Materia Medica

The Staphysagria Surprise!

Nicky Holiday

Mati Fuller gives us the real low-down on Staphysagria!

“He’s an irresponsible parasite, with categorically noooooo prospects!”

Nicky Holiday 2

Nicky Holiday–The Great Muppet Caper

Mati, Staphysagria! I know we’ve discussed this before, but I feel we have a great opportunity to see the remedy close up. I have a client, “Joy”, who grew up with a father who yelled at the top of his lungs–everyone in the household was scared to death of him; so, probably not surprisingly, she married a Staphysagria. Yes, I know; Staphysagria’s supposed to be so sweet, so kind, so deferential; but, that extreme of self-sacrifice implies the opposite as well! Polarities, remember?

Joy is willing to share her husband with us for the sake of science! Joy is a Pulsatilla, she’s very yielding, as you might guess. She didn’t want to marry this Staphysagria, but, he CRIED! He begged her to marry him! She thought, “If he’s crying, he must really love me, and I couldn’t possibly hurt his feelings!” Now, surprise-surprise, the husband turns out to be immature, bossy and controlling. When she visits her in-laws, the husband bands together with them and they all gang up on Joy. It’s as if the husband is trying to bond with his parents at her expense! He was no doubt abused by them in some way. Now he attempts to curry their favor by jumping on the Joy-bashing band wagon! Staphysagria’s mother’s position is that Joy has stolen her son away from her! Below is Joy’s recitation of her last visit to the in-laws. She was supposed to have gone to her sister-in-law’s wedding but didn’t because Staphysagria picked a fight with her at the last minute–again! Mati, feel free to comment where appropriate in Joy’s letter below:

Hi Elaine,

I am back from my visit. I didn’t have access to internet connection for some time and then I forgot my password and I couldn’t get into my mail. 🙂

I had a great time at my parents’ place. I was feeling very happy and looking forward to being home. I had a very pleasant and peaceful time at home. But as the time to visit my in-laws started nearing, I started getting neck and back pain, feeling scared and not getting any sleep. Then my husband came to visit me from visiting with his parents, and we had a pleasant day but at night he started fighting with me over rather trivial things and it went on and on. And again, he took back all the things he promised previously about his parents, how he would side with me, and said that nothing is their fault, they had a different set of expectations, etc. and I am the one who is being very unadjusting!


Elaine, it’s Mati jumping in here; Staphysagria is so tuned in to what others expect from him that he can’t see things from anyone else’s point of view. Let me tell you a story about a client of mine named “Tina”, whose husband was Staphysagria: Tina and her husband went to visit his mother in Florida many years ago. Tina’s son was 18 months old, and still nursing. The husband freaked out when he realized that his wife would be nursing in front of his family members. He told his wife that his younger sister thought nursing was “gross” and he couldn’t imagine her nursing in front of his mother and all her old- fashioned friends. He demanded that Tina quit before the trip so nobody would get embarrassed. What if they got a glimpse of her breast??? God forbid!

Tina told him that stopping nursing was out of the question! She agreed to wear huge, lose tops that would drape down and cover any “indecency”.

This is definitely a Staphysagria trait – he was more concerned with what others would think of him, and about the possibility of public humiliation, than about what was best for his own baby! “Humiliation” is a big word in Staphysagria. The funny thing was, the family didn’t mind Tina nursing at all, it was all in his head! So, back to Joy’s letter.


“Lots of people don’t like their inlaws,” he told me, “so what? They deal with them and don’t behave like you do!”

I got very upset after he left for his parents’ home. I decided that I am going to break it off with him and I didnt answer the phone for 2 days. When he finally got a hold of me, he cried so much over the phone at his parents’ house, begging and pleading with me, etc., and his parents, of course, were shocked because he had always taken up with them against me, that they swore they would never interfere in our lives again.


I’ll jump in here. Trying to please his parents and ruining his own relationship with his wife in the process is typical of Staphysagria. Then the wife rejects him, and the rejection makes him realize that he is about to lose her if he doesn’t shape up. So, he has to quickly change sides.

The whole thing is very childish! Being more interested in pleasing the parents than in standing up for his wife shows that he is still more of a boy than a husband. Husbands don’t need to please their parents. They are grown up and are more interested in living their own lives. But Staphysagria hasn’t grown up. He is still just a kid who is afraid of what his parents think.


He kept pleading with me that this time things are going to be different since now his parents know how much I mean to him and last time they didnt know. I am a soft hearted person so is my mom and I couldn’t take all the crying and begging and so, I went back to him but I refused to go to my in-laws place, nor attend the wedding. That’s that. And on the way back home, I got lot of neck pain and now again am having lot of shoulder and neck pain.


Her husband is “a pain in the neck!” He has to stop being such a pain. The pain in the neck is a reflection of the fact that she is not expressing to him what a pain he is all the time. The neck is 5th chakra, which is the chakra of self expression and voice. Voice it, and the neck will clear. (The relationship may not survive it, but the neck will feel a lot better.)


I don’t think my husband would agree to fill out the whole questionnaire for you to treat him. He saw a part of my partially filled out questionnaire and got angry saying that I am bad mouthing about him to strangers and now uses it every time he wants to make me feel guilty. He is always spying on me trying to check my emails, my chat conversations and he listens to my phone conversations very alertly whenever he is around.


Staphysagria is so oversensitive emotionally that he is very defensive about anything that is said about him. This is why counseling is useless for a Staphysagria. They won’t even listen to the counselor because they are so defensive the counselor can’t possibly get their trust. Defensive, suspicious, afraid of being misrepresented.

It is all about upholding an image or a reputation so they won’t end up getting humiliated or disrespected in any way. They basically trust no one!


Oh, he was always very possessive about me. Doesn’t like me wearing very good clothes to the office or wearing new clothes when I visit family or friends with out him.


This reminds me, the same client I mentioned earlier, Tina, after she had her baby, she had lost enough weight that she was able to buy herself a new two-piece bathing suit so that she could visit the local swimming pool. She called Staphysagria into the fitting room and asked if he liked the bathing suit. He told her he loved it, but then all of a sudden asked, “You are not planning to wear that thing in public, are you?” She said, “Of course I will!” He was obviously uncomfortable about that. She wore it to the swimming pool once, and on the way home, he said that she should never wear it again if she wanted to go to the pool with him. He told her she looked like one of those Victoria‘s Secret models, which according to him, was a horrible thing and he was horribly angry about it! He even told her that her skin was too pale to be wearing a two-piece bathing suit.


He doesn’t like me going alone to visit my family or friends. He always wants me to be available to him. But I have noticed his spying behavior only after I walked out on him.


Talk about “spying behavior” – a few months after Tina and her Staphysagria husband broke up, she found a new boyfriend. Staphysagria quickly found out about it and did everything he could to get rid of him. He took two weeks off from work so he could come over to her place and look in the windows! He went through the trash looking for beer bottles, and he went into her shed and rummaged through her stuff. Not surprisingly, the new boyfriend disappeared after only three weeks of this, and the ex felt very proud of himself. He said he was just looking out for his son’s best interest (nice excuse).

Then, when she met her current husband, he tried to do the same thing again! He came over, took her stuff, screamed in the fiance’s face, etc. but the fiance, who had gone to school in a bad neighborhood in England, was just waiting for an opportunity to flatten this guy! Luckily, Staphysagria finally realized this and backed off.


He keeps trying to check up on what I am telling my family and my close friends. And this time when I went to visit my family he kept wanting me to call every few hours and later confessed that he felt that my parents might be arranging for me to meet with some other guy since he is not good enough for me!!! He feels that he is lower than me in looks, education, family, etc.

This is the core issue with Staphysagria: “I’m not good enough!” This is what is driving all their insane behavior, wanting you to constantly prove to him that you respect him so he doesn’t have to feel so useless. And, always comparing himself with others who are better than he is.


Other than this, the usual: he doesn’t talk back to his parents and sister at all and bullies me. He gets totally influenced by them. His mom asks him everyday, “What did you eat today?” and then she says, “Is that all?” and then he comes and gets mad with me!


There is always this conflict in Staphysagria of which side he needs to be on – his mother’s side or his wife’s side. And this is no simple decision to make. He is on his mother’s side most of the time, because he fears losing her good will more than he fears losing his wife’s good will. But then, when the wife has had enough of the nonsense and threatens to leave, he panics. He knows that living a life with his mother is worse than living in hell, and he knows that he is better off with his wife. He is just too scared to stand up to his mom and tell her to back off, even though that is the only thing that can put an end to his extremely unhealthy relationship with her. But, that is the lesson Staphysagria is here to learn!

Back again to Tina, after her son and his dad went back to Florida to see her mother-in-law, the son said that his grandma kept criticizing and yelling at his dad until he was in tears! And then she insulted him for crying! And why is he still putting up with it? Who knows. Maybe he hopes she will leave him money when she dies, which of course would never happen. In real life, Staphysagria always has to be the victim; so, she’ll probably leave the money to his two sisters instead.


He has a very controlling nature and keeps calling every 2 hours from the office. He is very suspicious about my male friends and doesnt like them at all. All his friends like me a lot and he doesn’t like that and feels jealous.


Staphysagria gets jealous if anyone is better than he is. It makes him feel like a victim even before anything bad has happened.


Nor does he like any of my close friends, girls or guys since he knows that I talk to them about his and his mom’s behavior.


Fear of being misrepresented, dishonored, and humiliated….


He always has to give me a sarcastic comment whenever I tell him that someone gave me a compliment.


He will insult her to put her in her place.


He later said that he feels I will think too much of my looks.


If she looks too good, she might have a chance to find someone better than he, and he’ll be the loser again….

It is all just patterns, and patterns, and patterns – all totally predictable. And Pulsatilla’s core situation is that she has lost her lover, and she is so very sad about it. She is always afraid that it will happen again. So, the lesson Pulsatilla is here to learn is that losing a lover is not the end of the world. She is perfectly capable of being alone, and she might even be better off finding a new lover… (Unless she can miraculously get through to Staphysagria and get him to grow up!)

Let’s hear another Staphysagria story!

This is the story of a woman, “Katie”, who was divorcing her Staphysagria husband. After their divorce, things actually got worse. Staphysagria felt extremely sorry for himself, and decided that since he didn’t get any part of the house in the divorce, he became determined to take the son away from Katie instead. This wasn’t very hard to do. They had shared custody at the time, so all he had to do was continually tell the son what a horrible person Katie was! In a very short time, he succeeded in alienating him from his mom. The mom ended up with a son who hated her, and there was nothing she could do about it. All she could do was watch him slip away. To make a long story short, they ended up in court. Katie told the court that the dad had turned her son against her, and that she wanted full custody so the son wouldn’t have to listen to the father’s constant badmouthing of her. The father lied in court about absolutely everything. He even contradicted himself on several occasions, and he also influenced the mom’s main witness so she wouldn’t testify for her. But, in spite of all the contradicting statements, the court still decided in favor of the father, and gave the father full custody!

Instead of getting swept into the emotional drama of this story, we need to look at it from a homeopathic point of view instead. These are the remedies we are dealing with:

Father – Staphysagria
Mother – Carcinosin
Son – Lycopodium

Lessons to learn:
Staphysagria – needs to grow up and become responsible.
Carcinosin – always wants to save everybody and be in control – needs to let go and let people learn to save themselves.
Lycopodium – feels very insecure – needs to learn to stand up for himself.

Staphysagria got his wish, but realized very quickly that he had wished for a lot more than he was prepared to deal with! Taking care of a small child full time requires a lot of RESPONSIBILITY (which he didn’t realize until it was too late)! He had to work and make money, he had to cook and clean, he had to get up early and get the boy ready for school, and he couldn’t go out partying all night whenever he wanted to. He actually had to grow up! What his mother, his wife and all his previous girlfriends couldn’t get him to do, happened effortlessly, without nagging, quarrelling or being insulting, with the help of just a small boy.

The boy, who was afraid to stand up for himself, had no problem standing up to his mother. It was the father he was afraid to stand up to, and now he had plenty of opportunity to do so, without any interference from his well-meaning carcinosin mom who would always step in and “save” him.

And, the mom got the opportunity to let go and allow the boy to fight his own fights.

This outcome, even though it was heart-breaking for the mother at first, was actually the best thing that could have happened, if we look at the situation from the larger perspective. Basically, this is the only solution that allows everyone involved to grow.

If the courts had given the son to the mother, Staphysagria would have still been irresponsible, the boy would not have learned to stand up to the father, and the mother would still have been in control, and very pleased with herself for having “saved” her son from his “horrible” dad. But nobody would have learned anything! There would have been no spiritual growth!

So, this is a new way to look at what happens in life from a homeopathic point of view. First, we identify the remedies and the patterns of each remedy. Then we look at what lessons each remedy needs to learn. Once we know what the lessons are, only then can we view the situation with clarity. And, once there is clarity, the amazing thing is that nobody is the victim anymore! Look at the situation again: everyone involved came out of it learning a lesson that led to a higher level of understanding and consciousness! Can anyone be called a victim when the outcome elevates each person’s spiritual growth?

If we can use our homeopathic knowledge to share this kind of information with our clients, the understanding alone will create half the cure. The other half can be cured with a remedy, but the understanding itself is the most important thing because it takes us out of victim-consciousness onto the road of recovery. This is because seeing the bigger picture always changes our perception of what happened, and when the perception shifts, so does our feeling about it, and when we are no longer stuck in old misery, healing happens. This is why I say; time doesn’t heal, understanding does.

