Provings – a tale of two swans and more

Dynamic Provings, Volume II by Jeremy Sherr
provings salmon Yew olive tree rape seed willow swan

Dynamic Provings, Volume II by Jeremy Sherr and his Dynamis School is not only a tale of two swans but also the tale of a salmon, two yew trees, a willow that was cracked, the return of the rape seed and its oleaginous ally, the olive! In fact this is the story of extremely hard work, organisation and dedication that puts most of us to utter shame.

The first swan, Bewick or the remedy made from its feather, Cygnus columbianus bewicki, was not actually proved by Dynamis but by Penny Stirling and couldn’t have been at a better time to coincide with the Dynamis proving. In nature, of course both birds have a lot in common but there are some definite personality differences. Bewicks love their own space, so much so that when mating need a square kilometre. The Whooper swan, or the remedy Jeremy and his wife Camilla prepared from its feather, Cygnus cygnus, prefers to congregate. Penny tells us that the Bewicks dance before and after mating, fly in a circle while laying though fly in a “v” at night. They also care for their injured. They mate for life. They need grit in their gizzards to facilitate digestion which can lead to lead poisoning. They need to gain weight before migrating. Penny tells us that food and ugliness are two themes and reminds us of the ugly duckling.

While two independent provings of swan remedies may give a fuller picture, the Bewick proving had a small number of provers, all of whom had a similar disposition; they were all dancers. Some of Penney’s symptoms needed more clarification such as “got up at five am”. Was this due to a symptom or because they had to go to work. “Wanted a roll-up.” Am I correct in assuming this is a cigarette?  However, Penny has done a great job in beginning to fill a materia medica devoid of bird remedies.

Now back to Ol Hawk-Eye Jeremy and his bird, the Whooper swan (not Camilla!). Jeremy was unwell and went with his Finnish wife to Finland for a break. While resting there and considering his next proving subject the swan drifted by with its long stiff neck, just like Jeremy’s. He had found his proving and eventually a cure. The Whooper swan was the swan of choice because of its Finnish connections and its meaningfulness to other cultures. It seemed to be the most significant of the swans.

This bird has a huge number of feathers, some 25,000 which are barbed and have great importance to the swan; for flight, heat, conservation, waterproofing and display. They spend a lot of time preening and eat berries, acorns and plums and are attracted to fields of beet and potato. They celebrate their triumphant battles over other birds by stretching their necks and calling together. Due to the long trachea a dying swan will make musical notes hence the “dying swan song”. They also mate for life but have a year long engagement first.

They are prone to lung diseases; tuberculosis and the fungal infection Aspergillus which leads to lung disease. They may be susceptible to lice.

Romantic love, beautiful maidens, kings and protection are themes in swan mythology. Considering their beauty and gracefulness it’s a pity both swans want to smoke. Any wonder they end up with lung disease!  Again the psycho-emotional symptoms seem to predominate and I wonder if putting symptoms in themes can overemphasise some symptoms which can fall into more than one category so you end up reading the same symptom two or three times. I also wonder why Jeremy omits some symptoms from some categories. For example, if a prover says he wants custard because he craves hot sweet food why isn’t this symptom added to the symptoms under the food heading Hot? If a number of provers desire wine, why aren’t they mentioned under the Alcohol rubric? Maybe someday I’ll have all the answers but in the meantime a big thank you to Jeremy, Camilla and the successive Dynamis students for the volumes they’ve contributed.

Further Reading
On Aspirin and Salix, the Willow tree, click here

For information on Dynamis provings visit

The book may be available from Minerva and other book suppliers.

Posted in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .