Faculty Open Day 2017
Saturday 25 March, 2017
Theme: Astrology: Rites of Passage.
Guest Speaker: Geoffrey Cornelius
Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2HW
On Saturday 25th March, for the second year running Faculty Open Day was held at the popular venue of Fyvie Hall, Regent Street, London. There was a good turnout of 74 delegates and it was lovely to greet the family and friends of the award winners who had come along to celebrate this special day with our students.
It was also a joy to be able to welcome to the event so many of the Faculty past presidents, Laura Andrikopolous, Clare Martin, Lindsay Radermacher and Carole Taylor. Our Faculty patron Melanie Reinhart along with Faculty Fellow Sue Tompkins were in the audience, as were our Councillors Penny de Abreu, Frances Clynes and Stevi Gaydon. Faculty tutors present were Darby Costello, Kim Farley and Dragana Van de Moortel along with former president of the Astrological Lodge, Bernard Eccles.
Associate Professor of Cosmology and Culture Dr. Nick Campion represented the MA ‘Cultural Astronomy and Astrology’ of University of Wales, Trinity St. David. While Dr. Angela Voss was on hand representing the MA ‘Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred’ of Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent; these being the two MA courses that the Faculty affiliates itself to. The presence of Midheaven Books, Solar Fire, APAI, The Astrological Association and The Astrological Lodge gave delegates a chance to catch up with the latest astrological news circulating in the U.K.
Our theme for the day was Astrology: Rites of Passage, an experience that was brilliantly formulated by our three student speakers. Marco Aurelio de Moraes began the journey by explaining the cultural significance of the ritual of initiation. How, by progressing from one area of life to another, once the crossing of the boundary has been honoured by the community due to our maturity gained by the experience, it does not allow us to turn back to the way we were before. Our Faculty Diploma holder Sabrina Moncini took up this thread by specifically focusing on the transitional identity that Neptune can bestow upon us as we yearn to be united with something greater than the Self. While Faculty Certificate holder Itziar Azkona, using as her examples the characters portrayed in the musical ‘The Wizard of Oz’, introduced Saturn in the role of gatekeeper, a principle that urges us on by constantly testing our courage to go further and try harder in the way that we approach and assimilate the experiences that we encounter in life.
After lunch our Faculty President Cat Cox relayed the great advancements that the Faculty is currently making. By listening to our students we are working hard to provide the live digital connection that they are requesting. Overseas travel also features prominently on the agenda and after a successful tour in Bali we are now pushing the boundaries further with an opportunity in the autumn to teach in Beijing, China.
Gloria Roca, Head of Exams, explained the importance of the ethics that lie behind the Faculty’s approach to an astrological education before opening the award ceremony by calling upon our guest speaker Dr. Geoffrey Cornelius to congratulate our award winners by presenting to them the Faculty Certificate or Diploma.
The ceremony was followed by three short presentations by Diploma Holders, Marielle Churaqui, Liz Rooke and Henrik Bisbo, who entertained us with tales of how astrology is expressed in their lives since becoming qualified astrologers.
Finally, after tea, we listened to Geoffrey Cornelius, who captivated the audience with his talk ‘Entering Symbol - Astrology as Path and Practice’. Reminding us of the integrity of the profound symbolism that lies behind astrology Geoffrey recommended that we become conscious of Urania and not lose contact with the purity of the inspiration that a connection to the higher mind can offer us.
Holding onto that thought we made our way to the pub to discuss the ideas of the day further!
Thank you to Geoffrey and all our speakers for their stimulating talks and a special thanks to our award winners who through their hard work gave us cause to gather to celebrate their outstanding achievements.
Lindsay Gladstone, Faculty Day Organiser
Student and Diploma Holder Presentations: Rites of Passage
Life as a Diploma Holder
Henrik presented over the web, from Singapore, which affected the sound quality
Geoffrey Cornelius: Entering Symbol – Astrology as Path and Practice