QOTM New Moon Sagittarius 2014 Making conferences more fun!

As astrologers we each have our style, preferences, and orientation for our practice. Every month, we choose a question about our professional astrology practice, and collect your responses here.
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Full Name: Boaz Fyler
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QOTM New Moon Sagittarius 2014 Making conferences more fun!

Postby Boaz » Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:01 pm

Greetings OPA members,

Here is the new question for this month:

What makes you want to go to an astrology conference? What were the parts you loved most about conferences you took part in in the past? What were your least favorite parts?

Let's make conferences more fun for all of us! Please send in your input by December 22nd' To:


Thank you!

User avatar
OPA supporter
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri May 02, 2014 7:59 pm
Full Name: Boaz Fyler
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: QOTM New Moon Sagittarius 2014 Making conferences more f

Postby Boaz » Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:22 pm

Greetings OPA members!

Here are all your wonderful answers:

Chris McRae

With the greatly increased interest in astrology over the past few years, there are so many ways to study and learn: from local teachers, via the internet and the ever increasing number of Webinars. But it is impersonal, just like texting instead of a warm and friendly voice on the telephone. This is certainly not meant as a critical analysis, merely an observation. It is electronic information, quickly assimilated and perhaps even quickly forgotten because it comes in an endless stream without much time for assimilation.
I go to astrology conferences, not only for the great variety of lectures and topics but for the human touch, the friendships built over the years, and the heartfelt appreciation we have for each other and the work we are doing. The people I have met over so many years have become “my family”, my brothers/sisters/aunts/uncles/cousins. The love is deep and full of appreciation for who they are and what they have contributed to the vast reservoir of knowledge and opinions that I have been subjected to over the years, as well as what I can glean at a conference in only a few days. There are far too many that have affected me very deeply to mention here but I see their faces tumbling through my mind and hear their words of knowledge and wisdom.

The small conferences are intimate and reservoirs of knowledge at lectures, or over a cup of coffee, or glass of wine. I think of NORWAC, GLAC, SOTA, and the intimacy of the OPA Retreats, many of each that I have attended. UAC, of course, is so vast that some of the intimacy is lost in the mad dash from one end of a hotel to the other, from one class to another, from one activity to another. I love the UAC’s due to the concentration of friends and associates I have not seen for a long time but I feel some of the warmth and intimacy is lost on its vastness and in its competitive nature. Feelings and dreams are squashed if not chosen on its large faculty.

My favorite, of course, is the one in between which is ISAR. I have been a co-coordinator for several of the ISAR Conferences, including the one held recently in Phoenix. Our attempt was to have as many exciting and knowledgeable speakers as we could afford, and to provide an environment of community and exchange of ideas rather than always being the recipient of ideas. The out-take comments indicated that it met many of its goals for many of the attendees. The morning round table coffee chats that replaced morning plenaries, seemed exceptionally well received for this very reason. And the times in between seemed ample for sharing.

I hope there will always be a place for live conferences so that we will continue to be enriched by the presence of each other. My heart is so full thinking of you all.


Astrological Conferences are places I go to recharge and rediscover why I
love astrology, enjoy community, make new friends and keep up with the
changes that are part of our ever growing community.

I enjoy listening to speakers, particularly international speakers because
I always learn something new, and I like the perspective that astrologers
working and living in other countries bring to my limited world view. I
love meeting new people and I particularly remember in 1992 going to
lectures by members of ProSig, a special interest group of NCGR before it
became OPA. I met the most wonderful people and almost immediately felt
like I'd found my astrological family.

Astrologers keep making new discoveries, and developing ideas that can
help me do better astrology and run a better practice. Most of where I
learn this is at conferences. Sharing ideas and talking with other
professionals and students is a great joy.

At big conferences, the only thing I don't like is having to miss a
certain lecture to attend another one, and sometimes there is so much to
do and take in that before long I'm overwhelmed and exhausted.

After my students have studied with me for three or four years I start
insisting that they find a conference to attend. For many of them it's a
turning point where they discover how much they really know.

Cindy Chamberlin

ISAR was the first conference I attended. I had a strong desire to attend because of all the astrologers I would meet there, but more than anything I got to meet so many interesting people from all walks of life. I learned how they learned astrology, and there were many different paths and beliefs that helped them on their path. I got to sit down and eat dinner with about 7 other women I had never met before. I loved this the most, because it was not a planned thing, but it just happened and was very interesting to be a part of. It all was an exciting experience, and I loved the Native American culture at the resort. I’m going to be honest here, but the least favorite part of the conference was I found many astrologers to be rather groupy, and not so open to meet new people, as I expected different, and maybe my expectations were too high. However I know now. At times, it kind of reminded me of being in high school and hanging out with the most popular. You were either considered popular and hung out with the elite. You had to fit certain standards to be considered . But, I had a great time overall! I didn’t go there to be in the most popular group. I went there to experience fun, spirituality, and learn astrology. I did indeed….

Kathryn Andren

What makes me want to go to an astrology conference is meeting other astrologers and a unique opportunity to learn something new directly from powerful teachers and speakers. In the past I have attended The River of Stars and ISAR. It was an awesome and wonderful experience to connect with other people who all speak astrology yet share a wide variety of ideas. There is amazing brain power at these conferences as well as deep heart connections. Least favorite is large conferences, when too many things are happening at once. I prefer a more intimate conference experience, since I don’t want to miss a thing! Looking forward to The River of Stars on Big Island Hawaii this March 2015. Aloha mai - welcome!

