2013 October

Sheep's milk proving: sacrifice without reward

by Jason-Aeric Huenecke

The Second Proving:

The second modern proving conducted by the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy took place in 2002 with the milk of a Rambouillets-Hampshire ewe milked one week after lambing: Lac ovinum. Eric Sommermann, PhD, CCH, RSHom (NA) led the proving.

Preparing the Substance:

Animal substances can be prepared with milk, blood, or hair, as any part of the animal contains the genius of the substance. For this proving Eric had an alumnus collect the milk soon after the lamb was born, when the energy field between the ewe (female sheep) and lamb is especially strong. The substance sent to Michael Quinn at Hahnemann Laboratories, in San Rafael, California; and Michael sent the substance back for the proving.

What’s in a Name?

‘Sheep’ derived from the Old English sceap, or scep, words of unknown origin. ‘Sheep” implied “timidity” in Old English; the meaning “stupid, timid person” is attested from 1542.[1]

Proving Mental Themes include but are not limited to:

Self-sacrificing, desiring to be helpful, leads to depletion, and exhaustion

Desiring equality on principle

Duty, sense of responsibility, and the sense of being mother to all

Fear of being exiled, out of the group and sent alone into the desert

Fear of inadequacy, lack of confidence, and timidity

Giddiness, laughter, and glee, childlike innocence

Helplessness and defenselessness (and yet may be defiant)

Slow moving, monotonous, same thing, different day

Walled off or separated from other; the family group offers protection

Proving Physical Themes include but are not limited to:

Ameliorated by open air

Back pains, especially in the shoulder area

Cough, expectoration difficult

Extremities, coldness, numbness of hands, feet, toes

Extremities, rubbery sensations

Head pains were experienced by an overwhelming number of provers, especially head pain as if a hoop or band around the head!

Nose, acuity of smell

Skin, bruising easily

Vertigo, rocky sensations

From Clinical Practice:

Lac ovinum has themes of self-sacrifice, unworthiness, feeling devalued, and betrayed.

Ailments from abuse, grief, and betrayal.

Long standing, chronic insomnia.

Religious-minded, desire for prayer, commitment to God.

Obedience and submissiveness.

Self-sacrificing brings about the exact opposite of what is desired; these individuals sacrifice their time, energy etc. to the community, give into their children and set no healthy or clear boundary with others (until the remedy acts!).

Curative for migraine headaches.

Curative for Fuchs’ Dystrophy.

Curative for urethral stenosis, accompanied by frequency and urging for urination.

Excerpts from the Proving that are Representative of Sheep’s Milk:

Predatory Behavior, Abuse and Killing of the Innocent:

“[I am] thinking of a drama involving domestic abuse, a couple of very vicious assaults on women. There is a victimized feeling of anger and injustice about how women are treated.”

“In my dreams last night, there was another bald man (one appeared in a previous dream in this proving); he was shorter than the last man. In the dream I was attracted to him; then I saw him with an 11-year-old boy, he was dragging him by his hair down this hill to a creek. He was going to kill him. I couldn’t believe that my judgment was so off! I knew he was coming for me next. I was afraid he would murder me!”

“I notice that I’m becoming more predatory when it comes to sex. I was driving today and noticed a person whose pose suggested to me that she was a prostitute. After a few blocks, I did turn the car around to check it out. The person was gone. All I could say is, ‘Thank God’, I really do not need this in my life...”

“I am part of a work force to stop the poaching of monkeys. These monkeys were hunted for their brains. The poachers hunted the monkeys with smaller heads. These monkeys were infected with some type of bacteria that made their heads smaller. The heads were roasted over an open fire. This was supposed to be quite the delicacy when eaten immediately.”

Pursued by Thieves:

Several provers had dreams of thieves and pursuit by men. Sheep rustling has been a problem since the beginning of sheep domestication. “I had dreamt that I was being chased through the backyards in my neighborhood by group of men, bad guys, thieves. I knew that if I could get to this one house I’d be safe, but I had to sneak there. I never got there – woke up while I was being chased. I wasn’t scared when I woke up!?”

“While walking my dog at dusk, I became fearful that someone was following us. I imagined that my footsteps were the sound of someone else’s, my clothes rustling was someone else’s clothes. When I first arrived at the park, there were many parked cars, but I haven’t seen anyone here. I imagined horrible things that could have happened to the other people. Maybe someone who is lurking down here murdered them all. I assured myself that this was not the case, of course, and continued walking.”

The Way of the Selflessness:

“Since the proving remedy, I want to help people with their problems. I feel chatty, want to talk and be more intimate and really make a difference in other people’s lives, help them... It’s a very good feel, a good feeling.”

“I went to go to bed. There was a bed of blankets set up on the floor. Someone had made it up for me very nicely but in the wrong order so that there was very uncomfortable burlap that I had to lay on. I did not want to offend the person who had been so kind to set it up, so I did not change it. Being uncomfortable so as not to hurt someone else (sacrificing self).”

