What to Pack for an Astrology Conference

by Alison Price

Now and then you may manage to get to an Astrology Conference. What you pack and take with you can make or break your experience.

These events are typically three-day weekends but sometimes they have a day before (Thursday) and a day after (Monday) for special classes.

This weekend I’m off to Norwac the North West Astrology Conference in Seattle, WA, USA which has prompted this piece. I have attended this conference before and you can read about that trip here.

Short trips and weekends away are shown in your third house. Longer trips, overseas journeys, and extended stays from home of a week to ten days are shown in your ninth house.

So, is a weekend in another country (the USA) third or ninth? To my mind, the answer is ninth because it is further than a horse can travel in one day which they tell me is 50km and yes, I got that from the horse’s mouth. The trip to Seattle is 230km and that definitely falls into the ninth house.

Art of Packing

The time before last when I went to the Faculty of Astrological Studies Summer School in Oxford for a week I took a massive suitcase full to bursting.

I was overweight at Vancouver before I had even boarded the plane. Coming back I had to buy another suitcase in England for all the stuff (gifts, books and clothes) I had bought whilst I was there.

When the driver of the coach from London to Oxford tried to lift my 60lb suitcase into his hold under the coach he turned to me and asked, “Why is this so heavy? Have you got a body is here?”

Packing is an art. You need to learn how to pack and haul less stuff around.  I now use a small Rimowa cabin sized suitcase on wheels and if something cannot fit in that it doesn’t go. The cabin size means it can be stowed in the overhead cabin on an aeroplane because it is small enough. I never check luggage to the hold when flying anymore.

Don’t take too much stuff.

Three-Day Weekend

I am going to share my tips and tricks about packing stuff for a three-day weekend astrology conference. This assumes you go on Friday morning and leave on Sunday evening, and so spend two nights in the hotel.

The Plan

You will be wearing your Friday outfit as your leave home. There is a new top for the Friday evening dinner.

Saturday sees you in a simple ensemble for the day and a change into your evening top for the banquet.

On Sunday morning your will again wear casual clothes as you will be traveling home in them later that day.

Tech stuff

Tech stuff is essential and you need the cables as well. If you are going to Europe you will need an adaptor to connect your tech stuff to the electricity supply.

  • Smartphone – To take photos, chat with the family at home, post to social media (I currently like Instagram) and to keep up with friends at the hotel with texts if you plan to meet up for breakfast etc.
  • I take my MacBook Air which I’ve had it since 2009 and it’s still going strong. I use this in my hotel room to continue my work but I don’t take it into the lecture rooms. The conference organizers don’t like that.
  • iPad with Astro Gold for casting charts at the conference. I usually offer readings at a reduced rate and currently do this through the featured charts and my Jupiter patron program.
  • Chargers for all equipment.

Clothes

These suggestions are for women. I expect men do something similar and may need a tie and jacket for the dinner and banquet.

  • Black pants.
  • Leggings.
  • Light tunic x 2.
  • Light knit top.
  • Light jacket.
  • Evening top, coloured – For the Friday night dinner.
  • Evening top, jazzy – This can have a little twinkle as it is for the banquet on Saturday night. This is where most of the photos are taken.
  • Running shoes.
  • Booties (ankle boots).
  • Socks – Always wear socks in a hotel and avoid walking barefoot on the carpet or in the bathroom and shower).
  • Camisoles or bras and panties (knickers) x 3 (the camis and panties double as pajamas).
  • Pashmina in a solid colour. I like rose pink or cream.
  • Scarf – Light cotton or silk in bright tones. Wrap twice around the neck with both ends hanging at the front.
  • Jewelry – regular daytime and statement jewelry for Saturday night.
  • Handbag/tote bag for the daily lectures, for notes, your journal and lecture handouts. Watch out that this particular bag is not massive or you will haul more stuff around all weekend.
  • Evening bag black, small – For your phone, credit cards, business cards, lipstick, cash and room key.

What to Wear When

Friday in the day – Leggings, tunic, light jacket, socks and booties.

You will be travelling and need stretch pants thus the leggings. The jacket could have pockets for your phone and cash. The tunic hangs lower at the back to cover your bottom and can be shorter in the front for ease when sitting in a car or on a plane for hours.

Friday evening – Replace the tunic for a nice coloured evening top and lose the jacket. Booties and socks. Evening bag. Photos may be taken.

Saturday in the day – Black pants, top (tunic or knit top) and scarf. Running shoes and socks.

 

Saturday evening – Black pants, jazzy evening top, pashmina, booties, socks, statement jewellery and evening bag.

Sunday in the day – Leggings, another coloured tunic, and the light jacket. Running shoes and socks.

 

With the leggings, you can wear them on Friday and Sunday. If you like you can wash them on Friday night so they will be dry and fresh for Sunday. It is up to you. If you do decide to do washing in your hotel room squirt some shampoo into the basin and wash your leggings a by hand. Hang them up in the shower to dry.

Makeup and Hair

  • Your usual makeup.
  • Earbuds.
  • Hairbrush.
  • Toothbrush and toiletries.
  • Medicines and Imodium. You never know.
  • Usual vitamins and supplements

Books

  • Promotional material – For instance a workshop you are presenting soon or another event that is coming up.
  • Ephemeris – I always travel with my big paperback Ephemeris.
  • Astrology journal – This is your daily astrology journal and contains all the information you like on astrology.
  • Business cards – To give to those who want. Never push your business card. Have them with you or out in front of you at the lecture table and people who need one will take one.
  • Awareness cards – I’ve started using these special postcard sized “awareness cards” and will give them out if someone is interested.
  • Pencils – These are my promotional pencils with my website details printed on. You may have other freebies to give.
  • Coloured crayons – This is for the astrology journal. After I have attended a lecture I like to colour the pages perhaps immediately or later that night as I unwind in my room before bed.
  • Pens – Take about three in case you lose one and then you can share with others

Extras

  • Your passport and Nexus card.
  • A copy of the proof of your conference payment. I once arrived at an astrology conference in Toronto and they did not have a record of my having paid. Fortunately, I did have my credit card receipt in my bag so all was good. But these things do happen.
  • A copy of the hotel booking. This can be in your wallet app to the hotel’s chain app, for instance, the Hilton app is used for Norwac.
  • Small denomination cash. This is so you will be ready to give something to any charities the conference supports, raffles at the banquet, a Tarot card or palm reading, the cash bar for your wine and tips for the waiters and chambermaid.

Sometimes there is a “Free stuff” table in the conference gathering area. This is the place to put your business cards, awareness cards, promotional materials like in my case my pencils and the flyer for our summer workshop in Vancouver in July.

What Not to Take

There are some things that you will use at home but don’t need to carry on trips. After all, you are hauling the bag around. If you free up your life and lighten your travels you will enjoy them so much more.

  • Pyjamas.
  • Robe or gown.
  • Slippers.
  • Extra shoes.
  • Extra bags.
  • Too many clothes just in case…
  • Regular shampoo and conditioner bottles. Always decant into 100mm bottles, take travel sizes or use the hotel’s products.
  • Alarm clock – Use your phone.
  • Big coat unless you are going north of the 60th parallel.
  • Other junk.
  • Your dog.

Astrology conferences can be so much fun. If you plan your trip carefully and only take the minimum of stuff you will enjoy the event all the more.

I have more on how to have fun at an astrology conference if you need some ideas.

Have a prosperous weekend,

Alison


SOTA 2012 – A Speaker’s Review

Moon from plane window

The Conference

This was my sixth year attending The State of The Art (SOTA) astrology conference and my second time as a speaker.

Many of the attendees return again and again which says a lot about this organization and its dynamic leader Donna.

Once you get bitten by the SOTA bug you start going back much like a magnetic solar return in Scorpio.

The Location

Niagara Falls. World class awesomeness!

If you have seen them then you know what I say is true.

If you have never been for a visit do yourself a favor and get the Falls at the top of your bucket list.

The Vibe

Very friendly and cosy is the first impression and it carries through.

Could we say boutique astrology conference?

Most attendees were excited to be rubbing shoulders with astrology buffs both local and from around the globe.

The Speakers

I can only comment on lectures I attended and of those – Kudos goes to Andrew, Janet, Julie and Demetrius.

Personable, thought-provoking, vibrant and creative.

I call it as I see it.

The Venue

Sheraton-at-the-Falls, Niagara Falls, NY, USA. A neat hotel, and incredibly, they boast an astrologer-on-the-staff. Talk about go where you are welcome.

I want to give a shout out to Rick the hospitality manager commanding the sixth floor at cocktail hour.

He was as debonaire, charming and attentive as before and he actually  remembers your name which is a nice touch.

Mr. Scorpio recommended a mellow Pinot Noir and plans to have a Malbec out breathing for our next visit.

The Contacts

I made some new friends and got back in touch with old friends. Not old, old but those who are simply a comfort to see again.

These are people with whom you can pick up the conversation and carry on from whence you last spoke (who writes this?), even if it was twelve months ago.

Hugs all round XOXOX you know who you are.

The Entertainment

They provided live entertainment every night. A Galaxy of Mediums was an evening with a very different message.

I received a communication later in the night through from Ms. M. Thank you.

Chocolate Nuit well, who knew there was so much trivia about chocolate? And there I was thinking you just ate it.

The banquet with cheesecake-to-die-for… Improv Theatre, featuring Keanu Reeves and friends, bravo, bravo Franco, Nick, Samuel, Suzi and Andrew.

The Backroom Boys and Girls

I can only imagine what it takes to pull off an event like this one.

There must be a million details to be attended to by those we perhaps don’t realize are in the wings allowing us in the front to fly.

The Take Home

Astrology is alive and well and living in the spirit of SOTA or should that be the Spirit Track?

Now I need to go and book for SOTA next year.

Will I see you there?

Thoughts

I write this as I am flying high over the prairies on my way home to Vancouver.

From the cabin window I can clearly see the first quarter Moon.

In my photo the Moon is the bright one and the lower light simply the Moon’s reflection on the wing.

 


How To Have Fun at an Astrology Conference

by Alison Price

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.

 


Book Early

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.

It also lets the organisers know just how to gear up for the crowds. Once you have booked then the next thing to think about  what to pack for an astrology conference .


First Up Best Dressed

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.

Fuel Up

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.

Be gracious.

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.