Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Blowing It Up

It has long been noted that astrology lacks true integration. It isn't that people are working against each other, it's just that the northern hemisphere seems to keep to itself and the southern hemisphere seems to keep to itself too. And certainly there has been very little interface between East and West. Distance can be a problem. And the older astrologers' lack of engagement with social media means the gap between older and younger astrologers is widening with every technological advance.

But the Institute of Vedic Culture (IVC) astrology conference, organised by the Krishnamurti Institute of Astrology (KIA) and founded by Gopal Bhattacharjee, has been working towards bridging those gaps and in the past few years has been offering simply magical opportunities for astrologers to learn more about the very different approaches of Western (tropical zodiac) and Vedic (sidereal zodiac) astrology. As a research astrologer, I passionately believe we need to stand shoulder to shoulder to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous scepticism and to be in a position to offer a tactical offence (and if you don't believe the sceptics are ganging up on astrologers, then you need to read Robert Currey's brilliant account on the "guerrilla skeptics"). We can't do that if we don't understand each other or if we pretend our factions are more important than the bigger picture. So I am way more than a little excited to be a part of KIA's endeavour to bring together astrologers from 6 continents (we are searching for astrologers from Antarctica, lol), over 20 countries, together at a conference to be held 31st January - 4th February 2017 in beautiful, historical yet modern Kolkata India. So far we have over 70 international speakers plus many speakers from India, making it one of the biggest and certainly the most diverse astrology conference ever held.

As my friend and IVC speaker Sam Sadasiva Geppi says: "We are going to blow it up this year!!"

Oh yes we are. Yes WE are.

Personally, I am terrifically moved by the spirit of this conference.  I am moved by Gopal's vision and I will always be inspired by Richard Alwin Filder who was one of the first international speakers back in 2014. He had NO idea of what to expect but he must have liked it because he returned the next year in 2015 with a few more of us (Naomi Bennett, Michelle Gould, Sanjay Pandya, Agent 63 Ehsan Khazeni, myself and a few others). We all became very close friends and met in South Africa for the Astrology Restored Conference in Cape Town later that year where quite a few of us formed a veritable tribe of antipodean astrologers and then descended on KIA in early 2016 where we were joined by even more international astrologers such as Agent Dakini Laura Boomer Trent, who wanted to discover what they were missing out on.

So when Gopal made me Secretary General of KIA after the conference in 2016, I didn't reveal that I had a very secret weapon: I was Secret Agent 144 for the Cosmic Intelligence Agency, the largest social media group of astrologers on the internet. A brain child of Julija Simas (Agent 12), the CIA has over 1.4 million members on its Facebook page but the two groups, with integration being a bit iffy in the astrology world, had yet to meet.

I had met Julija earlier at ISAR 2014 and we got on like a proverbial house on fire. After the conference in India 2016, I went to Melbourne to hang out with other CIA secret agents, most notably Olga Morales. Here we are looking all secretive-like:
From l-r: Olga, me and Julija in Melbourne Australia
It was during this time that I began to hatch my secret plan to get more antipodean friends to the KIA conference (having also experienced the thriving astrological community in Cape Town): Julija and Olga were thrilled with the idea of coming to India. A CIA briefing was in the making.

But I still didn't reveal all of my plans.

At ISAR 2016, after a few miserable months in London (I had been travelling around the world for 5 months and found being back at home very difficult to get used to), I met up again with Julija and Ana Carrapichano (who organised the Astrology Restored Conference in South Africa along with Richard Fidler). 

l-r Agents Ana, 144 and 12
It was the perfect opportunity for us to put our heads together and with South American Agent 55 Vanessa Guazzelli Paim on board, we very nicely had 6 continents covered:

Agent 12: South America?
Agent 55: check
Agent 12: North America?
Agent 144: check
Agent 12: Europe?
Agent 144: check (in true Gemini rising style, Agent 144 keeps her two big feet in two separate continents)
Agent 12: South Africa? 
Agent Ana: check
Agent 12: Persia?
Agent 63: check
Agent 12: I got Australia covered
Agent 144: And Super Secret Honorary Agent Gopal has India covered (we're working on China and the Far East)
Agent 144 getting her brief from Agents 55 and 12
Agent 12: 144, we got a plan of action. You do the infiltrating. You got the connections.
Agent 144: Boss, I haven't even had me cup of tea yet

"I can't cope without me tea" --Agent 144
But there were thrills and attempts at papping us before we could hatch our plan fully! And quickly Agent 144 realised there were more important things in life than tea (a miracle in itself!).

Agent 144: OK, I got it. It's on like Donkey Kong. We assemble the finest astrologers for IVC. We get KIA and CIA to work together on IVC before I go MIA at the Kepler Conference!
Agent 12: You got it 144! You got any other conferences you're going to?
Agent 144: Why yes indeed: there's Portugal in February 17
Agent 12: Anything else?
Agent 144: NORWAC
Agent 12: Anything else?
Agent 144: Well there's my tour of the US West Coast where I'll be visiting various branches of NCGR and the San Francisco Astrology Society. . .
Agent 12: Anything else?
Agent 144: Um, I'm at the Scottish Astrology Association in the autumn
Agent 12: Anything else?
Agent 144: Sheesh boss, ya trying to kill me?
Agent 12: It's a tough life as an agent. Where's your next article?
Agent 144: (stunned into silence)
Agent 12: Right, you know what to do

So at the Kepler Conference, the finest research astrologers had gathered and what a terrific opportunity to do some recruiting. Ditto for Portugal.

Northern Hemisphere Agent 144 and Southern Hemisphere Agent 55 showing da love
But wait, there's more!

Cosmic Intelligence Agency is delighted to report that at the NORWAC Conference in Seattle, Agent 12 (Julija) and Agent 144 (Me) will be re-united and both of us will be happy to answer any questions our North American friends might have about the conference in India. We'll have leaflets and, of course, our big mouths to help you decide if being a part of the biggest astrology conference on the planet is something you might like to invest in. After NORWAC, I'll be on a tour of the West Coast meeting various NCGR chapters and the San Francisco Astrology Society and again, will be very happy to share the vision of truly uniting astrologers together. We ask our astrologer friends, in particular those who are speaking at IVC, to engage with our various social media campaigns on Facebook and other platforms.

And with two of the biggest online astrology organisations (CIA, Southern Hemisphere and Western Astrology and KIA, Northern Hemisphere and Vedic) working together, you won't want to miss this opportunity: it's cutting edge stuff and what dreams are made of! 

So readers might be wondering how long Agent 144 has been deep, deep, deep undercover...

Agent 144 in saree, Kolkata India, 2015
Agent 144 with Agent 63, Cape Town 2015

Agents Dakini, Ana and 144 in sarees, Kolkata India 2016

Top secret CIA board meeting, ISAR 2016
Dr Dennis Harness with Agents 63 and 144 before the good doctor knew he would be headline speaker at IVC
Me and IVC Speaker Lynn Bell in Portugal

Hakan Kirkoglu Agent 40 at ISAR: totally oblivious!
Armand Diaz (Agent 17) with Agent 144 at ISAR: oblivious. Note 144's halo
Dr Glenn Perry, oblivious at The Kepler Conference (and promoting my book!!) and just look at 144's halo!
Kepler panel: Four confirmed speakers (and me)! Note the fertility of Dennis Harness' imagination and our star Will Morris!
Dr Will Morris and Kenneth Miller, speakers at IVC 2018, totally oblivious at The Kepler Conference!
 (square halos for 144 and Kenneth!)

Agent 144 photobombing the ISAR board looking like disaster girl but actually going for the "uh-huh, I'll be seeing you at IVC" look. Seven of them have confirmed as speakers at IVC ;)
So there, it's all out!

In all seriousness, it has been remarkable how so many unique and diverse astrologers are so thrilled to put energy in the IVC conference. If you'd like to be a part of this but aren't too sure what things will be like, you can read my account here. We now have the tour packages ready!

And if you do have to miss the spectacular event, the Nakshatra Barta, KIA's publication, will be available for purchase. Packed full of our researchers' finest articles, it will be distributed to 20,000 readers around the world. Never heard of Nakshatra Barta? We'll be putting that right. It's time for astrologers to find out what it's like to be treated like rock stars--and it could only happen in India. At least for now.

We're hoping to change that at IVC.

So put it in your calendar: IVC 31 January- 4 February 2018, Kolkata India!

About the Astrologer

Alex Trenoweth was voted Best International Astrologer, 2015 for her dynamic presentation on her innovative and original research into Astrology and Education. Her book, "Growing Pains" is an exciting development in astrology as it combines classroom teaching experience, sound investigation and the potential to have a positive impact on struggling adolescents, parents, teachers and those who have been labelled "at risk". She writes the weekly and monthly horoscopes and other articles for the Cosmic Intelligence Agency, one of the largest astrological social media groups on the web and was also a speaker for the AstroSummit, a guest lecturer for the London School of Astrology and has spoken at several UK local astrology groups. Upcoming international events include Breaking Down the Borders, the Kepler Conference, Congresso Internacional de Astrologia (Portugal), Kepler College, the Mercury Internet School of Psychological Astrology, NORWAC and the San Francisco Astrology Society Alex is also Vice Principal and Secretary General of International Affairs for the Krishnamurti Institute of Astrology and will will be taking up her residential post in India 2017. For queries, consultations or syndications, please contact Alex via www.alextrenoweth.com or leave a message in the comment section.
"Growing Pains" can be purchased in paperback or kindle format on Amazon or can be signed and posted directly to you by Alex.

About the New Book

There are two wolves fighting inside of me, the old story goes, one wolf is good and the other is evil. “But Grandfather,” asked the child, “Which one wins?” The Grandfather answered, “The wolf I feed.”

We might like to think that being good is a natural instinct. In fact, doing the right thing takes a conscious decision. Every day, we are met with temptation to get ahead at the expense of someone else, to get away with something we know is wrong or to cut corners if we think no one is watching.

Following on from her powerful book on astrology and Education, “Growing Pains”, Alex Trenoweth explores the benefits of using “the bad guy” of the solar system: Saturn. Often avoided and seldom understood, if we understand our own Saturn then we can help others to understand theirs. Using case studies of  highly successful people contrasted with convicted serial killers, Trenoweth deftly demonstrates the dire consequences of feeding the wrong wolf.