Summer School 2012: 17th-24th August, Exeter College, Oxford
Summer School 2012 was characterised by brilliant sunshine, superb teaching and wonderful company. Ninety delegates from all corners of the world gathered at Exeter College to deepen their astrological knowledge, either by formally studying Faculty modules 3 (Basic Chart Interpretation) and 4 (Transits and Solar Returns) or by attending Astrology in Action tracks, plus the Weekend courses that focused on very different facets of astrology: karmic, elections and progressions.
Our tutors were equally well travelled. Thomas Moore and Dana Gerhardt joined us from the USA, Brian Clark came from Australia and from Europe we welcomed Lynn Bell, Christian Borup and Branka Stamenkovic as well as our very own Faculty Head of Exams, Glòria Roca. Of course, we had plenty of home-grown talent in the form of our Faculty tutors: Penny de Abreu, Laura Andrikopoulos, Cat Cox, Kim Farley, Carole Taylor and Polly Wallace, Judy Hall and Faculty patron Melanie Reinhart also helped us fly the flag for the UK in this Olympic year.
Summer School provided the opportunity to listen to Thomas Moore's wonderfully inspiring talks on spiritual approaches to life. Dana Gerhardt showed us practical ways to intensify our understanding of charts and client work, while Brian Clark and his fellow tutors guided us through the intricacies of astrology and family life.
Yet Summer School isn't just about studying. It gave us a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones amidst the beautiful surroundings of Exeter College. Generation upon generation of students have studied here over the centuries, and there is nowhere better to learn and absorb astrology than in the company of fellow delegates and expert astrologers in a city dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. We enjoyed wonderful meals in the Jacobean Dining Hall and a barbecue in the glorious surroundings of the Rector's Garden, with the Gala Dinner providing us with the chance to celebrate our friendships and shared love of astrology.
Testimonial by Eric Fischmann
"Each time my Jupiter returns home to its natal position, I know it's time for me to make a move in the world to see what lies ahead. So I decided for the first time to attend F.A.S. Summer School with a view to broaden the scope of my studies. What I found at Exeter College was in many ways what I had imagined: a dream come true, the perfect place to study and improve my understanding and more importantly a space to share and speak a universal language all the participants have in common. My trip to Oxford confirmed this idea that if you want to put into practice your skills properly when learning any language, there's no better way than total surrounding where people breathe and speak it, and so it was, all week through. F.A.S. Summer School is the epitome of such a place where people from all over the world gather to enhance their understanding and the teachings of Astrology.
"I'm a distance-learning student and to quicken the pace of my studies I chose module 4 as my next step forward. Studying on one's own isn't an easy task to carry out. As a teacher myself I know that directly interacting in a classroom with tutors and co-students is an efficient means to set the record straight, to structure thinking processes and to grow skills through exposure. The extremely well balanced lessons called forth a tremendous amount of insight and a wealth of information that helped me better encapsulate the demanding requirements of the syllabus. In this respect I'm deeply grateful to our three tutors, Carole, Cat and Kim who did a remarkable job at helping us find our way through the intricacies of forecasting and transits and whose generosity never failed to offer advice or to answer a variety of questions to the benefit of all. I couldn't help noticing how well and how professionally our group was managed.
"I must here commend the organization and the arrangement of this event; everything was beautifully scheduled. The lessons throughout the day, the inspiring evening talks, the great catering, the benevolence of the people I met there, speaking to world-famous authors, all the Astrology I experienced in the city of dreaming spires contributed to make this moment a timely confidence booster. Next August Jupiter will transit my ascendant and I plan to travel back to Summer School."
Testimonial by Becky Green
"From the moment I stepped through the doorway at the Porter's Lodge and turned my back on the busy hum of Oxford's Turl Street, I was once again enveloped in the familiar, magical feeling I have at the start of each Summer School as I crossed the threshold and entered the sacred space that was to be my home for the next week or so.
"Since my first experience of Summer School just 4 years ago, this highlight in the FAS year has become my annual pilgrimage, taking priority in my calendar each year. For Exeter College is the perfect environment in which to study Astrology; the ancient college buildings, beautiful gardens and impressions left by a notable cast of former scholars all weave a special atmosphere which is so conducive to the study of our ancient craft. Living in students' rooms, taking meals in the magnificent dining room and having my bed made for me are just some of the little luxuries of Summer School. An excellent kitchen team and chef are of course key to my Taurus Ascendant and they never fail to exceed expectations, the Gala Dinner being the sumptuous climax of their hospitality and culinary prowess.
"In this special place astrologers come together and share experiences, learn from each other or simply catch up with friends. Here we get to sit down to breakfast with some of the greatest names in our craft; people who have written the books we so avidly study and whose teachings develop our learning and shine new light on our ways of thinking. At Summer School there are no cultural barriers between the delegates who come from all over the world, as we all share a common and instant bond.
"Whether following a Faculty Module to accumulate credits for qualifications or simply attending whichever lectures and workshops appeal, there is something at Summer School for Astrologers of all abilities. And with an impressive line-up of internationally renowned speakers - not to mention the Faculty's own dedicated, professional and inspiring tutors - each year I have been spoilt for choice as to which sessions to attend. This year I chose to follow a brand new course, the Astrology of the Family, led by Brian Clark with inputs by Lynn Bell, Melanie Reinhart & Gloria Roca. An amazing course which really developed our understanding of the parental and ancestral indicators in a chart; we were all inspired to take what we had learned and further develop it to add another dimension to our work.
"Thomas Moore delivered some wonderful, soul-centred lectures and Bernard Eccles showed us how to get back in touch with looking at the sky and observing the planets' movements - as well as providing a very entertaining session on geomancy (which I know I will find useful as I'm always interested in new ways to make a bit of extra pocket money...!)
"It's always a wrench to leave at the end of the week and return to the "normal" world but I know I'll be back next year: the dates are already in my diary. After all, there is nothing more natural than returning to your tribe; however far we wander we all need to come home..."
Becky Green, FAS student and Certificate holder
"Extremely caring and professional tutors with a wealth of information."
"High standard of tuition. I also enjoyed the added 'human' quality of nearly all the teacher - and their sense of humour."
"A great place to have a chance to discuss astrology with people from different countries, I will come again."
"I really liked the technical helpers that were there to help the tutors and with the air conditioning."
"Loved every minute!"
"I enjoyed my stay, good room, company and weather. Couldn't ask for more."
"It was my first time here... and it will not be the last. I enjoyed it so much."
"The insights into my chart have literally changed my life."
"Everything was perfect."
"Thank you for all the time and effort you put into making everything run so smoothly."
"I would like to add that the food was good too, and the waiters and staff exceptionally kind."