This comes from Erin Sullivan’s excellent work Retrograde Planets:
[In the Iliad] Hermes is designated by Zeus himself to be the companion of man. This is symbolic of Mercury’s role in the horoscope as the translator of all sensory data as they are assimilated into the conscious mind. Mercury might be the single most important planet in the horoscope since it is through Mercury that we not only absorb but also disseminate all of our perceptions. In the course of retrograde cycles our perceptions often shift drastically as we contact information in new ways and process it unconsciously [emphasis mine].
I particularly like this because it takes away the whole “everything falls apart” mentality that is usually applied to Mercury retrograde periods and gives us a new perspective on the way we process information. Yes, my voicemail isn’t working properly and a client missed an appointment today, but my perceptions are shifting and new information is available to me that I would not have otherwise experienced.
Hermes, the god, is the guide through all retrograde cycles and plays a strong role in the lives of those who have many retrograde planets. As the summoner and translator of unconscious or obscure knowledge, his patronage during all cycles of retrogression seems natural.
This too adds a wonderful layer of complexity to the Mercury Rx phenomenon. “the summoner and translator of unconscious or obscure knowledge,” guiding us through the veil of our perceptions into a clearer and more luminous vision.
In order to pass through the doorway of transformation we must leave the structures of our concepts behind, and what better time to do it than now while Mercury is retrograde!