Gaye Mack’s Blog


Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance Leave a comment

Star of Bethlehem one of the most powerful remedies in the famous 38 Bach Flower Remedies repertoire, is classically  described as THE remedy for ‘shock and trauma’, whether it be a very recent shock or trauma or one that is very old, yet remains at some level within our consciousness and our bodies.  I had not planned to blog about ‘Star’ quite this soon, but given the recent events experienced by those on the eastern seaboard  in the last several weeks, first the earthquake and now Irene, it seems the time is now.  

Although these dramas  have been extremely traumatic for all of those touched by them, as a practitioner I have never met anyone who can not benefit from this remedy.  ‘Star’ is so deeply powerful that Dr. Bach included it as one of the five flower remedies in his famous combination, ‘Rescue Remedy'(Dr. Edward Bach Centre-UK),  which is also known as ‘The Five Flower Formula'(Healing Herbs Ltd.-UK).  

Grief is another form of wounding, which can be deep and long lived.  For this reason I have always called upon Star of Bethlehem for clients who are experiencing or have experienced loss of any kind, whether it be the loss of a loved one or a shattered dream.  In this context, we are within the boundary of the spiritual aspects of this remedy because as spirit in body, each of us comes into this incarnation with a karmic contract, soul lessons to master, wounds to heal.  

As I wrote in Igniting Soul Fire, Spiritual Dimensions of the Bach Flower Remedies,If there is one remedy that represents the Divinity found in each of the remedies, it is ‘Star of Bethlehem’…. [it]seems to promote a release from the wounds that cause us the deepest of hurts. Physical traumas heal; but inasmuch as we are spirit in body, the wounds that cause us the deepest grief are those rooted within us emotionally. These wounds have a symbiotic relationship to Star of Bethlehem that is divinely healing.

On the spiritual level, the flower, Star of Bethlehem presents a balanced image of six perfect petals of white, evoking the image of the spiritually-significant six-pointed star, the perfectly counterbalanced triangles, the phrase ‘as above, so below’ and the culmination of the colors in the spectrum. As a practitioner, I have heard this remedy referred to as the ‘ultimate healer of all wounds’ and ‘the Divine Mother essence’. In other words, it is truly a remedy for a heart in distress.”

Photography Courtesy of the Dr. Edward Bach Foundation


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

Finally, we can take a small breath as Mercury speeds up changing to direct motion…always refreshing!  So the question is; on your internal channels what did you think about, reconsider during this retrograde?  Did you map out adjustments to your plan, set a course ahead that includes these  If so, forward movement can now prove to be beneficial in the quest, whatever that might be. 

On the mundane, how many heart stopping moments did you experience with communication…like hitting ‘send’ before double checking the addresses or deleting the thread of an oh, not so great, conversation about someone?….Or booting up your computer only to be faced with the ‘blue(or worse, black) screen of death’?  You can thank Mercury’s retrograde energy meant to make us stop and think!

And now we have a new moon in Virgo exact on Sunday(28th) at approximately 10:04 p.m. CST.  Leo’s full moon earlier this month was about our heart centered creativity; now Virgo is telling us to get down to brass tacks in an earthly way and get busy.  Service is Virgo’s  key goal, but like all of the signs it has its ‘shadow’ which can be hyper criticism, arrogance, over analysis, self-deprecation…take your pick.  Virgo can easily ratchet up its shadow in us if we are predisposed to any of these tendencies.  Self-deprecation seems to be a favorite that says we are ‘never enough’.  I wrote on an earlier post under “Balance” about Dr. Bach’s flower remedy Pine…check it out for Pine is a perfect remedy to help us balance out this particular shadow side of Virgo.

And there is more!  This new moon positioning itself in Virgo comes with a packed agenda.  Venus, the planet of beauty and love is even closer to the Sun now, joined by the moon…reminding us that our interpretation of self-worth and loving ourselves is very important to our evolutionary soul growth.  This new moon is also part of a earth bound Grand Trine to Jupiter(King of the Gods, planet of fortune and expansion), and Pluto(the alchemist, transformer, change).  

Grand Trines are easy energy, but they can be deceptive because we can become too complacent with this ease of energy, waiting for things to happen without our input of effort.  Virgo says, “get off your comfy sofa and put some elbow grease into your plan.”  If you do, this Grand Trine energy can be a great support in letting go of outmoded beliefs and plans to be replaced by more useful ones that you may have ‘thought’ about during the recent Mercury retrograde.  

In a chart there are no idle actors; the energy of every planet placement has a purpose on the stage, but it is up to us to participate in the script.

                         Chart calculated via Solar Fire software


Posted on by Gaye Mack in Worth the Read 6 Comments

If you like thrillers set within real situations  that come with a paranormal flavor based on established legends… and are curious about a female protagonist who doesn’t fit the mold of a  single mom turned parish priest and (reluctant, skeptical?) Diocesan exorcist,  then  British author, Phil Rickman’s ‘Merrily Watkins’ series is for you!  I discovered Merrily, her daughter Flower and assorted friends  several years ago while in the UK and was instantly hooked.  Now I am eagerly awaiting the September release of  Rickman’s newest Merrily“The Secrets of Pain”, on Amazon.  

Rickman’s skill in creating sense of place is brilliantly matched with a sense of other that is addictive.  He doesn’t write horror(and confesses that he doesn’t like horror) and yet his stories are haunting.  Before launching the ‘Watkins’ series, he authored four ‘stand alone’ novels, equally eerie, the first of which was Candlenight (1991).  

Last year(2010) he introduced a new series with ‘Bones of Avalon’, set in my favorite legendary Glastonbury, based on  Queen Elizabeth I’s famous and much maligned personal astrologer, Dr. John Dee.  However, no matter which of his books you choose, they are all ‘worth the read’.



 Photography ©Gaye F. Mack



Posted on by Gaye Mack in Balance 10 Comments

Among Dr. Bach’s famous 38 flower remedies, the negative emotional state of Pine is one that I see in clients a great deal of the time and hear about when I am teaching.  While it is not among Bach’s original ’12 Healers’ but rather one of his  ‘final 19’ remedies  (discovered between 1934-35), nevertheless it is a remedy that is incredibly powerful and runs deep.  I have found over the years that the negative Pine dynamic  gets set up when we are very young and can be entrenched within us for a lifetime.  

As I wrote in Igniting Soul Fire-Spiritual Dimensions of the Bach Flower Remedies, in my experience, the ‘drivers’ underlying this state are a result of one or all of the following:  A hypercritical parenting/family dynamic environment, strict cultural  or strict religious(note I am not saying ‘spiritual’) environment.  And, it is my experience that for  someone experiencing a negative Pine state, they are likely to be on it for some time; why?  Because again,  Pine’s negative, internal dialogue runs so deep within us.  

So what is this dialogue?

The negative Pine state is one that is a reflection of shame-based guilt. In this state,we operate from a core of unworthiness, simply by being in the body. From day one, in  the negative  Pine mood-state (or if it is part of what Bach called, the ‘personality-type’), we feel and believe that we are unworthy. We tend to ruminate over what we have done, did not do, should have done or said. Additionally, we will often take on the responsibility for another’s dysfunction; ‘it’s my fault’ is the chronic internal and external dialogue.  If you have ever known someone who constantly apologizes for things having nothing to do with them, you are witnessing negative Pine.

Unfortunately, when we carry such beliefs within us,  we can also experience repetitive episodes of betrayal…this only reinforces our interpretation. Furthermore, for those in a negative Pine state,  laden with shame and guilt, the internal dialogue is one that says we are always the problem and always the reason behind such experiences.  Most likely this assessment is far from accurate, but in the mind it is and therefore, we can never do enough or say enough. In a phrase, we will ‘never be good enough.’  

How does Bach’s Pine remedy work?  Like all of the remedies, it ‘shifts’ our perception of our internal and external environment; it lifts the fog  created by the negative state that masks the innate wisdom of our Soul so that we may ‘see’ clearly.  The power in Dr. Bach’s Pine remedy is that it leads us back to the road of forgiving….ourselves.  


 Photography courtesy of the Dr. Edward Bach Foundation©



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

Seems everyone wants to write a book…and a lot of people do…and they do it well.  But this is only half of the story…the rest falls into the nebulous world of having your work published by someone other than you…although this is always an option.

 Years ago an author friend of mine whose several books have found their way to bookstore shelves, thanks to various publishers, quipped something like, “Well if you want to have a garage full of your books for 10 years that you have to schlep and market on your own, by all means self-publish.” Need I say more? The advent of E-Publishing has changed some of this, and there are some incredible success stories like Amanda Hocking up in Minnesota…nevertheless, self-publishing even E-Publishing still is a lot of work and can cost plenty.

 These options have never appealed to me (although I can change my mind!) which is why I have preferred to endure the slog of finding literary representation over the years.  A lot has changed in 20 years in this regard and the joy of seeing  the longest pregnancy in history come to fruition on the shelves of Barnes and Nobel can easily spiral into the feeling of hopelessness. 

My past  experience has been that the tough competition fell to nailing a publishing contract…now the competition has filtered down to nailing a contract or an agreement for agent representation, never mind the publisher.  This brings me to the nitty- gritty of this process.  I have discovered over time that unless you are involved in writing for publication, generally people have no clue about the ‘business side’ which is as critical as producing the work itself. 

 First there are the hours of trolling hundreds (thousands?) of agents listed in the current edition of the Writer’s Digest Guide of Literary Agents (or some other reputable resource), whittling your survey down to  some 40 or so ‘A’ list agents to target(with the knowledge that if you get 40 rejections, you’d better have a ‘B’ list ready).  For my current project I finally had to resort to a spread sheet.  Fortunately unlike 20 years ago, most reputable agents now have websites which profile the agency’s principal agents, their individual areas of focus and submission guidelines—this is a HUGE help.  Nevertheless, you most likely will need to start with a resource guide first.

 Then comes the dreaded Agent Query Letter’—the interview of your life in one page, three paragraphs in which, (a.) you must ‘hook’ the agent in one line, two at the most into your book, (b.) paragraph two tells a little more about the book in maybe 150 words and (c.) paragraph three describes why you are the person to write the particular book you have, your qualifications for doing so and a brief appreciation statement of the agent’s time.  You’re done-one page.    Some agents get hundreds, sometimes thousands of queries in a month. You get one shot and if you don’t hit the agent dead bang, you and the manuscript are toast as far as that agent is concerned.

 Personally I think writing the query letter is worse than writing the book!  Next post…the abyss of the electronic query.