Gavia immer, Common Loon

< Back to Provings List

  • Proving of Gavia immer,Common Loon

    GI.LoonArt2Remedy Abbreviation: gav-im

    Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy

    Donate now!MASTER PROVER

    Jason-Aeric Huenecke CCH, RSHom (NA)


    One whole loon feather; the loon’s feather from the Queen Charlotte Islands, off the northwest coast of British Columbia, Canada.


    Lori Foley and Sandra Haering, with students and alumni of the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy.


    NAH Pharmacy (763-746-9242)
    Helios Homeopathy Ltd, Contact
    360 Homeopathy, Sara Weis (1-406-600-4550)
    Hahnemann (not at present) (3/21/11)




    A Proving of Gavia Immer PDF (Common Loon)
    By Jason-Aeric Huenecke
    This article was originally published in The American Homeopath Journal and appears by permission of the North American Society of Homeopaths.
    The American Homeopath Journal
    Vol 15, 2009
    Page 76

    Access Gavia Theme Document (47 pgs) (PDF)

    Access Entire Gavia Proving Journal (75 pgs) (PDF)

  • Gavia immer Natural History

    GI.FPic.1KINGDOM: Animalia
    PHYLUM: Chordata
    SUBPHYLUM: Vertebrata
    CLASSIFICATION: Aves (bird)
    ORDER: Gaviiformes
    SPECIES: Gavia immer

    Source: One whole loon feather; the loon’s feather from the Queen Charlotte Islands, off the northwest coast of British Columbia, Canada.


    Breeding & Biology
    Migration & Geographic Range
    Food Habits
    Mercury, etc.

  • Loon Videos

    See Video - Loons Calling in the Mist


  • GI.FPic.2Themes - Mentals: Apathy vs Productivity

    Apathy vs. Productivity

    Appearing, disappearing quickly


    Contamination, Filthy, Disgust, In Disrepair

    Desire for Nature and Fresh Air

    Distance and Space from Others

    Esoteric, mysterious, trance-like

    Exhausted, Waking with the Birds

    Gaining a Deeper Understanding




    No Worries

    Playfulness, Attractiveness, Sexuality

    Spacey, Disconnected



    Themes - Physicals



    Extremities: Weak, Trembling, Pain



    Heightened Senses: Hearing, Smell, Vision

  • Gavia immer Repertory




    Gavia immer Repertory PDF

  • GI.Pic.NatureWe are in the process of gathering cases for Gavia immer. 

    If you have a cured case of Gavia immer please consider emailing it to us to post.  Email Us

  • Gavia immer About Proving

    GI.FPic.1Queen Charlotte’s Loon, a modern proving of a loon’s feather

    By: Jason-Aeric Huenecke

     "Throughout the Organon, Hahnemann refers to two different kinds of knowledge: Wissen and Kenntniß. Wissen is the kind of knowledge you get from studying or reading books, while Kenntniß is that deep, personal knowledge you gain through experience. It's the difference between knowing about wetness by reading about it versus knowing by immersing yourself in water. In other words, Wissen is intellectual awareness while Kenntniß is a knowing that permeates all aspects of a person, going beyond mere cognition.” 1

     The intention of this article is to offer insight into the preparation and organization of a modern proving; our focus is Gavia Immer, the common loon’s feather. It was my pleasure to gather the substance and act as Master Prover for this Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy sponsored proving. This was a double blind proving. Therefore, since I prepared the substance I did not participate as a prover. My experiences and dreams are the result of the preparing of the substance.

     The Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy’s intent is to educate people in classical homeopathy and empower them to learn how best to practice homeopathy from their own deep, personal awareness of their strengths and challenges. Students glean this awareness and self-knowledge through classroom training, clinical experience, and immersion by participating in homeopathic provings. Since 1995 the school has been including provings as a central learning activity. As Master Prover, Eric Sommermann had led provings on Ova branta canadensis (Canada goose's egg), 1998, Lac ovinum (Sheep's milk), 2002, Ovum chelydra serpentina (Snapping Turtle's egg) 2004.

