It is sometimes interesting to understand individuals and events in the context of homeopathic remedy pictures. Although it can tend to create generalizations, our knowledge of remedy pictures can be useful to give a perspective on the actions and behavior of certain people.

In the situation in the Middle East we have had two major players in the last few years, Ariel Sharon and Yassar Arafat. In thinking of their roles, their actions and personalities, they seem to represent clearly two remedies. Sharon acts like Androctonos (scorpion) and Arafat like Lactodectrus Mactans or perhaps another spider remedy.

Sherrs proving of Androctonos reveals certain key characteristics. The first is a feeling of contemptuous, a want of moral feeling. Another theme is that of aggression and violence, including a desire to kill. Other themes included an indifference or detachment and a quality of unfeeling and being alone.

In analyzing Sharons behavior, there has been a striking amount of violence in his life. From his involvement in the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the massacre of Palestinians in the Lebanese refugee camps, which he was directly held accountable for, to the present day, with apparent contempt for Arafat and the Palestinian people, he has shown a cold, detached, calculated manner. Another theme that Sherrs proving revealed is over confidence. To quote Sherr, "The scorpion patient is able to concentrate on one subject only with extreme single-mindedness like a mental tunnel vision and there is extreme efficiency in work with no hesitation. There is also great cunning and the ability to know what others are thinking before they think it. Paranoia with suspicion and desire to outwit others, also a feeling of great confidence and energy, like a magnetic state - charismatic."

"One of the main features of the remedy is a total lack of guilt and remorse, unfeeling. This is more so than in Anacardium. Cold knife-edged violence, desire to stab things or split them open."

"The remedy has a self-centered egotism, as well as being dictatorial. It may have a feeling of being totally alone in the world with a tendency to isolation, with a feeling that the rest of the world were mad - not her."

Becker states that Androctonos is the "Lone fighter in the desert." Is this not Sharon?

While not wanting to take any position on the justifiable concerns of both the Israeli people and the Palestinian people it is interesting to see how much these descriptions parallel Sharons behavior.

It is clear that he has contempt for the Palestinian people and especially for Arafat. He has admitted that he wished he had Arafat killed in the 1980s. He has showed great cunning in his political moves, on one level maintaining a coalition including both religious parties and the labor party, whilst isolating and severely damaging his perceived enemy. Some have said that he created the latest intifada by his provocative visit to the Temple Mount, which he knew would provoke the Palestinians into a violent response.

He has shown extraordinary control in dealing with the atrocities and the downward spiral of events in the Middle East. He presents an image of a detached calculation, combined with an undoubted ruthlessness, which is a strong keynote characteristic of Androctonos. He is a very powerful man, but ultimately he is alone, and bears the responsibility for what will transpire in the region.

Sharon also has his share of personal tragedies. His son accidentally died in a gun accident. His son and a friend were playing with a gun when it went off. Sharons first wife had previously died in a car accident. Both these incidents indicate the syphilitic miasm and may relate to his emotional situation. Sharon was brought up in a Moshav, a settlement community similar to a kibbutz, like an agricultural co-op. Sharons father refused to grow the same crop as others in the community and built a fence around his house, which was considered an insane thing to do at that time. Sharon did not like his father as his father put him through the stigma of feeling different, of being an outsider. Sharon then joined a select "Palmach" unit called the 101 unit, a kind of commando unit. Sharon though was always known as being different and even in his own autobiography he admitted being part of a vendetta with another member of the 101 unit that led to the retaliatory murder of a whole Bedouin family that had apparently killed the mans sister. It was seen at the time as a national issue although it was an individual murder. Sharon developed this reputation as being totally non-compromising and being an outsider although he proved to have great instinct and strategic ability. He worked better as a leader than in any position requiring compromise, so for years he didnt work in governments of the day.

On the other side we have Yassar Arafat. Arafat is also very cunning. He has had to survive for so long in such adverse circumstances. He has lived under the nearly constant threat of assassination and death for many years. He has had justifiable concerns about his life from the Israeli Secret Service, various western secret services, and also Palestinian and other middle-east factions. How he has survived is extraordinary. This feeling of being threatened is a common theme of the spider remedies. They often feel threatened and have to show great cunning and deception to save their lives. It has been extraordinarily difficult to negotiate with him, and the feeling one gets is that he says one thing and then does another. His debatable condemnation of the suicide bombings, along with his possible involvement in some of them also reveals the violent, but devious methods he employs.

Even recently, he has had to hide away in his compound as the Israelis have surrounded and partly destroyed his living quarters. If you look at the symptoms of Lactodectrus Mactans, you see a lot of themes around death, including "fear of sudden death," "thoughts of death", sensation of death" and "anguish." In the mental symptoms of Tarantula, the best represented spider remedy, you see symptoms of "Quarrelsome," "Obstinate," "Rage," "Contrary," "Anger, violent," and "Threatening." Spiders often have to wait until the right moment to strike; they have only one opportunity to kill their prey so they have to wait for the right time.

So Arafats experience has been one of living under a constant threat and having to show great resilience and cunning to survive. Unlike the scorpion, the lone fighter, always in control, he is constantly fighting a rear guard action, having to react and respond to his circumstances. Both the scorpion and the spider are survivors, nonetheless. They will fight to the death, but their strength is their weakness. The lone spirit of the scorpion, the capacity for total ruthlessness prevents them from really trusting, to let go. If they did they would feel that they would be totally destroyed. Similarly, the spider knows no other reality. If they reveal themselves, they will be squashed and stamped on. They have lived with a mixture of fear and revulsion from all others for so long. There only way to survive is to hide, to wait and then strike when the time is right.

It is interesting that the scorpion that Sherr did his proving with came from Israel. Sherr describes the fact that if you find two scorpions under a rock they will either be mating or killing each other. They are aggressive animals, and if under any threat will usually attack, though they may change rapidly from attack to defense or playing dead.

It is interesting that in looking at the origin of the name Lactodectrus Mactans, the word Lacto comes from the Latin for "mercenary soldier" and dectus from the Greek dacnein for " to bite". Mactans comes from the Latin "Macto" for to magnify, extol, honor, glorify, elevate, make splendid as well as to kill, slaughter, put to death, to overthrow, ruin and destroy. Is this not similar to the rationale for the suicide bombings, the desire to destroy and kill, with the notion that this brings honor and glory to those involved? Also, Arafat was chosen by the western powers to represent the Palestinian people. The west chose him as apposed to other Palestinian leaders. Even in the midst of powerful criticism against him from the west, they still have continued to protect him. Otherwise the Israeli military could have killed him years before.

When thinking of Lactodectrus Mactans we should also consider the other remedies in the same spider family, Lactodectus Haseltii, ( Australian Red Back), Atrax robustus, (Sydney Funnel Web Spider), Lactodectus Katipo,(New Zealand spider), Latrodectus curassivicum, more commonly known as Theridion, the Orange Spider and also Aranea Scinencia, the Common Grey House Spider. Of these, Atrax robustus is probably the most obvious other possibility. In his analysis of spider themes Jonathen Shore mentions this remedy and the common spider issues that relate to themes of Life and Death, Outcast, Deception and Intrigue. He sees that politics are a good arena for the energy of the spider to exist in.

The spider family and the scorpion are very closely related. The reality of life in the middle east is that of brother fighting brother, the violence of both sides expressing the negative pathology of an energetic vibration distorted and unbalanced.

Each side is facing its own demons. The question they both face is whether they can begin to see their common experience and their common history as being oppressed and fighting for their survival, which is the theme for many of the animal remedies. In the case of scorpion and spider remedies, the threat and consequent violence is very extreme, perhaps even more than the snake remedies.

Perhaps this is useful for us to see the theme and archetype of certain remedies and how that can illuminate our understanding of the energetic dynamics in the real world, none more important than that in the Middle East at the present time.