Observations placeholder

The cult of Asclepius

Identifier

002013

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Asclepius ; Greek: Ἀσκληπιός, Asklēpiós [asklɛːpiós]; Latin: Aesculapius) was a god of medicine in ancient Greek religion. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia ("Hygiene", the goddess/personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation), Iaso (the goddess of recuperation from illness), Aceso (the goddess of the healing process), Aglæa/Ægle (the goddess of beauty, splendor, glory, magnificence, and adornment), and Panacea (the goddess of universal remedy). He was associated with the Roman/Etruscan god Vediovis. He was one of Apollo's sons, sharing with Apollo the epithet Paean ("the Healer"). The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today. Those physicians and attendants who served this god were known as the Therapeutae of Asclepius.

A description of the experience

Starting around 350 BC the cult of Asclepius became increasingly popular. Pilgrims flocked to asclepieia to be healed. They slept overnight and reported their dreams to a priest the following day. He prescribed a cure, often a visit to the baths or a gymnasium. Since snakes were sacred to Asclepius, they were often used in healing rituals. Non-venomous snakes were left to crawl on the floor in dormitories where the sick and injured slept

The source of the experience

Greek Mysteries

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Caduceus
Serpent

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Suppressions

Dreaming and lucid dreaming
Sleeping

Commonsteps

References