Mary English Astrologer, Author & Therapist

Bringing Heaven to Earth

The Homeopathic Proving of Naufragium Helvetia (the shipwreck)
Mary L English DSH, UK.
This proving was the result of my son and I coming across the wreck of a ship, The Helvetia, while walking on The Gower Peninsula, on the South Coast of Wales in the Summer of 2002. On the beach at Rhossilli Bay is the wreck of The Helvetia, which has lain there for over 115 years. I decided to take a small portion of the hull of the boat to make a proving and I sent it to John Lee at Ainsworths Pharmacy and he made it up to a 30c. I then organised the proving and researched the actual wreck. I took one dose of the remedy myself a month before the proving started, just in case it held any deep corners...........and have remained 'stuck' ever since. In writing up the proving notes I felt I was releasing the energy of the proving, the sense of stuckness.
Rhossilli Bay
Proving There were seven provers: prover 1: male poet prover 2: female charity worker in the Gambia prover 3: female retired prover 4: female artist prover 5: male homeopath prover 6: female flower healer prover 7: male poet My major concern was to see if the provers picked up anything at all about the sea or ships. I suppose in this instance I was putting Homeopathy to the test. I conducted the proving during the anniversary of the sinking (which happened on the 31st Oct 1887) from Monday 28th October-Sunday 3rd November 2002 All the provers took five doses of 30c over five days and either took it first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Saturday and Sunday no remedy was taken. None of the provers had any idea what the remedy was made from. This was a completely 'blind' proving.
Summary of the words of the provers
I needn't have worried about the provers coming out with relative symptoms. All of them expressed watery words: 'washed out', 'bloated', 'sinking under water', 'drained', 'bubbly tummy', 'tearful'; and their symptoms were expressed through the watery parts of the body: 'runny nose', 'fluent, clear coryza both nostrils', 'sore eyes', 'weeing in the night', 'sore fanny'. One prover even had a strange experience while he was in a cafe: P1 "...when paying I drop a penny, for a brief moment I see it fall in slow motion, like it's sinking under water, I want to ask the cafe staff, 'Wow! Did you see that?'" but coupled with this were feelings of being blocked, physically as well as emotionally. One prover had a 'blocked and runny nose', another felt 'over-stuffed' from eating too much; their thinking was blocked: 'can't concentrate', 'things not making sense'; speech was even blocked: 'tongue tied'; their work was blocked: 'procrastination' and 'uninspired' in their creativity. Their emotions took a hammering: 'heart not in it', 'cruel', 'impassioned observer', 'automaton', 'rankled', 'moody', 'peeved', 'mardy', 'indifferent', 'frustrated' and 'impatient'. It even went as far as being physically blocked, which I found the most surprising: P7 "I was late, because I kept getting blocked by impassable vehicles; diggers etc." P3 "- the weather was awful - so gave up trying to get to Watford - traffic a nightmare, total gridlock - turned round and came home." P6 "Took the Tube and got the wrong branch of the Northern Line!!!" P5 "Excessive problems getting to work. Trains broke down; buses broke down, traffic congestion. Whichever route I took was just as difficult." P2 "Kept quiet in the court, but was frustrated by the day's events, not being able to collect our authentication and marriage certificates and all the discussions in the one language I struggle to understand (Wolloff)." Wolloff is the language spoken in the Gambia where this prover lives.
Being blocked came out in other ways too. This prover has to work in retail to supplement her income and it's not what she wants to do: in this example she blocks out the words of her 'controller': P4 'Friday 1st November - 'Slept well, sorry still no dreams. Getting in to work. Loads of traffic. Hard day. Worked at the shop. Area Controller at me to work more Saturdays, closing later now, open Sundays! Time I got home I was quite down about it. But J helped, it's only a job. Found it difficult to concentrate when Controller was talking to me, suppose I've heard it all before'.

