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Aug 20th
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Columns - Astrology

Countering the Darkness

Countering the Darkness

It’s a busy upcoming week of feast days, rituals and festivals. Rituals (of goodness, gratitude and giving) counter the season’s darkness, framing it in light. Each day of Christian Liturgy is a saint’s day, celebrating the life of one who exhibited deep spiritual presence and actions in the world (like Nelson Mandela). Each saint’s day is a day of Light. We are the saints of our present day. The new and full moon festivals are “days of light.” They “counter” the present day darkness of materiality that has overtaken the world in clever and unseen ways. Rituals focus our minds, create a centripetal force, turn us inward, anchoring the Soul into our daily lives. This week has many festivals of remembrance and of light.

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Columns - Astrology

Ocean and Sea Creatures Alerting Humanity

Ocean and Sea Creatures  Alerting Humanity

Sagittarius is the sign of “seeing the goal/task, reaching the goal, and recognizing the next goal”—until all goals for the good of humanity are reached. Sag, Knights of the Round Table, is concerned with the Truth. And the truth is our present world is in a state of emergency.

The ocean and sea creatures, migrating and gathering at the U.S. West Coast (Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay) are alerting us to the truth of an immediate crisis (Fukushima and irradiated waters). While the media has been silent, at the U.N., the world’s indigenous leaders have clearly signaled humanity to the realities of our world in destruction.

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Columns - Astrology

Living Thankfully—For Each New Morning With its Light

Living Thankfully—For Each New Morning With its Light

Thanksgiving is Thursday (it’s Hanukkah, eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights). Mercury in Scorpio trines Jupiter in Cancer—a cosmic message (Mercury) of thankfulness (Jupiter). Let us begin a ritual of Living Thankfully in the coming days and weeks. Let us remember to perform actions today (tomorrow, etc.) that we will be thankful for in the future.
Let us be thankful for…
• The difficulties in our lives, including difficult people. They help us learn patience, a virtue. The virtues are needed at the time of our death to carry us from the darkness into the Light
• Knowing all is perfect in our world.
• That love underlies all happenings.
• Realizing it’s thankful people who are happy (not the other way around).
• Knowing there’s something good in every day, we stay thankful.
• For the people (animals, plants, events in our lives). They belong to us, choosing us this lifetime.

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Columns - Astrology

Sagittarius: The Archer

Sagittarius: The Archer

It’s time to understand the Sun in and Light of the Archer, Sagittarius— sign of abundance, of sharing food, good cheer, things bountiful, adventuresome and expansive. What are the characteristics of this sign? Sagittarius is musician, publisher, adventurer and lover of food. Sagittarius, a fire sign, adapts to changing conditions, inspires others to take action. Always on a journey, filled with optimism (Jupiter’s influence), Sag is the wanderer, optimist and  archer—setting goals, reaching those goals, setting new goals. Ambivalent to the social order of things, Sag, unable to be restricted, values, above all, personal freedom.

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Columns - Astrology

Humanity – Combating the Forces of Materiality

Humanity – Combating the Forces of Materiality

Chiron, the wound that heals us, (9 degrees Pisces) turns direct Tuesday. From the many Scorpio battles and Nine Tests, humanity feels wounded, yet at the end, is triumphant.
Sunday (full moon) is the Scorpio solar festival. Scorpio is the sign of trials, testing (nine tests), struggles and battles. Eventually triumph predominates.  Scorpio has three symbols (three levels of awareness) – scorpion (on the ground), Eagle (in the air), Phoenix (on the mountaintop).

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Columns - Astrology

And Then ... Jupiter Retrogrades

And Then ... Jupiter Retrogrades

Jupiter is a planet that expands all of us, increasing our experiences, knowledge and understanding of life, representing optimism, growth, generosity, joy, and abundance. Jupiter in Cancer (sign of nurturing one another) turns stationary retrograde Thursday, Nov. 7 (retrograde 120 days till March 10, 2014). Jupiter’s retrograde motion makes a tiny loop in the sky against a background of stars. Ruler of truth-speaking Sagittarius, Jupiter is our integrity and honesty (and everyone else’s), our authenticity, philosophy, sense of justice—larger perspectives in life.

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Columns - Astrology

Candy Skeletons, Copal and Marigolds

Candy Skeletons, Copal and Marigolds

Thursday is Halloween. Hopefully “something ‘wicked’ our way comes.” It’s also Samhain – Irish Gaelic festival marking the beginning of winter ("darker half" of the year) and harvest’s end. In ancient times bonfires were lit for warmth and protection. During these days, the veils between worlds thin and spirits roam about. We set a place at the table for departed loved ones, especially children. In Mexico it’s Dia de Muertos—candy skeletons, copal (incense) burning and marigolds decorating altars and gravestones. Friday is All Saints Day, Saturday All Souls Day. Honoring our family, friends, relatives who have been “called back.” They now wait for us.

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The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’

 

Say Uncle

Five types of kids, and how to be their best friend
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Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

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

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.