Posted by: Donna Cunningham | April 28, 2009

Writer’s Block–or Waiting for the Right Astrological Window?

©2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Note: this is an excerpt from Donna’s booklet, “So You Want to Write–Techniques and Tips from Miss Prolific ,” available at  The booklet is free to people who attend her teleseminar on writing signatures on May 3rd.

 Even the most successful and consistent writers go through periods when writing seems to fade into the background. Can we understand the peak and fallow periods of a writer’s’ life through the astrology chart? An example of a novelist with a long career hiatus was Jean Auel.  Her first book, Clan of the Cave Bear, was not written until she was 40, as her progressed Mercury applied to a conjunction with natal Mars. Her chart is shown here.  According to AstroDataBank, Jean Auel was born February 18, 1936, 5:35 PM CST, Chicago, IL, 87W39; 41N41. The data is rated AA, birth certificate in hand.

auelchartAfter four huge best-sellers, a twelve-year interval ensued before the publication of The Shelters of Stone on April 30, 2002. (It was finished in early June, 2001, and sold immediately, with a record advance.) A variety of sensational rumors swirled among her worldwide network of fans as they waited for book five-she was reputed to be gravely ill, dead, or feuding with her publishers, all untrue. In the eleven years it took to research and write the book, was the novelist stewing over her “writer’s block?” No, she says simply, “Life gets in the way,” pointing to her enjoyment of her 15 grandchildren. The long-awaited 753-page tome, priced at a hefty $38.98, debuted on the New York Times Best-Seller list at #1 on May 19, 2002, and was simultaneously released in 28 languages.

Natally Uranus in the 9th forms the closest aspect to her Mercury, which is in Uranus-ruled Aquarius in the 5th. Interestingly enough, she says that her real first book was a computer manual.  Her Uranus is in Taurus in the 9th, and her series is called Earth’s Children. (Mercury also forms out-of-sign aspects to Venus and Pluto.) Not surprisingly, her sensational rise to fame corresponded with important Uranus transits. In 1980-1, Uranus in Scorpio opposed her Midheaven and squared her 6th house Aquarius Sun-the very same positions activated in 2002 by Uranus in Aquarius, again with sensational results. In the chart for the release of The Shelters

of Stone,  Jupiter does rule publishing, and not surprisingly, transits to Auel’s natal Jupiter in Sagittarius and transits by Jupiter have figured significantly in her writing career. Her main character was conceived in 1977, as Jupiter was in Gemini in her 10th house, and Neptune in Sagittarius in the 4th began setting off her mutable planets. Clan of the Cave Bearwas a best-seller in 1980, as transiting Neptune in Sagittarius and Saturn in Virgo aspected natal Jupiter in Sagittarius.cavewomanatcomputer-a2d

While The Shelters of Stone was finally taking shape and gearing up for publication, both Saturn and Jupiter were traveling through her 8th, 9th, and 10th houses.  She herself was traveling, researching caves and archeological sites in southern France and northern Africa to recreate the atmosphere of prehistoric times for The Shelters of Stone. Using that research, she is already at work on her sixth book.  Since transiting Pluto in Capricorn will be conjunct her natal 5th house Moon in 2012, it’s likely that her most powerful work is yet to come. Given that Pluto can be both an end and a beginning, she may resort to the time-honored tactic of writers who tire of their own creations and wind up killing off the main character of the series.


  1. What a wonderful Donna! As a writer, and amateur astrologer, I would love to know how my astrology affects my writing. My blog readers would love to know too. Would consider writing an article for non-astrologers on the topic at Please email and let me know if this interests you. Best, Beth

    • Hello, Beth, good to meet you. Glad you’re enjoying my blog. I’ll send you a possible article by email. Donna

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