By Michelle Gerrard
As we look to the stars with wonderment it’s impossible not to be mesmerized by the entire sky of constellations above us. Now, as the Jupiter-Saturn great conjunct is in motion, set to tee off just hours after the Winter Solstice on Monday December 21, 2020, we check in with our favorite California astrologer Parker McPhinney to celebrate her views on nature and the energies of our vivid collective, universal life.
What called you to the stars?
I have loved reading horoscope columns since I was a little girl. I read Sidney Omarr’s syndicated Sun Sign column in the newspaper as a teenager. I would buy those scrolled up horoscopes sold at grocery stores in the 1970’s. After I relocated to Southern California in 1983, I landed a job at The Old Globe in San Diego. One day, I glance at a beautiful business card on the bulletin board in a hallway. It was an illustration of a woman watching an hourglass. The card advertised astrology readings. Its owner became my astrologer: Patricia St. James. In one of the first reading I had with her, she suggested that one day I could very well become a professional astrologer, as my chart indicated I had great psychic ability and a predisposition to aid others through using the tool of astrology. Indeed, I was very much drawn to the sacred mystic arts, and shortly after that session with her, began my study of astrology. That was in 1984. By the early 1990’s I was reading professionally for people. Her prediction has come true. I was astonished by her ability to look at a piece of paper with symbols on it, and know me from the inside out, on the first session! I knew that this art form (it is considered the “round art”) was something I wanted to develop for myself. Knowledge of the self and understanding of others is a great thing! Astrology is a divine science of understanding people and cycles.
Tell us about your podcast, Stardust Stereo. (It is SO good.)
Thank you for saying that! I am really proud of Stardust Stereo. It was May, and Covid-19 was in full steam. I have worked as a professional art model for thirty-five years, and that work completely ended with schools shut down. So I was scrabbling to make ends meet. The idea to do a podcast popped in the mind. I have always wanted to do a podcast on astrology, and now the push was there! I voiced this desire on my social media, and one of my long term astrology clients responded that she’d love to help me get started. She produced the first three episodes. Within 48 hours of the decision to start a podcast- I launched my first episode!!! In those two days, I learned as much about podcasting that you can cram into the brain- as I wanted to air before the Full Moon! And I made my deadline, to my delight, with my producer’s fantastic aid. When you are passionate about something you can move mountains. The podcast is done four times a month. I’m a “by the seat of my pants podcaster” still. Learning audio editing has been a technical journey, and each episode I make progress. This is a testament to not give up on your dreams, even in the middle of a pandemic. I just finished recording my 25th episode. I have subscribers on Patreon.com/ParkerMcP, which partners with Buzzsprout, the platform I launch on.
Do you believe that we are meant to lean into the seasons of nature?
I believe that yes, there is a time to push on, a time to sit still and go within, a time to make changes, and also a time to not know what is next- yet. We could call it sitting at the crossroads of life; is the light- green, yellow or red? In life we sometimes are given these sign posts- through events, and other times we tap into our inner knowing and listen to our own guru, the higher self. Astrology is a symbolic language that helps us to decipher if it’s time to plant or let the soil rest. Farmers have planted by the moon for centuries. Timing is everything in astrology. Timing is importing in so many things- dance, music, launching a product, starting a relationship, giving birth to an idea, knowing when to let go, etc. We have the seasons as an outer form marking ‘time’, and also the internal seasons, as we grown and learn about our desires and attempt to make them realities. Everyone is on a different ‘time-path’. Astrology helps you to discover the season you are in and make most of your strengths in life, and be aware of how to maneuver with your weaknesses. Getting in tune with the self helps you in all the seasons. And the gift of COVID is that many people are in the season of questioning what has meaning in their life. It has put us all on a big pause to ask: What is truly important to me right now? Life is one big birth/death/rebirth cycle.
Have you done any readings for 2021? Any input on the year ahead?
