Common loon proving: the phoenix of the Lakes
The Fourth Proving:
The fourth modern proving conducted by the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy took place in 2006 with a feather of the Common Loon (gavia immer) led by Jason-Aeric Huenecke, CCH, RSHom (NA).
Preparing the Substance:
One whole feather from the common loon sourced from the Queen Charlotte Islands, off the northwest coast of British Columbia, Canada was triturated. The remedy is available at Helios pharmacy.
What’s in a Name?
Gavia immer, the Common Loon, the Great Northern Diver. Gavia is Latin for ‘sea smew’ (loons are not smew); the speci?c meaning of ‘immer’ is etymologically unknown. The Latin word ‘immergo’, means to immerse, and ‘immersus’ means, deeply submerged; the Swedish words immer and emmer are terms for the grey or blackened ashes of a ?re, and are associated with the loon’s dark plumage. Other names include big loon, black-billed loon, call-up-a-storm, ember-goose, greenhead, guinea-duck, imber diver, ring-necked loon and Walloon.
Proving Mental Themes include but are not limited to:
Carefree, no worries
Contagion, contamination, dirty, and disgusting
Insects (six out of 18 provers had insect themes in thoughts, experiences, and dreams)
Keeping a distance from others
Vivaciousness, playfulness, and sexuality
Water themes, flowing, and floating
Proving Physical Themes include but are not limited to:
Acuity and heightened senses: vision, hearing
Air hunger, desire for fresh air
Extremities: pain, trembling, and weakness
Eyes: red, dry, crusty, irritated, and sensitive
Heat and burning sensations
Pains: piercing, sticking, poking, and pricking
From Clinical Practice:
Ailments from bad news
Ailments from betrayal
Confidence, want of self-confidence
Desire and attempts to escape
Fear of being attacked
Fear of ghosts
Irritability alternating with patience
Peace, yearning for
Sadness, chronic, and deep
Dreams of being separated from people
Dreams of storms, thunderstorms, and of tsunamis
When to give the Loon:
The individual needing the loon remedy will feel separated or distant from other people in their family of origin or profession or in relationships overall. They desire or crave alone time, to drift, float, and contemplate. They are deep thinkers and feelers. They are very sensitive to the needs of others and respect others by giving them space. They do not understand why others do not respect personal space and feel compelled to leave or escape relationship dynamics that create a sense of entrapment, feeling cornered, or misunderstood.
They have a deep yearning for peace and are often mystical and superstitious. Strong fears of ghosts have appeared in clinical practice and fear of vampires appeared in the proving.
You may have given remedies from the Natrums or Magnesiums when the loon was required. Consider this remedy when the person has long lasting grief and disappointment. This grief is ameliorated by isolation. It takes a long time and separation to get over the feeling of disappointed love and feeling of being abandoned for the loon individual until this remedy is administered. They are observers of life and become more active participators after the curative effects of the remedy commence.
Excerpts from the Proving that are Representative of the Loon:
The Major Theme of the Loon was Grief:
There were twenty one entries featuring the theme of grief in this proving. In one instance, the prover felt a dependence on others that was marked by helplessness, and then a sense of waiting for others to come to the rescue, only ending up feeling loss. In another prover’s dream there was a fear of some alien-creature that would attack and torture her and her children, feeling that she was with her child in the last hours of their lives; as their essences were being drained, she writes, “My child and I were nearing the end and we knew it, we were doomed…”
Dreams of the dead and the grief that these dreams elicited. Also, the awareness that grief and loss serve as reminders that we are still alive: “Today I felt melancholic as they were speaking about parenting a child. I thought about our children and reflected back on the fact we have become empty nesters. I became somewhat pensive as I thought about our kids and the time that has passed. It felt good to feel emotion with some intensity again. It lets me know that I am alive!”
Being on High Alert:
Dream: “I was with my partner in an upstairs bedroom with a conjoining bathroom. She was in the bathroom and I was in the bedroom with a towel around my waist. There were two doors to the bedroom. The far door was open. Through the open door, I saw a man coming up the stairs. I closed the door. I had a bad feeling that he was going to come in the room. I grabbed a knife and went to lock the other door. As I moved toward it, he came through it. My partner was around the corner and could see me, but not the man. I tried to yell out to her, to warn her, but nothing would come out of my mouth. I was very frightened. I felt helpless, despite being the only one with a weapon. Normally, I am matter of fact in these dream situations.”
“Being on guard for me means that I am participating in whatever is happening at the moment, but I am wary that something bad might happen and that I am looking out for it so I can protect myself.”
