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Author Topic: That's a Herald's Staff...  (Read 5505 times)
Caroline
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« Reply #12: October 11, 2007, 05:41:33 pm »

I know there's one with snakes, but I've always attributed the "snake staff" to Asclepius as it, at least modernly is a symol of healing of which he is the god.

It's sometimes interpreted that the snake winding about Asclepius' staff (in addition to its renewal/regenerative symbolism)  is representative of his daughter Hygeia. Other stories attribute it to a connection to Medusa (and her potent poison/healing blood). More pragmatic thought points to the method of withdrawing parasitic worms by winding them about a stick. In any case snakes played a strong role in his cult.

Both symbols are used in modern organizations, but that's very recent, in the last century or so - the differences between the two symbols were much more clearly marked in earlier times. The confusion might have roots in the association of the kerykeion with Hermetic arts ---> alchemy ---> medicine. But there are other professions more closely connected with Hermes that use the symbol -- journalist and merchant orgs, for instance.
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