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Dec 27th
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Columns - Astrology

Saturn, the Taskmaster, Retrogrades

Saturn, the Taskmaster, Retrogrades

Mars and Mercury remain retrograde. On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Saturn (in Libra) also retrogrades. Saturn represents society’s structures, ways of thinking, time, discipline, the father and the Teacher. H.P. Blavatsky, in her Secret Doctrine writes, “Saturn, Shiva (Hindu) and Jehovah (Hebrew) are One.” Esoterically Saturn is (transmits to Earth) Ray 3, the Divine Mind of God. Saturn and Ray 3 are also the Law of Economy. Numerologically 2010 is number three, correlating with Ray 3 and Saturn. In 2010 we will experience the continuing restructuring (reorienting) of money and finances.
Saturn influences the rules, regulations and all physical structures in our lives. It rules our bones and teeth, defines boundaries, sets limits (of/on self and others), creates disciplines. Saturn, along with Taurus, can say “No!” without worry. However, when Saturn is retrograde outer limitations become wobbly. We can become confused about boundaries for, as in all retrogrades (and with Mercury and Mars retro), our focus is inward. We see only interior realities.
However, as Saturn is more of a social planet, when retrograde, all social and societal structures and organizations worldwide are reviewed, evaluated, examined and analyzed. During Saturn retro we return to and assess previous choices and commitments. We change our minds. During retrogrades we work with the past, never assuming new commitments or responsibilities. If we must, we then review data multiple times very carefully, understanding when the retrograde is complete, new data and information emerge.

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Columns - Astrology

The New Year of 2010

The New Year of 2010

Happy New Year of 2010, everyone! Two years to the countdown, yes? 2010 begins under the light of a blue Capricorn/Cancer full moon (revelation, Initiation); the shadow of a lunar eclipse (much in matter simply dissolves away); Mars (the Nine tests of Scorpio) retrograde (activities are internal and hidden); Mercury retrograde (thoughts are withdrawn); and a void-of-course (no connections) on the very first day (Jan. 1). It’s a most unusual beginning to a new year. 2010 will be a year of internal reflection, great tests (Mars), surprising revelations with unfulfilled aspects of our lives surfacing in forms we may not recognize. Our energy will feel withheld, suspended, pending and internalized. 2010 offers constant change and transformation symbolized by four major planets in cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn). Cardinal signs initiate new realities, cannot stand back to mull things over (mutable signs), or stay with “business as usual” (fixed signs).

Cardinal signs remove hindrances and obstacles that inhibit forward growth, change and progress. Here is the 2010 dialogue we can expect from the cardinal signs: Aries says, “I’ll initiate the new realities.” Libra says, “I’ll get everyone to participate.” Capricorn says, “I’ll reshape and redesign leaders, governments and our entire civilization.” We, too, individually and collectively, will be summoned to reshape our world. We will need to be practical in all areas, explore and search in all directions for solutions to world problems that create greater resilience and equanimity for all peoples of the world.

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Columns - Astrology

Lights That Make Us Holy

Lights That Make Us Holy

During this season of gift giving and seeking light in the darkness, very few of us need any more material gifts. Nor do we need another column prophesying the coming weeks (Mercury retrograde, Dec. 26-Jan. 15, 2010). A different and illuminating gift for each of us would be the ability to understand our true identity. For 18 million years (true number), as spirits in matter, we have lived within, experienced and uncovered the secrets of form and matter. Removed for so long from our spiritual origins, we became more and more unable to remember our true identity. There comes a lifetime or a moment, a teacher, a word, a phrase, a picture or a beam of unexpected light that allows us a fleeting glimpse into our true identity—at this moment we realize we are composed of light. Each of us, living under a certain pattern of stars (constellation), imprinted upon us at birth, is quite like a star, a beam of light carrying information into the world, influencing and affecting all that we contact. Through eons of life on the dark Earth we have awaited the light of the seasons, the new light at winter solstice, the light in the dark, the many festivals of light, the miracle of light at Chanukah, the Holy Child of light born on Christmas morning. This year, let us think differently. Let us recognize and identify that we are in fact a rainbow of light, and that within our light are specific tasks, purposes, behaviors, abilities and gifts we unconsciously radiate upon each other and all we contact. During this season of giving let us realize we are the gifts of holy light and spiritual anchors offered to each other during our temporary (and very long) lifetimes on Earth (a cosmic school). This realization is the thinking and identity of the Initiate, the spiritual attainment in Capricorn, sign and signature of God, sign of Light supernal, of the mountaintop experience, where we, the crocodile/goat turns into the unicorn. Capricorn captures (absorbs) the light of the Sun and brings it down to Earth to serve in Aquarius. Let us understand our light and what our lights radiate that makes us so holy to one another. (Excerpts from the Tibetan’s book “Esoteric Astrology”)

