The summer of 2015 has seen the publication of The Soul Speaks: The Therapeutic Potential of Astrology. The importance of this for me cannot be overstated. In part because it tells my story of the discovery of Roberto Assagioli’s astrological studies and the way they informed the development of Psychosynthesis – just as Psychosynthesis influenced Assagioli’s friend Dane Rudhyar (revealing the profound and supportive relationship between astrology and transpersonal psychology at the heart of the twentieth century). But mainly because it expresses the most transformational vision that I have of healing work in general, and the fusion of psychotherapy with astrology (under the guiding vision of a democratic spirituality) in particular.
The name of the book comes from a translation of the word psychology: which literally means account or word (logos) of soul (psyche). In the context of the medical model which dominates the early psychological pioneers (Freud, Jung, Adler, Assagioli were all medical doctors), returning to the understanding of soul as the experiential ground of psychotherapy is a radical revision of the prevailing mechanical paradigm that would see our most personal or difficult experiences as problems to be solved, an illness to be cured.
Freud himself knew that real healing must transcend the purely medical model. He championed what he called lay analysis (i.e. non-doctors being therapists) and would call the primary lay analyst in his group Dr. Rank as a sign of respect – Otto Rank was not a doctor but would be respected as such in Freud’s inner circle. It is time for the limiting parts of this medical model to go because it traps the therapist within a simplistic fantasy of curing the illness of the patient/client. In James Hillman’s first, and in many ways most passionate and clear book, Suicide and the Soul, he writes of the transformative vision of soul within the therapeutic space:
“Case history reports on the achievements and failures of life with the world of facts. But the soul has neither achieved or failed in the same way because the soul has not worked in the same way. Its material is experience… The soul imagines and plays – and play is not chronicled by report. What remains of the years of our childhood play that could not be set down in a case history?... Taking a soul history means capturing emotions, fantasies, and images by entering the game and dreaming the myth along with the patient. Taking a soul history means becoming part of the other person’s fate.” (Author’s italics - p.78 Suicide and the Soul.)
In articulating the role of the therapist as seeing into the soul life of the other, Hillman frames a radical vision of soul-full responsibility within the therapeutic alliance; becoming a part of the other person’s fate. This is a profound evocation of the practice of being a counsellor or therapist. This is the seed that will become. In a similar vein, Lionel Corbett’s work (The Religious Function of the Psyche, The Sacred Cauldron) explores Jung’s writing through the vision of a sage such as Ramana Maharshi and comes to the idea of psychotherapy as a spiritual practice.
This is the path that I have endeavoured to lay down for the counselling-orientated astrologer in The Soul Speaks. Astrology can provide a map for a therapeutic encounter that gives freedom for the voice or song with the soul of a person to speak forth their truth in a way that can be received and encouraged by the astrologer. Rather than the model in which the astrologer is magician – or performing monkey – expressing for the individual what they might want or be like based on the natal chart, in this path we return to the vision of astrology that Rudhyar held in his most prescient writing;
“The transpersonal philosopher-astrologer should always allow for the existence of the unknowable. He is dealing with a mystery – with man’s essential freedom.”
When I read Rudhyar’s From Humanistic to Transpersonal Astrology (from which the above quote is taken), I was taken aback. I saw my own views deeply mirrored in this writing, written well before my time. Rudhyar shared my vision of astrologers bringing forth a transpersonal vision of astrology and psychotherapy – this from a man who had been originally taught astrology by my namesake, Marc Edmund Jones.
As I voiced my name for them to sign a check, a new client last week said, “Oh the most simple name for a man into all this amazing stuff.” I replied that I had thought the same thing until, on my first trip to America for my first astrology conference in 1999, the registration lady turned and shouted to the room, “We have another Mark Jones!” I considered running away. I did not. The transpersonal philosopher-astrologer within me would not allow me too.
Mark's New Book Now in both Print and eBook Format
Mark's new book on counseling skills for astrologers is now available in eBook format for Kindle and Nook. Based on over 10,000 hours of client work with individuals in astrology readings and long-term clinical work, The Soul Speaks offers a powerful synthesis of astrological and psychotherapeutic insight that will help the astrologer communicate a healing purpose in the most effective way.
The Soul Speaks shows that by using a powerful blend of astrology with proven counseling skills, we can facilitate the greatest positive transformation in both ourselves and our clients, harnessing the truly unique gift that astrology offers the world as we help others articulate the soul’s purpose.
Part 2 of Jupiter Webinar Series - Sept. 5
Growth = Meaning x Intention
This second of a two-part webinar series focuses on the importance of the Jupiter placement in the natal chart as symbolic of an individual’s sense of meaning. It explores how fundamental this meaning-making placement is to individual healing and transformation.
We will consider how stressful Jupiter aspects can refer to a loss of vision or meaning, and how certain aspects reveal the way personal meaning can get distorted by others (i.e. Jupiter with Moon; or loaded 4th house can reveal the family influence on beliefs). Identifying the ways a person’s Vision/Jupiter is expressed within the natal chart becomes crucial to unlocking individual development.
Includes Q&A with Mark. No need to attend live. All participants receive the download following the live event.
Date: Saturday, September 5 at 9am Pacific Time
Approx. 90 min. $25 (through Sep. 3; $30 thereafter.)