Gaye Mack’s Blog

Evolutionary Astrology’s Shamanic 8th house of Transformative Healing and the Heretical Cathars

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

Back in March, I posted a piece entitled, ‘Evolutionary Astrology’s Mystical 12th House and the Heretical Cathars’.  In this earlier piece I discussed why the Cathar beliefs of the 12th century mirrored astrology’s 12th  house, ruled by the sign of  Pisces and the nebulous planet Neptune.  For this post, I’d like to another look at the Cathars through the evolutionary astrological lens, but this time within the framework of the 8th house, represented by the sign of Scorpio.  While Scorpio is one of three signs ruled by two planets (Pluto and Mars), I wish to simply focus on the energy/interpretation of Pluto for this post .

 So, onto the Cathars and their connection to the 8th house.  Interestingly, among the many layered interpretations of astrology’s houses, signs and planets, the 8th house does have a relationship to the 12th.  In the broad sense, both deal with the unconscious world…the 8th deals with the subterranean territory of the  psychological unconscious while the 12th deals with the cosmos where the ego dissolves into the nebulous of the Divine, a point I talked about in the earlier post. 

Taking this a step further…there is a level of the 8th house that represents shamanic or magical energy, while 12th is often referred to as the house of the ‘mystic’.  So what’s the difference?  Through the evolutionary lens the ‘shaman’ or ‘magician’ says, “Ah, I see what’s happening and I shall participate as an agent of change,” while the mystic says, “I see what’s happening and I shall continue to observe.” Often I’ll see a significant connection or influence of both energies in a client’s chart in which case I’m looking at ‘active mysticism’.  And here we find the Cathars as ‘active mystics’, especially those who had taken the ultimate vows as ‘perfecti’ or ‘parfaits’. 

The Cathars were known for their powerful skills as healers, despite their mystical rejection of the material world and relentless persecution as heretics.  It could be said that as such, the Cathars enabled active 8th house shamanic transformation of mind and body for those who were ill and dying, including non-believers. Administered with universal compassion, they clearly embodied the Divine Piscean/Neptunian  mysticism of the 12th house as well.

When the end came at the zealous hands of the Roman church, hell bent on annihilating the Cathars as heretics, these healers carried on with fierce courage –even to the very last moments of their fiery massacre at Montségur, France — March 16, 1244.  Despite Rome’s efforts, the memory of the Cathars remain with us 800 years on and are the subject of ‘book one’ in my historical fiction trilogy which is ‘a work in progress’.   In this single act of their final demise , the Cathars rose like the Phoenix from Rome’s flames–a Scorpionic transformation of Plutonian energy that for them was a direct  connection to the Divine realm of the Piscean/Neptunian 12th house.

 

 heretic I

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EVOLUTIONARY ASTROLOGY’S MYSTICAL 12TH HOUSE AND THE HERETICAL CATHARS

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

The other day while working on a client’s natal chart and then later on my historical fiction book, A Flight of Doves, I realized something that hadn’t occurred to me before. Through the lens of Evolutionary Astrology, there’s a connection between positive interpretations of the twelfth house, Neptune and Pisces and the guiding philosophy of southern France’s 13th century heretical Cathars.  For the moment put this thought on the back burner.

In analyzing a natal chart, the Evolutionary Astrologer is bombarded by an over-kill of interpretative possibilities that’s staggering.   Planetary house placements, the signs they’re in at birth, positive and negative implications, mathematical relationships and importance to the over all picture including the relationship to past karma that’s come to fruition–these are all in the mix and must be considered.

In western astrology, the twelfth house has many interpretations.  Ancient astrologers called it the ‘house of troubles’ but today it has far wider application on the mundane, psychological and spiritual levels. As I have written before, Evolutionary Astrology focuses mainly on the psychological and spiritual arenas.  Every chart is unique and a lot rides on the various relationships.   BUT, among the possibilities(the operative word here being ‘possibilities’) with the 12th house, its ruling planet Neptune and ruling sign of Pisces, things can get very mystical and spiritual!  

Houses in a chart are where the ‘action is’ and for the twelfth, one of its actions can signify ‘endings’.  Taken in psychological and especially spiritual contexts, we’re talking about things that need to go in order for spiritual awakenings or awareness to happen within us as part of our soul’s evolution.

 Next we consider its ruling planet Neptune.  Neptune in it’s highest expression, is all about dissolution of the ego because it’s main job is to foster our connection to the Divine, whatever that means for an individual.  Neptune is often referred to as the archetype of the mystic–and why not?  Those who have a strong Neptune signature in their charts ARE prone to heightened imagination, psychic perceptions and mysticism.  Depending on everything else in the birth chart, this cloak comes in various styles!  

Finally, we come to the sign of Pisces which rules the twelfth house and Neptune.  Compassion, experience of the mystical, self-transcendence and letting go of the world–these all come under the purview of Pisces.  So what does this have to do with the Cathar beliefs?

The Cathars believed in Dualism.  For them, the physical world and everything in it was a creation of Satan, including the body and for the ‘committed’, procreation.  Purity of spirit was gained through a direct connection to God or the Divine.  In their view, a belief system that supported a corrupt  hierarchy and homage to a Pope was the very embodiment of Satan.  Nevertheless, they were known for their universal compassion as healers, providers for the poor, sources of spiritual guidance, herbalists and yes, astrologers.  

When the 220 men, women and children were burned to death for their beliefs by the church at the castle fortress of Montsegur in southern France on March 16, 1244, historical accounts report them singing their way into the flames.  Despite the horrifically gruesome circumstances, for these believers reality was that they were freed of earth’s heaviness and were returning to the light of God.  Twelfth house, Neptune and Pisces–their mystical pathway HOME.   Is it any wonder those who had taken vows wore a silver buckle fashioned in the sign of Pisces?  

 

Pisces-Facebook-Timeline-cover

 130903_3728CATHAR MEMORIAL AT MONTSEGUR

 

 

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DOES THE PISCES FULL MOON REFLECT THE 13THC CATHARS’ VISION ?

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

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you’ll have guessed that I’m back from my adventure to the L’Occitaine region in the French Pyrenees, land of the 13thc heretical sect known as the Cathars. While I’ve posted from time to time about this fascinating community, the opportunity to learn more of their extremely complex history in the midst of incredibly difficult landscape, far outstrips reading about them.  Amazingly they survived for years against Rome’s continuous and brutal assault until their final end by fiery execution at Montsegur in 1244.   When climbing very difficult steep and rocky ground up to a ruin that’s 3,400 ft above a parking lot as is the castle at Montsegur, questions tick over in the mind; how did they manage, how did they get provisions up there, how did they survive the winters? Simple answers to such things are beyond comprehension.

To quickly review:  the Cathar movement which regarded the hierarchy of the Catholic church with all of its trappings, as a greedy, self-serving entity, grew out of the Balkans.  It spread to various regions in Europe starting in the late 12th century but nowhere did it spread like wildfire as it did in the Languedoc of modern-day France, aided and protected by some of the region’s most powerful nobility, particularly Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse.  When on January 1208 Brother Peter of Castelnau, the papal legate was assassinated by one of Raymond’s officers, Pope Innocent III found his excuse to declare holy war upon Raymond’s vast territories which had been a ‘nest of heresy’ for years.  The Papal floodgates were then open that resulted in years of unspeakable brutality against this gentle, peace-loving community.  So what was it in their basic belief system that made the Cathars such enemies of Rome?  

Besides their disdain for the obvious excesses of the Church, the Cathars believed in Dualism.  For them, the physical world and everything in it was a creation of Satan(including the body and procreation) while purity of spirit was gained through a direct connection to God or the Divine.  In their view, a belief system that supported a corrupt  hierarchy and homage to a Pope was the very embodiment of Satan.  Nevertheless, they were known for their compassion as healers, providers for the poor, sources of spiritual guidance, herbalists and yes, astrologers, which brings me to the forthcoming Pisces Full Moon on Thursday, September 19th.

