Hosted jointly by the Calgary Astrology Association and the Edmonton Astrology Association it moves up and down Alberta. There was some talk of it going East to Ontario or West to Vancouver at some point.
The conference is like your Mars’ return and only comes around every two years.
In 2015 it was held in Edmonton and will be again in 2019. Then I understand it will be back to Calgary for 2021.
All speakers have to be Canadian or new Canadians who have made Canada their home, like me. Yes, I have a Canadian passport.
Held at the Executive Royal Hotel in Calgary near the airport to help attendees and speakers with their travel. The shuttle bus picks up and drops off.
Christine at the check-in desk was perky at midnight when I arrived. She even organized a complimentary cup of 2% milk for me so I could make tea in my room just like at home.
I take my own Twining’s Earl Grey tea bags and run the boiling water through the coffee machine. The only thing I always need is the 2% milk. The milk went in the room fridge for my late night and early morning tea.
I had a room with one queen size bed. The sheets were clean and crisp. The towels white and fresh. There was a super large desk and electrical outlets for my computer, phone and ephemeris etc.
I always offer On-the-Spot astrology readings (by donation as you see fit) at conferences where I am a speaker and I did so this time. My room was generous enough for clients to sit comfortably on a chair in a conversation style.
I do not like it if my room is so small that my clients have to sit on the bed. I only work with female clients in this way all of my male clients are accommodated in the public meeting rooms.
There was no room safe for valuables (computer) which was surprising. However I did appreciate the laminate floor instead of carpet. The illusion is of cleanliness all the way.
I tip my chambermaid every morning so we know where we are.
Alison and Kelly
The barman/server Ken was excellent and his sense of humour had the ladies laughing all night. He handled multiple changes of orders for dinner with ease and aplomb and brought several wine samples for our dearest lady to try before she chose her favourite.
The house white was a Chardonnay so I was good with that.
Organized by Donna and Peggy with help from Geni and no doubt many faceless others (and husbands in the wings) whom I never met.
Donna and Peggy
Apparently, these two women have been astrology friends for years and the ease with which they worked together as a team showed. They are caring people whom I am now pleased to call my friends.
Alison and Peggy
The event had a pre-conference morning with Kelly and then officially kicked off at 1 pm with the opening ceremony and then it was straight into the lectures.
I was delighted to be the initial speaker with my presentation on Superior Planet Synodic Cycles and I’d like to think that set the tone for all the quality talks to come.
My engaged audience. Thank you!
I want to give a special shout-out to my good friend Toby and my “longtime-no-see” old friends Franco, Kelly and Hillory. They all gave excellent talks.
I was happy to meet JoAnn and chat before dinner. There were good wines in the bar and the pre-dinner drinkies were a roaring success of conviviality and sparkling conversation.
The Saturday night buffet banquet was substantial as only you can get in Alberta. The haunch of Albert AAA beef was roasted and seasoned to perfection.
Fresh local vegetables (raw and cooked) and enough variety for the vegetarians amongst us. There was an enormous font of gravy with which to anoint your meal. Yum.
There was a dessert trolley with Nanaimo bars and other Canadian favourites. Double yum.
Alison, Toby and Caz.
Madame Popo had much to say and drew many laughs with her outrageous political commentary poking fun at leaders both local and abroad. Go for Justin.
I enjoyed her risqué assessment of the speakers and their quirks that she had picked up earlier.
Her lavish costume was breathtaking and clearly this is Vivienne Westwood’s inspiration and muse for her exotic creations. Madame P. had the personality and presence to pull it all off.
Delightful as she was Madam Popo had a valuable message.
That the gift you have of astrology, and its understanding, needs to be cherished and shared with your clients. This is your gift, use it well.
I loved this part. Her words were on my mind as I travelled back home to Vancouver.
This conference had wonderful after dinner entertainment. You should go to this event simply for the pleasure of experiencing spectacular Madame Popo.
Why You Should Attend
If you are Canadian you should support local astrology. There is a certain pride in the excellent quality of the people you will meet both those who run the show and those who attended.
This is what I would call a boutique astrology conference. Quality speakers, topics and fare but not so well known.
“a boutique astrology Conference”
If you are an American you should go because you love astrology and you need to experience Canadian hospitality at its best. Live dangerously and travel north of the border. You will love it.
Alison and Franco
If you live anywhere else (not North America) you should go because you can learn from a rich resource that is the basis of modern Canadian Astrology.
The Take Home
These are the things I have taken home from this weekend.
