A New Endeavor:
The first modern proving conducted at the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy in 1998 was the Canada goose egg (branta canadensis ovum). Eric Sommermann, PhD, CCH, RSHom (NA) led this proving. Sommermann was my mentor; as his protégé, I completed his unfinished work on his three provings after his untimely death in March 2007, including this beautiful proving of the most common waterfowl species of North America.
What’s in a Name?
Branta comes from the Old Norse meaning ‘burnt goose’, referring to their grayish appearance.
Preparing the Substance:
Bird remedies can be prepared from the eggs, feathers, feet
or talons, or blood of the bird, as any part contains the genus of the
substance. This remedy was prepared by using a single egg of the Canada goose. Eric
submitted the substance to Michael Quinn at Hahnemann Laboratories, in San Rafael, California.
Proving Mental Themes include but are not limited to:
Hearty appetites and a high metabolism (the Canada goose eats 1-5 lbs. of grass per day; they are herbivores, and our provers were craving vegetables during the proving).
The well-known water-bird sensations of flying and floating and wanting to be in or around water all-day or for long periods of time also appeared.
There was a strong desire for order, preparedness, and industriousness with a sense of urgency.
The individual appears mentally scattered (bird-brained) with a nostalgic longing for home.
The desire to protect their family and children, yet to quarrel heartily with them
A desire for group activities and togetherness, and yet a longing to be alone, only to feel isolated, forsaken, and separate when alone.
A strong heart-felt desire to mate for life.
Matter of fact, simple, direct, and to the point.
Over-sensitivity, hyper-alertness, and vigilance.
Trapped sensations and the accompanying desire to escape
(geese will not enter enclosed areas willingly; they want direct access to open
space or open waterways, rivers, ponds, lakes, or streams or the ocean).
Proving Physical Themes include but are not limited to:
Head symptoms, including migraines, headaches, pains of the head, and wave-like sensations of goosebumps along the scalp.
Hearing acuity, especially sensitive to electronic sounds and motors.
Face symptoms including the sensation of stretched skin, chapped lips.
Mouth symptoms including dry mouth, and a metallic or bloody taste in mouth.
Throat symptoms including rawness, sore throats, lump in throat, etc.
Back and neck symptoms, including a stiff neck, painful on turning, and a strong desire to stretch the neck.
Vision acuity, alertness, better outdoors, aggravated when indoors.
Skin, chapped and dry, with goose bumps.
Extremities awkwardness and histories of accidents (incurred
“There is an absence of my usual introspection. I’m usually
always thinking about things, turning them over in my mind, but now I feel much
more simple and direct.” It is as though what you see is what you get: “I
usually feel like I have an external and an internal self, but during this
proving I have felt like they are the same.”
From Clinical Practice:
Awkward, clumsiness, body dysmorphia.
Censorious and argumentative.
Difficulty with concentration, unable to focus
Fear of being alone.
Fear of thunderstorms and wind.
A deep sense of loss.
Pain in the occipital region, neck, upper back, and shoulder region.
Air hunger, ameliorated in the open air.
When to give the Goose:
Canada goose types suffer from grief, with ailments from grief ameliorated by domestic chores and eating; these activities completed with an urgency and systematic efficiency. They will have high metabolisms; finishing a meal and considering what they will eat at their next meal. They prefer to eat meals in family groups, rather than alone. The familial experience of these individuals is often full of ruffled feathers, disagreements, and high-drama.
For the patient needing this remedy there is an inner feeling of being caught between two worlds and in transition, for example between heaven and earth, to which realm do I belong? This results in an inner feeling of awkwardness and unsteadiness. With the remedy, the individual finds a sense of being included in group systems.
Physically, this remedy has been used in several cases to heal injuries as the result of whiplash and injuries to the neck and spine.
Excerpts from the Proving that are Representative of Canada Goose:
Protecting the Family:
Geese are fierce protectors of their young, hissing and
charging at predators and humans that get too close to their goslings. One
prover reported, “Now I feel long-necked and watchful, like the overseer, to
alert myself and others to danger in matter-of-fact way.”
Family and Socialization:
Several provers felt more sociable than normal, desiring companionship, closeness, family-time and frivolity. Meanwhile others were annoyed by the presence of others, and only wanted to be alone. “While watching a movie with my partner, I did not have my usual feeling of being suffocated by her being cuddled up next to me. Normally I would be agitated and restless, and instead I was content,” and, “I have great desire to be left alone today with no connection or communication with outside world.”
Awkwardness, Clumsiness, and a Propensity Towards Accidents:
The proving and clinical practice have indicated patients
needing the Canada goose remedy have a propensity to accidents and feel awkward
on their feet and in their bodies. Migratory geese have brought down airplanes,
geese crossing roadways have caused major accidents, and some geese have
purportedly broken the arm or legs of men.3, 4
Incredible Lightness of Being:
In many of the recent bird provings provers report feelings of being light, out of body, with dreams of flying and the sensation of being a bird. Our provers felt this in their Ajna (Third Eye) or forehead region.
Sensation of Feathers:
Sensations provers felt in their scalp and skin included feeling as though feathers were protruding from the skin. “There is tightness and inward stretching of my skin over my face, with the sensation as if feathers are standing on end over my forehead, temples, cheeks and chin. There’s continued outward pressure over the third eye area, unsure if it’s out farther, swollen, or if it’s my imagination (this sensation was intermittent all day long).”
Schroyens, Frederik. 2005. Synthesis Repertorium Homeopathicum Syntheticum. London, England: 9.1 ed.Maynard, Micheline. The New York Times, Bird Hazard Is Persistent for Planes. 15 January 2009. [Online]. Available: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/nyregion/16strike.html?_r=0Gicas, Tony. Clifton Journal, Are Canada geese a problem for Route 46 motorists? 2 August 2013. [Online]. Available: http://www.northjersey.com/news/217974171_One_heck_of_a_goose_bump.html
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Branta canadensis in flight; Keith; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
Geese and goslings swim in V-formation; David Hawgood; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Keywords: Canada goose egg, awkward, clumsiness, body dysmorphia, deep sense of loss, grief better for eating, neck pain, whiplash
Remedies: Branta canadensis ovum