Dream: “I was in a different house and people of ill intent were encroaching or already there and threatening in some fashion that is not clear now. It was as if something may be a threat. Like I had to be smart and figure out how to get out of this!”
“There is a tension inside; you want to be seen, but you don’t want to be seen. Who’s doing the watching? Who’s the watcher? Are you a target, is it predatory? Or are being enjoyed? You never know.”
Wanting to be Attractive, Sensuality:
“I am looking at men I see in cars or in their yards in a different way, more like scrutinizing them, interested in seeing how they look, and judging if I find them attractive. Usually I would tend to avoid eye contact, but I want to really see them. I greet them and wonder if they find me attractive?”
“I felt rather bold, and walked around the man, looked him in the eye, smiled, and said, ‘no, he’s not my husband but he looks pretty good!’ He responded, ‘She’s a looker, too!’ and we all had a good laugh. That was an unusual thing for me to do with a man I don’t know. He was a good-looking man about my age. Afterwards, I felt surprised that I did it, but it felt good.”
“I was at a pagan party. I was excited to join the festivities as I arrived but realized I was tired and it was late, so I just decided to sleep in the house that was overlooking the backyard where the party was taking place. While in the house, a friend makes a pass at me, I am bothered by this, yet a little interested in her advance.”
Several provers reported sinking sensations. “My brain seems clear, but my body feels heavy and dense. When I lay down, it’s as if my body is sinking…” and “Sinking in chair, my back is folding in on itself, round and soft pulsation.” Pulsations and wave-like sensations.
One prover had an alteration and subsequent amelioration of a familiar old symptom, “I experienced heart irregularities that felt stronger and different from the heart palpitations I have had for years. It lasted only a few seconds but was very noticeable. I did not experience the usual weakness or feel like I lost my breath, but it was rather disturbing. It was a very strong and distinct pounding of my heart that felt like it was beating really hard against a wall. 3 - 4 beats, preceded by a familiar sinking sensation for a split second.”
Dream: “I’m driving and see a woman on a motorcycle hit a semi-truck right in front of me; her head is smashed like a pumpkin. I feel the sinking in my gut, search for my phone, can’t find it, or it doesn’t work. Helpless feeling, at the same time, I know it’s too late for her, her head is smashed. I yell for others around me to call 911! Everyone (maybe 15 people) pulls out a cell phone and make calls.”
“It’s like I need to take action, but I can’t; I’m frozen and suffocating with anger. I’m not angry anymore, I just have that sinking feeling, lump in throat, and I’m worse thinking about the event.”
Description of the Common Loon:
“Referred to as the ‘spirit of northern waters,’ the Common Loon is recognized as a symbol of unspoiled wilderness. In breeding plumage, this water bird is black-headed with a heavy, black, dagger-like bill, dark red eyes, a black collar, a white necklace, prominent white checks on the back, and white under-parts. In non-breeding plumage, the body is essentially grayish above and whitish below, with varying amounts of white showing on the side of the head. Dark traces of the collar are often visible. In the winter, the bill is lighter and of a grayish hue. Juveniles are similar to adults in winter plumage, but have more prominent barring across the back. A distinctive feature of the loon is its eerie, yodel-like call that can be heard on northern lakes where nesting occurs and on wintering areas in late winter and early spring.”
Loons in Mythology:
“The Loon symbolizes peace, tranquility, communication, serenity, and generosity.
With a generous and giving nature, Loon features significantly in the art and mythology of Canadian First Nations Peoples. Loon is famous for its unique and often haunting voice, and is respected for its knowledge of various realms. Animals with unique vocal talents are held in high regard by Northwest Coast peoples, who traditionally perceive words, voice and song as carriers of power and magic. Loon is associated with copper and wealth.
In the years of the great flood that took over our lands, a loon carried a willow branch across the water, bringing hope to the nation by telling the people the water was receding.”
A delightful children’s book entitled How the Loon Lost Her Voice, also know as Raven Steals the Light, retells the Northwest coast Indian myth of Loon and Raven, how all the animals rallied to retrieve the daylight from behind its wall of ice after it was stolen by evil spirits. The theme of ghosts, vampires, and other spirits featured strongly in this proving.
 Cameron, Anne. Illustrations by Tara Miller. 2010. Madeira Park, British Columbia: Harbour Publishing: Books of the Pacific Northwest.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Close-up of the head of a Common Loon; public domain
Keywords: grief, carefree, contamination, disconnected, exhaustion, industriousness, irritability, keeping a distance from others, over-sensitivity, sinking sensation, vivaciousness, playfulness, sexuality, vigilance, water
Remedies: Gavia immer