Tuesday, June 5, 2012

United Astrology Conference: Vicarious UAC #3 – Retrospective

© 2012 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

Green man from OMG! The Mayans Were Right

Despite the internet woes at the hotel and getting a doozy case of the flu the last day that’s still lingering as of this writing, UAC and New Orleans exceeded my expectations—and then some.

My goal was to experience a balance of astro-education, link-ups with friends and colleagues, and New Orleans culture. I left feeling I’d met the trifecta in the week I had and was left wanting more—a good sign!

On May 24, I attended 2012 and the Mayan Calendar with Bruce Scofield, a pre-conference workshop sponsored by NCGR. It was my most enlightening experience to date about what the calendar is, how it works, and why we shouldn’t be worried about its end this December. Bruce said it’s like an odometer turning over, a reset to zero. Major moment of insight: The 260-day cycle on which the calendar is based is roughly the time it takes for human gestation. The Mayan Long Count Calendar began on 11 August 3114 BC and ends 21 December 2012. The link to Bruce’s publications offers more to study and appreciate. See Recent Articles on Bruce’s astrology.com page for the key points on this material for links on more Mayan resources.

Sacramento's Ziggurat and Tower Bridge.
And we hadn’t even yet begun! The real beginning was an extravaganza—the opening ceremony. The video kaleidoscope had a UFO’s Landing in New Orleans theme, complete with little green guys run amok that would parallel Mikey Lutin’s mad musical, 
OMG! The Mayans Were Right on Saturday night. The videography was out of this world in more ways than one, and various astrology groups had submitted clips from their home turf to give a sense of the global diversity of this amazing convergence of some 1500 astrologers on the Big Easy. (This was the second UAC to be held in New Orleans.) I was proud that our video from NCGR-Sacramento Area was included. Knowing it would be only snippets from our full film, I was thrilled with the ones chosen. Right on theme, there as the clip of me talking about Sacramento’s ziggurat building, which looks like one of those Mayan flat-topped pyramids. Just as I mention how some people say these buildings were used for astrological purposes, our vice-president, Linda Byrd, popped in with “Isn’t that Chironic?” Our postcard of the lead team followed with stars falling ‘round as we shouted our capsule mission statement, “We’re ambassadors for astrology!”

The video not only introduced us to who was there but gave a preview of all 13 tracks on the conference agenda with faces of the presenters. The music and visuals were all so exciting; you couldn’t leave anything but pumped for the days ahead.

But wait, there’s more! A brass New Orleans band added the finishing touches, as it led us, conga style, to beignets and decaf coffee or wine and the opening of the Marketplace. Booths full of jewelry (my weakness), astro publications and software, t-shirts and galaxies of info. My Mercury in Libra can never make up its mind, so I gave up on booths early-on. I concentrated on the hard decision on the beignets. In other words, I had both blueberry and strawberry sauces. While I never made it to Café du Monde, the home of the “best” beignets in New Orleans, I hope sharing this recipe offers a little of the opening ceremonies—and the local ambience—to everyone. (Roomie Sara is convinced that the New Orleans atmosphere is made up of at least one layer of powdered sugar.)

In-between these openers, I looked for souvenirs and lighter fare and lighter priced food, finding all within a block or two of The Marriott. I picked up some drumsticks from The House of Blues—an odd choice for a piano player! I’m missing my mallet for my meditation chimes, and I thought I could display the drumsticks as art objects and use one to tap my chimes as needed.

There was so much music everywhere—in the shops on recordings and at night in the streets by live players—it inspired me to come home and tinkle the ivories for the first time in a long time. (I have not shaken my hips this much and danced wherever I was, no matter who was looking, ever.) Ironically, the first music that popped out of the pile was Ordinary People.

In New Orleans, no one seems ordinary. Everything feels enchanted with the roots of the Spiritworld and magic dust. Or is that powdered sugar?

More flashbacks soon ….


Photo Credits:  Green man © Sara Fisk. Mayan Calendar © olgachirkova - Fotolia.com. Sacramento Bridge and Zig © Andy - Fotolia.com.

Here are links to all the Vicarious UAC Posts, if you want to read the entire series:

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