By Hwaa Irfan
I. Previously, we explored the female connection via the homeopathic remedy Natrum muriaticum, depicting a woman who is very much a product of the Industrial Revolution. Raised in a family where mother bonding is disrupted. Natrum muriaticum has grown up in an environment emotionally distant depriving this type of woman of what she needs to flourish in her life.
II. Then we explored the feminine face of Natrum carbonicum, more down to earth and open than Natrum muriaticum, but whose sensibilities are around rejection, a rejection that began as a traumatic experience from her past. She stays within her comfort zone to define her place in the world, as stepping outside that zone brings on anticipatory anxiety about anything new because she feels unworthy of love.
III. With Natrum phosphoricum her sensibility is grief, being quite volatile in nature and sensitive to external influences. Out of a deep sense of worthlessness, she reacts to her pain out of fear which suppresses her internal communications, emotions, and the normal functioning of their bodies.
IV. Pulsatilla is a vibrant person who moves with the flow of events. She has an innate sense of human relations, and God’s plan for human society. Unlike the Natrum sisters, Pulsatilla’s problem is not one of grief, or inner suppression, but of external censorship. She expects fairness, and when that fairness is missing, they become distressed, and instead of moving with the flow, they become tossed by the wind of events. This dissipates their life force, becoming weakened without ongoing environmental support and love. Hiding her vulnerabilities through the veil of a sophistication, they desire space, and self expression that separates their inner world from their outer world.
V. Staphysagria is a born intuitive, who likes to stand above the crowd. Their level of intuition makes them sensitive to external influences, and combined with their desire to be noticed they feel deeply hurt if ignored. With a lifetime of rejection Staphysagria reacts in a variety of ways the result of which is a struggle of suppression vs. expression.
VI. Belladonna has abundant life force and gives out a lot of energy. Extremely healthy looking belladonna stands out in a crowd, but they do not desire company as they have no need for external stimulation. Their intelligence is apparent, emotions vivid, but can be quite excitable. She is both creator and destroyer working towards the nurturance of humanity by destroying the false ego. If they are suffering in any way they prefer to keep it to themselves. Belladonna’s sensibility is shock disappointment in love, fear or too much sun. As she loses sense of a true self, it becomes replaced by a false-self filled with fear and anger.
Now we take a snapshot at another world, the world of three homeopathic remedies from the sea.
Sepia is the Grass/Common Cuttle fish, an invertebrate with a hard shell. Over the 21million years of their existence, they have adapted well to wide ranging environs. from which a brownish black ink is obtained. This ink is a liquid excreted by Sepia as a camouflage, which artists use, but if licked there are not so pleasant consequences.
Belonging to the Cephalopoda family, Sepia Officinalis has evolved without the need for a shell, instead they have a soft body with all their organs enclosed within a mantle (layer of skin). They have elongated bodies, and three hearts of which one is systemic, and the other two are gilled. Through the rhythmic contractions of the mantle, they are able to facilitate the circulation of water, gas, and blood. The minute hairs on their heads and tentacles detect low frequency vibrations, which helps them to locate their prey, and their saliva contains a toxin that immobilizes the prey, but it also assists in their digestion.
This soft-bodied mollusc has it shell located inside the body, and can change shape, colour and texture as a part of their camouflage, mating ritual, and emotions. With eight arms around the mouth, and two tentacles behind the eyes, it is closely related to the octopus, and the squid. Sepia Officinalis propels itself forward by means of squirting jets of water from specially designed organs with her body. Their eyes are located so that they can see backwards, and forwards in horizontal visual field of 360°, they can see things from afar. When threatened, she releases the ink we call Sepia from a grape-sized pouch, which clouds the water enough to make the potential threat retreat.
Sepia Officinalis has a preference for coastal waters, especially around the Cape of Good Hope, the Nortg Sea, east Atlantic, and the Mediterranean, but they are sensitive to heavy metal, and copper in the water. They hide during the day, and feed at night. When it comes to strangers who are human, Sepia Officinalis seem to have no fear to the extent that they will follow the human who has dived into their depths.
Sepia Officinalis is very much an independent creature, which likes to swim alone, but with a life span of two years there has to be time for mating. To attract females, the male will splay their tentacles which usually serve the function of getting food. Typical of the animal kingdom, they will display all their colours to make them stand out more. If accepted they will swim side by side to continue the courtship, and if she rejects she will swim away to only be stalked by the male – eventually they will embrace. The male will protect what is his, until she retreats into a cave for spawning purpose, but the male will guard the den. The females may produce up to 200 – 500 rice grained eggs, all of which are laid one-by-one, so not surprisingly she has a ravenous hunger soon after laying. They are cannibalistic in nature, and also feed on crabs, and prawns. In turn, Sepia Officinalis are also prey for dolphins, humans, rays, seabirds, and sharks. The process of birthing makes them very lethargic, which leads to their own deterioration, and finally death.
Sepia the woman falls under one of the homeopathic female archetypes, along with Pulsatilla, and Natrum Muriaticum. She has a strong regard for her independence, and likes to be away from people, and withdraw into nature. In fact, Sepia has a great need for personal space as indicated by the living habits of Sepia Officinalis. She seeks to be herself, unfettered by the expectations of others, especially men, unlike Natrum Muriaticum who seeks independence as a protective mechanism against hurt.
