Gaye Mack’s Blog

DR. EDWARD BACH’S STAR OF BETLEHEM FOR GRIEF & LOSS~THE UNTIMELY PASSING OF PATRICIA MONAGHAN, EXTRAORDINARY WOMAN, AUTHOR & FRIEND

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

For this blog posting I had planned to write about tomorrow’s Solar Eclipse, November 13th in the sign of Scorpio.  The Plutonian energy ruling this sign has been pushing us in many ways for some time and will continue to do so, demanding that we unearth those parts of us needing to be excavated and dealt with for our soul’s evolutionary growth.

 However, while attending my  semi-annual gathering of Steven Forrest’s evolutionary astrology apprenticeship program in San Diego, I received word yesterday of author, Patricia Monaghan’s passing. Patricia was an extraordinary spirit in so many ways and it is with humble gratitude on my part that she considered me a friend. 

 Her numerous published works both academic and personal, covered the vast landscapes of women’s studies, mythology, poetry and possibly areas that I’m unaware of.  Her love of the earth manifested in so many ways, her circle of friends and acquaintances reached across this country and across oceans. It goes without saying that her wisdom, wit and brilliance will be deeply missed by all who knew her and knew of her.

While  Patricia’s passing wasn’t a ‘shock’  for which I’ve recommended Dr. Bach’s Star of Bethlehem in previous posts, it has compelled me to re-post a piece I wrote over a year ago on its use for times of loss and grief. I’m reminded very personally that these experiences affect all of us in our humanity, whether it concerns someone close to us or loss of our foundations due to natural and/or man-made disasters.  It seems ironic now that I spoke of events affecting the eastern seaboard in this previous posting…perhaps another gentle reminder.  This said, I simply add, Goddess speed, Patricia…Goddess speed.

Star of Bethlehem,  one of the most powerful remedies in the famous 38 Bach Flower Remedies repertoire, is classically  described as THE remedy for ‘shock and trauma’, whether it be a very recent shock or trauma or one that is very old, yet remains at some level within our consciousness and our bodies.  I had not planned to blog about ‘Star’ quite this soon, but given the recent events experienced by those on the eastern seaboard in the last several weeks, first the earthquake and now Irene, it seems the time is now.  

Although these dramas have been extremely traumatic for all of those touched by them, as a practitioner I have never met anyone who cannot benefit from this remedy.  ‘Star’ is so deeply powerful that Dr. Bach included it as one of the five flower remedies in his famous combination, ‘Rescue Remedy’(Dr. Edward Bach Centre-UK),  which is also known as ‘The Five Flower Formula’(Healing Herbs Ltd.-UK).  

Grief is another form of wounding, which can be deep and long lived.  For this reason I have always called upon Star of Bethlehem for clients who are experiencing or have experienced loss of any kind, whether it be the loss of a loved one or a shattered dream.  In this context, we are within the boundary of the spiritual aspects of this remedy because as spirit in body, each of us comes into this incarnation with a karmic contract, soul lessons to master, wounds to heal.  

As I wrote in Igniting Soul Fire, Spiritual Dimensions of the Bach Flower Remedies,If there is one remedy that represents the Divinity found in each of the remedies, it is ‘Star of Bethlehem’…. [it]seems to promote a release from the wounds that cause us the deepest of hurts. Physical traumas heal; but inasmuch as we are spirit in body, the wounds that cause us the deepest grief are those rooted within us emotionally. These wounds have a symbiotic relationship to Star of Bethlehem that is divinely healing.

On the spiritual level, the flower, Star of Bethlehem presents a balanced image of six perfect petals of white, evoking the image of the spiritually-significant six-pointed star, the perfectly counterbalanced triangles, the phrase ‘as above, so below’ and the culmination of the colors in the spectrum. As a practitioner, I have heard this remedy referred to as the ‘ultimate healer of all wounds’ and ‘the Divine Mother essence’. In other words, it is truly a remedy for a heart in distress.”

 Photography Courtesy of the Dr. Edward Bach Foundation

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A BIG MONTH FOR SCORPIO, DR. BACH’S CHICORY, PINE AND STAR OF BETHLEHEM

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

As I thought about the focus for this post, Scorpio’s energy kept pushing itself into my thoughts, increasingly deeper, increasingly insistent; clearly a reflection of its nature.  Paraphrasing the adage, ‘whatever you resist the most, this is what you need to embrace’, this is definitely one of Scorpio’s mantras as well as a mantra for Dr. Bach’s  flower remedy, Chicory.