Mati, let me just ask you, I have a feeling that people are mistaking Staphysagria for both Lycopodium and Lachesis. Do you agree? Do you want to do a differential diagnosis among the three?

Oh, boy! Where do I start?

Excuse me, that was the oven timer, Shana’s pizza is done.

Is this an interview, a soap opera, or a cooking show?

Is there really any difference, Mati?  You see, this is what professionalism is all about.  I should caution our readers not to try this at home.

Try WHAT at home?  

And that would be Staphysagria, Lycopodium and Lachesis…

…yes, thanks…they all love to get attention, but for different reasons!  Staphysagria thinks that he is “The Greatest” but he needs constant reaffirmation of this, similar to what Phosphorus needs (Staphysagria needs to know he is great, Phosphorus needs to know she is beautiful).  Now, we have to keep in mind that there are different types of Staphysagrias – some are more introverted, and others love to talk, but both types will do whatever they can to impress you!  Some talk a lot about their own greatness, often exaggerating or making things up as they go.  Others will keep showing you their portfolios if they are artistically inclined.  One Staphysagria, who was a very good singer, went to an event were a band was playing and immediately went up on stage and asked if he could sing a song.  So, they had to stop their own performance and play for him while he sang, and he was very happy after the performance when people came and told him what a great singer he was.

The reason why Staphysagria does this is that his feeling of greatness is totally dependent on other people’s opinions!  Without this kind of confirmation from others, they often feel worthless or humiliated.  So, Staphysagria can even appear like a Sulphur at times, especially if he is bragging too much.  But, it is still easy to distinguish between the two. The main difference is that Sulphur already knows how great he is and he doesn’t care what others think of him, but Staphysagria cares as if his life depended on it!  So, in Staphysagria, we often see someone who is bragging about themselves one minute, and expressing how small, worthless and humiliated they feel the next.  Anytime we find both of these extremes, we should always think of Staphysagria.

Thanks for the great insight!

Lachesis also needs attention.  In a snake, which is what Lachesis is, the need for attention has to do with survival.  The snake gets the attention of the prey, hypnotizing and distracting it, before striking.  No attention means no food, and we see the same in people who need Lachesis.  They talk a lot, very fast, and they are so vivacious that the listener may feel “spellbound”, giving Lachesis their undivided attention.  This kind of attention puts Lachesis in complete control in every situation, and, if you don’t give them the attention they want, they can “strike” at you with a very sharp tongue and hurt your feelings.

Fascinating, quite fascinating!

Lachesis’ need for attention is different from Staphysagria’s in that Lachesis simply “feeds” off of your energy.  It is not a matter of self confidence, as in Staphysagria’s case, it is just Lachesis’ way of putting themselves in a superior position and enjoying your attention and your energy.

I remember one Lachesis client who demanded that I listen to her whole story, because I couldn’t possibly understand her case unless I first knew every detail.  For three hours, she kept talking, and talking, and talking, and wouldn’t let me interrupt or ask any questions!  At the end, I had a whole list of questions that needed to be asked, and she refused to answer any of them!


I suspect that she refused to answer my questions simply because it was no longer on her terms, but it didn’t matter because her attitude confirmed my remedy choice!

So just her refusal to answer spoke louder than what she might have said.  Interesting, very interesting.  What about Lycopodium?

Like Staphysagria, Lycopodium’s need for attention also has to do with wanting to establish his own greatness, but there are still differences.  Lycopodium feels small and wants to become big and important.  He is ambitious and wants to achieve goals and become capable so people will look up to him.  Once he achieves his goals, he spends the rest of his life trying to secure his position.  He has a natural instinct for always putting himself in a superior position whenever possible.

While Staphysagria tends to talk a lot about his own personal greatness, Lycopodium talks more about his great achievements.  Lycopodium also tries to impress people, but it is still different than Staphysagria.  They try to impress people with their knowledge or what they can do, rather than with who they are.  This has to do with a difference in their delusional perceptions of reality.  Staphysagria believes that they aren’t going to be loved unless they can convince others of how great they are, and Lycopodium believes that he won’t be loved unless he achieves something great.  This difference is easier to spot if you look at how they do things.

Staphysagria wants others to respect him without having to do anything to earn it.  So, he tends to sabotage his own efforts causing people to insult him.  I saw an example of this one day when I was invited to somebody’s house for dinner.  I didn’t know the way, but a friend of mine told me that her husband said he knew the way, so I could follow their car. Her Staphysagria husband didn’t bother making sure he really knew the way first, so we all ended up getting lost and going around in circles for about 1/2 hour before we finally found the place.  And, of course, his wife told him what an idiot he was!

