The Faculty’s 23rd annual Summer School was held between the 16th and 23rd August 2009 at Exeter College, Oxford University. The Faculty Summer School is an international event, bringing together those from all over the world who wish to engage with the fascinating world of astrology in an ancient and prestigious scholarly environment. It is open to both Faculty and non-Faculty students and Diploma Holders.
A range of courses were available during the week. For those working towards their Faculty Diploma, modules 3 (Developing Basic Interpretation Skills) and 9 (Advanced Chart Interpretation) were available in small group settings, and were supported by two Faculty tutors each. Credits were also available for the Faculty’s sought-after Diploma from attendance at the main programme, ‘Astrology in Action’, which enabled students to obtain credits relating to module 4 (The Dynamics of the Birth Chart) and module 8 (The Astrology of Microcosm & Macrocosm). The Dynamics of the Birth Chart included transits of the planets, nodes and eclipses whilst the Astrology of Microcosm & Macrocosm included Astrocartography, mundane astrology and historical topics. In addition to these exciting tracks, it was possible to enter into more unusual territory by participating in the track, ‘Expanding Astrological Horizons’.
This track offered a tantalising window onto the world of trans-Neptunian objects, dark stars, astrological numerology and geomancy, amongst others. Further, the very popular afternoon track of Chart Interpretation Masterclasses provided the perfect forum to learn how experienced astrologers approach client readings. Weekend courses on offer included Rob Hand’s inspiring ‘Positive Approaches to Difficult Chart Combinations’ and Demetra George’s deep journey into the sacred feminine through her ‘Goddesses in Astrology’. An additional treat came in the form of Bernadette Brady’s Friday afternoon workshop on Medieval Predictive Techniques for the Contemporary Psychological Astrologer
We were delighted to welcome a first-class line-up of tutors to our School, including Rob Hand (Faculty Patron), Demetra George, Bernadette Brady, Nick Campion, Darby Costello, Darrelyn Gunzburg, Bernard Eccles and Melanie Reinhart. In addition to the teaching programme, the 2009 Summer School was notable because Melanie Reinhart agreed to become a Patron of the Faculty and Bernard Eccles was awarded an Honorary Diploma to recognise his exceptional contribution to the Faculty Summer School over the years.
We look forward to welcoming back all who attended the 2009 Summer School for our 2010 School, along with many new students and astrologers who may wish to share in the magic of this remarkable event.
“Every time when I got off the bus on High Street in Oxford, dragging my luggage, down the little alley and entered the college through the little wooden gate, it was just like Harry Potter going back to Hogwarts. I am back again! With all the hugs and kisses to the good old friends whom I met in the past summer school, a time of indulgence in the astrological world began, leaving all the muggles stuff behind.
“This time, the most exciting thing was meeting my tutors who had worked with me in the distance learning courses. We had been communicating through emails, discussing astrology for months and a strong connection was built. Finally, I could meet them in person in Exeter, how amazing!
Polly Wallace was my tutor for the certificate level, and Peta High worked with me in the Diploma level, and I had Gloria Roca in the past summer school as well. By meeting them all this summer, it was just like a recap of my astrological journey with the Faculty, and they are the ones who watched me over on my growth. Life in summer school, somehow it was like a seclusion, retreating to a world that we only spoke in astrological language every day, with like-mind people discussing and sharing with each other, which we could hardly do in the real world.
“It is always great to take classes by different tutors in the summer school, we could meet all the well known astrologers from different parts of the world in one shot, each with his or her own speciality. Over the years, I could always get a new perspective from them, even it may be just a basic stuff like sun sign, there is still some inspiration.
“I have made some new friends this time, and the hardest thing in the summer school was saying goodbye to all the friends, tutors, and the Hogwarts life. Each time, I need some time to wind down and get back to the real world. But I would say, after the 11-month “holiday”, we will back to school next summer.”
“I have been studying in the Faculty for a couple years and always heard about how great the summer school is. Last year some friends of mine wanted to book for this year even before they had left Oxford. So I wondered what was so special about it.
This year, I found out. One of the main reasons is, of course, to be able to study with great astrology masters, seeing how they work and also to talk about astrology for the whole day. It was also a great opportunity to meet astrologers from all over and make new friends.
I got to see how different points of view can work together. It was also great to be in an environment where people not see you as an alien (or freak) when you keep relating everything to Signs and Planets at the dinner table.
In Module nine, I studied consulting skills and advanced chart interpretation. We saw how Peta did a chart reading with a real client and how she works as a day to day astrologer. She can prepare eight people’s chart in one day whereas it takes me three days to prepare for one client. Also, Gloria shared her knowledge about consulting skills and ethics.
We had to do a chart reading as homework. This was a big challenge to me as I was worried about whether my English skills would be up to the task. Thank goodness I had a good client, Maggie, who coped with my poor English and even gave me lots of useful feedback. She gave me more confidence to do consultations in English.
We had great fun, chatting, drinking and dreaming astrology. I enjoyed the brief return to student life (and pretending I was an oxford student).Now that I am home, I think that the five day course was too short (even the extra weekend would not have been enough). I felt a little lost and missed my new friends. I feel like Harry Potter waiting to go back to Hogwarts next year.”