The idea of wings is very important in mythology. In A Dictionary of Symbols we find:
"Wings In the more general sense, wings symbolise spirituality, imagination, thought. The Greeks portrayed love and victory as winged figures, and some deities, such as Athena, Artemis and Aphrodite were at first-though not later-also depicted with wings... .In alchemy, wings are always associated with the higher, active, male principle; animals without wings are related to the passive female principle."
Mercury is one god who has a number of wings on his being. He has the caduceus (with winged snakes) and his hat and sandals also have wings. The winged hat (called a petasus) and winged sandals symbolise Hermes' swiftness. In fact, he is called the "flying man."
In Roman mythology Mercury:
"was the god of commerce and travel, and the patron of thieves, gamblers, and ambassadors. The Greeks called him Hermes or Cyllenius, because he was born on Mount Cyllene, in Arcadia. He was the son of Jupiter (Zeus) and Maia, a daughter of Atlas. Pan, the god of shepherds, was the son of Mercury."
Apollo gave him:
"a magic wand called the caduceus. Mercury used this to guide the souls of the dead to the Lower World. He also could control the living and the dead with it, or turn anything to gold."
In one book on mythology, you will find Mercury "seated naked on a rock... ." A book on witchcraft informs us that Mercury was the "inventor of incantations [and] was wont to be invoked the rites of magicians...." Mercury was also one of the names of gods invoked in Roman Necromancy. Necromancy is sorcery communication with the dead. Other books mention that Mercury "the conductor of the dead to Hades [hell] ." Masonic author, Albert Pike, of course, claims that Mercury is the "Guardian and guide of Souls." Do you want a god that is conjured up by magicians and is the conductor of the dead to hell to be the guardian and Guide" of your soul?
This god is portrayed in Masonry and the Eastern Star-but a different guise. In the Eastern Star, the "Star in the East," the inverted/Satanic pentagram, is a depiction of Mercury. In Masonry, Orator is a representation of Mercury. Albert Pike states:
"Of Hermes, the Mercury of the Greeks, the Thoth of the Egyptians, and the Taaut of the Phoenicians, we have therefore spoken sufficiently at length. He was the inventor of letters and of Oratory, the winged messenger of the Gods, bearing the Caduceus wreathed with serpents; and in our council he is represented by the orator."
Are you beginning to get a picture of the god that is being portrayed in Masonry and the Eastern Star? Their god has magical powers. He is the god of the underworld (hell) and the patron of thieves and gamblers. Note also that Mercury's son is Pan.
The caduceus (or magic wand) that Mercury carries "consists of three elements: a rod, a pair of wings and two intertwined serpents. The rod is emblematic of power and authority. In the hands of primitive man, the largest club and the power to wield it were mighty persuaders as to just who was the leader of the tribe." The caduceus "was reported to have the power of producing sleep. Milton refers to it as the opiate rod."
In A Dictionary of Symbols we find:
"For the Romans, the caduceus served as a symbol of moral equilibrium and of good conduct. The wand represents power; the two snakes wisdom; the wings diligence; and the helmet is the emblem of lofty thoughts... According to esoteric Buddhism, the wand of the caduceus corresponds to the axis of the world and the serpents refer to the force called Kundalini, which, in Tantrist teaching, sleeps coiled up at the base of the backbone-a symbol of the evolutive power of pure energy. Schneider maintains that the two S-shapes of the serpents correspond to illness and convalescence. In reality, what defines the essence of the caduceus is the nature and meaning not so much of its individual elements as of the composite whole. The precisely symmetrical and bilateral arrangement, as in the balance of Libra, or in the tri-unity of heraldry (a shield between two supporters), is always expressive of the same idea of active equilibrium, of opposing forces balancing one another in such a way as to create a higher, static form. In the caduceus, this balanced duality is twice stated: in the serpents and in the wings, thereby emphasising that supreme state of strength and self-control (and consequently of health) which can be achieved both on the lower plane of the instincts (symbolised by the serpents) and on the higher level of the spirit (represented by the wings)."
Pike explains the caduceus like this:
"It was originally a simple Cross, symbolising the equator and equincoctial Colure, and the four elements proceeding from a common centre. This Cross, surmounted by a circle, and that by a crescent, became an emblem of the Supreme Deity-or of the active power of generation and the passive power of production conjoined,-and was appropriated to Thoth or Mercury. It then assumed an improved form, the arms of the Cross being changed into wings, and the circle and crescent being formed by two snakes, springing from the wand, forming a circle by crossing each other, and their heads making the horns of the crescent; in which form it is seen in the hands of Anubis."
The caduceus, says Pike, additionally symbolises the four elements. Of course, the four elements figure prominently in witchcraft. One witch writes:
"In casting a magic circle we first purify the space we will use with the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. We walk around the area that will become the magic circle carrying a bowl of salt and water (for earth and water) and an incense burner (for fire and air). As we walk the path of the circle we say, 'By water and earth, by fire and air, by Spirit, be this circle bound and purified as we desire. So mote it be."
Did you notice that the caduceus "became an emblem of the Supreme Deity" and that it represented "the active power of generation and the passive power of production conjoined"? In other words, this emblem is a veiled symbol for the sex act and it is this symbol that represents the Supreme Deity of the Masons (and, by extension, the Eastern Stars as well)! Eliphas Levi, the occultist whom Albert Pike plagiarised in Morals and Dogma (which we are told by Masonic author Lucien V. Rule "is the greatest single work on Masonic philosophy ever given to the world"), also mentions that the god Mercury was assigned "to the parts of generation."
"That the Serpents were ever the emblems of wisdom and prudence is again shown by the caduceus of Mercury... The two serpents, entwined around the rod, are phallic symbols of Jupiter and other gods who transformed themselves into snakes for purposes of seducing goddesses. . . .The serpent has ever been the symbol of the adept, and of his powers of immortality and divine knowledge....It shows the dual power of the Secret Wisdom: the black and the white magic."
Of course, one Masonic symbol after another has this sexual connotation, but in spite of the sexual innuendoes, Past Master Albert L. Woody, Grand Lecturer in Illinois, tells us:
"As late as 1812, in Pennsylvania, the Deacons in procession carried columns-the same columns which now rest on the Wardens' pedestals. Deacons first carried blue rods tipped with gold, symbolising friendship and benevolence; later these were tipped with a pine cone in imitation of the caduceus of Mercury, the messenger of the gods."
One Masonic book, after explaining about the caduceus, brags: "The rod of the Master of Ceremonies is an analogue [equivalent or parallel]." Another Masonic book claims that "Mercurius Caducifer [Mercury], the bearer of the herald's staff, finds his analogue in a Mason's Lodge, in the Senior Deacon, who accompanies the initiate throughout the ceremonies, and assists at restoration, although himself unable to restore life."
The caduceus is also a symbol for immortality. Of course, Mercury is not the only god who carries a caduceus. Pike indicates that it was also borne "by Cybele, Minerva, Anubis, Hercules Ogmius the God of the Celts, and the personified Constellation Virgo, was a winged wand, entwined by two serpents.
The Migration of Symbols reveals that the caduceus "has alternately been considered to be an equivalent of the Thunderbolt, a form of the Sacred Tree, a contraction of the Scarab, a combination of the solar Globe and the Crescent of the moon, and so forth -- Masonic and Occult Symbols Illustrated, pp. 148-152.