Evening settles. Orange sun melts into a yellow desert. Craggy rocks, stone and sand form a desolate wilderness, stretching as far as the eye can see. A speckled desert snake, tongue tasting the warm air, has detected its victim. Summoned by keen instincts, the yellow scorpion turns to face her opponent. Now in combat stance, pincers raised, tail arced menacingly, the sharp stinger poises to strike. Defence and attack are one. Concentration and instinct compress time into a single instant as a base force takes charge – survive!
Designed to face these moments of danger, scorpions are masters of survival. Their form has proved so successful that they have remained unchanged since moving from sea to land four hundred million years ago. Scorpions can endure extreme conditions and live in almost any climate. They can be found on frozen mountain peaks or in the hottest valleys, and can survive for considerable time without food or water.
Feared by many for their nasty sting, scorpions are formidable fighters. Built like a tank, the tough exoskeleton serves as armour. Strong pincers grasp their prey while the lance-like tail injects its powerful venom. Scorpions are lone warriors, always on guard and ready to attack any potential enemy.
The remedy Androctonus amoreuxii hebraeus was prepared from a small but very virulent yellow scorpion. As may be expected, this remedy exhibits extreme anger and violence. Provers spoke rudely and enjoyed being abusive and sarcastic, reacting with great indignation to the slightest offence.
One prover felt an urge to rip people apart with his bare hands. Others stalked the streets in anger, provoking violence. This anger intensified to a desire to kill – even their own children. These intense emotions were described as a black thunder bursting from the chest.
In order to survive a scorpion needs to hide. Their normal preference is under rocks or stones. One prover had a desire to put her hands under stones or to hide under rocks. Other cases had dreams of stones or used stones as weapons. This affinity to stones and rocks symbolises the unfeeling and hard-hearted attitude of Androctonus.
Imagine innocently picking up a rock, and your surprise at finding an ominous looking scorpion underneath, or even worse, being stung. The first reaction is sudden and intense fear. The fear that is generated by Androctonus is a reflection of the fear they feel, and the anger they display is often based on this fear.
Some provers experienced intense fear of being attacked on the street, of driving, dogs or psychic attacks. Another experienced much suspicion and paranoia, trying to outwit friends whom he felt were out to get him.
The Androctonus constellation of emotions may characterise adolescents in the stage of alienation and rebellion. They feel like defiant outsiders in a hostile environment. Police, social workers even all adults are perceived as the enemy.
One prover expressed these emotions as: “I felt like a different person, very similar to when I was an adolescent, but in a much more powerful manner. My emotions were so powerful I wanted to rip my chest open to let them out. These feelings came from a deep and distant part of myself, a darker side.” Like Tarentula, there is a sensitivity to music with frenzied dancing lasting all night.
Powerful and charismatic, Androctonus may become a leader of men in times of danger, mesmerizing others with a magnetic personality. Unfeeling and cruel leadership makes sure authority is maintained, while sharpened instincts penetrate the enemies’ mind, predicting and intercepting every move.
These adrenal attitudes are often fuelled by the Hollywood fantasies of lone commandos surviving against all odds by violence and wit. From “Clockwork Orange” to “Rambo” and “Natural Born Killers”, these warriors have been glorified. This remedy relishes the intense rush of excitement generated by such movies.
This combative stance often develops in inner cities where conditions of extreme hostility prevail. Police have confiscated packages of ‘crack cocaine’ stamped with a scorpion emblem, depicting the sting in this drug’s tail.
The increase in drug abuse has escalated urban violence and intensified the battle for survival. Staying alive depends on constant alertness, sharp senses and lack of scruples. Jaded drug addicts and dealers torture or kill with no remorse. There is no room for sympathy in their confined reality.
Naturally, not all people living under these circumstances are Androctonus patients. On the contrary, a person living in a seemingly peaceful environment who perceives the world through the narrow perspective of fear and hate is exhibiting a more peculiar and thus deeper state of Androctonus.
The defensive Androctonus behaviour may be excited by betrayal, grief or disappointed love, resulting in a “nobody will do this to me again” attitude. The intensely sexual Androctonus may react with a series of promiscuous relationships, which they quickly and harshly terminate to avoid being hurt.
