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Oct 09th
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Burning Man – Life in the City

RisaNewSDuring this Mercury in Virgo retrograde (Aug. 20-Sept. 12) the Black Rock Arts Festival, Burning Man, the yearly “desert art-piece on the playas,” begins, distilling all facets of community creation, living and sharing.

And so, through the retro, almost at summer’s end (Aug. 30-Sept. 6), the celebration develops, proceeds, burns, cleans up and then disappears without a trace. The theme this year is Metropolis, the Life of Cities. People worldwide are returning to the cities. Tent cities are now in major metropolitan cities everywhere, filled with both the migrating masses and those who have lost their homes.

Burning Man is the shadow and template of a new society beginning to emerge. We are nearing apocalyptic times. Or perhaps we’re already in them. Burning Man, its creation, society, and sense of community, can be seen as apocalyptic. For each year, out on the desert sands, “magnetic hubs of pulsing urban social interaction” rise up, form a city where its inhabitants create a community—“organic, spontaneous, heterogeneous, and untidy, diverse, unpredictable and unique”

Through the lens of the daily life (Virgo) at Black Rock, civilization’s future will be pondered because in the revolution that must come forth, specific questions must be asked; “How to make our cities livable and sustainable, where children and the elderly have equal access? How to assemble quality human habitat, safe neighborhoods, promoting belonging, community, beauty, agriculture, the village? How to create cities based on these principles and belonging on a civic scale?”

These same questions are asked in Transition Town agendas and are visually answered in Christopher Alexander’s “A Pattern Language.”

Esoteric Astrology as News for the week of August 26-Sept 1, 2010 For Sun and Rising Signs

ariesAries-March 21–April 20
Careful with love and all encounters with intimates, loved ones, those close to you, partners, etc. You (or they) may feel estranged, separate, unloved and uncared for and yearn for contact (which releases Love) and for the magnetic charms you usually lavish on what you love. We are to “be of love a little more careful than of anything” (e.e. cummings). See to this each moment.

April 21–May 21
Each day may feel more and more difficult. There could be tiredness, exhaustion, a need to tend to health and well-being. Perhaps choices you’ve made in the past five years need re-assessing. What are the consequences of these choices and should you make new ones (after the retro)? It is good to ponder upon what Path you’re on and will it change soon? Someone waits.

May 22–June 20
Do you feel your creative process at a standstill? Do you recognize what your creative process is? What you actually have, when aligned with the Soul, is a “prophetic imagination,” both like and unlike that of Pisces. This type of imagination has hope for the future with a clear understanding of the present day dilemmas humanity faces. During this retrograde that rules you, ponder upon a critique on the present social situations worldwide.

June 21–July 20
Since you nourish new ideas that must come into form and matter through impressing humanity’s minds and hearts, perhaps you can begin to help humanity envision a new and vibrant way of life, not the old materialism as we have known it, but the new materialism that responds to world/humanity’s need. This is Soul work and the Soul for Cancer is a diffused light bathed in the womb of matter. You illumine that light.

July 21–August 22
I’m wondering if there’s a lamentation for things that occurred in the family long ago. Perhaps there’s a lament for one or more family deaths. It would be good to express yourself more in depth about any and all things on your mind. It will help you trust yourself more. The more you talk the more that’s hidden within you emerges. This is healing for you. And liberating. Your mask must be removed.

August 23–September 22
It would be good to hang mirrors everywhere and look into them, pondering upon who you are, your identity then and now and in the future. It’s good to assess and re-assess everything about yourself including what you value. Create an “I Value” book. Set it alongside your “Retrograde” book and your “Esoteric quotes” book. Back to values. Write down everything you value. Begin with yourself whether you believe this or not.

September 23–October 22
When you think of your life as a child, what do you remember? What areas in your life that, successful now, can be traced back to what you were taught as a child? What beliefs do you carry into your life based upon resistance? How to you see your parents, in what light, and are you able to understand the Fourth Commandment. Do you know what it is? It’s a serious spiritual law.

October 23–November 21
I am going to ask you deep questions. Do you feel, in any way, complicit with the materialistic (read: destructive) forces accepted within our dominant culture? Do you explore or encounter new ways of being that undermine the materiality of the dominant culture? Why am I asking you these questions? Because you understand the underbelly of everything. And because, through you, everything reorients toward the light.

November 22–December 20
I am suggesting a book and author to you. He is brilliant. His work is brilliant. You are brilliant. So I thought to put the three together, a triangle, a symbol of synthesis. The author is Michael Eric Dyson (Saturn, the teacher, in Sag). The book is “Can You Hear Me Now?” He wrote more books. This author understands God, hip-hop, and popular culture both black and white. He’s a cultural critic. You are, too.

December 21–January 20
You’re on the brink, edge, precipice, border, boundary, periphery, perimeter of moving into the center of everyone’s world. This is both inviting and not. You’ve tried to open many doors and felt often they were closed. Now as they open, you peek inside, realizing the choice to walk through or return home. There you rest, remember, retreat, reassess and review who you are. Revelations then happen.

January 21–February 18
You want to travel, but you don’t. Something holds you back. You decide to travel and things fall apart. You seek relationships but experience conflict and chaos instead. I want to remind you that conflict is Ray 4. From and through conflict a new harmony arises. Humanity works and learns through Ray 4. Know also that for what you want in life, you must consider all the ways of cooperation.

February 19–March 20
Something within relationships returns to an original place (or person). As this occurs, as you’re called here and there, by necessity or by desire (of others), you remember to stand still, quietly and in truth, within your own needs. Not just wants, but needs. It seems you’ve stopped praying, bordering on having no hope. Sometimes we must do that. Something lovely your ways comes. Embrace it. And drive away.

Risa is Founder & Director of the Esoteric & Astrological Studies & Research Institute, a contemporary Wisdom School in Santa Cruz, CA. More at

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Burning man festival
written by jadesmith, November 16, 2010
Burning Man festival is an event which has grown from being a beach party celebrating the summer solstice to the incarnation of personal freedom, radical self expression. If you’re looking for a totally unique experience, The Burning Man Festival will provide you with one, but only if you participate.

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Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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