The Endlessness of the Crunch of Time:

“I seem to have an urgency to get things done on time. Get from one point to another –  it’s not so much about what gets done, but getting to the next and the next thing. If something gets in the way, I will just forget it and go on…”

“Irritability. Sweating when I put something down and then I am in a time crunch to find it.”

“I felt anxiety (centered around my heart)... My mind was acutely aware of all the things that need to be done.... I woke up before the alarm and was aware of how much time I had to get ready…I feel rushed!”

“Very tense and busy – I feel there are so many things to do. I feel pressure to do too many things in a short period of time.”

“I felt a sense of dulled unreality… …like my thoughts and perceptions were filtered through cotton. My thoughts have slowed to a slow one thought at a time.”

Hahnemann and the Pasteurization of Sheep’s Milk:

Richard Haehl writes on Samuel Hahnemann in Samuel Hahnemann: His Life and Work, “‘Cream and milk can be kept fresh for several days, even during hot and thundery weather, if boiled once a day; by this process, I believe, the gases of fermentation are expelled each time…’ Hahnemann was on the way to the discovery of the pasteurizing of milk. Hahnemann gives an explanation why sheep and goat cheese are more digestible and agree better than ordinary cheese prepared from sour cows’ milk.”[2] So he was also on the way to discovering lactose intolerance as well.

History of Sheep:

Sommermann felt that this was a very important proving considering its long history of domestication by humans and its rich tapestry of symbolism in world religious traditions and our survival as a species; the unique relationship of humans and sheep enabled them to roam the far-corners of the earth in desolate conditions and survive.

“The animal sheep originated in central Asia 10,000 years ago, valued for its wool and meat. The earliest sheep growers used their fleece as a kind of tunic, but it wasn't until 3,500 BC that man learned how to spin wool.

Sheep and wool spread to Europe between 3,000 BC and 1,000 BC, traveling mainly through ancient Greece. Over the next 1,000 years, Greeks, Romans and Persians contributed to improvements in sheep breeds. The Romans were also responsible for the spread of sheep to North Africa and Europe…

Sheep were introduced to America when Columbus made his famous voyage in 1493, including sheep among the livestock he took to Cuba and Santo Domingo. In 1519, when Cortez began the expedition which would open Mexico and the western United States, he took with him the offspring of Columbus' sheep as a walking food supply.

After the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, they bought forty sheep from the Dutch on Manhattan Island. By 1664, the sheep population had grown to 100,000. As settlers moved west during the 1800s, they took with them flocks of sheep from the eastern seaboard. Most of these sheep were of English breeding, more suited to producing lamb than wool.”[3]

“Rambouillet: a breed of sheep developed from selections of a few hundred of the best Merino sheep of Spain in 1786 and 1799 by the French government at its national sheepfold at Rambouillet, France. First imported to the United States in 1840, the breed was successfully molded through selective breeding to meet the needs of a large class of United States sheep producers. Rambouillets prevail on the western ranges, where two-thirds of the sheep of the United States are produced.”[4] “Hampshire: breed of medium-wool, dark-faced, hornless sheep originating in Hampshire, England.”[5] The Rambouillets-Hampshire breed is well known for its wool, but also for its meat, both lamb and mutton. It has been described as a dual-purpose breed, with superior wool and near-mutton breed characteristics.

James Tyler Kent writes, “All the milks should be potentized, they are our most excellent remedies; they are animal products and foods of early animal life and therefore correspond to the beginning of our innermost physical nature. If we had full provings of monkeys, cows, mare's, and human milk, they would be of great value.”[6]

The Sacrificial Lamb:

Sheep have played an important role in the history of human spiritual and religious traditions as a sacrifice to the gods, this is true in all Abrahamic traditions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Sheep are featured in ancient religious traditions throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean Worlds.

“In Judaism, in accordance with the mandate of the Torah a lamb, known as the Paschal Lamb, was sacrificed on the eve of the Passover to commemorate the night of the event referred to as the Passover when God took the lives of the first born sons of the Egyptians and spared or passed over the first born sons of the Israelite slaves…

The Old Testament also refers to sacrifices of lambs as a means of atonement for sin…

The popular and well know Psalm 23 is analogous of sheep and shepherds, where God is compared to a shepherd and His followers to sheep…

The symbolism of sheep or lambs is an important part of the Christian Tradition. Jesus is often referred to as a Shepherd and his followers as a flock. For instance in the Bible: "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd… John 10: 14 - 18

Jesus is also given the title the Lamb of God. As mentioned earlier, in the Christian tradition, the ultimate mission of Jesus to die on the cross to atone for man's sin is analogous to a sacrificial lamb.

In Christian churches you will often see the Agnus Die, a symbol of the Lamb of God or Jesus Christ depicted as a lamb. Agnus Dei is a Latin term meaning Lamb of God; it refers to Jesus as the perfect sacrificial offering that atones for the sins of humanity.”[7]

[1] Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary: Sheep. 2001-2013. [Online]. Available: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=sheep&searchmode=none

[2] Haehl. R. 1922. Samuel Hahnemann: His Life and Work Vol. II. London, England: Homeopathic Publishers. p. 382.

[3] Harsh, Mary. 16 April 2009. Passionate About History: A brief history of sheep domestication. [Online]. Available: http://passionateabouthistory.blogspot.com/2008/04/brief-history-of-sheep-domestication.html

[4] Encyclopædia Britannica. 2013. Rambouillet. [Online]. Available: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/490581/Rambouillet

[5] Encyclopædia Britannica. 2013. Hampshire. [Online]. Available: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/253751/Hampshire

[6]Kent, J.T. 1905. Lectures on Materia Medica: Lac caninum. Philadelphia Pennsylvania: Boericke & Tafel Publishers. p.675

[7]Think Differently About Sheep: Sheep In Religion and Mythology. 2013. [Online]. Available: http://www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/Sheep%20_In_Religion_and_mythology.htm

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Agneau tétant sa mère à Belle-Ile; Remi Jouan; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Categories: Provings
Keywords: sheep’s milk, self-sacrifice, depletion, desiring equality, duty, responsibility, mothering, fear of being exiled, fear of inadequacy, childlike innocence, delusion separated, family group offers protection, head pain, vertigo, coldness
Remedies: Lac ovinum


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laura coramai
Posts: 25
lacs and gender
Reply #5 on : Tue July 14, 2015, 14:57:23
I have prescribed a few times both genders of a Milk rx and find that it is fascinating that despite the source being the milk of a mammal that the male side of the animal species can come thru in a patient, even of the opposite gender (note- in my opinion at the same time most individuals carry both expressions of the complete human, male and female and actually a healthy person can live in harmony with both energies - so, in fact it isn't so surprising after all with this finding). Note- seen with lac-delphinum, lac-leoninum and lac-ovinum...and possibly lac-felinum so far...will be publishing the first rx in its male version for a female patient in The American Homeopath (2015) - perhaps with the female version once a completed cure (in female patient) will submit here as a DD of the rx/cases...they both have in common the Theme of Family Secrets (Louis Klein, Clinical Focus Guide and case already published here in Interhomeopathy.
Penny Edwards
Posts: 25
Sheep proving
Reply #4 on : Sat October 05, 2013, 10:14:35
It's interesting to me that Dr Kruti suggests a "lack of individualising totality" in the proving. As one who has, at times, worked with mobs of 2-3000 sheep (working on sheep stations in Australia) I can confirm this lack of individualisation relates to the sheep very well. They may be all together in one group, but if one decides to go in a particular direction, then the whole lot follow! If one goes, they all go: how's that for an example of "lack of individualising totality"? :)
Sally Willams
Posts: 25
Respectfully Disagree
Reply #3 on : Wed October 02, 2013, 02:19:18
It is an extensive proving and well done, and so I am not sure what you mean by "lacks an individualizing totality". When you look at the common theme of milk remedies it is always about nurturing in a pathological way.It seems to me to be quite clear that this remedy distinguishes itself from other milk remedies with the strong sense of self sacrifice. I would not expect the theme of the Ram to come through in the proving of a milk. Milk after all is a female energy, not male.
Marty Begin
Posts: 25
Sheep proving
Reply #2 on : Tue October 01, 2013, 23:14:47
Contrary to Dr. Kruti, I actually think this was a very revealing proving and when, like in the article, its linked with the natural history and symbolism, the essence is crystal clear and distinguishing.

I've happened to instantly be able to apply it in a case I thought needed Lac humanum. Both have the selflessness but Lac hum has more conflict.
The Sheep's milk has the pathological result of sacrifice on that pole only. The fear of inadequacy has the subtle quality of sheepishness, a very specific expression of looking bad because one is or could be in the wrong. To submiss in ones own humble opinion, and thus lack initiative, timidity. The issue differs for all other milks.
The sacrifice 'with no reward' is specific.
It ties into the abuse of innocence as well.
The case in the same issue makes it even more clear.
The desire for equality on principle is interesting because it is a result of sacrifice as well, and in the patient can lead to resentment around ones own sense of being treated unfairly as well as a loss of faith in humanity.
I think its when we can perceive the essence in a case, that we can more easily understand what the proving is revealing - not what the proving is lacking but what we've missed. But its given to us here. We need to perceive it in our patients.
And we can't look for something we think should be in a proving based on the source. It misses the point of the proving. Or maybe something we might expect, could come out in different proving of the same remedy. The proving expression will depend on those participating and what they can bring to the table.
Dr. Kruti Bhuskute
Posts: 25
Sheep proving
Reply #1 on : Tue October 01, 2013, 12:45:03
Extensive proving done. But from practice point of view, it lacks the individualizing totality.
The animal and mammal theme is well surfaced, but what is not very outstanding is the sheep theme.
And forgetting, sheep has a leader, the Ram. There is no mention of that too.
If I had to refer to this proving alone in selecting sheep as the remedy, I would be not too sure.