Monday, April 18, 2016

Why We Love Unicorns - Skye Alexander



Skye Alexander

“Of all the legendary animals of art, folklore and literature, the Unicorn is the one with the greatest hold on our imaginations.” –– Nancy Hathaway, The Unicorn

Strong yet gentle, innocent yet wise, beautiful beyond imagination, unicorns have fascinated us since the dawn of time. Prehistoric artists painted them on cave walls 15,000 years ago. Alexander the Great claimed to have ridden one. England’s Queen Elizabeth I owned two of their horns, worth about $20 million in today’s money. What is it about these mysterious and magical creatures that continues to captivate people around the world, even after all these years?


 The Unicorn’s Mystique

We’ve always admired unicorns’ power and majesty. These awe-inspiring creatures might lay their heads in the laps of young ladies and allow children to pat them, yet they retain their properties of strength, intelligence, intuition, and independence. No human can trap a unicorn unless the beast allows it to happen. Its wildness and freedom are part of what entices us; we may be just a bit envious of the unicorn’s ability to exist beyond the limitations of our humdrum, everyday world.

Unicorns represent peace and harmony and a compassionate way of living. They teach us that those who possess true power, self-confidence, and wisdom tread gently in the world and care for the innocent and vulnerable. If necessary, unicorns will defend themselves and their kind––but they never do so unless they’re attacked first.

Nor do unicorns stoop to lies, chicanery, or stupidity. Instead, they possess the traits of all great heroes: honesty, devotion, respect, inner strength, wisdom, and courage. They can’t be bought or manipulated. What’s more, they go about their business with genuine modesty, even though they know that they are the most exquisite creatures ever to set foot on Planet Earth.

In short, they give us hope. If we let them, they’ll guide us toward a more enlightened existence. What’s not to love?

The Genesis of the Unicorn

One creation tale, recounted in De Historia et Veritate Unicornis, says that the unicorn descended to earth on a cloud. The first-born creature, he was called Asallam. His role was that of the light-bearer and guide, the one who would drive away darkness from the face of the earth, for his horn itself was a beacon formed of spiraling light. With that laser-like horn he speared a rock and brought forth life-giving water to produce the most magnificent garden ever known.

Soon after, the Holy One breathed man into the garden. The unicorn was the first animal the man beheld. At first sight, the unicorn loved the man and knelt before him––and from that day forth, Fate has bound the two beings together for eternity.


The Unicorn’s Magical Horn

Undoubtedly its most distinctive feature, the unicorn’s horn is also its most magical. The spiral shape symbolizes the spiraling pattern of life energy, what yogis refer to as the kundalini. Spiritually, the spiral signifies movement from the secret depths of your center outward into the world at large and back again. It also suggests the soul’s movement from earthly existence upward toward the higher levels of consciousness. We see the symbol echoed in Native American petroglyphs, Celtic art, and Zen gardens.

The unicorn can plunge his long spiraled horn into poisoned waters and cleanse them, so that all earth’s creatures can drink safely and be nourished. His purity is so profound that it affects whatever he touches––no taint or corruption or illness or evil can stand up to the unicorn’s righteousness. Like the Christ (with whom Christian mythology links the unicorn), the unicorn’s purity neutralizes the poisons that afflict the world.

During the medieval period in Europe, as the unicorn myth was gaining popularity among the aristocracy, so was poisoning as a way to rid oneself of one’s enemies. In reaction to the widespread intrigue and murderousness of the times, the unicorn’s horn became recognized as an antidote to evil. The royal classes––and anyone else who could afford to do so––purchased cups supposedly made of unicorn horn, which they believed would safeguard them against the omnipresent threat of poisoning. Most of the “unicorn” horns, however, were actually the spiral-shaped tusks of small Arctic whales known as narwhals.

The noted seventeenth-century English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper, in his Complete Herbal, recommended using unicorn horn in cordials to promote health and healing. As late as 1741, London’s apothecaries sold a powdered form of the horn to sprinkle in your drink for medicinal purposes.


The Lady and the Unicorn

According to mythology, only a virgin can enchant the unicorn. Medieval troubadours, Renaissance painters, and modern-day novelists incorporated this theme into art and literature. Christianity even chose the unicorn as a symbol for Christ and the virgin as his mother, Mary.

Around the end of the eleventh century or so, the unicorn became linked with the concept of Amour courtois or courtly love. This highly structured, formalized code of behavior stated that a male suitor must worship and serve his lady––a woman who, by the way, was usually not his wife. At the time, marriages among the royalty and nobility were arranged for political reasons, and love rarely factored into these matches. Therefore, a man’s passion and erotic love were diverted to another source: a lady of the court whom he promised to honor, obey, and pledge himself. Such idealized romances, however, weren’t supposed to be consummated, as the church considered infidelity a mortal sin. Poets, musicians, and artists began linking the courtly lover with the unicorn and his lady with the virgin to whom the beast is drawn.

A series of tapestries known as “The Unicorn Tapestries” provide the most famous depictions of the myth. Believed to have been woven in Bruges, Belgium between 1495 and 1505, they now hang in the Cloisters of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art––a gift from John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1937. Some sources suggest that the tapestries were originally commissioned to mark the wedding of Anne of Brittany to Louis XII, the king of France. The seven ornate panels––twelve feet wide and up to fourteen feet high––depict men hunting the unicorn, much as European aristocrats might have hunted deer in real life, and contain allegorical imagery from both pagan and Christian mythology.


Denaturing the Unicorn

Today, however, the unicorn has been stripped of its wild, independent, and sometimes fierce nature. Its form has become cutsified, so that it looks like a darling little horse with big eyes and a colorful horn that couldn’t pierce butter. Its animalistic nature has disappeared, along with the lion’s tail and goatish beard it sported in earlier times. Although the unicorns of yesteryear were usually male, females seem to have cornered today’s toy market (even though folklore tells us female unicorns don’t have horns). In short, the unicorn has been tamed––not by legendary virgins, but by the likes of Hasbro and Disney.

The 1940 landmark animated film Fantasia gave us the model for modern-day unicorns. Disney’s adorable creatures frolic across the screen, decked out in bright yellow horns and coats of pink, blue, and lavender. The toy manufacturer Hasbro helped create a huge market for darling little unicorns via its My Little Pony series, plush toys, games, play stations, TV shows, and more.

Yet the mystical unicorn continues to be a most enchanting and beloved entity in the minds of young and old alike. We still love unicorns, and even though they no longer represent power and independence, we value their purity, beauty, and gentleness. Little girls who may know nothing of the old story of the virgin winning over the wild, freedom-loving beast are still drawn to the unicorn, perhaps because, as Nina Shen Rastogi proposed in an article for National Public Radio’s website, “I think for many young girls, there’s a fantasy that someday you will be recognized as the secretly beautiful, magical thing that you are. The unicorn will be attracted to something ineffable about you, secret from the rest of the world.” And as Terry Brooks points out in The Black Unicorn, “After all there has to be some belief in magic––however small––for any world to survive.”


 Unicorns: Myth, Legend, Lore
Unicorns: Myths, Legends, Lore
Adapted from Skye Alexander’s book Unicorns: The Myths, Legends, & Lore. Skye is the author of more than 30 fiction and nonfiction books, many on metaphysical subjects. Visit her website www.skyealexander.com.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Life Jacket, a true story

Dr. Robert Duncan-Enzmann is a veteran, and a hero.


Guided by an ancient ethic embraced by knights of old, he served his country and miraculously escaped death many times. He risked his life protecting many who were charged to his care. This is only one story of this hero's journey. It is not fiction, it is harsh reality. In this story he survives a torpedo attack. Yet stories like this are just a part of the life of Dr. Robert Duncan-Enzmann, who brought to the world a number of scientific and technical ideas which changed all of our lives for the better. 

As told to Roberta Duncan by I R A Sailor
We are assigned to a modern American cruiser just off the ways (‘way’ is the slot a new ship slides down from the shipyard into the world ocean). It is sleek, well-manned, and excellently armed; a greyhound of the sea. We feel sort of invincible, sailing toward where we will be stationed in the south west Pacific.

But!

This is war. I have been sleeping far aft, port side. The first torpedo wakes me with a thump and heavy bump. It hit the starboard side bow. I’m on my feet when the second torpedo takes us starboard side, betwixt bow and mid-ship. A terrible jerk takes me off my feet. Then our ship shudders, shudders, and lists starboard.

How strange are the things one does in an ultimate emergency. We are going down, and it will be fast. I have to get out and quickly, but I take a moment, much less than a minute, to drink lots of water. Then I go up on deck and find, with sheer luck, a really modern life jacket and strap it on.

