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Thursday
Apr 24th
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Columns - Astrology

Burning Man: A ‘Welcome Home’

Burning Man: A ‘Welcome Home’

Thursday evening the Sun enters the disciplined Virgo, sign of gestating new states of consciousness. And always in time for Burning Man (Aug. 26 to Sept. 2), the radical arts community/temporary metropolis, in the playas of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Burning Man, with its ethos (spirit) of freedom and culture, organically begun in 1986 in San Francisco, is a field of survival (it’s 107 degrees) amidst creation—together building the new world. It’s irrational, primal, celebratory procession of humanity, days and nights of gritty dust under the Sun and stars, individually in communion. Its build, burn, dismantle—leave no trace. It’s shared community with rules, laws, ordinances, precepts and Principles.

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Columns - Astrology

Blue Moon—Second Full Moon, Leo Solar Festival

Blue Moon—Second Full Moon, Leo Solar Festival

This is our last week of Leo, sign of the “burning ground.” Leo does not stream into any planets (as other signs do). Leo instead streams through three fires of the Sun – the Central spiritual Sun (cosmic fire), the Heart of the Sun (Solar Fire), and the rays of the Sun (fire by friction). And directly into our hearts to create the Will-to-Good.
During Leo our love, strength, courage and service are tested (the “burning ground”) individually and  globally. It is only through such tests that our personality (individual and humanity’s) calls out to the Soul for help and direction. For Leo is the sign of the Soul. Through the tests our personality is transformed, sensitized and refined. The purifying fires and testing create in us (especially Leo) great sensitivity: 1) to the external environment, 2) to our personality wishes and desires, 3) to the Soul, 4) to Spiritual Will.

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Columns - Astrology

The Path to Sirius

The Path to Sirius

In Egypt the annual flooding of the Nile occurred as Sirius, the blue-white star left of Orion, became visible at sunrise. Rising over the dome of the pre-dawn sky, the simultaneous rising of Sirius and the floodwaters associated Sirius with fertility and life-giving abundance. The Nile deposited silt that grew the foods the Egyptians needed for the year. The Pyramids (Temples of Initiation) are aligned with Sirius.

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Columns - Astrology

Lammas—First Harvest

Lammas—First Harvest

Lammas, an ancient first-harvest festival of wheat and grains, is celebrated Aug. 1 in the northern hemisphere (southern hemisphere Feb. 1). Grains, ground into flour and made into loaves of bread (and communion bread) were later brought to village churches for blessing. Pieces of the blessed bread were then placed in barns to protect the remaining stored grain for the coming year. A primary part of the festival was reaping, a village celebration. 

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Columns - Astrology

All About Leo

All About Leo

We are under the influence of fiery Leo now, sign of individuality (at first), of focusing upon our self-identity, lifetime after lifetime. Leo is self-centering work. This is the developmental stage of the Leo individual building a sense of self (the personality). We (Leo) grow and grow just for ourselves. But then suddenly something new occurs. We become aware that other realities exist around us. A sort of unwinding occurs. Having become wound tight within ourselves, we begin, like petals unfolding, to turn outward toward the world of others. We see life differently.

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Columns - Astrology

Mercury Direct, Full Moon, Leo Solar Festival

Mercury Direct, Full Moon, Leo Solar Festival

Thursday is Nelson Mandela Day (b. July 18, 1918, South Africa). He has Sun, Jupiter and Pluto in Cancer (sign of liberation for the masses) with Uranus in Aquarius (freedom for humanity). We honor this man of courage, a cultural icon of freedom and equality imprisoned for 27 years. After his release (1990), Mandela created policies of reconciliation and negotiation. Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. As of this writing, Mandela’s health is in a critical state. Let us pray for him.


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Columns - Astrology

Mars in Cancer—A Slow Fast Dance

Mars in Cancer—A Slow Fast Dance

We’re in the very center of the Cancer’s Mercury retrograde. When planets reach the middle point of a sign we enter deeply into the energy of the sign (Cancer) the planet (Mercury) is distributing. When retros begin we’re a bit shocked. Then we eventually acclimate, adapting more each day. When the retro planet turns direct, we’re again shocked into a new reality, and must adapt to a new rhythm again. Humanity’s task is adaptation—becoming fluid and easy with change. It takes us lifetimes to adapt to new rhythms. When the Sun enters a new sign each month a new rhythm begins for humanity, with new tasks.

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management