     Eric’s idea was to develop ecosystem specific groups of remedies and how the local mixture of elements related to the strategies, delusions, symptoms, and sensations of remedies from organisms found in this region. There are a great number of plants, animals, and minerals from local woodland and prairie ecosystems for which we need provings. He was very interested in the plant and animal 'invaders' in our ecosystem. How did they come to arrive and what are the far-reaching implications of their presence? Eric wanted to do full provings of multiple species in, for instance a tamarack bog, to develop a 'bog' picture clinically. This would presumably be different from the 'marshland' or 'oak savanna' picture; this way we would know 'prairie grasslands,' the 'coniferous forests,' and the 'deciduous woods,' homeopathically.

     In March 2004, Eric proposed that our next proving be one that had a mystical or otherworldly presence. Simultaneously, we thought of the loon. Eric had several hypotheses about what the loon proving would reveal; clairvoyance, deep grief, a sense of loss, and a longing for and connection to the wilderness. Eric encouraged me to find something of the common loon for a proving. My search began, frustrating and seemingly fruitless in the beginning. Ultimately, I waited one and a half years for the substance to present itself to me.

     The evening before a homeopathic lecture by Misha Norland and his presentations of several bird provings, I met two non-traditional healers with whom I shared my quest. After several days, these healers contacted me. They would share for our proving a loon feather which had for many years been a part of their healing work. I was extremely grateful and thrilled. It was Eric’s suggestion that led me on a journey that would teach me a great deal about homeopathy, myself, and how to oversee a proving. It was time for what the alchemist call "the great work". I would make the leap from apprentice to Master Prover with the feather of a loon.

     "To ascertain the knowledge of a drug is to discover what disturbance of this balance it is capable of producing and what organs are affected; how and what functional changes are made manifest. When we have discovered all this about a drug we can say we have a proving. In order to be sure of the integrity of our work, we must demand three essential things: 1) The quality of the drug must be pure; it must be free from all mixture with other drugs, and it must possess all its active properties. 2) The prover must possess the proper balance in functions and be in a normal, healthy state, so that we can estimate and weigh the amount of the disturbance caused when we deliberately upset the balance of health. 3) The circumstances surrounding the prover must be those of his normal surroundings, so that the drug can express its action under conditions and circumstances normal to the prover, and that any deviation from normal in the prover's condition cannot be attributed to different circumstances and conditions of his life, but directly to the action of the drug.” 2

     On January 4th, 2006, on Lake Bavaria in Chaska, Minnesota, I experienced a timeless connection to other practitioners of the healing arts as I prepared the substance. Here, I carefully followed Hahnemann's instruction for potentization of a substance found in the Organon, § 270, and its footnote. I slowly cut up the loon's feather, paying close attention to the directions, as well as to my thoughts and emotions. I felt wave after wave of profound grief wash over me, through my body. This grief and sadness lasted about four hours that day. That evening I ran the substance up to 3C potency. That same grief came and went over the next several months. I looked forward to the proving.

     Six days after the preparation I had the following dream: I dreamed of three salmon wrapped in a magenta blanket. I could see a deep blue lake behind me and the green blue ocean before me; I felt caught between two realms. I was standing next to a stone table or altar. I felt very hungry; however, I did not eat, I was waiting for something to happen. The salmon were offerings to the sacred. I unwrapped the fish, laid them on the altar. I said an ancient prayer and wept.

     Then I awoke, never having felt such a hunger in my waking life as I did in the dream. I immediately associated it with the substance. The total loon proving would reveal, as have other provings of birds, significance to the sensation of feeling caught between two realms. At this point, I did not know the origin of the loon's feather; in fact, I did not learn the full story of the feather until I was preparing to write this article.

     Our proving began on May 13th, 2006. The majority of our provers and all of our supervisors are students who have read the Organon and have studied materia medica in great detail over several years. Also, in preparation for the proving, they are required to read Jeremy Sherr's masterful book The Dynamics and Methodology of Homeopathic Provings and Rajan Sankaran's Provings.

     In the Gavia Immer proving we started with 25 provers and an equal number of supervisors. Each supervisor took an initial case of the prover before the proving began. Being a double blind format, neither supervisors nor provers knew the substance they were taking. Each of prover then received six doses of the same potency enough for up to three doses a day over two days. In a proving, it is imperative to stop taking the remedy as soon as first symptoms appear.

     As I immersed myself in the proving beautiful synchronicities began to occur. This process deeply changed me as a homeopathic practitioner and how I think homeopathically. In modern provings, each prover keeps a subjective daily email journal carefully recording their symptoms, spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical, and keeps in close contact with a homeopathic supervisor. The supervisor records any additional symptoms, observations, and sensations that the prover may have overlooked then sends those journals along with any additional observations and notes to the Master Prover. As Master Prover I observed the daily influx of these journals and observed common symptoms, experiences, and thinking processes from the substance objectively. As this occurs the substance’s nature reveals itself multivalently. This means its many levels of expression come through the language of signs and symptoms. This experience is profound and leads me to question what exactly reality is.

     As one might expect there will be a vast difference in each individual their ability both to perceive and to describe their symptoms; therefore we prefer provers who have, as Goethe suggested, 'direct perception.’ A lack of self-awareness (direct perception) in provers does not make for a good proving. For this reason, Eric Sommermann, Val Ohanian, and Laurie Dack, guided students to cultivate and perceive themselves in relationship to the world. This prepares our students to understand themselves in relation to their symptoms in provings and from these symptoms we develop materia medica. We painstakingly cull rubrics from all the prover’s journals and from their supervisors’ interviews. In a Repertory, symptoms found in every single prover might appear in bold, those which appeared in most provers might appear in italics and those found in a single prover might appear in plain type.

     Many homeopaths agree that dreams are symbolic of the inner state of the person. Provers record this data. During the proving, though I had not taken the homeopathic remedy, I experienced two other significant dreams.

     The first was reminiscent of the dream that I had shortly after preparing the substance for the proving: I found myself seated across a dinner table from the Queen of England. I was quite elderly. We sat in the center of a table that seemed miles long, surrounded by hundreds of guests. The meal consisted of several different exotic dishes, fish of all kinds; fantastic displays of fish and seafood prepared in culinary styles of various cultures from around the world. The Queen leaned forward and asked me to comment on the state of the cosmos; mentioning how much she loved the night sky, filled with stars. As I began to speak, the whole room, which had been roaring with conversation and frivolity, came to a hush. I noticed behind the Queen there was a banner with three salmon on it; I had the distinct feeling of deja vu in the dream, as though I had seen the banner somewhere before. The banner was a deep, dark purple, the fish were iridescent, and they seemed to come alive.

     I had never had such dreams; my homeopathic practitioner felt that these dreams were the result of my preparation and potentization of the loon’s feather for the proving. Queens are not common themes in my dream life. Much to my amazement, I learned, while preparing this article that the loon’s feather came from the Queen Charlotte Islands. Here again, as I experienced this theme of fish and the opposite state to that of my initial dream of hunger was met here by complete satiety. The loon itself has excellent vision both at night and underwater. The Queen asking me to speak about the state of the cosmos felt reminiscent of the loon’s unique scope of vision.

     I experienced one more dream that I attribute the proving. I was riding on a train, whose length went on for miles. Suddenly the train lifted in the air, reversing course, now going the opposite direction it had been traveling, as if by some invisible force. I felt concerned, yet nobody seemed alarmed. I was reading James Tyler Kent's Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy, so I continued to read. There was a woman sitting across from me; seeing what I was reading asked me, ‘Can you help me? I have this problem of my face frosting over, constantly.’ I looked up and watched as her face, eyebrows, eyes, lips, and hairline, frosted over, with ice crystals. ‘Children tease me, they tell me I am a witch; they call me the Ice Queen.’ I replied with sincerity, ‘I will help you, homeopathy will help you.’ The woman wept crystal tears as I spoke.

