Gaye Mack’s Blog


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

Pluto always seems to get a bad rap and that’s before its status as a bonafide planet was brought into question.  Over the years I’ve heard the following phrases to describe a Pluto transit through a chart: “the cosmic 2×4” or “the cosmic enema”…either way, the message reads  “if you don’t clean it (whatever ‘it’ is)  up, Pluto will do it for you; Pluto takes no prisoners.” On Friday, Pluto halted it’s retrograde motion that began back in April.  Now stationing for a bit before it moves forward, Pluto’s energy will be intense and direct, making sure we get its message.

The energy of this planet is all about truth, power and transformation…urging us to dive down into the depths of the innermost ‘knowing’ of ourselves.  It’s  an opportunity to become students in learning  the art of discernment, what is real? What is fantasy?  Where have we been deluding ourselves?   As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, when a planet shifts into retrograde motion (‘appearing’ to move backwards in the sky), we’re encouraged to go inward, to evaluate how the particular planet’s energy is playing out in our chart and in our lives…where do we need to make adjustments?  This message is particularly true of Pluto…learning the art of course correction for our greatest good, our destiny.

Currently, Pluto is in Capricorn, the sign that wants to be effective through practicality, self-sufficiency, stability.  Whichever house Pluto is currently poised in your chart will give you clues about your particular task.  Sixth house?  Could be your daily work, health, skill set; ninth house?  Might be education, your philosophy or your over-optimism that needs a reality check!

 If we haven’t plugged in, Pluto will make sure we do.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) this usually comes in the form of an outward, material manifestation that reflects the significance of blowing Pluto’s message off.  While this is often tough going when we’re ‘in it’, down the road we can come to realize that the experience was a life saver.







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

In my last post under writer’s work, I talked about the daunting business of finding literary agent representation…an undertaking not for the faint of heart.  While this search can be overwhelming and at times discouraging, one of the things that has changed in the last 20 years is that a majority of agents now accept ‘electronic queries’.  

There are several reasons for this, most of which are a combination of agencies taking a ‘green’ stance on the environment combined with efficiency.  While the electronic query is beneficial for agents and can be for the writer, this  process does come with some baggage; one misstep and your query is destined to the query abyss.  From my own experience, I have found the following check list helpful when  submitting an electronic query:

1.  Similar to when we write emails, we can get carried away with an electronic query.  Looks are deceiving…what appears to be one page, may in fact be way too long.  A good way to check yourself is to cut/paste your query into a word doc…see if it fits into one page that has 1″ margins at 12 point Times New Roman.  If not, it’s too long…go back to the drawing board.  Also, some agents are specific as to whether they want the query letter to be single or double spaced.

2.  Check and double check the ‘submission guidelines’ on the agent’s website for query email address.  As a rule, agencies will list a generic address for queries that’s different from the individual agent email addresses.

3.  In the subject line, most agencies ask that you put the word ‘Query’ with the title of your work after it.  This instruction can vary slightly from agency to agency…again check their submission guidelines for specifics.

4.  Whether you get a response or not(even if its a rejection) again, varies from agency to agency.  Amazingly, despite the massive volume that these agents are currently receiving, I have found the majority of agents to respond one way or another.  Where it becomes tricky is those agents who say in their submission guidelines that you will hear from them and then you don’t.  This leaves you to wonder if your query ended up in their spam filter or they just no longer reply in the case of rejections.   In this case I have waited about 8 weeks and then have sent a polite email inquiry…sometimes this works, sometimes I hear nothing…time to move on.

5.  Rule of thumb written in stone:  Do not send any more than the guidelines ask for when submitting a query.  If the agent wants to see more, you’ll hear from him or her with specific instructions.

6.  Today the competition  for representation, much less a publisher, is more than fierce.  I applaud the agents who take time to explain the reasons why they reject a project even though the writing is exceptional.  It may be that they are looking for a specific project to fill their list, they may have knowledge of a ‘soon to be released project’ that is similar to your own or it may be a matter of  the market pulse…what is going to sell, what is the next ‘hot’ thing.  And finally, agents will tell you that they personally have to be passionate about your work; ‘passionate’ being the operative word.  If they aren’t it isn’t necessarily that there is something wrong with it, it just isn’t for them.  This is a subjective business and where one agent may take a pass, another one is waiting to snap it up.  

 7.  Bottom line:  “Keep on keeping on.”





Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance Leave a comment

I had planned to blog under Writer’s Work today, but  media coverage of the 9/11 remembrance triggered recall of my particular experience with the source of this wonderful remedy a few days following 9/11.

On 9/11, I had just begun giving an 8 a.m. training(outside in the gorgeous early morning ) to the Whole Body department at Baltimore’s Whole Foods when a staff member rushed out of the store to tell us  the 2nd tower had been hit. 

In the hours and days  that followed, it was questionable as to how I was going to get back to Chicago.  Flying was out of the question; a friend who worked for SBC in Chicago on wire taps with the FBI,emailed me.  All she said in her one line email was, ‘Do not get on any trains. At the end of the day, I was lucky; I had a rental car and ended up driving myself back to Chicago.  And while it was  a very long trip in so many ways, just as I came down a slip ramp outside of Washington DC to head West on the interstate, I saw something unbelievably remarkable.

