November/December 2002 Spirituality
The Astrology of the Indigo Child

by Donna Cunningham, MSW

I’ve been an astrologer for over thirty years, and some time ago I began wondering about an astrological pattern unlike any I had ever seen. Parents were suddenly asking me about the charts of some very unusual children - gifted yet struggling to fit into the system - and these charts were unique. Uranus and Neptune had been conjunct - that is, traveling been together in the sky - for a number of years when these children were born, first in Sagittarius, then in Capricorn, and finally in Aquarius. (The years 1984-1999 were especially significant). These strangely gifted youngsters tended to have Uranus and Neptune highlighted in their charts, perhaps connected with their Sun, Moon, or Rising sign or with several factors at once.

Both Uranus and Neptune are planets that grant out-of-the-ordinary gifts and out-of-the-ordinary difficulties in fitting into the mainstream - standing together they would be at the outer limits of anything already known! Applying traditional astrological interpretations to these children charts seemed both inadequate and needlessly alarming for the parent. I went to a metaphysical bookstore, and The Indigo Children, by Lee Carroll and Jan Tober came home with me. Immediately, the book provided some important answers, for the traits given for indigo children were very similar to the traits of people who have Uranus and Neptune as prominent features of the chart. Uranian types are highly intelligent, inventive, extremely independent, visionary, and follow their own guidance rather than submit unquestioningly to authority. Neptunians are sensitive, dreamy, creative, imaginative, often psychic, and with a strong sense of compassion for the vulnerable. Many indigo children display both sets of traits.

I quickly wrote an article on this topic for The Mountain Astrologer and was inundated with requests by the parents of indigos. The parents were impressive in how well they understood and valued their children’s differences. Doing the charts of whole families was interesting, for birds of an astrological feather tend to flock together. Not only did there tend to be more than one indigo child in the bunch, but the parents also tended to have Uranus and Neptune strongly featured in their charts, though not in the same combination. In all, astrological work proved useful for these families, helping to sort out some of their pressing questions.

How an Astrology Chart Can Help You Parent an Indigo Child

Working with a child’s chart is a delicate matter and should only be approached with caution due to the potential for self-fulfilling prophecies. Rather than going too far into the future, it is more useful to discuss those areas of a child's world that a reading can appropriately clarify. A child's world mainly consists of parents, siblings, school, and peer relationships, and the chart can throw helpful light on each of these areas.

For instance, Mercury and the third house show learning and communication styles, and there are at least twelve styles, rather than the single, standard way most public schools expect. Knowing how your child learns best can help you provide the best set of circumstances for study - even if the school can't individualize instruction, you can do so in your homework sessions. Since Mercury and the third house also represent siblings, the chart can also show relationships with brothers and sisters and how they influence one another.

The chart can also identify the child’s special gifts, so that you can provide opportunities to develop them. Many of these children are multi-talented and thus will seem to dabble in one thing after another, adding to their reputation of having attention deficits. My sense is that they need to try out a variety of possibilities, with the potential as adults for merging many of their gifts through technology we can barely imagine at this time. In fact, I believe that these children - their charts, their abilities, their highly active nervous systems - are absolutely perfectly designed for a coming high-tech world few of us could measure up to. Astrology charts are a way of seeing who we are, rather than who society mandates we should be, and the chart of an indigo child is a blueprint for his or her life.

Donna Cunningham has a dual background in astrology and psychotherapy, with a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and over 30 years experience as a certified professional astrologer. She considers doing the astrology charts of children (over 3yrs old) to be a sacred trust, and has a special discounted rate for them. She can be reached for consultations at (503) 291-7891, by email at or on her web page: .