2022 Diversity Scholarship Essays

Aujha Aye

I feel extremely blessed to have been able to attend NORWAC 2021 as a Diversity Scholarship recipient. I originally sent in my application thinking that the opportunity wouldn’t be presented to me. I was very surprised when I received the notification, and more than excited to be able to participate. While things are starting to get back to normal, this year the conference was held online—which turned out to be the best option for me at the time. I currently work for an airline part-time and could not get the holiday weekend off so, I was able to pop in and watch on my breaks and downtime. I was also very happy to know that the conference zoom links were still available for a limited time following the conference. This allowed me to go back and watch the sessions that I was interested in and unable to attend while they were happening. I think it’s great that NORWAC still made the effort to keep things going, even with the current chaotic state of the world.

I have always been interested in astrology. I began really studying the subject a little over four years ago. Attending this conference conformed that I am on the right track in both my personal and professional life. As I was able to watch quite a few of the videos online following the conference, I was also able to pinpoint the areas where I need to improve. I also found a few sessions that introduced me to some new subjects in astrology, which is very exciting because I love learning new things and new ways to use astrology to myself and my clients progress. Another thing that I enjoyed about this conference is that it has shown me that our community is a lot larger and way more diverse than I imagined. I was able to find and follow several of my new colleagues by attending NORWAC.

I had an amazing time soaking up knowledge and meeting new people from the comfort of my home. I am looking forward to attending NORWAC next year. Thank you for making this space available to those who could not have attended otherwise!

Elmina Bell

I want to begin by thanking the NORWAC team for creating this scholarship! An interesting lecture in which I learned a new technique was Tara Al’s presentation: “Moon and Planet phases, a doorway to self-discovery.”’ Applying lunar phases to planets is another helpful way to tap into astrology as a discipline that relies on relationships. Planets talk to each other in so many ways. I’m excited to immerse myself in Tara’s upcoming new book on this!

I thought that the NORWAC race panel was challenging, I shared some thoughts in the chat. For the ethics panel the next day, I just listened. For the race panel, it would have been helpful to have other races than Black and White present, I’m not sure if the White person really needed to be there, that spot could have gone to an Asian person, for instance. It’s important for both panels and the astrology community as a whole to remember that not all Queer/trans people are cis-het passing. Racial diversity goes beyond having BIPOC people physically present in a room, it is also about being able to have our experiences, intellectual frameworks, and ethics respected rather than denied, questioned or deemed inferior. This is less about safety and more about respect. I’m not just an astrologer who happens to be Black, I am doing Black and Indigenous Astrology because I noticed that in both modern and traditional astro BIPOC historical and current lived experiences and functioning are often left out. This is not about wallowing or wanting to wear my heart on my sleeve, but tending to serious erasure. I won’t change myself to blend in or drain myself trying to justify why I do this. I think if the astrology organizations and conferences want to do better with representation and ethics issues, they should invest in learning from people from marginalized backgrounds trained to teach about the complexities of these communities. This could also prevent poor mundane astro takes that although not always intentionally racist, are out of touch with and disrespectful toward BIPOC realities.

The most moving parts of the conference for me were both of Diana Rose’s talks. The first session on 12th house luminaries spoke to my 12th house moon, which is also my tropical MC ruler. Her meditation helped me connect with my body and spirit. She described us as accidental torchbearers and it reminded me of the Hermit tarot card which is ruled by Virgo.  Virgo ascendants by sign have a luminary (Leo) in their 12th, the card depicts a man holding a light in the dark and emerges from solitude and hidden spaces with wisdom to share. Much of my work has unfolded in such a way, regardless of what field I’m in. Unplanned or “accidental” opportunities and situations arise, and my familiarity with both hidden spiritual spaces and hidden marginalized people prompts me to step up and serve.

Diana’s “Re-Envisioning Juno” showed a new side of Juno reminiscent of Indigenous values of responsibility and commitment to community that I have been studying. The overemphasis on the nuclear family and romantic relationships we see in our society now was not done in many Indigenous societies, community was what was centered, and this encompassed interconnectedness needed for society to function. I’m grateful to have heard the beautiful shares on diverse forms of relating from her case studies, I would like to see more content like this featured at NORWAC. Thanks again for this scholarship opportunity.

xander dumas

The Northwest Astrological Conference: NORWAC is in its 37th year, and it was a delight to witness the love, respect and admiration this conference has cultivated through the decades. NORWAC 2021 began with a circle being cast, we honored the elements, archetypal energies, deep breaths, then shared in a few anecdotes, housekeeping, and then we zoomed forward to a weekend full of over 60 presentations.