Lycopodium doesn’t sabotage his own efforts like this.  He is very capable and sincerely wants to achieve, and he isn’t afraid to put in the necessary effort it requires.  So, you’ll find that Lycopodium doesn’t attract insults the way Staphysagria does.

That is so interesting!

So, therefore, he doesn’t feel as victimized as Staphysagria, either.

Yes, Staphysagria an victimhood; they go hand in hand.

We can also look at jealousy issues.  Lachesis is jealous if someone else is in the top position, and they are willing to fight to get it back.

Lycopodium is jealous if someone else has achieved more than he has.  This could be a better degree, more money, a bigger house, a more expensive car, and so on.  Lycopodium needs his status symbols because they are symbols of how much he has achieved, and how superior he is.  The more he achieves, the better his self confidence becomes.  So, his achievements are basically a way to compensate for his naturally low self-esteem.  Even though he may stretch his credit a little more than he should, he is still basically responsible and good at managing money.

Staphysagria is jealous if someone gets more respect and recognition than he, even though he isn’t willing to do what it takes to get it!  Staphysagria is like a kid in many ways.  He wants nice things because he thinks he deserves them, but he isn’t necessarily interested in earning the money first.  Therefore, he can easily get addicted to using credit cards, and he isn’t too worried about whether he can pay the bills when they come, either.  He just trusts that somehow it will all work out.  (Lycopodium would never just “trust.”  He would plan and use logic and a calculator, so he is much more sensible than Staphysagria could ever be).

Staphysagria doesn’t want to work hard for what he wants.  He just wants an easy life where good things are simply given to him, and he feels very sad and unfortunate when it doesn’t happen.  So, the biggest thing that points toward the remedy Staphysagria is a very strong feeling of being unfortunate, of being a victim of different circumstances, especially if mean women are part of the story – an angry, unappreciative, insulting mother, a nagging wife, a horrible girlfriend…. One Staphysagria client told me that he had been yelled at by women his whole life.  Lachesis would have yelled back, Lycopodium would have simply left the nagging mother or wife behind and not looked back, only Staphysagria carries the emotional pain of this for years and years and is perhaps never able to really get over it.  He is like a teenage boy, unable to free himself from his mother, while Lycopodium and Lachesis are grown up people who can be responsible whenever they need to.

Mati, then where did Lycopodium get the reputation for being irresponsible, childish and shallow?  Also, the snooping and stalking we know Lachesis so well for, how would we distinguish this trait in Staphysagria?

Lycopodium sometimes has a problem with commitment, similar to Staphysagria.  The difference is that if Lycopodium does decide to make a commitment, he will do his best to make it work, possibly from fear of failure, but when Staphysagria makes a commitment, he doesn’t really do his best to make anything work.  Rather, he makes a sort of half-hearted effort, and when things don’t work and he gets criticized and insulted, he feels hurt, but he still doesn’t try any harder.

So, in my opinion, Lycopodium is still a more responsible and a more grown-up type, even though he can also be irresponsible at times.

Fear of responsibility due to his fear of failure.  It’s in the repertory as Mind: fears, undertaking anything new.  “People will find out I’m a ‘nobody’,” he thinks.  All his “achievements” you mentioned earlier insulate him from the likelihood that anyone will notice he’s a “nobody”.  Relationships: If he makes any commitment that’s not shallow, the partner will surely notice in due time that he’s really a “nobody”!

What about Lachesis and Staphysagria: snooping and stalking?

You are right, both Staphysagria and Lachesis tend to snoop and stalk, but they are still coming from slightly different points of view.  Staphysagria snoops and stalks to see if somebody else is getting the respect and appreciation he feels that he deserves!  Lachesis snoops and stalks if someone younger or more attractive than she takes her place.

Lachesis will try to manipulate and intimidate her way back into the relationship if possible, while Staphysagria will take a more passive-aggressive approach.  He might drive over to her house and “peel out” in her driveway, just to put some nasty energy there, or he might tell everyone he knows what a horrible person she is.  Lachesis, however, would be more likely to get into some kind of verbal confrontation with the person who took her position.  The difference is somewhat subtle.  Again, Staphysagria will feel more like a victim, especially if he thinks his ex-mate has found someone she thinks is better than he is.  He’ll end up feeling insulted, humiliated and extremely sorry for himself, while Lachesis would be more likely to get horribly angry and want to fight back.  So, in a Staphysagria case, we can always expect to see some sense of victimhood!

Something happened that wasn’t fair, and Staphysagria always ends up feeling sorry for himself.  Lachesis, in a similar situation, would rather try to make the other person the victim.

Mati, we’ve got three remedies that, I take it, are vindictive: Phosphorus, Staphysagria and Lachesis.  Apparently all three will strike back if you try to replace them.  Last time we talked about Phosphorus reporting “rivals” to the authorities. Staphysagria will, if I understand you correctly, resort to harassment if you reject him.  Lachesis, perhaps, is to be feared the most, as he may actually become violent.  Is that your understanding?

Yes, I agree. Staphysagria will harass, stalk, snoop and slander, but avoid direct confrontation for the most part; Phosphorus will turn you in to some kind of authority to make you suffer; and Lachesis is more likely to take things into his own hands, since he loves a good confrontation.

Would you say that Lachesis is more likely to confront the new boyfriend or girlfriend and Staphysagria is more likely to avoid the new boyfriend/girlfriend and focus his intimidation techniques just on you?

Staphysagria will confront the new person only if his anger gets out of control.  He much prefers to avoid direct confrontation if possible.

Mati, I’m getting the impression it is very hard–next to impossible–to break up with Staphysagria because he won’t leave!  Do I understand this correctly? What is he hoping to accomplish, other than attracting more and more insults?

Staphysagria has a complicated relationship with women because he has a complicated relationship with his mother!  He wants to free himself (that is why Staphysagria often threatens to leave a relationship), but at the same time, he is afraid to do so because he doesn’t trust that he will be ok alone.  So, he has a hard time making commitments, and also a hard time letting go, because he doesn’t really know what he wants.  Therefore, he always feels an inner conflict about what to do.  But it is not impossible to break up with Staphysagria.  The mate just has to tell him it is over, and stick to it, and, of course, once again, he will really feel like a victim!

I was thinking of Tina’s husband, who sabotaged every new relationship Tina got into: looking in the windows, rummaging through the shed, the trash…he was like fly paper, she couldn’t get rid of him!  Why do they do this?

I think it is a form of self torture.  Staphysagria gets so obsessed about his pain that he almost starts to feel some kind of pleasure from it.  Notice how he’ll tell anyone about how horrible he feels, you can see how excited he gets the more he gets into the details.  So, on some level, he actually enjoys his suffering – it gives him something to talk about.  The guy you are referring to, he was probably just looking for more things to complain about, more proof that his ex-mate was a really horrible person.  And then he could tell others.  The complaining to others becomes a kind of negative bragging.  And bragging, whether positive or negative, gives some form of pleasure.

Yes, bragging, as you alluded to earlier; and, I was thinking, if Staphysagria is a “Victim”, as you so correctly pointed out, then it would be counter-intuitive for him to leave and start over!  Better the rejection should intensify!  Am I right?  I think that’s why they become like fly paper when you try to break up with them.

What about Lachesis, will he or she refuse to leave too?

When it comes to Lachesis, it depends on who wants to leave.  If Lachesis wants to leave the relationship, she just leaves, it is as simple as that.  She may not even care if she leaves her children behind.  (Remember, the snake takes good care of its eggs, but after they are hatched, she doesn’t pay much attention to the little snakes.  The same can also apply to Lachesis, she often takes great care of her little babies, but as soon as they start walking, she may become more involved with her own interests).  However, if Lachesis’ partner wants to leave, she’ll definitely put up a fight, and it won’t be pretty!  Lachesis is much more of a fighter than Staphysagria will ever be.  Staphysagria is so sensitive that the cruel world is almost too much for him, and Lachesis is much tougher emotionally, so even though Lachesis and Staphysagria have some things in common, they are still very different types.

This is why we can never just pick simple rubrics and look them up in the repertory; for the rubrics to be meaningful, we also have to understand where the person is coming from.  Is someone stalking because they feel left out and they want to see what is happening, or are they waiting for an opportunity to hurt the person they are watching?  This is what you have to find out.  The fact that they stalk or spy is not of much use unless you know why; once you know what is behind the stalking and snooping, you won’t mix up the two remedies.

Which remedy type does Staphysagria feel most comfortable with?  Which ones will he stay away from?

So far, I have seen Staphysagria with Arsenicum, Natrum, Medorrhinum, Carcinosin and Pulsatilla.  I also saw a Staphysagria go after a Phosphorus once, and she insulted him for even thinking that he was good enough for her!

The combination of Arsenicum and Staphysagria creates some very definite problems: Arsenicum likes to boss Staphysagria around, and often criticizes or insults him whenever he doesn’t do things right.  She will basically play the same role as his mother, so eventually, Staphysagria will threaten to leave the relationship.  This will trigger Arsenicum’s insecurity and feeling of not being loved.  Staphysagria often becomes emotionally evasive and avoids Arsenicum when she wants to talk to him, and this always pushes Arsenicum’s buttons.  The more she criticizes him, the more irresponsible he becomes, and eventually, Arsenicum will insult him to get him to shape up, and this is usually the beginning of the end of the relationship.

Staphysagria and Natrum is just as explosive a combination, since Staphysagria has mother issues and Natrum has father issues.  Natrum’s father was emotionally unavailable, and may have been a Staphysagria himself, so no matter how much Natrum tries to do her best and make the relationship work, he doesn’t even notice her efforts.

This, of course, leads to hurt feelings, tears and eventually rage in Natrum.  And, because Natrum is trying so hard to make things work, and Staphysagria doesn’t seem to be trying very much at all, she will also end up insulting him for being useless.

This hurts Staphysagria’s feelings, and they will end up having some nasty fights and if the tension gets too much, he will most likely leave the relationship.

Medorrhinum likes it if someone else is in charge, so she puts Staphysagria in charge, and he feels honored, of course.  But, true to his old patterns, he doesn’t do a good job, and when Medorrhinum realizes that what he is doing isn’t good enough, she’ll push him aside and take charge instead.  To Staphysagria, this is a complete insult, and he’ll get downright nasty as a result and, down the hill it goes….

Since Staphysagria always feels unfortunate, and Carcinosin always identifies with the underdog, the attraction is irresistible!  Finally, someone Carcinosin can save!  (And, Staphysagria loves being saved!) 

She can sort out his financial troubles, pay his bills, get him some new clothes, may be even find him a job.  But, is he grateful?  No.  And Carcinosin needs appreciation for all her efforts.  She’ll get tired of continuously saving him, so after a while, she’ll build up resentment and start nagging him and bossing him around.  And, again, it goes downhill from there….

I think the combination of Staphysagria and Pulsatilla is probably the best one because Pulsatilla is so sweet and gentle that she actually brings out a different side of Staphysagria.  She needs to be taken care of, and when someone needs taking care of, Staphysagria can actually turn into a “knight in shining armor.”  He will really make an effort to take care of her, even if it means that he has to be responsible, so this can actually bring out his best side!  Pulsatilla hates confrontation just as much as he does. She may even look up to him and will rarely insult him, so this combination can actually work.  The only problem I can think of is that Pulsatilla may not get as much affection as she would like, but she still won’t even think of leaving.  So, Staphysagria should probably stick to Pulsatillas.

A Staphysagria may sit down and tell you what an extraordinary talent he has, and that anyone who gets to work with him should feel honored.  It is basically bragging without any modesty whatsoever.  And a few sentences later, they talk about how so and so made them feel completely humiliated.  This is the key – bragging one minute, and then revealing how worthless they feel, the next.  Staphysagria can easily be convinced to become a gigolo: A woman supports him, very little is asked of him, he can be lulled into thinking this is the ideal life but in reality, he’s placed himself back into a mother-son relationship, which will end in him feeling victimized, again.

Mati, let’s just sum up.  The side of Staphysagria we’ve come to know is the victim side: The rape victim, the child abuse victim, the victim of spousal abuse, the poor innocent who draws our sympathy….

I call this the “puppy-dog” syndrome.  Staphysagrias are experts at getting people to feel sorry for them!  They look at them with big puppy-dog eyes and tell their very sad tale, and people immediately take their side.

A friend of mine used to do craft shows with her Staphysagria husband.  Because he always had this hungry puppy-dog look, all the crafts people in the neighboring booths started bringing him food!  And, this happened at every show!  How he did it, I don’t know, but this is a very special talent that Staphysagrias have.

The judge that I mentioned earlier also fell for Staphysagria’s sad and miserable tale, and chose to give the son to him, even though she knew he was lying about things!  But he was very convincing, and that is where Staphysagria has his great advantage.

So here’s what I’m getting:  The victim in childhood grows up, and then makes everyone else’s life miserable!  Now he’s the bully!  Now he’s looking for a victim, someone he can be better than and control and keep from living her own life.

He has to think he’s great to keep from remembering how inconsequential he’s been told he is!  But he can’t actually WORK at being great because deep down he believes that he’s a failure, or that he will fail, since he was apparently accused of that by his parents or his mother!  Why try if you “know” you’re going to fail?

So, the staphysagria child grows up and becomes a pain in the neck to his wives and girl friends, and naturally, he seeks out Pulsatilla types who he can dominate, or Arsenicum types who will support him even though they will also insult him!

Yes, someone they can dominate (Pulsatilla), or someone who can save them (Carcinosin–by creating order out of Staphysagria’s chaotic life) or Arsenicum (they’ve usually got money), or someone who is just as hurt as they are (Nat Mur — misery tends to attract misery).

Wait a minute, why Arsenicum?  They’re big on wanting security and finances and Staphysagria usually has little to offer.

Simple!  Arsenicum doesn’t mind paying for everything as long as it makes the partner dependent on her so he won’t be able to leave when Arsenicum starts criticizing!  (And Staphysagria loves being financially dependent on someone!)  Arsenicum always looks to create some kind of dependency in a relationship: either the partner is dependent on Arsenicum, or if the partner is too independent for comfort, Arsenicum will make herself dependent by getting sick, or having an emergency.

Think about it – Staphysagria already doesn’t feel good about himself and always attracts insults because he never does anything right, and Arsenicum loves playing the role of the insulter.  Eventually, Staphysagria will feel that “enough is enough” and threatens to leave the relationship, which immediately triggers Arsenicum’s feeling of being unloved.  It’s the perfect match! They will both push each other’s core buttons and both will have an opportunity to work through their own issues.  So, this combination is either a recipe for unbelievable misery, or a great opportunity for spiritual growth.  Which one they chose depends on how deep their understanding goes.

What about the Staphysagria female?  Does she grow up and dominate the relationship or does she remain the victim throughout?

Whether the female Staphysagria will stay a victim, or become controlling in her relationships, has to do with how feminine she is.  If she is very feminine, she’ll just receive abuse and lack of respect and appreciation, and she’ll enjoy complaining about it to everyone she knows.  Energetically speaking, men are more aggressive, so male Staphysagrias are likely to become more trouble to their mates than female Staphysagrias.

Male energy is aggressive, dominating, ego oriented, and female energy is softer and more yielding.  The thing they both have in common is that they are extremely sensitive to any kind of emotional pain or humiliation, and they both enjoy complaining or bragging about it.  Women are more likely to complain about their misery, and the men are more likely to brag about their greatness.  But these are just two sides of the same coin, so either of them can go from one side of the coin to the other.  You can find Staphysagria men who complain, and you can also find female Staphysagrias who are bragging or becoming controlling in their relationships.  Both those sides are part of the remedy picture, and which one will manifest has to do with the degree of misery they are experiencing, as well as how feminine or masculine they are.

Well, Mati, I have to say, you’ve done it again!  You’ve shared a great deal of knowledge with us and you stayed up past your bedtime!  I think we owe you a debt of gratitude!  I would encourage our readers to check out Mati’s and my other materia medica articles–“So You Think You Know Phosphorus!” (


You Try Living With Arsenicum!” (

I’d invite everyone also to buy your book, Beyond the Veil of Delusions where you delve into the relationship problems specific remedies tend to have.  For example, what happens when Nux vomica marries a Pulsatilla?  I’ve been meaning to ask you about that….

Maybe on our next visit. 

And your book can be purchased at a number of locations, including, but I hasten to add that it’s got a new cover now, so, don’t let that throw you!

Thanks, Elaine, until next time?

Wait, Mati!

For what?

You haven’t heard the Staphysagria theme song!

The what?

The Staphysagria theme song!

I wasn’t aware that Staphysagria had a theme song but I guess I should have known.  What is it?

“He’s Sure The Boy I Love” by The Crystals!

He doesn’t look like a movie star

He doesn’t drive a Cadillac car

He sure ain’t the boy I’ve been dreamin’ of but…

He’s sure the boy I love!”

Click here:


The Crystals

The Crystals


Mati H. Fuller, DIHom (Pract)

[email protected]

Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

About the author

Mati Fuller

Mati H. Fuller, DIHom (Pract) was born and raised in Bergen, Norway and came to the United States in 1985. She lives and practices in Colorado and is author of "Beyond the Veil of Delusions, Understanding Relationships Through Homeopathy." [email protected]

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and

1 Comment

  • Well qualified Homeopaths are so rare in USA.

    My friend/love has has many staphis indications but not so much the mentals but I may not be objective enough or she may be more mature and still be in need of it Victoria Snelling in Louisville KY is closest Homeopath. I enjoyed the insights into staphisagria. I am also looking for practioner. I spend half my time in Boca Raton, FL and half in Lexington, KY.