Comparison Snakes and Spiders


[Marysia Kratimenos]

There are few creatures that can reduce normally rational people into nervous wrecks within seconds. Even a humble house spider can have people screaming hysterically in no time – a totally irrational reaction to a harmless creature. Snakes rate equally highly on the phobia scale, but as many are deadly there is some logic to the fear.

Filmmakers use this mass phobia to its full potential. Arachnophobia made millions. Harrison Ford was covered in tarantulas for Raiders of the Lost Ark, though apparently it was the snake pit scene

that truly terrified him.

In England there are no indigenous venomous spiders. It is a very different story in other countries. Poisonous spiders are occasionally found in fruit imported from more tropical climes. In N. Spain

and Italy there lives a small venomous spider misleadingly named the tarantula. It bears no resemblance whatsoever to the monster S. American variety. In fact it is smaller than most garden spiders.

Legend has it that after being bitten by the spider, women develop a dancing mania. There is even a city named in honour of it, Tarentum.


Tarentula hispanica was the first spider venom to be potentised and since then many other venomous spiders have been investigated and used as homeopathic remedies.

In the 19th century the search for new remedies was on and homeopaths travelled far and wide to collect new specimens. On a trip to Cuba, a specimen of the local venomous spider was collected and placed in a pot of formalin to be shipped back to England for further study. Unfortunately, due to a bad storm, the container shattered leaving the spider badly decomposed. In the adventurous spirit

of the age, the homeopaths were not deterred and produced a wonderful remedy, Tarentula cubensis fabulous for septic conditions!

Tarentula hispanica remains the most commonly known of the spider remedies, but thanks to the work of such brilliant homeopaths as Massimo Mangialavori the remedy pictures of the lesser known spiders are now coming to light.

Latrodectans = Black widow, which has a heart shaped red mark on its front, is very useful in certain types of heart disease;

Aranea diadema can be used in arthritis.

Mygale for conditions where there is a lot of scarring and damage to nervous tissue.

As the venoms of these spiders share common chemical constituents there are similarities in the drug pictures. There are also unique qualities to each remedy and these may be very subtle. I believe that

it is important to regard Tarentula hispanica as the prototype of the spider remedies, just as Lachesis mutans is the mother of all snakes. Before prescribing Tarentula, I always mentally check the other smaller spider remedies.

The remedy picture

In Greek mythology Arachne was a Lydian girl who was exceptionally skilled at weaving. In her arrogance, she challenged the goddess Athena to a competition and then proceeded to mock the gods in the design of her woven cloth. The gods sought vengeance by turning her into a spider so she could weave to her heart’s content. The species of spiders has been termed arachnid in honour of this myth.

It is interesting to note that the story itself gives clues to the remedy picture. People responding to spider remedies are notoriously industrious, workaholics. The women are often exceptionally good at knitting, weaving, tapestry and similar crafts. The men often pursue rock climbing. Some can be very boastful and often have a vengeful streak. Revenge comes easily to a spider!

Other cultures regard the spider as a sign of change. It is said to be the primal symbol of fear, which is interesting as those needing spider remedies are often fearful, not just of spiders.

The N. Americans use dream catchers to aid spiritual guidance from the dream world. Clairvoyance is common in these remedies, though usually in a “gut feeling” sense rather than the true visions of clairvoyance seen in the snake remedies.

As with most remedy descriptions the focus has always been on the shadow side, that part of the character of which we are least proud. It is time to redress the balance of all this bad press. Just imagine

a world without spiders…. flies everywhere!

Charlotte’s Web by E.M. White is an utterly delightful children’s book, which paints a very different picture of the spider. Charlotte, a large grey spider, befriends Wilbur, a pig who is destined for slaughter. The character of Charlotte is a far cry from the cruel blood sucking creature that Wilbur expects and their friendship blossoms. Ultimately Charlotte saves Wilbur’s life by ingeniously weaving words into her web above the sty that proclaim Wilbur’s brilliance. Everyone thinks that Wilbur must be really special as a result and only one little girl realises the genius of Charlotte.

The remedy descriptions of the spiders claim they are highly manipulative. Charlotte certainly was, but she used her powers of persuasion for the benefit of her friend. There are two sides to every story.

Latrodectans = Black widow is famed for eating her mate after sex and women responding to the remedy have a reputation as the femme fatale. In reality the female so much likes her own space that she only eats her mate if he hangs around too long and bugs her. It could be that she mistakes him for lunch, as spiders are notoriously short sighted!

Tarentula hispanica is the most dramatic of the spider remedies. All the spiders show restlessness and can be used for certain anxiety states and hyperactivity. In some cases there may be twitching of the muscles or even epilepsy. Keeping busy calms the person, hence the high-energy lifestyles. Often there are great fears (of death). Fear may underlie some of the aggression, which may be almost maniacal. There is a destructive quality to the anger. The women that slash their ex’s clothes may well need spider remedies.

Unlike the snake remedies, which are notoriously jealous, the spiders are not particularly suspicious or jealous. Nor are they as chatty as the snakes. Both have the animal magnetism, but the spiders are less overtly sexual. Music elicits very different responses. The snakes are almost mesmerised by it, whereas the spiders are energised. Spot the Tarentula woman at the nightclub, dancing on the speakers! The rhythm is all-important.

Spiders drink the blood of their prey, and hence there is thirst and lack of appetite. In extreme cases this may develop into anorexia nervosa or bulimia.

Just as Charlotte felt bad about her victims, I have often found there is a reluctance to eat meat based on the suffering of animals. There is also often a sense of guilt about the victims of their anger outbursts. Spider bites often lead to nasty skin infections and hence boils and acne are common symptoms.

