Gaye Mack’s Blog

EVOLUTIONARY ASTROLOGY’S MYSTICAL 12TH HOUSE AND THE HERETICAL CATHARS

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

The other day while working on a client’s natal chart and then later on my historical fiction book, A Flight of Doves, I realized something that hadn’t occurred to me before. Through the lens of Evolutionary Astrology, there’s a connection between positive interpretations of the twelfth house, Neptune and Pisces and the guiding philosophy of southern France’s 13th century heretical Cathars.  For the moment put this thought on the back burner.

In analyzing a natal chart, the Evolutionary Astrologer is bombarded by an over-kill of interpretative possibilities that’s staggering.   Planetary house placements, the signs they’re in at birth, positive and negative implications, mathematical relationships and importance to the over all picture including the relationship to past karma that’s come to fruition–these are all in the mix and must be considered.

In western astrology, the twelfth house has many interpretations.  Ancient astrologers called it the ‘house of troubles’ but today it has far wider application on the mundane, psychological and spiritual levels. As I have written before, Evolutionary Astrology focuses mainly on the psychological and spiritual arenas.  Every chart is unique and a lot rides on the various relationships.   BUT, among the possibilities(the operative word here being ‘possibilities’) with the 12th house, its ruling planet Neptune and ruling sign of Pisces, things can get very mystical and spiritual!  

Houses in a chart are where the ‘action is’ and for the twelfth, one of its actions can signify ‘endings’.  Taken in psychological and especially spiritual contexts, we’re talking about things that need to go in order for spiritual awakenings or awareness to happen within us as part of our soul’s evolution.

 Next we consider its ruling planet Neptune.  Neptune in it’s highest expression, is all about dissolution of the ego because it’s main job is to foster our connection to the Divine, whatever that means for an individual.  Neptune is often referred to as the archetype of the mystic–and why not?  Those who have a strong Neptune signature in their charts ARE prone to heightened imagination, psychic perceptions and mysticism.  Depending on everything else in the birth chart, this cloak comes in various styles!  

Finally, we come to the sign of Pisces which rules the twelfth house and Neptune.  Compassion, experience of the mystical, self-transcendence and letting go of the world–these all come under the purview of Pisces.  So what does this have to do with the Cathar beliefs?

The Cathars believed in Dualism.  For them, the physical world and everything in it was a creation of Satan, including the body and for the ‘committed’, procreation.  Purity of spirit was gained through a direct connection to God or the Divine.  In their view, a belief system that supported a corrupt  hierarchy and homage to a Pope was the very embodiment of Satan.  Nevertheless, they were known for their universal compassion as healers, providers for the poor, sources of spiritual guidance, herbalists and yes, astrologers.  

When the 220 men, women and children were burned to death for their beliefs by the church at the castle fortress of Montsegur in southern France on March 16, 1244, historical accounts report them singing their way into the flames.  Despite the horrifically gruesome circumstances, for these believers reality was that they were freed of earth’s heaviness and were returning to the light of God.  Twelfth house, Neptune and Pisces–their mystical pathway HOME.   Is it any wonder those who had taken vows wore a silver buckle fashioned in the sign of Pisces?  

 

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 130903_3728CATHAR MEMORIAL AT MONTSEGUR

 

 

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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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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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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

                                                                        

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                                                                                 ST. PETER’S BASILICA

                         

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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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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