Gaye Mack’s Blog

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

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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.”

Saturn.jpgI

 

SATURN, YOU OLD DEVIL

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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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OUR SOUL’S EVOLUTIONARY JOURNEY THROUGH THE PLUTO/URANUS SQUARE

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

Tomorrow, November 1st, we’ll experience the 4th ‘exact hit’ of the energetic Pluto/Uranus square-dance which began back in June 2012.  The final ‘hit’ will happen on December 15th, 2014, but between then and now, we’ll continue to feel the intensity of these two planets as they tease each other with the energetic tension created between the waxing and waning of their orbits.  As I’ve said in previous posts about the energy of this configuration from an evolutionary perspective, there’s an urgent message for each of us that the Universe is trying to deliver.   

Back in 2012 I welcomed the following guest post from Simon Bentley, Principal of the White Eagle School of Astrology, based in the UK.  As we are currently being inundated with the recent lunar eclipse in Aries, Mercury’s retrograde and extended stay in Scorpio, the forthcoming Solar Eclipse on November 3rd in Scorpio on top of this exact hit tomorrow, it seems more than appropriate to revisit Simon’s ‘take’ as to WHY the Universe is trying to get us on the line!  As Simon points out, the energetic and metaphorical signatures of Pluto and Uranus are about transformation.  Pluto brings to light those things which have been hidden in the dark that we need to bring to light and face while Uranus shatters that which is past its ‘sell by’ date and pushes for thinking, doing out of the box…new chapters and directions on our evolutionary path soulfully and collectively are waiting for us to go through the doorway.  As you’ll read through Simon’s words, evolutionary astrology is a powerful tool to help us along on this journey.

 

‘Life, the Transformer’

 I wonder if we have ever stopped to think what the word [transform] actually means? Literally, the prefix ‘trans’ means ‘across’, so that ‘transformation’ comes to mean ‘moving across to another form’, and so, changing form. If we aren’t careful, we use this word very glibly, but looked at from a spiritual perspective it is a word of crucial importance, since we are constantly attempting to transform ourselves, change into a form suited to our current position on the spiritual path.

Eventually, we shall all learn to transform continuously, but until we reach such a point of evolution it tends to happen in fits and starts and is not always welcomed…Astrologers recognize that Pluto, despite the fact that astronomers ‘demoted’ it in recent years, is the planet that symbolizes this factor in our growth, and when it’s particularly strong in a horoscope one can be sure that there are significant transformational processes going on in the life.

At this time, Pluto tends to be manifesting in terms of those occurrences and changes in life that seem completely fated, over which we appear to have no control.  The ‘fits and starts’ mentioned above tend to bring to light some kind of major change, the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another, closely linked with Pluto’s action.   However, bearing in mind that every life, every incarnation of every soul, is part of the grand transformational process that eventually brings us to divinity, the significance of the word ‘transformation’ means far more in astrology than simply a reference to what Pluto may do. The whole of life is in some way transformational, and so it could be said that astrology is a science that illuminates the transformational process we call ‘life’. Astrologers are often called upon for advice when there are crises in life, turning points – moments of transformation, if you will.

 Astrology can help the soul to understand the process and therefore to be less apprehensive about it and to handle it more harmoniously. Most of life’s problems, as well as often being the inevitable outworking of karmic patterns, are brought about by our tendency to resist this process: astrology, by at least attempting to explain it, helps to remove our all too natural tendency to resist.  This raises an interesting point, especially for astrologers themselves.

It has always been considered that the planet of our science is Uranus, and I would not dispute that, astrology is a Uranian occupation, revealing, as it does, spiritual truth and the action of the divine will in human life. However, if astrology is also an assistant to transformation, surely it is also Plutonic? Personally I have often suspected as much, and what I have found is that while astrology is undoubtedly Uranian, Pluto is commonly very active in the horoscopes of those who become professional astrologers.

As professionals they are called upon to help others to cooperate actively with the transformational process in their lives. But there are also implications for the astrologers themselves, and the origin of their vocation. They too are undergoing transformations in their own personal lives, and what they see and experience through their clients is part of their process as well.

 The use of the wonderful tool we call astrology is always, therefore, a two-way experience; if properly accomplished it’s that classic win-win situation which we all like to achieve! The client is better enabled to cope with his or her transformation; the astrologer is transformed to a degree simply by doing the job and thus learning from the client. So we could say that astrology itself can be – and hopefully is – used to hasten this process and thus speed up evolution, both individually and, through that, of the whole world.

SFPage

PLUTO/URANUS SQUARE-NOVEMBER 1ST, 2013

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POST CATHAR ADVENTURE MUSINGS ON MESSAGES FROM OUR SOUL AND TAKING LEAPS OF FAITH

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

 Sadly five weeks ago I bid farewell to my Cathar adventure in France’s Languedoc/L’Occitaine region, returning back to Oxford for another week before flying home to Chicago.  My visits to the UK are always crammed full of seeing friends, extended family and business contacts; no time to reflect. But now back in Chicago, settling into my daily routine I’ve had time to play back in my mind what I took away from this experience and leaps of faith.  Surely part of my experience was to absorb factual information that will provide background for my next historical fiction book, Flight of Doves? Equally important, I’ve wondered, did I clear the unfinished karmic business of my 13th century life by returning to the ‘scene of the crime’, so to speak?  Those of you who have read my postings on Karmic Astrology won’t find this last bit surprising, yet this is what has surprised me; aside from grasping the academic immersion, I have yet to effectively language the deeper resonances of this experience which brings me to recognizing a greater, perhaps more important lesson which is this…

In our journey of our evolution, the assimilation, the download/upload of information from our Soul is not always identified much less realized as meaningful in a timely fashion. And yet, this process can profoundly affect us in ways to be determined, requiring faith in some measure. Surprising events, chance meetings, omens if you will, are there in front of us, waiting for us to consciously plug into rather than dismissed.  As a mundane example, it now seems that I’ve been offered three ‘interesting’ nudges regarding my curiosity in the Cathars that may or may not be significant. And, I’ve decided to pay attention as they’re so ‘odd’, filing them away in the back of my mind for future possible recall–they may mean something down the road…or not, who knows-they may have absolutely nothing to do with my writing but something else entirely, yet to be revealed.  Nevertheless … 

  • Two and a half years ago when I was finishing the final version of Murder of Crows, I knew I wanted to write my next book set against the Cathar story. At that time, other than my inexplicable draw to their history and persecution by Rome for their beliefs, I knew very few detailed specifics.  However, I needed a working title for the book. In keeping with the concept of my series, Flight through Time, ‘something’ compelled me to choose, ‘Flight of Doves’ for this new project; I haven’t the remotest idea of what drew me to it.  It wasn’t until shortly before my departure for France that I came across an academic notation that the Cathars were often identified by the ‘symbol’ of the Dove!

 

  • As I was reading various resources in preparation for my trip, I kept thinking that the simple robes or habits worn by the Perfects (Parfaits) were a dark blue, despite the fact that some academic authorities insisted they wore black.  This small fact kept niggling in the back of my brain…one of those things that keeps saying, “no that isn’t right, they wore blue.”  And, indeed they did as I was to discover upon further research.  It wasn’t a case of that they  didn’t  wear black, but more to the point, they were  known to also wear habits of dark blue.

 

  • And the stunner…while I was in the L’Occitaine, I received an email one evening from a woman I’d never met, explaining that she  accidentally had come across my website and blog posts about my forthcoming trip to Cathar country.  She went onto explain that she was actually from Mazamet, a town roughly 60 miles north of where I was staying that evening.  She detailed her deep interest in the Cathars, her current work in alternative therapies and asked if I taught classes on my work with Edward Bach’s flower remedies.  She also mentioned her study in astrology with particular interest in Karmic Astrology and her possession of all of the books written by my teacher and mentor, Steven Forrest.  But it wasn’t until I read further on that I was truly astonished!  She expressed an interest in meeting me as she lives about 45 minutes from my home in the Chicago area!  How can this crossing of paths possibly be explained as a chance ‘coincidence’?  Perhaps, but I choose to believe it isn’t. 

 

These points bring me back to the issue of being awake to messages from our Soul which often function as safety nets when we risk taking leaps of faith.  As essence of Spirit, we incarnate into the body so that our Soul has the opportunity to evolve and grow through lessons that can only be learned through the physical world, some very hard karmic experiences.  In such times I often recall the scene where Harrison Ford as Indian Jones is teetering on the edge of a dizzying precipice, a death gorge beckons below.  His pursuers are closing in fast, his choices are two:  succumb to capture or risk safety by taking a ‘leap of faith’ across the abyss, knowing that if he misses, death is certain.  Just as he steps into the void an image of a lifesaving bridge suddenly appears; clearly a metaphor for taking a leap of faith–the very foundation of the Cathar’s philosophy–that ‘faith’ in the unseen, the non-physical, is greater than we can possibly imagine.

minerve monument

The Dove is a work of art created in 1982 by Jean-Luc Séverac, a Minerve artist, to commemorate the 140 Cathar Parfaits (Perfects) who were burned at the stake in 1210.

The stele is placed in front of the door to Eglise Saint Etienne in a small square off the rue des Remparts.  In describing his concept, artist Jean-Luc Séverac wrote, “The Cathars raised themselves above the material world…..so I made the dove, not out of stone, but out of light – the absence of matter is the only way to represent the Cathars.” (kindly contributed by Vernonique Frede-Markscheid)

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