What does the medical symbol symbolize

Snake doctor. Symbol of medicine - bowl with a snake: the origins, the meaning

There are some of the most famous medical emblems, each with its own origin and meaning.

Asclepius' staff

Asclepius' staff is a famous medical symbol. It is shown in the form of a sticky stick with a snake looped upside down. This emblem comes from ancient Greece around the 8th century BC.

According to legend, the patron saint of medicine Asclepius (in Roman mythology -), who was of divine origin, was an experienced doctor and could even raise the dead. Once he was invited to the palace of the Cretan King Minos to resuscitate his dead son. Asclepius went, leaning on a staff with a snake wrapped around it. He was startled and killed her, but suddenly a second snake appeared with a plant in its mouth. With this grass she raised the dead. Asclepius, realizing that this plant heals, collected it and revived the king's son.

Bowl with a snake

A bowl with a snake is the most famous medical symbol. Her images first appeared around 800-600 BC. Chr. On. Initially, the bowl and the serpent were attributes of Hygea - the daughter of Aesculapius, who held them in different hands.

As a result, this emblem was long forgotten. And it was not until the 16th century that the bowl with the snake became a medical symbol upon suggestion. According to various assumptions, the snake is a symbol of wisdom, knowledge and immortality, as well as the healing properties of its poison, which was widely used in medicine at the time. A bowl is a receptacle for your storage.


Caduceus - the staff of the Greek messenger of the gods Hermes (in the myths of ancient Rome - Mercury). He is depicted as a staff with wings entwined by two snakes. Snakes are a symbol of interaction and the balance of opposites. In ancient Rome, the caduceus also symbolized virtue and mystery.

For a long time it was used as a sign protecting commercial or political correspondence. Now it is the symbol of trade and medicine.

Red Cross

In 1859 the Swiss Henri Dunant traveled through Italy, where he witnessed the Battle of Solferino. Army medicine did not do its job because they did not have a landmark that could be identified during the battle. As a result, several thousand wounded soldiers were left unaided on the battlefield after the battle.

In 1863, at the International Conference in Geneva, the symbol of the Red Cross on a white background was recognized as a sign of support for the wounded military. A year later it was recognized as a mark of the medical service of the armed forces.

Star of life

The star of life is depicted as a blue snowflake. This sign appeared in the USA, where it is called the "Star of Life". The Star of Life is an ambulance emblem controlled by the American Medical Association and the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. This is the "youngest" medical symbol, it has only been used since February 1, 1977.

Each life star ray characterizes its own function of the rescue service: Recognize, warn, react, help on site, help with transport, transport to aftercare. Asclepius' staff is usually depicted in their midst.

Asclepius' staff. One of the oldest symbols in medicine is the staff of Asclepius - a blunt staff that is entwined with a snake. The appearance of this symbol goes back to the 8th century. BC Asklepius in ancient Greek mythology and Aesculapius in ancient Roman mythology are the gods of medicine and healing. According to the myth, Asclepius was originally born of humans and raised by the centaur Chiron. It was Chiron who taught Asclepius healing. The student turned out to be very talented, surpassing both his teacher and other mortals in this art. Once the famous healer was invited to the palace of the Cretan king Minos to resuscitate his dead son. Asclepius suddenly saw a snake in his staff and killed it. Another snake immediately appeared with medicinal herbs in its mouth and raised the dead. Asclepius used this grass and raised the dead. The appearance of a snake in this legend is no accident. For many ancient peoples, the serpent was a symbol of wisdom and power, it played the role of the keeper of the hearth, and was also a creature capable of regaining youth.

In the middle of the twentieth century. At its first meeting in Geneva, the World Health Organization approved the image of Asclepius employees as an international health emblem. The Asclepius staff against a background of blue “snowflakes” is today's symbol of emergency medical care in the USA. The name of this emblem is "Star of Life". Each of the rays of the star marks one of the functions of the rescue service: detection, notification, reaction, help on site, transport assistance, transport for further assistance.

Snake and bowl. A bowl with a snake is the most common medical symbolism in our country. The first pictures of a bowl with a snake date from 800 - 600 years. BC These were the attributes of the goddess Higey - the daughter of Asklepius. She held a cup in one hand and a snake in the other. The bowl was a very valuable symbol. This is fresh water pouring from the sky into the arid desert lands of the Old East and palm trees folded to catch drops of this water. Water treatment was an ancient tradition in ancient Eastern medicine.

It is believed that the image of the bowl entwined with a snake did not appear until the 16th century. Thanks to the famous doctor Paracelsus. It is possible that the snake symbolized wisdom, knowledge and immortality. In addition, the mug is linked to a snake through a story of poisons and antidotes. Medicines often had a complex composition and contained snake venom, which was stored in special bowls. Many doctors and philosophers of ancient Greece and ancient Rome wrote about the therapeutic effects of snake venom. It is the bowl with the snake in our time that is a symbol of the pharmacy. It should be noted, however, that the serpent on Asklepius' staff has been considered a serpent since ancient times. And in the centers of the Asklepius cult they always got dinner. It was believed that it was very useful for patients to touch them, for the god Asclepius himself appeared in the form of a serpent. That is, if we are talking about the snake that is present in almost every medical symbolism and that comes from the staff of Asclepius, then it is a non-poisonous reptile.

Red Cross. The youngest, newest of the medical symbols. It was recognized in Geneva in 1863 as the symbol of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The committee was founded by the Swiss Henri Dunant. The red cross on a white background is a negative copy of the Swiss flag (originally this emblem had no religious meaning) - a striking symbol of support for wounded soldiers. A year later it was recognized as a mark of the medical service of the armed forces. During the Russo-Turkish Balkan War in 1876, the Ottoman Empire preferred to use a red crescent moon on a white background instead of a red cross (since the red cross evoked negative associations with the Crusaders). Other countries followed, where the majority of the population professed Islam. At the Diplomatic Conference in 1929, a red crescent moon on a white background was recognized as a mark of medical facilities and formations. On December 8, 2005, the signatory states to the Geneva Convention adopted the third additional protocol, which introduced an additional emblem - the red crystal. This emblem has no religious, cultural or political meaning, has the same legal status as the Red Cross and the Red Crescent and, under the same conditions, can be temporarily used by national societies and medical services of the armed forces in place of the usual emblem to improve protection. Despite the fact that the committee's emblem is currently a combination of a red cross, a red crescent moon and a red crystal, the use of the red cross as a general medical emblem is prohibited. The official ICRC emblem should only be used as a symbol of salvation in the event of hostilities and emergencies, so that the emblem does not become known and does not become something everyday.

Caduceus. Another symbol that comes from ancient Greece and resembles the staff of Asklepius is Caduceus. This is the staff of Hermes (among the Romans - Mercury) - the messenger of the gods. Two snakes circle the staff and symbolize two opposites - light and darkness, good and bad, death and life. According to legend, Hermes reconciled two fighting reptiles with his rod. Interestingly, this symbol initially had nothing to do with medicine. It was used by parliamentarians when they marched into an enemy camp - it played the same role as the white flag. Caduceus was a sign that protected the secret of commercial or political correspondence. Today it is the landmark of the Federal Health Insurance Fund.

Origin of the snake and bowl symbol

The origin of the medical emblem - a bowl entwined with a snake - has been lost in ancient times. Over the centuries of its development, medicine has had many different emblems, but this image is the most commonly used. The image of the snake has long drawn people's attention. In a primitive society, during the matriarchy when there was an animal cult, the snake was considered sacred, and in ancient times it embodied power, wisdom and knowledge, as evidenced by the folklore of the peoples of all continents. Ancient legends attribute the ability to snakes to understand the conversation of herbs and recognize their healing powers. In many stories of different nations the snake was considered a symbol of wisdom, tasted snake meat, they said, acquired the gift of clairvoyance.

For example, in Russian fairy tales it was said that a person who eats the heart of a snake can even master the language of animals, birds and herbs, which was considered great wisdom in ancient times. In Russian folk medicine, they treated snake venom and snake meat. Snake venom was considered a therapeutic and preservative agent. In myths, ancient legends, the snake accompanies the image of the healing gods: Thoth - the god of Egyptian doctors, Asclepius - the Greek god of healing (Aesculapius), etc. For many peoples this animal has long been a symbol of vigilance and caution, i.e. . H. For these properties that are required by the doctor.

In the oldest images of the medical emblem, the snake appears without a shell. The bowl appeared later. It symbolized the birth of life, life itself, the protection of life and the struggle for life. In ancient times, diseases were treated with water, herbs and animal products. The bowl also acted as an object with magical healing power, symbolizing the existence of a good healing principle. In slave states, the chalice played an important role in ritual sacrifices. In ancient Egypt, in ancient Greece, the bowl symbolized the protection of health and the affirmation of life. In ancient mythology, they drank the drink of immortality from the cup of the gods.

At first the cup and the snake were depicted separately, then they were merged at the beginning of the 17th century.

In the modern medical emblem, the snake represents wisdom, knowledge and immortality, and the chalice is a vessel for medicinal poison. The leading place in the emblem: belongs to the snake, and the cup has an additional meaning and cannot serve separately as an emblem of medicine.

According to one version, the origin of the bowl with a snake as a symbol of medicine is linked to the history of poisons and antidotes. Medicines usually consisted of many components, including snake venom, which were stored in special bowls. Descriptions of the miraculous powers of snake venom can be found in many works by doctors and philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome. The notorious Aristotle studied poisons of animal origin, including the snake. Cleopatra (1st century BC), the last queen of Alexandria, was steeped in the study of snake venom, though she chose a very cruel way of studying - she tested it on her slaves. Nicander Colophonius (III c.) A famous Greek doctor described the effects of snake venom and pointed out the composition of antidotes.
Snake venom was most widely used as a medicine in the Middle Ages and up until the 19th century. He was part of many antidotes - "teriacs". In addition, it was believed that the liver and snake fat cleanse the blood and the snake soup gives courage.

However, in our time, snake venom is part of many medicines.

The snake surrounding the chalice is still considered a symbol of medicine and pharmacy, but in the history of medical development in different countries, another symbol is more common - the snake surrounding the staff, this symbol is called


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Meaning of the snake symbol

The snake is a symbolic animal with a double valuation. In many archaic cultures it is viewed as a symbol of the underworld and the realm of the dead, probably because of its way of life in sheltered places and in holes in the ground, but also because of its ability to seemingly rejuvenate by skinning. It moves without legs, hatches from eggs like a bird, and can kill with poisonous teeth. Life and death are symbolically tied into this image of a reptile that is so peculiar that there are hardly any cultures that have not paid attention to the snake. In the Bible she is the personification of the devil in paradise. At the same time, it is the "metal serpent" that Moses wakes up in the desert, an example of the crucified Savior. Aaron's staff also turns into a serpent to the detriment of the Egyptian sorcerers. The snake surrounding the earth (Yermungand, Midgarod) is like the Egyptian giant snake Apophis, which threatens the boat of the sun god, the North German symbol of the sea around the earth.

Strange interpretations of the symbol come from the late antique (early Christian) "physiologist" who first reported the "rejuvenation" of the snake as the skin peeled off (a person should also shake off "the advanced age of the world" and rejuvenate in order to strive for eternal life ) that the serpent quenching thirst in spring leaves the poison in its hole in order to preserve the purity of the water (the same person devoted to eternal pleasure should leave the poison of his sin). It was further stated that the snake only bites clothed people and avoids the naked; Therefore, a person must take off the “fig leaf of sin” as an old man's garb and “expose himself to sin” so that evil cannot seize it. After all, the snake in danger only protects its head and replaces the rest of the body. A person should only protect his head and not betray it, this is Christ, and sacrifice his body as a martyr.

From a symbolic point of view, a snake biting its own tail (Greek uroboros) is of particular importance as a symbol of eternal return in a cyclical form or as a whole. In the symbolism of alchemy it plays the role of a symbol for cyclical processes (evaporation, compression, evaporation - repeated repetition), while the stage of "sublimation" is often indicated by wings. From a symbolic point of view, the negative role of the snake is primarily the danger of its poisonous bite, which is why animals that kill snakes (eagles, storks, hawks) receive the role of carriers of positive characters. In older myth systems, the mysterious positive aspect of the serpent, which is associated with the earth and the underworld, is also known. For example, a domestic snake can be the embodiment of the blessings of the souls of the ancestors (the snakes in the crown that feed on milk appear in many folk tales), they also play a role in beliefs related to healing and resurrection (the viper -Aesculapius, god of healing Asclepius) (see Caduceus). The battle-ready serpent Ureus, a cobra, was the personification of the pharaoh's crown in ancient Egypt and spat on his enemies with poison, it also circled the solar disk.

In the pre-Columbian cultures of Central America, the snake (among the Aztecs - the mantle) plays the role of the sign of the fifth calendar day. The rating for everyone born under this symbol is overwhelmingly negative, as the snake is considered homeless and poor. For example, people following this sign are traveling merchants and the military who are relocated without permanent residence. On the contrary, clad in the green feathers of the quetzal bird, the divine image of Quetzalcoatl has great religious meaning while obviously combining the symbolic birds and snakes that link heaven and earth as a dual system. In Maya this image was named after Kukulkan.

