Lana = Wolle
Lachn. (= Recine rouge/= Red root/= spiritweed/= Dilatris caroliana/= Woll-narzisse)
Pinus-s. (Waldwolle.: Nadeln in Wasser einweichen bis grüner Haut zerspringt/abstreifen, Inneres trocknen).
< wool: Psor. Sulph. Hep. Phos. Puls. Bacillus morgan;
The Weaving of LANA
When I was a child I sat with my Nan and she taught me to knit. I watched her fingers weave the wool around the needles with ease and fluidity as if the wool was as much a part of her as her breath. Then I would watch my own slow, clumsy fingers attempting to mimic hers.
As I have sat with my grandmother, so countless other women all over the Earth have also sat with their mothers and grandmothers, passing on this ancient skill from one generation to the next. This is the journey of my relationship with wool - and I offer this proving as gratitude for the gift of creativity that has been passed down to me.
I honour my Mother and my Grandmother, I honour all the Mothers and all the Grandmothers and to them I offer this reminder:
“A woman sits in her comfy chair. Two needles and a ball of yarn keep her company..... This is not a revolutionary act. All the same, this woman is a revolutionary. She and millions of women like her, are making history in their homes. They are creating clothes for loved ones......They are the heirs to Goddesses who understood that human survival depends on cloth.
These ancients from China to Egypt, from Peru to the Pacific Northwest, understood that clothing contains the power of creation.
The modern knitter is no different. She too, replicates the act of creation; she too keeps the child, the clan, the community alive...... Inside a stitch, just a single knitted stitch, lies the paradox of the ordinary, everyday textile hero. Her simple stitch helps keep the story of humanity alive; her work casts on stitches for the next generation”
From my love affair with knitting came the inspiration to work with wool for my final year homeopathic project. At first I felt compelled to work in a meditative way with wool, being inspired by the women in ‘The Mists of Avalon’ who enter trance like states whilst spinning. Whilst reflecting on how I could harness the combined use of spinning and meditative homeopathic provings, I pondered whether wool (Lana) had ever been proven as a homeopathic remedy and so I began to cast on a new knitting project.... One like no other I had ever undertaken and one that has taught me some unique little stitches that I was quite unfamiliar with.
When I first started my quest for the wool to use as the proving substance, it was a friend of mine that came to me and I knew I had to go and see her. Immediately she told me of some friends of hers in Carmarthenshire that had the perfect sheep for the project.
On the day we went to collect the wool it was very windy and cold. I was told that the best person to round the sheep up was the husband of my friends’ friend. Apparently they followed him everywhere. He brought them into the yard and penned them in the barn for me to collect their wool. There were four Jacobs Sheep-ovis aries (an ancient breed of domesticated sheep) - a mother, her sister and her two twin daughters.
They assured me they were completely organic and didn’t use any dipping or any other harsh chemicals on their wool.
I decided to cut the wool from the softest, cleanest part of each sheep - a small piece from the throat of each animal. They were quite nervous but seemed relaxed enough
to allow me to take a piece of their wool and as I did so I offered thanks.
Within a few days I begin preparing the substance for the proving. I hoover the lounge, wipe down the table and as I reach for my book there is a clap of thunder and
lightening and all the lights flicker. Si (my husband) comes in and switches off all the computer cables. I sit by the fire, it’s singing. The sky has wanted to rain all day and finally it is.
There are some hailstones. I’ve just put the first pestle and mortars in the oven to bake. I want to be indoors. The dog is asleep on the chair.
As I write this project up over a year later I am again sitting by the fire and as I write this last paragraph it begins to hail outside....
Knitting in preparation for the proving.....
In April 2012 I was given a dream where I was told this remedy was linked to creativity. I saw a vision of a woman and her ability to birth was the action of her creativity,
her ability to turn wool into clothing was a further expression of her creativity. And so I began knitting felted heart bowls for each participant of the proving. I knitted with pure wool and I asked the wool to talk to me whilst I knitted so that I could learn about its healing properties. I have had two messages from the wool.
The first time it spoke to me it told me that it was really good for polycystic ovaries and on another occasion it told me it may be helpful in ovarian cancer.
Soon after we had a teaching weekend and on the board our tutor for that weekend -Linda Gwillim- wrote, “The ovary is the organ of creation”. I nearly fell off my chair.
The synchronicity was beautiful.... Of course the ovary is the organ of creation! I hadn’t even thought of that! I had also started to wonder at this time if the remedy had a link to the heart. I was surrounded by heart symbolism. Si was carving from wood the Queen of Hearts, I found myself making felt hearts for everyone and I couldn’t stop having this thought that the remedy would support people with an enlarged left ventricle of the heart or a hole in the heart.
