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Sep 22nd
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Columns - Astrology

Sagittarius, Venus, Gratitude

Sagittarius, Venus, GratitudeSaturday Sun enters Sagittarius. The energies shift from Scorpio’s deep and transformative waters onto the “plains of Sagittarius”. Sag is the rider on a white horse, eyes focused entirely upon the mountain peaks of Capricorn (Initiation) ahead. Like Scorpio, Sagittarius is a “disciple.” Adventure, luck and optimism, joy and the beginnings of gratitude are the hallmarks of Sagittarius.
Venus this week captures our energy, interacting daily with other planets. Thursday, Venus squares Mars and relationships turn into battlegrounds, rainstorms and passionate encounters occur. Sunday Venus joins Ceres and nurturing becomes the main principle mentally and in the heart. Monday Venus squares Jupiter and our values come into question, especially money. We’ll need to take a different path and bring something of value into form and matter. Tuesday evening Venus squares Chiron and our wounds are felt. We seek the most holistic methods to tend to what hurts. The old ways (direction of energy) won’t work anymore. Wednesday Venus trines Uranus - a brilliant aspect – with everyone becoming social and many discussing how to contribute to the betterment of the world; how to bring forth, with intelligence and heart, the new culture and civilization.
It’s time to give thanks … letting our gratitude be the light in the season of darkness.
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Columns - Astrology

Saturn Square Pluto, Dark Sky, New Moon

Saturn Square Pluto, Dark Sky, New Moon

Saturn squares Pluto Sunday in cardinal signs Libra/Capricorn. Cardinal signs bring forth new realities, squares force us onto new pathways. As Saturn disciplines us toward reality and truth (the breakdowns, economic crisis, shootings, etc., are engineered), Pluto simply transforms everything relentlessly. Libra is about relationships, money, economics, Right Relations, Right Thinking and Right Values while Capricorn rules governments, leaders and the entire structure of our civilization. This Saturn/Pluto square occurs again Jan. 31 and Aug. 21, 2010 moving us forward on a trajectory of constant and ceaseless new direction, change and transformation. All of this humanity needs in order for our present unreal financial system to move toward a real economy based on principles of sharing. Day by day, transit-by-transit, planet-by-planet, sign by sign, over time this reorientation (Scorpio work) will occur. At first we will have suffering. Then realization.

Venus is in Scorpio for the next three weeks (till Dec. 1 at Full Moon). With Venus in Scorpio our feelings, often hidden, show themselves directly. (There's more at nightlightnews.com.)

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Columns - Astrology

Mercury in Scorpio – Don’t Be Cruel

Mercury in Scorpio – Don’t Be Cruel

The Sun and Mercury join forces in Scorpio Thursday - Hermes, the messenger (Mercury) sending information about Scorpio’s Nine Tests to humanity via the Sun.  With Mercury in Scorpio we all become resourceful, determined, fearless, intuitive, quite witty, investigative, profound and filled with desires, however secretly and with great mystery. We may go into hiding, display suspicion and skepticism, stubbornness, determination and be emotionally on edge. Scorpio presents an interesting mix of depth-psychology behaviors. Research is best during Mercury in Scorpio. We’ll all be deeply searching for something seeking the heart of all matters. When we find what we’re searching for we’ll “capture” it and make it our own. Our intelligence becomes highly instinctive, and we’ll learn how to strategize. There is a warning with Mercury in Scorpio. That we do not harshly criticize and judge, opinionate or insinuate for Mercury’s communication while in Scorpio could destroy due to its power, force, passion and intensity. Mercury in Scorpio can also be vindictive. Intrigue, hidden motives, and mysteries may appear. We must ask if they are real or mental illusions. We will challenge others and be challenged in return. Everyone may begin to wear black and sales of sunglasses will skyrocket. We are to remember Elvis’ (Jupiter in Scorpio) song “Don’t be Cruel.”

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Columns - Astrology

Saturn in Libra

Saturn in LibraSaturn, the Dweller on the Threshold (Gates of Initiation), enters Libra (till Oct. 5, 2012) Thursday at 10:09 a.m. (west coast). The Dweller (like St. Peter at the Gates of Heaven) can be likened to a Halloween character, at times looking like a gargoyle—creatures carved to protect sacred sites. The Dweller has a partner, the Angel of the Presence, appearing when the disciple has passed tests and completed the preparatory stages that build in the aspirant the strength and wisdom needed to enter the Holy of Holies. Saturn (Ray 3, Divine Intelligence & the Law of Economy) is The Teacher who disciplines and restructures our relationships with each other and with money (the state of the dollar and the world economy). Saturn & Libra concentrate on fairness (in the light of unfairness), justice, diplomacy and cooperation. The Dweller on the Threshold informs us that through experiencing relationships we will learn to work within and then beyond these restrictions, growing into a new, more worthy and valued self. As Saturn is structure and Libra is relationships (intimates, lovers, marriage and business partners, our connection to money and resources) new information (Ray 3) will transform of the next three years all our ways of being.
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Columns - Astrology

United Nations Day

United Nations Day    Sun and Mercury enter Scorpio this week. Scorpio is the sign of in-depth thinking, the Ancient Mysteries, of Persephone and Pluto and the underworld  – psychological and spiritual, hidden and sheltered. Scorpio is the “flaming  sword” protecting the Tree of Knowledge (of Desire), from which the serpent  plucked the apple offered to Eve (feminine mental plane). Scorpio is the  sign and color of pomegranates, the orange of persimmons and Halloween, the  latter informing us soon “something wicked our way comes. It’s the UN’s  birthday (Friday), Catholic feast days of Saints Jude and Simon (Wednesday)  and Saturday, in Santa Cruz, there’s a United Nations Association birthday  party/dinner honoring United Nations Day at United Methodist Church, 250 California St., 5:30 social, 6:30 dinner with music, silent auction and  Joseph Schultz catering. Guest speaker is Denise Scotto who has worked on  the Committee to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW – proceeds  support ratification). See unasantacruz.org .  See you at the dinner, everyone!    

The UNA, supported by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1953, attempts to  build understanding (which brings revelation) and support for the ideals and  work of the United Nations (Scorpio Sun & Mercury). Its educational and  humanitarian are teaches students in urban schools, clears minefields,  provides school-based support for children harmed by poverty, illness, and  war. UNA also has a Model UN, Global Classrooms and a Student Alliance,  which educate and inspire young people to engage in global issues and the  work of the UN through scholarship and critical thinking. See  sunausa.org/education . The UN, in its  reconstruction work, is a deeply Scorpio endeavor.    Next week Saturn (Ray 3, Divine Intelligence, economics), Dweller on the  Threshold, enters Libra (Ray 3). Relationships learn new lessons and news  emerges on the fate and destiny of the American dollar.   
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Columns - Astrology

Facilitating the Great ReSkilling

Facilitating the Great ReSkilling

During Libra (Sun) and with Saturn entering Libra (Oct. 29), we contemplate and assess what we know, don’t know and need to know. Libra distributes Ray 3 (intelligence). Having intelligence allows us to choose the two paths Libra offers. Libra skillfully prepares us for the great tests in Scorpio (the times to come). In Libra we learn the nature of polarized energies (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not) and we learn more about ourselves through others. Libra’s Ray 3 asks us to become more adaptable and skillful and to teach each other what we are skilled in.

And so, on Saturday (Libra new moon), Oct. 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., sponsored by Transition Town Santa Cruz, there will be a ReSkilling Expo (many small workshops) at United Methodist Church, 250 California Street, Santa Cruz. ReSkilling is a term used in Transition Towns describing a process of (re)learning skills we haven’t learned, forgot to learn or don’t remember we learned from parents, grandparents or great-grandparents on how to maintain, preserve, uphold, sustain (and create resiliency in) our lives on practical levels. ReSkilling helps us respond successfully and practically to the uncertain coming times. (Saturn opposite Uranus transit is still to come. The Great Revolution.) It provides a sense of empowerment through the practical solving of problems, and a sense of belonging (community) by working alongside others. (read more about Transition Town, Reskilling, new moon, Celestial Events at nightlightnews.com).

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Columns - Astrology

Capitalism – A Love Story

Capitalism – A Love Story

In the Libra sky each night, as of this writing, Jupiter (Ray 2, Love/Wisdom) and the Moon (veiling Uranus, Ray 7, new world) have been companions. They are the rulers of Aquarius (Age of Knowledge), the planets that are seeding humanity to bring forth the new culture and civilization. Knowledge we must have in our world today. We must have knowledge and intelligence in order to reach the Soul, which is the only vehicle that can observe, understand, and choose to stand against the forces of darkness, obstruction and materialism. Libra tells us we must no longer be blinded to the dangers among us. It is important to know our country has been educationally dumbed-down with 40 percent of our citizenry functionally illiterate. When we are illiterate we cannot discriminate (Virgo) or make choices (Libra), the task for humanity this month.

Although he often looks hapless and disheveled (he seeks comfort—Taurus Sun), filmmaker Michael Moore is an unrelenting (Sun, Vesta, Venus in Taurus) force (Pluto in Leo in the 1st) to be reckoned with. Casting his wicked humor that sheds light into the darkness, Moore gives us hope as he knocks on doors and enters offices where many “fear to tread.” Moore’s film reveals corporate injustice, cruelty, unfairness, prejudice, inequality, bias, wrongdoing, disparity and ultimately the self-indulgent greed ruling our present centralized world and that has directed us all quietly and subtly into the “Matrix.”

As his films uncover the hidden and controlling realities that have led to humanity no longer owning its food sources, seeds, soil, farms, money, banks, homes,  education or minds, Moore lends each of us the strong arm of knowledge and a dose of reality. Within his truth-telling, we are invited to stand against the forces that quietly and cunningly continue to oppress. Moore’s latest film (his work is a love story), Capitalism : A Love Story opening in a thousand American theatres this week asks us to “Rise up”, to take back our days and nights, our farms, families, soil, seeds money, banking, local towns and cities and above all our education.

And so, during Libra, which each gives us a month to make a great life decision, Moore’s film informs and illumines our minds (and hearts) assisting us to choose which side we are on. It’s the Arjuna Experience once again with Krishna bidding us to take up arms. Where do each of us stand? Pacifism, in the light of our present world dangers, is not a choice. (See Moore’s chart at nightlightnews.com)

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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

 

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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.