This is almost back-to-school month so I’m giving readers a little heads up that there may be a few website updates in the near future. I hope these updates won’t clog your inboxes too much but if they do, please forgive me. I hope you won’t unsubscribe (because that would mean you are going to miss out on some good stuff!) but that is always an option if you get too many notices from this site.
This month, I’m really focusing on getting the message out on how astrology can be an incredibly useful tool to parents and educators. I’ll be writing special posts for each year group just in time for September. And I have a lot of other goodies up my sleeve too. If you prefer webinars, I’ll also have plenty of those too. My latest webinar was “The Gift of Flight” which was my first offering as a tutor for the International Academy of Astrology. This four hour “pocket course” will shortly be available to order. I had a lot of fun doing this but I also learned a lot: for one thing, I have way more to say about astrology in education than I thought I did! If you asked me a few weeks ago if I thought I’d have enough material to talk for four hours, I would have been very doubtful. But I had no problem at all! In fact, I have even more to say. And now that I’ve done it once, I have TONS of ideas for how I can continue to build on simplifying the main points and making them more accessible to non-astrologers.
Reaching non-astrologers is something I’ve given a lot of thought to. Some astrologers write horoscopes and although I think it’s perfectly fine, it’s not something I find particularly edifying. Nonetheless, after a brief break from writing horoscopes for the Cosmic Intelligence Agency, it looks like I may be getting back in the starry saddle again. But my horoscopes will have a very distinguishing feature: they will be aimed at parents and teachers. It’s far too niche for any newspaper or magazine (great goddess I don’t see how anyone could bear the monotony of doing that! Give me a classroom any day of the week!) but it will be something I think I can run with. It will be an experiment and provided it doesn’t get in the way of all my other writing commitments (Did someone say “The Wolf You Feed”?), I’m going it give it a shot.
Ah the United Astrology Conference in Chicago! What can be said about the biggest astrology conference in the world (so far)? It was a lot of fun, a lot of people and a lot of lectures. Things got off to a great start with breakfast in New York City with Michael Lutin and his adorable kitties and our Slovakian astrology friend Peter. Then things really picked up pace with–wait for it–a television interview in NYC. What did the honorary British astrologer talk about? Of course it had to be a certain Royal wedding and its connections with a certain star! Apparently our interview will be played–wait for it!–in the back of New York taxis! How cool is that!? It could ONLY be topped by a sunset dinner on the train with Tad and Chris. What day it was and we hadn’t even arrived at the conference!
One MAJOR bit of fun was the “bunkhouse”. My astro sister
Mj Patterson came up with the mad idea of sharing a hotel room with two other women and my EIGHT pairs of shoes (oh the shame! I didn’t even know I have eight pairs of shoes!). We’d be crowded but I thought I’d hardly see any of the other roommates. I may have been a little wrong on that point but happily so: we had such a lot of fun sharing giggles, food and friendship. I’ve stayed in so many hotel rooms that to be honest, I now find them quite lonely and sterile. So I am very grateful to my new astro sisters for the companionship.
Opening night at the conference featured another one of Aleksander Imsiragic’s movies (I have to find out what software he uses). Although I have to say, it was a little uncomfortable when a certain controversial character received very little applause when his photo popped up. After the opening, it was ice cream social time but it was more like an IVC reunion. It was fab to catch up with familiar folk like Roy Gillett, Ana Andrade, Rick Levine, Lynn Bell and my astro brothers Sam Reynolds and Ian Waisler but it was equally magical to meet new friends Cassandra Tyndall (and so many others) in person! I even met a few people I hadn’t seen in, like 10 years.
After a day of lectures, it was time for some more socialising. One thing I hadn’t planned on was joining the boat cruise on Lake Michigan. I mean, I’ve been on Lake Michigan a million times. I thought I’d leave the opportunity for someone from Australia. But as everyone was leaving, I was offered a ticket at the last possible minute. A very handsome astrological researcher (who would be my hot date at the Regulus Awards Dinner) persuaded me to come along. Cruising along the river really made me feel nostalgic. . .and there was so much more of that to come!