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Columns - Astrology

Mars Retrograde, Winter Solstice

Mars Retrograde, Winter Solstice

The important astrological news this week is Mars (Ray 6) retrograde (19.42 degrees Leo) early Sunday morning (Dec. 20) and winter solstice (Monday, Dec. 21) as Sun enters Capricorn (9:47 a.m. Pacific time). Mars is retrograde until March 10, 2010 (74 days). Mars has been slowing down since mid October, so many have wondered at the increasing dawdling about in areas where we must take action. Mars is the definitive sign of “action” and energy. Mars only retrogrades every 2.2 years. So humanity isn’t as familiar with Mars retrogrades as with Mercury retrogrades (occurring Dec. 26). Mars signifies energy and will, devotion and desire, anger, wars and all outward actions. Mars retrograde shifts these outward behaviors inward so we can review and reorient (Scorpio work, Mars rules Scorpio) and make things new again when Mars is direct. With Mars retrograde in Leo (especially Leo Sun/rising/moon, Aquarius and the remaining fixed signs Taurus and Scorpio) the entire world becomes introspective in order to review beliefs and attitudes concerning life itself. The life force Mars exhibits becomes subdued, it’s warring energy softened. Leo is very independent, exuberant and dramatic. With Mars in Leo retrograde we will see dependence, shyness, inner reflections. It will be interesting to see what films and Broadway shows (theater) emerge during Mars retro in Leo.  It’s important to be aware that anger, wars, violence, the dark side of Mars, may be somewhat hidden during these two months. It doesn’t disappear, it becomes aggravated. Because of the Leo, it’s not a good time to gamble or take risks of any type. Our hearts (physical, throbbing), arteries, blood need special care, as do children and loved ones. How will the Leo Mars retro affect us?

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Columns - Astrology

Sign of Silence

Sign of Silence

Let’s discover a bit more about Sagittarius … a sign often hidden in the preparations of Hanukkah, winter solstice and Christmas. Sagittarius is associated with vision, aspiration and a one-pointed direction toward the goals of service and saviorship (Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces). Sagittarius learns the “right use of the arrows of thought (Sag’s great test), restraint of speech, and consequent harmlessness resulting in liberation. Sag is esoterically one of the “signs of silence.” Sagittarius is a potent sign due to its one-pointed focus on goals, silence and that it is the time and sign immediately preceding the new light at winter solstice representing the birth of the Holy Child. Sagittarius seeks the “spirit of truth, emerging from individual revelation.” Three constellations make up Sa —Lyra, the seven-stringed harp; Ara, the altar; and Draco serpent of wisdom. Two other constellations surround these three—Aquila, the eagle (Spirit) and Cygnus, the swan (Soul). Sag is known for its extraordinary ability with music (from Lyra) and its photographic eye (from Aquila).

Saturday is the first day of Hanukkah and feast days of Santa Lucia and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Wednesday is the last new moon, 25 degrees Sag, of the year. Astrology news alert! Mercury’s in Capricorn, Mars retro begins next week followed by retro Mercury! Click Read More to see Horoscopes >

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Columns - Astrology

A Beam of Focused Light

A Beam of Focused Light

There are many events this week following last week’s Full moon festival of Sag/Gemini (goals brought forth for humanity and Earth’s well-being). The Parliament of World Religions & Women at the Parliament in Melbourne, Australia, Dec. 3-9; Copenhagen Climate Change Conference Dec. 7-18; Santa Cruz UNA (United Nations Association) Human Rights Fair (after downtown parade), Saturday, Dec. 5, noon to 9 p.m. at Louden Nelson. Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent (“something’s coming”) and feast day of St. Nicholas (the real Santa Claus).

We’re in Sag now, sign of food, music, the photographer, adventurer, professor and philosopher. In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna (divine driver of warrior Arjuna’s chariot) says, “I am the month of Sagittarius.” Artemis/Diana are the female Sagittarian deities. Sag’s center of attention, when not seeking the arrows of intuition scattered everywhere, is always upon the Capricorn mountaintop. Sagittarius nobly holds high aspirations (aspiration of the Soul) to return to the Father, humanity’s origins (we are starlight). Sag is energetically a “beam of focused light.” No wonder Sag is the photographer. Sag’s focus brings forth expanded awareness and consciousness through Jupiter, planet of great generosity and love (Ray 2) leading to wisdom. The Tibetan says, “Jupiter brings together and binds in friendliness.” Thus, in the season of giving (through Jan. 6, Feast of the Three Kings), let us be generous with our light, our money, our gifts, our love, our goodness and our wisdom.

 

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Columns - Astrology

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

We begin the week Thursday with Thanksgiving. Unfortunately the entire day is v/c, which means making contact can be difficult unless there is an earnest intention to do so. Holidays that fall on v/c (moon making no contact with planets, therefore we don’t make contact with each other, events, feelings, food, etc.) days can be stressful unless we are aware of the withdrawn energies of the moon, which rules our emotions, family, contact and comfort. Therefore, during this Thanksgiving let us have the conscious intention to make contact with each other, aware that we must work a bit harder for that contact to occur. We remember, “making contact releases love.” And in this solar system (the second of three) “love is all there is.”

To assist us with that contact and with giving thanks for everything small to large and everything in between, here’s some music from David Lowe’s Dreamcatcher album, track title “Seventh Heaven”. The accompanying film on the animal kingdom is beautiful and especially good for children. Playing this music over and over elevates the heart and frees the mind.

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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
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Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her