August 2016

Marsupials; primitive and vulnerable

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by Alejendra Garcia Flores, Marta Tous, Encarna Villar

General information

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; they complete their development attached to a nipple inside the mother’s pouch. 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. Males are not involved in rearing the babies at all. Because newborn marsupials must climb up to their mother's nipples, their front limbs are much more developed than the rest of their bodies at the time of birth. This requirement possibly has resulted in the limited range of locomotor adaptations in marsupials compared to placentals. Their young ones return to the pouch to sleep, and if danger threatens, will seek refuge in its mother's pouch for safety, even after they have grown up.

General themes

Total dependence, need of protection and covering like womb
Marsupials differ from placental mammals because they give birth to very underdeveloped pups and their further development occurs in the mother’s pouch. This is something very special about marsupials and it is expressed in patients as being totally dependent like an infant, in need of total care, in need of extreme protection and safety, and very attached to the mother. They feel safe as if in the womb, they like to be covered from all sides, wrapped up completely.  “I cannot do anything on my own” “two worlds: inside is safe, protective, warm and cozy while outside is dangerous and frightening”.

Expression words: Womb, Second womb, Second home, Dependent 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, Panicky

Vulnerable, fearful and need of safety and protection
Naturally, they feel unfit for the world; they feel vulnerable or incapable to face the harsh world. They need to retreat or curl up in a safe place. They are fearful and need safety and protection which gives them the feeling of warmth and coziness, like the mother’s womb.

Low self-esteem and low self confidence
They feel unfit for the world: superficially it looks like low self confidence, but when we probe deeply it is an incapability to face the harsh world due to their vulnerability. They try to have familiar things around them and do familiar things; they do not wish to try anything new.

Primitive, simple, naïve
Marsupials are similar to Matridonal remedies, the difference is that marsupials are simple and naïve and their requirements are also simple. You cannot see any complexity in them. They think that they are unfit for this world because it is too complex. People easily make them look foolish because of their simplicity. That doesn’t mean they are stupid or foolish, they are simply innocent. They are intelligent enough to understand everything but they don’t like selfishness and other worldly things; they like to have everything simple and straight forward. Their love for ancient things, history and nostalgia is another way the primitive aspect is expressed by these beautiful creatures. They fear any change, they hold onto familiarity. Consequently, they will not try anything new.   

Expression words: Primitive, Naïve, Simplicity, Simple, Innocent, Fear of extricated from the world, Unfit for this world, Love of historic life, Nostalgia of past, Dislike this selfish world, Interest of historic lifestyle/living, Memory of past, Hold on familiar belief, Change is threatening, Dislike of any change  

Lac macropi gigantei (Kangaroo)

Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance and a small head. This fast and energy-efficient method of travel, “hopping” has evolved because of the need to regularly cover large distances in search of food and water, rather than the need to escape predators. Kangaroos are adept swimmers and often flee into waterways if threatened by a predator. If pursued into the water, a kangaroo may use its forepaws to hold the predator underwater so as to drown it. Groups of kangaroos are called mobs. Mobs usually have 10 or more kangaroos in them. Living in mobs provides protection for some of the weaker members of the group. One common behavior is nose touching and sniffing, which mostly occurs when a new individual joins a group. However, most fights are preceded by two males scratching, grooming and boxing each other. Kangaroos get dazzled by headlights or startled by engine noise and often leap in front of cars.

                                                                                   kangaroo

Themes

I am dispossessed… where can I live? 

In essence, the story of Lac macropi gigantei seems to tell the story of the Land and of Australia’s first people and their struggle to retain possession of their land

Perspective on Life --My voice is not heard

In a sense, they feel simple in the presence of the world; they feel unfit for this complex world, which they experience as harsh. Since this is what they present we may assume that they have low self-esteem, low self-confidence, that they doubt themselves or have an identity issue. However, when we probe deeply we find that they feel unfit for this world because of their simplicity and naivety and they fear to make any change.

Expressions from cases

Proving: Patricia Hatherly

Didelphis virgiana (opossum)

The opossum is a placid and shy omnivore approximately the size of a house cat. Generally slow moving, opossums are primarily nocturnal, solitary and territorial. 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. Opossums have the shortest lifespan of any animal of comparative size; their biggest predator is motor vehicles. Opossums, even young ones, don’t play or interact much and are generally rather lethargic. Opossums are most famous for feigning death or “playing possum”. Opossums have a very short gestation period of just 12-13 days.  Each baby is about the size of a honey bee at birth. Males are not involved in rearing the babies at all, and not much maternal behavior has been observed in female opossums. Opossums seem to prefer decomposing fruit or meat to fresh food.

opossumThemes

Opossum, panic
“Playing possum” is something very special in these creatures. When they have to face danger or a threat they become “as if dead”.  In patients this aspect is expressed as extreme fear and fright, hysteria, convulsion, spasm, fearful of danger can’t take anything more, weak-willed, intensely fearful, freeze, paralyzed, can’t move, everything gets stiff and stuck etc. Expressions from the proving:

Exposed, vulnerable, and attacked
This is another aspect of the panicky state. They feel extremely vulnerable and that they might be attacked or threatened at anytime so they need to retreat to a safe place and stay there. If they sense the slightest danger, they feel it’s a threat to them. They can’t cope with it.

Feeling trapped and retreat to safety
Exposed to danger is being trapped and not able to retreat to a safe place. They have no confidence to being exposed or to going out into the world alone.

Nurturing, protective, and forsaken
Protection and safety is another polarity of vulnerability and extreme fear. They like to stay in a safe place and to be nurtured and loved.  

Primitive
As a member of the marsupial group, we expect to see primitive themes.

Simplicity and simple love

Scavenger, nature’s sanitation engineer
Opossums have earned the nickname of “nature’s sanitation engineers” because they keep urban environments free of pests and dead animals.

Proving: Suzan Sonz

Phascolarctos cinereus (koala)

koalaThe male koala is polygamous, having three to seven females for its family group. Once formed, these family groups do not easily break up and they seldom trespass on the territory of another family. Family members like to congregate in the same area, feeding almost exclusively on Eucalyptus leaves of particular types. Koalas spend about 80% of their lives sleeping or resting and almost 20% eating, leaving less than 1% to move from tree to tree and do everything else. The Eucalyptus leaves, which constitute the overwhelming part of their diet, contain over forty different chemical substances. This diet probably accounts for the drug-like, sleepy state of the koala.

Unsafe, being trapped
As a marsupial, koalas also feel vulnerable and fearful. They fear becoming trapped and they seek safety and protection. They wish to hide somewhere. Their greatest fear is to be killed by physical injury or shot by a gun. Expressions from the proving:

Drugged, sleepy, ungrounded
This is the best defense Koala have developed for coping with the harsh world. When you are vulnerable and extremely frightened, you need to close your eyes. The person loses touch with reality and the existence of other people. They try to stay on their own, so the external world does not exist for them. This sense of being drugged, sleepy and ungrounded gives them feeling of warmth and coziness, so finally they feel safe and protected.

Isolated, sad, and lonely  
Because they do not have the capacity to cope with the harsh world, they feel there is no world around or that nothing exists except themselves. On the one hand they feel alone in this world, they have to face it alone and have no need of others, but on the other hand they are not capable enough, so this isolation makes them sad and lonely.

Provings: Phillip Robbins, Olaf Posdzech

Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Eastern grey kangaroos; Barfguts
Didelphis virginiana; Specialjake
Koala; Aconcagua

Categories: Families
Keywords: marsupials


This article was originally published in www.interhomeopathy.org

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