All of the amazing concurrently running astrology workshops and classes comprising the 9th United Astrology Conference, recently held here in Chicago from May 23 to May 30 at the Marriott Magnificent Mile hotel on Michigan Avenue, definitely made it hard for me to choose which world-class teacher’s talk I would attend at any of the time slots for each day. At times I wanted a truly trans-historical, “big picture” perspective on the Cosmic Intelligences at work in all of our lives, while at other times my Virgo Sun Sign made me want to take a more granular view of planetary energies, focusing on present or imminent planetary transits. And while so many of my fellow Americans were planning on celebrating the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 28, through the time-honored tradition of outdoor grilling and family barbeques, the fires I wanted to zero in on instead were those of “Mars Transits and the Mars Cycle,” my first class of the day, which was taught by astrologer Donna Van Toen.
The main conference days of UAC 2018 were Friday, May 25 through Tuesday, May 29, though I also elected to participate in Karen Hamaker-Zondag’s 6-hour-long post-conference workshop on May 30 on the subject of the 8th House. These glorious days of intense learning, fellowship, socializing (I organized a small-group dinner outing to Greek Town for out-of-state conference attendees the night of Sunday, May 27) and partying (the Chicago “Roaring Twenties”-themed jazz party and silent auction on Saturday the 26thwas lots of fun) were definitely presided over by Airy and Watery Elemental forces.
I’ve had a week to process the conclusion of one of the most formative experiences of my life: the 9th United Astrology Conference (UAC), which was held here in Chicago from May 23 to May 30. Sponsored by the International Association for Astrological Research, the American Federation of Astrologers, the National Council for Geocosmic Research, the American College of Vedic Astrology, and the Association for Astrological Networking, UAC is the world’s largest international astrology conference, and it gathers every three, six, or nine years somewhere in North America. I felt so lucky to have had this 2018 9th gathering take place so close to my house, which definitely helped as a cost-saving measure; I certainly wouldn’t have been able to attend if it were held elsewhere.
This week-long “staycation” for me was prompted by a profound inner urging to not just accelerate the developments of my skill sets in astrology as a profession, but to heed the soul’s prompting to undergo a profound journey of self-discovery and self-actualization, a journey which entailed a major healing process for me as well—one that I didn’t (consciously) know that I needed. So many of us ask “the biggies” about what we are doing here on this earth, the lessons our incarnation brings us (as well as how to resolve past lessons so we don’t tote around so much karmic baggage!), and how to find our true purpose by maximizing the gifts we were born with and living a fulfilling life of self-development and service to others. And through it all, we acknowledge the acutely limited time allotted to us as mortal beings, which definitely adds to a sense of urgency to “figure it all out” before we grow too old and convince ourselves that our dreams have eluded us.
As Above, So Below
That’s the beauty of studying astrology. By highlighting the interrelatedness of the cycles found in the “Greater”/Cosmos with the cycles in the life of the “Lesser”/Individual—yoking together an understanding of “the Without” with “the Within”—astrology affirms a worldview based on the assumption that Divine Intelligences exist and are constantly orchestrating a meaningfully notated symphony of All That Is. Using the tools of astrology, people can pinpoint the section of the symphony that they are tasked to play and see how their individual parts relate to the whole. I’m not using this musical metaphor blindly because the perfection of numbers (yes, I’m a Pythagorean!) is at the heart of it all.
The greatest joy for me as an astrologer is to hold up that veritable cosmic mirror to a client and see how he or she lights up when coming to a profoundly joyful acceptance of their Being and Becoming as revealed through the language of planetary positions and placements in their natal and progressed charts. The “Aha!” moments of self-recognition are facially expressed with widened eyes and huge grins: yes, that’s why I knew I never wanted children—Saturn in Cancer in the 5th House!
I had a plethora of such “Aha!” moments myself throughout the entire magical week of UAC 2018. If you’d care to take my hand, I’ll walk you through my experiences by day, each of which seemed to have its own distinct Elemental character.
“Magick Radio Chicago” is a show that streams live online Saturday evenings from 7-9 from Chicago’s Que4 Studios. Hosts Drew Prince and Alicia (a.k.a. Galaxy Goddess) invited me back as the featured guest: we’ll be discussing Contemporary Polytheism. I’m looking forward to it! Tune in online or, if you’re local, listen on the AM radio dial, 1680.
Call in with questions when the show is live! 312-985-7834. Also, check out the Facebook Page.
Announcing the 25th Annual Fellowship of Isis Chicago Goddess Convention: “The Mystical Awakening of Scorpio and Kundalini”
It’s an exciting time for the Fellowship of Isis (FOI) Chicago community—a network of FOI-chartered Lyceums, Iseums, and Temples dedicated to Polytheistic outreach and to carrying the ideological torches of Goddess worship, eco-spirituality, and interfaith ambassadorship as envisioned by co-founders Olivia Robertson, Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, and Pamela Durdin-Robertson in 1976—as we’ve lined up quite a roster of public ritual and educational events for the next few months. The biggest news is that our annual Goddess Convention, traditionally held at Autumn Equinox and which draws FOI members (and friends from related groups) from a variety of countries to convene in Chicago, is having its quarter-century anniversary this year! That’s 25 years of uninterrupted public festival service to the broader Pagan and occult communities; for my part, it’s been a very exciting 16 years of commitment, as I participated in my first FOI Goddess Convention back in 2002. Continue reading
As with the month of January, the month of March will be bookended by two full moons: the Virgo Full Moon on March 1 (the subject of a previous post), and the Libra Full Moon on March 31. Between the alpha and the omega of the month, we have the major themes of the transition from Pisces to Aries energy (Venus will be changing signs twice this month), the tandem transit journey of Venus and Mercury ending mid-month as Mercury begins to slow down in His shadow period before stationing Retrograde on March 22, Mars entering Capricorn mid-month, a series of challenging squares, the Pisces New Moon and the Libra Full Moon. Phew! Strap on your seat belts!
Broadcasting the Mighty Dead: Thoughts on My Magick Radio Chicago Interview and the Legacy of Lady Olivia Robertson
Last September at Chicago Pagan Pride, I came across an old acquaintance in the Chicago Pagan community whom, I discovered, runs a weekly AM radio show (streamed online via Que4.org) called Magick Radio Chicago. I was asked about the idea of consenting for an interview with other Chicago Fellowship of Isis members to discuss the organization and our thoughts on Chicago’s Pagan communities (I prefer the plural term because the scene is highly fragmented). I tucked the show host’s business card into my pocket and told him I would get back to him in a few weeks…which turned into four months, when he, to my surprise, attended the La Santa Muerte workshop I hosted at Alchemy Arts bookstore last month and he brought up the idea of the radio interview again. The show’s host, named Drew, was under the false impression that the Chicago Fellowship of Isis community, which is comprised of active members grouped into autonomous and individual Lyceums, Iseums, and Temples, had a “senior officers” roster akin to the leadership found in esoteric initiatory traditions ranked in one sole group, but we don’t as our sense of organizational structure is very different (and much more minuscule). It’s really my Archpriestess-Hierophant friend Demetria (who heads the Lyceum of Alexandria-Mishigami) and I serving as the “mouthpieces” for the tight-knit stellium of small groups. Hence it was she and I who sat in the control booth for the live radio broadcast of episode 127 of Magick Radio Chicago on Saturday night, February 10. Continue reading