by Daniel Giamario
In late May, Cayelin and I attended the UAC Conference in New Orleans, representing the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School. In addition to being invited to be a speaker, we had a table at the trade fair that was part of the conference. UAC (United Astrology Conference) is the biggest conference and therefore a big deal in the astrology world.
Since 1987, it has been held every 3 or 4 years, bringing together all the top astrology organizations including ISAR, NCGR and many others. For the 2012 UAC, over 1300 astrologers from around the world gathered for talks from over 120 astrologers on the faculty with 15 different tracks covering every known type of astrology.
This year’s UAC theme was Venus on the Rise, and it was being held just a few days before the actual Venus Transit. There was some sense that this theme referred to the resurgence and growing strength of the feminine that Venus represents. I was invited to given a presentation about the Venus Synodic Cycle with its connection to the Sumerian story of Inanna from the material I first wrote about in the 1990’s. The talk was well attended and well-received.
I was extremely pleased to see how much interest there now is, in the synodic cycles, particularly the work of Gary Caton, and Adam Gainsburg, who both have added significantly to the synodic world. We may look back at 2012 as the year that synodic cycle astrology finally came of age. And now that Adam Gainsburg has developed the Sky Engine software, any astrologer can now research the magical world of synodic cycles. (More about how to get this software coming as soon as we get our affiliate link as a way to support the School.)
In retrospect, it was worthwhile and important for Cayelin and I to be at UAC to represent Shamanic Astrology and the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School. However, with over 100 Vendors, and trade fair hours extending from 9 am to 6:30 pm everyday – managing our booth was both rewarding and intensely challenging as we had to be ON for so many hours a day. We made many new contacts for the school and sold about 35 New Shamanic Astrology Handbooks with the Twelve Tribes CD. (Get the New Expanded, Revised and Updated in 2012 Shamanic Astrology Handbook with Free Twelve Tribes CD HERE)
Additionally I had the great pleasure of seeing folks I haven’t seen in 20-25 years. That was a lot of fun and was a great additional unexpected bonus for me. I had been a speaker at the first two UAC conferences starting in 1987, so it was great to see how this conference has grown.
As is often the case in a large conference like this there was a strongly evident shadow presence at this UAC. While it was wonderful that it was being held in New Orleans, a great and lively city, the conference was held in a huge “twin tower” Marriot Hotel, a chain owned by one of the billionaire backers of Mitt Romney.
As brilliantly described by one of the faculty of the conference, the atmosphere was similar to being cooped up in an airliner for 6 days with everyone breathing the same recycled stale air. Being trapped indoors in these conditions with so many people was challenging to say the least. However, for me, the most egregious shadow aspect was a surprisingly inappropriate evening performance meant to be a spoof on the Mayan Calendar. The problem was it wound up coming across as mean spirited, including making fun of Mayans and indigenous people in general. There were about 1200 people that attended this performance, though everyone I talked to about this the next day felt much the same way and had all left early.
Another thing I noticed was the minimal presence of young astrologers. Back when I started learning about and practicing astrology in the late 60’s and early 70’s, the great majority of astrologers were young people. In a way it seemed to me that UAC was a self-congratulatory gathering of the old guard. Having said that, there were some young astrologers present and a few who gave presentations, but compared to times past it seemed the young people were missing from this event.
Despite the theme of Venus and the timing of the conference close to Venus transit, there was not one presentation on the whole schedule that was solely about the Venus transit! Upon noticing this, Cayelin quickly added some PowerPoint slides to my talk on the Venus Synodic Cycle – so I was able to cover the main points of this rare event that won’t happen again until 2117. The feedback from those who attended my talk was truly inspiring.
With the exception of the aforementioned evening “satire” on 2012 and Mayan Calendar, there was very little (some but not much) presented at the conference on Mayan Calendrics, the Galactic Alignment, or anything much about 2012 and the world ages and precessional cycles. I am puzzled and not sure why mainstream astrology steer clear of these issues.
I did have the opportunity to attend some talks when I could get away from the SAMS table. Of course I loved Linea Van Horn’s talk on the Galactic Embrace speaking to the Turning of the Ages, maybe the only talk geared to this topic. Also, of note were fine presentations by Caroline Casey, my track coordinator, and many times collaborator over the years. I also completely loved a truly great talk given by Geoffrey Cornelius on divination, my current astrological hero. I will write something more on this later, as I feel it is that important. Plus, Cayelin got to attend wonderful presentations by Adam Gainsburg on the Venus Synodic Cycle that did cover some details on the Venus Transit and Gary Caton on the synodic cycle of Mercury.
I also learned a lot from a fabulous presentation by a Mexican astrologer, Yurira Robels about 2012 and the Mayan Long Count entitled Historical Roots of the Mayan Calendar. She confirmed from her research that no one really knows a beginning and end date for the long count of the Mayan Calendar. She presented eight different theories with eight different results. This matches SAMS understanding that the Galactic Alignment and the Turning of the Ages is a fairly long window of time, and there is little point in becoming fixated on any one date, be it the December Solstice 2012, or any other.
Based on the past pattern of this conference I am imagining there will be another UAC in 3 to 4 years. I am envisioning that there will be a whole tribe of Shamanic Astrologers present for that one as it is a great opportunity to connect with what is going on in the greater collective of the astrological community.