Mercury was the god of trade, profit and enrichment, eloquence, and agreements in ancient Rome; he was also the patron saint of travellers, sailors, and all lawyers. The name of this god comes from the Latin word merx, which means commodity. The words FORTUNA REDUX denote a successful return from a journey or after the completion of a transaction. Mercury provided merchants with profits, he ensured their safety, and he could point to treasures buried in the ground. His attributes include a caduceus, a magic rod with wings with two snakes wrapped around it, a winged helmet, sandals, and a money pouch. One day Mercury stumbled upon some pugnacious serpents and, so as to restrain them, he slipped between them a rod to which they became bounded. The caduceus has been a symbol of peace ever since.
As an intermediary between humankind and the gods, Mercury brings wisdom to the people. This ancient messenger sign symbolises the ability to make peaceful agreements and to put an end to any strife. At the same time, the rod of Mercury has become a symbol of trade, wealth, prosperity, and of mutual understanding and reconciliation as well. The rod traditionally represents power over the forces of nature, and the snakes symbolise opposing sides striving for unity: light and darkness, fire and water, male and female. Their symmetrical arrangement suggests the harmonious growth of the spiritual and the material.