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Aug 30th
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Columns - Astrology

United Nations Day of Families

United Nations Day of FamiliesThis is our last week of Taurus, sign of Enlightenment. The Forces of Enlightenment are preparing for the Gemini Festival of Humanity. Thursday night is Taurus new moon. The Taurus personality-building seed thought is “Let struggle be undismayed.” Our personality learns the nature of form and matter through struggling with duality. Before the Soul directs the personality it too must learn about duality. From understanding duality, we learn discrimination and the ability to choose right from wrong, good from bad, light from dark. A mantra (the NGWS recite daily) from the Upanishads reflecting this is, “Lead us, oh Lord, from darkness to light, from the unreal to the real, from death to immortality.”  Saturday, May 15 (observed May 13), is the United Nations International Day of Families. Families are the first community we experience. Family is a primary social unit and the foundation for society. It is an instrument (basic school) for education, culture, character building, ethics, virtues, responsibility and peace (or war). Through family we experience Ray 4, Harmony that emerges from Conflict. Humanity is Ray 4. Family, all types of families, is a crucible for learning. A village can be a family. The UN focus on families this year (2010) is “The impact of migration on families around the world,” as 214 million people have migrated to different countries in search of food, stability, employment and to escape war. Family members are left behind during migrations creating great emotional upheaval. As we ponder upon these ideas, and work to strengthen our family units, let us “open our hearts to the needs of migrants and their families.” Each family is a “holy family.”
This Sunday, 4 pm, join Jozseph Schultz’s family of friends for his flower festival foods, 418 Front St. The Age of Aquarius is the Age of Flowers. For rez: www.10.cruzio.com/w10a091/ordering.html. See you there, everyone. Read more daily at Risa’s Esoteric Astrology Facebook.
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Columns - Astrology

Mother of the World & Mercury Direct

Mother of the World & Mercury Direct

It’s Mother’s Day Sunday. And so, from our heart, let us give thanks for our mothers. Let’s pray also for those who have lost their mothers, who never knew their biological mothers, mothers who adopted or were adopted. We also pray for families separated by wars, disasters or conflict. Mother’s Day morning is Pisces (compassion) moon with a v/c from 1:12 p.m. till 2:29 p.m. (Pacific time) when Aries moon begins. Planning the day around these energies helps the day be successful (or not). I suggest not giving mother gifts during the v/c. In Santa Cruz, Mother’s Day is also the Day of the Reskilling Expo, Temple Beth El, Aptos, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is a painting titled Mother of the World by Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. See:  american-buddha.com/mother.world.htm. Note her covered eyes. In the Aquarian Age, when justice prevails, when women and men are equal, when the scales are balanced, perhaps the veil will be removed.

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Columns - Astrology

The Times They Are a-Changin'

The Times They Are a-Changin'

We are in the midst of the Three Spring Festivals which are the foundations of the New World Religion forming as the Aquarian Age continues to unfold. In the past weeks we’ve experienced multiple planetary shifts, the purposes being to create the new Earth and the new world humanity is to work within. Sun entering Taurus (in Mercury retro) brought us Vulcan (Ray 1), the erupting Icelandic volcano and the resulting canceling of Europe’s air travel. Chiron in Pisces is helping us review and renew the visions and prophecies of the 1960s. Saturn opposite Uranus has changed time (there is no more time as we have known it) and continues to adjust the world economy. The full moons of Aries & Taurus called forth the Forces of Restoration (to restore the Plan on Earth) and Enlightenment (illuminating humanity’s minds to causal reality). And there’s more to come. At the Festival of Humanity (Gemini solar festival) Uranus (revolution) enters Aries (all things new), then Jupiter enters Aries (and the Aquarian Age truly begins), Saturn will conjunct Pluto (continued transformation of all structures).

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Columns - Astrology

Wesak Festival: Buddha Blesses the World

Wesak Festival: Buddha Blesses the World

Two celebrations (Earth Day on Thursday, Wesak on Wednesday) and one major transit (Saturn opposite Uranus) are the focus this week. Often Earth is not acknowledged in astrology charts. In esoteric astrology, Earth is placed opposite the Sun sign. The symbol for Earth is a cross within a circle. Earth (Ray 3) is a planet developing Divine Intelligence (Ray 3) and the activity of the Holy Spirit (Ray 3) which distributes the purpose of this solar system (2nd or 3), the Will(ingness) to Love). These are the esoteric (inner) reasons for Earth Day.

On Monday the Dweller on the Threshold (Saturn) opposes (eventual integration) the planet of revolution (Uranus) for the fourth time (fifth occurs in July). Saturn and Uranus are the rulers of Libra (Ray 3, economics). Earth (Ray 3) is presently experiencing a breakdown of past structures (Saturn) so the new culture and civilization (Uranus) can be created. Simultaneously, the Aquarian Age is about to more fully manifest (June with Uranus & Jupiter entering Aries).

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Columns - Astrology

Hermes (Mercury) Retrogrades

Hermes (Mercury) RetrogradesMercury (the wing-footed Hermes) retrogrades Sunday, April 18 (East Coast) at 12 degrees Taurus. It’s the second (of four) Mercury retro this year, all in earth signs: Capricorn (January), Taurus (April), Virgo (August) and again in December (Cap). Mercury retro in Taurus calls us to review our values, money and possessions. What and where are they? During Mercury retro all of humanity, events and earth’s kingdoms collectively retreat (except for those born with Mercury retrograde). As Mercury governs our thinking, communication, interactions, transportation, when retro, there is confusion, everything works backwards, sideways or not at all. Everyone’s driving in reverse, looking in a rear-view mirror, and concentrating on inner worlds of reality. It is actually not very safe unless we are consciously aware at all moments. We do not move forward, destination routes are obstructed and all actions must be re-thought-out, re-done, re-kindled, re-worked, re-assessed, re-envisioned and re-arranged. We’re forced into a state of respite, an interval of doing things differently, a lull in which we rest and recuperate creating weeklong retreats. What if we seriously used the three weeks of Mercury retrograde as times to hideaway, of sanctuary, havens of quietude and refuge? Businesses need to think this way. But it must begin with each individual. Mercury retrograde creates a time of mental relief alerting us that our minds are filled to capacity with information gathered (Gemini task) since the last Mercury retro. With Mercury retro we are given time to review, assess, order and organize (Virgo tasks, Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo) what we know thus making room in our minds for the new information gathered in the next three months (till the next Mercury retro). During Mercury retro we have revelations.
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Columns - Astrology

The Moon’s Influence

The Moon’s InfluenceAs the Sun moves through the last half of Aries, it’s best to begin projects this week (not next) because on Sunday, April 18th, Mercury retrogrades (looking back, past review) in Taurus. Things initiated now (before the retro) will enter into a reflective stage during the retro, then manifest into form and matter after the retro (May 11th with Aries moon). Thursday and Friday are Aquarius moon days. We could feel rebellion, seek personal freedom, everything’s a bit sideways, unusual and tradition has no place as we build toward the future. Saturday and Sunday are Pisces moon. We seek retreat, tranquility, peacefulness. We’re sensitive, spiritual or drug and alcohol induced. Veils between worlds are thin, delicate, and translucent.
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Columns - Astrology

Easter, the Resurrection Festival

Easter, the Resurrection Festival

In the Christian liturgy this week, Thursday is celebrated as Holy Thursday, the day of the Last Supper, when Christ (Archangel from Sirius, where Love originates) gathered His students (disciples) in an “upper room” (higher mental plane) and instituted the priesthood and Holy Eucharist, the new dispensation (Pisces Law of sacrifice, the heart of which is Love). No longer was humanity to sacrifice (offering) the blood of humans or animals on the temple altars. Instead, the “sacrifice” was the in the form of bread (Christ’s body—form/matter, Ray 3) and wine (blood, the Spirit, Ray 1).

Good Friday is the day of Christ’s Crucifixion, the 4th Initiation, the Great Renunciation, the “dying” into spirit or into our “essential nature.” Holy Saturday, the candles are extinguished in the church; there is no light, commemorating the death of Christ in the tomb of matter. While in the tomb, Christ entered the underworld and released the earth spirits from their involutionary (deeper into matter) path. Humanity was released also from 18 million years of isolation.

Sunday is Easter, which always follows the Aries Full moon. This festival of Resurrection recognizes the new spiritual year in humanity. It’s the Festival of Love; of new life coming forth in all kingdoms each year.

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

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

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.