Grass snake
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Materia Medica

Cases

Natrix natrix

A Trituration Proving of

The Common European Grass Snake

Conducted in Bristol in February 2011


natrix

Collation by Peter Fraser


6 Provers, 3 female and 3 male, triturated a piece of the shed skin of a Grass Snake in milk sugar to the 3rd centesimal trituration. Their sensations and the issues that came up during the proving form the major part of the proving and are augmented to dreams and sensations they experienced in the following days. The remedy is available from Helios Homoeopathic Pharmacy.


skin


The Substance

The Proving

Mind

Dreams

Physicals

Generals

Themes and Affinities

The Substance

The Grass Snake is one of three British snake species (the Adder and the Smooth Snake being the others) and is the largest reptile found in Great Britain, It can grow to nearly a metre in length but this is rare and they usually don't exceed 50 cm. Its colouring ranges from green through brown to almost black.

It is a member of the Colubridae family which contains nearly 2,000 species, more than two thirds of all snake species. In spite of its importance as a family we have no other Colubrid remedies.

The Grass Snake is found throughout lowland England and Wales in edge habitats, particularly those near fresh water. Its diet is almost exclusively of amphibians, principally the Common Frog, Rana temporaria, and the Common Toad, Bufo bufo, which it eats live. It is neither venomous nor constricting.

The Grass Snake is predated by mammals: foxes and cats, and by several species of birds. It does not have a defence mechanism other than a garlic smelling fluid secreted from the anal glands. It will play dead, sometimes enhancing the effect by leaking blood from the mouth.

They spend the Winter underground as they cannot risk freezing. The males appear first and copulate with the females when they emerge 2 weeks later. Eggs are laid in batches of 8-40 in June or July. The eggs are generally laid in rotting vegetation, such as compost heaps, in order to keep them hot enough to develop. The young hatch after 10 weeks and are about 18cm long and fully independent.

Ecdysis, the shedding of the skin, occurs at least once during the active season. The skin is sloughed in one piece, inside out.


The Proving

Almost all the interesting information appeared during the first (C1) trituration and almost nothing during the other two (C2 & C3).

Mind

One of the issues that arose around the proving was of ownership. Many of those involved felt that it was “their proving” and that other people involved were trying to take it away from them.

Ready to pounce or be pounced on.

Anxiety, being ready. Not in a relaxed way. Waiting, edge of the seat feeling. Ready to pounce or be pounced on.

Dream: In a room. There was an attic hatch. It was open and there was a light on. Who's up there? Someone else in the room and suddenly a monster came down, grabbed the person and pulled them up into the attic. Someone else came in I told him what had happened and went off to find help. When I returned the other person had been disappeared, seized up. A blanket came down over me and I was about to be seized up. Then I woke up terrified. It was about being seized upwards.

There was, as in all snakes, a sense of competitiveness. However it is more straight forward, perhaps macho and has not the deviousness found in the venomous snakes.

Road rage. I was about to cross the suspension bridge. I waited to choose lane. The person behind was honking his horn at me. He went into next lane and I could see he wanted to get ahead of me. He got ahead I chased him right on his tail for about a mile. Called him a bully. Most unlike me.

Cars and particularly car crashes were a definite theme.

Saw a car crash then realized it was set up for a film.

Car crashes.

Felt unsafe in my car. Not concentrating. Dog nearly got run over.

Schedules and communication were issues.

Very difficult to arrange this proving.

Chaotic schedules. Went in for the wrong shift. Patients coming on the wrong day or missed appointments for patients. Missed messages.

Forgetting to do things.

Came to the proving on time but a week early.

There was a desire for fresh air and for the wilderness.

Desire for fresh air.

Head quite groggy, want the windows open.

Looking at a holiday staying in teepees. Unusual for me as I like my comfort.

Want to be outside.

I really miss the outdoors want to go camping or horseback riding.

Want to go camping in the wild.

Into the Wild (a book by Jon Krakauer and later a film, about a young man who leaves everything behind in order to go into the Alaskan wilderness) caused more interest and animation than any thing else discussed during the proving.