Looking beyond the emotional portrait of Androctonus we may focus on the inner nature of this remedy. Like a scorpion’s sharp stinger, the central theme of Androctonus is the narrowing of consciousness into a pinpoint. For the purpose of survival the whole awareness of Androctonus is concentrated into a single point.
This excludes the wider range of ‘useless’ humane emotions that would impede a battle of life and death. Morality, sympathy and guilt are unnecessary diversions. While other violent remedies may experience sorrow or misgivings, Androctonus has no time for compunctions.
Unfeeling cruelty and lack of remorse are strong features of this remedy. One prover had a desire to attack people with an umbrella, imagining the point was a knife. Another had a dream of sticking knitting needles into the eyes of her grandfather as he slept.
An aspect of Androc’s constricted consciousness is a sensation of viewing the world through a narrow tunnel or viewfinder. Anyone who does not fit into her point of view belongs to a different species, an enemy to be regarded with suspicion.
This gives rise to a sensation of isolation, of being alone in the world and disconnected from the human race. This feeling of separation may extend to a detachment from one’s own symptoms, an outsider observing his own condition.
Self-centred and egotistic, the Androctonus world contracts unto itself. Attack is the essence of his being, to be enjoyed with no regrets. Intensely focused on his own survival, he has no concern for the well-being of others. He feels no need to help his fellow man, nor does he desire their favour.
This theme is also expressed as a highly focused concentration, the ability to focus on one thing to the exclusion of all others. This was described as a ‘mental tunnel vision’. Interestingly, there have been reports of scorpion ashes being used to cure retinitis pigmentosa, a disease characterised by tunnel vision.
It is well to remember that, as in all remedies, Androctonus may display a totally opposite state. Like a retired soldier, the unfocused Androctonus may suffer from lack of concentration, disorientation and dullness. Many of the dreams in Androctonus are of being in strange houses, confused. He becomes directionless, clumsy and ineffectual, losing interest in his surroundings. Distant and apathetic, he stares at the window for hours, as time floats slowly by.
Other Androctonus cases may present as helpless victims of cruel and unfeeling tormentors, who, for ‘some unknown reason’ are always attracted to them. Under constant attack and abuse, they feel isolated and surrounded. In these cases, the prevalent mental pathology is mirrored by the environment. These victims may respond by learning to fight or becoming violent.
It is the sensation of impending violent death that stimulates the Androctonus struggle for survival. Situations of acute fear and danger result in a sudden and rapid constriction of consciousness. This constriction of being is reflected in the reciprocal process of birth in which a foetus is compressed through the os uteri. These imminent birth and death situations suggest that this remedy is in a permanent state of impending transition and transformation.
One of my most successful Androctonus cases brought out this aspect. A young man was brought up on a diet of intense abuse and violence, both at home and in school. He was often beaten and bullied, living in a constant state of fearful apprehension.
At 11 years old he began intense training in martial arts, in which he achieved many high standard black belts. Eventually, he became a professional fighter, and could easily handle any violent threat. But the fear remained. He was always on the lookout for the next potential attack, and this constant state of ‘paranoia’ began to take its toll physically.
His liver and kidneys were painful and he developed vertigo. After a dose of Androctonus he let go of the fear and became much more relaxed, with corresponding physical improvement. He continued to teach martial arts, but in a much softer way, emphasising the ‘internal’ and spiritual benefits through meditation and self-development.
Just as a warrior must do battle before he can transcend, the scorpion’s life or death encounters contain the possibility of transformation. The warrior’s ultimate battle is with his own constricted ego, and its victory lies in the realisation that there is no battle.
Hidden within Androctonus are the contrasting polarities of sympathy, care for others and the world. The astrological Scorpio is considered the most spiritual of all signs, representing the point of transformation from life through death and into rebirth. Ancient mythology relates the eagle and phoenix to the scorpion. These noble birds symbolise the possibility of transcendence from constricted existence to higher perspectives, a soul soaring to freedom.
There is a point in time in which each of us must summon our inner scorpion and live by the sword, physical or metaphysical. The pathology of scorpion is a state of being permanently stuck in this unique pinpoint in time.