I am a little late in posting this but I wanted to share my experience of the NCGR 2013 conference in Philadelphia last month (August). I really enjoy going to astrology conferences for a couple of reasons. First, you get to “talk the talk” or “speak the language” in person with the other conference attendees which is a rare experience for astrologers. The number of people who speak our language is not a lot, so to spend several days getting to do just that is a treat! Second, you get to see and hear what others are working on, what they are studying, and how they are practicing astrology. No two astrologers are alike; everyone has a unique approach, so it is nice to see the great variety with which astrology is practiced. Third you get to see old friends and meet new ones. It is a lot of fun!
I went to a lot of lectures but here are some highlights and my experiences.
Rick Levine spoke about harmonics, specifically quintiles and septiles. Since I have spent the past year studying harmonics this lecture was of particular interest to me since I wanted to see how another astrologer treated the subject. It was refreshing because Rick asked the class how many people used aspects: everyone raised their hand. Then he asked how many used harmonics: only 5 or 6 people raised their hands. Rick went on to humorously chide everyone present because aspects ARE harmonics. Rick’s conclusions about the meanings of the 5th and 7th harmonics were slightly different than what I use but his emphasis was not on the meanings, rather, his emphasis was on the fact that we should at least be aware of these “minor” aspects and look out for them in charts. He was very convincing but I guess I was the choir to which he was preaching. I’ve heard him speak before and his lectures are always both entertaining and informative and this one was no different.
Alphee Lavoie spoke about relationships and marriage. He talked about a lot of things but one claim he made was that he was able to predict marriage with 96-97% accuracy based on the Davison chart of a couple. I was highly skeptical because the level of prediction is off the charts. So I went back to my room and ran the Davison for my husband and I and we did in fact have the aspect that Alphee claimed predicted marriage. But after I got home from the conference I decided to run the charts for any ex-boyfriends for whom I had times and I found 6, and in every single Davison chart I ran there was also the prediction of marriage and honestly I married none of those 6. Then I decided to run the Davison for 6 other men I know who I never dated but have an accurate time and in all 6 cases there was also the prediction of marriage. So in 13 of 13 Davison charts, all predicted marriage, but I only married one of the 13 men. This reminds me that you need to test out what astrologers claim because this method is useless if it almost always shows marriage is predicted. Maybe Alphee’s method was more involved than what he shared with us but if so he did not mention it during the lecture.
A couple of other lectures I also attended were the Ben Dykes (traditional mundane) lecture and the Arch Crawford (financial astrology). I really liked Arch Crawford (who mentioned 5th harmonic as being important in some of his financial astrology) and while Ben Dykes was obviously impressive for having translated so many ancient texts himself his methods did not attract me as much as some of the other lectures I heard. We are all attracted to different styles. One lecture I particularly liked was Chris Brennan (Hellenistic) speaking about Maltreatment and Bonification of Planets based on an old work just recently translated in 2011. I found his lecture compelling but when I told people about it and how much I liked it I could see their eyes glaze over because they couldn’t care less about dignity of affliction of a specific planet in a chart using Hellenistic methods. Being exposed to different schools of thought, different techniques, and different attitudes in general about astrology is very exciting. You leave these conferences simultaneously exhilarated and exhausted. It’s fun.
I attending a lecture on horary by Chris King and it really got me back into the type of astrology. I’ll be posting an article on that subject soon. I love horary and while I am no expert it is such a unique brand of astrology. For those who don’t know horary astrology is where you can ask any question and the chart that is drawn up for that specific question provides the answer based on methods that really have been used for centuries.
There were a lot of other great lectures I attended. And some I missed! I heard rave reviews of the Civil War lecture; I may have to purchase the recording of that one. It was a real treat to visit Philadelphia, too, which is a city I had not been to before, but it was welcoming and easy to navigate with lots of good restaurants. I didn’t get to see all the sites so I’ll have to go back another time for more tourist attractions.
Bottom line is that if you have a chance to go to an astrology conference go ahead and give it a try. You will learn a lot both about astrology and your own chart. Plus you will have a great time!
Astrologer, Reiki Master, tarot reader, and so much more!