Before he was called Mercury by the Romans, the messenger god was Hermes. He is the only one of the deities to pass through the underworld as well as above world. As such there is a very special role of translating wisdom and great personal awareness. He travels between humans and gods, darkness and light, and remains just the messenger not the judge.
"Hermes is a god of transitions and boundaries. He is quick and cunning, and moves freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, as an emissary and messenger of the gods, intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife. He is the protector and patron of herdsmen, thieves, oratory and wit, literature and poetry, athletics and sports, invention and trade, roads, boundaries and travellers." wikipedia.com
When Mercury retrogrades, or appear to be going backwards, three times a year for three weeks (which is interesting numerologically too) we often feel it as mix ups, confusion, delays, missed calls or appointments, missing paperwork or emails, and generally a tougher time being heard or making things clear with others.
Perhaps these times are the visits into Hades or Hell. Maybe Mercury/Hermes passed through the underworld at these times to carry the souls to the other side. If so, perhaps it is also the best possible time to get in touch with our own underworlds - go within, examine, reflect and question without deciding or acting on anything. Perhaps it is our chance to incubate - or a Divine intervention in a chaotic world that says, wait a second before you decide or say or do...
We also cannot help but draw the parallels to our global refugee crisis with the symbolisms or boundaries, roads, travellers, intervention and trade. It is interesting timing for our Canadian elections as well - because communications snafus can reveal the truth behind the spin.
There's no need to get bent out of shape during a Mercury retro if you have basic precautions - backing up files, keeping proof of payments, and showing some restraint on what we say until we get truly clear. This descent into Hades can show us the hidden shadow of a situation - and return to bring it to light in three weeks.
Wishing you all the best - keep your ears and eyes open for what is NOT said - trust your intuition