Archive | December 1, 2011

Behind the Masks of the Feminine IX: Arsenicum Album

Behind the Masks of the Feminine IX: Arsenicum Album


By Hwaa Irfan


We began with 3 Minerals of the natrum group…


I. Natrum muriaticum, depicts a woman who is very much a product of the Industrial Revolution. She has grown up in an emotionally distant environment depriving her 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 thrown off balance by a past traumatic experience, which makes her vulnerable to any perceived form of rejection. Her comfort zone defines her and develops anticipatory with anything new.

III. Natrum phosphoricum’s sensibility is grief. In a state of dis-ease she is volatile and sensitive to external influences. She feels worthless and reacts to her pain out of fear which suppresses her internal communications, emotions, and the normal functioning of their bodies.

Three Flowers


IV. Pulsatilla is vibrant and 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, she is distressed as she becomes tossed by the wind of events. Their life force is weakened without the ongoing environmental support and love they need.

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 an ongoing struggle of suppression vs. expression.

VI. Belladonna has abundant life force and gives out a lot of energy. Complete within herself, she is in no need of external stimulation, and desires little company. As creator and destroyer they work towards the nurturance of humanity by destroying the false ego. Apparent intelligence and vivid emotions, she can be quite excitable. Belladonna’s sensibility is one of shock, disappointment in love, fear or too much sun. As she loses sense of a true self, it is replaced by a false-self filled with fear and anger.

Three Marine Remedies

VI. Sepia is independent by nature like Pulsatilla and Natrum Muriaticum. She likes to be away from people, and withdraw into nature. She celebrates her freedom, her connection with her own body, and her connection with the earth. Independent, ambitious and career minded she needs intellectual challenge, but Her love of independence becomes the means by which she falls into a state of dis-ease.

VII. Calcarea carbonica is at ease when open, but passively lets external influences.  They have a lustrous nature and is full of the creative power of the female principle, and as a nurturer. When things go wrong, she withdraws and is unable to cope without someone providing a sense of safety and protection, and when missing, they develop serious anxieties which compromised their life force as in the case of her mineral sister Natrum carbonicum.

Three Remedies of the Mineral Group

IX. Sulphur is about appreciation, and so it should be. They are pioneers, and adventurers not fearing the unknown, and always questioning and seeking answers, but fall from grace when they are not appreciated enough.

X. Phosphorus emits light from within, is seductive, gratifying, and yet ensnares – the price of intellectual arrogance. She is a warm friendly extrovert, but also enjoys solitude to pursue artistic and intellectual endeavours. There are no secrets for such person; whatever is on her mind she shares freely. Her life revolves around interpersonal relationships. She places reciprocal love high on her list, not one-sided live like her sister Natrum muriaticum. However, the phosphorus person needs structure, as they have a conflict between stability and freedom.

IX. Arsenicum Album

Despite the bad reputation that arsenic has and has earned as a poison, in December 2010, it was discovered an announced by NASA that arsenic should be reclassified as the 7th element after carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur as a major component of all life. The basis for this was the discovery of a bacteria in Mono Lake, California that is made up of arsenic (even its DNA) instead of phosphorus, which was previously thought impossible.

In homeopathy, the heavily diluted arsenicum album or arsenic oxide is derived from the metallic arsenic, but is in fact it is a semi-metal as it rarely is found in its pure state in nature. There are two types: one is brittle, and gray, and the other is yellow, and non-metallic. Found in uneven layers, and cracks, and as a compound of salts and other metals like gold and silver. It tends to be kidney-shaped and opaque in color.

Solid at room temperature Arsenicum album’s boiling point is lower than its melting point. It has a garlic-like odour when scratched by something hard.

It is able to conduct some electricity, and is stable in dry air, but oxidizes in humid air turning black on exposure. When heated it burns a bluish flame and dissolves easily in boiling water.

Believe it or not, a trace amount of arsenic (0.00001%) is needed for growth and for a healthy nervous system, and is calculated to constitute 23% of the Universe, 23% of our Sun, and 1.8 parts per million of the Earth.

The Person At-Ease

There are two-types, one who dresses pragmatically and the other who dresses chic, but both are fastidious about their appearance. The Arsenicum album child is conscientious and persevering, and works towards perfection.

They are good organizers, ambitious hard workers, and will not let up when trying to master a new skill, and is never satisfied when they do. She is the supermom with a tight schedule that everything and everyone must adhere to. She is the supportive mother, with well adjusted children, and as one’s boss will support you totally if they feel you have given your all, and if not will make their views quite clear. Feeling their worth in gold, they are at liberty to do so.

At Dis-ease

Characteristic of the element on exposure to air, Arsenicum album the person’s key vulnerability is physical insecurity. Homeopathic psychologist, Philip Bailey describes Aresenicum album who is emotionally stuck – holding onto their anger, and very stubborn with it. Consultant homeopath George Vithoulkas describes the root of this insecurity as the fear of disease and death, and they surround themselves with people because of this insecurity. This reflects the signature of being dug out of the earth and suddenly being exposed to a completely alien environment.

They have a need to create order in order have control which helps to pacify their anxieties. Motivated by her fear of chaos,  unlike her Natrum sisters who are motivated the feeling of being unworthy, her perfectionism descends into being overly fastidious, with extreme attention given to detail – this is reflected in the type of jobs that they choose. This is wearisome because they impose that need on everyone around them, and resents it if others do not comply, whereas Natrum only applies this need to control only on herself.

They verge on compulsion, and have a propensity for obsessive compulsive disorders, and in that drive for security become quite obsessive about material things and relationships both of which placate their sense of insecurity. The epitome of conditional love, the self comes first. May suffer from headaches, sleeplessness and exhaustion, but the more the merrier for this workaholic to the extent that work replaces their emotional life, and work is the remedy when depressed. As they descend further into a state of dis-ease, they become increasingly possessive about the false security that material possessions provide, and in relationships expect their dues both of which they are selfish within that they take more than they give.  Any deficit or damage occurs the alarm bells in ring as if a major catastrophy took place. That ends them in ruin. They need extensive reassurance to calm them down.

Their mind, mucous membranes, nerves, spleen, breathing, blood, heart, lymphatic system, muscles, skin and organs are affected by the state of dis-ease. Panic attacks end to occur at set times – after midnight or from 12-2.00am. Ironically, the optimum functioning time of the meridian for the small intestines is 1 – 3.00am, which in traditional Chinese medicine pertains to insecurity and sadness.

We can divide life as we have been entrained to do into schedules, structures and a process with a beginning and an end, but what Arsenicum album fears is the very nature of life itself, that life cannot be controlled, but only lived with faith and the trust that has been misplaced!


Bailey, P. “Homeopathic Psychology.” Narayana Publ. Germany.

Coulter, C. “Nature and Human Personality.” Narayana Publ. Germany.

Vermeulen, F. “Prisma: The Arcana of Materia Medica Illuminated.” Emryss, Netherlands. 2002.

Related Topics:

Behind the Masks of the Feminine X: Phosphorus

Behind the Masks of the Feminine IX: Sulphur

Behind the Masks of the Feminine VIII: Calcarea carbonica

Behind the Masks of the Feminine VII: Sepia

Behind the Masks of the Feminine VI

Behind the Masks of the Feminine V

Behind the Masks of the Feminine IV

Behind the Masks of the Feminine III

Behind the Masks of the Feminine II

The Feminine Connection to the Homeopathic Sea of Life

Discovering Your Emotional Intelligence

The Psychology Behind Corporate Identity

What Did You Plant Today?

Letter to the Self #22: Do You Have Trust Issues?

The Intelligent Heart

What Men Live By!