Well now I can finally brush off this speculation post that’s been sitting in my drafts for months. Unfortunately I don’t have my classics textbook anymore so I don’t have all the details and myths on hand.
So Calliope’s symbol is the Caduceus, which as we all know is the recognized symbol on many medical-related things such as the US Army Medical Corp’s badge. However, this is a misconception - the Caduceus is NOT a symbol of health and healing. It was mistaken as the Rod of Asclepius. They are very similar so it’s a pretty easy mixup for someone who is new to greek/near eastern myth:
The left one is the Caduceus, and the right is the Rod of Asclepius.
So now that we know how Cherubs mate and how they look in their matured form, the Caduceus’ backstory instantly comes to mind:
One version of the origin tells it came from Tiresias (Anyone remember Oedipus?). He came upon two snakes mating and used his staff to kill the female snake. Upon doing so, he became a woman, and remained one until he could find the male snake and kill it the same way about seven years later. It was also said that it was given to the Greek god Hermes (God of thieves, boundaries, trade, border crossings, and travelers; also the guide to the underworld and the only being able to cross to and from it) by his half-brother Apollo (God of the arts, oracles, medicine, plagues, the sun, light, and knowledge) as a sign of peace and friendship. It is the herald’s staff since Hermes is a messenger, and also in Roman counterpart Mercury represents writing and eloquence.
The Rod of Asclepius was given to Asclepius by his father Apollo. Asclepius was also a god of healing and medicine, and both he and his father were sworn to in the first version of the Hippocratic Oath. (That doctors swear to, it’s probably just a coincidence with Caliborn’s title referencing the Doctor) and the snake in the symbol has a dual meaning of both healing and harm that can be done by it. (Such as was the duality of Calliope/Caliborn as well as all Cherubs)
Now we arrive to Calliope’s symbol.
It is just like the Caduceus except for the wings (Due to her immaturity from an early death or an absence of Hope, as the symbol of Hope are very similar wings as in the Caduceus?) But still features the intertwined copulating snakes that we just saw in the update.
It’s also the false symbol of health and medicine, and ironically enough, a symbol of a trickster. So who knows what this lends to how reliable Calliope is, as speculated before by many. Hermes is also associated as the god of thieves and travelers, both elements related to her closest friend Roxy. It’s also interesting to note how the staff was given to Hermes by Apollo, a god of light and knowledge (Rose and Roxy meeting in Calliope’s dream bubble?). Both Calliope and Roxy write stories, and that goes back to both the Muse Calliopeia and the god Mercury (muse of epic poetry and a symbol of print, writing, and elloquence)
I will probably edit this later with more info, but for now here’s my thoughts. Just some extra info for those who don’t know :)