How to Start a Local Astrology Group
Over the past few years I’ve been involved in forming two separate groups in different locations, so this guide is largely based on my own personal experience in this area.
There are also some tips in this article for how to improve current astrology groups, for those who already organize or attend one.
Introduction – The Importance of Local Astrology Groups
Studying astrology can sometimes be a lonely endeavor, especially early on when you are just getting into the field and you don’t really know where to find other people with similar interests. Some people go years without meeting another astrologer in person, leaving them a bit isolated and disconnected.
As part of my tips for new students of astrology I usually recommend that they eventually start looking around and trying to find other astrologers to connect with, for example by finding a local astrology group that holds meetings in their area, or by attending an astrological conference. Unfortunately this doesn’t always work out for various reasons, like not having enough money to fly somewhere to attend a conference, or not having any local astrology groups in your area.
In such instances it sometimes becomes necessary to take matters into your own hands, and to start your own local astrology group. Maybe you don’t know where to find other astrologers in your area, or maybe there are already other local groups, but you don’t really jive well with them. Whatever the case may be, here are some tips in order to help get you started in creating your own group.
1. Find a location to hold meetings
Most local astrology groups hold monthly meetings somewhere. So, the first thing that you want to do is find a location that has some space where you can hold your meetings.
Most astrology meetings are primarily educational in nature, in the sense that people usually attend them in order to hear someone give a lecture on a specific astrological topic. So, ideally you are looking for a space big enough where someone could give a lecture or a presentation for your group at some point. Of course, there is also a major social component involved in such meetings since people will naturally want to just meet up in order to talk and exchange information as well. It is usually a good idea to find a meeting space that can accommodate both approaches.
The ideal situation is that you are able to find a business of some sort that has a lecture room that you can use in order to hold your meetings each month. Sometimes you can get lucky and you will find a place that will let you use the room for free, while in other instances you may end up being charged a fee in order to use the space.
Either way, you have got to secure a space where you can hold you meetings on a regular before you can do anything. It is usually best that you stick with whatever space you end up finding, that way people know exactly where to find you each time there is a meeting, and you aren’t moving around to different places all the time.
One thing that works particularly well is to look and see if there are any metaphysical or new age bookstores or businesses in your area that might be willing to let you host meetings there. Many of these places are already having regular events for different subjects anyways, so they would probably be willing to work with you in order to set something up for your group.
If that doesn’t work then try looking into other bookstores or coffee shops. Worst case scenario, see if there are any hotels with conference rooms that you can rent for a few hours each month. This may take a small investment on your part, and obviously this will force you to collect some money for the meeting if you are being charged to use the room, but if your group is successful then eventually it will all be worth it.
2. Setup a web page on Meetup.com
Alright, so you’ve found a place where you can hold your meetings. Now you need to find some other people in your area who would be interested in attending the meetings, and then start getting things organized and scheduling some dates.
At this point in the process I would highly recommend setting up a website for your group, as many of these issues will tend to fall into place in the process of getting that set up. More specifically, and this is important, set up an account on the website www.Meetup.com.
What is Meetup.com, you ask? Meetup is this interesting website that has been around for a few years that allows people to organize local interest groups in their area. If you are organizing a group then it is invaluable for the following reasons:
- It allows you to create a website for your group, with no web design knowledge necessary on your part. Having a website for your group is important in this day and age because it gives you greater visibility than just “word of mouth,” and other astrologers will be able to find you through doing Google searches and such.
- When you start your group it will automatically announce to other astrological enthusiasts in your area that a new astrology group is forming. This is important because many times you will find that there are already dozens of people waiting for a new astrology Meetup group to form, and so just by setting up page on Meetup you may gain a bunch of attendees for your meetings right from the start.
- With your Meetup.com page you can schedule dates for future future meetings, allow members to RSVP in advance, rate past meetings, use discussion boards and mailing lists in order to communicate with other group members, etc.
In short, Meetup.com is awesome, and it makes the whole process of organizing a group much easier and more straightforward. I have been using Meetup for my local astrology group in Denver since the beginning, and my friend Kirk Kahn has a very active astrology Meetup in New York as well. In a few years I’m sure that all of the major astrology groups will be using Meetup.
Basically, every astrology group should have a page on Meetup.com. This is the single best thing that any existing astrology group can do in order to improve their group. If you already organize or attend a group that doesn’t have a page with Meetup.com, then suggest it to them.
Unfortunately, such a cool service with so many great features doesn’t come for free, and there is a $20 a month fee for organizing a group on Meetup.com. Initially you may have to make some sacrifices and cover the $20 fee while your group is just getting started, but later on you can ask attendees to pitch in a few bucks in order to help cover the organizational costs, and usually this isn’t a problem.
3. Get some speakers
If you are lucky, perhaps you live in an area where there are a number of notable astrologers who would be willing to come down to give a lecture at one of your meetings. Unfortunately most cities aren’t usually teaming with professional astrologers that are used to giving lectures, and even if you do have a few in your area, they will probably want to be paid in order to give a talk.
So, unless you have some particularly extraordinary personal bravado that enables you to talk local astrologers into giving talks for free, you will probably have to start by holding a few meetings on your own, accumulating some members, and hopefully saving up a little bit of money.
Maybe start out by holding a some discussion groups, or just some casual meet and greet type get-togethers. If you are particularly cocky, you could try giving your own lectures for the first meeting or two, like I did, although this only works if you are incredibly, incredibly gifted.
4. Repetition and consistency are the keys to success
The key to success when you are starting a new local group is just to keep doing it, and to do it consistently.
Set a specific date, place and time where you are going to do your meetings each month, and stick to that schedule. If you do this consistently then people will start working it into their normal monthly routines. They will always know that your meeting is on the second Saturday of the month at 3:00 PM, or what have you.
Before too long you will have a group of regulars who show up at every single one of your meetings.
5. Aim for quality and variety
This is sometimes difficult with local groups where you speaker selection is limited, but one thing that I would recommend is to always aim to have high quality meetings, with intelligent lectures and discussions on the topic of astrology.
I say this because groups don’t just serve a social function in bringing people together to talk about astrology, but they also serve an important role in educating people within the astrological community, as well as those who are outside of the community.
One of the primary goals of all astrological groups is to help educate their members and improve their knowledge of astrology. Having more knowledgeable and well-rounded astrologers in the world is one way to improve the status of the subject in general.
So do your best to make sure that your group is having high quality discussions on the subject that go beyond just the basics of astrology. Encourage people to think about all of the different facets and forms of astrology. Here are just a few ideas along those lines:
- Have book clubs.
- Discuss the history and philosophy of astrology.
- Encourage debate about technical and conceptual principles.
- Invite discussions from a variety of different astrologers with different backgrounds and traditions.
In short, if you are going to organize a local astrology group, then do it well, and do it in a way that advances the subject and creates a smarter and more well-rounded group of astrologers in your area. Not only will this help to improve the astrological community as a whole, but it will make your local group much more appealing to potential attendees in your area.
That is pretty much it for this guide. Basically just find a place to hold meetings, set up a page on Meetup.com, and then do it.
Organizing or attending local astrology meetings is a rewarding experience because it helps to connect you with other people who are passionate about the same subject. If you can’t find any astrology groups in your area, then take the initiative and start your own. It really isn’t that hard, and the benefits far outweigh any challenges. So what are you waiting for?
If anyone has any additional tips or comments about organizing a local astrology group then please let me know in the comments section below.