Gaye Mack’s Blog

THAT OLD DEVIL SATURN AND DR. BACH’S GENTIAN

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology, Uncategorized, Writer's Work 2 Comments

Recently a gifted medium friend of mine gave me an unsolicited message:  “Follow Saturn.”  At first I thought this odd, as this friend’s knowledge regarding astrology is modest.  However the more I thought about it, I recalled my ‘transit’ chart reading with Steven Forrest last spring which focused heavily on Saturn transiting the 12th house of my natal chart.

 For those unfamiliar with ‘astrospeak’, a brief side bar on what ‘transit’ means.  Each of the planets in our solar system has an orbit that rotates them through the twelve signs of the zodiac; some planets for example like speedy Mercury and Venus move quite quickly.  The ‘outer planets’ i.e., those furthest from the Sun take a very long time to lumber their way around the heavens.  For example, Saturn takes approximately 28 years,(give or take)Uranus takes 83.75 years, Pluto takes 248.6 years and etheric Neptune takes 163.72 years. 

 From an evolutionary perspective, there are no accidents in a chart.  Everyone’s chart is uniquely orchestrated for optimum Soul growth opportunities.  When a planet’s orbit pings a sensitive point in our natal chart, such as the birth position of the Sun, Moon, Ascendant (i.e., the sign on the horizon the moment of your birth), as well as other important points including houses(the circumstances of life), this is called a ‘transit’.  Transits can be very important because the psychological energies they carry come with updates, so to speak, in a personal agenda for us.  Whether or not we take advantage of these perfectly ‘timed’ events is another matter; we can respond positively or negatively, the choice is ours.

The ancients viewed Saturn (that old devil) as a malefic,  along with Mars and Pluto.  Depending on their placements in a birth chart or by transit, it was believed that these guys portended inauspicious outcomes.  Even today traditional astrologers may view a client’s chart with a wary eye when Saturn is ‘acting up.’  However, no doubt about it, Saturn’s job is to teach us lessons we need for growth and yet provide a sturdy foundation under our feet.  Thus, if we opt for the evolutionary lens, we’re better tuned in if we view Saturn’s transit with a higher perspective.  

Nevertheless, our experience of Saturn can be a lonely road to travel; often we’re ready to quit, throw in the towel and second-guess our judgement.  These possibilities are particularly highlighted when Saturn by transit is in the sign of Scorpio as it is currently.  Here, Saturn will remain until until this time next year when it shifts into Sagittarius for a time before backing up for a last past through Scorpio and then moves on for good in September 2015.  So, we have our work cut out for us, each and every one.  When Saturn’s in the sign of the Scorpion, we’re challenged to look at things within our psyche and past experiences we’d rather not.  While in the end such excavations make us stronger, help us to grow by understanding how we could have behaved or done things differently, it’s not  always a particularly good time making us want to run the other way.  

Dr. Bach’s Gentian is the perfect flower remedy for times when Saturn is wreaking havoc.  As one of Bach’s original ‘Twelve Healers’, the negative Gentian mood state  is all about discouragement, self-doubt and perseverance.  According to Dr. Bach the purpose of the Gentian remedy is to lead us to an:  understanding that there is no failure when you are doing your utmost, whatever the apparent result.” This understanding helps us realize that steady perseverance is essential to overcoming self-doubt.  A vital key to our own Soul evolution is to remember that cosmic law dictates trusting the perfect timing of the universe; that the universe provides us with whatever we  need for our expansion and growth. When we find change and challenge difficult, Gentian helps us to understand the value of, and engage in, perseverance in the face of adversity and disappointment.  

Saturn.jpgI

                                                                                                                  

 THAT OLD TEACHER SATURN

Gentian

                                                                                                                       

 DR. BACH’S GENTIAN

 

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OUR SOUL’S EVOLUTIONARY JOURNEY THROUGH THE PLUTO/URANUS SQUARE

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology, Writer's Work Leave a comment

Tomorrow, November 1st, we’ll experience the 4th ‘exact hit’ of the energetic Pluto/Uranus square-dance which began back in June 2012.  The final ‘hit’ will happen on December 15th, 2014, but between then and now, we’ll continue to feel the intensity of these two planets as they tease each other with the energetic tension created between the waxing and waning of their orbits.  As I’ve said in previous posts about the energy of this configuration from an evolutionary perspective, there’s an urgent message for each of us that the Universe is trying to deliver.   

Back in 2012 I welcomed the following guest post from Simon Bentley, Principal of the White Eagle School of Astrology, based in the UK.  As we are currently being inundated with the recent lunar eclipse in Aries, Mercury’s retrograde and extended stay in Scorpio, the forthcoming Solar Eclipse on November 3rd in Scorpio on top of this exact hit tomorrow, it seems more than appropriate to revisit Simon’s ‘take’ as to WHY the Universe is trying to get us on the line!  As Simon points out, the energetic and metaphorical signatures of Pluto and Uranus are about transformation.  Pluto brings to light those things which have been hidden in the dark that we need to bring to light and face while Uranus shatters that which is past its ‘sell by’ date and pushes for thinking, doing out of the box…new chapters and directions on our evolutionary path soulfully and collectively are waiting for us to go through the doorway.  As you’ll read through Simon’s words, evolutionary astrology is a powerful tool to help us along on this journey.

 

‘Life, the Transformer’

 I wonder if we have ever stopped to think what the word [transform] actually means? Literally, the prefix ‘trans’ means ‘across’, so that ‘transformation’ comes to mean ‘moving across to another form’, and so, changing form. If we aren’t careful, we use this word very glibly, but looked at from a spiritual perspective it is a word of crucial importance, since we are constantly attempting to transform ourselves, change into a form suited to our current position on the spiritual path.

Eventually, we shall all learn to transform continuously, but until we reach such a point of evolution it tends to happen in fits and starts and is not always welcomed…Astrologers recognize that Pluto, despite the fact that astronomers ‘demoted’ it in recent years, is the planet that symbolizes this factor in our growth, and when it’s particularly strong in a horoscope one can be sure that there are significant transformational processes going on in the life.

At this time, Pluto tends to be manifesting in terms of those occurrences and changes in life that seem completely fated, over which we appear to have no control.  The ‘fits and starts’ mentioned above tend to bring to light some kind of major change, the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another, closely linked with Pluto’s action.   However, bearing in mind that every life, every incarnation of every soul, is part of the grand transformational process that eventually brings us to divinity, the significance of the word ‘transformation’ means far more in astrology than simply a reference to what Pluto may do. The whole of life is in some way transformational, and so it could be said that astrology is a science that illuminates the transformational process we call ‘life’. Astrologers are often called upon for advice when there are crises in life, turning points – moments of transformation, if you will.

 Astrology can help the soul to understand the process and therefore to be less apprehensive about it and to handle it more harmoniously. Most of life’s problems, as well as often being the inevitable outworking of karmic patterns, are brought about by our tendency to resist this process: astrology, by at least attempting to explain it, helps to remove our all too natural tendency to resist.  This raises an interesting point, especially for astrologers themselves.

It has always been considered that the planet of our science is Uranus, and I would not dispute that, astrology is a Uranian occupation, revealing, as it does, spiritual truth and the action of the divine will in human life. However, if astrology is also an assistant to transformation, surely it is also Plutonic? Personally I have often suspected as much, and what I have found is that while astrology is undoubtedly Uranian, Pluto is commonly very active in the horoscopes of those who become professional astrologers.

As professionals they are called upon to help others to cooperate actively with the transformational process in their lives. But there are also implications for the astrologers themselves, and the origin of their vocation. They too are undergoing transformations in their own personal lives, and what they see and experience through their clients is part of their process as well.

 The use of the wonderful tool we call astrology is always, therefore, a two-way experience; if properly accomplished it’s that classic win-win situation which we all like to achieve! The client is better enabled to cope with his or her transformation; the astrologer is transformed to a degree simply by doing the job and thus learning from the client. So we could say that astrology itself can be – and hopefully is – used to hasten this process and thus speed up evolution, both individually and, through that, of the whole world.