God! A third torpedo takes us amid-ship, just moments after one of our two destroyed escorts it hit explodes. The mid-ship torpedo must have hit a magazine. Lady luck again, my knees are bent just right so that I am tossed up and over the side.

I am well abow (in front of) my ship which is now listing some 200 and plunging sternward. Many seamen, though not a majority in life jackets, swim desperately. The ones in life jackets do most of the screaming, as most of the ones near the ship are sucked down and die.
Even I, well abow, am sucked toward the death peal, but the plunge is over just before I arrive, and is now just a shallow whirlpool.

The ship is gone. The sharks arrive. Regular waves of the southern trade winds are running, I recon, about three feet high. Sharks some way off get a couple of sailors. I wish the submarine that got us would take some prisoners, it doesn’t surface at all. A guy swims past me, says lots of us are getting together to make noise and keep the sharks away. You should come to safety. I don’t believe him. I’m right.  

I float like a buoy. Ha, ha! Too much ass. Such awful screams and curses, and prayers to be saved. I even see the bloody mess as the sharks feast. The guys, some of em, fight with knives and poles, but it’s useless. I hang in the water, glad I am upwind and updrift from them. A shark comes near me so I release packets of dye. The shark dislikes the smell and veers off to the big feast.

Wave trains go one way, wind currents another way, a current just below the surface goes in a third direction. Before the sharks go away, some of them rip each other apart. I’m guessing it’s the sharks the seamen stabbed and cut with their knives. Pieces of life jackets float by. I get many packets of dye and keep them, but find only one little bottle of water.

If I make it I’m going to invent a really good life jacket. It will have a helmet you can pull up over your head, so as not to fall asleep and have your face fall forward, and after a few times, drown.

Night falls, then after a long starry night, day break and dawn. I shit diarrhea that costs water. Slowly I wash myself clean so as not to get sores. And then there’s another sailor in a really good jacket like mine. He says only a few things. “Hi, lucky day, big eel I’ll catch and knife him. Damn! It bit me. I tingle all over, dizzy….”

I have read about them, but have never seen one before. They are sea snakes, poisonous as cobras – cobras that went to live in the warm tropical oceans. The guy trembles, shivers, can’t talk and as I hold on to him, is soon dead. The snake he thought was an eel has gone away. I search his pockets and jacket, finding a little bottle of water where they are often put in life jacket pockets, and a wallet. It is all right to do this, and I do it right. I take his life jacket, but leave his crucifix. God will like my saying a prayer for him best as I can by adding to Now I lay me down to sleep. God will know I did my best.

I used to think that people drifting to the bottom of the sea were buried in mud and became fossils. That is nice to think, but it doesn’t happen. Things down there the size of germs eat everything, even bones. But his clothes and crucifix will remain.

After I get his dye packets and the water, with a huge effort I tie the extra life jacket behind my head. It is a big help holding my head up. My fingers are wrinkled. My sisters, doing laundry, used to call that ‘witches fingers’, saying that the soap drew the water out. It’s not that way. The water is going into my skin, so that is good. If I drink salt water I will soon die. 

Then on the evening of the second day, about sunset time, a great tree trunk with branches and knobs sticking out drifts near me. Its really white, no bark, and covered with small barnacles, so its drifted a long time. I really test it, work hard testing it to see if it will roll. It won’t roll and pull me under. My good luck; one side, and its few branches, insist on being on the side that is up and out of the water.

I thank God. I can rest my head on a V in the white  branches and really sleep. Then rested I wiggle up amidst the branches to where I can be mostly out of the water, but always cool. I will die if I sweat. I caught a minnow then ate it with a bit of candy, and drank some of the precious water. Thank goodness I have a hat. For a time I am feeling better.

It’s delicious, lucid dreaming. I do lots of that. I see many beautiful things. I do lots of thinking about thinking. I worked it all out. No one has done that before, but I have worked it out, and often stop to have a lucid dream, then work out more and more about thinking about thinking. There is music thinking – remembering music. Things said come back over and over between lucid dreams, like hurry up or we will be late. Worries come, but I keep from doing that. Dressing up in military dress jumper, eating and drinking. Lots of that. Lots more, but I am losing – have lost track – of time, so I drink the last of the water, have the last wax paper wrapped piece of candy.

