An overview of Mammal subgroups
Although many of us know the themes of Mammals and can easily identify a Mammal case, a common problem is that we cannot work out exactly which remedy is needed. So, hopefully, this collective study of each group of Mammals will make it simpler to find the specific member.
When we go through Mammal remedies in the materia medica, provings and cases from homeopaths around the world, we observe some common themes among them as subgroups. For example, prey mammals share the common theme of dependency, helplessness, submissiveness, and the need to suppress their desires and emotions in order to be safe and protected. On the other hand, there is the need to live life freely.
Mammals can generally be grouped into domestic mammals, prey mammals and predatory mammals; these groups include a diverse range of animals among many families and are not restricted to the boundaries of families or orders. Specific groups, though, may have members from the same family or order. We have been able to elicit the themes of the following subgroups:
1. Domestic mammals
2. Prey mammals
3. Predatory mammals
For many orders and families, such as Monotremata, Giraffidae, Hippopotamidae, Suidae, Pinnipedia, Hyenidae, Herpestidae, Chiropetra, Edentata, Pholidota, Insectivora, Lagomorpha, Proboscidea, we have little or no information about them as a group, since sometimes only one substance is known.
All domestic mammals were wild in the past. They have sacrificed their freedom and independent life for better food and safety. They have learned to live in a domestic environment. They like home comfort, food and security. In patients, these domestic themes are expressed as liking cooking, house work, cleaning, taking care of children and partner, or on the other hand they get fed up with routine or casual work. They like or dislike relatives, gatherings, gossip, ceremony, and festivals, etc. They like to live in a familiar environment and don’t like disturbance. They may have problem with change; food or sleeping pattern, for example. They might enjoy traveling and meeting others but at the same time, they miss their home.
Expression words: Home, Homely, Homesickness, Relationship, Friendship, Routine work, Daily chores, Gossiping, Gathering, Festivals, Cooking, Cleaning, Taking care of others, Dependant on others, Sacrifice for others, Warm and cozy
Prey mammals are usually food for predatory mammals. Most prey mammals are herbivore. They are a step below predators in the food chain, so they are much weaker than predators.
In patients, this will be expressed as extreme fear, panic, weaker, overpowered by others, submissive, weak-willed, dominated, not strong enough, not powerful, pursued by others/ animals, fight and flight reaction, being attacked, danger is lurking, being killed at anytime, need security, protection and safety, etc.
In prey mammals, there are large mammals and smaller mammals.
Large mammals like the elephant, rhinoceros, horse, apes, giraffe, cow and buffalo, whale, dolphin, etc., have a lot of physical strength but they still become prey to predators. In patients, they have, on the one hand, capacity, self-assurance and self-confidence but, on other hand, they are submissive and dependant. Even though they have capacity and strength, they give up rather than fight, they like to choose the non-aggressive way and to live life with less confrontation. They like to have company, it gives them more strength, but if there is nobody to support them, then they don’t get panicky or give up completely. The presence of others is enough to reassure but they are not totally dependent on them.
Smaller prey mammals like the rabbit, rodents, deer, opossum, hedgehog, moles, and smaller monkeys have less self-assurance and much less confidence, so even the slightest threat creates big turmoil in their lives. Their reaction to threat is panic. They seek safety and protection and they desire to run away and hide. They are totally dependent on somebody to protect them and give them a safe environment. To be without a safe environment means death for them. Without support and protection they are nothing on their own. Because of this extremely weak will and fragility, these remedies are very useful in psychiatric disorders like phobias, bipolar disorder and panic attacks.
Expression words: Weak, Weaker, Overpowered by others, Submissive, Weak-willed, Dominated, Not strong enough, Not powerful, Need support, Need safety and security, Desire protection, Like company, Companionship, Friendship, Need helping hand, Panicky, Fear and Fright, Pursued, Attacked, Killed, Fright and flight reaction, Desire to run away and hide
Predatory mammals are carnivores; they hunt and kill prey to feed, so they need power and strength to overpower their prey. In patients, this is expressed as being powerful: they have strength and confidence, they are aggressive, extremely competitive and try to overpower others, they try to be first and above all, try to impose on others by hunting, chasing, attacking and killing. They have a huge ego.
The predatory qualities are more pronounced in the larger predators than the smaller ones.
