by Robert Wilkinson
Yes, today would have been the 125th birthday of Dr. Marc Edmund Jones, Master Astrologer who gave the world the Sabian Symbols, the Jones Patterns, the Sabian Assembly, and a whole lot more!
I had the rare privilege of meeting Dr. Marc Edmund Jones (born 8:37 am in St. Louis, October 1, 1888–March 5, 1980) on several occasions near the end of his long and distinguished life. He was brilliant to the end, no nonsense in his approach to astrology, and no nonsense when it came to what he thought WE should and should not be doing and saying! Charming, but blunt and to the point. He had to be one of the tersest Libras I’ve ever met!
Marc Jones has been called the dean of American astrology, and is perhaps best remembered as the major leader in the twentieth century of a movement to reformulate the study of astrology and place it permanently on a rational scientific basis.
He developed the seven categories of horoscopic patterns or distributions of the astrological planets around the zodiac, which are called the Splay, Splash, Bundle, Bowl, Locomotive, Bucket, and Seesaw shapes or patterns. Essential interpretation of a horoscope can be made on this basis, leading to direct inference as to how an individual might cope with his or her inner and outer worlds according to the Jones Pattern distribution found in the natal horoscope.
He created or discovered the Sabian Symbols with the assistance of the clairvoyant Elsie Wheeler in 1925, and in 1953 he published The Sabian Symbols In Astrology, a book that renders a specific symbol and interpretive character for each of the 360° of the zodiac that are found on the astronomical ecliptic. These symbols have gained broad acknowledgment by way of their usage throughout the astrological world.
Early in life he became a prolific and successful writer of movie scenarios, and worked in that profession for many years. He founded the special-studies group known as the Sabian Assembly in 1923, still in existence in the twenty-first century. He was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1934, and later received the PhD degree from Columbia University. He taught and lectured across the USA for many years.
His most voluminous written work is the set of Sabian lessons on philosophy, the Bible, astrology and cabalistic pattern, at which he labored for decades. Members of the Sabian Assembly continue to work with these lesson-sets to experience the insights they offer into the teachings of Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Ibn Gabirol, and the major books of the Tenach (Old Testament) and the New Testament. There are 78 such sets, each containing approximately 26 weekly lessons of closely argued analyses. Lesson-sets in other areas include twelve on astrology and twelve involving his redevelopment of cabalistic thought. The latter group of lesson-sets is known as the Pure Pattern Series. There are 114 lesson-sets altogether, all of which are available to the public. Click here and scroll down to see a list of titles in the lesson series.
Dr. Jones died on March 5, 1980. His major visible legacy exists today in the Sabian Assembly which he founded and his many books, most which are still in print.
Astrology – How and Why it Works is one of the most remarkable works on Astrology I’ve ever used. I’ve been through part or all of many of his works, and as regular readers know, use his interpretation of the Sabian Symbols whenever they’re being discussed in this column. As for his non-astrological works, I found Man, Magic, and Fantasy to be profound in its implications for all of us on the mythological level of our existence.
In it he goes into the archetypes of the King, Queen, Prince, and Princess from the angle of the “horizontal” and “vertical” aspects of our existence, and uses “fairy tales” to illustrate universal truths and principles at work throughout our lives by way of explaining archetypal symbols and what they mean. Of major importance is what he calls “The Square of Experience,” which posits “The Never-never Land” above the horizon, and “The Grown-up World” below the horizon, and the quality of CHARM on the left side, with the quality of CLOUT on the right.
The King is assigned Clout in the Grown-up World, and represents Authority. The Prince is assigned Clout in the Never-never Land, and represents Adventure. The Queen is assigned Charm in the Grown-up World, and represents Enchantment. The Princess is assigned Charm in the Never-never Land, and represents Allure.
You can see how many implications and associations could be drawn from such archetypes and functions that exist within all of us, called forth by mythological experiences and explorations we all go through at certain critical times in our existence. Anyway, if you’re interested in mytho-poetic symbols and archetypes, the work is definitely worth the time spent studying!
So let’s all send up a shout-out of the highest magnitude to one of the greatest astrologers ever to walk the Earth, a Magi of the highest Order, Doctor Marc Edmund Jones. His works will be studied for centuries, long after most that is written about the craft has turned to dust. Thank you, Spiritual Brother and Teacher of millions. Pranams.
© Copyright 2013 Robert Wilkinson