This set of Asklepios (Asclepius) 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:
Snake - The snake was associated with healing in ancient Greece; Asklepios was said to have learned healing secrets from the snake, and snakes were an element of some Asklepian healing rituals. In addition, the god's symbol--the Rod of Asklepios--is a staff with a single snake wound around it. (Modern medicine often uses the caduceus--the staff of Hermes, wound with two snakes--as a symbol, due to a modern confusion between the two items.)
Rooster - The rooster was a common offering made to Asklepios by those he had healed; in fact, one of Socrates last requests was to remind a friend that they owned "a cock to Asklepios." In ancient times Asklepios was a friend to all--from peasants to philosophers.
Sandal - Asklepios accepted virtually any offering made to him with sincerity. Among the many offerings found in his temples were the sandals of those who had travelled far and long to seek his blessing. The sandal is a reminder we may have to put forth a bit of effort ourselves in seeking health and healing, but the god will meet us more than halfway.
It is made with 10mm red fire-polished Czech glass beads with a blue finish, 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 28" (71.12cm) 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 Asklepios, 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.