 With the Moon in this cosmic  and compassionate sign of the zodiac, represented by its glyph of two conjoined fish swimming in opposite directions, we’re reminded of the transcendence of duality…’we can be of the world but not in it’; each of us is uniquely part of a much bigger picture, indivisible from the vast oceanic Universe.  Is it any wonder that some references on the Cathars note the Perfects or Parfaits (those who had taken vows of devotion) wore belts displaying the Piscean glyph as part of their simple habits?

In Evolutionary Astrology, our goal is always to look and work toward who we were meant to be, not who we think we are compared to others.  As this week’s forthcoming Piscean Full Moon waxes, perhaps its light will remind us of this intention as no doubt it may have done 800 years ago for the Cathars.

 

 the view of cathar country

View from Termes Castle~site of the longest siege during the  Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars

The 1550 ft steep climb up to the castle ruins ends on a hilltop surrounded on three sides by a ravine formed by the river Sou. 

Photography ©Gaye F. Mack, Inc.

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EDWARD BACH’S WATER VIOLET FOR JUNE’S WATERY GRAND TRINE

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

As I write, we’ve just experienced the energetic embrace of Sunday’s incredible ‘SuperMoon’ in Capricorn, illuminated by the watery Cancer Sun.  As with all astrological events and configurations, they symbolize a range of expressions and possibilities, not unlike those a Bach practitioner considers with each of Bach’s 38 flower remedies!  While the powerful ‘shadow’ energy of this full moon reminded us that we must learn to return in favor for acquired status (Capricorn) as well as receive nurturing that’s been denied, (Cancer), there’s more to come.  Today, June 26th, the Sun forms a ‘watery’ Grand Trine with Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces.

 35 years ago, the famous and well-known Chicago astrologer, Katherine DeJersey explained to me why astrologers ‘jump up and down with great glee’ when they see a ‘Grand Trine’ in a birth chart.  “Traditionally,” she said, “Grand Trines indicate an ‘ease’ in the flow of energy between the three planets and their sign placement- people who have these configurations in their charts seem to always land on their feet.” However, the highly respected astrologer, Noel Tyl cautions us… ‘not so fast.’  Tyl maintains that Grand Trines are a ‘defensive function in the personality;’ but what does this really mean?  As a chart is really about the flow (or not) of energy, in consideration of Grand Trines as a defensive mechanism, Tyl maintains that we’re looking at a form of emotional self-imposed isolation within the Trine’s planetary and elemental framework; ie., fire, earth, air or water.

 If we apply this interpretation to the forthcoming Grand Trine in water, then we’re looking at a self-imposed defense against emotional hurt that basically says, “I don’t need, want your emotional comfort and I certainly am not extending any.”  Thus, with this approaching trine we’re considering the watery energetic symbolism of Saturn in Scorpio (internal retreating to the depths), Sun in Cancer (retreating into the shell) and Neptune in Pisces(escaping into the cosmos)… all wrapped up in the concept of emotional defense.  Such reactions are what bring me to think of Dr. Bach’s Water Violet flower remedy.

 As I wrote in my book, Igniting Soul Fire, Spiritual Dimensions of the Bach Flower Remedies,

“…for the water-violet soul, a facet of their sorrow or grief stems from repeated experiences of betrayal. In their silent grief, the contracted Water Violet comes off as keeping ‘a stiff upper lip’, while appearing detached, prideful, and aloof. The reality is that this behavior is a means of emotional protection. Even in simple friendship, intimacy is a hardship for them. Even more of a challenge is finding a level of comfort in the intimacy of a romantic relationship.  Physically, the contracted emotional state of this soul-type makes its subjects appear rigid and apart from others, as they exude an air of superiority and entitlement.  Water-violet souls have the lesson this lifetime of learning the virtue of joy by sharing their wisdom of experience through participation in the environment that surrounds them. In working through emotional excavation using Water Violet as a remedy, the resulting connection to their feelings brings awareness that detachment is the source of their grief and, what was once good for them—an old defense mechanism that worked—is no longer good for them.”

Thus, with this different perspective on the meaning of the Grand Trine configuration in the heavens, if you’re feeling particularly sensitive to this watery energy and withdrawn, perhaps Dr. Bach’s Water Violet might be just the remedy for you!

SFPage

GRAND TRINE BETWEEN SATURN(SCORPIO), SUN(CANCER) & NEPTUNE(PISCES)

 

water violet

 

DR. BACH’S ‘WATER VIOLET’

Photography ©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation

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FOR THE GREATER GOOD-MORE PISCES, PLEASE

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

Last April I posted a piece  that discussed one of the story lines in my medieval historical fiction book, A Murder of Crows, currently represented by Peter Miller of Global Lion Intellectual Property Management.  The particular story line I’m referring to is the 1186 unusual line up of planets  in Libra.  The medieval astrologers of the time believed( and apparently even the Archbishop of Canterbury believed) that the planetary line up boded disaster; end times were upon them.  Fortunately they misread the intent of the celestial message and we’re still here!

However, since that event nearly 900 years ago, it’s probably safe to say without plowing through astrological data reaching back through the centuries, that up until now such alignments have occurred time to time.  From an evolutionary astrological point of view one suspects there’s a message for humanity in these alignments.  Inquiring minds want to know…what do these configurations mean?

In the spirit of those medieval astrologers, there have likely been similar claims through the years  insisting that such alignments will never happen again, especially because the end is near one more time-although not for everyone since we’re informed from time to time that those who are ‘chosen’ will be spirited away in some sort of UFO to safety.

For those of us who aren’t preparing for our seat on the UFO any time soon, we can take comfort in the fact that regarding our personal Soul growth and the global evolution, there’s something to be learned when the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Neptune and the asteroid Chiron, all meet up in Pisces on March 6th.

So again, what does this all mean?   In general, one of the highest evolutionary expressions of Pisces and its planetary ruler, Neptune, is for us to shift our consciousness from focusing exclusively on self to beyond this boundary for global healing, for the greater good.  What is our individual purpose in the bigger picture?  In the words of Dr. Edward Bach, discoverer of the famous 38 Bach Flower Remedies, “everyone has a job in this lifetime.”  In other words, each of us possesses an important contribution to make to the whole.  No matter how small ‘we’ may think we are in the bigger picture, none of us is here by accident.  All of us can’t find the cure for cancer or solution to the world’s hunger problems, water shortages or global warming, but…each of us has a job.

With all of these planets, especially Neptune and the wounded healer archetype Chiron,  in the watery sign of Pisces we’ll need to dig down into our emotional core in order to determine how this message translates for each of us.  Astrologically, clues to this translation can be found according to the zodiacal house(circumstance of life) in which this alignment falls in our own birth chart.

Perhaps this alignment refers to your skill set or health; that would be the sixth house.  Is there a focus on your personal relationships or partnerships in some way, indicated by the line up falling in your fifth, seventh or eighth house?  In any case, wherever this alignment falls, we’re being called to think and act beyond our personal ‘box’ for the greater good and our own Soul’s evolution.

For those who don’t have access to astrological software there are two excellent on line resources readily available to help and guide you, free of charge.  At Astrodeinst, you can cast your birth chart; all you need is your birth date, location and time of birth.  Deborah Houlding’s ‘Sky Script is an excellent site for reading and learning about the meanings of the houses, signs and other astrological in-depth information.

As you contemplate this information, think about what’s holding you back?  What is it that’s preventing you from taking ‘the road less traveled’?  You might surprise yourself!

 

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