Felids (cats) are topmost in the food chain, so they are more egoistic; they are leaders and have an extremely high level of confidence and self assurance, whilst canids (dogs) are smaller in size and need to hunt in packs; they have less self-assurance than felids. Another example is the musteloids, (which includes weasels and stoats, for example): here, the first reaction is to flee rather than fight.
Patients needing a remedy from a larger predatory animal, especially felids, try to take control of the conversation during the consultation. Sometimes, it feels as though we homeopaths are following the patient rather than leading or guiding the case.
Larger predatory mammals have extra-developed senses; patients needing these remedies are precocious and have answered the questions almost before you have asked them. They are intelligent and they understand easily. Smaller predators are still predators and are imposing or over-powering in front of those who are smaller and weaker, but if they are confronted by something more powerful, they submit.
Expression words: Power, Powerful, Power-game, Strength, High self-esteem, High ego, Imposing others, Over powering others, Try to be on top, Leading, Competitive, Aggressive, Attacking, Killing, Hunting, Chasing, Devil with weaker and good with stronger, Acute senses, Visionary, Clairvoyance
Marsupials differ from placental mammals because they give birth to very underdeveloped pups whose further development occurs in the mother’s pouch. This is something very special about marsupials; it is expressed in patients as total dependence, dependent like an infant: they need total care, extreme protection and safety, and are very attached to the mother. They feel safe as if in the womb, they like to be covered on all sides and wrapped up completely. The world inside is safe, protective, warm and cozy while outside, it is dangerous and frightening; “I cannot do anything on my own.”
Marsupials are similar to Matridonal remedies; the difference is that marsupial are much simpler and more naïve, and consequently, their requirements are simpler.
Their love for ancient things and past / historic life is another difference.
Matridonals have issues of incarnation, whilst the main focus of Marsupials is the need of a safe and protective place like the womb. Similar remedies are from the 2nd row of the periodic table. Neither Marsupials nor the 2nd row remedies are able to live on their own and they have an infant-like dependency, but 2nd row remedies have an incapability or incompleteness, whilst marsupials need protection and safety, like the mother’s womb.
The third similar group of remedies is from the Plant family, Malvaceae: they also need attachment like mother and child, but their way of expressing it is different. Their sensitivity is for bonding and attachment, with the polar opposite of detachment.
Mollusks are somewhat similar but they do not have the issue of total dependency; their main focus is the need for a hard shell as protection. Without their shell, they are vulnerable and exposed.
Expression words: Womb, Second womb, Second home, Dependant like infant, Total dependency, Need of protection and Safety, Two worlds inside and outside, Warm and cozy, Covered up from all the sides, Withdraw in my world, Outside is threatening and dangerous, Primitive, Naïve, Simplicity, Simple, Extricated from the world, Unfit for this world, Love of historic life, Nostalgia of past
The Bovidae family consists of cattle: cows, buffalos, sheep, and goats. Cattle are social creatures and belong in large groups. The group provides them with protection against threat or predators. They cannot survive alone in the wild, so belonging to a group is of prime importance to them; they try hard to stay in a group. To stay in a group, they have to sacrifice their desires and wishes, they need to be mild, docile, submissive, pliable, and adjustable. They think of others before themselves. They try to satisfy everybody and they barely complain. Another prominent issue for them is surviving against threat or danger because they are prey mammals. This issue expresses itself as intense fearfulness, panic, vulnerable, taken by surprise, persuaded, powerless, defenseless, and helpless. Their main reactions are running away from threat and escaping.
Bovidae are larger sized prey mammals, so they have adequate self-assurance but on the other hand, they are dependant, hence their conflict between satisfying their ego and being submissive.
Here, the main emotional issues are related to insult, honor, respect, and image.
Expression words: Sociable, Docile, Submissive, Vulnerable, Pliable, Sacrificing, Jumped at, Taken by surprise, Fleeing, Tamed, Molded, Mildness, Gentleness, Obedient, Adjustable, Helpless, Defenseless, Surprised, Unaware, Escape, Run away, Powerless
Camelidea animals such as camel, lama, alpaca and vicugna usually live in desert, semi-desert or mountain area, where life is not easy. Accordingly, this aspect is expressed in patients as a tough person who does not give up; someone with endurance, who is very strong but docile, and a peace lover. Other expressions are hardship, withstand, hold-firm, firm, stamina, strength, hard work, etc. Because of their capacity to bear extreme endurance and hardship, it is expressed in the patient as disobedience and argumentativeness. They do not like to be ordered about, they tend to disobey parents or teachers, and try to live life with fewer rules. They are usually carefree and mostly have arguments over small things. Because they are larger animals, they have enough self-confidence to do so. They get irritable but mostly prefer to avoid confrontation and fights. As they are desert animals, they have desert themes like thirst, tightness or stiffness, contraction and relaxation, burning and smarting, sensitive to cold and humidity, dryness, etc.
