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Reflections on United Astrology Conference 2018

Reflections on United Astrology Conference 2018

In episode 160 of the show astrologers Kelly Surtees, Austin Coppock, and Spencer Michaud join me to talk about our experiences at the recent United Astrology Conference, which took place in Chicago from roughly May 23-30, 2018.

During the course of the discussion we talk about some of the lectures we gave, lectures we saw, people we met, notable events that happened, and just generally reflect on our impressions of the event as a whole.

This episode is available in both an audio and a video version, and you can find links to both below, right after the show notes.

Show Notes

Here are some of the show notes with some points we touched on in this episode:

  • Was at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
  • Dates were basically May 23-30, 2018, when including pre and post events.
  • Something like 1,400 or 1,500 astrologers attended in the end.
  • Much higher percentage of new or first time conference attendees than usual.
  • Podcast event was a success.
  • Chris did a bunch of video interviews.
  • UAC bookstore was huge.
  • Regulus awards occurred the night of Sunday the 27th
    • All orgs give service awards, then community-wide merit categories:
      • Our very own Leisa Schaim won the AFAN service award.
    • The Regulus award winners were:
    • Richard Smoot won Community Service award
    • David Cochrane – Discovery, Innovation and Research
    • Steven Forrest – Education
    • Tem Tarriktar – Professional Image
    • Deborah Houlding – Theory and Understanding
    • Michael Erlewine – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Astrologers memorial during closing ceremony.
  • Chris’ gallery of some pictures from UAC 2018
  • Lecture recordings are available on the conference website.
  • Would love to hear from listeners about your conference experience!
    • Post them in the comments section below.

Watch the Video Version of This Episode

Here is the video version of this episode of the podcast:


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 160 transcript

Listen to the Audio Version of This Episode

You can either play this episode of the podcast directly from the website or download it as an MP3 to your computer by using the buttons below:

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  • I would absolutely LOVE to attend a Astrology School conference/retreat! Definitely looking forward to details and updates! Please let me know if I can help in anyway! Love & starlight, Samantha

  • Your recap was a great way of reliving those happy days at UAC and it gave me some pointers in which lectures to purchase. Your live event was one of the highlights of the conference. Seeing you all work your magic in person was a delight, and it felt so good to be part of the well-deserved, warm appreciative ovation lavished on you at the end of the talk. Just tell me where and when, and I will be front and center at any live conference or event you offer in the future

  • May the electric and the electronic suffuse us. The atmosphere at UAC was electric. It was charged and powerful, profoundly affecting and memorable. The atmosphere on-line is electronic. It is fast and stimulating, surprising and enriching. And as always there is a “Third Opposite” and we have that in the latest books. Such an embarrassment of riches.
    But old books are good too. And a small gathering, like in Toronto on the following weekend, with it’s intimacy and focus and pleasant patio lunch, was really good too. For a couple of weeks, the stars aligned for us all – at least very well for me – and extremely well for Micheal ( I was there on the 24th when Rob Hand dealt with his “Difficult Chart Combinations” BTW ;-). I had heard it could be good… on the Astrology Podcast.

  • I am one of those older astrologers (Rob Hand described us as “double 42s”) who decided to cancel as you pointed out so well, the conference is intense and I realized I wouldn’t be able to handle a week. I can hardly do a 3-day NORWAC any longer, but thank you for talking about the conference. I was there in spirit.

  • It was nice hearing this recap as ‘real life’ has returned, kinda — I am glad this podcast pushed me to attend the conference; I’ve been convinced that I want to dedicate myself to astrology, meeting fellow Pluto Scorpios whose criticality and intelligence comforted my fears for investing in this field beyond my art practice.

    I’d also want to bring up the recorded video of the astrologer who passed that many friends I made said they felt was meant for them/us, telling us to leave the closet and speak the truth of our passion for astrology. It’s something I’ve been doing, and receiving more acceptance and curiosity than I expected. The banquet in general was so moving, to be a part of this tradition

    I also felt a lot of the Venus-Saturn opposition — until the night of the podcast I found it very difficult to talk to anyone, very alone and beating myself up about it. But that night I ran into an acquaintance from the Spring queer conference and ended up in a circle of fellow young people reading each other’s charts. I was also a big part of the Monday night craziness bringing Trader Joes spirits to friends, a glass of which ended up with Austin — it was a great time, worth the hangover

    Excited to go to SOTA following Kelly’s recommendation. Thanks y’all

  • the possible conference idea you brought up sounds awesome – i would most definitely be interested in attending! it seems like something that would complement the community nicely, as opposed to more large-scale, somewhat impersonal conferences like UAC. looking forward to hearing more on it in the future! x

  • It is through the encouragement of this podcast that I made the decision to attend UAC where– of course!– I had loads of fun and a deliciously expansive experience! Thank you for that, for this fine recap, and for all the work that goes into making the Astrology Podcast a beacon for the astrology community.

    Yes I would absolutely travel to Denver for a conference/workshop/retreat if you fine folks were involved. I’d also love to learn more from Leisa Schaim as I attended her electional lecture at UAC and it was outstanding. I hope you guys are quite serious about this idea as I’m already getting excited thinking about the promise of it! : ) Thanks again.

  • Thanks, indeed, for this discussion, from one who couldn’t be there. And as a Pluto-in-Leo person (toward the end, 1955), I appreciated the mention of contributions of our age group. I’d go so far as to suggest that the popular revival of astrology — which produced many serious astrologers, where before it was hard to even locate one, in those days before the internet — happened amongst Pluto in Leo folks. Would also like to name Liz Greene’s book, _The Astrology of Fate_ (which I devoured soon after its publication in 1984), as one that turned my head around about the “sometimes, shit just happens” aspect of astrology. This is a question that had occurred to me increasingly, and I couldn’t find a satisfactory discussion of it, until then. And while Greene’s approach is based in Jungian psychology, I feel that this book began to build a bridge back to important questions of ancient approaches, with its clear acknowledgment that some things just happen, and are beyond our control. Except, perhaps, in terms of our response.