The design consists of three serpents, nearly forming a triple ouroboros (a symbol of immortality). Snakes historically adorned the headdresses of pharaohs in ancient Egypt (which was the origin of the Order of Hermes, as well as alchemy), although the triple-serpent is more likely a reference to the twined serpents of Hermes' caduceus, although in a "thrice-great" (i.e. Hermes Trismegistus) fashion. At the same time, the tails of the serpents form a circle: both a symbol of eternity and unity, and of loyalty.
The snakes combine to form a triangle with their tongues. To Pythagoreans, the triangle was the first complete polygon, the womb of number and the essence of stability. It is a symbol of water and the grace of heaven. Combined with an upward-pointing triangle, it forms the six-pointed Seal of Solomon. This is likely another reference to both Hermes Trismegistus and to the combined might of the Order.
Each serpent bears on its head a different symbol: the first bears an ankh, an Egyptian symbol of immortality. The second bears an apple. An apple cut laterally will reveal a pentagram in the middle. In this instance, it is possibly a reference to the myth of the Garden of Eden, and the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (and/or the Tree of Life).
The third serpent bears a fasces: a bundle of birch rods tied together with ribbon around an axe, symbolizing strength through unity. Originally a Roman symbol, it's still in use all over the world today (flanking the US flag in the House of Representatives, for example). It's also the root word in the term fascism.
|This image is part of a series displaying a design evolution. A successor ("LogoFellowshipHermes.png") can be seen to the right.|
|This image is part of a series displaying a design evolution. A successor ("Faction-Technocracy.png") can be seen to the right.|
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The Order of Hermes is one of the pillars of the Traditions. A Fellowship during the Dark Ages...
Symbol of the Technocratic Union. The original Order of Hermes design (from Ars Magica) includes...
Order of Hermes Fellowship, circa 1230. Very similar to the design used by the Order in 1220...