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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USING ASTROLOGY AS A WRITER’S TOOL FOR ENHANCING CHARACTERS, REAL AND IMAGINED

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Ancient Legends of Great Britain, Gaye's England, Scotland & Wales, Uncategorized, Writer's Work Leave a comment

In my 12th  & 13th century historical thrillers, Eleanor of Aquitaine is the queen of the hour. Certainly she was a fascinating woman– so much so that scholars, historical fiction authors and Hollywood, can’t seem to get enough of her; nor can I.  If someone were to ask, “if you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would you choose?” Hands down it would be Eleanor.

 As an evolutionary astrologer working on my 3rd historical fiction book, ‘A Flight of Doves’, I’ve wondered, what does Eleanor’s birth chart look like?’  Searching through various sources has resulted in the disappointing realization that most likely we’ll never know.  Sadly, scholars can’t even agree on the year of Eleanor’s birth and no one of any authority even contemplates a date.  Nevertheless, the thought is an intriguing brain game of speculation.

 Eleanor was a woman  who by all accounts, was highly educated and welcomed travel…and travel she did, throughout her lifetime.  Even when her second husband, Henry II,  had her locked up in Salisbury castle for ten years, he’d take her on the road with him or more accurately, back and forth across the Channel.  A well- read woman for her time, her biographers (of which there are many) indicate that she found travel extraordinarily welcome .  Thus, one could suspect that she might have been a fiery Sagittarius or that she had a strong 9th house (long journeys over water, higher philosophy, education). “Exploring the world as your oyster,” would have been a suitable mantra for Eleanor.   Despite the lone and suspect chart I found that places her as a Libra sun, she definitely wasn’t a role model for relationship harmony and integration. These characteristics were simply not strong points in her as evidenced by her mothering skills and commitment in marriage.  

 In the realm of ‘what if’, it’s apparent that Eleanor liked the kind of drama often ascribed to a Leo sun.  No question, she reveled in it and in her own way,  reveled being on the world stage.  No wall flower was she.  Alison Weir, the highly regarded authority on Eleanor, states that before her incarceration by Henry, Eleanor’s court  was like no other in all of Europe.  She loved and supported the arts.  She had fine clothes and possessions… “gold for plates and goblets…favorite wines from La Rochelle.”  Her decoration was always the latest in fashion including glazed windows, tiled floors and carpets from the orient.  In a phrase this was a woman who was not economical and was all about “how it and she looked.”  Very Leonine characteristics with possibly her Venus in Taurus.

On the other hand, this was a woman who was analytical and calculating .  In all of her efforts to protect land holdings for Richard I, her favorite child, she plotted and schemed with military precision as if she were in a chess game for life against Henry who favored young Henry until his death and then, John.  

 She plotted with Richard behind the scenes; she plotted with her spies when Henry gave her more freedom around 1180 and on-wards.  Bottom line, Eleanor never gave up plotting against Henry until he died at Chinon in 1189.  Now, one could say this is the shadow of Scorpio…and it would be fair.  However, keeping in mind that the Sun in a chart is the spirit, the spark, the vitality of our soul, Eleanor’s penchant for plotting like a military general, the analytical approach in her make-up not to mention her duty and service as Queen to her vast constituency as she moved the chess pieces of life around the board behind the scenes, cause me to wonder about a different Sun sign.  While not the best face forward of it, I think she possibly might have been a…..VIRGO or, a Leo sun with a Virgo ascendant.  Unfortunately, it’s unlikely we’ll ever know.

 If you’re a fiction writer, think about using basic astrological characterizations when creating or enhancing your characters-real and imagined.  There are several good basic books on the market than can help.  Here are some of my favorites:

eleanor

ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE

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MERCURY’S RETROGRADE IN ‘SPOOKY SCORPIO’ MEETS DR. BACH’S CERATO FLOWER REMEDY

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

On the heels of the powerful Full Moon in Aries last Friday, little Mercury, ‘messenger of the Gods’, ‘director of all forms of communication’, begins its final retrograde motion of 2013 today as it appears to back up in its orbit until November 10th.  On the practical level as always with a Mercury retrograde, it’s wise to make certain that  computers are continually backed up,  messages are double checked  before we hit ‘send’ or ‘delete’, details of appointments are re-checked  and that we are conscious of what’s coming out of our mouths.  When Mercury turns retrograde, it tends to play havoc with all forms of communication whether they be external or simply a mind that just will not STOP…this is Mercury’s energetic MO.

