Building Bridges and Expanding our Horizons
Report on the 2016 Astrological Association Conference by Roy Gillett
The Association's annual Conference weekend has an uncanny knack of coinciding with significant historical events. Britain leaving the ERM in 1992, the funeral of Princess Diana, the New York 9/11 attack, the 2008 economic collapse and a rare UK Papal visit were especially notable. Last year saw Jeremy Corbyn's surprise victory. This year, with Jupiter's Libran ingress on the Friday morning and the Saturn/Neptune square completing on the Saturday afternoon, there were awkward landings in the outside world: an uneasy ceasefire in Syria, while Hillary Clinton stumbled at Ground Zero.
The atmosphere at Conference transcended all this. It was wise and positive; joyful at times, as delegates welcomed old friends and made new ones, driven by the amazing synchronicity of realising common interests. Friday evening offered many spaces to meet, remember and discover. After two well-attended masterclasses by Dr Ben Dykes and Mark Jones, Conference opened by remembering all who had attended over the years and especially honouring colleagues who had passed on recently. Darrelyn Gunzburg gave the opening talk with insights drawn from her deep study into the nature of astrological consultation. Christeen Skinner's Carter Memorial Lecture ranged from a Libran thread emanating from Charles Carter's chart, via key information on sun spots, to a call for a more three-dimensional approach to astrology.
On the Saturday and Sunday, delegates focussed on forty-four talks, given by thirty-four speakers in eleven break-out sessions, plus a plenary talk by Dr Ben Dykes (Aversion in Natal Charts). In spite of the programme being this packed and many breaks running just fifteen minutes, it is a credit to both speakers and delegates that the lounge areas were virtually empty during all these sessions.
At the Friday dinner, Lynn Bell was a most popular recipient of the Charles Harvey Award for Exceptional Service to Astrology. On Saturday evening, a fancy dress representing the bridge from war to peace won with resounding applause. Many talked into the small hours, a good number danced joyfully at the disco.
With a characteristic sense of fun, Michael Lutin gave the closing address, stressing the value of astrology with Humans Rising: Astrology in the Age of Existential Revolution.
Once again at the 2016 Conference, astrology's exciting insights, celebrating tolerant understanding of differences, were the means for us to transcend the challenges of the times and enjoy, learn and mature together.
A small selection of the photos taken at the Conference can be seen here. For more photos, see the November/Dec 2016 Astrological Association Journal, or go to the Astrological Assosiation Conference 2016 Facebook page