Category Archives: SOTA 2018

SOTA 7 Dec 2017

Hi Everyone,

As most of you know, this is a UAC year. So why come to SOTA? We  for sure aren’t UAC. We can’t offer you Chicago. Too bad, because Chicago is a wonderful city.But Buffalo, while smaller and less glitzy, can certainly hold its own for history, architecture, and interesting sites. Don’t believe me? Check out

You will discover buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, good art galleries, historic sites, good food (including those Buffalo Wings and beef on weck, but also fantastic Italian food), and good shopping.

And don’t forget Niagara Falls, either. While we’re not within walking distance of everything, buses are within walking distance and will take you pretty much anywhere you might like to go. And it IS worth your while to come in a day early and explore. Buffalo grows on you!

We can’t offer you 150 speakers. But we CAN offer you 29 very good speakers and some very interesting topics, many of which are debuting at SOTA. And face it, you can’t hear 150 speakers anyway. You can’t even hear all of the 29 we’re offering. But even if you can’t hear them all, there’s a good chance you can meet and talk to all of them (and of course buy recordings).

So maybe you can’t get time off work for the Pre or Post Conference. I know this is a problem for some every year. That’s why we’ve scheduled two Pre-Conference speakers and one Post-Conference speaker for Friday. You won’t get the same topics, and admittedly these are shorter lectures, but you’ll get to hear them for the same cost as attending both pre-conferences. Have a look:

Pre-Conference: The Fourth House: Our Grave or Our Treasure?

Baris Ilhan

The house of home, parents and roots, but also represents the hidden things, treasures and graves. We will see how this house can be our grave in a symbolical sense and how we can turn it into a treasure by working on the issues of the sign there.  (Intermediate or Advanced)

Baris has presented this at NCGR conferences before. It is a well-received lecture and new to SOTA (as is everything at SOTA). She will also be presenting Veiled Power of the Twelfth House on Saturday.

Pre-Conference: What Should I Do With my Life?

Kelly Surtees

What houses, planets and aspects really describe and define career? Where and how do we find life direction in the chart? Are there any special planetary phases or configurations to consider? Join Kelly for a deep dive into career and life direction through astrology.

This is a 2-hour lecture and I haven’t seen it presented elsewhere — on this side of the pond anyway. And this is Kelly’s only presentation in the main portion of the conference.

Post-Conference: The Coming Global Economic Reset and Cryptocurrency “Satoshi” Revolution

William Stickevers

Most today have never experienced a financial or political “reset” (repression). Since 2008 we have witnessed the re-emergence of systemic risk and political turmoil with emerging disruptive technologies, i.e. Bitcoin. From an astrological perspective, we will explore cryptocurrencies’ role in transforming the financial system as Global Financial Reset begins.

This is a brand-new lecture especially for SOTA. And judging from the comments/queries I got after last week’s newsletter, it is a topic of interest. I would also mention that  William’s other topics — The Rise of the Geopolitical Red Dragon (on Saturday)  and his Post-Conference, Archetypal Astrology Through the Planetary Cyclic Index — are also brand new.

And since we’re talking about brand-new, it might interest you to know that a great many speakers got their start at SOTA — including Wade Caves, Ryhan Butler, and several others.  In fact, little conferences like SOTA  are the lifeblood and proving ground of a LOT of new speakers and topics.

I would even go so far as to say that if it wasn’t for us little independents, big conferences like UAC might find interesting new speakers in short supply. So come to SOTA, where you’ll hear it first! We’re low on glitz, but we rank very high when it comes to quality content. As do most of the other independent conferences.

So if October isn’t good for you, why not check out one of the other independents? NORWAC (Northwest Astrology Conference), in Seattle, is in March this year. I am suspecting Seattle in the beginning of spring will be lovely. And NORWAC can be counted on to have a good line-up of seasoned speakers. They are also unique in that they have communal luncheons and dinners with after meal lectures each day.

There’s also GLAC (Great Lakes Astrological Conference) in July. GLAC is in Ann Arbor, which is one of my favorite places. Their line-up this year inclines to old reliables who have lectured there in the past. Normally, there’s some duplication of speakers between GLAC and SOTA, but this year SOTA decided against that. Many of our attendees go to both conferences, and we want to see them get the most bang for their buck at both.

Now you may STILL want to attend UAC. And I do believe that anyone who is serious about astrology should at one point go to a UAC. And if what you want to do is name-drop and hob nob with anybody who is anybody, you may be happier at UAC than you would be at SOTA or NORWAC or GLAC, though you may also discover that a lot of the speakers at UAC are too busy with other people and other things to actually sit down and have a coffee with you.. And if you don’t like crowds or if you have never been to a conference before, one of these smaller conferences may be a far better bet.And I can tell you that while you may come in to SOTA or one of these others knowing no one, you’ll leave with a whole bunch of potential Facebook friends or whatever. SOTA  is a very friendly crowd…And that includes our speakers.The same generally holds true at NORWAC and GLAC.

I’d also mention that costs for rooms and parking (free at SOTA and maybe NORWAC and GLAC too) are cheaper, as our the reg fees. So, Sweetie, you have options. Give us a look. You may find a conference that better meets your needs and budget.

Catch you next week,


SOTA 30 Nov 2017

Hi Everyone,

First of all, as of today, the website is LIVE! That means you can register via PayPal. However, if you’re registering for the attendees-only discount (which expires December 31), you can’t do that online. A cheque is the only way to go.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about topics and speakers some. We try very hard to bring you a variety of topics and speakers — and we do our best to take your wants into account. Sometimes, however, we can’t accommodate you. For example, sometimes some speakers aren’t available. Other times, we just don’t get anything in on a particular topic. Now I could assign topics, but most speakers find that offensive — and I agree with them. So we try to work with what we have.

Financial astrology is a case in point. There just AREN’T a lot of good financial astrologers out there. This year, while we don’t have an actual financial lecture, we DO have a lecture on:

“The Coming Global Economic Reset” by William Stickevers

William is not only a good mundane astrologer, he is one of the few astrologers who actually seems to know something about bitcoin and is willing to talk about it. So you financial folks might want to come out and hear him on Friday. He’s here from California, so this is a rare chance to catch him live if you live in the EST.

We had no electional offerings last conference. If one of you would like to submit one for next year, let me know. Because we WILL look again. We had however, more success with asteroids.


Faith McInerney is going to do two hours on the four major asteroids plus Chiron on Saturday afternoon and Alan Clay will be will be doing  2 hours on Sedna that morning. And yes, technically Sedna is not an asteroid, but then neither is Chiron. These are centaurs. And last but not least, Brad Kochunas will be doing two hours on Chiron: Learning to Fall on Sunday.

Non-Astrological Topics

You asked for “more” John Marani, so this year he has a full one-hour slot. And if you love his as much this year as you did last year, we’ll bump him up to 2 hours for next year. We DO have to be a bit selective with the non-astrological topics, despite some of you wanting more. Not everyone shares this preference, and particularly in a UAC year, we are trying to accommodate everybody. Which is not to say I don’t support you.

In the beginning I envisioned a four-track conference with one track totally devoted to things related to astrology like Tarot, healing, numerology, etc. However, our budget does not allow that — and at this point we might have to find a bigger hotel if we want to do a bigger conference.

Additionally, while quite a number of our speakers lecture on non-astrological topics, it has turned out that they are surprisingly resistant to doing so. They want to be in the astrology track. Suffice to say that what we’ve got is what we’ve got — at least for this year. If enough of you are interested in a more metaphysical track, I’m still willing to explore it for 2019, but I’d need to know how much interest there is before committing to it. Up to you to let me know  and to support the more metaphysical offerings we ARE providing this year.

Last week I mentioned that we had 4 overseas speakers (and if you didn’t get that newsletter, you can read it here). I was and wasn’t wrong. If you’re going to split hairs, we actually have 4 1/2 overseas speakers. How can that be? Well, because Kelly Surtees, who is Australian but married to a Canadian, lives roughly half the year in Canada and half the year in Australia. She is much-loved in both places.

Pre-Conference Speaker:  Kelly Surtees

Kelly has been a SOTA lecturer many, many times. She is always one of the top-drawing speakers. So this year we’re doing a first. Kelly is the first local (by local I mean Buffalo/Niagara/GTA/Hamilton) speaker to be offered a Pre-Conference. The rule of thumb is generally “Locals don’t draw”. I am hoping that Kelly will prove that this isn’t the case, with her Pre-Conference topic.

“The Power of Prediction”

Discover how to time major life changes with astrology. Kelly will show you how to combine forecasting techniques like transits, progressions and firdaria, and guide you through the best ways to share your insights with clients. What do you say? How do you say it? Includes info on Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Capricorn.

So what do you think??? I think there’s something here for pretty much everybody — modern astrologers, traditional astrologers, and of course those of you who wander back and forth between  modern and traditional. Why not sign up for this early, show your support, and prove that rule wrong? It will save you a bit of money and guarantee you a seat. And I will guarantee that you’ll learn something.

As usual, please feel free to share this newsletter with your friends. The more the merrier at this conference — so long as you leave your ego  at the door! We don’t invite bigger- better- best games; if you enjoy those, please play them somewhere else…

See you next week!


SOTA 22 Nov 2017

Hi Everyone,

We’re back! And with a big welcome to both those of you who are new to SOTAnews and those of you who have been with us for a while.

We have tried to bring back many of the speakers you enjoyed last year, but we also have some new speakers and a couple of speakers who have not appeared on the roster for a few years. One such speaker is Baris Ilhan. Baris is from Istanbul, Turkey and is one of four — yes, count ’em, four — overseas speakers this year. (The other three are Alan Clay from New Zealand, John Green from England, and Ehsan Khazani from Iran.). Some of you may remember Baris from her last visit, though it was some years ago. If not, just let me tell you that she is knowledgeable, friendly, and very accessible. Feel free to go up and introduce yourself.

Pre-Conference Speaker:  Baris Illhan

“Mercury, Mars & Venus: The use of the Inner Planets as Agents for Improvement”

From the ancient texts we learn that the sources of volitional acts are three powers: carnal (Venus), wrath (Mars) and speech (Mercury). 13th Century astrologer Nasiredin Tusi says that although other powers (Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Saturn) are at their perfection, Mercury, Mars and Venus can be trained towards their perfection. During the workshop we will take a closer look at those planets and see how we can combine them in a way that carries us to loyalty, fidelity, compassion, love, submission, trust and joy.”

This, by the way, is a brand-new topic, and SOTA is getting it first! And in addition to this, Baris will be presenting The Fourth House: Our Grave or Our Treasure on Friday and The Veiled Power of the Twelfth House on Saturday. All in all, a lot of interesting and hard to find information…

SOTA Staff

Our flyer, again beautifully done by Jo Gleason, is below. Feel free to download it: 2018 SOTA FLYER (Nov 22).  And if it makes you drool, feel free to register on-line or by check or money order in US funds. Be aware, though, that as I write this (November 22) we’re still about 3 days away from having the website — and PayPal — fully operative. So if you can hold in your impatience for 2-3 days, we’d appreciate it and we’ll all be happier.

Right now there is a changing of the guard going on with the website and very soon Karen Sully will be replacing Wendy Guy as webmistress. We all want to thank Wendy for her hard work over several years. However, she is neither gone nor forgotten. In fact, she’ll be lecturing on Sunday on Pluto Out-Of-Bounds. 

SOTA 2018 Low Prices

As usual, we will keep you posted at regular intervals on speakers, lectures, and events at the conference so you can decide which lectures and days to attend. And also note that this being a  UAC year, we’re doing everything possible to keep our own fees low so you can still afford to attend. We can’t offer you 150 speakers, but we can offer you 29 truly excellent ones who will not be offering these topics at UAC (though yes, many, including Baris, will be in attendance and presenting). If you’ve joined us before, you know what you’re getting in terms of bang for your bucks. If you haven’t, well, why not give us a try? And yes, please, share SOTAnews with your friends.