Posted by: Donna Cunningham | November 26, 2015

Does Your Jupiter Show What You feel Grateful For?

©Thanksgiving Day, 2015 by Donna Cunningham

I consider myself an extremely lucky person and am grateful every day of my life for my many blessings. However, this morning, I find myself especially thankful for all that has been given to me.

I had (and most certainly earned) scholarships all the way through to a Master’s degree in Social Work, all in top notch schools. By rights, growing up in a severely dysfunctional family in small town rural Midwest, I’d never have finished high school.

Along the way, I encountered astrology, my life work, and discovered a writing talent that got everything I wrote published, sometimes in multiple languages.

Because of astrology, I traveled foreign lands for over 10 years giving seminars and speaking at conferences, seeing cities and museums of the finest art and meeting wonderful people of all cultures.

To what do I attribute my good fortune? My Jupiter, of course, and yet,  with it being in the 12th, you’d think it wouldn’t be worth all that much. Au contraire, mes amis! The more service I give, the more I get back. It’s in Cancer, conjunct my 12th house Sun.

What about you, Readers? What do you feel grateful for today, and does the Jupiter position in your chart correspond to any of it? Tell us about it in the comment section below this post.

PS. One more thing I should add is that I am very grateful for this blog and the wonderful participation by you Readers.  For the last two years, I have had to focus on writing two new books, and it makes me so happy to be free to blog again.

More articles about Jupiter on this blog:

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | November 18, 2015

29° of a Sign—Don’t Miss this Article!

(c)11-18-15 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

I’ve just finished reading a splendid article in the Oct/Nov issue of The Mountain Astrologer by Michelle Adler. It is the first detailed and insightful article I have ever read on the subject of 29° of a sign. There is very little written on the internet about this critical degree of the zodiac. What information there is on the topic tends to one-sentence descriptions, all saying the same stale thing in the exact same words.

Michelle has done thorough and original research on the topic, and her 3000 word article is loaded with example charts of well-known people whose charts and lives illustrate the truth of her conclusions.

The thing that I admire the most is that, unlike many writers in our field, Michelle doesn’t just propose a theory, she backs it up with a great many solid, real life examples.

Briefly, some of her findings are that these are unusual individuals who think in new and futuristic ways, whose careers and contributions push the boundaries of the known and conventional thinking. They tend to have unusual abilities. I can’t begin to summarize her well-documented findings and insightful analysis, but I would urge those of you with an interest in the meanings of zodiac degrees not to miss the article.

For myself, when I began exploring out of sign conjunctions for my work on stelliums, they often included a planet at the 29th degree of a sign. What she has written clarified a great deal for me about these conjunctions in stellium charts and about the exceptional potential of people with those combinations.

If you don’t subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer, you may still find this issue on the newsstands or buy a copy on their website.  Here’s how: ” On the homepage, there is a place (near the top) where you can
order a sample copy of the magazine; you will receive a sample copy of
the current issue for, I believe, $8.50. It’s not hard to find. — Jan ”

Readers, if you have a planet at that exact degree (NOT rounded off from 28°!), or if you know of a famous person who does, you can contribute to the further research by sharing it in the comment section of this article.

(Michelle’s website is at]

PS.  We’re having a great discussion here, with already more than 70 people sharing their experiences with the 29th degree and getting Michelle’s feedback!  Have a look at the comment section. My readers are the best!

CareerChoicesChallenges-cvrCareer Choices and Challenges: an Astrological Guide is my newest ebook offering. Vocational astrology was one of my specialties throughout my four decades of client work.

The book is my way of sharing what I’ve learned so you and your loved ones or clients can make better use of the energies of the signs, houses, and planets in the vocational sectors of the chart.

This two-volume set is 180,00 words long and includes 60 articles about various facets of vocational astrology. It’s divided into two parts in order to make navigation easier. The volumes are not sold separately, and the set is $25.

It’s distributed exclusively on my website,, and is being released worldwide today.

Part One is subtitled Vocational Patterns in the Natal Chart.  It’s an overview of the subject, including many articles that explore the roles played by the vocational houses and Midheaven, the natal planets placed in the career sectors, and tools for enhancing your career potential.  Both volumes provide templates that make it possible for you to analyze your own career-related chart features and those of other charts you work on.

Part Two is subtitled Transits to the Vocational Sectors.  There are lengthy sections giving an overview of the career changes and challenges that are likely to occur under transits from the slow-moving planets Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.  You’ll also learn how to capitalize on the inner planets’ passages through the career houses, including the Moon’s cycles, Mercury retrograde intervals, and Jupiter. It includes a chapter on how to make balanced and helpful predictions of tough transits, neither overly negative or overly positive.

Here are the Sections in Part One: Vocational Patterns in the Natal Chart

  • Introductory Section—6 articles
  • Second House-Eighth House Axis—8 articles
  • Sixth House-Twelfth house Axis—5 articles
  • The Midheaven and Tenth House—7 articles
  • Planets in the Career Sectors—8 articles
  • Tools for Enhancing your Career Potential—6 articles
  • Book Bonus: Building an Astrology Practice.
  • Appendix—Tables to use in Analyzing the Chart

Here are the Sections in Part Two: Transits to the Vocational Sectors

  • Transits from the Inner Planets– 4 articles        
  • Overview of How to Work with Transits—5 articles
  • Slow Moving Transits—5 articles
  • Book Bonus: A Responsible Approach to Handling Clients’ Difficult Transits

Explore the Career Potentials in Your Astrology Chart!

