Gaye Mack’s Blog

Evolutionary Astrology’s Shamanic 8th house of Transformative Healing and the Heretical Cathars

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

Back in March, I posted a piece entitled, ‘Evolutionary Astrology’s Mystical 12th House and the Heretical Cathars’.  In this earlier piece I discussed why the Cathar beliefs of the 12th century mirrored astrology’s 12th  house, ruled by the sign of  Pisces and the nebulous planet Neptune.  For this post, I’d like to another look at the Cathars through the evolutionary astrological lens, but this time within the framework of the 8th house, represented by the sign of Scorpio.  While Scorpio is one of three signs ruled by two planets (Pluto and Mars), I wish to simply focus on the energy/interpretation of Pluto for this post .

 So, onto the Cathars and their connection to the 8th house.  Interestingly, among the many layered interpretations of astrology’s houses, signs and planets, the 8th house does have a relationship to the 12th.  In the broad sense, both deal with the unconscious world…the 8th deals with the subterranean territory of the  psychological unconscious while the 12th deals with the cosmos where the ego dissolves into the nebulous of the Divine, a point I talked about in the earlier post. 

Taking this a step further…there is a level of the 8th house that represents shamanic or magical energy, while 12th is often referred to as the house of the ‘mystic’.  So what’s the difference?  Through the evolutionary lens the ‘shaman’ or ‘magician’ says, “Ah, I see what’s happening and I shall participate as an agent of change,” while the mystic says, “I see what’s happening and I shall continue to observe.” Often I’ll see a significant connection or influence of both energies in a client’s chart in which case I’m looking at ‘active mysticism’.  And here we find the Cathars as ‘active mystics’, especially those who had taken the ultimate vows as ‘perfecti’ or ‘parfaits’. 

The Cathars were known for their powerful skills as healers, despite their mystical rejection of the material world and relentless persecution as heretics.  It could be said that as such, the Cathars enabled active 8th house shamanic transformation of mind and body for those who were ill and dying, including non-believers. Administered with universal compassion, they clearly embodied the Divine Piscean/Neptunian  mysticism of the 12th house as well.

When the end came at the zealous hands of the Roman church, hell bent on annihilating the Cathars as heretics, these healers carried on with fierce courage –even to the very last moments of their fiery massacre at Montségur, France — March 16, 1244.  Despite Rome’s efforts, the memory of the Cathars remain with us 800 years on and are the subject of ‘book one’ in my historical fiction trilogy which is ‘a work in progress’.   In this single act of their final demise , the Cathars rose like the Phoenix from Rome’s flames–a Scorpionic transformation of Plutonian energy that for them was a direct  connection to the Divine realm of the Piscean/Neptunian 12th house.

 

 heretic I

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MESSENGER OF THE GODS, SPEEDY MERCURY PREPARES TO BACK IT UP

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

It’s that time again when speedy Mercury, ‘messenger of the Gods’, slows, pauses and to our visual eyes, backs up in the heavens–often creating havoc with anything having to do with communication.  Over the last few years, I’ve blogged about this three times per year astrological event, particularly concerning the deeper meaning of Mercury’s motion for each of us.  

However, for this posting I’m pleased to have my Evolutionary Astrology colleague, Tony Howard appear as my guest.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tony(or his incredibly IMPRESSIVE bio), he’s an Evolutionary Astrologer himself and a guy with his feet in several canoes including the job of keeping all  print, video and website matters running smoothly for Evolutionary Astrologer, Steven Forrest and his Seven Paws Press.  So I leave you now in Tony’s good hands…pay attention!

 

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini May 2015 by Tony Howard

Are you ready for another Mercury retrograde cycle? We almost never are, are we? Since Mercury will retrograde in Gemini this time – its own sign – it’s likely we’ll see more of the stereotypical manifestations of this cycle. To get in the flow, you’ll probably need to slow down in general, but especially in regards to Gemini-ruled topics, like communication, speaking, writing, teaching, and learning.

My approach to a smooth Mercury retrograde period is to soften my will. Frustration only arises if I’m too invested in doing something at my usual lightning pace (I have natal Mercury conjunct Uranus). If I allow myself to slip into ultra-patient mode, I usually find that Mercury retrograde is pleasant. It’s one of the only times I give myself permission to slow down, let things go undone until they get done, and allow life to unfold as it will without pushing too much.

Hey, I should probably adopt a Mercury retrograde attitude all the time! Luckily, Mercury retrograde happens 3 times a year, so we get 3 chances to get it right. (Did I really just say “luckily”?!) If you have planets in early-to-mid Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo or Pisces, you’re likely to notice this Mercury Rx cycle more than usual. Also pay close attention to planets in those signs near 4° or 13°, the degrees of Mercury’s stations. The shadow period for this cycle begins May 4, with Mercury at 4° Gemini. As Mercury begins to slow down this time, it moves into a square with Neptune on May 8.

This usually quick transit takes on more importance since Mercury will retrograde back and forth over that square point at 9° Gemini. It retrogrades into the second pass of the square on May 28th. After stationing direct, Mercury squares Neptune one more time on June 22. Mercury with Neptune can bring shady communications, so let’s steer it towards more spiritual pursuits. You may want to postpone important conversations around those dates. Instead, use the time to connect with something higher than yourself, outside the linear realm of the easy-to-understand. Take an internet holiday (or just look at the pretty pictures instead of reading!).

Spend more time in silence, dream a little. Being too linear or trying to make sense of things on those Mercury square Neptune days feels like going against the flow. You’ll have plenty of time to get back to rational thinking after Mercury goes direct. The only conjunction of Mercury and Mars in Gemini this year happens during Mercury retrograde. Pay attention to the dates May 25-28, when listening is probably a better choice than speaking and taking action, especially if you find yourself peeved. Give Mars a couple of days to march briskly forward out of the conjunction while Mercury dilly-dallies, and wait until your frustration has integrated somewhat before saying what you need to say.

Just before Mercury goes direct, the collective seems to let out a big sigh of relief via Facebook these days, given that so many have become familiar with the cycle. We might see even more of that this time, when Mercury turns direct June 11 as it buddies up to Venus through the sextile aspect, ending the cycle with some good vibes. If any feathers got ruffled during the Mercury-Mars conjunction, or confusion set in with Mercury square Neptune, the sextile with Venus should provide some opportunity for pleasant re-connection. Venus will be in Leo, so celebrate the end of the cycle by spending time with fun friends who make you feel good. Get dressed up and go out to dinner for some lively conversation, or have some of your favorite peeps over for game night. Mercury is totally in the clear by June 27, when it passes the 13° mark, ending the post-retrograde shadow period.

 

GLASTONBURY FLOOR2

Photography Courtesy of Karen Pfiefer

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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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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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AS MERCURY GOES DIRECT, WARRIOR MARS RETREATS-RIDE THE WAVE WITH DR. BACH’S CERATO AND HOLLY

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

Astrologically speaking, 2014 is starting off with a bang, so much so that it’s hard to keep one’s bearings.  Among the more recent events, the brief but nevertheless intense square, mid January between Venus and Mars reappears again just as Mars retrogrades in Libra, March 1st on the heels of Mercury going direct in Aquarius.  

As with all things in the Universe, there are multiple layers of meanings expressed through outward events such as these astrological configurations.  But in order to take full advantage of these planetary energies and their metaphorical meanings through the evolutionary lens, we need to dive deeper within ourselves.  As I’ve written in previous posts, any time a planet ‘appears’ to be moving backwards in the sky, there’s the expressed opportunity for us to go within, examine and consider where and how we need to move forward for our own growth.  

EVERYONE jokes about Mercury going retrograde as it does three times a year, portending computer failures, messages being garbled or lost, the sudden appearance of foot in mouth disease along with a host of other communication malfunctions.  Some of our experiences are funny wherein we can only laugh, others not so much, like when you’re directed to the wrong gate and miss your flight! When Mercury backs up, the Universe is suggesting that we closely examine our ways of thinking, listening and expressing…it’s as if the pause button has been hit in order for us to revisit our ways of and interactions with, communication.  Where we need to switch to a different channel that supports us moving forward?  Fortunately we still have time here, as Mercury remains in retrograde mode until the end of this month when it slowly changes course and begins to move forward.  

Mars, the god of war, can be a nasty guy when he shows up in his guise as ‘a trickster.’  Aggressive, even vindictive with an intensity of having to be right; that’s the moderate portrait…no need here to detail what the escalating profile looks like; we witness it daily on the news.  But what about when Mars is a teacher for us, especially when he starts moving backwards?  It’s in this mode that Mars’ agenda is to help us develop courage so that we may manifest our greatest potential on our evolutionary path.  Growth takes courage because it demands that we move out of our comfort zone, take the leap of faith, go into territories that are totally unfamiliar.  In this mode we all become Captain Kirks at the helm of the Star Ship Enterprise.  In order to navigate these arenas of communication and courage we need supportive tools and of course within easy reach are two of Dr. Bach’s famous flower remedies, Cerato and Holly.

Like all of Bach’s remedies, Cerato can re-balance temporary or situational mood states but also as with all of the remedies, Cerato has deeper applications.  Cerato is particularly paired to communication and therefore Mercury in this sense.   When Mercury behaves as a trickster, we distrust our innate wisdom, which totally defeats the purpose of the ‘pause to go within.’  As a result, we question what our intuition is trying to tell us, we ask everyone what we ‘should do’, rather than trusting our own knowingDuring Mercury’s retrograde motion where the message is really to quiet the mind and mouth, Dr. Bach’s Cerato can act as a catalyst, shifting our perspective from the external to the internal.  So if we are prone to distrusting our own Divine wisdom, Cerato’s energy will support us in our effort to embrace the wisdom that’s ours and learn to trust it.

In the broad sense, Holly is about dealing with aggression, jealousy, envy,  greed and rage.  Such emotions are very much in the spirit of Mars as a trickster driven by fear at the core.  As a remedy, Holly’s life force, prana, Qi, vibration,  softens this perception by helping us to step back where we can reinterpret the reality around us and at the same time support us with a feeling of safety.  When this happens we develop the courage to open our heart center, step out of the box and move forward in our evolution!

 Cerato
DR. BACH’S CERATO

HollyDR. BACH’S HOLLY

  For Information on Evolutionary Astrological Readings or Bach Flower Remedy Evaluations with meClick Here

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