Plus Letters to the Editor
What are the Top Three things of 2010? Can you pull them out of your mind? Can you articulate the great things that happened to you over the last year? Some years, it’s challenging to do that. Some years are just filled with, well, stuff that sucks. Still, things tend to grow from the depths of manure, so maybe it’s not all bad. But 2010 ... it’s time to let it go. The year certainly had its challenges—the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the Gulf oil spill, a slow road to repeal the ban on gay marriages, the mood-swinging economy and, alas, stunning PR triumphs for Sarah Palin. But there were amazing victories, too. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was finally repealed—actually Santa Cruz found itself with a local hero on that front in the form of Jeffrey Kongslie-Correa, whose valiant efforts in that realm raised the level of awareness on the cause. And despite economic strife, portals like Downtown Santa Cruz held its own and found itself birthing a few new retail outlets that are doing quite well
Esoteric Astrology as News for Dec. 30, 2010–Jan. 5, 2011. For Sun and Rising Signs
Aries-March 21–April 20
You may feel your thoughts are afire with ideas and goals. "All things new" is your mantram as multiple desires, aspirations and information stream into your mind. You seek outlets for your enthusiasm as you recognize more and more your talents and gifts. You will be recognized for your abilities. In time. Go to the mountains.
Taurus April 21–May 21
You, more than any other sign, understand the shifting currents of the economic system. You feel the need to prepare, know something’s coming, need to put food by, buy gold and silver, and tend to safeguarding resources. You ask others to join you. Many don’t understand, thinking the economy will turn around. You know better and so you, alone protect the future. Future children thank you.
Gemini May 22–June 20
How you see yourself reflects on how others see you. Who do you feel you belong to and with? Who are your “people?” What do you share with others and how close are your ties. I ask these questions so you can identify your community, who you learn from, who learns from you and where and with whom you can share your life. Often you inform others. Now you are to be informed.
Cancer June 21–July 20
Even though you want to run away somewhere seemingly better than where you are, you turn to those in your environment and find comfort, a way of life reflecting your deepest sensibilities (even though it’s been a struggle), and you introduce change that either everyone needs. Follow your heart, your impressions, your intuition. Make a record (journal) of these.
Leo July 21–August 22
Spend time with the one you love (a love affair perhaps), with children, with gamblers or with a highly creative project that brings forth more self-identity. Through these a sense of self-achievement and pride emerge. You realize again you are a creative force, and you too can be forgiven and forgiving.
Virgo August 23–September 22
Go to your family, whoever that is, and rest there. Be for others or be with the mother. Provide security and emotional safety for them. This is then provided to you. When you tend to others, when you respond to their deepest needs, you feel how and where you belong in the universe. Prepare foods for everyone, nurture them. Fulfillment follows.
Libra September 23–October 22
You have so many errands, from library to bookstore, from neighbors to co-workers, from artistic endeavors to finding newer and more inviting arrangements for your artwork & collections. You may experience various vehicles for travel, you’ll seek relatives and siblings and above all you’ll go toward what makes you feel safe, stabilized, and listened to. Just remember to practice ahimsa at all times. And forever.
Scorpio October 23–November 21
The new moon and the Mars/Pluto are in your house of communication with others. Something new (new moon), expanded, clearly identified, and very valuable has been or is presently being revealed. A new message of practical importance and changed values. This is the first step toward your future which you often feel is shrouded in mystery (clouds of unknowing). It takes a starry field to reveal things.
Sagittarius November 22–December 20
Read Scorpio—it applies to you, too, with the addition of a complete transformation down the road. This is good. And you’re impatient. Next year you won’t recognize yourself as you are now. Such a new identity is being forged within and there are no words to describe it. Only astrological symbols. Mercury in Sag, Jupiter with Uranus in Pisces (internal revolution). Contemplation reveals the great changes to come. Be practical with money.
Capricorn December 21–January 20
Are you exhausted from endeavors you’re pursuing, perhaps work or ideas or people or expectations or hopes of success? The stars reveal that it’s time to have solitude, retreat, quiet, where you can understand perspectives and contemplate changes. Within all your discipline and structure, do you have a consistent spiritual or religious practice? Do you pray and ask for help? These would sustain you.
Aquarius January 21–February 18
You inspire others; you write excellently, your ideas are original and important. How do you envision your future? Do you think about it? It’s possible that it will be exciting and expansive, more than you can imagine. Think community, gardens, eco-village, sustainable buildings, arks and Buckminster Fuller domes. The only question is where? Rest when you can. And keep hope high.
Pisces February 19–March 20
Revelations have been occurring. A new identity has come about and perhaps, for the first time, you identify yourself as alive, capable and creative. Absorb this new information quietly and slowly lest you lose its reality. New aspirations are unfolding as you realize your exceptional gifts and abilities. Call forth, in silence and waiting, your next expanded level of expression and its appropriate setting.
Risa is Founder & Director of the Esoteric & Astrological Studies & Research Institute, a contemporary Wisdom School in Santa Cruz, CA.More at nightlightnews.com. Risa's email: [email protected] Facebook: Risa's Esoteric Astrology
The most important person at our Thanksgiving feast this year wasn't even at the table. Before the first morsel of turkey was gobbled, my cousin Megan proposed that we raise our glasses to my mom, who passed away in February, one month shy of her 89th birthday.
Art Boy and I had spent the day in the car, driving from Santa Cruz all the way down to Hermosa Beach. We much prefer to stay firmly rooted to hearth and home—our home—for the holidays, if at all possible. But this was going to be the first big holiday without Mumsie, and I thought it was important to be there to share it with my brothers, Mike and Steve, who lived with Mom in the house we all grew up in at the end of her life. It was a bittersweet time for us; we felt my mom's fun-loving spirit everywhere in the house she lived in for 56 years, but we were so sorry we hadn't organized one last, big family feast like this a couple of years earlier, before my mom's last series of strokes, when she could have still been with us in person, alert and mobile, to enjoy it.
Plus Letters to the Editor
Like Thanksgiving, these last few weeks of the year seem to center around a few common themes: food, family, friends, bloating. (It happens.) But let’s focus on what’s sandwiched between food and bloating—family and friends. No matter what your religious and/or non-religious ties are during the month of December, for most of us, we pay more attention to family and friends during this time and then, perhaps eventually wonder why we lose track of these bonds during the year. When I was growing up in Chicago—chubby Polish kid, hand always reaching for a dumpling (more or less)—I sat in amazement in the living room parlors of my aunts, uncles and my parents’ homes, eating up the emotional ties that bond us together.
Definitely the worst thing that has happened over the last year in Santa Cruz has been the rise in gang violence. The best thing would have to be the increase in community activities and involvement.
Santa Cruz | Hospitality Coordinator
Christmas is Saturday, with a Virgo (let us not be critical, let us be grateful) moon (with matter, mother, the past). Let us, as an antidote, have the purposeful intentions for Gratitude, for Goodwill, which, through the establishment of Right Relations, brings Peace to the world ... which “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” Christmas Day is a good day, with planets in trine which bring about harmony. There is actually a “depth” of Goodwill all around.
And so, we are now at the very end (the last week) of 2010. To honor with gratitude our lives lived out in time and space for the past year, let us review (it’s still Mercury retrograde in Sag) what our goals, hopes, wishes and dreams (personal, social, global, financial, spiritual, material, etc.) were.
It’s here again, that special time of year, which at this point in my life doesn’t feel all that special anymore. It feels like shopping. Shopping and lists of things to do, buy, wrap, ship, light, hang on a tree, cook in a casserole, write in a card, dress in a Santa suit, steal while the villagers hold hands and sing “Fah who for-aze! Fah who for-aze!” (And adding to my anxiety, due to the marketing schedule of major corporations, is my craving for a Shamrock Shake right about now. Color me confused.)
Regardless of your winter celebration of choice, there is bound to be some amount of obligation and stress attached. If not, you’re doing it wrong, and nobody’s had the nerve to tell you. Now try harder, fail bigger and get in the spirit of things.
My extended family celebrates Christmas. Personally, I belong to that special group of individuals who celebrates the social aspect of just about any celebration you throw our way, as long as there’s dip and music. You may recognize us: the Lazy Catholics, the Lazy Jews, the Lazy Pagans. We light trees, eat latkes and burn Yule logs only to retire to our normally scheduled program without so much as a spiritual hiccup. Things were probably different when we were young.
Plus Letters to the Editor
This time of year we often hear about the great efforts locals are doing to galvanize the community, strengthen bonds and raise the level of awareness about those in need, and those who are also doing great work. We had that in mind when we were crafting the idea behind this week’s cover story. Beyond spotlighting on locals who do good, we wanted to focus on one group in particular: teenagers. Were there local teens doing noteworthy work? There sure were. Beginning on page 16, take note of the five Koffman discovered. But there are plenty more. Just the other day, in fact, I came across more news of Lightfoot Industries, which is dubbed a “social enterprise” solution in that if offers entrepreneurial training for teens. Some of the teens involved in that network are making strides in impressive curriculums. Learn more at lightfootind.com. In the meantime, note those featured in this issue and keep us apprised of others doing great work by emailing [email protected]