Caduceus (Kerykeion, Herald’s Wand)

This symbol, a winged staff entwined by twin serpents called a caduceus, has been nearly universal, found in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India, where it is a symbol of harmony and balance.

The symbol may have originally been a symbol of the sovereignty of the Goddess Tanit, and has been used as an emblem of the goddess Ishtar and the Sumerian creator god Enki.

The most recognizable form is the Kerykeion, or herald’s wand, an emblem of authority carried by couriers for safe passage, and most often associated with the Greek Hermes and the Roman Mercurius. It has been mistakenly utilized as a symbol of the medical industry in the place of the wand of Asclepius (Asculapius).

In the Hermetic Tradition, the caduceus is a symbol of spiritual awakening, and has been likened to the twin Kundalini serpents of Hindu mysticism.

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The Goddess Ishtar Hermes
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Related Symbols:
Crescent moonAsclepius wand
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{ 3 trackbacks }

Goddess caduceus | Winnersatgamin
October 1, 2012 at 3:28 am
The Caduceus, The staff of Asclepius, and other serpents | misfitsandheroes
June 6, 2016 at 6:08 pm
The Magic of Mercury | ipsimusprime
September 2, 2016 at 9:38 pm

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawnatilla the Hun December 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Thoth and the caduceus
by Nicki Scully

The caduceus is an Egyptian symbol that lives prominently in our western mainstream culture, primarily as a logo for many health care practitioners and companies, including the American Medical Association. Many chose this symbol because of the picture’s meaning and the effect it has on the people who look at it.Each part of the image can come alive in a person to create enduring changes. The principle power comes from the two snakes that wind their way up the spinal column, or central staff. The snakes represent the kundalini energies that move up two etheric channels known as the ida and the pingala in tantric lore. These conduits carry the energy up through the body and connect the physical and spiritual realms. The snakes represent the elements of water and fire, male and female, and yin and yang.

The wings symbolize the air element that we associate with our spiritual self. They unite us with the entire cosmos and give us the freedom to explore it.

The central staff is the shushumna canal or our central energetic artery, that runs within our spinal column. In the Caduceus staff is made of metal and represents the element of earth.
The round ball at the top, where the metal makes a loop like the top of an ankh concentrating blue light, symbolizes where the element air in physical form meets the pure diamond body, or essence of spirit, at the pineal gland.

Together, these symbols express optimum balance and the connection we all have to higher cosmic intelligence. It’s like an electrical circuit that has different components that interact with one another and with whomever is paying attention. When we meditate on the caduceus, it ignites energy flows in our bodies according to our abilities to conduct the energy at that moment. The life energy raised through this practice nurtures the electromagnetic field that surrounds our bodies and helps counter the depletion caused by environmental degradation.

The following meditation will energize your body, mind, and spirit, and give a boost of energy to whatever you are trying to achieve. As a practice, meditate on this symbol for balance, inspiration, and healing, and an increased ability to accomplish your goals.

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Tara Hatcher October 9, 2013 at 8:43 pm

” Not All Wounds Bleed…” The Caduceus is a symbol of Healing beyond the physical body…

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Dawnatilla the Hun December 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm

absolutely correct Tara …! :)
“the caduceus expresses optimum balance and the connection we all have to higher cosmic You are intelligence. It’s like an electrical circuit that has different components that interact with one another and with whomever is paying attention. When we meditate on the caduceus, it ignites energy flows in our bodies according to our abilities to conduct the energy at that moment. The life energy raised through this practice nurtures the electromagnetic field that surrounds our bodies and helps counter the depletion caused by environmental degradation.”

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Francisco Castro June 2, 2012 at 2:14 am

Though most in the medical profession are missinformed of the Caduceus´ meaning I assure you both it is not in the least misused. True though it is that the Rod of Asclepius is well known as the symbol of a number of deities associated with healing, the Caduceus of Mercury is a syncretism or joining between the Aesclepius wand as a symbol for healing and the fact that their are two opposing serpents in te Caduceus comes to mean the balanced forces of polar opposites. The meaning becomes even deepr when analyzed through the perspective of the Hindu mysticism where one of the serpets represents Ida and the other Pingala, which is to say the female and male energies that coexist as balancing opposites (much like the yin and yang, or the yoni and the lingham in hindu terminology) in the energetic body composed of chakras, nodis, nadis, auras, basically the etheric self or etheric double, the enrgetic part of who we are that fuels our organs, muscles, skeleton, etc. The idea behind the caduceus is that both energies flow upwards the column represented in the symbol by the central staff (known as Sushumna in the Hindi mysticism) and once they reach the highest chakra or the crown energy center, the center of divine love, cosmic consciousness and higher intuition the soul develops superior psychic powers of the highest spiritual order INCLUDING becoming a developed energy healer. You see, such a healer would have devloped the Kundalini, known as the thrice-coiled fire serpent power around Muladhara (the basic chakra). In the course of the fire serpent power´s progressive uprising through the different energy centers, its residing with the deity in the upper part of the head and its consequent return through the chakras it brings a higly empowering and spiritualizng influence to each. A person with a devloped Kundalini is someone whose spiritual powers are highly evolved hence the wings of the developed healer.

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Chris July 7, 2011 at 4:16 am

The only area of medicine that does not misuse the Caduceus is Emergency Medical Services. On US ambulances the Blue Star of Life contains the Rod of Asclepius. This is a symbol of healing. I guess to not be confused or to separate themselves from us “lowly” EMT’s and Paramedics the rest of the medical community used the caduceus since it looks similar but is a bit more flashy. The one instance I know of well that uses the Caduceus properly is the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, on their crest. This is an economic school, as such the caduceus is a symbol of commerce.

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larry shanahan April 10, 2011 at 9:29 am

very informative
why has the medical system mis-used the symbol ?

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