Gaye Mack’s Blog

KARMA & REINCARNATION AT THE HEART OF EVOLUTIONARY ASTROLOGY

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

The field of astrology has grown tremendously over the years, slowly reclaiming the respect it had with the ancients.  Practiced and followed authentically, areas of specializations in this field especially Evolutionary Astrology, can be used as helpful tools to understand differences between ourselves and others, chart financial trends, alert us to health issues so we can be pro-active and offer us paths forward in our evolution, just to name a few examples.  When I say, ‘used and practiced authentically’ I mean that astrology should not be viewed as a tool of fate or ‘divination’; authentically means ALWAYS having the ‘power of choice’, the power of ‘freewill’.  

As I’ve written in previous posts, Evolutionary Astrology is a  specialized lens wherein our Soul growth is at the heart of the matter, grounded in the concept of karma and reincarnation.  Where it differs from what we might think of as ‘traditional western astrology’ (i.e., I’m a Leo and love to wear jewelry!), the core of this lens rests in the concept that the Soul is eternal with an agenda of evolution toward our highest good.  This development is worked toward and achieved through lifetimes of experiences in the physical body. In my practice, when I analyze a natal chart I’m actually ‘seeing’ two charts.  There’s the chart cast for the time of birth of course, but these symbols also tell me(and other Evolutionary Astrologers) about the ‘growth’ agenda the Soul has in mind for this life time.  

Through the symbols we’re able to see ‘something’ that went wrong in the past, a piece of ‘karma that has ripened’.  The individual has now come to a stage in emotional development where they’re strong enough to face what that ‘something’ was.  There’s now opportunity to go forward, to change the channel this time around.  This said, it needs to be reinforced that we’re working with emotional energy ‘imagined’ through metaphorical story, as obviously it’s impossible to know the specific details of ‘what happened’.  In this story the person was ‘vexed’ by something or someone that had power over them, offering no choice but to succumb. Or, perhaps they were the ‘vicious rat in the woodpile’, behaving badly…very badly. This time around they’re now much stronger emotionally, but somehow carry a sense of familiarity with the past.  Such nigglings could be wrapped around situations or people that ‘did us in’ or visa versa; same script, different actors. 

Recently there’s been a lot of ‘traffic’ in the heavens affecting all of us.  I know several people who are dealing with major effects of the slow-moving planets across their natal chart.  For some,  Pluto, the planet of transformation, is conjuncting, opposing or squaring their Sun, Moon or Ascendant-sometimes simultaneously; Neptune, the planet that can bring confusion, disillusion and fantasy or Saturn, the task master of the material, are hitting these power points for others.  ALL of these possibilities are extremely challenging, but also bring opportunities because in some way, they trigger major life-changes and choice. What to do? Herein lays a key element separating this field of astrology from other lenses. 

Evolutionary is partially descriptive, but not entirely; it’s also ‘prescriptive’.  In other words, when an Evolutionary Astrologer ‘metaphorically’ looks at what went wrong in the ‘chart behind the chart’ they can offer remedial options so that the client can get off the mouse wheel and not repeat patterns of the past that got them in trouble in the first place. There could be one particular life reflected or a chronic pattern of behavior from the core of our being reflected by the symbols and the patterns between them in the present chart.  

Every astrologer has their own style; some prefer to have background information beyond the date, time and place of birth from a client before they analyze a chart.  I do not; it’s just personal preference, but I want to be surprised, and surprised I usually am.  I have yet to see a chart wherein the past has not bled through to the present…this is FASCINATING.  And, even more fascinating is when the client looks at me and says, “I’m so relieved; I thought I was making this all up, that I was crazy…you have just confirmed what I’ve been feeling for years.”

 

GLASTONBURY FLOOR

 PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF KAREN PFIEFER

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USING ASTROLOGY AS A WRITER’S TOOL FOR ENHANCING CHARACTERS, REAL AND IMAGINED

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

In my 12th  & 13th century historical thrillers, Eleanor of Aquitaine is the queen of the hour. Certainly she was a fascinating woman– so much so that scholars, historical fiction authors and Hollywood, can’t seem to get enough of her; nor can I.  If someone were to ask, “if you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would you choose?” Hands down it would be Eleanor.

 As an evolutionary astrologer working on my 3rd historical fiction book, ‘A Flight of Doves’, I’ve wondered, what does Eleanor’s birth chart look like?’  Searching through various sources has resulted in the disappointing realization that most likely we’ll never know.  Sadly, scholars can’t even agree on the year of Eleanor’s birth and no one of any authority even contemplates a date.  Nevertheless, the thought is an intriguing brain game of speculation.

