2023 Diversity Scholarship Essays

Tamara Bell

Every time I attend NORWAC or UAC, my professional abilities expand. This NORWAC conference was outstanding. Patricia Walsh and Wendy Stacey kept us on the straight and narrow with Ethics. Mychal A. Bryan taught us to mind the midpoints. Tara Aal delighted us with Jupiterian wisdom. Tears flowed as we watched Adam Elenbaas pull our astrological family together. Wade Caves fascinated us by exploring an obscure way to wring out our fortunes. Austin Coppock was Austin Coppock and what’s not to love? Gray Crawford brought the ancients alive by clearly explaining detriments. Maurice Fernandez has the smoothest voice with a low octave, but don’t tell Frank Clifford. Steven Forrest’s dark Scorpion humor made me giggle. He helped me come to grips with using both unseen and seen planets as rulers, due to residence explanations. Stormie Grace taught us to get real with “money honey”. How to take our sacred hobby into a world who is hungry for solutions, while finding our tribe. Demetra George blew me away after I did everyone’s charts in our family with all the different asteroid names. Crazy how accurate it all fits. If I added my ex I’m sure he would be conjunct Pluto and in the 8th house. Beautiful Margaret Gray, who I studied under for a year in her “Relationships and Astrology” certificate course, gave a talk about love, and still I learned more. Jason Holley is such an amazing storyteller and has a gift for engaging the audience. I think we all looked at our Davidson’s after Mo Olufemi’s talk. Leisa Schaim woke me up to “stand alone electional charts” using Hellenistic principles. I have up until now placed the client on the inside and the data for the event on the outer circle. Anne Ortelee, you make astrology fun and I continue to learn from you. Gabriel Rosas taught us about Profections, and I will use this from now on. I love it when we can use a simple method to derive so much information. Becca Tarnas assisted us with visuals for the archetypes. Cameron Allen taught us not to ignore aversions. Eric Purdue took the devil out of daemon. Amanda Moreno alerted us to the powerful Moon/Uranus healing connection. Taylor Shuler showed us how to find our purpose. Samuel Reynolds powered through his talk about resilience. Kim Marie Weimer emphasized precise timing methods. Laura Nalbandian amazes me by how she’s such an excellent speaker, and directs this event.

Eboni Bledsoe

Renewed Purpose, Rekindled Passion: How NORWAC has Empowered my Astrological Path

NORWAC 2023 has left an indelible mark on me that will influence and enrich the rest of my life and astrological journey. Thanks to the diversity scholarship I received, I gained valuable experiences and lessons that will influence and shape how I continue my studies and astrology practice going forward. The connections, knowledge, and confidence I gained at NORWAC equipped me to make meaningful contributions to the wider astrology community.
The conference attendees were a welcoming and supportive community. Attending NORWAC allowed me to make meaningful connections with other astrologers who practice different types of astrology. While I already had connections with those who studied under the same teachers as me, approaching astrology in similar ways, interacting with astrologers from varying backgrounds and schools of thought was illuminating. Speaking with evolutionary astrologers, Hellenistic astrologers, harmonic astrologers, and more showed me the many lenses through which one can interpret celestial things. Though our methods differed, our shared passion for understanding the world around us through astrology bonded us.
While I had interacted with many attendees online previously, meeting them (and others) in person added a profound element to our connections. Face-to-face interactions (and lots of consensual hugs!) revealed nuances and depths that text conversations fail to convey. Subtle cues, more natural give-and-take, and memorable depth imbued our relationships in powerful ways that enabled us to establish a comfortable level of intimacy. Meeting in the flesh humanized our shared pursuit of cosmic wisdom, enriching both my practice and sense of purpose within this community.
Occasionally, astrologers (like all professionals) can experience waning enthusiasm. However, NORWAC revitalized my passion for astrology, motivating me to continue cultivating my knowledge through thorough research, astute observation and wisdom shared by my peers. NORWAC reignited my resolve to keep growing and learning.
Finally, interacting with seasoned astrologers who valued my insights reminded me of the valuable perspectives and skills I have to offer the astrological community. Additionally, I was able to envision myself presenting at a future iteration of NORWAC. Although I still have much to learn, the conference gave me confidence in the knowledge and instincts I have already developed. I leave with a renewed sense of curiosity as well as faith in my ability to continue growing as an astrologer through study, practice, and conversation with others in this field.
Overall, NORWAC allowed me to expand my astrological horizons, gain life skills, and become more self-aware and confident in myself and abilities. The memories, knowledge, and lessons I am taking from NORWAC will shape the astrologer I become going forward. I feel even more inspired to give back to the astrological community that has richly blessed me with education. I have gratitude for everyone who contributed to the diversity scholarships and to those who spearheaded the effort.

Noelia Britez

I am grateful for the opportunity to attend NORWAC, and I would like to express my appreciation for the scholarship that made it possible. The conference was a truly enriching experience, and I learned a great deal from the various talks and presentations.
Among the many outstanding presentations, there were a few that stood out to me. Demetra George’s talks on Asteroids and the Twelve Houses were particularly insightful. Her depth of knowledge and ability to convey complex concepts in a clear and accessible manner made these sessions truly valuable.
Leisa Schaim’s discussion on Zodiacal Releasing was another highlight. Her expertise in this area and her ability to demonstrate the practical applications of this technique were truly impressive. It provided me with a new perspective and expanded my understanding of predictive astrology.
Becca Tarnas’s talk on Astrology and Psychedelics was a thought-provoking exploration of the intersection between astrology and consciousness-altering experiences. Her unique perspective shed light on the potential connections and opened up new avenues of exploration within these fields that I’m already interested in.
Lastly, Austin Coppock’s presentation on the Lot of the Father was captivating and enlightening. His ability to integrate astrology and psychological concepts created a compelling narrative that deepened my understanding of this astrological technique.
While the overall conference experience was excellent, I would like to offer a couple of constructive comments. During the initial talks, there wasn’t a designated Zoom monitor to assist with managing the chat, which could have facilitated smoother interaction among participants. Additionally, at times, the audio from the microphones was a bit low, making it challenging to catch every word. However, these minor issues did not detract significantly from the overall experience and could be easily addressed in future events.
I would also like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to access recordings of the other talks. Being in Paraguay, it would have been impossible for me to attend in person, but having the chance to watch it online and also the recorded sessions allowed me to participate and benefit from the wealth of knowledge presented at the conference.
In conclusion, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this remarkable conference. NORWAC provided a platform for learning, sharing, and connecting with astrologers from around the world. The insights gained and the knowledge acquired will undoubtedly enhance my astrological practice and contribute to my personal growth. Thank you once again for the scholarship and for making this experience possible.

LaToya Crick

My first time at NORWAC was life-changing, and I can not wait to return next year. I’m blown away by how inclusive it felt, even though it was such a large conference. Everyone was so loving, respectful, and open-minded, which was refreshing to witness because my first notable engagement with an astrologer (separate from the NORWAC community) was judgmental and condensing.
I was thrilled to be in the same vicinity as the astrologers I had looked up to for many years. It helped me see that as a practicing astrologer, I could do what they do and be just as loved, appreciated, and respected for my work. I’m also amazed at how fantastic of a speaker each astrologer was. It made me realize I need to take some speech classes to sharpen my presentation skills — which is now on my list of things to do.
Before NORWAC, I wondered if I was on the right path as an astrologer. Close to terrified that I was wasting my time and planting on infertile ground, even though my heart and life circumstances kept redirecting me to another astrology book, lecture, or chart. But now that I had a chance to attend NORWAC, I see why. My heart kept redirecting me to astrology because this is where I belong.
I’m grateful for receiving the Diversity Scholarship because not only did it help me attend the conference and make my dream come true, but it also helped me get there and enjoy my journey without extra financial burden. My husband and I figured it was the perfect opportunity to take a road trip and camp up to Seattle, and I wouldn’t have been able to see the beauty of the Pacific North West without the support – I’m grateful. A dream come true #2.
I’m also grateful that the conference was planned perfectly because the Sun was up by 6ish am and down by 9ish pm, giving me enough time to make new friends and develop meaningful connections before returning to camp. Furthermore, the food at the conference was fantastic, and I felt like an honorable guest.
Each lecture I attended was amazing, and I’m already seeing its fruits through my client consultations. I’m excited to practice Electional Astrology and include more trauma awareness in my work (thanks, Samuel!). I’m also happy that I have access to the recordings of each talk because it was difficult to choose who to listen to because they all sounded so good.
Overall, I am incredibly pleased with my experience at NORWAC, and I’m already gathering friends for next year’s road trip. Road trip to NORWAC #2, here we come!

Rocio Cudia

Diversity is vital to any industry and even within eco systems, it’s diversity that makes everything flourish. The people who run the NORWAC conference understand that. Not only do they promote diversity, but they offered some folks, including me, an opportunity to join a conference that otherwise would have been unaffordable. The diversity scholarship did so much more than just pay for my airfare to Seattle, it also helped me understand that there are many like minded people who want to change the way the world operates. It was beautiful to feel recognized and seen as someone whose diverse perspective might be valuable to the Astrology industry.
My first impression of Seattle was the vast number of trees, specifically evergreens, that live there. The city was covered in them. I saw a huge canopy of trees covering the city of Seattle like a blanket of medicine covering its residents, from the window seat of the airplane. There was fog in the morning and sun in the late afternoon. I recall the dewiness of the grass at the entrance of the conference hotel as I approached it. Groups of astrologers sat on the dewy grass while they waited for their next conference to begin. I overheard conversations about the astrological transits,” the moon is in Virgo today in my fourth house, I would usually stay home on a day like this, but I had to come and check this out” The conversations about astrology where everywhere and some folks were making fast friends in the hallways or in the bookstore.
The bookstore was magical, it was my favorite part of the conference, I even purchased an old workbook that belonged to the owner’s mom. I don’t remember his name, but he was wearing a fabulous animal print faux fur coat that exuded confidence. I saw Rick Levine in the lobby, wearing his awesome planetary themed t-shirt and I wished I knew where there was a local flower shop so I could buy him some Stargazer Lilies. It was surreal to be in the presence of all my favorite YouTube astrologers. It was also comforting to see black and brown folks in the conference as presenters. Astrology has the potential to be one of the best industries in the world, because it is at its beginning stages and because of these scholarships and others like it that will promote inclusiveness and offer respect to all cultures.
I was born and raised on the South side of Chicago, a rough city which is rich in culture. There aren’t too many astrologers who live here but there are many people who are curious about how astrology could offer them a map to their lives. I have studied Jeff Wolf Green’s Evolutionary Astrology course and have given hundreds of readings over this last decade. Astrology has helped me in unmeasurable ways, from letting go of the Catholic guilt that I was raised with to getting small glimpses into future incarnations. The conference motivated me to find a mentor, and begin my own channel, Black Moon Lilith Astrology on YouTube and Instagram. I hope my future content will help brown women learn about themselves through the eternal language of astrology. Thank you NORWAC for the opportunity!

Mayte Delgado

Attending the 39th Annual Northwest Astrological Conference (my first astrological conference ever!), was an incredible opportunity to delve deeper and immerse myself into thee most fascinating subject I’ve ever come across and I’m completely enamored with: Astrology! The air buzzed with energy as attendees from all walks of life gathered, united by their shared fascination for the stars and planets. Even as a newbie, I felt a sense of belonging within an inclusive and supportive environment.
A plethora of lectures led by esteemed astrologers such as Steven Forrest, Demetra George, and Anne Ortelee, covered diverse topics within a vast array of astrological disciplines. Meeting Adam Elenbaas (Nightlight Astrology) was a true highlight, as I was able to personally thank him for awarding me a much-needed scholarship to his year one online course in 2020. Amanda Moreno’s “The Moon, Uranus, and Ancestral Healing” lecture touched on the importance of healing intergenerational trauma and ancestral patterns through the lens of Evolutionary Astrology; as a newly certified Reiki practitioner, specializing in timeline healing, this was gold! I look forward to incorporating these techniques into my practice soon.
Such an unexpected added bonus to peruse through many brilliant out-of-print books at the bookstore – what a treat! And, Saturday night’s dance party was so much fun. It was also lovely to engage with fellow astro lovers off the dance floor; conversations extended beyond the scope of astrology into personal anecdotes, shared experiences, and even philosophical discussions.
With a vibrant atmosphere and insightful lectures by an array of legendary astrologers, NORWAC offered me the opportunity to broaden my astrological perspective. I’d like to thank the organizers, especially Laura, for facilitating such an amazing platform for learning, networking, and community-building within the astrology realm. I am forever grateful to the donors who made scholarships available to those like myself who would not have been able to participate otherwise – a million thanks!

Marianne Garcés Rodríguez

NORWAC has ignited within me an even deeper love for astrology as well as provided an even more nuanced understanding of its intricacies. As in space, my thirst for knowledge has become ever expanding. Being able to attend in person lectures by astrologers whose work I admire so much was incredibly inspiring and eye opening. As a lover of books and a student of the stars stepping into and browsing the most magical book store was an absolute dream come true. Having the experience to meet a diverse group of knowledgeable astrologers from different backgrounds and approaches has been inspiring in so many ways; it has shaped and prepared me with the insights I need to be an informed, connected and passionate astrologer that is helpful to others. In each conference room, lobby, hallway and even the elevator (where I got to meet Demetra George!)  the camaraderie was so palpable since day 1 that I felt like I found my community and belonging. It was a wholesome experience and I am forever grateful for this opportunity. It feels so good to find your people and more so, feeling like you are part of a family is pure bliss — a sweet dream come true.
I’m so happy with the friendships and alliances that I made and I’m looking forward to nourishing them and seeing them flourish.

Megan Green

Winning one of the diversity scholarships and attending NORWAC was an incredible gift that keeps on giving. I had been struggling with a bout of imposter syndrome, and I was not clear about which direction to go in with my work. Most of my astrological journey has included learning independently and giving readings remotely. I lacked a physical connection to the astrology community, which only contributed more to my doubt and uncertainty. I also lacked inspiration. I was becoming underwhelmed with the oversaturation of content and did not feel I could contribute anything of value. Traveling from my home in Florida to the conference in Washington was a jolt to the system all on its own. That environment is uplifting and the perfect backdrop for such a magical experience. I was so impressed by how inviting the energy was at NORWAC. I was uncomfortable attending solo but quickly found I was with my people. It was amazing to meet those I had connected with online for years and all of the astrologers I respect and admire. I felt honored and humbled to be among the other diversity scholarship winners. Their passion and shared personal experiences gave me so much fuel and confirmation. I enjoyed every minute of the presentations and loved being able to watch the ones I missed via recording after the fact. My mind was in heaven, collecting knowledge and immediately running back to my laptop to play with new information and techniques. I especially enjoyed the lectures that focused on ancestry and dynamics within families. I also loved the various vendors. I was happy to use the reward stipend towards the bookstore. I do not know how, but I shoved six thick books into my luggage for the return flight home. It’s been a few months since the conference, but I’m already trying to figure out how to make it back for the following year. Since returning, I have given better readings, created more consistent/substantial content, and better understood my purpose with this work and where I may fit within the larger astrological community. I no longer feel so isolated, and the relationships and connections I have made that continue to grow are the most significant takeaway from the experience. To anyone who is considering applying: DO IT. You need this. To anyone who is considering donating: DO IT. There’s a budding astrologer who needs this encouragement. I am very grateful to Laura, Sam, Vernon, and everyone else who made this possible for me and others. Thank you.

Sam Lopez

I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to attend NORWAC this year! The opportunity really cemented my desire to continue to pursue my studies in this field. It was wonderful to be exposed to so many incredible speakers and practitioners who truly love and have such a deep appreciation for this study. The experience provided me with many insights but chiefly cemented my belief that astrology can be used as a radical tool for collective liberation from oppressive structures and to reimagine new worlds. As a queer, disabled, latine, low-income astrologer, I’m grateful that NORWAC is working to continuously create space to further diversify and learn from the perspectives of marginalized communities.
Astrology provides a unique framework that allows us to view the world and the nature of reality through an alternate lens, one grander than what any one individual can perceive and understand. In attempting to decipher the mysteries astrology presents us with, we are in many ways forced to reckon with how little we can really know about the nature of the universe. This encourages broader respect and awe for the unknown but also shatters the egoic illusions of control and domination that predominate our world today. These illusions, along with the desire to dominate as an attempt to attain a sense of control, inform many of the oppressive structures we live under: white supremacy, capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy, to name a few.
As many speakers acknowledged throughout the conference, we are and will continue living through unprecedented times of change now and in the years to come, many of which will bring to focus the innate importance of the interrelatedness and interconnectedness of all things. In reckoning with the ongoing crumbling of oppressive structures it is so important to acknowledge that many of these insights are and have already been integral to the way many indigenous societies(African, American, and more) have functioned around the world prior to the violent ongoing practices of colonization and imperialism. We are simply returning to truths many of these marginalized communities have known all along, truths that have been silenced in the name of white supremacy, colonialism, and capitalism. In holding and creating space for a diversity of perspectives from those who have previously been silenced and gone unrepresented in the astrological community, we will slowly begin to reconnect with these truths and heal from the violent trauma these systems have imposed on so many. Doing so will also help those in power see that this knowledge, the knowledge that there are other ways to live and thrive is nothing new and that the past exclusion of these communities and their perspectives has meant a lack of access knowledge that can and will free us all, and could have all along.
While it is wonderful and encouraging to see more diversification in the astrological community, I hope to continue to see more being done. I hope to help personally contribute to the future use of astrology for community organizing efforts, to bring light to injustices, to centre community care, mutual aid, and more radical practices of care. I want to see more people using astrology as a radical tool to help us individually and collectively awaken to see past the many lies of white supremacy, capitalism, and colonialism. I want to encourage the community to not be shy about getting political! To not shy away from calling out injustice, and to commit to dismantling structures that seek to exploit us all and reduce us to what we can produce. We must strive to not reproduce these same systems and structures in our astrological practices.
We can use astrology as a tool to heal from the terror that these oppressive systems and paradigms have brought to outworld and to hold our grief when we reflect on how much these systems have taken from us. We must reckon with the ongoing reality of how these structures infiltrate what we aspire towards, how we form relationships, how we relate toother living beings, and how we practice astrology! It is not enough to try to take down systems without first acknowledging how we uphold them in our everyday life and choices.
There is a long way to go and allowing for a diversity of perspectives from those most marginalized by these systems is crucial step that I am happy to see NORWAC taking. Thank you so much again for the opportunity to participate in this year’s conference!

Edwin Martinez

The dawn of NORWAC 2023 marked the beginning of an astrological adventure that had me feeling like I was riding the wave of a 12th house Mercurial year, fueled by dreams and some fierce S+s talismanic mojo. But let me tell you, the ride had just begun…
Stepping into the astrological realm at NORWAC felt like stepping into another dimension, and let me tell you! Walter Mercado would have chilled with the evolutionary crew and fit right in. As a contemporary traditional astrologer, I had been eyeing NORWAC for a while, and every post and recap about it had me suffering from major FOMO. I just knew deep down that this experience would be a game-changer for my astrological career and my whole life trajectory. Some of the most coveted and known astrologers of our time were accessible and present in real life something that marks emotion and memory when looking back at, rather than a video recording.
Growing up in the era of Aquarius (sí, como el aire), I’d mostly connected with the esoteric knowledge rooted in my heritage. Pero being selected for NORWAC’s diversity program was like a cosmic wink that led me to a new world and más importante aún a vibrant community. Desde que bajé del uber hasta el evento, me sentí como si estuviera cruzando a otro plano de lenguaje y ¡dale con una bienvenida calientita! Laura y her incredible team made sure that our experience was nothing short of iconic. From desayunos that brought together a diverse crew of iconic diversity picks to those heart-to-heart conversations about our unique astrological journeys and passions, it was a feeling like no other. The communities that we yearn for on social spaces was lively and present every morning and evening. It was always an exciting moment to catch a conversation or share an opinion on astrological takes, technique or nuance that only our niche community would understand.
Rubbing shoulders with legends like Samuel Reynolds, Demetra George, Steven Forrest, Adam Elenbaas, Austin Coppock and Leisa Schaim was a pinch-me moment. As a student, it felt like my journey was finally being recognized, and it affirmed every choice I’d made to dive headfirst into astrology – an art that sometimes makes us feel like we’re navigating solo in the cosmos. Cada momento at NORWAC was like an opportunity to swap astrological stories and delve into different methods, and each event carried its own special energy.
In the hustle and bustle of NORWAC, there were these surreal moments that felt like you were in the heart of Alexandria – like when you’re racing to catch the elevator before Demetra George’s talk and then boom, there she is in the same elevator. ¡Casi me da un patatús! Sitting down with teachers who had laid the foundation for my astrological journey, having them sign the dog-eared technical volume one book that had been my guiding light through my first eclipse season – those were the intimate connections and raw moments that stayed etched in my NORWAC memories. Jamas lo voy a olvidar!
Since that unforgettable event, the community has embraced my artistry, my talent, and my identity as a Queer astrologer. Hoy, as I write this, I’m knee-deep in the teachings of none other than the astrological maestro himself, Austin Coppock (¡increíble!). NORWAC introduced me to him and his insights, like when he delved into the lots of the Menendez Brothers. Those moments are like secret treasures that NORWAC gifted us.
What started as a powerful encounter has grown into something even bigger. NORWAC’s diversity scholarship was like a cosmic boost that solidified my place in the astrological community. Mi Queerness was celebrated, uplifted, and supported, and now my followers are eagerly anticipating NORWAC 2024. Si alguien is on the fence about experiencing this conference, let me tell you, the Lady Astro Mage ya te ha elegido. You won’t leave disappointed or without feeling the cosmic vibes of the beautiful art we’ve all embraced, especially in a world lleno de tanto pasando…
The spirit and essence of NORWAC have woven themselves into my heart, reminding me daily of why astrology is so vital for my practice and my life as an artist and creative. It’s a reminder that, in this vast universe, we are all interconnected, and NORWAC has left an indelible mark on that grand tapestry. I cannot wait to continue visiting yearly and enjoying magic in real life.

Daniel Norman

When I consider my involvement with astrology — what attracted me to it, what fascinates me about it, why I have decided to make it my life’s work — the first thing that comes to mind is community. Astrology has given me language, techniques and practices that put me in contact with the distant past, ground me in the present moment and allow me to extend myself into the world. This web of relationships has enriched my life beyond measure.
Like so many, my formal practice of astrology began during the Covid-19 pandemic, which
means that most of my experience with the astrological community has happened online. While I am grateful for finding avenues for community during a time when much of the world felt isolated, I am aware of all of the ways my experience with respect to the field of astrology has been somewhat limited. Which is why it was so important to me to come to NORWAC 2023.
Of course, I was excited to put faces to names of people that I had been interacting with online for years and meeting astrologers whose work I’ve long admired. But at this point in my practice I’ve been thinking quite a lot about my place in astrology. Wondering if there is room for my voice, my perspective and what it is I might have to say.
What I saw was a community in flux: A pre-pandemic generation of astrologers excited to be getting “back to normal” amid a sea of newcomers whose entire experience in astrology is the post-pandemic “new normal.” Organizers navigating the complexities, technical and social, of putting on a hybrid conference. Established modern astrologers trying their best to make space for the increasing popularity of “traditional” astrology and AstroTwitter astrologers answering for the reputation for verbal combat that preceded them.
There was tension between those pushing for professionalization and mainstream legitimacy for the field of astrology and the desire of others to preserve the open approach and decidedly outré nature of astrology itself, for which there is often little room in the mainstream. There was a similar tension at the intersection of astrology and spirituality, between the contemporary alternative spiritual landscape that includes animist perspectives, indigenous cosmologies and magical practice and the New Age philosophy and modern psychology that has predominated in “western” astrology since the 20th century.
And sitting in the middle of all of this I thought to myself, “What a time to be an astrologer!” My sense of what we all had in common that weekend was a deep love of astrology, an earnest questioning of the place of our practice in the contemporary world and a willingness to extend ourselves in good faith despite our sometimes wildly different perspectives. NORWAC’s Diversity Scholarship certainly made it possible for me to attend the conference but it was not until the weekend was almost over that I realized that NORWAC made it possible for me to be a part of the conversations that are shaping the future of astrology. What I found for myself is a clearer sense of my voice and perspective, how I might make a place in the broader astrological community and an even deeper appreciation for our work. I consider being engaged with the natural world in participation with an ancient, living tradition to be an honor and privilege. After NORWAC, shepherding our tradition into the future for the time I have to contribute is a notion to which I feel a palpable responsibility.

Tristan Paylor

When I started learning astrology, I lived in a big city with many talented teaching astrologers. I had the good fortune of attending an astrology course with a group of other astrology students in person. There is nothing like the energy, excitement, and camaraderie of learning and practicing astrology together in real-time. The atmosphere of mutual respect and trust makes it feel safe to share ideas and experiences, even if they differ from those of others in the group.
Since moving to a rural area, my interactions with the astrology world have become increasingly virtual. Social media can be an intimidating place to try and reach out to community. When I applied for a NORWAC scholarship, I was eager for the opportunity to expand my astrological knowledge, and that desire was definitely fulfilled. But the biggest takeaway for me was just how supportive and welcoming the astrology community is in real life. I was so impressed by the professionalism of all the speakers and the atmosphere of openness and respect that made it possible for many schools of astrology to be represented under one roof.
NORWAC exposed me to so many unique perspectives on astrology, and this experience gave me a great gift: clarity. As a student of astrology, I have explored many approaches and schools of thought, trying to understand what exactly I do and don’t believe about astrology, and which approaches work best for my own practice. One weekend of attending NORWAC provided more clarity for me about how I want to approach astrology than years of reading on my own.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend NORWAC. I received not only the gift of knowledge, but also the gift of human connection.

Katia Perez Fuentes

I’m so grateful to have been chosen as one of the diversity scholarship recipients for the 2023 Northwest Astrological Conference.
This was my first time in-person at NORWAC and it was truly an unforgettable experience. Spending quality time with people who were seriously passionate about astrology was deeply validating. For me, a lot of the meaningful moments happened during our downtimes; over a meal, while going on a walk, sunbathing in the grass, or staying up all night across the hotel. Magical memories that could only have happened by sharing space with people in real-time.
What a relief to find out that attendees were able to watch the recordings for a few days after the conference. This was my saving grace since there were too many talks I didn’t want to miss. It also gave me peace of mind to be present during the lectures I did attend, knowing that I’d have time to rewatch the content when I got back to my desk. Which allowed me to focus more on building connections with others throughout my time there.
This weekend was more than just a conference– it was an opportunity to coexist with other astrologers and form meaningful relationships. I got to meet so many incredible people from teachers I’ve been studying with for years, fellow students, online mutuals, and new friends. I was introduced to leaders in the field from various organizations including OPA, UAC, the NCGR, and more. Learning about the conference’s rich history and how it’s been spearheaded by three generations of organizers was so beautiful. You could tell that this gathering has some remarkable history here by how friendly and accommodating the hotel staff was during our stay. I now understand how deeply ingrained this annual tradition is in the community at large.
At the same time, I’m pleased to see the efforts being made to create accessibility and care for the community’s future. One of which is the online hybrid evolution of this conference and the other is the diversity scholarship initiative. I can appreciate the attempts to foster the next generation of professional astrologers and encourage us to see ourselves as already part of this ecosystem.
I left this experience feeling closer to people I admire and inspired to continue pursuing this shared knowledge that’s brought us all together. I’m already looking forward to the following years and potentially being a future speaker along with my peers from this cohort. Attending NORWAC helped reaffirm my path as an astrologer.
A big thank you to everyone who was so welcoming and supported this effort, especially Sam Reynolds, Vernon Robinson, Laura Nalbandian & the NORWAC family.


Q Sanders

NORWAC offers something indispensable to the up & coming professional Astrologer: an opportunity to be in community, to be inspired and encouraged to take up the mantle, and contribute to the burgeoning body of work of the Astrologers who have come before us and are here with us now.
When I was in school for Psychology I never found myself very interested in going to the conferences my classmates were excited about. When I first heard of NORWAC I finally understood their enthusiasm. Who wouldn’t want to spend a whole weekend chatting & learning about something they love with other people who love the same thing?
Getting the opportunity to meet new friends who speak-the-language was a dream come true. Spending a whole weekend steeped in Astrology was the sweetest respite from regular life. It was absolutely dream-like to see Astrologers whose work I admire sharing their research in real time, even virtually.
I am wildly grateful for the Diversity Scholarship because without it I would have missed out on valuable and influential knowledge from so many amazing Astrologers. Attending NORWAC really made me feel like I was a part of something important and that I was witnessing history in the making, and also helped me to gain clarity on the who-what-when-where of how I apply Astrology in my own life.