Who has seen Into the Wild (energy). Very powerful. Themes of dysfunctional family. You don't need people, you can be nourished by nature. Meets lovely people but caught in idealism. He realizes he wants to have a wife and children but caught in his ideals.

There is something very appealing about giving up everything and going off and seeing what happens. Giving up all your possessions and leaving everyone you know.

About being in the moment not caught up in your old stuff.

Being in the moment and trusting that it's going to be OK.

Anything could happen, survival.

He's not prepared and its not like people don't try to help him.

Why not accept help to do it better

He wants to do it by himself.

He is totally in spirit rather than practicality and that annoyed me a bit.

I'd say he is in ideals. Idealism rather than practicality.

He is trying to strip stuff away he is stuck in it. If you're not then it is not an issue.

His family has caused him a lot of pain and he doesn't want to deal with it.

The themes from the book that seemed to be important were: You don't need people, nature is enough; Ideals versus practicality; Nature versus society; Letting go of things, of possessions.

The ideas of “letting go” and “going with the flow” were important.

When I was walking I got lost and didn't know which way to go. As soon as I got in my car I could just go the right way without thinking – fluid – woosh - feeling the way. (lots of hand gestures)

Outdoor activities, extreme, male bonding, fast downhill, going with the flow.

I have been feeling that I have lost my way in life. Lost inspiration, lost feeling of life, lost the enjoyment of life. In the past inspiration has driven me on, surfing on inspiration. Frustrating, where is it? In the last week the droopy bits of me have come together. About having to let go of layers and layers of stuff. Being in the moment.

The idea of renewal, rebirth, the pain of letting go, bursting or crawling from the old to the new.

I am feeling a need to clear lots of stuff from my flat, well overdue clearance, and free myself for a more easy path through life. Have done some, and some intense cleaning.

Hibernation and the Spring.

Spent the whole two days before the trituration in bed. Hibernation.

The hibernation seems strong. My experience almost like being woke from deep hibernation. I've woken in similar ways before but never had anything like the surreal dream like feeling,

I feel like I want to hibernate. It is as if the feelings are coming from such a deep place that hibernation or deep sleep is the only way for it to be reached.

There was a sense that when active one felt calm and centred but restless and anxious when not doing something.

Annoyed at people not doing things properly.

The remedy is definitely left sided but the theme of left handedness and right handedness was also notable.

Feeling a pull towards the left.

Colours.

Very clear I wanted to wear blue this morning.

Connecting with white things: snow and the mountains. Really smooth and white.

Smoothness

Smoothness like waxwings, skin feels smooth, enjoying smoothness.

Miscellaneous

The lost twin. Grief for the missing other half. Sibling lost in utero.

Cynical.

Eating stones.

Being barefoot. Running barefoot, walking on hot coals. Walking barefoot and getting a big gash on the sole.

Blood supply to the feet and the pulse on the top of the foot.

I've been particularly aware of sexual feelings, more intense than usual but in a free-flowing way.

An exceptional number of incidents where patients have been sexually aggressive.

Been noticing butterflies a lot lately.


Dreams

Dream: I was in Florida. Me in the dream wasn't me. Having a meal with the family. We were eating a bird that had some disease but that was part of the delicacy. There had been days of preparation of it. I was just eating it but there was part of me that was grossed out.

Recurrent dream of all the food (leaves on a tree) being eaten and waking with an empty pain in the front wall of the abdomen.

Dream: Brother and I playing a game that involved sticking sharp needles into each others ankles and heels. He was whining because I was doing it too hard. I was enjoying causing him pain.

Dream of preparing for battle in medieval times. Had felt almost playful at first, with the various preparations and putting on of armour and coloured cloths, but gradually becoming aware of it being for real and the imminent danger of it with swords, spears and axes being got ready, feeling the cold hard blades, envisaging people being cut and stabbed, lots of blood and real pain to come. Battle eventually never happened. Just lined up facing the enemy, all still somewhat playful, albeit with the potential reality of battle a fraction away.

Dream: I was being spray-painted with a fake tan. It was a bit like the machines used to spray paint on new cars. I was bronze for a little while. Later my skin started to flake off with the tan spray. It felt a bit unsettling but also quite normal. I also felt the process would keep repeating itself.

Dream: There is a very old pub near where my mum lives – parts of it date back to the16th century. In the dream I was on a deadline to paint it green. When I woke up I just thought why on earth would anybody do that.

I had a weird dream last night. I was staying at a hotel by the beach - for work rather than holiday. I had heard that there was a huge man buried under the stones at the beginning of the beach and they were waiting for the council to come and move him. I forgot about it and went for a walk down there, and nearly trod on him - I could see his arms sticking out and his ears. I imagined him being completely squashed under all those stones. It was difficult to avoid him because he was so huge. I went back to the hotel and had my shoes on the wrong feet. I took them off at the hotel and lost one. I told the receptionists that I had lost a shoe and they went to see if they could find it. They came back with shoes they thought were mine, and it wasn't until I was walking along a road and discovered they weren't mine - they were different ones (and not the sort I would want to wear). I wanted mine back because although they were old and scruffy, they were more 'me' than the ones they had given me.


Physicals

Sinus pain.

Headache. Heads feels full. Very hot.

I have noticed my balance in yoga is rubbish at the moment. Can't hold any balancing position for more than a few seconds.

Eyes

Pain above right eye.

Eyes. Dry itchy blephritis.

Sensation as if the eyelids were thinned as if only a fragile papery thinless left. Felt it could easily be torn.


More sensitive to smells.

Bit my lip while eating.

I've had a dry, slightly wheezy cough intermittently since the day of the trituration. I get a sudden irritation in my throat, or trachea, or in my chest, sometimes in the whole 'wind pipe' at the same time, which makes me cough, although the cough doesn't quite 'get to it'. I've been getting spasms of coughing repeatedly. It goes after 10-20 minutes.

Drinking more water. Gone off tea and coffee.

Frequency of urination significantly increased but also amount of water drunk. Urine frothy.

Frequent urination is a physical I have experienced in the last few days

Several incidents of sudden and painful urge to stool.


Extremities

Ache in left shoulder turned neck and found I couldn't move.

Pain across top of left shoulder.

Shoulder playing up. Contracted or tightened.

I've been getting an intermittent searing pain in the ball of my right thumb. It lasts for less than a minute. I've noticed since the trituaration. I've not had this before.

Left leg feels numb, floppy and out of control when compared to the right.

Sore on the top of the left foot.

I was woken from sleep (at about 2.30am) with very painful spasms in my lower legs in the long thin muscles that run just outside of the tibia, the tibialis anterior muscles. This lasted for about 10 minutes & there was nothing I could do about it. This is not a normal symptom for me,


Generals

Loads of aches and pains, especially in the morning.

Been feeling a bit sick and spaced out, as if coming down with something.

Feeling faint and nauseous. Vomited during the night.

I went swimming today for the second time this week. These are the first times I've been swimming this year, and the first time I've swam twice in a week for over a year. I felt particularly pulled into my body and really connected with my physicality

Waking in the night. Many incidents of being woken in the night by things like phone calls.

Disturbed nights seems to be a theme for us.

Floppiness.

Feeling quite hot.

I've been much more temperature sensitive than usual - I keep changing the heating setting, or taking layers on and off. It feels like I'm noticing changes of even a degree or two - and needing it to be 'just right'. This is not usual for me.



Themes

Affinities


Letting go.

Going with the flow.

Hibernation.

Desire for wilderness.

Desire for the outdoors, for fresh air.

Survival.

Ideals versus practicality.

Nature versus society.

Possession and ownership.

Macho competition.

Car crashes.

Chaotic planning.

Being as good as others.

Wanting others to do things as well as you do.

Sexuality.

Sexual aggression.

Colours: white and blue.

Smoothness.

Swimming.

Shoes and barefoot.



Head

Vertigo

Eyes

Thirst

Urinary organs

Extremities

Shoulders

Legs

Feet

Sleep disturbance

Mornings

Left side