Alumni Events

Continue your education for free

With the Alumni Association's Wine and Cheese evening
(BYO wine and cheese)

This is an event for Sophia Alumni only.

Please email Wendy Stacey and Carole Taylor at to register for this event.

Another FREE lecture from our outstanding MA CAA graduates – but you need to register so we can invite you into the room.

Thursday 18th May 2023

18:30 - 20:00 BST

Sophia Graduate Lectures

Four graduates of the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology give presentations on their research work

Online via Zoom

Viewscapes and Cosmology in the Prehistoric Temples of Malta
Tore Lomsdalen

The Late Neolithic Temple Period in Malta started around 4,000 BCE and lasted 1,500 years. Based on landscape archaeology, horizon astronomy and skyscape archaeology this talk will illustrate how the Temple Period society’s cosmology, their belief system and worldview were based on how the temples were located in the cultural landscape and their orientations towards celestial objects.

Tore became a Doctor of Philosophy in Archaeology from the University of Malta in 2022. Prior to that, he obtained a Masters degree in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology from the Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK, in 2013 researching Maltese prehistoric temples.

Personal Cosmologies in Reincarnation
Nicole Montag-Keller

Qualitative research was conducted along the findings presented by Walters and Waterhouse (1999) where people from England expressed their belief in reincarnation. In 2017 twenty-one participants residing in North-Western Switzerland contributed towards understanding their belief in reincarnation. The findings helped to elaborate how worldviews and attitudes shape a belief in reincarnation and how these affect everyday lives.

Tony Walters, Helen Waterhouse, A Very Private Belief: Reincarnation in Contemporary England, Sociology of Religion, 1999, Vol 60:2, p 187.197.

Nicole Montag-Keller holds a Batchelors degree in Psychology from the OU and mastered in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology from the UWTSD in 2020. She is a part-time lecturer in the subject area of General Management and is a trained and experienced lead-learner in online education.

Celestial Navigation Techniques of the Minoan Civilization
Alessandro Berio

The presentation presents evidence that the ancient Minoan civilization, which flourished on Crete from 2600 – 1100 BCE, may have used celestial navigation techniques similar to those employed by the Polynesian and Micronesian cultures. The study concludes that the central courts of the Minoan palaces were primarily aligned toward important navigational stars that guided sailors toward distant coastal emporia such as Byblos and Sidon. This research has the potential to change our perceptions of trade networks, cultural exchanges, and maritime navigation in the ancient world.

Alessandro Berio is a researcher who specializes in skyscape archaeology, which combines his interests in ancient history and the stars. He received a scholarship to attend the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he graduated with honors and also took courses in astronomy and anthropology. He then received a scholarship to attend the University of Wales Trinity St. David's master of arts program in Cultural Astronomy, where he graduated with merit in 2021. He is currently conducting field work in Crete on Minoan celestial navigation and has completed further education on Minoan and Mycenaean archaeology at Oxford University.

Synchronized Cycles? The Relationship Between Women and the Moon
Natalia Sánchez

The relationship between the moon’s cycle and the human menstrual period is debated. The similarity of the mean length of both rhythms causes a wide appearance of investigations in the medical and humanist areas. My research shows that myths, beliefs and traditions play an important role.

Natalia Sánchez is a Colombian chemical engineer. She graduated with distinction from the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at UWTSD in 2021. She wants to pursue a Ph.D. Her academic interests include skyscape archaeology and studying contemporary non-indigenous people's cosmologies, especially those people who had anomalous experiences.