March 2014

Bird themes overview

by Carolyn Burdet

Bird remedies share themes in common which signal clues to a remedy from this realm:

  • Perception, overview, conceptual thought, impartiality, fairness

Conceptual overview and impartiality is most pronounced in the high flying birds, such as hawk and eagle; there is a perceptive quality – they see the whole picture without needing to apply a mineral minded logic to it. In pensive water birds like heron and pelican there is a natural knowing or intuition. Conceptual thought is absent in chickens and not so obvious in grounded bird species such as grouse, pigeon and sparrow, which emphasise birds’ lack of linear logic, and a confusion with spacial awareness and mathematics.

  • Empathy

There is an empathy for suffering – they feel the pain. They may become anxious if they take on the suffering and cannot cope with it. They can be hurt or fear psychic invasion.

  • Detachment, spirituality

An issue with closeness and connection versus separateness or detachment. This can be either in the Buddhist spiritual sense of non-attachment or an inability to feel connected and involved; they become observers, removed. This is more pronounced in meditative water birds such as heron and in the high flying birds such as eagle.

  • Freedom versus trapped

A strong bird theme is feeling trapped. Some birds have issues of abusive relationships, abuse particularly seen in Falcon and Pigeon, with arguments in Sparrow. Imprisoned and tortured are seen in Falcon and Raven – birds which guard the historic prison the Tower of London.

  • Responsibility for the family, group or community

Responsibility, caring for the family or being a carer is a strong theme in bird remedies. Caring for those who are vulnerable is strong in birds of prey: falcon and red hawk, also pigeon, and vulture. Some birds – especially chickens but also turkeys and geese which are farmed too – are submerged in having to do what the group needs or in productivity, and have no sense of self left. Nidris, made from swallow’s bird nest, is a remedy for parental neglect, exhaustion from caring for children. Swallows make their nest with the blood sweat and tears of their own spittle and tend for their young with great care. This delightful bird remedy includes acrobatics and gymnastics of the swallows’ aerial display.


  • Taking flight from responsibilities

Birds have the gift of flight. Freedom and expansiveness are positive sensations of many bird remedies. In people we see an enjoyment of fast, free movement, wind in their hair, cycling, riding, hang gliding; they may enjoy travel or have a fear of flying. Bird remedies have an issue of sometimes feeling trapped or burdened by their responsibilities and wishing they could take flight from them. Rising above a situation is expressed.

Freedom to be me

In insect remedies, a person feels they need to do some personal development to change in order to transform the mundane; there is ambition. Flight is an achievement after they have improved themselves. In bird remedies, flight is pure freedom to be themselves. They don’t need to change, they need to escape. Heavier birds find it harder to be airborne, or to get projects off the ground, and have an issue with clumsiness – such as turkey (which can’t fly) and also geese (which migrate). Penguins feel dirty, left out, paranoid and depressed.

  • Ugly duckling

The few bird species that do not show such diligent parental responsibility – e.g. ducks – seem to know this is missing and feel angry and indignant at how women are treated or at family neglect. These remedies also suffer a feeling of being an ugly duckling or lament looking older.

  • Bonding, loyalty, love, loss

Most birds nest-build together and care for their young all season and often the same pairs remain together and mate each season. Many birds such as pelican have elaborate courtship rituals and close, lasting marital relationships. Swans find it hard to get over the grief of losing their partner.

  • Playfulness

Some bird remedies enjoy a lightness of being, playfulness, joy, dancing, and being silly, especially the gulls, geese, and pelicans. Birds also enjoy communication and gossip; the scarlet macaw feels particularly bereft without it.

  • Dead, messenger bridging to other realms

Vultures, Ravens and Owls have a particular connection with death, fears of death, dreams of the dead; these birds have a mythical role as harbinger or messenger, bridging other realms.

  • Nature, environment

Bird remedies feel better in the open air and crave to be outside in nature or by water.

Some bird remedies feel passionately about environment and pollution. They can develop suffocative symptoms.

  • Physical symptoms: flu, throat, sinus, teeth

Avian flu symptoms (oscillococcinum has fear of germs and dirt, and flu symptoms), sore throat, stiff aching neck, painful sinuses, environmental allergies, hay fever, problems with teeth. Keen eyesight in eagle-eyed birds of prey, but sore eye symptoms in many birds.

  • Differentiating between bird remedies

There are very few bird rubrics in the repertory beyond Falco-p. so we are more likely to alight on a bird remedy prescription by recognising the themes. Sensation case-taking can take you deeper into the nature of the bird and its state – it may be flying high in the mountains (eagle), waiting by the tranquillity of water (heron), wheeling playfully over the waves (gull); arguing furiously against discrimination (crow), or worrying about its position in the flock (geese).

Bird remedies and provings are described in two books that are invaluable for differentiating carefully between bird remedies: Peter Fraser - Birds Seeking the Freedom of the Sky; and Jonathan Shore - Birds Homeopathic Remedies from the Avian Realm.

A recent book by Alicia Lee offers mind maps of the bird realm, with photos, providing a good differential diagnosis. (Mind Maps: Birds)

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Hauraki gulf sunset with birds; Ingolfson; Public domain

Categories: Families
Keywords: freedom, flight, expansive, lightness, overview, awareness, empathy, caring, responsibility, trapped, love, loss, soaring, vision, conceptual thought, knowing, messenger, realms


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Posts: 24
Reply #3 on : Sat March 05, 2016, 17:53:29
Thank you for sharing this excellent information on bird remedies. I think they are an important addition to the homeopathic repertory and can help a lot of people, myself included.
Stephanie Forshaw
Posts: 24
Conceptual overview and impartiality
Reply #2 on : Wed April 02, 2014, 11:28:36
I published a little Homeopathy Thesis called 'Structuralism and the Plant Kingdom' -An overview of Plants using the APG III system of classification, trying to shoe-horn my intuitions into a self-imposed mineral-like logic system.
After reading this article I wish I'd called it 'A Birds-Eye View of the Plant Kingdom' and written it more naturally (for me, that is). I think I should try again, LoL!
Lynn Smith
Posts: 24
Reply #1 on : Sun March 23, 2014, 01:07:45
A small correction. Turkeys can fly. Yes they are very clumsy and rarely take to the air, but flying is possible. I used to live in a country cottage and often we were woken early in the mornings by what sounded like an avalanche of rocks landing on the roof. A flock of turkeys was the cause.