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The Astrologer's Newsletter - September/October 2008

The Astrological Association’s 50th Birthday Celebration

By Sue M. Farebrother

Founded at the peak of the Sun's passage around the earth – as we view it from the earth – on the Northern Hemisphere’s Summer Solstice in 1958, the Astrological Association’s half century was celebrated in style on Saturday 21st June 2008. A goodly number of astrologers gathered together at the Union pub in central London, in order to witness the actual moment of the AA's inception, fifty years on. The pub chosen was fittingly the one used by many of those who attend the Astrological Lodge lecture evenings on Mondays each week, as of course the AA was itself founded by Lodge members.

A festive atmosphere built as people arrived from 7 o’clock onwards, with the outdoor barbeque aromas drifting across the small terrace, and greetings being exchanged between old friends and acquaintances across the astrological spectrum. As the precise moment approached – 8.22pm BST - glasses were replenished and everyone convened inside the bar. The AA's President, Roy Gillett, commanded attention by informally standing on a chair to address the large group. Some past AA members and previous Presidents, notably John Addey and the sadly missed Charles Harvey, were remembered and toasted. Messages were read out from some of the few current Council members unable to attend the party. The message from Frances Clynes amused many, as she declared that she was away ‘in paradise’. Roy reminded everyone about a further marking of the Association’s 50th anniversary, and its 40th annual conference, at 2008’s Conference in Northamptonshire, where the many well known speakers and the conference delegates will join together at the gala Astrologers’ Feast on 21st September.

At exactly 8.22 pm, all glasses were raised in honour of the passage of fifty years of pursuing the AA’s aims of working to promote greater understanding of astrology in the wider community, and of supporting astrological education and the continuing development of serious astrology in all its branches, through research and critical study. And as befits a Sun Gemini organization (the AA’s Sun is at the very end of Gemini at 29 degrees 53 minutes), on the day after Mercury turned direct, a babble of conversation broke out again as Roy finished speaking. The meeting of minds, the companionship, and the productive networking that was taking place between individuals and small groups made this a special party.

Birthdays need cakes, and a large square decorated cake appeared on the bar a little while later. It was iced with chocolate words commemorating the 50th birthday, and pieces were distributed to everyone. All sponge, icing and June strawberries – a delicious rounding off of the evening. As people began to drift homewards, there was a sense that this had been a very enjoyable party which set the stage for the AA’s next 50 years.

I want to add a big thank you to the Council of the AA for all the organisation which went on behind the scenes, and to all the astrologers and supporters who attended, both in person and in spirit.