Astro-Interview: Jill McKeever from For Strange Women

Jill McKeever is the woman behind the awesome For Strange Women – a completely natural, wild-harvested & innovative perfume (+ amulets, restorative lip balms, magic potions) company. Her products have names like Horse & Absinthe LIps, amazing obviously.  Her Haute Hippy/Victoriana Goth Aesthetic seems like a brilliant expression of her Saggo-Cancerian elements in her chart…

Mystic: You began For Strange Women in 2009 – when Neptune was in your $$$ sector on your Ceres, so this was like self-nurturing, caring for the world and making a buck, genius.  It was also Saturn getting into your Brill Career sector (big concepts that feel beyond you at first, but you’re driven to do them, responsibility & having to be strategic.) How did you experience the whole beginning of your biz, formulating the concept and setting it up? How much of a shift was it from what you were doing before? How did you experience the Saturn drive – motivating? Or like a pressure – more akin to how diamonds are made lol? AND how did you come up with the excellent name?

Jill:  Prior to starting For Strange Women, I had gotten sucked into a “real job” for two miserable years. I didn’t know how to break the cycle of having and spending a steady income, something that I did not have in the past (I used to just work part time), but I also knew I could not function in that kind of atmosphere for much longer. I realized that getting another full time graphic design or video job was not the answer, and that I was not built for that type of lifestyle. Even though no one took me seriously as an artist at that point, I knew what had to happen, no matter how scary it was to say goodbye to financial security for a while (I had a mortgage!). I took an awesome class about understanding prosperity at the Center for Spiritual Living here in my neighborhood in the winter of 2009, and by August of that year I had worked up the nerve to become a full-time follower of my own ideas.  Saturn was definitely creating pressure. I felt that I was dying inside and time was running out. It was absolute desperation to go back to being who I am and doing things my own way. I just needed to regain confidence in myself in a time where few other people believed in me or my ideas. I have always known that I am strange, unable to follow the lifestyle that society has shaped for me, and it is easy to see now that the combo of my creative, rebellious, and stubborn nature were clear signs of an entrepreneur.

Mystic: You describe your interests as antiquarian and avant-garde, a beautiful description of your Cancerian Sun/Saggo Moon/Rising energy – how DO you experience that in your life? Do you feel more Saggo or Crab? They can be quite difficult energies to reconcile…

Jill: They ARE hard to reconcile! The Saggo wants to travel and even move to far off places (especially to mountains for some reason) and the Cancer wants to stay at home in Kansas City with the cat and the houseplants, and won’t move anywhere that is too far to bring all my comfortable and lovely antique furniture! I am always scouting for the perfect place to live, and haven’t found it yet. I move every couple years and have “home” re-established within weeks of moving in. There is a dissonance created between the two though, as I never feel secure in my home life because I know there is a better place for me to be living, although it may not something I can afford at the time. I think I could find a healthy balance by spending more time traveling in search of the perfect home. But not knowing what my future domestic situation will be drives me crazy.

Mystic:  I love how you make amazing perfume and your midheaven (major career point in the chart) is in Libra – beauty, scent, womanly awesome – and you’ve got a hefty Saturn-Pluto-Hygeia conjunction there too. A lot of people make perfume & even natural ones but you’ve got some gravitas going on. Saturn-Pluto wants to reform corrupt structures & asteroid Hygeia (the health goddess) here as well means you don’t just want stuff that is organic and smells good (great as that is) you’re going to a whole other level with this; you’re  a healer. Does this resonate?  Your scents and concepts seem really well thought out, like a part of a whole coherent philosophy that could be applied to anything.

Jill: YES! I actually see myself as a healer. Although I do not make them available for sale, I make soaps and balms and oils to treat all kinds of skin conditions. (my friends love this!) I also find scent to be therapeutic- I do not usually create abstract perfumes because I am more interested in using scent’s ability to access the emotion and memory centers of the brain. I feel that comfort leads to good health, and my perfumes are created with the intention of triggering nostalgia, summoning (and recreating a sense of) familiar creature comforts, and infusing my innate sense of calm, grounded energy. And speaking of reforming corrupt structures, I also recently finished working on a film ( about the dangers of corporate consolidation, focusing on the US radio industry. I love documentary film and watch a lot of it too. I am very interested in the politics around the food industry, the drug industry, and energy. The US has a lot of issues to sort out and I don’t think the important decisions are being made quickly enough. My Cancerian nature wants to build an off-grid bio-techture home, and the Saggo side wants to run to Canada….

Mystic: You have a really sexy and genius but erratic Venus-Uranus square (Venus in Virgo square Uranus in Saggo) – how does that play out in your love life? Are you drawn to people who really raise your Qi but who are not necessarily there for a steady relationship? 

Jill: I am strangely always attracted to Gemini men! In a way that is just frustrating! I know I can’t live with a Gemini- I’ve tried several times. I really want to be with someone that enhances the domestic lifestyle for me instead of creating a zone of chaos. But it’s hard to pick and choose who I fall into a romantic spell with…. and it’s really hard to go out and meet other Cancers!