* Gratitude for having being invited to share my insights and experience with this audience.
* Inspiration to try new things in astrology.
* New friends to keep in touch with and join up with when they come to visit my city.
* The knowledge that there is always something to learn in astrology and it is not always a technical detail.
* That in my audience, if the light goes on in only one person’s eyes, I have done my job.
* Thankful for those who enjoyed my talk and their private comments to me afterwards. Thank you. Hugs.
Why I’ll Be Back
I wasn’t always a Canadian. In fact I lived in Africa for most of my life. But Canada is an inclusive country that embraces cultural diversity.
I attended NORWAC for the first time this May (2013) and I have to admit I was impressed on many fronts.
This was the 29th year it has been held and any astrologer will tell you that it clearly makes it it’s Saturn return year. Any conference that can survive the first orbit from the Old Guy has to be doing something right.
The Lecture Topics
There was a broad variety of astrology topics covered although some talks strayed into consciousness raising area, which to my mind is not mainstream astrology, but an interesting aside to the meat of the conference.
I did not know this was a family run event until I arrived but it works well as every member plays their part. Laura is a gracious hostess who manages to touch base, chat with everyone and remembers your name. These guys and gals are clearly well organized.
World class! NORWAC does attract the big boys and girls of the astrology world. At this conference you know the names of most of the speakers because they wrote the books that are nestling on your bookshelf at home.
I want to give a shout out to Chris, Kelly and Steven whose talks resonated with me for being thought provoking, practical and giving hope for astrology’s future.
With over 130 people sitting down for the Saturday night banquet you know there is a buzz.
Conversations were constantly in full swing covering every aspects of the astrologer’s experience. Evenings continued into the night with plenty of socializing at the bar. Cheers!
The Doubletree Suites hotel near SeaTac airport was most agreeable and every room has an astrology work room en suite. This is perfect for lecture preparation and for giving client consultations.
Wifi available throughout the whole complex. The restaurant served reasonably priced meals and the coffee shop had a selection of herbal teas to suit any discerning tea drinker.
I was happy to catch up with old friends (well some younger than others, I of course am the same age as before) and reinforce acquaintances recently met in Vancouver.
At the various talks and events I was able to meet new friends and exchange contact details. I’m back home and already interesting people are popping up in my inbox reaching out and connecting. A wonderful feeling.
A wonderful feeling.
The Take Home
I enjoyed this conference very much. I will endeavor to make it back next year as it celebrates thirty years providing astrology for the North West astrological community.
Astrology conferences are great fun and can be the highlight of your calendar.
If you are a student you may be considering going to your first event or perhaps you are already an experienced professional and a seasoned attendee or you could be somewhere in between.
Whatever your level of proficiency attending an annual professional event can inspire you and get the juices flowing.
Simply by being present, you open yourself up to appreciate new concepts, modern methods and cutting-edge theories which are constantly being developed.
Perhaps you will hear about a recently discovered planet, be exposed to ancient skills or come across a speaker with whom you seem to resonate and who has the missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle which you have been trying to complete.
Hearing lectures from local and international speakers can be just what you need.
By its very nature astrology can be a solitary affair and you owe it to yourself to make the most of all the seminars you attend.
Surviving an astrology conference takes a bit of forward thinking and planning.
Below are some ideas on how to navigate through and make event going a rich and rewarding experience and some thoughts on how to be the perfect guest, make the most of the opportunity and leave fired up until the following year.
Booking your place early has two benefits.
You will receive the “early bird” discount which is quite a dollar saving and by booking early you get the pleasurable anticipation of planning your conference attending strategy well ahead.
If the registration desk opens at 9:00am and the first lecture starts at 10:00am you should be at the conference centre by at least 7:00am.
Personally, I like to get there the night before. Being ahead of time gives you plenty of leeway to find the car park, check into the hotel and inspect your accommodation.
Any hitches in the facilities or your room features can be fixed right away.
Register at the Desk
Take your conference payment receipt and any other supporting documents to the registration desk.
Make sure you receive the full lecture schedule including all the different tracks being offered.
Check to see if there have been any last-minute speaker substitutions which may affect your planning strategy.
This can work your benefit as they may bring an interesting person or topic in at the eleventh hour.
Decide which Talk Matters
When you receive the current lecture schedule double check that the session which you specifically wanted to hear is still on.
Make sure you know where each room is situated for the talks you wish to attend.
Large venues can be confusing places and you want to end up in the right workshop.
