This interview was conducted by Adam Sommer for his podcast Jan 18, 2021 – you can listen to the podcast here
An Interview with Mark Jones
“The Planetary Nodes, Pt. 3”
by Adam Sommer
Adam Sommer: This is Holes to Heavens, a show dedicated to cosmos, to mythos, and to psyche. Mark, how are you?
Mark Jones: I’m good, Adam. Thanks for having me back.
Adam: Yeah, I think this is going to be our third planetary nodes talk.
Mark: Yeah, and what is it, fifth conversation ever or something like that?
Adam: And well, even if I was in the UK, we would technically not be able to even do this one in person. Isn’t that amazing?
Mark: What a world, what a world.
Adam: What’s your main way of occupying your lockdown time Mark?
Mark: Since the second week of March, when the UK lockdown and Wales in particular locked down until the end of July, which not many not that many people realize. And then we had this brief period of openness that changed you know, relatively speaking ,openness that changed just before Christmas, and is now extended till the end of March another total lockdown no essential goods or services. I have been as it will not surprise you, Adam, in my beautiful spacious office cave, talking to people around the world in this very seat. And enjoying the phenomena that as the world went quiet, a number of very sincere people, some of whom were working with me already and some of whom reached out to me had this incredible ability to focus on their personal transformation, their process. So amongst the frustrations of barely any normal life occurring, they’ve had this tremendously rewarding psychic journey with people for the last nine or ten months of even more intense work than normal, people who found lockdown quite conducive to the quietening of the cultural noise, the quietening of the pool or demand of the world or other people has allowed some people to open up. Internal chasms are like portals to the underworld if you like, where they’ve been able to get into that deep material, that compost at the heart of their being from their childhood or from earlier events in life. So it’s been a very rewarding time.
And, you know, in a sense, I have a two-and-a-half-year-old, two years and seven months now child so I wasn’t going to be going to gigs or the theater or restaurants anyway, and I’m blessed that my young daughter hasn’t missed out on too much. Unlike these kids, they’re off school for so long, can’t see their friends. I really feel for them. But that feeling of Christmas being kind of a downbeat kind of occasion was lifted by this beautiful two-and-a-half-year-old child who didn’t fully understand what Christmas was. For instance, she didn’t even rush down on Christmas morning. She didn’t grasp there were even presents for her. And we had to stage the presents because she got too overwhelmed. But yeah, so my personal life is a joy. And it’s a privilege to work with people. Although, it requires this consistency, this dedication. You know, I was just talking to you before we came online together here now, you know I was doing couple of hours of emails, trying to sort out things on a Sunday afternoon and it’s been very intense. Once I got into that groove, it has been quite hard to adjust it. And just from a personal point of view, for the sake of other aspects like continuing to write or plan deeper teaching, I have to consider a time when I do slightly less of it.
Adam: It’s been a good experience for astrologers, I feel really anybody I suppose that has somewhat of a digital nomad-esque lifestyle. I talked about this with Jason Holley on the podcast a couple of months ago, like it was the it was the biggest surge I’ve ever experienced in my career with this work and because of lockdown, because like I was in last time you and I talked in Boulder and I was stuck there in an Airbnb, I just dove right in, and tried to keep up. And it got to a point where, like you’re describing today, going through all of your emails and feeling like ‘Oh, my goodness, what just happened,’ where I had to step back. I’m still on hiatus, from giving readings, I really need a break. And I’ll know when it’s over. But I had to do it, because it was such a really beautiful journey. But one that I got don’t want to experience burnout with this work, I love it too much.
Mark: I think it’s very sensible. And I clearly what’s the word I was going to say push myself but I’m not sure it’s as simple as that. But, you know, from the second week of March, till the middle of December, I didn’t have a break. And I was doing 20+ sessions a week most weeks, and teaching weekends sometimes. And, you know, having a small child, sometimes getting up in the night to come for her. It can become very intense. And it is my sadhana if you like or my you know, this is how I’m a soldier or a monk in life. I do this work. But even so I hear you, man. Especially to correspondence and bigger things that I’m teaching, I’m going to be planning some smaller gaps, you know, two week gaps in the spring and summer as the as my country opens up again, fingers crossed on some level, and spending a bit more time with my family and that kind of setting. Like you say it suits it in the lockdown mode, it really does. And I have a capacity for it that’s beyond most, you know. If I took care of myself, if I didn’t have other demands, I could probably see four or five people a day almost every day, for just months and months and months. Because I do it from a certain place inside myself. But then that then uses up the fire to certain extent. I can’t then plan a book or write it.
Adam: Well, how did you do this?
Mark: Well, because it was finished, broadly speaking a couple of years ago, and the last couple of years have just been editing, that concern that it was such an experimental and theoretical subject that it was spanning so many historical examples in order to sort of show the community that it was a subject worth exploring, that it was edited by my original copy editor, my researcher, then two professional editors, and then the publisher himself a final edit. And that just took an age. So apart from the conclusion, a great majority of that book, certainly the first three chapters were written over two years ago. So it’s just this kind of weird delay, you know, something that this media, this new media that you’ve embraced. And aren’t we all fortunate? I mean, think of the people that work with people, that locked down just meant they couldn’t be in a room with them. And I think of the practitioners in this country that haven’t made this kind of transition. I transitioned to remote work three or four years ago. And I’m so glad and it has so many advantages. But obviously it’s COVID, bulletproof nurses, an enormous one. But I’m glad to hear you take that step, man. I mean, you could help a lot of people. And there is a transpersonal level Adam, too. Isn’t there? It’s like those of us who are able to help people. It’s like the world really does need that. It needs those people to not burn out, to play the long game, to be doing it for decades. And evolving. Not getting stuck and doing it for one extreme, long march and then giving up.
