Category Archives: SOTA 2018

SOTA 25 September 2018

Hi Everybody,

Well, the rates have gone up. And banquet registration is closed. I may or may not be able to squeeze a couple more into the opening. However, there is no longer a Deluxe package because we are definitely out of banquets. Sometimes we have cancellations; in that case, we may be able to cobble together a Deluxe package at the door or at least offer you a banquet ticket. However, we can’t count on that. Speaking of which, if you have a Deluxe package and for any reason are NOT going to be  attending the banquet or the Opening, please let me know. This will allow us to make room for people who did not get tickets and want to attend.
And there’s still plenty to see and do even if you were too late for the banquet. We have hospitalities Thursday (after the Opening) and Friday (after the Experience Mediumship workshop) as well as on Saturday after the banquet. So while you may miss Ryhan’s Keynote and Franco’s comedy, there are still plenty of good times to be had. And good lectures, too. Take, for example…

Franco’s Birth Time Confirmation Techniques:

The birth time is the difference between giving an accurate reading and a reading whose timing is all off.  You need to verify that your client’s birth time is actually an accurate representation of them which will give you accurate timing.  In this workshop, you will learn the various time travel techniques to zero in a birth time.

Franco has been making quite a name for himself over the past year, lecturing and writing largely on research. And no, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he has a few humorous anecdotes to share here. But really, finding an accurate birth time is serious business. And that’s what Franco is going to show you how to do.

And let’s not forget….

Shawn Nygard, on Pluto’s Riches:

Pluto is the ruler of the Underworld, a realm of depth, well-suited for archetypal exploration. Curiously, “Pluto” means “riches.” As ancient coins were minted from precious metals under the ground, Pluto’s riches, gems, and jewels can be mined from materials found within the psyche. What will we find?

This should be a rich presentation no pun intended. A look at Shawn’s bio should give you some clues as to why.

Shawn Nygaard is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a Tutor for MISPA (Mercury Internet School of Psychological Astrology). He has spoken at the AA conference, Nightlight Astrology, SFAS, and the Minnesota Jung Association. His writing has been published in The Mountain Astrologer. Shawn graduated from the CMED Institute, where he studied with Caroline Myss.

So  as I said before,  even if you miss the banquet, there is plenty of mind food in addition to the hospitalities.

Come for a day, or come for the duration. We’d love to see you there. And who knows? We  may even find a banquet ticket for you!

See you next week,

SOTA 19 September 2018

Hi Everybody,

It’s official. Our new room rate is $89 a night. However, you need to be on our rooming list to get it. So if you haven’t booked your room yet, you need to do it. If you’re already registered, any reduction will automatically be applied to the current rate as long as you’re reserved. This is one more reason to register and reserve NOW. This is an unheard of room rate,made possible because Central Reservations screwed up big-time. And thanks to John Green, Gabe Rosas, and others for helping me point that out to them.

Now note that the current reg rates are only good until September 21 at 10 pm. When you wake up on the 22nd, they will have gone up. So the time to register is definitely NOW!  And another reminder…If you’re paying at the door, it’s US cash ONLY. Which might be another reason to register now.

Two more reasons are that the Opening Keynote and the Banquet will no longer be available after the 21st. Sometimes it’s possible to get tickets for these at the door if someone cancels, but you can’t count on that. So be forewarned.

Also note that we will not be offering half-day or single session registrations this year. We have begun looking at options for 2019. More about those at the conference. But I WILL remind you that all attendees, speakers, and staff will be eligible for an unadvertised  special discount for next year. This will be put it below the early bird rates. It’s our way of saying thank  you for supporting us.

OK, as I mentioned last week, we have at this point discussed all of the lectures at least once, so if the following sound familiar, well, I’m sorry. On the other hand, some of you may have missed them first time around. So here we go with a look at Pam Gallagher’s lectures:

Pam Gallagher

Decans, Duads, and Single Degrees — How, When, and Where to Use Them

We will look at natal, progressed, and lunation degrees. Bring your chart so we can look at yours!  We will also provide handouts for decans and duads.

This is material you rarely get in lectures. And yes, Pam is willing to look at yours.  Just show up on Saturday morning.

Your Pre-natal Solar and Lunar Eclipse — Is it North or South Node?

We will discuss house placements and how you can use these eclipses to enhance your understanding of major shifts in your life.

This is more material you rarely get in lectures. This one is on Sunday afternoon.

And because somebody asked, here’s my blurb again:

Donna Van Toen

Beyond Planetary Stereotypes: Synthesis and Transits

In the beginning, we learn keywords and key phrases. Jupiter is always good, so Scorpios are going to have a good year. Saturn is always bad, so Capricorn WON’T have a good year. Uranus always brings a surprise, so Aries will have a few more surprises before Uranus moves on to Taurus. Sounds good in theory, but is that how it works? Not always. You have to read transits in the context of your own natal chart. And that’s what we’ll be doing. We’ll also look at a few natal hot spot patterns that can indicate something important is going to happen. Bring your chart and your questions. Let’s look at how it is for you!

