I HIGHLY recommend that starry fans attend at least one conference for astrologers in their lifetime. The International Society of Astrological Research (ISAR) is putting on their astrology conference 10-14 September 2020 in Westminster Colorado.
If you’ve never been to a conference for astrologers or if you think you wouldn’t enjoy one, then I think you should get out of your comfort zone and come to ISAR. ISAR is quite big, but not massive (some people found UAC a little overwhelming). You will be sure to find people that you really enjoy being with. To read my review of a previous ISAR conference, check this out. There are links to other quality conferences for astrologers at the end and embedded all over this post. With 14 top-quality conferences to choose from, there WILL be something to suit you.
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By the way, the conferences I’ve reviewed are ones I’ve actually attended. I’ve yet to get to the NCGR conference but, having heard wonderful things about it, it’s definitely on my to do list!
And for you lot who complain that ISAR is too American–it so isn’t. The “International” isn’t in ISAR without good reason: on their website they list links with over 21 countries (I notice they forgot South Africa!) but they are constantly surprising me with their connections. Their Star Club webinars, (free each week for members), features astrologers from around the world. They also support astrology conferences around the world: IVC (India), ASPAS (Portugal), Associazione Cultural Jayavidya (Italy), Kepler (Serbia) and Northern Stars (Canada) are all ISAR affiliated astrology conferences.
ISAR have called me an “Astrology Conference Ace” for a very good reason: I’ve been to just about all of the big ones all over the world and believe me when I say, I know what I like in an astrology conference. I don’t go to astrology conferences because I like hotels or enjoy Banquet Dinners or spending money needlessly (I actually have a lot to say about this in point 2 below) or jet lag or unpacking when I get home. I LOVE meeting new people, networking and getting involved with astrology organisations (can you feel that unaspected, angular Mercury as ruling planet?).
For many, many reasons, ISAR is one of my favourites and I don’t want you to miss out. In fact, I’m so used to hearing excuses why folks don’t want to come to astrology conferences that I can argue with them even before they open their mouths to tell me why!
So here are my top reasons why you should get yourself to a conference for astrologers! The next one I’m going to is ISAR 2020 but there are other conferences for astrologers between now and then! I hope you’ll come to one!
Back when I was a beginning astrologer, I actually thought there were only a few astrologers in the world. I had ONE book that I had worn out and had no idea how to meet other astrologers. Then one day, I came across an astrology camp and I met Jonathan Cainer and loads of other astrologers including my now perennial conference roomie Mj Patterson. Jon let me RAID his astrology library, tolerated my endless questions and eventually even loaned me his laptop so I could take astrology exams. (I lost track of Mj but re-discovered her 16 years later at SOTA)
Now I think it’s fair to say I wore that poor man out. But he opened my eyes to the world of astrology. Even now, I can hear him say: “It’s a big world out there, Alex.” What can I say? I listened to him! And I knew I’d find Mj again.
Conferences for astrologers are a wonderful opportunity to meet people from around the world and hear what’s going on in astrology. There will be lectures (and a lot to choose from) but there will also be plenty of opportunities to chat with others.
And if you still think “OMG, I don’t know anyone” well then find me. I’ll talk to anyone.
I hear people say they “can’t afford” to come to an astrology conference all the time. To a degree, I can see where these people are coming from. But astrology conferences don’t have to be expensive. I put away £20 a week (most weeks) and I have a few tricks to cut the corners on expenses:
Use skyscanner.com for your flights and book a few weeks in advance on a Tuesday (not joking). That’s where I get my flights from and I’ve never found better bargains elsewhere. Sometimes it also pays to fly to one of the bigger airports then take the train or bus the rest of the way. I took the Greyhound from Detroit to Denver and loved it. I also took Amtrak from LA to Santa Fe and thought it was one of the smartest things I had ever done.
And who could forget the “Love Train” from NYC to Chicago to UAC?
Getting to the venue will probably be your biggest expense but there’s still a few other tricks:
Get a roommate for the hotel–instantly cuts your expenses in half. I always get 3 roommates–it makes the other affordable option (staying at a local hostel) look expensive. I had a BLAST at UAC with my three roomies. Do make sure you know who you’re bunking with–after one disaster, I’m VERY careful!
If a conference for astrologers frowns on you sharing a room (and there are a few), you have to ask yourself why and who is benefitting. I find staying in a hotel to be incredibly lonely and I like to have people to talk to.
You don’t have to eat out 3 times a day. What? I bring edible goodies like peanut butter and savoury biscuits (those would be “crackers” to you Americans) and my roomies bring their stashes too. Mj usually gets the protein shakes in and with contributions from the other roomies, you have a pretty good sized picnic going. And of course, once you get to where you’re supposed to be, a run to a supermarket is always a possibility. Those concentrated flavour drops for water are perfect for mixers or for a free drink (don’t forget to bring your water bottle!).
If you imbibe in the demon alcohol, hotel drinks are wildly expensive so don’t forget to hit the duty free at the airport. Want to make quick friends? Bring a bottle to share or host a room party.
