Gaye Mack’s Blog

POMEGRANATES AND BLESSINGS

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Writer's Work Leave a comment

Slightly different from what I typically write about, for this post I welcome my good friend, Judy Tsafrir, MD as my guest.  Judy is a holistic psychiatrist with a busy practice in Boston. I highly recommend following her blog, as she’s incredibly multifaceted as a mind/body/spirit oriented physician, evolutionary astrologer, Tarot practitioner and expert in nutrition.  Her recent post discussing reflections and blessings in our lives is something we all can well be reminded of as the fall equinox approaches and we prepare to go within for more self-discovery in the months ahead.

It is September, a season of new beginnings, the initiation of a fresh cycle. We just celebrated Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. The children went back to school, the summer is waning and it’s getting dark earlier. Autumn is at the door. September is a time linked in my mind with the ancient mythic pomegranate, a cross-cultural symbol of fertility and sweetness. It is traditional to eat pomegranates with its many seeds on Rosh Hashana, as a symbol of fruitfulness.

As a child in the 50′s in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we called pomegranates “Indian Apples”. I have always loved them, though they were a challenge to eat. I would extract the juicy crimson seeds individually, staining my fingers, until I learned a brilliant Israeli technique.

This is really amazing: Take a knife and slice the pomegranate in half. Take a heavy spoon, and holding half the pomegranate sliced side down over a large bowl, whack it repeatedly, and all of the gorgeous scarlet seeds will tumble out. Then you just need to remove the few pieces of creamy rind that were dislodged as well, and you have a luscious pile of pomegranate seeds.

The pomegranate is a symbol to me of all of the blessings in my own life. I was very inspired by the sermon that my rabbi,  Wes Gardenswartz, gave on Rosh Hashanah. It is linked in my mind with appreciation and pomegranates. This is my reconstruction of what he said:

The British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips proposed that each of us has the actual life that we live, which is the result of all of the choices we have made and all the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Simultaneously, each of us has a parallel unlived life, one that shadows us with what might have been; the regrets, the opportunities not embraced, the roads not taken. He spoke of the wonderful novelist Richard Russo, who wrote a memoir of his relationship with his mother entitled , “Elsewhere”. Russo’s mother never was happy where she was; she was always longing to be somewhere else.

The rabbi reframed the tasks of daily living that can at times feel onerous, like doing the laundry, as something that he GETS to do, rather than something that he HAS to do. In order to do laundry he has to be able to see to sort the colors, have functioning legs which carry him up and down the stairs, and arms that have the strength to hold the basket. The capacity to do laundry presupposes a great deal of able-bodiedness. I know for myself, I can sometimes feel burdened by having to weed the garden, or having to figure out what to make for dinner for the children, or being obliged to seriously restrict my carbs if I don’t want to gain weight and feel tired. But OMG, what a blessing to still have children under my roof to make dinner for, to have a garden to care for, or to be in such a privileged position that I can choose what to eat.

The rabbi addressed the importance of simultaneously being aware of those aspects of our lives that are still unlived, and striving to manifest those dreams and potentials, while experiencing gratitude for the reality of our lives as they are. Not to be like Richard Russo’s mother who was focused on what was missing. The rabbi noted that none of our lives are perfect; there are those who have wealth but poor health, a meaningful career but trouble with our kids, a good marriage but constant money worries; and yet for all of us, there are so many blessings that we often just take for granted.

Warm wishes to all my readers for a sweet, fruitful and healthy New Year, filled with consciousness of the blessings in our lives, as the numerous as the seeds of the pomegranate.

 

 

equinox

 

             Fall Equinox, Chicago-September 22, 2013 3:44 p.m. CST

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EDWARD BACH’S WALNUT REMEDY…PERFECT FOR THE FALL EQUINOX AND THE APPROACHING NEW MOON IN LIBRA

Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology 4 Comments

The flower remedy Walnut is, “the Remedy for those who have decided to take a great step forward in life, to break old conventions, to leave old limits and restrictions and start on a new way,” so said Dr. Bach.

In this sense, Walnut helps us  cut the ‘ties that bind’, a phrase often quoted by the 1970’s motivational speaker, Dr. Leo Buscaglia.  Thus, it’s the perfect remedy for navigating the change of seasons as we welcome the fall equinox that took place last Friday.  I say this because there’s a lot happening astrologically around this year’s Equinox and the new moon that  involves shedding old ways (which I plan to blog on next time).  However, because Walnut is such a BIG remedy, I want to focus on it here…stay the course which is  another specific effect of this remedy.  It helps us to ‘stay the course’ and not become distracted by ‘the next shiny thing’ or others.

When I teach about the remedies, I remind people to think of them like the color spectrum;  we have our 7 primary colors, but within each color are thousands of subtle vibrational hues connected to that color…and so it is with the remedies.  When you read standard books about the Bach remedies in particular, there’s always some sort of ‘classical’ phrase or word to describe the action of each remedy.  For example, you’re likely to read that Walnut is for ‘change and transition’…which it is.   It helps us to navigate us through major changes in our lives…positive or negative. The circumstances could be marriage, divorce, new job, losing job, pregnancy, puberty, menopause…teething, surgery…the list is endless.

But Walnut is also helpful for several other states of mind and circumstances as well.  Like the ‘Walnut’ with its hard outer shell protecting the nut meat,  as a remedy it helps to ‘protect’ our solar plexus, the gravitational center of our body where we feel before we think.  It protects that delicate energy center within us from unhealthy ‘mundane’ outside influences that may be attempting to distract us from our intended life path.  On an energetic level, Walnut also helps to protect us from negative external energy that can be quite damaging particularly from those who do not have our best interests in their heart.

On a practical note, one question  I’m often asked relates to ‘nut allergies’…or ‘tree allergies’.  Not to worry…All of the Bach remedies (save Rock Water) are made from the ‘blossoms’ of the plant.  Because of the methods(sun and boiling) proscribed by Dr. Bach to produce the remedies, there’s no molecular structure in them…remember:  flower remedies are about energy and vibration…they’re about the plant’s healing  life force, Prana, Qi, energy…whichever term you are comfortable with…so no worries regarding allergies.  Although like many herbal tinctures, they’re preserved in alcohol(grape brandy), but there are ways you can still benefit  if you are alcohol sensitive.  For more information on this issue, check my website.