Depth Homeopathy - Archetypal medicine
A lifetime of studying, practising and teaching homeopathy has convinced me that homeopathic remedies can best be understood, memorised and deployed as archetypes – for such they are.
At its deepest level, homeopathy is archetypal medicine.
In practice, the archetypal picture of a remedy is matched to the archetypal presentation of a patient: a coming together of profiled patterns of energy, which, like sound waves of the same frequency, dampen or erase one another on meeting.
The archetypal profile of the patient is largely an embodiment of the ego-self: the psychic structure that is the essence of all chronic emotional and physical disease. The matching archetypal profiles of patient (subject) and remedy (substance) coming together in a healing transformation, encompass the fears, prejudices, preferences, misconceptions, negative responses and dark emotions of the ego-self. The consequent dampening and erasure of these disease-eliciting elements, facilitates the downfall of the ego-self and the restoration of psychic sovereignty to the soul: the very purpose for which we incarnate! And the perfect path to health and happiness!
Understanding that our form, features and feelings – emotions, perceptions and drives – reflect a specific archetypal alignment conferred by endowment, inheritance and imprinting, may be foreign to us intellectually, but is intuitively imbedded in our unconscious, hence, very familiar. This archetypal attunement is put to great effect in art, literature and theatre, permitting the reader or audience to identify with the characters playing out the narrative and relate to their situations. The drama enacted between familiar human archetypes provides realism and evokes an appropriate emotional response.
Shakespeare clearly defines the nature of the archetype when Prince Hamlet responds to the news that a troupe of players is bound for Elsinore.
“He that plays the King will be most welcome; his majesty shall have tribute of me; the adventurous Knight shall use his foil and target; the Lover shall not sigh gratis; the Humorous Man shall end his part in peace; the Clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickle o’ the sere; and the Lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt for’t.”
Common Archetypes, well known to us all, are – the Hero or Knight, the King or Ruler, the Tyrant or Dictator, the Mother or Caregiver, the Maiden, the Lover, the Magician, the Artist or Creator, the Jester or Clown, the Sage or Wise Man, the Crone or Wise Woman, the Madonna, the Whore, the Villain, the Trickster or Shapeshifter – and there are many more.
Our introduction to the Archetypes commences on the school playground, where we meet the Bully, the Nerd, the Wimp, the Boffin, the Victim, and in the classroom, the benevolent Mentor and the autocratic Sadist.
The archetype is a primal or original personality model upon which all others of the same type are fashioned. In its highest form, the archetype is a quintessential ideal or paragon, but always possesses its antithesis: a dark, perverted or shadow form. The spiritual culture hero will always be opposed by the evil, destructive anti-hero.
Our language is rich in archetypal awareness: the Couch-Potato, the False-Philosopher, the Absent-Minded Professor, the Siren, the Minx, the Barbie Doll: epithets that without further elaboration convey an unmistakable image to all who are familiar with them. Human characteristics are ever-likened to familiar things in the natural world perceived by the human imagination or intuition to symbolise or possess the same attributes: the Lion-hearted warrior, the Golden-voiced singer, the Silver-tongued orator. Similarly, a strong, dependable man may be described as an Oak; a spiteful woman as a Cat; a treacherous conspirator as a Snake; an unscrupulous womaniser as a Wolf; a cunning conniver as a Fox.
Archetypal insight is archived in the collective unconscious of humanity: a universal reference resource containing the archetypal images of every aspect of the Creation: all forces, all forms, all life – all human experience, thought, imagination and memory – held unconsciously in the minds of all – common to all cultures and to the mythology of all traditions.
The collective unconscious is the realm of the archetypes which comprise its structure: a dynamic template of role models and innate tendencies, capable, through resonance, of influencing, moulding and transforming the personal unconscious of the individual; thus, shaping perception, thought, choice and conduct.
By unconscious affinity, predisposition and miasmatic inheritance, we are all irresistibly drawn to one or other archetypal form, which within the context of our culture, belief, circumstances and disposition, provides the foundation upon which we construct our reality, experience life, determine our destiny – and develop our disease!
