The Caduceus

The Caduceus image
The caduceus is a Greek symbol used today to represent the practice of medicine. It depicts a staff with two snakes entwining around it from bottom to top.


The symbol is often used to describe the way in which the masculine and feminine energy channels or nadis coil around a central energy channel in the body, called Sushumna nadi.

The Sushumna nadi is the central channel of energy in the human body that runs from the base of the spine, it is situated at the perineum which is also known as Muladhara or Root Chakra to Brahmarandra which anatomically coincides with what is known as the fourth ventricle, the place where the cerebral spinal fluid governs transmittance of all. 

The area incorporates the hypothalamus, pineal and pituitary glands. This is the Sahaswara or Crown Chakra of the head and carries Kundalini energy, the primal evolutionary force within, upwards as it is awakened through the practice of Yoga and meditation.

Sushumna nadi only opens and flows freely when Ida and Pingala nadis are balanced and clear, thus the purification of all three nadis are important for the overall health, wellness of the body and mind, and one can also experience spiritual growth.

Ida and Pingala each carry a different type of energy which supports a balance within our lifestyle, thoughts, actions, physical health etc.  Ida transports feminine energy (calm, cooling, meditative, receptive and centered – good for meditation) and Pingala transports masculine energy (active, energetic, heating, forceful – good for ‘getting things done). When you breathe out of your left nostril you tap into Ida’s energy and the right nostril for channeling Pingala energy.  *According to yogic belief, we all tend to breath out of one nostril at different times of the day depending on which or our Nadi’s Ida or Pingala is dominant at the time. When we breathe out of both nostrils at the same time, we are activating the Sushumna Nadi.

Ida and Pingala are important to understand when working with the chakras as Ida can help to calm and dissipate an overloaded chakra while Pingala can help energize and open a blocked chakra.

Anahata said, “However, as a spiritualist, even though I personally enjoy all the technicalities of ancient wisdom and esoteric arts, I don’t obsess over them. If our spiritual urge or intent is aligned to infinite expansion of awareness, potentials and consciousness, to love, to higher principles of freedom and balance for the highest good of all, then any sincere spiritual practice, be it yoga or plant spirit medicine, drum medicine or reiki, should support this process effectively.

This post is taken from our Reiki Level I Student Manual

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