Didelphis Virginiana = Blut. des Oppossums
There are more than 60 different species of opossum (= possums). The most common is the Virginia opossum or common opossum - the only marsupial (pouched mammal) found in the U.S./Canada.
The opossum actually lived during the age of dinosaurs. Fossil remains have been found from 70 million years ago.
Virginia opossums can vary considerably in size, with larger specimens found to the north of the opossum's range and smaller specimens in the tropics. They are generally the size of a large cat.
Their coats are a dull grayish brown, other than on their faces, which are white. Opossums have long, hairless, tails, and hairless ears and a long, flat nose. Opossums have 50 teeth, the most out of any North American mammal.
Opossums have opposable thumbs on their rear feet and can also grasp with their tails. A prehensile tail is adapted for grasping and wrapping around things like tree limbs. The opossum can hang from
its tail for a short time. Some people think opossums hang from their tails and sleep. They don't. Their tails aren't strong enough to hold them for that long! The “thumbs” on their rear feet, called a hallux, helps it to grasp branches when it climbs.
Opossums have thirteen nipples, arranged in a circle of twelve with one in the middle.
Perhaps surprisingly for such a widespread and successful species, the Virginia opossum has one of the lowest encephalization quotients (relative brain size) of any marsupial. Its brain is actually five times smaller than that of a raccoon. The opossum lifespan is unusually short for a mammal of its size, usually only two to four years. Senescence (biological aging) is very rapid for the opossum.
The Virginia opossum is the original animal named "opossum". The word comes from Algonquian 'wapathemwa' meaning "white animal", the plural is opossums. Colloquially, the Virginia opossum is frequently called simply possum.
"Didelphis" is Greek for "Double Womb" while "Marsupialis" is Latin for "of the Pouch". Didelphis is from two Greek words, di meaning two or double and delphys meaning womb, in reference to the paired reproductive tract of females found in North America's only marsupial.
Virginia opossum can be found in most of the U.S: east of the Rocky Mountains and on the West Coast. It is also found in Mexico, Central America and in British Columbia, Canada. The Virginia opossum lives in a wide-variety of habitats including deciduous forests, open woods and farmland. It tends to prefer wet areas like marshes, swamps and streams.
Opossums are adaptable; able to live wherever water, food, and shelter exist. They are at home in trees and are quite good climbers with the help of their tail and thumbs. Some families will group together in ready-made burrows or even under houses. Though they will temporarily occupy abandoned burrows, they do not dig or put much effort into building their own. As nocturnal animals, they favor dark, secure areas. These areas may be below ground or above. The opossum doesn't hibernate in the winter. It will often hole up during very cold weather because it runs the risk of getting frostbite on its hairless ears, tail and toes.
Opossum playing dead
Solitary and nocturnal: usually slow moving; when frightened and unable to flee may fall into an involuntary shock-like state, "playing 'possum". This coma-like state can last up to four hours, during which time the opossum will become stiff, drool, and have extremely slow, shallow breathing. They also emit a smelly substance from their anal gland which smells like rotten meat. This makes the opossum appear to be a rotting carcass. Most predators will give up the attack, believing the opossum to be dead.
When cornered, they may hiss or growl and show their 50 sharp teeth when frightened; but, in reality, they are gentle and placid— they prefer to avoid all confrontations and wish to be left alone. According to the National Opossum Society, opossums can puts up a terrific bluff if cornered and can give the appearance of being really good at defending itself. But, in reality, it is not good at defending itself!
Are omnivores with a very broad diet, consisting of carrion and many individual opossums are killed on the highway when scavenging for roadkill. This diet allows them to take advantage of many sources of food provided by human habitation such as unsecured food waste and pet food. They actually help to maintain a clean and healthy environment. They eat all types of insects (cockroaches/crickets/beetles). They catch and eat rats, roof rats, mice, and they consume dead animals of all types. They like over-ripe fruit, berries, and grapes. And snails and slugs.
As a marsupial, the opossum has a reproductive system including a divided uterus and marsupium, which is the pouch. Opossums do possess a placenta, but it is short-lived, simple in structure, and, unlike that of placental mammals, is not fully functional. The young are therefore born at a very early stage, only 12 to 14 days. Once born, the offspring must find their way into the marsupium to hold onto and nurse from a teat. The largest difference between the opossum and other mammals is the bifurcated (Split into two parts) penis of the male and bifurcated vagina of the female (the source of the Latin "didelphis," meaning double-wombed). Opossum spermatozoa exhibit sperm-pairing.
Female opossums often give birth to very large numbers of young, most of which fail to attach to a teat, although as many as thirteen young can attach. Like most marsupials, opossums are very small when they are born - about the size of a navy bean. The young are carried in the pouch until they are two to three months old. Then, they are carried on her back for another 1 - 2 months whenever they are away from the den.
Opossums are killed by many predators: humans (and cars), dogs, cats, owls, and larger wildlife.
If many opossums in a certain area are killed by predators, then there is more food for those that remain. In this case, these little critters will reproduce more successfully until they get back to their optimum number; or others will move in to fill the void (or niche) their absence creates. They can be replaced by opossums from outside the area, by rats, skunks cats, crows, raccoons, coyotes, etc.
Health-wise, opossum are hearty animals. In general they present a far lower health risk to humans than do dogs and cats! They seem to have a naturally high level of immunity to most diseases. Example? Opossums are more resistant to rabies than any other mammal; cattle, goats, dogs, cats, sheep, and the ice cream man are far more susceptible to rabies! Opossum are actually the only mammal that is immune to rattlesnake venom.
The Virginia Opossum was once widely hunted and consumed in the U.S.
In Dominica, Grenada, and Trinidad the Common Opossum or manicou is popular and can only be hunted during certain times of the year owing to over-hunting. The meat is traditionally prepared by smoking, then stewing. It is light and fine-grained, but the musk glands must be removed as part of preparation. The meat can be used in place of rabbit and chicken in recipes. Historically, hunters in the Caribbean would place a barrel with fresh or rotten fruit to attract opossums that would feed on the fruit or insects.
In Mexico, opossums are known as "tlacuache" or "tlaquatzin". Their tails are eaten as a folk remedy to improve fertility.
Opossum oil (possum grease) is high in essential fatty acids and has been used as a chest rub and a carrier for arthritis remedies given as topical salves.
Opossum pelts have long been part of the fur trade.
Opossum's greatest form of protection is to play dead. In doing this Opossum confuses many a predator into believing that the game is over. Oftentimes the confused rival walks away or looks the other direction for a moment, and Opossum runs to safety.
(The message of this card pertains to the ego?)
Opossum medicine uses a great deal a strategy. If all else fails, Opossum plays dead. (Disciplines) It has the ability to fight with its claws and teeth, but it rarely uses this form of protection. Instead, the supreme strategy of diversion is constantly employed when things get a little too hard to handle. Opossum has developed an act that would receive an Academy Award in the animal kingdom. The must of the death scent is excreted at will, adding to the master play that sends enemies on many trail of confusion.
If Opossum has turned up in your cards, you are being asked to use strategy in some present situation. Rely upon your instincts for the best way out of a tight corner. If you have to pretend to be apathetic or unafraid, do it. Oftentimes if you refuse to struggle or show that hurtful words bother you, your taunter will see no further fun in the game.
Warriors have used Opossum medicine for centuries, playing dead when the enemy nears and outnumbers them. Then, in a flash, when the enemy is least expecting it, the war cry is heard. The fright of this serves to further confuse the unsuspecting opposition. Victory is sweet when the strategy is one of mental as well as physical prowess.
Opossum may be relaying to you that you are to expect the unexpected and be clever in achieving your victory. This could be a victory over a bothersome salesman, a nosy neighbor, or a persistent ego.
In essence, Opossum is beckoning you to use your brain (I add: as a tool for your heart. For the brain activity by itself will stimulate the ego.
The strategy is to get the ego thinking that it is to be the center of attention, and then simply let the heart take over. Use your sense of drama and surprise to leap over some barrier in your progress.
In the reversed position, Opossum may be warning you against getting caught in the high drama of your life's present scenario. "Close your eyes and dramatize," may keep you from seeing the truth of a situation. You may buy into melodrama in yourself or others. You might as well play dead if you are justifying what you are doing with a tragic victim routine. If this concept does not apply to your situation, take a look at the possibility that you may have recently been giving excuses for why you don't want to do something instead of telling the truth. In fearing to hurt someone's feelings you may have trapped yourself in a justification pattern: "I'm too sick. I'm too poor. I'm watching my weight. I'm too short, tall, sad, busy, tired, etc."
In having to defend yourself with excuses, you may have lost the point. You don't have to defend your right to be. The exercise is in learning to politely say that something would not be appropriate for you at this time. That's all! You owe no one an excuse. Learn to imitate Opossum and play dead, in the sense that the best strategy is no defense.
In assuming the viewpoint of no defense, you have chosen the right to be who and what you are with no games involved. The proper use of diversion is to know when you do not need to use diversion at all. You own no one an excuse for how you feel or what you choose to experience.
Have a plan. Use commen sense. Honor the strategy that works best for you.
