Gaye Mack’s Blog

NIGGLY MARS AND DREAMY NEPTUNE IN THE LITERARY EDITING SALON…WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?

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

That fiery warrior  Mars has been putting all of us to a hard time this winter and spring, first with its retrograde action that began in mid-January slowing EVERYTHING down, not to mention Mercury’s retreat mid-March, messing up communication and things having to do with communication!  And, just when we thought we could see the light at the end of the tunnel when both of these planets changed direction moving forward…

We forgot that action minded Mars, now in detail minded Virgo is also in opposition with dreamy Neptune,  which is in its home sign of Pisces–‘opposites’ being the operative word here.  In astrological oppositions, there’s just ‘no way around’ it, not like squares where, despite the friction, there’s room for negotiation. With oppositions, you have to live through the transit, do your best and contemplate the lesson; it sort of like the ‘builds character’ thing, although I must admit that I’m anticipating the separation of this opposition in mid-May with glee. 

When in balance, Mars is all about action, take charge, move on, chop-chop, while Neptune contemplates mysteries of the Universe, imagination and harmony in the collective.  Out of whack, Mars can be a bully, self-focused and dictatorial; Neptune can totally lose it in fantasy, escape and addictions…let’s not even go there.

So where in the realm of writing does this astrological evaluation come in with editors and the editorial process?  Despite grumbling about this process as it relates to my own projects from time to time, editors are too often misaligned and scape-goated.  At the end of the day, for those of us who aspire to being published, a good editor is worth her/his weight in gold, there to make us and our writing Stand Out.  At its best, good editing is altruistic.  Several weeks ago as if Divinely timed, an author friend of mine posted a wonderful article on her Facebook page about editors from Salon.com, entitled, “Let Us Now Praise Editors, by Gary Kamiya…it’s a wonderful read if you’re interested.

Nevertheless, despite knowing all of this intellectually, I’m sure I’m not the only writer who’s been grumbling during this current Mars/Neptune opposition that can manifest as a rewind of passages, chapters, essays, query letters…you name it, at the gentle(or not so gentle) mercy of the editorial blue pencil, pen or in my case, my editor’s yellow highlighting in Word! Bottom line:  revise, revise, revise. 

However, as I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, there is light at the end of the tunnel…the energy of Mars’ action butting heads with Neptune’s imagination will soon ease off at which point hopefully those of us who write can look back and admit that we’ve gained some wisdom in the process.


VERNAL EQUINOX ARRIVES WITH THE NEW MOON IN AIRES~ THE NEXT CHAPTER

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

Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and being a ‘cardinal’ sign, it portends beginnings as do ‘new moons’… igniting new beginnings, new ideas…new directions—blast off!  This particular new moon, which arrived today, March 22nd at 9:38 a.m. Chicago time, came in with a packed punch, so fasten your seat belt.

Mercury with its energy buzzing through our minds and Uranus, who likes to surprise with the unexpected, have sidled up to the Sun and Moon in ‘conjunction’.  This energy is intense, no question.   Look to see which house (circumstance of life) hosts the sign of the Ram (Aries) in your chart and you’ll get a good idea of what to expect.

 Because the degrees of this conjunction range between 00°-4° Aries, those of us who have natal planets at 2-3° in Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, Libra or Aquarius are particularly likely to feel the effects of exciting change this configuration brings.

 In addition, while Mars(which rules Aries), remains in slow retrograde motion until April 13th, we still have time to assess and plan how best we can use our warrior energy toward taking positive risks and saying yes to new frontiers offered by this New Moon.

 As for me with Mars still retrograde, I’m cautiously excited about the changes that have suddenly appeared around my two historical fiction mysteries, “A Murder of Crows” and “A Conspiracy of Ravens” thanks to my wonderful literary agent, Peter Miller.  At this new moon it’s my understanding that several major publishing  houses have initial  interest…no doubt I’ll have some clues as to what’s in store at the full moon in Libra.  It could be new horizons or a return to the drawing board!

 In the meantime, I have the large size bottles of Dr. Bach’s Rescue Remedy and the remedy for change, Walnut, on my desk!

 

 Solar Fire Software


GETTING THE DUCKS IN ORDER ON THE BUMPY ROAD TO ‘PUBLISHED’ STATUS

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

In my last post I wrote about the effect of Mars turning retrograde and how that signals a slow down and re-evaluation in our charts.  Currently I’m experiencing this Mars effect  in the ‘circumstances of life areas ‘(the houses) of my own chart which have to do with my ‘work in the world’ and ‘creativity’.