This one is a 2-hour on  Friday from 10:30 to 12:30. And yes, there will be handouts.

OK, that’s it for now. Do share SOTAnews with your friends, and please register if you haven’t already done so.

Have a good week,

SOTA 8 September 2018

Hi Everybody,

I have one bit of possibly pending news. Specifically, I am currently in negotiations with the hotel to reduce the hotel rate. If this comes through, the reduction will automatically be applied to your room rate, assuming you are on our rooming list. And I will be sending out a letter to those not reserved very soon so this can be taken care of. In other words, all you will need to do is reserve. I will keep you updated in SOTAnews to my progress. Wish me luck!

Also a reminder that rates increase on September 22.

And now for some reminders and program blurbs:

Qigong with Susi Rosinski

First of all, a reminder that Susi Rosinski will be leading you in QIGONG on Saturday morning from 8 to 8:30. This will be outdoors if weather permits, indoors otherwise. I am going to suggest that you meet in the lobby about 7:55. Susi is a very accomplished teacher and healer. And I had hoped she would be here for the day so you could get to meet her. However, she has another training program to go to. So getting to know her better may have to wait until next year. But if you enjoy this taste of QIGONG, we will definitely look at having her back again next year. Stay tuned.

The Nakshatras, by Alan Annand

In addition to the regular zodiac of 12 signs, Vedic astrologers make great use of nakshatras, the 27 sectors also known as the lunar mansions. These star-clusters, or asterisms, each occupy 13 degrees and 20 minutes of arc along the ecliptic. Without needing to know anything about Vedic astrology, western astrologers can make great use of this “sub-zodiac” in their interpretations. This lecture will offer key associations for each nakshatra, with examples, that can provide an astrologer astounding insights into personality, career and relationships via the presence of key angles or planets in the nakshatras.

Now as you may already know, Alan is replacing Ehsan Khazani. There lectures are based on the same principles, but of course they are not identical lectures, because Alan is not Ehsan and vice versa. However, Alan will do a good job with this topic and as he says in the blurb, you won’t have to be a Vedic astrologer to be able to use this material. As a bit of an introduction, Alan was an accomplished Western astrologer before studying Vedic with Hart deFouw. He is now both an accomplished Vedic and an accomplished Western astrologer, though his focus these days is mostly Vedic. You will find him both knowledgeable and entertaining. And speaking of entertaining, you MAY see Alan’s alter ego at some point in the conference. Stay tuned…

Confessions of Failure Panel

And while we’re talking about Saturday, don’t forget about the Confessions of Failure Panel from 4:30 – 5:30 on Saturday. This presentation provides opportunity for panelists and participants alike to share some of the predictive failures we’ve experienced in our practice. Whether it was with a client prediction (career, health, marriage, financial.), times of election, or horary considerations, what were the consequences of this for the client and the astrologer? Come and share your concerns and experiences. We’re all human, and we all fail sometimes. Brad Kochunas will moderate and will be joined by Wade Caves, Kelly Surtees, and William Stickevers. If these people can admit to failed predictions and live to talk about them, surely you can too! Whether you predict or don’t predict, there’s sure to be some food for thought here for you.

OK, i’m running very late this week. More next time. And if all goes well, that will include discussion of a reduction in the hotel rate.

Have a good week folks!

SOTA 21 August 2018

Hi Everybody,

Here we are again! One important bit of news, plus a look at a few lectures:

Ehsan Khazeni replaced by Alan Annand

News first: Ehsan Khazeni has had to cancel. They will not give him a visa to travel to the US. He will be replaced by Alan Annand. Alan is a veteran astrologer based in Toronto. He has extensive experience in both Western and Vedic astrology. Right now he and Ehsan are going over Ehsan’s notes in the hopes of putting together a lecture that both does justice to Ehsan’s concepts and gives you a sense of the scope of Alan’s knowledge, which is very, very broad. A lecture description and title will be along next time, since this just happened today and Alan needs time to pull something cohesive together. Stay tuned!

Julie Simmons

Individuation in a World Gone Mad

As you probably already know, Julie Simmons’ luncheon is full.  You can still hear her though. On Friday her lecture is Individuation in a World Gone Mad. And while technically this is not about the aftermath of Mars square Uranus, it STILL sounds pretty relevant to our times to me. Here’s the description. See what you think!

Individuation in a world gone mad: How does the chart as a tool for personal growth need to adapt in the age of chaos?
“Narcissism, polarization, conflict, estrangement, and loneliness. What is the meaning of life when it’s all about me?”

(This is a quote from a book by Margaret Wheatly called Who do we choose to be? )

I have a feeling this one will generate both a lot of food for thought and a lot of discussion. And as you can see, it’s certainly apt for the times. So why not check it out? Just be aware that Julie’s lectures tend to be interactive. So come and be prepared to contribute!

Pam Gallagher

… And I don’t think we’ve talked about Pam Gallagher yet. For those of you who don’t know Pam, she is a popular teacher from the Cincinnati area. Her astrological knowledge is extensive; in fact, I think it’s safe to say she’s probably forgotten more astrology than many astrologers ever knew in the first place. And this year we’re fortunate to have Pam presenting not one but two lectures. Here they are:

Decanates, Duads, and Single Degrees: How, When, and Where to Use Them

Saturday, 9-10 a.m.
We will look at natal, progressed, and lunation degrees. Bring your chart so we can look at yours! Handouts for decanates and duads will be provided.

Your Pre-Natal Solar and Lunar Eclipse: North or South Node

Sunday, 2-3 pm
We will discuss house placements and how you can use these eclipses to enhance your understanding of major shifts in your life.

Pam just LOVES taking examples from the audience’s charts. So bring your chart, bring your questions, and prepare yourself for a fast-paced hour of information that YOU can use.

Note that there will be no SOTAnews next week. I will be at the hotel making sure things are ready for us and possibly nagging those speakers and others who haven’t reserved rooms yet if I still need to do that.

Meanwhile, please share SOTAnews with your friends. If you like what you see here, maybe they will too. And frankly, we just don’t know the entire astrological community. The more the merrier!

Until next time,

SOTA 14 August 2018

Hi Everyone,

Well. I managed to spring myself from hospital, but of course now I’m running late, so let’s get right into the news:

First of all, some good news. I have talked to the hotel and it appears that we’re fine with the Pres and Posts. So yes, there’s still room and yes, you can register. Worry not!

AFAN and AYA Hospitality Evenings

… And some more good news: We will now have 3 hospitality evenings, not two. The first two are courtesy of AFAN; the third is sponsored by AYA. And who might AYA be? They’re the Association for Young Astrologers. Jo Gleason, our social media person and program designer, is their Vice-President. Now I have to be honest here — I am not a member. I find their name, um, ageist. I am far from a young astrologer, either in terms of actual age or in terms of experience in astrology. Having said that, should they ever decide to change their name, I will join in a flash. Why? Well for one thing, they have a superb annual journal (and I hope they will bring some for sale). For another, this is one of the brightest groups of people you might hope to meet. And nice people too. Service-oriented and learning-oriented. So I hope you will come and meet Jo and Jenn Zahrt and whoever else turns up. That’s what hospitalities are for. And yes, someone will be saying more about AYA at the Opening.

Now for the boring stuff:
We still have one 8-foot table going begging.  I’m hoping one or possible two people will grab it and sell some neat stuff. Cost is only $100 for the duration, and if you share it, that can save you still more. So please let me know if you’re interested, and let your friends know it’s available too. We are also interested in acquiring one more reader for the trade room. Anything but astrology. So contact me on that one if you think this might be you.

And almost-last but not least, the hotel is filling rapidly, though there’s still room. If you haven’t reserved your hotel room, it’s time. Call the hotel at 1-800-323-3331 and tell them you’re with SOTA to reserve at the conference rate. Once these rooms go, I can’t guarantee to get more.

Really last but not least: We have a limited number of ad spaces left. If you want to advertise your services, contact Jo Gleason at for rates and requirements.

OK, and on that note, on to lectures.

Kathy Rose

Kathy Rose is a first-time speaker at SOTA, but definitely not a new speaker. She is a seasoned lecturer who has done lectures and workshops in many places in the US. We’re very fortunate to have her. Here’s her topic:

Tapping the Horoscope’s Memory

The Horoscope itself has a memory! Planets or angles in the chart that have received powerful transits or solar arcs in the past can become highly sensitized areas in the horoscope. These “hotspots” may respond with dramatic change with any future contact.

Noting hot spots as Kathy describes is an important tool in the professional astrologer’s bag of tricks. Come and learn more!

And yes, we DID talk about Mystery Midpoints last time, but at the moment there are only 3 slots left and I’m pretty sure one of those is going to fill soon. Don’t miss out on this one! It promises to be extremely informative and probably quite fun too!

Mystery Midpoints

This is a fun and profound exercise where we read an unidentified person’s natal chart only using the 90-degree midpoint sort. An amazing amount of information comes forward so easily! The identity of the well-known person will be revealed only after we analyze the statement from the midpoints.

Remember, we’ve got at best 3 slots left in this one. And no, it won’t be taped. You have to be there! So sign up soon!!!

Ehsan Khazeni

One person I don’t think we’ve talked about yet is Ehsan Khazeni. Ehsan comes from Iran and is knowledgeable in both Eastern and Western astrology. This particular lecture was very well-received at the last Vedic conference in Sedona, though he tells me it’s worthwhile for Western astrologers too.

Universal Nakshatras

“Universal Nakshatras” is a bridge between ancient knowledge of Vedic lunar mansions and concepts of modern astrology. In Universal Nakshtras, despite the traditional teachings, there is a meaningful order for Nakshatras which shows how the lunar mansions of vedic astrology are sequentially interconnected. It demonstrates how the next and previous mansion for every planet can give us some information and how all mansions occupied by planets in the chart can be employed in our Interpretations.

This is a 2-hour lecture on Saturday. Come and join us. I’m pretty sure this will be new material for many of you!

OK, I’m off now. More next week. Stay tuned and have a good one!