Background of the shipwreck
I quote from 'Gower Coast Shipwrecks' by Carl Smith and other sources: 'In the days before the telegraph, telephone and radio, many vessels were wrecked unknown to more than a few on the shore. The imperilled crew required immediate assistance from onlookers; it would be hours before the rescue services (such as existed) could be alerted, by which time it may have been too late to save either life or property. .......the Gower coast was totally without a lifeboat service and rescue depended on the shipwrecked's own efforts, or the initiative and courage of those who were prepared to launch a boat from the shore.' On the beach at Rhossili Bay in The Gower Peninsula, South Wales lays the wreck of The Helvetia. The Helvetia was an oak-built barque, a sailing ship, from Horten in Norway. It had sailed from Campbelton, New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada and contained a cargo of 500 tons of timber. The captain was a chap named Stevenson.
On the night of Monday 31st of October 1887 the ship, on it's journey to Swansea, reached Mumbles Head, only five miles or so from its destination. The captain ordered for 'signals to be burnt' so that a pilot could guide them on the last leg of their voyage into the harbour. However, a 'fresh breeze' sprang up from the South East and they couldn't make it to shore as the wind was blowing against him, so they had to stay where they were in the channel. By 8am on Tuesday the vessel had been blown back to The Helwick Sands, a good ten miles away from the harbour and then the wind changed again, this time blowing South west, in gale conditions, which would effectively send the ship back out to sea. The Helvetia was now having difficulty staying put and was drifting towards the shore. Then the current drove her over the bank, she lost part of her deck load and ran aground past Worm's Head and was anchored in Rhossilli Bay. At low tide the Helvetia got stuck into the sand and the 'Life saving apparatus' (LSA) was called for by the coastguard. One man was brought ashore by the 'breeches buoy' (a lifebuoy running along rope over sea with canvas breeches for the user's legs) and the rest came ashore in their boats. The ship was secured with heavy chains and cables but the wind 'went round to the west' and at 5.30pm she broke free and drove onto the beach where her remains still lie.
A local man purchased the hulk intending to recover its valuable copper sheathing that protected the hull from attack by shipworm, the Toredo mollusc. Misfortune again intervened, however, when the wreck settled into the sand so quickly that he was unable to salvage the metal.
Approximately 500 tons of cargo was, however, salvaged from the wreck and auctioned. The salvage vessel, Cambria, lost its anchor during the salvage, and in trying to retrieve it, six men drowned.
More than 115 years later you can still see the hull of the ship embedded in the beach at Rhossili and this is what I found in the summer of 2002.
Remains of the Helvetia
Remains of the Helvetia

I have included as full an account as possible of the actual sinking of the Helvetia because, as you will see, a lot of what happened then, happened to my provers. The sense of nearly being at the destination, of being knocked off course but still being hopeful of recovery, of then having to give in to the 'elements' and finally of being run aground, run ashore, wrecked.
What was also interesting just before, during, and soon after the proving, were the headlines involving ships and shipwrecks.
During a proving, one's attention is always drawn to the events connected with the substance. A bit like when you're trying to get pregnant, all you 'see' is other pregnant ladies. Maybe one's consciousness allows one to 'be connected' to the source of the substance and understand it better. What I find fascinating is sometimes provers are drawn to 'connect' with the proving substance, even if they don't consciously 'know' what the substance is. During the proving of Stanton Drew Stone Circle of the 12 provers four of them actually visited the site during the proving weeks!

BEFORE 26th September Joola Ferry Disaster A Sengegalese state-run ferry, The Joola, sank off the coast of The Gambia, a former British colony, on 26th September with over 700 people on board. About 30 passengers and crew were rescued after the Joola overturned. Wed October 9th Stranded Queen rescued on freezing river. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were rescued when their boat broke down in freezing temperatures on Winnipeg’s Red River during her visit to Canada. Tues Oct 22nd Vietnamese divers have finished recovering more than 50,000 ceramic objects including bowls, vases, plates and cups from an ancient shipwreck off the country's central coast. The objects, thought to be from the early 17th century, still need to be dated and identified by archaeologists. Wed Oct 23rd Canada's Martel wins Booker Prize. Yann Martel wrote a winning novel The Life of Pi, about a boy brought up in an Indian zoo. When their family moves to live in Canada, their boat is shipwrecked and Pi finds himself on a raft with a hyena, an orang-utan, a zebra and a Bengal tiger.

