Gaye Mack’s Blog

WHEN THE DARK AGES AND GLOOM OF WINTER ARE UPON US, A REVISIT OF DR. BACH’S MUSTARD FLOWER REMEDY IS CALLED FOR

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

In reviewing my various posts, I see that just little over  a year ago  I wrote about Dr. Bach’s Mustard flower remedy to help with the winter gloom normally referred to as ‘seasonal affective disorder’ or, SADS.  So many people suffer from the lack of sunshine during winter, especially in Northern climes,  that temporary depression is more common than not. 

Many years ago I had the opportunity to experience Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.  I traveled to the furthest place north, up to the ‘Butt of Lewis’ where I looked out at the sea and thought, ‘this is the end of the earth…in the words of the medieval map makers, “Here Be Dragons”.  In those days there was no such thing as satellite discs or internet in every crofters’ cottage, not to mention that the cottages were often miles apart from one another.   Even though I was there in June(when the sun shines as if it were high noon at two o’clock in the morning!) I distinctly wondered about what had to be wide-spread depression during the winter months of howling winds, massive snow and endless darkness…and this was in the 1980’s…imagine what it was 200 years ago!  Fortunately today, technology has come to the Hebrides, but nevertheless the mood swings that accompany lack of sunlight can affect us all.  For this reason I thought it appropriate to re-post my piece on Dr. Bach’s Mustard from a year ago as his remedies, like the change of seasons, are timeless.

If Colonel Mustard did the dastardly dead in the library with a pistol, he’s clearly not your man to help with seasonal gloom.   As I look out my office window at the December rain that’s  pouring down, I’m reminded there’s an emotional fog that can come with the onset of the winter season or suddenly appears for no reason at all.  This fog can settle over any one of us, especially for those in the more northern areas of the country.   For some, this ‘funk’ arrives like clockwork throughout the months that I call ‘the dark ages’ when sunlight takes a holiday replaced by grey days that are endless.  For others, they’re fine one moment and in the next, they feel like they’ve suddenly fallen into a black hole.  When this happens, there’s relief to be found (besides taking vitamin D), in Dr. Bach’s flower remedy Mustard.

Mustard was not one of Bach’s Twelve Healers and therefore wasn’t one of the Soul Type remedies that I’ve been writing about in previous posts.  And, it wasn’t one of the ‘Seven Helpers’ which were next in the line of discovery.  However, it is one of the final 19 remedies which Bach discovered between 1934-35.  He described these remedies as being more ‘spiritualized’, functioning at a ‘higher vibration’ than the earlier 19 and that they functioned on a ‘different plane’. 

How and why these or for that matter any of Dr. Bach’s 38 remedies work, we don’t know as yet in a way that is understood by the bio-medical model.  But, at the end of the day, this isn’t really the issue.  More importantly, when there’s a resonance between a remedy’s vibrational energy, life force, prana or Qi (whatever word you want to use) and the individual, there’s a shifting of perception and mood.  With Mustard it’s as if the remedy ‘lifts’ the gloom up and out of wherever it has settled within the person’s energy fields and emotional experience. 

The key to identifying a ‘Mustard state’ is that there’s no one specific event or happening that throws you into the sense that you have a black cloud hanging over you.  It can simply be that you  are routinely sensitive to the lack of sunlight or that you occasionally experience a sudden onset of feeling low-spirited.  If you happen to be someone who experiences these moments or seasons of depressive gloom, Mustard is the remedy.

For clients who often experience a negative Mustard state, I recommend making a ‘personal formula bottle’.  This will help the 20ml ‘stock bottle’ you buy in the stores go a lot further, nor will the fact that the remedy is diluted in 1 oz of water, affect its power in any way.   On my website, look at the sub-link, What if you feel you need more than one remedy?  There you will find directions for making a personal formula bottle for one or a combination of remedies.

Mustard

DR. EDWARD BACH’S MUSTARD

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation

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CLEMATIS & MUGWORT FLOWER REMEDIES~HELP IS ON THE WAY WHEN NEPTUNE HITS YOUR CHART

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

For today’s post I was verily tempted (as they say in the 12th century!) to blog on the effects of the current Gemini full moon.  Perhaps this is because I’m a triple Gemini with a Sagittarius full moon and partial to these two signs, who knows? However the energetic pull of Neptune just won’t leave me alone, demanding center stage for reasons I can’t quite understand (very Neptunian, by the way!)  However, as Neptune’s energy is about intuition in many respects, I’ve decided to take the hint and chat about what happens to people when Neptune’s orbit hits a sensitive point in the birth chart, otherwise known as a ‘transit’.

 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, Uranus takes 83.75 years, Pluto takes 248.6 years and etheric Neptune takes 163.72 years. 

 From an evolutional perspective, there are no accidents in a chart.  Everyone’s chart is uniquely orchestrated for optimum soul growth opportunities.  When a planet’s orbit ‘hits’ 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, this is called a ‘transit’.  Transits can be very important because the energy they carry comes with 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. This said, for the sake of space here, I want to zoom out to Neptune and talk about what it feels like when its orbit hits a sensitive chart point.

 A significant Neptune transit typically throws us into a landscape of fog and sand.  At the deepest levels Neptune stands at the edge of consciousness…it’s the planet of self-transcendence.  Known as the dissolver, its energy confuses the mind.  Intentions become fuzzy, goals evaporate; you can’t see the way forward. Relationships dissolve or change in ways you could never have imagined.  These are just a few of the effects of Neptune’s transit.    Many years ago before I was leaving for a trip to India, I met someone who said to me, “India.  You’ll either hate it or love it…either way you’ll never be the same.”  This is how I look at Neptune’s transit.  Because we can’t figure it, (whatever ‘it’ is), out…we can find the experience frustrating, annoying, angering, depleting.  The mental air signs of Aquarius and Gemini have a terrible time with this transit as do the ‘get things done’ signs of Aries and Capricorn.  Where’s the map, where’s my compass?  Forget it, you don’t have one.

 The best way to navigate a Neptune transit (which can last a couple of years depending on retrogrades) is to understand there is ‘no time’.  You can’t articulate specifics but you sure can feel them.  The good news is that if you quiet down, go within you can perceive other dimensions for which there is no language but the experience is there; sit with it.  The information is valuable and it’s there if we can just listen.  For these reasons, understandably the ‘Mystic’ is the archetype of Neptune.

 Fortunately, there are helpful resources to support us when faced with such a transit.  From a flower remedy perspective, Dr. Bach’s Clematis and Flower Essence Society’s Mugwort remedies are ideal.  Clematis was one of Bach’s original Twelve Healers which I discuss as ‘soul type’ remedies in my book, Igniting Soul Fire~ Spiritual Dimensions of the Bach Flower Remedies.  Clematis’ vibration helps us to stay focused and grounded, but not in such a way that access to the higher realms is prohibited. As with all of the remedies, it’s about ‘balance’.   Mugwort, found in the FES repertoire, assists our ‘dream-time’– the realm of Neptune.  In general Flower remedies can be very helpful in sharpening the images of our dreams, helping us to remember them in our waking state.  Mugwort, according to FES’ Repertory, has the positive quality of “integrating psychic and dream experiences with daily life; multidimensional consciousness.” 
     

 Wisdom of the Universe within Us

 

Further Reading:

The Inner Sky-Steven Forrest

Planets in Transit-Robert Hand

The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption-Liz Greene

Navigating through the Neptune Fog”-Kathy Rose

            (Article: April/May 2010 The Mountain Astrologer)


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WHEN THE SUN MOVES INTO LEO, LIONS MAY NEED EDWARD BACH’S ELM AND VERVAIN REMEDIES FOR EVOLUTIONARY BALANCE

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

On July 22nd, the summer sun left the quiet, nurturing sign of Cancer,  and roared into the fire sign of Leo.  No doubt about it, nothing is quiet about this sign.  Jupiter may be the king of planets, but Leo is royalty in the zodiac and like royalty, all things are about ‘expression’.  Where Cancer prefers involution, Leo thrives on evolution… “All the world’s a stage” for The Lion.  Like its feline counterparts, Leos like to preen, be seen AND HEARD! And, because this sign rules the zodiacal 5th house of ‘creativity’ (among a few other things), there’s an innate flair for dazzling drama other signs can only sigh and fantasize about (well there are a few exceptions about the fantasy thing, which I’ll leave for you to speculate on!)

Like all astrological  signs, Leo has a shadow side that can get in the way of its soul evolution.  In the body, Leo traditionally rules the heart, blood and cardiac system.  Typically those born under a well aspected Leo sun have big hearts but never doubt that they need to shine.  In evolutional astrology, the Leo sun is here to develop personality and ego, but there can be predictable bumps along this path.

Leo is a ‘fixed sign’ like Taurus and Aquarius.  Despite the lion’s endearing enthusiasm for ‘going big’, he or she, can become zealous, overbearing, over the top, intense and prideful along the way.  And, they can easily take on too much, more than they can handle and in the end,  burn themselves out.  When Leo moves into any of these energies, Dr. Edward Bach’s flower remedies, Elm and Vervain, immediately come to mind as resources for getting the lion back on track. 

 Elm is typically regarded as a ‘temporary’ mood state (which is why it’s another remedy I have in the big bottle on my desk!).  “Overwhelmed Elm” succinctly describes the mood, which is one that overachieves, takes on way too much and then hits the wall.  The action of the Elm remedy is one that shifts the perception of everything being ‘priority’ to one of prioritizing in the very ‘Capricornian’ manner of one foot in front of the other; chop wood, carry water.

 As one of Dr. Bach’s original ‘Twelve Healers, the energy of Vervain is both a mood state and a soul type.  Vervain is all about ‘over enthusiasm’ fighting for the underdog, seeing the ‘right’ in all things.  Vervain is ‘heart centered’, but like the well meaning Leos, when this soul type or the temporary mood state moves into its negative or shadow energy, it becomes intense, zealous and can be intolerant.  The beauty of this remedy is that its energy brings these shadow behaviors into balance, particularly regarding tolerance so that the soul can come through, bringing harmony to the Leo’s heart with evolutionary intent.   

ELM

VERVAIN

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation


MAKING IT STOP: DR. BACH’S HOLLY FOR THE BULLY AND VINDICTIVE BEHAVIOR

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Writer's Work 4 Comments

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that recently I’ve been focusing on the subject of writing as a craft instead of my earlier blogs on Dr. Bach’s flower remedies.  However,  yesterday’s Facebook post by a friend regarding the distressing news of yet another young boy taking his life after relentless bullying because he is gay has caused me to take pause here and briefly return to the subject of Bach’s remedies and particularly Bach’s Holly which I blogged on last year.

 I’ve always found the dynamics of Dr. Bach’s Holly to be among one of the more fascinating of the 38.  Classically, Bach described it for ‘those things that vex the mind’; specifically, greed, envy and jealously.  But additionally, Holly, like many of the remedies, has a much deeper back story. 

 To begin, the leaves of the Holly bush reach out with sharp stickers that can be viewed(and experienced painfully!) as a protective barrier against danger, while the Holly berries are a vibrant red, perhaps reflecting rage and anger.  Over the years of working with people through private practice, workshops and training retail staff, I’ve observed a consistency of drivers behind those who manifest the negative Holly state of ‘in your face anger and rage’… it’s a deep wounding and sensitivity within the person, typically at the unconscious level. 

Somewhere in their emotional history, these people have experienced some type of aggression themselves.  It could be physical, emotion or both; it could be in this life, in a past life or both.  The bottom line is that the heart Chakra has closed down, fear is the driver and the agenda is emotional protection at all costs. 

In the case of bullies (and others) the perception is skewed as it is in all negative states of Bach’s 38 remedies.  In the negative Holly state, the interpretation ironically, is that everyone around them is on the attack toward them; danger is in the air.  Thus, the protective reaction becomes outwardly defensive through aggression and vindictive behavior…it can manifest as emotional manipulation, taunting or ridiculing as Kenneth Weishuhn in Iowa experienced and/or physical abuse. The negative Holly state IS THE BULLY ON THE PLAYGROUND.

However, the positive action of the Holly remedy is one that softens the reactive fear driving the aggressive behavior and opens the heart Chakra…the perception is shifted to reality versus a skewed interpretation of both the internal and external personal landscape.  Holly gives permission to ‘step back’ and reconsider our reality. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could put Holly in our water source!

HOLLY

Photography ©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation

 


DR. BACH’S “OVER-WHELMED ELM” FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance Leave a comment

As the Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s draw near, so does the stress that comes with these celebrations…on top of the astrological buzz that I’ve mentioned in past postings…and this month is crammed, that’s for sure. However, it doesn’t really matter if you are ‘in to’ astrology…the annual return of the holiday season always comes with assorted stresses…usually it’s a matter of how intense each year is going to be and what a dichotomy it is.

If the economy is in good shape, it seems we tend to carry on, ‘over do’ with the fun things…going to and hosting social gatherings, shopping, cooking, holiday events, cards…pushing us into an over the top frenzy to the point where reality hits us with the question, “What was I thinking?”

 Currently of course, the state of the economy and our country is on everyone’s mind; these are tenuous times, the future seems uncertain, especially the political climate.  Never-the-less, when Thanksgiving approaches we seem to rev up into ‘automatic pilot’ and as in previous years, despite vowing never again, we launch ourselves into the holiday fray…even though it may not be as robust as in past years.  And, although the source of our stressors (am I going to be first in line at the 4 a.m. ‘blue light special’? Will I want to kill my sister with the turkey fork at Christmas dinner?  How am I ever going to get everything done?) is probably somewhat different this year, they are part of us like clockwork and taxes.

 Dr. Edward Bach’s Elm flower remedy is a fabulous tool for combating the feeling that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew and are up against the wall…I have the large economy size on my desk at all times, by the way!  While Elm is a star at holiday time, I want to mention a few things about the action of the remedy in general.

 The negative Elm state is typically a ‘temporary’ state and can appear in any of us at any time.  In other words, it isn’t one of the soul types that I’ve been writing about, nor is it particularly what I would identify as a ‘personality type’, although it may seem so.  While we all can have the experience of ‘taking on too much’ for a particular reason, there are individuals who repeatedly find themselves in the negative Elm state.  So what does this look like; is it different than the occasional experience of feeling overwhelmed?

Yes and no.  On the surface it develops pretty much as the state I described that happens during the holidays…or it could be a forthcoming wedding or a ‘one-off’ important project.  But the difference is that there are individuals who are ‘prone’ to a repetitive imbalanced Elm state.  These are the people who tend to over achieve…particularly if they are perfectionists by nature.  The tendency is to take on, take on, over commit then crash and burn.  In these cases, there is a deep, on-going dynamic that drives the behavior which has an affinity to the remedy, Pine.  (for basic information on Pine, see my post of 8/19/11). 

 What I love about Elm is that in my experience, when we are feeling ‘overwhelmed’, a simple dose or two can swiftly shift our perspective into one where we can ‘step back’.  It fosters our ability to ‘see’ that not everything is a number one priority.  It helps us ‘see’ possibilities for prioritizing, delegating and exhaling!

 

ELM

Photography ©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation