Common Themes in the Lacs
What has emerged from the provings and a small but increasing body of clinical experience, are themes of the milk remedies centering around dependence and independence; nurturing and lack of nurturing; a feeling of having suffered wrong and the suppression of natural instincts in order to be able to harmonize with the group to which one needs to belong. Each milk medicine will express these themes in its own way.
The primary function of mammal milks is to nurture the vulnerable, dependent baby. It’s not only a food but also encompasses the child’s need to grow, thrive and be strong. When things go wrong here for the mother and baby, it can lead to issues with food that can manifest throughout the life of the child and on to adult life.
There is also a theme of bonding between the mother and baby and the part that holding the baby plays in the theme is also significant ; it produces wholeness and integration into the world. The remedy pictures represent all the things that can go wrong in the lactation period.
When the milk is sparse or bad, the baby can fail to thrive, resulting in arrested growth. Lac patients can have craving, aversion, amelioration and aggravation from milk. It is also the first food that a baby has and so it can be the first food that causes nausea, contributing to the theme of loathing of self and life. When the baby doesn’t get enough milk it can lead to feelings of lack, poverty consciousness and jealousy.
When the bonding between the mother and baby is not fulfilling for the baby this can result in feelings of separateness, forsakenness, isolation and estrangement. All relationships may suffer into later life, leading to the inability to bear touch and intimacy. This can give rise to fear of narrow or confined spaces. When the holding (representing support and carrying) of the baby is unsuccessful, in some way it can induce feelings of being let down, or falling to pieces and fear of falling.
Another common theme is lack of trust, stemming from a possible lack of bonding or warmth from the mother. There’s lack of trust in life and in the patient herself, and this comes from the lack of feeling of security, occurring during the bonding in lactation.
Mother’s milk allows growth and grounding, so there can be a sense of disconnection and lack of grounding and themes of needing to escape the body, because they feel imprisoned in it.
Many Lac patients are chilly (lack of vital heat, support, security). Also they can have fear of sharp objects or a sharp and critical tongue.
The reactions to this stunted nurturing include: suicidal tendencies; eating disorders (under eating and overeating); cleaning/washing compulsions; themes of indifference or lack of feeling; forgetting, mistakes (writing, dyslexia, speaking); sexuality increased or decreased.
Donkeys have a great sense of self-preservation, hence they will not do anything that puts them in danger. This behavior has resulted in donkeys being called stubborn, but this is the result of misinterpretating their behaviour.
The donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, is symbolic of the spiritual kingdom of God. The Messiah riding upon a donkey offers forgiveness and peace with God, whereas Christ mounted upon a horse implies judgment and war.
In time, the donkey became a symbol of those reluctant to believe the Gospel story, including St. Thomas, the Doubter, St. Anthony of Padua, losing his patience with an unbeliever, and declaring that it would be easier to get a wild ass to worship the Sacrament than to convince him of the truth. To the surprise of the people, a wild ass did approach the Sacrament and kneel worshipfully before it. Many who saw this miracle converted, and the kneeling donkey became an attribute of this saint. The donkey was the lawn tractor/wheel barrow in old Ireland.
Themes in the Remedy:
- Stupidity and Stubbornness
- Ignorance, darkness, idiocy
- Humility and Kindness – a little foolish but obedient
- Curse and Punishment – in mythology the person who is punished is turned into a donkey
- Helplessness and Desertion
- Others seem spiteful, unfair, ruthless
- Feelings of being an innocent, passive, defenceless martyr; a tragic, passive witness
- Pains and sensations around the head and eyes (blindfold)
- Pins and needles – paralysis of the head, face and trunk
- Swelling, oedema, sweat
- Stamina – wellbeing, fitness
- Aggravation from exertion and heat
- Muscle spasm
- Heat sensations – face, eyes, stomach
- Epigastric pain and rumbling
- SRP – Hot flushes with a need to breathe in deeply
- Children, pregnancy, water, working, others mocking, knives/murder
Donkey hairs were widely believed to cure a number of ailments, and were often worn in a charm around the neck, to guard against whooping-cough, toothache, fits, and to ease teething pains in babies. Riding a donkey was also believed efficacious, especially if the rider faced the donkey’s tail end. Riding a donkey was sometimes used as a preventative for toothache, measles and other children’s complaints. One cure for whooping-cough and ague stated that the patient should be passed under a donkey and over its back either three or nine times; the trick of feeding an animal some of the patient’s hair to transfer the illness was also used with donkeys. The donkey was also used to help cure the complaints of other animals; letting a black donkey run with mares in a field was thought to stop the mares miscarrying.
Dogs evolved from wolves as part of the Canid family. They are thought to have first been domesticated in the Middle East, E
urope and Southeast Asia.They are pack animals, with one leader. To ancient civilisations the dog was associated with death and the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians worshiped the dog-headed God of Death – Anubis.
The Old Testament scorns the dog as “unclean”. Islam associates the dog with all that is utterly vile in creation – the symbol of greed and gluttony. Ambiguity arises with the more common perception of dog as man’s best friend. The alchemists used the analogy of the dog devoured by the wolf for the purification of gold by antimony, the penultimate stage of the “Great Work”.
Themes in the Remedy
- Restlessness and Anxiety/Guilt
- Self destruction
- Low self esteem – thinks that whatever she says is a lie
- Hypersensitive amounting to Hysteria
- Aggression and rage
- Fears and excitement (fainting, falling, snakes, spiders, insects, ghosts
- Constant desire to wash hands
- Hypochondria and fear of disease
- Dependent victim
- Warm patients
- Alternating sides
- Ravenous appetite
- Des pungent things (pepper) and salt
- > Cold applications
- < before and during menses
- Parts glisten/shine
- Vertigo w/sensation of floating in the air
- Genital organs easily excited from touch
- Painful, swollen breasts before menses
Clarke – “This remedy represents a state in which the organism does not have the resources to absorb and contain stress and teeters on the brink of collapse”. The anger and rage in the remedy is directed at the self. They can be introverted, exhibit excessive daydreaming and can seem as if in a daze. The remedy can manifest in one of two ways. In the active type there is great sensitivity. In the passive type there is hysteria.
The goat has long been a symbol in mythological stories. It has a varied significance, with gentleness in one tradition and sensuality in another. Both sexes of the goat symbolize fertility, vitality and ceaseless energy. The he-goat (buck) is the epitome of masculine virility and creative energy, while the female (doe) typifies the feminine generative power and abundance. Symbolically, the goat can be interchanged with the gazelle or the antelope. The wild goat of the Old Testament and Arabic lore is the Ibex.
After the dog, the goat was probably the earliest domesticated animal. Goats grazing or at rest, or being milked by a goat-herder are frequent subjects for idyllic scenes, representing the paradisial state; as such they appear on both pagan and Christian sarcophagi.
There have been many strange beliefs and myths about goats. Oppian says they breathe through their horns, while Varro maintains that they breathe through their ears; Pliny expresses a general belief that they are perpetually feverish. Goat skins were used for water and wine bottles when travelling and camping and as parchment for writing. Goat hairs were woven and the animal provided food and milk. The goat, especially the kid, was a sacrificial animal and was used also as a sin-offering (the Scapegoat.) The he-goat is lust personified, and a goat with a human head depicts depravity.
Themes in the Remedy
- Controlled individuals, prudish
- Fright and fear of razor sharp deadly teeth and a vulnerability at the sides of the throat
- Fear of being taken by surprise, of being jumped at (noise, motion)
- Fear of being pointed at
- Fear is internalised and not expressed
- Shameless sexuality
- Fear of their own sexual impulses
- Themes of breasts and oral sex
- Nervous, frightened children clinging to their mothers
- Individuals in high social position (safe place on a height) who hide sexual indiscretions and are subject to scandal and disgrace.
- Fear of falling/losing social place or position
- Childlike helplessness, timidity and innocence
- Can become indifferent as a strategy to avoid or internalise the fear.
- The main theme of the remedy can be found in the fairy tale “The Wolf and the 7 Little Goats”
- Wandering pains (sharp/stitching)
- Shooting pains in throat, eyes, abdomen
- Cracking in joints
- Digestive disturbances
- Strong odours – feet and genitals
The Cow is predominantly a symbol of motherhood. The Cow is a symbol of the moon as many moon goddesses wears the horns of a Cow. The Great Mother Cow exists in many cultures. There is Hathor the divine Cow of Egypt and Europa the white moon Cow that mated with Zeus.
Cows are regarded in some cultures as a symbol of status and bartered as currency. Cows have been invaluable to humans over the years. Cows have come to represent our connection to the land and are a sign of the bounty with which we are provided. In Hinduism the Cow is a symbol of purity, motherhood and ahimsa (non-violence).
In Chinese Astrology the Ox is considered to be advantageous and also disadvantageous – Advantages of Ox people: Powerful individual, successful, unyielding, stubborn, can be a good leader, can be a good parent, upright, inspiration to others, placid and easygoing, self assurance, quiet, good with hands, eloquent with public.
Disadvantages of Ox people: Conservative, easily misunderstood in family relationships, cool attitudes, unemotional responses, angered easily.
Women who drink cow’s milk have a much larger chance of developing breast cancer than those who don’t.
Themes in the Remedy
- Need to belong to the community
- Fear of being rejected by the community
- Forsaken feeling
- Feeling of being separated from the mother
- Need to be attractive
- Tremendous sense of injustice
- Need to bear a lot of suffering
- Cares for and by the mother
- Fears and dreams of being pursued, of being beaten
- Depression, suicidal disposition
- Meditates on the easiest way to take his life
- Strong desire or intolerance of milk
- Affections of the breast including poor lactation
- Pain in the breast before menses
- Disturbed nutrition
- Headache – throbbing in the temples when the rest of the head feels light
- < milk, loss of sleep, cold, during pregnancy
- > pressure of bandage, conversation, rest
- Intense thirst
A favourite of travellers, the dolphin is known as a symbol for prosperity and the abundance of the earth. Dolphins are highly intelligent creatures, and there are people who believe that dolphins are intellectually equivalent to human beings, if not superior. To underline this common belief, the sophisticated medium of communication in dolphins has mystified many researchers.
Female dolphins possess two mammary glands which produce a rich milk to nourish their young. The mother can physically eject milk into the calf’s mouth to help speed the nursing process. This is very helpful since the whole process takes place under water while both animals hold their breath. Nursing may continue for as long as twelve to eighteen months after birth.
Dolphins are extremely and continuously vocal. They use different clicks and whistles to denote different messages, where the whistles are thought to be emotional messages. Squeals denote alarm or excitement.
Dolphins were hunted at one time. Although this is almost non-existent commercially now, they are destroyed inadvertently by commercial tuna fishers using purse nets.
Themes in the Remedy
- Calm during danger
- Play and pleasure
- Separation detached
- Attraction to water
- Groups and community – close bonds where being separated from them causes discomfort.
- Feeling of lack of privacy
- Guilt with responsibility
- Possibility of being lead astray, seduced by the good life as well as a desire to find meaning in everyday life.
- Maternal instinct and the need to nurture and give shelter
The dolphin is a very group-oriented sea mammal. Dolphins fish together, play together, enjoy sexuality and childrearing, and have a strong focus on the protection of the group. In order to keep the group together they must be caring, loving, communicative and exist together peacefully. The group works together to protect against predators such as sharks, humans and killer whales. However, in order to co-exist cooperatively and peacefully, dolphins may need to suppress anger, violence, competitiveness, jealousy and the feeling of not being taken care of.
- Disease of sinuses, congestion/blockage of the left nostril
- Pain in big toe
- Pharyngeal infections with very sore lymph glands
- Weakness from the sun
The horse is a symbol of power, guidance, protection, prosperity, magic, prophecy and the transporter to the otherworld.
In Buddhism the horse is one of the 12 animals in the Asian 60-year calendrical cycle. Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have been born in the Year of the Horse, and so 2002, which was mainly a horse year, was considered especially auspicious. The horse symbolizes energy, and the energetic pursuit of the objectives of Buddha’s teachings.
Symbol of the Sun: Surya driving his chariot pulled by seven horses is the subject of many carvings in Hindu temples. The chariot of the Greek god Apollo, in his role as Phoebus (phoibos) mover of the sun, was drawn by a team of horses.
The Trojans, who accepted the hollow form of a horse into their city with little regard for what it might contain, were neither stupid nor ignorant — they had already ignored the warnings of two powerful visionaries. However, after ten years of combat and siege, they could not afford to ignore an offering to the dominant local deities, for Troy was believed to have been built by Apollo, chariot driver to the Sun, and Poseidon (as associated with the horse as with the ocean.) Also, the Greek hero Heracles had once been promised a gift of horses which had not been delivered. Moreover, the site of Troy is not far from the territory of the Hyksos, chariot-driving warriors who marauded down the coast as far south as Egypt, which they conquered. Achilles, the hero of the Achaean Greeks, had been educated in his earlier years by Chiron, the centaur (half man and half horse.)
Themes in the Remedy
- Difficult encounters
- Great passion for horses
- Feeling of having one’s wild spirit or nature beaten out – of being tamed into submission
- Discontentment, restlessness, constriction
- and desire to break free
- Strong desire for bacon
- Heart problems
Cats are an image of wholeness – a merging of the physical and spiritual, the psychic and the sensual. For a cat, these are not separate worlds, but one. They have been tagged with a variety of traits, including curiosity, nine lives, independence, cleverness, unpredictability, and healing.
During the thousands of years in which the cat has lived among human beings, it has been venerated at one period as a deity, and at other times cursed as a demon.
Cats have long been held sacred and linked to images of power. Egyptians named the Goddess Bastas the divine mother of cats. The cat was sacred, and to kill one might be punishable by death. Diodorus Siculus, the Greek historian, described how a Roman who killed a cat was murdered by a mob despite the pleadings of high Egyptian officials. If a cat died, from any cause whatever, its owner went into mourning, shaving his eyebrows and performing elaborate funeral rites. Cat cemeteries were established on the banks of the Nile, where the sacred animals were mummified and then laid to rest, together with vast quantities of cat mascots and bronze cat effigies. The Egyptian term for cat was Mau, an imitation of a cat‘s cry and a mother symbol.
Themes in the Remedy
- Fear of falling down stairs, but without vertigo.
- Great depression of spirits.
- Mental illusion that the corners of furniture, or any pointed object near her, were about to run into the eyes ; the symptom is purely mental ; the objects do not appear to her sight to be too close (asthenopia).
- Morbid conscientiousness ; every little fault appeared a crime.
- Very cross to everyone.
- Sympathy with others pregnant
- Violent sexuality
- Lack of self respect
- Moody and clinging to independence with sudden bursts if ill temper
- Desire to be alone/for freedom
- Headaches over eyes, temples and front vertex with burning and pulsation
- Affinity with the eyes – weary, twitching, darting pain, inflammation
- Sinus problems
- Brassy taste on the mouth and loss of taste
- Salivation with tongue enlargement
- Stomach swelling and a desire to eat paper
- Anorexia, nausea, cramps
- Amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, diarrhoea
- No appetite, heat in the epigastric region
- Chest symptoms with oppression and difficult breathing
- Alternating symptoms – cold and heat
- Dullness with heavy and prolonged sleep where they don’t wake easily
- Intolerance of hunger
Human milk, the best food for babies, contains the right amount of nutrients in the right proportions, for the growing baby. A living, biological fluid, it contains many unique components. For example, lactoferrin provides optimal absorption of iron and protects the gut from harmful bacteria; lipases assist in digestion of fats; and special growth factors and hormones contribute to optimal growth and development. Mother’s own milk changes during a feeding from thirst-quenching to hunger-satisfying, and comes in a variety of flavours as the mother’s diet varies. Its composition changes as the baby grows to meet the baby’s changing nutritional needs.
Human milk is baby’s first immunization. It provides antibodies which protect the baby from many common respiratory and intestinal diseases, and also contains living immune cells. First milk, Colostrum, is packed with components which increase immunity and protect the newborn’s intestines. Artificially fed babies have higher rates of middle ear infections, pneumonia, and cases of gastroenteritis (stomach flu). Breastfeeding as an infant also provides protection from developing immune system cancers such as lymphoma, bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and celiac sprue, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, all of which are related to immune system function. Breastfed babies generally mount a more effective response to childhood immunizations. In all these cases, benefits begin immediately, and increase with increasing duration of breastfeeding.
Themes in the Remedy
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of confidence
- Dreams of death
- Forsaken/Isolated feeling
- Shuns responsibility/caretaker
- Caring for food/caring for others
- Need to be nurtured
Other themes : Being helpful to others so that you receive acceptance and are not alone. The ‘I’ needed to be sacrificed for the good of the “we.” It is necessary to do things for others, obey the rules, and be sensitive to the opinions of others, but unfortunately, this also leads to feeling forced, treated badly and ridiculed.
The issue of having two wills is central. Thus there is conflict between having both a spiritual and non-spiritual nature, a desire to work and a desire to go on a holiday, a desire to be an individual, yet part of a group. There is a lot of emphasis on one’s relatives and on being helpful to one’s friends, family, community and those less fortunate, what we might call humanitarian service.
- Eczema, worse from milk
- Emptiness and depression on waking
- Extreme thirst
- Affinities with the breast and the female organs
- Endocrine system
- Worse alcohol, eating, waking, before menses, breastfeeding
- Better eating, motion, sex, breastfeeding
Lac Maternum is made from the milk of nine women and is collected from three days (colostrum) to 10 months after parturition.
The oneness of the nursing mother and her baby has always fascinated mankind. Like lovers, they are united both physically and spiritually. Unlike lovers, their union lacks the ambivalence and tensions of sexuality. The Egyptians portrayed their chief goddess, Isis, with the infant Horus at her breast.
Christianity reveres the Madonna, the image of mother and infant, as a symbol of pure love. The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, speaks of compassion and altruism as first learned at a mother’s breast, as the mother gives of herself to her child. Artists throughout history and around the world have been inspired by the nursing couple, to convey in stone and clay and paint, two souls who are one.
In addition to all the known benefits of human milk, it’s also clear that the act of breastfeeding is beneficial. Research shows that breastfeeding leads to optimal brain development. Breastfeeding’s contribution to optimal oral development means less risk of malocclusion — and perhaps lower orthodontist bills! Bottle-fed babies have a higher risk of baby bottle tooth decay, as well. The skin-to-skin contact with mother provides optimal nurturing and an almost automatic close emotional attachment. Suckling at the breast optimizes hand-to-eye coordination, especially with regular “side-switching.” Even in the rare cases when the mother can’t produce enough milk, or for adopted babies, supplemental systems can allow mother and baby to enjoy a breastfeeding relationship.
Themes in the Remedy
- Anxiety about life
- Homesickness for the astral world
- Refusal of the child by its parents at the beginning of pregnancy
- Anxiety for the responsibilities of a new life
- Lack of centre/ energy easily disturbed by the energy of other persons and of the surroundings
- Lack of clarity of mind; thinking is muddled and defenses against the outer world are lowered
- Want of self esteem
- Lack of joy
- Sensation of floating out of body
- Lack of awareness of one’s surroundings/boundaries
Incarnation in current life – the process of incarnation that takes place during pregnancy, is not complete at birth and mother’s milk helps the baby to come down gradually. The centre of the remedy is lack of incarnation from several deeper causes, such as anxiety in accepting the physical state, apprehension of the difficulty of our task during this incarnation, homesickness for the astral world, refusal of the child by its parents at the beginning of pregnancy, or anxiety for the responsibilities of a new life. This lack of incarnation causes a deep unawareness of the true identity; the person is not centered and the energy is easily disturbed by the energy of other persons and of the surroundings.
Headache, migraine, dizziness, vertigo, an empty feeling, flushes, loss of hair, coldness of the extremities, weak libido, lack of feeling, awkwardness, general chilliness, eczema, psoriasis, molluscae.
The lion has always held a high place in heraldry as the emblem of deathless courage, and hence, that of a valiant warrior. It is said to be a lively image of a good soldier, who must be “valiant in courage, strong of body, politic in council and a foe to fear.” Through the somewhat dubious legend of their compassion, lions also came to symbolize Christ. As one medieval author asserted, “they prey on men rather than women, and they do not kill children except when they are very hungry.”
The lion, with such repute of its noble nature and having the position and title of king of the beasts, is naturally one of the most common heraldic symbols on the continent of Europe. The winged lion is the emblem of St. Mark.
The lion is one of Buddhism’s most potent symbols. Traditionally, the lion is associated with regality, strength and power. It is therefore an appropriate symbol for the Buddha, who tradition has it was a royal prince. The Buddha’s teachings are sometimes referred to as the ‘Lion’s Roar’, again indicative of their strength and power. In Buddhist art, lions are sometimes depicted on the throne the Buddha sits on.
Themes in the Remedy
- Concern about people and desire to help them especially children
- Problems with authority figures
- Women at odds with their husbands
- Men relating to other men
The queen of beasts, the lioness, lends her milk for the healing of humanity. There is a theme of royalty, being a person of high standards, arrogant, with a love of power. But there is also the fear of losing this power and independence, resulting in being put down, blamed and brought low with feelings of being inferior, weak, fragile and lonely.
The flip side of being the king or queen is to be a lowly pauper, dependent on the pride for everything and being dominated by the current kingâ€”or turned out to fend for oneself. Thus, the person who needs the remedy reacts with anger, violence and pouncing upon one’s enemies, especially when there is a feeling of hurt pride.
- Anger from being blamed
- Desires respect
- Dreams of responsibility
- Sensitive to the truth
- Extreme thirst
- Sexual desire increased
- Changeable moods
- Worse before menses
The wolf is perhaps purely “the beast”, which appears from nowhere, wreaks devastation, and vanishes without trace, leaving carnage in its wake. In mythology, its role is sometimes benevolent, sometimes evil. The wolf sees in the dark, so is symbolic of light and the sun. The wolf can be the solitary hero who defies the hunters. It is a symbol of intelligence and courage.
In dreams, it is often a part of the self, positive or negative. It can represent solitude and self-absorption, and retreat from relations with others, but it can symbolize instinct too; the instinct that certain people can only keep locked inside. The wolf can also represent a “devouring” character that we carry within us, a father or mother for instance. It often represents a social character of this nature, for a man may be “a wolf towards other men or women, but a wolf seldom behaves badly towards other wolves. Wolves have been long regarded by Native Americans as teachers or pathfinders. Wolves are fiercely loyal to their mates, and have a strong sense of family while maintaining individualism. In the stars, the Wolf is represented by the Dog, Sirius, thought by many aboriginal tribes to be the home of the “Ancients.” It seems to be through this connection that the Wolf has come to be associated with ancient teachings.