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Jun 30th
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Columns - Astrology

Spring—Light Equals the Darkness, Pisces New Moon Solar Eclipse

Spring—Light Equals the Darkness, Pisces New Moon Solar Eclipse

Honoring all fathers, St. Joseph’s Feast Day is Thursday, March 19. On Friday, March 20, spring begins. Less than one hour after the New Moon (29.29 Pisces) total solar eclipse, the Sun enters Aries. It’s spring equinox, the new Spiritual year begins, and we celebrate International Astrology Day. Essential eclipse themes—endings, completions, departures, breakdowns, breakthroughs and revelations.

The gate of Aries, sign of “all things made new” swings open at spring equinox and the primal fiery green force within all life on Earth resurrects. This fiery life force is the hidden mystery of Easter and resurrection. Ancient people believed at the beginning of time/creation, when elements first appeared forming the substance (matter, mater, mother) of our cosmos, the Sun was in Aries.

As spring unfolds, the creative life-giving spiritual essences within humanity and Earth’s kingdoms ascend. Spring initiates (Aries keyword) new life, new hope and vision, the new world order, culture and civilization. Sparks of fire appear at the rootlets of plants, “resurrecting” them “from fire to light to life.” The two first leaves of new plants resemble the sign Aries.

The first day of spring is the first full day of fiery Aries (after Pisces waters—fire and water together form new life), initiating the new spiritual and astrological year (International Astrology Day). A new cycle of time begins in the tropical (seasonal) zodiac. Astrology is the heavenly directional template, the guidepost for beginnings, endings, changes, transformations for humanity.

Aries Sun, spring equinox, Sun at the equator, light equaling darkness, the northward equinox occurring also signal the Iranian new year (Norouz); beginning of the Bahá'í (Naw-Rúz) calendar; Ostara (Germanic spring goddess, giving birth to Yule in nine months); Chunfen (Vernal Equinox) in China. In Maya, it is the “return of the Sun serpent. The ever-moving wheel of the year turns once more. We together, “ascend.” Resurrection begins within all life on Earth.

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Columns - Astrology

Intensity, Change, Transformation — Mars, Uranus, Pluto

Intensity, Change, Transformation — Mars, Uranus, Pluto

Mars/Uranus, Mars/Pluto, Mercury enters Pisces, Saturn retrograde, Uranus square Pluto, Venus enters Taurus—this is astrology language describing significant cosmic events occurring this week. They signify intensity; portend inner and outer significant changes in our world, changes that bring about a new world order (esoteric words), a new culture and civilization. It is a long, drawn out process. Our senses will be affected. We will be tested. No one is unaffected. As Mars, Uranus and Pluto meet, fiery exchanges may occur interpersonally and globally. Saturn retrograde with Venus entering Taurus attempt to stabilize us. The planets circling the Sun stream energies into Earth that propel humanity forward. They are potent yet neutral. The character and consciousness of each of us depends on how we receive and are influenced (act out, react, respond, stay poised, etc.) by the energies. There may also be increases in geological and political (both Ray 1) events.

Since June 24, 2012 until now, the major planets of change (Uranus) and transformation (Pluto) met four times in the sky. They meet for the last (fifth) time on March 16—Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn (15 degrees). Squares intensify energies, calling for directional change that anchors new realities.

Responses to these planetary influences are dual—war (Middle East), ongoing protests, killing and violent conflicts along with examples of goodwill and demands for negotiation and peace. Extremes are everywhere.

We must adapt, remaining poised at the apex of the triangle. Then we can be of service to those in need. We realize the needed world changes are occurring, a new cycle of life eventuating. We continually recollect the need for poise. (Read more at nightlightnews.org.)

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Columns - Astrology

Week of Festivals: Full Moon, Lantern Festival, Purim, Holi

Week of Festivals: Full Moon, Lantern Festival, Purim, Holi

It is a week of many different festivals along with a full moon, all occurring simultaneously. Thursday Chinese New Year celebrations end with the Lantern Festival (at full moon). Thursday is also the Pisces Solar festival (full moon), Purim (Jewish Festival) and Holi (Hindu New Year Festival). Sunday, March 8, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. The festival of Purim celebrates the freedom of the Hebrew people from the cruel Haman (a magistrate) seeking to destroy them. Esther, the Queen of Persia, who was secretly Jewish, saved her people from death. The sweet cookie hamentaschen celebrates this festival.

Friday, March 6, is Holi, the Hindu Spring Festival celebrated after the March full moon. Bonfires are lit the night before, warding off evil. Holi, the Festival of Colors, is the most colorful festival in the world. It is also the Festival of Love—of Radha for Krishna (the blue-colored God). It is a spring festival with singing, dancing, carnivals, food and bhang, a drink made of cannabis leaves. Holi signifies good over evil, ridding oneself of past errors, ending conflicts through rapprochement (returning to each other). It is a day of forgiveness, including debts. Holi also marks the beginning of New Year.

At the Pisces Solar festival we recite the seed thought, “We leave the Father’s home and, turning back, we save.” Great Teachers remain on Earth until all of humanity is enlightened. The New Group of World Servers is called to this task and sacrifice. Sacrifice (from the heart) is the first Law of the Soul, the heart of which is Love. This sacrifice saves the world.

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Columns - Astrology

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces.

Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

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Columns - Astrology

Chinese New Year - Female Green Wood Sheep/Goat – Fire & Earth

Chinese New Year - Female Green Wood Sheep/Goat – Fire & Earth

This is the first week of Lent (purification, preparation) and according to the lunisolar calendar, the Chinese spring festival/Lunar New Year of 2015—Year of the Wood Sheep/Goat—falls on Thursday, Feb. 19. It’s a turning point year. We make something from seemingly nothing. Goats are mild mannered, shy, friendly and kindhearted, with delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance. Although gentle on the surface, they are strong and tough on the inside, with an inner resilience, excellent defense mechanisms and great professional skills.

Though goats prefer to be in groups, they shy away from attention. They’re reserved and quiet, reflecting on their own thoughts and ideas. Goats are fashionable, stylish. Goats are private. It may take time to get to know them. Goats seldom share personal lives, having only a select few intimate friends. Their friendship is peaceful and fulfilling, supporting, caring and working hard for loved ones.

 

While celebrating Chinese New Year, red—the color symbolizes joy, virtue, truth, sincerity—is everywhere. You’ll see red lanterns, couplets of good fortune on doors, and paintings of goats and dolls. Celebrations include setting off firecrackers at doorways morning and evening to scare away evil spirits; giving money to children (and to the poor) in red envelopes; honoring elders and ancestors; offering prayers to the Kitchen God/Stove (fire); preparing and sharing “lucky foods”—fish (wishing everyone wealth and prosperity); dumplings (or spring rolls filled with long white daikon threads for long life); rice balls (reunion, being together); noodles (longevity); oranges and tangerines (success); while also preparing for the Full Moon Lantern Festival (March 5). On altars are plum and quince blossoms and narcissus (beauty). Sunday, Feb. 22 is Washington’s birthday, and mine, too. Tithing first that day and then to the museum (Crystal Bridges).

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Columns - Astrology

Avatars, Presidents, Valentines, Ashes, Lent and a New Moon

Avatars, Presidents, Valentines, Ashes, Lent and a New Moon

This is our last week of Aquarius (world server). Next week (Wednesday) the sun enters Pisces (world savior). Note the different esoteric tasks. Although it’s being denied, past structures of reality continue breaking down and dissolving. As this occurs, new revelatory (Uranus) alternatives will slowly be revealed (Aquarius). The breakdown is Ray 6 (Piscean Age, beliefs) withdrawing. New information/archetypes for the Aquarian Age (Ray 7) and new technologies (Ray 5, Venus) streaming in provide understanding, hope and beauty to the breakdown.

Thursday, Feb. 12, is Abraham Lincoln’s 206th birthday. Lincoln was an avatar (esoteric definition). The word avatar means “from far away.” An avatar’s appearance signifies new principles, laws, energies released to our world. Avatars, through their actions, “strike a note,” and offer new teachings that express future cycles of development that bring forth a new age and civilization. Avatars embody great truths toward which the masses must work (to fulfill). Buddha and Christ were avatars.

The presence of avatars are called into being from the very heart of humanity. When great needs occur, the heart of humanity yearns (prays) for that need to be filled. Lincoln represented humanity’s need for freedom. And freedom, yet unrealized, still constitutes an objective in our world.

Saturday is Valentine’s Day. What to give? Something alive (rose bush), organic/fair trade (chocolate). Things self-made … chocolate, caramel sauce, ice cream, cards. Monday commemorates Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays.

Tuesday, is Mardi Gras. Wednesday is the Aquarius new moon. The sun entering Pisces (sacrifice), Ash Wednesday (first day of Lent). With ashes placed on our foreheads we hear the words, “From dust thou (the personality) are, and unto dust thou shalt return.” Lent … forty days and nights of fasting, purifying and preparing for the Three Spring Festivals Fasting is good. After forty days and nights, habits disappear.

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Columns - Astrology

Last week of Mercury Retrograde

Last week of Mercury Retrograde

This is retrograde Mercury’s final week. Mercury stations direct Wednesday, Feb. 11. Mercury will now retrace all of its retrograde degrees (from 17 degrees to 1 degree, and back over them again) until it reaches the original retrograde degree—17 Aquarius. This retracing degree is called “Mercury completing its retrograde shadow.” It ends March 4.

While in its “retrograde shadow” Mercury’s not yet quite moving forward with its usual “messenger” speed. That means even though we are no longer under the Mercury retrograde where everything’s upside down and inside out, where our mind functions more internally than externally (for most of us, but not for natal Mercury retrograde people—those born with Mercury retrograde), we, too, aren’t thinking or acting or making decisions quite as clearly as usual.

We remember that all that occurs on Earth is a smaller reflection of what is occurring in the heavens. The stars, planets, Sun and Moon provide us with direction. They inform us of right timing, helping us make right choices, so that our daily lives function with ordered and organized rhythms. Few know and understand this, but those who do, stand on the threshold of the Aquarian Age, the foundation, the tools and the language of which are astrology (personality-building and Soul/Ray directed).

Aquarius, the sign we are now influenced by for the month; Aquarius, the name of the New Age (an age lasts 2,500 years); Aquarius which is the Age of Humanity and of Flowers; Aquarius the Age of Serving one another, calls us to its tools and language so that we can create the New Era which is the Era of Community and of Sharing. We are all “called.”

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I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’