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Sep 03rd
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Local Talk

What’s Your Favorite Letter in the Alphabet? Why?

What’s Your Favorite Letter in the Alphabet? Why?

Z. I like the way it rolls off my tongue.
Jeff Walker
Santa Cruz | Advertising
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Astrology

Adaptation, Kindness and Mercy

Adaptation, Kindness and MercyThe new year of 2011 begins Saturday, Jan. 1, midnight, with Sun in Capricorn (seriously plan our year), moon in Sag (new goals, ideals, agendas, hope, joyfulness) and Mercury recently direct in Sag (thoughts of travel and adventure). New Year’s Day, with no planetary activity, is a blank slate, inviting ideas, innovative, original and fresh, for the coming year.
Planetary activity accelerates Jan. 4 (Tuesday) with the first new moon of the year—along with a solar eclipse (moon is hidden, partially) (1:03 a.m., Pacific time) in Capricorn (13.39 degrees). Solar eclipses signify something essential disappears. The meditative seed thought for Capricorn (symbol is signature of God) is “Lost am I in light supernal, yet on light I turn my back.” In Capricorn we return to the Earth to serve in Aquarius, serving suffering humanity.
Each Jan. 3 and 4 a meteor shower called the Quandrantids radiates from near the North Star. The showers’ radiance can be seen, brief yet splendid, between the Big Dipper & Bootes on the right and Polaris (North Star) and Ursa Minor (Little Dipper)  on the left. The sky will be dark and the meteors visible. The showers, many hued, begin after midnight and peak before dawn Jan. 4. They are the forerunners to the first new moon of the year.
During 2011, the planetary influences will help us learn interpersonal skills, we become more earnest and attentive to responsibilities, and will have realistic goals. We will learn how to “preserve wealth,” realizing true wealth comes from family, is spiritual, and must be kept local for humanity’s survival. When we understand true wealth, we move more boldly toward manifesting into form and matter the new sharing society now only on inner spiritual (etheric) levels.

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
Opinion

Spirit of Christmas Presence

Spirit of Christmas Presence

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.

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

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.

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Local Talk

What’s the best thing that happened in Santa Cruz County this year? And the worst?

What’s the best thing that  happened in Santa Cruz County this year? And the worst?

 

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.

Alice Lenox-Burke

Santa Cruz | Hospitality Coordinator

 

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Astrology

Goodwill on Earth, Peace To All

Goodwill on Earth, Peace To All

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.

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Opinion

If It’s Midnight,This Must Be A Manger

If It’s Midnight,This Must Be A Manger

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.

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Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

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]

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Local Talk

Oprah? President?

Oprah? President?
No. I don't want any more celebrity presidents. I want a president with the political knowledge and background to help us get out of this mess.
Aubrey DeRush
Zayante | Self Employed Painter

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Opinion

What Does Sustainable Actually Mean?

What Does Sustainable Actually Mean?

Sustainable. Wikipedia describes it as “the capacity to endure.” While the definition is convenient, clean and nice, how it translates into reality is highly subjective. What you think of sustainable living might be quite different from what I think. Furthermore, I find it a common capitalistic affliction to know what sustainable living is and consciously not live that way.

All the submarine and terrestrial volcanoes in the world produce roughly 200 million tons of CO2 annually and humans, through the burning of fossil fuels, production of cement and gas flaring produce 30 billion tons annually. According to the United States Geological Survey, it's equivalent to adding 8,000 medium-sized active volcanoes like Mt. Kilauea, Hawaii, to the planet. As a marine and environmental scientist, I see daily how the natural world is viewed and used as an infinitely forgiving resource or a place where you can dump or trash. I have to work in my own life to develop myself out of old habits and into more ‘sustainable’ ones. From a global perspective, I have a very high carbon footprint and from a national perspective, it’s low. It’s easy to get lost in the computations of carbon footprints and to justify consuming with responses like, “I try to be a locavore,” “I buy organic,” or “I conserve,” but we are still left with the questions: is it sustainable? And, am I doing enough?

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You Are What You Post

Online personality algorithms put astrological profiles to shame, but UCSC psychologists are raising questions about sharing personal data

 

Venus Direct, Mercury Retro Soon, Honoring Our Labors

As Burning Man (nine days, Aug. 30-Sept. 7 in the sign of Virgo) burns in the hot white desert sands, a petal of the rose created by retrograde Venus and the twelve-petaled Sun in Virgo’s petals unfold. All of us are on the burning ground (Leo) in the womb (cave of the heart) of the mother (Virgo), gestating for humanity once again (each year) a new state of consciousness. Both Virgo and Cancer, feminine (receptive energies) signs, are from our last solar system (Pleiades). When humanity first appeared on Earth we were nurtured by the mother, a matriarchy of energies (on islands in the Pacific). Eve, Isis and Mary are part of the lineages of our ancient Mother. Overseen by the Pleiades, the Earth (matter, mater, the mother) in that last solar system was imbued with intelligence (Ray 3). As we move toward autumn, another mother, Ceres realizes she has mere weeks left with her beloved daughter, Persephone. Persimmon and pomegranate trees prepare for autumn, their colors signs of hope as the light each day continues to dim. Sunday, Venus in Leo turns stationary direct, yet continues in her shadow until Oct. 9 (when retrograde Mercury turns direct). Slowly our newly assessed values emerge from the Venus retrograde. We thought in Venus retro how to use our resources more effectively. Mercury retrogrades Sept. 17. Monday is Labor Day. Let us honor the labor of everyone, all life a “labor.” Let us honor Labor Day and all those who have “served” (labored for) us this past year. We honor their labors. We honor the labor of our parents, those who have loved us. We honor our own labors, too. We are all in service, we are all laboring. We are all valuable.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Girl Gone Wild

’70s SF recalled in raw, poignant ‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’
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Sushi Garden

Local sushi empire expands to Scotts Valley

 

Do you overshare online?

I don’t think so. I just post things about my life, like successful things. Sometimes I just like sharing different news that I find interesting, or favorite artists, clothes, music. I like to post photos. Natalia Delgado, Santa Cruz, Server

 

McIntyre Vineyards

I recently met up with three friends for dinner at Sanderlings at Seascape Beach Resort. We chose to eat outside so we could watch the sun set over the ocean, but the Aptos fog rolled in and swallowed it up.

 

Sustainable Supper

The Homeless Garden Project’s Sustain Supper series supports its award-winning programs