Saturday was another day of lectures with a brief interlude of lunch with fellow Brits Kim Farnell and Sue Farebrother and other astro folks. Poor Kim was limping on a broken ankle and I was working hard on persuading Sue to come to India (she gave in!). On a bum note, my Moon is Leo was slightly less than impressed that a certain so-called “academic” from a certain “anonymous” centre could not have been bothered to do a little research on her guests and introduced me as someone she didn’t know. Rude? Just a touch. But it’s OK, I’m not terribly interested in her either! Fortunately, one bum note amongst so much elegance is just about bearable. I’ll try very hard not to hold a grudge. Great Goddess help me.
Saturday night was Jazz night and guess who came as a flapper? Yep. Me and a whole lot of others all seemed to have gotten the same dress in different coloured sequins. But I had pink kitten heeled shoes to match mine 😉 Oh and a blonde wig to preserve my dignity! For a Jazz Night, there was a conspicuous lack of music. I’ve heard of “silent auctions” before but I thought this was taking things to the extreme! I had dressed as a flapper with the hopes of doing The Charleston or something. A few far more creative astrologers managed to set up some impromptu speakers but this was one night that jet lag and bootleg beverages got the better of me.
Sunday morning and I got a message from an old friend. It said something along the lines of: “Get yourself to Church. You can borrow one of my trumpets!” What what what? I thought. But I managed to pull myself together and travelled across town to a local Salvation Army where I met someone I hadn’t seen in about 35 years! You know what old people say when they see each other after a long time? “You haven’t changed a bit!” Yup, that’s what we said to each other! So I went from flapper to playing the trumpet in the Salvation Army band on a Sunday morning in the space of
about 12 hours. Talk about a transformation! I even sang in the choir and surprised myself with sight reading quite a challenging piece. “You can take the girl out of the Salvation Army. . .” someone once said. I had lunch with my friend and his family. It was wonderful to catch up with him and to ask him about life in the Salvation Army. As a teenager I considered becoming a full-time Salvation Army officer. But eventually I knew I was destined for other things. I think I would have eventually felt I was missing our on something if I had to wear black and white every day (never mind the bonnet). But I kept this thought to myself.
Sunday night was the astrology organisations’ party night. It’s supposed to be kind of like a pub crawl but in a hotel. So I went to one party and after about half an hour, security arrived and told us we had to vacate the room. Well OK, we all thought, there’s another party somewhere else. But word was getting around that one by one, the parties were getting shut down. I made it to another when security crashed in again. And then again at another. Well I thought, there’s always tomorrow night! By the way, Richard Smoot wrote a very funny piece (“Saturn Comes to the Party”) in the ISAR Journal about the shut downs!
Monday night was of course the Regulus Banquet. I had a hot date and high heels (no, my hot date wasn’t wearing the high heels!). As always at these things, the food can be a little like school dinners but it was better than a lot of other conference banquets I had been to. And I had my hot date to distract me. And you won’t be surprised to find out I didn’t wear the heels for very long. The awards ceremony was surprisingly moving. There were a few disappointments (bummer that Brits Robert Currey, Roy Gillett, Clare Martin, Melanie Reinhart and Frank Clifford didn’t win one!) but I was very happy for Deb Houlding, David Cochrane and Tem Terriktar! I thought Richard Smoot’s was very well deserved too! And Steven Forrest? I love dat man!
And what opportunities came from UAC! I scored a MAJOR gig for an astrology software program but I can’t say too much more than that. The deadline is in October so you’ll just have to watch this space. I was delighted to finally meet Ena Stanley who I totally bumped into by chance because Rob Hand was hiding in a secret lobby and I just happened to be passing through to avoid the crowd in the foyer. Rob and I had a good old chin wag about some new research we’re both doing. And Ena said she’d be in touch about some courses she wanted me to do. And plans for Constellation News and IVC? Oh yes! I’m also super excited to have re-connected with Kepler College and very pleased to be making more connections with the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR). I had a total blast last summer with a couple of West Coast NCGR chapters. I’m really looking forward to working more with their researchers on new academic projects. And to top it all off, I was asked to lecture at a conference in Portugal next year!
Now with all these distractions, it would be very easy to forget that I was at UAC to deliver a lecture. And deliver a lecture I did! I was on fire! And then I sold some books! And I got some appointments for consultations! So all in all, UAC was a fab way for me to make some connections and get some jingle in my pockets!