How do we celebrate International Astrology Day (IAD) 2014? in this week’s issue of the Manila Mail (Feb. 26-Mar. 4, 2014)


Straight from the flyer: International Astrology Day (IAD) is an annual observance/holiday celebrated by astrologers and astrology enthusiasts. It is held on the spring equinox, the day the Sun enters Aries, which is the first sign of the Tropical Zodiac, and has long been considered the astrological new year. This year, the Sun enters Aries on March 20.

In observance of IAD, the Association for Astrological Networking (AFAN) coordinates astrological lectures and events around the world. So that’s how we astrologers roll: we celebrate IAD by learning and mingling with fellow students of astrology. Yes, at some level, we are all students/lifelong learners, even the most experienced professionals among us, because there is always something new and exciting to learn or review. IAD-San Francisco is a joint presentation of the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR) San Francisco Bay Area Chapter and the San Francisco Astrological Society (SFAS). A portion of the proceeds from the IAD-San Francisco event will be donated to AFAN.

IAD 2014 will be happening on March 22 (Saturday) at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1187 Franklin St. at Geary, San Francisco, CA 94109, Starr King Room, from 10 AM-8 PM. This year’s theme is “Astrological Visions: Navigating the Waters of Change.” The following day, there will be a Michael Lutin Post-Conference Workshop, “Weird Visions,” at Fort Mason Center, Building C, Room 260 from 10:30 AM-4:30 PM. Why am I informing you peeps ahead of time about these special events?

Well, I was hoping that you could help me out. As far as I know, I am the only Filipina-American astrologer who is able to attend these events at this time. Also, as far as I know, I am the first and only Filipina-American to serve in the Board of NCGR San Francisco, and I do admit that it could get quite lonely out here. Therefore I am reaching out to any one of you who feels that this is the time to dip your feet in the waters of astrology at last and learn about yourself and the world in the process. You won’t be alone because I’ll make sure that I’ll be here for you and we can have fun times together, just discussing our charts and sharing insights borne of study and experience. If this is something you want to explore, please let me know.

Here is the schedule for IAD 2014 on March 22, 2014 (Saturday):

>10 AM Opening Ceremony: Rio Olesky on Didgeridoo

>10:15-11:45 AM Keynote Address: “Thriving in the Midst of Crisis” by Michael Lutin (, educated in the finest eastern schools and Phi Beta Kappa member, who has written four books plus book and lyrics for five astrological musicals. Teaser: With the political, moral, religious, and economic pandemonium brought about on outer planet transits, how can you experience ecstasy and find stability?

>Noon-1 PM “Understanding Neptune: The Planet of Influence” by Deborah Smith Parker (, author, poet, lecturer, and Vice President of the San Diego Astrological Society, practicing astrology for more than 35 years. Ms. Parker will discuss both the personal and collective impacts of Neptune in astrological interpretations. She will also include the role of Neptune in public policy from war, to fads, to pharmaceuticals, the development of the fields of psychology, trauma medicine, and more.

>Lunch 1-2:15 PM

>2:30-3:30 PM “Astrology, Practical Mysticism, and Planetary Initiation” by Greg Bogart, Ph.D., MFT (, a psychotherapist in Berkeley who also teaches in the Counseling Psychology and East-West Psychology programs at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). He will discuss the implications of the Grand Cross: Uranus in Aries, Mars in Libra, Jupiter in Cancer, and Pluto in Capricorn, plus Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces. Studying these transits can prepare us to meet the challenges of planetary initiation.

>4-5 PM “The Other Side of Neptune” by Linea Van Horn, C.A., NCGR-PAA (, founder and past president of SFAS, published writer and respected teacher. I am proud to call her my mentor in intermediate astrology. Excerpts from the lecture teaser: Consider Neptune: Field of dreams or den of illusion? Holy Grail or snuff planet? Realm of infinity or hall of mirrors? For anyone with control issues, Neptune is an exercise in frustration. For those on a spiritual path, he shows the way. What qualities can we develop to make the best use of this enigmatic planet?

>5:30-6:30 PM “How Do We Know What We Know?” by Jessica Lanyadoo (, astrologer, psychic medium, and medical astrologer with a weekly column, “Psychic Dream Astrology” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian; and Barry Perlman (, intuitive astrologer, speaker, and co-owner of “The Sacred Well,” a metaphysical shop in Oakland, CA, where he teaches classes and hosts a monthly Astrology Salon. Their topic will be inspired by that weekend’s Mercury-Neptune conjunction in Pisces. They will explore different intuitive and sense-based tools that can be identified in an individual’s birth chart, moving beyond the cerebral to better experience and understand the world we live in. They will also lead us in reflecting about the role of astrology itself, which straddles a complicated line between being a logical rule-based system and a divination tool requiring intuitive synthesis.

>6:45-8 pm Esther Lau Social Reception: Ms. Esther donated very good wine for IAD 2013, and now for IAD 2014, we are blessed by her generosity again. Ms. Lau is the President of Empress Investments International, a private investment company specializing in securities, real estate, and entertainment, with offices at the One Market Plaza, Spear Tower in San Francisco. Every year, Ms. Esther gives beautiful calendars designed with Chinese fine art works to NCGR and SFAS volunteers (read: Board members). One time, after an NCGR evening lecture, she spared me a 30-minute bus ride from Fort Mason to the Civic Center BART by driving me to the BART in less than half the time. Ms. Esther is the very soul of kindness and humility. I can safely say that she is one of the benefactors of the San Francisco Bay Area astrological community.

The following day, Sunday, Michael Lutin’s post-conference workshop is about “Weird Visions” since Chiron and Neptune’s transit through Pisces will be affecting us all until the mid-2020s. It will be a guided imagery seminar, through the depths of the unconscious to spiritually enriching fulfillment, moving us from the shame of failure to personal triumph.

Early Bird registrations were closed at the end of January. However, here’s a rubric for current registration options:

Registration Rates* Advance (Ends 3/15/2014) Week of Event
IAD SF Conference $85/$100 $95/$110
Lutin Post-Conference $65/$75 $70/$80
BOTH EVENTS $140/$165 $155/$180

*Prices are NCGR, SFAS, or AFAN Member Rates/Non-Member Rates

For more information and to register online with PayPal, go to:

So make plans, my friends, and I hope to see you there at the appointed time!

IAD 2014 flyer                                                                        #

Contact Bles Carmona at, via Facebook at, or follow her on Twitter@BlesildaCarmona.

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