However, this time there’s a further catch.  While speedy Mercury normally moves quickly through a sign, this time it hangs around in what Steven Forrest refers to as ‘Spooky Scorpio’, the sign of those things ‘hidden’, until December 5th.  Even after it goes direct in motion, Mercury remains here, giving us more time to feel at the depths of our Soul,  where Scorpio demands we come face to face with our truths.  At first glance, it would seem that the planet which rules the mind, communication and thinking paired with the sign of depth, feeling and truth, would seem a very odd pairing.

However, when any planet shifts into ‘retrograde’ motion, the message is to contemplate; to better understand the particular part of ourselves represented by the planet’s energy and the messages of the sign its occupying.  In this case we’re mentally encouraged to consider different perspectives of the past, perhaps where our mind demanded control, running roughshod over our innate intuition.  In the silence of Scorpio’s depth during Mercury’s retrograde and post-retrograde period where it remains for a time in Scorpio, we’re offered the opportunity to step back and shift perceptions, to ‘let go’ of reactions and thought processes that no longer serve or benefit our evolution.  Such shifts can lead us then to alternative actions in the future that support our growth and ability to manifest our greatest good.  

Thus, during a Mercury Retrograde as I’ve written previously, Dr. Bach’s flower remedy Cerato can be very helpful.  Like all of the remedies, Cerato can re-balance temporary or situational mood states but it’s also one of Dr. Bach’s original ‘Twelve Healers’ and therefore a Soul Type.  While one may not be a Cerato Soul per se, those who have Mercury significantly placed in their chart are particularly subject to Cerato’s shadow energy which distrusts innate wisdom.  As a result, trusting one’s own knowing is very difficult if not impossible. 

During Mercury’s retrograde motion where the message for everyone is to quiet the mind and mouth, Bach’s Cerato can act as a catalyst, shifting our perspective from the external to the internal.  It can take us down to our depths where Scorpio waits for us to face our truths and acknowledge our feelings.  Such excavations are scary territory, but if we call upon Cerato, its gentle energy will support us in our efforts to go forth where we can come to ‘know’ the wisdom that is ours and to trust it.

 

astrology-imageMYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE

Cerato DR. BACH’S CERATO

For Information on Evolutionary Astrological Readings or Bach Flower Remedy Evaluations with Me, Click Here

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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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PAIRING SCORPIO’S LUNAR ECLIPSE WITH DR. BACH’S ASPEN & WALNUT FOR MANAGING FEARS OF THE UNKNOWN AMIDST CHANGE & TRANSFORMATION

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

 Originally I’d planned that my small hiatus from blogging would go until the end of April!  However, try as I might, I can’t ignore the importance of this eclipseWhile New and Full Moons always signify  beginnings and completions in some fashion, eclipsespower-boost’ these energies . The Scorpio  Full Moon  on April 25th illuminates energetic patterns and behaviors  holding us back from growing in our evolution.  As such, these elements  need to go.  There’s a building intensity  globally, locally and personally, to dissolve that which is outmoded in spite of the fiercest of resistances as new energetic patterns and behaviors push hard for incorporation into our internal databanks, waiting to be actioned. With the full moon opposing the Sun in Taurus, we’re reminded to nurture a fundamental relationship to our physical world, its beauty and what we most value.

When Dr. Edward Bach discovered the final 19 flower remedies to complete his famous 38 Bach remedies, Aspen and Walnut were among them.  He identified this group as I’ve written previously, as possessing a ‘higher spirituality’ functioning at a higher vibration than those remedies already discovered.

Among the  key characteristics of Aspen is that it allays our fears of going into unknown territory.  So often we are seduced in the belief, “better the devil you know than the one you don’t.”  However, as I’ve also written previously, the devil we know can take us right down the road of self-destruction, whether it be the result of a bad relationship, job or other life choices.  Aspen provides us the courage and faith needed to venture into uncharted waters, while Bach’s remedy, Walnut  is the remedy to help us make changes that we need to make.

Classically this remedy helps us to, in the words of the well-known author Dr. Leo Buscaglia, “ cut the toxic ties that bind.”  It helps us to get our foot over the threshold, to let go of those things, patterns and behaviors that no longer serve us well.   All of these considerations are a tall order, as our egos never want to ‘let go.’  This said, there’s a caveat in mind/body/spirit philosophy… “that which you resist the most, is that which you need to let go of.”  Before you’re brought to your knees in resistance, reach for Dr. Bach’s Aspen and Walnut…it bears repeating, you’ll feel better in the morning!

aspen

DR. BACH’S ASPEN

walnut

 DR. BACH’S WALNUT

Photography©Dr. Edward Bach Foundation

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