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.
Portia Spider, Fringed Jumping Spider
Rainforests of Australia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia
Tincture of the whole spider
The Portia Spider is a small insignifacant looking spider. It has cryptic markings in shades of brown and beige and random tufts and fringes of hair that make it one of the most extraordinary looking of spiders. When it freezes it blends completely into the detritus of the rain forest floor. This effect is enhanced by small pieces of detritus that stick to the hairs and contribute to its camouflage.
It is a member of the Salticidae so the most closely related remedy is Aranea sciencia.
The Portia Spider is araneophagic and not only uses more varied techniques to catch its prey but adapts the technique to the particular species of spider that it is preying on. It shows enormous persistence, patience, ingenuity and intelligence in its hunting. It is adept at walking on other spider's webs and will creep onto a web and then vibrate it until the web's owner comes to investigate. With species it has encountered before it uses the type of vibration that has worked in the past with a new species it tries out different types of vibration and then concentrates on any that get a reaction from the prey. They have incredible patience and have been observed to sit on a web vibrating it for three days until the spider finally comes out to investigate. It is one of the few Salticidae that spins a web. When it does it attaches the web to that of another spider and waits in it till it gets a chance to pounce. If insects are caught in its web it leaves them to tempt a spider which it kills. It also pretends to be a male and so entices the female of species of Euryattus out of her leaf nest with the movements usually made by male suitors and then devours her. The Portia Spider also stalks prey on the ground walking very slowly and stopping and disappearing into the forest floor. It does not actually jump as this would dislodge the carefully gathered detritus that enhances it camouflage. With spiders that it can overpower easily it approaches from the front but those larger ones that would easily make a meal of it are approached more safely from behind. It has extremely good eyesight but a very narrow field of view. It can see its prey very well but may not be able to see enough of a predator to recognize it.
Like many species of Portia mating often takes place with the participants suspended on a thread of silk. The male then deposits the sperm on the silk thread which the female then moves over and takes it into herself to later fertilise her eggs. In most species of Portia the female kills and eats the male during or just after mating but this is not generally so in P. fimbriata where the male usually survives copulation.
The proving of Portia fimbriata was conducted by Brigitte Klotzsch in 2002 and 2003. Hahnemanian, meditation and dream provings were all used.
The Portia Spider is undoubtedly one of the most intelligent, most deceitful and most dangerous of all the spiders. Its ability to disguise and hide itself are remarkable. These spider traits are likely to be strongly emphasized in the remedy, The ability of the spider to play the prey is a strong feature of the animal and of the remedy. While Tarentula hispanica has a tendency to simulate illness in order to get attention for itself; Portia takes it much further and simulates or experiences illness in order to exact control over those around her or even to exact a form of revenge on them. Several of the meditation provers experienced feelings as if pregnant and false or real pregnancies that put others at a disadvantage are probably part of the picture.
The remedy is hot which is very unusual for Spider remedies but it can still be sensitive to cold and chills. The senses are acute with strong sensitivities to noise and odour and the eyes are also sensitive and photophobic. The remedy is strongly right sided with the feeling the right side is expanded or strengthened and the left diminished or weakened. There is also a feeling that the legs are shortened or cut off. Just as the animal itself is and absolute master of deception and camouflage it is likely that the whole picture of the remedy is yet to be fully developed.
Brigitte Klotzsch suggest Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig as illustrative of the remedy.
As if left side is diminished and right increased.
Sensation as if pregnant.
Sensation that abdomen is enormous.
Sensation as if something alive and moving in the abdomen.
Feel as if I have only stumps for legs.
< right side
< busy places
Other Spider remedies, particularly Aranea scientia and Tarentula Hispanica. Baryta carb (delusion cut off at the knees)
Restless and hyperactive. Overexcited. Overactive and tired at the same time. Walking quickly. Pacing.
Chaos. Confused and chaotic. Absent minded and forgetful.
A feeling of being lost, flashes of nothingness where I just don't know what I am supposed to be doing.
Need to clean, seeing dirt everywhere.
Feeling of being used. Everybody has let her down.
Fearfulness. Fear of dogs. Fear of thunderstorms.
Indignation. Anger building slowly. Indefinable sense of anger. Irritated and repulsed by foolish people. Irritable and aggressive. Disgust of self and others.
Calmness. Indifference. Nothing can bother her. Feels distant.
Lack of motivation.
Sensation left side is shrinking and right expanding.
Sensation as if pregnant. Sensation that abdomen is enormous.
Feel as if I have only stumps for legs.
< rain, > sunshine.
Dull frontal headache.
Burning tears. Feeling like sand under eyelid. Outer eyelid burning. < right. Photophobia. Loss of peripheral vision. Twitching.
Sensitive to noise. Itching right ear. Buzzing in ears.
Clear discharge < right. Sensitive to perfume and chemicals.
Twitching. Twitching lower lip.
Dryness not ameliorated by drinking. Tongue coated white.
Hunger. Desire for bread and pastries. Desire for fruit. Thirst but drinks fill and cause nausea. Thirsty at night. Desire for smoking.
Rumbling, with hunger. Bloating. Eructations. Feels full. Movement as if something alive in stomach.
Flatulence with cramping pains. Cramp in diaphragm. Pulling pain in liver.
Unsatisfactory. Like sheep droppings.
Respiration heavy, chest felt crushed. Breathlessness on slight exertion. Burning in lungs.
Pain in right breast.
Stabbing pain in muscles.
Pains and stiffness like gout. Pins and needles.
Tapping the fingers. Warm hands
Feet hot at night. Sudden pulling pain in right leg, above knee. Heaviness.
Numbness, tingling and twitching. Right sided paralysis. Hot in bed. Flushes of heat at 9pm. Getting hot and sweaty and hating the feeling. Warm all over. Right sided.
Perspiration on exertion. Sensation of insects under the skin.
Chaos and confusion. Fathers. Illness. Of being robbed. Observing accidents with calmness. Spiders. Dirty toilets. Travelling and long journeys. Dead bodies. Gentle amorous dreams. Transvestism and looking ridiculous. Being abusive to be people who are acting stupidly. Becoming restless and angry at other's calmness. In shades of white. With falling out of bed.
Klotzsch, Brigitte. Portia fimbriata: The Incredible Power of a Tiny Little One. Brigitte Klotzsch. Bergisch Gladbach