 But first, a look at Scorpio and just a few of the astrological aspects that he’s part of this month.  Elementally, Scorpio’s a water sign.  To quote the esoteric astrologer Joan Hodgsonwater

“creates, nourishes and destroys physical form…[it] is concerned with the soul of things—with the psychic aspect of our being, that part of us which senses, reflects, and absorbs the impressions of the world around us.”

 By sign, Scorpio rules the eighth house in the zodiac, the house of among other things, the occult…those things, circumstances of life that are hidden, that are deep.  So first and foremost we’re talking about emotions, particularly those emotions lurking within the nadir of ourselves that we purposefully, consciously or with lack of awareness subconsciously, keep hidden.

On October 22nd, the Sun moved into Scorpio joining by ‘conjunction’ that task master, Saturn (remember HIM from the last post?)…what a pair, one that takes no prisoners amidst their joint message, “you have some work to do, and excavation is afoot;” never mind that we really DON’T want to go there!

As Hodgson implies, all water signs (Scorpio, Cancer & Pisces) are highly sensitive. This sensitivity is now combined with the no nonsense energy of Saturn demanding that we look at what’s been holding us back, for us to ‘see’ and acknowledge where we’ve been limiting ourselves within the landscape of our evolutionary growth…this is pretty scary territory, its deep territory.

And still, we’re not done.  On Monday, October 29th the Full Moon   is exact in Taurus, opposing the Scorpio Sun.  The Moon by its nature is all about emotion.  It doesn’t think.  The Moon’s energy is that intrinsic part of us that just ‘knows.’  So now we have the Scorpio Sun (in cahoots with the teacher, Saturn) shinning its light on earthly Taurus… whose goal is to find inner peace and tranquility.  The lesson is clear:  in order to find peace we must excavate our deeply hidden feelings despite our fears, guilt and perhaps even shame.

Enter Dr. Bach with his remedies.  Although I’ve written about Chicory, Pine and Star of Bethlehem before,

 http://gayemack.com/2011/11/08/dr-bachs-chicory-the-flower-remedy-that-meets-the-energy-of-plutos-hard-questions

http://gayemack.com/dr-bachs-pine-flower-remedy-for-shame-based-guilt-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving/

http://gayemack.com/2011/08/29/dr-bachs-star-of-bethlehem-for-shock-and-trauma

here they are again in different circumstances.

When we are in a contracted emotional Chicory   state, we tend to expend a great deal of energy either consciously or subconsciously in order to avoid acknowledging feelings, emotions, past actions or behaviors that we’re responsible for.  This contracted energy  can manifest in overly tenacious, self-absorbed, controlling, micro-managing and often, narcissistic behavior that uses emotional manipulation to get what it wants.  Worse, it’s typically directed toward those who are closest to us because if we project all over others, we don’t have to look at our own ‘stuff’.

Fortunately, Chicory helps us to see what it is that we’re doing to ourselves and others; it’s essential energetic action helps us to ‘let go’ with a feeling of safety to do so and when we do so, we find that we have more support from others than we thought possible.

However, in this excavation process it would be an anomaly if one were not to feel some form of guilt; after all, feelings of guilt and shame are part of our human condition.  Fortunately we can look to Bach’s Pine.  As I’ve written previously, this remedy goes very deep.  It’s not unusual for someone to be taking Pine for a long time as the contracted Pine state can get set up when we are very young. Pine is very powerful and as you can imagine, has multitudes of applications…it’s the perfect pairing for Chicory and Scorpio’s energy.

Finally, we must always include Star of Bethlehem when embarking on any kind of emotional excavation.  Bach referred to this remedy in so many words as ‘the ultimate healer of all wounds.’  Whether we’ve been ‘stuffing’ such wounds and guilt for a life time or as recently as days ago, this remedy must be part of our healing process.

Chicory, Pine and Star of Bethlehem; perfect partners for diving deep, doing our evolutionary work and finding peace.

 

 

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation

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HEAVY WEIGHT SATURN IN SCORPIO CALLS FOR DR. BACH’S OAK, GENTIAN AND GORSE

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

On October 6th that old party pooper, task master, disciplinarian Saturn moved into deeply introspective Scorpio, heralding a change in our agenda whether we want it or not.  ‘Don’t put off today what you can do tomorrow’ is the mantra; there’s work ahead. 

 As Saturn will travel back and forth between Scorpio and Sagittarius from December 2014 until September 2015( when it finally leaves Scorpio), we have a good amount of time to take care of the task at hand which is…attending to our inner landscape that’s deeply emotional,  reflected in feelings encased within the circumstances of life.   This transit is all about taking us to the depths of our unconscious that so far,  we’ve  carefully avoided.  It’s about bringing awareness into the light of our consciousness and facing it… a process none of us will escape.  Exactly where, when and how this energy will manifest for each one of us depends as always on the details mirrored in our individual birth charts.

 This particular transit is intensified by its position of ‘mutual receptivity’. Pluto, the planet whose energy demands a clearing of the decks, a discard of things that no longer serve a useful purpose in our evolution, has been in Saturn’s sign of Capricorn (since November 2008) the sign of practicality, self-sufficiency, stability; perhaps you’ve already had a preview of things to come.   On the other side of this ‘mutual receptivity’, so to speak, Saturn’s energy which rules discipline, responsibility and structure, now resides in Pluto’s sign of truth and depth, Scorpio.  So like it or not, each of us has our evolutionary work cut out.

 As a brief sidebar here, it’s important to note that while I’m referring to ‘personal work’, we have only  to cast our attention to the external world in order to see the wheels in motion of this transit. One would have to be totally oblivious not to see that change is afoot in our environmental, political, cultural and economic landscapes.   This all said, this transit can bring mood states upon us that are heavier than the proverbial 500 pound canary.  Saturn can twirl us into feelings of defeat, depression and gloom.  Compound that with the energy of deep diving Scorpio…well, you get the picture.  However, there is help on the way in our flower remedy tool box. 

 While I have blogged before on Dr. Bach’s Oak, Gentian and Gorse,  

 it’s useful to look at them again, this time within the context of this Saturn transit. 

 As I’ve said previously, I think of Bach’s Oak as the ‘energizer bunny’.  Oak is the remedy that provides us stamina when we think we can’t go one more step, much less the extra mile. Right alongside Oak we find Gentian, the remedy of perseverance, the remedy that can keep us from ‘giving up, throwing in the towel.  Finally, when we’ve lost all belief that we’ll never ‘get through it’, that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, we have Gorse with its blinding golden light and energy, assuring us that not all is lost and there is HOPE.

 

Dr. Bach’s Oak

            Dr. Bach’s Gentian

Dr. Bach’s  Gorse

                                                                                                         

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation

 

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TOMORROW’S FULL MOON CALLS FOR BACH’S FLOWER REMEDIES WALNUT & CRAB APPLE

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

While September goes out tomorrow with a full Moon in the fiery warrior Aries, opposing the Sun in harmony seeking Libra, we need to be aware that this isn’t just any full Moon.  This Moon presents us with a full agenda for making yet another course correction.  All full moons bring intense energy, a culmination of seeds that have previously been sown; the degree of intensity depends on the signs and planets involved. Aries and Libra are ‘cardinal’ and thus we are especially put on notice that new beginnings are afoot within us individually and on the global stage.  And, as if this weren’t enough, we’re also looking at  a tight ‘T Square’ with the on-going Uranus/Pluto Square which just had the second of exact hits on September 19th. 

We can see the effects of this energy  reflected  in the  ecological, political, cultural and economic upheavals around the globe, but what does all this energy boil down to for each of us personally besides bringing the message of change and new beginnings? If we look at this agenda  in  layers, the first layer of this ‘hot’ full moon urges us to find a collaborative balance (Libra) between our self worth, what we value and love represented by Venus(Libra’s planetary ruler) and the warrior energy of Mars(Aries’ ruler) pushing us to protect and defend what matters most to us.

Going down a little further, we look at how the energy of the on-going Pluto/Uranus square is strongly involved with this full moon.  In astrology, the energy behind a mathematical square of two planets represents a turning point, a crisis of change, so to speak, as  two energies vie for attention in one box.  The key is negotiation.

As I’ve posted before on this square, Pluto requires us to dig deep into the shadows of our internal landscape, bringing to light ‘stuff’ that we’ve managed to ‘stuff’ because it isn’t very attractive.  Pluto says, “It’s time to look at this in the light, clean it out as it no longer serves you well…and if you don’t do it voluntarily, you can be sure I’ll do it for you.”  In a phrase, ‘Pluto takes no prisoners’.  This ‘cleaning out’ can be represented by any number of things; philosophies, material possessions, relationships, careers; the list is endless.  Time to move on, unencumbered.

Uranus’ energy is quick, sudden and intense.  One of the things Uranus rules is electricity; got the picture? Move! Move! Move!  Uranus is the rebel; it wants us to ‘think out of the box’.  “Don’t be a lemming going over the cliff, how can you do yourself differently?”asks Uranus .  “Stop this dilly dallying and get on with it.”  Picture, feel this energy combined with the warrior Mars…definitely not for the faint of heart.  As I’ve said before, how and what these energies mean to each of us depends on where they ‘hit’ in  your birth chart.  This said, what resources are available to us that we can use to support us through this transition?

 ‘Transition’ IS the message of Dr. Edward Bach’s flower remedy, Walnut, per se.  As with each of Bach’s remedies, Walnut helps to clean our distorted lens, it shifts our perspective specifically and in this case, helps us to cut the ties we need to cut in order to move and meet the demands for change brought by this full moon.  Walnut has many facets, as they all do, but in this case another important aspect to note is Walnut’s ability to protect our solar plexus from assimilating unhealthy energy from others as we the discard unhelpful ‘things’.

Bach’s Crab Apple  is another good choice for this transition.  Bach identified Crab as the ultimate cleanser of all wounds.  So, as we are ‘cleaning out’ here, this remedy supports our process on many levels, not the least of which is dealing with the shame-based guilt that is sure to rear up its ugly head.

 With Walnut, Crab Apple and the determination to work with the energies of this full moon, we’re good to go.  What action will you be taking?  Inquiring minds want to KNOW! 

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 FULL MOON SEPTEMBER 29, 10:20 p.m., CST

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LEO’S NEW MOON-TIME TO WORK FROM THE HEART WITH HELP FROM DR. BACH’S WILLOW AND WALNUT FLOWER REMEDIES

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance Leave a comment

Friday, August 17th calls in the new LEO moon, the roaring lion of the zodiac.  Inside of a month, we’ve now traveled from the opposite, expansive full moon in Aquarius, that urged us toward courageous, revolutionary thinking with regard to our creativity and perceptions. Now we have come half way around the circle to the spot where Leo’s moon and sun sit together on the launch pad of new possibilities and mindset.

 As I wrote in the full moon blog post, Leo works from the heart when the lion is in his/her glorious fullness, shinning like the sun to which this sign is astrologically connected.  However, for each of us this life is anchored in one or more Karmic Contracts grounded in relationships, reconciliations and life missions, interconnected more often than not, with the purpose of impacting soul growth and evolution for our and this planet’s, greater good.

 But because we are human, none of us escapes from our metaphorical hearts being hurt.  Losses, shattered dreams, unrealistic expectations, compromised skills of discernment…these ‘matters of the heart’ all bear grief…such life experiences impact each and every one of us.  For some, these experiences are repetitive bearing deep pain. When this happens self-pity, bitterness and resentment wait in the shadows making it difficult to pick oneself up, dust off and carry on.

During 1934-35 Dr. Edward Bach discovered the ‘final 19’  of his famous 38 Bach Flower Remedies, declaring that these ‘19’ functioned at a ‘higher vibration’ (and therefore deeper) than the earlier discovered 19; the remedy Willow was among these discoveries.   Willow  comes from the ‘weeping willow’ tree with its boughs that bend so sadly over water.  If one is a student of the Doctrine of Signatures’ philosophy, it’s easy to see why this is the remedy for positively shifting the perceptions of self-pity, resentment and bitterness.  Several years ago I had a female client who through various circumstances of life had worked herself into all three of these mood states.  After adjusting her remedy formula several times I decided to add Willow; the outcome was dramatic within days, which sometimes but not typically, happens so quickly.  She called me crying, saying “I realize I’ve been sabotaging myself and that I have a piece in my outcome.”  This self-realization and accountability was most definitely the action of the Willow, giving her a new lens that allowed her to move forward in a positive manner.

 So now we have this wonderful new moon of Leo’s energy encouraging us to take charge of who we really are at the HEART of our being.  As I blogged nearly a year ago (see the 9/24/11 posting) on Dr. Bach’s remedy Walnut, I won’t belabor it here again other than to say that Walnut is THE remedy for making such changes, as in Dr. Bach’s own words, Walnut is “the Remedy for those who have decided to take a great step forward in life, to break old conventions, to leave old limits and restrictions and start on a new way,”

 What perfect remedies for this Roaring new Leo moon!

WILLOW

WALNUT

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation