Interview with Mark Jones from the (now defunct) online astrology magazine, Major Sky
Major Sky Issue 38 Aquarius Solar Eclipse New Moon 2008 12

Majorsky questions in bold. Mark's replies in plain text.

General information about your practice

Where do you live and practice? Bristol, England

Your specialty in Astrology?
Evolutionary Astrology/Psychological Astrology. My specialty is working with people on their life purpose, their journey of individuation, how to escape or process the chains and or patterns of the past, family/religious conditioning etc. Exploring the soulful dimension – why they are here in the larger sense (including potentially the dimension of what they might have been up to before) and how to go about actualizing this potential.

How long have you been practicing – How did it start?
It started through my study of Kabbalah in my early twenties, which led to a workshop in London with Warren Kenton/Z’ev Ben Shimon Halevi on Kabbalistic Astrology. Then seemingly without trying I seemed to gain a reputation as an astrologer before I had any clue what I was doing…some would say this trend as continued in a slightly more refined form! Initially self-taught, reading Liz Greene, Sasportas and Arroyo, to be fair finally studying Noel Tyl’s Astrological Counselling Masters and with Jeff Green’s London Pluto School my capacities did expand somewhat.

About your counseling sessions:
I combine working as a psychotherapist with my work as an astrologer. What this means in practice is that some counseling clients begin to explore the meaning of their birthchart and my astrological clients get the benefit of my experience of working with psychological patterns, conditioning and self-development.

Do you write in any magazine or website?
I have written on the archetypes of the zodiac from the point of view of Evolutionary Astrology, initially for students of my schools here in the U.K. but this is available as a resource on my website. I have written for Majorsky and for The Synthesist on Pluto in Sagitarius and exploring the 12 signs of the zodiac as a 12-step program. I wrote often for the website Rubedo on the Galactic Centre and the work of Rick Tarnas amongst other things.

Besides making a living, what are the purposes of your work, what motivates you to do it?
The purpose of my work has always been a central issue for me and it revolves around the joint desire to personally embody my highest potential and to encourage others around me that resonate with what I am doing to embody their highest potential.

What are your current projects professionally?
I am working on a series of papers/articles on Evolutionary Astrology and the Pluto in Virgo Generation. Some of which will be available on the website later in the year. I will be speaking at the Norwac conference in Seattle in May 2008 and giving a post-conference workshop. I will also be teaching some phone classes, an expansion on last years work on trauma and a new one on the Nodal Axis, if people are interested they can keep and eye on the website or are welcome to contact me.

The World

Imagine a world with Pluto in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces?
Where the poets and dreamers are so intense that the crumbling fortresses of fear and oppression across the globe collapse in the face of their power and beauty… a world in which political and societal structures implode causing tremendous struggle and hardship for many, in which others will fall into confusion and despair, but that may be a necessary step in the re-making of the world… A place in which faith and the nature of one’s innermost truth may be all one can rely upon as all around change - the challenge of conjoining or splitting our light and our way of being in the world.

Your position on the current state of Astrology

Astrology in the Future?
For me…less stars, more open access. More people sat in quality discussions with friends, peers and clients looking at just what it is that moves them and just what this incredible tool can do to help them understand themselves and to liberate from conditioning. Always leading lights are useful, and must be celebrated for their gifts to collective knowledge, but it is in people’s secret lives that most change germinates, and in their closest groups and allegiances that such change is nurtured.

Are you satisfied with the current developmental flow of astrology?
I am honestly not sure what it is. I guess I see the flow having a past direction (Hellenistic, Carter, Lilly, ‘real’ astrology) and a present/future one with psychological and evolutionary forms. Both have their place. I guess I am with the psychological/evolutionary current but I find myself looking backand the work of Rick Tarnas amongst other things.

Besides making a living, what are the purposes of your work, what motivates you to do it?
The purpose of my work has always been a central issue for me and it revolves around the joint desire to personally embody my highest potential and to encourage others around me that resonate with what I am doing to embody their highest potential.

What are your current projects professionally?
I am working on a series of papers/articles on Evolutionary Astrology and the Pluto in Virgo Generation. Some of which will be available on the website later in the year. I will be speaking at the Norwac conference in Seattle in May and giving a post-conference workshop. I will also be teaching some phone classes, an expansion on last years work on trauma and a new one on the Nodal Axis, if people are interested they can keep and eye on the website or are welcome to contact me.

Are you satisfied with the dynamics and developments within the astrology community on a local and global basis? Yes and No. There is incredible diversity which can be useful but which sometimes seems to promote cliques to protect the truth of particular methods. This again is useful, because the purity of certain methods need to be preserved, but this it seems to me needs to take place within an atmosphere of personal respect for the intellectual and moral endeavours of others. I personally (without wishing to threaten anyone’s livelihood because making a living is a crucial part of being an adult) would argue that actually it is not about dumbing down astrology or making it sexy so that folks are attracted to what we do. Let us trust the magisterial art-science of the last centuries and the potential depth of our work and say we can develop something that will encourage folks to resonate with a quality within that is deeper than the marketplace trends. What it means to be alive is a fundamental question/experience that transcends fashion.

Suggestions to make the astrology world a better place? There seems to be a movement in astrology to take ourselves more seriously, as if the slightly ‘fringe’ nature of the subject sees us have to don our suits and smarten up – I am all for professional and personal respect but personally I say we could take ourselves a little less seriously… astrology is not the be all and end all, it is a profound and useful tool to engage more fully in the meaning and the experience of one’s personal and collective life. It is not a religion and if one person thinks that tight orbs and the 5th harmonic are the thing and another thinks that large orbs and the transpersonal planets are the thing, then in the world I imagine both these things can have their place and people can have the chance to explore which works best. I am not arguing that all things are relative, far from it, some forms of astrology seem to me to be far more powerful and soul-searching than others, but we can allow for all of that within our trust that our clients and readers and just as importantly ourselves are sincere and discerning folks. Besides, as many an astrologer or therapist might confess eventually, after all the fancy skills and techniques, often it is the magic, or the failure of the magic, of the encounter with an another human being that people often go away remembering, not the close analysis of the natal square from Venus to Saturn, painful though it may be. The natal chart is a map, the human life that then unfolds, that is the actual journey.

Your family status
long-term partnership (10years), no kids as yet…

Religious background and conditioning?
Used to pray with my mum as a child, left Sunday school at age 10 after an argument with the teacher where I questioned the nature of a loving god if the rules around hell were as they said they were… otherwise materialism of 80’s dominated and I took to sci-fi and existentialism…

Spiritual orientation – Do you follow any specific practice?
My focal points are the Christ and the Buddha, for me the greatest teachers of humanity. For 7 years I practiced the Kabbalistic Cross, then the compassion and purification Buddhist deity practices. I also found the Course in Miracles to be a profound practice. At the start of 2009 a sort of Christian-Buddhist prayer practice is evolving somewhat spontaneously! For those out there who wonder how I can reconcile the Creator with the Buddhist view of emptiness I say many mysteries abound and that the Presence at the heart of reality can contain all potentialities. So there.

What’s the worst thing and then, the best thing about you?
Best thing is a vision or optimism infused with kindness – the worst thing a paradoxical blend of arrogance and self-doubt that can see me falter

What is in your pocket/purse right now?
Had 2 five pound notes today and spent them today

You never tried
dangerous sport, a one night stand

You can’t refuse…
a good dessert or after dinner sweet

What is playtime for you?
Badminton, a swim and sauna, a game of bum kung fu with my 4 yr old nephew (a game I invented a must say proudly), a few days with no commitments for me and Clare to just chill out.

Your animal totem? Owl

Your superstition?
Tendency to pick tarot or medicine cards to constantly define my path or make decisions to the frequent merriment/despair of friends and partner.

Your Chinese sign?
I am a Pisces Pig I believe, good hearted, loyal, maybe a bit greedy…

What would you define is an important evolutionary lesson for you in this life?
To balance duty to family and various commitments with the need to individuate. To hold on to some sense of my origins or faint ‘light’ alone, and within a culture, particularly early on in life that did not always acknowledge or support that. To embody my Soul concerns and force within my career/vocation.

Your favorite place on earth?
Locally I love to walk in the deer park and the nearby Leigh Woods, globally … the American south-west and pacific north-west, Barcelona, the southern coast of Crete

Favorite planet/spatial object?
Jupiter

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