Gaye Mack’s Blog

A PILGRIM RETURNING HOME

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Ancient Legends of Great Britain, Writer's Work Leave a comment

Later today I’ll be boarding an overnight flight to London, returning to my ‘soul home’ one more time.  Although this trip will include seeing friends and extended family, I have a specific purpose for this journey.  The focus this time will be on northern Scotland–up near Aberdeen, oddly an area of Scotland I’ve never before visited .  I want to explore the ruins and history of Dunnottar Castle, which like Whitby Abbey(profiled in my last post), sits on a eerie precipice overlooking the wild sea surrounded by sheer cliffs.   

And then there are multitudes of other castles in the area that warrant exploration…many with fascinating stories within their stones like Dunnottar.  Too many castles and stone circles, never enough time!(sigh) At the risk of putting the cart before the horse, I’ll just say that Dunnottar has a checkered history and one which I hope to incorporate in a new book which is taking form in my imagination.

So this post is short…much to do yet.  However, I intend to blog from the road with pictures, so stay tuned!

Photography©gaye f. mack, inc.


WHITBY ABBEY~ANCIENT MONKS, MIRACLES, GHOSTS AND DRACULA

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Ancient Legends of Great Britain Leave a comment

Whitby Abbey

Just looking at photos of this place conjures up all sorts of images, but to actually stand within the ruins is something else!  Whitby Abbey  is starkly  perched  on high  cliffs over looking the seaside village of Whitby on the north Yorkshire coastline .  Windswept and desolate doesn’t begin to describe the feeling.  Having wanted to visit Whitby for years, I had the chance to do so after speaking at  a conference in Cumbria a few years ago.  Although a lengthily detour cross country, it was definitely worth the trip. 
 
It was late fall; the day was grey, it was windy and bone-chilling  damp….and definitely haunting.  There wasn’t a soul around and I spent some time just sitting within the ruins  trying to imagine what it would have been like for the Whitby monks in harsh winters  1400 years ago…even into the 13th century….can you imagine?  It’s  probably  equally impressive on a balmy sunny day in summer but  with a bit more welcoming feel …perhaps I was just meant to get the full impression and so the opportunity presented itself…who knows?

This abbey, like several that dot the British Isles, has an intriguing history.  Whitby however,  possesses  more than one or two legends and events in its history.  This said, there are two that readily cometo mind if one has ever heard of the Abbey.   From a religious perspective, Whitby is very prominent as it  was the site of the ‘Synod of Whitby’ in 664 CE when the deciding vote was taken regarding the Church’s date for Easter.  Would the Celtic church bow to Rome or would it stand its ground on a date that had been honored for centuries?  Well, we all know the outcome of that one! 
 
Whitby’s history and lore is sprinkled with tales of bloody Viking raids, miracles performed by its first Abbess, St. Hild and of course the requisite ghosts! However, in more recent times(relatively speaking) it’s said that the ruins of Whitby provided inspiration to Bram Stoker as the destination of  Dracula’s doomed ship, Demeter.  Very definitely one can  see how old  Bram could have been so inspired. 
 
At the end of the day, Whitby is just one of those places you can’t easily erase from your mind…but then can’t one erase images of  Dracula, either.
 
 
photography©gaye f. mack, inc.

 


LIBRA’S NEW MOON URGES BALANCE, PUTTING US ON NOTICE THAT BUSINESS AS USUAL IS NO LONGER AN OPTION

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology Leave a comment

While new moons always portend a push for new beginnings and growth, this particular new moon is packed with messages and energy!  Libra, the 7th sign of the zodiac with its glyph of scales symbolizes harmony, peace, love and beauty in our relationships and environment. However this new moon also comes in as a ‘super-moon’, the 4th of 6 we’ll have this year.  Super-moons happen when the moon is closest to the earth in either new or full expression, intensifying the gravitational pull on our emotions and our planet.  As a result, the energy of whatever other planets are acutely involved in the configuration of a new moon is magnified.

For this Moon, Mercury, the messenger of the gods, is sitting next to it, suggesting that we need to think about what’s out of balance— but this is only part of the story.  The Moon/Sun/Mercury are directly involved in the on-going Uranus/Pluto square.  For a few days, all three oppose Uranus in Aries, the planet of revolution, bringing an intensity to the concept of evolution.  In what ways do we need to think and act out of the box to move forward in a positive way?

Additionally, all three are squaring Pluto in Capricorn, which supports transformation in a way that is stable and sustainable.  There’s a lot of pressure for change in this complete configuration; the Moon/Sun/Mercury opposing Uranus in Aries and squaring Pluto in Capricorn produces a ‘T-Square’ of high and intense energy.  Squares are turning points and tend to represent internal process; oppositions can represent external process. 

The circumstances of life in which this configuration takes place for each of us depends on the houses involved in our charts.  Never-the-less, no matter which ones they are, we’re all being called to seriously consider a course correction in our thinking and actions.  In other words, business as usual is no longer an option.

 

 

 

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EDWARD BACH’S WALNUT REMEDY…PERFECT FOR THE FALL EQUINOX AND THE APPROACHING NEW MOON IN LIBRA

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology 4 Comments

The flower remedy Walnut is, “the Remedy for those who have decided to take a great step forward in life, to break old conventions, to leave old limits and restrictions and start on a new way,” so said Dr. Bach.

In this sense, Walnut helps us  cut the ‘ties that bind’, a phrase often quoted by the 1970’s motivational speaker, Dr. Leo Buscaglia.  Thus, it’s the perfect remedy for navigating the change of seasons as we welcome the fall equinox that took place last Friday.  I say this because there’s a lot happening astrologically around this year’s Equinox and the new moon that  involves shedding old ways (which I plan to blog on next time).  However, because Walnut is such a BIG remedy, I want to focus on it here…stay the course which is  another specific effect of this remedy.  It helps us to ‘stay the course’ and not become distracted by ‘the next shiny thing’ or others.

When I teach about the remedies, I remind people to think of them like the color spectrum;  we have our 7 primary colors, but within each color are thousands of subtle vibrational hues connected to that color…and so it is with the remedies.  When you read standard books about the Bach remedies in particular, there’s always some sort of ‘classical’ phrase or word to describe the action of each remedy.  For example, you’re likely to read that Walnut is for ‘change and transition’…which it is.   It helps us to navigate us through major changes in our lives…positive or negative. The circumstances could be marriage, divorce, new job, losing job, pregnancy, puberty, menopause…teething, surgery…the list is endless.

But Walnut is also helpful for several other states of mind and circumstances as well.  Like the ‘Walnut’ with its hard outer shell protecting the nut meat,  as a remedy it helps to ‘protect’ our solar plexus, the gravitational center of our body where we feel before we think.  It protects that delicate energy center within us from unhealthy ‘mundane’ outside influences that may be attempting to distract us from our intended life path.  On an energetic level, Walnut also helps to protect us from negative external energy that can be quite damaging particularly from those who do not have our best interests in their heart.

On a practical note, one question  I’m often asked relates to ‘nut allergies’…or ‘tree allergies’.  Not to worry…All of the Bach remedies (save Rock Water) are made from the ‘blossoms’ of the plant.  Because of the methods(sun and boiling) proscribed by Dr. Bach to produce the remedies, there’s no molecular structure in them…remember:  flower remedies are about energy and vibration…they’re about the plant’s healing  life force, Prana, Qi, energy…whichever term you are comfortable with…so no worries regarding allergies.  Although like many herbal tinctures, they’re preserved in alcohol(grape brandy), but there are ways you can still benefit  if you are alcohol sensitive.  For more information on this issue, check my website.   

 


AGENT PENDERGAST UNPLUGGED(ALMOST) IN NEW PRESTON & CHILD’S “COLD VENGEANCE”

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Worth the Read Leave a comment

The Preston/Child  Pendergast series is just one of those threads of  stories you can’t get enough of.  That is,  if you like elusive and complex protagonists immersed in tales that are intertwined .  I was first introduced to FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast in ‘Relic’ , back in (good lord), 1995 and was immediately hooked….eleven books later, details regarding his eccentric(to say the least), personal and  family history continue to be excruciatingly metered out by the authors…a good way to keep you wanting more– never mind that inquiring minds want to KNOW!  Despite his profile (listed on  Wikipedia), you still aren’t sure there isn’t some little morsel waiting in the wings of a future story that will shock you…Pendergast does have that way about him!

The latest yarn, Cold Vengeance gives us insight into prior events involving his wife’s murder which now fires Pendergast’s desire for revenge(and no one pursues this task better or more intensely).  And then there is the small issue of shock(some would call it betrayal) when widower Pendergast discovers ‘Helen’ had secrets of her own, unknown to him while they were married!  The plot thickens.

 Could it be that my fondness for this particular story is that it opens on the Scottish moors in the proverbial mists (where I’m headed in a few weeks, by the way?), or just that I’m hopelessly hooked?  Who cares?  

If you love to read stories that will keep you guessing, with characters who will keep you guessing wrapped in page-turning  high tension set in exotic and familiar locations, these are stories for you!  The authors tell you that while the initial books, Relic, Reliquary, The Cabinet of Curiosities, Still Life With Crows and The Wheel of Darkness don’t necessarily have to be read in succession, the following trilogy, Brimstone, Dance of the Dead and The Book of the Dead, introducing Pendergast’s ‘interesting’ brother, Diogenes, is probably best read in sequence.  

Fever Dream and now Cold Vengeance take us into the realm of Helen’s murder and Pendergast’s hunt for revenge that leaves him presumed dead…I can’t wait for the next one!

 

Photography©Gaye F. Mack, Inc.