Homeopathy Papers

Acipenser transmontanus: The Spirit of Sturgeon

Doug Brown
Written by Doug Brown

Homeopath Doug Brown discusses the characteristics of the remedy Acipenser transmontanus (sturgeon fish) and how to distinguish it from other fish remedies and matridonal remedies.

In May 2009 I gathered a group together to explore the spirit of the sturgeon through a trituration, the results of which were published as “Treading Water for Ages” in the American Homeopath. Since then I have had two additional cases where the picture of sturgeon was elaborated and refined. In this article I hope to summarize my current understanding of this remedy using the trituration and subsequent cured cases.

To begin with it might be helpful to consider more generally the characteristics of fish remedies. Evolutionarily fish occupy a unique and paradoxical position: As sea remedies, they are quite advanced, being, along with the cetaceans, the only vertebrates. However, as vertebrates, they are among the oldest and least advanced group. A theme of Big vs. small, High vs. low, may have emerged from this paradox.

Fish swim through a fluid medium, giving them some similarities to birds, which of course also move through a fluid medium. But while the air is connected to spirit and transcendence, the water is more connected to feeling, to emotion. This immersion in emotion can feel like negativity which is very difficult to shed.

In this sense fish remedies are similar to mineral remedies with an orthorhombic crystalline structure. While bird remedies find meaning and purpose in the obligations of caring, nurturing, and healing, fish remedies are generally avoidant of responsibility and will more likely seek an escape in imagination and solitude.  Being “in a bubble” is typical language you will hear.

There is a very strong need and desire for autonomy in individuals needing fish remedies, so much so that they can be confused with lanthanide elements.  Fish remedies also generally experience conflict with authority figures.

Aversion to sexual contact with partners, difficulties in communicating, spaciness are common. Fish remedies are well-known for problems with memory and the treatment of dementia.  Fish remedies can best be placed in Yakir’s Column I.

As sea remedies, there is a fusion with the universal mother aspect of an undivided water element, and issues around incarnating into the body (as with the 2nd row elements). There can be a pronounced dreamy aspect to the personality, which complements the withdrawal and avoidance of responsibility.

One of my Acipenser patients described the incarnational, second row aspect of her state, with the following words:

I have a hard time staying in my body. I don’t trust it. Popping out of my body makes me ill.

I’m ambivalent about being in my body.

I want my body to be a in a more hospitable place. I’m trapped in my body – it’s a container too tight. There’s not enough space. The body will betray me.

In contrast to the 2nd row elements, however, fish remedies will usually be more self-aware and articulate about this sensation and struggle.

How can we distinguish sturgeon from other fish remedies ? Here are 12 features which help us perceive this particular fish :

12 elements of Acipenser energy :

  • Alternation of determination and fight with giving up : « Going for it » vs. Wimping out
  • Armored, prepared to fight, tough. Fear of heart-centered vulnerability
  • Panic, freaking out, at the mercy of authority figures or the mob
  • Surrender, passivity, numbness. Resignation, back to square one.
  • Treated as a slab of meat, without individuality
  • Outcast : Exposed, persecuted, humiliated.
  • In vs out of comfort zone
  • Smart, analystical, intellectual, sophisticated vs dumb, stupid, insular ; status in the hierarchy
  • Power of the feminine to create as well as destroy. Aversion to or love of women
  • Fear of insanity, aliens, mobs, flying, haunted houses, earthquakes, the unknown, something will happen
  • Post-partum attachment/bonding issues….averse touch, need for personal space
  • Enlargement : I should be bigger than I am. Yet surrendered. A beached whale.

Physical symptoms

In all of my sturgeon cases the center of gravity has been at the emotional level, with strong symptoms of anxiety, depression, substance use, and irritabiity/anger. The physical symptoms have been relatively minor and or non-specific, and have included :

Headache

Tinnitus

Asthma

Jaw, mouth pain. Bruxism.

Nausea, heartburn, esophageal spasm

Plantar fasciitis, foot pain

Hives, urticaria, especially of face.