SFPage

PLUTO/URANUS SQUARE-NOVEMBER 1ST, 2013

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MERCURY’S RETROGRADE IN ‘SPOOKY SCORPIO’ MEETS DR. BACH’S CERATO FLOWER REMEDY

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology, Writer's Work Leave a comment

On the heels of the powerful Full Moon in Aries last Friday, little Mercury, ‘messenger of the Gods’, ‘director of all forms of communication’, begins its final retrograde motion of 2013 today as it appears to back up in its orbit until November 10th.  On the practical level as always with a Mercury retrograde, it’s wise to make certain that  computers are continually backed up,  messages are double checked  before we hit ‘send’ or ‘delete’, details of appointments are re-checked  and that we are conscious of what’s coming out of our mouths.  When Mercury turns retrograde, it tends to play havoc with all forms of communication whether they be external or simply a mind that just will not STOP…this is Mercury’s energetic MO.

However, this time there’s a further catch.  While speedy Mercury normally moves quickly through a sign, this time it hangs around in what Steven Forrest refers to as ‘Spooky Scorpio’, the sign of those things ‘hidden’, until December 5th.  Even after it goes direct in motion, Mercury remains here, giving us more time to feel at the depths of our Soul,  where Scorpio demands we come face to face with our truths.  At first glance, it would seem that the planet which rules the mind, communication and thinking paired with the sign of depth, feeling and truth, would seem a very odd pairing.

However, when any planet shifts into ‘retrograde’ motion, the message is to contemplate; to better understand the particular part of ourselves represented by the planet’s energy and the messages of the sign its occupying.  In this case we’re mentally encouraged to consider different perspectives of the past, perhaps where our mind demanded control, running roughshod over our innate intuition.  In the silence of Scorpio’s depth during Mercury’s retrograde and post-retrograde period where it remains for a time in Scorpio, we’re offered the opportunity to step back and shift perceptions, to ‘let go’ of reactions and thought processes that no longer serve or benefit our evolution.  Such shifts can lead us then to alternative actions in the future that support our growth and ability to manifest our greatest good.  

Thus, during a Mercury Retrograde as I’ve written previously, Dr. Bach’s flower remedy Cerato can be very helpful.  Like all of the remedies, Cerato can re-balance temporary or situational mood states but it’s also one of Dr. Bach’s original ‘Twelve Healers’ and therefore a Soul Type.  While one may not be a Cerato Soul per se, those who have Mercury significantly placed in their chart are particularly subject to Cerato’s shadow energy which distrusts innate wisdom.  As a result, trusting one’s own knowing is very difficult if not impossible. 

During Mercury’s retrograde motion where the message for everyone is to quiet the mind and mouth, Bach’s Cerato can act as a catalyst, shifting our perspective from the external to the internal.  It can take us down to our depths where Scorpio waits for us to face our truths and acknowledge our feelings.  Such excavations are scary territory, but if we call upon Cerato, its gentle energy will support us in our efforts to go forth where we can come to ‘know’ the wisdom that is ours and to trust it.

 

astrology-imageMYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE

Cerato DR. BACH’S CERATO

For Information on Evolutionary Astrological Readings or Bach Flower Remedy Evaluations with Me, Click Here

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POST CATHAR ADVENTURE MUSINGS ON MESSAGES FROM OUR SOUL AND TAKING LEAPS OF FAITH

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology, Writer's Work Leave a comment

 Sadly five weeks ago I bid farewell to my Cathar adventure in France’s Languedoc/L’Occitaine region, returning back to Oxford for another week before flying home to Chicago.  My visits to the UK are always crammed full of seeing friends, extended family and business contacts; no time to reflect. But now back in Chicago, settling into my daily routine I’ve had time to play back in my mind what I took away from this experience and leaps of faith.  Surely part of my experience was to absorb factual information that will provide background for my next historical fiction book, Flight of Doves? Equally important, I’ve wondered, did I clear the unfinished karmic business of my 13th century life by returning to the ‘scene of the crime’, so to speak?  Those of you who have read my postings on Karmic Astrology won’t find this last bit surprising, yet this is what has surprised me; aside from grasping the academic immersion, I have yet to effectively language the deeper resonances of this experience which brings me to recognizing a greater, perhaps more important lesson which is this…

