Caduceus Symbolism & Meanings

Caduceus In Symbolism

The caduceus is a well-known symbol around the world. Historically, it was said to be the staff carried by Hermes, the Greek god of profession, games, travelers, and thieves, to name a few.

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He was considered the herald of Olympus, which led to this staff’s adoption as a sign of heralding, in general.

Iris, the messenger of the super goddess Hera, was also believed to carry this staff. It played a similar role in Roman mythology, as Mercury, messenger of the gods, carried it, as well. Because of its origins in the realm of these particular gods, the caduceus symbolism can now be viewed as a representative of occupations and trades.

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Furthermore, its association with Hermes and Mercury also makes it a symbol of commerce and negotiation. Tales involving these gods often had a moral focusing on reciprocity and balance.


Caduceus Symbol Vs Staff Of Asclepius

The caduceus is often misused as a symbol of healthcare and medical practice, particularly in North America. This is due to its similarity in appearance to the Staff of Asclepius. However, they are very different. The caduceus symbol consists of a winged staff and two snakes wrapped around it, while the Rod of Asclepius consists of one snake with no wings.

Each entity of the Caduceus symbol has its own symbolism. The staff has a phallic significance, and thus represents strong masculinity. The snakes winding around them were placed that way purposefully. This weaving and winding meaning implies a need to increase your knowledge, thinking and outlook.

The last part of the caduceus, the wings have their own symbolism. The wings of the Caduceus symbol represent birds and signify soaring high in the skies. They ask you to dream big and go after your dreams and fulfill them. Wings also symbolize messages from your guardian angels.

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Symbolic Meaning Of Caduceus In Tarot

The Caduceus symbol can also be found in the Tarot as a representative of the importance of balancing the dualities that occur in our lives. The two serpents act as the perfect symbol of these dualities. They are intertwined, reminding us that even opposites are connected in some way. Together, they are unified, just as we should be.

Examples of this duality include light and dark, water and fire, night and day, good and evil, life and death, yin and yang, etc. In the Tarot, the caduceus meaning symbolizes harmony and integration. The number two is highly significant for sexuality and the genders here.

The intertwined serpents represent the spiritual and physical connection between the male and female energies coming together around the staff, which is highly phallic in nature. Together, they symbolize sexual vitality and fertility.

Alchemists also recognized the symbolism of this staff and its representation of duality. They believed that it symbolized the connection of two elements: sulphur and quicksilver. Sulphur is connected with male energies while quicksilver was tied to the female counterpart.

Others focus on the snakes and their ability to shed their skins, which is symbolic of renewal, both physically and spiritually. They thus become representatives of purity and transformation.

What Does The Caduceus Symbol Mean To You?

The caduceus symbol certainly has many historically sound meanings. However, as is the case with all symbols, you can use those as a jumping off point in your own exploration of its meaning. Think about what each individual element of this symbol means for you and the circumstances in your own life.

Perhaps the symbols will draw your attention to areas of your life that you have been neglecting and need to attend to, or maybe they will reassure you of choices that you have made. Remember, there are no right or wrong interpretations. Every experience is unique.

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