DURING Mon 28th October Holed warship gets piggyback home. A crippled high-tec British warship the HMS Nottingham, holed on rocks near a remote Tasman Sea island three months ago, is set to leave Australia today for a six-week ride home on a heavy-lift ship back. Tues Oct 29th Quebec diver says he'll go to UN to push for sale of shipwreck items. Philip Beaudry said he plans to go to the next UNESCO meeting in Dec to argue Canada is not justified in blocking him from selling objects he recovered from Canada's worst shipwreck in 1914.

AFTER Tues Nov 19th Massive pollution feared as oil spill tanker sinks off Spain. Tues 5th Dec Singapore slick as ships collide. Sat 14th Dec Ship sinks after Channel collision (Norwegian car-carrier).

The following article cleverly sums up the theme of the proving of 'Shipwreck': Friday 13th Dec 2002 Author Cussler, master of sea adventures, to retire. After three decades of spinning tales about lost ships and sunken treasures, Clive Cussler, author of best-selling adventure books 'Raise the Titanic' and 'Night Probe!' is tired and plans to quit. 71-yr-old Cussler said in an interview: "The imagination is still working, but the drive is just gone. I can't explain it. I guess (after) 35 years of this stuff. .........I'm tired of it."
Physical symptoms
As this proving only lasted a week, the physical symptoms are mostly acute and centre on cold-like feelings, feeling cold, low thirst, headaches and nocturia (urination in the night). P2: 'Wed 30th October 6.20am. Started sneezing about five minutes after taking pill; got small headache, but didn't last long. (Don't often have headaches).' P2: 'Sat 2nd November 4.55am.......noticed I have the habit of going to the toilet in the middle of the night, these past few nights.' P2: 'Sun 3rd November 5.45am. Awoke, extremely cold, noticed change of temperature and felt dizzy walking to toilet. Have heavy head cold, blocked and runny nose.' P3: 'Sat 2nd November. Slept badly, was cold in the night.' P5: 'Tues 29th October 8am fluent coryza, clear both nostrils. Coughing 10-10.40 small white phlegm. Mild headache L temple (on and off all day) Hot & feverish in evening, gland swelling in neck from 4-9. Slept (in my overcoat) 6.00 - 7.15.' P6: 'Tues 29th October. At 21.00 feel sneezy, it does not feel like a cold but more like a kind of allergy. It goes after a while.' P6: 'Wed 30th October. 7.00 Woke up, I've got a bit of a runny nose, just a little bit.' P6: 'Thurs 31st October. 11.30 Began to feel tired and headachy, fluish??' P1: 'Thurs 31st October. 8.30am I wake up feeling OK but a little snotty!' P7: 'Tues 30th Oct I woke in the night for a wee.' 'Thurs 31st Oct I woke up in the night for a wee.' 'Fri 1st Nov I woke up in the night for a wee. 'Sat 2nd Nov Took 5th and final pill before bed last night. I woke up in the night for a wee.' ..........after he'd finished the pills this didn't happen again.

The Provers Dreams
As is sometimes the case in provings, the dreams said a lot. This prover dreamt what other provers actually had happen; he couldn't reach his destination. P1: 'I dreamt of taking a bus journey and missing my stop and having to get off at a terminus I didn't know. Another passenger had done the same and it took us a long time to find where we were and how to get back.' This prover had an element of water that shouldn't have been there: P2: 'Dreamt of walking up many stairs with a friend to look for the right office; have instructions to look for a red button with writing on but there were lots of doors, with lots of red buttons. Lots of people inside the offices, doing lots of paperwork. Waited in the hallway for a friend. When we got to the bottom there was a deep water, instead of ground and people were talking about mortgages, and what good deals they got in different jobs and countries. I listened silently, but not happy about people's hints that I'd eventually have to get a mortgage?!!' This prover had lots of water and sea dreams. P6: 'I am cleaning the fridge, using lots of water and I remember being in a bad mood.' 'Another about cleansing: I am in the bathroom of my grandmother's house, where we spent every holiday as children and teenagers. A very big house in a village. A piece seems to be missing from the shower. Someone has used it for the WC pipe. I find this very strange so take the shower piece to put back in the shower tap but for some reason it is now inside the WC. There is an Indian girl with me who is worried about catching an infection if she gets it. I put my hand down the WC and get it and realise it looks like a semiprecious gem (a bit like rose quartz) with a hole in it (for the water I suppose).' 'I am swimming in the sea. I remember a big rock on the right, open sea. There are two divers around as well, looking for something. It surprises me to see the big masks on their faces; they seem old-fashioned to me. The water is clean but not crystal clear. I decide I do not want to know that is beneath for the moment.' This prover combined a dream and a physical symptom on the second day: P7: 'I woke up in the night for a wee. I was dreaming something about being outside in the British semi-countryside with girls and there were ditches and moisture.' More dreams of water: P3: 'Had a very weird dream about a strange complex of living accommodation. Made up of old Middle-eastern type houses, all sandstone and stone floors with no doors but arches dividing the rooms, and also derelict houses and very smart ones all together. There was a funny swimming pool that roared like the sea.' The silly thing about doing a proving, is finding out afterwards why things happened the way they did. The Helvetia, on her journey to Swansea, had started in Canada ..........but what threw me completely was re-reading the provers' dreams and finding this: P3: 'Tuesday , 29th October... 'then we were in a street and we were hiding from Canadian Mounties behind a wall! Then, N (her husband) got on a bus which drove through a different restaurant (her previous dream was about a restaurant) and it came out of the back of the restaurant and N dived into a swimming pool from the top of the bus. The swimming pool was a very large bathtub and there was another man sitting in it. We were all talking together with another man who had a net tied around his tongue!!' Another prover picked up where the boat ended up, in Wales.......... P7: 'Thursday 31st October...'Dreamt of being with the same girl (as in previous dream) in an airport Waiting Lounge for Welsh speakers; they were not talking to each other, and although it wasn't overt, it was probably because the girl and I (English speakers) were there that they weren't being friendly towards each other.' Not only did he dream about Wales, but also this happened: 'Had to visit a customer after work. Couldn't find the house - pissed off. I tuned into BBC Radio Wales and felt great comfort - 'cos I don't want to hear English people.'
Having had a dose of this remedy myself, and observing how I felt compared to the provers, the feeling is of not being able to start/complete/enjoy things. The sensations are wholly of being blocked...............
...........and I hereby release those feelings!!!

Notes from the Editor

The ship was built of oak, sheathed in copper, and was carrying oak.
It has lain in sand for 115 years, subject to twice daily inundations in seawater.

Therefore, taking rubrics suggested by the provings, I repertorised and looked for:

Quercus – no rubrics (Quercus has 'heaviness' and 'responsibilities')

Aqua marina – Mind: concentration difficult
Mind discouraged
Nose, obstruction, stopped sensation

Silica - Mind: concentration difficult
Mind, discouraged
Mind, late, always
Mind, Mood changeable
Mind, postponing everything to next day
Nose, obstruction, stopped sensation
Nose, stopped sensation with coryza
Bladder, urination, frequent, night

Cuprum: Mind: concentration difficult
Mind, discouraged
Mind, Mood changeable
Nose, obstruction, stopped sensation
Bladder, urination, frequent, night

It is interesting that none of these remedies completely covers the proving symptoms, showing that here is a substance, giving voice to its own particular essence, the voice of the shipwreck of the Helvetia.

Photo: Lapsus Kalamari: