2013 November

Belittled and demeaned or the need to be someone big: Insect and Spider remedies

by Carolyn Burdet

Of all the animals on earth, insects and spiders are almost universally disliked by humans (only equalled by an archetypal fear of snakes, symbol of the underworld of our intuition).

Spiders make us jump in alarm, our heartbeat increases. Although the neurotoxin of a spider bite is rarely fatal in humans, the phobia is intense. Panic can lead to palpitations, even angina from psychosomatic anxiety in spider remedies. This relates to the action of spider toxin on the central nervous system, which causes pain, paralysis and increased heart rate. In spider bites the ill effects take longer to take effect, with paralysis or sepsis.

Insect stings cause irritation, itching, allergic swelling. In some instances allergic reactions cause anaphylaxis, asphyxiation, rapidly resulting in death. Fear of sudden death and suffocation are present in insect remedies.

Dirty and Disgusting

Humans revile insects for spreading disease; mosquito bites causing malaria, flies spreading contamination. Dirty or filthy is an insect theme, especially in musca domestica, the bluebottle or house fly which lives on excrement then indiscriminately lands on food. Maggots are an image of rubbish and rotten food, and our response is disgust. This feeling of disgust, saying ‘it’s rubbish’ to describe their circumstances, and the indignant sense that they are ‘treated like dirt’, is very strong in the remedy picture for musca domestica.

To manage their sensitivity to dirt, people needing an insect remedy may be as fastidious as an Arsenicum case, cleaning, tidying, vacuuming or hoovering (insect behaviour is to suck up via the proboscis).

Demeaning and Humiliated

Insects are regarded as an infestation to be exterminated (fleas, lice, bedbugs, flies, mosquitoes). They are hard to get rid of and their persistence is annoying. A wasp or mosquito near us feels harassing and in insect cases the person can feel harrassed (malarial miasm), humiliated, insulted.


There are one billion insects for every person on the planet. Insect colonies are tireless, enslaving the workforce of the defeated colony in a ruthless bid to colonise new territory and exploit them with cold acquisitive ambition. This is a mode of success in corporate strategy in aspects of human life from fracking mineral resources to copyright of seeds for food crops. So it’s no surprise if insect consciousness increasingly presents in our cases.

Jonathan Hardy, a homeopathically trained medical doctor based in England, teaches on Spider and Insect remedies, presenting an orderly, structured, sequence through the sub-kingdom. He notes that people who need an insect remedy can often appear to be in the mineral kingdom, as structure and organisation is very important to them.


Ambitious, hard working, keen to improve and progress, to compensate for an inner sense of inadequacy (which may be confused with a mineral sense of lacking capacity), in insect cases achievement is a means to validation.

However, in a case needing an insect remedy or a spider remedy, the issue of competition will emerge as a key theme of any case in the animal kingdom. Someone is the winner and someone is the loser. Mineral remedies can have performance issues, attack and defence, but when the sense is of falling victim to a predator, or taking out the competitor, this is animal kingdom fight for territory and survival.

Even so, it may not be obvious. A butterfly case may be preoccupied with their identity. An Apis case may be busy keeping everyone in the household organised to be productive. Social organisation may be a bigger theme than survival. But at some point we glimpse a competitive edge. In insect cases this is often from the point of view of feeling overlooked, belittled, badly treated or disrespected. 

Disrespect and Deceit

Spider remedy cases will not tolerate disrespect, they respond to an imbalance of power or unfair treatment by a determination to get even. The defining feature of spider remedies is a provocative  and irreverent sense of humour, using pranks and practical jokes to ‘get one over’ their victim. The web that traps a spider’s prey is sticky, almost invisible. The ‘deceit’ of the spider remedies may derive from the artifice of the intricate web of ultra violet threads a garden spider will spin to reflect the pattern of a flower to lure an unsuspecting insect, while a ground dwelling spider disguises its hole as a trap with leaves or twigs and jumps out to catch its prey.


Spider remedies are internally restless, nervy, they cannot sit still, fidgeting, with restless legs and needing to keep their hands busy (knitting is a spider hobby). Sensitive to noise and sounds, spider remedies feel the vibrations reverberating through their body. Spider remedies have a sense of rhythm, an inclination to dance and jump around, but there is also lassitude and prostration (modality: Better for lying down). The rhythmic quality extends to periodicity of ailments, a headache recurring annually or monthly.

Insects are constantly on the move, buzzing around. People who need an insect remedy can have an internal sensation of buzzing with energy, constantly busy, working hard, productively to achieve goals, or wired on hectic fruitless activity.

Ambitious to achieve 

A spider remedy characteristic is that they want to be someone big. Insect remedies are ambitious to achieve, materialistic with a fear of poverty. Insects live in highly organised social colonies with defined roles; they can build structures and ‘cities’ or consume and destroy everything in their wake. In people who need an insect remedy, this is expressed as a materialistic streak. They can be avid consumers of the latest must-have gadgets and take care over their appearance, seen to be wearing fashionable brands, using hair styling products or make up.


Ambition is driven by an innate sense of inferiority, they need to keep pushing for more, even when successful. There is a continual ambition for self-improvement. A key theme in insect cases is change, transition or complete transformation of life circumstances. Their hunger to progress involves a transformation from a lowly earthbound grub to taking flight – the point where their life, or their project takes off. They can be ruthless in marching towards this goal. 

Power struggle

Insect and spider remedies have issues with control and domination. Wasps lay their eggs inside other creatures such as caterpillars, ants enslave other colonies of ants. This may explain why some insect remedies have the delusion of being ‘under superhuman control’.

Whereas spider remedies often have a power struggle in a relationship, and may defer decisions to a more powerful partner, as seen in the delusion ‘head belongs to another’.

Male spiders are smaller than the female, the theme of bigger than me / smaller than me, more powerful than me, is key in spider. Insect cases can feel small or insignificant; they have an inferiority complex, they feel belittled or worthless by someone’s treatment of them.


In spider remedies there is a power struggle and the spider impulse is to turn the tables or take revenge on the person overpowering them. Being bigger relates to a peculiar delusion of enlargement of body parts in spider cases. 

Neglected or Possessive

Insect remedies may feel their parental care was cold and unemotional. Apis is an exception; honey bee larvae are nurtured by worker bees and the insect sexual instinct is sublimated into duty in Apis. Other insect remedies tend to feel neglected by their parents.

Spiders give parental care and male spiders sacrifice themselves as food for their young. In human relationships this ‘self sacrifice’ can be bound up in over-involvement. The close bond can mean the child has to escape the possessive love of the parent. A spider remedy (specifically black widow spider) may be relevant in a case where the parent is needy, demanding, controlling and manipulative.

Animal remedy cases will express aspects of the predator and their prey. Spiders tread warily during the courtship dance, to get tangled in the web risks bondage, powerlessness, paralysis, having the life juice sucked out of them. Yet they cannot resist getting involved, and once involved they struggle to extricate themselves from the situation.

In spider and insect remedies there is restlessness and high sexual energy. Insect sex drive is intense but it can be a casual fling. In spider remedies, what starts as a need for constant attention, can become manipulative. Alize Timmerman describes the dynamic of possessiveness in the spider subkingdom – the possessive partner feels intense despair that they can’t live without the other person. They develop psychosomatic symptoms from panic, with gripping pains around the heart, or M.E exhaustion, or depression. The need for attention and sexual drama is destructive. If their partner tries to leave them, the manipulative ‘victim’ declares “I’ll take him for everything he’s got”. Latrodectus mactans, black widow spider, can be a remedy to release both parties from the destructive holding pattern of a vengeful and acrimonious divorce.   

Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Fly and beetle larvae on 5-day old corpse of South African Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis); Paul Venter;
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
Chrysalis(Pupa) of a Common Crow Butterfly; Pon Malar;
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Categories: Families
Keywords: activity, restless, powerless, demeaned, insulted, respect, transformation, anaphylaxis, angina, palpitation, inflammation, manipulative, possessive, insect, spider


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