A couple of years ago I made the decision to shift my writing from non-fiction, academic material and return to the arena of historical fiction, specifically in the ‘thriller/mystery’ genre, which I’d explored in the early 1990’s.  While fiction offers endless creative paths to explore, the reality of going from idea to the printed page(hopefully by someone else other than your new best friend at Kinko’s),  is not for the faint of heart.  Anyone who has been or is on this road knows what I’m talking about.

After working for a year on  a major reconstitution of a manuscript  I wrote 20 years ago, year #2 saw an e-file accumulation of  literary agent rejections.  I stopped counting at 55 with the realization that two years of hard work was going nowhere.  While the rejections continued to come in, I decided to write book #2.  As this book neared completion the fires around E-Publishing and Publishing On Demand ratcheted up frenetically in the literary press.  I wondered if I should trash the whole idea of going the traditional route with a literary agent and try my hand at self-publishing.  A huge dilemma because self publishing no matter which route you take, requires enormous marketing demands on your part if you want to be successful.  Amanda Hocking and her explosive success is legendary but the reality is that the ratios of self published authors to actual success levels such as hers, are staggeringly depressive.

While mired in this personal dilemma, I ‘accidentally’ came across an announcement for a mystery writer’s conference to be held in Chicago. While  I hadn’t been to a writer’s conference in 20 years,  the program offered the opportunity to ‘pitch live’ to attending literary agents.  When I looked at the list of top level agents, I didn’t think twice.  It was an ‘either sink or swim’ decision on my part, particularly because I’d never pitched any of my manuscripts ‘live’ before.  Once I’d signed up, the reality of the preparation made me wonder what planet I was on when I made this decision!  A slick pitch is approximately 5 sentences…the first sentence should be no more than 25 words which informs the agent the title, genre, audience and general overview of the book…orally from memory in no more than 4(yes four!) minutes.  Your heart pounds, your palms sweat and you wish you hadn’t eaten lunch and could ask Scotty to beam you up.  Was all of this worth it?  Yes.

A week ago I signed a contract with one of the agents to whom I pitched,  Peter Miller, President of Global Lion Intellectual Property Management.  I’m still in shock because Peter represents an  impressive client list and possesses a huge reputation in the industry.  This said, seeing my manuscripts on store shelves is no guarantee even with his help, guidance and expertise.   The publishing industry is in flux and ultra selective, particularly for fiction.   I have much ‘clean up’ work to do.  Even though these manuscripts have been edited endlessly, they need  final, perfected polishing so that Peter can pitch them to major publishers and editors in the next few weeks in New York and then the London Book Fair in April.

Despite the excitement of clearing this first  hurdle, Mars continues to have his way with me, the work is hard and the agenda is chop wood, carry water…I won’t be holding my breath any time soon for that call from Good Morning America!


DURING MARS’ RETREAT, THE MESSEAGES OF DR. BACH’S OAK AND THE ANCIENT RUNE NAUTHIZ, PROVE TO BE STRANGE, BUT COMPATABLE BEDFELLOWS

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

If you’re wondering why particular aspects(not to use a pun) of your life have slowed down recently, it very well could be related to the warrior planet Mars’, biennial shift in motion.  On January 23rd Mars turned ‘retrograde’ and will not station ‘direct’ again until April 13th.  As I have written in previous postings, any time a planet shifts into  what astrologers refer to as ‘retrograde motion’ (when a planet ‘appears’ to be moving backwards in the sky), the message of that planet’s energy is for us to quiet down and go within.  What we are to consider during these times is where and how the energetic representation relates  to our actions and in our lives.   

Mars with its fiery warrior energy is currently in the sign of the Virgin, Virgo…the organizer, analyzer, perfecter…the seer of how things could be, the idealist…the server.  But in her idealism and self-inflicted drive to grow, Virgo can be hypercritical and merciless in her self-evaluation, deficient in her self-esteem, particularly when combined with the warrior energy of Mars…well, you get the picture. 

