Book by Mark Jones
Review by Arlan Wise
If you are a consulting astrologer you want to read this book. If you are thinking about doing consulting, you want to read this book. Mark Jones presents a holistic approach that blends the solar cognitive way of looking at the psyche with the lunar approach of astrology. He does it well. He is writing from a perception that an astrology reading is a de facto counseling dynamic. Stating
“one of the core aims of this book is to raise awareness about the client’s point of view in an astrological reading…to make the case for the conscious application of therapeutic awareness within the natal reading in order to enrich the experience for both the client and the astrologer, enhancing our perception of the soulful encounter, and acknowledging the process with the respect and awe it deserves.” He confirms the fact that it is not just an astrologer and a client in the session, but that the unconscious of both the astrologer and client come into play in the session. “Any inherent insecurity within the profession of astrology create the potential for collusion between the complex core anxiety and potential insecurity of the client, and it’s resulting compensatory drives within the astrologer.” Mark gives good advice on how to stay grounded in the work and maintain one’s authenticity. He speaks to the astrologer who is giving a one-time session and to those who do ongoing work with clients.
Mark starts with an in depth explanations of psychotherapeutic concepts and moves to the spiritual dimension of the work. He shows how to use these concepts as we do our readings. He gives good precise definitions of complex concepts, such as the defense systems one may encounter in a client. And he confirms what one may already intuitively know, like “Sometimes silence is the most powerful healing space…Short silences to digest powerful insights or to allow powerful waves of emotion are therapeutically valid, even essential at times.” He stresses the importance of continuously working on oneself.
The book then moves to a discussion of astrological archetypes as seen from the viewpoint of counseling and what happens in the counseling room. There is a chapter on the Saturn and Uranus cycles and how important they are in one’s life and how to work with clients at these major turning points.
Mark Jones is a student of the psychologist Assagioli and tells us his personal story of how he went to see Assagioli’s workroom and found files full of charts. He talks about how both Jung and Assagioli worked as astrologers as he explains Assagioli’s theory of psychosynthesis, which is the system he is trained in and uses.
The whole book is full of good advice for the astrologer who sees clients or who wants to. It is deep and meaty, with no fluff or extra meaningless words. It is well written, with clear explanations of key psychological concepts. Mark gives good references by naming books and authors to further flesh out the concepts he mentions. It is like being in a session and receiving referrals. He gives a great book list at the end. This is one of those books where you feel yourself growing and changing as you read it. The Soul Speaks fills a gap in the astrological literature. I give it 5 stars.