A Supplement to Clarke's Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica
by Peter David Fraser
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
Firefly, Glow worm.
Found in Central Europe
Trituration of the macerated whole insect to 3c and then succussion to higher potencies.
A proving was conducted in Toronto in 2004 by Marty Begin. There were 18 provers 14 female and 4 male. They received potencies of 30c or 200c except one who received 100c.
There are a number of species of firefly to be found in the order of beetles. There distinctive feature is the glowing light they produce, usually as a device to attract a mate. One North American species mimics the light of other species to attract hopeful mates whom she eats. The individuals of some species cooperate to produce their flashes of light in synchronized patterns. Light is produced by allowing oxygen to enter special luminous organs in the abdomen and so to come into contact with luciferins which, through the action of luciferases, produce light without producing heat. The species proved, Lamprohiza spledidula, is an ivory yellow beetle, 10-15 mm long from Central Europe. The males glow particularly brightly when flying. The larvae, which are flattened and look somewhat like a woodlouse, glow only when disturbed.
The proving highlighted many of the features common to the insect remedies. Particularly burning pains and a desire for activity. However, it also produced symptoms that differentiate it from them and indicate how it might be used.
The most important feature of it is a sense of anticipation, a feeling that things are about to happen. This could be an exciting and optimistic feeling with an openness to change and to starting new things. This was symbolised by dreams of the New Moon and a dream in which a couple decided to get married even though they had just met. Provers were impulsive in many ways. They were interested in new tastes and new foods. One of the provers proposed to his partner with whom he had been with for many years. One took a leap of faith in her business. One impulsively gave in to sexual whims. Provers questioned where they were going with their lives and were willing to make changes. This was described as rebirth, a feature of the Insect remedies.
The other, less positive, side of anticipation in the remedy is a sense of foreboding, of dread. A sense of something preparing to happen. A prover didn't want to open the mail and they were on guard waiting for something to happen. This foreboding was also found in the dreams where terrible things were about to happen. Planes about to crash, or the dreamer about to be shot, just standing waiting for it to happen. This foreboding could have an exciting quality as one prover put it: "We feel most alive when we are near death." There was also a sense that it could go either way, positive or negative. "Preparing for breakthrough or breakdown."
Such foreboding goes hand in hand with anxiety which was general and felt in the stomach and the heart as well as mentally. The insect concern with work and money was strong and the anxiety was often about money and finances or about work and about work that needed to be done.
Firefly is busy with high levels of energy. They have a bustling energy. They are spinning with energy. Energetic and wide awake. One had a sense of energy rushing through her veins. There is restlessness with constant exaggerated movement. They need to find an outlet for this energy such as in a need to run. They are industrious, swept up in activity and better for distraction and for activity. Better for dancing. The industriousness can be in the home with domesticity, cleaning and tidying but the main outlet for Insect energy is through work. They were assertive at work, taking charge, tired of being pushed around and feeling competent. Provers had long elaborate dreams, particularly of work and of travelling.
The energy can be expressed less positively one prover was antagonistic with her boyfriend and there were dreams in which the dreamer felt she was fighting with everyone.
On the whole the energy was put into work or into wanting to help people, which felt good. There was a desire to do nice things for people and dreams of giving someone a treat.
Because they are naive and impulsive they tend to take on too much or to be unprepared for what they have taken on. Provers expressed these feelings repeatedly. Feeling I have so far to go. Life is too fast, everything always changing. Can't keep up with everything. Sense of things pending that I haven't taken care of. Feel that I don't get anything done.
This in turn results in feelings of restriction. They feel imprisoned and trapped by what they have to do, by the mundane. They want to escape this life, to let it all go..
The corresponding opposite feeling is of being carefree. They wanted to take time off work to do nothing. Conflict between staying home and going to work. Wanted to ignore responsibility and have fun. There were dreams of singing and dancing and having fun and a dream of being on a farm and having no responsibilities.