Expression words: Strong, Tough, Hardship, Hard-working, Stamina, Strength, Endurance, Firmness, Withstand, High capacity, Competition, Carefree, Disobedience, Active, Busy
Deer represent swiftness, alertness, grace, balance, love, gentleness, and purity of purpose; they are very special creatures. Deer are large prey mammals, so they have enough confidence but feel they are very special and need to be treated differently and specially (very marked in Moschus). Their behavior is attention-seeking, wanting to attract attention from their nearest and dearest in order to achieve special care and nourishment. They are territorial; there is a facial gland in front of each eye that has a scented substance or pheromone by which it marks the territory. They communicate with other deer with the scent produced from the scent glands on their legs and feet.
I observe in many remedies, such as deer, which have perfumes or aromatic smells that their issues are related to extreme sensitivity; everything affects them readily. They have high strung nerves, with issues of spasm, contraction and convulsion. Deer are very social and have a definite social structure, which consists of certain sets of rules. These rules demand a method of communication whereby deer can respond to each other, establish hierarchy or pecking order, and warning others of any possible danger. So, in patients this aspect is expressed as: attached to the group, hierarchy, acceptance-rejection in the group, taking care of others, nurturing others, wanting protection and safety. Deer are the live-stock of the forest for predators, so they need to be alert and active. In patients, this aspect is expressed as: vulnerability, extreme fear, fright, shocked, panicky, need to run away, escaping, need to protect and warn others from danger. They are very sensitive and all their senses are very acute, they are active and restless and have a high level of energy. Another aspect we can see in deer cases is sexuality; indulging in sex or sexual thoughts and dreams. Stomach problems, as well as problems with bones and extremities are very marked in deer.
Expression words: Innocent, Alert, Fearful, Frightful, Panicky, Vulnerable, Extremely sensitive, Need to be special for receiving special care and nourishment, Try to be different and attractive, Attention seeking, Very Social, Hierarchy, Spasmodic-spastic, Hysterical, Family oriented, Group oriented, Communicative, Protection and safety, Nervously active
Canidae are pack animals, except the fox, which is solitary. They hunt in a pack because they are small and cannot hunt efficiently alone. They have a very strict social hierarchy. In patients, this is seen as an issue of 'Superiority and Inferiority'. For instance, they perceive a boss or a dominant person to be superior and themselves to be inferior, with a feeling of being looked down and despised. On the other hand, they are successful hunters because of good teamwork. This is a positive quality of canidae. They are totally dedicated to the group and they believe in ‘Team Spirit’.
One more special quality among the Canidae is ‘cunning’. In patients, this is seen as an intelligent way of planning and adopting strategies to fulfill a task. Cunningness is seen in varying degrees among them. It expresses itself as an opportunistic quality; they take advantage of the weakness of the opponent and attack on the weak point.
Another quality of Canidae is endurance. They do not have the same power or strength as the Felidae, but they have endurance. After starting the chase, they do not give up until they hunt the prey down, and for that, they have clever planning and distribution of work among the group. In patients, we can observe this quality express as: once he decides, he does not give up until he achieves the goal.
Expression Words: Group, Team, Combined effort, Hierarchy, High rank, Low rank, Top level, Low level, High level, Low class, Superior, Inferior, Boss, Planning, Plotting, Cunning, Deceit, Endurance, Sharing, Submissive, Obedience, Faithful, Loyalty
Musteloidae are rodent-like smaller carnivores. They are predators, so they have adequate self-confidence and they are capable of fighting back. They are aggressive if threatened but they do not have the capacity to overpower or take charge of their competitors like the large predators. During confrontations, they get irritable and angry but they give up if the opponent is more powerful. They are smaller but still predators, so they need to show off their power and strength by their endurance and strong-willed efforts. We can understand their endurance and ‘not giving up easily’ quality because they are caniformes (dog-like). Another caniforme quality is that they are alert and need to be watchful. They perceive threats more than the larger caniformes, so they prefer to retreat and stay safe in their burrows and canals. They prefer to live in darkness and warm cozy places along with other family members. They are social. The third caniforme quality is “smartness”: they are very good at finding a smarter way to fight or fall their opponent and because of this quality, they are able to escape from stronger predators or hunt their prey.
