Tag Archives: Donna Cunningham

Most frequently asked questions: how does astrology explain twins?

A very frequent question!

How does it work when you do a birth chart for twins? Or two babies born the same minute at the same hospital?  Can two people have the same horoscope!?
Gemini the Twins

Gemini the Twins

My Answer:

During nearly twenty years of teaching astrology classes, I found that the above questions came up very frequently.

It is important at this point to emphasise to readers who are familiar only with Sun Signs that to get ‘beyond the Sun Signs’ requires an individual’s horoscope to be drawn up for the date, place AND time of birth. Human beings are complex and contradictory. It’s not possible to approach any satisfying symbolic exploration of that complexity through the Sun or Star Sign alone.

A number of years ago, I decided to address the typical questions students asked about twins via one of the tutorial classes I ran for my more advanced students, all of whom had a good grasp of the basics of astrology, and some of whom were already practitioners in their own right.

One student – let’s call her Anna – was the devoted aunt to a set of twins in their mid teens, a boy and a girl –  let’s call them Angus and Miriam. These two had been born less than fifteen minutes apart and had almost identical horoscopes.

I had formulated a theory about twins and astrology which I wanted to test out, so I obtained permission via Anna from Angus and Miriam’ s parents as well as the twins themselves, to calculate their horoscopes and discuss them anonymously in class.

My method was to put up on the board only one horoscope since there was so little difference between the twins’ horoscopes, and ask the students to take an hour to prepare along with me a basic outline of the key characteristics revealed by this one horoscope. We did the preparation as though we were preparing a birth chart for just one person.

The class knew nothing about either of the twins, and I asked Anna to observe us, but not to make any comments at all.

Once we had written up the outline, we spent the next hour discussing our findings with Anna, who knew her nephew and niece well.

I am writing this after a gap of about twenty years and no longer have the notes for detailed reference, so can only give a summary of the essence of what emerged from our discussion.

Anna found our summary from the one horoscope of the basic characteristics of both her nephew and niece to be very accurate. What was very clear was that certain traits were held in common, but that the rest were, as it were, divided up between the twins. To put it very simply, looking at a range of traits: 1,2,3 and 4 were recognisable in both; Miriam manifested traits 5,6 and 10 whilst Angus lived out traits 7, 8 and 9.

This very interesting and enlightening experiment does not of course constitute any kind of proof: but it bore out my impressions from reading about the similarities and differences in the lives of twins about whom I had read, as well as my own observations of twins I had come across from my own experience, as well as the few horoscope readings I had done for individuals who were twins.

What was this impression? Coming back to the analogy of the horoscope revealing the characters poised on life’s stage, waiting for the moment of birth to kick start the action of the play, it seemed that twins unconsciously chose which characters on their joint stage they were going to live out jointly – and the ones which they were going to live out separately.

The experiment which I did all those years ago with my students, Anna and her nephew and niece certainly bore out my theory….

After writing this piece I googled ‘astrology and twins’ to see what came up, and was pleased to find on my favourite astrology site, Astrodienst, that other astrologers including Dr Liz Greene had come to much the same conclusion.

As far as two people born at the same time in the same place is concerned, yes, they would in effect have the same horoscopes.  You would certainly see considerable similarities if you studied both their lives over time. But each character on the stage at a given moment in time has a range of possible modes of expression. Thus the influence of different family circumstances and different opportunities, etc, would call forth a range of possible responses from the same basic character.

To read much more on this topic, do go over to the late master astrologer Donna Cunningham’s excellent blog Sky Writer, where she has an excellent piece on the astrology of  twins.

Then come back and let me know what YOU think!

 

Gemini the Twins

Gemini the Twins

800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2019

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

Review of ‘The Stellium Handbook’ by Donna Cunningham, MSW

Donna Cunningham succinctly sums up the purpose of this very practical, very comprehensive two-part handbook thus:

“….consider this book a long-term guide to increasing self awareness by using the tools youll encounter here.

The Stellium Handbook by Donna Cunningham

The Stellium Handbook by Donna Cunningham

Many consulting astrologers will have had the experience of putting up a client’s chart prior to the consultation, seeing a log jam of several planets in one place, and thinking Oh no! Why didnt they choose someone else to read their chart? If the astrologer, too, has one of those log jams, or stelliums to give them their proper title, that reaction may be amplified. Practitioners do the best they can, with varying degrees of success, to analyse and explain as constructively as possible to clients what their stellium means – but doing so represents quite a challenge for the astrologer’s empathy and skill.

