Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 5, 2013

Saturn in Scorpio—Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?

©1-5-2013 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

This is a time of year when we naturally reflect on the past year, what we learned from it, and where we go from here, and this is especially true when we’re also having important Saturn transits. We often find ourselves in challenging situations that mirror situations and people that have been important during past Saturn cycles—7, 14, 21, or 28 years ago.

 In fact, it is common for the very same people we were involved with during those cycles —or people eerily like them—to suddenly show up, expecting to pick up again at the very same place. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 24, 2012

More on Clearing Toxic Relationships

©12/24/12 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Well, we all made it through the end of the world. What better way to start the Post-Mayan Calendar age than with a new perspective on our more troublesome relationships?

The most painful and toxic relationships often involve bad boundaries on both parties’ sides.

If you’re worried that establishing better boundaries means an end to connections with certain important people in your life, that may not be the case. I am thinking of an intermittently troublesome friendship that went through a big crisis and nearly ended a couple of years ago when I made my boundaries clearer, and it is now a happy, peaceful, and irreplaceable friendship.

Here, to give you some things to consider about those relationships, are links to past articles on Skywriter about boundaries: Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 21, 2012

Stuck in Toxic Relationships? Check your Soul Contract!

 12/21/12, at long last!

Happy End of the World. I don’t believe it for a moment, because the world has already supposedly ended six times in my 45 years of metaphysical studies, and we’re still here. I secretly kinda wish it would happen, because humanity could surely use a do over at this point in time. Maybe if we had it to do all over again, we would be kinder to one another.

 In the unlikely event that today is our last day, there are still a few hours left to work on something practical – letting go of longtime toxic relationships that we feel we have to keep in case it’s karma. Did someone in particular spring to mind the minute you read that? That’s who you should start with.

 To help, I’m publishing an excerpt from Diana Stone’s remarkable new book, Playing the Ascension Game. She’s  both a master astrologer with decades of experience and a long-time shamanic practictioner.  I count the day Diana and I met and became instant old friends the luckiest day in my life.   

This 500-page collection of essays about Diana’s lifetime of courageous metaphysical and shamanic explorations answers many important and puzzling questions about why the spiritual path is so full of potholes in this era. With her permission, I am printing this excerpt that deals with soul contracts, the source of both our most blessed and our most toxic relationships. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 12, 2012

Chart of a Mall Shooting at the Peak of Christmas Shopping

©12-11-12 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 I’m watching continuous television coverage of a shooting in the food court of a local shopping mall by a man in a white plastic  Jason mask at the peak of Christmas shopping this afternoon. Close by, children were in line to meet Santa as a dozen shots rang out. Two shoppers were killed, one critically wounded, and ultimately the shooter turned the rifle on himself. The mall was locked down, and the police forces of several surrounding towns converged on the scene.

The exact time of the shooting is known, because a customer in the adjacent Barnes and Noble bookstore was handed a receipt just as the shots rang out. He showed it when he was interviewed on  TV. It was time-stamped 3:27 PM PST. It took place at Clackamas Town Center, a mall in a suburb of Portland, OR.

Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 27, 2012

Scorpios in Service Careers—Dealing with Life and Death

Donna says, “The following is an excerpt from Mary English’s new book, How to Win the Trust of a Scorpio, available at I’ve enjoyed the originality and kindliness of other books I’ve seen in her series on the zodiac signs, and I’m pleased to have permission to publish a sample here.”

©2012 by Mary English

 When someone who is a Scorpio is in what I call ‘their power’ they can achieve great things. I know a number of people that work in social services as social workers, care assistants, care home managers (I’d love to do some research to find out how many matrons and managers of nursing/care/elderly homes are Scorpios) and they’re dealing everyday with ‘life and death’ issues. And it suits them because they’re not afraid of death.

So, what qualities do Astrologers say that Scorpio’s have? Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 2, 2012

Saturn in Scorpio—Your Guide through the Dark

Donna says: Mandi Lockley has written a timely and useful guide for those who will be affected by Saturn’s transit through Scorpio.  Included are interpretations of this transit through all 12 houses and to each of the natal planets. This brief excerpt is reprinted here with her permission.

A book excerpt, (c)2012 by Guest Blogger, Mandi Lockley

Saturn moves into Scorpio on 5 October 2012. On 23 December 2014 Saturn enters Sagittarius. Then, on 15 June 2015 Saturn in retrograde re-enters Scorpio, before finally settling in Sagittarius on 18 September 2015.1

Saturn changes signs approximately every two and a half years. Saturn’s energy typically manifests on a social and physical level, but is also evident on the emotional, psychic, and psychological level.

Whatever sign Saturn is travelling through, we witness a crystallisation of that sign’s themes. From late 2009 to October 5, 2012, Saturn was in Libra (save for a retrograde back to Virgo from April to July 2010). This transit dealt with relationships, boundaries in relationships, peace and conflict and issues of sharing, yielding, compromise, negotiation and fairness.

Saturn was comfortable in Libra. This is because Libra is the sign of Saturn’s exaltation which means that Saturn’s energies are easily and positively expressed in Libra.

Now that Saturn moves into Scorpio, the theme of relationships takes a deeper, darker turn. Unlike Libra, Scorpio doesn’t like to yield or compromise. It likes to be in control and prefers to stubbornly hold its ground. In Scorpio, Saturn does not benefit from exaltation. It’s not a debilitating placement for Saturn. It’s just not an especially good one. Saturn in Scorpio is a bit of a lost soul, trying hard to find expression, often needing to go to extremes to get its job done. Read More…

(c)8-26-12 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 I’m working hard to finish a self-help booklet for people with stelliums or triple conjunctions—The Stellium Tool Kit—that will be available in just a few days. (If you want to be notified, subscribe to this blog.) The example chart used in the booklet is country singer, Taylor Swift. She was chosen because–like vast numbers born in 1988-89–she has a stellium of four planets in Capricorn.

The birth time for her chart, 8:36 PM, was noted on AstroTheme as coming from Twitter, with no other source. The time sounds very precise rather than guesswork, so Swift may have given it in response to a fan’s question. It must still be considered speculative. (Astrology: Taylor Swift, date of birth: 1989/12/13, Horoscope, Birth …) Read More…
Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 6, 2012

Birth Date Puzzle—Wade Michael Page, Gunman in Sikh Temple Shooting

©8-6-2012 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Various press sources are giving his birth date as Veterans’ Day, 1971.  This is problematic, however, because 1971 was the year when the U.S. temporarily changed Veterans’ Day from November 11 to the 4th Monday in October, and kept it that way through 1975.  Some states complied, but others kept November 11. The U.S. Army Center of Military History notes:

“1971-1975  The Federal observance of Veterans Day is held on the fourth Monday of October. Initially all states follow suit except Mississippi and South Dakota. Other states changed their observances back to November 11 as follows: 1972- Louisiana and Wisconsin; 1974- Kentucky, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, South Carolina, West Virginia; 1975- California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming.’ (The History of Veterans Day – U.S. Army Center of Military History.)

Colorado is NOT on the list above, so it is ambiguous whether he was born on Veterans’ Day or not.  According to one article: Wade Michael Page Is The Suspected Wisconsin Temple Shooter“According to Texas court records, Page was born in Colorado and also used the last name Pierson.”   He also gives Colorado as his birthplace in several interviews on the internet including this one:  End Apathy ‘Skinhead’ Band: Wade Michael Page Hardcore Group … 

I’m wondering if the claim that he was born on Veterans’ Day originates with ex-soldier Page’s own publicity for his White Supremacy Rock Band, End Apathy.  In an interview he was asked where he came from, and he said Colorado.

At a press conference aired on CNN today, the Chief of Police for Oak Creek, WI John Edwards named the shooter as Wade Page and gave a date of birth in November 1971. Unfortunately, I was only half listening, having tuned in to see if they’d run film of the Mars landing.  I can’t be clear whether he said November 11 or November 1, but it sounded like November 1. I’m not alone in my confusion, as various internet reports on the conference shift back and forth between the 1st and the 11th.  However, a Veteran’s Day birth was confirmed in an article at CNN online:

“The man who shot six people to death and wounded three others during a rampage at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb was an Army veteran who may have been a white supremacist, authorities said Monday. Law enforcement officials sources familiar with the investigation named him as Wade Michael Page, 40. ….Page, born on Veterans Day in 1971, joined the Army in 1992 and left the service in 1998, according to Army Spokesman George Wright.” CNN, August 6, 2012 (Sources name suspect in deadly Sikh temple shooting.)

