SYMBOL OF THE DAY
Dating back to the Mesopotamian God Ningishzida, the caduceus, a symbol of two serpents entwined around a staff is believed to date back to 3,000 BCE – 4,000 BCE. The caduceus is associated with Hermes Trismegistus in Greco-Egyptian mythology, Hermes in Greek mythology, and Mercury in Roman mythology. This symbol has had many different meanings and uses over the years including but not limited to a symbol of commerce, power, authority, supernatural forces, the uniting of opposites, the World Axis, and an important tool for all magicians. Hermes was the messenger of the gods, the go-between figure, and was associated with language, magic, commerce, athletics, the crossing of boundaries, and was a psychpomp for the souls of the dead. As I have mentioned before, snakes are typically a symbol of wisdom and are fitting symbols for a wisdom deity like Hermes. Wings, like birds, are associated with divinity and fly between the Heavens and the Earth just as Hermes travels between the mortal and the divine realms. Mercury, the Roman depiction of Hermes, is seen with wings on both his feet and head, symbolizing his cunning ability to think and move as fast as a bird can fly. A more spiritually esoteric interpretation of the caduceus can see this as symbolic of the rising of kundalini energy and the shamanic ascent up the World Tree, leading to personal enlightenment. Once a shaman ascends the axis mundi of the world they are said to experience flights of ecstasy, which would also make the wings on the caduceus an appropriate symbol of shamanic flight. The entwining of the snakes can be seen as representing the helical structure of the DNA, the concept of infinity, and the unification of male and female energies. In addition to Greece and Rome, the caduceus can be found in Babylon, Egypt, and India all with similar meanings. However, due to its misuse by the US Army Medical Corps in 1902, now the caduceus is commonly seen as the symbol for the medical field in the United States despite its mix up with the similar looking Rod of Asclepius; a Greek god associated with healing and medicine.
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