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:

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ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE

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THE SECOND SATURN RETURN-TIME TO TAKE STOCK OF WHAT HAS BEEN, WHAT CAN BE

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

It’s my great pleasure to welcome back Dr. Judy Tsafrir, holistic psychiatrist and Evolutionary Astrologer.  Judy’s thoughts on the second Saturn return within the cycle of life offers a wonderful perspective on the importance of  this energy through the years of what is life’s final trimester for most of us. In traditional astrology, Saturn has always been viewed as a ‘malefic’–the harbinger of dire and dark times ahead or for some, depending on where he sits in the natal chart, a deep hole you might just never get out of.  However in  Evolutionary Astrology we can look at Saturn’s psychological energy as an important teacher; an influence meant to assist us in manifesting our greatest good.  Sometimes the lessons come hard, sometimes Saturn trips us up;  but at the end of the day there is always the intentional goal of pushing us along on our Soul’s evolutionary path. Much like Pluto’s transits in some ways, Saturn’s transits across our chart will not be ignored; one way or the other he makes his presence known.   The key is for us to be aware of when, where and how best we can navigate these cycles.   So for further insights on this subject, I bow to Dr. Tsafrir’s excellent perspective! 

Cycles are at the heart of the human experience. In New England the seasons change dramatically and rapidly, yet seamlessly blend into one another. Similarly seasons define the developmental process of our lives; infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, the middle years, the elder years, culminating in death of the physical body. Each epoch unfolds predictably, sequentially and inexorably unless interrupted prematurely. And each is characterized by certain stage specific maturational tasks and experiences. The Sun, Moon and planets all have their cycles too. We are familiar with the Moon’s orbit around the Earth; 29 days or a month. The Earth’s orbit around the Sun; 365 days or a year. But all the other planets have their own periodicity as well. Saturn takes approximately 29 years to travel around the Sun and arrive back at the exact point it was when you were born. The average human life span can be divided by the Saturn cycle into three stages, birth to 29, 29 to 58 and 58 until 87 or death.

All of the planets are linked with particular archetypal aspects of human experience. Saturn is thematically linked with time and maturation, credibility, experience and the wisdom of the elders, responsibility, duty, authority and alignment with universal laws. Many patients appear in my practice when they are 28 or 29 years old, at the time of their first Saturn Return. It’s a time when many young people feel an urgent need to figure something out about their lives. In our culture there is acceptance that a 24 or 25 year old may still be searching, perhaps feeling a bit lost, still experimenting. But when they reach 28 or 29, it is no longer as appropriate to feel so uncertain and undecided about partnership, children, career or direction. There is a developmental pressure at that time to finally leave childhood behind and become a responsible adult and contributing member of society. Similarly at the Second Saturn return the developmental pressure is felt again. This time it is linked with an awareness of mortality. Saturn slows you down and forces you to take a long hard look at reality. How much time do you have left? How do you want to spend it? There really is no time left for procrastinating, otherwise time will be up and those books will never be written or paintings painted. Ironically as time the remaining time diminishes, subjectively it passes with ever increasing speed.

The Second Saturn Return is a time of life review and soul searching. How did you get here? Is this really where you want to be? Often it represents a cross roads of sorts, and an opportunity to deal at last with unfinished business. Sometimes this means getting rid of people, jobs and situations that no longer fit who you are or want to be. There is a taking stock that can culminate in a kind of purging and reordering of your life. This death of the old way of doing things can be painful, but subsequently there is often a feeling of relief and gratitude that you are no longer stuck in circumstances that no longer served you. Saturn is also known as the Lord of Karma or Lord of the Harvest. You will reap what you sowed. It is a time when hard work will be rewarded, but if there has been neglect or carelessness, the natural consequences will not be able to be avoided. Saturn asks you to claim your authority, to step up to the plate. It is inappropriate to wait for someone else to do it.

In my own case, I am 57 years old and just on the cusp of my Second Saturn Return. I am thinking about letting my hair go grey. There is less of an investment in vanity and more in spiritual wisdom. I am accepting invitations to do public speaking, even though it makes me want to cry and throw up. It feels more important to share my thoughts and make my contribution, than to give into shyness at this late date. I am writing about Astrology, even though there are few subjects in our culture more generally viewed with contempt. But Saturn is asking me to make a contribution and give voice to what I believe is true, and to write about what is important to me and on my mind. I have no idea how Astrology works, but empirically I observe that it does, and it provides an invaluable context for making sense of our experience, guidance for making choices that are most meaningful and a perspective on ourselves and others that promotes compassion and understanding. The Second Saturn return is often not an easy passage, but it is rich with opportunity to re-create our lives in order to have the most meaningful and vibrant remaining years, so that when we are on our death beds looking back, we can sigh and say, “Ah, that was a life well lived.”

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SATURN, YOU OLD DEVIL

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

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PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE~ EVOLUTIONARY ASTROLOGY’S VALUE & YOUR SOUL GROWTH IN 2014

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

 As I’ve discussed in previous posts, the science of Evolutionary Astrology is about transformation. When we study a client’s birth chart through the evolutionary lens  we’re presented with a powerful tool that metaphorically offers a map and compass that reveals our Soul’s unique agenda and pathway for this lifetime. On one hand, this process presents each of us with the opportunity to confront psychological karmic energy using metaphorical scenarios from a distant past that’s in our bones, haunting us at an unconscious level.  In essence this elusive energy is holding us back from personal growth.  Understanding these dynamics in the present offers us the opportunity to create or fashion a future path which supports our intended evolution at the Soul level.  

 Thus, the mission of the Evolutionary Astrologer is to counsel the client as to what went wrong in the distant past, help them understand how they were affected in that lifetime and to discuss possibilities of choice in how to change their script going forward so that they can manifest their ‘Soul’s greatest good.’ True, not all of us are meant to find the cure for catastrophic diseases, eradicate poverty, be on the cover of Time or win a Nobel Prize, but to quote Dr. Edward Bach, “everyone has a job to do,” and more often than not, we can never know how we have affected someone’s life, positively or negatively.

Astrology is ancient, vast and complex.  Used appropriately, it combines the hard science of mathematics with interpretive subjectivity often integrated with skillful intuition. Never about pre-destination it’s grounded in the belief of free will of choice.   This said,  Mary Plum, an editor for The Mountain Astrologer magazine has beautifully stated the scope of Astrology and its practice in her recent blog:

“Sometimes, I become very aware of the complexity and subtlety in the ways we astrologers inhabit this world. This can happen when a non-astrologer friend makes a comment or asks a simple question that somehow requires an intricate response — or, at least, evokes in me a chain of thinking about how to begin to talk about the way I see the planets’ movements and geometries at any particular moment or about any particular subject.

There is, of course, immense variability in how astrologers practice: the methods and techniques we use, the personal philosophies and beliefs that inform our approach, and how we apply our art — that is, to what end are we working? But essentially, we astrologers are living in a shared world of watching and listening to the motions in the celestial sphere, in that charming and olden-times phrase, the vault of the heavens. We know that something is being conveyed or signified by the motions of the planets.” 

Now as we welcome in a new year, we’re given the opportunity to pause and reflect on what has gone before, how it’s affected us and choices we can make going forward.  Wishing all of my readers and clients,  astrological and those who work with the Bach Flower Remedies, a healthy, abundant and fulfilling 2014!

 

 

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          JANUARY 1, 2014~0:01~CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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

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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.  

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 THAT OLD TEACHER SATURN

Gentian

                                                                                                                       

 DR. BACH’S GENTIAN

 

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

You can also follow me on:

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