Definition: the symbol of the American Medical profession; two snakes wrapped/intertwined around a pole
Origin: According to Greek myth, Apollo killed his unfaithful mortal lover named Coronis. After her death, Apollo discovered that she was pregnant, and he had Hermes deliver the baby. The child was named Aesculapius. Aesculapius was trained to become a healer, and over time, he became the god of medicine Aesculapius became so skilled with medicine that he succeeded in bringing one of his patients back from the dead. Zeus felt that the immortality of the Gods was threatened and killed [him] with a thunderbolt. Aesculapius was placed among the stars [and was named] Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer. Aesculapius, as a healer, carried around a staff with two serpents coiled around it and wings on the top. The wings on the staff are related to the wings that Hermes wore on his shoes to deliver messages quickly. The two serpents represent worms coiled around a stick. In ancient times, infection by parasitic worms was common. Physicians treated this infection by cutting a slit in the patient's skin. Just as the worm crawled out the cut, the physician wound the pest around a stick until the entire animal has been removed. This staff, held by Aesculapius, was later evolved into the Caduceus, the American medical symbol. Another story says that the Caduceus was a"white wand carried by Roman heralds when they went to treat for peace. [The wand was then] placed in the hands of Hermes, the heralds of the gods. With the wand he could give sleep to whomsoever he chose. This is related to the medical field because doctors cure people by giving them sleep.The Greeks called the staff [of Hermes (Mercury)] a kerykeion, from the Greek word for messenger. In Latin, the language of the Romans, the word was changed to caduceus.
Origin: Hermes was considered the messenger of the gods, and therefore he relates to speech and communication. He explained, created, and interpreted the many languages of man. The rising of many different languages caused a separation of people on earth. This is shown in the myth "Hermes and the Babelisation of Language". Men for many centuries before lived without town or laws, speaking one tongue under the rule of Jove [Zeus]. But after Mercurius [Hermes] had explained [or created] the languages of men (whence he is called ermeneutes, 'interpreter', for Mercurius in Greek is called Ermes; he too, divided the nations), then discord arose among mortals, which was not pleasing to Jove [Zeus].
Along with being the messenger god, Hermes was the god of the birds of omen. He could separate the birds of omen from those idly-chatting and interpret their divine messages. He was given this power to differ between these birds by Zeus. From heaven father Zeus himself gave confirmation to his words, and commanded that glorious Hermes should be lord over all birds of omen.
Definition: relating to the mystical and alchemical writings or teaching; tightly sealed.
Origin: The Greeks believed that the god Hermes founded both alchemy and astrology. He was a combination of Thoth, the god of knowledge, and Hermes, the Greek god of magicians. Hermes was present in the story of the Emerald Tablet. It has several translations, but in the Newton translation, it describes the creation of the world. The conclusion of the tablet states: "Hence am I called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world. That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended. In the story of Corpus Hermeticum, he creates [many] animals of Earth after traveling through the seven levels of reality. Besides from nature, the teachings in this story relate to alchemy. For example, the difference of objects and the principle of cause and effect.Also in other stories, Hermes seemed to be able to magically seal a box or chest in such a way that it could never be opened; therefore, creating the meaning of Hermetic: tightly sealed. One formula [in the Hermetic Books] told how to seal a container so that no air could get in. Today we don't claim to seal [objects] by any magical method, but all airtight containers are called hermetic or hermetically sealed in Hermes' honor.
Definition: a food, drug, etc., which stimulates sexual desire
Origin: Hephaestus, the god of the forge, felt lucky to have Aphrodite as his wife. Aphrodite was considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. However, Hephaestus was considered the ugliest of the gods. Therefore, he felt unworthy of having Aphrodite as his wife. To show his affection for her, Hephaestus created a magic girdle, also known as "cestus." Whenever Aphrodite wore the cestus she became irresistibly desirable to all men. The word aphrodisiac is derived from how desirable Aphrodite appeared to men. An aphrodisiac inspires desire, just as Aphrodite inspired desire with her beauty.
Definition: Bending or turning in a particular direction under the influence of light; turning towards the light/sun (usually plants)
Origin: The god of the sun was named Helios. The prefix "helio-" is used in a number of words having to do with the sun... A more common example involves a flower which turns constantly towards the sun. The most common flower of this sort is called, in straightforward English, the "sun-flower." A less common example is the "heliotrope," which, in Greek, means "turn toward the sun" Clytie, who was in love was Helios, was despairing because Helios loved Leukothoe. She lay on the ground for nine days with no food or drink and there on the ground she stayed; she only gazed upon her god's bright face as he rode by, and turned her head to watch him cross the sky. She molded into the ground and became the heliotrope flower. Though rooted fast, towards the sun she turns; her shape is changed, but still her passion burns.
Definition: a prominent open cluster of stars in the constellation Taurus, usually spoken of as seven; a group of seven illustrious persons
Origin: In Greek Mythology, the Pleiades were the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. They were also the virgin followers of Artemis. A hunter named Orion saw the Pleiads while he was hunting and fell in love. He chased them, and eventually they asked to be transformed to escape Orion. Artemis was so mad that she commanded her brother, Apollo, to send a scorpion after Orion. After Orion died, Zeus placed him in the sky as a constellation behind the Pleiads, the scorpion still chasing him.. The Pleiades' names have been given to several of the brightest stars. Their names are: Alcyone or Halcyone, Asterope or Sterope, Celæno, Electra, Maia, Merope, and Taygete or Taygeta.
Definition: of or relating to battle or war; military; of a characteristic, attribute, etc.: typical of or suitable for a warrior or soldier
Origin: When Ares was born, he kicked almost as though he would boot the stars out of the sky. They didn't know what Ares, or Mars in Roman mythology, was to be the god of. They organized a birthday party for Ares. Zeus didn't have anything to give so he sent Hermes, who found a broken part of a brooch Hephaestus made. Ares really liked the brooch, but then Hera wanted it, so Hera took it. Ares was really upset. He threw a tantrum and tossed things around. Then, Aphrodite walked in and Ares wanted her.However, Hephaestus wanted her too, and Zeus said he was going to give Hephaestus anything he wanted to, so Hephaestus got Aphrodite. Ares was screaming and throwing a fit again, so Zeus boomed out that Ares was the god of 'hate! discord! war! Let that be your birthright, Ares! What else are you fit for?' The word 'martial' comes from Mars, Ares in Greek mythology, the god of war.