The polarity of the bird / snake is shown, among other things, in the coat of arms of Mexico City (Aztec Techochtitlan), in which an eagle with a snake in its claws sits on a cactus. This combination is universally meaningful as a symbol of opposites and their connection (cf. M. Lurker "Eagle and the Snake", 1982).

In Goethe's prose entitled "Tales", the snake is a symbol of the expansion of embodied humanity. But traditionally the fear of the snake prevails, which psychoanalysis interprets as fear of the "phallic symbol" and which in ancient representations is mythically transferred to the basilisk and the dragon.

In esoteric systems of Asian origin, the coiled serpent “Kundalini” is a symbol for life energy, which should be awakened and increased through meditation. (See crocodile).

Snake beings, semi-divine Nagas, play an important role in ancient Indian symbolism as "guardians of the earth's treasures". These good and happy demons in the image of people with snake bodies are represented in the form of sculptures at the entrance to the temples as their guardians. On the contrary, according to the myth, the venomous snake with its beak, the golden bird feathers, which Garuda covers with golden feathers resembling a neck, is enough and destroys them. Even so, alongside the cow and the monkey, the snake was the most revered animal, largely for its ability to change skin (a symbol of renewed life) and its proximity to the element of aquatic life (fertility). The god Vishnu lies on the world serpent; Around the mountain of the world, the gods and titans circled the body of the serpent Vazuki as they whipped the ancient sea of ​​milk into oil. The cobra goddess Manas ruled the earth during the time of Vishnu's sleep.

When the next round of the universe is completed and the whole world disappears, the great god falls asleep in the pristine waters and the rings of the Shesha Naga serpent serve as a bed for him. This mysterious creature is sometimes painted with countless heads that mean worlds. Sometimes there are seven "total" goals - then these are the main forces of creation.

Serpent beings also become a symbolic personification of the powers of the gods and their manifestations. In China, the snake (she), the fifth symbol among the signs of the zodiac, is considered to be both very cunning and very dangerous. A popular rumor was the "serpentine heart" of two-faced people. But the rivers, with their curved canal, also appeared as snakes, and in legends and tales, grateful snakes give pearls. Snake skin promises prosperity; Dreams about snakes in China have been interpreted primarily from a sexual point of view: the body of a snake is compared to a penis, a triangular head to a female pubic. According to Chinese astrology, the snake is the "ruler of the year" in 1989, 2001 and every twelfth year.

In the cultures of Southeast Africa, as cave paintings show, giant snakes embodied rain and water in general, while they and also in myths often appeared as horned fairies. East African cave paintings seem close to the idea of ​​the incarnation of the earth's surface covered with hills and ledges (an earthen serpent with vertical bends).

In Japan there is the myth of a serpent's head, which is reminiscent of the Greek legend of the battle of Hercules with the nine-headed hydra. According to him, the storm god Susanoo killed the eight-headed giant serpent Yamatano Oroti after a bitter battle, discovered a sacred sword in his tail and freed Princess Inadahima, who was captured by the monster he married, such as the East Asian Perseus or St. George. In Japan, the storm wind was not only considered destructive (it devastated the sacred rice fields laid by the sun goddess Amaterasu), but also purifying. So Susanoo could take on the role of the snake killer.

The snake on a paradise tree, which caused the predecessor to disobey, is called Samael in the medieval Jewish legend (corresponds to the prince of hell Lucifer). He is credited with having the following thoughts: “When I speak to a man, he will not listen to me because it is difficult to tilt a man's mind. So I should speak to a woman who is more frivolous first. I know she will listen to me like a woman listens to everyone! “The science of symbols from the point of view of deep psychology sees in the snake, as in every reptile, a symbol that goes back to the historical and tribal times of antiquity and, as E. Aappli put it in the" incomprehensible area of ​​natural life ... a picture special According to all psychological experiences it is a symbol for enormous psychic energy. Everyone who meets a snake in a dream is confronted with the forces of spiritual depth, which are alien to him: "I", so ancient, "like the animal itself from ancient times. "In the language of the German-speaking population, the snake primarily plays a negative role (" cunning, lies like a snake "," real snake "," turning like a snake "etc.) - one in medieval sculpture Naked woman with two breasts are portrayed as nurses of the vices of Luxuria and Voluptas, while the expression “snake fed on the breast”, which was also used in antiquity was known, at the involuntary encouragement of traitorous people.

The representation of reptiles in magical philosophy sometimes becomes much more important than the representation of fish and animals.

Snake- a symbol of eternity in the spiritual sense and a symbol of the world in the physical. The last statement comes from the ancient belief that the earth, in its spherical state, was a long cosmic tail of dust and fiery mist, moving and winding like a snake in space. For some reason, that tail was the Spirit of God headed for chaos, which then with its breath brought forth cosmic matter and gave it the shape of a snake that swallowed its own tail.

Dragon (which, by the way, represents one of the zodiac signs in the Chinese horoscope) is nothing more than a many-headed snake. In this case, the serpent is the supreme deity, manifesting in three or seven spirits (number of heads). Serpent rings are a symbol of movement among the pagans as well as the orbits of celestial bodies. A snake wound around an egg on a talisman (according to ancient riddles) is the apparent movement of the sun around the earth. In addition, the dragon is a symbol of eternal immortality and health (because as long as at least one head is intact, the dragon lives).

lizard - a symbol of the planet Mercury (messenger of the gods). The meaning of such a talisman can also be interpreted in several ways: everyone knows that a lizard, cutting off its tail, will grow again. This means that the lizard's power lies in its tail. However, many ancient peoples believed that any part of a lizard's body (head, paws, trunk) could also grow.

Therefore, great symbolic importance was attached to the image of the lizard. A lizard is a self-healing ability. A person who possesses such a talisman in order to come into harmony with the world around him seeks and finds first harmony with himself, the strength to fight within himself.

crocodile The Egyptians regarded the crocodile as a symbol of the supreme deity and believed they could see with their eyes closed. This ability of the crocodile also enabled him to see what was not given to see other creatures. So a crocodile is primarily a symbol of providence, inner vigilance, developed intuition, self-preservation, etc.

In addition, it is naturally quick to react to various external appearances. Another meaning is attached to it in this regard - the ability to protect yourself and to take care of your own safety, health and immortality. Such a talisman, a magician and another person can become more attentive and sensitive and protect themselves from various problems: treason, a lie and even murder. In any case, such a talisman will serve as reliable protection and rescue.

turtle - A symbol of longevity for many people, for example the Chinese. Several turtles, which were considered sacred beings and were highly revered and protected, were kept in the temples of Singapore. According to the Indians, the universe rests on the backs of four giant elephants who stand on a giant turtle and slowly move through the cosmic chaos. Indians used tortoiseshell coats of arms as talismans - symbols of the great boundary between life and death.

