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.”
The anger of Haliaeetus is intense. Easily insulted with no patience for others. Annoyed at people talking and aversion to company and conversation. Blaming others, critical, shouting at the children. A feeling of being right and desire to enforce her ideas with little regard to others opinions. In its most extreme state, this anger can develop into violence and desire to kill. Threatening to kill the children for any disobedience. One prover delighted in imagining how it would feel to crush a small puppy, while another wanted to kill and eat a rabbit raw. There is no guilt or morality accompanying these impulses, and an uncaring and remorseless attitude. Haliaeetus may take pleasure in its violence, and can fit the profile of a serial killer.
Obviously the emotional profile of Haleeatus reflects many of the Eagle’s characteristics. Yet we can rise above the limited and essentially ‘sameopathic’ view of ‘Eagle picture equals Eagle remedy.’ Although this approach may yield results, similitude echoes many levels of analogy. By focusing our inner vision, we can perceive deeper parallels to bridge the chasm that splits nature from its reflected human suffering.
A close study of the symptoms reveals a powerful effect on the eyes and vision. Sight is the bald eagle’s most important sense, and its distance vision exceeds ours fourfold. While the human retina contains one depression called a fovea, the bald eagle’s retina contains two, creating vision that is both sharper and more powerful than ours. This remedy has a strange sensation that the eyes are balls rolling around in the sockets. There is an increased sensitivity to the whole spectrum of light waves, as if the eyes were satellite dishes, receptors for microwaves or stellar signals. Sensation as if the eyes were wide open and able to take in a lot of light. Seeing rainbows, sunspots, deep purple colours, white light or full spectrums, wavy motions of air, showers of molecules. In spite of this sensitivity there is an ability to gaze directly at the sun. Haliaeetus’ extreme clarity of vision is mental as well as physical, at times ‘seeing’ things clearly before they happen.
Bald eagles are sensitive to the magnetic fields of the earth. It is believed that eagles can calibrate light from the sun with magnetic fields and use this information as a compass during migration.
Associated with this visual acuity are polarities of focused or unfocused vision, a key to the remedy’s nature. There may be extreme inability to focus the eyes and difficulty with accommodation at varying distances. In one instance a prover’s eyes were unable to function in unison, as if trained in two different directions.
These strange phenomena may relate to the eagle’s anatomy. Due to the position of the eyes on both sides of the head, separated by the great beak, there may be double or parallel vision, with an ability to focus only at long distances. Both eyes face forward, giving the eagle binocular vision, which allows for the precise depth of field necessary when diving from the sky to snatch prey. Unlike human eyes, the eagle’s eyes are autonomous, allowing independent monocular vision to the sides. A peculiar symptom in this regard was:
“When I tip the book at an angle the typed lines go into a ‘V’. The book has to be straight horizontally, if tipped the lines become a ‘V’ down the centre of my field of vision and I can’t read.”
One prover regained depth perception (dependent on the stereoscopic use of both eyes), which had been lost following a head injury 30 years previously. This lack of focus and the independent function of the eyes reflect an inability to converge to a point, like two lines that never meet. It is here that the theme of parallel lines in the remedy becomes apparent.
“Noticing more lines – parallels.”