I have drifted onto a beach, some sailors say that I was caught in the branches still alive. I hear ‘give him some water.’ I sip, again and again from water the sailors give me. That’s good, but I want to go back to dreaming, so I do. A truck comes and soon I’m in a hospital, so I fall out of the beautiful dream into real sleep. I woke up to hear a Navy Nurse saying to me, ‘Hi. Glad you have come back.’ In a few days I am talking again, but only remember a little about the different ways of thinking I worked out so well when drifting. And the lucid dreaming that was so comfortingly beautiful as I drifted – I can’t’ do any more. It guess really sleeping stops it. 

Then I have one more thought. Being picked up by the Japanese would have been death, either real soon, dumped off the sub with a weight tied to my feet, or months later as a slave worker.

Coming by Roberta Duncan: 
AMAZON STATION
             as told by I R A Sailor
PINEAPPLE ISLAND
             as told by I.R.A.Sailor
COLD WATER

              as told by I.R.A.Sailor

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Secrets of the Mermaids



 
The Little Mermaid, Maxwell Ashby Armfield, 1913
Great stories of ancient seafaring people are told all around the world. Along with them, legends about mermaids have been told throughout the ages; folklore is replete with mer-people. A story from 1430 AD tells of two young girls who saved a mermaid and took her home. The amazing mer-woman, who spun and wove with great skill, is a reference to the spinsters of 12,500 BC. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, written in 1797 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is a modern example of literature based on our ancient ancestors of the sea. Another well-known story is The Little Mermaid, a film by Walt Disney which has all the classic elements of mermaid legends.

Like other children’s story characters, mermaids have roots in ancient history. There are many details about them which help us trace their origin. Their hair color ranges from silver-blonde, to light brown, to strawberry blonde, and they are described as having green or blue-green eyes. These factors indicate they are likely descendants of the Indo-European Maglemosians, ancestors of the Fair Folk, later called Fairies. According to Duncan-Enzmann, The Little Mermaid as made popular by Hans Christian Anderson in 1873 is a fairy tale that originated in a culture of prehistoric mariners, during the Neanderthal wars of 42,000 BC. He describes these stories as tales of tremendous courage – accounts of adults sacrificing themselves to protect their children.

Mermaid means sea-maid or sea-woman, and could be derived from French or German for “sea” or Saxon for “merry maid.” Merpeople are evident in early religions of the world. The Philistine god Dagon from 2500 BC, (Dag = fish, oan = noah), and the Syrian god Atargis were images of gods that were half man and half fish. In Syria they are called Kukullu, which means fish-man. These fish-men also show up in Mesopotamian and Babylonian history; the fish-god Oannes was a Babylonian god who lived at sea and instructed art and agriculture on land by day. Sumerians and Assyrians depicted bearded human figures with a fish-body hanging off their heads, down their backs to their toes like a cape. Merpeople images and sculptures are found in Assyrian, Babylonian, and Mesopotamian art and temples.
Dagon, M. Snyder
Folklore of sea dwelling people is found all around the world, and have a variety of names and descriptions. Hispanic folklore describes water maidens as small human-shaped beings with stars on their heads and golden hair. The star alludes to their mastery of astronomy, and their golden hair is symbolic of the sun. In Polynesian symbolism fish-people are divided vertically. Native Americans have a legend of a fish-man with green hair who led them from a land where they were starving to the North American continent. Mermen have green hair in Greek mythology. In Japan the sea maids are known as ninayo: mermaids who ward off bad luck and protect the land with peace. To the Germans the mermaid was the Lorelei (meriminni); in Iceland, the marmell. Denmark had the maremind, India the matsyranaris. Mer-people appear to be distant relatives of the Nereids of the Mediterranean. Their legends are found in vast numbers along the coasts of the Atlantic – at the west coast of Cornwall, the coast of the British Isles, northern Scotland, and the fjords of Scandinavia and Ireland. Some say these images represent pagans banished by Saint Patrick. They are connected with Saint Margaret, who triumphed over the sea, and Aphrodite and Mirlan - both born of the sea.

       Vishnu, Indian                 Melucine, European                                        Triton, Greek
          ca. 1500 BC                              ca. 400 AD                                                       ca. 340 BC

Mer-people speak their own language, but also speak the language of land-dwellers. They have the ability to change their tails into legs to visit land. One Syrian story records that if a merman and a human wife have a baby, the child will know the language of both the Earth and Sea – of farming and navigation – not unlike children born into a multi-lingual household who grow up speaking more than one language.

Images of mermaids tell us much about them. The Loudun mermaid (left) holds what could be construed as a mirror, as is common with mermaid lore. Looking more closely, one can see the cross symbol of direction within it, suggesting it is more likely a lens, indicating astronomical mastery. The “comb” also common in mermaid and siren imagery is a calendric (Duncan-Enzmann).

If a mermaid or merman is discovered and caught, legend says that by obtaining an object belonging to them, one can keep them from returning to the sea until the object, a coveted prize, is returned or retrieved. Mermaids are described as living underwater in riches and splendor. Mermaids and mermen are associated widely with things of the sea and they are linked to the sea and its behavior. Related to elementals and water spirits, they appear before storms and disasters strike, or can raise a tempest. They also gather the souls of the dead, keeping them in underwater cages. Legends say that they wreck enemy ships if one of their own kind is wounded, boarding the vessels at night, and weighing the ships down, so that they sink. In Greenland, they are associated with the Kraken. Mer-people are not found only in the ocean; they can penetrate streams and fresh water lakes, and reside near sacred fountains. 

Unknown Russian artist, 1886
The skill to accurately predict astronomical events using charts and algorithms which the average person could not understand gave merpeople the reputation of being magical. Some mer-people were caught and held for ransom: Their wisdom and their knowledge of astronomy and natural science were unsurpassed, and it was this knowledge and wisdom that was of such great value. Knowledge associated with navigation such as astronomy, longitude, currents, and mapping was kept secret. Although captured mer-people could not refuse to keep a bargain, they were considered tricky and dangerous to deal with.

Sirens, Edward Burne-Jones, 1875

Mer-people generally kept to the sea. Mermen rarely married mortal women, and when they did, they took their wives from land to the sea. Some mermaids fell in love with human males, who, then enchanted, did whatever they could to marry the beautiful creatures.

Sirens are mermaids with two tails. They are great musicians, singers, and dancers, who embody the power of song-magic: A rude sea grows civil when they sing. Legends associate them with fatal attraction – they can lure a young man to his death by singing him to sleep. A siren will kidnap an enchanted man for love; she may live with him forever, or she might kill him.


La fée Mélusine (the fairy Melucine), Julius Hübner

Many legends and historic accounts tell of the siren Fairy queen Melucine (or Melusine), who lived around 400 AD. She was the daughter of Fairy Queen Pressyne and King Elynas, king of Albania. Her father treated Pressyne badly and also imprisoned Melucine. History and legend are entangled and records differ, but some indicate that Melucine later fell in love with a mortal and lived with him for a while on land. As a result of this she turned into a serpent every Saturday, or in some tales she became a fish-woman. She agreed to marry her lover on one condition; that he would promise never to see her on that day. In his curiosity, or perhaps out of suspicion, the careless husband was caught breaking the contract and Melucine returned to the sea, leaving him and her children on land. In spite of the scandal and mystery surrounding the famous siren, many monarchies go to great lengths and expense to have their genealogies traced to her family.

These elusive creatures are associated with water, and today symbolize the unconscious, wisdom, and lymphatic temperament. Mermaids are popular today in the world of art and fashion design, and the hunt goes on for proof of their existence.

P.T. Barnum’s mermaid hoax, mid 1800’s



About Symbologist Michelle Snyder


Michelle is a professor of mythology and symbolism, an author, blogger, artist, and geek. She earned her post-graduate degree at the University of Wales, decoding prehistoric images and folklore, tracing them to their roots. Her artwork has appeared in galleries from MA to CA. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.
     Books by Michelle, available at Amazon:

  Symbology:
Symbology ReVision: Unlocking Secret Knowledge  
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: My Art and Symbols 
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered 
Symbology: Decoding Classic Images 
Symbology: World of Symbols 

Fantasy:
A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book One - The Lost Unicorn
A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book Two - The Lost Mermaid
A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book Three - The Lost Dragon
The Fairy Tales: Once-Upon-A-Time Lessons First Book
Call of the Dragon and Other Tales of Wonder








Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Caduceus vs Asclepius


Cadeucus - M. Snyder
The caduceus evolved as a symbol long before ancient Egypt where the winged rod with two serpents entwined was imaged with the Egyptian god Hermes. The title "Hermes Trismegistus" or "Thrice Great" implies that he knew how to use three (thrice) pillars for astronomical reading, and calculating longitude, distance, and elevation; the Hermetic tradition traces their roots to him. Later in Roman mythology the caduceus is seen with Mercury, the messenger of the gods. Today the planetary symbol for Mercury is a representation of the caduceus. Mercury presides over commerce, and his rod, the caduceus, has become a symbol of commercial success. From this symbol came the royal orb and scepter, which embody the concepts of knowledge, health, and leadership - qualities attributed to those who could measure and record the movements of the heavens.

