Watching “Silkwood” (1983) – an Actinides primer

Watching "Silkwood" (1983) - an Actinides primer

As so often, it is a string of strange events that lead my attention to something remarkable – even if it matters little in hindsight, and even less in the context of this blog post.

I did not know the story behind “Silkwood”, when I started watching this 1980’s movie, starring Merryl Streep, portraying the real-life and almost-whistleblower Karen Silkwood, a laboratory technician discovering serious health and safety hazards at an Uranium-Plutonium-fuel rod factory in Oklahoma, USA. But when I heard her screaming – in about the middle of the movie:

“I am contaminated, and I am gonna die!”

right into the face of one of the company’s managers, wanting to cover up the scandal and ready to buy her silence, I realised, that this was, what we call “proving language” in homeopathy: when somebody does not talk anymore as a person, but is rather channeling the state within that requires a homeopathic remedy, – respectively, when somebody is under the influence of an outside stimulus, such as Karen Silkwood undergoing a Plutonium poisoning.

This insight restructured immediately my understanding of this film, which is actually a great primer – let us call it a “foretaste giver!” – into the homeopathic use of the radioactive series of chemical elements, called the Actinides.

Similar parallels can be found in “The Silence of the Lambs” or in the second season of “Berlin Station” to the homeopathic family of butterfly remedies (but more about this maybe in a later post). 

A case can even be made that the superhero movie “Venom” is a symbolic depiction of the hormetic response – the stimulating and eventually life-enhancing reaction of an organism to all low-dosage poisonings, which is arguably also the underlying working mode of homeopathic remedies. (Honestly, you may get the gist by watching the movie yourself…)

A homeopathic investigation of popular culture is definitively a stroll well its worth.

But first, let’s go back to “Silkwood”. 

Attention: No care is given to the avoidance of spoilers!

The trepidation of the homeopathic Master prover of Plutonium nitricum, Jeremy Sherr, is palpable in his blurb to the proving publication and Materia Medica of this extremely poisonous substance. 

How do you think the provers felt, when – real story! – most of them received their homeopathic Plutonium in glass vials that had shattered in the post?

Let me invite you to a little detour: 

About ten years ago, I felt compelled (how else can we describe this state of pawky sillyness and prudent daring?) to experiment on myself with a few doses of Plutonium nitricum 10M. Not expecting much, I came down within a day with the first ear infection of my life. The pain made me run around in the garden at night. It was unbearable, until a few hours later – what a relief! – my ear drum burst. An experience which has helped me tremendously to sympathise with my own kids, when they were babies, and with my little patients when they are suffering from otitis and looking for relief, that homeopathic remedies so often can provide.

A couple of years later, I luckily also had some more curative responses to this remedy, and others of the Actinides, which have guided my use of these powerful remedies in my practice.

The give-away symptom of this category for me is often:

  • a feeling as if sitting on a powder keg
  • as if an accident – or a sinister, possibly violent crime – is about to happen
  • as if something will have to give in, will have to break, will have to go…
  • in the extreme: a sense of impending apocalypse

This is – in short – the build-up of tension leading to the violent conclusion in “Silkwood”. 

In contrast to the more acutely violent and aggressive homeopathic remedies which may also experience a similarly intense existential threat, there is however often a calm veneer, an almost eery sense of normality around people needing Actinides.

Those of us growing up during the Cold War may know this feeling, so aptly described in a little poem by Swiss vicar and writer Kurt Marti (1921 – 2017) contrasting the idyllic and careless flowering of daisies and daffodils in spring whilst Warshow pact and NATO are getting ready for mutual destruction (If I can locate it, I will copy it in here in full.)

In my practice, I see this state regularly in kids who live on one-side in caring families whilst spending a lot of time playing violent computer games. The transition out of the virtual and back into the family life is often bumpy. There is a lot of tension and a kind of cognitive disconnect between the violent and competitive fight for survival within the realm of the game and the coexisting family environment with its expectations of harmony and mutual respect amongst often waring siblings – so again, feelings of violence which are better hidden.

And as in the Actinide atom itself, that is so big, it can “hardly keep it together”, we find often similar scenarios of children threatening to leave their parents or couples wanting to split up, whilst at the same time wanting and working on being able to live together. We remember: Plutonium is an artificial element and decays – falls apart – sooner or later, whilst radiating tremendous energy.

Not surprisingly, I find that the action of these homeopathic remedies has to be complemented by remedies such as Positronium, Hydrogen and Helium – being of a similar nature as the particules emmitted during radioactive decay – or by remedies of the Gold series.

Snakes too, are helpful acutes in this struggle of trying to stay and keep it together. Particularly Naja stands out, with its painful affliction of the head and the heart, being torn between domestic responsibilities and unforgivable hurt.


On all matters COVID-19

On all matters COVID-19...

For many of us, 2020 has been a a very unusual, if not downright weird year. 

One undoubtedly positive fact though, that must be mentioned, is the great quantity of high quality memes it has given rise too.

Please do not interpret my levity as some sort of denial of the depth and seriousness of what is going on.

I have assisted quite a few people during these days navigating major change, and have gone through some trials of my own during the last months.

Loved ones die. Marriages break up. People are hospitalised. Mental health issues have been triggered by the quarantine measures. And so forth.

But I am of the opinion that it is not hope that dies last – after all hope was the last of the monsters to escape Pandorra’s box – but that humor shall burry us all – eventually. 

And this argument is supported by science – at least for the moment.

From a homeopathic perspective, I have seen three remedies in particular at work during the last months:

  • Aconitum: A great remedy for the onset of any cold, flu or infection, if the symptoms go together with an intense sense of foreboding, reaching from “If this continues, I will be ill tomorrow.”, over the fear of dying to prophesying the end of our civilisation. If you have troubles getting through the news on TV without getting panicky, you may want to have this remedy next to your comfy chair.

    We have chucked out our TV during the Swine flu epidemic in 2009. You remember that previous time humanity was ready to go down the drain? We realised that we did not want to have an instigator of mass hysteria in our living room.

    Incidentally, as COVID-19 seems to be a macabre 10 years anniversary of the last flu scare, it makes you think, what will await us in 2030.

    Voilà, the remedy Aconitum with its tendency to make prophecies.

    For more information on Aconitum and the following homeopathic remedies, check them out online, for instance in Dr. John Henry Clarke’s “Dictionnary of Practical Materia Medica” or in Dr. William Boericke’s “Pocket Book of Homeopathic Remedies“.

    For a more hands-on approach, participate at one of my upcoming first aid workshops “Homeopathy for Friends and Family”.

  • Arsenicum album: If flu symptoms start with a sense of frailty, anxiety about one’s health, and go together with great concern about personal hygiene, cleanliness, and a fear of germs, homeopaths are considering this remedy.

    In case the toilet paper and desinfection liquid you have stockpiled during the last week is likely to make it into your will, you may benefit from homeopathically prepared arsenic.

  • Bryonia: In this remedy, we see flu symptoms combined with a particular anxiety about money matters. As most businesses have suffered during the lockdown, this is a remedy to think off, particularly now, that we are running into the second wave. “How shall I pay my rent, my bills, the food to put on the table…” are thoughts that concern particularly the Bryonia patient, however often we tell him to just relax and get well first.

    Most of us – trust fund kids excluded – have probably been in this state, at one stage or another.

At the same time, I also had some cases that responded favourably to the homeopathic remedy of

  •  Positronium: Whereas I am coming across this only recently proven remedy state relatively rarely in my practice, I have seen it popping up quite a few times during these last weeks. The give away symptom is usually an intense self-questioning and self-critique – a coming-up with annihilating self-assessments during the sleepless hours of the night, while still being exhausted by the flu. Life just seems to be a terrible stringing up of failures mixed with missed opportunities.

    As one patient put it succinctly: “My being feels like an arrow that was aimed at but missed the universe.” He felt much better psychologically and physically following this remedy.

    Listen to Misha Norland, homoepath and master prover of Positronium, telling you more about this fascinating remedy.

Is homeopathy not fascinating?

(Find out more about how homeopathic remedies are made in my previous blog post and read up on the Positronium proving.)

As you can see, here too is a sense of anxiety, reminiscent of the above Aconitum, but the state goes far deeper. It is not about survival, but about existence.

And this brings me to another topic.

As you may know, in the homeopathic case taking, we are not just elliciting the physical symptoms of a person, but try to get a picture of his mental and emotional state as well. 

This is usually called the disposition.

Sometimes patients are very forthcoming with information on their disposition. They tell you straight away how they feel about their current symptoms and the situations in life that have given birth to them.

At other times, some targeted questioning is required, such as “How does this make you fell?” or “How have you been affected by this problem?”

And most often quite a few rounds in the Hermeneutic Circle are required, in order get to grips with the patient’s disposition, as prior symptoms and statements are constantly elucidated and enlarged by emerging contextual information.

Traditionally, the hermeneutic loop described the interrelationship between the whole of system and its parts. We understand the whole based on our engagement with the parts, and our understanding of the parts influences our understanding of the whole. ©

In the case of an epidemic, such as COVID-19, we homeopaths do not only look at the symptoms occurring in the ill, but also on the disposition portrayed by the whole population of affected people – in this case the whole world. 

This includes personal experiences, such as the fears mentioned above whilst discussing Aconitum, Arsenicum album and Bryonia – states that are easily recognisable while watching the news. 

But includes also the whole arena of urban myths, conspiracy theories and popular culture.

Like in many other infections, there is an underlying theme of a threatening attack, of a stealthy invasion – no surprises here: 

This only mirrors our bodies’ experience of being attacked and invaded by foreign germs, microbes and viruses. 

(It is interesting to notice in this context, that Wolfsbane – Aconitum – has been used in the past by shepherds to poison the wolfs that were out to attack and feed on their sheep – a very potent analogy, in my opinion. Remind me of talking about what I call the Pharmakosmos in one of the future posts.)

It is only one small step further, to think of who is behind this attack. Who is to blame. Which greater Evil has instrumentalised this smaller one. Thus we enter the domain of conspiracy.

And lets remind us here of the fact, that as homeopaths we are not after an objective truth, but the lived subjective experience.

"Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you."

Delmore Schwartz (1913 - 1966) Tweet

Witches and jews have been unfairly accused – in nowadays opinion – of causing pest and cholera in the Middle Ages by poisoning wells and using spells.

Has the American native population been decimated by the distribution of blankets infected with small pox or did they get the disease through the air – just as everybody else? 

Is the targeting of blacks, homosexuals and drug addicts by an artificially made AIDS virus just a Russian propaganda piece?

Talking of homosexuals- are they really able to conjure up flooding and wildfires, as recently and still claimed?

Healing obviously must include a resolution of physical and psychological symptoms. Healing – as the overcoming of a crisis – necessarily contains elements of personal development. And – on a social level – must lead to an investigation of the truth behind the claims of conspiracy – however obvious or inane they may appear at first glance.

Not an easy task – admittedly.

Earlier on, I had the pleasure to come accross the below interview, that in my opinion brings up quite a few elements of this conspiracy aspect of the Wuhan plague, and influenza in general. 

To any materialist reductionist who has made it through to here – and is not seriously procrastinating on something more important to do: Let us look at things not in terms of “what is truth?” but “what is the story?”

Because truth is a long-haul game – and a romantic one as that, i.e. an eternal reach for the infinite. 

Whereas scientific theories and ideologies are relatively short-lived, as only a furtive glance into a book about history or the philosophy of science, will prove.

From a homeopathic perspective, I find the connection between viral illnesses and

  • the introduction of electricity (before the outbreak of the Spanish flu at the beginning of the last century), respectively
  • the switching on of 5G networks in Wuhan, China, in Northern Italy and other COVID-19 hotspots, prior to the reported mass casualties, very interesting.
  • And of course I love particularly the fact, that everything coincides with the return of asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2, that seems to wear a face mask (!), that belongs to the category of celestial bodies, that could indeed create serious havock to our planet, and which has – according to the speaker – been here the last time around, at the end of Atlantis, i.e. at the end of the last ice age, when many coastal high cultures where flooded by the raising sea levels.
Do these synchronicities not underline again the above mentioned symptoms of impending doom?

They also harken back to the indication of imponderables – homeopathic remedies made from energies, such as Positronium. There is a remedy made from electricity, Electricitas (check out the symptoms for fevers and difficulty breathing), but it seems there need to be a remedy made from 5G as well. Some information on symptoms is already available.

Fear of technology is not new. We are laughing nowadays about our great grand parents – and the American natives – fearing to lose their soul, in case they were boarding a train. But in retrospective, it kind of looks obvious, that we have lost our souls in the meantime. Do the test: With how many people in your surrounding can you talk about the Soul these days? We do not even understand the problem anymore, and believe this is because our ancestors were stupid – and forget: the stupidity of others shows us mainly our own potential for stupidity.

Homeopathy is a therapeutic modality that is helping our organisms to adapt to environmental changes.

We are sensitive to outside influences to the degree of our exposure to it (dosology), but also according to our own idiosyncracy (call it DNA).

So, we may know both: the passiv smoker dying from lung cancer (low dosology, weak idiosyncracy) and the chain smoker still living at 100 (high dosology and obviously strong idiosyncracy).




How are homeopathic remedies prepared?

How are homeopathic remedies prepared?

Homeopathic thought and technique stem from the preindustrial era, where todays rampant alienation of the labourer, as described by Marx, had not yet had cause to exist.

Do you know the magic of deeply engaging in the work process, and the satisfaction you derive from it?

Surely you also know the drudgery of working through a list of menial tasks, bordering on the meaningless, whilst you are looking forward to going back home at night, surviving only by preparing for the weekend or the upcoming holidays…

Homeopathic remedies are still prepared by hand in their lower potencies. 

If you ever had the chance, to chose a substance in the wild and to prepare it homeopathically, you know that it is not just an empty ‘going through the motions’. 

There is a deeper participation in the action taking place, akin to the  states of absorbtion reached by the artist during the creative process, or the artisan, whilst exercising his or her craftsmanship. 

It is in this induced altered state, where the boundaries between subject and object are losening up, and the first glimpses of the healing potential of the remedy under preparation can appear to the attentive observer.

(Remind me here to write to you about the German poet Friedrich Hölderlin – another contemporary of Samuel Hahnemann, and friend of Hegel and Schelling. He has written a short and cryptic text on “Divine Inspiration” that describes – in my opinion – this inbetween state and how it is achieved extremely well.)

In order to get a fuller and precise picture of the healing properties of a homeopathic remedies, that includes physical symptoms as well as dispositional states, it needs to be tested on individuals in good health. The symptoms produced by the participants of the so-called ‘Proving’ are then gathered, as if they would belong to one single person.

These symptoms are then listed in the homeopathic Materia Medica and the Repertory and will be enriched by the more extreme symptoms known through the toxicology of the substance, as well as through insights gathered by individual cases where the remedy under investigation has acted curatively.

Homeopathic remedies – here another reference to the Romantics (see for instance the books of Alice A. Kuzniar in this regard, in the anglosaxon world; there is no shortage of publications on this topic in German(!)) – are never totally proven, never fully understood and our remedy pictures will always remain a ‘work in progress’. 

It is an asymptotic movement – potentially eternal – towards the infinite of our understanding of our world, our patients, our remedies and ourselves.


“Aude sapere!” – Dare to think and try out for yourself

"Aude sapere!" - Dare to think for yourself.

The inception of Homeopathy in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century happened under the starry constellations of several philosophical currents. The Germany of Samuel Hahnemann‘s days was most notably under the sway of the Enlightenment, and one of its reactionary movements, that of Romanticisim.

Why do I bring this up, you may ask? – as if I am getting ready to trigger a mental dust allergy… 😉

Because, what happened then, is still of great importance today – in our information age, of mass media, social media, information, misinformation, disinformation, manipulation, propaganda, fake news, sensationalism and controversialism.

The motto used by Hahnemann in all the editions of his “Organon of the Healing Art” – the fundamental textbook of homeopathy – was the same used by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, in his defining work “What is Enlightenment?”, and harks back to sources in antiquity: 

Aude sapere – Latin for: Dare to know, to figure out, to think for yourself.

