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Sep 17th
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Columns - Astrology

Year of the White Metal Rabbit

Year of the White Metal RabbitThe Chinese New Year Spring Festival will be celebrated for the next two weeks, till February 18th, the Full moon Chinese Lantern Festival (visit the Om Gallery, Downtown Santa Cruz, to prepare for your Lantern Festival party). Chinese astrology, based on the moon/lunar cycle, begins at the 2nd new moon after winter solstice (Feb, 2, Groundhog Day) and ends with the Lantern Festival two weeks later at the full moon (Feb. 18). 2011 is the year of the white metal rabbit. We are to look at the inner nature of rabbit and for the year, adopt those virtues—graciousness, sensitivity, gentleness, concentration, diplomacy, culture, manners, being reserved, scholarly, participating in study and intellectual activities.
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Columns - Astrology

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.
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Columns - Astrology

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.

Taurus
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.

Gemini
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.

Cancer
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.

Leo
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.

Virgo
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.

Libra
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.

Scorpio
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.”

Sagittarius
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.

Capricorn
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.

Aquarius
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.


Pisces
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 nightlightnews.com. Risa's email: [email protected] Facebook: Risa's Esoteric Astrology
Columns - Astrology

I Have Been to the Mountaintop

I Have Been to the Mountaintop

We are in our last week of Capricorn, sign of the mountaintop. It’s Martin Luther King, Jr’s. birthday (observed) Monday. He’s famous for saying, “I’ve been taken to the mountaintop.” King was a Capricorn, the sign of the Initiate who, seeing the world from the mountaintop, and humanity suffering, returns to the world to serve.

Up on another mountaintop, Meditation Mount in Ojai, California (location of the 1937 Frank Capra film, Lost Horizons, from James Hilton’s book about Shangri La, a mysterious valley) weekly Wednesday evening “Conversations For the Common Good” resume, 7 p.m., Jan. 19. (meditationmount.org.)

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Columns - Astrology

Freedom, Liberty, Science of Relationship

Freedom, Liberty,  Science of RelationshipJonathan Franzen is speaking (7 p.m., Santa Cruz High School) Thursday night. A Leo Sun, his interests (books, writing) are freedom and liberty, family and intimacy, history and creativity (the Science of Relationships). He’s also an original (Aquarius moon). Thursday is also Epiphany, Three Kings Day (something’s revealed) to the world. We need to make a Three Kings Cake.
Last week the Aquarian planets of Jupiter/Uranus jointed together. This affects us today and well into the future. As Jupiter expands, Uranus awakens. Uranus rules astrology. Jupiter is love (of astrology). Uranus is the new culture and civilization based on astrology. Jupiter calls us to “love one another,” no matter what (our astrology). At the same time, Venus formed a trine (120 degrees apart) with both Uranus and Jupiter.
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Columns - 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
Columns - 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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Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Feeding Frenzy

Culinary journey ‘The Trip to Italy’ isn’t the foodie film you’d expect 
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Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

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Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.