Colour is important to Tarentula. There can be a love or aversion to black, red and green.  

Spiders are solitary creatures. The mothers lay the eggs and die before they hatch. Spiders are free spirits by nature.

The spider remedies are extremely useful in homeopathy. They are deep acting and so should only be taken as prescribed by a qualified professional. Our knowledge of this fascinating species is increasing as more remedies are proved.

[Konstantinos Pisios]

Snakes: Sense of being forsaken; most important thing in snakes that is the root of their suffering.**. Snakes want more than what they are being given (swallow food whole). They are continually asking for them to give them things, they think they are not appreciated enough. More feminine and seductive. Fluid movement.Their goal is to arrive at a deep understanding of reality, related to: wisdom, knowledge,

understanding religion and the deep side of things, want to understand the meaning of the relation between people.

Spiders: No sense of being forsaken. Want admiration and to be attractive to keep people in a relationship if they feel they are losing them. Ailments from unreciprocated Love. More masculine. Refuse their feminine side. Idea of suppression

Use sexuality to keep relationships alive. Use sex to keep someone near. If sex is good for them, they think they have a good relationship. Sex is a deep way of communicating with others. but they can't exchange emotions with it.

[Barbara Levin Krupp]

Based on Sankaran/David Warkentin [ 13-10-2010]/Val Ohanian/Eric Sommermann. [18-03-2007]

One way to think about spider and snake remedies is to look at them as the female (spider) and male (snake) archetypes of the Unconscious.

Spider represents inner change and accommodation to the environment. Spider stays hidden in the dark. Spider cold, chilly quality.

The theme of webs in the spider remedy elicits the idea of the cunning, divisive quality of the spider. The sensations of suffocating, constricting, devouring and entrapment come forward.

The web also represents the idea of compulsivity which becomes manifested in the issue of addiction found in their picture and the theme of periodicity.

Here we find that the more regular and precise the web, the more prominent the aspect of periodicity. The web also brings to mind the feeling of being entrapped, of being caught, of being industrious,

of being involved in intrigue and politics. The spider remedies have a strong theme of death and include the delusion “about to die”, also the idea that they are being tested and if they fail, they die.

All spider remedies have an element of sociopathy; almost a total absence of guilt and of being very good liars.

Snake represents the dawning of ego development and transformation. Snake comes out and lies in the sun.

Snake remedies are passionate and resonate with the themes of evil and temptation and sexuality and spirituality. The issue of split aspects to the self is prominent. Snakes are all about ego

identity and passion; they have a tendency to be brilliant, talkative and creative. Their energy is all about gaining control over their impulses (here we see the basis of ego development in humans, the emergence of the Self can only occur when the instinctual/impulsive aspects of our nature are brought under control). Most of the snake remedies are made from the venom of the respective

 snake with 3 primary affinities:

1. blood (hemorrhaging and heart disease);

            2. neurotoxins and lung problems;

            3. paralysis and necrosis.

The primary themes in the snake are the

1.      sensation or actual enlargement of body parts;

2.      constriction (neck);

3.      symptoms < sleeping or upon awakening;

4.      periodicity;

5.      sidedness (more aggressive snakes l. sided and less aggressive r. sided);

6.      speech problems or loquacity;

7.      circulatory problems; bruising;

8.      respiratory problems.

To summarize:


General: restlessness, chilly, periodicity.

Affinities: nervous system, stomach, reproductive, chest and extremities.

Themes: intelligent, territorial re: sexual relationships, hidden, cunning, manupilative.


General:  warm, sidedness, periodicity, passionate.

Affinities: circulatory system, lungs, paralysis, necrosis, speech.

Themes: split in Self, highly active, creative.

Spiders: Tarentula Hispanica (most proved spider with clinical cases).

      Main theme: nervous system over stimulated.

      Mental/emotional: intense mental activity. Easy excitement. Likes to work fast. Impatient; intolerant of slowness in others. Need for speed. Love of music and dancing (> symptoms). Fears death: extremely fearful of being killed. Will pretend to be ill as a part of the deceit and cunningness. Becomes rageful when opposed. Deceptive. Sociopathic; almost total absence of guilt.

      Kids: Hyperactivity. Restless. As they get older, destructive energy will come out and will hurt others. Bright children; teacher doesn’t go fast enough for them. See ADD, ADHD. Kids do well with computerized self-learning. Big rages; very demanding. Hard to settle kids down at night.

      Generals: extreme restlessness, better from intense exertion. Better from music and dancing. Listens to wild music. Chilly < from cold. Periodicity. Picks at body and scalp.

      Nervous system: over stimulation. Twitching and jerking. Paralysis and numbness in legs. Hypersensitive hands.

      Stomach: Vulnerable area of complaints. Constipation, slow digestion. Anxiety expressed in stomach. Food: craves raw food; aversion to meat/ will eat raw meat, fish. Craves spicy and salt.

      Reproductive: high sexual energy; can be around illicit and immoral sex. Promiscuity; deceives spouse. Uterine fibroids/ovarian cysts, cancer. Heavy bleeding at menses. Intense itching of vulva. Testicular cancer.

      Chest: Intense palpitations that is better from dancing, hard activity.

      Extremities: restlessness of all limbs (trying to sleep).  


- Schlangen:


Angst (vor dem Tod)/verzweifelt/Schwindel/Konzentration schwierig/Speichel vermehrt/mehr sexuelle Lust/Kloßgefühl im Hals/Herzbeschwerden/Blutungen.


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