Gaye Mack’s Blog

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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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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AVOID REGRETS AT END OF LIFE- A CASE FOR EVOLUTIONARY ASTROLOGY

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

A deviation from my usual blog topics, I happened to come across the following posting from Huffington about Bronnie Ware, an Australian palliative nurse who turned her journal notating the most common regrets of her dying patients into a book- The Top Five Regrets of The Dying.  What I found ‘interesting’ in reading the following excerpt is that I saw this minutes after being informed that the last of my living uncles had passed away yesterday evening at the ripe age of 98.  

He was my mother’s oldest brother and the final survivor of that generation.  It’s no secret that siblings often quibble about each other’s ‘ways of being'(although being an only child I fortunately escaped this one!).  My mother and her siblings were no exception and so this excerpt of Bronnie’s gave me pause; I realized that as I read the following five common regrets, they make a wonderful case for evolutionary astrology as a valuable tool for actively facilitating our Soul’s growth while we have the time.  

Through the evolutionary astrological lens, everyone’s birth chart reveals where and how we have opportunity to make course corrections in this life from past Karma that haunts us at unconscious levels within our being.  We have time; in doing so, it’s possible to bypass some or perhaps all of the regrets Bronnie outlines from her experiences with the dying.  If you’re interested to know more about Evolutionary Astrology and its benefits, please checkout my website.  Steven Forrest, one of the most globally recognized evolutionary astrologers and my teacher, has excellent information on his site as well.  In the meantime, I’m certain you’ll find that Bronnie’s insights sound intimately familiar and that interestingly, they resonate with the core of Evolutionary Astrology!

One thing on regret before we get to the list. It’s important to remember that whatever stage we are at in life, there is no need for regret. The process of regret is one that provides nothing but suffering for ourselves as we begin to allow the past to dictate how we should feel now. Instead, we can use the past as a reference point to understand what adjustments we would like to make moving forward. The adjustments do not have to come out of pain, sorrow, regret or judgment, but simply a choice to do things in a different way. We are learning all the time, we can very quickly slow that learning process down by getting stuck in the idea of regret. When it comes to making changes, be at peace with the past and remember that each moment is a new choice.”

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

“Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

 ”This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.” 

 

astrology-image

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URANUS-THE LIGHT BRINGER OF ‘LIGHTBULB MOMENTS’ FOR DR. BACH’S WATER VIOLET

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

As I wrote in one of my previous postings, the on-going square between Pluto and Uranus is such a big deal that I’d be revisiting these two planets from time to time, particularly to look at how the energies of these heavenly bodies can and do interact with the various energetic characteristics of Dr. Bach’s flower remedies…especially at the deepest levels of our being.  For this posting I had actually intended to write on another subject but at the last moment, suddenly changed my mind…an example of how Uranus’ energy can affect us when it’s winding up in our charts…sudden departures from normal patterns that come out of nowhere.  So to Uranus first.

Personally, I like Uranian energy…most of the time…because it can and does, bring us flashes of inspiration…light bulb moments…those ah ha!, moments.  Without looking at specific charts, it’s pretty certain that those responsible for our greatest advances in technology (which Uranus rules), either had or have strong Uranian energy in their birth charts or were undergoing a major Uranian transit when  they were suddenly inspired with ideas that depart from the norm.

When Uranian energy transits a sensitive point in our birth chart, its purpose IS to break up stagnant patterns.  Whether the intent is creative or personal life changes, it hits us like a jolt of lightning(which by the way is another thing Uranus rules), shattering us out of what might be construed as a deep sleep.  Such jolts can be uncomfortable because it’s typically intense and relentless in achieving change.  However in the larger view, a Uranus transit propels us think/act differently that’s positive for our evolution; the ease of how we navigate such a transition depends very much on how strongly we resist, which brings me to Dr. Bach’s Water Violet remedy.

Reincarnation is a core tenant of Evolutional Astrology, and thus pairs beautifully with Dr. Bach’s concept of Soul lessons and types which I wrote about in Igniting Soul Fire~ Spiritual Dimensions of the Bach Flower Remedies. The Water Violet Soul is very old in this context and therefore carries with it an enormous amount of wisdom and experience.  The karmic issue for these souls is experience, but it’s sadly won through betrayal and most assuredly, unpleasant outcomes.  With such experiences comes grief …a major hurdle to presently overcome for Water Violet because the energy of the past is entrenched in the cellular memory. 

Thus  because Water Violet carries such deep grief from the past, it tends to be introverted and may appear aloof, driven by a strong reluctance to interact for fear of yet one more betrayal and yet… its karmic job IS to interact, to share its deep wisdom which will bring JOY to this soul…the virtue, according to Dr. Bach.

The power of Uranian energy is not shy as it comes upon us suddenly, deliberately pushing for change. So if Water Violet’s picture resonates with you in any way even in your personality, this remedy can be very supportive and strengthening during a Uranus transit, fostering courage to engage and receive joy in return.