 Eleanor was a woman  who by all accounts, was highly educated and welcomed travel…and travel she did, throughout her lifetime.  Even when her second husband, Henry II,  had her locked up in Salisbury castle for ten years, he’d take her on the road with him or more accurately, back and forth across the Channel.  A well- read woman for her time, her biographers (of which there are many) indicate that she found travel extraordinarily welcome .  Thus, one could suspect that she might have been a fiery Sagittarius or that she had a strong 9th house (long journeys over water, higher philosophy, education). “Exploring the world as your oyster,” would have been a suitable mantra for Eleanor.   Despite the lone and suspect chart I found that places her as a Libra sun, she definitely wasn’t a role model for relationship harmony and integration. These characteristics were simply not strong points in her as evidenced by her mothering skills and commitment in marriage.  

 In the realm of ‘what if’, it’s apparent that Eleanor liked the kind of drama often ascribed to a Leo sun.  No question, she reveled in it and in her own way,  reveled being on the world stage.  No wall flower was she.  Alison Weir, the highly regarded authority on Eleanor, states that before her incarceration by Henry, Eleanor’s court  was like no other in all of Europe.  She loved and supported the arts.  She had fine clothes and possessions… “gold for plates and goblets…favorite wines from La Rochelle.”  Her decoration was always the latest in fashion including glazed windows, tiled floors and carpets from the orient.  In a phrase this was a woman who was not economical and was all about “how it and she looked.”  Very Leonine characteristics with possibly her Venus in Taurus.

On the other hand, this was a woman who was analytical and calculating .  In all of her efforts to protect land holdings for Richard I, her favorite child, she plotted and schemed with military precision as if she were in a chess game for life against Henry who favored young Henry until his death and then, John.  

 She plotted with Richard behind the scenes; she plotted with her spies when Henry gave her more freedom around 1180 and on-wards.  Bottom line, Eleanor never gave up plotting against Henry until he died at Chinon in 1189.  Now, one could say this is the shadow of Scorpio…and it would be fair.  However, keeping in mind that the Sun in a chart is the spirit, the spark, the vitality of our soul, Eleanor’s penchant for plotting like a military general, the analytical approach in her make-up not to mention her duty and service as Queen to her vast constituency as she moved the chess pieces of life around the board behind the scenes, cause me to wonder about a different Sun sign.  While not the best face forward of it, I think she possibly might have been a…..VIRGO or, a Leo sun with a Virgo ascendant.  Unfortunately, it’s unlikely we’ll ever know.

 If you’re a fiction writer, think about using basic astrological characterizations when creating or enhancing your characters-real and imagined.  There are several good basic books on the market than can help.  Here are some of my favorites:

eleanor

ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE

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A PEEK INTO THE VATICAN’S MEDIEVAL PAST WHEN ASTROLOGERS WERE REVERED

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

A recent article by Edward Snow sheds an ‘interesting’ light upon the high, spiritual value in which astrologers were held by medieval Rome.  Sadly however, ignorance, fear and religious control issues proved to be the death knell for this sacred science. Fortunately  in more recent times, wiser perspectives are bringing legitimate astrology to forefront again.  Through the lenses of evolutionary, cartographical,  financial and medical astrology for example, outmoded, fear-mongering myths are finally being relegated to the dungeon.   Snow’s article is certainly ‘worth the read!’

Saint Peter’s Basilica an Astrological Triumph

When the Holy Father and other sixteenth century leaders of the Roman Catholic Church sat down to plan construction of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome the first person they reached out to was not Michelangelo or any of the other architects or designers who worked on the project.

“Saint Peter’s Basilica is considered by many to be an enduring affirmation of a centuries old theology and a grand example of Renaissance architecture. Astrology may not come to mind immediately for the millions of visitors who take in the spectacle of the awe-inspiring building each year, but construction of the church was in fact begun on a certain date and at a precise time chosen for its astrological significance,” says Mary Quinlan-McGrath, a professor of art history at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and author of Influences: Art, Optics and Astrology in the Italian Renaissance.

Quinlan-McGrath writes that before any work began the astrologers of Pope Julius II established that the horoscope for the start-up of construction (April 18, 1506 at 10 a.m.) correlated with both the horoscope for the presumed birth of the world and the birth horoscope of Christ.

“The locations on the horoscope chart of the Sun, Venus and Mercury indicated benevolence while that of Saturn and Mars suggested power and longevity.  Jupiter’s location was propitious as well, promising wealth,” she observed.

Quinlan-McGrath says Pope Julius II and his Renaissance architects believed that “the concordance of the heavens and the radiation emanating from the cosmos provided protection for the building at the time of its founding and, in turn, the building would continue to radiate these powers upon the people associated with it over the centuries.”

In the current era, modern astrologers aren’t likely to go along with the date their medieval counterparts used for the birth of the world.  And the date divined for Christ’s birth is suspect as well.

However, despite these factual stingers, most contemporary astrologers would probably agree that Vatican astrologers did an excellent job of finding an enduring electional chart for the start of construction.

Using modern computers, astrologers can swiftly pull up a birth chart that displays the heavens precisely as they looked on April 18, 1506 at 10 a.m. in Rome.  The planetary alignments on that day were exceptionally harmonious – with one notable exception.

Medieval astrologers used the sun, moon and visible planets in their calculations.  On the Basilica’s electional chart the major stressful aspect is a hard, right-angle alignment between the sun and Saturn, with Saturn dominantly controlling that space on the horoscope wheel astrologers look to for insights on financial matters.

Astrologers in any era would notice that the angular relationship between the sun and the planet associated with hardship and delays (Saturn) would be challenging.  And, in fact, the project was plagued by more than a century of financial woes and construction delays, Quinlan-McGrath points out.

Presumably, Vatican astrologers were mindful of the economic stressors the project was fated to face, but had supreme faith in the positive, long-range outcome promised by the electional map.

In her book, Quinlan-McGrath examines the astrological context of the founding of Saint Peter’s as well as the creation of other works of art and architecture in Rome, such as the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican Palace and the lavish Villa Farnesina of Agostino Chigi, an extremely wealthy banker.

She notes that astrological thought permeated the Italian Renaissance.  Scientists used mathematical measurements to chart the heavens and theologians and philosophers harmonized religious doctrine with astrological readings, making Saint Peter’s a product of its time.

“The belief that celestial forces could operate through works of art and architecture was not obscure or magical but in harmony with the philosophical, religious and scientific beliefs of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,” she explains.

 

 

 

St. Peter's Basillica 1

                                                                        

                                                                           CONSTRUCTION COMMENCEMENT

                                                                               OF

                                                                                 ST. PETER’S BASILICA

                         

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THE CATHAR TREASURE: CRUSADING FOR GOD, SEARCHING FOR ILLUMINATION OR MINING FOR GOLD?

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

Even though it’s been nearly 800 years since the massive fire at Montsegur when over 200 Cathars were exterminated at the hands of the Catholic Church,  legends surrounding the Cathar Treasure remain.  Through the years treasure seekers and speculators have included the holy crusaders who put siege to Montsegur’s fortress for nine months prior to the fire, the 1930’s amateur archaeologist, Otto Rahn (speculated to have provided the inspiration for Spielberg’s Indiana Jones), literary illuminati, esoteric explorers and even historical fiction writers.  Many have searched; all have wondered. 

In my previous post wherein I introduced the subject of this medieval religious sect, I noted their propensity for eschewing trappings of the mundane world.  This rejection was based on their belief that the physical world and their incarnation in it was not a creation of God but rather a creation of Satan. In adopting this belief, the dedicated Cathars, known as Parfaits, not only rejected the idea of procreation, but they also did not partake in the consumption of any food which was a result of procreation.  As material acquisitions for their own needs were kept to a bare minimum, it begs the question, ‘how did the legend of a Cathar Treasure arise’?  

Among the various authoritative resources on the Cathars, author Zoe Oldenburg, tells us that by the end of the twelfth century, the Cathar movement of the Languedoc had amassed a considerable fortune.  To begin with, the majority of Parfaits were men of substance who turned over their property to the church.  In addition, there were also credentes, ‘rank and file’ members, who left legacies of their entire fortunes to the church. And, while living, many credentes made generous donations of cash, land, houses and even chateaux.  While the Parfaits never broke their vow of poverty according to Oldenburg, they accepted all donations which were then put to the best use in the interests of the church.

 As a Community, the Cathars were known for providing support to the poor and those in need in the cities and surrounding countryside.  They maintained communes which incorporated schools, monasteries and hospitals.  Furthermore they founded working craft guilds, particularly in the art of weaving which not only provided product but also functioned as an educational training ground for the young and ‘novitiates.’ 

While such amassing of property and goods certainly would be considered a ‘treasure,’ and references to ‘The Cathar Treasure’ often imply that it was something of far more importance and legend such as the Holy Grail… which of course has never been found.  Speculative circumstances surrounding the Treasure’s disappearance often tell of it having been hidden some two months prior to the fiery execution. Possessing the secret of the Treasure’s hiding place, three Parfaits and another man, possibly a mountain guide, escaped the flames on the night of March 16 by repelling down the side of Montsegur’s pog.   The men then hid in caves protecting the secret and were never discovered.

 Oldenburg surmises that the Cathar cache consisted of goods for trading as well as gold and silver coins; this certainly makes sense given the atmosphere of persecution and brutality of the times.  However, perhaps even more precious to the Cathars was that for them, the Treasure consisted of their most sacred books and writings which were critical in helping maintain allegiance to their dogma and tradition.  This possibility makes even more sense as literature in the early middle ages onward, was considered as precious as gold in many cases.  Whatever the truth is, to this day the location and substance of the Cathars’ Treasure remains a mystery.  However, legends and myths die hard and certainly this one has much life left in it.

Montsegur-3,400 ft up from parking lot

THE CURRENT REMAINS OF MONTSEGUR

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RENDERING OF MONTSEGUR IN 1244 AT TIME OF THE FIRE

PHOTOGRAPHY©GAYE F. MACK, INC.

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WHAT OR WHO WAS BEHIND GLASTONBURY ABBEY’S GREAT FIRE OF 1184?

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

The Great Fire of 1184, which all but destroyed Britain’s oldest site of Christianity,Glastonbury Abbey,  is legendary.  For 900 years, myth and speculation have flourished as to the cause of this catastrophic event.  The majority speculation put forth by historians is that unusual winds on the morning of May 25, 1184 were responsible, causing an entry curtain to the ‘Holy of Holies’ in the ‘Ecclesia Vestuta’ (old church) to catch fire from burning candles.  Regardless of the cause, the initial sparks of flame combined with the high winds took the famous abbey to the ground in a matter of hours; it’s precious documents destroyed along with its treasures melted by heat and countless graves of monks, abbots and saints.

 However, when I was researching this event for my historical mystery, ‘A Conspiracy of Ravens’, I discovered Adam of Damerham.  Adam was a 12th century monk who wrote a history of the abbey and where the Glastonbury fire is concerned, Adam had an entirely different theory as to its cause.   Following the death of the beloved Abbot Robert in 1178, King Henry II assigned the position of ‘Custodian’ to Peter D’Marcya Cluniac monk who had some kind of relationship to Henry.  Despite the desires of the Glastonbury monks for Henry to name a proper abbot, the king stalled.  With no abbot in place it gave the wily monarch direct access to Glastonbury’s wealthy treasury, a resource which Henry needed to finance his wars with the French. Thus, as a compromise, he named D’Marcy to oversee the Glastonbury community.

 Unfortunately Peter proved to be very unpopular for a variety of reasons.  He nearly drove the abbey into the ground financially, was relentlessly diabolical in his scheming to manipulate his way to the abbot’s chair, not to mention suspicions that Peter  ‘compressed’ (as in eliminated) certain monks who were obstacles to achieving this goal. As an interim solution and effort to appease the monks, Henry then appointed Hugh of Avalon(who would later become Hugh of Lincoln, the most revered saint after Becket) to ‘supervise’ D’Marcy.  Things did not go well with this arrangement either.

 By December of 1183, the hatred of D’Marcy was beyond rampant. Further to his other machinations, Peter lusted after the secret behind the zodiacal floor in the abbey’s ‘Holy of Holies, believed to contain Christianity’s deepest mystical mysteries.  In one final scheme to endear the monks to his cause of obtaining the ‘abbot’s chair’, D’Marcy, his mental state now suspect, planned a ‘faux mass’ on Christmas Eve in the ‘Ecclesia Vestuta.’  This blasphemous act was the last straw with the Glastonbury community and one can only imagine how the monks reacted.   Adam of Damerham speculates that in retaliation,  D’Marcy set fire to the abbey.  Interestingly, historians note that while he survived the fire, shortly afterwards D’Marcy died from ‘unknown causes.’

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REMAINS OF THE GREAT ABBEY AT GLASTONBURY

Photograpy©Gaye F. Mack, Inc.

A Conspiracy of Ravens is the second book in my trilogy, ‘Flight Through Time’, represented by Peter Miller, Global Lion Literary Management. ‘A Flight of Doves’ is now in production 

  Additionally, for Information on Evolutionary Astrological Readings or Bach Flower Remedy Evaluations with meClick Here

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