The pandemic of Covid-19 or coronavirus boldly throws up The Caduceus, the symbol of healing sciences.
Greco Roman mythology tells us that Asclepius the Greek deity of Healing owns the Caduceus.
Hermes the great alchemist will also own it. And so will Thoth the Egyptian deity.
Today this symbol announces the presence of therapeutic spaces: hospitals, pharmacies, veterinaries, herbal healers, etc.
The Caduceus is in use globally. It is a timeless symbol of healing.
Covid-19 has challenged the science of healing.
World Health Organisation has responded with the use of only ONE part of the three principal parts of The Caduceus, in this symbolic interpretation of what I call The Wand of Hermes.
We have the winged wand. We have its two snakes.
The Caduceus is a wand crowned with two outspread heavenly wings of pure divine essence, and coiling round it are two snakes which in antiquity will symbolise knowledge.
One snake coils round the wand from the right and the second snake coils round the wand from the left, both in ascent. The body of each snake crosses and touches each other with neat precision, and their heads stop with alertness, tongues thrust out below the heavenly wings of the wand.
The coil from right there is the path of healing with Earth energy: plants, herbs, water, soil, food or we can call gifts of planet watern bereft of technology. The coil from the left is the path of healing with Mind (over matter), and the intellect, with empirical science.
Mind over matter is the nature of the gods and great avatars.
Hermes combines both paths with the mastery of the wand. This means with study practice and tradition.
The failure of World Health Organisation resides in its laser focus on one side of the Caduceus, symbolically: the side of empirical western medical science.
The wand with the wings is a symbol of heavenly gift of knowledge in healing.
Pure and poor herbals! They are so derided, so neglected in the battle against Covid-19.
And poor Africa and other continental spaces of herbalism!
We see the tragic ironies in the monuments of the most powerful nation in the world (America), where front runners of the Caduceus are in primitive inadequacies in the midst of boastful technology.
Even the Western media, CNN, BBC, etc, will anticipate that Africa will be decimated (?) by Covid-19.
Africa is awash with gifts of knowledge in herbal healing and this too is one half of the Caduceus.
The entire wand with the balanced equilibrium of Western clinical medicine with other therapeutic methods is the challenge of WHO when we enter the post- COVID-19 era in this dawn of a New Age.
Professor Sowande, a renowned playwright, teaches at Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo.