Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The 41st Annual Conference of the Astrological Association - A Review by AA Member Alex Trenoweth

Conference chart 2009
Unusual for a high school teacher, I look forward to September. Not, of course, because I can't wait to be up to my neck in marking, but because September means the AA Conference is just around the temporal corner. The AA conference isn’t just about attending lectures and listening about arcane techniques. The best parts of the conference take place outside of the main lectures because it gives you a chance to see what’s happening in the world of astrology. That’s not to say the conference didn’t have an impressive line-up! This year’s conference speakers were a mix of oldies but goodies as well as a few new faces such as Elizabeth Hathway who was visiting from Holland. As always, the delegates list was a cosmopolitan combination of excited beginner and experienced practitioner. In particular, it was wonderful to have such a large delegation from Japan. It was a wonderful testament to astrology’s ability to unite people.

Between lectures is not only a great time to grab a cup of liquid refreshment but an opportunity to visit the exhibition area and bookshop. To be honest, I try to keep my wallet at home when I know I’ll be visiting a bookshop (Venus in Gemini) but I always splurge a little at the conference because with the variety of books available to buy, there really is something for everyone. Glenda Cole and I—with our polar opposite approaches to hair care—even found a book on astrological coiffures.

The exhibition area is filled with opportunities to stay connected to the people you have met and to view demonstrations of the latest astrological software advances. It’s also a great place to meet the author of the books you have just bought and to check out the various courses on offer.

On a more earthy note, the premises of Wyboston Conference Centre was a familiar one. Tucked away in the Bedfordshire countryside and located far away from noisy traffic, the weekend felt like a well earned break. If anyone got tired of astrology (!), they could always enjoy the leisure activities on offer: golf, a fitness club, a water sports centre or even fishing on the lake.

The best part of the conference for me is always the Saturday night dinner. I love to see everyone dressed up and smiling—and talking astrology over the sirloin. There’s just something absolutely magical about a stellium of astrologers filling a room with their conversations. Listen closely and you can hear of someone’s plans for their next book or lecture or a newby tentatively asking about a dreaded transit. I’m always honoured to be in the company of such wonderfully interesting and generous people.

I have to say I had a little chuckle when I saw that the chart of the conference’s opening had a Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune conjunction in Aquarius in the first house. If anyone was in need of a little healing, they could just ask the astrologers at the bar. Not that I really noticed.

For pictures and more information about our conference visit our conference review page