ASTROLOGERS AND ADVANCED STUDENTS:  Are you interested in learning how to interpret the Capricorn stelliums in the charts of vast numbers of young people born in the late 1980s-early 1990s? I’m going to be teaching an online seminar about it starting September 8th. Read about it here:

Readers: Did anyone else hear the CNN press conference, and what date did you hear?  Let us know in the comment section. 

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 23, 2012

James Holmes’ Date of Birth Revealed

James Holmes' Solar Chart(c)7-23-12 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

James  Holmes Birth Date—Suspect in Movie Theater Massacre

Solar chart, based on date of birth and location of the shooting, Aurora, Colorado. Note the curious 5-pointed star formation.

Below is a picture of his rifle range application, giving his date of birth as December 13, 1987.  I found this published in the UK’s Daily Mail on 7/23/12:

UPDATE 8/7/12:  Picnics writes, ”,_James_Eagan  astrodatabank is now citing his birth certificate for  James Eagan HOLMES born 13 December 1987  at 21:04 (= 9:04 PM ) PST h8w (is standard time)  La Jolla, San Diego County, California (32n51 / 117w16). Click on the link to see the actual birth chart.  Note that it places his Mars-Pluto conjunction in Scorpio on the IC, and among the things the IC shows is conditions at the end of life.   Thanks so much, Picnics!

James Holmes Birth Data

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | September 26, 2011

Identity Theft Transits – And Inexpensive Identity Protection

©9-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 One of the ongoing missions of this blog is to spread word of identity theft scams so my readers don’t fall for them. Today I want to mention some astrological transits that might signal vulnerability to identity theft and also to tell you about some inexpensive new ways of protecting yourself.  Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | September 14, 2011

Got Trines? You Must Be Living Right!


 The following is an excerpt from a longer article on trines in my ebooklet, Aspect Analysis: the Building Blocks of Chart Interpretation. This 8-part tutorial reprinted from my series in The Mountain Astrologer includes step-by-step instructions on how to analyze conjunctions, sextiles, squares, trines, quincunxes and oppositions.

Aspects are the building blocks of serious astrology, moving you beyond single chart factors to integrating the many features a chart contains. Not only are they crucial in natal charts, they modify the qualities of transiting planets, progressions, and chart comparison. They powerfully impact outcomes in such diverse branches of our field as electional, horary, medical, and mundane.

Got Trines? You Must Be Living Right!

©2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Trines are considered a lucky aspect that flows so naturally that accomplishing things seems effortless to the outside observer. Trines are 120° (plus or minus 5°) and four signs apart, though not always four houses apart. Most trines consist of two or more planets in the same element — air to air, fire to fire, water to water, or earth to earth. 

Because opportunities related to the planets in the trine tend to be handed to people who have it, a sense of entitlement can creep in. They may come to regard these perks as their due, simply because of who they are and what they represent to others in that sphere of life.   Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 19, 2011

More About Saturn Returns And The Blog

(c) August 15, 2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Yesterday’s announcement of the opening of the second Saturn return blog was marred by one small mistake, a typo in the link to the blog. If you didn’t get there yesterday, here’s the correct link: 2nd Saturn Return Blog. I also want to share answers to a couple of questions from the comment section.  Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 18, 2011

Born 1951–1953? 2nd Saturn Return Blog is Open!

©8-11 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Were you born sometime between 1951 and 1953, while Saturn was intermittently within an 8° range of a conjunction to Neptune? (For most of you, both Saturn and Neptune are in the sign Libra, but for some Saturn is in Scorpio, though still within 8° of Neptune in Libra.)

If so, your second Saturn return is coming, off and on, between September 2011 and September 2012. Saturn takes about 28-29 years to orbit the Sun and come back to the sign and degree it was when you were born. That’s referred to as a Saturn return. The first return happens in your late 20s, and the second happens between 58-60.

For your particular age group, this may well be a challenging period, because you were born with a mixture of Saturnian and Neptunian qualities, and this is a period when you’ll be reassessing how well they work together.   

Give yourself time to face and address the major issues and life patterns that Saturn-Neptune conjunction has meant over the years, so that this does not have to be a time when they come to a head in a negative way. Instead, you can use it productively to conquer some of your barriers and build a more solid foundation for your senior years. 

Mimi Boothby, CJ Wright, and I have created a new resource, the 2nd Saturn Return Blog. There will be articles, free downloads, and group discussions on that blog to help you understand the issues at stake in this especially intense second Saturn return. As of today, it’s officially open—if you’re in that age group, drop on by.  If you know anyone who fits, pass the word along.   

Note to younger readers: Are you having your FIRST Saturn return? That would be age 28-29, born with Saturn in Libra during 1980-83. The articles on Saturn in Libra will apply to you, and it’s good to know what house is affected.

Otherwise, the rest of this project is not for you because you don’t have Neptune conjunct Saturn. Instread, many of you were born with Pluto conjunct Saturn, no picnic either. Visit with the Saturn Sisters: Sherene Schostak and Stefanie Iris Weiss, resident astrologers. Order a Saturn return report and have a look at their book, Surviving Saturn’s Return.

UPDATE: 10/29/2011.  In case you think you’re facing this life passage alone, I’m delighted to report that we’ve had well over a million page hits on the Second Saturn Return blog already! Now what we need to get the discussion going is for more of you to share your journey by visiting  2nd Saturn Return Blog.

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 17, 2011

Article Collection for Professional Astrologers

©8-17-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 As my regular readers know,  I’ve injured my hands and have to take it slow with writing, but am filling in with collections  of past posts.  Below is a list of links to articles that have appeared on Skywriter that are meant for professionals or those who hope to become astrologers.

Working with Difficult Transits in a Client’s Chart:

Another Link post: Astrological Insights into Family Life

 Readers, did any of these articles speak to situations with clients that have been hard to handle?  Tell us about it in the comment section.

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 15, 2011

Horary Happenings—Why I’m a Believer, Not a Practitioner

©8-15-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

I’m not in a writing mode while my hands heal, but with Mercury retrograde, I thought I’go back into my blank books and dictate some handwritten articles from months back with voice recognition software. Here are some stories I’d like to share about the magic of horary astrology. I swear to you that they are 100% true.  Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 13, 2011

Cosmic Piñata #9—Yods and other Oddities

©2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 You know what a piñata is, right? It’s a paper mache thingie filled with candy and other goodies, and at a party, somebody gets blindfolded and whacks away at it. The goodies fly all over and people scramble for them.

 Well, this is a feature for Skywriter in which you’ll get a shower of goodies from time to time that are astrological in nature—sometimes related, sometimes, like today, random. What you get in this series of Cosmic Piñatas are wee bits I’ve collected from the comment section of this blog, from my Dell column, or email exchanges or other venues—treats that I’d like to share.  Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 11, 2011

Astrological Insights into Your Finances

©2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 I miss you, folks! As my difficulties with my hands continue, I’ll present links to some of Skywriter’s series of articles on topics of special interest. Today’s topic is personal finance. 

If any of these articles give you new insights into your own money patterns, share them in them comment section–or just say hello!

Posts in the Astrology and Personal Finances series:

If you’re enjoying this blog, sign up for a subscription, and get a FREE EBOOKLET for Skywriter Subscribers: Mothers, Daughters, and the Moon, a 50-page excerpt from The Moon in your Life. Read more about it here: New: Free Booklet For Skywriter Subscribers! 

To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.” Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post and ask for the booklet in the subject line. If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at 

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 6, 2011

Looking for your Alpha Dog Planet? A Tool to Help!

(c)8-11 By Donna Cunningham, MSW

If you’re trying to track the Alpha dog planet in a stellium or major configuration, it helps to know the major issues and qualities of each of the planets. You’ll find a link to a useful new tool below–a table I’ve created that summarizes them briefly.

Here is a segment of the table. I’ve chosen the outermost planets, as many find them the hardest to describe succinctly. Download the full table here: issues of the planets-handout .  Having a bad hand day, folks, so can’t write more.

SATURN ISSUES: Structure; discipline; desire for quality and
accomplishment; maturity; authority; perseverance; realism.

EXCESS: Rigid, perfectionistic, hypercritical,
authoritarian; fearful, depressed; workaholic.

DEFICIT: Lack self-discipline, structure, goals, and planning;
irresponsible, give up easily.

URANUS ISSUES: Finding your uniqueness and where you fit into
groups; friendship; independence; breaking with the past; becoming your own
authority; adolescence.

EXCESS: The rebel, non-conformist; having to prove
oneself and constantly fight authority; inability to accept ­structure.

DEFICIT: Follower, conformist, afraid to
express individuality; can’t establish independence.

The desire to transcend the self and surrender to something greater; seeing
beyond apparent reality; service, psychic abilities, spirituality.

EXCESS: Poorly grounded; deceives self/others;
savior/martyr; delusions; addictions, escapism.

DEFICIT: lacks imagination, creativity;
not in touch with spirituality or dream life; little compassion.

PLUTO ISSUES: Power and control; trust; to analyze what lies
beneath the surface and eliminate the undesirable; separateness;  holding on to things or feelings; death.

EXCESS: Alternates isolation/symbiosis; controlling;
mistrustful; overly intense; bitter, vengeful.

DEFICIT: Unable to look deeply within;
lack of psychological insight; insufficient desire for transformation.

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 3, 2011

How to Identify Your Alpha Dog Planet

©8-3-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 If you have a stellium, triple conjunction or major configuration such as a T-Square, Grand Trine, Grand Cross, or Yod, it’s quite job to figure out how all the planets involved work together. It’s even more of a job to figure out how to make them all work together smoothly. That’s not a job, it’s s lifetime achievement. A key to making the most of chart features like these is figuring out which of those planets is something I call the Alpha dog planet.  

Among the canines, the Alpha dog is the leader of the pack, the strongest dog, and the first to have access to the food or females. Transferring that principle to chart interpretation, the Alpha dog planet is the strongest of an interconnected group of planets like a major configuration and generally initiates and dominates their action. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 31, 2011

Full Houses vs. Empty Houses in your Chart—What to Expect

©2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSWDonna Cunningham, How to Read your Astrological Chart

The following is an excerpt from my hard copy book, How to Read your Astrology Chart, available from the publisher, Red Wheel/Weiser.

When you scan a chart, some houses are empty while others are relatively full. Here, I pay attention only to the basic ten planets, not to a dozen asteroids or the Arabian parts, because those basic planets represent major focuses and expenditures of energy.  What factors you include in your scan, of course, are up to you.  

Given twelve houses and only ten planets, at least two houses will be vacant. However, when several planets clump together in a single house–as often happens with the Sun, Mercury, and Venus–even more houses are unoccupied.  Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 29, 2011

Your Interview Questions for Donna: Part 2

©7-29-11 by Donna Cunningham and Skywriter Readers

 This is the first post I’ve done with my new voice recognition software, Dragon’s NaturallySpeaking.  (I dictate, it types what I say.) I ordered it because, after 40 years of whacking away at the keyboard, I’ve developed painful arthritis in my hands. The potentials of this tool are exciting, but the learning curve is plenty frustrating. 

It’s rather like trying to train a high-spirited young colt– it’s bright and interested in connecting, but skittish. You never know how it will respond to what you say. I’m trying to teach it to speak astrologese, though it hasn’t a clue what words like quincunx and sesquiquadrate mean. It tries valiantly to cooperate, but the results are often humorous. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 24, 2011

Learning to Interpret Aspects—A Major Boost for Astrology Students

©2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

The following is an excerpt from the introductory section of my ebooklet, Aspect Analysis: the Building Blocks of Chart Interpretation. This 8-part tutorial includes step-by-step instructions on how to analyze conjunctions, sextiles, squares, trines, quincunxes and oppositions.

 Aspects are the building blocks of serious astrology, moving you beyond single chart factors to integrating the many features a chart contains. Not only are they crucial in natal charts, they modify the qualities of transiting planets, progressions, and chart comparison. They powerfully impact outcomes in such diverse branches of our field as electional, horary, medical, and mundane. Here are some important stages in analyzing any given aspect. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 22, 2011

How Do House System Choices Affect Your Chart?

©by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 The following is an excerpt from my hard copy book, How to Read your Astrology Chart, available from the publisher, Red Wheel/Weiser.   Donna Cunningham, How to Read your Astrological Chart

For at least 40 years, astrologers have disagreed about house divisions, often vociferously. The more scientific-minded tend to espouse the Koch system, while diehards like myself stick with the traditional Placidus system.  There are trends in house cusp choices, and the current hottie is Whole Sign Houses. 

What makes this such a knotty problem is that intermediate cusps may be in different signs in one system than the other, and some planets may change houses, depending on which system you use. I’ve noticed that many people pick the one that puts their own planets in the best light. If their Venus falls in the self-defeating twelfth in one system and the friendly eleventh in another, they’ll swear by the one that puts Venus in the eleventh. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 20, 2011

Making Retrogrades Work for You

Donna says:  April Elliott Kent’s new book is a highly readable tour through the astrological fundamentals for beginning and intermediate astrology students.  This excerpt is reprinted with permission of the publisher.   

(c)An excerpt from The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology (Alpha Books/Penguin 2011), by April Elliott Kent

Because a planet doesn’t seem to function as expected while retrograde, astrologers tend to issue dire warnings about not getting your computer repaired while Mercury is retrograde and not buying a house while Venus is retrograde.

There’s something to these warnings, but proclamations like that always make me feel rebellious, and at the very least it’s fair to ask “Why?” After all, it’s not practical to spend nine Mercury retrograde weeks out of every year in communication/technology lockdown mode. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 18, 2011

Career Differences between the 10th, 2nd, and 6th House

© 7-18-11 by Donna Cunningham, MSW 

This is an excerpt from my ebook, The Outer Planets and Inner Life, Volume 1: The Outer Planets as Vocational Indicators, available at Moon Maven Publications. OPIL v1-2014 sm

People with the 10th House Dominant:The 10th house represents the career, long-term goals, lifetime achievements, and one’s ultimate status in the world.  People with a strong 10th house emphasis are very career-oriented, rather than necessarily focused on money (2nd) or on work for its own sake (6th). If money is important to them, it’s more for the status it confers.  

These individuals are intensely motivated by long-range goals and by accomplishing something meaningful in the world. They yearn to make an impact on their world and often seek recognition.  

The career track would seldom be traditional when the 10th house features Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto or the signs those planets rule—Aquarius, Pisces, or Scorpio. Typically, it takes people with these chart placements longer to find their true vocation, since they are challenged to integrate the energy of that outer planet into the workplace, merging the transpersonal with the vocational.  

For instance, people with Uranus near the Midheaven might gain recognition by shocking us and shaking up the status quo. People with Neptune near the Midheaven—say within 10°of it—might yearn for a career that is artistic and creative. 

 The 2nd house is similar in nature to the sign Taurus. Those with a strong emphasis on the 2nd are often motivated more by desire for money and what money can do for them than by long-term goals (the 10th) or by work for its own sake (the 6th). 

Many people with the outer planets strong in the 2nd would object vehemently to such an interpretation, insisting that they are not materialistic at all. (Pisces, for instance, can be otherworldly, as can its ruling planet Neptune.) No matter how much they may dislike the emphasis on greed and possessions in today’s world, however, these people are confronted with the necessity to earn money for basic needs, so earning a living takes up more of their energy than they might like.  

The question of Right Livelihood becomes very complex when the special issues and concerns the outer planets represent are balanced with realities like paying the rent and making sure the children are fed. 

Uranian types who are strongly motivated by a need for freedom and autonomy may earn a good living for the freedom that money buys—and not so much for the worldly possessions money allows them to have. Uranus-in-the-2nd natives can take or leave the attention, so long as it gives them the money—and thus the freedom—to do what they want.   

People with Pluto or Scorpio planets in the 2nd often get hooked into destructive games where money is concerned. Money is fraught with hidden agendas for them and often represents power and control in their relationships. We’ll go into the distinctions between these three planets and their signs in the chapters devoted to each of them.  

The more planets that fall into the 2nd, the more complex the financial picture—and yet the more potentials for earning a living. If the Sun is in the 2nd along with these outer planets or their signs, self-worth issues are intricately woven into how much these individuals make—or don’t make. If the Sun were in Pisces or Virgo or making difficult aspects to Neptune, low self-esteem might contribute to not charging as much as they should for their services, but then the low income reinforces a sense of not being worthy. 

6th house types are interesting, in that—like natives of the associated sign, Virgo—they can be intensely involved in work for its own sake. Much of their energy is bound up in work and the workplace, whether that is a happy and fulfilling venue or the source of frustration. The particular 6th house planets, signs, and aspects tell us about their work and how they seek satisfaction in this area.

When the Sun is in the 6th house, self-esteem is bound up in the quantity and quality of their work. When the 6th house is stronger than the 10th, the person usually has a Virgo-like reluctance to be in the spotlight. 

 These folks are often indispensable employees who do much of the important work in a firm yet get little of the credit. People with several planets in the 6th are sometimes workaholic, for work comes to serve many basic drives and needs.  

This has been an excerpt from my ebook, The Outer Planets and Inner Life, Volume 1: Outer Planets as Vocational Indicators, available at Moon Maven Publications 

Readers, which of your vocational houses is strongest, and do you fit the pattern? Share your experiences in the comment section. 

More Excerpts from Donna’s Books:

More Career Related Articles:

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 14, 2011

Troubleshooting: The 9 Biggest Blocks to Intuition

 ©4-10-2011 by guest blogger, Angela Artemis of Powered By Intuition

 Working with intuition is a bit like working with sand; it’s hard to grasp and easily slips though the fingers.

 So don’t make your intuition any harder to grasp by letting blocks get in your way. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 12, 2011

10 Quick Questions You Asked Donna

©7-12-11 by Donna and Readers

 No more than 5 minutes after my request for questions for the interview was posted, they started coming in. Here are a few with short, easy answers that won’t make the longer interview.   

Jenny B:  Who do you turn to when you need YOUR chart interpreted? Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 11, 2011

Submit Your Questions for Donna’s Interview

©7-11-1l at Skywriter

 One of the winning entries in the recent contest for new article ideas was the suggestion that I be interviewed about myself and my career. My first response was, “No Way!!” Here’s how things unfolded: 

Chasmatazz: How about an interview with Donna Cunningham? It could be a question-and-answer with Donna Cunningham, wherein the readers ask you questions – not astrology questions, but probing personal questions, in the style of Barbara Walters, and you choose which ones to answer?

Donna, tell us about the first time you ever had a professional reading.

 Donna, what is your favorite planet?

 Donna, tell us about the worst client you ever had.

Don’t know who we’d get to do it, though.

Karen: I volunteer to be the interviewer! Would be very gentle;-) All Oprah~esque. Come on Donna … it would be fun! First Q: What has been the best part of being a professional astrologer for four decades?

Donna: If you promise not to be Barbara Walters, I’ll promise not to be Harrison Ford, the worst interviewee on record.

Note: I finally gave in, and we’ll do that this weekend, so think about your questions. Lest you conclude that it’s ego on my part, I must tell you that I’m the least likely person to ever have a reality show on cable. I’m extremely private and call myself an urban hermit—I love going out with friends, but am pretty much a recluse otherwise. However, one of my missions for this blog is to get more comfortable with being self-revealing, and that’s why I’m agreeing to do this.

So, Readers, here’s your chance to ask me about myself.  What sort of questions?  Oh, what I was planning to do for a living before astrology shanghaied me. How do I keep on writing, year after year, without running out of things to write about.  What are the proudest moments in my career? Will I ever retire completely?  Things like that. 

For a summary of my background, see About Me.

UPDATE: Thanks, folks!  The comment section is closed after about 70 great questions.  They’ve sorted themselves out into two categories–personal and professional–so I’ll do features on both.  Here’s the first: 10 Quick Questions You Asked Donna.


Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 9, 2011

Jaycee Dugard Interview–and her Birth Chart

In a landmark television event on Sunday night, July 10, 2011 on ABC at 9/8C, Diane Sawyer  conducted the first interview with Jaycee Dugard.  Jaycee talked about her abduction and 18 years of imprisonment and sexual abuse and about giving birth to her two daughters without medical assistance. 

At the sentencing of Jaycee’s abductors, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, on June 2, 2011, Jaycee’s mother, Terry Probyn, read a victim impact statement by her daughter and delivered her own statement, which included the following birth data: “On May 3rd, 1980, at 10:52 at night, Jaycee was born.” Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 7, 2011

Understanding Narcissism–New Insights into Ryan O’Neal

© 7-7-11 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Yesterday, after finishing the post on Ryan and Tatum O’Neal, I decided it was time for a break, so I walked half a block to the nearest Starbucks. (A tough life, I know.) As so often happens in my work, it wasn’t really a break from the writing, but a serendipitous continuation of the process.

There’s a magazine stand, and after leafing through an astronomy magazine, my eyes lit on the current issue of Psychology Today.  

The cover featured an article on narcissism, with the following teaser: “You can’t help falling for them, and by the time you’ve gleaned their true colors, you’re hooked —and possibly hurt. Welcome to the contradictory universe of narcissism.”  Read More…

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