Why “Aceso Under Glass”?

You may be familiar with the rod of Cauceus as a symbol of medicine

Caduceus symbol by Rama and Eliot Lash (public domain)
Caduceus symbol by Rama and Eliot Lash (public domain)

I hesitate to call this usage wrong, because it’s been used as such for 150 years and people will reliably interpret it as medical, but it is based on bad mythology.  The caduceus staff was associated with Hermes, who had nothing to do with medicine.  It was used out of confusion with the  Rod of Asclepius.

Rod of Asclepius, author: Rama, public domain.
Rod of Asclepius, by Rama (public domain)

Ascelpius was a god or demi-god of healing.  He had six daughters.  Hygieia and Panacea did pretty well for themselves, to the point that I don’t need to tell you what they’re the goddesses of,  and both have lavish wikipedia entries.   Two others (Meditrina and Aglaea) have little to do with health and appear to be engaged in some horizontal myth transfer, since there are characters with similar names and related areas of focus but very different  parentage in Greek mythology.    The remaining two are Iaso (Recuperation) and Aceso (Healing and Curing).  They have short wikipedia entries, but at least everyone agrees on who they are.

Recuperation is a good thing, but doesn’t captivate me.  Healing and curing interests me a great deal.  I’m interested in how they work, how they’re blocked, how you know they’ve worked, the distinction between the two, why something heals one person and hurts another, and… well, this list gets very long very fast.  So that’s why I chose “Aceso.”

The “under glass” part represents a few things.  One is that I’m very literally studying the healing process.  But I’m also studying how we study the healing process.  Right now we have the choice between relying on traditional large peer reviewed studies, and qualitative provider accounts.  Both of these have serious limits, and I want to explore what those are.

So that’s how I arrived at “Aceso Under Glass”.