One of the wonderful things about NORWAC 2021 was the opportunity it provided for up-and-coming astrologers. There were of course, the well-known astrologers who have been speaking at NORWAC for awhile, but cultivated within these seasoned presenters were first time speakers. In one afternoon I could attend a lecture by icons Demetra George, Kelly Surtees and Samuel Reynolds then be introduced and astounded by Diana Harper, Bear Ryver. and Kirah Tabourn.

In addition to NORWAC’s dedication to highlight astrologers of different ages and notability, the panel paid attention to gender and sexual orientation. As a queer, non-binary trans individual, I pay attention to who is given a platform. Astrology, just like any other profession has been deeply impacted by cis-heteronormative, patriarchy, for far too long we have read phrases like, ‘Mars in Aries for women, and Mars in Aries in men..’ which is limiting in so many ways. Astrology, as we know, is deeply personal, and representation is vital, so to be able to hear presenters break down the binary, and talk about planets and signs as archetypal energies within this well-established annual conference makes me feel more seen, comfortable and included.

Many folks of the NORWAC board created an ‘Ethics Panel’ to address misogyny, racism and other unethical behaviors. During the conference they had a discussion, asking folks to join the panel so more people’s voices are heard. I am hoping with this call, the ethics board will be comprised of people of various ages, genders, races, cultural upbringings and socio-economic backgrounds. I want to be part of a board that shapes the way this field is expanding. In addition to the ‘ethics panel’, there was also a ‘Race and Astrology Panel’ composed of Sam Reynolds, Mychal A. Bryan, Stormie Grace, Diana Rose Harper, and Gray Crawford. This hour-long dialogue touched upon topics of race, racism, white privilege, who has a seat at the table, and how that shapes what is being heard. The field of Astrology is vastly white and cis, as is the make-up of the attendees and lecturers of NORWAC, but both these panel discussions are markers that we are on the right path of growth.

There is so much more I wish to say, but what I will conclude with, is the tech team did an extraordinary job of fixing the many technical difficulties that arose during this Mercury Retrograde, and each person from the board members, to lectures, to room moderators, technicians and volunteers were publicly thanked, and this is a conference I look forward to attending in person.

Tatianni Gagner

Seeing the email in my inbox from Samuel F. Reynolds(!) with a subject line that read, “Congratulations! You are a NORWAC 2021 Diversity Scholarship Recipient” is easily my happiest moment since before March 2020, surpassed only by the experience of the conference itself! Receiving the opportunity to attend NORWAC for the first time felt like such an incredible gift that affirmed my relatively recent decision to study and practice astrology with serious intent. What a blessing it was to attend the lectures of so many astrologers I have admired and followed for years, especially astrologers like Sam who have paved the way for a more diverse astrological community that I can actually see myself in. At the time I received the scholarship and even up until the conference, there was a part of me that was still unsure that becoming an astrologer, professionally or not, was a viable path for me. NORWAC offered me the validation I so needed to continue.  I asked for the time off of work months in advance and was able to attend the entire conference live, which was such an exhilarating experience and privilege. Even through Zoom I felt the welcoming energy of people from all kinds of backgrounds coming together in their passion for astrology. The greatest challenge was giving myself a break! I was so dedicated to getting the most out of the experience that I went to every lecture possible and barely had time to prepare meals!  The brightest highlight for me was exploring so many different modes of astrological practice. Attending lectures that were a bit over my head, like Leisa Schaim’s ‘When Love Comes Around’, centered around zodiacal releasing, was enriching and expansive for me. Even if I am not at that level yet in my practice, the exposure is invaluable. I believe hearing new language, even if it isn’t completely understood, lays the foundation for mastery later. I was equally enlightened by lectures that were more accessible to me, like Demetra George’s talk on the Sixth House, or Diana Rose’s experiential 12th house journey. These lectures, among others, deepened my understanding as if walking a new path in familiar territory– experiencing it through an alternative perspective.  I am filled with gratitude for this incredible experience that I could not have had without scholarship. Being able to attend Kelly Surtees’ workshop on the practicalities of preparing for a consultation was above and beyond what I could have hoped to come away with. That workshop, in addition to Sam Reynold’s talk ‘Making Astrology Your Business’ have me feeling confident that I have the skill set to turn my passion into my life’s work. Through my astrological practice I can continue to tend my ancestral roots and star kin while helping others realize their own connection and relationship with this beautiful universe, through consultation, when I am ready. With my NORWAC experience, I am that much closer.

Mya Kilgore

Attending the NORWAC conference was a delightful and informative experience that I am so grateful to have participated in! I’ve already had some knowledge of the topics discussed, but I appreciated the new outlooks and techniques that the speaker provided. I especially love the somewhat philosophical approach to some topics discussed within the program, such as the emphasis of the “soul” and what this encompasses within astrology, and what it represents for the individual. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the live conference due to unforeseen circumstances, but the NORWAC team was very accommodating and made sure I was able to have access to the recordings and any other necessary information that I otherwise would have missed out on. I would be honored to attend next year’s presentations alongside purchasing previous seminars as this was an enlightening experience that I would enjoy doing again. Thank you NORWAC for offering this opportunity to me, and I can’t wait for next year!

Rayner Jae Liu

Being able to attend NORWAC as a Diversity Scholarship recipient was transformational. As a first-generation American and self-taught astrologer with prominent outer planet alignments, I needed a way to access the “source code” to help me understand how to help foster collective awakening and rebirth. I am pleased to report that some of the things I learned and experienced during this conference have created a foundation that will stay with me for a lifetime.

I was blown away in more ways than I can say. Though I feel at home with multiple schools of astrology, I did not realize the level of detail and depth that can go into astrological analysis and consultation. I left with a deeper appreciation for the nuances of astronomy and mathematics, a new understanding of the many ways people practice astrology, and a sense of assurance that there are other people out there bridging heaven and earth.

I am leaving the conference hungry for deeper engagement with the tradition. It doesn’t feel enough for me anymore to know the mythic archetypes, blend them, or even see a person with quick and clear intuition. Now, I’m asking: What kind of astrologer am I? What is mine to give? How can I combine the best of traditional astrology along with the possibilities that newer traditions offer? And where do I go from here to focus my studies and create a more profound contribution to our planetary community?

NORWAC has shown me how much I have yet to learn and how much we are not alone in our work to be in relationship with ourselves and all sentient beings. I cannot wait to continue using astrology to help people follow their life purpose, soften the hard edges of oppressive institutions, and help people become the best they can be. We are still a ways from the omega point of collective awakening, but I sense that NORWAC plays no small part in helping us get there. Many thanks to Laura and the NORWAC team. It is very much a space for soul.

Christopher Lam

It was an honor to receive this scholarship for my first NORWAC and for my very first astrology conference. I admit I still feel relatively new to my studies as well as to the community. But it was only thanks to being so readily welcomed by the QTBIPOC astro community that I felt empowered to try applying for this scholarship. It was only because of interacting with community leaders like Kirah Tabourn, Kelsey Rose Totorice, Alyssia Osorio, Charm Torres, Diana Rose Harper, Michael J. Morris, Djenneba Drammeh, Bear Ryver, Alice Sparkly Kat, Sam Reynolds and so many more that I didn’t feel the need to question my worthiness of this scholarship. And I have to give a special shoutout to my good friend Crystal Duan for getting me started in astrology in the first place. Once I found out I got the scholarship, I felt so affirmed in the strides I’ve made to commit to the study of this ancient practice over the past 2 years and see its value and relevance!

And from this sense of community, it was really a no brainer for me to show up for Diana Rose Harper’s talks on the Twelfth House and Juno, Kirah Tabourn’s talk on Pluto and Saturn generations, and Bear Ryver’s and Kirah’s joint talk on community. I learned so much and it was so comforting seeing people that knew me were being put on by the organizers. I’m glad I was able to work with Sam Reynolds for the first time during his workshop, and I’m even more motivated to take his Unlock Astrology course. (I had a fangirl moment when he recognized me! Don’t tell him.)

I already can’t wait for the next NORWAC (hopefully in person) and look forward to seeing even more of my QTBIPOC peers giving talks and sharing their much-needed wisdom to the wider astrology community.

Chantelle C. Miller

I was just minding my business one day, listening to The Astrology Podcast as I cleaned my room — like I usually do when I should be writing my Master’s Thesis, when I heard Samuel Reynolds talking about the Diversity Scholarship for NORWAC. For years, I’ve navigated the conference system for the field of Psychology, but it never occurred to me that there would be conferences for Astrology too! I can’t express my gratitude enough for the opportunity to attend NORWAC 2021. The energy from Friday through Sunday was TRULY electric and filled my soul with a joy that I haven’t been able to access since March of 2020. I was blown away with how connected I felt to everyone at the conference even though our interactions were limited to Zoom.

My experience at the conference started off with a grounding and validating pre-conference workshop taught by Jason Holley where he provided a poetic and philosophical context for making meaning in an Astrological Consultation. It would be an understatement to say that I was excited to hear Jason speak. I have listened to and watched him explain his approach and technique to astrology for the last year, so to have the opportunity to share space with him and learn more about how he applies his perception about Diurnal and Nocturnal energy to an astrology session was invaluable to me. He emphasized that much of the work that enlightens the soul in Astrology is done in the liminal Twilight Space and I continue to hold that sentiment in the back of my mind not only as I build my own unique approach and practice of Astrology, but also as I merge astrology with the psychotherapy skills I’m developing as a Clinical Psychologist in training.

It means so much to me that I was able to fellowship with other individuals who understand that this incarnation is an archetypal journey to evolving and transcending along with and beyond what we can perceive with our senses. I was high-key fangirling the entire conference because I have 11th house placements and my Venus trines Neptune & Uranus, so I basically felt like I had finally gotten my letter to Hogwarts! So many astrologers who I respect and learn from on a weekly basis in the digital & social-media realm were right there in front of me in real-time and I got to speak to them via chat or via Zoom microphone – HOW COOL IS THAT!? The future is so bright! I have hope for the progression, decolonization, and liberation of our society because of the raw and real conversations that were initiated at the conference this year. This was my first real-time experience with like-minded individuals who live and breathe inner healing through knowing oneself by way of the planetary bodies and I was not disappointed because there were intersectional, interdisciplinary, and nuanced objectives shared and explored through an astrological lens throughout the entire weekend.

There were far too many wonderful moments to attempt to name them all, but the opportunity to integrate innovative knowledge into my psyche to further develop and ground my budding professional astrology skills in this iconic space means the world to me and I hope that one day soon I can celebrate the celestial bodies with this group in person!!! Thank you so very much to the Diversity Scholarship Committee!

Kiana Nadonza

This year was my first time attending NORWAC! As a newbie astrologer, the conference also served as a bit of an introduction into the astrological community for me. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity provided by NORWAC and found myself engrossed by every single talk I went to! Despite my 10th House Mars in Leo and the conference being held digitally, I found myself strikingly quite nervous to enter into this space that was unfamiliar to me, especially because I recognized so many names in the audience as people I frequently listen to or read about in digital spaces. However, these nerves of this faded quickly, thanks to NORWAC’s genuinely warm and welcoming atmosphere to astrologers from all different walks of life, specialties, and experience levels. Despite being less knowledgeable in astrology than many attendees, I felt these spaces were open and receptive to questions I had, and I loved that I got to hear others’ opinions and reactions in the chat and breakout rooms. In each space I entered, the vibrational energy was so high, and I truly felt I was amongst my “people”!

Getting to hear from the very folks I have been learning from was truly a highlight of 2021 for me. Among the many enjoyable NORWAC experiences, some of my favorites include: getting to hear Kirah Tabourn discuss the Pluto in Scorpio generation and meet fellow astrologers who were also born during this time; hearing from many thoughtful and diverse voices on the Race & Astrology Panel, including all the thoughtful contributors in the chat; conceptualizing the zodiac wheel in terms of spiritual development with Maurice Fernandez; and finally, learning about the history and concept of daemons with Samuel Reynolds, as well as receiving help from him to better understand some nuances in my chart.

In terms of challenging experiences, it was admittedly quite difficult to balance my desire to attend every single NORWAC opportunity with my doctoral dissertation defense that occurred the same week; both my graduate studies in Anthropology and newer studies in Astrology are extremely important to me and bring me so much joy! While there were some talks I had to unfortunately miss due to balancing it with my life as a student and teaching online, I feel I got so much out of this conference and fully plan to attend in the future.

I am sincerely so grateful and feel incredibly fortunate that NORWAC recognized my potential and granted me the ability to attend. I learned so much and am still processing, several weeks later! Most importantly, I feel more confident and equipped in my skills and positionality as an astrologer of color, due to the range of important topics presented at NORWAC this year. Thank you so much!

Finnegan Newton

My 2020 started in the middle of a twelfth house profection year, truly manifesting itself in the form of solitude and removal from society. Though these experiences were not new to me as a Disabled person, when everyone was put into this confinement and time went on, things became more accessible to me and others like me. One of these things being NORWAC.
Astrology has been my only special interest that has lasted as a constant, even if only in the background. Born with a 0 degree Sun in Leo; there was a moment in time I had to reconcile the fact that I was not actually a Cancer as I was led to believe.. but this ultimately sparked my ignition into furthering my understanding of astrology. It wasn’t until the Summer of 2020, when I entered my 1st house profection year (and my timelord being Venus in Gemini in the 9th) that I was thrown into a carnivorous consumption of astrological knowledge like I hadn’t experienced before. I can’t get enough and NORWAC has become an invaluable well of knowledge inside my head, fanning the flames.
This conference is something that existed in my mind for years as a concept and dream that was too far out of reach and couldn’t envision in any near future for myself. For some reason though, the planets aligned for me this year to kickstart me towards my future in astrology. NORWAC was accessible for me during a decline in my health. I was able to be present through zoom when I wouldn’t have been able to in person. It also allowed me to re-watch lectures and take notes at my own pace. The scholarship was an immeasurable blessing and without it I wouldn’t have had this experience, (which is easily one of the best I’ve ever had.) I learned more in one weekend of attending NORWAC than I have spent months researching on my own. Those chosen to present were all incredible people, astrologers, and teachers. So many of them I have admired from afar and to be able to learn from them is something I will never forget and will take with me long into my astrological path. The topics and the steps forward in diversity and inclusion were really refreshing, and I can’t wait to see so much more of that in the future. I am incredibly lucky to have this as my first conference.
I now have so much to digest and absorb and going from here my biggest goal is to help find solutions and paths towards more accessibility within the astrological community. My hope in the long run, is to provide medical astrology both in written material and to clients, with focus on intersectionality and the Disabled experience from a social model of disability and care. I am hyped on learning and can’t wait to eventually have things to give back to the astrology community. And hopefully attend NORWAC in person one day!

Renata Nicole

Attending the 2021 NORWAC Conference granted me the opportunity to be exposed to a wide array of information as well as a lot of amazing people!
One of the most positives experiences that I had during this event was being able to see that the options on how to practice astrology are endless. Prior to this event I do not recall being exposed to Uranian astrology and now it has piqued my interest into knowing more about what else is out there in the world of astrology.
While attending the conference I gained a wealth of knowledge that included learning some amazing timing techniques and tips on how to grow as a professional astrologer from people who have been practicing astrology professionally for a great length of time.
I also interacted with amazing people, with whom I ended up laughing the night away, as we shared fascinating stories pertaining to astrology and other esoteric topics. It felt awesome connecting with people who enjoy studying astrology and speak the language associated with it. I even ended up exchanging information with people and reconnecting beyond the conference!
My most challenging experience occurred around the last day of the conference. I realized that there really are a lot of systems of astrology out there and a plethora of ways to practice it. In being exposed to the concept that there really is a vastness when it comes to astrology, I began to wonder what area of astrology I would study next and who would be my next teacher.
I already enjoy studying topics pertaining to Hellenistic and medical astrology as well as Renaissance and astrological magick. However, I am also interested in Uranian, Vibrational, Vedic, and Evolutionary astrology.
But after a few days of stressing about which direction I would go next, I simply decided that it did not matter which direction I went in and that I could keep studying and enjoying astrology without agonizing over what system of astrology that I will ultimately practice and that most likely I will practice a combination thereof. I can listen to someone talk about midpoints, another person talk about solar arcs, and a third person talk about zodiacal releasing and enjoy all of the different techniques without feeling like the conversation requires a decision of my future studies in that moment. One person can be using the Placidus house system, another person equal, a third whole and a fourth Porphyry and I can glean knowledge from all of them. The symbolic language of astrology is speaking to us and reflecting its patterns no matter the system and there is truly something rather beautiful about that.
I am truly thankful for having had the ability to ask questions and receive answers from people who have decades of astrological knowledge under their belt. I am also happy I met and bonded with amazing people who also love astrology!

Shelby Richardson

I had exactly the experience I needed to have at NORWAC 2021. The content was challenging, transformative, and I was able to ask questions of and interact with many of the people I find the most inspirational in our field. At moments I was so intimidated I felt invisible, and at moments I was soaring so high and excited. I was challenged by how advanced some of the content was, and by how intense it was to switch gears so rapidly from topic to topic. As an astrologer it’s important to be able to both focus on single method and switch gears with ease. The conference really pushes you in this respect. It was such an encouragement and an honor to receive this scholarship and get to take the weekend (and beyond! As I’m still reflecting on it!) to invest conscious time with other people who also feel deeply what astrology could be. By the end of Sunday I was truly exhausted by how brilliant, well-researched, and mind-altering the speakers were. At several points I needed to tell myself to just chill out because I was so overly excited about the information presented. I’m so awed by the opportunity to sit with so many great minds this year. Thanks to all the organizers, presenters and workshop teachers for blowing my mind.

Leigh Samuel

I appreciate the honor of being a 2021 NORWAC scholarship recipient and I was very grateful to experience my very first annual conference as a result. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to attend a variety of panels and lectures. The exposure to different astrologers was amazing. I left with a list of literature that I am excited to explore and new astrologers I would like to be able to study and connect with. I think the most important part of receiving this scholarship was the opportunity to be given a seat at the table to participate and learn in such a prominent organization. I am just beginning as an astrologer and the experience has been invaluable. I do think the conference underscored my need for commitment to studying and being involved within NORWAC on a more consistent basis. I currently work full time in a different field and participating in the conference gave me a lot of insight on what it will take for me to make the move to focus on developing myself to practice professionally. I am hoping to keep the momentum of my experience with the conference and to grow further into my practice.

Pelé Sánchez Tormes

I knew from the start that it wasn’t going to be easy to be in front of a computer for long hours absorbing information. How to retain it all? Most likely impossible. Another question for me was how to embody this knowledge. Of course by the end I was exhausted but I came out with so many provocations, curiosities and inspired by it all. For me online studies tend to be difficult because it can be cold, distant and lacking connection between participants but in my experience with NORWAC these words weren’t part of the vocabulary of the experience. The sense of community, family, warmth and accessibility rejoiced my heart from the beginning all the way to the end. To see the diversity of astrologers from all backgrounds, levels, ethnicities, genders, races, age range connecting and being present was definitely a reaffirmation of what this conference accomplishes. A family. It made me feel safe. One highlight for me was the Race & Astrology panel. I was so provoked by the conversation and what is a long road ahead of us when it comes to bridge, reframe, refute, change ideas that are embedded in a culture created mostly by white men. Personally I wanted it to be longer and I hope that in future conferences we can go deeper into this urgent topic. It was also very rewarding to attend Ursula Stockholder’s lecture and to see in action a fellow latinx woman representing with such depth. The access to talk to other top astrologers and other participants was just beautiful. I can’t imagine how all of this love I felt throughout would be felt in person once the conference goes presential. I know I want to be an astrologer more than ever now because of this conference n. I also know of the possibilities that as a community we can reach. I am fully committed to my education and I’m eternally grateful for this opportunity. It felt like life before Norwac and a life after NORWAC.

Taylor Shuler

Attending NORWAC 2021 was the balm my soul needed. Without the Diversity Scholarship, I would not have been able to attend this year. The intense dive into astrology over the weekend and for the following two weeks while recordings were available for free was the immersion I needed to readjust my perspective and reignite my motivation to put more energy into my professional astrology practice.

As someone who has learned astrology through independent study of lectures, podcasts and literature, and never through an official course due to financial barriers, I have to be creative in finding ways to mark milestones in my evolution as a professional astrologer. It was fun to notice how much I have grown as an astrologer especially over the past year since NORWAC 2020, my first NORWAC conference. I realized part of the beauty of astrology is that I can listen to someone give a talk on the same topic at different points in my journey and still learn something new from it. This realization came to me as I listened to Leisa Schaim deliver her talk on zodiacal releasing. I’ve listened to Leisa talk about this at least half a dozen times, probably more than that, and I get something new out of it every time I hear her lecture and it’s wonderful. I also learned some new techniques and delineations to integrate into my practice. Sam Reynold’s and Stormie Grace’s talks on the business side of astrology were the foundation and launching pad I didn’t know I needed. These talks provided clarity and boosted my confidence in what I am doing now and what I can do in the future.

