Tag Archives: SkyWriter blog

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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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