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Sep 22nd
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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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Columns - Astrology

Esoteric Moving Sale

Esoteric Moving Sale

As the Pisces waters dissolved things away, allowing entrance into Aries, sign of new beginnings, I write this column in search of those new beginnings. After 12 years (a Jupiter, Ray 2, cycle) the building housing our Astrological & Esoteric Institute, will no longer be available after April 1. The Institute, itself not closing, will be expanding and we will be looking for “all things new” as Aries promises—new buildings, new land, something great and large to build a community and college on. And so from 9 a.m. (no earlier) to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 27, there will be an Esoteric Moving Sale at the Center, 523 Center and New Streets, and in the back parking lot. What’s available? Items that absorbed 12 years of esoteric and astrological thinking, training, studies, communication, learning, meditation, visualization, new and full moons festivals, invocations and prayer—desks, drawers, computer desk, table, chairs, large pillows, couch, small refrigerator, books, white board, shelf, vacuum, various kitchen and garden things as well as the trees and plants that protected and vitalized our Center for 48 seasons.

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Columns - Astrology

Behold, I Make All Things New

Behold, I Make All Things New

Saturday is Spring Equinox and International Astrology Day. Monday is World Water Day (clean water for a healthy world) at the United Nations. See link. At equinox, the Sun shines directly over Earth’s equator, having passed from southern to northern latitudes, making its way to the Tropic of Cancer (Summer Solstice). This is the astronomical Resurrection.

The night and early morning skies are filled with starry lights. To the left of Orion’s belt (three stars in a row) is Sirius (Ray 2) where Love originates. To Orion’s right are the Pleiades, Ray 3, where Intelligence originates. Turning around we see the Big Dipper (Ray 1, where Will originates), it’s seven stars and Seven Rays influencing all life on Earth. Jupiter (Ray 2) is the morning star with Mercury (Ray 4), Venus (Ray 5), Mars (Ray 6) and Saturn (Ray 3) nightlights. It’s good to introduce our selves to the stars and planets. There’s always a response.

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Columns - Astrology

The New Group of World Servers

The New Group of World ServersDaylight Savings Time begins Sunday morning, 2 am, Monday is Pisces new moon (25 degrees), and St. Patrick’s Day is Wednesday. We’re less than two weeks from Spring equinox. However, I hear in Tennessee the robins have returned so they think it’s already spring. Every month esoteric groups worldwide observe new and full moon times with prayer and meditation. They invoke (call forth) and receive the concentrated light (Pisces this month) from the Sun and moon and radiate that light into the world (into humanity and earth’s kingdoms). The new moon theme is always to “Strengthen the hands (work, activities, intentions, resources) of the New Group of World Servers (NGWS)” –men and women of Goodwill working for equality of opportunity, justice, inclusiveness and right relations for all of humanity. Many work unrecognized. Their intention is to meet the needs of humanity and all living creatures through understanding the inter-relationships (Life Principle, Monad) existing among all kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human, Soul, Hierarchy, Shamballa).
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Columns - Astrology

Mars Direct

Mars Direct

This entire winter Mars, planet of action/activities, has been retrograde. The result: we’ve had difficulty moving about, holding objects, having direction, maintaining energy. As projects stalled, clarity of purpose was unavailable. Some of us, paddling upstream, have experienced strange body aches.

Mars, planet ruling Aries (the head) and what creates a forward trajectory combined with direction and purpose, has not only been retrograde since Dec. 20, 2009 (almost 80 days) but has been imperceptibly slowing to a crawl in order to meet its stationary direct deadline (1 degree Leo), Wednesday, March 10, 9:09 a.m. (PST). We’ve had to focus philosophically on the big picture—retro planets only focus (to clarify) on the past. We’ve been compelled to strengthen certain areas of our life (wherever Mars retro transited our charts). If anything new occurred in the last 70 or 80 days, it was most likely (or should have been) postponed. Conflicts and challenges occurred unexpectedly. Patience and ability to dialogue were in short supply. Nothing has moved fast (enough). Instead we’ve had to wait, watch, plan, hope for, be delayed, take detours and accept compromises. Mars retro reviews goals and developments for the purpose of discovering something valuable and worthwhile. We’ve had to make significant adjustments. Seeds are sown during retrogrades. Later, when the planet is direct, those seeds take root. As Mars unhurriedly moves forward (not until May 19 will Mars move out from its retro shadow) we’ll gradually redirect our power; anxiety will lessen as we re-gather purpose and a needed aspiration to move forward. Self-identity/self-expression again become clear and definite It’s been a long interiorly-oriented winter. Mars retrogrades again January 2012.

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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 New Tech Nexus

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

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

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.
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Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

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.