There are two main types of women: the one who is independent, ambitious and career minded who is organized, efficient, strong, powerful, and she needs and enjoys intellectual challenge. Her independence can fall prey to stereotypes, as that level of independence is what is generally expected from men. But she celebrates her freedom, her connection with her own body, and her connection with the earth, which requires being sensitive to one’s body and fully centred in its natural wisdom.
She enjoys her life and may have many relationships because this allows her to have time alone. The other Sepia is the motherly type who feels the responsibilities of her family, but has no time left for herself. Sometimes, as many of us know, the two types can combine on one, with the woman caught between work and home having no time left for herself. Essentially, Sepia prefers to work on their own as this allows them to do things their own way. They dislike opposition, and when hurt or feeling bad they prefer to be on their own as consolation is out of the question.
Her love of independence, and being unfettered by the expectations of others, becomes the means by which she falls into a state of dis-ease as her vital force becomes blocked by the suppressive impingement of her environment – censorship from others.
The traditional homeopathic profile of Sepia is a woman who has a broad vacant hairy face, is flat-chested, she has a small pelvis, an infantile uterus, a pot belly, and a masculine type frame. She may look uninterested, as a sign of withdrawal, but inside they are quite vulnerable.
When Sepia does not get the space that she needs, she exudes a negative cloud, like the Sepia Officinalis who spurts out the Sepia ink to put off that which approaches her. The woman who is caught between work and home, and no time left for herself finds the situation conflicting, which can result in her being psychologically exhausted. The reason behind her physical exhaustion is a slow blood circulation, especially around the stomach. This then leads to a weak sex-drive, a weakness in her sex organs, possible prolapsed of the vagina and the womb, and of course menstrual and reproductive problems.
Initially, she will try to compensate for the sluggish feeling brought on by a slow blood circulation through strong physical exercise, like dancing, or even gardening, which provides her time alone in nature, because these activities speed up the circulation, though she might not consciously know this. She becomes overworked, exhausted, will tolerate a dysfunctional family guided by the feeling that she has got to do better, while hiding her emotions, but when it all gets too much, she will cry.
Homepathic consultant, David Lilley describes the emotions of Sepia as changing like neon lights, which is a signature of the chameleon nature of Sepia officinalis. Lilley finds many Sepia are feminists who will take advantage of male vulnerabilities. Becoming irritable, Sepia becomes a distant shadow of her true self, as she becomes dull, and forgetful even resenting the very things that she held a high regard for. Her mind becomes so tired, that it is as if it is empty as she is unable to think any longer. In that state, Sepia becomes volatile like Sepia officinalis that means negative, always complaining, always scolding, arguing, jealous, indifferent, and bares grudges. It is not that they do not love their children, or their husband, but because they have become so exhausted they can no longer access that love, and become too tired for any sort of company. Her sense of independence gone, she fears poverty, and in so doing become materialistic.
Because of her relationship with her body, Sepia feels worse with any sudden changes, pertaining to the menstrual and reproductive system. She feels suffocated in warm rooms, but is irritated by the cold, and any sudden movements. There is an affinity with the venous circulation (digestive tract. Portal system, female pelvic organs), the nerves and the skin, and rejecting the feminine right side, the complaints tend to be mostly on the left side, the side which she expresses in the world, through her intellect.
Physiologically, they look a bit off colour, in fact yellow, as the liver does not function properly with a tendency to sweat a lot. They have a constant hunger likened to Sepia officianalis after she has given birth, but sometimes even the smell of food can make them feel nauseous as is the symptom in some pregnant women. They like stimulating foods, like spices, sour or bitter, but the consumption of milk, and fatty foods causes indigestion.
Their need for stimulation is not only reflected in the foods they eat, but by any strong physical activity, which tends to change their mood, and they are also stimulated by thunderstorms, and being outdoors.
Male Sepia’s tend to be extremely negative, closed, reserved, sarcastic, possessive, materialistic and lazy. He can be the modern man who returns home, has his dinner watches television, feels sleepy and turns his back on his grumbling wife according to Dr. Sonawala. The level of rigidity, is signature in the sepia ink of Sepia officinalis, which contains calcium.
Sepia personality type, clearly demonstrates an aspect of woman who once had greater expression through having greater access to her environment than in modern times. Just as the female Sepia officinalis exhibits a luminescence at night, Sepia the person is not only the intellect, but the dancer, the athlete, the actress who acts out of expression of herself, the musician, the artist, and the medicine woman. If she is fortunate, as a child her avenues will be open, but if closed by the narrow expectations of her upbringing, higher education might be the only means for her, a means that might not necessarily reflect her true nature.
We all want to be appreciated, and that is the root of the problem! If we are not appreciated for our true selves, we don a false ego, or claim an ‘ideal’ both of which is far removed from who and what we really are!
Bailey, P. “Hoemopathic Psychology.” Narayana Publishers, Germany
Kusse, F. “Homeopathic Types.” Narayana Publishers, Germany
Lilley, D. “Major Archetypes of the Materia Medica: Sepia.” The British Homeopathic Association.
Vermeulen, F. “Prisma: The Arcana of Materia Medica Illuminated.” Emryss, Netherlands. 2002.