The hillside to my right was flooded with the golden brilliance of massive Gorse bushes.  I had seen this bush cover hillsides in the UK over the years, but never before in the United States.  Knowing  the significance of Gorse as a flower remedy,  its appearance under the circumstances was indescribably powerful.

Dr. Bach’s flower remedy, Gorse is specifically given for the negative emotional state of mind which says, ‘there is no hope’, no light at the end of the tunnel; nothing will help; all faith has been lost.   Gorse shifts this internal message and perspective so that the individual comes to a place within themselves that believes there IS indeed hope.

As a flower remedy practitioner, I have seen Gorse shift states of mind from very transient,  situational  losses of  hope and faith to the drama of the extreme where the individual wants to go to sleep and never wake up. 

The healing energy of Gorse floods the heart and soul with faith reminding us always, that there is light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how illusive it may seem from time to time.

Gorse courtesy of the Dr. Edward Bach Centre. 

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Posted on by Gaye Mack in Ancient Legends of Great Britain Leave a comment

Aside from the better-known places of legend with their struggles between church and crown, I am also very fond of this island’s offerings that are remote, lending themselves to the active imagination.   The Cornish coast is just such a place.  Not exactly a time saver to get to (maps are deceiving!)… it is a bloody long way down the road from London,(think days…so it seems) but well worth the trip!   Having visited Cornwall a few times over the years(first in 1980), it is one of those places where you just can’t get enough of the land, the sea and the myths!  

Cornwall is ancient, very ancient…it’s energy is ancient and like many places around this island, you can easily fall into time traps…a few years ago, a friend and I (we who consider ourselves pretty savvy travelers) got lost…inexplicably lost, on Bodmin Moor within a very small radius….to this day we have NO idea how this happened….fortunately our OS Map came to the rescue or we might still be there with the faries!

 Myths tell us that the north coastal town of Tintagel is the place where Merlin kept his crystal cave, made so famous in the 1970’s fantasy novels of Mary Stuart(hmmm is she a direct descendant of THE Mary Stuart, one wonders?)  And that  is possibly the location of King Arthur’s Camelot, his birthplace, etc.etc….although the Welsh take exception, the local Tintagel merchants apparently ignore this as Arthur and company are very much alive and well in Tintagel.  


What I can tell you is that the climb up the steep slopes to the remaining  foundations of Tintagel Castle is not for the faint of heart, but like the journey to Cornwall, it’s worth the effort!  The views are spectacular on a clear day…and positively spooky when it isn’t.  I kid you not,  as you look out from a high precipice at the endless scope of blue sea before you, with your feet placed in the stone depression on  the very spot where  legend tells us the Cornish kings were crowned a thousand years ago, you are easily transported back in time! It’s hard to come back to the present.

But Tintagel, Merlin and King Arthur are not all that is Cornwall, by far….You could spend weeks exploring this part of Britain….there are smuggler’s coves dotted with lilliputian inns, Pirates in Penzance (particularly at the Admiral Benbow pub!) sacred wells, (and don’t forget the moors!) standing stones, roads so narrow not to mention so steep in some parts that make Filbert street in San Franciso look whimpy. 

All in all Cornwall is a magical place….perhaps that is why they have their own language and have tried to separate from England for hundreds of years!  If you don’t have a great deal of time, one of the easiest ways to get down there is via fast train from London’s Paddington station (first class is very worth the cost).  The trip is about five hours one way and there is an Enterprise car rental location right at the station…just don’t forget your maps!


 Photography: Cave courtesy of English Heritage


Tintagel Castle & Precipice©Gaye F. Mack, Inc.


Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance, Karmic and Self-Discovery Astrology 1 Comment

On August 30th Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, began its annual four-month back up motion in the heavens.   This mammoth planet known to astrologers as the King of the Gods, the planet of expansion, optimism and good fortune now bids us to contemplate a course correction.  As I mentioned in my recent posting regarding Mercury’s retrograde, when planets enter a retrograde phase,it’s a signal to us to go inside and quiet down to contemplate, re-evaluate what the energy and chart placement means to our evolutionary agenda.  This retrograde is in Taurus, so we are directed to consider earthly things such as security and priorities.  What is really important to us for our well being?  With Jupiter, where have we been over enthusiastic, over optimistic regarding these issues?  

Thus, because Jupiter is all about faith and optimism, we can become easily deluded and tricked in the face of reality— if we aren’t careful.  Jupiter in our charts reflects the necessity of walking a fine line of balance between having faith in ourselves and optimism in our dreams against reality.  When we lose our balance within this framework we can be easily opened up to the shock of disappointment and discouragement.  Jupiter’s retrograde highlights which old beliefs and self-imposed benchmarks  are no longer useful,  may be dragging us down; in other words, they need to be jettisoned.  This lesson can be and  often is,  disheartening.  We are ready to throw in the towel when it feels like the wheels are coming off…but there is help on the way!  

Dr. Bach’s flower remedy Gentian, is there to help us when we lose our Jupiter balance.  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 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.  

In case you are wondering…in my own birth chart I have Jupiter in my first house of ‘self’ and it is also my chart ruler… which is why I have Gentian in the large economy size on my desk! 


 Gentian Photography courtesy of the Dr. Edward Bach Center