Majd Sayed

I am more than grateful to have gotten the opportunity to attend the NORWAC 2023 conference through the support of the diversity scholarship. Ever since I began my serious studies into astrology I have heard about the power and importance of NORWAC as a sort of seed-planting hub where astrologers from all over the region get to connect and learn from one another. I can confirm that the magic of this conference is real, and I cannot express how happy I am that I got to experience it first hand. At NORWAC I was introduced to an abundance of astrological practices and knowledge that I am unfamiliar with and have never even considered, both through the lectures and through informally meeting people. These kinds of connections and in-person lecture experiences deepened and expanded my astrological understanding in ways I have never imagined and in such a short amount of time. One of the highlights for me was the Annual Diversity Scholarship breakfast, where I got to hear the stories of other diversity scholarship recipients who were also attending the conference for the first time. Each with a personal and intimate astrological journey and aspiration. It was deeply inspiring, and encouraged me to form connections/stay in touch with many of the other recipients as well. I have so much to learn and so many ideas that I am still sitting with and integrating. But what I know is that what is brewing and emerging from this NORWAC experience will continue to grow and may take me to places I have yet to know or realize. Thank you again to Laura Nalbandian, Sam Reynolds and everyone who works at NORWAC for making this experience possible for me, creating a beautiful space for connection, and being part of my astrological learning journey.

Gabrielle Tosi

It was absolutely incredible to attend NORWAC from my home in Brazil this year. I started day one with Jason Holley’s “Chiron and the Revisiting of the Heroic Model” and Amanda Moreno’s “The Moon, Uranus and Ancestral Healing” and in some extent both talked about a feeling of not belonging, which is very much present in my life, and this made me realize how much astrology and the astrology community makes me feel actually belonging somewhere. Even though I was not present in person at NORWAC, it felt like I was – even during those nights I had flashes in my dreams about what I was learning during these 3 days. As a trans artist and astrologer, I have been using astrology in my artistic projects, especially “Aquarius Insurgency”, an astrological and gender research based on the use of artificial intelligence where I seek to understand how AI can translate the collective unconscious of what is understood about transgender-ness from how AI is fed. This research uses as a motto the transit of Pluto in Aquarius and (as the transit) will last 20 years while I investigate the problematics this technology can bring. So I was looking forward to attending some lectures, especially about Pluto, long transits and mundane astrology, but I was absolutely fascinated by how much KNOWLEDGE I could absorb in this year’s conference. I love the possibility of being able to watch the recording for the following 2 weeks after the conference was done, so I was able to watch speakers that held lectures at the same time. I really want to thank everyone from NORWAC for making it possible for someone like me to be able to watch these amazing astrologers that I admire so much and otherwise it would be very hard to access this information. I am still going through my notes and digesting all that I have learned! Thank you thank you thank you!

Lindsey Turner

Thank you so very much for granting me a diversity scholarship to NORWAC 2023! It made attending possible, and I am so grateful for your generosity and commitment to assembling astrologers in community.
This was my second astrology conference (I attended ISAR in 2022) and it affirmed to me that the astrological community is filled with intellectual giants and hearts that are as big as minds. It has been years since I’ve found myself in a professional community that feels good.
It’s always exciting to attend lectures in real life with some of your heroes, and to find new heroes along the way. I was thrilled to attend lectures with Demetra George, Leisa Schaim, Sam Reynolds, all whom I knew prior to the conference, and it was also thrilling for me to wander into Adam Elenbaas’ lecture on the exaltations. One of the greatest fortunes of attending NORWAC was learning about new thinkers whose thought will undoubtedly impact my own work. It was also wonderful to be in a community of peers who are sweet, funny, generous, and exceptionally talented people.
I think in the future it would be great to have some clearer expectations around Covid precautions as the mask mandate was not enforced in many of the lectures. I’d also love to contribute to planning the opening and closing rituals that take into account the many social and spiritual identity markers that comprise our growing community.
I had a wonderful experience at NORWAC and I want to reiterate how very grateful I am, how much I’m looking forward to returning, and how committed I am to helping make NORWAC an even more spacious experience for all who attend.