astrology news

United Astrology Conference to Take Place in May

United Astrology Conference 2012The United Astrology Conference, otherwise known as UAC, is set to take place in New Orleans just two months from now, from May 24-29, 2012.

UAC only takes place every few years, when all of the major astrological organizations get together and pool their resources in order to host a huge conference, with hundreds of speakers and thousands of attendees.

The last United Astrology Conference took place in Denver in 2008, and it was a really amazing conference, so expectations are high that this one will be as well.

The organizations that are sponsoring the conference are the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR), the International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR), the Association for Astrological Networking (AFAN), the Council of Vedic Astrology (CVA), and the American College of Vedic Astrology (ACVA).

I’m personally looking forward to the conference because there is a great lineup of speakers, and there are a lot of lectures that I’m interested in attending.  At most normal astrological conferences there might only be one or two lectures that you really want to attend, but with UAC there are so many lectures going on in so many different areas that the real problem becomes choosing between them.

I do think that the organizers made a mistake this time around by not creating a specific track for traditional astrology, which is somewhat disappointing, although the history track that is being organized by Nick Campion seems like it will have a decent mixture of technical and historical talks, and there are a number of traditional talks scattered throughout the other tracks.

I will be presenting two lectures at the conference, one titled Hellenistic Astrology as the Study of Fate, and the other titled The Theory and Practice of the Arabic Parts or Lots.

Regulus Awards

One of the highlights of each United Astrology Conference is the Marion D. March Regulus Awards, which is an award ceremony where members of the astrological community are recognized for contributions that they have made to the field.

Nominations for the Regulus Awards are made several months in advance, and members of each of the sponsoring organizations are able to cast a ballot, with the results being announced at the award ceremony during UAC.

The Regulus Awards have been going on since 1989, and because UAC is one of the only instances where a large part of the professional astrological community is brought together in one place, the award is easily the most prestigious one that exists in the field today.

There are five different categories that are voted on:

  1. Discovery, Innovation and Research
  2. Education
  3. Theory and Understanding
  4. Community Service
  5. Professional Image

The nomination that I feel the most strongly about this year is in the fourth category, where Alois Treindl has been nominated for an award for community service.  Treindl is the founder and director of the company Astrodienst, which is primarily known for their website which offers free chart calculation services,

Anyone who has read my blog for a while knows that I’m a huge fan of Astrodienst, as their free chart calculation services and other resources were instrumental in the first few years of my studies of astrology.  Without their website I don’t think that I would have been able to progress as quickly as I did, and I think that this is true for many other people who are in the field today.

So, even if it was just for the free chart calculation services alone I think that Alois Treindl deserves a Regulus Award for community service, given the effect that his company has had in helping new people to enter the field.  But that’s not all Astrodienst has done for the community.  They also produce the Swiss Ephemeris, which has long been the industry standard for most astrological software programs in order to calculate charts.

More recently, in 2009, they acquired the birth data collection known as AstroDatabank, and then proceeded to post the entire database online for free on their website.  They have also taken steps to expand and improve the database, ensuring that it will continue to grow in the future.  The significance of their work here can’t be understated, since the collection of birth data has long-range implications for the viability of our field, since that is what many of us rely upon in order to do research in natal astrology.

So for those reasons I will be voting for Alois Treindl for a Regulus Award for community service, and I would encourage others to do the same as well.

Other Events

Other than the Regulus Awards, there will be a lot of other events at the conference as well.   All of the organizations are holding pre-conference workshops on various community-oriented topics, and there are a number of other technical workshops being offered as well.  For entertainment Michael Lutin is organizing a play, and there is some kind of bowling night as well, although I’m sure that most of the best entertainment will take place during some of the parties in the larger suites late at night.

All in all it should be a great conference, and I’m really looking forward to it.  I hope to see you there!

Update May 22, 2012:  astrologers are using the hashtag #UAC2012 on Twitter in order to talk about the conference live.