     I felt the significance of this dream was the theme of traveling while directed by some invisible force. Could this, I pondered, be the loon’s instincts in regards to its migration during the winter season? Also, I awakened with a concern and grief for the woman’s suffering in my dream.

     As Master Prover, I was overseeing the daily incoming symptoms, the ebb and flow of common symptoms. This gave me a much deeper understanding of what a remedy is, than I ever understood from reading or hearing lectures on materia medica. In June, our provers and supervisors met to discuss the proving. This was one of the most fascinating aspects of the proving.

     I would like to share some of the dream themes that Gavia Immer provers experienced: Accidents; Arrested, being; Brother, Changing, sizes, from big to small; Coffins, brother dead in; Crying; Danger, impending danger; Daughter, Dead, of the; Death; Families; Fish; Floating; Floods; Flying; Guns; Hiding; Horrible; House, dirty; Insects, ants, box elder bugs, spiders; Lakes; Musical instruments, playing a violin; Ocean, ocean rising; Parties; Polar bears; Praying; Pursued, being; Queen; Remorse; River, river rising; Sexual; Sharks; Shooting; Snakes; Social inferiority; Sorrowful; Storms; Tornados; Tortured, of being; Trance; Tsunamis; Unsuccessful efforts; Watching, and, being watched; Water, deep water; Witches; Vampires.

     The common loon, Gavia immer is a symbol of the 'Northern people' according to Gelineau Fisher, a self-taught artist who features the loon in many of his works. Gavia Immer is one of five species in the Gaviidae family that can trace its genetic roots back to one-hundred million years ago. The specific meaning of 'immer' is etymologically unknown. The Latin word 'immergo', means to immerse, and 'immersus' means, deeply submerged; the Swedish words immer and emmer, are terms for the grey or blackened ashes of a fire, and are associated to the loon's dark plumage. These word origins, coupled with the symptoms discovered from the proving, hint to the loon's connection to loss and rising from the ashes of that loss. The loon is a water-like Phoenix, rising from the depths of the mysterious waters of the world.

     The loon has a connection to the ancient world, a vigilant bird whose hauntingly eerie voice pierces the veils between worlds. "During the summer the loons' voice has been described as falsetto wails, weird yodeling, maniacal quavering laughter, and at night as a tremulous ha-oo-oo; in flight as a barking kwuk. Winters find this bird quiet.” 3

     While preparing this article I learned the origin of the feathers used for this proving. Several years ago, a woman kayak along the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, mythologically the islands revered as the place where time itself began. She paused to rest at this boundary of the world. A loon perched on a rock near her and greeted her. The woman felt connected to the loon for what seemed like an eternity but must have been only a moment of silence. The loon pulled four feathers from her wing, laid them on a rock, then gracefully bowed and slipped gently into the waters and swam away. The woman wept.

     In turn the woman gave the feathers to her friends. This woman died from cancer shortly after bestowing the feather upon her friends. This woman, like Eric Sommermann, worked tirelessly for the healing of our planet. The women who received the feathers, prayed with the loon's feathers and sacred stones for about ten years. Upon meeting me, the women prayed, and decided, for the good of the world, to give me one of the four feathers for our school's proving. I am thankful they did.

     Many indigenous mythologies and lore around the loon and her mysteries end in tragedy. We have had our share of tragedy; however, our story has not ended. Fortunately, we are still immersing ourselves in the waters of homeopathy. The Gavia Immer proving summary will appear in a future issue of The American Homeopath.

    Remedy Source Information was gathered from the author’s personal experience/knowledge and the following references:

    1. Wenda Brewster O'Reilly, The American Homeopath, 1995.

    2. Roberts, Herbert A. The Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy. B. Jain Publishers, 1994, p. 136

    3. Peterson, R.T. A Field Guide to Western Birds. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1990.

    Jason-Aeric Huenecke is the Master Prover for the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy. He is in full-time private practice in Stillwater, Minnesota. He can be contacted through email: <>.