality.

Hotel Rooms and Online Paypal

And in case you missed it before, we are running out of [hotel] rooms. At this time, we still have some left, but when they are gone, there is no guarantee I can get you one. We have, I am happy to report, exceeded our room block. So if you need a room, call the hotel NOW at 1-800-323-3331.

Also note that the last date for PayPal is 10 pm Eastern on October 30. After that date, payments will only be taken at the door and it’s cash only.

OK, what about a look at some of the lectures?

Featured Speaker: April Elliott Kent

A couple of you have expressed disappointment at not being able to attend April Elliott Kent’s Post-Conference on The Progressed Lunar Phase and Transiting Saturn Cycle. I am sorry you can’t make it, but she IS also giving a 2-hour lecture on Eclipse Cycles and the Birth Chart on Saturday. Have a look at the description:

Eclipse Cycles and the Birth Chart

The 19-year cycle of eclipses moving through your natal chart describes a repeating pattern of developmental crisis. Which natal patterns currently demand your attention and willingness to change?  When have you confronted similar challenges in the past — and how might you handle them more effectively now?

This is good information that’s rarely presented. Worth hearing… And April is a great lecturer.

Featured Speaker: Wade Caves

And Wade Caves is back this year with two 1-hour talks. The first of these is on Saturday and is again on a topic that is rarely clearly explained.

The Aries Ingress: Prophecies of the Mundane Astrologer.

The Star of Bethlehem. Mundane astrology was anciently held to be astrology’s noblest application, employing techniques like the assessment of Saturn/Jupiter conjunctions, comets and eclipses, and Aries ingresses. Come explore the historical approach to annual Aries ingresses, and the techniques astrologers applied to forecast the future for their respective king and country.

If ever there was a time when you might want to forecast the future for your country and it’s “king”, this might be it. So come and learn about this fascinatng technique!

Wade’s second lecture is about planetary phases:

Sunodikos: Planetary Phases and Their Applications.

Astrologers often ruminate on the nature of lunar phases, but all planets undergo the process of increase and decline in their synodic cycle with the Sun. Through phase’s influence on speed, brilliance and motion, the working astrologer is able to glean physical, practical and psychological descriptions for use in consultation.

Phases are being used more and more. Come and see how they were used classically. I’m hoping to get into this one myself…

Ok, more next week. We still have a number of good speakers and lectures to profile. Stay tuned!



SOTA 4 October 2016

[Updated 7 October 2016]

Hi Everyone,

The time is getting shorter. Are you excited yet???

I am yet again reminding people to book their hotel rooms. When I last looked, a number of people — including speakers — hadn’t done that yet. And if you don’t reserve, we may not be able to find you a room. Best not to trust to luck.

Meanwhile, we have booked our Pre and Post Conference speakers for 2017, and I think you’ll be pleased. I hope you’ll also be pleased with the special attendees-only rate for next year. It will unfortunately be a bit higher than this years because expenses are going up. When expenses go up, the only way we can keep costs down is by increasing attendees. And while we have decent numbers, this year, we’re not seeing an increase. So again, please tell your friends and help us get the word out. You undoubtedly know people I don’t and maybe some of them would like to come.

Also, a big welcome aboard to Sara Cartwright. Sara will be in charge of our recording this year.

We’re also looking at books for this year. All of the speakers books will be available. There will also be a selection of older, gently-used books. But there may be specific titles you’d like to see. If so, please get that info to me SOON so I can get them on the list. The order will probably go in next week.

Featured Speaker: Dawn Silver

One speaker who will be here with her books is Dawn Silver. Dawn is an Ayurvedic astrologer from Chicago and she just happens to have one of the best books on gemstones I have seen. Those of you who know me and have heard me gag at Melody’s books know I’m pretty fussy when it comes to gemstone books. Dawn’s book is one I can wholeheartedly recommend.

While Dawn’s talk is  gemstones in Ayurvedic astrology. Though it may be new material and a different take on the stones for some of you, it’s going to be fascinating nonetheless. Here’s a description:

Rasavidya – Alchemical Gemstone Astrology

Rasavidya, knowledge of the alchemical essence, is a Sanskrit system used to preserve health and prolong longevity. Gemstones are prescribed by this nine box astrology system to determine your (Brahma) ancestral genetics, birth sustaining (Vishnu) and planetary aging (Shiva) cycles. Gemstone healing employs the homeopathic science of resonance, releasing stuck energy to slow down the rate of entropy (aging).

Bring birth-date and time …notes provided.

So yes, if you bring your birth data, you will be able to make your very own Rasavidya chart. You’ll also be able to take advantage of Dawn’s awesome knowledge — and did I tell you she’s also a naprapathic doctor?  What’s that, you say??? Come and find out!Gonna be GOOD information in this one.

[added 7-Oct-2016]

And this just in! Dawn will also be doing the luncheon lecture on Friday. And yes, you can sign up for just that one lecture, but I’d advise you to do it soon. We have very limited space in this one…

The Stars in Your Bowl

Each astrology sign is unique in what they need and what they prefer for their healing journey. Many of the great astrologers of the past were also doctors and have given us guidelines using natural methods. We shall journey through the 12 zodiacal signs and look at the astrological healing potentials in regards to gems, foods, remedies such as cell salts, flower essences herbal tinctures and disciplines. 


OK, a reminder that PayPal is still up and running until October 30th and a reminder to please share this with your friends. See you next week!