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Oct 09th
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Steven Graves

music LYLBLocal singer-songwriter Steven Graves was a land management consultant in Southern California for almost 25 years before he retired in 2011 to pursue a full-time music career. The switch has been gratifying for him. “When you have a career doing something you’re passionate about that you feel has meaning, then that’s very satisfying,” Graves says. “Not everybody can do that, so I am grateful I’m able to.” And Graves is not the only one.

The Native American Music Awards (NAMA) recently nominated his song “White Buffalo,” from his 2012 album, Matter of Time, for a Native Heart Award, which is given to non-Native American musicians. The song features appearances by Curtis Fire—a Lakota elder—and his family, and celebrates the White Buffalo Woman, a sacred figure in the Lakota Nation’s religion. According to legend, she gave the Lakota people the sacred pipe, which they honored through prayer and worship. Consequently, buffalo became plentiful, and the White Buffalo Woman introduced the Lakota to the holistic worldview that defines many Native American spiritual beliefs. Graves is overwhelmed by the nomination. “It’s such an honor,” he says. “For them to acknowledge this song as being worthy of a NAMA nomination is wonderful and beautiful. I’m humbled by the whole thing. I have tremendous sympathy for what [Native Americans] have endured, and still endure today.” Beyond words, Graves demonstrates his compassion for them through his website. There, people can download his music with all proceeds benefiting native communities. “I always knew the reservations were in pretty poor shape,” Graves says, “but I did some research and it was devastating to me, the extent of the poverty and the problems. I want to do something about that.”

INFO: To vote for Graves’ song, visit To hear his music, visit

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Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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