Since the 12 houses, 12 signs, and 10 planets each have many possible expressions, this ebook can’t possibly describe them all. Instead, Career Choices and Challenges gives you many tools to use in analyzing a specific chart from a vocational perspective.

It will help you become more conscious of both the positive and the more difficult ways the career placements in your own chart or that of a loved one or client may be used and help you make more informed choices.

Consistently mismanaging the planets and signs in the vocational sectors can bring big trouble or even failure to the person and affect the lives of their loved ones as well. Self-awareness helps avoid self-sabotage and costly mistakes that arise from undesirable expressions of the planets and signs in the career combination.

As with most of my books, this one isn’t just about astrology, because throughout the book I’ll suggest self-help tools to help you tackle the career difficulties described by your chart.

Perks of the Ebook Format

Ebooks have their advantages, making possible some very useful features that hardcopy books cannot do. Here are some you’ll find in this book:

With the PDF format, you can print out sections that pertain specifically to you or your loved ones, creating a permanent reference tool. Another PDF perk is a series of printable summary tables about the qualities associated with the signs, house, and planets to use in chart interpretation.

The PDF format also allows for clickable links to blog articles and internet sites, a resource often used in this book to provide more in-depth information.

You’ll be guided, step by step, in creating templates to analyze the houses, signs, and planets involved in your career picture so you can make the best use of them and avoid the pitfalls. You’ll find lists of the areas of life involved with each house and the qualities of all the signs and planets in the appendix and a link to a downloadable version to work with.

You’ll be able to copy and paste self-inventories that list the positive and the difficult potentials of the career sign, house, and the planets in the combination. If you’re an astrologer, you can create the same self-tests for your clients or students as a service. This can help them become more aware of their strengths and more conscious in avoiding any self-defeating patterns in their work.

 Readers, join me in celebrating this new arrival! Career Choices and Challenges: an Astrological Guide is distributed exclusively on my website,, and is being released worldwide today. You can be among the first to own it!

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 13, 2015

Horary Questions Do Not Require a Yes Or No Answer! Here’s Why.

Donna says: I recently received a note from my esteemed colleague, Diana Stone, the invaluable horary astrologer I have turned to in making major decisions over the years.  She is unfailingly accurate in responding to the questions and has helped me avoid many a pothole in my path.  She asked if I would help her get the word out that questions do not always need to be formed in a way that would lead to a simple yes or no answer. Life today is far too complicated for that!

Diana says, “Hi Donna, I would appreciate it if you would correct a popular misconception that is only too prevalent among “authorities.” The idea that horary questions may be answered only by ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is not correct!

There are individuals who have told me they ended up not asking the horary question because they could not figure out how to make it a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. I hope to get the word out that horary extends far beyond that limitation.

I will give you some examples of questions I was able to answer in great detail that were not “yes” or “No” questions. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 4, 2015

Fifth House Romances as Karmic Connections

Karmic Dates and Momentary Mates-Front FinalDonna says, “Jessica Shepherd’s new book, Karmic Dates & Momentary Mates: The Astrology of the Fifth House, is well written, a great read, and full of original insights.  People love information about their romances, but this is the first book to shed light on the ones that got away and why they came into our lives in the first place.

It certainly helped me get a new perspective on that stormy decade when Pluto in Scorpio transited my 5th house and the love of my life was a Scorpio!

The excerpt below is reprinted with her permission. It is copyrighted, so for further reprinting, you must contact her first. Here’s what Jessica writes:”

Having fifth house planets doesn’t doom anyone to a lifetime of dating and short-term love affairs, but it does suggest the necessity of friendships, lovers, playmates, and creative partnerships—for a time. These partnerships may last a month or a decade (time is elastic in the fifth house, and short-term could mean anything less than forever), but they are no less significant for your interpersonal and spiritual development than a partner in marriage. Nowadays, a marriage partner could be a short-term partner, too.

Then there’s the question of hidden karma. Maybe you can easily entertain the idea that all of your significant relationships are not “new news,” that there are people with whom we have made prior life contracts to meet. Of course, we may never be able to prove this factually, but the critical mass of people with regression experiences makes a very strong case for past lives.

Karma is certainly a mysterious force that complicates, informs, and weaves itself, snakelike, through this lifetime (and perhaps the next) for as long as we’re alive and making choices. Some of us have more short-term shared relationship karma than others, and having fifth house planets—with their hunger for heart-opening connections—alerts us to this possibility.

Having planets in the fifth house alerts us to the fact that we may have unfinished business with one or several people who share the nature and behaviors of that planet-sign combination. What if we don’t have a planet here? We can look to the sign on our fifth house cusp, as well as the ruling planet of that sign which also alerts us to the quality of karma we share.

Karma is nothing to feel guilty about. Sharing karma is both a gift and an obligation. The gift is an ability to receive and exchange a teaching, blessing, or learning. The obligation is to learn to recognize when such a relationship has outlived its usefulness, and to let it go with respect to all involved. Just because a relationship is short-term, doesn’t make it any less valuable, precious, or worthy of an honorable ending.

When we are substantially attracted to someone enough to enter into a relationship, we undoubtedly share a level of karma. Clearly, we must share karma with all our important relationships. We share karma with people who, over the course of a lifetime, help us to self-actualize and reach our dreams with love and support. I call these people our soul mates—people who hold us in love for as long as time allows. Karmic mates are “time-of-life partners”; these partnerships are eventually meant to end. Karmic mates may be a form of soul mates, for we certainly share soul contracts with them—but while there is no ending to the love story with soul mates (save death), karmic partners have an expiration date.

Karmic mates wear other guises, too, besides sexual partners. You can recognize them by the joy, buzz, attraction, and excitement they stimulate in you—the initial, heady yeast of relationships. They may be a playmate or a muse, inspiring shared artistry and creativity. They may be someone who shares a hobby or interest that our primary partner doesn’t, but through sharing, we grow stronger and shine brighter. We can share karma with our elementary school teacher, our best friend, our therapist, and maybe even our pet! Through their belief in us, confidence in our talents and abilities, or any positive heart-centered emotion, we just feel good being around them.

The karmic mate is always a catalyst for our growth. By virtue of the conversations and experiences we share over a brief period of time, we end up making a change in our lives. Playmate, muse, catalyst, boss, lover, roommate, friend… while they don’t stick around forever, their impact on our lives can be profound.

Am I in a Karmic Partnership?

All relationships have some element of karma, so how do we know if we’re in a relationship with an expiration date? Initially, it can be hard to tell. Here’s a common sense checklist for identifying whether you are in a karmic romance.

-You experience a compulsive mood or emotion unique to only this relationship, which you don’t normally experience. Around this person, you may feel caretaking, insecure, chatty, irrational, moody, exceptionally beautiful, larger or smaller-than-life. When apart, you are free of this condition.

-You are attached to trying to get something (attention, affection, love, commitment) from them. When you don’t get it, you feel nutty.

-Your partnership elicits irrational behavior in one or both of you. You feel powerless to stop it.

-You know this relationship won’t last, yet you cannot seem to tear yourself away.

-Friends and loved ones say they no longer recognize you, or that you’ve changed (not for the better) since you’ve been with this person.

-You experience compelling magnetism, and even love. But while you are attracted to certain parts of them, you do not fully accept them.

The book is available in paperback and Kindle. Here’s the link to purchase on Amazon:Karmic Dates And Momentary Mates.

About Jessica: Author of A Love Alchemist’s Notebook, Karmic Dates and Momentary Mates, and Venus Signs, Jessica Shepherd has studied astrology since 1992, and has been practicing and writing about astrology since 2003 at She specializes in coaching people through transition, personal growth, and awakening. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in art and business and is a certified health coach. Sign up for her newsletter or book a reading at Become a Facebook fan here.

Donna says: ”I hope that reading this brief excerpt from Jessica Shepherd’s Karmic Dates and Momentary Mates has opened up a world of understanding about your own and other people’s puzzling romances. If you’re having light bulb moments about one of your romances, tell us about it in the comment section. (A couple of paragraphs at the most—not a whole romance novel!) The excerpt above is reprinted here with her permission. It is copyrighted, so for further reprinting, or if you are an astrology blogger and would like to request a review copy, contact her at”

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | September 28, 2015

Tips for Parenting a Scorpio Child

Note: This copyrighted excerpt from astrologer, Trish MacGregor’s new book, Unlocking the Secret to Scorpios, is reprinted here with permission of the publisher, Page Street Press.

 Scorpios - MacGregorIntense, passionate, fearless. These adjectives are often used to describe a Scorpio child, but they barely scratch the surface. These kids are complex and mysterious and often a complete enigma to the people who love and know them best.

As a parent, look back to the birth of your Scorpio child. Were there any unusual events surrounding the child’s birth? Was he born before or after his due date? Synchronically often occurs during major transitions in our lives, ­­­­and a birth certainly qualifies as a major event. Can you recall any meaningful coincidences that happened? Does your partner or another family member recall anything unusual? Was the birth easy or difficult?

In a young group or her peers, the Scorpio child is easy to spot – she’s the solitary brooder, the one with the soulful eyes who appears to be lost in her own thought. She’s actually checking out everything around her quite carefully and has learned to do this without seeming so. If Scorpio joins in the activities, it’s with a few close friends who are as loyal to her as she is them. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | September 18, 2015

Updates—This and That!

9-18-2015 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

I’ve been crazy busy these past few weeks, with no time to blog, but here are a few things I wanted to share.

My ebook on vocational astrology is going very well, and I hope to publish it by the end of October. It’s close to 450,000 words already, and I’ll have to break it into a two-volume set sold as a bundle.. If you’re a subscriber, you’ll get a notice automatically.

My Mercury Retrograde project for the next three weeks is to do the final run through and polish. It lasts until October 9th.  Here are a couple of the posts about how to use this period well:
·         Mercury Retrograde Projects–Use the Energy to your Advantage
·         Mercury’s Pre-retrograde Shadow and Post-retrograde Shadow Periods
Readers, do any of you have Mercury Retrograde projects lined up?  Share your ways of using the retrograde period well in the comment section below. 
I’m happy to say I’ve started a writing group in my senior building and the first meeting went very well. I love to teach writing, and it’s also a chance to do some creative writing and share it with others who want to write. (If you yearn to write about astrology, download my free booklet of writing tips herewritingtipsbookletillust.)

 Pluto Transits to the Moon

The transiting Pluto squares to my Moon and IC finally kicked in, and my sister, Dianna, diankindied, after a couple decades of serious illness. It leaves me as the very last Cunningham. I’ve been quite sad about losing her, but sincerely glad that her suffering is over.
I once wrote a post about my sister, a really funny character—and you can read about her and her warped sense of humor here: Put Yourself in Scorpio’s Shoes.
(Side note: I have the Moon on my Midheaven, and three women named for Diana—the Moon Goddess—have been incredibly important in my life. There is only one left now—Diana Stone, the horary astrology expert. Read about her invaluable work here: Horary Questions by Astrologer, Diana Stone.)
Speaking of Scorpio and Pluto, has anybody seen the amazing close up views of Pluto lately? Truly a historic event, and if anybody still believes that Pluto’s not a planet, they should be convinced now. Take that, Neil deGrasse Tyson! Pluto’s a Planet Again! Now We Can Breathe Easy!

Charts of Preemies, Anyone?

And, last but not least, I finally finished my 2014 taxes, thanks to Jupiter in Virgo. My wonderful tax man confided that he’d never had his chart done.
I made a face. “You mean you’ve had an astrologer as a client for 20 years, and she’s never done your chart? We’ll have to correct that oversight immediately! Do you know your time of birth?”
He explained that his time of birth was unknown. He was born several weeks premature, and they had to rush to save his life. He was placed in an incubator, and then they had to rush him to a facility where they could care for a preemie better. A twin girl was then delivered who didn’t survive. In this crisis situation, no one remembered to look at the time of birth.
I’ve done some work on twins, and I know that some premature births result in one not surviving. But I’ve never thought to ask if their birth was premature, and I also don’t ever recall doing a chart of a preemie, twin or not. (A New Look at the Astrology of Twins.)
Readers, have you seen any charts of preemies? Have you noticed anything in the chart that would relate to their premature birth? Please share your experiences in the comment section so we can all learn from them.
Posted by: Donna Cunningham | September 7, 2015

Why Saturn has as much to do with Success as Jupiter

(c)2015 by Donna Cunningham, MSWCareerChoicesChallenges-cvr

The following is an excerpt from my ebook, Career Choices and Challenges: An Astrological Guide, due for publishing in October.

If you’d like to be notified when it’s available at sign up for a subscription in the box at the top right hand box of the front page of this blog.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”  – Thomas A. Edison

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

Thomas Jefferson

I’ve been a fairly lucky person all my life, and once, after a run of especially good luck ion my career, I set about analyzing it. I felt that perhaps by understanding my luck, I could not only increase it for myself, but perhaps also teach my heretofore un­conscious “methods” to others who haven’t been so for­tunate.

Naturally, I thought a great deal about Jupiter, the planet traditionally associated with good luck, but I was quite surprised to discover Saturn has as much or more to do with luck as Jupiter. People with Jupiter-Saturn or Venus-Saturn aspects in their birth charts are often “lucky,” but it tends to be the type where people say, “you must be living right,” for they make their own luck by being diligent and responsible. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | September 2, 2015

Today’s Trines in Earth–Work It!

Just a quick note, folks. The writing on my new book about vocational astrology is going very well, but I wanted you to be aware that  the Moon in Taurus will form a series of three trines to transiting planets  in earth signs today, so work it for all it’s worth.

If you have natal planets in the earth signs, it could very well be an excellent day to take care of finances and other practical matters.

First, it trines transiting Jupiter in Virgo, then the Sun in Virgo, and then Pluto in Capricorn. And, it also sextiles Neptune in Pisces in the course of the day.  Gotta love that Taurus Moon!

I’m not saying this will be the day you buy the winning lottery ticket or anything of that magnitude–you’d need bigger transits for that. But it’s a very good day to tackle business mattters.

I’m definitely going to work those trines.  Even without knowing today’s astrological picture, I had scheduled a trip to the bank to get my finances in order. After following the Moon for a few decades already, I seem to be attuned to the Moon without looking at the ephemeris.  No doubt many of you long-time followers of astrology feel it instinctively too.

And my dear friend who has more planets in earth than I (with only my Neptune in Virgo) will have in my next few lifetimes, didn’t know about the trines either. She has an appointment today to apply for one of those reverse mortgages to get out of a financial hole. We’re meeting for lunch after..and often when the Moon is in Taurus, it’s an especially good lunch.

So, Readers, share how this day has been for you in the comment section.  (If today is a bummer, though, don’t blame it on the Moon.  You probably have some tough transits from other planets going on.)

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 16, 2015

New Download: “A Responsible Approach to Clients’ Tough Transits”

©8-16-2015 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 I’ve missed blogging, but have been working very hard on a new vocational astrology book that should be out in October, called Career Choices and Challenges: An Astrological Guide.

Today, I thought you might like a preview of one of the articles that will be included. It deals with how to make responsible predictions of what may happen during a tough transit.

Predictions that are either excessively negative or excessively positive harm people who hear and believe them. (That includes seeing everything through rose colored glasses and completely ignoring the difficult situations that may occur.)

We explored this topic in some depth in earlier posts, and my readers contributed devastating examples of things that had been said to them by astrologers.

The final article is a much-expanded version. I have decided to make it a free offering, because the message is one that I would like to share with the astrology community.

The article will also be included in the next edition of Counseling Principles for Astrologers, but I don’t want to wait for that before it’s available. (You can find a sampler of materials from that here: Sampler–2014 Counseling Principles for Astrologers or order here:

Download “A Responsible Approach to Clients’ Tough Transits:” here: 2014 CPA Responsible Predictions.

Now I need to get back to work on my vocational astrology book. Hasta la vista!


©2013 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

handbook cvr sm

This is an excerpt from my ebook, The Stellium Handbook: an Owner’s Manual for people with Stelliums or Triple  ConjunctionsDownload a sample file here:  Stellium Handbook Sampler. The Stellium Handbook is $20.  Order it at

 The lead planet in a stellium—the first in zodiac order–is automatically the first affected by new transits—and new situations—that represent periods of challenge, change, and even crisis. It’s like the first responder at the scene of an emergency. What that person does on arriving has a huge influence on the outcome.

If first responders make the right moves, it helps stabilize the crisis, but if they make the wrong ones, the challenge is harder to overcome. The backgrounds of first responders may or may not suit the task, but they cope heroically until better-qualified helpers arrive, then step back unless they’re needed. The same is true of the lead planet in a stellium. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 19, 2015

Excerpts from Donna’s Ebooks

(c)2015 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Here in Oregon, we’re in week three of a record-breaking heat wave, so it’s much too hot to write.  However, in celebration of the opening of my new website, I’ve listed links below to several book excerpts published earlier that were readers’ favorites.

All the books are available at, and if you’re tempted by more than one of them, there’s an offer of three of the $15 ebooks for $35, a saving of $10.

(A belated insight:  the launch date for the site was July 14th, the day the space craft had its long-awaited fly by of Pluto. That has to be some powerful chart!  Perhaps for the astronomy community the culmination of years of work toward this event–and signified by the endless series cardinal t-squares involving the Pluto-Uranus square and a variety of the faster moving planets! Too bad they think astrology is bogus and that Pluto isn’t a planet!)

Wonderful insights and examples can be found in exchanges with readers in the comment sections if you scroll down below the articles.  Those sections are still open, so feel free to add your own experiences.

Excerpts from My E-Books:

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 14, 2015

New Website Launch—New Content and Special Deals

My publications website, will be launched for the second time today at 11:00 AM PDT. (The site so nice, I launched it twice!)  You can see samplers of my ebooks and order the books there. We took it down a few weeks ago in order to add new content and to fix some persistent hiccups with the shopping cart.

Among the new offerings, you’ll find a load of tips for people who want to write about astrology or healing tools. Many fine astrologers and healers struggle with putting their knowledge down on paper to reach people who don’t get to conferences or lectures. To support their efforts at sharing what they know, I taught writing courses for many years. When I needed to stop teaching in order to focus on writing books, I still wanted to share my writing expertise. On the site under “writing tips,” you’ll find links to a number of articles about blogging, plus a free download of my booklet on writing.

You’ll also find special prices on bundles of books when you order them together.  The familiar offer of three $15 books for $35 rather than $45 still holds, and there’s a new bundle of all 10 of my ebooks at $120, a saving of $28.

(A belated insight:  the launch date for the site was July 14th, the day the space craft had it’s long-awaited fly by of Pluto. That has to be some powerful chart!  Perhaps for the astronomy community the culmination of years of work toward this event–and signified by the endless series cardinal t-squares involving the Pluto-Uranus square and a variety of the faster moving planets! Too bad they think astrology is bogus and that Pluto isn’t a planet!)

Kudos are again due for my gifted web designer, Suzanne Bird-Harris of WebsitesInWP.  Her designs are beautiful and impactful, and she has many astrologers as clients, so she knows how we think and what we need.  She is also on the leading edge of the technical side of web design, as you’ll see with the ways she makes the complexities of my webpage simple to use. I am very grateful for her stunning design of my site.

So, today, at 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight time, you are invited to come and visit


Posted by: Donna Cunningham | June 14, 2015

Research Report: Birthdays and Health Findings

I found this article by Lauren Ahn on my Windows 8 Startup page this morning:

“Most scientists say there’s no merit to the whole horoscope thing, but new research suggests your birth month may count for something, after all. It could predict your risk of developing more than 50 different health conditions, according to a study recently published in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association.

“Scientists at Columbia University compared the birth dates and medical records of 1.7 million patients treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/CUMC between 1985 and 2013. In sum they looked at 1,688 diseases.The study ruled out more than 1,600 associations between birth month and disease risk, but the data confirmed 39 suspected links between birthday and disease risk — and uncovered 16 new associations, including  nine kinds of heart disease. The researchers even ruled out any factors that could skew the results.”

Read the rest here:

The Shocking Things Your Birthday Says About Your Health

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | June 12, 2015

The 12th House as a Vocational Indicator

©6-12-15 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 I’m going to go out on a limb here. It won’t be the first time, and it won’t be the last. I’m something of a regular there.

If we were studying astrology in the 14th century or up to a thousand years before that, the 12th would be listed as one of the career houses. Planets placed there can show a vocation in the original sense of the word—a calling. It’s not something you chose, but instead something that chooses you and that you wind up devoting your life to. Read More…

©5-25-15 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Have you ever visited the Astrologers’ Memorial Webpage?  Today would be a great time to remember our teachers and writers and to appreciate what they taught us.roddensm-herown

Early in this millennium, I started the page.  I was housebound, waiting for much needed hip replacements and needed a way to still feel connected to our field. I don’t recall how I got started on it, but it was a joy to create the pages and to remember and to honor the people who taught us so much.

The pages included as much information as I could gather—their contributions, photos, books they’d written, and memories and testimonials from astrology folks who loved them and respected their work.

Lois Rodden’s amazing collection of astrologer’s charts made it possible to include the birth information and natal charts for a great many of them. (Here’s a picture of Lois.)

Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | May 23, 2015

Mercury at a Standstill–How to Handle It

©5-23-2015 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

I always say I’m not going to write any more articles about Mercury Retrograde, but here I am again.  My regular readers know that I take the prevailing hysteria about it with a grain of salt—well, more like a whole shaker full of salt.  Too many people make these retrogrades sound like some terrifying boogie man, and I think they’re just addicted to high drama.

My approach is more sensible, I like to think. I double check everything I do during that time, hold up on major outreach, don’t start major projects, and back up my computer after every writing session.

And I capitalize on those periods by working on what I call my Mercury retrograde projects—usually involving revisions of things I’ve already written. (Follow the links at the end of this article to see how you can create a project of your own.)

How Mercury Stationary Complicates Matters

Here’s something I haven’t written about before, however, and that’s how to handle the days at the beginning and end of the period, when Mercury is at a standstill. It can remain at the same degree for several days and sometimes as long as a week. This time around, Mercury is stationary turning retrograde at 13° of Gemini from 5/15 to 5/23/15. It turns direct again at 5° Gemini and remains at that degree from 6/6 to 6/15/15. Read More…

NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft crashed into Mercury on April 30th, ending a years-long mission that made many unexpected discoveries about the innermost planet. The Science News summarizes some of MESSENGER’s most surprising finds at this link:

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | April 28, 2015

Need a Yes or No Answer?  Ask a Horary Question!

© 4-26-2015 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Horary astrology is an ancient branch of our field, but it’s thriving today because in our uncertain times, many of us need a clear-cut answer for the dilemmas we face.  So much is at stake that relying on guesswork and supposition can lead us to make huge mistakes.

How horary works is that you first think through the specific question that will lead to the answer you seek. It needs to be answerable by yes or no—for example, “Would it be in my best interest to take this bid on my house?”  The horary practitioner will work with you to word the question, and when it’s clearly formed, a chart is erected for that exact moment. The answers to the question are in the chart.

So why is this ancient technique becoming popular now? Among other things that Uranus rules is the field of astrology itself. I’ve watched the distinct changes of direction in our field as Uranus has gone through each sign from Virgo all the way to Aries. What I observe about astrology under Uranus in Aries so far is that large segments of the public seem to demand and to expect quick and easy answers from us.

A great many of them have no patience with psychological or spiritual astrology. Typically, they aren’t looking for insight about the part they play in the difficult situations they find themselves in; they just want to know how to get the outcome they desire. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | April 17, 2015

Positive Uses of Neptune in Pisces–Update

(c) by Donna Cunningham, 4-17-15

A few months back, I asked my readers to share the positive ways they were using transits by Neptune in Pisces.  The responses were quite uplifting….most of the time.  Some used it as a gripe session, which wasn’t quite the point. I’m very sorry if you’re drowning in a Neptunian sea right now, and, yes, it can sometimes be very painful.  However, one way to move out of a state like that is to learn ways of using Neptune well and focus on them while avoiding the less constructive expressions.

It’s a process, like most transits.  What often happens in the early stages is that you bottom out on self-sabotaging ways you’ve been using the natal planet that’s being transited and in the matters of the house being affected.  Typically, you’re burned out and it’s too hurtful to keep on doing that, but you feel stuck–a sense of stagnation.  You don’t know how you can possibly get to the other side without disturbing the status quo too much, risking important relationships, or taking steps that you’re absolutely certain you’re not up to.

So you may retreat into a negative Neptune funk, escaping, getting into some sort of addictive pattern like spending too much, eating too much, or playing computer games or watching old movies endless hours every day.  Those sorts of responses are common during the early  stages of Neptune transits, as it takes time to get the clarity and courage to take the next step.

Meantime, it’s helpful to explore the positive ways of using Neptune.  Maybe in some of them you’ll find new inspiration and uplifting things to focus on rather than the misery. Things like spiritual pursuits, inspirational reading, creative outlets, volunteer work, music, art, dancing, or tai chi. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | April 13, 2015

Survey: Sixth House Planets and the Jobs You’ve Had

©4-13-20015 by Donna Cunningham

One of the things I love most about blogging is the sharing and learning that happens when you readers share your own charts and how various features play out in real life. We haven’t done much with the 6th house—the house of daily work—which often shows the kinds of jobs people have had. They aren’t necessarily your chosen career, which would more often be the 10th, but many of us work steadily for years in places where our skills and backgrounds meet the job description, and we make a contribution in those jobs.

For answers, we’d want to examine the 6th house:

  • Any planets in that house and their signs
  • The sign on the cusp of the 6th
  • The ruler of the sign on the cusp and the house it’s placed in

Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | April 10, 2015

Another Scam? Email box full?

ANOTHER SCAM?  I just got an email saying that my email box was full and that I couldn’t send or receive any more emails unless I clicked on a link and supplied information. As I have a new email server, I hesitated, but didn’t click, as I had just been sending and receiving emails. NEVER  click on a link like that or give personal information.   Donna

PS. Thank you all for joining the discussion on scams and for your helpful suggestions.

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | April 5, 2015

Computer Locked up? Beware of Ransom Scam

By Donna Cunningham, MSW

I’m writing this to warn you about a very dangeorus scam.

I’m just slowly recovering from a weeklong nightmare.  On Monday morning, I went to use my computer, but the startup page was locked, with a phone number I was to call.  The person who answered said he was from Microsoft, and that the computer was locked because my 5-year warrantee was up. If I didn’t renew it immediately, it would crash and I would lose all my files. He offered me several plans, from 3-5 years, for anywhere from $150-$350, but pressured me to get the money to them that very day.

It sounded like ANOTHER computer scam, but in fact, I bought my computer 5 years ago in early April.  I called a couple of knowledgeable people, and they told me it was something called a ransom scam–in effect, they were holding my computer hostage.   They suggested I call the Microsoft customer service line at 1-800-642-7676.

When I called, they said it was a scam going around, and that 1) They NEVER call customers, and 2)they would NEVER lock up a customer’s computer.   They tried to help me by long distance, but there was no way to get past the locked up opening screen without having the machine to work on.  They also suggested I call their hot line for further advice at 1-877-696-7786.

After further conferring with friends, I decided it was time to replace the old computer anyway, as it had been limping along for months.  I’d been saving money for a new one, but had been putting it off because it would take about a month to learn the new one, and to redo preferences and bookmarks. I was in the middle of writing a book and couldn’t see taking that much time off.

On Tuesday, off I and friend Lynne went to Best Buy, carrying along all the software I’d need them to install.  I bought a great Hewlett-Packard laptop and a service contract from the Geek Squad, finding the man who helped us both patient, kind, and capable. For a variety of reasons, I wasn’t able to pick it up until  Friday.

I am so not good at technical things, so another tech-savvy friend, Kent, kindly came to set it all up for me. Alas, my email server has gotten all new connections (Round cube vs. Mozilla) and Windows 8.1 and the up to date Windows Office as proving very difficult to master. I appear to have lost all my personal email addresses (the old computer still being locked) and all my bookmarks are gone.  (Emails to Skywriter readers come through Feedburner.)

Enough about me. My reason for writing this is to warn you about the ransom scams, as apparently they are going around.  Don’t pay them.

The scammers will hound you by phone, threatening to crash your computer if you don’t send them money.  If you have call blocking, block them. (The number they called me from started with 1-315-370-76xx.)

See if the Microsoft hot line can help you.  If not, take it somewhere in person like the Geek Squad or your own trusted computer person.

The question that remains is, how were they able to get into my computer to lock it in the first place?

I suspect that it was because some time ago, I fell into another scam.  Suffice it to say, they convinced me to purchase a 3-year service to fix my computer by remote screen.  DO NOT GIVE ANYONE YOU DON’T KNOW REMOTE ACCESS TO YOUR COMPUTER.

Anyway, my email addresses are gone, so I can’t write to anyone until I create a new address book.

I want to add that a backup drive to keep all your essential writings on is crucial. If I hadn’t done that constantly after every writing session, all my ebooks and articles would be gone. I use a Sanyo about the size of a deck of cards that costs maybe $50.  It’s absolutely essential now with these ruinous scams. 

Has anyone else out there been locked out of the computer?  How did you resolve it? There has to be some other way besides getting a new one.  Leave us your thoughts in the comment section.

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | March 28, 2015

“But NOTHING happened!” Why Big Transits Can Sometimes be a Bust

© 3-28-2015 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 A longtime Skywriter reader wrote to ask a question that had been bothering her for quite a while. She said that despite predictions of big changes in her life, major transits had often produced little or no effect in the way of happenings. I understood what she was saying about big transits and nothing happening. I have observed such things with myself  and others, too–clients and friends or loved ones. When I examined their lives more closely, it became clearer that the long outer planet transit correlated with internal changes that moved them. Eventually and only gradually, under internal and/or external pressure, did they take action to change their approach to life and to significant others. It’s often something like a realization that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 12, 2015

Mercury Retrograde Makes the New York Times Sunday Magazine

 © January 12, 2015 by Donna Cunningham—and the New York Times

 I never thought I’d see the day, but Mercury retrograde was given an entire article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine yesterday. The article was articulate and informative in enumerating both the astrological and astronomical facts about the planet Mercury.

Due to its closeness to the sun, it has 372 craters, each one named for a creative artist of some sort, from writers to poets and graphic artists. There’s even a Walt Disney crater and one for Hemingway and another for Johan Sebastian Bach. (“Retrograde Beliefs– in Defense of Magical Thinking,” © by Kristen Dombeck, New York Sunday Times Magazine, January 11, 2015, pp. 11-12.)

Since most copies of that issue will be in the recycling bin by the time this appears on Skywriter, I’ll quote verbatim from the article. I plan to willfully exceed the 40-word limit on quotations by several hundred words, so please don’t rat me out. Wouldn’t want the New York Times coming down on me like a ton of bricks! Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 26, 2014

Free Table: 2015 Postions of Saturn to Pluto, Plus Eclipses

(c)12-26-2014 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

I created a one-page summary table of transiting planet positions, using Solar Fire’s ephemeris generating function.  For me, a table like this one makes it simple to see what’s going on. You can download it here: 2015 Ephemeris table

In 2015, Mercury will be retrograde during:

January 21 – February 11

May 19 – June 11

September 17 – October 9



More Free Downloads:  

Transit Tracker:  This one-page reference summarizes the transits of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto from 1990-2020. Print it out and use it to look back on past transits and to look forward for the next few years. Download it here: HO-transit trackingtable-1990-2020. (Note: in creating this table, I rounded the positions of the planets up to the nearest degree. EG, if a planet is at 25 Libra 45, I round it up to 26.)

Links to Skywriter’s 650 Astrology Posts, sorted into categories, including the houses, planets, signs, and transits. Excellent resource for astrology students. Save it to your hard drive rather than print it, and then all the links are live. Download it here:  1-Articles Index Skywriter 12-14.





Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 20, 2014

Donna Cunningham’s Writing Tips

(c)2008, 2014  by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Note: The seventh anniversary of this blog  represents the first major aspect from the blog’s Saturn by transiting Saturn. As it’s just past, I went on a tour of my earliest articles here.  This one,  with excerpts from a writing seminar I did back then, seems as relevant now as it was then.  Donna

I’m known as a “prolific” writer of books and articles, and part of why my writing reaches people is  that I work hard to make it clear and accessible.  Below, for those of you who yearn to  share  your own knowledge and experience, are some of  the things I’ve learned during my long writing career.  I hope you find them useful.

1)  Many who yearn to write hesitate because they feel they have nothing original to say.  They wonder, since there are so many authors who write about each subject, how could little old them have anything new to offer? What helps to get past the fear that you have nothing new to say is to identify your own personal slant on the topic.

wordlewhatIn a few sentences, boil the piece down to the core. What’s the message you wish to convey to your readers? Why do you want to write about this subject? How do you propose to inform, uplift, or entertain your readers?  What’s your point of view about the topic?

What’s different or new about what your piece than what others who’ve written about the subject had to say? Do you agree or disagree with them? If you’re a newcomer to the scene, what has intrigued or excited you about it? What has amused or exasperated you about human nature?  What experience moved you? Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 17, 2014

Readers’ Favorites: Top Skywriter Posts of 2014

©12-17-2014 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 2014 bestThis week is Skywriter’s 7th anniversary. This blog got underway in December, 2008, and in the seven years since then, I’ve published over 600 articles on a large variety of topics. Today, the statistics from WordPress tell me that there have been over 3,300,000 page hits since then. That number doesn’t include the 3300 of you who get my new posts by email.  What a happy anniversary!

From time to time, I like to look at the list of reader’s favorite articles to see what topics we could explore more thoroughly. WordPress keeps a list of the top articles and how many visits each of them received. The all-time favorites include most of the tests of planetary strengths you’ll find under a tab on the front page.

Pluto seems to be the one people worry about the most, since more than 62,000 have taken that test since this was published in the spring of 2010. (This past week alone, 236 people took it.) From their comments, it’s not clear whether they’re bragging or complaining! Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 10, 2014

How to Avoid Using Negative language in Your Predictions

(c)12-10-14 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Donna explains: I always say that serendipity is the law of my life, and that timing is perfection. That belief is very strong for me today as I am finishing an assignment that will appear in the April issue of The Mountain Astrologer. It’s part of an upcoming series of three issues dedicated to predicting.  My particular assignment is to write  about how to make responsible predictions.  It  fits right into our current theme on Skywriter about boundaries and the  long term effect of negative predictions. Here’s a very brief excerpt from my 3000 word article, as it describes a helpful approach to talking about the effects of tough transiting planets.

We  need to avoid negative ways of describing the planet’s effects. Astrologers often talk as though the planets gang up on us and yank our chains. It’s a kind of shorthand, not to be taken literally. However, people can feel powerless if we give them the impression that transiting Saturn is about to put an end to their career or that slow-moving Pluto will be kicking their keister for the next three years.

Here are some alternate ways that express connections between two planets but don’t imply that the planets CAUSE something to happen. Instead saythat the aspect: suggests, represents, implies, shows, symbolizes, could indicate that, hints that, can correlate with, goes along with, is associated with, corresponds to, depicts, or portrays a particular behavior or event. (This goes for written predictions on blogs or websites or in published articles as well.)

Related Posts on Skywriter: Read More…

A guest post by Liz Howell, (c)12-6-2014

 Note from Donna:  Our current discussion on setting healthy boundaries started with thoughtful exchanges on that subject with fellow Portland astrologer, Liz Howell.  I asked her to share her conclusions on this blog.

Donna, thanks for provoking some thought on this topic and getting me to churn my wheels on boundaries and guidelines I have developed for myself over the years in my astrological practice.

I can’t say that I have any hard and fast rules, but I do know that I am forever learning, adjusting and bringing deeper clarity to both my ability to help others and the appropriateness of my engagement as an astrologer.

When in doubt, I generally error on the side of caution and will not hesitate to say NO to a new or existing client or opportunity if I feel that there is any conflict of interest. I think the most common thread that appears in all the boundary issues I have encountered as a practicing astrologer boil down to having to play multiple roles and wear more than one hat at a time. Two Examples: Read More…

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