Feelings and dreams of flying and of freedom also represent this.
Just as there is a conflict between working and lazing around there is also a conflict around morality and particularly about rules. Provers were annoyed by rules. One felt a conflict between breaking and obeying rules as represented by her mother and father respectively. Behaving badly without remorse. Dream of stealing things, didn't want to pay for them, felt bad on waking.
As other insects are they are extremely sensitive and impressionable, particularly to the emotions of the people around them. Provers found it hard to maintain boundaries with patients, overwhelmed by them. They were so sensitive to the grief of other people that they ended up being consoled by the person who was grieving. They were very emotional laughing and crying more easily.
This sensitivity combined with their impulsiveness makes them very suggestible. If anybody felt or wanted something they would immediately feel or want the same thing.
Fireflies are undoubtedly magical creatures who seem to belong in some world of enchantment a feeling that was strong for the provers. Their sensitivity was also to the other world and provers experienced coincidences, shared dreams and clairvoyance.
They felt very vulnerable, fragile and weak. Feel that they could be easily hurt. Vulnerable to pain and feel bruised and beaten up. Getting wooden splinters and cuts from splinters of glass were common. They don't want to get out of bed as it is a haven for them. Similarly there is a need for clothing which helps them to feel contained and protects them both from their vulnerability and their sensitivity.
They wanted to be and felt more social. Wanting and finding more contact with family and friends. Part of this was a need for support and experience to counter their impulsiveness. Getting insight from friends on how to get help.
One of the peculiar features of the remedy lies around people disappearing which was both experienced and dreamt about. This could connect to the way in which the firefly is there when glowing but disappears if it stops. Other possibly connected issues were feeling lost and feeling that something wrong or missing. There were dreams of past relationships and of dead relatives.
The counter to feeling social was to feel alone like an island, isolated and shy. They felt distanced from people, as if there is a distance between himself and others. Detached, not taking things personally. This leads to a dreamlike state. Feeling an outsider and feeling numb both physically and emotionally.
They feel present but not connecting. They also feel present in time, again with no connection to yesterday or to tomorrow.
As in other insects there is a desire for attention. Wanting to be noticed. Wanting to show off. Very vain, admiring herself in the mirror.
The dirtier side that goes with this in insect remedies was found especially in dreams of sweeping pile of dirt, of humiliation, of nakedness, of bullies and of teeth falling out. Dogs seem to be particularly important, appearing in dreams and being important in reality. Behaving like a dog. Making animal sounds. Need to be walked.
This side was also expressed as darkness and particularly as darkness in contrast to light. Sunshine is important and moonlight also. Provers were dreading the winter and talked of the Sun breaking through, light coming into the darkness, dark and light, black and white. Darkness clearly represents the unknown and the shadow side and was described as a foul smell. The darkness was linked to sudden deep melancholy and being depressed without reason. Likewise fire is important; staring at the fire, hypnotized.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the evening was a good and energetic time. Calm in the day excited in the evening. Alert and awake at the end of the day.
Mind and body were divided. Exhaustion and feeling burnt out follow naturally from the impulsive overactivity but the mind remains sharp even though the body is exhausted. Head or vision dull but thoughts very clear. Thinking was clear and logical and there was a surprising enjoyment of mathematics.
Physical symptoms were not clearly differentiated in the proving and are listed in the schema below. Burning pains were common as were pressing pains. The back and neck and chest were strongly affected. Generally the vulnerability seemed to be as important as what eventually manifest.
The film The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was mentioned by a prover and has features that resonate with the remedy including the sunshine of the title, optimism and anticipation, a sense of breaking the rules, and of people being there and vanishing.
As if in a dream.
As if there is a distance between himself and others.
That something is wrong or missing.
Sense of energy rushing through her veins.
As if drunk.
Feel heat like a danger, a kind of heat rush.
Headache like a vice.
As if wearing a hat.
As if ears are plugged.
Sensation of cold water in the ears.
As if there are fingers in my mouth pulling.
As if someone pulling their finger through the stomach.
As if heart would burst out of the chest.
Breasts tingling as if lactating.
Cramping sensation under breasts.
As if something had snapped in neck.
< morning (aching)
> as day progresses (sore back)
> cold applications (headache)
< fresh air (nausea)
< eating (nausea)
< on tipping head (headache)
Other insect remedies. Cantharis (burning cystitis) Silica (splinters)
Heightened awareness with sense of anticipation. As if anything could happen. Hopeful. Optimistic. Impulsive. Giving in to sexual whims.
Desire to make a change. Sense of rebirth. tougher skin. Questioning what she wants to do with her life. Assertive. Taking charge. Feeling competent.
Vanity. Admiring self in mirror Wanting attention. Desire to be noticed. Showing off.
Swept up in activity. Better for dancing. Better for distraction, better for being busy. Feeling domestic. Industrious. Productive at work. Cleaning and tidying. Energetic and wide awake. Bustling energy. Energetic but feeling scattered. Restless, constant exaggerated movement. Spinning with energy. Need to run.
Life is to fast. Can't keep up with everything. Feel that I don't get anything done. Despair. Giving up.
Restricted. Imprisoned. Feeling trapped by what she has to do, by everyday demands.
Sense of foreboding. Dread. Aware and on guard for something to happen. Anxiety in stomach. Anxiety and concern about money and finances. Anxious about work that needs to be done.
Benevolent. Wanting to help, feel good helping.
Carefree. Ignoring responsibility having fun. Conflict between staying home and going to work. No remorse.
Annoyed by rules. Conflict between breaking and obeying rules.
Sensitive. Impressionable. Suggestible.
Emotional, laughing and crying. Weeping. Lacking boundaries, overwhelmed by the emotions of other people.
Vulnerable, fragile and weak. Vulnerable to pain. Feel that she could be easily hurt. Feels bruised and beaten up. Getting splinters and cuts from pieces of glass. Desire to stay in the haven of bed.
Social. Desiring contact with family and friends.
Distanced from people. Feel alone like an island. Isolated and shy. As if there is a distance between himself and others. Dreamlike state. Feels numb. Wants to be alone. Detached. In the present but not connecting. Sense of no yesterday and no tomorrow only the present.
People disappear. Feeling lost. Feeling that something is wrong or missing.
Sudden deep melancholy. Depressed without reason.
Sense of darkness and the shadow side. Dark and light. Black and white. Sunshine and moonlight. Dreading the winter. Sense of the sun breaking through. Light coming into the darkness. Staring at the fire, hypnotized
Feel heat like a danger, a kind of heat rush.
Feeling burnt out. Mind and body divided. Mind sharp but body exhausted. Head or vision dull but thoughts very clear. Enjoying mathematics. Thinking clear and logical.
Calm in day excited in evening. Alert and awake at the end of the day.
Coincidences. Sharing dreams. Clairvoyance.
Behaving like a dog. Need to be walked. Making animal sounds.
Feeling as if drunk (with corresponding feeling like a hangover the next morning).
Sharp pain over left eye, becomes a throbbing ache. Head pain on waking. Throbbing headache with heat, > cold applications. Pounding headache on left side. Vice like headache. Gripping pain in left temple. Head pain in vertex, < on tipping head. Headache over the eyes causing her to shut the eyes. > rubbing the temples.
Pressure on the top of the head that comes and goes. Sharp pain over the left eye.
Heat in the head. Head feels as if wearing a hat.
Dizziness. Motion sickness. Vertigo when walking. Hair loss in small patch
Burning pain. Sensation eyes are on the side of the head, eyes darting with head moving around like a pigeon. Sensitivity to light. Vision fuzzy.
Soft pain in the ears. Sensation of cold water in the ears. Sensitive to cold. As if ears are plugged and needed to pop, difficulty hearing people.
Smell of burning rubber. Smell of cat pee.
Lack of expression. Pale. Acne on chin and forehead. Herpetic eruptions around mouth. Flushes of heat
Sensitive. Tingling. Grinding teeth in sleep.
Pressing feeling as if there are fingers in my mouth pulling. Salivation with nausea. Metallic taste.
Soreness. Dryness. Swollen
Lack of enjoyment of food. Loss of appetite. Appetite increased. Appetite and cravings indistinct, indecisive about what he wants. Desire for new tastes. Desire for junk food, pizza, French fries, hamburgers. Desires bread, meat, cheese and salty foods. Aversion to fruit. Aversion to alcohol. Desire for wine. Desire sweets and chocolate, can ameliorate or aggravate. Thirst.
Sharp pain as if someone pulling their finger through the stomach. Nausea. Nausea > eating especially salty foods. Nausea < fresh air. Nausea with sleepiness.
Sensation of a lump.
Constipation. Constipation with soft stool. Incomplete. Loose stool with undigested food. Diarrhoea.
Urine smells strongly. Smells musty or of asparagus or ammonia. Burning pain in urethra. Pain in kidneys.
Sexual desire lacking. Burning and discomfort during coition. Pungent discharge. Vaginal dryness and itching.
Menses early. Menses regular. Cramping pain during menses. Pains in labia majora during menses. Menses contains large purple clots.
Cough when talking. Sighing. Voice deeper. Gulping for air. Feeling she couldn't get enough air.
Pain between ribs, < inspiration. Pins and needles on left side. Fluttering sensation.
Cramping sensation under breasts. Cramping pain in left chest. Stabbing, cramping pain under ribs while walking. Breasts tingling as if lactating.
Shooting pain in heart extending to right hand. Palpitations. Anxiety felt in heart. Heart thumping. Heart beating fast as if it would burst out of the chest.
Soreness and weakness. Feels flimsy. Weakness across upper back. Sore neck on waking. Feeling as if something had snapped in neck. Aching right scapula. Sore lower back, improves as the day goes on. Intense cramping lower back pain during menses. Cracking in the neck. Rubbing back against door frame.
Tenderness in right shoulder. Soreness in right shoulder and arm. Throbbing in left elbow. Waterless blister on finger. Blisters on hands. Hangnails. Blood blisters. Buzzing in hands on waking.
Soreness in left hip. Stabbing pain in right thigh. Cramping pain in right ankle. Cold feet. Patella slipping out of place and popping back. Knee buckling. Boils on buttocks. Eczema on feet. Small boils on legs
Aching throughout the body < morning. As if coming down with flu. Sore joints.
Burning pains. General feeling of heat. Flushes of heat.
Stabbing pains. Splinters.
Physical exhaustion. Exhausted but full of nervous energy. Nervous energy radiating from the spine.
Sloping to the right when walking.
Needing clothing to feel contained.
> in the morning.
Acne. Boils. Watery blisters.
Exhausted, sleeping immediately on going to bed. Heavy sleep. Restless sleep. Waking still tired. Sleeping and napping during the day. Waking earlier. Waking 3-4 a.m. Sleeping in foetal position for warmth.
Long elaborate dreams. Of travelling. Work. Changing jobs.
Being attacked. About to be shot, just standing waiting for it to happen. Planes about to crash.
New moon. A man proposing to a woman he has just met.
Stealing things, didn't want to pay for them, felt bad on waking.
Dream of being on a farm having no responsibilities. Singing and dancing and having fun. Giving someone a treat.
People disappearing. Past relationships. Dead relatives. Fighting with everyone.
Sweeping pile of dirt. Dogs. Humiliation. Nakedness. Bullies. Teeth falling out.
Spaceships. Flying. Wasps. Sharks and whales. Pirates.
Begin, Marty Firefly, Lamprohiza splendidula 2005 www.homeopathycourses.com