What Are the Symbols of Hermes?

Hermes is a Greek god who is associated with various symbols that represent his divine powers and attributes. He was considered as the messenger of the gods, the god of commerce, thieves, travelers, sports, and athletes. He had a significant role in ancient Greek mythology and was often depicted with different symbols that represented his personality.

The Caduceus

One of the most recognizable symbols associated with Hermes is the caduceus. It is a staff that features two snakes entwined around it and wings at the top.

The caduceus symbolizes Hermes’ role as the messenger of the gods and represents his ability to travel between worlds smoothly. The snakes on the caduceus also symbolize healing, wisdom, and regeneration.

The Winged Sandals

Another iconic symbol associated with Hermes is his winged sandals. These sandals allowed him to travel great distances and move quickly from one place to another. They represent Hermes’ swiftness and agility.

The Tortoise Shell Lyre

The tortoise shell lyre is another important symbol that represents Hermes’ creative abilities. According to mythology, Hermes created this musical instrument by using a tortoise shell as its body and cattle gut for strings. This lyre symbolizes creativity, beauty, music, and poetry.

The Petasos

The petasos was a wide-brimmed hat worn by travelers in ancient Greece to protect themselves from the sun or rain. Hermes was often depicted wearing this hat along with his winged sandals while traveling across vast distances for delivering messages or performing other tasks assigned by the gods.

The Rooster

In some depictions of Hermes, he is accompanied by a rooster. In ancient Greece, roosters were considered as sacred birds because they announced the arrival of dawn each morning. The rooster represents vigilance, alertness, and watchfulness.

The Money Bag

As the god of commerce and thieves, Hermes is often depicted holding a money bag. This symbolizes his association with wealth, trade, and financial transactions.


In conclusion, Hermes is a complex and multifaceted god who is associated with various symbols that represent his diverse powers and attributes. The caduceus, winged sandals, tortoise shell lyre, petasos, rooster, and money bag are some of the most iconic symbols that represent Hermes. These symbols are not only visually engaging but also provide valuable insights into the personality and role of this fascinating Greek god.