Ever since the Organization for Professional Astrology (OPA) formed (as Prosig) back in 1989, our annual meeting has been the centerpiece of our work to help astrologers do better astrology and generally improve the field.
At first we held conferences lasting one, two, and three days; exclusively designed to present anything and everything that could improve the life of the professional astrologer. We talked about professional standards, ethics, setting fees, the methods and manners of forecasting, accounting practices, and many other professional issues. We also observed each other in the process of reading charts; we talked about sessions that didn’t go as planned. In a word, we got involved in each other’s professional lives.
We perfected many professional skills between 1989 and 2001 through our newsletters and conferences. In 2002 we took all of the material from our earlier conferences and condensed them into a peer-review process and formulated a three-day weekend experience we called The Astrologer’s Retreat. It was wildly successful. But, we were not satisfied with our success; we wanted to improve on it. And we did, and continue to do so.
The retreat has two main components; the large group experience and the small group experience.
The large group experience happens with all of us gathering together for a time during the day (usually morning) when we all listen to the same speakers or participate in the same forum or workshop.
The small group experience happens with participants working a set protocol in a pre-assigned group with a trained leader guiding the direction of the work. This work was detailed out in an article in “The Mountain Astrologer” called “Astrology’s Next Step” (The Mountain Astrologer - issue #133 June/July 2007)
The group leaders meet once a month throughout the year and keep working on the retreat experience. The retreat has been expanded to four days with the first day being an educational experience aimed at improving our practice, regardless of what system of astrology is being used. This innovation was greeted and embraced with enthusiasm and has been an added refinement to the program.
We added specialty tracks where participating individuals would be able to choose to work with one teacher and work through a particular system: Vedic, Uranian, Psychological, etc. This addition was so successful that we decided to use this model for all our groups. Consequently, everyone chooses a group to be in at the time of registering. You can be in a beginner’s group, if you know little or even no astrology; you can choose a forecasting group if you have been at it for a long time; you can choose to work with a group to improve your business skills; or you can choose to learn a different astrological system. The group leaders are vastly different from each other, but all very skilled in their own right.
You might ask, what makes a retreat different from a regular astrology conference?
Retreats are an emotional as well as an intellectual experience.
Unlike regular astrology conferences, retreats offer an opportunity to:
Develop genuine intimacy with other astrologers
Deeply study one aspect of the field
Give you space and time for personal exploration
Intimacy is real at the retreat; a lasting emotional bond can be formed with each member of your group at the retreat; life long friendships can develop, and the beginnings of a personal and professional support group can be the natural extension from the time spent with your peers. Bonding is deep, personal, and lasting.
Instead of attending ten lectures for an hour each, you get the chance to work with one teacher for fifteen hours. You can really absorb and practice a technique or method and ask questions of the person you have chosen to study with. The connection with your peers, who are also studying with your leader, gives a lively dynamic potency to the work, which leaves you with knowledge that you can directly apply to your career when you leave the retreat. You will know a subject in depth by the end of the retreat.
Whereas, most conferences that people attend are focused externally, retreats are actually focused on you, more than the subject matter. As a consequence, you are led by the logic of experience to embark on a deep, personal exploration. At the end of the retreat you will know something more about yourself, your strengths, your limitations, etc. than you did before coming to this event. This unique integration of the subjective and objective components of experience is what makes the retreat a truly wonderful and empowering event in the lives of every participant.
We at OPA believe that we have designed an experience, for astrologers, which has the ability to transform the field of astrology — one astrologer at a time. The Astrologer’s Retreats unite the head and the heart for each participant.
Join us at the next retreat for the time of your life!