Book Review: Healing the Soul

Healing the Soul: Pluto, Uranus and the Lunar Nodes by Mark Jones, Raven Dreams Press
Softcover—268 pp.—$24.95 (ISBN 978- 0-9840474-0-6).
Reviewed by Mary Plumb
This review originally appeared in the Feb./Mar. 2015 issue of The Mountain Astrologer and is reprinted with permission.

Mark Jones’ Healing the Soul is a detailed discussion of his work as a psychosynthesis therapist who uses the astrological chart as an entryway into understanding the hidden forces that guide a person’s life. Although his astrological approach primarily follows the methodology introduced by Jeffrey Wolf Green, Jones makes a strong contribution to the genre with his rich psychological and spiritual foundation and his considerable therapeutic experience. He writes that his approach is “formed by the intersection of Robert Assagioli’s Psychosynthesis, Green’s Evolutionary Astrology, the spiritual teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, Esoteric Christianity and the integrative work of Dr. David Hawkins.”

The Evolutionary Axis, taught by Green, includes strong emphasis on Pluto, an analysis of which “provides the baseline understanding — the context — for the entire birth chart.” Jones writes comprehensively about this key idea in Chapter 1, “Pluto: The Poet’s Cookbook.” Further on in the book, he summarizes that he has found the Pluto placement to describe the “central compulsion — the orientation of the soul to a certain way of experiencing reality over multiple lifetimes.”

Chapter 2, “The Moon’s Nodes,” covers the next main factor used in Evolutionary Astrology work, again in detail, e.g., “skipped steps,” orbs, and planets square and conjunct the nodes. (Although Jones’ typical client work does not involve regression, the detailed case history he presents in this section includes insights from his regression sessions with the client after she spontaneously entered a past-life experience.)

According to the title, the entire book is about healing, but Chapter 3, “Uranus: Identifying and Healing Trauma,” shows the author’s greatest contribution. As discussed by Green, the Aquarian archetype refers to planets in Aquarius or in the 11th house in stressful aspect to Uranus, or another planet in stressful aspect to Uranus. Jones, however, fully develops the significant role this archetype plays in recognizing and resolving trauma.

Chapter 4, “Putting It All Together: Evolutionary Astrology Step-By-Step,” organizes the wealth of material from the earlier chapters quite cogently, while also reminding the reader of the profundity inherent in this approach, “which can easily stir up some of our deepest and most challenging complexes.” Jones sees that an astrology session can be “a first step towards healing,” since “the very same signatures that depict trauma also contain an implicit message of liberation.”

Throughout the book, the author brings aspects of therapeutic training into the conversation, especially valuable for astrologers who have no background in psychological counseling. He touches on transference and countertransference dynamics in a consultation setting. He encourages astrologers to have some understanding of major personality disorders and be able to refer clients to a psychologist or therapist for further exploration of issues that may arise in a natal chart session. He understands that early childhood experiences may mirror prior-life karma or become an entryway into clearing past-life issues. His familiarity with the development of the psychoanalytic movement, the nature of trauma, techniques used in trauma resolution, and regression work brings depth and a valuable presence to his work.

Mark Jones has written a substantive guide for astrologers who are looking for ways to apply the approach taken in Evolutionary Astrology. This book would also be useful for those who find themselves working with clients in difficult psychological or emotional states, or who want to understand their own, perhaps unconscious motivations in a different light.

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