Source: Sams, Jamie and Carson, David
Materia Medica (List of Themes)
Heavy, Tired, Weighted and Slow
Heavy, Tired, Weighted, “Unable to move, plastered to the furniture”
Slow Moving, “Everything is moving slower”
Distorted Time, “My whole relationship with time has shifted”
Playing Dead, Opium, “The Walker between the Worlds”
Opium, “Exactly how to go outside of my body,” “In another dimension”
Light, Floating, “Floating in the air”
Drugs: Opium, Cannabis, “An altered reality”
A Duality or Split, A Small Death, “The Walker Between the Worlds”
Observing oneself, “Detached”
(The Opposite) Present, “Shocked awake after having lived in some oozing jelly all my life”
Muddied, Primitive Brain, “I feel rather dense”
Poor Memory, “I can’t remember anything”
Limited Ability, Overwhelmed, “It’s too hard,” “I want someone else to tell me what to do”
Just what is in front of me, “My scope of vision has been reduced” “like amnesia”
Independent-minded and Rebellious
Independent-minded , “I just want to do what I want to do!”
Rebellious , “You can’t tell me what to do!” “The obligations hold you down”
“Stop relying on me!”, “I stood my ground”
Retreat to Safety, Feeling Trapped, I Quit!
Retreat to Safety, “It is safe in here”
Feeling Trapped, “Free from the obligations”
“Get me out of here!,” “I quit”, “I’m done.”
Exposed, Vulnerable, and Attacked
Exposed, “Felt very exposed and uncomfortable”
Vigilance, Guardedness, Escape
Attacked, “Lying in a pool of blood”
Scavenger, Stealing, “A vulture feeling,” “A thief”
Secretive, Mafia, “My husband and I were kidnappers”
Don’t want attention, “Do not want to be singled out”
Remains, Dead Body Parts, “Decomposing bodies”
Nurturing, Protective, and Forsaken
Nurturing, “My heart swelled with love”
Protective, “Felling protective of boyfriend”
I belong, “Connected to the group,” vs. Forsaken, “Leaving me, abandoning me”
Death, Grief, “The crying is so deep and profound, we are mourning”
Simplicity and Simple Love
Simple Love, “The man of my life,” “Overwhelmed by a sense of being loved and protected”
Simple Connections , “Took care of my deepest need without my telling him”
Just Being Me, “Bringing forth the authentic self”
Contentment, “I woke with a smile,” “I have everything I need”
Playful, “Woke up this morning, I was laughing”
Simple and self evident, “I noticed how nice my friend’s nose is”
Solitary, Nomadic, and Nocturnal
Solitary, “Pretty darn content to be with self,” “Stop bothering me!”
Nocturnal, “Couldn’t sleep last night”
Darkness, “Nighttime, a time for curiosity, searching, dreams and imagination”
Sycotic Themes and Cleanliness
Sex, “Wanting to make love with these two men I know”
Climbing and Trees
Marsupial Pouch, Twos, and Orange & Red
Vergleich: Lac: Enthält: Solids 20.1, Fat 6.1, Eiweiß 9.2, Lactose 3.2, Ash 1.7;
Allerlei: Didelphimorphia = Opossums/spritzen ein stinkender Flüssigkeit, die Todesgeruch imitiert.
ACTIVITY - desires activity
AILMENTS FROM – contradiction/reproaches
AMUSEMENT - desire for
ANGER - sudden
ANXIETY in company
AWKWARD (drops things)
CHECKING - twice or more; must check/verifying if the doors are locked
CLARITY of mind
CLEANNESS - desire for cleaning
COLORS – orange (desire for)/red - desire for
COMPANY - aversion to
CONCENTRATION – difficult/impossible
CONFIDENCE - want of self-confidence
CONFUSION of mind/of identity, as to his personal boundaries/sense of duality/loses his way in well-known streets
CONTRADICTION - disposed to/intolerant to
DELUSIONS – being alone/going to be assaulted/being attacked/body [is above/is cut through (in two)/she would become crazy if she could not get out of her body]/is a breatharian/charmed and cannot break the spell/is criticized/sees dead persons/being deceived/floating in air (like a spirit)/is forsaken/about to receive injury/is invisible/is a magician/has been poisoned/is small/ specters, ghosts, spirits/
is under superhuman control/sees thieves/is touched (her leg)]
DETACHED (from daily activity/driving)
DISORDER, sensitive to
DREAM; as if in a
FEAR - of being alone/of authority/birds/takes breath away/of coughing; of death/impending disease/of evil/something will happen/suffering a loss/being murdered/in narrow place (trains and closed places/
vaults, churches and cellars)/of open spaces/of robbers/suddenly
FIGHT, wants to
HATRED of persons who offended him
HEAVINESS; sensation of
INJUSTICE, cannot support
LAUGHING (on waking)
LAZINESS (= indolence)
LOVE and openness for friends
MEMORY - weakness of memory
MOOD - changeable
ORIENTATION; sense of lessenes
POSTPONING everything to next day
PROSTRATION of mind
PROTECTING - desire to protect
RESPONSIBILITY - aversion to
SADNESS (when waking)
SENSITIVE – to colors/to music/to odors/to sensual impressions
SENSUAL (delights in his own body)
SITTING - inclination to sit
TALKING with dead people
THOUGHTS - disconnected
TIME - slowly, appears longer; passes too
TRANQUILLITY (= contented)
WALKING - </aversion to/hither and thither
WEEPING from music
Vertigo: < before EATING
Head: COLDNESS, chilliness, etc. - internally
ERUPTIONS – boils/painful
LIGHTNESS; sensation of (“As if it would float of”)
PAIN [sides (side lain on)/after epistaxis/occiput and forehead/pressing pain “As from a band”/< wine]
WATER, sensation as of - head, in the
Eye: AGGLUTINATED (l./morning)
DISCOLORATION - red (As if inflamed”/lids/sclera)
HEAVINESS - Lids
ITCHING (during coryza)
PAIN - burning
PARALYSIS of lids
STYES - Lid (upper r.)
WARM applications >
Face: bluish circles around eyes/bluish under the eyes/
ERUPTIONS – Nose/pimples (chin/malar bones)
“As if covered with fur”
PAIN (aching/burning/jaws/malar bones/sinuses l. maxillary)
SINUSES; complaints of - Frontal sinuses
Ear: ITCHING in Eustachian tubes
NOISES like an xplosion, like an
Nose: at night
CRACKS in nostrils
DISCHARGE – clear (from posterior)/copious/crusts, scabs, inside/(”As if”) dripping/orange colored/thin/viscid, tough (from posterior nares)/yellow (orange)
SNEEZING with coryza
Smell: ODORS imaginary and real
Mouth: BLEEDING - Gums
EATING after <
GUMS; complaints of (bleeding)
TASTE – acute/bitter/metallic (+ bitter taste)
ULCERS - canker sore/painful
Teeth: PAIN – > pressure
HAWK; disposition to
SAND in throat; sensation as if
APPETITE – diminished/increased on waking/ravenous
“As if BUBBLES were bursting in stomach”/”As if BUBBLING”
Sensation of fullness after eating < ever so little
HEARTBURN < after eating
PAIN – cramping/in epigastrium ext. intestines burning/sore
Abdomen: DISTENSION (> evening)
DISTENSION with passing passing
FEVER before <
FRIGHT; < after
FULLNESS, sensation of
PAIN – cramping/burning in intestines/sore in liver (< during menses/< touch)/< sneezing/> stool (pressing pain)
SENSITIVE – before/during menses
WEAKNESS, sense of
Like (small) Balls
YELLOW - greenish
DIARRHEA (sensation as before diarrhea)
Bladder: “As if full” (without urging to urinate)/
URINATION – frequent/imperious/< involuntary sneezing
SCANTY and frequent
CONTRACTIONS - Vagina + leukorrhea
ERUPTIONS (labia – boils/pustules)
FULLNESS - Vagina
MENSES – absent/clotted (large clots)/copious/scanty (and too early)
PAIN - cramping
Neck: PAIN (sore)
Larynx and Trachea: INFLAMMATION - Larynx
DIFFICULT (>/< in open air/inspiration/”As through a sponge”)
IMPEDED, obstructed + vomiting
Cough: morning/at night from coughing/from BURNING in chest
CHOKING (< inspiration)
DEEP/DRY/Loose/> eating/< talking
HACKING – dry/from dryness in n larynx, from
Chest: ANXIETY in (after deep inspiration)
CONGESTION - Lungs
COUGH - during <
HEARTBEAT - shaking whole body
OPPRESSION (“As from a weight on chest”)
PAIN [aching/< deep breathing/burning/in heart (bursting)/< deep inspiration/Mammae (l. stitching pain)/pressing pain (drawing downward)/in sternum (aching/stitching)]
PALPITATION of heart (irregular)
RIBS; complaints of - Lower border
Back: COLDNESS (Spine)
CRACKING - Joints
HEAVINESS, weight (in lumbar region)
PAIN [r. (digging “as from a finger”/”as from a gun”)/stitching/sore/tearing]
CHILLINESS - Lower limbs/ankles
COLD – Feet/icy cold
CONSTRICTION [Hips/Bends of knees/(l.) shoulders
CONTRACTION of muscles and tendons - Feet
CONVULSION (r. leg)
CRACKED skin - Fingers (first/tips)/hands/thumbs
CRACKING in joints [ankles/hips (morning < rising)/shoulders (r.)
CRAMPS [soles of feet (< walking)/Hands - Palms – Balls/in legs < sitting
DISCOLORATION - Foot white/toes first - white
DRY (Hands – Palms)
“As if electrical current” (in hands)
ERUPTIONS - Thighs inside
HEAT – < in bed at night/Feet (< in bed/uncovering)
HEAVINESS (legs < ascending stairs/upper arms)
INFLAMMATION [feet/fingers/hands (joints)/toes (first toe/”As if frostbitten”)/upper limbs
ITCHING – Ankles/Back of hands/calves (> scratching)/upper limbs (l.)
NUMBNESS – l./knees/legs/lower limbs/upper limbs (l.)
PAIN – morning on waking (aching/sore)/burning/feet < walking/fingers – sore/in hips < ascending stairs/in joints/tearing in knees ext. crest of ilium/ext. lumbar region/lower limbs (> pressure/posterior part aching/in attachment of muscles/pressing pain/shoulders [l./r./< motion/cutting]/sore (“As after a long walk”)/”As if sprained”/tendons (tearing)/thumbs (r.)/toes (sore/on waking/< walking)
PRESSURE > lower limbs
PULLING - Upper limbs
ROUGHNESS - Back of hands
SHAKING (upper limbs)
SHOULDERS; complaints of - right
STRENGTH - Lower limbs - sensation of
SWELLING - Feet (l.)
TOUCH - < Lower limbs/< Upper limbs
TREMBLING in calves
TWISTING sensation (upper limbs)
WEAKNESS (elbows/lower limbs)
Perspiration: at night during fever
ODOR - offensive
Skin: ITCHING – spots/wandering
SOFT - feels
DREAMING while awake
FALLING asleep – difficult/late
POSITION - curled up
SHORT - afternoon
SLEEPINESS - daytime (evening awake, night sleepless)/overpowering
SLEEPLESSNESS (with chill/from cough/from headache)
SUDDEN - daytime
WAKING with thirst
Dreams: being abused/car ACCIDENTS/AGGRESSIVE/AIRPORTS/AMOROUS/ANGER (against authority/indignant - event she is unable to stop/ANIMALS/ANNOYING/ANXIOUS
Of being ATTACKED/AUTHORITY/BATS/BEAR/Owl/BLOOD (pools of)/BOAT on a river/BODY (lightness of/mutilated/parts)/BRIDGE/CARE-TAKING/(big) CATS/CHICKENS
CHILDREN about (being kidnapped/lost/being murdered/neglecting it)/CLAIRVOYANT/CLOTHES/COITION/COMPETITION/CONFUSED/COOKING/COUNTRY foreign/DANGER
DARKNESS/(smell of) DEAD BODIES/DEAD; of the [talking (with dead relatives/talking with dead people)/DEATH (of relatives)/DECAY/DECEIT (being deceitful)/being deceived/DIRTY – buildings/DISEASE/DISGUSTING/DOGS/DRINKING/DRIVING a car fast/EATING/without EMOTIONS/ENTERTAINMENT/ESCAPING (from danger/from the Mafia)/physical EXERTION/
FALLING/own FAMILY/FATHER/FEAR following/FEEDING – people/FIRE/FLASHES, like still pictures in a movie format/FLEEING/FLOATING/FLYING/FOOD/(being among) FOREIGNERS
(old) FRIENDS/FRIGHTFUL/FROG/FRUITS/GARDENS/GUILT/HERMAPHRODITE - having genitalia of both a male and female/HIDING (from danger)/big HOUSE (exploring)/HUNTING/
INJUSTICE/INSECTS/JOURNEYS/KIDNAPPERS/KILLING/LAUGHING/LIONS/MILITARY/maling MISTAKES/MUSIC/NAKED people/NAKEDNESS/NEIGHBOR/NOISE/NOSTALGIC
OBSTACLES in his path/feeling of ONENESS/PARTIES/PEACEFUL/PERFORMANCE of teacher observed by adolescent is inadequate/PHOTOGRAPHS taking/PLANTS/being taken PRISONER
PURSUED (by a lion/by a man/by police)/(being) RAPE/RELATIVES/RESTLESS/ROBBERS/ROMANTIC/RUNNING/SAFARI/SCORPIONS/SEXUAL (having sex with several people)/SHAPES
SINGING/SPIDERS (Tarantulas)/SPORTS/STEALING/SUICIDE/SUPERNATURAL things/SWIMMING/TERROR/performing in THEATER/being THREATENED/THREATENING (his professor) THREATS/being TIED up/TRASH/TURTLES/VIOLENCE/(under) WATER/WEDDING/WEEPING; about/WORK/WORLD that is dark and cold/being WOUNDED/WOUNDS
Fever: + stomach complaints
< before MENSES
PERSPIRATION with heat
Generals: Desires open air
COLD lying in bed
ELECTRICITY; sensation of static
FOOD and DRINKS: Desires: cereal/chocolate/eggs/farinaceous food/fruit/ice cream/lemons/(lukewarm) water/meat/milk/salt/soup/sugar;
>: milk; aversion: tea;
FULLNESS; feeling of - Internally
HEAT flushes (# chills)/lack of vital heat
MOTION >/MOTION - sensation of
ODOR OF THE BODY - strong
PAIN – aching/stabbing/stitching/wandering
PARALYSIS - sensation of
PARALYSIS OF SENSES
RESTLESSNESS (> motion)
SITTING </impulse to sit
short sleep >
STRENGTH, sensation of (muscular)
SWELLING of glands
TOBACCO - aversion to (cigarettes)
WALKING (rapidly) >
WARM wraps >
WOUNDS - bites (of spider)
Repertory: [Susan Sonz/Mary-Lynn Culbert]
Mind: Absent minded (driving)
Anger (from noise/about trifles)
Anxious (prevents breathing/after being cheerful/careless/about children/< company/periodic paroxysms)/Fear (in crowd/of flies/of ghosts, spectres/imaginary things/of insects/panic attacks, overpowering/sudden)
Bed – desires to stay in bed
Breaking things – desires it
Chaotic (cannot perform anything in orderly manner)
Company - </aversed to (loved ones)
Concentration - difficult/attempting to is difficult (with vacant feeling)/driving/from noises in ears/studying/reading/talking/writing
Confusion – on attempting to concentrate the mind/about daily affairs/“As if in a dream/driving/as to own identity (depersonalization/sensation of duality/“As if head separated from body”/about location - loses his way in well-known streets/< noise (in ear)/after sleep/talking/writing
Content (with oneself)
Contradiction - disposed to
Delusions, imaginations - everything has changed/dead persons/objects (diminished/enlarged)/dirt, dirty/arth undulating like a wave/smell of dead animal/flies/floating in air/food (is bad or dirty)/is heavy/hearing of noise/of senses/mind and body separated/is separated from the world/is smaller/familiar things are strange/is under water
Dull – in company/conversation does not omprehend and is unable to relate properly/< conversation/cannot collect ideas/from mental exertion/and sleepy/< talking/unable to think or concentrate/unable to think long/thoughts become confuse, particularly if he makes great effort to understand/on waking/and weary with weakness/writing
„As if mind empty“
Excites, excitable (at night)
Forgetfull - daily things/of where he put things/words speaking/word hunting
Giggling – cannot handle things anymore, overwhelmed by stress
Indifferent. Apathic (to own children)
Indolent (aversion to work)
Irritable – morning (on waking)/afternoomn/< company/from contradiction/to won family/during headache/towards husband/from noise/during pain/about trifles
Laughing (at own actions/causeless(silly/about trifles)
Memory lost, weakness – for dates/for details/for what he was about to do/for names (of persons)/for numbers/for what he has read/for what he just thought/for words/for mental work/for what is about to write/for what was written
Mental exertion - </is impossible
Mistakes made (calculating/spelling/writing (transposing digits/letters and numbers/transposing, misplacing letters)
Mood – alternating/changeable, variable
Morose, sulky (< motion)
Prostration of mind (with excitement/with headache/with sleepiness/about trifles)
Quarrelsome, scolding [with own family (and husband)/about trifles]
Senses – acute/dull
(Over)sensitive [to all external impressions/to noise/to odors (to cleaning chemicals/to cooked food/to perspiration/stool)]
Taciturn, indisposed to talk (with weariness)
Talk, talking, talks, foolish
Thoughts – cannot collect them/intrude and crowd around each other/rush, flow/vanishing, unable to think (< mental exertion/writing)
Trifles - < ailments/seem important
Work < (mental/aversed to writing)
Vertigo: in general (with exhaustion)
Head: Constriction (in forehead/occiput)/“As if band or hoop“
Eruptions in margins of hair
Sensation of heat/flushes of heat
Pain [one-sided/ext. eyes/ext. temples/in forehead (above eyes/l.)/in temples (and forehead)/preceding or attending blindness or visual complaints/bursting/constant (day and night) dull (in forehead/in forehead ext. eyes/ext. to sinuses/in forehead above eyes/> occupation, diversion/and pain in other parts (back)/pulsating, throbbing
Eruptions on lids
Itchind [in (inner) canthi]
Lachrymation – with cough/during coryza
Pain [< (bright) light/< daylight/< sunlight)/stinging]
Ears: Fullness (r.)
Hearing: < Noises
Acute (to noises/during headache)
Sounds seem distant [(own) voices]
Nose: Sinuses (frontal)
Coryza (< open air/with fluent discharge
„As if obstructed“ [in frontal sinuses (with neuralgic pain in face)/in posterior nares, choanae]
Pain [in (frontal) sinuses]
Smell acute (everything smells too strong/offensive/of dead animals/of blood/like feces/fetid food/of dung, manure/nauseating odors imaginary and real/putrid perfume)
Sensitive to odor – of cooking food/perfume/strange odors/strong odors/of (sweetish) tobacco/unpleasant odors/of wine/perspiration
Eruptions (on fprehead/on lips)
Heat [(sudden) flushes]
Pain [in cheek bones (pressing)]
Tension (in jaw)
Mucus (drawn from posterior nares)
Pain (during coughing)
Stomach: Appetite – diminished/wanting
Nausea (> eating/beginning of menses)
Thirst (and dry tongue/and aversed to drinking)/THIRST on waking
Vomiting (in morning)
Larynx & trachea:
Chest: Constricted (sternum)
Fullness [in mammae („As if with milk“)]/Milk returns after weaning
Itching in mammae
Pain [in (l.) mamma/cutting, sudden sharp (mamma (l.)
Heart and circulation - Palpitation of heart/pulse rapid, tachycardia (after anxiety)
Back: Pain [in cervical region (ext. upward/< lying/< motion)/in dorsal region/in lumbar region (lumbago > motion/< sitting/dull (dorsal region/< lying)/wandering]
Swelling in cervical region (lymphatic tissue)
Tension in cervical region
Extremities: Awkward (drops things)
Eruptions [desquamating (upper limbs/fingers/elbows/lower limbs]
Heavy [tired limbs (shoulders)]
Itching (lower limbs)
Pain [lower limbs (knees)/aching (morning/on waking)/shooting (lower limbs/knees/upper limbs/shoulders/wrists
Sweat: at night (during sleep)
Profuse (at night/during sleep/sudden)
Waking - from dreams/frequent (after dreams/“As from heat“)/from and with heat/from sweat
Dreams: <(<(< viele >)>)>
Skin: Warts on fingers (first fingers/thumb/painful)
Itching (in bed/in spots/wandering)
Generals: desires/> exertion/able to exercise without exertion
Food and drinks: Desires: alcoholic drinks/fish/fruit/peanuts/peanut butter; Aversion to: sugar/sugared food/sweets;
Heat - flushes (with chilliness/with perspiration)/“As if heat (# coldness“/during sleep/< becoming heated/easily becoming heated
Lassitude (morning/< rising)
Pain (in morning)
Weakness [morning (on and after waking)/night/< ascending stairs/with lack of reaction/does not allow to speak/< writing]
Weary [morning (on rising/on waking)]
Inspiration for this proving came from a client in the NYSH student clinic who had told us of a vivid and unusual vision; a drunken opossum (who had eaten compost from wine-making refuse) was dancing on the roof of her garage.
Once research began, many intriguing features came to light such as the opossum’s unique reaction to stress (“playing possum” – an involuntary, coma-like state), its unusual immune system, and its prolific fertility. These features, amongst others, led us to believe opossum to be a good subject for a proving.
Our opossum was humanely trapped in an urban location on Long Island, New York. It had been coming to eat cat food put out on someone’s porch and was captured by Jeffrey Gatz from
Bioreclamation Inc., using cat food as bait.
Capture occurred between the hours of 23 h. and 6 h. on Aug 2nd - 3rd, 2008. The source animal was a young adult lactating female in good health although on the thin side, presumably from nursing. There was no evidence of young on or about her at the time of capture. There was no obvious evidence of disease, illness or injury.
She did not “play possum” at any time and was described by Jeff as being “pretty calm” throughout her capture and captivity. She was given fresh food and water during her captivity, and was released once blood had been drawn. Jeff used a standard ACD vacutainer to collect the blood (ACD is an anti-coagulant). It was then flown to the Hahnemann Laboratory and Pharmacy in California where Michael Quinn and Sonya Sakaske, made the remedy for us.
The order Didelphimorphia includes only New World marsupials, which are all species of opossum. Opossum appear in the North American fossil record as far back as 100 million years ago.
66 species of Didelphimorphia exist in the New World; 11 species of opossum reached as far north as Central America and only one, the Virginia Opossum, is found in North America.
The opossum is a marsupial. Marsupial mammals differ from placental mammals in that female marsupials have a fur-lined pouch (marsupium) on their abdomens. Young are born in an embryonic state
after a very short gestation period of just 12-13 days, and complete their development attached to a nipple inside the mother’s pouch.
Marsupials have a skeletal system closer to that of reptiles. They have a less efficient reproductive process and a more primitive brain than placental animals. The opossum’s brain is a third to half the size of other mammals of similar size, and is primitive in structure. Results of some learning and discrimination tests show that, in spite of their brain size, opossum are above dogs an on par with pigs in regards to intelligence.
The opossum is a placid and shy omnivore approximately the size of a house cat. Generally slow moving, opossum are primarily nocturnal. They usually weigh between 4-12 lbs., and measure between
15-24 inches long (not including their tails). Males are larger and weigh about a third more than females.
The opossum has an elongated snout, a pink nose, black eyes, and black ears. Typically, the face is covered in white fur and the body fur is primarily grayish white, shading to a dark grey on its legs.
The Virginia Opossum is unique in its coloration; the body has white-tipped guard hairs that give it a grizzled appearance. The further south they live the darker their coloration becomes. Opossum often show signs of frostbite on their ears and tail because these body parts have no hair to protect them.
They have 50 teeth – more than any other land mammal. Research has established that they are one of the few mammals, other than humans, to have color vision. In addition, they have very good night vision.
Their hairless, prehensile tail is used like an extra “hand” to carry nest-building materials to their den site and to facilitate movement through trees and brush. While young opossum may be able to hang upside-down for a short period of time by their tails, they quickly become too heavy to be able to do this as adults. It is a myth that they sleep this way.
The legs of the opossum are short. They have a plantigrade gate, meaning they are flat-footed, walking with the entire sole of their foot on the ground. Their hind feet have a “halux” – an opposable thumb-like appendage. This makes their five-fingered, tracks very distinctive and easily recognizable. Their fingers are very dexterous, like those of a raccoon (with which they share habitat requirements).
Opossum have the shortest lifespan of any animal of comparative size. Sources disagree on the exact figure, but most claim an average lifespan in the wild of only 2-3 years. They don’t live much longer in captivity. Males have a higher mortality rate than females because they range further, making them more likely to fall prey to predators or run afoul of motor vehicles.
The Virginia opossum is commonly found throughout southeastern Canada, through the Eastern United States and into Costa Rica. They were introduced into California, parts of Arizona, Western Colorado and Idaho. In recent years, opossum have been extending their range northwards as winters have become more moderate.
Opossum are both terrestrial and arboreal. They have a varied habitat but prefer low, damp woodlands near permanent bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, streams or rivers. They are known to be strong swimmers if necessity forces them to it. As they roam their territory, they tend to follow water courses, making their ranges elongate rather than circular.
Opossum are solitary and nomadic, staying in a home range for as long as the food supply lasts before moving on to new territory. A home range is between 15-40 acres but this varies greatly according to the geography. Individuals may wander widely, especially in the fall. Males tend to range farther than females. Individual ranges overlap and they tend to be tolerant of neighboring individuals, but they will defend the area they are occupying at any given time.
The complexity of the placental mammal’s social system is much greater than that of the marsupials. Opossum, even young ones, don’t play or interact much and are generally pretty lethargic.
Males are usually aggressive towards other males but rarely towards females. Females tolerate each other (except when in heat) and some sources claim they may even live communally. They generally do not tolerate males except when sexually receptive.
Opossum are primarily nocturnal but may become active during the day in warm weather when females need to forage more if they are pregnant or nursing. During bad weather or extreme cold, opossum may remain in their nests or dens for several days at a time but they do not hibernate. Because they don’t store food and their body reserves aren’t that extensive, they must forage on a regular basis, even during extreme weather conditions.
Den sites include hollow trees, fallen logs, piles of brush, and the abandoned nests and burrows of other animals – anywhere that’s dry, sheltered and safe. They will also take advantage of human made “dens” under porches, in attics, chimneys, etc. Opossum have been known to den in groups and even share a winter den with rabbits, skunks, raccoons and woodchucks.
Opossum find different daytime dens or nests as they wander their territories for food. Even pregnant and nursing females will not keep a regular den. This is highly unusual behavior for a mammal. But, because the young travel in the mother’s pouch, she is free to continue in her nomadic ways throughout the birth and rearing of her young.
Opossum wash their faces with their front paws like a cat does. They also use their hind “thumb” as a handy grooming aid. Females pay particular attention to grooming their pouch, particularly if young are present.
They have a vocal repertoire consisting of hisses, growls and screeches when they are threatened. They also make a metallic “click” used in a variety of situations, including mating, and in aggressive encounters. Young will make a “chuff” or sneezing kind of sound if they become separated from their mothers and she will “click” back to them.
Opossum are most famous for feigning death or “playing possum”. They are very slow runners and usually try to escape predators by climbing the nearest tree. But, when faced with a danger it can’t
easily escape, the opossum will first bare all fifty of its teeth, hiss and growl. It may lunge at the predator or try to run away. If this fails, it may then fall onto its side, drool, defecate and exude a foul smelling green substance from its anal glands located on either side of the cloacal vent. This serves to make it very unattractive to the predator that may have been threatening them, as many predators prefer live prey. Unfortunately this strategy has no effect on motor vehicles This catatonic state is largely an involuntary stress reaction which may last for minutes or even hours (like fainting in humans). In this state, their heart rate has been recorded to drop by 46 percent and their respiration rate to drop by 30 percent. The animal can be poked, prodded, even picked up and moved about without reviving. Yet, when the danger is past, the animal somehow revives itself and resumes its normal activities.
One source claims that only about 10% of opossum under study exhibited this death feigning behavior. In addition, the shock that initiates this state had less effect each successive time it was applied until, by the third or fourth trial, the opossum showed no signs of impact at all.
Opossum have a primitive and bifurcated (“forked”) reproductive system. Males have a forked penis and females have paired, lateral vaginae. In more advanced mammals the reproductive tube fuses in the middle to form a single canal.
Opossum have a very short gestation period of just 12-13 days. Each baby is about the size of a honey bee at birth. The number of babies averages between 13-21 per litter but much larger litters are not uncommon. Females usually have 13 mammae, not all of which may be functional. Each embryonic baby must make its way from the vaginal opening to the pouch and attach itself to a nipple where it will complete its development for several more weeks. The babies who are the first to attach themselves to working nipples survive, the rest will die and the mother will remove them from her pouch.
While the litter is attached to the nipples, females will lick the babies and clean the pouch. But once they emerge from the pouch they must groom themselves. Young begin to fend for themselves at about 3 months, emerging from the pouch and riding around on their mother’s back. Males are not involved in rearing the babies at all, and not much maternal behavior has been observed in female opossum. Once they get too big to ride on the mother’s back, it seems they are on their own and the litter generally disperses within one month of weaning.
Females can mate soon after the litter is weaned, thereby producing two litters in one season. The young from the second litter are usually weaned and on their own by September or October but in some localities, late litter young may over-winter with their mother until the following spring.
Opossum have a high mortality rate; even the mortality rate of young in the pouch ranges from 10-25 percent. Of those that survive until weaning, fewer than 10 percent live more than one year.
Opossum are omnivorous and eat anything that’s available. They tend to eat more plants and worms in the spring, while eating insects, snails and amphibians in the summer. They eat grains, fruits and nuts in the fall, and hunt small rodents like shrews, voles, rats and mice in the winter. They are especially fond of persimmons and can often be found in the southern United States perched in a persimmon tree enjoying their favorite fruit.
Opossum also eat rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins and have apparent immunity to pit viper venom. They love cat food which brings them into suburban areas, and they are known to kill rabbits and chickens and to take eggs and nestlings.
Opossum seem to prefer decomposing fruit or meat to fresh food. One source notes that “carrion with maggots is a year-round treat” and that more opossum were caught using decomposed bait than fresh. Road kill makes up a favorite part of their diet. This preference is often responsible for their demise as they can’t get out of the way of traffic quickly enough. They have earned the nickname of “nature’s sanitation engineers” because they keep urban environments free of unwanted pests and dead animals.
They put on a thick layer of brown fat in late fall and early winter to help them get through the coldest months. They can lose up to 45% of their body weight over the winter. “Possum fat” is a well known folk remedy and is traditionally used as a base for herbal salves to alleviate inflammatory conditions like arthritis and rheumatism.
Opossum are unusually resistant to many infectious diseases, including rabies (very unusual for a mammal). This may be due to their relatively low body temperature of 94-97° F which makes it difficult for the rabies virus to survive.
As mentioned earlier, opossum have the ability to eat poisonous snakes and research suggests that their blood contains a factor that makes them immune to normal doses of pit viper venom. This Lethal Toxin Neutralizing Factor (LTNF) is being researched as a possible “universal” antidote for several animal, plant and bacterial toxins.
They are host to numerous parasites and diseases and can spread these to other animals (including humans). In particular, they are the hosts of Sarcocystis Neuroma, a protozoan parasite that causes Equine Protozoal Myelitis, a serious, sometimes fatal, disease that affects the central nervous system of horses.
Important predators include great horned owls, dogs, and coyotes, and internal and external parasites (intestinal worms, fleas and ticks).
Their biggest predator of the opossum is man who may accidentally run them over or deliberately destroy them as “pests”. Humans have traditionally hunted opossum as meat and trapped them for their fur. In fact, they were introduced to the western United States as a source of food during the Great Depression.
Opossum also fall victim to malnutrition and starvation.
Four provers needed only one dose in order to experience strong, recordable symptoms. Two provers took a second dose, two provers needed a third dose, and two provers took four doses. Five provers (four of them male) took all six doses with no effect. As usual, the master provers were concerned that there would either be no significant symptoms or too many symptoms, meaning that some provers would get quite sick. The fact is that with most provings, the truth lies somewhere in between. Three provers had very uncomfortable, strong symptoms, while four provers actually felt improvement in
their overall states. Two of the Master Provers and four supervisors experienced strong emotional and signature symptoms.
It is important to remember that, as Hahnemann said, regardless of the symptoms that are produced during a proving, everyone involved is in a higher state of health or awareness after the experience.
Not only have provers and supervisors helped to expand our materia medica, but everyone involved ends up in a healthier state as a result. The kind of introspection that provers are required to engage in during a proving is mind-expanding. Prospective provers, rather than feel as if they are about to become guinea pigs, should consider themselves more like Alice in Wonderland and feel confident that whether or not they suffer from temporary symptoms, the proving experience will enlighten them. A proving is a journey – an honorable journey for all involved. It should be embarked on with care and caution, but without fear. We hope to encourage many more Hahnemannian provings.
In a proving, signature symptoms are fascinating. They seem especially significant now considering Rajan Sankaran’s work with the Sensation System of homeopathy. The signature symptoms of homeopathic remedies are reported by provers in an uncompensated manner, and they serve as confirmatory evidence that our understanding of the remedy begins with the substance itself. These signature symptoms, which reflect the nature of the substance, deepen our understanding of similitude. These are some of the more significant substance/source related reports, with notations reproduced from the Natural History section.
Dream: While I'm in the shower this morning, I remember something about a dream in which I was talking about the importance of washing one's feet! Prover #3, Day 01 - - - -
Note: Opossum prefer low, damp woodlands near permanent bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, streams or rivers. They are known to be strong swimmers…As they roam their territory, they tend to follow water courses…Opossum wash their faces with their front paws like a cat does. They also use their hind “thumb” as a handy grooming aid.
Dream: about a bunch of houseflies on a white background, then I woke up in a sweat and felt very hot.Dreamed of a bunch of houseflies buzzing around in the corner of my kitchen. I felt hot again and woke up. Prover #10, Day 01 - - - - -
7:30 h. - I put my son on the bus for school and noticed that my dogwood tree was buzzing loudly. I took a closer look and the tree’s leaves were covered by houseflies! Never saw anything like it before – there were at least 100 flies on the tree! Prover #10, Day 02
9:30 h. - I went to put something into my car and there are a bunch of flies in the car – maybe 5 flies. Prover #10, Day 02
19:00 h. - I was in Manhattan having dinner with a bunch of people and we order a bottle of wine. When the wine glasses are brought out, mine had a dead fly in it. The waiter took it away and brought me a clean glass. Prover #10, Day 06
I’m experiencing intermittent wafting of the odor of a dead animal. It’s a very distinct odor of either a dead animal or the smelly juice that drips from a garbage truck. Prover #10, Day 02
Note: Opossum seem to prefer decomposing fruit or meat to fresh food.Carrion with maggots is a year-round treat and more opossum are trapped by using decomposed bait than fresh. Road kill makes up a favorite part of their diet.
Dream: - My mother’s freezer was really dirty with old food and spilled chocolate ice cream., so I cleaned it. Unusual. Prover #10, Day 01 - - - -
9:30 h. - 12:30 h. It was my first day volunteering to do work at an organic co-op that I recently joined. My job was to sort through the fruit, removing the molded, rancid pieces for the compost pile. Being a newbie at the co-op, they also gave me a really dirty refrigerator to clean. Remember my dream about the dirty refrigerator? Prover #10, Day 15
Note: They have earned the nickname of “nature’s sanitation engineers” because they keep urban environments free of unwanted pests and dead animals.
It’s toward the end of the proving and I’m realizing that I’ve been eating a lot more fruit than usual. I usually eat raw vegetables, but since taking the remedy, I’ve been buying extra amounts of fruit and eating it daily: pineapple, papaya, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples. Prover #10, Day 11
Note: Opossum are omnivorous and eat anything that’s available. They eat grains, fruits and nuts in the fall, especially fond of persimmons and can often be found perched in a persimmon tree enjoying their favorite fruit.
Dream: There was a raccoon under my son's sheets. He was asleep. The raccoon slithered out and it had the face of a possum! Prover # 14, Day 22 - - - -
Note: This dream was reported to the supervisor prior to the extraction meeting, before the prover knew the source of the remedy. It’s significant in that raccoons and opossum not only share the same habitat, but have been known to share dens during the cold of winter.
Master Prover, Susan Sonz, was at a friend’s home in Sag Harbor on Day 1 of the proving. That night, a large female opossum came to the back door and stayed for over an hour. Susan’s friend had never seen an opossum before, although she has lived in that area for the past ten years.
Several strong themes emerged at the extraction meeting on September 28, 2008. Prover #1, who was the first to report, began by describing a panic attack that had occurred the day before at a child’s birthday party. Her description reminded the master provers of the coma-like state (“playing possum”) of a terrified opossum.
There were many reports of hypersensitivity to smells and sounds with conflicting reports of detached feelings.
Many provers complained of symptoms that involved mind confusion, memory problems, and spaciness. Water was discussed; there were dreams of water and floods, sensations of clogged ears, and actual plumbing problems.
And, to be expected, symptoms around the themes of children and protection were discussed. In fact, two women who had stopped nursing months before, started lactating again spontaneously.
Here are the major themes and words of the provers:
1. OUT OF CONTROL vs. CALM (the opossum is often described as placid).
The first five comments were reported by Prover #1 at the extraction meeting:
I walk into some over-stimulating situation (auditory or visual or whatever) and the first thing that happens is I notice I don’t know where to look - can’t keep my eyes fixed in any one place for any particular time.
I feel a heat rush - particularly on my forehead and face; like a hot flush; face feels like it’s burning, my hands feel numb, I have a tight squeezing sensation around my ribcage; can’t get a breath;
I feel like my heart is racing andpounding; feel giddy and ridiculous.
Depending on the situation, maybe embarrassed - feel like I’m not handling myself well; feel like I’m babbling and, I’m not particularly shy so I don’t normally feel embarrassed by acting like a jackass - felt dumb; laughing; making a fool of myself; like I can’t handle things.
At a playground with my kids - they were doing construction and there were a billion kids around. I couldn’t keep track of my kids; couldn’t see them. I gotta get out of here - just can’t do it. Went home and the whole way home I was just giggling to myself - felt a rush. There are circumstances where I really just can’t function.
I couldn’t write - had a really hard time and I’m someone who writes a lot. I generally spend a couple of hours a day writing. It’s what I do. I hadn’t been able to - couldn’t answer my mom’s email. Prover #1, Extraction Meeting
[6 min. after Rx] I feel like the remedy is “hitting” me now. I feel shaky and a little out of control. It feels difficult to write. Prover#1, Day 00
[2 min. later] I feel myself sitting really still. Eyes looking around calmly, emotionlessly. Feel very still. Legs feel still with no desire to move. Not sleepy or lethargic, just still. Prover #1, Day00
My husband and son tell me that I seemed happier and more easy going the past two days. My son says I seemed like I was taking "happy pills" on Friday. [Day 00] I realize I was not bothered by little things that usually annoy me, like messiness in my house (e.g., piles of newspapers everywhere). This morning I'm more irritable about messiness again. Prover #3, Day 02
I think my mood is still a little calmer than usual for me. Annoying little things like waiting in line or waiting for the very slow elevator in my office building aren't bothering me quite so much. I'm letting the annoyance kind of float away - or maybe it's me who's floating through my life a little bit more than usual. My mood is cheerier and I like being this way. Prover #3, Day 03
I continue to be quite easy going, letting things just float away from me - I like this! Very positive and complimentary toward my husband - which I'm sure he likes! Prover #3, Day 04
I'm more irritable today! The calm of the last week seems to be fading, which is unfortunate because I liked being less irritable. Twice today I dropped things, which is unusual for me (2x in one day –
a pile of magazines off my desk and a basket of cotton balls in the bathroom that went everywhere) and I got annoyed and exclaimed loudly. Prover #3, Day 07
In the few days right before I took the remedy I was feeling anxious about participating in the proving, after all. I was worried about the possibility of experiencing some bizarre symptoms that might interfere with my ability to function or work. But as soon as I took the remedy the anxiety disappeared and didn't return. In fact, if anything, I have experienced an unusual sense of calmness, not just about the proving, but in general! I have been so calm and positive, so much less irritable about little things, so much less fluctuating in my emotional state than usual, that not only have I been aware of this, but others around me have commented on it. This has been the most pleasant surprise of the proving for me! Prover #3, Journal Summary
Mentally I just felt stable all through this proving. I felt more positive. If I could choose if it was good or bad I would say good. A good feeling. Positive all the way through. Prover #6, Extraction Meeting
I have not been getting angry when people (actually friends) tease me. I otherwise would get irritated and defensive. But instead I was calm. I didn’t even feel like retaliating. It did not bother me in the slightest bit. All I did was giggle. Prover #8, Day 01
I feel at ease with myself, calm. I feel I h. now in sync with everybody. Even when I asked my cousin if she sees a change in me, she said, “You look calm.” Normally I h. hyper-active, always in a hurry. It’s not that I h. sitting in one place, I do things, I work but I h. taking things easy. Prover #8, Day 06
2. I normally have a good sense of smell but smells have been especially strong to me. Cleaning fluids, food, landfill, smoke on someone, spaghetti or red sauce. Prover #2, Day 01
Someone walked by who had just showered and the smell was overwhelmingly like cleaningfluid (h.monia). She said the soap in the shower smelled like that. I felt it in my head. Prover #2, Day 02
My sense of smell is wonky. I seem to be noticing sweet smells more than I used to. I smelt a woman’s merlot from across a room before I realized that that’s the sweet smell I kept trying to ask my friend about in the restaurant. I’m also more sensitive to other people’s body odor. Prover #4, Day 02
Still noticing other people’s perfume. It’s like they leave a trail in their wake...very odd. At first I thought the first few people were just wearing too much perfume but I realized that not everyone I smell could be wearing that much perfume. Prover #4,Day 02
I went to my girlfriend’s house and she’d cleaned her house a few hours prior and I could smell soap all over her and the house for the rest of the night. She thought I was being crazy and laughed because I kept sniffing her. Prover #4, Day 08
I went to a liquor store with a friend and there was some sweet smell in the air that kept distracting me. He noticed it but it wasn’t distracting to him. Prover #4, Day 09
Took remedy. Left house 10:25 h. and during my drive, I realized I was in a daze, that I focused on a lot of things around me, like trees and houses, like I’ve never seen them before. Spent rest of the day in a daze – hyper-sensitive eyes and ears. Sound was much louder than usual and really annoying. A headache is forming because of the sensitive eyes. Prover #7, Day 00
Woke up in the same daze. But also, in addition to hyper-sensitive eyes and ears, I was really goofy today. I was a silly bitch and still h.. [male prover]. Although I seem to have expended my energy.
My middle back is sensitive to touch around my spine. My lower back is starting to get a little sore. Prover#7, Day 01
I wasn’t hot anymore - it was just a hot day. I was less irritable but still as indifferent as ever. The extreme sensitivity is wearing off. I’m still dazed. It’s like my brain and body are strangers to each other. Prover#7, Day 05
Kinda crazy - the first day within a half hour my eyes and my ears went sharp. I’m driving to school and I’m looking at trees, focusing on trees. I kept on looking at weird things - like H.D. T.V. in my eyes. The bad part was my ears would just annoy me - people talking - I just wanted to shut them off and walk away. Overhead speakers were like white noise - destroyed my concentration and I had to walk away. Telephone conversations were annoying - everything was annoying to me. I was like a rabid dog - very irritable. I felt detached - like my soul was up here. Prover #7, Extraction Meeting
12:00 h. - The dog’s smell is repulsing me. I don’t want to touch the dog. Usually I let the dog climb all over me. 13:00 h: My daughter took out nail polish and the smell was very strong. I asked her to put it away and she did. But later when I opened the same closet for something else, the nail polish box fell out and crashed to the floor, glass breaking open and smelly nail polish splattered all over my legs and feet and the floor. Prover #10, Day 01
18:00 h. - Smelled dog shit around me, intermittently. I thought it was in the house because we have a dog, but I couldn’t find anything and no one else smelled it. I went to the supermarket and I smelled it there too. Prover #10, Day 01
20:00 h. - I still smelled dog shit so I thought it might be me. I asked my husband and my daughter to smell my clothes and my body and they did but didn’t smell anything. I continued to smell it.
I checked my shoes and my clothes and they were o.k. One minute I smell it then without moving it’s gone and then I smell it again. I decided to take a nap and the smell went away.
Prover #10, Day 01
Horrible depression- detached with no way of getting back to myself. Prover #10, Extracting Meeting
I did have a couple of smell overload moments again today. Two women with crazy hairdos in front of us at the Mets game - overwhelming smell of hairspray and perfume. Also two women on the bus to the U.S. Open earlier in the day – older women, lots of perfume. Yuck. Prover #13, Day 05
Long talk with Supervisor. Will try to write more - my writing, any writing. Can’t bring myself to address packages, to email even. Feels like it’s too hard, too much effort. In retrospect, even my writing here is awful. Misspelling, miswriting letters. Cannot get a thought going. I feel sluggish, stupid. It feels like waking up in the middle of the night and I have not had enough sleep. Prover #1, Day07
Skipping letters and words and writing wrong words and terrible handwriting. This used to happen before when I was struggling with my A.D.D. The writing in the journal is very familiar to my previous A.D.D. stuff. I h. really scattered and do not feel like I have a grasp on things at all. My mind moves faster than my hand can write and it is very frustrating for me. Yesterday I realized that this was familiar like all of my old A.D.D. stuff. I was able to write more now that I h. more conscious of what is going on and managing my issues behaviorally like before when I started to manage my A.D.D.
I then was able to send longer emails to friends and I had been avoiding that before. Prover #1, Day 08
Also, my A.D.D. symptoms continue to worsen - not the actual concentration, (in class I knit as a way to burn off those extra distractions and that still works for me, and I was able to pay attention in class) but the feelings of being a little lost, a little like I'm looking off in all directions at once, and a little speedy. I seem to not be able to stop myself from running off at the mouth, either (the "filter" is related to this in my mind). Prover #1,Day 12
My memory is going away, I can’t concentrate on more than one thing at a time, normally I can deal with everything, but my body and brain are not letting me do more than one thing at a time, then I feel either frustration or just letting go and feeling to myself that I’ll just work on one thing and let go of the other thing for now. Prover #2, Day09
15:45 h. - More symptoms are coming on - is it the proving? Earlier I thought I'm not feeling that much, but now I h. - I keep starting to do things and walking out of the room without doing them, like opening a drawer to get something and not getting it - or going into the bathroom to brush my teeth and leaving without brushing them - and then realizing and going back to do them. Prover #3, Day 00I
I space out and forget about a meeting at work today, extremely unusual symptoms forme. I h. reminded of the meeting when the person with whom I h. supposed to meet calls me to ask if we could postpone the meeting, which is fine with me since I don't even remember scheduling it. She says we scheduled it, but since I don't remember, I'm not sure if we actually did or she just thinks we did. Prover #3, Day 05
I feel spacey this afternoon, like my head is in a fog. It's not that I'm unable to concentrate, but I feel this spaciness kind of swirling around my head. This is unusual for me as I'm usually quite grounded. Now I feel a little bit like I'm floating through my day. It's making me feel very sleepy again. Prover #3,Day 06
My sense of direction got vaguer than it usually is (and it's terrible to begin with) and I was spaced out a lot. I felt like I was tripped out on drugs sometimes because I couldn't focus on anything and the room or whatever it was I happened to be looking at would seem like it was slowly changing its' dimensions. Prover #4, Journal Summary
Dream:- Fell asleep on the couch (this isnormal for me as I usually take a quick nap twice a day at around 15 h. and 20 h. daily).It was as if there was an earthquake or a wave under the sidewalk that I was standing on. Unusual. Prover #10, Day 00 - - - -
Dream: I got on an elevator and instead of going up to the floorthat I needed, it kept flipping upside down and wouldn’t go to the floor that I needed.It wasn’t flipping quickly, itwas a slow, gradual alteration of the floor.I felt like my sense of reality was flipping.Unusual. Prover #10, Day 01 - - - - -
4. CHILDREN / PROTECTION / LACTATION/ FERTILITY
Note: Prover #1 began lactating again after having weaned her son some time ago. Prover #6 did too. Prover #6’s daughter had recently begun to cling to her back and hang from her neck. The little girl was doing this during the extraction meeting. Prover #1 had gone back to using a “snuggly” baby carrier to carry her 18 month old son - she failed to ever mention this until the extraction meeting, but had reported back trouble, most likely as a result of the snuggly.
Prover #1: ‘I can’t do this anymore (use the stroller ). I’m getting out the baby carrier that I used when he was a baby and leaving the stroller at home.’ So I started carrying him in a baby carrier which is right here [she indicates her chest], like in a little pouch, to pick her [daughter] up at school every day and the rest of the time I’m using a stroller. Then I thought, ‘The stroller is a pain! I’m just going to carry him.’ So, for the past month, I haven’t even touched the stroller. I’ve just been carrying him – either on my back or here [indicates her chest]. Then about two days ago I pulled out the stroller and I thought, ‘Why have I been carrying him when I have this stroller?’ And I went right back to thestroller just like that. Prover #1,Extraction Meeting
I am passing out while my kids are jumping on top of me. I have not been this exhausted since I was five weeks pregnant. I cannot keep my eyes open - eyes feel very heavy and tired. Prover #1, Day 07
My son smells very sweaty to me. I bathe him and I know he should smell like his mild shampoo (a delicate calendula smell) but he still smells like sweat, even right out of the bath. I'm not sure what that's about, but it's a bit bothersome. Prover #1, Day 12
Dream: I'm in a class and I tell something about Leonardo Da Vinci having taughtabout breast feeding! As I say this in the dream I think it's odd, but I know I read it somewhere - the teacher asks where and I remember it was in the alumni magazine he had given us, so I show him. Prover #3, Day 01 - - - -
Dream: My daughter and I are arriving at a reunion of our Mother/Daughter Reading Group, lots of confusion about where everyone is and where to put the food we're each bringing (note that food really was a big part of our reading group). I look down at the platter I'm carrying and realize it is tuna salad and I'm surprised because I don't like tuna fish that much. Prover #3, Day 06 - - - -
Dream: I'm sitting on the toilet and realize I'm bleeding, like a period, and I'm horrified because I stopped getting my period several years ago, so I know this can't be a good thing. Prover #3, Day 06 - - - -
Dream: I hear noise in my hallway and open the door to find my former neighbours, a little boy Henry and his mom Laura, on the floor on their stomachs outside my door. They're giggling and having fun. When Laura notices me she says it's Henry's birthday and they're pretending to swim for fun. Henry tells me he's three. Prover #3,Day 07 - - - -
Dream: I dreamt about a crazy woman who had tons of children confined to a largeyard in her house. The house was gated and she refused to let anyone leave when we (I was the only adult) asked.
The children were afraid of her and plotted to escape...can't remember if they did. The crazy woman had a crush on me. Prover #4, Day 03 - - - -
Dream: Swimming hole with 2 kids – cute girl (don’t know them) and otheradults. Pretty day. We are all swimming. Cleaning products – odd. A woman spraying pink cleaning stuff along shoreline.
Told her to stop (strong smell, bad for water). Told her o.k. to spray about 15 feet away on a small paved area. Odd combo of outdoors and cleaning stuff (mops, sprays, etc.). Prover #13, Day 04 - - - -
Dream: Running around trying to find a lost child (not mine). Vague memory of her being blond and young. Prover #13, Day 04 - - - - -
On days 17 – 24 dreams about kids; not my kids ‘cause I don’t have any but other people’s kids – very unusual for me, not something I normally dream about. Dreams about my boyfriend’s kids, a random dream that I had a kid attached to me and a dream about my nieces and the thing that was significant about that one was that I was babysitting two of them; I was holding one and one fell down two flights of stairs but I wasn’t panicked. When she fell I said, ‘Don’t worry, I have Arnica in my black bag.’ When I went to get it, the tube was wet. Prover #14, - - - - - Extraction Meeting
5. Water (and symptoms fullness of ears)
Took another dose, 13 h. My head feels full again. Yelled at the driver. My voice sounded like an echo or as if it was coming far away, almost under water. Prover #2, Day 00
13 h. - My head feels full (l.) Prover #2, Day 06
Within a few minutes of taking the remedy my ears (both sides) feel stopped up, clogged, like someone's fingers are in my ears; a little bit of a tickle, like I'm underwater or on an airplane. It goes away,
but comes back an hour later at 9 h.. Prover #3, Day 00
10:00 h. - My ears feel clogged again, with that "I'm under water" feeling, and my jaw is tight. The under water feeling makes me wonder if this rx is a sea rx, especially because this clogged ears feeling has been so persistent throughout the proving. Prover #3, Day 00
12 h. - My ears feel more clogged and I feel pressure both from inside my ears to the outside and from the outside to inside. It's like the pressure is pushing out and in at the sh.e time. Both ears equally again. I try yawning and my ears pop a little bit. But my ears are really annoying me now.It reminds me of the feeling one gets on an airplane sometimes.But the funny thing is that when I flew for almost nine hours a week ago, I didn't have clogged ears! And I don't usually have a problem with my ears when I fly. Prover #3, Day 03
Dream: At Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, standing around water with a group of people, about to participate in some kind of "new age" ritual. Good feeling. Another water dream, which is interesting since it is not in a place that is necessarily associated with water. Prover #3, Day 09 - - - - -
Dream: Visiting people I knew when my daughter was in grade school; their daughter was my daughter's friend. The toilet overflows and I have to find the plunger to take care of it. Weird, but another dream about water! Prover #3, day 12 - - - - -
I had brief recurrences of the clogged ears that I experienced during the proving as being quite annoying (but not painful).They seemed to recur with some periodicity for awhile, like weekly, or every two weeks, and just when I thought it wouldn't happen again, it did. I can't remember now for how long, but it seemed like it was months, though it got less frequent. I guess it just finally stopped happening so I stopped thinking about it. Prover #3, Email to Master Prover, March 14, 2010
The other big theme for me has been WATER. I got thirsty immediately after taking the remedy. I had clogged ears, with pressure, that made me feel as though I was under water. I felt like I was being pushed down, like being pushed under water. I had dreams about water. I even had dreams about toilets! I had a dream about my neighbours pretending to swim, even when there was no water. even
when I wasn't specifically talking about water. symptom I had was that my eyes were very dry. Related to water during the proving has been "fish," especially as a food. I had a dream about tuna fish.
I craved sushi one day, though I had very few food cravings during the proving. In fact, food, which is usually significant to me (enjoying cooking and eating), seemed to be fairly insignificant during the proving. Prover #3, Journal Summary
Dream: I dreamt that I was in a house and my friend was smoking a cigarette (she doesn't smoke). There was also a toilet with feces in it that wouldn't flush. The toilet was weirdly shaped, kind of like those sinks that are 2 sinks in one. I was disgusted by it. Prover #4, Day 05 - - - -
Two master provers revealed water dreams at the extraction meeting:
Dream: I’m in my childhood home during a flood. I’m looking down from my bedroom window and see my neighbour’s house underwater. Everyone presumes the much-hated neighbors are drowned.
I feel a bit guilty for having done nothing to save them. In spite of being surrounded by the flood waters, I feel no sense of danger; just a calm, matter-of-fact attitude. The scene changes: the water has receded and there are the neighbours very much alive and sitting on their front porch. Everyone is surprised. They look like Burl Ives and family - very folksy and down-homey, a real hillbilly family. Master Prover #1, Day 14
Dream: My husband and I are in charge of taking care of a large, old house. We set about cleaning and tidying. There are no proper cleaning supplies so we are using odd tools and improvising. In the middle of the main, interior living room we find a huge, in-ground swimming pool. It’s very, very deep but has no water in it; very dirty but not gross – just needs a good clean. I start scrubbing using
this odd kind of squeegee thing on a long wooden handle. I ask my husband over and over again for a mop and he says he doesn’t have one, even though he’s using one. I begin to scrub the sides of the pool. Suds start to appear and I’m pleasantly surprised by this as I didn’t have any soap. Then I become worried that the water will now be polluted by the soap. Suddenly there is water filling up the pool from a jet high up on one side. The soap suds vanish, I feel happy and satisfied that the pool is going to be fine. Master Prover #2, Day 13 - - - -
6. Blood/Mutilation/Body parts
Dream: I was a child and I was trying to explain that another child (maybe my own daughter) had been attacked by a big, hairy human beast. Eventually I called him Bigfoot to try to explain. I was frantically trying to tell people she was down in a pit under rocks and that Bigfoot had torn her limb from limb. Somehow it wasn’t about her being dead. I get the impression she wasn’t killed???
But it was about the fact that she was mauled, torn apart, especially that her arms were torn off. As I followed this tall man into the woods explaining, I realized this was the place where she was attacked and that the man I was talking to was the attacker and he was leading me in to attack me too. The man was so much taller that I could not see his face. Once we are at the ravine I can see his face and
I realized he was the beast. I thought he was human when I was talking to him, but then I realized he was the beast. Prover #1, Day 01 - - - - -
Dream: I was in the hotel bar…I leave and go to my room and there is a midget in the elevator and he tells me that management called to escort me to my room. He starts kissing me and I put my hand
in the elevator door and it hurts. I start screaming and crying because my fingers are being ripped off and it hurts - my fingers are being torn off. Prover #1, Day 12. - - - - -
Dream: I'm sitting on the toilet and realize I'm bleeding, like a period, I'm horrified because I stopped getting my period several years ago, so I know this can't be a good thing. Prover #3, Day 06 - - - -
Dream: My daughter chopped my son’s head off and killed him. I imagined the blood and the body and I bech.e upset. In the dream I told my husband, and he checked Kyle and said that he was fine. Prover #10, Day 01 - - - -
Dream: Two people slaughtering a deer on their kitchen table (man and woman). I h. observing ½ of deer missing. Sudden movement of deer – deer still alive? How best to kill it humanely? “Can’t possibly be alive”, I think. Not very gory or bloody – looks like meat in the grocery store except for the perception of the animal being alive. Ugh. Prover #13, Day 13 - - - - -
A Summary of Major Physical Symptoms
Head: Symptoms as well as a hyperacuity of the senses seemed to predominate in the physical symptoms. In particular, provers complained of a feeling of fullness in the head, ears and frontal sinuses. Several said it was as if they were submerged under water. In one prover (3) the sensation of fullness in her ears persisted strongly, at first, and then intermittently for several weeks after the proving
was felt to be over and done with.
Over half the provers (8) complained of a dull, constant headache that seemed to settle in their foreheads. For a number of provers this symptom came on after only one or two doses of the remedy and persisted throughout the course of the entire proving. Three provers also experienced redness and flushing of the face.
The sensation of fullness wasn’t limited to the head. Three female provers experienced in feeling of fullness in their breasts and two of them actually began lactating again. Two other female provers experienced pain in or near their breasts. This is of particular interest given that our subject animal was a lactating female. Also, the chest/mammae symptoms may reflect the special significance of nursing in the lifecycle of marsupials: born into the world in an almost embryonic state, only those babies that can find and latch onto a nipple can complete their development and survive.
Eyes: a sensation of dryness but also increased lachrymation. One prover experienced both, simultaneously.
Vision and hearing: heightened for three of the provers, but a heightening of the sense of smell (for odors both real and imaginary) seemed to predominate with five provers reporting strong and persistent symptoms in this area. Out of these five provers, three also complained about obstructed sinuses, and two of fullness in the head, yet they, too, experienced a heightened sense of smell. Strong, strange and offensive odors (real and imaginary) seemed to dominate.
Stomach: Appetite seemed to be generally diminished but thirst increased. Of the five provers who complained of increased thirst, four of them also said they felt averse to drinking in spite of being thirsty.
Back: pain was a strong symptom for many of the provers, with seven complaining of lower and/or cervical pain. Extremity pain in the joints, [lower legs (knees) was another big complaint. This
is interesting given the fact that the rendered fat of the opossum has traditionally been used to make salves for the treatment of arthritis. Pain seemed to come on suddenly and disappear just as suddenly.
Several provers complained of wandering pains with different joints being affected.
Skin: eruptions and itching were common complaints. Eruptions tended to be small and in very specific locations (eyelid, point of the elbow, one finger, etc.). As with the pain symptoms, the skin eruptions seemed to appear suddenly and resolve suddenly and affect different areas of the body over the course of the proving.
Many of the provers complained of general lassitude, waking during sleep and waking unrefreshed in the morning. In spite of this feeling, two of these sh.e provers also experienced an increased desire for exercise and physical exertion.
Provers seemed to be generally hot and experienced flushes of heat and, in some cases, profuse perspiration that ch.e on suddenly, often at night. The sweat, itself, was described as being oil and sticky (viscid) in nature. While it was quite hot over the period of the proving, the three provers who experienced this particular symptom described it as having nothing to do with their activity level or their environment and insisted this was unusual for them.
I was calm in situations where I normally would not be calm to the point where my fh.ily kept saying to me, ‘This isn’t like you!’ And my son, who’s an adult, said to me, ‘Did you take happy pills or something?’ He knows about homeopathy and he couldn’t believe that this was one dose. And, actually, this calmness has remained with me, not quite as much, but I have been really calm, for me, during this whole time and that’s been great – I love that. Prover #3, Extraction Meeting
In the few days right before I took the remedy I was feeling anxious about participating in the proving, after all. I was worried about the possibility of experiencing some bizarre symptoms that might interfere with my ability to function or work. In fact, if anything, I have experienced an unusual sense of calmness, not just about the proving, but in general! I have been so calm and positive, so much less irritable about little things, so much less fluctuating in my emotional state than usual, that not only have I been aware of this, but others around me have commented on it. This has been the most pleasant surprise of the proving for me! Prover #3, Journal Summary
I have Lyme disease and I've had an annoying and weird clicking in my head for about two years. I'm assuming it's from inflammation in my cranium due to the Lyme. The clicking only happens when
I run, but it's constant when I run. It doesn't hurt but it's quite frightening. About a month after the remedy, I noticed that the clicking was gone and it hasn't returned. Prover #10, email Nov. 20, 2008
I had knee pain, also Lyme related, and the severity is decreased dramatically. It's still there, but I'm not limping from inflh.mation any more. I have really bad back pain and that, unfortunately, hasn't changed. Prover #10, Email Nov. 20, 2008
I had a little brown growth, like a darkish, growing skin tag on my face under my right eye, which I have had for at least a year. It fell off a few weeks/month after the remedy. Prover #10, Email Nov. 20, 2008.