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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.

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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 [email protected]

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.


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A Great Mercury in Virgo Project—Increase your Knowledge of Vocational Astrology!

©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.

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.

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.

If you’d like to take advantage of this Mercury in Virgo interval, Career Choices and Challenges: an Astrological Guide is distributed exclusively on my website, (The direct link to the book is:

PS: Review copies are available without charge for astrology bloggers and for astrologers with newsletters.  If you’re interested, send  a link to your blog or a copy of a recent newsletter to me at [email protected]

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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.  


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Pluto in Capricorn and Pernicious Perfectionism vs.Positive Perfectionism

(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.