Medical professionals will make mistakes. Those of us with medical conditions, serious allergies, or are concerned about drug interactions must have medical identification of some kind. I had been putting it off because in everyday situations I didn’t want to see something to remind me of how sick I am. It was disheartening. I didn’t want to feel labeled.
I found out the hard way why it’s important to have a medical alert identification. At the emergency my husband gave the nurses all of my medication and illness information. I was incoherent and unable to assist. Hours later I was transferred by ambulance to a more permanent facility. Because my medical records were not transferred with me, the new hospital didn’t know I was diabetic. It wasn’t until 11 PM that I mumbled something about my diabetes that I received my insulin shot. By then I was disoriented and distressed. My bag with all of my medications came along with me and was taken by the nurses. Because the hospital was busy they hadn’t made a content list and so they didn’t know.
After returning home, I began researching various styles of alert jewelry. There is a huge variety with varying symbols, shapes, precious metals, steel, plastic, and even beads. They can be bracelets, dog tags, or necklaces. You can pick a style that suits your personal taste and even spiritual preferences. They usually cost $30 to even over $100.
There are three symbols recognized by emergency and medical services.
Star of Life (red or blue)
Rod Staff of Asclepius
Each symbol has some origins in ancient Greek mythology and even magick.
Star of Life
Red six sided (barred not pointed) star of life with gold snake around a gold staff in the middle.
Blue six barred (not pointed) star with a gold snake entwining a gold staff.
This a six barred (not pointed) blue star was first used by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in the 1970s. Later there was a need for EMS (Emergency Medical Services) to have a standard and easily recognized symbol on uniforms. The Staff of Asclepius, symbol of the American Medical Association, was added to the center of the star.
Rod or Staff of Asclepius
Asclepius or Asklepios was the son of the Greek God Apolo and Koronis, a Trikkaian Princess. She died while he was still in the womb. Apolo freed his son from Koronis’ womb while she laid on the on the funeral pyre. Thus his name means to cut open. The babe was raised by the centaur Kheiron and taught medicine. Asclepius is often considered the physician of the Gods and myths say he could even raise the dead.
Hippocrates of Cos (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC), a Greek Physician and descendant of Asclepius, “founded the Hippocratic School of medicine. This intellectual school revolutionized medicine in ancient Greece, establishing it as a discipline distinct from other fields that it had traditionally been associated with (notably theurgy and philosophy), thus establishing medicine as a profession.” Theurgy is a ritual practice, sometimes seen as magical in nature, which invokes the action or evokes the presence of one or more gods. The goal is to unite with the divine, become one with reality, and perfect oneself. It is believed this father of Western Medicine wrote the Hippocratic Oath, which has been taken by doctors for centuries. (Wikipedia).
Part 2: History of the Caduceus and it’s connections to Hermes and Iris. www.patheos.com/community/paganswithdisabilities/2010/09/13/the-magick-and-history-of-medical-alert-identification-part-2-history-of-the-caduceus-and-it%E2%80%99s-connections-to-hermes-and-iris/
Part 3: Potential magickal uses for medical symbols. Choosing the right symbol for you. Enchanting your medical alert ID. www.patheos.com/community/paganswithdisabilities/2010/11/14/the-magick-and-history-of-medical-alert-identification-part-3-choosing-and-charging-the-symbol/