Mystic:You have Chiron with Fire Goddess Vesta and  Eros in the work-health sector, you should be ingenious at time management and creating a beautiful work environment

Jill: I am indeed!

Mystic: Do you have any health-beauty and general Awesome tips you would like to share with us?

Jill: Hippocrates said the way to health involved an aromatic bath and massage daily. I would have to agree with that. I think it is healthy to spend time connecting with the natural world, and not just a park or your front yard. Get out there, into the woods. Other than that, avoid anything that contains ingredients produced by modern chemistry,

Mystic: Do you feel guided or inner-directed?

Jill: Both. I am very open to what the universe is trying to tell me, and my inner-direction then decides how to deal with that.

Mystic: Do you ever think about how lucky we are to live in times where we can follow astrology, make potions and be free women without persecution? 

Jill: Yes, you’re right. Sometimes I hate living in a time when this world is globally consolidated, polluted, and on the verge of burning, but the good news is that I have the freedom to be a strange woman.

Mystic: I am Pisces with Aqua Rising  and moon in Libra (hence scent obsession) what sort of ingredients would  you “prescribe” for me?

Jill: Well, Pisceans seem to like the sweeter scents, while Librans are more interested in the expensive materials laden with sultry aphrodisiacs, such as rose, amber, sandalwood, and vanilla (maybe with some ambergris). Aquarius would likely gravitate to top notes such as bergamot and peppermint… nothing too deep. I think of all my perfumes, Satin Corset would be the best match for you, although Sand Dollar might be good if your Rising sign is more dominant than your moon. In general, I think good single notes to prescribe you are Ylang Ylang, Rose, and Vanilla.

Mystic: As a perfume lover from the age of about eight, when i doused myself with my mother’s Chanel number 5 to attend primary school, it has taken me a while to get my head around just how truly toxic most fragrances are….now i can’t tolerate them on my skin or in my nostrils, much as i WANT to have a collection of fancy looking frag in my bathroom, you know?  How did you come to this realisation & honestly how bad are mainstream synthetics?

Jill: Synthetic perfumes not only have an overbearing chemical scent, but a load of other chemicals that are known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and allergens. These chemicals are not usually even listed on the bottle! Here is a link to more information. I first began to understand the danger of the cosmetics industry when the products I was using on my skin were doing a lot of damage to it. The more I tried to fix my skin, the worse it became. As it turns out, this is true for just about every cosmetic product on the market. It is scary to realize how nothing in that industry is regulated! Right now the US is the worst with deregulation (not sure about AUS), and it is up to the individual to protect yourself. Luckily we have the internet to educate ourselves :)

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39 thoughts on “Astro-Interview: Jill McKeever from For Strange Women

  1. Love this, Mystic. More interviews … please! Her interpretation/experience is a lovely way to understand astrological elements.

  2. Completely fabulous, must now go shopping on her site (just visited briefly and totally thought I was hallucinating..that cat!)

  3. Fascinating! Love Jill’s perfume map on the website and her approach to life. Creative and passionate.

    • Me too! The perfume map is genius but I want to try them all. Decadence & Debauchery gotta have it. Great interview, you need your own studio Myst. A little cable show lol.

      • I just ordered a few samples. I must try Decadence & Debauchery, I also had to get Absinthe lipbalm.
        Really love her work.

    • come to think of it, and so is the first pic.

      I think Jill is largely doing her Cancer/Moon Rising and Libran Midheaven.

      great interview Mystic! I love the questions you ask in the opening sequence:
      (How did you experience the whole beginning of your biz, formulating the concept and setting it up? How much of a shift was it from what you were doing before? How did you experience the Saturn drive – motivating? Or like a pressure – more akin to how diamonds are made lol? AND how did you come up with the excellent name?)

    • Why is that? In many ways, it looks like my young Kataka Sun/Sagg moon’s daughter’s bedroom work/art table, not including expensive art items, naturally. Wow.

        • thanks for asking (I LOVE doing this kind of astro analysis).

          I had a flat mate / BFF cancerian sun, libra rising, gem moon with a black cat, heavy drapes or curtains (see they’re there in the picture) so as to be able to make a room dark (like a womb); antique style jewllry strewn around, wine; old/vintage style furniture and evidence of creature comfortable is on the table 9so so cancerian to need creature comfort food = not always healthy – but you’d never never see a virgo or libra with taks out and drinking form a can). Come to think of it, if all this stuff in the pcioture is Jill’s then she’s not doing her venus in virgo. as Mystic said, I think she said, Jill’s doing the Venus-Uranus aspect.

          • actually, no, I think venus in virgo is her jewllery on the table – virgoans I know specialise in making fine jewellery such as this…

            • Thanks for responding. I was admiring the soda and wine and coffee all on the same table. Design, works in progress, stimulants, creative drinking, organized creative chaos. And a cat. Hm.

    • ha! That mess on the table is from when Garnet (Geminii lady from Scarlett Garnet Jewelry) and I had (one of several) 12-hour marathons as we collaborated on the designs for the Black Forest Amulets. We were fueled by wine, coffee, and chinese takeout :)
      By the way, thanks everyone for your sweet comments!!

      • Impressed and inspired by your Strange parfumes! I just ordered a few to sample. Violin in the Attic has peaked my curiosity! Do you have a scent for old books?
        Excited for my package to arrive.

  4. I love this interview, also. What a lovely site! Her products are amazing, and I am going to ask Santa for a sample pack. My Libra moon is sooooo happy to find honest scents and perfumes.

  5. Great interview! I can completely relate to the home/travel dichotomy and moving about. Inspiring to also read how Jill broke out of the day job existence.

  6. I can’t work out how to see the prices or mire infoon the perfumes except the beautiful map, v. Interested, hate synthetic scents, never enjoyed them, always used essential oils, bought some synthetic recently for work, irk, Nina ricci, but seriously I need this!

  7. Wheeee I love these interviews and love, love the look of Jill’s products. I’m going to order some stuff for me and for Christmas gifts asap!

  8. Just brilliant, this is such a great way to be totally inspired and really grokk some interesting astro at the same time. With a Crab sister and Sagg brother (and Kataka moon myself), I was having ah-ha moments all over the place. These astro-interviews are made of awesome.

  9. I enjoyed this very much! It is always nice to know that there are creators of fine skn care and smelly stuff which don’t addle the brain!!!

  10. Great interview! Love the products and the ethics behind it!

    Although i have to say industry regulation doesn’t always help in every case. You can’t save stupid people from themselves. :(

  11. Wow tx this is inspiring. As cancer sun sagg moon currently working a day job that is taxing me hard in the name of security (repressing my 5th house moon Neptune conjunct totally) I’m inspired.

  12. Finally dumped my Issey Miyake [sp?] in the nice tall bottle. Stopped using it years ago but kept the bottle–occasionally using it for very pongy room refersher, but really it was too ‘off’ for even that.

    There’s a type of single bud, white rhododendron in the garden here, unusual type that has a similar fragrance. I loved my Joy, but have to admit that I now no longer desire toxic French perfume. Small bottle of some sort of aromatic oil I bought in the Spice Market in Istanbul still survives after umpteen years. Spilt a bit into my took box, as you do when you’re moving–my tools smell heavenly. This scent should have gone off but hasn’t. Unfortunately no label on little onion domed bottle am hoping when I get back to Istanbul the seller is still there . . . . when I get back to Istanbul. . . .

  13. Facsinating woman – great interview – really shows how understanding your astro and working it can lead to a real sense of a passionate life

  14. Jill, wherever you are!. You are amazing!!!! This is such an amazing website you have and all the products are compelling and marketing superb:)

    I want one of everything.

    (Venus conjunct Sun, in mutual reception to Libra)

  15. What a great interview! I have been meaning to buy some of her stuff on Etsy for awhile now but could never quite pull the trigger. Now I want to buy everything — love her approach to life. Knowing the back story makes it even better. Thanks for this.

  16. Both Jill and her store are absolutely gorgeous! Our back stories are similar (leaving corporate design jobs before our Souls were sucked dry and pursuing our own businesses) and it’s inspiring to see how well it’s worked for her.

    Perfect example of what happens when you follow your gut, and your Astro! :)

  17. I just ordered a sampler set. I’ve been using Aveda “Love” for awhile now and would like some more aromatherapy options to get me through a day. They all sound good.

  18. She sounds so cool! I love the mixture of aromatherapy and astrology.
    Did you find her suggestions to work for you personally or more with the astro theoretically MM? Either way, I believe Hippocrates is right. My kids mostly get a lavendar bath & small massage daily and they are almost never ill.

    That was a gorgeous snapshot into someone else’s world, like looking through a stainglass window! Beautiful.

  19. Really enjoyed reading this interview Mystic!
    Jill McKeever is flippin sweet! I’ve been curious about using, where to find, how to make natural perfumes. Will definitely check out her site.
    Yeah I started using organic coconut oil to moisturize my face, works great.

  20. Great interview and oddly coincidental. I am also a graphic designer that has been sucked into the ‘real job’ cycle for practically a decade. Nice to know that the cycle can be broken, as I’m currently in cycle-escape-plotting-mode. Neptune is transiting my 9th right now, slow building to the 10th, but timing is everything. As a taurus sun, cancer rising, the steady income thing is huge for my comfort. Hopefully my leo mars and moon will fuel the fire. Maybe Jill can make a magic potion that can aid???!

  21. I received my scent sampler! They are soooo good!! Its like aromatherapy throughout my day. Currently smelling decadence and debauchery…mmmmm, my packed Libra house is so at peace with this.

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