In our journey of our evolution, the assimilation, the download/upload of information from our Soul is not always identified much less realized as meaningful in a timely fashion. And yet, this process can profoundly affect us in ways to be determined, requiring faith in some measure. Surprising events, chance meetings, omens if you will, are there in front of us, waiting for us to consciously plug into rather than dismissed.  As a mundane example, it now seems that I’ve been offered three ‘interesting’ nudges regarding my curiosity in the Cathars that may or may not be significant. And, I’ve decided to pay attention as they’re so ‘odd’, filing them away in the back of my mind for future possible recall–they may mean something down the road…or not, who knows-they may have absolutely nothing to do with my writing but something else entirely, yet to be revealed.  Nevertheless … 

  • Two and a half years ago when I was finishing the final version of Murder of Crows, I knew I wanted to write my next book set against the Cathar story. At that time, other than my inexplicable draw to their history and persecution by Rome for their beliefs, I knew very few detailed specifics.  However, I needed a working title for the book. In keeping with the concept of my series, Flight through Time, ‘something’ compelled me to choose, ‘Flight of Doves’ for this new project; I haven’t the remotest idea of what drew me to it.  It wasn’t until shortly before my departure for France that I came across an academic notation that the Cathars were often identified by the ‘symbol’ of the Dove!

 

  • As I was reading various resources in preparation for my trip, I kept thinking that the simple robes or habits worn by the Perfects (Parfaits) were a dark blue, despite the fact that some academic authorities insisted they wore black.  This small fact kept niggling in the back of my brain…one of those things that keeps saying, “no that isn’t right, they wore blue.”  And, indeed they did as I was to discover upon further research.  It wasn’t a case of that they  didn’t  wear black, but more to the point, they were  known to also wear habits of dark blue.

 

  • And the stunner…while I was in the L’Occitaine, I received an email one evening from a woman I’d never met, explaining that she  accidentally had come across my website and blog posts about my forthcoming trip to Cathar country.  She went onto explain that she was actually from Mazamet, a town roughly 60 miles north of where I was staying that evening.  She detailed her deep interest in the Cathars, her current work in alternative therapies and asked if I taught classes on my work with Edward Bach’s flower remedies.  She also mentioned her study in astrology with particular interest in Karmic Astrology and her possession of all of the books written by my teacher and mentor, Steven Forrest.  But it wasn’t until I read further on that I was truly astonished!  She expressed an interest in meeting me as she lives about 45 minutes from my home in the Chicago area!  How can this crossing of paths possibly be explained as a chance ‘coincidence’?  Perhaps, but I choose to believe it isn’t. 

 

These points bring me back to the issue of being awake to messages from our Soul which often function as safety nets when we risk taking leaps of faith.  As essence of Spirit, we incarnate into the body so that our Soul has the opportunity to evolve and grow through lessons that can only be learned through the physical world, some very hard karmic experiences.  In such times I often recall the scene where Harrison Ford as Indian Jones is teetering on the edge of a dizzying precipice, a death gorge beckons below.  His pursuers are closing in fast, his choices are two:  succumb to capture or risk safety by taking a ‘leap of faith’ across the abyss, knowing that if he misses, death is certain.  Just as he steps into the void an image of a lifesaving bridge suddenly appears; clearly a metaphor for taking a leap of faith–the very foundation of the Cathar’s philosophy–that ‘faith’ in the unseen, the non-physical, is greater than we can possibly imagine.

minerve monument

The Dove is a work of art created in 1982 by Jean-Luc Séverac, a Minerve artist, to commemorate the 140 Cathar Parfaits (Perfects) who were burned at the stake in 1210.

The stele is placed in front of the door to Eglise Saint Etienne in a small square off the rue des Remparts.  In describing his concept, artist Jean-Luc Séverac wrote, “The Cathars raised themselves above the material world…..so I made the dove, not out of stone, but out of light – the absence of matter is the only way to represent the Cathars.” (kindly contributed by Vernonique Frede-Markscheid)

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POMEGRANATES AND BLESSINGS

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Writer's Work Leave a comment

Slightly different from what I typically write about, for this post I welcome my good friend, Judy Tsafrir, MD as my guest.  Judy is a holistic psychiatrist with a busy practice in Boston. I highly recommend following her blog, as she’s incredibly multifaceted as a mind/body/spirit oriented physician, evolutionary astrologer, Tarot practitioner and expert in nutrition.  Her recent post discussing reflections and blessings in our lives is something we all can well be reminded of as the fall equinox approaches and we prepare to go within for more self-discovery in the months ahead.

It is September, a season of new beginnings, the initiation of a fresh cycle. We just celebrated Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. The children went back to school, the summer is waning and it’s getting dark earlier. Autumn is at the door. September is a time linked in my mind with the ancient mythic pomegranate, a cross-cultural symbol of fertility and sweetness. It is traditional to eat pomegranates with its many seeds on Rosh Hashana, as a symbol of fruitfulness.

As a child in the 50′s in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we called pomegranates “Indian Apples”. I have always loved them, though they were a challenge to eat. I would extract the juicy crimson seeds individually, staining my fingers, until I learned a brilliant Israeli technique.

This is really amazing: Take a knife and slice the pomegranate in half. Take a heavy spoon, and holding half the pomegranate sliced side down over a large bowl, whack it repeatedly, and all of the gorgeous scarlet seeds will tumble out. Then you just need to remove the few pieces of creamy rind that were dislodged as well, and you have a luscious pile of pomegranate seeds.

The pomegranate is a symbol to me of all of the blessings in my own life. I was very inspired by the sermon that my rabbi,  Wes Gardenswartz, gave on Rosh Hashanah. It is linked in my mind with appreciation and pomegranates. This is my reconstruction of what he said:

The British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips proposed that each of us has the actual life that we live, which is the result of all of the choices we have made and all the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Simultaneously, each of us has a parallel unlived life, one that shadows us with what might have been; the regrets, the opportunities not embraced, the roads not taken. He spoke of the wonderful novelist Richard Russo, who wrote a memoir of his relationship with his mother entitled , “Elsewhere”. Russo’s mother never was happy where she was; she was always longing to be somewhere else.

The rabbi reframed the tasks of daily living that can at times feel onerous, like doing the laundry, as something that he GETS to do, rather than something that he HAS to do. In order to do laundry he has to be able to see to sort the colors, have functioning legs which carry him up and down the stairs, and arms that have the strength to hold the basket. The capacity to do laundry presupposes a great deal of able-bodiedness. I know for myself, I can sometimes feel burdened by having to weed the garden, or having to figure out what to make for dinner for the children, or being obliged to seriously restrict my carbs if I don’t want to gain weight and feel tired. But OMG, what a blessing to still have children under my roof to make dinner for, to have a garden to care for, or to be in such a privileged position that I can choose what to eat.

The rabbi addressed the importance of simultaneously being aware of those aspects of our lives that are still unlived, and striving to manifest those dreams and potentials, while experiencing gratitude for the reality of our lives as they are. Not to be like Richard Russo’s mother who was focused on what was missing. The rabbi noted that none of our lives are perfect; there are those who have wealth but poor health, a meaningful career but trouble with our kids, a good marriage but constant money worries; and yet for all of us, there are so many blessings that we often just take for granted.

Warm wishes to all my readers for a sweet, fruitful and healthy New Year, filled with consciousness of the blessings in our lives, as the numerous as the seeds of the pomegranate.

 

 

equinox

 

             Fall Equinox, Chicago-September 22, 2013 3:44 p.m. CST

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