The collective unconscious archives not only the assembled experiences and attributes of humans but those of all species, living or extinct. We may speak of a collective canine or feline unconscious epitomising the qualities and characteristics of the animal archetype. This can best be understood when we humanise – anthropomorphise – our image or perception of a given animal: an exercise we invariably indulge with the animals sharing our lives. This facility enables us to fully apprehend what is implied when a person is likened to a dog or a cat, derogatively or as compliment. Down the ages, human canine and feline impressions and images have taken shape as primal archetypes within the collective unconscious: dynamic forms held within a universal force field confluent with our own personal unconscious.
Nor is this phenomenon limited to the animal world: the mighty oak possesses a presence and identity equal to that of any animal; nor is it limited to the organic world: the mysterious essence of all elements and substances of the mineral world is held within the universal unconscious in the form of archetypal images. The brilliance of a diamond, the splendour of an emerald, ruby or sapphire can evoke spontaneous and intuitive archetypal responses, interpretations and personifications within us, which are valid. They reach beyond the symbol into its essence – the truth of what it symbolises – a patterned, energy field that can heal when matched archetypally and prescribed homeopathically!
The collective unconscious is a repository of knowledge and wisdom and may be archetypally imaged as the wise old man: the sage – or the wise old woman: the crone – or as a sacred oracle – to be consulted in times of doubt and distress. When attention is earnestly directed inwards rather than outwards and attended by spiritual endeavour and longing for enlightenment, the portal between the collective and personal unconscious opens and revelation reaches consciousness through intuitive awareness, instructive dreams and synchronistic happenings that prompt right choice.
The dreams of the enlightened become the myths of the many.
A dream is a personal myth; a myth is a universal dream.
Giving the collective unconscious the attributes of the wise woman archetype is apt, for it is a source of wise instruction. This concept is supported by our dream life. Often in times of difficulty revelatory dreams occur. Such dreams are persuasive and make the dreamer aware that they are extraordinary. They demand attention. They are lucid and intense and are not quickly erased from memory as are common or mundane dreams. They are charged with feeling and have an after-effect that lingers, often colouring the emotions of the following day. As with counsel received from an oracle or imbedded in myth, their content is archetypal, in the form of a parable that requires interpretation in the light of the dreamer’s life.
The healer must be an interpreter of dreams.
During sleep, the personal unconscious gains greater access to the collective unconscious. The archetypally matched, ‘well-selected’ homeopathic remedy, possessing an energy pattern most similar to the profile of the patient, can facilitate the flow of archetypal wisdom from this universal source and establish a portal for dialogue with the higher self through the medium of dreams.
Persistent, habitual repression of emotions suppresses this natural flow and induces a chronic, dreamless state, or one limited to trivial matters. Negative energy is trapped in the Shadow aspect of the unconscious. Healing necessitates the freeing of dream pathways. Dreams emerging from a dreamless state indicate progress, especially when they become archetypal.
Dreams often provide clues to the most similar remedy and help evaluate progress, especially when a dream-theme becomes less intense and less negative.
The wisdom of dreams is conveyed through parable and symbols.
The healer who would read dreams, must be an interpreter of myth and symbol.
Symbols are archetypal expressions or metaphors for something more profound and universal, whether presented as animal, plant, mineral, geometric shape, number, colour, musical note, or sound.
Behind the external appearance of things, a higher reality, a more radiant beauty, and a greater wisdom exists, whose transcendence can only be comprehended in symbolic form. Myth and symbol possess the power to reveal the deeper meaning with a clarity and richness that can evoke both intellectual and emotional response. They bring together aspects of the conscious and unconscious, the rational and the intuitive, providing access to a higher dimension.
On examining the significance of symbols, we discover that they can be compared with homeopathic remedies: the archetypes of the materia medica. They direct us to something beyond themselves, to that which would otherwise remain unknown, intangible and indefinable. The symbol is the portal to a spiritual realm; its energy continuous with its ethereal counterpart and inseparable from that which it symbolises. In contemplating a physical image, symbol or remedy archetype, we are in the presence of its invisible essence, for it is the epiphany of a hidden force. Every object and every remedy is a unique revelation of the mystical and expresses specific archetypal attributes, intimating another more potent reality that informs and energises it. Hence, the potentised, remedy archetype, is the key to a mysterious archetypal realm of healing power with which it is confluent.
The well-selected remedy archetype possessing an energy pattern matched to the archetypal profile of the patient, has the capacity to pass beyond the interface between the conscious and the unconscious minds, past the restraints and censure of the super-ego (the inner critic) and the obstructive rationalising of the ego-self, into the farthest reaches of the Shadow: the repository of all repressed emotional energy and unrealised potential. Here, in harmony with the sublimating and externalising power of the universal vital force, the archetypal remedy releases disease-causing, repressed psychic energy. Healing extends from the soul to the emotions, and from the emotions to the mind and body – a cleansing flow of corrupted energy from within outwards, often attended by revelatory dreams.
Doctrine of Signatures
Directly linked to the Lore of the Archetype and the Magic of Symbols is the Doctrine of Signatures.
The shamanic, medicine men and women of old regarded everything about them as being an outward expression of the divine; all things were sacred; sustained and blessed with a hidden, godlike force, powerfully manifest in the manifestations and phenomena of nature. What the shaman recognised and honoured was the differentiation of a universal, wise and loving, Divine Power into the forces, forms and fabric of the manifest world.
Belonging to shamanic wisdom, handed down from ages-past in the healing traditions of many cultures, is the Doctrine of Signatures: a postulate that recognises that all substances, mineral, plant and animal, bear a therapeutic signature implicit in their external appearance and characteristics, which informs u sregarding their specific ability to cure certain illnesses. By this it is understood that every substance demonstrates its healing potential in symbolic form.
Psychically tuned to a deeper Reality and sensible to the omnipresence of Divinity, the shamans knew that the Great Earth Mother would not only have blessed her children with remedies for their ailments, she would also have designated each a therapeutic signature, whereby, its healing virtue might be recognised: an encoded token accessible to human insight and intuition. Over generations, through implementing such clues, the shamans assembled an enduring legacy of herbal knowledge, which they bequeathed to posterity. Later, this doctrine extended to mineral and animal remedies. The art of recognising and understanding archetypal forms and interpreting symbolic meaning and matching these to the sick in mind and body was established.
Therapeutic signatures repose in all qualities, properties and features of a medicinal substance. In the instance of herbs and trees, all characteristics of appearance, preferred habitat, vigour and manner of growth, abundance, propagation and seasonal affinities and changes are indicative. Also, all morphological features; the colour of bark, leaves, blossoms, fruit and sap; the number and configuration of petals; the fragrance of leaves and flowers; the plant’s toxic and healing qualities.
In modern times, this art has been vastly expanded, the advance of science adding more information to our knowledge: the chemical properties of mineral remedies; isolation of plant glycosides and alkaloids – their pharmacology and toxicology; plant classification and relationships; the natural history of animals; the chemistry of animal poisons.
The art of homeopathy is the art of deciphering metaphors: the metaphor of the substance and the metaphor of the subject and matching one to the other. The procedure of acquiring understanding of the substance and of the subject is the same – both need to be ‘interviewed’ or ‘consulted.’ In the case of the substance, the consultation involves gathering information from every possible source and viewpoint to assemble the essence and totality of its signature. The picture compiled from this evidence provides a profile equivalent to that achieved in taking the case history of a subject. Remarkable parallels and similarities between the essence of substance and subject are revealed. Brought together homeopathically, their coincidence brings healing.
and Major Archetypes of the Homeopathic Materia Medica
The Audio Seminar Series of lectures by Dr David Lilley is designed to impart the unique perspective required to practice archetypal homeopathy. Against a background of homeopathic miasmatic theory, the archetypal profile of each remedy is contemplated in the light of mythology, symbolism, chakra theory, analytical psychology, natural history, science and the homeopathic materia medica.