Help, however, has arrived from master astrologer and writer Donna Cunningham who draws on her long and deep experience both in astrological and related fields to produce this first ever thorough, in-depth work on stelliums – a very much needed aid for readers of varying levels of astrological knowledge.  (if you think it should be stellia, by the way, check out what Donna says in the footnote on page 15!) Her commitment is to make the book available to everyone with stelliums, not just astrologers or astrology students.

It is written with Donna’s signature depth, clarity, humour and compassion. One of her gifts is to be able to be briskly honest and realistic about the most difficult topics, but in such a compassionate, often witty way that the reader feels encouraged rather than squashed by the information provided.

The core aim of the book is to help stellium folk find their ‘mission’ in life, as revealed by the stellium’s planetary composition and location in sign(s) and house(s), andto focus on that in a more constructive way, with the emphasis on self-help throughout.

She does this very thoroughly and effectively: first defining what a stellium actually IS, then with the aid of various worksheets, leading the reader through detailed analysis and weighting – in order of significance and impact – of the major planet/sign/house/Angle/Node combinations. Want to find out what the ‘Alpha Dog Planet’ is, to give one example? Then check out Chapter 10 which presents the ‘Story Arc and Cast of Characters’ in your stellium.

The book is abundantly amplified with fascinating case material: from motivational speaker Nick Vujicic who was born without arms and legs, to actor Johnny Depp, Prince William of the UK, and a range of real-life examples drawn from readers and commenters on Donna’s Skywriter blog as well as the many articles to be found there. The pdf format of the book enables readers to click through to a pleasing range of relevant back-up material from Donna’s many books, as well as blogs and internet sites which will help to deepen and widen one’s knowledge base.

As an experienced practitioner, the chapters I found most useful were 12 and 13. Chapter 12 lists and discusses the five outer planet conjunctions between 1960 and 2010, including the Uranus/Pluto which dominated the 1960s, and the Uranus/Neptune which dominated the 1990s, both marking whole generations of people born under them. Chapter 13 presents and analyses – complete with a useful fact sheet – the ‘Capricorn Stellium Generation,’ born under therare and powerful super conjunction of  Uranus, Saturn and Neptune in Capricorn illuminating how it affects the lives of people born with it.

Chapter 14 pulls the whole book together, guiding the reader through how to get the most out of their stellium or triple conjunction. Topics covered include ‘Doing a Research Project on your Stellium’ and ‘Four Books that will Kick your Manifestation Mojo into Overdrive’.

There is a wealth of reference material throughout the book in the form of work and fact sheets, e.g. a Transit Tracking Table from 1990-2020, which will prove of great practical value both to astrology students and teachers. Donna Cunningham is a truly generous practitioner who has shared her knowledge in so many ways over the years with countless clients, students and fellow astrologers.

This fine book, the latest addition to her abundant astrological output, is an essential reference work for all astrologers’ libraries, one to which they can return time and time again as they encounter clients who are trying to come to grips with one of the most challenging, and potentially rewarding, of  all astrological patterns: the stellium.

The Stellium Handbook by Donna Cunningham

The Stellium Handbook by Donna Cunningham

To download a free sampler, click  here:  Stellium Handbook–A Sampler

Find out more about Donna Cunningham’s many books and enjoy a browse through a brilliant selection of articles on her popular blog Sky Writer

800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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An autumnal treat from ‘The Mountain Astrologer’ magazine

A real treat awaited me on my return from holiday today. In my office mail was the first of  six free issues of “The Mountain Astrologer” – recognised as the world’s leading astrology magazine – and a free CD of  The Mountain Astrologer’s “Editor’s Choice” : 43 previously out-of-print articles from TMA in the 1990s, now available on CD. What had I done to deserve this largesse? My 1997 article on “The Saturn Cycles” had been included in the pick.

And what a treat it is! The blurb on the CD tells us that the articles are written by ….” Rob Hand, Dana Gerhardt, Bruce Scofield, Donna Cunningham, Bill Herbst, Jessica Murray….and other leading writers”….

Having had a very quick skim through the articles list, and an appetite-whetting dip into some of them, the great strength of this collection is immediately evident. It demonstrates that the astrological paradigm can usefully illuminate the whole range and depth of human experience, way beyond the shallow scope of the Sun Sign columns.

The Mountain Astrologer : Oct/Nov 2010

The Mountain Astrologer : Oct/Nov 2010

www.mountainastrologer.com

Article titles reveal this range, from Michael Thurman’s brilliant Big Picture exploration of  overlaps between “Astrology and the New Physics” , through Bill Herbst’s careful and constructive tackling of  the not uncontentious combination of “Astrology and Psychotherapy”, right down to what happens (or should happen!) in “The Astrological Consultation”– seen through the lens of the long experience, expertise and professionalism of Jane Ridder-Patrick.

The history of astrology is also explored, as is symbolism and synchronicity, creativity, questions of fate and free will, Vedic astrology, traditional methods, different astrological techniques, interviews with influential astrologers – even astrological gardening. In short, this is a collection which no serious astrologer can afford to be without.

Importantly, many of the articles will also hold value and interest for the open-minded general reader.

At a practical level, the CD works in an entirely easy manner: I stuck it in my Macbook, and off it went without a hitch. Contributors are listed in alphabetical order of first names, which pleased this “Anne” no end! And the final treat in an unmissable collection is the front page of the very first issue : for December 1987/January 1988, featuring ” Astrology explained” by Tem Tarriktar  – still with us, both of you, after all these years!

To order this wonderful collection, go to www.mountainastrologer.com (using the back issue order form and typing in “I want the CD”  instead of back issue numbers.)

Introductory prices through December 31, 2010 : $19 for current TMA subscribers, and $26 for non-subscribers.

The Mountain Astrologer : Oct/Nov 2010

The Mountain Astrologer : Oct/Nov 2010

450 words copyright Anne Whitaker/The Mountain Astrologer Oct/Nov 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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Guest Slot: Resources for Web Readers and Writers by Donna Cunningham

Donna Cunningham will already be known to many of you as a world class astrologer, writer and teacher – and is now a brilliant blogger at her  SkyWriter blog, which I featured on this site in February, in my Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010.

Check out  Donna’s ebooks at Moon Maven Publications. It is my great pleasure to be featuring Donna’s writing on the Guest slot this month. She has provided a terrific and varied set of resources which I have been working my way through and finding invaluable – I have no doubt you will, too. No matter how experienced a reader or writer you are, there is always more to learn!

cartoon by Paul F Newman

Anne W and Friend write for the Web

(cartoon by Paul F Newman)

 

Internet User’s Reading Habits—

How Research Findings Impact Internet Writing

©2008 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

The most significant research into internet users’ habits has been done by the Nielsen-Norman Group. They use highly technical methods like eye-tracking cameras to discover exactly what internet visitors do when they visit a site—how long they spend on a given page, what parts of the page their eyes zero in on, which pages of a website they are most likely to visit, and how long they spend on that page.  Below are some of their research findings.  Jakob Nielson has a huge collection of pithy and useful articles at the site below.  You’ll be meeting him often in this course!

Research Findings:

“How Users Read on the Web.” Jakob Nielsen.  In their research, 79% of test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16% read word-by-word. Specific ways these findings need to be applied to website content.

“Information Foraging” Jakob Nielsen.Habits of internet visitors, whom he calls “informavores.”

“Research report:  A guide to email newsletters and usability” Dan Farber. The Nielsen-Norman group’s findings in summary form. The study found that users read email newsletters even more abruptly than they read websites.

Internet Writing Style Tips:

Here are some excellent articles by web professionals. Although they aren’t writing specifically for metaphysical sites, their advice is sound.

“Writing Style for Print vs. Web.” Jakob Nielsen.

“Six Ways to Turn Techno-Babble into Commanding Copy,” Jonathan Kranz

Amrit Hallan, “Writing persuasive website content.” (Lots of articles; worth visiting)

Continued at: “Persuasive Writing”.

“How to Write Successfully for the Web.” WikiHow,
Also see more articles on this topic at: http://www.wikihow.com/Special:LSearch?fulltext=Search&search=write+for+the+web

“15 Internet Writing Rules to Keep them Reading your Content.” Internet Based Moms

“The 10 Commandments of Internet Writing.” Garth A. Buchholtz

“Discovering that writing for the Web is different… every day, for the first time.” Excess Voice.  (Lots of articles; worth visiting)

“Make Your Copy Specific and Personal,” Nick Usborne

HEADLINES—The Key to Grabbing a Website Visitor’s Interest:

Market research says that 8 out of 10 people read the headlines but only 2 out of 10 read the main copy.

“Your headlines are the strongest weapons in the arsenal of your copywriting.” Amrit Hallan.

“10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work.” Brian Clark, Copyblogger:

“Headlines Make The Difference (and the Sale)!” Tony L. Callahan.

“Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines” Jakob Nielsen.   (Strong, researcher)

“How to Write Magnetic Headlines.” Copyblogger. (Links to several good Articles)

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550 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Donna Cunningham 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010

It is not Xmas. It is not New Year. It is not Valentine’s Day. It is still cold in the Northern Hemisphere. It is not yet Spring. So I thought I’d introduce a note of  celebration and good cheer this week, by posting Anne Whitaker’s Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010.

 

Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010

Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010

 

 

Thanks first of all to my cyber-pal from Georgia, the prestigious and prolific blogger extraordinaire Jude Cowell, for including ‘Writing from the Twelfth House’ in her list of Kreativ Blogger Awards for 2010. A list of all Jude’s blogs encompassing art, astrology and fearlessly outspoken politics, as well as her selection of January 2010 KB Awards, can be found here:

 

Krehttp://www.starsoverwashington.com/2010/01/kreativ-blogger-award-for-stars-over.html

Now here are the 6 rules for the Kreativ Blogger Award which you will need to follow if you are chosen:

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1. Copy/paste the Kreativ Blogger Award picture onto your blog
2. Thank the person who awarded it to you and post a link to her/his blog
3. Write 7 things about yourself we do not know
4. Choose 7 other bloggers to award
5. Link to them
6. Notify your 7 bloggers of their award

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7 things about me you ( unless you are one of my family/friends/former astrology students in which case you have probably heard it all before TOO many times!) do not know:

1. I have far too many planets in Leo.

2. Just as well they’re in the Twelfth House!

3. I was actually born in the 12th House – 12, Plantation Road – on the street in which my parents were living at that time

4. My birth was so premature and I was so tiny that I was anointed in olive oil, wrapped carefully and placed in a drawer – too small for a cot – and not expected to live. Wrong!!!

5. I have my Honourable Discharge Papers from the British Merchant Navy

6. At a time when I was utterly dismissive of astrology, an astrologer I met by accident in a launderette drew up my chart and predicted that I would become an astrologer in my early thirties. Right!!!

7. I am still asking the same question I started asking when I first opened my eyes to the world: “Why are we here?”(answers, under a plain wrapper, to this site. Reward for most original response)

That’s enough of that! Here are my Kreativ Blogger Award recipients, in alphabetical order. As Jude Cowell has pointed out, there are a considerable number of  high quality blogs on the Web, and I am acutely aware of only knowing a small selection well enough to nominate them. A large part of the purpose of this award is to encourage our community to spread the net by our own nominations, enabling other great bloggers to have their work picked out and highlighted.

Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010

Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010

 

1. Dawn Bodrogi – runs a new blog in town, less than a year old. But it is full of thoughtful, quality writing from an accomplished astrologer and teacher. Check Dawn out at The Inner Wheel – Living with Astrology

2. Jude Cowell – a generous spirit, sharp and funny – already mentioned and linked! Find Jude, in true Mercurial style, in several places, including Jude’s Threshold

3. Donna Cunningham – will already be known to many of you as a world class astrologer, writer and teacher – and is now a brilliant blogger at her  SkyWriter blog. Check out her online writing seminars at Moon Maven Publications, along with her books in e-book form or hard copy. I hope to be featuring Donna’s writing on my Guest slot next month.

4. Lauren Lesko is the most sensitive and lyrical writer on astrological topics that I have had the pleasure to come across and to befriend – and a most generous soul. Check out her writing, and the beautiful art which accompanies it, at  ASTROLOGY: the art of awareness

5. Joyce Mason felt like a fellow spirit from the start, and I love her writing – fresh, deep and often very, very funny.  Her Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer is a must for all astrology students, and a great reference tool for practising astrologers, informed as it is by Joyce’s lengthy research and reflection on the Chiron archetype. She has several quality blogs, the main one being The Radical Virgo

6. Susannah combines deep, sensitive and insightful articles with art and poetry. In her own words: “I explore astrology with my poems, images and observations. I hope that maybe you can identify with some of it!” Check out her work – and her selection of blogs! – at  The Lion and the Lightning Bolt

7. Leah Whitehorse is a multi-talented musician and writer, with special interest in working with tarot and with dreams as well as astrology. I am hoping to have a piece from her on working with dreams on my Guest slot this Spring. Visit her at  Lua Astrology – Navigation by the Stars

I’m flouting the rules ( Mars/Uranus in the Tenth House – I like rule-breaking!) with an extra nominaton – one non-astrologer:

Linda Leinem is a writer whose work I discovered very early on in my own blogging career. I was absolutely knocked out by the quality of her writing; here, to give something of the flavour both of Linda’s rich inner and outer life, and her writing themes, is a little clip from the About Me page on her blog:

“Sharing stories, trading secrets, weaving new realities of threads pulled from discarded memories or long forgotten dreams – those are the tasks of a new writer, dedicated to new endeavors.

Living a quiet and hidden life, anchored to my dock like a barnacle to a piling, I varnish boats on the Texas Gulf Coast.  My dock provides both things Virginia Woolf recommended for a woman who writes: money, from the labor, and a room of my own – space and solitude for thought, remembrance, and creative reflection on the truths and mysteries of life.”

I never fail to find affirmation and inspiration in her wonderful writing – her blog gathers many comments, and when you visit  The Task at Hand you will understand why….

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1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page