The caduceus is associated with order. The word caduceus is from the Greek  for herald's staff, based on the word eruko, meaning restrain, control.  A legend from 1688 tells this story: 
In Acadia, Apollo found two serpents biting each other. He thrust the rod between the quarreling snakes; they became immediately reconciled and wrapped around the staff.

Subsequently the staff came to be seen as a rod of peace, and is carried by messengers as a symbol of peace and protection. The United States House of Representatives has a staff with a caduceus on top which is used to restore order when chaos enters House proceedings.

The caduceus has its beginning in pre-history, earlier than 12,000 BC, when Ashera poles were used for astronomical observations to measure movement of the stars, and to establish a north/south line; an early surveyor’s tool. Placed in the ground, the rods were used to align the stones with the heavenly bodies. The ashera pole’s line of site between earth and sky became the central rod of the caduceus - the axis mundi, representing the axis of the earth which runs between the North and South Poles, a symbol of the path between Earth and Heaven. 


The Longman of Wilmington, 8200 BC, with  ashera poles denoting the equinox.
The globe atop the rod depicts a beautiful polished globe atop the Ashera pole; the reflection of the sun off the globe allowed it to be seen from a great distance in any direction, facilitating accurate alignment. (This is similar to the sun reflecting off the rear windshield of a car, shining in your eyes no matter which lane you are in.) 

The wings adorning the pole and globe have their roots in a symbol for true north, which at that time was the star Deneb in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. Cygnus is the basis for many bird mythologies, and as such the wings of the caduceus also represent the stork bringing a new baby to Earth, as well as Eider ducks comforting the child with warm down, and the goose and swan eating poisonous snakes, protecting the child. If a child died, the swan escorted the tiny soul up the axis mundi, to heaven. Wings are also a symbol for transcendence, moving time, and the connection with the heavenly. 

The snakes around the rod represent ancient mariners, the Vanir, who were at one time referred to as the “snake-headed people”. Later associations to the snakes around the caduceus developed around 4000 BC, when along with owls and cats, non-poisonous snakes protected the stores of grain from rodent infestation, making friends of the old poisonous enemies; the cats of the Celtic goddess Freya have their roots in these protectors of the grain. In alchemy during the 14th and 15th century, the entwined serpents symbolize opposites in dualism, in perfect union, linking the caduceus symbol to alchemy, perhaps leading to its association with medicine.


Development of the symbol - M. Snyder and Duncan-Enzmann
Aesculapius - M. Snyder
Although the winged rod with serpents entwined commonly appears as a medical symbol, a more accurate image for this purpose would be the Aesculapius rod, a rod with a single snake wrapped around it, a symbol derived from the method Dr. Aesculapius (1200 BC) found as a cure for a condition where parasitic worms were present under the skin. He discovered that the worms would attach to a stick through a slit in the skin, and he could wind them around it, removing them. The physician Aesculapius came to be worshiped as a god of healing. Temples, called aesculapions, developed; people believed they could be healed merely by sleeping in them.  The rod of Aesculapius symbol is similar to the description of the serpent Moses held up before the Israelites (Numbers 21:6-9), and is commonly used by veterinarians, medical and nurses associations, Medical Corps, and health organizations. The classic caduceus is also found on everything from ambulances and nurses’ pins to tubes of toothpaste, but is more accurately a symbol of commerce and the “order of business”. 


About Symbologist Michelle Snyder


Michelle is a professor of mythology and symbolism, an author, blogger, artist, and geek. She earned her post-graduate degree at the University of Wales, decoding prehistoric images and folklore, tracing them to their roots. Her artwork has appeared in galleries from MA to CA. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.
     Books by Michelle, available at Amazon:

    Symbology:


Symbology ReVision: Unlocking Secret Knowledge  
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: My Art and Symbols 
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered 
Symbology: Decoding Classic Images 
Symbology: World of Symbols 


 Fairy Tales: 


A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book One - The Lost Unicorn
A Tale of Three Kingdoms: Book Two - The Lost Mermaid
The Fairy Tales: Once-Upon-A-Time Lessons First Book