Faculty Open Day 2014 – Saturday 22nd March
(Photographs and downloads of presentations, scripts and recordings are available at the end of this article).
Faculty Open Day 2014 was held on Saturday 22nd March in the Chancellors Room and Marchmont Room at Hughes Parry Hall, Cartwright Gardens, London, WC1 as it has been for the last few years. The theme was ‘Courage, Joy and Healing: Being an Astrologer in the World’ and we were delighted to have Babs Kirby as our Guest Speaker.
There were many well known faces and regular attendees – The APAI, The Astrological Association, The Astrological Lodge, Midheaven Books and Solar Fire all had stalls and it was a delight to have long term Faculty Diploma Holders and supporters Clare Martin, Lindsay Radermacher and Sue Tompkins there too. Most of the Faculty tutors were in attendance so Distance Learning students were able to have some face-to-face time with them. There was a mix of tradition and new technology and all in all it was a busy, chatty and happy day.
There were three excellent presentations in the morning all focused on the presenters experiences of Astrology in their modern lives . Diane Conway began with a profound talk ‘A Stranger in Paradise? Being an Astrologer in the World.’ Louise Vergette-Lynn’s insightful and sensitive presentation, ‘A Felt sense of Astrology: Participation and Re-enchantment’ followed but sadly Louise was unable to attend Faculty Day because she was unwell so Stevi Gaydon read hers notes. Spiros Philippas took us on a spirited, funny and thoughtful journey in ‘Astrology: The joys and weights of an “impossible” profession.’
Faculty President, Laura Andrikopoulos, introduced the afternoon with a reminder of how many of the most influential astrologers are and were Faculty Diploma Holders. She also announced a return to a tradition, the book in which the names of all the people who have been awarded the Faculty Diploma was brought to Faculty Day. It is a wonderful piece of history, the first page, dated 1948, has the names of the five people who founded the Faculty, including the luminaries Charles Carter, Margaret Hone, and Basil Laurence Koop (a.k.a Regulus). Since then the names of all Diploma Holders, Patrons and Fellows of the Faculty has been recorded in this little book. In fact we have now started Volume 2. Since 1948 a total of 461 people have gained their Faculty Diploma – quite a select group!
Glòria Roca, Head of Exams, introduced the Awards Ceremony, the highlight of the day. The Faculty is an international school and so many of our Award winners cannot attend Faculty Day and be presented their Awards in person. This year we used web seminar technology to broadcast Faculty Day afternoon to the Award winners in that position and so a number of them joined us remotely and were able to hear their names being read out and hear the acknowledgment from all of us at Faculty Day – it was a thrill. Babs Kirby very kindly made the presentations to the Certificate Holders and sole Diploma Holder, Clair Bentley, who was able to attend. In another innovation, Clair was asked to sign the Faculty’s Code of Ethics (a requirement for all Diploma Holders) in front of everyone, before she received her Diploma.
Next we heard from three Diploma Holders about their ‘Life After the Diploma.’ Everyone’s experience is unique so it is a treat to hear astrologer’s individual stories. The first Diploma Holder to talk was Julia Parker, a very well known astrologer, Julia gained her Diploma in 1967 so she has some great stories to tell, including talking astrology on the BBC. Julia and her husband Derk now live in Sydney, Australia so they joined us remotely too – it was 1.30 am for them so another big ‘thank you’ for their commitment – it was wonderful to ‘see’ them both! In a moving, honest and very open talk Penny de Abreu then described her path to gaining the Diploma, her journey was long and deeply personal. Penny’s experiences resonate with many as becoming an astrologer often seems to be both a joy and a struggle. Melanie Reinhart then talked about her ‘backwards’ journey to gaining her Diploma, after years of study she became a professional astrologer before she embarked on the Diploma. Three astrologers and three very different experiences!
In the final session of the day Babs made a reflective and thought-provoking presentation on, Journeying as an Astrologer, in which shelooked at the path to individuation that we are all on and how being an astrologer affects our journey. We had a wonderful day and for some of us the celebrations and chat carried on well into the evening.[divider2]