Adam: That’s right, Mark. Yeah, the long game. That’s what I’m thinking of the long game. And I’m curious with because this is the third time we’ve talked about the planetary nodes. And did you release this book around the great conjunction? Were you strategic about that?
Mark: I wanted to, but the editing wasn’t finished and the lockdown just delayed all that process. The main editor was working on it at that time. I had personal circumstances linked to the lock down. That delayed their work. Because I was very aware of this great conjunction, obviously years ago and when I planned the planetary notebook and when I wrote the whole sections on the nodes of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto and South Node Capricorn, North Node Cancer I was well aware that the great kind of conjunction that defined 2020 Saturn Pluto or Saturn, Pluto Jupiter that the Saturn Pluto conjunction was occurring on the south nodes of Pluto and Saturn. I was aware of that years ago, of course. But what happened was, as my researcher and I delved deeper and deeper into this, we just began to recover more and more patterns around it. So the significance of last year was apparent to us years ago, and then crept up and surprised us as it did so many people. The clearest pattern it follows, as I’ve discussed before, is like a war signature, like a collective conflict signature. And the world does have that feeling slightly, doesn’t it? That we’re living through a kind of quiet war time or something?
Adam: Oh yeah.
Mark: Curfews and shutdowns and people at hospitals overwhelmed. Yeah.
Adam: And then just the slow swell of, I think the story that is kind of just building right now with the Mars-Uranus conjunction on Inauguration Day, and what might come in the UK too is like, I think humans can only be told what to do for so long, and be locked down for so long. And the information around it is spreading so fast in different various directions. That like, it’s been inevitable, from my perspective in the States for it to begin exploding all over the place. But it doesn’t seem to have occurred like that in the UK yet has it?
Mark: I mean, there are dissenters, and there will be plenty of people privately making their own compromise with it or, you know, breaking the rules, in some quieter forms and some louder forms. I guess the character in the UK during the Second World War, for example, you know, we were attacked by aerial bombardment, there was a threat of invasion, that’s a threat that the United States has never faced really, apart from some obscure discussions amongst the Japanese in the Second World War, when they gave up on the idea. America has never really experienced that land-based invasion or that sense of threat. And it prides itself on its vision of personal freedom, and not having that personal freedom curtailed. And you can see it plays into something that’s such a crucial part of the American character in primarily, I would argue a good way. Although clearly, it can then reach this point where people don’t believe in a virus, which just seems silly to me. Having said that, you then have governments on the other hand, who are effectively enforcing a social control program, aren’t they? Out of sheer panic at the rising numbers in hospitals or the fatalities, they don’t want to have those deaths laid on them. And then governments get into the message of spreading fear, as if that will then keep people in line. You know, what was a recent advice from the UK government just after Christmas – act as if you have the virus. I mean, that just seems absurd, doesn’t it? Really, they mean think about passing it on to people. Act in a way that you don’t pass it on to people. But you know, that’s an absurd thing to tell people who don’t have it to feel. And you could say, from an energetic medicine point of view, where people’s levels of fear and insecurity would proactively impact their immune system. It’s also a kind of rather ludicrous thing to be telling healthy people, you know, act as if you’re sick. And potentially, you know, certainly those that follow that alternative view of medicine would argue, that’s not a good mindset, is it? To support your immune system.
Adam: No, no. It definitely weakens your defenses. I think there’s truth to that. Well, Mark what a perfect example of collective evolution or worldwide event to apply it to the topic of the book, though, because that’s what the planetary nodes seem to do is somehow encapsulate the zeitgeist of these big themes and in the way that these nodes tell a story that most of us aren’t even that aware of. And so from your perspective, adding to what we talked about in the last show, what do you feel out of the main ones that I know you focus on in the book, like the social and outer planets, what nodal story do you feel is most activated by this?
Mark: Well, clearly the Pluto-Saturn conjunction on the south nodes of Saturn and Pluto, that says something about the history and origin of civilization. So Saturn and Pluto came together in Capricorn before, in the eighth century, they came close to the nodes within four and a half degrees of the node of Pluto, I believe in six degrees of the node of Saturn. And that was the period of the crowning of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor, a kind of unified, imperialistic building phase in the heartland of Europe after the so-called Dark Ages. It was also the time of the first translation of Buddhist sutras into China, but never before in recorded history. And it gets difficult to trace the nodes of Pluto before the time of Christ. My researcher and I’ve been in touch with the people behind the Swiss ephemeris. It’s actually hard to trace an accurate picture of Pluto’s position prior to the time of Christ, which causes a problem creating calculating the nodes. But in the last couple of thousand years, there’s never been an exact conjunction where they’re bang on their own south nodes. And it does have the feel of civilization exploring its own shadow, you know, what’s the cost of the civilization project? What’s the way forward with the ways the assumptions we make socially, politically and economically, within the structure of our society? Is it fit for purpose? Can it cope with the ecological technological and other human moral and psychological demands of the future? And you’d have to say that in a large number of areas, it’s found crucially wanting, isn’t it? And then we have the question, is this a break down to break through that we’re feeling? Or as some people fear, is this just a straight breakdown? Certainly, I would argue that certain transcendent principles that animate the psychic life of the West seem to be fundamentally changing for many people. You know, the Christian vision, the way that certain democratic principles had a history of relating to truth all seem to be changing. So that’s a really big, fundamental one for me, you know, what arc of period are we in? We seem to be in a certain period of collapse or change of the very infrastructure of Western society.
Adam: So let me ask the question to clarify what you were saying around the East. Charlemagne. That was the last time Pluto and Saturn came together?
Mark: They were close, and they were close to their nodes. It’s not the last time they were together in Capricorn. But they were together in Capricorn and they were within four or six degrees of their own south nodes. But when it happened in the conjunction on 12th of January 2020, for example, they conjoined, don’t they? What it’s like 21°-22°?
Mark: Yeah, and they’re right by their own nodes. So yeah, 22°46′ they conjunct the south node of Pluto is 20°36′. And the south node of Saturn is 23°30′. So they’re within two degrees of both of their planetary nodes. So that’s within all of tight influence that I found in natal charts and world events. I use three degree orbs, two degrees preferable, but there were too many interesting examples that may be extended to three degrees. So it’s the first time it happens, where they fall within that order. And then, you know, already, you’re getting isolated news reports of a virus in China. By two months later, you’ve got a world global pandemic declared by the World Health Organization. So it moves rapidly. And we’ve seen this, we’ve seen Pluto going to the node of Saturn in this kind of way, or to its own node, as being linked in the evolution of major world conflicts. There is a table in the book that presents the series of major world conflicts and I’ve presented it in talks. And then we find that activity on the south node of Neptune sometimes ends that, and we have Saturn going to that south node of Neptune at the end of this year, December 2021. Maybe there’s some vision of change in that situation. But Pluto doesn’t go to the south node of Neptune until 2031. So we’re in a trigger zone, linked to that great conjunction from 2020 to 2030, 2031. And many people feel psychologically this is a crucial time. Many people experience this sense of the background power of certain ideals in western civilization is changing, and they experienced it then as a mistrust of authority. Or a sense that everything has to be done radically differently. But I would argue there’s a deeper level again, I would argue some of the fundamental tenets that the people that built our civilization lived by, are changing on some subtle transpersonal level that is impossible to be too clear about at this point within it.
Adam: Out of all of the narratives, and I think I’ve heard a strong case for literally all of the planets and the asteroids around it being the root cause of this global pandemic, and this story, but with the premise of your book, and what Rudhyar of course was talking about, as well. After we talked last, I’ve been thinking about this ever since and just tracking a little bit, there’s no story that makes more sense than the Pluto-Saturn conjunction happening on their planetary south node. It’s absolutely remarkable. And so here we are, and what you said there, I think is really interesting, because it was something I wanted to ask you in our conversation today of your thoughts of Jupiter and Saturn moving toward Neptune, south node, and you’re saying that this resolution that you’ve seen historically?
Mark: Well, yes, especially Saturn or Pluto. Jupiter is there in a matter of weeks. And Saturn is there by the end of the year. I think by the end of this year, there will be some kind of vision of change about the situation. I think the idea of it happens sooner because of some vaccine or something like that is naive because the vaccine fundamentally doesn’t address, they are not confident that the vaccine addresses the transmission rate. So it might be fine to feel that for X period of time, possibly only as long as six months. Because you’ve had this vaccine, fingers crossed, assuming it works. By the way, it’s obviously been rushed, but fingers crossed, it works. It gives you this invulnerability to the disease for six months, but it doesn’t stop you necessarily spreading it. So how is that going to have an impact on social distancing? Or other policies or the shutdown of businesses or people’s livelihoods? Or kids at school, et cetera? Simple answer, it’s not unless you push for 100% vaccine transmission, which of course gets people into control fears. Are they’re going to have forced vaccinations?
But when you realize that the vaccine only protects for possibly up to six months, there’s no way logistically. Take America – they can vaccinate 200 and whatever million people, nearly 300 million people in six months, and then do it again. It’s just logistically impossible. So I don’t think immediately this year, Jupiter is almost linked to that promise in a way, at the moment, as if we’re writing this hope or some people are on the vaccine, the UK government certainly is gambling on it. And trying to get it out the first dose out to as many people as possible, even sacrificing the second dose some of the time, even though studies show the second dose is crucial to make it 100% effective. So that’s how desperate people are for a vision of hope. But I think by the end of the Saturn going to that node, you do see Saturn go to that node in the end of certain wars. You know, it’s quite an interesting correlation. But thank you for noticing, by the way, I too have heard all sorts of explanations, perhaps not as many as you. And I’ve seen many traditional astrologers who were very clever people write Pluto out of the equation, and it’s just the great Jupiter-Saturn alignment of 2020 lead to this, which just seems an absurd to ignore something of obvious profundity, a planet that was discovered on its own north node. And its discovery in the Great Depression and the rise of National Socialism in Germany seem to describe it’s kind of dark impact on the world to some extent. So Pluto and Saturn coming together on the both of their own south nodes is epoch defining. You know, there hasn’t been anything similar in the last couple of thousand years, there have been other very significant signatures, but it gives some sense of that deeper feeling that of the current crisis.
Adam: Well, just to use another quick example that I think we’ve talked about in previous conversations around this, but I saw it when I was reading your book again. And it’s a wonderful example. But it still doesn’t compare to what we’re talking about. 9/11 right? Where you have the south node of Uranus in Sagittarius on the US Pluto, and you have the fundamentalism and the terrorist attack around that and it makes sense with that story. And you use other examples of this too, and how the Uranus South Node in Sagittarius works with Martin Luther, for example. Those are wonderful examples. But it’s still not a Pluto Saturn conjunction on their south node with this as well.
Mark: Yes, 9/11 was a Pluto-Saturn opposition across those nodes, like you say influencing the US chart, the transiting Pluto on the south node of Uranus, the transiting Saturn on the north node in Gemini. And literally Saturn in Gemini – two towers are destroyed by flight, Pluto and Sagittarius on the nodes of Uranus. And I’ve linked in the book the nodes of Uranus to the explosive use of new technology. So you see them in action when tanks are introduced, for the first time in the Battle of the Somme, in the First World War, you see it in the Hiroshima event that Uranus is on the midheaven of the moment and on the node of Uranus, the exact moment of the US military timed event, and then you see it with 9/11. So you see why it has such an impact on the world psyche, you see that it scarred the world’s psyche and affected travelers for decades to come. And it created, in a way, this new ideological conflict that some people don’t want to see. I mean, there is an explicit… that was done on a Jihadi principle that Western capitalism as a sort of evil of Mammon and must be destroyed, that link to that south node of Sagittarius.
In the Martin Luther example, the Reformation, the religious wars in Europe, this evolutionary principle around religion where when it’s expressed in a fundamentalist way, it becomes a kind of convincing convert. And if you don’t, we will hurt you. So there’s tremendous conflict. But yeah, it’s parallel to 9/11. It’s even more significant. And it’s less that sudden shock and horror, the nodes of Uranus having this shock and awe kind of value, tanks suddenly rolling down some muddy field in France and Belgium in 1916, or whatever. And then, Hiroshima, no one’s seen the results of the Manhattan Project. And suddenly, an entire city is desecrated in a few seconds, or 9/11, just those few hours watching TV. This friend texts you, we put the television on in time to see the second plane hit the tower, and then the collapse of the towers is just gobsmackingly life-altering in the moment. This has got a completely different feel, hasn’t it? This is the ultimate slow burn, the ultimate, how many business fails? How many businesses survive the second lockdown, the third lockdown? How does the travel industry respond? How does certain infrastructure respond? What happens to the value of global money when Western governments are giving so much of it to people in an attempt to manage it?
Adam: It’s printing it forever?
Mark: Exactly. What happens? The subtle inflation where people who have already had assets, the value of them has effectively changed? Or do does the IMF group together in a year or two and effectively invent global money to cover this? And then what does that do to people’s assets? How long are certain countries paying back certain debts, taxation or other things for decades to come?
Adam: That’s the perfect setup right there for me to go in a Bitcoin rant. The Bitcoin north node is in alignment to this. It’s an Aquarius-Leo nodes. The Bitcoin north node is on the Neptune north node.
Mark: Wow, I really want to look into that now.
Adam: Yeah, you should look at it. It might even be to the degree. It gets intense. And you just posed all those questions. And the answer is Bitcoin. So my next question, because I know you focus on the conjunctions in the book, and with this big event that everyone’s kind of gripping for something about that’s coming in a few days with the inauguration and the Mars-Uranus conjunction that squares the Neptune nodes, and so I’m just curious about your thoughts about other aspects.
Mark: Very good question. And so even this specific, particularly about 8° Taurus, 8°-10° Taurus or 7°-10° Taurus, my researcher proposed at one point to me that it must be linked to the square to the nodes of Neptune, roughly 8°-10°. Leo-Aquarius geocentricly with some fluctuation, that he found it a sensitive degree in all sorts of research. I think of the fourth harmonic, I think it’s like midpoints in that sense. Conjunctions, oppositions, and squares do work with the planetary nodes. One of the few times I kind of indulged that was when I was looking at certain natal charts in detail, say like Alan Turing’s chart and you’re looking at events, and I looked at a fourth harmonic to his Mercury conjunction to the north node of Jupiter. But really, if we’d expanded the book to include the squares, and oppositions, we would have just had so much material already. That was condensed, I’ve got scrapbooks with literally hundreds of charts. And the book is already an intensely condensed representation of that. But yes, the simple answer is yes, the fourth harmonic applies. It is interesting, even more so. My researcher was getting to the point of proposing that around 8° Taurus, or let’s just say more broadly, 7°-9° or 7°-10° Taurus was an area worthy of investigation in its own right, because it crops up in that square to the nodes of Neptune, and so many interesting examples. And your question has made me want to go back to that with him. And that’s one of the many things we have to pick up on again, that we’re beyond the reader of the book.
Adam: My poor Moon is in relation as well in Scorpio. So yeah…
Mark: And it’s almost like what you’re saying, that depth that came in. When you did all that work with people, and then you had to pull back, you didn’t want to burn out. I think the nodes of Neptune are part of that intention. I think you have a considerable natural psychological depth. And you want it to relate in terms of service, but you find it a challenge at points where to draw the line or when you need to step back and have your own psychological breathing space effectively to maintain that.
Adam: Yeah, that’s good insight. It also was what is cooking. like, my main desire moving forward, is kind of around the storytelling elements of all of this. I really do want to create more content and write, have more focus on that than just to be a practicing astrologer. And to do that, as you know, when you’re just constantly engaging in sessions, you don’t have a lot of extra calories and focus to tend to all of the baby birds that are in the nest. And so that’s, I think, another piece of just this grand fixed cross.
Mark: What story do you want to tell?
Adam: I’m launching a program called Constellating Psyche. And it’s something that’s been kind of living in me for a while. I think I turned you on to Martin Shaw, right?
Adam: Yeah, so it began when I became aware of his work and a lot of his colleagues. And when I went to a retreat in Crete. A lot of the conversation I was getting into with the participants there, it started becoming clear there. In my experience, there’s no one that is orally telling, and keeping the stories alive of the planets and the signs and all of this that we engage with. I think that we’re very lazy in how we deal with myth as astrologers. And so I want to go just basically commit to that, and breathe new life into it the best that I can. So it’s going to be a three-year program of exploring every facet of that, and dreaming with a lot of these stories and doing my best to tell them and in my own way, so that’s what I’m focused on right now.
Mark: Very cool. What form will that take? You’ll have an intake, people will go on that journey with you?
Adam: Well, those are classes. And slowly, it’ll probably turn into a book, I’m not sure. But yeah, it’s more giving myself allowance to the creative, instead of the practicing astrologer. I think that’s the big transition that is occurring. And it feels odd, after 13 years of doing it one way, and then feeling all this space around me, Mark. It’s like, how do I fill it? Where do I go with this? But slowly, it’s starting to make sense. And of course, keeping this podcast going as well. And yeah, it’s novel territory.
Mark: It’s a big undertaking, isn’t it? Because there’s one level of the oral storytelling form of myth, and then the narratives within myth, and then there’s the anthropological or historical orientation of myth from your Campbell-type perspective, or Robert Graves. Then there’s a lot of potential researchers in there, and there’s even major perspective differences, it seems to me, on the origin and evolution of Greek or Roman myths. And then you have the myths of other cultures. Will you be primarily Greek or Roman-centric in that, because of the rise of the constellations in that, or is it bigger than that?
Adam: Yeah, those are all great questions. I think they will be a part of it for sure. But I think I’m also interested in other stories that want to enter. And you mentioned Robert Graves and Campbell, of course, their influence is present in my engagement in mythology and storytelling, but the main focus is around the oral telling, and how people find themselves within those stories. There’s something around that, that ever since I encountered it in a way that just kind of floored me. And it was specifically through Martin, the way Martin tells stories is very magical. And I want to be able to do that with astrology. And I suppose I already do to an extent, but there’s a lot of work I need to do with it. And so that’s kind of what I’m committing to. And I think I was wondering what was going to happen when Uranus opposed my Moon, and now that it’s there, to the degree. So the sudden shifts were what I think about myself, Mark at this point. I don’t even really feel like an astrologer. Just like how I spend my days, and when I’m reading and what I’m doing. It’s like of course I am, but my focus has one-eightied. And now it’s somewhere else. And that’s kind of what it feels like when Uranus opposes your Moon.
Mark: I think I think that’s a very healthy place to be. I’ve argued many times that astrology is not enough on its own as just a pure historical or even technical or practical exercise. And certainly, I don’t act like an astrologer or read like an astrologer. It’s not like I’m predominantly reading astrology books. We’re into a kind of creative vision of the human psyche, you know? Or cosmos and psyche, a creative vision of the human psyche, as it seems to unfold within the infinite field of reality, which seems to exist for it to unfold into based on its true nature and stories, myths archetypes. And also I would say, for me, a kind of energetic understanding. Sure, I know that it’s more important to connect with a light within your own heart or the light that is capable of eliminating the mind that almost seems to travel from the soul’s radiatory love for the personal self. To be in contact with that is much more important than some sort of huge technical analysis of every moment. Astrologically or what have you, as you yourself are pointing out the great usefulness of astrology is in this simple, pragmatic way that you recognize when Uranus is opposing your Moon, and you’re open to the challenging flood of new information and effectively like new light entering your personal being as a result. And that’s the great gift of astrology isn’t it? To give one these portals of meaning, these windows of opportunity to simply recognize what the greatest psychic potential of the current time is. And then to have the courage to embrace it. Very nodal too, isn’t it? You know, very Neptune square south node, Saturn, north node Gemini. You know, as you try to tell north node Gemini past myths and stories with this poesis and the sensitivity, so it can become a healing narrative. Neptune square likes this. I love it. I mean, I’m excited for you.
Adam: Thank you, Mark. I appreciate that. And it’s eloquent, speaking of it. I know that we’re on the same wave with a lot of it. That’s why our conversations are loved by so many. Like, out of all my guests still to this day. If you read the reviews by podcast episode, so many of them relate to us. It’s hilarious. I’ve done hundreds of podcasts, but so many people were like, ah, the Mark Jones ones Adam.
Mark: That’s great, man. Yeah. I mean, The Mountain Astrologer picked up on it, didn’t they? And took literally one of our dialogues as their primary interview for me.
Adam: That’s right. I forget that.
Mark: People get it on that level, or there’s something about our openness. Well, and in fact, that Moon of yours is on my midheaven. Effectively my midheaven is just below 4° Scorpio. So, 3°50 something Scorpio. Degrees away from your Moon. And but I think this telling, you know, I remember being in Australia the one time I was there and having an Aboriginal guide take us on this kind of the tribes named after the constellations kind of idea and it’s a book called the 12 Tribes of Israel, attempted to analyze that something that Barbara Hand Clow referenced in the back of one of her books, was an attempt to use the kind of tribes with the Old Testament in a kind of constellation idea. Or there’s that idea in Glastonbury of the hidden zodiac in the landscape. And these ideas, they’re all if you like, different ways of making psyche interact directly with cosmos, or use the symbolism of the constellations to show that relationship. And I think it’s truly exciting territory, and especially that you have the format and the skills to bring that oral gift into it.
But I do also think it’s worth writing or teaching about, or having some, at least formally record the different oral presentations because it revivifies the subject itself, doesn’t it? To explore the mythological origins of the constellations, the kind of unruly zoo of animals, and people that we put in these twelve things and try and relate to symbolically is tremendously exciting to people. I think it revivifies their sense of the connection of the magic, of the child really. And that way that stories light one up, at least if you’re like me. And ever since I was three or four, I’ve been reading my own stories, since four or five. And it’s what led me in a way, my early love of fantasy and science fiction or reading Tolkien when I was 10. The Lord of the bloody Rings, you know, took six weeks, and I spent a week in grief that Gandalf was dead. Before I realized he wasn’t, and it’s like that’s harrowing, to a young boy, that seems like forever, that kind of impact on my imagination of these kinds of writers and their visions, I think is all linked to why I’m into astrology, in the way that I am, that I’m into it as a living gift, from the cosmos to psyche, to help psyche return to its true inheritance as a meaningful son or daughter of the cosmos.
And an astrology of a certain kind points directly to that power, whereas astrology of a certain other kind just seems to be an airy, detached distraction, you know, excessive rumination on study or bizarre techniques. And I wanted the planetary node material, it had a danger of just being perceived in that camp, you know, just another series of bizarre techniques, another series of points, some annoying astrologer is wanting us to add to our already cluttered chart. And yet, as you pointed out in your rather sensitive read of it, obviously, when you look at that Pluto-Saturn conjunction on their own south nodes, and you realize this historical precedent, it’s one of the very few things that seems to offer a satisfying reflection on the state of the current times. And I wanted that power to emerge. In a way when I was writing that book, the feeling was that at certain points in the planetary loads lineup, in certain world events, or natal charts, it’s as if some background architecture of some greater pattern of meaning some greater morphology of meaning, in the human condition that works on the basis of centuries and millennia, rather than just an individual lifespan or a few years just seems to interact with human life at certain critical moments.
And it’s almost as if the planetary nodes describe those critical moments, those weird interfaces, where a lowly German monk’s crisis of conscience in Rome, when trying to go around the holy city on some pilgrimage, all these street hawkers keep offering him for this many gold pieces, you can have Cardinal so and so, he will sign off here and you’ll have 50 years less in purgatory when you die, you can go quicker to heaven, all you need is five gold pieces. He’s so appalled by this as a personal crisis of conscience, he sets up in writing those theses, but the planetary node content and his chart with the south node of Sagittarius in Sag-Uranus, just seems to correspond to that thing where suddenly that message breaks through. In a way it didn’t before. It’s like suddenly this one monk who might have been ignored by everyone, because how many monks are actually listened to most of the time in medieval Europe, when they have their little freakout about such and such a thing in the world, you know, the moral character of the people of Geneva, as Calvin was going on about or whatever. You know, there’s people freaking out about things it happens across the globe all the time. And yet there’s one monk who freaks out and writes about it eloquently, and it kickstarts like a firework. A whole chain reaction.
Adam: Jupiter-Mercury, right?
Mark: Yeah, Jupiter north node. And then, you know, literally he writes something from his own feeling of truthfulness, and I think his Neptune’s there too. And north node of Jupiter, it just lights up the faith of other people. And then it corresponds to the Gutenberg Bible. And you see corresponded the Gutenberg Bible occurring the nodes of Uranus. And just, you know, the escalation of the message as it suits certain political agendas of princes in Germany at that time, and suddenly, there’s a new technology that can carry it, the technology that you could argue shaped us the most until the 20th century, until the rise of the television and then eventually, the internet and visual media.
Adam: Great rant.
Mark: And that’s what you see in myth, isn’t it? The power of that story to make you feel like, it’s not just the moonlight on some beach, it’s the path of the Moon, that you’re in that night on that beach, maybe Martin around a fire in Crete telling you a story. It makes it alive.
Adam: It’s an invisible landscape, a grid almost. And there is something, whether you wrote this or Rudhyar wrote this, that just kind of caught my eye, and talking about how the planetary nodes convey the essence of a planet’s body. So it’s like a crystal, like the chemical composition and then it crystallizes. And so the planetary nodes, you can’t see them. Yet, because they do have an axis, they have a coordinate of energy like a grid.
Mark: Beautifully put.
Adam: And when a person like this, to use Luther again, for this has a personal planet that is aligned to that coordinate system, bam, the collective story alliance to the personal, it’s really fascinating.
Mark: It is, it’s like the individual particle, the particulate, that single monk hits the supersaturated background psychic solution at just the right point for a crystal to form. And then crystal itself becomes the node, becomes the interface point where several different individual and collective patterns of meanings suddenly reverberate in the world in this new way. And the few times when I entered that space, researching and writing that book, maybe certainly a handful purely and maybe 10 or 20, less purely, where I just entered this zone where I could just see that operating was truly remarkable. It had a consciousness-altering effect on me, just studying that material. And seeing effectively a kind of collective intelligence, or a kind of psychic or even psychological energy to history, the history itself, or things of significance that become history, as we look back at them, that are a living experience in the present, can be looked at, through these nodal points. Because as you brilliantly put, because there’s two of them, they’re effectively describing a parabola of motion. So they describe an intent, they describe an arc of movement. And then planets or people or world events take place at interfaces, in that arc of momentum. And we suddenly see these intentional flows of meaning, or strange arcs of deeper psychic material at the background of current events or historical events. And that’s the level I think one needs to stay at, one needs the mythic, or the archetypal domain to remain centered in a period like the current period, there are so many things that could knock you off center. You know, the polarization of politics or even just the different filters, the different the way one person sees one event is this and another person that supports someone else or sees things in a different way sees it as this. You need a deeper center at this time to make your way through the world, a deeper intention that orientates the will. And I think that devotion to that archetypal domain, or the devotion of the psyche or cosmos or the love of the soul, for the universe or for the divine or the sacred nature of reality is your best bet if you want to keep a deep centeredness.
Adam: There it is, fall in love with cosmos and psyche and a little bit of mythos as well. So Mark, I’m sure a bunch of people are like, well, I want to see these planetary nodes. How the hell do I get them in my chart?
Mark: The easiest thing to do for people listening to this is to email me directly Mark Jones at Plutoschool.com. The Plutoschool.com blog has a series of posts on how to use different software to see them. There’s a free piece of software called Planet dance, or I have posts on how to use Solarfire, or Sirius, to analyze planetary node positions. We also have on the website in the learn astrology section, the study materials section of the Plutoschool.com. We have a planetary node ephemeris, an actual downloadable PDF with hundreds of years of data, so you could at least get close to your planetary node positions. The heliocentric nodes are easy to work out. It’s just the geocentric node fluctuations. But there’s this wonderful section in the book where my researcher and I work this out, where we traced the transiting Pluto to the south node of Saturn during the American War of Independence. And if you use geocentric nodes, the conjunction of Pluto is extended because the geocentric node fluctuation follows the path of the increased position of the transiting Pluto. And in that reality, you actually encapsulate the Declaration of Independence, the whole context of the war. If you only use the heliocentric nodes, the three degree orb stops a year, a year and a half before the Declaration of Independence. It’s as if geocentric node fluctuations actually extend the influence of the nodes through certain key historical periods.
And whilst it’s an extra level of detail to have to calculate, because they have these more challenging annual fluctuations, we seem to have discovered time and time again, that there is efficacy and that it’s worth looking at it. But yes, I’m also prepared to help people or forward people who contact me or my researcher. Because really, the book was an intentional act of service to the astrology community on that level, I did sit with this for an awfully long time, I’ve been studying these positions for 15-20 years. It’s not an ill-considered move. It’s not rushed. If anything I took maybe too long, but I just wanted to make sure it was right. Because I think they are that worthy of study. And I think the 2020 Saturn-Pluto conjunction, or Saturn-Pluto-Jupiter alignment reveals that quite strongly, as does 9/11, Hiroshima, various other examples in the book. And I’m hoping really, that we’re reaching out to a collective mind. I mean, the one thing I would say to you taking on world myth is a big deal, obviously, and you becoming a great orator of some of the most significant ones is fantastic. But on another level, to do justice to this kind of endeavor, we need to address a group mind, I’m not expecting to now be the planetary node guy, you know. If other people are interested, they can follow these phenomena in other domains that me and my researcher just didn’t have the time or inclination to study. It’s that kind of offering in that sense, you know.
Adam: In the spirit of Rudhyar loving seeds so much, it is. It’s like a seed crystal, like this work put it into the mind of another person. And if it lands, well, it grows. And I think that’s how stories work too. If there’s resonance in there, it will find its way into their psyche, and it will grow and it will lead them. It will speak to them, and it will hopefully bring one closer to wholeness. I think that’s the whole idea, like the act of all of this, just with storytelling to keep that specific, is waking up. And I think with the invisible, so underspoken nodal or planetary nodes story, it’s like a missing component to our astrology. And I don’t use it with my clients very often. I throw them in there from time to time, but it does it makes the chart a little cluttered, I will admit, but they are important to consider.
Mark: Well, they are and in a way that their crucial importance is not necessarily the natal chart reading, except in rare examples. Because if you think about it, what am I doing in a natal chart reading? I’m saying how can I help today? And going from there to help that individual. Now, how does it help that individual to try and take a bird’s eye view of their life and see where their individual issues might cross over with some kind of archetypal or transpersonal collective issues? That’s not the purpose of a natal chart reading. It’s why I effectively steered clear from that dilemma and the book was so much easier to study history, because otherwise I would be effectively usurping my clients readings as a research opportunity, rather than what they were asking from me and I just can’t do that to them. I mean, I have had thoughts about it. It’s something I will work on over time, what they might mean in natal chart readings, but that’s not necessarily their crucial use. Their crucial use is in these bigger patterns in history or occasionally seeing individuals who shaped history. What seemed to have been going on in the background in terms of significance?
Adam: Great point. Any final thoughts or wisdom before we part ways this evening?
Mark: Once again, it’s been a pleasure. I’m very excited about your myth and story thing. I’d like to hear more about that, I’d like to be kept up to date. And I myself am even steering towards some kind of more creative direction in the sense of at least making some space for myself, perhaps not on the scale that you’re talking about. But I am with a colleague in September setting up a psychosynthesis coaching / training. It’s already set up as a two year program. And I will teach these series of visionary weekend teachings on the history of psychology, the nature of spiritual psychology, how it emerged, how it can be a truly integrated thing in your life. And then we’ll explore things like the alchemy of the therapeutic relationship, projection, transference, countertransference, all these different dynamics. And it’s really a program for alternative practitioners of any kind, you know, astrologers, Reiki practitioners, yoga teachers, but anyone who’s going to end up formally or informally, in one to one or group coaching or mentoring situation with people, and I’m doing it with a colleague who’s a very experienced supervisor, He supervises therapists, he supervises supervisors, and he also supervises priests. And he will lead the series of group supervisions so that people can explore the different things. If they have a dynamic client practice, they can explore that. If they don’t, they can explore the steps that they might need to take to get one or even just, you know, in this the areas they are working in life, how to use those skills. So as that’s a very exciting program for us. And there’s already a huge amount of interest, even though I haven’t properly advertised it yet, just from the people I’ve mentioned it to personally.
And then I myself will try and continue to create master classes and astrological synthesizing teaching that takes key psychological and evolutionary astrological principles and tries to tie them with all the years of being a therapeutic practitioner, to see if that fusion can continue to grow. And then if the world does grant me a miraculous level of time, Adam, I will continue with my book on the lunar nodes called The Destiny Line after Rudhyar that really, after finishing all this work on the planetary notes, and immersing myself in Rudhyar so long, I realized the implications of that for the lunar nodes. And I’ve already written maybe a quarter of a new book on the lunar nodes, where I’ll try to explore fourth harmonic relationships with the nodes themselves, how they have to be seen together, how they would work in signs and houses, but also how they would work with their rulers with planets conjunct. square and opposite. Yes, we’ll do six podcasts on that one. Its massive man and what I’ve, what I’ve already done as was already on such a scale, just these files of printouts of chart examples, that I am going to have to take some sort of mini sabbatical or some sort of slightly longer time period off at some point maybe later in the year or next year, in order to even get somewhere with that, but it feels very rewarding because it’s like the best of the planetary node material and the insights about the structure of that seed crystal phenomenon, and then reapplying it to people’s individual natal charts. And that really will count for how you look at natal charts.
Adam: I’m excited about that work.
Mark: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to connect and I wish you well on your sunny island, you lucky son of a gun. I’m totally jealous. Here in wintry Wales in the dark and in in my ever never-ending lockdown.
Adam: For some reason we’re flying straight back into it in a month. So I’ll be with you.
Mark: So I hope to see you and when the world it allows again, but yeah, I’m going to turn 50 in a few weeks.
Adam: Happy Chiron return.
Mark: Yeah, thank you. Yeah, in fact, weirdly because of fluctuations in currents orbits, I guess this whole publication of this book, my 49th year was my Chiron return. And this book coming out was all my Chiron return in the third. Chiron in Aries.
Adam: That’s perfect. I’m gonna I’m gonna remember that one. I’m taking a note of it.
Mark: Well, and the thing that most excites me about this conversation is that sense of this field of meaning call it mythic, call it psychic, call it archetypal. But ultimately, there is a sacred point in it and if you talk about awakening the power of story to connect your wholeness or the power of astrology or the archetypal domain to connect us to our electric light potential, your heart fire or your mind fire, then that’s the thing that most excites me about everything. That’s the thing that most excites me about music. That’s the thing that most excites me about friendship. That’s the most that’s the thing that most excites me about love, you know, love for my wife and child. Soul responds to truth, doesn’t it? Soul responds with this devotional bow of acquiescence and the kind of sense of I will follow. I will give of myself because of the infusion of this higher domain of meaning. And that’s how I want to live my life, I want to live my life bowing to that higher domain of meaning.
Adam: I bow to it with you, Mark.
Mark: It’s my pleasure, man.
Adam: It’s a beautiful desire. And I think you moved a few listeners by saying so. That is what we’re up to. And I think that’s why people love listening to us, because we’re coming from a similar place. And, yeah, thank you for doing it. Thank you for writing planetary nodes in collective evolution. I’ll put a link in the show notes so people can get a copy of it.
Mark: Thank you, Adam. It was really nice to speak to again, man. It’s great.
Adam: You as well. I’ll see you in person, hopefully this spring, maybe summer.
Mark: Fingers crossed.
Adam: All right, Mark, have a beautiful night.
Mark: You too. Take care of yourself. All right, ciao.
Want to learn more about the nodes? Check out the following source of information: