Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 28th
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GT Columns

Editors Note

From the Editor

From the EditorPlus Letters to the Editor

Change. Sometimes it’s easy. And sometimes ... well, you know how that goes. But how do you tackle change on a much grander, perhaps less “personal,” scale? That’s what locals have to look forward to this week, should they be up for the cause. It all unfolds in an outing that I find compelling. It’s dubbed “Change: Mobilizing the Historical Narrative.” It’s part of the Santa Cruz Next What’s NEXT Lecture Series (, which, if you haven’t already had the chance to experience, consider doing so soon. You can’t beat this innovative program designed to inspire and promote new thought, locally, and, of course, stimulate change—all by bringing engaging speakers to town.
Local Talk

What should Obama have his sights set on in 2011?

What should Obama have his sights set on in 2011?

Obama should try to clean up the mess that was made before he was in office, get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan and bring our boys back home.

Jake Conda

Santa Cruz | Waiter


What's In a Word?

What's In a Word?

So, there I was, loping through the San Francisco Chronicle last week. (We may surf the web, but a more laid-back and contemplative verb is required for perusing a newspaper in print) and there I found the article, "Book lovers turn the page on a new year," about Bay Area calligrapher Georgianna Greenwood. Early in January every year, she hosts a ceremony at the Center for the Book in San Francisco; eschewing the whole notion of New Year's resolutions, she invites participants to choose a single word to express their attitude toward the coming year—hopes, dreams,  strategies, goals, coping mechanisms, whatever—and then draws or collages together a "talisman" to celebrate that idea. But the core is that word, one single word to express one's personal Zeitgeist for the new year.


Chinese New Year, Groundhog Day, New Moon, Candlemas

Chinese New Year, Groundhog Day,  New Moon, CandlemasThe recent controversy (unnecessary flap) around astrology was short lived and distracting. I received, as did many astrologers, hundreds of emails asking what was the truth. Here’s the information. There are two different types of astrology for two different parts of the world and two different types of mind – 1) tropical (for the western mind) & 2) sidereal or Vedic (for the eastern mind, religion, training and sensibilities). The tropical zodiac is based upon the seasons (using equinox and solstice points. Vedic astrology (or the sidereal zodiac) is based upon the zodiacal constellations. Though 24 degrees apart, both are correct yet different. This seems a paradox, but it’s not.
The winter months, January, February and March, can seem rather empty without the winter festivals.
Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to the Editor

I’m a sucker for people making a positive difference, which is why you’ll be reading about a few locals who really shine in this week’s cover story. Truth is, sometimes it’s rare to come across a group of dynamic people whose individual efforts create a positive ripple effect. But those spotlighted this week—Analicia Cube, Doron Comerchero, Deutron Kebebew and Cliff Hodges—are a real treat. Cube gave birth to Take Back Santa Cruz, a collective of locals who gathered on a Facebook group page that have united the community in response to, and against, “drugs, gangs and abusive behavior” throughout Santa Cruz.
Local Talk

What are your thoughts on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange?

What are your thoughts on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange?

He's providing a very important service for the country, if not the world. Unfortunately we live in a system that really demands questions and one that often doesn't provide answers. This is a vehicle maybe for that kind of freedom of thought and expression that probably can't be obtained in any other way.

Andrew Duvin

San Francisco | Professor of Education


The Lesson of WikiLeaks

The Lesson of WikiLeaks

There’s a big lesson stemming from Wikileaks—and it’s not really a political one. Actually, there’s a lesson for us all.

Some are outraged over the documents that have now become public; others are overjoyed that “the truth” has come out.

But the overriding lesson goes far beyond that. We are now living in a Wikileaks world.

It’s hard to gauge what damage, if any, will be done by the Wikileaks revelations. Has the release of classified information been damaging—or is it just embarrassing?


Move Forward, Step Back: Jupiter in Aries, Saturn Retrogrades

Move Forward, Step Back:  Jupiter in Aries, Saturn Retrogrades Sun enters Aquarius, Thursday (Mayahma, the Buddhist New Year). We leave the mountaintop of Capricorn and enter Aquarius, sign of serving humanity, to serve and in Pisces, to save. Saturday Jupiter enters Aries, an important shift, preparing us for Uranus’ entrance into Aries, March 11. Aries is “all things new,” Jupiter expands, Uranus revolutionizes. Together they create “new ideas that become ideals” that bring forth the new culture and civilization. Helping us assess this is Saturn, Dweller on the Threshold, demanding discipline and attention to structure, retrograding (review before the new arrives) in Libra (creating Right Relations, new, sustainable, practical economic model). Saturn retros at 17.14 degrees (till June 12, Pentecost, Holy Spirit as tongues of fire, new information, new minds, virtues and gifts to create the new world). It’s an exciting time.
News & Notes: 1. The Tucson shooting informs us we need to teach ahimsa (Sanskrit/Hindu for “do no harm”). 2. With flooding in Brazil and Australia, the destruction of the banana plant (New Yorker, Jan. 10, 2011, “We Have No Bananas”), along with the many other compromised crops around the world), everyone needs greenhouses—on balconies, patios, rooftops, in back yards, blocks and neighborhoods, creating  “greenhouse communities.” Cows and chickens, pigs and sheep, and llamas, too.

Esoteric Astrology as News for the week of Jan. 20–26, 2011 for Sun and Rising Signs

Aries-March 21–April 20
What’s happening in your home, with family and loved ones? Something from the past needs tending, a new structure perhaps, new disciplines. Created with love, of course. How is your biological family influencing your life now? Each of us, within our families, has the spiritual task of healing generational family wounds  (Chiron)—a Soul contract—the purpose of our lives. Love (the heart of sacrifice) that understands this.

April 21–May 21
You’re the focus, speaker, leader, facilitator of the community/village you live within. You have patience with individual emotional vicissitudes, understand behavior patterns and different ray structures. You have the capacity to see the whole picture containing the many smaller ones. Your abilities bring individuals together, help them identify as a group that, trying your patience at times, eventually (through resistance) forms community.

May 22–June 20
The impulse, the message, the (Hierarchical) impressions being placed upon you to travel to a community (not anyone, a specific one) is becoming greater. What is needed by you to follow this impress? Many of us are being “impressed” these days, by greater intelligences who, observing us, know what we need, know what others need, know who can fulfill those needs. You could perhaps consider that you are needed elsewhere. Ponder this.

June 21–July 20
You are participating in something with family, something personal? You continue to return to a place that either needs you or you need it. Perhaps, and most likely, it is both. You feel serious about a family situation, make plans to bring more discipline. The next six months you will consider the needed changes to be made. You will consider the direction, meaning and purpose of your life. A new direction will be taken.

July 21–August 22
Have you found your thoughts more serious, more concerned with rules and regulations? Are you feeling restricted by a certain relationship? Do you feel the need to run away, far away? Is someone or something waiting for you there? Is work more serious and is change needed there? Do you seek community to fulfill relationship needs? Something new will happen soon. Surprising.

August 23–September 22
Take seriously the idea that you are of deep value. Also, be aware how your money and resources are used need reviewing. Is there enough to continue with your present/past lifestyle? If not, what needs to be changed, restrained, revitalized, added? And how can these be accomplished? Each day is filled with tasks. Each day changes, no matter how you plan. Remember you hold hidden within new realities.

September 23–October 22
Soon you’ll feel a shift deeply inward, lasting for about six months, where you assess responsibilities, review self-identity and participate in the total transformation of the beliefs that have held you for so long. Your future is in the roots of the plants that you grow. So, as I wrote last week, begin your garden with herbs, medicinals, flowers (edible) and vegetables. Include fruit trees. Begin a writing, drawing garden journal.

October 23–November 21
It’s a good time to ask yourself Scorpio’s most potent questions. Always you seek the truth and your truth creates your philosophy, which constantly changes. Searching within, realigning beliefs and values, ask yourself what goals and dreams you hold. Any left? Sometimes disappointment destroys them. You want reality. Our morning meditations’ prayer: “Let reality govern our every thought. And truth be the master of our lives.”

November 22–December 20
Is your mind racing, full of future ideas and possibilities? Is there a bit of recriminatory thinking, of things you failed to do in the recent past? Shafts of both darkness and light flit through your life. These are the elements you are made of. I read a line of poetry by John Donne the other day that reminded me of you. “I am cunningly made, a universe of elements.” You hold not only your own, but others as well. This new year will be a surprise.

December 21–January 20
As you continue to transform internally, your sense of self and communication transform, too. Be aware that Mercury is in your sign. Mercury in Cap can sound harsh to others. Astrologers know it’s not harshness, but practicality. Most of humanity isn’t astrology-wise or practical (yet). You may turn this upon yourself. I caution you. Don’t be (self-) critical. It’s destructive and separates you from life. Turn the criticism to self-praise creating value.

January 21–February 18
You’re in the community, sensing, discovering values and resources, assessing their usefulness in terms of your daily life and needs. There’s a quiet transformation taking place. You’re asking deep questions, the answers of which will alter the patterns of daily life. There are special friends around who you trust and care for. They laugh at you. However they also respect you. A life could be built around your collective dreams, hopes/wishes.

February 19–March 20
A spiritual presence is making itself known, perhaps through your acts of kindness & care, sacrifice and love. It’s good to tell others about your spiritual tasks. That before you die (and that could be years from now), you are to have Right Relations with everyone and with all kingdoms. With this promise, by living within this standard of values, you increase your worth, authority, happiness and joy. Life then follows.

Risa is Founder & Director of the Esoteric & Astrological Studies & Research Institute, a contemporary Wisdom School in Santa Cruz, CA.

More at Risa's email: [email protected] Facebook: Risa's Esoteric Astrology
Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to the Editor

What are you going through? What are you trying to get over? Is the only way out through? I can go on about all this but it’s best to steer you toward this week’s cover story in which writer Kim Luke takes a look at Santa Cruz, its people and the penchant to dig deep and, hopefully, not only “know thyself,” but heal thyself as well. All this is explored in classic Ms. Luke fashion—with humor and insight. Enjoy the ride. (Personally, I cannot stomach picking any more emotional lint out of my navel. I need a reprieve, a vacation from always “looking within” lest I implode with self-awareness overload.

Local Talk

What businesses should go into the Rittenhouse Building in Santa Cruz?

What businesses should go into the Rittenhouse Building in  Santa Cruz?
I'd like to see a quality music venue on this corner. We could use another venue in Santa Cruz that had Blues, R&B, Reggae— just the whole genre of music to give us better alternatives for music.
Jimmie Brown
Santa Cruz | CSO
Page 79 of 109

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Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

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


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
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