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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MESSENGER OF THE GODS, SPEEDY MERCURY PREPARES TO BACK IT UP

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

It’s that time again when speedy Mercury, ‘messenger of the Gods’, slows, pauses and to our visual eyes, backs up in the heavens–often creating havoc with anything having to do with communication.  Over the last few years, I’ve blogged about this three times per year astrological event, particularly concerning the deeper meaning of Mercury’s motion for each of us.  

However, for this posting I’m pleased to have my Evolutionary Astrology colleague, Tony Howard appear as my guest.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tony(or his incredibly IMPRESSIVE bio), he’s an Evolutionary Astrologer himself and a guy with his feet in several canoes including the job of keeping all  print, video and website matters running smoothly for Evolutionary Astrologer, Steven Forrest and his Seven Paws Press.  So I leave you now in Tony’s good hands…pay attention!

 

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini May 2015 by Tony Howard

Are you ready for another Mercury retrograde cycle? We almost never are, are we? Since Mercury will retrograde in Gemini this time – its own sign – it’s likely we’ll see more of the stereotypical manifestations of this cycle. To get in the flow, you’ll probably need to slow down in general, but especially in regards to Gemini-ruled topics, like communication, speaking, writing, teaching, and learning.

My approach to a smooth Mercury retrograde period is to soften my will. Frustration only arises if I’m too invested in doing something at my usual lightning pace (I have natal Mercury conjunct Uranus). If I allow myself to slip into ultra-patient mode, I usually find that Mercury retrograde is pleasant. It’s one of the only times I give myself permission to slow down, let things go undone until they get done, and allow life to unfold as it will without pushing too much.

Hey, I should probably adopt a Mercury retrograde attitude all the time! Luckily, Mercury retrograde happens 3 times a year, so we get 3 chances to get it right. (Did I really just say “luckily”?!) If you have planets in early-to-mid Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo or Pisces, you’re likely to notice this Mercury Rx cycle more than usual. Also pay close attention to planets in those signs near 4° or 13°, the degrees of Mercury’s stations. The shadow period for this cycle begins May 4, with Mercury at 4° Gemini. As Mercury begins to slow down this time, it moves into a square with Neptune on May 8.

This usually quick transit takes on more importance since Mercury will retrograde back and forth over that square point at 9° Gemini. It retrogrades into the second pass of the square on May 28th. After stationing direct, Mercury squares Neptune one more time on June 22. Mercury with Neptune can bring shady communications, so let’s steer it towards more spiritual pursuits. You may want to postpone important conversations around those dates. Instead, use the time to connect with something higher than yourself, outside the linear realm of the easy-to-understand. Take an internet holiday (or just look at the pretty pictures instead of reading!).

Spend more time in silence, dream a little. Being too linear or trying to make sense of things on those Mercury square Neptune days feels like going against the flow. You’ll have plenty of time to get back to rational thinking after Mercury goes direct. The only conjunction of Mercury and Mars in Gemini this year happens during Mercury retrograde. Pay attention to the dates May 25-28, when listening is probably a better choice than speaking and taking action, especially if you find yourself peeved. Give Mars a couple of days to march briskly forward out of the conjunction while Mercury dilly-dallies, and wait until your frustration has integrated somewhat before saying what you need to say.

Just before Mercury goes direct, the collective seems to let out a big sigh of relief via Facebook these days, given that so many have become familiar with the cycle. We might see even more of that this time, when Mercury turns direct June 11 as it buddies up to Venus through the sextile aspect, ending the cycle with some good vibes. If any feathers got ruffled during the Mercury-Mars conjunction, or confusion set in with Mercury square Neptune, the sextile with Venus should provide some opportunity for pleasant re-connection. Venus will be in Leo, so celebrate the end of the cycle by spending time with fun friends who make you feel good. Get dressed up and go out to dinner for some lively conversation, or have some of your favorite peeps over for game night. Mercury is totally in the clear by June 27, when it passes the 13° mark, ending the post-retrograde shadow period.

 

GLASTONBURY FLOOR2

Photography Courtesy of Karen Pfiefer

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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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WHEN THAT OLD DEVIL SATURN SHOVES YOU THROUGH THE REBIRTH CANAL

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

If you’ve been feeling as if you’re being pulled through a keyhole backwards, it’s quite possible that old devil, Saturn, has been moving by transit‘ through the twelfth house of your birth chart, across your ascendant(the eastern horizon of your chart) and whoosh, bam…you’ve just come through the rebirth canal into first house of self.  

Poor Saturn.  Ancient and traditional astrologers assign unflattering descriptions of his impact on a chart such as restriction, lessons to be learned, tiresome practicality, excruciating patience and let’s not forget, the wet blanket in any situation…definitely not someone jovial Jupiter wants to sidle up to at a party. 

Naturally because it’s astrology, there’s never one ‘simple’ consideration.  How moving Saturn impacts a chart depends on several variables including transiting sign and mathematical relationships to a chart’s other ‘sensitive’ points besides the ascendant. However, through the evolutionary lens, when Saturn’s on the move through the final frontier of our twelfth house, across our ascendant into the first house, he’s the driving force pushing us toward our highest potential.  

In December Saturn temporarily finished its two year tour through, as Steven Forrest calls it, ‘the spooky sign of Scorpio,’ entering the expansive sign of Sagittarius.  Scorpio’s nature among other things, brings   our unconscious to the surface, forcing us to look at those things that have been safely buried in the watery depths– usually things we’d rather not face. 

Saturn in Scorpio makes us do what we don’t want to do…urging us to clean out the closet.  For those where this process is happening in their twelfth house, the landscape is vast.  While traditionally, this sector or circumstance of life is that of the mystic, the house of hidden things, a monastic life, it’s also our unconscious, the dungeon, –and the house of endings.  Quite simply:  the old you is no longer the person your Soul has mapped for this lifetime. 

But here’s the catch.–in order to move on, WE have to let go …relationships, perspectives, jobs, dreams…the list can be endless, making us feel as if we’re standing naked in the eye of the Universe.  However, the Universe is also ‘elegant’ as Forrest tells us.  Now that Saturn’s in Sagittarius, while perhaps it hasn’t finished moving through one’s twelfth house quite yet, if we’ve done our clean-out work, we’re afforded the benefit of fresh perspectives, even new dreams, if we CHOOSE to use this opportunity, as choice is always astrology’s intent. 

What if we haven’t done such a great job of cleaning out?  The Universe recognizes that sometimes we’re asleep and things slip by us.  Not to worry…in June that ‘Old Devil’ Saturn turns retrograde, backing up into Scorpio for a brief last pass before it finally moves on for the next two years in Sagittarius.  Have you swept out all the corners?  Have you looked hard at those things you’d rather not?  Have you let go? 

Don’t let your life pass you by.

 

 astrology-image

 

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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.

 

SFPage2

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