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Sep 02nd
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Columns - Astrology

A New Moon on New Year’s Day!

A New Moon on New Year’s Day!

Often after the holidays (Christmas) there’s a feeling of let-down and ennui. Complex feelings of endings and beginnings arise. It’s important to realize we can continue celebrating and staying festive for 12 days after Christmas. From Dec. 26 to Jan. 6 we celebrate the 12 Days After Christmas ending at Twelfth Night, Jan. 6, Epiphany, when the Three Magi Astrologer Kings discover the Holy Child. During these 12 days, the twelve zodiacal hierarchies (Angelic Presences, Aries to Pisces) stream the Sun’s vitality into the Earth and all life forms. Each day is under the influence of one of the zodiacal signs, which corresponds to a body part (to be tended to carefully). Beginning Dec. 26 to Jan. 1——Aries/head; Taurus/throat; Gemini/hands; Cancer/chest and breast; Leo/heart; Virgo/stomach and digestion. The following six signs continue next week. The 12 Days prepare for the New Year.

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Columns - Astrology

Things That Sparkle

Things That Sparkle

Saturday, Dec. 21, after the Sun enters Capricorn and Winter Solstice begins, Venus (love, finances, beauty, resources and gifts) retrogrades (29 degrees Capricorn). For those still considering gifts for Christmas (a daunting task), here are some imaginative ideas. Consider things that sparkle and shine, resembling stars and planets. Things tasting divine. Things hand-sewn with a bit of tulle, bio-luminescent and incandescent. Things that bubble, boil, bringing a bit of trouble. Things that bend, lean, wave and sway—pink ostrich and peacock plumes. Things soft, satin, made of mohair, angora or llama.

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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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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.