In a generally accepted sense, a turtle - a symbol of wisdom - on the mascot, due to its ability to go into itself, that is, a mascot with a turtle pattern, can give a person wisdom that allows them to have protection and the truth of life within themselves to look for yourself. In addition, the turtle is a symbol of longevity and spiritual immortality.

chameleonThe depiction on the talisman is also not uncommon. In itself, it is a very interesting reptile that changes the color of the skin and eyes depending on the environment, so that it goes unnoticed. And the symbolic meaning of the chameleon is not difficult to guess - this is the ability to adapt to all circumstances. Live, to feel with yourself everywhere, the ability to be invisible when necessary and to get out of the water dry in the most difficult situations.

Frog (toad). In many countries the frog was considered a magical animal because it feels equally good on land and in water. If the water is cold or the frog is threatened with death by a large fish, it goes ashore quickly. And on the contrary, if it is too hot in the coastal sand and there is danger on land, the frog quickly jumps into the water. The frog is thus a symbol of adaptability, a symbol of a simple, uncomplicated life.

Elephant as a symbol and its meaning

The symbolic image of an elephant can be attributed to oriental symbols. The elephant symbolizes strength, wisdom and wisdom. In India, Africa, and even China, the elephant is a symbol of imperial power and embodies the qualities a ruler should have: dignity, insight, intelligence, patience, as well as loyalty, peace, longevity, prosperity and happiness. In the countries of Asia and Africa, the elephant as a symbol plays the same role as the eagle or lion in the countries of Europe and America.

In India, the elephant is still considered a sacred animal. It symbolizes holy wisdom, royal dignity, invincible power and prudence. In a word, the elephant is the embodiment of those qualities that humans so lack.

Legend has it that Indra, head of the pantheon of gods, orbited his property on the white elephant Ayrawat, who was born during the turmoil of the ocean. The arawat elephant is the main component of the world elephants (dignag), which are the guardians of the countries of the world. Huge mountains with four teeth each and coats of arms on four sides support the earth.

Currently, the image of an elephant is present on the national landmark of India.

In Buddhism, the elephant symbolizes stability and spiritual knowledge and is also revered as a sacred animal. Queen Maya in a dream appeared a white elephant heralding the birth of the Buddha, since then the white elephant has been an attribute of the Buddha.

For the Chinese, the elephant is a symbol of strength, prudence, insight, supreme power and also symbolizes longevity and overcoming death.

In the Greco-Roman tradition, the elephant is a symbol of wisdom and serves as an attribute of Mercury Mercury, the symbol of wisdom. The Roman writer Pliny calls the elephant a religious animal that worships the sun and stars and cleans itself in the new moon when it swims in the river and calls to the sky. The ancient Romans associated the elephant with victory, in art the elephant embodied fame. At the same time, the elephant symbolized longevity, immortality and the victory over death.

In medieval Europe, an elephant, an elephant and a unicorn were considered mythical animals that only appear in fairy tales. The elephant can be seen in paintings depicting paradise, and the image of the elephant has been seen on the arms since the Crusades. For Europeans, the elephant is the embodiment of wisdom and not aggressive power.

Later this idea was reflected in Christian tradition, in which the elephant becomes a symbol of Christ's victory over death and evil - in this case the elephant is depicted as a trampling snake.

Because the elephant is considered a strong animal, one of the meanings of this animal as a heraldic symbol is enormous strength, strength, longevity, but the elephant also symbolizes exorbitant ambitions. Heraldic drawings often depict an elephant with a tower on its back. Probably the most famous coat of arms of an elephant will be the coat of arms of the city of Coventry. In this case, the heraldic elephant has several meanings. First, on the back of an elephant, Coventry Castle, who embodies the strength of the city's defenders. Second, in medieval Christianity, the elephant is associated with Christ's atonement for the sins of mankind. Third, in the Middle Ages, the elephant was considered an enemy of dragons. Dragons were believed to hunt elephants and, according to legend, St. George defeated dragons just outside Coventry.

Willow - the meaning of the symbol

While similar views prevail for some symbols in ancient Europe and East Asia, willow has different meanings in both regions. In the Mediterranean basin, the prevailing opinion was that it sheds its semen before maturity and is therefore sexually immature and therefore a symbol of chastity and an ideal starting material for means to stimulate abstinence. Since it is always possible to cut green branches from a tree, as if one were drawing from an inexhaustible source, this has been compared to the Bible, the source of wisdom. Origen (185-254 AD) promised all who left the "willow branches of their chastity" untouched the "feast of the harvest of eternity". In the Middle Ages and later, willow was considered to be one of the trees that delayed or "clogged" painful substances (saliva from patients) and thus treated them. Palm branches are sanctified on Palm Sunday, kept at home and should reflect all evil (especially lightning). Weeping willow was a symbol of death and a cemetery tree because of its "sad" hanging branches. Messages about the role of willow in the cult of the healing god Asclepius (Aesculapius) seem contradictory. In Athens, it was customary to attach willow branches to women in bed during the fertility festival so that they would supposedly not allow snakes in (or perhaps attract more fertility demons in the shape of a serpent?). Asclepius priests often had to deal with the treatment of infertility. In any case, the decoction of willow bark was considered an important remedy for rheumatism.

In ancient China, willow was clearly an erotic symbol of spring, and geters (courtesans) were referred to as "flowers and willows". The female waist was associated with the "willow", the eyebrows of the beautiful woman were compared with the curvature of the willow leaves and the pubic hair with the "deep shadow of the willow".

The young girl was called "tender willow, fresh flower". Willow branches were believed to drive away demons. In addition, friends gave willow branches as gifts to officials who were transferred to the province.

Meaning of dove symbol

A symbol of purity, gentle nature, also tenderness and love. In a number of traditions, the dove functions as a heavenly messenger and symbol of the soul of the deceased. According to the Slavs, the soul of the deceased turns into a dove. He was also a sacrificial animal.
Among the ancient Jews, the dove was a messenger from heaven and a symbol of redemption. Its appearance, with an olive branch in its beak over Noah's ark, indicated that the water had descended from the surface of the earth. it was a sign of the beginning of peace and the renewal of life.
In China, the dove is a symbol of longevity and filial piety.In the east the dove was a symbol of love and marriage; in particular, doves originally embodied carnal love (perhaps this view is connected with it)
the image of "kissing" pigeons and with their fertility), then - a domestic hearth (like a bird that is easily domesticated). A dove with a ring in its beak was depicted as a symbol of marriage.
The dove was worshiped as a postal bird in Egypt; then the pigeon entered Greece, where it performed the same functions. The white carrier pigeon, which informed Greek politicians about the winner of the Olympic Games, became the prototype of the world pigeon with an olive branch in its beak, as peace was declared during the Games in Greece. (The Picasso dove, which was painted for the World Peace Congress, is a white terrycloth postal dove. Therefore, the artist has revived the old symbolism.) In Greek mythology, the dove was sent by the Argonauts between the floating rocks of the Simplegades and their safe Passage interpreted as a good omen. In addition, the dove was considered the bird of the goddess of love Aphrodite among the Greeks.
In Christianity the dove became a symbol of the Holy Spirit; It is believed that the Holy Spirit encountered Christ at baptism in the form of a dove. It should be noted, however, that the original is more related to the dove (the word "ruach" - "spirit" - in the female Hebrew language). Dove and halo - this is how the Holy Spirit is represented; In iconography, the dove and lily symbolize the Annunciation.

The mention of this symbol can be found in many cultures and religions.

The ancient Greeks had a somewhat reverential attitude towards pigeons. It was believed that pigeons only consumed medicinal herbs and that this bird's body did not contain bile, so the Greeks compared pigeon meat to a medicine.

Doves were bred in the sanctuaries of the goddess Aphrodite, where they served as one of the attributes in prophecy.

In ancient Rome, the Venus doves, which formed a nest in the overturned helmet of Mars, were considered a symbol of peace.

The dove was considered a sacred bird and was called the messenger of the gods.

A dove appeared on the shoulder of Prophet Muhammad and embodied the divine inspiration that descended upon him.

The Jews called the dove "Jona" (in the Greek spelling "Jonas"). The prophet the Lord sent to Nineveh was named Jonah.

In Christianity, during the world flood, it was the dove who put an olive branch in Noah's beak, which became a symbol of the end of the flood - the punishment of the Most High.

During Christ's baptism, a dove hovered over his head.

In Christianity, the holy spirit is represented in the form of this bird, and a dove was depicted on the tombstones of the martyrs, which it was believed that the soul would ascend to heaven in the form of a dove.

In China, the dove is considered a symbol of wisdom and longevity, and also because of its devotion to posterity, the dove is called a symbol of maternal love.

In India the dove is a symbol of the soul as well as the spiritual intimacy and loyalty of the spouses.

Among the Freemasons, the dove is a symbol of innocence and purity.

Sometimes the dove is depicted on scepter, which symbolizes the power sent by God.

After the end of World War II in 1949, the World Peacemaker Congress took place. A dove with an olive branch in its beak was the symbol of this congress. The author of the congress emblem was the famous artist Pablo Picasso.

In today's world, two kissing doves are a symbol of lovers.

Eagle symbol meaning

The sun symbol, which in many cultures is an attribute of the sun gods, the midday sun, the spiritual principle, height, ascent, liberation from fetters, courage, victory, pride, apotheosis, greatness, royal origin, power, strength. Double-headed eagle means the opportunity to strengthen strength.

This is one of the oldest symbols. With the Greeks and Persians it was dedicated to the sun as it is a symbol of the height of the spirit, which was identified with So`ts, the king of the stars. In various traditions it was considered a sacred symbol of the highest deity - Odin, Zeus, Jupiter, Mithra.

His life is sanctified by the sun: it was believed that the eagle could fly to the sun, look at it without blinking, and connect with it. In this regard, the eagle represents inspiration, the height of the spirit that can ascend to heaven. An eagle soaring amidst thunder and lightning is a symbol of real courage and the ability to overcome difficulties.

The duel of an eagle with a dragon or a snake reflects the victory of spirit and understanding over matter, lower forces and instincts. In this battle the eagle represents the sun forces, the good ones, and the serpentine forces, the bad ones. Also, the eagle means undeclared light while the snake means undeclared darkness, and together they form a cosmic whole, a combination of spirit and matter.

The eagle is associated with the elements air and fire; He is a king in the sky, like a lion - the king of the animals on earth. The initiation bird, the messenger of the gods, connects the earthly and heavenly spheres.

In the Sumerian-Akkadian tradition the symbol of the sun, the attribute of the god of war Ninurta (Ningirsu) and Ashur, the Assyrian god of storms, lightning and fertility. The double-headed eagle symbolizes Nergal, the deity who embodies the glowing heat of the midday sun.

The bird Anzud, depicted as an eagle with a lion's head, appeared as a mediator between gods and people in myths.

In Palmyra, Syria, an eagle with human hands symbolized worship of the sun. He was said to be able to rejuvenate by being immersed in water three times or, like the phoenix, by the flame of the sun.

In Hinduism this is Garuda - the giant bird of the Vedic god Vishnu mentioned in the Ramayana. Garuda is depicted as a creature with a human body, an eagle's head, and wings. The enduring mythological motif associated with Garuda is his constant hostility to snakes, of which he is a "devourer" (a symbolic reproduction of a sun hero's battle with his chthonic opponent). This motif is based in particular on the legend of the kidnapping of Garuda amrita (a drink of immortality), which goes back to the Vedic myth of the kidnapping of a catfish by the Indra eagle.

In China, the eagle means sun, yang, power, warrior, courage, tenacity, keen eyesight, fearlessness, strength. An eagle sitting alone on a rock was a symbol of a lone wrestler, an eagle on a jaw is a symbol of longevity in full strength.

In Buddhism, the eagle is the bird on which the Buddha flies. Attribute of Amoghasiddhi, one of the five Dhyani Buddhas, whose earthly manifestation is considered the Buddha of the coming world order Maitreya.

For the Greeks, the eagle means sun, spiritual strength, royalty and happiness. Since the eagle is believed to fly higher than any other bird, it has been viewed as an expression of divine greatness. At first it was the emblem of Pan, then of Zeus, and as the bearer of its lightning bolt it was sometimes depicted with a lightning bolt in its claws. According to Homer, an eagle with a snake in its talons is a symbol of victory. He is not only a companion and ambassador of the great gods, but often also their direct personification. When the Olympic gods needed a cup holder, Zeus sent an eagle to Ganymede or flew himself and turned into an eagle. In another myth, the wrath of Zeus turned into an eagle and tormented Prometheus' liver.

In the Roman tradition, the eagle is one of the most common signs of victory in antiquity, its flight was seen as a sign of military success. Since the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, he has been portrayed as the "bird of Jupiter".

In Iran the eagle symbolizes victory; it is suggested by its flight over the battlefield. The great Cyrus placed it on his banner as a symbol of victory and triumph.