The triturated proving of Lana was carried out in April 2012 at a nature reserve in Southerndown, Mid-Glamorgan - just a couple of hundred yards from Southerndown beach.
This beach has been a very important place to me in my life. I have had picnics there, gone swimming, had birthday parties, played tag with children, cried, walked and picked wild food. There couldn’t be a better place for me to carry out this proving of Lana....
I decided to carry out the proving over a 2 day period, so that I was able to include an overnight dream proving as part of the process, with the intention of proving up to a C4.
This also enabled the proving to have a nice gentle pace.
The proving had eight provers (including myself) - 1 male and 7 females.
- One mother and daughter
- Six Mothers
- Two Grandmothers
- 1 Father
We had a lovely space to carry out the proving with a scrumptious open fire, our own kitchen where we shared food chatted and told stories of our lives.
Over the two days we ate lots of cake and had a beautiful walk along the coastal path.
Each triturated round included three grinds and three scrapes, adding an additional third of the substance each time. At the end of each round people were invited to share the things that had come up for them and these were recorded on paper. Each prover was given a notebook to write the finer detail of their experience during the proving and I collected these books at the end of the process.
The proving continued the next day with everyone sharing their dreams and again these were recorded. We continued with a C4 round and half way through I felt compelled
to stop as I felt all the information had been provided to us. All the participants agreed.
Trip to Helios....
About a month after the proving I travelled to Helios so that I could personally experience making Lana up to a 30c. I arrived on a beautifully warm day and was welcomed
wholeheartedly by the staff at Helios.
I used the C3 powder to start making the 30c and as I opened the lid I found a hair in it... not surprising after all the hairiness of the remedy! I started by spilling the liquid everywhere with the substance in it and had to start again.
Mid morning I had a break with the rest of the staff and someone had brought some brownies in... I had to have one.
I begin again with the 5c and am overwhelmed with nausea in my throat.
6c - feel a tingling in my vagina. Feeling lots of nausea in my throat, moving down to my diaphragm. Feel I need to clear my throat a lot.
7c - I notice people around me chatting. I feel tingling down the right side of my face and by my right ankle.
8c - I feel utterly astonished that when I look at the vile, it’s hard to believe there’s any medicine in there. Feeling constriction in my throat. I notice all the vibrations on the floor as someone walks past me. Someone says it’s sea green’ - that’s how it is with nausea. I’m enjoying the breeze from the outside. My head is itchy. I’m finding it hard to spell.
9c - Someone puts a fan on, it’s glorious and cool. It’s so hot in here today. I feel uncomfortable with one of the men working here. He’s quite cocky - I feel irritated.
10c - Someone is talking about a boys heart that isn’t pumping properly. He has got a hole in his heart.
11c - Itchy neck and face. Still feel the nausea and I feel it in my belly now as well. Have become aware of my right ovary. The pouring of a drop becomes really tacky and slow. I’m quite sniffly.
12c - I just felt something very subtle change. I can’t explain it, something magical just happened - like I just entered a bubble or a different realm or something.
13c - The pharmacist standing behind me is pregnant - everyone is commenting on how beautiful her bump is. During the tea break one of the women told me how she
hadn’t knitted since she was a child and that she had started knitting again when she -‐X stopped,
was pregnant. I just looked at my hands and I thought they were old ladies hands - thought I saw age spots on my left hand.
14c - Some of the substance leaked out the top and it left a white residue down the side of the vial. Someone asked me what music I’d like to listen to - I said Bob Marley.
16c - Feel a bit dizzy and out of it. I need to get outside. I go outside for a while.
18c - Felt unbalanced on my feet. I had to move the floor mat so I felt more even.
Made a mistake.
20c - My arm is starting to hurt.
21c - The vial smashed - it just popped as I put the cork in. Tried again - poured too much in... tried again.
22c - my tummy rumbles - I feel hungry.
27c - Cork felt really tight - felt I needed to be careful. Someone is talking about going on holiday to Wales tomorrow as I was just thinking about where my little sheep come from.
I was given some Lana 30c to give to each of the participating provers and Helios also very kindly gave me some medicating potency. I leave feeling very fulfilled and sit in
a nearby park in the hot sun eating my lunch and watching all the busy workers sit and eat theirs.
PROPERTIES of LANA
Wool is an extremely complex protein and is so resilient and elastic that it can be bent up to 20,000x without danger of breaking, with each fibre having the elasticity that allows it to be
stretched up to an extra third in length before bouncing back. It has a complex cellular structure allowing it to absorb moisture but at the same time repel liquid.
The exterior wool fibres are hydrophobic (repel water) and the interior is hygroscopic (attracts water).
No manmade fibre has ever been created that is able to do this. Warmth and coolness...
Wool functions as a temperature regulator, allowing the body to keep warm and stay cool. This is because it is highly absorbent.
When the air is cool and damp, wool absorbs moisture from the outside but keeps a layer of dry, insulating air next to the skin. When it is warm, that same absorption capacity soaks up perspiration
from the body, keeping that same layer of dry, insulating air next to the skin. This encourages our body’s natural cooling system, which is why wool clothing is worn throughout the dessert regions
of the world, where it’s hot during the day and cold at night.
For this reason, sheepskin fleeces are also used as bedding for newborn babies as they are unable to fully regulate their own body temperature.
Wool acts as a natural insulator. It keeps heat close to the body by trapping air within its fibres. When it gets wet it retains 80% of its insulation capacity, even when saturated, which is why
fishermen often wore it whilst they were out at sea.
The word lanolin comes from the Latin word ’oleum’ and means ‘oil birth’.
Lanolin is a wax produced by the sebaceous glands of sheep and acts as a waterproofing that assists sheep in shedding water from their coats.
The role of lanolin in nature is to protect the skin from extremes of weather conditions. By 1000 AD England & Spain had become two of the main centres of wool production in the West. In fact wool had become a prized commodity and it was the wool industry that largely funded exploration to the Americas.
Wool had become such an important part of the trade industry that by the mid-1300’s, King Edward II introduced the Woolsack into parliament. This is a pillow stuffed with
wool, which is gathered from around the Commonwealth that the Lord Speaker sits on and is still used to this day. Its purpose is as a symbol of the wealth of England.
By 1660, woolen products represented 2/3 of all English exports and as with Spain, helped fuel England’s colonial conquest to strengthen the empire....
England had invented the knitting machine, which transformed the industry and in 1699 England brought in the Wool Act to heighten their control of the industry. This opened up the market for England by forbidding exports of wool from the American colonies and tightening restrictions in Ireland so that wool could only be traded with England. This act was not revoked until as late as 1867.
In 1800’s children from the age of 9 were used to work in the woolen mills. They were classified as apprentices were given basic board, food and an hour of schooling a week. They worked from 5 h. to 20 h. in the evening in horrendous working conditions. Many of them developed hearing problems due to the noise of the machinery and eye inflammations and chest infections were commonplace due to the high volume of wool dust in the air. They received no pay and often ended up with severe spine and limb deformities from the nature of the work.
The corruption, maltreatment and greed created by the wool industry was slowly transformed with the assistance of Mohandas Gandhi who spun his own clothing as a way of igniting the people’s heart and reminding them to take back their own power. It was an act of nonviolence, which in part led to the Indian economic rebellion of the British empire and supported Indian Independence in 1947.
MYTHOLOGY & FOLKLORE
In the Bible wool is often used in reference to whiteness and purity, such as when Jehovah says, “Though the sins of you people prove to be as scarlet, they will be made white just like snow; though they should be red like crimson cloth, they will become even like wool”. This sense of purity or perfection is also referred to with “The Lamb of God”. This is a reference to Jesus as a perfect sacrificial offering of purity, in that Christians believe that Jesus sacrificed himself for the common good.
There is also numerous symbolic reference related to sheep in the Bible. It is suggested that the use of the word sheep refers to defenceless and innocent followers of Jesus or anyone else for that matter. So the followers of Jesus are said to be ‘well cared for’ whilst ‘the masses’ were considered to be ‘harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd’.
The Golden Fleece.....
The Golden Fleece features in Greek mythology in the story of Jason and the Argonauts. The Golden Fleece is said to have had magical healing properties, encouraging all things in nature to grow more healthily with greater vitality and if worn it was said to speed up the healing process. In terms of the possible roots of this story, one interpretation suggests that historically fleece was used as a method of washing gold from streams.
There is evidence of this being used from 5000BCE, where sheep fleeces were stretched over wooden frames and submerged in streams to collect gold deposits. They were then hung in trees to dry out and the gold would later be combed out.
The Black Sheep....
This term, which refers to someone who stands out from the rest of the group, usually in a perceived negative way is thought to have come from the occasional black sheep
that would be born on a farm. When this happened it would be considered commercially undesirable as it wasn’t possible to dye black fleece and also because it stood out from the rest of the fleece and couldn’t be sold in bulk. A black sheep had an added negative connotation in that around 16th century the colour black was often connected to the devil with dark or wicked intentions.
Welsh wool measuring.....
According to Susan Philpin who wrote ‘Folk healing and healthcare practices in Britain and Ireland’, at the turn of 19th Century a form of healing was used in Wales called wool measuring.
This was most commonly used for people who were ‘clefyd-y-galon’ or ‘sick at heart’. The actual process of how wool measuring worked is not that clear to me but from what I can gather, the healer would use a length of wool to determine the health of a patient and how the patient was progressing. The measuring would happen each day and this would inform the healer of the patients progress.
The recipient would not need to be present so from what information I can find this form of healing was a kind of shamanic work that was undertaken. This is just a flavour
of some of the references to sheep and wool in our culture. There is the potential to write many pages on this subject but I mainly just wanted to use some of the references
that I felt were connected to both healing and the proving of lana.
Within this section I am going to run through some of the central themes of the remedy that came through the strongest in the proving.
I have given a flavour of some of the statements made by the provers but for a more detailed analysis please see the appendix at the back of the book.
Please note that provers 6 & 8 knew what the substance was.
Rebellion / Freedom...
This quality came up for all the provers and relates to that idea of people ‘being a sheep/following the crowd’.
It was expressed in many different ways with 6 of the 8 provers all noticing how the substance kept coming out of the bowl. The substance was described by provers
as flowing out, not being able to contain it, popping out, jumping out and that it has a mind of its own.
The desire for freedom and rebellion was also talked about more explicitly:
- p1 - It doesn’t want to conform, will do what it wants. Sense the rebel.
- p2 - I want to be a rebel. Feeling of freedom. Running in the wind. Nothing seems to matter
- p6 - desire to break the mould. I’m wild
- p7 - Feel a need for freedom
- p8 - not meek but speak out loud.
Free love - liberation. FREEDOM
Desire to Philosophize...
This came out as a very strong theme in the proving with all of the provers tending towards a very philosophical outlook whilst taking part. This included asking rhetorical questions about the nature of the universe alternating with a sense of complete acceptance about it:
- p1 - I have the feeling - why does it matter? It just is what it is.
- p2 - Earthly, heavenly, what’s the connection? What’s in between? Where do we actually come from?
- p3 - Why continue? There can’t be much else except presence and acceptance.
- p4 - Life is never perfect but that is what is perfect about it
- p6 - desire to philosophize
- p8 - I know everything because I know nothing
Birth / Death / Circle of Life...
6 of the 8 provers referred to the circle of life and an acceptance of it in some context. This has come through as being an important central quality to the remedy in that many of the participants drew pictures of spirals and there was a strong sense of this remedy being used at the beginning and end of life. This resonates with the idea of knitting blankets for newborns or knitting a death shroud for those passing through.
- p3 - witnessing birth and death. Death brings birth.
- p4 - the circle of life revolving inexorably - nothing to fear
- p6 - desire a shroud. Blanket for the newborn.
- p7 - Sudden thought of a baby I knew who died recently. Comforted as she was part of the cycle of life as it is. Feels easier.
- p8 - spin the wheel of life, who shall I be next time?
Protection / Home / Comfort...
When I think of knitting some of my first thoughts are of a woman, sitting in a chair, by the fire, all cozy and so it was not surprising to me that there was lots of reflections
on home and desire for warmth and coziness within the proving.
- p1 - want to be by the fire in the warm. Love my family, love my home. Love my friends.
- p2 - Thinking of Aunty Ann - shoes off - comfy carpet.
- p3 - I feel nourished and nurtured and cozy and warm.
- p6 - desire cozy, comfort and warm
- p7 - a feeling of coming home
Care of children / Pregnancy / Fertility
The quality of knitting, spinning and weaving is one of creation. Not just creation in its own right but creation with the purpose of clothing, protecting and caring for others. With this came a sense in
the proving of wanting to care for children but also reflecting on pregnancy, whether past or the desire for the future.
- p1 - Thinking about my belly. See belly shape in the bowl. Pregnant belly.
- p2 - oh god - who’s looking after the children - minor panic. I can’t have another baby
- p3 - I am feeling broody. Looking at young children and wanting to look after them.
- p6 - I was a godmother looking after someone else’s baby
- p7 - Likening three minute scrape which seems a long while to the time a babies head is born before its body can come out.
Lack of food / wealth...
There was a strong sense for all the provers of being hungry and not having enough food. From the research carried out on sheep, this resonates with sheep bloat where the animals gorge even when they are not hungry but constantly eat, especially rich foods, like fresh spring grass.
