Gaye Mack’s Blog

WHEN THAT OLD DEVIL SATURN SHOVES YOU THROUGH THE REBIRTH CANAL

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

If you’ve been feeling as if you’re being pulled through a keyhole backwards, it’s quite possible that old devil, Saturn, has been moving by transit‘ through the twelfth house of your birth chart, across your ascendant(the eastern horizon of your chart) and whoosh, bam…you’ve just come through the rebirth canal into first house of self.  

Poor Saturn.  Ancient and traditional astrologers assign unflattering descriptions of his impact on a chart such as restriction, lessons to be learned, tiresome practicality, excruciating patience and let’s not forget, the wet blanket in any situation…definitely not someone jovial Jupiter wants to sidle up to at a party. 

Naturally because it’s astrology, there’s never one ‘simple’ consideration.  How moving Saturn impacts a chart depends on several variables including transiting sign and mathematical relationships to a chart’s other ‘sensitive’ points besides the ascendant. However, through the evolutionary lens, when Saturn’s on the move through the final frontier of our twelfth house, across our ascendant into the first house, he’s the driving force pushing us toward our highest potential.  

In December Saturn temporarily finished its two year tour through, as Steven Forrest calls it, ‘the spooky sign of Scorpio,’ entering the expansive sign of Sagittarius.  Scorpio’s nature among other things, brings   our unconscious to the surface, forcing us to look at those things that have been safely buried in the watery depths– usually things we’d rather not face. 

Saturn in Scorpio makes us do what we don’t want to do…urging us to clean out the closet.  For those where this process is happening in their twelfth house, the landscape is vast.  While traditionally, this sector or circumstance of life is that of the mystic, the house of hidden things, a monastic life, it’s also our unconscious, the dungeon, –and the house of endings.  Quite simply:  the old you is no longer the person your Soul has mapped for this lifetime. 

But here’s the catch.–in order to move on, WE have to let go …relationships, perspectives, jobs, dreams…the list can be endless, making us feel as if we’re standing naked in the eye of the Universe.  However, the Universe is also ‘elegant’ as Forrest tells us.  Now that Saturn’s in Sagittarius, while perhaps it hasn’t finished moving through one’s twelfth house quite yet, if we’ve done our clean-out work, we’re afforded the benefit of fresh perspectives, even new dreams, if we CHOOSE to use this opportunity, as choice is always astrology’s intent. 

What if we haven’t done such a great job of cleaning out?  The Universe recognizes that sometimes we’re asleep and things slip by us.  Not to worry…in June that ‘Old Devil’ Saturn turns retrograde, backing up into Scorpio for a brief last pass before it finally moves on for the next two years in Sagittarius.  Have you swept out all the corners?  Have you looked hard at those things you’d rather not?  Have you let go? 

Don’t let your life pass you by.

 

 astrology-image

 

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NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART-DISCOURAGEMENT AND PERSEVERANCE: THE REALITY FOR ASPIRING WRITERS

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Articles, Worth the Read, Writer's Work 2 Comments

Like a bad cough you can’t get rid of in the winter, discouragement and perseverance are part of the package for any aspiring writer who dreams of their work being valued by someone other than their mother.  My guest for this post is the best-selling author of The War of the Roses, Warren Adler.  Warren’s piece on ‘Rejection and Renewal’ is a reality check.  The reality is that it takes more than just WANTING your creativity to land somewhere other than on a forgotten USB stick or in garage boxes…that ‘the road less traveled’ is fraught with discouragement and one that demands perseverance.  For readers, it gives a peek into the prelude of that book they love.

THE PRELUDE

 You’ve spent months, perhaps years, composing your novel. You’ve read and reread it hundreds of times. You’ve rethought it, rewritten it, and revised it, changed characters, dialogue, and plot lines. Writing your novel is the most important thing in your life. It has absorbed your attention, almost exclusively. Both your conscious and your subconscious mind have been obsessed with it.

You have read parts of it to your friends, family, former teachers. Most think it’s wonderful. You have finally considered it finished. Armed with optimism and self-confidence, you obtain from the Internet a list of agents and begin to canvass. You agonize over whether to send your precious manuscript to one agent at a time or to a number of agents.

THE  DIVE

 You choose the first option. Just in case, you send it electronically, unsure of whether or not this is now standard practice. You have high hopes. You are aware of the massive changes in the publishing business, but have chosen to take the traditional path as your first option. Waiting, Waiting . . . Weeks go by, then months. The agents are, you believe, reading it in the office, passing it around, deciding to take it on. You live on such hopes. Finally you call the agent’s office. They haven’t a clue as to who you are. Somehow, they are reminded and search through the piles of manuscripts in their office, find yours, and send you back a standardized letter, perhaps out of politeness made to look like an original. Well then, you tell yourself, it is only one agent’s opinion.

You send it off to another agent. A letter comes back swiftly, similarly worded. You get bolder, send your manuscript to two agents at a time, then three, then every agent you can find. Nothing happens. “Good luck on getting published,” they tell you. “Not for us.” Sometimes there is a personal, scribbled note that says something nice and you live in its glow for days. More Waiting . . . Years go by.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED…

 You start another novel, but you are less optimistic now, less confident, unsure. You tell yourself you have not paid enough attention to the marketplace. You begin to analyze what is selling, what is not selling, what is being published. You read books on the best-seller lists and are certain you can do a lot better. You try to use these books as a guide to what is selling and you write accordingly. Nothing helps. You are continuously rejected.

Then . . . you begin to read on various websites about how you can publish your own books and get them marketed on electronic venues. Some sites promise that they can get your book in front of movie producers for a price. Some say they have the magic to make you a successful career novelist, again, for a price. For even more money, you will be told how best to market your book. You debate the idea and as your pile of rejection letters mount, you give it a try. You spend money. A book is produced in print-on-demand format and an E-Book is created and placed on every electronic sales venue on the net. Your family buys copies and sends them to friends. It is even reviewed in publications that review self-published books, yet again for a price. There is a word or two of praise in the review and you send it around to the media and everybody you know. Unfortunately, there is little or no sales, no afterlife.

THE CRASH

Despite your confidence in your ability, despite the fact that you truly believe your novel is certainly worthy of publication, you feel the full impact of rejection and failure. Try and Try Again . . . Still, you cannot shake the certainty or your talent. You write another novel. Perhaps a third. Perhaps more. You go through the same process. Again and again you are rejected. You begin to question your ability, your ideas and your talent. Is it a fantasy, an exercise in unrealistic aspirations? You are becoming embittered. Your dream is crashing.

If you are fortunate, your wife, husband, partner and family stick by you, continue to encourage your dream, help you keep it alive. Other realities begin to chip away at the dream. You have financial obligations. Your kids are growing up. You are losing out in the job market. Others are moving up in their jobs, while you are falling behind. You feel lost, adrift. Rejection after rejection has beaten you down. You see this as the end of your world, the end of your hopes and aspirations. Your high hopes and self-confidence in your own talent is petering away. What now?

REALITY

No Magic Pill. If you’ve read this far without your stomach congealing, I suppose you are awaiting some prescription offering a magic pill for coping. Sorry, there isn’t any available your corner drugstore, and you won’t find it here. Luck—that strange, illusive, heaven-sent burst of good fortune—has not fired a missile in your direction. Not yet. 

You have three choices:  

The first is personal surrender. You’ve been on a fool’s errand following an adolescent dream. Time to throw in the towel and concentrate on your day job. At least you tried.

 The second choice is postponement. You weren’t ready. You needed more experience of life. But you continue to believe it will come. Some talented people are late bloomers. Give the dream a rest. Wishing won’t make it so. There are enough popular clichés to give you courage.

 Now, for your third choice, the clincher. It is not recommended for the faint of heart: never give up. Never, never, never. It may be impractical, unwise, foolish, pure madness, but if you truly believe in yourself, your talent, your ideas, your calling, your personal mission, why not, as Lewis Carroll wrote, “go on until the end, and then stop.”

It Takes Determination and Perseverance To do this requires a monumental ego, total self-confidence in your talent, and an unshakable belief that you have been anointed with the right stuff. You will require obsessive focus, singleness of purpose, a draconian ruthlessness, and total devotion to a belief in your artistic ability. Fancy words, I know, but with the absence of luck, you will need these attributes to sustain you through the process. What this means for the true novelist is that he or she must continue to soldier on, keep writing, keep trying, taking the increasingly painful hits of rejection after rejection until, well, until someone out there catches on…or doesn’t.

We are all waiting for Godot. Sometimes he comes.

warren adler

Warren Adler

Best-Selling Author and advocate for aspiring writers

 

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SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE AND THE WORLD OF SPIRIT

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Gaye's England, Scotland & Wales, Worth the Read, Writer's Work Leave a comment

 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, mainly because I’ve been focused on my ‘ historical fiction work in progress,’ A Flight of Doves and my Evolutionary Astrology practice.  However, a few weeks ago I was asked to write a piece on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the Chicago-based, Love is Murder writer’s conference newsletter.  For the past fourteen years, this popular conference has featured a ‘Ghost of Honor’ and so it is that for the forthcoming February 2015 conference, the creator of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, was selected.  

As I state in the article, my guess is that the majority of Sherlock fans are unaware of the very real ‘spiritualist’ side of Conan Doyle, although in several of the stories if one reads between the lines, such clues do creep through.  In any case, for those of you wanting to read ‘more about it,’ I’ve posted the article here.  Who knew? 

“Come, Watson, come!” he cried. “The game is afoot.” Few Sherlock Holmes fans wouldn’t recognize these words from The Adventure of the Abbey Grange, published in 1904 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. However, how many devoted fans know of Doyle’s fierce involvement in the spiritualist movement of his time? Surely not a majority.

If we take a closer peek into this side of Conan Doyle’s life, we learn he was an avid enthusiast and supporter of psychic research for many years. Among his activities were tireless lectures across the UK and America in which he promoted the cause of spiritualism in addition to his extended tenure as president of London’s College of Psychic Studies (founded in 1884) where his portrait prominently hangs alongside his predecessors and successors.

Without question, however, a major aspect of Doyle’s influence in spiritualist matters was his post mortem series of messages via the well-known English medium, Grace Cooke. Delivered between January 27, 1930 and June, 1932, Arthur Conan Doyle’s messages revised the fundamental core of spiritualism having to do with life, death, illness and healing—a somewhat complex story that starts in Paris.

Briefly, in the mid-1920s a small group of Parisian spiritualists established themselves as The Polaire Brotherhood. At the time of their formation, the Polaires came into possession of the Force Astrale, an oracle believed to have originated with the Sages in the Himalayas.

When news of Conan Doyle’s death reached Paris, the Oracle gave the Polaires an extensive message: Conan Doyle, now in world of spirit, needed to correct some inaccuracies regarding the subject of spiritualism. However, in order to accomplish this, a Polaire Brother needed to travel to England and meet with Lady Conan Doyle, who would introduce him to a well-established medium—someone specifically chosen and trained to receive Arthur Conan Doyle’s communications.

Lady Doyle, a hard-core spiritualist herself, was already acquainted with England’s famous medium, Grace Cooke, as plans had been made for Grace and Arthur Conan Doyle to meet. Sadly this never happened due to his sudden death, but ten days following his passing, Grace visited the Doyle home and at this time, Arthur Conan Doyle delivered several personal, very detailed messages to his family.

Thus, when the Parisian Polaire now in England approached Lady Doyle, wheels were rapidly set in motion. On January 27th, 1930, Grace Cooke, her husband Ivan, the Polaire Brother, Lady Doyle and two of Lady Doyle’s children, met to hear the first of what would be the several extended messages from Arthur Conan Doyle as predicted by the Oracle back in Paris. Delivered through Grace, Conan Doyle’s instructions set forth a complete reinstatement of spiritualism, illness, healing and life after death. Today the connection between Grace Cooke and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle live on through the globally known White Eagle Lodge, which Grace and Ivan founded in 1936 at the direction of Grace’s own spirit guide, White Eagle

*For a more complete picture, including Arthur Conan Doyle’s messages, see Arthur Conan Doyle’s Book of The Beyond—White Eagle Publishing Trust, 2nd printing 2006.

