From Dynamic Materia Medica, Syphilis: A Study of the Syphilitic Miasm through Remedies
Haliaeetus leucocephalus was prepared from a blood sample taken from an American bald eagle. A year previously, as I strolled the streets of a market fair, I came across this eagle. Right wing and talon injured by a gun, it was confined to lifelong imprisonment and used for educational purposes. Caged, shackled and hooded, it had not lost the commanding air of a king, but had acquired the deep sadness born out of hopeless captivity.
Naturally, it is quite difficult (and illegal) to obtain live samples of a free and healthy eagle. Haliaeetus reflects the predicament of this specific eagle, which befits its use in analogous situations. Its proving contains aspects of animal, blood and tragic personal history. As with any remedy, when prescribing according to a particular proving, one should use remedies derived from the original potencies.
This proving created an unintentional experiment. The brave provers of Haliaeetus had actually volunteered to prove a radioactive remedy, and were under the impression that this was the case. Yet the proving contained no speculative reference to radioactive phenomena. The undeniable similarity of the remedy picture of this particular eagle and its unfortunate personal history serves as a powerful validation of the proving process.
Undoubtedly, the inner nature of eagle is conveyed through the proving. Sensations of flying though the air or above the clouds. Visions of birds soaring together, talons locked, plummeting in exhilaration through whooshing winds. Dreams of flying over barren terrain looking for a new home. Elevated and hollow sensation in the bones, wanting to walk with arms outstretched. Thoughts of Superman or Icarus. Even the leucocephalic nature of the American bald eagle manifests as an attraction to men with white hair. The name bald is erroneously derived from ‘blanc’, the French word for white.
The American bald eagle is native to North America and a symbol of the United States of America, a theme that arises in the proving. Images of flying over the parallel lines of the Mexican and Canadian borders, dreams of Native Americans, or of walking over old maps of the USA. Although the eagle was revered and considered sacred by many native cultures, it was despised as a scavenger by Benjamin Franklin and hunted by Europeans and white Americans.
The emotional configuration of Haliaeetus is unique. Although it is composed of elements common to many other remedies, the totality forms a singular entity that has no parallel in the materia medica. I recall the proving of Haliaeetus as being an intense and occasionally disturbing experience. Psychologically, this remedy is characterised by extreme emotions, ranging from euphoria to deep depression and despair. The elation is expressed by “up” words, obviously related to the eagle’s capacity to fly higher than almost any other living being. “High,” “uplifted,” “elated” “bouncy,” “jubilant,” and “jumping for joy” were used to describe feelings of confidence, contentment and ease. Provers were able to come to quick decisions and relate to others in a direct and straightforward manner. The upward motion was also expressed by a concern about social and financial position, a desire to ascend to a higher social class.
Another expression of the eagle’s nature are sensations of being grounded or ungrounded. The feeling of being in solid contact with the ground is associated with stability and calmness, while the ungrounded sensation is associated with airiness, aimlessness, and lack of direction. This loss of direction is in opposition to the eagles amazing navigational skills, and may be expressed as irresolution, confusion of identity or a feeling of having no goals.
At the other extreme of elation, Haliaeetus can experience profound and deep despair, lack of motivation, frustration and low self-esteem. This remedy reflects the sad predicament of our eagle as a lifelong prisoner. Like a caged bird with clipped wings, provers experienced total helplessness and dejection, together with despair of ever escaping their miserable plight. The wounded history of this eagle is also expressed through dreams of being shot and paralysed or sensations of being blasted by a thunderbolt. One prover had powerful memories of an old injury where she was told she would never walk again. Thus we should consider Haliaeetus in ‘no hope’ or ‘endless’ circumstances resulting in despondency and desperation. Life imprisonment, being maimed, or profound grief are situations that come to mind. The plight of the Native American people, confined to reservations, is an interesting analogy to this eagle’s predicament.
“Feels like we’re the American Indians. ‘Here’s 24 dollars worth of beads for your island, idiot.’ In the pit of despair.”
As a result of this intense and hopeless despondency, the Haliaeetus condition may deteriorate into self-destruction. There is a desire to disintegrate, avoid exercise or eat unhealthy food. Provers attempted to overcome the ‘groundless’ feeling by constant eating, which, coupled with the self-destructive tendencies, may indicate this remedy in eating disorders. Sensations of being fat or ugly were associated with desire for fatty food.
Nourishment and food are a strong part of this remedy, especially issues of feeding the young. Like some other bird remedies, Haliaeetus may have intense desire or aversion to eggs. Other foods issues were desire for fish, especially salmon, and aversion to sweets, chocolate and cooked food.
Haliaeetus experiences intense anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Fears center around a sense of impending danger, imagining that something bad is about to happen. Fears that her house is burning, of floods, of cancer and of death. A sense of shock from any adversity. Strong desire to escape resulting from a feeling of being boxed in. Homesickness with a yearning to be free outdoors, especially in the mountains.
The least disturbance results in impatience and irritability. This impatience is especially aggravated by any impediment of flow. Impatient with slow traffic or with a shopping trolley in the supermarket. Desire to drive fast and exhilaration at the sense of flowing speed. He feels as on a roller coaster or a rushing train, and is frustrated by any obstruction. “I am in hyperdrive.” These urges are contrasted by an opposite sense of inertia and lethargy, an inability to start things or to get going. “Everything is in slow motion and I can’t contact reality.”