As a result of receiving this scholarship, I was encouraged to pursue other development opportunities. As a result of participating in both of Judith Hill’s lectures and her Monday workshop during NORWAC, I enrolled in her monthly program and I hope to receive a certification from her program. After NORWAC, I completed a few major milestones towards my first professional astrological certification, thanks in big part to the validation and encouragement I felt during the conference. The exposure I’ve gotten to other astrologers has opened yet another door to me that wouldn’t have happened without NORWAC: I’m excited that I’ll be giving my first lecture at an astrology conference in 2022!

Sarah Siebuhr

I feel very grateful for the opportunity to have attended the second virtual NORWAC and my expectations could not have prepared me for the actual experience. I knew what a tight knit community NORWAC housed but being present over the long weekend was a roller coaster of inspiration, joy, knowledge and emotion. Being able to see live so many astrologers I have followed the work of for so long was an absolute dream, and I knew even from the first lecture that I would be digesting much of the information I soaked up over time, each piece integrating itself as my astrological framework continues to forever grow and morph throughout my practice and experiences.

I am so grateful for all the work that has so obviously gone into the event itself, from logistics to the considerations for the attendees. While we were all in virtual attendance, there was still a pleasant atmosphere that was active and bustling. I was also grateful to have access to all lectures for two weeks after and it was a pleasure to catch up on any that I missed. I found myself most enjoying the lectures that were more experiential in their delivery, especially since we were all connecting through the screen— engaging other senses and being more playful were wonderful ways to receive. The introduction of the ethics committee was interesting, and I am curious what it will look like as it develops more fully and hope to see those that began it eventually step aside and pass on their leadership roles to the BIPOC community. I am delighted that I was able to attend this legendary conference and hope to do so again in person.

Nanette Stevens

Once again, thank you Laura, Samuel, any anyone, else Involved in the scholarship selection process.  I was honored to be selected; these are the workshops I attended:

May 28, 2021 – Maurice Fernandez Spirituality “Spirituality is the enduring experience of happiness.”  Agreed. Who gave us ego?  Good question

Astrology/Tarot Archetypes Tara Aal. I learned, according to Tara, “All Queens are Water,”, the Major Arcana depicts, “the why,”  and the suits each, represent the elements i.e. Wands=Fire, Swords=Air, Cups=Water, Pentacles=Earth

May 29, 2021 – Demetra George The 6th House Ms. George’s presented some heretofore, unknown to me, statements about the 6th house.  “Bad fortune,” House of Protests/Military, Slavery,” and overall difficult experiences.  Not your standard description of this house as describing: employment health, pets,   and ways of serving.  Mars exalted in the 6th?  I knew Mars is exalted in Capricorn, but not in the 6th. Other Interesting notes on the 6th, were rebellions and social justice.

Pluto Transits – Laura Nalbandian. Wow.  My natal moon is 27degrees Capricorn, and when Pluto conjoined my Sun in Capricorn, my beloved mother transitioned, followed by the loss of my father, almost 18 m0nths later, when transiting Pluto conjoined my natal Mars. Perhaps, this upcoming conjunction of Pluto to my natal Moon, suggests a transformation of how I respond emotionally, i.e. without fear of death!  So far, I have survived 2 strokes, and I am experiencing physical effects of the 2nd. “Evolution Wins” so my natal Capricorn moon conjunct transiting Pluto suggests, “emotions no longer barriers energetically.”  “Do not fight the transformation, ‘let it serve as fertilizer.”  I will remember this.

Nodal Returns – Gemini Brett – My notes on this topic are scarce; I think the workshop was not what I anticipated. The only thing noted was, Glandular/Endocrine System Delphic Axioms “Know Thyself, Nothing in Excess, Surety bring ruin.” Learned that there are 147 Delphic Maxims

Race Matters – Panel led by Samuel Reynolds – Interesting, I have attended several astrological conventions since 2018:  UAC in Chicago, {my hone town,} NGCR in Baltimore, 2019, and NORWAC, 2021. I saw a handful o Blacks at the Marriot convention; a few more Blacks at the Baltimore convention, and I have no idea how many Blacks attended this virtual conference,  the fact there was a panel discussion about diversity was most welcomed.

Caught the last few minutes of Ricky Williams’ presentation.

May 30, 2021 – Nuno Michaels – Love attachments – “Memory is the Scribe of the Soul”, Aristotle

“Parents are Patterns,” Explains in part, why I’ve been commitment shy.

Ethics Panel – “First Do No Harm”-Relevant and Timely

Samuel Reynolds’ day long workshop on how to calculate the location of the Daemon in one’s chart, illustrated to me, this was definitely advanced astrological study.  Genius loci, Jin aka genie, were names unfamiliar to me.  Though I did know some of the language, it was clear, more astrological study is required.

Alvaro Velasquez

The premise of NORWAC, or any Conference for that matter, is the collective edification of a community of like-minded folks. My aim for going into the conference was to foster a sense of belonging as an aspiring Professional Astrologer within the larger community of Astrologers and to acquire knowledge not gained anywhere else in order to achieve this end. This aim thus had many challenges. Setting time aside in order to travel to a place with reliable WiFi in order to not experience hiccups during the conference was one of them. It was also difficult to take notes as there was only so much time in each lecture. Powerpoints are not enough to go by as the talent of being able to process auditory and visual language swiftly, shorthand if you will, is crucial in order to pickup important but not always noted nuances. It was, overall, a difficult Mercury Retrograde for me, which has been occurring in my 6th House. And I have Mercury in Virgo!

But it is the positives that I will always cherish. Being able to attend is the first positive I can state. It cannot be anymore overstated. Having access to knowledge that one would usually have to purchase feels good. So I’d like to offer a huge thanks to Laura and the rest of the team at NORWAC for giving me the benefit of the doubt and granting me this scholarship. What I really enjoyed about this conference was the myriad of lectures to choose from. Usually, the more technical Traditional Astrology lectures would be overlooked, given their technicality and the devotion required to master the subjects, but since knowledge and mastery are something I highly value, it was a great pleasure sitting through Benjamin Dykes’ Advanced Traditional House Interpretation lecture. And I really appreciated Chris Brennan’s and Demetra George’s Lectures, despite having to tend to my bodily necessities in the middle of Brennan’s highly intriguing lecture on the Malefics, missing a good chunk of it. It was definitely a disruptive 6th House time.

This is not to say that I slouched on the more evolutionary and archetypal lectures. A lot of Traditional Astrology, as much as I want to master it, can be not only daunting but can lead to a bad taste in the mouth if that’s all one focuses on. There has to be time for the human condition. Ricky Williams was a welcome surprise and Ursula Stockder’s Sun Gods lecture was spiritually significant. I also appreciated that this NORWAC’s first lecture was by Jason Holley, where he called into question the Traditional Astrology with all its prejudices and biases as it makes a revival of sorts today.

Alda Villiljós

I had heard so many good things about the NORWAC conference from other astrologers and enthusiasts, but it still went beyond my expectations. The atmosphere was welcoming, striking a great balance between Jupiterian jubilation, flow and freedom on the one hand, and Saturnian organisation, guidance and wisdom on the other. The topics and speakers were wonderfully diverse, and thanks to the room coordinators as well as all the tech crew, each lecture ran so smoothly and efficiently.
I’m so grateful for getting the chance to enroll this year with the help of a scholarship, as well as for the conference being wholly accessible online. While the time zone difference made it a bit hard to attend all the talks live, the chance to catch up on the recordings afterward gave me the much needed space to absorb as much as possible, and take the time in-between to process all the information fully. That way I could incorporate many of the techniques being taught much more fully than I would have been able to while attending live, with the distractions of other attendees, being confined to one seat or potential lack of sleep from evening socialising! I’m already incorporating so many of these techniques, viewpoints and wisdom into my practice, deepening my understanding of astrology to a whole different level.
A new goal that’s quickly reached the top of my list is to attend a NORWAC conference live at some point in the future, because if the warmth, camaraderie and joy at the online conference was anything to judge by, I’m sure the in-person event would blow my mind completely (in the best way possible).
Thank you so much for this chance again, looking forward to many more conferences in the future!