Fatigue, weariness

Hypertension

Clinical Application

Of course Acipenser should be prescribed whenever the patient’s state and symptoms make sturgeon the best fit. However, I would recommend being particularly alert to the possible presence of Acipenser in cases of post-partum depression and/or attachment disorders affecting the mother’s ability to bond with her child. A difficult or traumatic labor may have precipitated or accentuated the absence of bonding.

Acipenser will most often find its utility in cases where the center of gravity is at the emotional level, with depression and anxiety overlying a personality that responds to a feeling of victimization with withdrawal, anger, and a reluctance to become vulnerable.

Comparisons:

Acipenser t. may be related to Galeocerdo c. h.  Whereas the patient needing shark may exhibit a deep need to dominate and evolve the most highly advanced predatory skills and apparatus, Acipenser survives through its own inaction, passivity, reliance on heavy armor, and numbers.

In Acipenser the experience of aggression and hard-heartedness is balanced by an awareness of the feminine, the desire to achieve a balance of feminine and masculine inner forces, an upwelling of emotional content which wants to flow and resolve, and an inner fragility which seeks compensation through addictions.

Acipenser, and fish remedies in general, may need to be differentiated from the matridonal remedies. Lac humanum, lac maternum, Umbilical cord, Amniotic fluid, Vernix caseosa, and Placenta humanum all have an instability in their personality with potential for wild mood swings, a desire for independence, and a dreamy, spacey quality.

Fish remedies, however, are more likely to place the source of their troubles as external to themselves, reacting with fear, while matridonal remedies will more readily point to their own confusion and difficulties in relationships and difficulties with boundaries.

Matridonal remedies will tend to have warmer, more spiritual and humanitarian traits, and will be more self-sacrificing, while fish remedies will be more aware of and concerned with their place in social hierarchies. Umbilical cord, because of its ambivalence with regards to bonds, corresponds most closely to Acipenser.

Conclusion:

According to one Native American source, sturgeon people are ancient souls “who usually rule those who dwell in their habitation. Much primal energy flows through them. They are born to lead as long as their energies flow smoothly.” (www.refinerofgold.com/medicine/native/sturgeon.htm).

The timely matching of an Acipenser patient with her remedy will open the floodgates of a dam which has prevented love, leadership, and energy to move through a life. The power and beauty of the feminine will be unleashed and unafraid….

About the author

Doug Brown

Doug Brown

Doug Brown, CCH, RSHom(NA) serves as a director for A Promise of Health. He is a former sociologist with Cornell University’s American Indian Studies Program, and a Family Nurse Practitioner educated at Yale University. He graduated from Hahnemann College of Homeopathy in 2001, and currently enjoys teaching and mentoring homeopathic students and practitioners. Many of his articles can be found in Hpathy, Homeopathic Links, Interhomeopathy, the American Homeopath, and on his website, homeopathichealing.org. Doug lives and practices homeopathy in Portland, Oregon.
His website is: www.homeopathichealing.org.

5 Comments

  • Incredibly useful, thank you. The indications for the fish remedies are few, I have just this week prescribed Sea turtle, admittedly a reptile, but I see some overlaps. Also reading this made me think of Adamas, the conflict of yin /yang – male /female.. and the search for a balance. Is this what you mean by centre of gravity, or is that a case analysis process?…..it would be great if that were teased out some more. Great article, thank you.

    • Hi Pauline,
      Thanks for your comments and question. By “center of gravity” I’m just referring to the plane of experience that manifests symptoms: Physical, Emotional, Mental, or Spiritual. While dis-ease usually affects all planes, patients generally experience their symptoms predominantly at one or another of these levels. As fish live in the medium of water, emotion is often the predominant level of experience in people needing these remedies, and the center of gravity of the case is often at the level of emotion. Hope this helps, yours, Doug

  • Hi Pauline,
    Thanks for your comments and question. By “center of gravity” I’m just referring to the plane of experience that manifests symptoms: Physical, Emotional, Mental, or Spiritual. While dis-ease usually affects all planes, patients generally experience their symptoms predominantly at one or another of these levels. As fish live in the medium of water, emotion is often the predominant level of experience in people needing these remedies, and the center of gravity of the case is often at the level of emotion. Hope this helps, yours, Doug

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