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Aug 30th
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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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Columns - Astrology

A Cancer New Moon

A Cancer New Moon

Thursday is the 237th birthday of the United States (Declaration of Independence)  formed under the liberating sign of Cancer (Ray 2 of Divine Intelligence, equalized economics, intelligent thinking humanity). The United States continues to experience economic changes and transformation in the coming months. The astrology of change (of the Ages) experienced within the United States coincides with the failing of the (old) economic structures worldwide. It looks like breakdown everywhere in the world. When there is breakdown, there is a simultaneous release of energy, which produces new opportunities for the creation of a new world. We are in this time now. Things are very unusual and unpredictable, irregular, capricious and at times random. The rules, archetypes and templates of life are changing as we stand in between times and ages.

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Columns - Astrology

Venus Enters Leo, the Luminous Creative Mind

Venus Enters Leo, the Luminous Creative Mind

Venus enters Leo Thursday. Everyone’s creativity, all different, awakens the next thirty days. We’ll be bold and expressive with feelings. Dramatic, too. In personal relationship we seek out our favorite people. Leo is the sign that needs appreciation, recognition and praise in order to evolve. We will either praise others or seek others to praise and recognize us. On the Soul level, Venus in Leo praises everyone. As Leo is the sign of children, we see everyone as a child of God, a love object to be cherished.

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Columns - Astrology

Summer Solstice, Full Moon, Mercury Retros

Summer Solstice, Full Moon, Mercury Retros

Thursday, late night West Coast (10:04 p.m.) and just after midnight (Central and East Coast) Friday, summer begins. Sun enters the sign of Cancer, resting for three days at the Tropic of Cancer. Soon, the Sun’s light will lessen, the light moving southward. Within the light there is always a balance of darkness. When summer begins, Archangel Uriel assumes protection of the Earth. The Devic Kingdom (plant kingdom angelic builders) prepare for their Midsummer Night’s Dream woodland wedding. Friday is the longest day of light for the year. Friday is also World Refugee Day. www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/ - nineteen million refugees in are without a home.
Sunday (full moon) is the Cancer (2 degrees) solar festival. Jupiter, heart of Aquarius, joins this festival. We recite Cancer’s most invocative keynote—“I build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell.”
We reflect upon and pray for the homeless refugees during this festival. Cancer is the Gate where Spirit first enters matter. Cancer’s light is the “Light within form, the diffused light of substance itself, the ‘dark light of matter’. This dark light awaits the Light of the Soul.” The Soul builds the “lighted house” within us.

Friday through Sunday is “World Peace, Prayer, Harmony and Honoring Sacred Sites Day” where all nations, all faiths recite One Prayer for the welfare of the Earth. http://worldpeaceandprayerday.com/.
Early morning Wednesday Mercury, star of communication and conflict, turns stationary retrograde (23 Cancer). We all know by now what not to do. And what to do—through July 19.

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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.