- p4 - Thinking of the dustbowl of America and the scarcity of food.
- p5 - Thoughts of feeding the hungry - a beggars bowl.
- p6 - Feels very psoric
- p7 - As though I had chopsticks and was scraping around a bowl of rice.
- p8 - I’m finishing off a bowl of soup - I’m scraping around the edge because I’m hungry.
Cold / Snow / Outside...
5 of the provers talked about snow and from the references in the Bible, both wool and snow are used interchangeably in referring to purity.
Many of the provers also talked about the outdoors, specifically wild countryside landscapes.
- p1 - Thinking of snow again
- p2 - shoveling snow / Thinking about Ireland - fields, stonewalls, wild landscapes.
- p3 - White like snow and silent like walking through a snowy landscape.
- p4 - snowy mountains come to mind.
Grounded/Ungrounded - Connection/Disconnection...
This theme came up for 7 of the 8 provers and related to both the connection with self and also our connection to the wider universe.
- p1 - feel a bit more grounded / feel connected to everything
- p3 - strong and connected to heaven and earth / feel detached
- p4 - feel the substance must be very grounded
- p5 - very grounded substance / connection through my crown chakra
- p6 - basic and grounded / refugees - people who are displaced
- p8 - feel disconnected from my body
Creativity / Storytelling...
As mentioned earlier, the common uses of wool have a creative purpose so it felt clear that there would be some form of creative link. This creativity also came through
as a link to the ovaries as the organ of creativity.
- p1 - reminded of a song I made up with my sister that we used to sing in the bath
- p4 - Each person is like a stone mason - carrying their story in time, which is infinite
- p6 - blanket for the newborn, patchwork knitted blanket / folk songs, folk stories
- p8 - women sitting around together, baking and preparing
Female heritage / Ancestors...
The spinning and weaving of wool has been women’s work for millennia and so naturally this remedy is a link back to our female line... the remembering of those that have walked before.
- p1 - I want to feel the bond again - seeing the umbilical cord connection with my mum and my nan.
- p5 - Thoughts of my mother being passive aggressive towards me.
- p6 - Importance of the maternal line - the eggs being formed in the grandmother.
- p7 - Thoughts of my mum and dad
- p8 - Letter M for mother in the powder.
Mineral / Fossil / Ancient...
This quality of thoughts of ancient sites and minerals came up for 5 of the 8 provers, mostly relating to rock formations in some way.
- p3 - Ancient earth, ancient and unperturbed
- p4 - iron age hill forts. White cliffs of Dover
- p6 - fossil, old, ancient. Very aware of the rock strata in the cliffs
- p7 - thinking of stone circles I’ve visited
Acceptance / Rejection...
Some of the provers expressed this as an acceptance of self whilst at other times it was expressed as a rejection of one particular member of the group. All the provers picked out the same group member and for me this represents that quality of being a ‘black sheep’ - someone that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the group. I think this aspect of the remedy could be beneficial for people that have been adopted or rejected by society in some way.
- p2 - Irritated that .... Kept on scraping. Stop it, Stop it now!
- p5 - Acceptance of others suffering
- p6 - Acceptance of self -warts and all.
- P7 - ..... is mixing so fast and energetic, it’s a bit annoying - There’s alwaysone on the outside. One person in the group on the outside.
This came through constantly in most of the provers books, a little of which has come up already from that sense of being grounded/ungrounded, acceptance/rejection. It was also expressed in the physical symptoms with a feeling of being hot then cold and also on an emotional level with an alternation between joy and grief or irritability and calmness.
It is important to remember that the Jacob sheep is a dark brown sheep with white patches...
- p1 - feel heavier - not as light as before
- p5 - feel passive aggressive/ now feel completely different - kind, nicer and polite
- p6 - chilled out / irritated. Black/white. Not enough/too much
I feel this has to be mentioned here because it came up again and again through the provers books that there was hair in the substance, that hair was annoying, that they were finding hairs. This is a complete speculation on my behalf but where this has led me is that the remedy clearly has a link with the ovaries and for two of the provers the condition of polycystic ovaries came up. It is possible that this could tie in with the idea of polycystic ovaries as quite often this is connected with a hormone imbalance, which causes an overproduction of hair.
- p1 - saw a bit of hair and couldn’t get it out
- p2 - keep seeing hairs on me
- p5 - there’s a hair in my bowl
- p8 - my hair gets in the bowl
Allerlei: Verfilzte Wollsachen in einem Sud aus weißen Bohnen spülen.