For the next few months whether we like it or not,  we have the opportunity to take a breath in order to contemplate what and were we need to re-evaluate our behavior and goals.  Perhaps we need to consider making a  course correction.  Are there areas where we need to make serious changes?  What isn’t working in our lives and needs to go?  Where do we need to concentrate on building our self-esteem?  To contemplate and then carry out the action is not an easy task by any means and begs the question, where do we start? 

By looking at current transit placement in our natal chart, we can find  clues to these answers.  Whatever house(circumstance of life) in which  Mars has landed gives us the answer.    Is it the 10th… our work in world?  Or perhaps it’s the 7th where lasting partnerships and collaborations, reside.    Maybe it’s the double whammy of the 2nd which represents among other things, our self-esteem and self-value! 

Regardless of where Mars is sitting  for his months of retrograde motion, frustration is  characteristic of the energy we can feel which can be draining emotionally and physically.  However help is on the way in Dr. Edward Bach’s ‘Oak’ flower remedy.  When I teach about Oak in Bach’s repertoire of his 38 the flower remedies, I always envision it as the ‘energizer bunny’.  Its life force gives us strength to ‘carry on’  by providing us  the stamina and  sustainability we need.  The assistance found through Oak is not only for times of planetary retrogrades…we can call upon Oak during a particularly challenging illness or struggle when life seems to have been derailed through circumstances or ill judgement…any time when we feel we have don’t have ‘it’ in us to keep going.  As I said, the energizer bunny!

The ancient Norse Rune, Nauthiz puts the energetic interpretation of  a Mars retrograde quite well:  “This is a time to…restore, if not harmony, at least balance.  So mend, restore, redress—when fishermen can’t go to sea they repair nets.  Let the Constraints of time serve you in righting your relationship to your Self.  Be mindful that rectification comes before progress…consider the uses of adversity.”(The Book of Runes-Ralph Blum)                                                  

                                                                   

                                                                  OAK

                                                                            ©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation

                                                                                                                                                                                                     

RUNE STONE©Dreamstime

                                                                                                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                              


COMPOUNDED BY THE ON-GOING PLANETARY BUZZ, THESE STRESS-FILLED DAYS CALL FOR DR. BACH’S HOLLY

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

While we’re decking the halls with holly, it goes without saying that the holidays are always stressful, no matter how much we look forward to them and want to enjoy them. Aside from Mercury going direct on Tuesday after its approximate three week retrograde, the on-going Pluto/Uranus Square and tomorrow’s Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Gemini (which is ruled by Mercury by the way), Mars has been ratcheting up its warrior energy in nit-picky Virgo since mid-November.

 No question, we need Mars’ energy; when it squares the Sun as it has been doing since November 20th  it can rocket us out of a rut or…affect us negatively by acting as an impulsive hair trigger that gets us into deep water, pisses us off or just simply aggravates us about everything.  So, if you’ve been feeling the latter energy with this square, there’s help on the way.

 First of all, we have just one more day of this square and then we can exhale for a bit.  However, owing to the stresses of the season, we might continue to feel aggressive and agitated.  If so, this is where Dr. Bach’s wonderful Holly flower remedy comes in.

 Like all of the 38 remedies, Holly has beautiful facets to it.  Additionally, it’s a deep remedy which warrants  much longer discussion than this space allows, but I can talk about some of the indications that tell us when we’re in a negative Holly state and how the remedy can shift us. 

In the broad sense, negative Holly is about aggression, jealousy, envy,  greed and rage; simply, its anger is very much in the spirit of Mars’ shadow energy.  Holly will go on the offense as a defense (think road rage, the bully on the playground, emotional and/or physical vindictiveness) because the individual’s emotional interpretation is that they’re being attacked in some way, either by an individual, circumstances or the world at large, even when there’s no indication this is the case.  You cannot miss negative Holly energy…it’s in your face, not like smoldering Willow which I’ll blog on at some point.

 The irony here is that at the core, whether the state is temporary or chronic, the individual is extremely sensitive. If you’re familiar with the ‘doctrine of signatures’ so often referred to in herbal studies, you’ll see what I mean by looking at the plant’s leaves which are protected by the very prominent ‘stickers’ surrounding them. 

 From the remedy perspective Holly’s life force, prana, Qi, vibration,  softens the perception of being attacked; it helps us to step back and reinterpret the reality around us and at the same time supports us with a feeling of safety that promotes a willingness to open the heart center…and what could be more appropriate at this time of the year?

HOLLY

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation