Posted by: Donna Cunningham | March 10, 2017

A Survey for the Capricorn Stellium Generation

Donna says, Erica Jones was a student in my online class about the Capricorn Stellium generation.  She was moved by that information and was taken by them and their gifts and also by their struggles to be themselves while adapting to a society which doesn’t much understand or value who they are. She is doing a brief survey of some of their qualities  which she explains below.

Saturn Return Survey for Saturn-Uranus-Neptune in Capricorn (1988-89)

(c)March 10, 2017 by Erica Jones

Roughly every seven years, transiting Saturn makes an aspect to the natal position of Saturn, signaling a test of the inner and outer structures which govern our lives. The Saturn return, occurring every 27 – 30 years, is a culmination point in the Saturn cycle.

When Saturn returns to its natal position, we are brought into especially close contact with our destiny, such as a sense of how we are to act in service to the community of life, or simply finding ourselves in circumstances which help us to actualize our greatest belonging. Whether that calling or destiny is consciously recognized, accepted or rejected depends on a great many other factors, but in general, the Saturn cycle correlates to a process of maturation. This involves parting with or changing elements of our lives in order to create the space to embrace an evolution of our way of belonging to society and to the world.

The year 2017 brings the generation born with Saturn-Uranus-Neptune in Capricorn—those born during various months of 1988 through 1990—into proximity of their Saturn return. (Note: Donna has studied and written extensively on this stellium on the Skywriter blog, as well as at

Through March 31, 2017, a Saturn Return Survey is open to select members of the Capricorn stellium generation. The survey asks only six (6) yes/no and multiple-choice questions with no written response required, though there is an optional space at the end of the survey for additional comments if you choose. The survey focuses on very broad, general themes that are common at the Saturn return, such as a desire to withdraw from social interaction or to change the amount or quality of social interactions.

Those born on these dates currently have Saturn within at least 10 degrees of conjoining the natal Saturn, which means that the individual will likely be experiencing some themes and movements in their life that are good indicators of key features of their Saturn return, which will begin in earnest (for most of them) in 2018.

The survey data will be used to help raise astrologers’ awareness of some of the needs and common experiences of those with the Saturn-Uranus-Neptune stellium in Capricorn, in hopes that astrologers can be better prepared to support this generation through an important life passage.

As thanks for participating in the survey, the first 15 eligible respondents will receive a 20-minute reading from Erica Jones as a thank you gift. Another 15 of the total remaining respondents will be drawn at random to receive a 20-minute reading from Erica as a thank you, once the survey closes on March 31.

Interestingly, the potentials of the maturation process specific to the Saturn return of this generation seems well reflected in current world events.

Around the world, instability and uncertainty is fueling a reactionary response to real crises of refugees of war, geopolitical machinations and the increasingly high cost of civilizations built upon massive consumption of resources. To translate this to the potential experience inherent in the Capricorn stellium during the Saturn return, the Saturn-Uranus in the Capricorn stellium would correlate to instability and change experienced as crisis, as various Saturnian realities reach a breaking point within the imagination or dream (Neptune) pursued by a culture. Many cultures are now questioning whose imagination (Neptune) will rule (Saturn) the future (Uranus).

In general, it seems that creating a new organizing vision or story or symbol (Uranus-Neptune) will not come easy—so says Saturn, who enters Capricorn at the end of 2017. In this climate, the Saturn-Uranus-Neptune generation is or will soon be experiencing the call to bring forth their greatest gifts, which may involve various ways of being a bridge (Saturn-Uranus) for a new vision (Uranus-Neptune) of reality (Saturn).

However, that bridge must be built within first, and negotiating the different and even contradictory impulses which may emerge in the crucible of the Saturn return will require not just skill but a good deal of lovingkindness. May the insight and wisdom potential of astrology be available to this generation at the threshold, and may we all be open to the uncertainty as if it were ground fertile for our seeds of compassion.

Again, the Saturn Return Survey is located here:

Questions about the survey? Please contact Erica Jones at Erica Jones:  Erica Jones, M.A. Integral Ecology, has pursued astrology since 2006, principally studying archetypal astrology with Richard Tarnas. She has presented her work in such fora as the Queer Astrology Conference and the San Francisco Astrological Society. Erica incorporates ecological awareness and an engagement with mythopoetic dimensions to promote personal, social and ecological well-being, by synthesizing studies of mythology, depth ecopsychology, dream work and systemic (family) constellations. She publishes Real Imaginal, which is devoted to the renewal of the planetary archetype Neptune: You may contact Erica at

The Saturn Return Survey may be accessed here:

The survey is open to those born on the following dates:

  1. Feb. 15, 1988 – May 26, 1988
  2. Dec. 3, 1988 – Dec. 9, 1988
  3. Nov. 12, 1988 – Jan. 21, 1989
  4. Aug. 13, 1989 – Oct. 10, 19

Erica Jones, MA – Astrologer
Where imagination meets Earth

email :
phone : 415-609-4209 or 707-895-4740

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 25, 2016

What’s up with Skywriter?

Many of you are wondering what is happening with Skywriter. Since 2008, it has been a place where  we get to discuss a large number of astrological topics and to exchange many views and experiences.

I have enjoyed meeting many of my readers along the way.   In the years past, this blog has grown into a library of more than 650 meaty articles and thousands of comments.  I am elderly now and need to retire but want people to be able to read what is here and the fruitful exchanges in the comment sections. So even though there won’t be any new articles, there is still much valuable information to be had and continued exchanges in the comment sections.

To make it easy for readers to find articles they can enjoy and learn from, I have created a file of articles sorted out by topic. There are working links to the articles.  Here is a link to download the file:

Another way to find articles about topics you are interested in is to use the on-site search engine. It is located at the top of the right hand column on the front page.  Type the search word in, and you will be presented with a list of posts on that topic.  Click on the title, and the post will come up. As an example, suppose you want articles on the twelfth house. It happens to be a favorite topic of  mine, so you would be presented with links to about 15 posts, as well as a great many lively discussions in the comment sections.

I will occasionally comment but won’t answer questions about people’s charts. As many of you know, I also no longer  do client sessions. A list of astrologers whose work I know and respect is available by email at

This blog has been a great adventure, and I thank all of you who took part. Best wishes for your continued learning and enjoyment of astrology.


Posted by: Donna Cunningham | November 1, 2016

New Insights into Mutual Reception

©11-1-16 by Guest blogger, Alan Annand

 Donna says, “The following is an excerpt from Alan Annand’s welcome ebook, Mutual Reception, the only book I know of that deals with this chart feature in depth.  This excerpt is only a brief description of FIVE different types, but in the book is followed by full chapters that analyse the meaning and effect of each type in detail.  It is published here with permission of the author, but cannot be reproduced without permission from him.

Mutual reception, a powerful planetary combination in a chart, often goes unrecognized without due interpretation. And yet 43% of us have a mutual reception by sign among the visible planets. Aside from 57 combinations for mutual reception among seven planets, there are actually 66 ways for 12 house lords to “exchange” houses.

Generally speaking, reception occurs when one planet occupies a sign, or portion thereof, considered the domain or honored place of another planet. If Planet A occupies a zone where Planet B has influence, Planet A is said to be received by Planet B.

In traditional astrology, reception occurs in five different forms: via sign, exaltation, triplicity, term, and face. The first two are considered major forms of reception, the other three minor. Without requiring tables, we can outline the first three in descending order of significance.

Reception by sign

In reception by sign, Planet A occupies a sign ruled by Planet B, who thus receives Planet A by domicile. The word dispositor denotes the planet holding the power, ie, ruling the sign occupied by another planet.

If Mars occupies Leo, Mars is received by the Sun who rules Leo. Conversely, if the Sun occupies Aries or Scorpio, it’s received by Mars who owns those signs. Note: traditional sign rulership applies here – Mars rules Scorpio, Saturn rules Aquarius, Jupiter rules Pisces.

Reception by sign can be one-sided or reciprocal. When two planets occupy each other’s sign simultaneously, eg, the Sun in Aries and Mars in Leo, we call this mutual reception.

Reception by exaltation

In reception by exaltation, Planet A occupies the exaltation sign of Planet B, who thus receives Planet A in its place of honor. If the Moon occupies Pisces, it’s received by Venus who’s exalted in Pisces. Conversely, if Venus occupies Taurus, irrespective of being in its own sign, it’s also received by the Moon who is exalted in Taurus.

Reception by exaltation can be one-sided or reciprocal, since we can always find a scenario where two planets occupy each other’s sign of exaltation.

Reception by triplicity

In reception by triplicity, Planet A occupies an element ruled by Planet B, who thus receives Planet A by virtue of triplicity. However, the rulers of triplicities vary between day and night births.

The Sun rules fire signs in a day chart, while Jupiter rules them by night. Venus rules earth signs by day, the Moon by night. Saturn rules air signs in a day chart, Mercury by night. Water signs are ruled by Mars, day or night.

In a day chart, if the Sun occupies Gemini, it’s received by Saturn who rules air signs by day. If in that same chart Saturn occupies Sagittarius, it’s received by the Sun who rules fire signs by day.

In a night chart, if the Moon occupies Aries, it’s received by Jupiter ruling fire signs by night. If that Jupiter occupies Virgo, it’s received by the Moon ruling earth signs by night.

Reception by triplicity can be one-sided or reciprocal, although options for reciprocity are restricted to day-lords (Sun, Venus, Saturn and Mars) or night-lords (Jupiter, Moon, Mercury and Mars).

Mutual reception in theory

If Venus occupies Aquarius (a Saturn ruled-sign) while Saturn is in Pisces (the exaltation sign of Venus), one could say Venus and Saturn are simultaneously receptive to each other. But technically this is mixed reception because it entails two modes – sign and exaltation. Similarly, other mixed receptions may involve any among the five modes – sign, exaltation, triplicity, term and face.

Classical authors all agree, however, that reception by sign is the most powerful form of reception. And when the term mutual reception is used, it invariably means two planets occupying each other’s sign, eg, when Mercury occupies Aquarius and Saturn is in Gemini.

Within traditional astrology, reception is thought necessary to “enable” an aspect between planets. Without reception, the matter promised by the aspect between significators may not be “perfected.” William Lilly, however, has unambiguously stated that, even without an aspect, mutual reception by sign is powerful enough to produce results.

But what results? Many modern astrologers have no idea. Some say planets in mutual reception act as if conjoined. So if it’s Mercury and Saturn, they say the native is deeply studious, mathematical, a weighty thinker, a realist or a pessimist, an historian or antiquarian, a philosopher or scientific researcher.

Mutual reception in practice

In practical interpretation, however, planets in mutual reception do much more than merge generic attributes. Mutual reception ultimately connects the specific significations of the two houses owned and occupied. The planets are simply agents forging a contract between houses governing specific aspects of life, like ambassadors negotiating a treaty between two countries.

Generically, Saturn represents old people and death for us all, but in individual charts, Saturn may also be the significator for the Self, the spouse, a child, a vehicle, access to borrowed capital, hospitalization, distant travel, etc.

Consider a natal chart with Scorpio ascendant where mutual reception between Mercury in Aquarius and Saturn in Gemini occurs between the 4th and 8th houses. These two houses now become the focus for interpreting that mutual reception.

Thus we get the idea the mother will suffer accident, surgery and/or trauma. Vehicles or property will demand repair or renovation, or incur loss through damage or theft. Domesticity will be disrupted, or morals corrupted. And so on.

Remember, 43% of all charts contain a mutual reception by sign. No matter whether in a natal, horary or electional context, a few simple rules for the proper interpretation of mutual reception will immediately reveal aspects of the chart previously ignored.

 The author

Alan Annand, a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies, is also a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology. His New Age Noir mystery series features an astrologer one reviewer dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.” His book MUTUAL RECEPTION is available in digital and paperback from Amazon, or digitally from Apple, Barnes&Noble, etc. Contact him via his website:


Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 29, 2016

Weird Posts from WordPress–Please Ignore

I’ve been deluged with emails about a post on Mercury retrograde from January that went out to my subscribers yesterday.  It’s not from me, and, yes, the dates given for the current retrograde period are wrong.

WordPress has this weird habit of reissuing one of my posts from time to time all by itself.  It’s usually only about three or four times a year, but this is twice in a week.

I don’t know how to make it stop, so please just ignore it when it happens.  Donna



Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 10, 2016

Donald Trump’s Chart

Hi, Folks,  a reader’s comment led me to a 2011 post I’d entirely forgotten (perhaps repressed is the better word). It’s from his brief run for the presidency for 2012, and it shows his birth certificate and chart. The link is below.

I’m hard at work on my novel and on an article deadline for TMA, so I can’t write more or respond to comments, but talk amongst yourselves in the comment section. The one thing in the chart that doesn’t surprise me is that his Ascendant is at 29 Leo–home of Regulus, the “kingmaker” fixed star.  And his Sun, Uranus, and North Node are conjunct in Gemini in the tenth.

See Donald Trump’s Official Birth Certificate and Chart

Also see this article about the 29th degree, and the excellent exchanges in the comment section.

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

PS:  I generally do not blog about politics–especially now that things are so volatile. So please refrain from inflammatory comments. If things get ugly, I’ll close this thread down.




©7-31-2016 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

As noted in my last post, Mercury will be in Virgo, the sign of work and health, for 42 days this year. It started yesterday and includes a 24 day retrograde from August 30th to September 21st. I suggested that readers create a project to take advantage of this unusual span, so they can make the most of Virgo’s best qualities like being down to earth, practical, sensible, helpful, organized, tend to details, analyzes, good work ethic, and steady.

During this last month of summer, a good project for any astrologer or astrology student who plans to become a professional would be to expand their knowledge of the vocational indications in the chart. One of the most common concerns clients bring to astrologers are career difficulties. When fall comes around, you’d be able to offer your clients a new level of insight into today’s challenging career market.  The new information can also be useful if you’re a longtime astrology student and want to learn more about your own career prospects or those of your family or friends.

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

This two-volume set is 180,000 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,

Part One is 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 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 nor overly positive. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 18, 2016

Mercury’s Long Stay in Virgo? Here’s what to Do.

©7-18-2016 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

            Something prompted me this morning to look for the next Mercury retrograde period, since I regularly plan much-needed projects to tackle during those intervals. I was surprised to discover that Mercury will be in Virgo this year for total of 42 days starting on July 30th. It goes retrograde on August 30th at 29° Virgo and turns direct at 15° Virgo on September 21st,  so it’s retrograde for 24 of the 42 days.

Would you think I was batty if I told you that that was the best news I’ve had all week? My regular readers know that I take the prevailing hysteria about Mercury Retrograde 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 addicted to high drama.

Many  horror stories people tell about Mercury Rx meltdowns aren’t due to Mercury at all, but are:

  • exaggerated for the sake of drama
  • due to transits by Uranus, especially those stories involving computer, internet  or mobile device problems.
  • or due to Neptune transits that set off hazy thinking
  • or to already existing ADD-HD patterns

A Rational Approach to Mercury Retrograde

My approach is more sensible, I like to think. I make a point of using these intervals productively, while consciously avoiding the pitfalls.  I double check everything I do during that time, hold up on major outreach, don’t start major new projects, and back up my computer after every writing session.

Mercury retrograde is a good time for reviewing and planning. If we insist on going forward as fast as possible and never take time to look back, poor decisions and unwise strategies can become entrenched and contribute to bad outcomes. We can profit from these periodic stages of evaluating where we are and considering what the next steps need to be.

As a writer, I consider the regularly recurring retrogrades by Mercury excellent times to be consciously reviewing my work and refining it.   I cherish those intervals as opportunities to revise writing projects already in process.  The novel I’m working on now about a past life therapist has so many meandering stories and themes that even I get lost in trying to sort them out. I’m at the midpoint of the book, and it’s important that I get the first half of the book solid right now and to plan the structure for the second half, leading to a rewarding finale.

Why It’s Especially Helpful in Virgo

        The Virgophobes among us may be bewailing the fact that the whole retrograde period is in Virgo. I can hear them now:  “Whyyyyyyy does this have to be happening in Virgo?  My boss/spouse/mom/mother-in-law will be pick, pick, picking at me.  Criticizing, demanding details, fussing about punctuation and spelling, nagging, correcting every little thing I do. I swear she/he goes over everything with a stiletto pen.”

Now, now! Is it really that bad?  I would consider myself extremely lucky to have a Virgo secretary/editor/factotum if I could afford one.   They would banish my Archnemesis, The Forces of Chaos, and keep them ever at bay.  They would remind me of those tedious details and deadlines and prompt me when they need doing–even, best case scenario, take care of them for me….automatically.

Virgo’s good qualities are often ignored, but here’s a (fairly) detailed list. (Not every Virgo has all of them or puts them to good use.  It depends on other chart placements and aspects to Virgo planets.) Who among us couldn’t use some of them?    Down to earth, practical, sensible, helpful, organizes, tends to details, analyzes, good work ethic, many work skills,  wants to be useful, modest, good at fact checking, discerning, observant about human nature, puts others’ needs first, willing to help, steady, strives to do their best.  While Mercury is in this sign, use some of those qualities to make progress.

Mercury’s Stationary Periods—a Key to Mastering this Retrograde Period

            As you’ll learn from the articles linked below, the stationary periods when a planet turns retrograde or direct are key times when a project might stall for a week or longer—and the informed reader is wise not to spin their wheels when that happens but instead to turn to WHAT?

The stationary periods for this Mercury cycle are from August 19th to September 2nd as it turns retrograde at 29° Virgo and from September 19th to 24th as it turns direct at 15° Virgo. The 29th is a degree marking times of transition. If you’re new to this blog, you might find it informative to read the article about that degree and our amazing dialogue about that degree in the comment section of that article. (See the link in the list below.)

My interpretation of this stationary time at 29° Virgo is that those of us affected by it are likely to be on the threshold of some important transition in our work or personal life, but it’s not quite time to embark on it. First we need to clean up any chaos that’s accumulated and put it right so we don’t leave a mess behind. If you’ve been directly impacted by transits to your natal chart positions by Neptune in mid-Pisces and Saturn in mid-Sagittarius, then you’ve probably been struggling with chaos, disorder or confusion in those areas of life.

Readers, can you think of a Mercury retrograde project that would improve your work or personal life?  Or do you have an inspiring example of long-needed projects that worked out well under Mercury Rx? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Here are links to previous blog articles that spell out ways to use these periods productively and to avoid certain difficulties that come up.  



Posted by: Donna Cunningham | June 13, 2016

New Identity Scam–a Heads up!

Hi, folks, it’s Donna Cunningham. I had a close call yesterday, but there was an angel on my shoulder.  I got an email that said the domain name for my website,,  was going to expire in four days.  There was a form for my credit card information.

My virus protection, Webroot, kept trying to block it, but I filled it in anyway, because who wants to have their domain name expire?  And who remembers when they last renewed it?

The credit card approval  didn’t go through, thankfully, because the address they had for me was an old one.  And I know my domain name had been renewed since the move, so I began to suspect it was an identity theft  scam.

I wrote to my excellent webmaster, Suzanne Bird Harris at, and she wrote back and told me it was definitely a scam. Whew!  The angel on my shoulder is Suzanne!

So, readers with a website or blog,  beware of this scam.  Identity thieves are forever coming up with new ones.  If you get a tingle that makes you hesitate, pay attention to your instincts.

To my wonderful readers, my apologies for being an absentee bloggers these past few months.  I haven’t put up any new posts for ages, because I’ve fallen in love. With a new novel I’m writing, that is.  It’s a fun departure from writing about astrology, as the main character is a past life therapist/medium, named Sybil Sullivan.  Doesn’t the name have a fine ring to it?

The amazing thing about this blog is that even with no new posts in such a long time, I still get about 3000 page hits a day and new subscribers still keep signing on.

If you’d like to explore my collection of over 650 astrology posts on this site, there’s a file that has links to them, sorted into categories, including the houses, planets, signs, and transits. This is an 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.

Many thanks for your patience, Readers!




(c)4-8-16 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Note: This was originally written several years ago, when Pluto was first making itself known in Capricorn. Now it’s a bigger and bigger part of how we approach our careers–and, unfortunately, how we judge ourselves and others.  It seems worth repeating.

Pernicious perfectionism—doesn’t that have a ring to it? It rings, all right, but not the kind of bell you want to hear in the midst of trying to present your work to the world in a positive light. More like a warning bell, perhaps, or a closing bell. The Miriam Webster Dictionary defines pernicious as destructive or deadly, but often in a covert way that is not readily observed.

One of the more grating qualities of transiting Pluto in perfectionistic Capricorn that I notice often is a sort of snobbish—no, wait, I mean snotty—perfectionism and rush to judgment. If something a person does or offers isn’t a state-of-the-art in presentation or operation, it’s summarily dismissed without trying to absorb the material.

It’s like attending to the Oscars in a dress that’s off the rack because you can’t afford a designer dress, and being snubbed, despite the fact that you’ve turned in a brilliant performance that got you nominated. And then Joan Rivers mocks you on Fashion Police.

I guess that transit is the reason I spent the last two and half months updating all my e-books and giving them killer covers. I don’t want my work judged because of the cover, and, believe me, readers do that today.  My next big project was a complete makeover of my publications website, which needed to be modernized and getting rid of pages about services I no longer offer.

I think a great many of us are afflicted with pernicious perfectionism these days, both on the receiving and dishing out ends. We judge and are judged by the way we dress and look and the way our work looks rather than on the quality. Being dismissed because of these superficial qualities is discouraging to those of us who are trying hard to make something of ourselves, to somehow make this a better world. Much of the time, those who judge us don’t cut us any slack.

We all have to step our performance up a notch or three to keep up with the times, especially things on the web that expose our work to a wider audience who will never see us in person if our digital presence isn’t a state-of-the-art. I don’t know about you, but that’s a reality that’s discouraging, if not outright disheartening.

But you know what? Stepping our performance up a few notches and preparing ourselves to meet new needs of our target audience is a good thing, albeit stressful. Life is so very much more complicated now, and if we want to be relevant and helpful, we need to be informed about what’s going on in the world and in people’s lives.

Hey, Pluto is supposed to be about transformation, isn’t it?  (With this transit, though, it seems to be more about GO BIG OR GO HOME.)

There’s no doubt that some of us are using Pluto in Capricorn to transform and regenerate ourselves. Using Pluto that way requires insight, self awareness, humility, motivation for self-improvement, and lots of persistent work. People who lack those qualities are more likely to look at and dwell on other people’s faults rather than their own.  I do find that Capricorn planets can make less-evolved people  snobbish and judgmental because they over-emphasize success and status at the expense of the finer qualities that don’t show on the outside.

For some of my readers, this transit (and the related one of Saturn in Scorpio) has brought a healthy surge of discontent with your work as it stands now, wanting more out of yourself and yearning for a breakthrough.

That can be called a POSITIVE PERFECTIONISM. There’s a difference between that kind of striving for perfection, and the painful self-doubt that keeps many talented and creative people from finishing their work or sharing it with the world.

The  helpful effect of this transit in career-oriented Capricorn can be an increased professionalism in the way we pursue and showcase our work. What used to be good enough isn’t good enough any more—we’re all being challenged to raise the bar. Maybe it’s coming from an inner hunger for growth, or maybe it’s coming from increased demands in your field to step your work up a notch. But the pressure is there.

Many of you are finding new mountaintops to surmount, like the mountain goat of Capricorn. Me, too, which is why I revised and updated most of my ebooks. Not fun, but needed and at least the Saturn/Capricorn influence has given me the patience and persistence to do it.

The word professionalism often has negative connotations today, and yet wouldn’t we all want our doctors and other helping people to be extremely professional in their work–and to be state of the art in it? Professionalism can be a good thing, but it does ask us to be more exacting in our expectations of ourselves. And that’s a Pluto in Capricorn type of transformation, since Capricorn aspires to high standards that lead us to be more professional.

How about you, Readers? Is the pervasive tendency to judge by appearances and to dismiss anyone who isn’t perfect getting to you?  Have you any tips on how to deal with it? One thing I’ve stepped up on to counteract today’s harsh perfection is to let people know–even perfect strangers on the street–when I like something about them. Tell us how you’ve coped with it in the comment section underneath this article.


Posted by: Donna Cunningham | February 25, 2016

Uranus Transiting the Career Houses–Sudden Endings and New Horizons

© 2015 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

  Note: This article is a brief excerpt from my most recent offering, Career Choices and Challenges: An Astrological Guide. It‘s a two volume set of PDFs, with Part One focused on vocational placements in the natal chart and Part Two exploring the challenges and changes that transits to those sectors bring. It’s available at


If Uranus is transiting one of your vocational houses—the 2nd, 6th, or 10th—then this transit can represent a chance for a breakthrough in your career. You may find hope as well as a challenge to live up to during the time Uranus is in one of these sectors.

Not everyone will be affected to the same extent, of course. If that house is empty, it’s less likely that you’ll see dramatic changes. If there are planets in it natally, significant events are most likely to be triggered when the aspects are exact.

You’re probably a Uranian type if your natal chart has many Uranus aspects or the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Midheaven, or several planets in Aquarius. Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | February 18, 2016

Uranus in Aries and the Cosmic Soup

© 2016 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 It’s time for a taste test of the current batch of Cosmic Soup. What’s that, you ask?  It’s that big vat of feelings and situations simmering on the back burner in our Collective Kitchen all the time. We’re all feeding on it. What’s in the pot changes every day, and we don’t know what we’ll get, but the pot is always there.

From time to time we dip a ladle into it without really thinking about it, and it fills our gut with stuff we stew about, thinking it’s a pot of our own making. Maybe it’s a family recipe, or so we believe, not knowing that the exact same soup is on the back burner of kitchens everywhere.

We brood and curse our luck when it’s a bad batch, because we know we’ll be stuck with that soup for days on end. We can’t just toss a big pot-full like that out, not in this economy. If it’s a lucky soup, we try to stretch it by crossing our fingers and adding more of the same stuff. We call people and invite them over to share it, provided they bring a bottle of wine.

So what’s the Soup du Jour?  It’s a hearty ragout of Uranus in Aries that’s been bubbling vigorously for several years now—we’re more than half way through the sign.

Still, the last time it was in Aries was more than 70 years ago. When it entered the sign this time, it was a new and virtually untried recipe—a Tex-Mex mix of chunky meats and hot spices with way too many shakes of the chili powder and cilantro jars.

It’s been a bit bitey and adventuresome for many of us, but we kind of got used to it. For some of us who are older, it even got our tired blood racing again. The guys have probably liked it better than the gals. They’ll add it to the chili, barbecue, and deep fried turkey recipes they concoct for tailgate parties and cook-offs.

What else I’m noticing is a huge upsurge of rage.  I’m like an angry adolescent, throwing mindless fits of temper.  I woke up one morning yelling,I hate every effing person on this effing planet!” (Clearly an exaggeration.)

I make it a practice not to perpetrate my bouts of anger on other people. Thanks to the Seth books, a Course in Miracles, and Eckart Tolle, I know it’s just my own stuff, 3 parts ego to 3 parts fear to 2 parts frustrated wants. Fortunately I live alone, and no one else has to witness these immature snits. I get on my own nerves a lot, though.

But the friends I’ve talked to on the phone confess that they’re raging inside too. And so I’m thinking that maybe an Inner Angry Adolescent is another of the signatures of Uranus in Aries.  Uranus is associated with adolescence, and Mars–the planet of anger but also of action–rules Aries.

See, teens know when things aren’t right–and they’ll tell us if we will only give them permission to speak.  So maybe we should listen to our Inner teen as well. Because there’s plenty to be angry about in the way things are unfolding.

So what’s Uranus been like in Aries for you so far, Readers? Let’s compare. I’m eager to hear what you’re picking up about it, so tell us about it   in  the comment section.

More Posts about Uranus on Skywriter:

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 28, 2016

Medical Astrology: An Ancient Belief System

(c)1/28/2016 by Guest Blogger Alan Richards Wheatcroft

1cvr medical astro Note: The following is an excerpt from a new and valuable medical astrology book, One Body Many Illnesses: An Insightful Approach to Medical Astrology.  It was written by Alan Richards and published by The American Federation of Astrology. It is reprinted here with permission of the author and publisher, and further reprinting must be with their permission.

The famous herbalist and physician Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654) used the techniques of astrology alongside his herbal medicines. The birth chart would be used for the diagnosis and Culpeper would treat the illness appropriately. He is known as saying: “Only astrologers are fit to study medicine and a medicine man without astrology is like a lamp without oil.”


Medical astrology is an ancient and underlying system that associates with the many diverse and intricate parts of the body. Moreover, medical astrology associates with illnesses, disease and drugs as being under the influence of the Sun, Moon, the planets, the twelve astrological signs, and the qualities of the signs. So, for example, mutable signs often relate to tuberculosis and mental illness such as dementia that can invariably be a tumultuous consequence of long-term Depression. The fixed signs can amongst other things relate to cancer, and the cardinal signs often relate to the formation of tumours.

According to our ancient ancestors who widely practised this long-forgotten discipline, a planet posited in a particular sign can indicate a weakness, and when subject to certain conditions, can manifest into injury, illness and even fatality. The effects largely depend on the quality of the aspects between the planets in the natal chart; and the transitory cycles that occur throughout the course of our life.

The primary function of medical astrology is to provide indications as to whether the cosmic influences extant at the time of an illness are likely to be advantageous or disadvantageous to the individual; therefore medical astrology functions on four essential points:

  • The likely severity of the particular disease.
  • The likely duration of the disease.
  • The eventual and probable outcome of the disease.
  • Any additional means that might be employed by a physician to counteract the disease and thus facilitate the restoration of the patient’s health.

There are also seven causes of illness and disease that apply to medical astrology, they are:

  • Neglect
  • Congestion
  • Trauma
  • Chemical, Metal and Environmental Toxins
  • Infection
  • Parasites
  • Miasma and the Residue of Childhood Diseases

Chart Delineation

Traditionally speaking, the most common astrological methods used in medical astrology are natal transits (the birth chart compared to the current position of the zodiac and the planets), and horary astrology (hora=hour), a chart based solely on the current position of the zodiac and planets. A medical horary chart is also known as a decumbiture chart, as it is normally cast for the time the individual takes to their bed. Decumbiture charts are by far the most common approach to medical diagnosis. The seven causes of illness and disease plus techniques that pertain towards successful diagnosis demonstrated via actual case studies are explained in my book: One Body Many Illnesses.

One Body Many Illnesses

One Body Many Illnesses, An Insightful approach to Medical Astrology, is an essential guide casting a unique perspective on this ancient and timeless discipline. The book adopts an idiosyncratic approach to diagnosis by implementing the planetary rulers of the Moon’s Nodes as the catalysts for the onset of potential illness and disease.

Furthermore, the book explains in detail why the Moon’s biorhythms and the chakras are instigators of illness; but more importantly it explains why they are important significators in the process of Healing, and perhaps more importantly, Prevention.

About Alan R. Wheatcroft:  Alan R.Wheatcroft BA, DMS.ASTROL has studied astrology since his first Saturn return; and now works primarily as a medical astrologer. Alan is often invited to speak at universities, colleges, business organisations and spiritual groups. As a successful writer Alan has presented many articles, which have been published throughout the professional and popular media. Alan is also a regular contributor to Wanda Sellar’s Astrology and Medicine Newsletter. His first book One Body Many IllnessesAn Insightful Approach to Medical Astrology is available via the American Federation of Astrologers.  Alan can be reached at:

One Body Many Illnesses – An Insightful Approach to Medical Astrology, Published by: The American Federation of Astrologers, 6535 S. Rural Road. Tempe. Arizona, 85283-3746

Primary Sources of Availability:

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 11, 2016


These downloadable files are a gift to you, and you may pass them along to others as you like, so long as you say where it came from and Donna’s copyright is maintained.

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.

Get a sampler from The Stellium Handbook here:  Stellium Handbook Sampler and a Fact Sheet about the Capricorn Stellium Generation here: Capricorn Stellium Fact Sheet-Donna Cunningham.

Flower Essence Information: Flower essences, also known as flower remedies are an inexpensive and gentle boost to insight and growth. They are an excellent addition to an astrology practice. If you’re not familiar with them, download the introductory chapter from my essence book at flower essence information-ch1 and read the instructions for how to use them. Here are links to a great collection of articles about combining astrology and essences: A Treasure Trove of Articles about Combining Flower Essences and Astrology.

Free Mystery Novels: Donna’s two mystery novels are now  free e-books! Download a copy  of Hotline to Heaven here:  hotlinetoheaven07.  And the sequel, Angel in Peril here: Mystery-angelinperil. These two novels chronicle the adventures of astrologer, Jillian Malone, and Tarot reader, Robert Pierce, friends who–under duress–leave New York City and move to Port Townsend, Washington, to work on a psychic hotline. The astrological charts of major characters are shown in the book, and they work–even by transit!

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 5, 2016

How to Manage Mercury Retrograde

©1/5/2016 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Mercury turned retrograde at 1° Aquarius today and will remain retrograde until 1/25.

As my regular readers know, I think many Mercury retrograde horror stories are

  • exaggerated for the sake of drama
  • due to transits by Uranus especially those stories involving computer or internet problems.
  • or are due to Neptune transits that set off hazy thinking
  • Or to already existing ADD-HD patterns of thinking

For myself, I consider the regularly recurring retrograde periods are excellent times to be reviewing our work and refining it.   As a writer, I cherish those intervals as opportunities to revise writing projects already in process.

Here are links to some previous blog articles that spell out ways to use these periods productively and to avoid certain difficulties that come up.

 Readers, can you think of a Mercury retrograde project that would improve your work or personal life? Share your idea in the comment section below.

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 31, 2015

How to Set Realistic Goals for 2016

©12-31-15 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Many New Year’s resolutions are pretty lame—too sweeping, too much driven by a post-holiday attack of the “shoulds,” and all too soon forgotten.

What has worked well for me for many years is to create a set of achievable goals for the year. Then I work on setting them as INTENTIONS rather than wishes, and put the list away in one of my “piles.” (You’ve got “piles”, too, right?)

 Most often, by the time I unearth it later in the year in one of those periodic purges of the piles, I’ve already accomplished most of the items.

One secret to this success is that the goals are connected with the coming year’s transits to my chart. It’s the goal-setting process and the focusing of intent, rather than any compulsive attention to the list that does the trick. If you want to achieve more of your goals this year, here’s a step-by-step guide to a method that works:

Read More…

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 29, 2015

Links to Posts about Boundaries

(c)12/29/15 by Donna Cunningham

Boundaries are a frequent topic on this blog, perhaps because it’s a topic we all need to deal with in a healthy way–whether in our personal lives or at work.

It’s a topic astrologers especially need to understand, partly because our clients who come for relationship charts often are experiencing difficulty with important others due to unhealthy boundaries.  And partly because astrology itself gives us a wealth of insight into others and the very act of doing a chart reading with the intimate knowledge it brings us can lead to overstepping boundaries.

Adult children of alchoholics are a group with big boundary issues, because their alcoholic parents, blurred in their thinking, have poor boundaries and generally have codependent relationships with their loved ones.

One chapter of my ebook, Counseling Principles for Astrologers explains why alcoholics and their loved ones seldom have good boundaries. Thechapter explains codependency, how to see it in an astrology chart, and its implications for practicing astrologers in depth. Download it here: 2014 Ch7 CPA.

Here is a list of links to articles about boundaries on this blog:



Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 25, 2015

Who Do You Treasure at Christmas?

By Donna Cunningham on 12/25/2015

To me, Christmas isn’t so much about presents and decorations and food, as it is about the people we treasure. The best, most sustaining gifts God has given us are the people who love us and care for us in the best of times and the worst. Those who know us better than anyone, whose presence makes a difference, who make us laugh at our troubles and our own faults and at the insanity of today’s world. Those who care about us, even if we’re acting like jerks.

I treasure the people who love and treasure me in the best and worst of times. My few remaining family members who love their all too absent Aunt Donna and who share my love for my dear sister who died last summer. And friends who are no longer alive, but whose memories sustain me and warm my heart.

I treasure my four dearest friends here in Portland who have sustained me through some very difficult times in the past and present. And four dear friends far away who keep in touch. And my adorable young barrista at the bakery around the corner who smiles so broadly each time I come in for coffee and who shares my love of writing.

And the social worker here in my senior building who GETS me and is unfailingly kind but who can straighten me out when my thinking or behavior is off. I treasure all the people who can make me laugh, especially at myself.

And I treasure this blog and the readers who share themselves and their insights in our discussions in the comment section.

What about you, Readers, who do you treasure today at Christmas?

Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 4, 2015

New Chart Interpretation Service

12/4/15 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Isabel Hickey was my personal hero when I was an astrology student, and she is still my all-time favorite author, though she died many years ago.  AstroLabe, one of the pioneering and premiere astrology software companies, has just announced a new chart interpretation service, based on Isabel’s writings.  I seldom promote a product, but Isabel was very special, and so is AstroLabe.

The regular chart interpretation is $35, but for the rest of this  year, the 40 page interpretation is available for a discount $29.95 price of $29.95.  A bound copy is available with an additional charge for postage. The coupon code for the discount is HollyDays15 .

I would advise you to call them directly with your order, as the shopping cart doesn’t reflect the discount.   Their toll-free number is 1/800/843-6682.  Email: .

(P.S. If you like this post and want to join my email subscribers list, sign up in the box at the top right hand side of the front page. Subscriptions are free and we do not share your information with anyone.)


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.

(P.S. If you like this post and want to join my email subscribers list, sign up in the box at the top right hand side of the front page. Subscriptions are free and we do not share your information with anyone.)

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!

(P.S. If you like this post and want to join my email subscribers list, sign up in the box at the top right hand side of the front page. Subscriptions are free and we do not share your information with anyone.)




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, no book can 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!

(P.S. If you like this post and want to join my email subscribers list, sign up in the box at the top right hand side of the front page. Subscriptions are free and we do not share your information with anyone.)


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”

(P.S. If you like this post and want to join my email subscribers list, sign up in the box at the top right hand side of the front page. Subscriptions are free and we do not share your information with anyone.)


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:

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