Donna Cunningham 5 July 1942 - 5 July 2017
EILEEN McCABE (faculty member of the New York Chapter of NCGR; a professional astrologer and
a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice in New York City) pays tribute to Donna.
Donna Cunningham passed away on Wednesday, 5 July on her seventy-fifth birthday. Donna was a major star in the astrological community and she will be missed by those of us who she considered her friends and by the community at large. Donna was a brilliant astrologer and a kind and compassionate human being. She was a pioneer in astrology in her integrating psychotherapy with astrology and healing.
With a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University, Donna felt that she wanted people to understand the evolving world around them while still retaining their own personal inner core.
She was a prolific writer and her book Healing Pluto Problems remains one of the most significant classics
in the astrological world. No matter how many years have gone by, people still refer to that book as having
a major impact on their lives.
Donna not only wrote around nineteen astrology books but contributed regularly to The Mountain
Astrologer, and wrote Dell Horoscope magazine’s ‘Astrology At Work’ for over twenty years. To this day,
people also comment on how much she helped people through her column. As an advice columnist, she combined the art of astrology with her background as a social worker and psychotherapist. She was one of the first people in our community to practise insight-oriented astrological consulting and was well known both in the national and international astrological communities. She was, without a doubt, one of the most famous astrologers of her time.
Donna was also proud to have been a member of NCGR from its beginning in the late 1970s. Although Donna retired from speaking at conferences, she spiritually always remained a member of the astrological community.
As a friend, Donna was always supportive and encouraging and remained both a friend and mentor to me for many, many years. We talked at least once or twice a month, but it was in the last five months or so that Donna began to speak to me in a way different from before. Donna felt that she was “done” and had no more to write about as far as astrology was concerned. I would laugh and say to Donna that “you’ll probably finish a new book by the end of our phone conversation”. That always gave her a good laugh. But Donna had slowed down and one of the last things that she said to me was, “I think I’ve done a lot of good for people, don’t you think?” Donna, you can’t imagine just how much you have done for me and for all of us. Your books remain a beacon of hope and knowledge as you remain one of the more intelligent astrologers of our time. Not only did you provide all of us with your intellectual understanding of astrology but you also reminded us that connecting with another human being with kindness and understanding was just as important as anything else.
Donna worked tirelessly over the last few years to organise her website, which provides the public with access to all her books, including The Stellium Handbook, which Donna felt was her most important
contribution. Everyone can access her work through her Sky Writer site https://skywriter.wordpress.com/ where you will find the monumental work of this great astrologer.
For those of us who knew Donna personally, it is obviously a great loss. I will miss our conversations. But Donna’s work remains alive and well and her work will continue to impact and influence astrologers all over the world for a long time to come. Farewell my friend, and wishing you a safe journey
home to the stars. You are loved.
For the full tribute to Donna Cunningham, please see the Sep/Oct 2017 Astrological Journal, page 7, where you will find additoinal memories from Mary English.