Meaning in Tarot
Maybe I’m stretching the limits a bit by adding the caduceus symbol meaning in Tarot to the growing dictionary of symbols here because the appearance of the caduceus varies from deck to deck. For example: The Rider version shows the caduceus in the two of cups card, but I’ve seen other decks feature this symbol on different cards.
Nevertheless, the caduceus is worthy of inclusion in the Tarot because of its messages of balancing duality. The two serpents circling the staff of Hermes are symbolic of co-mingling together for a unified understanding – an equilibrium of polarities.
This is a statement of sexuality because the staff is considered phallic in esoteric symbolism. Snakes are sometimes considered male too, but some cultures view it as feminine. The symbol is seen in alchemy with one serpent representing sulfur (male) and the other representing quicksilver (female). The center focal point is the golden rod of wisdom pertaining to the union of opposites with a goal to achieve harmony in duality.
The caduceus symbol meaning in Tarot deals with:
- Good judgment
Whichever gender you assign to these serpents in the Tarot, their spiraling upwards is a message of cooperation and joining two points of view together for the sake of a common Vision.
Serpents in general are symbolic of renewal because they shed their skin. Ancient naturalists observed how clean, bright and shiny snakes are after shedding, so they became representatives of transformation, purification and sloughing off the old to embrace the new. This has spiritual connotations as well.
In the Tarot, the two of cups reinforces the presence of choice. As we’re dealing with the suit of cups, the choice could be to join forces in romantic (sexual) partnerships. It could also be a message of purification and cleansing for reasons mentioned in the above paragraph.
Historically, the caduceus is commonly viewed as a Greek symbol of Hermes (Mercury in Roman myth) and is a magical symbol fortifying blessings upon travel, commerce, and philanthropy.
The caduceus symbol should not be confused with the staff of Asclepius which features only one serpent (not two). The staff of Asclepius is associated with healing and Dr. Carl Jung established it as a modern emblem of integrity in the medical field because Asclepius was a great healing god in ancient Greece.