Prepared by Dragana Van de moortel-Ilić & Nicola Perry
Nicholas Campion, Brian Clark, Darby Costello, Lindsay Gladstone, Christian König, Clare Martin, Chris Mitchell, Matjaž Regovec, and Melanie Reinhart
Toby Aldren, Marielle Churaqui, Frances Clynes, Cat Cox, Stevi Gaydon, Mark Fountain, Alejo López, Glòria Roca, Lisa Stockley, Mónica Teixeira
The Faculty’s well-known and popular Guest Tutor Brian Clark gave one weekend course entitled ‘The Lunar Nodes, Life Paths & Purpose: Portals and Passageways’ which attracted a large number of attendees and was very interactive and dynamic.
This year, for the second time, we had a hybrid weekend course, which integrated people online and in the class in a modern and interactive way. This course was facilitated by Lisa Stockley and Alejo López and its title was ‘A Path Through the Labyrinth: A Masterclass on Astrological Interpretation’.
Astrology in Action
The 5-day Astrology in Action course comprised 3 tracks: Following the Golden Thread: Those Who Inspired Us; The Astrology of the Family and Astrological Techniques.
Track 1 - Following the Golden Thread: Those Who Inspired Us
In 2023, the Faculty of Astrological Studies celebrates its 75th anniversary. For this special occasion, we created a track to honour people whose dedication and work in the field of astrology has influenced our modern approach to the subject. In the mornings we looked at the life and horoscopes of ten significant individuals, presented in chronological order. We started in the fifteenth century with Marsilio Ficino, followed by William Lilly (seventeenth century) and Alan Leo (nineteenth and early twentieth centuries), moving on to C.G. Jung, Dane Rudhyar, James Hillman, Charles Carter, Margaret Hone, Charles Harvey and Liz Greene. In the afternoons and on Wednesday we continued by exploring the ways in which their ideas have influenced our practice, including other significant techniques compatible with astrology, such as the use of theosophical principles, active imagination and soul work.
Track 2 – The Astrology of the Family
From the concepts of soul and fate in relation to the family, to family systems, myths and patterns, we observed the family in general. In particular, fractures in the family and the relationships between siblings, parents and children was discussed and examined. Different types of family relationships were explored, starting with the traditional nuclear family, moving on to the way in which we create our own family within a circle of friends and then to modern forms of family relationships, including the complexities created by surrogate pregnancies. Finally, family composite charts showed how the family was likely to relate to the rest of the world and how individual members related to the family unit as a whole.
Track 3 – Astrological Techniques
The use of various astrological techniques were the theme of this track on Astrological Techniques. Through transits we explored how life looks to us before and after our experience of the first Saturn return. We took a close look at how we can navigate the next few years, when four slow moving planets will change signs. Myth, meaning and the symbolism of eclipses were correlated with the current eclipse cycles. During Summer School, Venus was retrograde and Mercury began its retrograde motion, and these movements were analysed in depth. There were the opportunities to explore other techniques, such as the use of the graphic ephemeris, midpoints and the interpretation of minor aspects. Towards the end of this track, the eyes were oriented upwards, towards the fixed stars.
The workshops on Sunday and Wednesday were popular and dynamic. Chris Mitchell led a fascinating workshop on Horary Astrology, combining history of this intriguing art with many interesting examples. It was insightful, and delivered with practical materials.
Christian König gave valuable guidance to astrologers regarding how to use psychological methods when helping clients with traumas. His practical insights enhanced our counselling skills profoundly.
Lisa Stockley offered a creative workshop on tarot, which attracted more delegates than the capacities allowed. She explained how to move from the established systems into working with our intuition to make our own connections, as well as drawing interesting links between tarot and astrology.
The Marquee was shaking while Alejo López gave his workshop on embodied astrology, which allowed attendees to frame their experience within their bodies, rather than minds.
An established part of the Summer School program is to offer Interpretation Modules. This is a fun, intense and very rich way of gaining valuable Course Credits towards the Faculty’s coveted Diploma. This year, Module 3 – ‘Natal Chart Interpretation; Putting the pieces together’ – was led by Toby Aldren and Mark Fountain and Module 9 – ‘Advanced Chart Interpretation and Astro-Consultancy’ – was given by Stevi Gaydon and Gloria Roca. Students in Module 9 had the opportunity to practice live client readings with delegates attending the Astrology in Action tracks.
Original, creative and hearty evening talks were given from Saturday to Tuesday by Frances Clynes, Maria Schlicker, Christian König and Lindsay Gladstone. On Wednesday evening, graciously and with style, Brian Clark and Melanie Reinhart had an open conversation, speaking about their nearly half of a century long friendship, which includes touching, funny and extraordinary shared experiences. They remembered how they shaped their style, technique and understanding, forging their trust in the astrological process and revealing its soulful underpinnings of artistry, magic and mystery.
Our Gala Dinner evening is always such a highlight, and this year was no exception. The evening began with an uplifting piano and vocal concert in the beautiful Chapel performed by David Knowles and Marje Wagner, and the exceptional 3-course dinner, served so beautifully by the experienced catering team, was a joyous occasion. Brian Clark, in his after-dinner speech, expressed his gratitude to all for creating this wonderful event. Many delegates enjoyed the disco that followed, which rounded off a perfect evening!
Summer School 2024
The Faculty Council look forward to welcoming you to Summer School 2024 which will be held at the impressive venue of Exeter College, Oxford, 16th-23rd August. Please book early in 2024 in order to avoid disappointment!