This week we are exploring Miasmatic theory, what Hahnemann called our predisposition to disease, and covers inherited patterns of illness. This is the fifth miasm, so make sure to check out the introductory post and those about Psora, Sycosis, Syphilitic and Tubercular miasms.
The fifth miasm is Cancer. This post will discuss some of the wider metaphysical relations with cancer and other mental, emotional and physical aspects related to the cancer miasm. If you have not read the introductory post please do so so you understand the basis of miasms and how and why we look at them. This is not to say that people with cancer choose or cause the disease or that if you have traits of this miasm you will end up with Cancer. It is a discussion of homeopathic principles and themes. If you or a loved one are going through or have been through cancer and you would like to sit this one out, please skip the post. Tomorrow we will be discussing other contentious miasms such as AIDS and whether drugs can have the same effect, so feel free to come back tomorrow, or wait until next week when I am posting something that is not triggering.
For an understanding of the cancer miasm, we need to understand what cancer is: the replication of the same cell over and over again. The different type of cell and location give the name. Carcinomas are cancers of glands, like the breast and prostate, and sarcomas are cancers of connective tissues, like muscle, bone, cartilage or blood vessels. Leukaemias are blood cancers and lymphomas cancers of the white blood cells, or lymphocytes, and melanomas a type of skin cancer. These cancerous growths can invade other tissues and spread throughout the body. There are other types of tumours that are benign, like adenomas (epithelial or covering layer surrounding organs or glands) lipomas (fat cells), myomas (muscle cells), but these generally have defined borders meaning they can be removed, and in terms of miasms as benign growths they may fit within the Sycotic miasm which is about excessive growth.
Similar to the Tubercular miasm there is not one single nosode for the Cancer miasm, which can lead to confusion. The original miasm was Carcinosin, taken from a breast cancer, and was proved by Dr Donald Foubister. Since then there have been numerous nosodes made from cancerous cells, and so we have available in different countries Carcinosin 9T, 15T or even 58T depending on the number of cancerous tumours the remedy was made from. There is also Scirrhinum, which Clarke discussed as being made from a breast cancer, but Ramakrishnan says is made from a scirrhous cancer of the liver, and is the remedy to use in conjunction with other remedies for stony hard tumours.
From the perspective of cancer as unchecked growth and replication of identical cells there are two main things I see that fit with the cancer miasm throughout the world. We have the ability to mass produce identical copies of the same things- plastic particularly, but other things also. There are also increasing numbers of subdivisions and communities where not only do the houses look the same, but there are stringent covenants about what you can do in that area- the colour you can paint your house, and even the landscaping around it.
Living in a gated community, with a perfectly coordinating house, and being outwardly perfect (think Stepford wife), means suppressing any individuality so that you fit in. In order to fit in it also means vilifying and denigrating anyone or anything that does not fit in. There are numerous teen movies which show the perils and stresses of fitting into the cool crowd. I’m definitely showing my age, but the one that comes to mind is Mean Girls where they call the popular group “the plastics”.
Peter Fraser considers the Cancer miasm to be a secondary miasm (like he does for the Tubercular miasm) and a combination of Sycosis (for the unchecked growth) and Syphilis (for the destructive nature). The keynote he names is suppression, and also discusses the “war on cancer” and how they may like exercise or travel in order to break free from the suppression they live in. Suppressing individuality and instead living in conformity, the need for order and a perfectly decorated house where things match and they are in control.
The Covid response in some ways fits the cancer miasm- wearing masks which suppresses individuality, the vaccine passes with their forced conformity, and the divisive and denigrating vilification of anyone who expressed an alternate opinion to the narrative.
I sometimes think of the cancer miasm like a paint by numbers kit. There is no creativity here, it is about fitting in your colouring into someone else’s design, with the need to be perfect- there is no
Colouring outside the lines. As you can imagine, the pressure when you are handed this elaborate paint by numbers kit, that you need to do perfectly, can be immense. Consequently the cancer miasm, and Carcinosin the remedy is full of anxiety, and tends towards perfectionism.
Ian Watson explains the Cancer miasm as about relationships and how important these are. The challenge here is to grow and develop compassion, love and empathy, but also to learn about ourselves so we are able to be in these relationships. It is about balance – so we are not handing away our autonomy and agreeing with everything, like in Staphisagria, but also not closing ourselves off so we do not get hurt, like in Natrum Muriaticum.
Another challenge is about self-esteem and self-care, including doing what is needed for self care. This leads into the next challenge which is taking responsibility for our own choices and not falling into the victim mentality. Carcinosin also has a tendency to take on others’ beliefs, instead of developing their own self identity. A lack of boundaries is another problem – either taking on others problems, putting other people first, physically having poor immunity, or even with cancer itself where the replicating cells invade other nearby tissues.
We see the cancer miasm, and Carcinosin, in a lack of reaction to treatment, or when remedies that should heal fail to work. There can be poor healing, easy scarring, and long, lingering symptoms after acute disease.
Some of the interesting symptoms associated with the cancer miasm include moles and liver spots, and they may have a lack of childhood diseases. As well as cancer a family history of diabetes or alcoholism can indicate the cancer miasm.
Tomorrow we will be discussing AIDS and FARC which are newer miasms suggested for the 21st century, and on Monday also drugs and whether they can be miasms themselves. On Tuesday come back to learn about even more miasms and how they fit into different homeopathic methods.