Diversity Scholarship Essays

Aisha Graham

Firstly, I’d like to say I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to be sponsored for NORWAC 2018, and I’m grateful for the experience.  All of the main keynote speakers were very inspiring and the topics were a great start to the day.  Prior to coming, I was not aware of the great significance in houses and degrees of signs.  By attending, I was able to obtain a lot of information, changing the way I read and relate to astrological aspects. However, I do notice there were people who were not as adept in astrology as the majority of the attendees.  It would be nice to have some “beginner’s” seminars, giving information on the basic elements of astrology, such as the houses and aspects, although I do understand the conference is typically geared to those who are experienced and/or already providing services using astrology.

For my own benefit, I plan to use astrology in my community as a therapeutic tool to help heal people of insecurities.  Since leaving the conference, I’ve started doing birth chart readings and have had wonderful results.  Everyone stated their analyses were completely accurate.  I plan to continue doing readings and make astrology more prominent in my community and ones alike.  I live in Southwest, DC which is a predominantly African American area.  I’ll be using astrology in a way that opens their eyes to different possibilities of the world we live in, versus being so close minded and following the same trends they’ve been raised around.

I plan to also focus on single mothers, helping them to better understand how to relate to and discipline their children.  As a single mother myself, I understand how difficult it can be to complete all the tasks of a mother, while simultaneously disciplining and nurturing your child as well.  Astrology helped me understand how my daughter best communicates and that she has slight issues with authority.  This afforded me the chance to improve certain areas of my parenting that weren’t aligned with how she understood new concepts. Astrology has also helped me to relate to and understand my own parents better, from examining their birth charts and giving more clarity as to how they were raised and traits that may have affected their parenting style with me.  Astrology is not very common placed, and in Black communities even less so.  It could become an alternative way to form strong bonds within family structures by giving a deeper understanding to different personalities and how they interact.  Again thank you for the opportunity, and I hope to attend another astrology conference in the near future.

Cameron Allen

I first want to express my gratitude for being chosen as one of the diversity scholarship recipients. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at NORWAC. I have not experienced energy like that ever in my life. The amount of enthusiasm for one subject in one space was tangibly electric. It was multiple things that really stood out to me other than the great atmosphere. The first thing was the down to earth ideas that were being presented. From my understanding and observation many astrological topics have a very ethereal language to them and can be difficult concepts to grasp. During NORWAC, many of these etheric ideas integrated and grounded within the very earthly and material reality that we live in with no loss of substance and meaning. Embodying the truth that astrology is through natural law is one of the main things I seek to understand and I accelerated 5-9 months in 3 days by going to this conference. The next thing is the professionalism that is seemingly being stepped up within the practice of astrology. I have come across many people who have been damaged in one way or another by an astrologer that “predicted” an occurrence that did not materialize and give instruction when an offering of possibilities should have been presented. Having a degree in psychology, I highly appreciate being reminded of aspiring to keep notes, protecting client’s information, and simply holding true space for healing, void of our ego as much as possible, yet being present enough to share in a very genuine way. The last thing that I really enjoyed was not being the only person in my age group present. I have always felt as if in every healing circle that I enter, it has been a void of people under 30. Networking with people my age has been a goal of mine moving into this year and NORWAC assisted me in moving forward with that. I do feel as though it is much more that I could say but I am still integrating this transforming experience. Special thanks to Laura Nalbandian for all of the energy and effort you put forth into to creating an amazing event, Samuel Reynolds for being a great host, human, and guidance, putting energy into shifting the culture, and everyone who were running around like worker bees around the hotel to be sure that things went smoothly, it was seen and appreciated. I am excited for future NORWAC events, being a student, becoming a teacher, and a teacher. Gratitude is all I feel for the experience.

Isaiah Jones

The first thing I want to say is that I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend NORWAC. My experience overall was life changing! I truly believe that what I learned and experienced at the conference will be pivotal in my astrological career and my own self-development.
My initial experience was admittedly pretty difficult as Venus was making its way thru my 12th house Thursday and Friday. I had a hard time really connecting and relating to people.  Although, no one was necessarily mean or avoidant of me, I did feel left out of the initial cliques that formed on the first night. Instead, I spent a lot of my free time reflecting on lectures, going over notes, and talking over things with a good friend.  Another struggle was facing how little I actually knew about Astrology. Every lecture provided me with a wealth of information that I had never heard of, only touched on a bit, or had completely wrong interpretations of. This turned into a plus as I truly reflected on what I learned and added these novel thoughts to my astrological repertoire and watched myself improve basically overnight.
One of my favourite things about the conference was meeting and seeing people in person that I had only read about or heard on a podcast such as Rob Hand and Kelley Surtees.  I got to let my inner Astrology fanboy out as I took meticulous notes on things that I didn’t have to just because Rob Hand said them. My favourite lecturers were Cheryl Hopkins, Jessica Lanyadoo, Wade Caves, Kelley Surtees, and JP Hawthorne. I especially enjoyed Jessica Lanyadoo’s style of presenting information clearly and sternly but without harming you or leaving you hopeless. The Diversity Scholarship recipients were really awesome and it was inspiring to see people of colour around my age really invested in Astrology that isn’t just on the internet.
My next steps are investing more of my life into Astrology via reading more books, giving more chart readings, and attending more conferences. I learned thru my experience at NORWAC that I am interested in Horary Astrology, Natal Astrology, Medical Astrology, and transits so I will have a general focus on these. I would like to offer reduced price and pay-what-you-want services to the people in my community to give people of colour and people who are underprivileged access to Astrology.


Audrey Roberts

My travels to NORWAC this year was an amazing moment. I have always loved the study of astrology since my very first introduction in Early 2000s. Since then I have made every attempt to keep up with the basic essentials and to understand the scientific art more deeply. When I found NORWAC this year everything changed about astrology for me.

As I made every attempt to pick up the astrology books again, I struggled with how I would approach the study and it’s nuances. I was giving it one more chance to deepen my thought patterns and it was those House Placements that made a connection.  Once I could finally interpret my archetype heavenly by just moving forward from my ascendant into each successive house and complete myself I began a new walk.  Redemptive, after feeling an earlier intellectual failure in my many attempts to sit with Rudhyar cover to cover and have him teach me.  But at NORWAC I discovered Hand, Mark Jones and Sam Reynolds who made me excited to look through those books and crack Dane Rudhyar’s astrological codes, high level thinking and advanced vocabulary and new teachers.  By now I was keeping up with transits and grabbing a Mountain Astrologer every chance I found it to follow the sky.  There is so much more…

But how this one particular issue that I searched high and low to find, now that particular issue grabbed my hand to walk me into a greater level of astrological understanding. This Mountain Astrologer was advertising for NORWAC and that grabbed my attention and allowed me to set some new goals through my attendance so I could meet a whole astrology community. Little did I know I would be entering a sea bath of information pertaining to astrology through my participation. I would be reborn again through astrological terms and my whole outlook would totally change after my NORWAC Experience.

When I arrived to Seattle it was an easy transition I got in late and immediately met some folk who were milling around the lobby still bubbling about the days events. They were all sharing their best preliminary experiences of that day and were eager to introduce me to the atmosphere and their intrigue. I was excited. I could not wait until these next days.

I was up and ready to learn prepared for my morning by 8 am. I was looking forward to hearing about Pluto and it’s movement through our chart. The speaker was delightful. She was up beat very pragmatic and engaging the whole time. The room was filled. I had already met the organizing family which made the atmosphere feel warm and every one there seem familial. I looked around and we were all enthralled. The tarot card reader was delightful as well. She sat me down and read my weekend offering me that relaxing touch in a new and very unfamiliar situation.

After Pluto we began our breakout sessions and I wanted to attend them all. I loved all the lectures. I left with more astrological household names like Gemini Brett, Kelly Surtees, Jessica Lanyadoo, Laura Nalbandian, and many others.  I listened as Libra was crafted around mythological storytelling. I heard more archetype representation and how to know It innately without a book as I should approach chart reading. I knew now you must read a chart to learn. I also learned you can infuse astronomy with astrology to add more complexities and begin a whole new nomenclature making it an interdisciplinary outside of psychology even…

And my favorite lectures were those in simplest form since I knew there was a textbook to break down any new terminology that seemed too advanced at the moment. I grabbed Judith Hill, Liz Green and More Rudhyar. I took copious notes and made sure I listened intently. My new obsession were The Nodes. A whole new world had sparked inside of me. Things were becoming even more complicated and I adored the study again eager to sit before those novice and experts. Then at the very next moment, I sat before a presenter and the audience was greeted as “Astrologers” I did not know that I was an actual Astrologer before then. This conference substantiated my interest and my astrological studying. I listened as Jessica Lanyadoo gave us her story about leaving Canada to begin her astrological journey and I believed in myself. How exciting to be transformed at NORWAC a major event.