Dear AFAN members and friends,
I would like to introduce myself as the new Presiding Officer of AFAN. I am thrilled to have been elected by the steering committee and excited about many of the things we’ll be working on in the near future.
Before looking ahead I would like to express some much-deserved gratitude and thanks to our friend and outgoing Presiding Officer, Leisa Schaim. As you may have seen in her letter last week, Leisa has stepped down as Presiding Officer. We very much appreciate Leisa’s extraordinary contribution and commitment to AFAN over the last 8 years. During her tenure, Leisa guided AFAN through the first Saturn return of its incorporation and helped to bring the organization into the 21st century as a capable, adaptable, and relevant advocate for astrologers and the astrological community as a whole. Some highlights include her work to bring about an incredibly successful UAC 2018 and working with the steering committee to build a new website, a vibrant social media presence, new internal technologies and management systems, and the continued success of AFAN’s vital scholarship program. Most importantly, Leisa was instrumental in recruiting and onboarding a talented and engaged steering committee ensuring AFAN will be able to thrive into the future. Leisa’s fair-minded, objective approach combined with her excellent judgment was an inspiration to me personally and made working with her a joy.
We’ve created a way for you to send Leisa a message of thanks. We’ll collect these and present them as a gift for 8 years of service to AFAN. Send a message to Leisa here: https://airtable.com/shrOMfg2mAPaq3ODi
Who am I?
Let’s start with some astrology. I’m a Sagittarius rising with the Sun in Scorpio and the Moon in Libra. I have a full 11th house. Previous to becoming an astrologer I spent a Jupiter cycle working for large technology companies as a user experience designer, technologist, and marketing consultant. In 2016, after a number of years of private study, I attended the Northwest Astrological Conference where I met the astrological community for the first time. It was a revelation to discover “my people.” I know a lot of you can relate to the sheer joy of first meeting your tribe. Over the next several years I studied as much astrology as possible, enrolling in formal astrology schools, attending online webinars, going to conferences and connecting with cherished new friends. A beam of light opened up in my life and I am grateful to have found my calling. Last January I joined AFAN’s steering committee as co-chair of the mentoring/study buddies and scholarship programs. It’s a great honor to continue to work with the rest of the capable members on the steering committee in my new role as Presiding Officer.
AFAN’s mission of astrological advocacy and networking is more important than ever. I recently called the Delray Beach, FL Mayor’s office to try to persuade the city against including astrology in their anti-fortune-telling ordinance. I am proud of AFAN’s work supporting astrologers and proud to be an astrologer defending our right to practice. We seem to be in the midst of a positive growth wave for astrology. Organizations like AFAN are greatly needed to help guide the cultural conversation and defend astrology’s place in the world. There are still many astrologers who feel alone and practice in relative isolation – especially in developing and religious countries. With AFAN’s mission of networking, we are in a unique position to bring astrologers together from all over the world. As Presiding Officer, I will work with the steering committee to continue our mission of defending the practice of astrology, creating meaningful connections, and strengthening the community through educational and networking opportunities.
I believe you, our members, represent our greatest source of wisdom and our reason for being. In the coming months, we will be reaching out to the community to create new ways for you to connect, contribute, and engage. As part of our mission to support astrological education, we have recently relaunched the Study Buddies program as an interactive monthly webinar series with guest speakers. The first edition is tomorrow evening, October 31st, at 6 pm Pacific time. I hope you can join us for this special Halloween event called Haunted Houses: Exploring Dark Places in Astrology with three wonderful astrologers, Glenna Bain, Amy Herring, and Stacia Secreriat.
Next month we will also continue with our monthly Town Hall webinar series in support of Local Groups and issues relating to the unique concerns of the astrological community. Watch your e-mail for the date and time of the next Town Hall meeting. In addition to our online programming, we are looking forward to the next round of scholarships, conference networking events (Norwac 2020, GLAC 2020, and ISAR 2020), and International Astrology Day. We’re also in the beginning stages of planning for the next UAC.
It’s an incredible honor to serve this community and to work with the other talented members of the steering committee and the greater membership. I hope to see many of you at next year’s networking events or online at one of our webinars. If you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.