You don’t have to go to the Banquet (by the way, the Canadian Astrology Conference wins my award for Best Food at a Banquet!). These are expensive and although they are great fun, not everyone goes–you’ll find company if you choose not to go. If you do go, it’s fun to dress to the nines.
Oh and every time I think I “need” to spend that £20 I’m supposed to be saving for ISAR, I’ll ask myself “Do you really need to eat out or do you want to go to an astrology conference?” Gets me on the couch watching Netflix with my cat every time!
There will be a lot of speakers and a lot of lectures to choose from. I never plan who I’m going to see in advance and prefer the spontaneous approach.
You’re going to pick up lots of new ideas to expand your range as an astrologer and that includes making your practice run more smoothly.
You don’t have to attend every single lecture. In fact, 3 or 4 a day is about all I can manage. Then I have to go out and get some fresh air.
It is such a relief for me to talk the language of the stars with other people. You’ll meet people you have only met on social media and you’ll meet the people who have written your favourite astrology books. You’ll hear all the behind-the-scenes stories of every conference for astrologers and you’ll get the lowdown on all the exciting fallouts between astrologers. But mostly you’ll really enjoy floating your theories about house systems or which zodiac to use. Not all your learning will take place in a lecture hall!
Here’s a pro tip: don’t pack your suitcase to the weight limit before leaving your home for the conference. You’ll want to save lots of space and weight. This is for all the books and other goodies you’re going to buy at the conference!
If you’ve written a book, conferences are a good place to sell your book. At all the conferences I’ve reviewed in this post, I sold enough books to pretty much cover my expenses. This “infomercial” is my way of thanking them!
There’s no shortage of astrology groups. At ISAR 2016, there was an organisation Open Night where each organisation had a room with prizes, games and other goodies. I became an Agent for the Cosmic Intelligence Agency when I met my Australian buddy Julija Simas at ISAR 2016. I’m now involved with AFAN, NCGR, AYA, OPA and other organisations too.
If it weren’t for conferences for astrologers, I never would have visited India, Australia, Cape Town or travelled across the US and Canada. This is straight up true.
Every conference has plenty to offer: I went sailing with Rob Hand in Cape Town, had dinner with Komilla Sutton in Sedona, photobombed Ray Merriman at ISAR 2016 (and drank all his beer), saw a rocket launch at the Kepler Conference, hung out with Serbian politician Branka Stamenkovic in Belgrade, danced with Maurice Fernandez in Kolkata and listened to lectures where Placidus himself used to listen to lectures in Perugia Italy.
Conferences for astrologers are places where opportunities that would not usually come to you drop into your lap. Come to an astrology conference ready to do business, watch what other astrologers do and keep your ears OPEN. There will be all kinds of invitations to contribute to magazines, webinars, lecture to local groups and get involved in what you’re passionate about!
You can’t be around astrologers all weekend and not come away with tons of ideas on how to be a better astrologer!
Stop with all the excuses and get yourself to a conference for astrologers!
I will be speaking at ISAR 2020 with a lot of other very fine astrologers. My plans? I have a few tentative speaking engagements (tbc) at some NCGR venues. But at ISAR I’ll be taking a few of their exams and then I’m heading to Seattle. From there, I’m taking the Amtrak to Detroit to see my family before heading north to Halifax and the Northern Stars Astrology Conference.
I always figure that while I’m across the pond, I might as well get as much out of it as I can!
Serious astrologers should endeavour to visit at least one conference for astrologers 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.”
Here’s a list of my favourite astrology conferences around the world with links to my reviews!
Top Pick for 2020:
For great opportunities, friendliness and its international connections, ISAR is my top pick for 2020 (but also check out NORWAC and the up and coming Northern Stars Conferences). SVAC is a must for Vedic astrologers or for Western astrologers who want to learn Vedic techniques (beautiful venue too). In Europe, Italy, Serbia and Latvia hold good-sized conferences annually. For armchair travellers, it’s worth subscribing to ISAR or CIA as they hold a lot of webinars.
Here’s my review for ISAR: International Society for Astrological Research, various locations in the US, every other year in the autumn. Next one is 10-13 September 2020 near Denver Colorado. Please check their website for details as they have events before and after the main conference.
North America and Canada:
Canadian Astrology Conference, held every other year in September (next conference in 2021)
Northern Stars Astrology Conference, 25-27 September 2020, Halifax Nova Scotia
United Astrology Conference, (UAC) various locations in the US, every four years in May
Northwest Astrology Conference, (NORWAC) Seattle Washington, every year in June
State of the Art Astrology, (SOTA) Buffalo NY every year in October (sadly organiser Donna Van Toen has died and further plans are now unclear)
Sedona Vedic Astrology Conference(SVAC), 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
The Cosmic Intelligence Agency (CIA) holds some truly amazing workshops and other events, many are online too
CINASTRO, online conference from Brazil. Sign up for their newsletter for more information
My lecture schedule is here