For those who were unaware, there was a traditional astrology conference in Tempe, AZ this past weekend. Fortunately, I was able to attend. It was my very first conference, and I’m really glad I got to go. I met a lot of interesting people who I’m really looking forward to meeting again at UAC in New Orleans, assuming I get the funds to go (it’s eight months away, I can do it, right?). So, the conference was from Thursday the 22nd until Saturday the 24th, pretty short, but it had a wealth of information presented in it. There were over 100 people in attendance, which I’m told was many times more what they expected to have.
So, the first day was sort of an introductory day. Got to mingle and meet people. I was the youngest person there (they don’t give trophies for that), so everyone I met assumed I was new to the subject, it didn’t help that it was my first conference which ended up giving them more testimony to their assumptions. It doesn’t help that they were kind of correct, many Hellenistic techniques (which was the topic of the conference) were new to me. Mostly I’m a student of Medieval astrology which tends to be a lot like Hellenistic, but with more things added on top of it. Though, as generally happens from one time period to the next, things get left out. Plus, as a student of horary and electional, the topics concerning natal astrology were new to me as well. See? I told you I learned some things.
Okay, now the lectures. First, we had an introduction given by the AFA president. Her introduction was…weird. It seemed more like an attempt of reconciliation between modern and traditional astrology…at a traditional astrology conference. The news flash here is that 100% of the people there have experience with modern astrology. We got it. Essentially, the main messages (plural) were “it’s not always good to revere the past” (a la nostaliga syndrome) and “look to the future”. Somewhere in the middle of this, I’m pretty sure she likened traditional astrology to snake venom which could either kill you or give you an erection for a long time. The real kicker was that this whole thing was supposed to be an introduction to the keynote speaker James Holden.
The second day was the first full day of lectures. The topics were still rather basic. The speakers (Demetra George, Chris Brennan, and Benjamin Dykes) gave talks on the signs, aspects, houses, history of traditional astrology, that sort of thing. After the lectures were over, we got to go to the AFA headquarters right there in Tempe, AZ. We got to go in there and see their library, have some wine, and eat a bit of finger food. To me, the crown jewel of this library was a very old copy of William Lilly’s Christian Astrology they had on the shelf. Unfortunately it was on the Do Not Touch shelf…so I couldn’t touch it (don’t think I didn’t try, I just couldn’t get anyone to cover me while I did it). I got to sit at a table two seats away from James Holden (I was star struck) and get involved in that conversation which sort of jumped everywhere from the modern planets to Chinese Astrology and everything inbetween.
The final day saw the more advanced lectures, or what is better known as “My Brain ‘Asplode Day”. That day we covered such diverse topics as Ascentional Times, Plantary Periods, Zodiacal Releasing, Annual Profections, and Return charts. Yeah…like I said. I took a lot of notes that day, and am still trying to read through them all and make some sense of it. The good part is, the conference sort of gave me a fresh wind on astrology, so I’m excited about that. Also the speakers discussed astrological philosophy, sort of a “what type of astrologer are you?” on the sliding scales of determinism vs free will and causal vs signifying. I’ll be posting a separate article about that later. There was a closing statement made about unity…
My conference was rather adventurous, I had a great time and hated that I had to leave. Looking forward to seeing everyone again. 🙂 For those of you who missed out on the conference, the speakers recorded their lectures, and may have them purchasable in the near future. So keep your eyes out.