This set of Hermes prayer beads consists of three groups of twelve beads, to represent the Greek dodecatheon of twelve gods (there are many more than twelve Greek gods, but most cities had their own group of twelve) and the mythic division of the world into three realms--the sea, the heavens, and the underworld. Separating these sections are three hanging pendants, each a symbol representing the god:
Winged sandal - Hermes was frequently depicted wearing such sandals, a reminder of the speed with which he can act in our lives.
Caduceus - The caduceus--the herald's staff carried by Hermes--is often confused with the Rod of Asklepios, god of healers, which is a staff wound round with a single serpent. The caduceus, by contrast, is wound round with two snakes and topped with a set of wings. While the caduceus is frequently used as a symbol of the medical field due to this confusion, it is still an appropriate symbol for Hermes as well.
Tortoise - In myth, the newly-born Hermes--who created a great deal of mischief--made the first lyre out of a tortoise shell. The tortoise is thus one of Hermes' sacred animals.
The quicksilver color of the beads represents the god's quickness of wit and fleetness of foot.
It is made with 10mm silver-colored fire-polished Czech glass beads, separated by silver-toned metal spacer beads, and glass seed beads to provide a comfortable transition from one bead to the next and to make the piece lightweight, supple, and easy to handle. The string itself is approximately 29.25" (74.3cm) in circumference and can be worn if desired, although it is designed to be used in prayer and meditation, to decorate an altar or shrine, and/or to adorn a statue.
The beads come with a prayer to Hermes, written specifically to be used with this prayer bead design (you can, of course, use the beads with any prayers, or for any god or gods, that you choose or that resonate with you) and with a cotton muslin bag for storage.