I write a monthly blog on Parker-the-she.blogspot.com, and have since 2006; there I discuss the astrological-weather each month. One thing I do see very clearly in 2021, is a shift in how people relate to the ‘bigger picture’. How they conduct their lives as a result of the drastic changes that this pandemic has caused. A reworking of the life plan is on the agenda. Jupiter the planet that rules expansion, sports, justice, higher knowledge, faith, and other cultures- enters into a new zodiac sign in December, along with Saturn which governs structure, rules, father time, and bones-your teeth! They both will be entering into Aquarius, the sign that represents the inventive, friendship, brotherhood of man, the collective, thinking outside the box. These two planets coming together (it’s going to be quiet the show in the night sky December 21 2020) usher in a new twenty year cycle. This is going to be an exciting time, if we open our hearts to the knowledge that we are one –and connected by the unseen-fact- that we all come from the same source, and shall return to it. Our world family has been dysfunctional far too long; it’s time for a family meeting at the round table! Pass the food, there IS enough for no one to go hungry if we learn moderation and balance our desires. But first, we have to distribute that vaccine! And these two planets will shine a light on the ingenious ways that we can. Here we are about to embark on the vastness (Jupiter) of implementing (Saturn) to the entire world (Aquarius) a vaccine- just as they align! You can’t make this up!!! As above, so below! Planets don’t “make” things happen- they shed a light on where we need to focus, they indicate trends and paths that can be worthy to explore. The individual still has to do the work. The sign can point to the top of the summit, but you still have to put one foot in front of the other to get there. Of course if you climb during the ice storm it is much harder than in sunshine. So will it be successful? Yes, but not without issues, as both these planets will be in a hard relationship with Uranus (unexpected) and Mars (action). So, we will learn as we go, we’ve never been here before. That is the other reason we need to attempt to be FOR each other. My guru always said: Help ever, hurt never. We can take that into 2021 with us. By May of 2021 when Jupiter enters Pisces, we are going to see much more compassion among people. I believe that is when we really can celebrate making it through what has been a ‘dark night of the soul’ for so many, certainly our essential workers. Jupiter will re-enter Aquarius through a retrograde period, but while it is in Pisces we will see a lot of beach parties! Relief that the worst is over, and we can socialize once again. Lots of hugging and kissing is going to be happening in summer of 2021!
How do the stars aid you in corona virus or navigating its obstacles!
I have several tools in my box that I use on a daily basis. I always start the day with meditation. It helps me to tune into the silence before I begin the day. Astrology information is knowledge that I do use every day, but sometimes it’s just in the back of the mind- not unlike when you read the weather report and dress accordingly. Managing long term stress is done by my practice of home yoga, and remembering that the constant in life is change, the difficult days will be replaced by good ones! Often I can feel when Mars (planet of action, but also anger) is in a challenging aspect to a planet in my chart, I’ll think of ways to use the tension in a positive way. Such as cleaning out a closet or taking on a difficult jewelry project. I tend to ‘use the energy’ instead of being ‘used by it’. We have a choice in how we respond to the internal energy we feel. I follow the movement of the moon, and its cycles to push myself to maintain structure in these unstructured times. Full Moon (endings) is followed by a New Moon (beginnings)! I also give myself self care treats, such as a extra hot bath (especially when the moon is in a water sign!) that is made even more special by using Ojai Wild’s exotic body oils- or making sure I splash myself with Chamomile cologne during the day- a great scent can brighten your mindset.
Has your work lead you on any grand adventures? Would you share a favorite with us?
The grandest adventure of my life has been my travels to India. In 1997 I was drawn to that magical mystical land. I’ve been twelve times since, and can’t wait to return. India gave me not only my physical introduction to my spiritual teacher, but a deep love of another culture, and thus, opened my heart and mind. Staying at an ashram and focusing on divine in prayer and study with thousands of likeminded souls from all over the world can change your DNA! You realize you are beyond the body, you are spirit! I have been fortunate to travel worldwide my entire adult life, and I really believe that travel can be the best way to teach oneness. Nothing surpasses direct experience- we truly are all seeking peace and happiness. Becoming aware of the true self (the unchanging I AM) is the great adventure of a lifetime. It is a forever pilgrimage.
What aromas help soothe and balance you?
Chamomile is one of my favorites. I love White Sage and Pink Peppercorn too! So stimulating to the senses! I’d like to encourage Ojai Wild to develop ROSE blended oil- I think it would be a best seller! I am a big fan of all of Ojai Wild’s products- they are raw and authentic! After using any of Ojai Wild’s products one feels like they walking in the beauty of nature, and you shine like the stardust you are made of! We are meant to shine!