Try to eat something before the first lecture. Otherwise, someone can end up sitting down next to you who has to listen to you munching away through a carrot muffin, rustling paper bags and leaving a trail of crumbs behind you.
We’ve all sat next to someone who stomach won’t stop growling so let’s hope it’s not yours.
What’s your Name Again?
There is a certain resistance to the wearing of name tags at conferences. It is not to help you, you know who you are, it is so other people can learn your name.
When you are introduced to many people at once it becomes difficult to remember all their names.
With you name clearly visible it makes you more approachable and other people can confidently address you and you in turn can address them.
Peeling the Onion
Hotels and conference rooms are notorious of for being either too hot or too cold.
I have seen some attendees wearing the hotel’s bed coverlet to combat the efficient air conditioning.
The solution to this hot topic and keep your cool is layers that can be peeled off or put back on when necessary.
Women can work their pashminas to great effect here.
Meet Like-minded People
More than anything professional get-togethers afford you the chance to meet people, practitioners, students and researchers in your field.
Be happy to make new acquaintances. If you want to engage with others don’t always sit with your cronies.
There will be a percentage of first-time attendees to whom you can reach out and introduce yourself.
Remember how you felt the first year?
Have your Info at Hand
Be prepared to have your contact information at your fingertips. If you meet somebody fun and interesting you don’t want to have to write your phone number or e-mail address on the back of an envelope.
It does not give a good impression and lacks professionalism.
Business cards are a must at these events.
The Art of Writing
You will need a paper notebook and pen.
Most conferences have a “no taping” policy.
You cannot use your digital recorder at a lecture where they provide the topics for purchase afterwards.
At some hotels, the use of laptop computers is also not allowed during lectures.
See you Later
Conferences and training seminars are held in larger centers to facilitate attendees travel.
These cities have much to offer the visitor.
Tempting as it may be to rush off and see the sights you need to focus on the workshop content.
To get the best out of an astrology conference you can try to attend as many lectures and talks as possible.
Tag on a couple of days at the end of the conference to enjoy the features of your host city.
Your Eleventh House
In astrology like-minded people, friends and associates are shown by your eleventh house.
Before you go to the conference look at the current transits to your natal eleventh house and its ruler.
They will suggest the type of experience you will experience within the group dynamic. It also shows you what to emphasize at that particular conference.
You are Not Alone
Attending any astrology get-together virtually ensures that you will be listening to astro chatter morning, noon and night and consuming horoscopes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It is a great opportunity to soak it up and let’s face it how often in your day-to-day life do you have the chance for a serious astrological conversation with those around you?
Support the Trade Room
The crystal healers, tarot card readers and booksellers are all selected carefully by the organizers to provide a varied mix and round out your total new age experience.
The trade room is an important part of any conference and you would do well to consider availing yourself of their many products and services.
Speakers are People Too
Lecturers are encouraged to meet and mingle at the varied opportunities for social gatherings over the course of the event.
After enjoying a lively talk you maybe tempted to rush and gush at the speaker.
Most teachers are only too pleased to answer your questions but don’t like being ambushed.
All the lecturer’s contact details are thoughtfully printed in your info pack, be cool.
If You Please
Just because you are not at home and are in the company of people you’ve never met before does not make bad manners acceptable.
If you enjoyed the event you can say thank you to the organizers or send a note.
On the other hand, if you experienced some issues, the best way of communicating your concerns is via a feedback sheet which is usually available from the registration desk. Remember to be specific.
Share the Love
When you attend a conference you become like an employee.
You are whom the event was aimed at in the first place.
Seminars and conferences can only exist with the support of astrologers and other interested people.
If you wish to keep these valuable resources available it is vital to attend, show your support and spread the word.
Get you Astro-mojo Back
Whether it is your first or fifteenth conference, showing up and taking part for some or the whole event is a great experience.
Not everyone can be there for the whole time but taking in even one day could be all you need.
It is a good feeling to have some new techniques to take into your practice, fresh ideas for areas of research and your latest friend’s contact details.
You want to leave feeling inspired to pursue astrology further.
Pay it Forward
It makes sense to support annual astrology get-togethers too.
By your presenc, these events can continue to grow and evolve. Enabling the organizers to offer State-Of-The-Art practices, theories, and techniques with which to broaden your skills.
Astrology is diverse and has many avenues to be pursued.
Discover your niche interest and rekindle your passion by attending astrological conferences.
If you have attended astrology conferences in the past think back to how organised you were. I bet you can improve your conference experience for the next time.