The astrology of Jim Jones (part 2)

In my earlier ‘part 1‘ look at Jim Jones, I gave a brief summary of his natal chart (or ‘horoscope’).

In this second part, I’ll take a look at one of Jones’s life events, and see how it connects with the astrological technique of Solar Arc Directions.

Solar Arc Directions is where you keep all the planets in the positions they were at birth, and move them by the daily motion of the Sun at the time of birth (i.e. the ‘solar arc’, about 1 degree) for every  year of life. And we look to see where the Solar Arc Directed planets form aspects to the natal (birth) positions. When these occur by aspects of 0º, 90º, 180º degrees, then significant life events are likely.

From his humble beginnings, in young adulthood Jones saw a evangelical Baptist preacher, and decided to become one himself, leading to his founding of the People’s Temple church. Jones also sought public office in Indiana State politics.

In late January 1961, Saturn formed a transiting conjunction with his natal Saturn. This is called the ‘Saturn Return,’ which everyone experiences around the age of 29-30. The Saturn Return is often a turning point for most people, and can often involve a crisis of some sort. Astrologically, it is generally about the challenge of becoming a responsible adult.

For Jones, transiting Saturn technically aspected his natal Saturn just once, but Saturn did retrograde back to almost conjunct it’s natal position in September-October 1961.

The late January 1961 Saturn Return coincided with Jones’s appointment as head of the Indianapolis Human Rights Commission.

The second September-October 1961 Saturn transit coincided with his hospitalisation due to stress, and a diagnosed ulcer. Following this incident, Jones travelled overseas for two years, visiting Hawaii, Brazil and Guyana. And Guyana was where Jones and his followers would eventually end up – many meeting their end via mass suicide there in 1978.

So let’s look at that second Saturn transit in Sept-Oct 1961 in terms of its accompanying Solar Arc Directions.

Astrological diagram of Jim Jones's second Saturn return.

Jim Jones’s second Saturn transit, 15th October 1961. Saturn here has just gone direct in motion.
Inner circle – natal; middle circle – transits; outer circle – Solar Arc Directions

The purple oval on the left shows transiting Saturn conjunct natal Saturn. But what’s interesting, and perhaps indicative of the stress Jones was a under, is shown by the Solar Arc (SA) Directions in the outer (purple-coloured) wheel.

There is a lot of SA connections to natal planets here – indicating a pivotal turning point in Jones’s life.
Notice SA Ascendant square Mercury (purple arrow), SA Saturn square Sun (green), SA Uranus square Mars (orange), SA Mercury sextile Neptune (red) and SA Jupiter conjunct Mars (blue).

The most important connections here are SA Jupiter and SA Uranus to his Mars, and SA Saturn to his Sun. This would indicate a great deal of stress – Saturn would indicate restriction and pressure on Jones to ‘conform.’ And natal Mars is activated and enlarged by the SA Jupiter and made more impulsive by SA Uranus. This indicates an urge to ‘break free.’

Jone’s natal Mercury rules his 6th house (illness) and 9th house (travel). SA Ascendant to Mercury would trigger these houses, and SA Mercury sextile Neptune might indicate the idealism associated with his breaking free.

Jones returned from his overseas trip in December 1963, and it would appear it actually strengthened his resolve to follow a fairly negative life path:

“He now accepted the mantle of Jesus Christ. Humility gave way to insecurity and fear, which in turn fed his hunger for reinforcement, prestige, power. Rather than working through the emotional problems that had caused him to flee to Brazil, he surrendered to them.”
(Reiterman, p 93)

In the next part of this series about Jim Jones, I’ll look at another event in his life.

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