“Retrograde” is a term used in astrology to describe a planet that from the perspective of the Earth appears to be moving backward through the zodiac, i.e. from east to west. When the Earth was considered stationary this situation appeared rather unfathomable and gave rise to all kinds of conjectures.
The retrograde motion is indeed an illusion caused by the revolution of the planets and the Earth in their orbits around the Sun, which is the same illusion that occurs on a train when seeing another train in the adjacent track moving slower, and perceiving it going backward while it is actually moving in the same direction. In traditional astrology retrograde planets were usually regarded as a weakening or disruptive element.
In the astroshamanic approach this disruption affects only the consensus reality, which is based on illusion. In retrograde situations you can be dramatically confronted with events that can disrupt such illusions, unveiling a more expanded or multi-dimensional perspective.
When Mercury is retrogade there may be disruptions in communication, networking, mail, computers, trade and contracts occurring in consensus reality. These are times when e-mails or letters can go astray, parcels are delivered to the wrong address and appointments are missed.
Mercury plays here the role of Coyote or trickster. Whenever you attach too much importance to ordinary reality, there comes Coyote. In its company the only way out is to laugh.
When the retrograde motion of Mercury is at work it can be useful to expect disruptions, finding way to see them from another perspective when they really occur. Laughter is a powerful medicine for release. As Osho says: ‘All that this world needs is a good cleansing of the heart of all the inhibitions of the past. Laughter and tears can do both. Tears will take out all the agony that is hidden inside you and laughter will take all that is preventing your ecstasy.” The area of your astrological chart where Mercury transits in retrograde motion could provide clues regarding in which areas of life disruptions can occur.
Decision making is at low ebb when Mercury is retrograde as well as finding clarity or solving issues with others. It is however an ideal time for releasing, pondering, and communicating with spirits, and for any kind of multidimensional relationship. A retrogade motion allows the illusion of ordinary reality to escalate, while providing major gaps for experiencing the multidimensional reality beyond. What does not work from an ordinary perspectice, works at its best from a non-ordinary perspective.