Arlan Wise

I go to astrology conferences to see my friends and to make new friends. We are so spread out across the world and even though there may be daily connection through Facebook and forums and email, there is nothing like being with someone in person. I attended the AAGB conference this past September. I hadn't been to one of their conferences in eight years and it was so wonderful to see my British friends and colleagues again and have that concentrated time to be with them, eat with them, and talk and talk.
I always learn something when I go to a conference. My very first conference was in 1978, a NASO conference in Atlanta run by Henry Weingarten. I came home thinking "I know what they know" and started my practice by taking my first client and charging money instead of doing free readings for friends. I also had the honor of meeting mark Edmund Jones there.
I have met some wonderful people at conferences who have become my dear friends. I think of meeting Robert Blaschke at a NORWAC conference and how by the end of the conference we had connected so deeply. (Don't we all miss him?)
I attended two seminars in the 80's that were given by Liz Green and Richard Idemon. I loved being with those two teachers for 3 days and going into the material in great depth. After that I stopped going to conferences because I missed the concentration of working with the same teacher for an extended time. That's why when we started the OPA retreats I felt we were on to something very special.
In 1994 I saw an ad for a conference that was focused on being a professional astrologer and thought that this was something different and useful, and I signed up. That conference was run by Prosig and that began my long connection with OPA.
My frustrations with conferences are that there are usually too many choices. I hate to miss hearing one speaker because another one is scheduled at the same time. I don't like trying to learn a new technique in only 1 - 1 1/2 hours. I come home and am not able to use it since there wasn't enough time to absorb it and practice it under a teacher's guidance. I also have a complaint with most of the hotels we stay in, especially in the big conferences, hotels where you can't open the windows in the rooms and are limited in the choice of food. But that is minor compared to the richness of the experience of going to a conference. I think OPA has solved the hotel problem in our choices of venues and that the only choice one has to make is the track leader which is done when you sign up

Donna Young

I always think that when I go to an astrology conference I'm going to come away vastly more filled with knowledge. And if I'm going to spend a bunch of money travelling, I always prefer to go somewhere I'd want to visit anyway. But the reality is that what I love most about conferences is the chance I have to connect with my tribe. I burn the candle at both ends and leave happily exhausted. My least favorite thing is when presenters use their speaking platform as an infomercial for their next course or project. If I've paid to learn something I want to learn something, not listen to how I have to spend more money to get anything out of it.

Alexandra Karacostas

I have been attending conferences for decades. One of my first large ones was the AFA in Chicago when AFAN was formed, many moons ago. I found it all so exciting! Since then I have attended many conferences, big and small and continue to find them all gratifying.
I absolutely love connecting with my astrological friends and family and this is the easiest way to see many people at once. I appreciate all the information and the opportunity to expand my skills and grow as an astrologer.
At this point, I prefer smaller events, less than 200 or even smaller. I find I get more quality time in both classes and with friends/colleagues. I especially like multiple day retreats and workshops because of the deeper learning experiences, personally and professionally.
I look forward to going to the next UAC and was sorry I missed ISAR this year. But I was attending AAGB in the UK which was excellent!
More than anything, I value our community of astrologers. My least favorite part is becoming overwhelmed by way too much stimulation and information. But I am willing to pay that price :-)

Sandra Leigh Serio

I like to go to astrology conferences to reconnect with other astrology friends and meet new ones. I love conferences that have interesting and entertaining openings. The best was ISAR in September of 2014 - the hoop dancer was superb. The one I was not fond of was a UAC that had a magician at the opening ceremonies. I did not find it entertaining.

Smaro Sotiraki

I do like to go to astrology conferences to listen interesting thoughts from other astrologers. I love make new astrologers friends and communicate about my beloved astrology.

Kay Taylor

Mostly I go to conferences to meet up with friends from around the world. Over the years I have become less interested in sitting in conference rooms listening to lectures. I prefer to buy the recordings and listen while I drive. I find I retain and enjoy the information more fully when I listen for 10 or 15 min and ponder that piece for the day. I prefer to go to conferences with a good location, especially with nature to explore. I loved the resort for the recent ISAR conference in Arizona, surrounded with nature, lots of swimming pools and a great spa. I like Asilomar very much and am happy OPA is going back there again. The boutique conference ISAR held in Castello Montegufoni outside of Firenze in 2006 was fantastic.

June Morrow

I joined OPA because it's retreats are totally different from a conference style. I love the total immersion in an area that I'm interested in with a well-qualified Astrologer leading that particular topic in the retreat. I feel that total immersion is a much better 'teacher' than the conference style.

The conference style, for me, was very frustrating most of the time because of having several different Astrologers discussing a topic I was interested in at the same time. I've been to many, many conferences and have given most of the up because of the frustration mentioned earlier.

Also, conferences are getting expensive and to go to one where much is left to be desired is not giving me, especially, my money's worth.

Having the smaller, topic intense retreat has been so helpful and especially enlightening for me.

Maurice Fernandez

Astrology conferences are crucial to the development of the community and the profession. This is where astrologers, who are often isolated in their own study or practice, can meet and learn from leaders in the field and from each other. Many times, I hear people reflecting that they finally feel at home at astrology conferences, and can finally speak the same language as everyone else, without having to hide or feel misunderstood.
Each conference has its unique qualities, so it is hard to generalize the best and least favorite aspects of it, but it is obvious that the important aspects of the conference are community and learning. I’m delighted when I’m coming out of a talk with new food for thought. Meeting old friends and being able to network is also high on my list.
What can make it difficult for me is the location often chosen for the conferences. It is difficult to find good venues that can accommodate large numbers of attendees, because clearly, staying in corporate hotels with recycled air, never ending carpeted corridors, and no sun beam, can be difficult for me. After 3 to 4 days, I often develop allergies.

Thank you all, have a great month and may the skies continue whisper their secrets to us all!

Boaz Fyler
OPA Community Outreach

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