 

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SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE -1859-1930

 

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WELCOME TO THE ENGLISH HISTORICAL FICTION AUTHORS’ ‘MAIN CHARACTER’ BLOG HOP!

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

This post is a departure from what you might be expecting, as I’ve been I have been tagged by fellow English Historical Fiction author, Mark Patton, to take part in a “Main Characters” blog hop.  The concept of ‘blog hops’ between authors is to introduce aspects of our works to readers and of course to support our writing colleagues across the ethers. For this ‘hop’ the  idea is to introduce a protagonist from a published or anticipated to be published novel. I’m currently working on the third novel of my historical fiction series which takes place across 12th, 13th and 21st century lines, mainly in Great Britain…although the current work in progress is built upon the esoteric story of the Cathars, the Gnostic sect persecuted by the Inquisition in 13th c southern France.  If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll have seen earlier posts on this gentle group of Christians labeled as heretics by Rome who met a fiery end at Montsegur on March 16, 1244.  

 

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Possible layout of fortress at Montsegur 1244

Photography©Gaye F. Mack, Inc.

 

 Each of my books is grounded in actual historical places, people and events around which I then build fictional characters and story. The participating authors in the blog hop are asked to address seven questions about their chosen protagonist.  My second book which is featured in this ‘hop’  is written in ‘alternating narrative’ which means that similar to the works of Diana Gabaldron and MJ Rose, the main protagonist is subject to images and influences from a past life–this said I’m going to introduce both of my female protagonists to you!

1. What is the name of your character, and is he or she a fictional or a historical person? 

In the 12th c portions of this bookEdana Morggon is the main protagonist who then re-appears as Dr. Dana Morgan in the 21st century.  Both women are completely fictional although, the characters they meet in both time frames are very much historical.

2. When and where is the story set? 

The primary historical setting is Glastonbury Abbey in England’s west country, just before the Great Fire of 1184 as well as ruins that remain in the 21st century. For those who have never been to Glastonbury, it’s one of those places that abounds in extraordinarily deep history, legend and myth.  King Arthur, Joseph of Armithea, Edward I, Henry II and The Goddess, each figure heavily into Glastonbury’s magic.  However, in 1184 and 2010, my protagonists are faced with events that involve the fire(and its suspicious origins), political ambition, greed and psychological dysfunction… all having to do with mystical secrets believed to have been embedded within symbols placed in the floor of the abbey’s ‘Holy of Holies’.

Scan0008Partial Ruins of Glastonbury Abbey

Photography©Gaye F. Mack, Inc.

3. What should we know about the character? 

12th c Lady Edana Morggon is a wealthy widow who accompanied her father and greedy, abusive husband to the Holy Land. Following the deaths of both men on crusade, Edana was imprisoned but surprisingly rescued by an unusual Sufi named Ghali.  Ghali for reasons only known to himself and Edana, enlists desert mystics to educate her in sacred arts and medicine before they both return to her estate in England.  Edana is a woman unusual for her time as she’s fierce in personality, smart, gifted and fairly self-sufficient…but she also harbors secrets.

21st c Dr. Dana Morgan is  a wealthy, University of Chicago historical archaeologist with expertise in ancient scripts, but who also possesses an inherited, although unacknowledged, gift of psychic sensitivities.  As the 21st c opens, her archaeologist husband of five years has suddenly died. Overtaken by grief, Dana retreats to the safe haven of her favorite aunt, Lady Fredi Morgan at her Oxfordshire estate.  When Dana is introduced to two historical archaeologists from Oxford University, she unwittingly becomes embroiled in 900 year old Glastonbury mysteries that have resurfaced and threaten her life.  Equally distressing, Dana comes face to face with  a past life through Edana Morggon. However predictably, as a scientist, she resists acknowledging such a possibility exists.

GLASTONBURY FLOORPhotography courtesy of Karen Pfiefer

 

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up your character’s life? 

Historically, Dana has categorized her feelings into intellectual exercises as a means of protection ever since the sudden death of her parents when she was fifteen. However, when she learns that her husband had a secret life which ended in suicide rather than murder, she struggles to come to terms with heart centered emotions she can’t control, her sense of failure in judgement and the recognition of her inherited psychic sensitivities.  As Glastonbury’s 12th century story resurfaces in 2010 through events that threaten her life, Dana is forced to deal with these unresolved aspects of herself.

5. What is the personal goal of your character? 

Dana has to learn to accept who she really is as well as putting trust in relationships, especially with men.  In addition, with the help of Edana Morggon, she begins to recognize that the veil between worlds is thin and can transmute to reveal universal truths.

6. Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? 

The book is entitled, A Conspiracy of Ravens’.  You can read more about it under the ‘Historical Fiction’ link on my full website: http://gayemack.com or under the link for ‘clients’ on http://globallionmanagement.com

7. When can we expect the book to be published?

 ‘A Conspiracy of Ravens’ and its predecessor, A Murder of Crows’ are currently represented by Peter Miller, CEO-Global Lion Intellectual Property Management, who is actively seeking a home for them.

 

 

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THE NIGGELY T-SQUARE—WHERE’S THE EXIT DOOR?

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

For some time now there’s been a lot of energetic busyness and pressure for change going on in the heavens especially with the Grand Squares involving four planets in December, April and now mid-June. Added to this, there have been and are, on-going ‘T-Squares’ involving three powerful planets. While these configurations might seem less intense, they’re actually no less powerful than the Grand Squares. The bottom line is that even if someone isn’t into astrology, EVERYONE is feeling it on multiple levels…emotionally, mentally and if we dare to watch the news, globally. 
So what does this all mean? Astrologically speaking, as the planets move around the heavens, they mathematically ‘square off’ and/or ‘oppose’ each other from time to time. When the faster moving bodies such as the Moon or Mercury are involved, the effect isn’t long term. But when it involves the slower moving planets, the effect is more significant in terms of our evolution which is what we’ve been dealing with lately.
Generally speaking, squares in Evolutionary Astrology represent a fork in the road. They signal that change is in the wind because squares are pressure points of friction between the planetary energies involved and what they represent in our lives. If we’re awake to these events, we have an opportunity to take charge or at least proactively participate in the process. On the other hand, if we resist, the lesson becomes that much harder…as the saying goes, “the more you resist, the harder the fall.”
In a ‘T-Square’, two planets in opposition (180◦ apart) both square a third planet at 90◦. And, even though there’s friction between these points and what they represent in our evolutionary process, all is not lost, because there’s a safety valve within the square.
Always with astrology, there are varying interpretations. The exit point in a T-Square is no exception. While all the factors involved in the square,(planets, signs, houses) must be considered in building the story, in my practice, I prefer to use the apex point as the exit door or the ‘solution’ even though it’s part of the tension factor in the bigger picture.
In the figure below, the apex is Pluto; the planet of transformation and one that’s often ruthless in the process (change or be changed is one of Pluto’s mantras!). It sits in structure oriented Capricorn and in this chart, it’s in the 2nd house of personal resources, self-esteem, earned income. Uranus in the 5th and Mars in the 11th are both squared to Pluto suggesting perhaps some sort of difficulty involving a rebellious child (or children) and relationship to the community or tribe that could put pressure on means of sustainability where resources are involved. It could also suggest someone who is prone to fleeting love affairs that push the moral boundaries of their tribe or community and thus affects material repercussions; it’s hard to tell without looking at the chart as a whole. Neither is necessarily negative; perhaps the community is too rigid for a child that has the ability to see the world in a way others can’t. Perhaps an individual isn’t suited to marriage and shouldn’t be in a community where affairs aren’t tolerated. At the end of the day, in this example, somehow change must be initiated. By understanding that when Pluto’s involved, self-initiation of internal changes trigger our external world and thus it benefits the entire ‘T-Square’ with a positive trickle-down result that can ease the tension.

 

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