Astrology Conferences and retreats around the Globe

Agent 81 – Demetrius Bagley

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Whether you are a student of astrology, hobbyist or any kind of professional, I strongly recommend meeting up with fellow tribe members. That might be at a meetup, class, group setting, or one of my favorites, a conference.

Conferences happen every so many months in various spots around the world. At each, a number of name and other astrologers present work that is old or new, basic or complex, and so on. It is definitely a way to fill yourself up at a metaphorical buffet of astrology knowledge, and to see what you really know.

It’s also a fantastic way to connect with people who speak and adore what some call ‘astrologese’ – the language of astrology that most others are unfamiliar with. I find astrologer conferences to be a definite mix of professional gathering meets family reunion swirled with an overnight camp sensibility. So yes there are conversations late into the nights for some. And occasionally trips to late night eateries for fries, donuts, cheezy doodles or any such. Conferences really can rejuvenate one in a few different ways. With emails, tweets, Facebooking, etc. etc. allowing the connections to take further hold and ripple across our global community.

Conferences and retreats coming up in the next two years:

Astrological Association (AA) returns with its 48th (!!) annual conference September 9–11 2016. Held outside of Cambridge UK, this conference continues to share a terrific caliber of work with plenty good cheer for all its attendees.

International Society of Astrology Research (ISAR) is well-known for hosting gregarious and jovial gatherings. October 13–16 2016, they will hosting a Forecasting Symposium that could be the world’s biggest 2016 astrologers gathering. This special event includes two panels about the U.S. presidential election, and the added bonus of being in the USA’s legendary Orange County, California!

State of the Art Astrology Conference (SOTA) returns a bit later for 2016, running November 10–14 in Buffalo, New York, USA. This is another long-running annual conference. This binational event champions new voices and talks that embraces astrology along with other esoteric practices. Some say SOTA is the edgiest of all the world’s astrologer conferences. The hotel offers a free shuttle to and from the airport, barely five minutes away.

November 24–28, 2016 C*I*A offers the Sourcing the Past, Dreaming the Future retreat in Healesville, Victoria (90 minutes from Melbourne or Tullamarine Airport). This four day, three night retreat includes self-explorations around Neptune and Nodal Axis, workshops, meditations, art, nature, great food, stargazing and more.

Premiering January 20–22, 2017, The Kepler Conference, debuts in Florida with a focus on astrological research. This new event offers over a dozen presentations and speakers with some of the latest and greatest research projects & techniques out there.

National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR) returns to Baltimore 10 years later with its Many Faces of Astrology conference February 16–19, 2017. NCGR is one of the oldest astrologer organizations in the U.S. with events boasting some of the sharpest astrologers in the country and world.

C*I*A Star Camp – Exploring the Galaxies Within and Without takes place April 20–24, 2017 in the Australian Outback (30 km from Alice Springs, Northern Territory). This unique retreat includes swag camping, using a telescope to see the night skies, an optional Indigenous Sacred Sites tour, seeing Aboriginal Dot Painting, enjoying campfires, and exploring the MacDonnell Ranges.

C*I*A will also co-host Astrology Rising: Co-Creating the Future in Guancaste, Costa Rica May 6–13, 2017. This week-long retreat includes astrology presentations for various levels of study, group gatherings, yoga, experiential workshops, beach activities, ceremonies, music, and plenty more.

Queer Astrology (QA) plans to offer its third conference early Taurus 2017 in New York City, and possibly in a second location simultaneously abroad. QA has been a champion of original and groundbreaking talks and writings. It also continues to explore inclusivity for ALL who engage with astrology at their events.

Great Lakes Astrology Conference (GLAC) returns to Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA May 4–8, 2017. Its theme is ‘Inspired Astrology for the Future’. GLAC might be the smallest here, yet certainly sports a certain strength and warmth.  

The Northwest Astrological Conference (NORWAC) is in Greater Seattle May 26–29, 2017. The longest running annual astrologers conference in the USA, it sports a familial, fun and down to earth vibe. While often the USA’s largest event in recent years, this might also be the world’s largest annual.

Federation of Australian Astrologers (FAA)‘s International Astrology Conference held January of the even numbered years; it’s back January 20–22, 2018. The location rotates across the Australia with next one being in Melbourne, where C*I*A happens to be headquartered!

Off in the distance is United Astrology Conference (UAC). UAC is the largest astrologers conference by far for the last 30 odd years. Hugely recommend it, provided you are OK being with hundreds and hundreds of astrologers of all levels! This mothership conference happens May 24–29, 2018 in downtown Chicago. Schedules to be announced into 2017 with some 200-300 talks to choose from. There will be awards, dancing, excursions and plenty else.

To keep up with any/all of these, subscribe to their e-newsletter, which comes with buying a membership where offered.

And to save money on attending these events, here’s what I’ve learned over the years:

    • Save up and purchase registration as soon as it goes on sale as that will be THE lowest price offered. Alternately, please consider volunteering at the event itself or for the hosting organization in general to earn a registration.
    • Consider sharing a hotel room (and its costs) with one or more. Fellow attendees generally hang out in the hotel lobby, its bar or the designated party suite. This makes sharing easier since hotel rooms aren’t hugely used beyond sleeping, showering and storing your stuff, since most of us are hanging out all day and night! Alternately, know that Association for Young Astrologers (AYA) frequently hosts a housing suite that a gaggle of astrologers share in a sort of camping out style bringing hotel costs down immensely. Over the years, these housing suites have fosters some rather strong bonds.
    • Make it more affordable by saving $20–50 weekly, preferably for one full year pre-event. This total amount will then cover most or even all expenses – registration, airfare, hotel, food and local transit – without breaking your bank. It can also prepare one to take advantage of airfare sales (aka better pricing) using cash vs. credit.
    • Apply for one of the annual scholarships from Association For Astrological Networking (AFAN) especially if you are a first time attendee and need some financial support. Of course, one must be an active AFAN member to apply for those. Independently run NORWAC offered special scholarships in 2015 and 2016 also.

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