In Mesoamerica he was an ancient vegetation deity who was associated with the jaguar, a symbol for tellurium forces, darkness, matter and at the same time a symbol for space from light, a heavenly spirit. This is a symbol of the Orlov warriors, the Aztec knights, whose leaders adorned themselves and their throne with feathers. One of the days of the Aztec calendar was called "eagle" ("koutli"), which indicates the militancy born under this sign.

In Christianity, the eagle serves as the embodiment of divine love, justice, courage, the spirit, faith, as a symbol of the resurrection and as a source of inspiration for the Gospels. The eagle's flight is associated with the ascension of Christ, with prayers sent to heaven, with the descent of the grace of God and victory over evil, over sin (in the case where the eagle is with a serpent in Schnabel is shown). The eagle often serves as a symbol of the soul of a Christian who becomes stronger through virtue.

As in other traditions, the eagle plays the role of a messenger from heaven. Therefore, the analogies from which the Gospels were read were often made in the form of an eagle spreading its wings.

The eagle is a symbol of John the Evangelist. In the Old Testament, in the vision of Ezekiel, it says: "... and from the center one saw the resemblance of four animals ... The resemblance of their faces was that of a man and the face of a lion ... the face of a calf ... and the face of an eagle "(Ezekiel 1: 5), 10), which is interpreted as a reference to the four evangelists.

The Slavs have an eagle - the bird of God, the lord of heaven. He lives longer than any bird and has the ability to rejuvenate: with age, he flies to the ends of the world and, after bathing in a lake with living water, regains youth.

As a coat of arms symbol, the eagle can be found in many emblems and national coats of arms. It is a symbol of unlimited strength, victory and courage, greatness and spiritual exaltation.

The interpretation of sleep also depends on what animals are doing in our dreams. Let's look at the dreams and their meanings:

Both wild animals and domestic animals can appear in dreams, although wild animals are much more common. For example, if you had a dream about sheep, cows, horses, etc. grazing in a meadow, then usually it means that you are expecting prosperity, prosperity and tranquility.
Biting, killing and attacking animals are common in dreams. They can conditionally be divided into two groups: those who attack for reasons of necessity and those who attack arbitrarily for no reason. Dreams in which animals show aggression usually mean that you feel guilty or that you are responsible for someone who has suffered because of you. Animals that kill for no reason mean that you are overwhelmed with negative feelings, that you are angry and that you are protesting against taboos set by society. Animals starving in dreams have long been considered harbingers of crop failures, famine and decline.

Often times, birds are seen as harbingers of problems or something bad. In the Middle East, a bird of prey that digs its claws into the body and tears a piece of meat from the bones is considered a sign of retaliation or a threatening reckoning for acts committed. However, birds such as the raven, owl or eagle owl have long been considered symbols of wisdom. Seeing one of these birds in a dream means gaining new knowledge or skill in the near future. The eagle, which has soared high in the sky in different cultures for centuries, is the embodiment of hope.
Talking birds in dreams stand out in their own category. If you are talking to a bird in your dreams, it means that you have something that bothers you and that you want to discuss with someone. And it is not necessary for the dream bird to answer you. It is enough that you speak to them. If there is someone in your life who cheated, deceived you or made you laugh, then in a dream he may also appear to you in the form of a bird.

To dream of a fish means to get to the bottom of what is not available to you. Dream fish can also be a harbinger of adventure or road.

4. Insects

It has long been widely believed that insect dreams are harbingers of bad luck. If this is what you dream of, don't panic. There is another interpretation of these dreams. Insects can also be interpreted as a symbol of sexual activity or attraction. You may be attracted to someone but are afraid to admit it to yourself. Insects crawling in different directions can symbolize your secret thoughts or desires that break out.

5. Reptiles

In particular, reptiles, snakes that appear in dreams are one of the most difficult symbols of interpretation, as different cultures interpret them differently. The interpretations range from fear to wisdom and peace and quiet. Such a range of interpretations is related to the history of peoples, the folklore of different cultures, as well as the personal experience of interpreters. For those people in whom the awakening of snakes provokes pathological fears and who have goosebumps even after seeing a snake photo, dreams with the participation of these reptiles are harbingers of something bad. If you are not afraid of snakes or have had a dream about a snake that does not harm anyone, then most likely it embodies wisdom and calm. Such a dream can mean that in the near future you will gain new knowledge or achieve harmony with yourself and others. In Asian cultures the snake is a symbol of wisdom. This idea of ​​her comes from her ability to shed skin and thereby renew itself. Those who dream of a snake are to be cleansed, get rid of old problems and new opportunities. In Christianity, the snake symbolizes temptations or spiritual contradictions that interfere with the achievement of goals. This concept comes from the Bible. The tempting serpent living in the Garden of Eden gave Adam and Eve the forbidden fruit, and as a result they were driven from Paradise.
The following are interpretations of dreams that involve certain animals and birds.

6. dog

The interpretation of dreams in which the dog is present can be twofold, since, on the one hand, the dog is a symbol of friendship and devotion, and on the other hand, a distant relative of the wolf, a predator that causes fear in many people. In dreams, friendly dogs can serve as the embodiment of good relationships, useful acquaintances and strong friendships. If you have had a dream about a wild, growling or barking dog, then most likely you are facing an unsolvable conflict or a serious scandal awaits you.

Dreams associated with cats have two main meanings. Cats traditionally symbolize intuition and magical powers. If you have had a dream about a cat, it may mean that you need to trust intuition.

In the modern world, a rather contemptuous attitude towards rats has developed. For many rats, these are primarily carriers of diseases and infections. However, some give birth to these rodents as pets and, of course, treat them very differently. Accordingly, dreams that their favorites are involved in are interpreted for them in a completely different way.
Traditionally, if you have had a dream about rats, this is not a good sign. You will either be affected by the disease or severely give up your position in society.

The wolf in the dream usually symbolizes loneliness or betrayal. If there is a wolf in your dream, it can be a sign that you are alone, you lack friendship and love. Another interpretation is that you live in a world of wolves, that you are in a constant struggle for survival. Here either you or you.

In almost all cultures, the fox is a symbol of cunning, betrayal and betrayal. If you have had a dream about a fox, then in life you have a feeling or suspicion that someone around you is deceiving you or using you. Also, dreams in which the fox is present can mean that someone is planning you.

In the culture of the African Zulu tribe, the elephant symbolizes wisdom and very close and good relationships (the bear symbolizes the same in the culture of the Indians). In other cultures, the elephant is the embodiment of longevity and strong memory. If you have an elephant in a dream, maybe soon you will be able to remember something very important that you have long forgotten.

12. Hawk

Hawks are a pretty interesting subject to interpret. They are a cross between a raven and an eagle. If the eagle is the king of birds, then the falcon is the most skilled warrior in this kingdom.If you had a dream about a hawk, then this is rather a positive sign. You can quickly and with minimal losses solve all the problems that affect you, as well as avoid many of the pitfalls that life prepares for you.

In many cultures, the bull or ox stands for agriculture and simple work. The bull that appeared to you in a dream can serve as a sign that you should give up the hustle and bustle of the city and return to a simpler, rustic life. The bull can also indicate that you are involved in a day-to-day work and need a break

Embleewe are medical (Greek emblēmaenclosure, convex ornament) - images that symbolize medicine in general, belonging to the medical profession, various fields and areas of medicine, individual medical specialties.

Over the centuries of development, medicine has had many emblems, some of which have not lost their importance to this day, others are a thing of the past. On the XIII. At the International Congress on the History of Science (Moscow, 1971), a classification of medical emblems was proposed, according to which they are divided into two groups:

General medical emblems;

Private medical emblems.

General medical emblems do they symbolize medicine in general, private medical emblems denote their individual branches or directions.

General medical emblems

The general medical emblems can contain various images of a snake, including in combination with a staff, mug, candle, etc. images of a burning torch, lamp, heart in the palm of your hand. The most common emblems with the image of a snake.

In primitive society, the snake was one of the main totem animals when totemism and animalism developed, which reflected primitive man's helplessness towards the outside world. With the emergence of the snake cult, it was assigned a dual role: evil and good. On the one hand the snake was a symbol of cunning and betrayal, on the other hand for immortality, wisdom and knowledge.

In ancient times, medicine was not symbolized by a poisonous snake, but by a harmless one. Records of ancient medical authors indicate that during the "sacred dream" the snakes crawled around the house, often licking painful areas - eyes, wounds. The Romans kept them in baths and baths. It is believed that the Eskulapov serpent got to some countries in Europe thanks to the Roman conquerors.

It can be explained in several ways that many peoples have long associated snakes with healing the sick.

Some researchers believe that disease, and especially death, have always been mysterious and incomprehensible phenomena for humans. The causes of illness and death were also incomprehensible. The snake always remained a mysterious and incomprehensible being. Perhaps, the researchers believe, humans associate dark phenomena with dark creatures.

It is believed that the symbol of the snake as a symbol of healing first appeared around the 2nd millennium BC. Used in ancient Babylon, where animal worship was preserved during the time of slavery.

On the one hand the snake was a symbol of cunning and betrayal, on the other hand for immortality, wisdom and knowledge. As a symbol of medicine, the snake was originally depicted without attributes.

Later, images of a snake in combination with various objects appeared. So from around the 8th century. BC is one of the symbols of medicine stick of the god of healing Asclepius (Aesculapius)- a blunt stick around which a snake curled its head.

One of the ancient Greek myths says that Asklepios was invited to the palace of Minos, king of Crete, to resuscitate his dead son. On the way he saw a snake in his staff and killed it, but another snake appeared with healing grass in its mouth and raised the dead. Asclepius then used this herb to heal sick people.

This legend explains why, in most cases, Asclepius is depicted in a long cloak with a staff entwined with a serpent. His figure became the first international symbol of medicine.

Currently, a vertically arranged staff is entwined with a snake, which is depicted on the background of the globe lined with laurel branches World Health Organization (WHO) coat of arms at the United Nations.

This emblem was adopted at the First World Health Assembly in Geneva (1948) and consists of two emblems: the UN emblem (the world framed by laurel branches) and the emblem of medicine (staff entwined with a snake). The symbolism of this emblem reflects the dominance of medicine over the healing, life-protecting powers of nature.

Asclepius' staff should not be confused caduceus ("Sign of the authority of the messenger") - an attribute of the Greek god of trade Hermes (under the Romans of Mercury).

This is a symbol of balanced and virtuous behavior, which depicts a tail with wings above it, entwined by two snakes. In Roman mythology, Mercury used a staff to reconcile two fighting serpents.

A staff that is interwoven with two snakes combines several basic symbolic elements at once: The central core symbolizes the tree of life (in the sense of the connection between heaven and earth): A double spiral formed by snakes is a symbol for cosmic energy, duality and the unity of opposites; The snakes themselves are the fertile forces of the earthly and beyond. In ancient times, this emblem was not medicinal. Only from the 15-16 centuries. The caduceus has become a symbol of medicine. From the 19th century caduceus is used as an official medical emblem in several countries in America (e.g. USA), Africa and Asia.

The association with medicine was based on the presence of snakes in the caduceus - as well as in the staff of Aesculapius. The famous psychologist Carl Jung considered the caduceus to be the symbol of homeopathic medicine - a snake means both poison and remedy.

Caduceus was used as a sign to protect the secret of commercial or political correspondence. This is currently the logo of medicine or trade.

First pictures bowls with a snake refer to 800-600 years. BC The snake and cup were depicted separately and were mainly attributes of the goddess of health Gigiei, who was usually depicted with a snake in one hand and a cup in the other.

images amphora or bowl engulfed with a snakeappeared much later.

There was no exact and legalized symbol of medicine in the form of a snake spinning around a cup or depicted next to it, in ancient times or much later.

According to academician E. N. Pavlovsky, a bowl with a snake as a symbol of medicine did not appear until the 16th century, thanks to the famous doctor Paracelsus, who at that time first proposed such a combination instead of the traditional caduceus. In ancient times, the symbol of medicine was not a poisonous snake, but a harmless one.

It is possible that this emblem represents the healing properties of snake venom, which is so widely used in medicine, and means a vessel in which snake venom was stored. The snake symbolizes wisdom, knowledge, immortality and in general all good beginnings.

One of the first Russian medical historians to turn to an analysis of the contents of the symbol of the bowl entwined with a snake was F. R. Borodulin. He put it this way: "We are inclined to regard this emblem as a reminder to the doctor of the need to be wise and to draw wisdom from the chalice of knowledge about nature." He defines the chalice in the medical emblem as the chalice of the human spirit that encompasses the whole world.

In ancient mythology, the gods drank a drink of immortality from the cup. Therefore, the cup in the medical emblem can be interpreted as a symbol of the healing powers of nature in general.

In Russia, this landmark, the Hippocratic Cup, became the main medical symbol in the 18th century.

In contrast to the medical service in the army, a bowl with a snake was introduced under Peter 1. In 1924, a snake was approved in the USSR that wrapped one leg of the bowl and bent its head over the bowl, as a symbol of military medicine. This mark is still preserved in Russia as the official emblem of the military medical personnel of all branches of the military.

Most common is the use of the emblem in the form of a bowl with a snake for pharmaceutical activities.

Known apollo tripod medicine emblemdevoured with a snake.

In Europe (France, Belgium, Greece, etc.) from the 18th century. There was a medical one emblem in the form of a mirror entwined with a snake. The mirror is a classic symbol of cleanliness and caution - the properties that are required for the doctor. However, since the mirror is also a symbol of Roskasha, in order to avoid confusion, it was depicted along with the snake - the most cautious animal - as a symbol of caution.

In addition to the symbols on which the snake was depicted, there have been others since ancient times.

The ancient Egyptian god of healing Imhotep (coming in peace) was portrayed with cross-shaped bow in the hands - the so-called ankh of Imhotep. This symbol stands for wellbeing, life and health. Later it was known under the name "Tau Cross" (the image of the Greek letter "Tau" was used as an amulet).

There are medical emblems in the form of burning torch or lamp (later candles).

According to the teachings of Heraclitus of Ephesus (6–5 BC), fire was regarded in medicine as an extreme remedy that was treated when medical and surgical treatment failed. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the ancient torch in the pictures was replaced by a candle, as the candle was a religious attribute. The picture of the candle was accompanied by the saying: "Shine on others, I burn", "Serve others, I destroy myself" etc.

Currently, the burning torch is the symbol of health education.

The modern symbol of medicine - a snake that wraps around the leg of the mug and leans its head over the mug - was recognized in our country as early as 1924 and spread outside the mug. Acute speaking medical students have long since come up with an interpretation of the symbol of medicine: The symbol explains - the doctor is not easy, he is smart as a snake and he is not a fool to drink. But where does this mark come from?

The snake has always accompanied doctors. The legendary Greek doctor Asclepius (we know him better in the Roman transcription - Aesculapius) was always depicted with a snake, because thanks to the snakes he became not only a great doctor, but even a divine doctor, the patron saint of medicine. This is what the Greek myth says about it. Asklepius was already very famous and was invited by the Cretan King Minos to resuscitate his dead son. The doctor was walking, leaning on a staff, when suddenly a poisonous snake wrapped itself around a staff. Asclepius was afraid to kill her with the blow of a staff, but a second snake appeared with some grass in its mouth. Grass raised the dead. The brilliant doctor knew what was going on, found the grass that the snake brought and gathered it in Crete, where it raised the son of King Minos from the dead.

A plate with a symbol of medicine found in Ephesus

Many researchers believe that the "snake symbolism" in medicine is based on a person's hidden fear of snakes, on the desire to appease the mighty "goddess of death" or to deter illness with the mighty form of a poisonous snake. In ancient legends there are often references to various mythical serpent creatures that brought death to humans. At the same time, body parts and poison were also considered powerful and universal medicine. Pliny the Elder wrote in his natural history about the healing properties of ambisfen (Greek: "move in two directions") - a snake with two heads: one is in the usual place, the other on the tail: "... as if it were it would not be enough for a head to spit out. " own poison. “The snake symbolized death and immortality, good and evil. They were personified by their forked tongue, the toxicity of their bites, the healing properties of the poison and the mysterious ability to hypnotize small animals and birds. This apparent contradiction, the combination of two different ones , often of opposing principles in a picture, is characteristic of symbols that we have encountered since ancient times. Another example of this contradiction is the cup. Various hypotheses connect the origin of this symbol of healing with the healing effects of water and tradition, Preparing medicines in a ritual bowl.

The first images of such a symbol of medicine were dated from 800 to 600. BC It is true that at that time the snake and the cup existed separately - in the right and left hand of the goddess of health Gaia. The bowl and snake combination emblem that we saw earlier was proposed by the famous doctor Paracelsus in the 16th century.

According to the Russian historian F.R. Borodulin, the cup, symbolizes the vessel in which the knowledge about nature is stored, which a wise doctor should draw from it. The snake shell was officially introduced by Peter I as a mark of military medicine. The emblem with the bowl and the snakes is widespread among pharmacists.

On the territory of Russia, the image with a snake wrapped around a shell bone is still considered a symbol of military medicine.

But the bowl with a snake is not the only symbol used in medicine, there are also other very popular ones.

Asclepius' staff

The origins of this medical emblem go back to the VI. Century back. BC and have Greek roots. The staff itself is a sticky stick with a snake wrapped around it.

The legend mentioned above gave impetus to the fact that Asclepius was painted on the picture of the first international medical emblem, in which a staff was wrapped with a snake.

At the First World Health Assembly in 1948, the presidents of the WHO chose the staff as the emblem of the organization, which was studded with a snake symbolizing medicine and depicted on the background of a globe with laurel branches - the UN emblem.

Caduceus (Staff of Mercury)

In the mythology of ancient Greece, "Caduceus" referred to the staff of Hermes (the messenger of the gods in Roman mythology - Mercury). The tail was entwined with two serpents and crowned with wings. Snakes symbolized the interplay of opposites. Subsequently, the wand became a symbol of balance and virtue. Since the caduceus was an integral part of the ambassador's image, it also embodied the protection of the secrets of commercial and political correspondence.

In the symbol of medicine, however, the magic wand appears as the "tree of life". Two serpents entwined around him symbolize the contrast between the world of the living and the world of the dead, and their interlacing signifies the unity of opposing forces.

Red cross and red crescent

The Red Cross was originally the symbol of the medical service of the armed forces, which offered protection and help to the sick and wounded.

The use of the image and name of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent is regulated by the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and additional protocols in 1977.

In Muslim countries, instead of the Red Cross known in most European countries, the Red Crescent is a symbol of charity for the sick and wounded.

One of the founders of the famous Red Cross emblem was Henri Dunant, who was impressed by the number of victims in the Battle of Solferino in 1859. Then the military orderlies could not cope with a large number of wounded, and one of the reasons for this was the lack of a distinguishing mark that could be recognized by each of the conflicting parties.

Four years later, at the International Conference in Geneva, the emblem of the Society for the Support of Wounded Soldiers was adopted. This emblem is a red cross on a white background.

The Eastern Crisis (1875–1878) and the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) led to an influx of Red Cross employees into the Ottoman Empire. Here, however, the ICRC was only allowed if the image of the cross on the emblem was changed to a crescent moon. As a result, at the Geneva Convention in 1949, the emblems of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent on a white background were recognized as symbols of protection for military service.

Currently, the use of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Emblem in addition to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross is permitted to national societies and individuals associated with that organization. In wartime, the image of a red cross or crescent moon on a white background serves as a mark of identification and protection for military medical units, as well as for hospitals, hospitals and vehicles that provide assistance to the needy.