Conference 2021 – Speakers

Registration contact:
Alvin Burns
phone: 212-838-6247

Conference contact:
Rachel Lang

Colin Bedell
Topic:   The Astrology of Courage

In this talk, Colin will walk through helpful evidence-based research on leadership, organizational theory, and behavior analysis which situates the clash of Uranus and Saturn as not a problem that needs to be solved but a paradox that needs to be properly leveraged. Leaning on the 4 elements of Courage in our chart, “The Astrology of Courage” will highlight key learnings that help Astrology students, practitioners and leaders focus on improving rather proving, learning rather knowing, and trying to get “it” right, rather than trying to “be” right.

Bio:   Colin Bedell is a queer Gemini Twin from Long Island, New York.  He’s a passionate student of secular personal-growth systems, and the universal spiritual themes explored in A Course in Miracles. Well & Good Magazine listed Colin as one of the most influential people in the wellness industry and as a 2020 Innovator. Complementing his work with QueerCosmos, he is the weekly horoscope writer for His books are: A Little Bit of Astrology, Queer Cosmos: The Astrology of Queer Identities & Relationships, and Gemini.
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Mychal Bryan
Topic:    Classical Horary Astrology of the Future      

Natal-based Horary Astrology is a form of practice that many classical authors speak about but seldom demonstrate it. In this talk, we will explore how the natal chart of a person is moved through time and gives birth to every question a person may ask. We will see how the natal chart is reflected in the Horary moment and how having a deep understanding of Horary, Natal, and Predictive Astrology can greatly revolutionize the working Astrologer’s practice.

Bio:  Mychal A. Bryan is a professional certified Astrology, multidisciplinary hypnotherapist/healer, and broadcast journalist practicing in Nassau, Bahamas. He has been a lifelong student of the Western Mystery Tradition, emphasizing in Kabbalah, Tarot, Hermeticism, & Pre-Socratic Philosophy. He is the founder of the Oraculos School of Astrology (OSA), and The Oraculos Podcast. At OSA he offers private mentorship, professional development courses for seasoned practitioners, as well as a full 2-year Excellence in Astrology program.
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Susan Gidel
Topic:    U.S. Markets and the Saturn/Uranus Waning Square          

Learn how the U.S. economy and stock market have behaved in the final quarter of previous 45-year Saturn/Uranus cycles to get an idea of what could occur from 2021-2032. Not surprisingly, similarities exist across all five previous cycles that span U.S. history since 1761. Rebellion, panics, deflation, depression, and stagflation—as well as promising optimism—are among the stories of previous waning squares. What storyline will our current square follow…or create anew into 2032?

Bio:    Susan Abbott Gidel specializes in astrological market research and publishing. She also provides astrological insights to help people achieve financial success in career, business, investments and trading. After 35 years in the commodity futures business as a journalist and marketing executive, Susan combined that market knowledge with her passion for astrology to specialize in financial astrology.
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Stormie Grace
Topic:    Mercury and the Moon: Getting your Mind and Soul on the Same Page 

We all live in cycles, whether or not we know what to call them. By identifying the cycles of your Moon phases and your Mercurial Elemental Return year, we can allow ourselves to work smarter not hard in our seasons and cycles. Take a journey with me to peek into the cycles of our lives and how to create clarity of thought and action by getting your Mind and Soul on the same page.

Bio:  Stormie Grace is a practicing astrologer at Stormie Grace Astrology and has a show on YouTube producing learning, weekly, monthly, and yearly content. Practicing in Colorado and around the globe since 2014. Holding a Doctorate of Business enables her to apply those skills to business and mundane astrology, as well as personal chart work. She specializes in teaching groups, one on one sessions, and personal readings. A Member of OPA, AFAN, ISAR, NCGR, AYA, contributor to Career Astrologer,, Midheaven Magazine, and faculty member for the Portland School of Astrology.
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Margaret Gray
Topic:    Do Wide Age Gaps Matter in Relationships? How Might We Bridge Those Differences?                      

Today we’ll look at some of the factors to take into account when looking at relationship charts with age gaps of 12 years or more, including the potential effects of having transpersonal/generational planets in different signs, experiencing developmental stages ahead and behind each other, and considering parent/child issues that may be projected onto a significant other.

Bio:    Margaret Gray, MSW., is an international consulting and teaching psychological astrologer and psychotherapist based in Dublin, Ireland. She offers Birth Chart readings to individuals, couples and children, as well as certificate courses in psychological and relationship astrology. Margaret is the co-founder and co-director of ‘Relationships and Astrology’. She also set up and co-runs ‘Astrology Ireland’, which offers monthly presentations and classes with local and international speakers. Margaret is on the board of IAEA. She presents regularly at international astrology conferences.                                              
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Nina Gryphon
Topic:   Astrological Magic for the 21st Century      

Astrological magic teaches us to proactively approach the planets for change and personal growth. Though this may sound modern, astrological magic is a recently-rediscovered ancient technique for interacting with celestial bodies as divinities who can help us succeed materially and spiritually. We will talk about the role of astrological magic in modern life, and ways to integrate it into your personal spiritual practice.

Bio:  Nina Gryphon is a practicing astrologer and corporate lawyer living in Los Angeles, California. Nina practices traditional astrology, with a special emphasis on astrological magic. She writes a horary column for The Mountain Astrologer, as well as articles for her blog, and teaches classes and workshops worldwide. She publishes a popular monthly guide, Magical Elections, which includes detailed magical guidance and education. Nina has a popular Patreon focusing on astrology and magic, and more of her work can be found on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Baris Ilhan
Topic:    Saturn as a Cohesive Power                      

Saturn is called a ‘major malefic star’ because it acts with extreme and severe coldness. But if it were not for the coldness of Saturn, nothing would have solidified in this realm of growth and decay. In fact, Saturn is a cohesive power that helps to bring substance to our lives and get rid of harm. This lecture aims to introduce this ancient, but new to us, aspect of Saturn.

Bio:  Baris Ilhan, C.A., NCGR is one of the leading astrologers in Turkey since 1993. Owns a publishing house and an astrology school: “Ilhan Astrology Institute”. Teaches, writes, lectures regularly. A researcher on Ottoman and Islamic astrology. Member of NCGR, ISAR, AFA, AFAN, AA, OPA and Advisory Board of NCGR, president of NCGR Turkey chapter. Had written two books: “The Puberty Age of Adults: Planetary Cycles” and “Astrology Lessons”, a text book for students.
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Ryan Kurczak
Topic:    Vedic Astrology Techniques and the Tropical Zodiac                      

What if the use of the Tropical Zodiac combined Vedic Astrological techniques was of an ancient origin? What if the Tropical Zodiac could improve the accuracy of Vedic Astrological techniques? Allegedly, this could be true. In this talk, we will explore the possibility, and discuss Vedic Astrological techniques anyone can use to experiment with the principles of Tropical Vedic Astrology. Time permitting, we will also explore the controversy inspired by this approach to such a venerable science.

Bio:  Ryan Kurczak is best known for the Art and Science of Vedic Astrology Volumes 1 and 2 book series. He has been a student of Vedic Astrology for two decades. The last decade has been fully devoted to the study and utilization of the Tropical Zodiac with Vedic Astrological Techniques. Founder and director of the Asheville Vedic Astrology Apprenticeship Program. Ryan’s vocation is a Kriya Yoga teacher. Ryan’s spiritual tradition fully colors his insights into Vedic Astrology. .
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Rick Levine
Topic:    Saturn’s Demise: A Newer Look at the Old Gatekeeper                    

For millennia, Saturn was the end of the road, the planet at the edge of our three-dimensional corner of the universe. Nevertheless, the cosmos has changed along with our universal perspective. The current Saturn-Uranus square is just the latest insult to Saturn’s downfall. The boundaries between fact and fantasy, physical and metaphysical, even life and death are not what they once were. Like quantum physics, Saturn’s new role is not stranger than we think; it’s stranger than we can think.

Bio:  A professional astrologer since 1976, Rick Levine is a respected leader in the global Astrology community, past president of the Washington State Astrology Association, a founding Trustee of Kepler College, and past coauthor of Barnes and Noble’s annual astrology guides. His online daily horoscopes and his Internet videos reach tens of thousands of people every month. Rick’s philosophy is simple: Astrology is a tool for empowerment, understanding, and creativity. Find his daily “Planet Pulse” on Instagram or Facebook at: ricklevineastrologer.
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John Marchesella
Topic:    Saturn:  The Great Balancing Act                      

Why is Saturn exalted in Libra? The Beauty and the Beast? The planet of heavy lead putting a finger on the scales of justice? The voice of reality in the sign of idealism? Exalted? Really?! The answers to these questions will be ascertained in this presentation along with the meaning of Saturn’s positions in detriment, fall and rulership….as well as how can Father Time rule Aquarius, the sign of Peter Pan! And for added fun, we’ll have a quick run through Saturn in the houses of the natal horoscope.

Bio:   John Marchesella a/k/a “Mr. Saturn” is a past Chair of NCGR and helped in planning UAC and national conferences. He has presented many times at these events as well as local conferences and he is currently serving as President and Education Director of the New York City Chapter of NCGR. John is a frequent contributor to many astrological publications, podcasts and webinars. He is fully certified by NCGR-PAA and holds certification as a Humanistic psychotherapist and bereavement counselor. He has been a professional astrologer since 1976 in New York.  
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Lars Mellis
Topic:    Taking the Scare Out of the Square – Finding Power and Promise in Natal Square Aspects                 

William Lilly wrote in his work, Christian Astrology, (1647) that the square is of “imperfect enmity” and “the aspect is of imperfect hatred.”  Defining and describing squares has always been negative to a degree. This lecture is designed to mitigate fatalistic opinions about natal squares, and empower practitioners and students alike to define squares in a multifaceted way, as well as elucidate how the square aspect is a signifier of innate strength.  While squares signify tension, they should never be feared.

Bio:   Lars Mellis is a professional astrologer based in West Hollywood, CA. In addition to meeting with clients, he hosts an astrology-themed YouTube channel series including monthly Astro weather reports. In 2021, Lars was elected to the NCGR Board of Directors. He also currently works as the Outreach Director for NCGR-LA.   Lars also has educational background which includes a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and a Master’s degree in University Management and Student Affairs from USC
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Anne Ortelee
Topic:    Natal Placements for Uranus and Saturn             

Each chart holds a story around how dad (Saturn) relates to grampa (Uranus). Or a story around how structure relates to change.  What do your Uranus and Saturn placements say about your story?  How can you use those placements to work with your chart proactively?  Bring your charts for a hands-on adventure.

Bio:   Anne Ortelee is a certified astrologer by ISAR-CAP, AMAFA, NCGR-PAA Level-3 and OPA. She started to study astrology in 1994 and in 2001 became a full-time astrologer with a busy consulting practice in New York City. Anne is currently the Treasurer for OPA and on the Board of the CG Jung Foundation. Since 1998, Anne has lectured at local, regional and national conferences for various astrology organizations. She offers four weekly podcasts about astrology. All are found on her website
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Christopher Renstrom
Topic:    Does Uranus Make Me Gay? How Uranus Came to be Associated with Homosexuality in the Birth Chart

The archetype of the “Divine Hermaphrodite” has its roots in Plato. By tracing its history from Plato’s Symposium to Karl Heinrich Ulrich’s coining of the term “Uranian” in the 1860s to describe male and female homosexuals, I’ll demonstrate how a social trend that existed independently of Astrology got adopted by Astrology to describe a specific planetary function in the horoscope, and how this informed interpretations dealing with relationships, sex, and sexuality from the 1930s on.

Bio:   Christopher Renstrom is the creator of, an online astrology site based on his bestselling book, Ruling Planets. He currently writes the daily horoscopes for the San Francisco Chronicle and Renstrom also lectures on the history of astrology in America from pre-Revolution to modern times, and runs Ruling Planet workshops around the country. His horoscopes appear weekly on Astrology Hub.
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Sam Reynolds
Topic:    Chaos or Community: Astrology at the Crossroads

There’s no doubt that astrology and the astrology community need to change, with regard to cultural diversity, or the varied forms of astrology that have cropped up in the last century. But are all changes good? What becomes too much or too little change? As a contemporary astrologer with strong traditional roots, Reynolds will discuss the sensitive issues posed by young and old astrologers, like the use of gender, race, colonialism, etc., and will proffer answers that the astrological community has found suitable in the past and address them for the future.

Bio:  Samuel Reynolds, ISAR CAP, a former skeptic, had a life-changing visit to an astrologer and has since spent 30 years doing charts and studying astrology. He currently serves on the board of directors for the International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR) and the International Academy of Astrology. He’s also a co-founder of the International Society of Black Astrologers, and a faculty member for the International Academy of Astrology. He’s written for multiple print and online outlets, including,,, and New York Magazine.
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Nadiya Shah
Uranus in Gemini: Information, Conversation, and a New Age of Genius

Wherever Uranus goes, we can expect upheaval, change, and a leap into a more advanced, technically driven future. Uranus in Gemini is a monumental move, defined in part by its world changing trine to Pluto in Aquarius, which will take the energy of genius and progress and make it mainstream. It might also take ‘social media’ to new heights of pervasiveness. This talk will consider key mythologies around Uranus. We will consider the archetype of Gemini, and synthesize this looking ahead at key transits in this world changing transit.

Bio:  Nadiya Shah She is an Internationally Syndicated Astrologer, Author, Media Personality, and is one of the few people in the world to hold an M.A. in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination, from the University of Kent, United Kingdom.  Her last 3 books debuted as #1 New Releases in New Age Astrology on Amazon. Her School “Synchronicity University” teaches astrology and tarot worldwide. Nadiya’s also hosts a popular YouTube channel.
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Alice Sparkly Kat
An Etymology of Saturn

It is impossible to talk about Saturn without talking about land and it is impossible to talk about land without talking about the state. In this presentation, Alice Sparkly Kat outlines an etymology of Saturn in order to ask how we can use Saturn to reframe time, nationality, and capital within astrological practice.

Bio: Alice Sparkly Kat is an astrologer. They use astrology to re-chart a history of the subconscious, redefine the body in world, and reimagine history as collective memory. Their astrological work has inhabited MoMA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Brooklyn Museum. They are the author of Postcolonial Astrology (May 2021).
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Georgia Stathis
Topic:   Bridging the gap between tradition, innovation and vision

A discussion about the possibilities of what happens when a new cycle such as Jupiter/Neptune begins, and what happens when an old cycle begins to end like the last quarter square between Saturn and Uranus. Some historical as well as personal perspectives.

Bio: Georgia Stathis specializes in business and natal astrology. Author of Business Astrology 101, Pushing through Time: Synodic Cycles and their Developing Phases, the annual Starcycles Cheat Sheet. She contributes to journals like the 2016 OPA book, The Professional Astrologer and  the recent July edition from  FAA. She teaches online for many international venues OPA, ISAR, UAC, NORWAC, NCGR and Kepler College. She chairs the non-profit Alexandria iBase Project, preserving and cataloguing astrological literature for the future,
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Kay Taylor
Grounded Lightning: Personal Integration of Saturn/Uranus 

After the cosmic shake-up of 2020, we’ve been plunged into the need to find integration between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus—globally and individually. This talk will focus on the personal square of these two signs in individual charts, and how the current transit might focus a spotlight on synthesis and growth through skillful consultations, proactive solutions, and conscious awareness of the highest potential of these dynamic forces.

Bio: Kay Taylor is an author, teacher and full-time consultant based in the SF Bay Area. Integrating evolutionary astrology with psychosynthesis, intuitive mastery and yoga for over 35 years, Kay lectures at conferences and regional groups, and offers professional training via her Soul Path School. She is President of OPA (Organization for Professional Astrology), and is on the Board of Kepler College. Kay wrote Soul Path Way (2016), an column (2008-2014) and chapters in The Professional Astrologer (2015) and Essential Astrology (2022).  Certified by OPA, ISAR CAP and NCGR Level II.
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Catherine Urban
Topic:  The Industrial Evolution –
Framing the Saturn-Uranus square as a cultural catalyst. 

The Saturn-Uranus square arrives in the wake of a pandemic which has shaken every major foundation of our lives, bringing into question the primary systems of how we work, how we live and how we relate to one another. Correspondingly, the Saturn-Uranus square is altering several industries. Let’s take a closer look at our evolving world through the lens of Uranus in Taurus, Saturn in Aquarius and beyond.

Bio: Catherine Urban (NCGR-PAA IV, ISAR-CAP) is the author of Your Astrological Cookbook: The Perfect Recipe for Every Sign. She maintains a thriving consultation practice, teaches predictive and foundational courses in astrology and writes for NCGR’s Memberletter. Catherine is an astro-mage, retired hairstylist, and she recently integrated the art of horary into her practice. Connect with Catherine on Instagram and Twitter @astrocatherine or visit
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