The Caduceus symbol is an ancient symbol used to represent modern day medicine in the United States. Throughout time this symbol has been used in the medical field, politics, government, shamanic healing and metaphysical healing. The symbol’s origins date as early as 2600 BC in Mesopotamia.
As an alchemy symbol the caduceus is the intermingling of sulphur (male) and quicksilver (female), referring to a synthesis of opposites. The word caduceus is Greek and means “herald’s staff.” A herald was a messenger for the monarchy. So to the Greek’s, the center rod symbolized Hermes who was a messenger of the gods. The caduceus’s center staff also represents the I Am consciousness, and is seen as a conduit between heaven and earth. The staff is a symbol of power and used in magic, it’s associated with wisdom, mysticism, and leadership. This aspect of the staff is shown in scripture from the religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. In the Bible, God instructs Moses to fashion a pole with a bronze serpent, this Nehushtan would spare the lives of Israelites bitten by venomous snakes.
The sacred sphere at the end of the staff is said to represent the world. The two entwined serpents represent duality of the physical and metaphysical becoming one, where opposites integrate to create a balance for harmony. Much like the symbolic meaning behind the Yin and Yang. The spiraling effect shows the expansion of knowledge. The snakes represent the Kundalini energy, which is a primal energy found at the base of the root chakra in all humans. Specifically it is referring to the three nadis. Nadis are channels were energy flows and they are connected to the chakras. Ida and Pingala rise up the spine, which are the two snakes, while Sushumna forms the staff and runs through the seven main chakras. Awakening the kundalini is said to bring about spiritual enlightenment, which can be done through deep meditation and spiritual practices. The kundalini is one of the components that make up the subtle body, along with the nadis, chakras, prana, and the bindu. Thus, the rising of the kundalini represents healing on every level, this includes the spiritual and emotional, as well as the physical.
The wings on the caduceus symbolize travel to the higher plane and represent an awareness gained from a heavenly vantage point. See my blog on Angels. http://www.lahilden.com/index.php?categoryid=6&p2_articleid=156
Hermes was not the only god to carry this symbol for it is also seen with Anubis (Egyptian god of afterlife) Baal (Phoenician god of universe) Mercury (Roman god of abundance) and Aesculapius (Greek god of medicine). The symbol being attributed to modern medicine came from Aesculapius, the god of healing and was popularized further by Carl Jung as he felt it was a great symbol to represent homeopathy. In 1902, the U.S. Army Medical Department adopted the caduceus as its symbol. It is used by 76% of doctors in the US, while in other parts of the world the Asclepius, a single serpent staff, is used.
The meaning gained from the symbol varies in different cultures. The symbol continues to represent spiritual awakening and healing. Famous ancient healers include Pharaoh Imhotep from 1000 BC Egypt. The Greek healer Aesculapius's efforts were considered miracles, and Hippocrates from 460 BC was known as the “Father of Medicine.” Then of course there was the greatest healer of all time, Jesus. Unfortunately in 12th century Europe, Pope Alexander III warned that the devil was influencing the healers and that the sick should be left to the physicians. By the end of the Middle Ages, holism was banned from being used as a form of healing. (Holism treated the entire person, mentally as well as physically, while looking at all contributing factors as a whole.) Natural herbal remedies were axed as licensed physicians began to prescribe medicines.