Sunday, January 10, 2010

Caduceus: Ancient Serpent Symbol of Healing

From Barbara Walker's The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets: Caduceus Some Gnostic Christians worshipped the serpent hung on a cross, rod, or Tree of Life, calling it Christ the Savior, alto a title of Hermes the Wise Serpent represented by his own holy caduceus, the scepter of two serpents. This was one of the oldest and most revedred holy symbols. "The usual mhythological association of the serpent is not, as in the Bible, with corruption, but with physical and spiritual health, as in the Greek caduceus." To Sumerians it was an emblem of life, appearing on art works like the Libation Cup of Cudea, ca. 2000 B.C. In pre-Hellenic Gfreece the caduceus was displayed on healing temples like those of Asclepius, Hygeia, and Panacea, which is why it is still an international symbol of the medical profession. The caduceus is found also in Aztec sacred art, ehthroned like a serpent-deity on an altar. North American Indians knew it too. A Navaho medicine man said his people's sacred cave once featured "a stone carving of two snakes intertwined, the heads facing east and west."(1) [Image from awugabunnies.co.uk] Hindu symbolism equated the caduceus with the central spirit of the human body, the spinal column, with two mystic serpents twined around it like the genetic double helix: ida-nadi to the left, pingala-nadi to the right.(2) Moses' brazen serpent on a pole, the mere sight of which cured the Israelites, was probably a prophylactic caduceus (Numbers 21:9). It was named Nehushtan, and worshipped in the tabernacle up to the reign of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:4). Notes: (1) Campbell, M.I., 282-84, 286-88, 294-95. (2) Bardo Thodol, 215. Note: Difference between the Rod of Asclepius (a single serpent twined around a rod) and the Caduceus (two serpents intertwined around each other and a rod). See more at Wikipedia on the Rod of Asclepius (contains the entire account about what led to Moses constructing and mounting the copper serpent on a pole, starting at Numbers: 6).

1 comment:

carlos lascoutx said...

...caduceus: ome coatl=2snake is
in the 12th trecena of the tonalamatl/tunes, which is cuetzpalin=lizard, meaning vigor,
growth, perhaps health, = the 4th day of the sample=cempoalli(N)=20.
12, as day=malinalli(N)=twist,herb,
aha, now we are getting into medicine. let's see, cuetz trecena
is just before the tlatlatzol teotl
trecena/13days of 13th trecena,ollin/holy. well, medicine
is one step short of holy. ah, god
of night for ome snake, is tepeyollotl, number 8, aha, that
is heart of the mountain/tepe- and
is ocelotl, the queen of the mountain, who is goddess of the third
day of sample/20, which is house/
calli ue/ve=ca-ve. dates formal medicine back to kubaba/tlazolteotl(venus). 8=rabbit/mayauel, goddess of pulque, the plant pulque comes from is derivitive of the word,
metl(N)=mead/mëd(rus)/miel(sp)/
medicine=metl tzintl(N)=honorific. yeah, and mayauel/metis's husband=
patrick=patecatl(N)=the medicine god.
coatl/snake itself=day5 of sample,
meaning the center(where most medicine concerns itself), snake
itself is a solar symbol simply by
being in the 5th position of sample
souls for 5=500sec, the time it takes a sumbeam to reach us.
well, either the caduceus existed before 3309bc(insertion of
nauatl and tonalamatl in amerindia by quetzalcoatl), or, it is prefigured there. my hunch is that it existed way before and helped
construct the deer calendar we know
as the meso-american tonalamatl.
oh, and i disagree with Onions
as to the root of caduceus, a d can become an r but the more direct root for d=t(grimm brother
observation), the supposed sanskrit root=karus=singer is outside the meaning concordance required. the real root= ecatl(N)=wind hecate=hekim(turk)=doctor. hate to catch ct onions out like that, he's one of my heroes, but nobody's perfect. so we put the
windwitch hecate back into her proper spot in language and history. long live the goddess!

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