To think for ourselves – instead of following the opinions of authorities, experts or peers – seems to me a particularly important stance to adopt in our days and age, where facts, factoids and opinions are mixed up and dished out freely – ready-made thoughts for us to ingest, absorb, believe and regurgitate.

Freely, but rarely without a price.

This is powerful stuff. This type of thinking led amongst other things to the French Revolution, and has made the emergence of democracies possible.

Now and then, to think for oneself has something rebellious. Freedom cannot exist without it?

Additionally, making up one’s own mind about something, teaches us a variety of things:

  • It helps us to understand that fundamentally we human beings cannot know anything entirely and with complete certainty. 
  • And that consequently, there are many different view points to adopt on a certain topic, without one of them being right or wrong. 
  • Anything actually maybe beneficial, inconsequential or damaging to anybody at a particular time.

As an idealist, I believe that the acceptance of this uncertainty, ambiguity, controversy and even the paradoxical, can only help us all to unite and find better solutions for our common problems together – as this is our shared human condition. 

As a realist, I know, that only very few people have the energy available to maintain such a high level of open-mindedness. 

Falling back into some sort of fundamentalism, identifying with a particular ideology – or religious dogma or tribal roots – (or vested interests), is often more comfortable (and lucrative). We all have been there. 

And that is where greed redeemed is entering the scene!

Because we do not just want comfort and a sense of control. We also want adventure and recklessness. 

We want the order and the chaos. 


Our psyche wants to expand into the whole universe as if to swallow it. As if it was a giant amoeba trying to “become one” with its surrounding 😉

Otherwise, we feel limited, imprisoned and suppressed.

Definitely not free.

Definitely not whole.

Do you realise that we have crossed the threshold into the romantic realm: 

  • Where the lonely hero is battling with the world and him or herself,
  • getting to deeply understand his or her own being, and eventually 
  • encountering the mysterious, intriguing stranger, the unknown, maybe unknowable Other, leading to 
  • the most intense, dramatic and amazing experiences.

We know this plot from many books and movies.

It also is the backstory to much of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis or depth psychology, behind personal development movements, and behind much of what religion and spirituality has to offer: 

The psyche wants to be whole.

Now, what has this to do with homeopathy?

In homeopathy, we try to alleviate and remove physical and psychological problems in a gentle, quick and permanent way.

At the same time, we try to assist our patients to move on in their own personal process towards a stronger, more autonomous, richer and freer sense of self.

Do you get the whiff of Romanticism here?

And how do we do this?

By deeply listening to our patients, and searching for a matching remedy in the homeopathic Pharmakosmos, the Materia Medica. 

A remedy that is able to produce the same symptoms in healthy people, and therefore can also stimulate and nudge on the patient on his or her journey.

And here we encounter a different translation of “aude sapere!”, because the root meaning of “knowing” is actually “tasting”: 

Dare to taste! Dare to experience for yourself!

In homeopathy, we do not only want to think for ourselves. 

We also want to taste and experience for ourselves.

We want the unmediated, unmitigated first-hand experience.

We do not want hearsay or makebelief.

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

William Camden (1551 - 1623) Tweet

We want to eat the pudding ourselves.

And hear others people’s pudding storys as much as they enhance, enrich or contrast our own experience of the pudding.

As homeopaths, we want to know the personal experiences of our patients.

And on our journey towards healing, we want to have profound encounters with the Other in the various energies and substances of our universe, in so-called provings, to discover their therapeutic potential. 

Once we have tasted the pudding, we know the pudding.

Other people may say, we should not have eaten all the pudding. Or that we should have left some pudding for the others. 

But nobody can say, that there was never a pudding. Or pudding does not exist.

Because nobody can deny our personal experience.


Now, do you have any experiences you want to share about these thoughts?

Do you have stories about your own subjective experience and how it differs from the experience of others with you at the time?

Are you curious about, how homeopathy could enrich your experience of life?

Or would you be interested to participate in the proving of a new homeopathic remedy?

Then drop me a line in the comments below.

Or contact me via the chanel of your choice.Looking forward to hear from you.