Interview with Michael Bartlett: Jupiter and Saturn in the ClassroomSeptember 30, 2019
Rohini Academy: Intro to Tarot CourseOctober 12, 2019
Northern Stars was the first astrology conference to be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It featured 12 lecturers from the Maritimes area–and me who is a Maritimes wannabe.
Mj Patterson (The Halifax Astrologer) likes to blame me for inflicting all the stress and responsibility of the organisation of Northern Stars onto her shoulders. Her version of the story goes that I asked her to arrange a speaking gig for me and before she knew what was happening, it all morphed into a full on conference. My version of the story is that Mj is just an all around major talent, a whirlwind of energy and an unsung hero in astrology.
But I’ve just had to say goodbye to her and I’m feeling like I’ve lost the use of my right arm. And I’m reeling from the news of the death of Australian astrologer Vale Ed Tamplin, CIA agent 42. A tough morning,
But back to the Northern Stars Astrology Conference.
A First for Halifax
Halifax is located on the far Eastern shores of Canada, about a 2 and a half hour flight from LaGuardia airport. The conference venue was the Royal Artillery Park Officers’ Mess. Don’t be put off by the word “mess”. This well respected venue was absolutely charming and perfect for a conference: large yet warm, cosy rooms, a bar and a big kitchen and other excellent facilities. And the Atlantic Ocean was a two minute walk away! As this was the first conference and it is difficult to estimate numbers, most of the speakers/attendees stayed at local air B and Bs or joined me at Mj’s.
The conference lectures were aimed at beginning/mid range astrologers with the basics beautifully covered by first time lecturer Lisa Bland. New Yorker Danny Larkin did an impressive ode to Aphrodite with yours truly delivering the keynote on Astrology and Education.
Northern Stars was my last gig on this tour and I was delighted to have sold all my remaining books! The kindle version of the book is available from Amazon. You can also get the hard copy from the Wessex Astrologer site.
Food at Northern Stars!
Lunch on Saturday afternoon was prepared by none other than retired Brigadier Richard Patterson (Mj’s father). Everyone RAVED about his wonderful seafood chowder and it certainly wins my prize for best lunch at an astrology conference!
An added bonus was that all speakers received a photography session to get the perfect headshot. A big callout to Melody Gilbert-Garnhum for her magnificent talents! All conference organisers will tell you how important professional headshots are: they look far better in programmes than selfies.
The afternoon lecturers included Deborah Clahane, Debbie Stapleton, Chris Reppucci and Wynne Jordan who all delivered highly educational lectures to an enthusiastic audience.
For the evening activities, dinner was a wonderful feast at Rasa’s Indian restaurant, beautifully timed for the festival of Navratri.
Dinner was followed by singing around a fire pit under the auspicious blessings of an overhead Jupiter and Saturn. From the Canadian Astrology Conference, I learned that our Canadian astrologers are a wonderfully talented bunch!
Sunday morning lecturers were Terri Stevens, Emma Boardman, Elodie St Onge Aubut and Mark Douglas. Sunday lunch was at a local sushi restaurant that absolutely spoiled us with a fantastic array of goodies.
We were treated so well at Northern Stars that it was very hard to say good bye to all the guests and speakers. But Mj made sure we had something to remember the event by: a beautiful certificate!
I’m so pleased the Northern Stars Astrology Conference will be an biennial event (on the even years from now on). I, um, got roped in to helped coordinate next year’s conference which will be held on 2-4 October 2020 in Halifax.
Mj Patterson did a wonderful job!
“Shenanigans” is not a word I would normally use! But Mj sort of nailed it into my vocabulary. She wanted me to have the full Halifax experience and I even took a little test to prove it. The post conference shenanigans were ample!
Following the conference (once we recovered), Mj insisted I try a “world famous” donair washed down with a Pony Caesar (kind of a Bloody Mary with a twist and garnished with an onion ring, bacon and other battered and fried vegetables). Like the poutine, a donair is a little too high in fats and salt for a person of my vintage to indulge in too often. But it was a wonderful treat.
Vegetarians, Look Away Now!
Being a sophisticated sort (snork), I have had lobster before–but not a whole one. Mj was going to buy live ones but we didn’t have big enough pots to cook them in. It’s not that I wanted to kill a lobster (although I do think if you choose to eat meat, you should be prepared to kill your food), I was more interested in seeing how they move. I did eventually get to meet a live lobster face to face at Peggy’s Cove.
The sight of seeing Mj crack a (dead) lobster with a hammer is not one I will forget in a hurry–especially as I got covered in lobster juice.
We also shenanigated for CKDU radio along with our friend Emma Boardman. We even did the astrology for, of all things, potty training! Yup, it was a first for me! I was also interviewed by the divine Yasmin Boland for Hay House Radio. The interview was conducted at Dust Jacket Bookstore whilst I did a book signing–which was arranged by Mj of course.
As a way of a thank you, I couldn’t resist “treating” Mj to my version of the theme from Titanic sung from the bow of a ship for the pleasure of Halifax locals.
I enjoyed myself so much in Canada that I decided to apply for Canadian citizenship (technically, I am Canadian but I need the passport to prove it to customs).
As we drink so much tea (me) and coffee(Mj), we decided to paint matching mugs so we’ll remember how much fun we had when I have to return to London. I’m going to miss Mj and Canada so much but as Celine Dion said much better than me “The Heart Will Go On and On”.
Astrology Conferences Around the World
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 (review on this page)
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
The Cosmic Intelligence Agency 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