The Northwest Astrology Conference (NORWAC) has the tagline “where you won’t get lost in the crowd”. I have to concur that the NORWAC crowd is super friendly and eager to engage. Everywhere I turned, there were other astrologers who wanted to talk to me (or I wanted to talk to them). It just seemed everyone treasured their time together.
NORWAC meets yearly in June. Located near Seattle Washington, USA, this far-flung conference location takes a bit of devotion to reach. It’s a flight across the Pacific for Australian and Asian astrologers and a trans-continental flight for East Coast Americans. I flew in from the UK so travelled across an ocean and a continent. Our astrology colleagues in the South America and Africa will find it particularly challenging. However, in my opinion, it’s a journey well worth the effort!
NORWAC was part of my American cross continental tour. I met so many groovy people (astrologers and non astrologers) and I didn’t get lost once!
Journal entry 25 May 2017
Whether it’s getting on a plane in the middle of a hurricane, drinking a noxious liquid otherwise known as “port” to be polite (actually it was delicious–they just don’t know how to transport it to the UK so it doesn’t taste like antifreeze) or teaching adolescents for 12 years before realising the life of a supply teacher was where it’s at, I’ve just never been known to take the easy route.
Journal entry 26 May 2017
Not even a 24-hour bus ride could ensure I could catch up on my sleep the night before my lecture for the Northwest Astrological Conference (NORWAC). I congratulated myself for getting to my hotel destination–all the way from San Francisco–without resorting to an Uber. But once I got to my hotel, I tossed and turned all night in an unfamiliar bed and missed the purrs of my furry children. And, wouldn’t you know it, I also woke up early. I think it was the first time I sincerely worried about falling asleep half way through my own lecture.
But jet lag, being as it is, meant I was totally ravenous at 8 am local time (4pm BST) and needed to get myself registered at the conference and grab some breakfast or dinner. Or whatever meal we’re going to call it. That’s not to say there weren’t a few lucky distractions. It’s always wonderful to meet up with old friend at conferences but also to (finally) meet people you have only heard about on social media.
Step forward the lovely Steven Forrest. I was just heading out of the hotel to enjoy the sunshine when I heard Steven say (to someone else): “Oh this is Alex? No, you’re not Alex.”
I piped up from behind and said (I told you I get a little silly when I’m overly tired): “No, I’M Alex,”
Fortunately, I managed to remain conscious (if one can call it that) and delivered my first lecture to a full room at NORWAC. Lecturing at the same time as me was my astro brother Sam Reynolds, astro papa Rob Hand so I was particularly delighted that I wasn’t lecturing to an empty room. And I sold all the books I had brought with me! In fact, I’ve never had so many compliments, offers of support, queries about my next book and just general, all round gratitude for coming to an astrology conference. I was totally bowled over by the sheer number of people who knew about my work even though I hadn’t met them.
After the lecture, of course, I just wanted to peel myself off of the ceiling and chill. As I was again headed out the door to make a sneaky getaway, I was stopped by a large entourage around Samuel Reynolds. The group enveloped me in their fold and dragged me off to The Cheesecake Factory with them.
I’m pretty out of the loop when it comes to American cuisine (although I will go so far as to say it’s a vast improvement on the British fare). Somehow when you’re surrounded by contagious energy, the food just doesn’t matter. What a meal, what company and how wonderful to be with my astro brother again. Special shout-out to my Facebook friend Jeanette Ponder and new friends Mecca Woods (The Meccanism), Monique Moore (The AstroHeaux), Chartreuse Tempo Barriere (The astro FLOTUS), and Janelle Belgrave. It has been nothing short of an honour to watch their careers in astrology flourish.
On Saturday, after spending a relaxing day catching up with friends, it was time to head to the banquet. Now a banquet–or indeed a conference–shouldn’t be about the food. It should be about the company, right? And as someone who eats school dinners on a regular basis, I’m hardly a qualified food critic but if I’m going to pay 50-100 times more for a banquet dinner than a school dinner then dammit, I want something that doesn’t look or taste like one. Fortunately this is a rare occurrence. Still I like to give conference bonus points when hotels get the food right. A round of applause to the Doubletree Suites of Tukwila Washington.
One of the people I couldn’t wait to catch up with was my Australian buddy Julija Simas. Julija is Control Agent 12 of the Cosmic Intelligence Agency. I hadn’t seen Julija since ISAR back in October. At the Northwest Astrology Conference, there was a lot of laughter, a bit of naughtiness. But generally, it was a time of giggling, scheming and catching up. I am in awe of Julia’s networking skills, her shrewd judgement of character (she does’t just let anyone become an agent. And boy, do I pay attention now when she calls someone out. That’s a true rarity but nonetheless a proven accuracy as far as I’m concerned). I also admire her business acumen. She has a way of getting things done! I consider it a great honour to be a part of CIA and I credit Julija for inspiring me to do important secret agent work.
A lecturer I try never to miss is Melanie Reinhart, who I am very fortunate to count as a personal friend. She is compassionate, wise and I never fail to learn something when I attend her classes. And I wasn’t disappointed at NORWAC. Melanie’s topic was Nessus and couldn’t resist the temptation to look at Nessus in my own chart. Nessus was in Gemini when I was born, conjunct my ascendant along with the recent New Moon with transiting Nessus in the 10th house. That’s a lot of Nessus!! I couldn’t wait to tell Melanie this, secretly wondering how she’d interpret something like this. Without hesitation, she said “Well that’s all your work in revolutionising education!”
There are times when I’m just bowled over–and this was one of them. Melanie knows about my work? She doesn’t even use social media. It was all a bit much for me to take in.
My super secret prize for Psychopomp (the Jungian one) skills go to Nicholas Polimenakos. I met him at ISAR but fell in love with him at NORWAC! So helpful with a great sense of humour and just a manner I really enjoy. He clearly knew and loved both astrology and the area he lived in. And he wanted everyone to know he knew where everything was. And he had connections everywhere!
I love smiley men (even if there’s a mischievous twinkle) and he makes far better imp faces than me. Oh and he reads my blogs so I love him even more. All ’round great guy. Definitely a keeper. I might have to add him as my astro brother. I just want him to know how much I appreciate him. The only real damper on this conference was learning Nick’s car was broken into on the last night. He lost valuable tech items such as his phone, laptop and camera.
Here’s hoping the insurance settlement is quick and that the person/s responsible experience the bitch that is karma sooner rather than later.
Despite this disappointment (which can happen anywhere), I loved being on the west coast with my NORWAC family! Thank you for a great weekend!
Serious astrologers should endeavour to visit at least one astrology conference outside of their own country at least once in their lifetime. Different cultures and different approaches offer so much for your astrology toolkits. As I often say: “We speak the language of the stars but we have different accents.” Not convinced? Check out my article “10 Reasons Why You Should Get Yourself to an Astrology Conference“!
Here’s a list of my favourite astrology conferences around the world with links to my reviews!
Canadian Astrology Conference, held every other year in September (next conference in 2021)
Northern Stars Astrology Conference, 25-27 September, Halifax Nova Scotia
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 one 10-14 September 2020 near Denver Colorado
State of the Art Astrology, Buffalo NY every year in October (sadly organiser Donna Van Toen has died and further plans are now unclear)
Sedona Vedic Astrology Conference, held annually in Arizona every November
Kepler Astrology Conference, now defunct but still worth a mention for the potential it had to bring brilliant research to astrology
Institute of Vedic Culture (IVC), Kolkata India, 4-9 February 2020 (postponed to a later date)
Kepler Institute, Belgrade Serbia, every year in March
Associação Portuguesa de Astrologia, ASPAS, Lisbon Portugal, every other year, last one in March 2019
Associazione Cultural Jayavidya, Perugia Italy, every year in June
Latvian Astrology Conference, held annually in Riga
Astrology Restored, Cape Town, next one to be announced soon
CINASTRO, online conference from Brazil. Sign up for their newsletter for more information
My lecture schedule is here