Creating Waves of Awareness
Book Review Interview with Jonathan Shore
by Editor: Dagný Ösp Helgadóttir July 2011
Birds play a big part in mythology and religion. All creation stories signify new beginnings and often bring messages from the gods. These parables have also been associated with the soul’s journey after death, completing the life cycle circle.
Several geographic regions connect birds to the creation of the world.
According to one myth, Egypt was raised out of the primeval waters of chaos and the first messenger from the gods came from the long legged Benu bird that perched on the land in the Heliopolis sun temple. Benu created the universe and then the men and women living in it.
South Asian creation myths feature the two birds, Ara and Irik, who created the sky and earth from two eggs. You might ask yourself, "Does this show duality of the universe or the separation from the number one into two?"
Polynesia, Indonesia, Finland and Estonia have stories of gods flying down to the primordial ocean to lay cosmic eggs. Thus, we see the different aspects of the bird life cycle from eggs, to chicks in the nest, to learning how to fly independently and the parents caring for the young.
Most everyone around the world knows the myth of the stork who brings life. Remember the cartoons where a majestic white stork brings a chubby little cherub baby from the sky?
Certain birds signify death, such as the vulture, crow and raven as ravishing the flesh of the dead or dying. Even the word, “vulture” signifies a predator, bloodsucker, or opportunist that lives off the work of others. We learn how this translates over into human qualities.
Celtic and Irish war goddesses portrayed as crows and ravens portend the future as a symbol in literature. When these scavengers appear in an allegory before a battle, we do not expect the traveler to return home at the end of the story.
When we see a crow or raven circling above a house then someone therein will be taken ill and will perish. Óðinn, the Nordic warrior god owned two ravens who sat on each of his shoulders and whispered news from the world into his ear. In return the birds ate from his plate.
Ashes to Ashes
The Phoenix, also named as a southern constellation west of Grus, signifies immortality. After this mythic bird, who lived for five or six centuries in the Arabian Desert gained knowledge he perished in the funeral pyre flames and rose again from the ashes. This story of renewal may represent a resurrection, rebirth, reincarnation and immortality.
In Syria, eagles are the guides that lead the soul to heaven after death. And if a swallow flies through your house you can expect to endure hardship ranging from harsh illness to murder!
Magnificent and enduring creatures, birds demonstrate the ability to soar high above the clouds free from the worldly chains of mortgages and health, a common human fantasy. We imagine feeling the wind in our faces, spreading our wings, and hearing the air roar in our ears as we dive down from the heavens to the world below.
Reviewing Jonathan Shore´s book on Birds brought great excitement! Suffice to say that once I started reading his chapter on pelicans I found myself saying “ah” more than once, because what he has discovered seems so logical and applies so well to us modern human creatures. The way this particular bird remedy suffers from issues linked to perfectionism and the need to “get it right” lest he feels judged must strike a common note to many of us. The never-ending dilemma of trying to get it right, but at the same time being unable to figure out how and what is “right”?
Birds need to be agile and good fliers and our modern way of living mirrors these skills. We must know the latest news and the internet is like an invisible bird flying with the speed of light bearing messages to create revolutions and peace. “Twitter,” signified as a little blue bird sitting on our page brings us micro messages because macro messages are just too much for us. We do need to keep up the pace and feel we must never stop.
In some provers who were overly concerned with what others thought of them, the pelican remedy brought a sense of relief and separateness from the opinion of others. To others the vice-versa happened, people who didn’t care what others thought of them now felt their every move was being scrutinized.
Jonathan beautifully describes the proving method so thoroughly that he would have made master Hahnemann proud. At one point, he mentioned in the book that the most amazing process of triturating a remedy involved the process of stillness. Not much idle chatter and sometimes complete quiet with an intense focus, a sense of importance, and seriousness without being heavy. I was thrilled to read about everyone’s eagerness to complete the proving in the most proficient way and their enthusiasm to take turns in triturating the material.
The Hahnemann Laboratories prepared the remedy of pelican to a C30 made from both C3 and C4 which were then administered to the provers. Unaware which batch they were proving, assured that the provers participated in a scientific manner without challenging the credibility of the method.
Read about these interesting rubrics that show birds and birds will become an inseparable part of your homeopathic arsenal. The common feeling of disconnection meets the desire for connection, a very common contradiction in our hectic modern world.
Jonathan gets right to the point, captures your attention at the very beginning and holds it throughout its entirety. I recommend this book to all serious homeopaths.
List of Birds in this book:
Ring dove/Wood Pigeon
Red- Tailed Hawk
Great Horned Owl
Great Blue Heron
The 16 bird remedies with keynote features, provings, case analysis, general bird information and rubrics. The authors hope that the format will enable the reader to first easily recognize when a patient needs a bird remedy and second, to do a thorough differential analysis to get the specific bird.