Expression words: Aggressive, Irritable, Angry, Endurance, Determination, Not given-up easily, Capable, Strong and tough, Alertness, Watchfulness, Like darker places, Warm-cozy burrows, Smartness, Able to full others
Bears are larger-sized predators, so they have good self-confidence and self-assurance but prefer to stay calm. They are mostly carefree and lazy, and they have a ‘give-up’ and ‘postpone’ type of attitude, so they do not have the same level of aggressiveness as other caniformes. They become angry or aggressive when there is a threat to their family from opponents; they try to avoid confrontation because of their carefree nature. They wish to be on their own and they are not as alert to their surroundings. Although they are content on their own, mother bears are the best mothers in the world. The babies require a great deal of care and also need to learn from the mother, which is their teacher and care-giver. This aspect is expressed in patients as: great bond and attachment with mother; great abandonment and forsaken feeling; nurturing and caring, loving hugs, and constantly giving love; wanting to be taken care of by somebody; helping, always coming when needed. The smartness of caniformes is expressed in bears as “intelligence”. They can remember many things and have a very long memory. Bear mothers teach their babies until they are up to three years of age. In patients, it is expressed as: very intelligent, good memory, wisdom, clairvoyance. They have the ability to foretell the future because they have visionary intelligence; they sense things. Bears are very playful creatures. In patients, this is expressed as playfulness, happy, making jokes, fun-loving, entertaining. Bear patients love singing and dancing. They are also loquacious, extrovert, dramatic, and sociable. They are assertive and they speak their mind, not rudely but not politely either. In short, they say whatever they think, they are not secretive. Other symptoms are: great appetite and can eat anything which is ready; love water and want to stay in water; dreams of swimming; strong body orders; love sleeping; laziness.
Expression words: Carefree, Easy going, Happy, Playful, Entertaining, Sociable, Assertive, Great bond with mother, Need guidance, Care and nurture for long time, Learning, Intelligence, Wisdom, Clairvoyance, Telling truth, Extrovert, Expressive, Lazy, Love sleeping, Great appetite
Felidae are predatory mammals consisting of big cats, cheetahs, and small cats. Most felidae are solitary, except the lion and cheetahs. They are known for their litheness and agility, along with their exceptional qualities of stalking and sprinting. They have keen eyesight and rely on their vision for hunting. These exceptional qualities make felids the top of the food chain. They are powerful, strong, authoritative, successful, and independent. Felidae patients are formidable people. They can be intimidating, overpowering, overbearing, dominating with a loud voice; they can take over the consultation. They speak and act with authority, they have high self-esteem and a good opinion of themselves. They can protect those who are weaker than themselves. They are rulers by heart, not by hook or crook. Generally, they are acceptable to everyone. The shadow side of this is arrogance, pride, and a sense of superiority. They perceive that others are much smaller than themselves and they treat them like slaves. Their perception is that they are born to rule others.
From bigger cats to smaller cats, their felidae qualities get diluted, hence bigger cats have a high sense of ego and more ruling qualities, while smaller cats are friendlier and have a smaller degree of power, strength, capability, and self-assurance. They still need to be independent and want to have their freedom. This is similar in all felidae.
There are similarities between the wild cat state and remedies from the Gold series. The feeling of responsibility in wild cats, however, is particularly related to caring for and protecting others rather than managing and organizing, as seen in Gold series remedies.
Expression Words: Power, Overpower, Capability, Strength, Superior, Emperor, Independence, Extreme anger, Rage, Roar, Loud sound, Commanding, Intolerance of deceit and cruelty and Injustice, Ferocious, Domain, Territorial, Responsibility, Leader, Expressive, Out spoken, Grace/ Graceful, Elegance, Fastidious, Zero-fault perfection, Cleanliness
The order Cetacea includes the marine mammals, such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises. They are very sociable, a basic common quality of all mammals, but the way cetaceans behave socially makes them unique. They feed and travel together in groups. They form long-lasting social bonds and they remain in the same maternal group all their life. Another quality of Cetacea is their helpful nature. Healthy cetaceans tend to help the injured or sick ones and either physically support them or let out loud sounds to call other fellow cetaceans to help. Another aspect that is marked in the Cetacea is their ‘playfulness’. Cetacea are continuously leaping, play-fighting or tossing seaweed to one another, generally having a great time. They communicate and interact with one another constantly. Communication helps them for feeding, mating, and being alert to danger. Being a marine creature, they have marine-like qualities: they are very strong and tough, they are active physically, and they have a like or dislike of water and of the sea.
