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.

 

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THE NIGGELY T-SQUARE—WHERE’S THE EXIT DOOR?

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

For some time now there’s been a lot of energetic busyness and pressure for change going on in the heavens especially with the Grand Squares involving four planets in December, April and now mid-June. Added to this, there have been and are, on-going ‘T-Squares’ involving three powerful planets. While these configurations might seem less intense, they’re actually no less powerful than the Grand Squares. The bottom line is that even if someone isn’t into astrology, EVERYONE is feeling it on multiple levels…emotionally, mentally and if we dare to watch the news, globally. 
So what does this all mean? Astrologically speaking, as the planets move around the heavens, they mathematically ‘square off’ and/or ‘oppose’ each other from time to time. When the faster moving bodies such as the Moon or Mercury are involved, the effect isn’t long term. But when it involves the slower moving planets, the effect is more significant in terms of our evolution which is what we’ve been dealing with lately.
Generally speaking, squares in Evolutionary Astrology represent a fork in the road. They signal that change is in the wind because squares are pressure points of friction between the planetary energies involved and what they represent in our lives. If we’re awake to these events, we have an opportunity to take charge or at least proactively participate in the process. On the other hand, if we resist, the lesson becomes that much harder…as the saying goes, “the more you resist, the harder the fall.”
In a ‘T-Square’, two planets in opposition (180◦ apart) both square a third planet at 90◦. And, even though there’s friction between these points and what they represent in our evolutionary process, all is not lost, because there’s a safety valve within the square.
Always with astrology, there are varying interpretations. The exit point in a T-Square is no exception. While all the factors involved in the square,(planets, signs, houses) must be considered in building the story, in my practice, I prefer to use the apex point as the exit door or the ‘solution’ even though it’s part of the tension factor in the bigger picture.
In the figure below, the apex is Pluto; the planet of transformation and one that’s often ruthless in the process (change or be changed is one of Pluto’s mantras!). It sits in structure oriented Capricorn and in this chart, it’s in the 2nd house of personal resources, self-esteem, earned income. Uranus in the 5th and Mars in the 11th are both squared to Pluto suggesting perhaps some sort of difficulty involving a rebellious child (or children) and relationship to the community or tribe that could put pressure on means of sustainability where resources are involved. It could also suggest someone who is prone to fleeting love affairs that push the moral boundaries of their tribe or community and thus affects material repercussions; it’s hard to tell without looking at the chart as a whole. Neither is necessarily negative; perhaps the community is too rigid for a child that has the ability to see the world in a way others can’t. Perhaps an individual isn’t suited to marriage and shouldn’t be in a community where affairs aren’t tolerated. At the end of the day, in this example, somehow change must be initiated. By understanding that when Pluto’s involved, self-initiation of internal changes trigger our external world and thus it benefits the entire ‘T-Square’ with a positive trickle-down result that can ease the tension.

 

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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.”

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SATURN, YOU OLD DEVIL

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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.

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PLUTO/URANUS SQUARE-NOVEMBER 1ST, 2013

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PLUTO AND BACH FLOWER REMEDIES: SHIFTING OUR PERCEPTION WITH THE HELP OF THESE UNLIKELY BEDFELLOWS

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology, Writer's Work 2 Comments

Sometimes during a reading, an astrologer will make a mildly humorous reference to an approaching (or current) Pluto ‘transit’ in the client’s chart as a way to lighten up the atmosphere.  The quip, “life happens while you were making other plans,” or, “Pluto; the cosmic 2×4,” are good examples.  Regardless, the real purpose of such energy is to get our attention and shove us out of complacency… of course, always for our ‘own good.’  

Astrologically speaking, when Pluto comes calling in your life you can count on the fact that ‘change’ is in the air often accompanied by what feels like Chaos.  Even in non-astrological terms, it goes without saying that Chaos can enter our lives without the help of Plutonian energy.  Either way, we’re getting a message that change in how we are living or our perceptions, need to change in order for us to move forward in our evolution.  This is a tough assignment; human nature doesn’t like change.  Change is scary to most of us because forging into unknown territory can be like playing ‘blind man’s bluff.’  

This said, a significant action of any of the Bach flower remedies is that they support and assist us in the ability to shift our perceptions.  This is particularly true of Bach’s Walnut.’  Dr. Bach spoke of our Soul holding the innate wisdom for each of us…and when we are in a disharmonious emotional state, its as if a ‘fog’ drops over this wisdom. When we’re emotionally distressed our perceptions are ‘off’; we aren’t ‘seeing’ clearly…it’s like trying to see clearly through a dirty window.  The remedies help us to ‘shift’ our perceptions, clean the window so that our vision is cleared.  When this happens, we then have the ability to interpret our external and internal landscapes more realistically.

Like everyone else, I’m experiencing the effects of the on-going Pluto/Uranus square which I’ve written about in previous postings.  While I’m emotionally aware of the impact in my life, I’m also getting the ‘point’ in a very mundane way; its as if the Universe is wanting to make sure that I ‘get it.’  Currently, we’re having a lot of repainting done in our home which has necessitated taking down all of our pictures, moving furniture.  If you’ve ever had painters take over your house you know that the atmosphere is nothing less than ‘chaotic.’  This morning as I was looking at the bare walls in my office, climbing over drop cloths draped over furniture, the light bulb suddenly went on.  Once the walls are finished, there’s nothing that says I have to arrange all of the pictures or furniture exactly as they were before the arrival of the painters.  Instead, I now have an opportunity to make changes in how these things are placed which in turn will give an entirely different feeling to each of the rooms.  Nevertheless, I am hedging my bet so that I ‘stay the course’…I’ve just pulled a bottle of Walnut out of my cabinet!

 

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Dr. Bach’s ‘Walnut’

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation

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