Gaye Mack’s Blog

THE ZODIAC OF TIME: GLASTONBURY’S ENIGMATIC TOR –FROM PREHISTORIC ORIGINS TO LONDON’S OPENING CEREMONIES FOR THE 2012 OLYMPICS

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Ancient Legends of Great Britain, Gaye's England, Scotland & Wales, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology 4 Comments

About a year ago, I posted a blog about one of my most favorite places in England, Glastonbury Abbey, the site of Britain’s earliest devotion to Christianity.  In that blog I mentioned Glastonbury’s famous Tor only in passing.  The truth is that in reality, this ‘hill’ (for the translation of ‘tor’ is hill) deserves so much more as witnessed by the fact that Danny Boyle, producer for the opening ceremonies of the summer Olympics, chose it as a very graphic focal point.

 Reaching back into ancient times, the myths surrounding the Tor are extensive in scope.  From a small guide produced by the Gothic Image, THE bookstore in Glastonbury, we’re told that the Tor has been called, “a magic mountain, the fairies’ glass mountain, a spiral castle, a Grail castle, the Land of the Dead, Hades, a Druid initiation center, an Arthurian hill-fort, a magnetic power-point, a ley-line crossroads, a center for Great Goddess fertility rituals and celebrations, and a converging-point for flying saucers.”

Scientific proof of several of these myths eludes…although it has been established that the Tor is a ley-line crossroad.  As for other suggestions, what I can say is that having climbed the Tor on several occasions over the years, there is something very other worldly about its energy and atmosphere…time and space seem to inexplicably dissolve.  My mentor in evolutionary astrology, Steven Forrest, would no doubt say, it’s  positively ‘Neptunian’!

Rising 518 feet through the (often) misty landscape, the Tor suddenly manifests in the distance as you round an eastbound curve on the A361 outside of Glastonbury…not unlike the sudden appearance of Stonehenge, which stands starkly isolated on the Salisbury Plain.  And like Stonehenge, once you see it, it’s difficult to keep your eyes on the road.

 Among more recent speculations regarding the Tor are those ascribed to a British artist, Katharine MaltwoodIn 1935 Maltwood announced her aerial discovery of a ‘vast terrestrial Zodiac’ revealed through the topography of the Tor and surrounding countryside.  While her claims of zodiacal connections are abstract within the framework of what we think of as the traditional Zodiac, there is evidence that Maltwood had company in making such claims by Queen Elizabeth I’s celebrated astrologer, Dr. John Dee.

 So much has been written about this landmark that even if you never have the opportunity to visit it physically, you can read and let your mind cross the barriers of reality which is exactly why I chose it to play a significant part in my book, “A Conspiracy of Ravens” the second of historical mysteries in my “Flight Through Time” series, currently in production.

 As for the closing ceremonies of the Olympics; I wouldn’t be surprised to find that we haven’t seen the last of Glastonbury’s Tor.

         St.  Michael’s Tower, from which Glastonbury’s last Abbot, Richard Whiting was hanged, drawn and quartered

                                  by Henry VIII’s men for refusing to reveal secrets of Glastonbury Abbey at the time of the dissolution

      Photography©Gaye F. Mack, Inc.


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.


LOOKING AHEAD-DR. BACH’S CLEMATIS FOR UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS WHEN MERCURY AND VENUS LAND IN EXPANSIVE SAGITTARIUS

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

Endless exploration and unbridled fiery enthusiasm are hallmarks of Sagittarius archer shooting for the heavens…no holes barred, whatever it takes to discover the meaning of life is on the agenda. November 2nd brings mental Mercury and loving Venus cozying up to each other in energetic Sag where they remain for most of November until Venus goes on her way into Capricorn.  Personally I’m very partial to Sagittarius which is ruled by big Jupiter, King of the Gods, BUT…

Any time a planet moves by transit  into Sag, we need to be circumspect about what this movement means for us and what part of our lives are likely to be impacted by the chart placement.  Sagittarius is a wonderful sign and can bring us much needed energy and courage… but it is a restless sign and for Mercury this translates into desire for hyper mental  stimulation, conversations that are unusual in nature and above all exploration that is driven by curiosity.  For Venus, relationships and beauty are the theme.  Venus in Sag can attract us to exotic venues and relationships that in the cold light of day and upon reflection might be risky. Details tend to be overlooked and the need for safety can take a back seat–even for cautious Cancereans.

And if this weren’t enough…on November 9th, Neptune the planet of nebulous dreams turns direct, adding more expansiveness to this mix.  What is one to do?  What can we call upon that can let us enjoy the enthusiasm of Sagittarius that’s exciting  but balanced?

Dr. Bach’s Clematis easily comes to mind.  One of the five remedies in Dr. Bach’s famous ‘Rescue Remedy’, on its own Clematis is classically described and suggested for emotional states of dreaminess and  being ungrounded energetically…in other words, ‘out of the body’.   While an extreme negative Clematis state would be Alzheimer’s, fortunately for most of us, the more modest manifestation of negative or shadow Clematis is far less dramatic…and if we’re considering such a state as it relates to planetary transit movements in our charts…thankfully temporary.

When one is in a ‘negative’ Clematis state, there is lack of focus  …very Neptunian in many ways.  This state doesn’t want to be in the present, instead it prefers to fantasize about the future and circumstances that are often unrealistic perceptions of reality…irresponsibly managing our finances to fund an intriguing idea because we ‘know’ the next lotto ticket we buy will be the BIG one…unhealthy relationships  erroneously  perceived as the damsel in distress  rescued by the white knight …or the high flying damsel as the answer to the  career of a struggling  knight…these are examples of Clematis’ shadow which can be fueled by Mercury and Venus in restless Sagittarius.

As I mentioned, I’m partial to Sagittarius…I really love Sagittarius’ energy and influence…but I’m also mindful of its pitfalls as all signs have a shadow.  So, when November 2nd arrives, you might want to have a little Clematis within easy reach!

 

 

 Clematis

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation