AFA 2015 Conference Schedule


Pre-Conference Workshops

Chart Calculation: A One-Day Workshop on Natal and Progressed Chart Calculation: presented by Christine Arens, LPTMAFA; click here to learn more about this workshop on Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

A Time to Ask: A One-Day Workshop on Horary Astrology: presented by Deborah Houlding; click here to learn more about this workshop on Wednesday, April 8, 2015.


Conference Schedule

The illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called Time, rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing ocean-tide, on which we and all the universe swim like exhalations, like apparitions which are, and then are not; this is literally a miracle, a thing to strike us dumb ~ Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship, 1840.

Thursday, April 9

1:00 pm: Opening with Dave Campbell

Welcome from AFA

Tribute to James Holden - Chris Brennan

Introduction of Speakers

Opening Panel moderated by Dave Campbell - How do you define astrology? What is the astrological orientation that you are bringing to your talks, with special reference to time?


2:30-3:30 pm: The Timing of Fleet-Footed Mercury presented by Demetra George

Setting the tone for the weekend, our conference opens with an exact conjunction of Mercury in the heart of the Sun, a time when Mercury is infused and fertilized with the generative power of the Sun. This patron god of travelers is the swiftest planet in our solar system; three times each years he follows a circuitous path of dizzying twists and turns, appearing and disappearing, going forwards and backwards, moving faster, slower, and standing still. Turning to myth to follow the tracks of his mysterious journeying, this lecture explores the critical moments of Mercury's synodic cycle and illuminates the precise timing of deep insights, bright ideas, and regenerative mental surges that he offers every year.


3:45-4:45 pm: Electional Astrology: Rules for Successful Inceptions presented by Chris Brennan

Electional astrology is used in order to select auspicious times to begin new ventures and undertakings. The premise is that an astrological chart cast for the start of an event will reflect its future. By extension, an astrologer can choose or elect specific times to begin things so that a successful outcome will be more likely. This lecture will cover the core principles of electional astrology, outlining some traditional and modern considerations that are used to identify auspicious charts.

4:50-5:20 pm: When All Else Fails: Three Keys to Successful Elections Using Indian Astrology to Find Auspicious Times When There Are None presented by Kenneth Miller

Did you know that in India they have a five-fold qualitative division of time that differs significantly from our Western time concepts? In this mini-lecture you will learn three different components from the Indian concept of time, which differ from Western options and are able to prove an auspicious time for events, often when there are no such times in the Western system. You will learn how to easily integrate these three considerations in your practice without having to learn Indian astrology!

Evening free to socialize at hotel happy hour and dinner on own


Friday, April 10

9:30-10:45 am - Cosmic Connections: Understanding Timing in Horary and Elections presented by Deborah Houlding

A reliable assessment of timing is usually considered an advanced element of horary, but this presentation will show how the symbolism of time reveals itself naturally once the principles are understood and the most practical techniques identified. Modern and historical case-studies will demonstrate how connections between nativities, moments of enquiry, and their ultimate resolution are often quite stunning. Exploring the issues allows us to identify the best method for predicting when moments of significance occur, as well as refining our practice of electional techniques and deepening our broader understanding of how astrological cycles unfold their meaning over time.


11:00-11:30 am - Consultation Charts and Thought-Interpretation presented by Benjamin Dykes

In this talk, we will look at several methods used by ancient and medieval astrologers to interpret beforehand the content of a question or consultation - and in some cases, to predict the outcome of the question from that chart, or even to predict what is in a clients hand. Using translations from Hermes, Masha'allah, Hephaistion of Thebes, and Abu Ma'shar's student Shadhan, we will examine actual charts to see how consultation charts and thought-interpretation played an important role in early horary.

11:35 am-12:20 pm - The Importance of Timing presented by Joy Usher

The concept of Accidental Dignity is one which has everything to do with timing. We become so accustomed to the movement of the planets themselves that we often forget the impact of the rising and setting of the zodiac signs across the horizon. But it is this very movement which creates the idea of a planet in its "natural place," a term used by Al-Biruni to describe Planetary Sect. Using examples covering a short period of time, the ever-changing status of the planets can help to remind us that consideration of Sect is a critical factor in delineation.

Lunch - 12:30-2:00 pm (included with registration)

2:00-3:15 pm -Primary Directions without Tears presented by Benjamin Dykes

Primary direction was a key method in traditional astrology (in both nativities and mundane astrology), and we will look at two ways to perform them easily: through ascensions, and through Ptolemy's semi-arc directions. The methods will be illustrated with several charts.


3:30-4:45 pm - Timing the Activation of the Rulers of the Houses presented by Chris Brennan

One of the keys to chart delineation is learning how to interpret the rulers of the 12 houses when they are in different houses. For example, what does it mean when the ruler of the 7th house is in the 11th house, or when ruler of the 10th is in the 9th? In this lecture attendees will learn how to interpret these placements, as well as how to identify when the topics associated with them will become activated at specific times in the life of the native by using the time-lord technique known as annual profections.

4:50-5:20 pm - Horary Time: the Mystery of the Moment presented by Eve Dembowski

Practicing horary exposes the mystery of time and astrology itself. Horary is the astrology of the moment; that point in time when the cosmos line up and provides us with the perfect chart. The time a horary chart is set has been much debated over the years. We are told to set the chart for the moment we receive and understand the question. But what exactly does this mean? How do we recognize this moment and what if anything defines it? Do we choose this moment or does it choose us?

6:00-8:00 pm - Reception at AFA headquarters (shuttle provided)

Saturday, April 11

9:30-11:45 am - The Timing of Illness presented by Demetra George and Deborah Houlding

Hellenistic astrologers looked to the motion of the Moon its speed, light, and aspects at the time a person took to bed ill as the key to understanding the cause, treatment, course, and prognosis of the malady. These guidelines can also be used to analyze surgery charts. Later astrologers merged this method with Galens work on Critical Days, which then developed into the doctrine of decumbiture. In this double lecture, Demetra will present the origins and foundational concepts of the timing of illness based upon her translations of 1st century astrological-medical texts. Deb will then demonstrate how Renaissance astrologer Nicholas Culpeperapplied the decumbiture method of monitoring periods of crisis and intermission in illness, allowing him to adjust his treatment according to the patients dips and turns in strength and vitality, in preparation for the time when the medical crisis came to its height


12:00-12:30 pm - Time's Many Faces: Images of the Decans presented by Austin R. Coppock

The decans, a division of each sign into three sections, are often mentioned as a side note, or not at all, in contemporary astrological texts. Yet these neglected elements of astrology have a well-illustrated history one adorned with hundreds beautiful and disturbing symbolic images. From the surreal gnostic imagery of the late Hellenistic period to the realistic but symbolically charged pictures in Renaissance texts, no other element of astrology has left such a rich visual trail. With the decans, time is not described merely with words or geometry, but by powerful images. Well consider this illuminated calendar and its implications in several incarnations, drawing on symbolism that stretches back to the dawn of astrological history.

Lunch - 12:30-2:00 pm (included with registration)

2:00-2:30 pm - Timing Aspects by Planetary Periods presented by Demetra George

Planetary periods, based upon the synodic cycles of the planet relative to the Sun, are one of the oldest timing procedures used in astrology. This lecture will explain the use of this technique in the timing of aspects and discuss how the generic maturation period of the aspect between each set of planets reflects an archetypal pattern of the maturation of human development over the course of the life.

2:35-3:05 pm - Timing in Mundane Astrology presented by Benjamin Dykes

In this talk we will review the major timing techniques used by medieval astrologers to time mundane events: eclipses, mean conjunctions, mundane time lords derived from the Flood-Kaliyuga, and more. Actual mundane charts will be used to illustrate the techniques.


3:15-4:15 pm - The Caliph's Dream and the Elected Chart of Baghdad presented by Deborah Houlding

The transmission of astrological treasures (and the ideals they represented) impacted upon not only the timing but the site and design of Baghdad - a city purposefully built to act as a centre of wisdom in the Arabian world. The horoscope for Baghdad is often viewed as an astrological enigma, but with this historical understanding and the help of various Arabic texts and architectural reports, we can see how deep the symbolic and astronomical significance was between a foundation chart and the city that emerged. This adds a new dimension to our understanding of this famous chart, and opens our eyes to the extent that astrological symbolism defined the architecture of the medieval world.

4:20 pm - Closing Panel with Audience Questions moderated by Dave Campbell