Gaye Mack’s Blog

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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PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE~ EVOLUTIONARY ASTROLOGY’S VALUE & YOUR SOUL GROWTH IN 2014

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

 As I’ve discussed in previous posts, the science of Evolutionary Astrology is about transformation. When we study a client’s birth chart through the evolutionary lens  we’re presented with a powerful tool that metaphorically offers a map and compass that reveals our Soul’s unique agenda and pathway for this lifetime. On one hand, this process presents each of us with the opportunity to confront psychological karmic energy using metaphorical scenarios from a distant past that’s in our bones, haunting us at an unconscious level.  In essence this elusive energy is holding us back from personal growth.  Understanding these dynamics in the present offers us the opportunity to create or fashion a future path which supports our intended evolution at the Soul level.  

 Thus, the mission of the Evolutionary Astrologer is to counsel the client as to what went wrong in the distant past, help them understand how they were affected in that lifetime and to discuss possibilities of choice in how to change their script going forward so that they can manifest their ‘Soul’s greatest good.’ True, not all of us are meant to find the cure for catastrophic diseases, eradicate poverty, be on the cover of Time or win a Nobel Prize, but to quote Dr. Edward Bach, “everyone has a job to do,” and more often than not, we can never know how we have affected someone’s life, positively or negatively.

Astrology is ancient, vast and complex.  Used appropriately, it combines the hard science of mathematics with interpretive subjectivity often integrated with skillful intuition. Never about pre-destination it’s grounded in the belief of free will of choice.   This said,  Mary Plum, an editor for The Mountain Astrologer magazine has beautifully stated the scope of Astrology and its practice in her recent blog:

“Sometimes, I become very aware of the complexity and subtlety in the ways we astrologers inhabit this world. This can happen when a non-astrologer friend makes a comment or asks a simple question that somehow requires an intricate response — or, at least, evokes in me a chain of thinking about how to begin to talk about the way I see the planets’ movements and geometries at any particular moment or about any particular subject.

There is, of course, immense variability in how astrologers practice: the methods and techniques we use, the personal philosophies and beliefs that inform our approach, and how we apply our art — that is, to what end are we working? But essentially, we astrologers are living in a shared world of watching and listening to the motions in the celestial sphere, in that charming and olden-times phrase, the vault of the heavens. We know that something is being conveyed or signified by the motions of the planets.” 

Now as we welcome in a new year, we’re given the opportunity to pause and reflect on what has gone before, how it’s affected us and choices we can make going forward.  Wishing all of my readers and clients,  astrological and those who work with the Bach Flower Remedies, a healthy, abundant and fulfilling 2014!

 

 

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          JANUARY 1, 2014~0:01~CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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THAT OLD DEVIL SATURN AND DR. BACH’S GENTIAN

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

Recently a gifted medium friend of mine gave me an unsolicited message:  “Follow Saturn.”  At first I thought this odd, as this friend’s knowledge regarding astrology is modest.  However the more I thought about it, I recalled my ‘transit’ chart reading with Steven Forrest last spring which focused heavily on Saturn transiting the 12th house of my natal chart.

 For those unfamiliar with ‘astrospeak’, a brief side bar on what ‘transit’ means.  Each of the planets in our solar system has an orbit that rotates them through the twelve signs of the zodiac; some planets for example like speedy Mercury and Venus move quite quickly.  The ‘outer planets’ i.e., those furthest from the Sun take a very long time to lumber their way around the heavens.  For example, Saturn takes approximately 28 years,(give or take)Uranus takes 83.75 years, Pluto takes 248.6 years and etheric Neptune takes 163.72 years. 

 From an evolutionary perspective, there are no accidents in a chart.  Everyone’s chart is uniquely orchestrated for optimum Soul growth opportunities.  When a planet’s orbit pings a sensitive point in our natal chart, such as the birth position of the Sun, Moon, Ascendant (i.e., the sign on the horizon the moment of your birth), as well as other important points including houses(the circumstances of life), this is called a ‘transit’.  Transits can be very important because the psychological energies they carry come with updates, so to speak, in a personal agenda for us.  Whether or not we take advantage of these perfectly ‘timed’ events is another matter; we can respond positively or negatively, the choice is ours.

The ancients viewed Saturn (that old devil) as a malefic,  along with Mars and Pluto.  Depending on their placements in a birth chart or by transit, it was believed that these guys portended inauspicious outcomes.  Even today traditional astrologers may view a client’s chart with a wary eye when Saturn is ‘acting up.’  However, no doubt about it, Saturn’s job is to teach us lessons we need for growth and yet provide a sturdy foundation under our feet.  Thus, if we opt for the evolutionary lens, we’re better tuned in if we view Saturn’s transit with a higher perspective.  

Nevertheless, our experience of Saturn can be a lonely road to travel; often we’re ready to quit, throw in the towel and second-guess our judgement.  These possibilities are particularly highlighted when Saturn by transit is in the sign of Scorpio as it is currently.  Here, Saturn will remain until until this time next year when it shifts into Sagittarius for a time before backing up for a last past through Scorpio and then moves on for good in September 2015.  So, we have our work cut out for us, each and every one.  When Saturn’s in the sign of the Scorpion, we’re challenged to look at things within our psyche and past experiences we’d rather not.  While in the end such excavations make us stronger, help us to grow by understanding how we could have behaved or done things differently, it’s not  always a particularly good time making us want to run the other way.  

Dr. Bach’s Gentian is the perfect flower remedy for times when Saturn is wreaking havoc.  As one of Bach’s original ‘Twelve Healers’, the negative Gentian mood state  is all about discouragement, self-doubt and perseverance.  According to Dr. Bach the purpose of the Gentian remedy is to lead us to an:  understanding that there is no failure when you are doing your utmost, whatever the apparent result.” This understanding helps us realize that steady perseverance is essential to overcoming self-doubt.  A vital key to our own Soul evolution is to remember that cosmic law dictates trusting the perfect timing of the universe; that the universe provides us with whatever we  need for our expansion and growth. When we find change and challenge difficult, Gentian helps us to understand the value of, and engage in, perseverance in the face of adversity and disappointment.  

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 THAT OLD TEACHER SATURN

Gentian

                                                                                                                       

 DR. BACH’S GENTIAN

 

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

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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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POST CATHAR ADVENTURE MUSINGS ON MESSAGES FROM OUR SOUL AND TAKING LEAPS OF FAITH

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

 Sadly five weeks ago I bid farewell to my Cathar adventure in France’s Languedoc/L’Occitaine region, returning back to Oxford for another week before flying home to Chicago.  My visits to the UK are always crammed full of seeing friends, extended family and business contacts; no time to reflect. But now back in Chicago, settling into my daily routine I’ve had time to play back in my mind what I took away from this experience and leaps of faith.  Surely part of my experience was to absorb factual information that will provide background for my next historical fiction book, Flight of Doves? Equally important, I’ve wondered, did I clear the unfinished karmic business of my 13th century life by returning to the ‘scene of the crime’, so to speak?  Those of you who have read my postings on Karmic Astrology won’t find this last bit surprising, yet this is what has surprised me; aside from grasping the academic immersion, I have yet to effectively language the deeper resonances of this experience which brings me to recognizing a greater, perhaps more important lesson which is this…

In our journey of our evolution, the assimilation, the download/upload of information from our Soul is not always identified much less realized as meaningful in a timely fashion. And yet, this process can profoundly affect us in ways to be determined, requiring faith in some measure. Surprising events, chance meetings, omens if you will, are there in front of us, waiting for us to consciously plug into rather than dismissed.  As a mundane example, it now seems that I’ve been offered three ‘interesting’ nudges regarding my curiosity in the Cathars that may or may not be significant. And, I’ve decided to pay attention as they’re so ‘odd’, filing them away in the back of my mind for future possible recall–they may mean something down the road…or not, who knows-they may have absolutely nothing to do with my writing but something else entirely, yet to be revealed.  Nevertheless … 

  • Two and a half years ago when I was finishing the final version of Murder of Crows, I knew I wanted to write my next book set against the Cathar story. At that time, other than my inexplicable draw to their history and persecution by Rome for their beliefs, I knew very few detailed specifics.  However, I needed a working title for the book. In keeping with the concept of my series, Flight through Time, ‘something’ compelled me to choose, ‘Flight of Doves’ for this new project; I haven’t the remotest idea of what drew me to it.  It wasn’t until shortly before my departure for France that I came across an academic notation that the Cathars were often identified by the ‘symbol’ of the Dove!

 

  • As I was reading various resources in preparation for my trip, I kept thinking that the simple robes or habits worn by the Perfects (Parfaits) were a dark blue, despite the fact that some academic authorities insisted they wore black.  This small fact kept niggling in the back of my brain…one of those things that keeps saying, “no that isn’t right, they wore blue.”  And, indeed they did as I was to discover upon further research.  It wasn’t a case of that they  didn’t  wear black, but more to the point, they were  known to also wear habits of dark blue.

 

  • And the stunner…while I was in the L’Occitaine, I received an email one evening from a woman I’d never met, explaining that she  accidentally had come across my website and blog posts about my forthcoming trip to Cathar country.  She went onto explain that she was actually from Mazamet, a town roughly 60 miles north of where I was staying that evening.  She detailed her deep interest in the Cathars, her current work in alternative therapies and asked if I taught classes on my work with Edward Bach’s flower remedies.  She also mentioned her study in astrology with particular interest in Karmic Astrology and her possession of all of the books written by my teacher and mentor, Steven Forrest.  But it wasn’t until I read further on that I was truly astonished!  She expressed an interest in meeting me as she lives about 45 minutes from my home in the Chicago area!  How can this crossing of paths possibly be explained as a chance ‘coincidence’?  Perhaps, but I choose to believe it isn’t. 

 

These points bring me back to the issue of being awake to messages from our Soul which often function as safety nets when we risk taking leaps of faith.  As essence of Spirit, we incarnate into the body so that our Soul has the opportunity to evolve and grow through lessons that can only be learned through the physical world, some very hard karmic experiences.  In such times I often recall the scene where Harrison Ford as Indian Jones is teetering on the edge of a dizzying precipice, a death gorge beckons below.  His pursuers are closing in fast, his choices are two:  succumb to capture or risk safety by taking a ‘leap of faith’ across the abyss, knowing that if he misses, death is certain.  Just as he steps into the void an image of a lifesaving bridge suddenly appears; clearly a metaphor for taking a leap of faith–the very foundation of the Cathar’s philosophy–that ‘faith’ in the unseen, the non-physical, is greater than we can possibly imagine.

minerve monument

The Dove is a work of art created in 1982 by Jean-Luc Séverac, a Minerve artist, to commemorate the 140 Cathar Parfaits (Perfects) who were burned at the stake in 1210.

The stele is placed in front of the door to Eglise Saint Etienne in a small square off the rue des Remparts.  In describing his concept, artist Jean-Luc Séverac wrote, “The Cathars raised themselves above the material world…..so I made the dove, not out of stone, but out of light – the absence of matter is the only way to represent the Cathars.” (kindly contributed by Vernonique Frede-Markscheid)

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