Been going to the same Astrology Conferences year after year? It’s time to get out of the same old routine! Astrological research is where it’s at!
Astrological research has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Although the Kepler Conference and Canaveral Research now seems defunct, other astrologers have stepped up ti the astrological research plate. The Vibrational Astrology Conference, convened by David Cochrane, is a very formidable replacement. Astrological research has just moved laterally!
The Kepler Astrology Conference, was held on beautiful Cocoa Beach Florida, was an astrology conference with a difference: the speakers were all nerds! We tested astrology principles. It’s better than just regurgitating what astrologers before us have said. After all, astrologers before us did not have the technology we have now. Personally, I like astrology to have a practical purpose.
As the venue was on a beach, it was a welcome break from the terrible winter weather in England. (Although the weather isn’t always nice in Florida either!).
The first Kepler Conference took place from 20th-22nd January 2017 near Cape Canaveral Florida. I had always felt my nerdy data was out of place at astrology conferences and in astrology articles but organiser Courtney Roberts took notice and I’m ever so grateful she was able to assemble a fine and diverse cast of researchers for this groundbreaking conference which was also featured in an editorial on the Astrology News Service.
Most of us (I feel I should justify that with a more specific statistic but bear with me) came away with the clear idea that we had set a very high bar for future astrology conferences. A few of us also felt we had thrown down the gauntlet to the scientific community who continue to disregard astrology as medieval superstition. Astrological research for the win!!
And on that note, I have a little confession: I had never been so nervous speaking at a conference before. I just felt that the precedent we were setting was palpable nearly every second. My knees were knocking all the way through all four lectures I had to give. I often say I find speaking to adults (as opposed to children) unnerving because they’re so quiet in the audience but this was something else entirely. I felt I had something important to contribute, I was excited to do so and when Bill Meridian tells you afterwards that he admires your work, you know you’ve made a good impression. Oh and Glenn Perry and Will Morris bought copies of my book (thanks chaps!).
I listened to nearly every lecture and was so proud to be a part of the team. The topics were hugely varied and packed full of yummy statistics and carefully researched evidence. I felt like I was learning more about how to extend and continue my own astrological research. In fact, I feel my research will never be the same again. I was inspired! As Bill said: “There were more solid research results per hour in this conference than in any conference I can recall.” That’s what I mean about setting a very high bar for future astrology conferences.
But of course, conferences aren’t just about lectures (because if they were, my brain would have exploded at this one), they’re about the people you meet up with and the things you get up to as well. On our first night, we were treated to the prospect of a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral. I was so excited, I was like a little kid! I found Robert Currey and Ken McRitchie on the beach and we all sort of jumped up and down with anticipation–until the mission was aborted for the night. Was I disappointed! Not to mention, I no longer had a distraction to keep me from concentrating on how nervous I was about my impending lectures. Fortunately for me, my buddy Ana Andrade from Peru arrived to keep me calm, cool and collected.
And my moment did come the next afternoon with my lecture entitled “The Gauquelin Effect: Reloaded” and the description reading: “The greatest astro-research program ever undertaken has to be that of the Gauquelins: could destiny be demonstrated? Could their statistics prove that planets in the diurnal circle at birth were connected with excellence in future life? Or, was it all just a glitch in the statistics as Wikipedia now tells us? Now the data is all online but there are not many astro-researchers checking over it. Does the Moon really affect the birth of poets, and Saturn the scientists? For the first time these results are ready and available for analysis by students of psychology. But will they take it seriously or will they just dismiss it as medieval superstition?
“I was told the talk went well (I was too bloody nervous to notice anything about the reaction of the audience at the time). This is a talk I definitely want to develop into something lengthier and grittier.
That rocket launch? It did happen eventually! I took a video of it but have yet to figure out how to get it from my device to you tube but it will happen. Suffice to say, it was spectacularly awesome. I was surprised it took nearly 90 seconds before we heard the characteristic “boom boom” of the sound barrier being broken but even more surprising was the number of shooting stars we saw!
Saturday was my big lecture. I was nearly in meltdown. When I’m nervous, I get weird. I got so weird, I conjured up my own mystical moment. And here’s how it went: I was walking to the lobby to get some breakfast earlier in the day when I saw this big, bright pink flower. Glorious it was. It was just the same colour as one of my favourite tops so I was admiring it. As I passed by it, the flower said: “You know, it hurts to blossom.”
I kid you not.
So I stopped, backed up and said: “Huh?”
But of course, mystical moments aren’t known for replicating on demand so I called my friend Scott over to take a photo of it as a memento. I’ll bet it does hurt to blossom–and all we do is focus on the end result, not the process. And Miss Pink Flower, your message was not lost on me.
I’ve always felt that good astrological writing should be well paid and well distributed. What an honour to write for Dell Horoscope! On a side note, I’m happy to say I had the opportunity to write up this experience for Dell Horoscope.“When a Flower Speaks”, a write up of my mystical experience at the Kepler Conference, was clearly an article that touched the hearts of many people. Throughout my recent astro tour in the US, several people mentioned this article and wanted to share their own mystical experiences. I can honestly say I have never received such positive feedback for an article.
A few hours after the experience, I was up to lecture. I could feel the blood pumping in my ears and I knew my hands were shaking as I held the microphone. This was my research, my results and my evidence that I could back up “Growing Pains” with relevant statistics. I don’t know why I was so nervous. I still shake just thinking about it! It hurt to blossom all right. And I’m still thinking of things I wish I had said or things I wished I hadn’t said. But I knocked some socks off. And I’m rolling up my sleeves for more.
Later that same evening, I also took part in a panel discussion about putting astrology to work: expanding astrology’s professional applications and opportunities. Essentially, I talked about the problems I’ve had merging my two very different careers and I came away thinking that astrology on its own has no relevance. It serves an important part of the backdrop of many different professions but at the same time, astrologers have to have such a vast array of other skills (writing, lecturing, marketing and all the other skills that have to be brought into the arena) that it’s pretty impossible to find astrologers who “just” do consultations. I was also pretty sure that astrology can be used in some way in every profession. The potential for more astrology nerdery has no limitations.
By Sunday morning, I was pretty chilled. I went for a walk on the beach. . .and wouldn’t you know it, I had another mystical moment. Perhaps it was being so close to the Atlantic Ocean that caused the universe to crack open wide enough for me to hear what it had to say. Anyway, I was watching the sunrise when I noticed all these little holes in the sand. I wondered why they were there and then it occurred to me (because I occasionally watch David Attenborough) that there might be clams or something in those holes.
All of a sudden, I really wanted to see a clam (having never seen one in the wild before). So I started poking around a bit with my fingers and got sand under my nails (which I hate) just before realising that maybe these holes might not be made by clams but maybe by crabs with great big pinchers that could snap my delicate digits to the bone. So I looked around and found an old cup and I started digging. And digging.
Pretty soon I realised that whatever had made that hole was probably burrowing deeper just to get away from big scary me. It seemed a bit cruel to continue with my exploration so I just went back to watching the sunrise. I thought about what might have made those holes and I thought about how research is a bit like the experience I had just had: we get curious, we prod a bit then change our instruments and sometimes what we are pursuing seems deliberately elusive. Sooner or later we have to decide whether or not its worth it to continue our pursuit.
Yeah I get profound like that near oceans.
My final talk was on Kolisko’s famous experiments and the secrets of the seven metals. I was very pleased to hear my new found friend Rahul Thakur is extending this research. So more research! It never ends. It was also a great pleasure to meet fellow CIA Agent Michele Finey and her partner Neil Dennis. I thought we did a pretty good job team-working our way through Planetary Metals.
Well. . .sometimes the weather reflects the effects a conference has on the wider astrological community. . .
By Sunday evening, dark clouds started to gather and tornado warnings were issued.
I’m from Michigan and let’s just say I’m traumatised by tornadoes. I don’t want to see one and I defo don’t want to be in one. But it was one spectacular storm and in between flashes of lightning. We could see the formation of funnel clouds that didn’t quite pull it together enough to pose as a real threat. But my great goddess, it rained! I turned to Dennis Harness and said: “I’ve never said this before but I think this was one of the best astrology conferences I’ve ever been to!” And it was followed by such a great crack of thunder, I had to re-phrase and say: “I think we made history this weekend.”
Haha–commanding a Space Shuttle!! On Monday we got to visit Kennedy Space Center. I was like a little kid in heaven looking at all the launch sites and checking out all the space suits. I even got to meet John Blaha, a real astronaut. Imagine meeting a person who has been to outer space! But I got him to sign my ephemeris! (Such a nice guy!). I also went on a simulation of shuttle launch and I got to pretend I was commanding a shuttle. Every now and again I had to sit down because I was so overwhelmed by the vastness of space and by how much we don’t know about it.
It is a shame the Kepler Conference and Canaveral Research has collapsed. However, I feel astrological research is here to stay.
If you’re curious about astrology conferences, I’ve written a few reviews of my favourites!
United Astrology Conference, various locations in the US, every four years in May
Northwest Astrology Conference, Seattle Washington, every year in June
International Society for Astrological Research, various locations in the US, every other year in the autumn. Next conference in Westminster CO, 10-13 September 2020
Institute of Vedic Culture (IVC), Kolkata India,
Kepler Institute, Belgrade Serbia, every year in March
Associação Portuguesa de Astrologia, ASPAS (now ISAR affiliated), Maia Portugal, every other year; next one in 2021
Associazione Cultural Jayavidya, Perugia Italy, every year in June
State of the Art Astrology, Buffalo NY every year in October (now suspended owing to the death of convener Donna Van Toen)
Astrology Restored, Cape Town, next one in 2020 (details TBA)
Latvian Astrology Conference, Riga Latvia, held each year
Canadian Astrology Conference, Edmonton, held biannually in Edmonton Alberta (next one in 2020
My lecture schedule is here