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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





2 articles for "Caduceus"

Caduceus [Astro*Index]

The staff of Hermes (Mercury), messenger of the gods. Earlier forms depict a three-headed serpent, but later forms a rod with two serpents entwined about it, surmounted by two wings. Used as a medical symbol, it appears with a ball and pine cone at its top (representing the solar disk and pineal gland, respectively).

See also: ♦ Aaron's Rod ♦ Thyrus
Caduceus [DeVore]

The wand of Hermes, or Mercury, the messenger of the gods. A cosmic, sidereal, or astronomical symbol; its significance changing with its application. Originally a triple-headed serpent, it is now a rod with two serpents twined around it, and two wings at the top. As a medical insignia it may appear as a rod surmounted by a ball, representing the Solar orb, and a pine cone, representing the pineal gland. The entwined white and black serpents represent the struggle between good and evil-disease and cure. Another form is the Thyrus, often pictured in the hands of Bacchus. Astronomically, the head and tail represent the Nodes-the points on the ecliptic where Sun and Moon meet in an eclipse. v. Aaron's Rod.

See also: ♦ Aaron's Rod ♦ Thyrus


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine