|With my ephemeris--autographed by an Astronaut!|
It was a terrific honour and privilege to be invited to speak at the Kepler Conference which took place from 20th-22nd January near Cape Canaveral Florida. I had always felt my nerdy data was out of place at astrology conferences and in astrology articles but organiser Courtney Roberts took notice and I'm ever so grateful she was able to assemble a fine and diverse cast of researchers for this groundbreaking conference which is now featured in the editorial on the Astrology News Service. Most of us (I feel I should justify that with a more specific statistic but bear with me) came away with the clear idea that we had set a very high bar for future astrology conferences. A few of us also felt we had thrown down the gauntlet to the scientific community who continue to disregard astrology as medieval superstition.
And on that note, I have a little confession: I have never been so nervous speaking at a conference before. I just felt that the precedent we were setting was palpable nearly every second. I had four lectures to give and my knees were knocking all the way through every one of them. I often say I find speaking to adults (as opposed to children) unnerving because they're so quiet in the audience but this was something else entirely. I felt I had something important to contribute, I was excited to do so and when Bill Meridian tells you afterwards that he admires your work, you know you've made a good impression. Oh and Glenn Perry and Will Morris bought copies of my book (thanks chaps!).
I listened to nearly every lecture and was so proud to be a part of the team. The topics were hugely varied and packed full of yummy statistics and carefully researched evidence. I felt like I was learning more about how to extend and continue my own astrological research. In fact, I feel my research will never be the same again. I was inspired! As Bill said: "There were more solid research results per hour in this conference than in any conference I can recall." That's what I mean about setting a very high bar for future astrology conferences.
|Robert Currey, me and Ken McRitchie waiting for the rocket launch|
But of course, conferences aren't just about lectures (because if they were, my brain would have exploded at this one), they're about the people you meet up with and the things you get up to as well. On our first night, we were treated to the prospect of a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral. I was so excited, I was like a little kid! I found Robert Currey and Ken McRitchie on the beach and we all sort of jumped up and down with anticipation--until the mission was aborted for the night. Was I disappointed! Not to mention, I no longer had a distraction to keep me from concentrating on how nervous I was about my impending lectures. Fortunately for me, my buddy Ana Andrade from Peru arrived to keep me calm, cool and collected.
|L-R Will Morris, me, Kenneth Miller and Scott Silverman|
And my moment did come the next afternoon with my lecture entitled "The Gauquelin Effect: Reloaded" and the description reading: "The greatest astro-research program ever undertaken has to be that of the Gauquelins: could destiny be demonstrated? Could their statistics prove that planets in the diurnal circle at birth were connected with excellence in future life? Or, was it all just a glitch in the statistics as Wikipedia now tells us? Now the data is all online but there are not many astro-researchers checking over it. Does the Moon really affect the birth of poets, and Saturn the scientists? For the first time these results are ready and available for analysis by students of psychology. But will they take it seriously or will they just dismiss it as medieval superstition?" I was told the talk went well (I was too bloody nervous to notice anything about the reaction of the audience at the time) and this is a talk I definitely want to develop into something lengthier and grittier.
|CIA agents Michele Finey, me and Cassandra Butler|
As I mentioned, there were many, many fine talks. I won't even try to replicate (haha) the fine research of the other speakers. If you would like specifics, have a rummage through The Kepler Conference website for copyrighted (yeah, don't nick our research without our permission!) materials.
That rocket launch? It did happen eventually! I took a video of it but have yet to figure out how to get it from my device to you tube but it will happen. Suffice to say, it was spectacularly awesome. I was surprised it took nearly 90 seconds before we heard the characteristic "boom boom" of the sound barrier being broken but even more surprising was the number of shooting stars we saw!
Saturday was my big lecture. I was nearly in meltdown. I get weird when I'm nervous. I got so weird, I conjured up my own mystical moment. And here's how it went: I was walking to the lobby to get some breakfast when I saw this big, bright pink flower. Glorious it was. It was just the same colour as one of my favourite tops so I was admiring it. As I passed by it, the flower said: "You know, it hurts to blossom."
I kid you not.
So I stopped, backed up and said: "Huh?"
But of course, mystical moments aren't known for replicating on demand so I called my friend Scott over to take a photo of it as a memento. I'm still waiting for it, Scott ;). I'll bet it does hurt to blossom--and all we do is focus on the end result, not the process. And Miss Pink Flower, your message was not lost on me.
A few hours later and I'm up to lecture. I could feel the blood pumping in my ears and I knew my hands were shaking as I held the mic. This was my research, my results and my evidence that I could back up "Growing Pains" with relevant statistics. I don't know why I was so nervous. I'm still shaking just thinking about it! It was hurting to blossom all right. And I'm still thinking of things I wish I had said or things I wished I hadn't said. But I knocked some socks off. And I'm rolling up my sleeves for more.
Later that same evening, I also took part in a panel discussion about putting astrology to work: expanding astrology's professional applications and opportunities. Essentially, I talked about the problems I've had merging my two very different careers and I came away thinking that astrology on its own has no relevance. It serves an important part of the backdrop of many different professions but at the same time, astrologers have to have such a vast array of other skills (writing, lecturing, marketing and all the other skills that have to be brought into the arena) that it's pretty impossible to find astrologers who "just" do consultations. I was also pretty sure that astrology can be used in some way in every profession. The potential for more astrology nerdery has no limitations.
By Sunday morning, I was pretty chilled. I went for a walk on the beach. . .and wouldn't you know it, I had another mystical moment. Perhaps it was being so close to the Atlantic Ocean that caused the universe to crack open wide enough for me to hear what it had to say. Anyway, I was watching the sunrise when I noticed all these little holes in the sand. I wondered why they were there and then it occurred to me (because I occasionally watch David Attenborough) that there might be clams or something in those holes. All of a sudden, I really wanted to see a clam (having never seen one in the wild before). So I started poking around a bit with my fingers and got sand under my nails (which I hate) just before realising that maybe these holes might not be made by clams but maybe by crabs with great big pinchers that could snap my delicate digits to the bone. So I looked around and found an old cup and I started digging. And digging. Pretty soon I realised that whatever had made that hole was probably burrowing deeper just to get away from big scary me. It seemed a bit cruel to continue with my exploration so I just went back to watching the sunrise. I thought about what might have made those holes and I thought about how research is a bit like the experience I had just had: we get curious, we prod a bit then change our instruments and sometimes what we are pursuing seems deliberately elusive. Sooner or later we have to decide whether or not its worth it to continue our pursuit.
Yeah I get profound like that near oceans.
My final talk was on Kolisko's famous experiments and the secrets of the seven metals. When I get to India, I will be replicating these in a laboratory with my new found friend Rahul. So more research. It never ends. It was a great pleasure to meet fellow CIA Agent Michele Finey and her partner Neil Dennis. I thought we did a pretty good job team-working our way through Planetary Metals.
By Sunday evening, dark clouds started to gather and tornado warnings were issued.
I'm from Michigan and let's just say I'm traumatised by tornadoes. I don't want to see one and I defo don't want to be in one. But it was one spectacular storm and in between flashes of lightning, we could see the formation of funnel clouds that didn't quite pull it together enough to pose as a real threat. But my great goddess, it rained! I turned to Dennis Harness and said: "I've never said this before but I think this was one of the best astrology conferences I've ever been to!" And it was followed by such a great crack of thunder, I had to re-phrase and say: "I think we made history this weekend."
On Monday we got to visit Kennedy Space Center. I was like a little kid in heaven looking at all the launch sites and checking out all the space suits. I even got to meet John Blaha, a real astronaut. I was a bit tongue tied I was so in awe of him--imagine meeting a person who has been to outer space! But I got him to sign my ephemeris! (Such a nice guy!). I also went on a simulation of shuttle launch and I got to pretend I was commanding a shuttle. Every now and again I had to sit down because I was so overwhelmed by the vastness of space and by how much we don't know about it.
I do hope Kepler research continues to go from strength to strength. From the buzz created, I really do think we will have a mention in the Big Book of Astrological History.
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) 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 early 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.