Expression words: Helping hand–helpfulness, Caring–sympathetic, Nurturing–benevolent, Assist–encourage, Supportive--compassionate, Showing great concern for others, Sharing strong ties with their near and dear, Selfless care for their owns, Playfulness- have a fun, Liveliness- entertain, Mischievousness- tease, Singing- whistling, Talkative- loquacious, Interactive- Mixing easily, Gentle and nice- Kindhearted, Clairvoyance- sixth sense, Alert, Psychic qualities, Sense the danger in advance, Gymnastics--body builder, Never given up- Do or die, Winning over any difficulty, Aggressive for their decisions
Equidae are large sized prey mammals, with power and strength. As patients, they have good self-confidence and self-assurance but they are duty-bound. Physically, the horse has a great power and it can easily overcome its master, but its obedient, disciplined, and docile nature binds it to us. They are disciplined and accurate about their work. They have enough confidence to be the best performer and they do their work regardless. They are hard-working and they endure until they achieve; they will not give up on their duty. They are ambitious and do things beyond their capacity.
Expression words: Strong, Powerful, Muscular, Body-builder, Sportsman, Hard-working, Loyal, Companionship, Duty-bond, Service, Endurance, Ambitious, Performance, Beast of burden, Over-loaded, Harmony, Graceful, Elegance
A marked feature about primates is that they are very curious and intelligent creatures who like to explore and investigate new things (exploratory behavior). These animals can apply their intellectual abilities particularly for problem-solving. In patients, this aspect expresses itself as precocity: they know and understand readily. In children’s cases, we can easily see when a child is more developed intellectually for his age. They always try to explore something new; they do not like routine and casual activity. The other important aspect about primates is their “altruism”. These mammals show unselfish concern for the welfare of others. They may even starve themselves or risk their lives to do so. Some of them compassionately care for and support the injured, emotionally stressed, sick or dying individuals and may even parent orphaned infants. In patients, this aspect is expressed as: sympathetic and benevolent. Another very important aspect of these creatures is “playfulness”. They prefer games like chasing one another, wrestling, tickling, poking. In patients, this aspect is expressed as: happiness, playfulness, entertainment, joking, fun loving, etc. The primate infants are more dependent than any other mammals and are very attached to their mother. In patients, it is expressed as: dependant, attached to mother, and in need of motherly love and care, etc.
Expression words: Helpfulness, Helping hand, Caring, Compassionate, Nursing, Nurturing, Supportive, Curious, Finding solutions, Inquisitive, Questioning always, Ask many questions, Explore, Investigate, Imitate, Invent, Solve problems, Intelligent, Copying easily, Playful, Tickling, Chasing, Climbing, Jumping, Fear of rejection by the mother, Extremely gets scared if they find that mother is not there in the house, They like to be kissed or hugged by mother, Can’t sleep without mother
Rodents are very small-sized prey mammals, so they are doubly weak: on the one hand, they are small and on the other hand, they are prey. This double weakness expresses itself as very low self-confidence; they are very fearful and panicky. They need to withdraw or retreat to their warm cozy and dark place quickly. Their reaction to threat is to try to hide and escape or freeze and become immobile. Mostly, they are underground creatures; they live in caves and tunnels. They have a great deal of physical energy and this energy makes them nervous and fidgety or restless and hyperactive. They have an enormous appetite and need to eat constantly. They are very social and like to be in company; they need protection and safety.
Expression words: Weak, Small, Insignificant, Frightful, Panicky, Vulnerable, Attacked, Danger is lurking, Need to be alert, Need to withdraw and retreat back in slightest doubt of danger, Nervous, Active, Fidgety, Restless, Workaholic, Enormous appetite, Warm-cozy, dark places, Caves and Tunnels, Underground, Digger
Special note: the explanation of the groups presented here is a result of our study. We are aware that this information is incomplete and there is room for questions and refinement. This is just the beginning of the study and we need more clinical confirmation. Hopefully, this will help you in your practice and we can all share our contribution to heal mankind.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Ursus americanus; Cephas
Keywords: mammals, subgroups