Astrological Conferences in 2013
Conferences play an important role in the astrological community because they allow astrologers to meet up and interact with each other in person, which is more important than one might initially assume in the Internet Age.
Conferences are also a good educational resource for those who want to hear some of the leading astrologers in the field give lectures on specific astrological topics. Most of the larger conferences have a range of lectures that cover beginner, intermediate, and advanced concepts, so there is usually something for everyone.
My definition of what constitutes a “major” astrological conference is one that has at least 100 people in attendance. This is what differentiates the conferences on this list from some of the smaller workshops and events that take place from time to time in different places.
At the end of the list I will include some tips for attending conferences, for those of you who are new to the scene.
The American Federation of Astrologers Conference
The American Federation of Astrologers 75th Anniversary Conference will be held in Tempe, Arizona from May 2-4, 2013. The title of the conference is “The Art of Prediction: Traditional to Modern,” and the focus will be on ancient and modern approaches to predictive astrology.
This will be a somewhat smaller and more intimate conference that features a plenary format where everyone is in one large room and gets to see the same lectures. There are 6 core speakers: James H. Holden, Demetra George, Benjamin Dykes, Bill Meridian, Shelley Ackerman, and Deb Houlding.
I spoke at the 2011 AFA conference on traditional astrology, and it was a really great conference, so I trust that this one will be as well. The recordings for the 2011 conference are available here.
The Northwest Astrological Conference
The 29th Annual Northwest Astrological Conference (NORWAC) will take place in Seattle, Washington from May 23-27, 2013. NORWAC is a regional conference that tends to draw a lot of people from the northwest, although the family who organizes it has been doing it for about 30 years now, and it tends to draw a few hundred people each year. Since it tends to be more of a medium-sized conference, this makes it a bit easier to meet new people and socialize.
They have a great speaker lineup this year, and one of the awesome bonuses of NORWAC is that they always have an amazing bookstore, because the organizers of the conference are the former owners of one of the largest astrology bookstores in the world, Astrology et al. So, they know a lot about astrology books, and going to the bookstore at the conference is always a major treat.
I will be giving two talks at NORWAC this year. The first will be on the origins of the significations of the houses, and the second will be on the original seven conditions of “affliction” and the corresponding positive conditions of bonification.
The Polish Astrological Association Conference
The 5th Annual Polish Astrological Association Conference will take place in Warsaw, Poland from June 14-16, 2013.
This will be the 5th conference that the Polish Astrological Association (Polskie Stowarzyszenie Astrologiczne) has organized, and they are expecting more than 200 people to attend. It is the largest astrological conference in Poland.
The National Council of Geocosmic Research Conference
The National Council of Geocosmic Research Conference will take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from August 15-19, 2013. The title of the conference is “Everything Under the Sun: The Art of Astrology.”
The NCGR is one of the largest astrological organizations in the world, so this will probably be the biggest conference of the year. There are over 50 speakers who are scheduled to give lectures and workshops, and so we should expect several hundred people to be in attendance from around the world.
Because of the size of the conference, this one will have the largest range of speakers to choose from, covering most of the major astrological traditions. They will also have some awesome pre- and post-conference workshops, as well as some great free-speech lectures from up-and-coming speakers.
I will be giving a lecture and a workshop at the NCGR conference this year. For the workshop I will be teaching attendees how to use an ancient Hellenistic time-lord technique in order to determine periods in a person’s life in which some of their most important relationships will take place. You can read the full workshop description here.
The Astrological Association of Great Britain Conference
The 45th Annual Astrological Association of Great Britain Conference will take place in Wyboston, Bedford, UK from September 27-29, 2013. The title of the conference is “The Magic of Astrology.”
The Astrological Association is the largest astrological organization in the United Kingdom, and they host what I believe is the largest annual astrological conference in Europe. It features a pretty diverse array of speakers, representing both the traditional and the modern approaches to astrology.
One of the unique features of this conference is an archeoastronomy track, which looks like it will feature some interesting lectures from Nick Campion, Bernadette Brady, Frances Clynes, and others.
The State of the Art Conference
The State of the Art Astrology Conference (SOTA) will take place in Niagara Falls, New York from October 24-27, 2013.
SOTA was started by astrologer Donna Van Toen in 1993, and it is billed as being the only annual astrology conference in Canada.
The full speaker list for this year’s conference has not been posted yet, although I assume that it will be shortly.
The Federation of Australian Astrologers Conference
The Federation of Australian Astrologers International Conference will take place in Hobart, Tasmania from January 23-27, 2014. The slogan of the conference is “Finding New Ways of Growth: Exploring Nature from the Ashes of Greed.”
This is the only conference on the list that takes place in 2014 rather than 2013, but it is close enough that I don’t want to leave it out, since it is a major conference.
They have a great lineup of international and local speakers from Australia, and it looks like it will be a really good conference.
General Tips About Attending Astrological Conferences
Here are some general notes and tips about attending astrological conferences:
- All of these conferences have early-bird specials where you are able to register for the conference at a discounted rate if you sign up early. So, generally speaking, if you are planning on attending a conference then it is better to sign up earlier rather than later, as the prices do tend to go up the closer you get to the actual date of the conference.
- One good way to cut down on the costs associated with attending a conference is to share a hotel room with one or more people. So, find someone you know who is attending the conference and see if they want to be your roommate. Or sometimes you can contact the organizers of the conference, and they can let you know if there is anyone who is looking for a roommate.
- If your budget is tight this year but you still really want to attend a conference, try looking around to see if there are any volunteer positions or scholarships available. Some local and national astrological organizations offer scholarships for people to attend conferences. The conference organizers also sometimes need volunteers in order to help do things at the conference, and sometimes they will waive the admission fee for the conference in exchange for you doing some work for them at the conference. Unfortunately as a volunteer sometimes you will end up working more than attending lectures, but you still get in for free, so it can be a good tradeoff if money is tight but you are still passionate about astrology.
- At most of the major conferences there is at least one major banquet, which usually takes place towards the end of the conference. It is usually a good idea to sign up for these, since it is a good place to meet new friends, and sometimes there are important lectures or award ceremonies that take place in the same room. For the rest of the conference it is usually fine to go elsewhere to eat, but try to make it to the main banquet if you can.
- Although it is a good idea to look at the lectures available and try to attend the conference that seems to cater to your own specific astrological interests more, it is also a good idea to sit in on some lectures that are outside of your own specific area of interest or study as well, as you might learn something new that you didn’t even know you were missing. One of the main benefits of these conferences is that they bring together astrologers from a number of different traditions and approaches, so you have the opportunity to expose yourself to many different ways of doing astrology during the course of the week. Don’t miss the opportunity by only focusing on one tradition or approach.
- As I said at the beginning of this article, conferences are important because they allow astrologers to meet up in person and build friendships that will last a lifetime. The educational aspect of the conferences is important, but it is not the only thing. You should definitely attend lectures, but try to meet some people and build some connections as well, as this is also a good way to learn more about astrology.
Other Conferences and Events
There are a number of other smaller conferences, workshops and events taking place around the world in 2013 as well. There are probably too many to list here, so check with the local astrological organizations in your area in order to see if there is anything going on near you.
If you know of any other major astrological conferences that I missed then please let me know in the comments section below.