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February 2014

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Book Review ~ The Stellium Handbook

” Why is there so much of me in one place? “

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Are you a specialist rather than a generalist? Are there perhaps one or two areas of life that you are obsessed about? A bit unbalanced, are we! You, my friend may have a stellium!  A stellium is defined as a group of 3 or more planetary bodies ( sun, moon, and planets) in a single zodiac sign or a single house.

In case you are wondering, on top of being left-handed, INFJ,  HSP, and blessed with a Yod configuration in my chart, I also have a stellium. It is a huge influence on my life and carries great potential for both genius and misery.  Mine is of the triple conjunction variety, which means that all 3 points are very close together forming conjunctions with a maximum of 7 degrees apart. So naturally I researched all that I could  find about this important but tricky planetary signature. Guess what, very little has been written. For years I would ask  astrology group leaders to hire a speaker on stelliums. Or I would peruse book stores and go online and there just wasn’t much out there. Until NOW!!

Donna Cunningham, MSW at Skywriter, an accomplished author, social worker and astrologer, has recently created a 2 part E-book called The Stellium Handbook: An Owner’s Manual for Stellliums and Triple Conjunctions. It is my pleasure to present my take on this highly anticipated book on all things stellium.

Book Review ~

The Stellium Handbook by Donna Cunningham 


This comprehensive 2 part E – book on stelliums and triple conjunctions is an accessible, incredibly user-friendly read, featuring an upbeat yet realistic tone regarding real life situations. I approached the material as a professional astrologer with a prominent stellium of the triple conjunction variety, hungry for answers and inspiration. I found what I was seeking, and so much more.

The book is divided into 14 chapters and designed with the beginner in mind. The book is stacked with glossaries, grids, and examples galore to educate anyone curious about the basics of astrology.  The author clearly wants to educate and advocate on behalf of increasing self-knowledge through astrological concepts and principles. She uses humor, self-disclosure, and decades of experience as practitioner, researcher, and writer to her best advantage here. This is an incredibly complex topic that is heavy on the details and overwhelming even for the seasoned professional. This book makes the challenge fun, exciting, illuminating, and quite enjoyable. While those new to astrology will certainly benefit in many ways , I think the majority of the information requires at least a moderate comfort level with astrological concepts and jargon.

I especially enjoyed Chapters 2 and 3 which covered the impact of a stellium on all twelve zodiac signs. Donna Cunningham’s analysis was very thorough and quite relatable. I was personally a bit overwhelmed by the various array of tests included as resources. This is really a matter of preference though, as many who enjoy this format will be grateful for their inclusion here. I found Chapters 4 and 5 on stelliums through the various houses (life sectors) to be so insightful. Regarding 1st house stelliums :

These slower-moving planets are more weighty than the planets closer to the Sun, because they represent huge issues that the collective is dealing with as a whole. The person who has an outer planet on the Ascendant embodies those collective issues and forces people to deal with it. (The outermost planets are described in detail in Chapter 8.)

For instance, those with Pluto on the Ascendant–because of the way they look or present themselves–may evoke issues like the use and abuse of power, healing, transformation, or sexuality for a great many of the people they encounter. Those projections are tough for the person to deal with on a life-long basis. They’re forced to work through the dilemmas that planet presents, and in doing so, may become a healer or transformative figure.

The book delves into career paths for those looking to tap into their potentials as well as tools for wellness and healing. All the resources are organized in a such a way to supply each unique stellium type with a treasure trove of information. My only criticism would be to replace some tests with more Astrology charts of well-known people. I learn better visually and would benefit from more of the author’s insights on accomplished or infamous folks who share this particular signature.

This material will bring to light wisdom that may have been previously  elusive  or misunderstood. I have my stellium in the 9th involving Neptune and this passage in chapter 8 is right on the money:

Neptune is nicely placed in the 9th house, because, depending on the sign and conjunctions to other stellium planets, it can signify someone with a mystical nature who is devoted to a spiritual path and deeply attuned to the Divine. They find inspiration through spiritual teachings and can teach and inspire others as well.

I would say that this blog is truly a representation of these Neptunian/ 9th house energies!

Why you should buy this book:

You will have access to information gleaned from decades of research and direct practice infused with a deep intuitive mastery of the human condition. The author takes a fascinating yet weighty subject and provides the reader with multiple windows into psycho-spiritual understanding. The mixture of astrological wisdom and valuable options for psychological healing is so rich with meaning and makes a wonderful resource during times of difficulty or crisis. The author writes with heart, integrity and a profound command of stelliums that is evidenced on each and every page. There has never been a book like this written before, and it will make an excellent addition to your metaphysical library.

To learn more and place an order:


For the sake of full-disclosure, I want to share that Donna Cunningham is one of my “go-to people” for astrology. Her books on the Moon and Pluto have been major players in my own understanding of transpersonal astrology. We are both Social Workers and Astrologers and her influence has certainly impacted my desire to incorporate astrological knowledge into my counseling practice. To say that I am thrilled we are co-bloggers at WordPress is an understatement. To review her book about this intricate and somewhat mysterious configuration that dominates my own natal chart is a huge blessing.

I have never met Donna but I know her astro-twin. When I worked as a Social Work Supervisor, my boss introduced me to a friend of his who was also an astrologer. We ended up working in the same department a few years later and became friends. She had told me that she and Donna had the exact same birthdate but different Ascendants. She has a photographic memory and taught me so much by sharing her chart interpretations with me. She is also a lot of fun and truly knows how to live life to its fullest. I found it very synchronous that both women are Social Workers and Astrologers. Don’t you love these precious reminders that we all are connected somehow?

10 comments on “Book Review ~ The Stellium Handbook

  1. litebeing says:

    Reblogged this on litebeing chronicles and commented:

    I just learned of the passing of Donna Cunningham. I am saddened to report that she died on 7-5-17, her 75th birthday. Please enjoy my book review of her stellium handbook. Donna was an excellent healer, social worker, writer, and astrologer. She was also a fellow WP blogette.


  2. an excellent presentation of valuable information!


  3. shreejacob says:

    Excellently written review, Linda. I know that if I was inclined towards astrology, I’d want to get the book!
    I love how reading your posts reminds me to be open to connectedness and synchronicities 😉


    1. Thanks Shree,

      This is definitely a book for the astrology minded 🙂
      To have Donna ask me to do this review is so amazing. And as you know, synchronicities abound …

      Come back later and catch up on the other posts soon!

      love ya Shree

      xx Linda


  4. ptero9 says:

    This is great stuff Linda! I might read the book even if Paul doesn’t, 🙂 I must say that understanding Paul in this way, helps me make sense of how concentrated his energies can be at times. We continue to have some very good conversations about our charts.


    1. The book is fabulous and having a stellium can be both a blessing and a curse. I have a stellium in Scorpio and it expresses itself as a Scorpio on steroids! You say concentrated and that is an excellent adjective. I think you would really enjoy the book. Go visit Donna’s blog as well and check out all her books! I have several of them and they are “stellar”, pun intended!

      xx Linda


  5. Very cool! Off post question: Are Yod’s confined to the top two planets being within a certain number of degrees?


    1. thanks Julie,
      I would use a smaller orb for yods than for other sextiles and inconjuncts in a chart. I am not very rigid with orbs in general, but special configurations require less wiggle room!


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