Flavor of Mercury retrograde October 13 – November 3 2020

This particular Mercury retrograde begins on the same day that Mars opposes the Sun – the exact midpoint of Mars’ retrograde period. For those who are tuned into the Mars retrograde it makes sense to see it as a time to meet our challenges. We need to question how things are or risk endangering ourselves and others with a dream-like longing for the past or fantasy about the future. Mercury is adding its voice to the story of protest and violence that Mars started. We are asked to pause and consider. One way to look at it is that Mars isn’t just about violence, it’s about breakthrough, birth and energy all of which we need to move forward and Mercury, in its own way, can support those qualities, if we let it. 

Mercury reminds us that we have much to gain when we transform the raw energy of fear into a force for change. This Mercury period reminds us to take time and to anchor our felt sense of things to reason. There are no guarantees where this journey is taking us. One thing that is clear, however, is that we are not tourists; more like pilgrims.

As Mercury journeys through its retrograde period it will activate Uranus, showering us with unexpected and disruptive information about ‘real’ things. On October 27th Mercury will retrograde back into Libra where it will activate the same planets that Mars has been stirring up, underscoring the cracks which we have all witnessed in the structures that are meant to uphold our culture. 

Daunting as this may seem in the moment it’s important avoid making significant decisions from a place of despair or denial. It’s actually a time to think creatively as we engage with other cultural creatives. While Mercury is retrograde (until November 3) we benefit from being really good listeners. Collaboration requires the sharing of thoughts and ideas. Once Mercury and Mars are both direct (November 13 for Mars) we will begin to slowly integrate all the changes that 2020 has heaped upon us. The world and each of us alive in it at this time are engaged in a massive transformation. As these planets go direct we gain a lot by taking inventory of all we have lost, all we have learned and most important, what we plan to do about it.

Warm regards, 


PS – Join Carolyn Winter and I for the next repatterning session to ‘Align with Mercury Retrograde”

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Surgery during Mercury Retrograde

During our last alignment of Mercury retrograde Feb 16-Mar 10, my long awaited knee surgery was scheduled for February 27 -a day past the mid-point of Mercury Retrograde. The general advice is to avoid surgery during this period if possible but let common sense prevail.  Julie’s thoughts that being past the midpoint at least by a day helped the cause.  My knee had deteriorated rapidly in 3 months prior so I decided to go ahead and felt okay with it all.

The good news is that despite some challenges the surgery was a success and I was home the next day.  Serendipitously, who could have predicted that the world would be shut down, and surgeries like mine cancelled indefinitely just 2 weeks later? That was also a blessing.  The very next morning, I found that I had more strength and movement than I thought possible so soon after surgery. It was very encouraging.

The Mercury retrograde challenge was not catastrophic – just irritating and annoying. I will name a few….

Unlike arriving for surgery, which was nurturing and attentive, being discharged from the hospital was veiled in confusion. No one seemed to know when I was to be released.  When finally known, I was expected to leave within an hour.  The ‘going home’ instructions were contradictory and confusing. Luckily, family and friends took care of it all.  In the last 2 weeks of retrograde energy, I experienced an allergic reaction to the bandage dressing as well as the coating on the prescription drugs.  Both were low grade, hard to detect and lingered for the entire shadow of Mercury retrograde. Lastly, the crucial post-surgery exercise routine had a bumpy start.  Due to the Pandemic shutdown, the six weeks of in person physiotherapy was delayed until they figured out how to do sessions via video conferencing. Everyone knows that doing the exercises post-surgery is very important.  There is a short window of time to get a full range of motion back before scar tissue sets in.  I was working with the initial set of exercises for 3 weeks – officially putting me behind. However, I seemed to have caught up to myself since then.

In hindsight, given the condition of my knee and the necessity for surgery, the post-surgery healing setbacks were nothing compared to not having surgery at all.  Today, I have the joy of movement and I am so glad I went ahead with it – aligned as much as possible with a positive outcome.

Thank You!

Perhaps the greatest healer of all for me during these past few months, have been the well wishes, prayers, and healing energy sent by family, friends and colleagues and so many of you.   I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many caring people and deeply appreciate everyone’s kind thoughts.

With love and light

Carolyn W

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Announcing The Town Crier Podcasts..

Julie has started a monthly astrological podcast, along with friends Meika Hildebrand and Karen called “The Astrological Town Crier” . In these approximately 30 minute interviews, Julie takes a deeper dive into current events of the day from an astrological point of view.

Julie writes… “These are chaotic times. Humans all over the planet are disoriented by the unpredictability of our situation. Stepping into a new age, the Age of Aquarius in fact, is not easy. Births are always risky. The more we understand that chaos is actually change (easier to fathom in retrospect i will admit…) the more we are likely to be curious and engaged in the process. We might as well practice!”

Join Mieka Hildebrand in conversation with Julie Simmons, astrologer for an interesting mix of current events and astrology.

June 2020


Inaugeral episodes for March and April 2020

Links are always found on Julies home page

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Flavor of Mercury retrograde June 18 – July 12th, 2020

If you’re following along with astrology these days you might think you are weary of so many retrograde planets, and now Mercury comes along to join the fray. Outer planets are retrograde for much of each year. But this year, 2020 we also have Venus retrograde (now) and Mars to come (September – November). Last month Venus Jupiter and Saturn all went retrograde within days of each other. Astrological front page news! What it seems to mean is that we are on shaky ground (no surprise) and we can’t really tell where we are  headed. As Mercury adds the trickster touch we have two choices (as they often say..) We can panic, feel out of sorts, and worry anxiously about things we can’t control or we can do something else. We can tune in to the fact that Mercury is retrograde in Cancer and that is a sign of security. We can think about what makes us secure and insecure. We can think about what we can and can’t do about this. Most importantly we can do what we can to help those we resonate with feel more secure. That might be about your family but it may also be about people suffering in a particular way that calls to you; homelessness, food insecurity, children, women, refugees; the list is as long as the circumference of the earth. The trick, if there is one is to stay afloat. Not to drown in problems but to reasonably consider what you have available that might nourish someone. Maybe you have heard the parable of the long spoons. In each of two locations people are given access to food, but the utensils are too unwieldy to serve oneself with. In hell the people cannot cooperate, and consequently starve. In heaven,  the diners feed one another across the table and are sated.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_long_spoons

As Mercury journeys through its retrograde phase it will make only one strong aspect to another planet which is a square to Mars on July 8. This is easily a time of contention. Choose your battles. No tilting at windmills. It will also conjunct the Sun as it always does when retrograde, June 30th. An excellent day to listen and see what messages call to you from the deep. 

Mercury will go direct on July 12th  as the Sun trines Neptune. A good day to move ahead with a sense of how you can care for those around you as well as yourself. By this time Venus will be moving away from whatever her retrograde lessons were and Mars will be moving into to his. Mercury direct suggests that it’s time to see what gives.

Warm regards, 


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