Homeopathy Papers

Celebrating… 20 Years of Homoeopathic LINKS The Homeopathy Congress

Celebrating… 20 Years of Homoeopathic LINKS The Homeopathy Congress

Homeopathic LINKS – The International Journal for Classical Homeopathy

This homeopathic journal in the English language was founded in 1987 by Dr. Beat Spring and has now developed into a fixture in the world of homeopathy. It connects homeopaths in more than 50 countries and promotes the exchange between differing directions and movements.

Rajan Sankaran (India), Nandita Shah (India), Alfons Geukens (Belgium), Jan Scholten (Netherlands), Alize Timmerman (Netherlands), Didier Grandgeorge (France), Nancy Herrick (USA), Linda Johnston (USA), Jeremy Sherr (UK), Deborah Collins (New Zealand) and many others wrote for HL.

The experienced and engaged editorial team Harry van der Zee and Corrie Hiwat always compile the correct mixture of topics relevant to your practice, philosophical and historical musings as well as service offers.

Current research results, drugs testing, case studies, different materia medica, exciting discussions, book reviews and a survey about seminars and events for further training courses are published four times a year.

The target group of the magazine is homeopathic doctors and alternative practitioners worldwide.

Dr. Beat Springs writes in his greeting adress to the congress on the occasion of the 20th year of HL about the magazine that ‘LINKS’ stands for connection, for staying in touch. Thus a platform developed rapidly where homeopaths share ideas and experiences and exchange them with other honoeopaths. Exponents of various schools thus met for the first time in one place, disputing different insights. New ways and findings could be published without being smothered directly with quotations of the old masters. Springs also writes that the homeopathic landscape resembles a lush mountain meadow with a unique biodiverstity. New prescription strategies and materia medica lead to great enthusiasm but also to uncertainty. The enthusiasm about the New couples itself with the thoroughness of the old school. New knowledge gets validated by well documented long-term case studies.

Ton Nicolai of ECH (European Committee for Homeopathy) on this: ‘the fact that innovators exist is definitely a sound argument for a healthy system. It is evidence for the further development of homeopathy, that homeopathy is a science where the clinical experiences bears new ideas which are tested and are then accepted, rejected or modified according to actual theories and opinions. Some groups of homeopaths, however, represent rather more traditional views and some mistrust, discard or even criticise these innovative ideas. The fact is that all innovators first closely imitated Hahnemann, but then they decided that his methods could be developed further. Innovators and traditionalists are to be found in each branch of science. And when creation and preservation are kept at a balance and when all parties are willing to engage in regardful and intelligent dialogue with each other, then our discipline will keep its effectivity and liveliness.’

Homeopathy has, during the last years, been very much imprinted by new approaches and methods. The goal of the international Homeopathy Congress is to demonstrate these developments and link them with the solid foundations of classical homeopathy.

On each day of congress the focal point was on one of the homeopathic kingdoms.

There was a seminar on each of the mornings where the contributors introduced their ideas for the further development of homeopathy. 14 more contributors showed the commonalities of the various approaches during the afternoons and they clarified how the different development strains can be woven into good treatment results in the code of practice.

Numerous authors of LINKS and about 900 doctors, alternative practitioners and scientists from all over the world met in the Kongresshaus Stadthalle in Heidelberg from 19. to 21. of October to celebrate the birthday together. An industrial exhibition of approx. 100 exhibitors supplemented the information platform. Altogether, more than 1000 participants from 43 countries attended the congress. The international Homeopathy Congress Celebrating LINKS was held by the Sonntag publisher in MVS Medizinverlage Stuttgart, who publishes the trade magazine Homeopathic LINKS, in cooperation with the two European governing bodies ECCH European Council for Classical Homeopathy and the ECH European Commmittee for Homeopathy.

The topics were arranged in such a way that Friday dealt with the role of minerals, Saturday dealt with the plant kingdom and Sunday with the animal kingdom. At the conclusion of the conference the main speakers gave a summary of their insights from the congress and also answered questions of the participants to the congress.

to At the opening of the congress, Dr. Albrecht Hauff(managing director of the Thieme publications group), Harry van der Zee (editor of Homeopathic Links), Stephen Gordon (General secretary of the ECCH)and Beat Springs (co-founder of Homeopathic Links)  welcomed the congregation.

The speakers praised the magazine and prepared the listeners on what to expect in the three days of conference. Here some excerpts from the speeches:

Beat Spring (Co-founder of Homeopathic LINKS):

From the beginning, homeopathic LINKS got a great reception from homeopaths. In the following year HL was always a step ahead and we also experienced the downside of success. The infrastructure around the journal was simply not sufficient and we could not keep up with the demands. At one stage we had 1,500 subscribers in more than 40 countries worldwide. Later Rajan Sankaran from India joined us and we contemplated how we could publish something collectively and we wanted then to deal with various topics in various countries.

Rajan was the first to start an Indian distribution, then other countries joined up. Then something was becoming disturbing: the LINKS were only ever a forum, an arena for new thoughts, often of a sort that would not find availability in the traditional trade magazines. New ideas and philosophies thus always came to HL, which was a challenge. Many interesting cases were submitted, but often the way to the simillimum was not described and the follow-up not well documented. And that was the dilemma. Here were ideas, but we did not have details about the quality. Quite often therefore, interesting casuistics – the recording and study of cases of disease – could not be used.

We really started late in becoming professional. And, actually, we were quite relieved to be able to hand HL to the Dutch group. We were sure that the Dutch would carry on the magazine with the same spirit, and they followed up at full tilt.

I wish for HL that it will always present an open forum where new ideas, where the evolution can be discussed. And I wish for us that this new knowledge will be thoroughly examined again and again, so that we can grow with it and open our hearts to each other.

From the very first HL was s platform where innovative ideas could be shown and discussed. These innovative ideas are the leading topic of this conference. This situation regularly leads to criticism and traditional homeopaths don’t necessarily like new developments. But it is absolutely necessary to have innovative people to show that homeopathy is alive and developing further as an independent science. Clinical experiences lead to new ideas and they will then lead to acceptance or rejection of current theories. We are, after all, searching for the truth to be able to serve the patient. Innovative homeopaths like Jan Scholten, Rajan Sankaran and Massimo Mangialavori did not only deepen our understanding of homeopathic remedies, they also conducted a systematic classification of the remedies which can be adducted for differential diagnoses. The fact that more than 1000 people registered for this conference shows the widely spread interest of homeopaths in these topics. Homeopathy has grown very strongly during the last one or two decades, and this conference is meant to inspire them all.

Harry van der Zee (editor of Homeopathic LINKS):

Links, that is Your magazine – you write what will be read. For the last few years, I headed this magazine together with Corrie Hiwat and we were happy when a publishing company took us over, all the difficult subjects like advertising, and, since 2005, the Sonntag publishing house carries the responsibility. The excellent result is that, every three months, you receive an excellent copy and that shows that things are alright the way they are. Since the take-over, the magazine looks really professional. Gabrielle Mueller and her team of ten are doing this for us. But, deep down, it is all of us who carry the responsibility for LINKS. Because we bring in our experiences, our thoughts and we get inspiration through the questions and answers coming from our colleagues. Most of HL’s articles during the last few years dealt with the materia medica and case studies.

We are now meeting in Heidelberg to integrate our concept strategies. Homeopathy has been highly successful, so now we can further develop the possibilities of materia medica and hone our case taking and case analysis. This congress is only the next step and that will join the strands with which we will weave the future of homeopathy. We are all rooted in Hahnemann’s legacy and we integrate all these strands in our daily practices. That is the goal of the conference. LINKS stands for an interconnectedness of people. LINKS is of major importance for the bettering of our healing and our healing science. LINKING involves an energy similar to the similarity principle, the basic concept of homeopathy. Like attracts like, like heals like. In homeopathy we work with the law of attraction, with love, with the dissolution of delusions or feelings, with the detachment of being. The spirit of LINKS connects us and this spirit is always stronger than the spirit of separation.

The Conference – Abstracts

Friday, October 19th, 2007

The Mineral Kingdom


10:00 – 11:30 a.m., 12:00 noon-13:00 p.m. Jan Scholten, MD:
The Concept of the 18 Stages: The 18 Stages in the Mineral Kingdom and other Kingdoms

In the “Element Theory”, as explained in Jan Scholten’s “Homeopathy and the Elements”, the idea of the stages is central. The 18 stages are the 18 columns of the periodic table. They turn out to reflect a process of life, with a start, fulfilment and decline. This basic idea is not limited to the mineral kingdom. Processes of life seem even more suitable to living creatures of the plant and animal kingdom than to the so-called “dead” minerals. It turns out that the application of the stages to the plant and animal kingdom is very fruitful. Sankaran has proposed the idea of miasms to differentiate the plants in a family. It seems that the idea of stages gives more precise descriptions and better differentiation. In Jan Scholten’s presentation the stages of the Lanthanides, a group of elements “hidden” in the table of elements, were discussed in more detail with case examples.


3:00 – 3:45 p.m. Alize Timmerman, N.D.:
Enhancing physical Awareness as a Function of the Carbon Group

Usage of the carbon group is essential in the stage of growth and development. Thanks to Jan Scholten’s work we are now able to see the carbon group within a larger context. The periodic table can be used as a scheme for processes of growth and development. Alize Timmerman has worked on this with regard to development in children and highlighted in her presentation the importance of the carbon group.

Patricia LeRoux, MD:
Prescriptions of Acids in Paediatric Cases

From the proving of Hydrogen by Sherr and from Scholten’s work on minerals and elements, the search for unity comes forward as a core theme of acids. Using this theme Patricia LeRoux has explored 27 acids and has prescribed them successfully in a variety of acute and chronic disorders in children. After a short introduction on Hydrogen she discussed the materia medica, keynotes and cases of some acids, like Acetic acid, Butyric acid, Gallic acid, Chromic acid and Muriatic acid.

3:45 – 4:30 p.m. Jayesh Shah, LCEH (BOM):
‘Vital Sensation’ Approach in Mineral Cases

In his presentation Jayesh Shah intended to further the understanding of mineral remedies by presenting a new dimension to many ideas on minerals already known. By bringing the repertorial approach together with the approaches of Scholten and Sankaran he aimed to present a synthesis of the old and the new.

Andreas Bjørndal, MNHL:
Selecting the Simillimum through the Quantum Physics of the Periodic System

Andreas Bjørndal showed how quantum physics can confirm and contribute to the classification of the periodic system in the way Scholten, Sherr, Shah and Sankaran work. The quantum leap will make the importance of this kind of work even clearer and also provide a new key to continuing the improvement of system-thinking or themes in the periodic system. Sherr and Scholten have shown how the mathematics of the periodic system reflects in the themes or qualities in the remedies. Andreas Bjørndal showed how this is beautifully confirmed in the quantum physics of the periodic system.

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Jeremy Sherr, FSHom:
Codes and Riddles

Throughout the years Jeremy Sherr has made an impressive contribution to the expansion of the materia medica by conducting top-quality provings. In his presentation he discussed the proving of one of the elements from the mineral kingdom. Which one? That was the first riddle.

George Loukas, MD:
Spiral Classification of the Periodic System: A new Model for understanding the Essence of the Elements

In the early 90s Sankaran helped George Loukas to understand that delusions are not restricted to psychopaths but underlie the way each person perceives reality. Inspired by this insight he studied the materia medica and started to look in his patients for the personal way they meet reality. Being a psychiatrist helped him to enhance the theoretical model with the principles of cognitive psychology into “Cognitive Homeopathy”. The major part of his work concerns the study of the periodic table of elements, for which the systematic approach of Scholten was inspirational. Using the principle of synthesis he created many new triple salts, complex combinations containing three chemical elements besides hydrogen and oxygen. In October 2001, going through a phase of introspection in trying to heal himself from a very serious immobilising disease, he had the inspiration to create a spiral model for the periodic table. Using existing information for each of the elements he managed to define the characteristics of every circle of the spiral and that of every element in it. Using this model he started to create and use new remedies with success.

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

The Plant Kingdom


9:00 – 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon  Rajan Sankaran, MD:
The Significance of Sensation

A symptom and a case can be perceived at several levels. The fifth level, lying beyond the levels of Diagnosis, Fact, Emotion and Delusion levels is the Sensation level. In his presentation Rajan Sankaran discussed how to get to the deeper levels and to the Sensation of the case in order to identify the kingdom and within that the family, and how to establish the miasm to find the specific remedy in the selected family.


12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. Frans Vermeulen :
The Kingdoms of Monera and Fungi: An Exploration of System, Symptoms and Signature

Aristotle recognised two kingdoms: Animals and Plants. Contemporary homoeopathy recognises three: Animals, Plants, and Minerals. In Vermeulen’s opinion there are at least five: Animals, Plants, Minerals, Fungi and Monera. Frans Vermeulen shared his recent work on the latter two, thus complementing the presentations on the other three.

3:00 – 3:45 p.m. Irene Schlingensiepen-Brysch, MD:
The Symptom, the Subconscious and the Source

In her presentation Irene Schlingensiepen-Brysch evaluated the prescriptions she has made in her practice based on vital sensations, and shared where six years of validating this new methodology has led her. By taking plant sensations as an example she illustrated how the symptom as an expression of the subconscious can direct us to the source – the exact simillimum.

Nandita Shah, LCEH:
“I am afraid something will happen to him” – A Case of Taxus baccata

This is a case of a patient where a less used remedy that came up through a repertorisation could easily be identified, thanks to Rajan Sankaran’s idea of sensations, and confirmed through a proving of Jean Pierre Jansen published by Jeremy Sherr. The talk included a video case, a short discussion of the family and the miasm and follow ups.

3:45 – 4:30 p.m. Uta Santos-Koenig, MD:
Homeopathic Paradigma and Paradogma on Blueberry Hill

A good XX-case of Mangialavori has absolutely nothing to do with a good XX-case of Sankaran, even if both cases have a 10-year follow-up showing profound changes using this and only this remedy in an acute and chronic condition. Sankaran would certainly have prescribed something else for Mangialavori´s case and vice versa. Evidently, as both are very good prescribers, they would both be successful in a high percentage of cases using different remedies and very different reasons for the respective prescriptions. Apart from contradicting the fundamentalist idea of “there is only one correct remedy, and if there are two, one of them is not as deep as the other” – what could this indicate? Is there a meta-theory that could embrace both (and more) models, going beyond a simple respectful co-existence like “there are many ways to Rome”?

Resie Moonen, MD:
The Order of the Liliales

In the Liliales we see the theme of being included or excluded (a theme suggested by Sankaran for the family of Liliiflorae to which the liliales belong). This theme can be expressed in a different way in the different remedies of this plant family. In this lecture Resie Moonen explained how the theme is expressed in some smaller remedies and what the sensations and reactions mentioned by the patient are.

5:00 – 5:45 p.m. Will Taylor, MD:
Integration of Approaches into Practice with Regard to the Plant Kingdom

Linda Johnston, MD:
Identifying a New Plant Remedy: A Case Demonstration

A remedy from a plant that has not yet been part of the materia medica is much more difficult to identify and prescribe accurately than one from an animal source. Generally, the characteristics and qualities of animals are well known to us and often in the interview an animal source is even mentioned by name. Plants don’t enjoy these advantages. Using techniques from Sankaran and Chhabra and the general concepts of plant families, Linda Johnston demonstrated how to identify an unknown plant remedy.

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

The Animal Kingdom


9:00 – 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon  Massimo Mangialavori:
Animals: The Final Synthesis of Evolution

Although Massimo Mangialavori has worked on all kingdoms, it was especially his work on animal remedies that impressed the fraternity when many years ago his star rose as an international teacher. Animals are probably the only creatures on earth that are able to observe themselves. The animal kingdom is a complex and sophisticated kingdom and only very partially investigated in homoeopathic medicine. In his presentation Massimo Mangialavori discussed the ‘vertical relationships’ between members of the animal kingdom with substances from other kingdoms.


1:00 – 1:45 p.m. Annette Sneevliet, MD:
A guided Tour through the Zoo: How to spot the Animals

Annette Sneevliet has studied the methods of all three key speakers and has integrated their ways of case-taking and case-analysis. In daily practice she lets the individual patient guide her regarding the best way how to proceed. To illustrate this process she showed cases of animal remedies.

1:45 – 2:30 p.m. Anne Schadde, HP:
Sensation in the Animal Kingdom

Each patient has his individual way of reaction to life, to what happens to him, to the environment and everything that is connected to it. What is the expression, the sensation of a patient who needs a remedy from the animal kingdom? Which gestures, phrases, life situations give us hints to the most appropriate remedy? Anne Schadde showed video clips of patients where the gestures played an important role in finding the remedy. Sankarans altered strategy in case-taking, his understanding of the plant-, animal- and mineral kingdom, as well as Mangialavori’s and Scholten’s ideas have influenced Anne Schadde’s work during the past 20 years.

The conference ended with a resumee by Jeremy Sherr followed by a finale where Sherr, Sankaran, Mangialavori and Scholten were all on stage together.

Jeremy Sherr:

What I learned during this congress is how much I love all my friends here. It is lovely to be with friends. I met Massiomo in person for the first time yesterday, but I could not imagine that it was the first time, I feel as if I knew him forever. The other thing I learned was that there is so much that I do not yet know, that I still have to learn and I will put a lot of effort into that. On this journey, not all teachers have the same opinions, the same methods, but we all have the same intentions, we all love homeopathy, we want to heal the people, want to heal mankind. And the principle of similarity is also a law for respecting individuality. That’s the beauty of it. We, all together, form an entity.

To formulate a synthesis on all that happened here is really impossible for me, it is a lot too early for that. It will take quite some time. We have only started on this journey, with all the new methods, new ideas, and to form it all into a synopsis is quite an art in itself. Homeopathy always works toward a synthesis to enable us to see the whole picture. And, to join the pieces for the big picture needs lots of work, many hours in your practice rooms, a lot of time, a lot of thought. I think that a synthesis is linked to the clinical experience. Also, we need more conferences like this.

This was the celebration of 20years of LINKS, and I am very happy that I was with this magazine and wrote articles for it. It is a big success story. This is now the 20th birthday and I was pondering what will happen from now on, from the 21st birthday. With 21, one is an adult, and I am wondering what exactly constitutes adulthood and maturity? One has to be healthy. For that, one needs a healthy base in a healthy childhood, rounded in itself and concluding with a rounded, integrated personality partnered with the responsibility that comes with ‚coming of age’ to allow a dynamic move forwards.

I have looked at all the facets of progress in homeopathy and contemplated them, because with this conference we want to gather what the basis is nowadays. All the lectures come down to find  THE remedy and HOW to find the best way to find it. That is one facet of homeopathy, but not the only one. There’s more to the wholeness of homeopathy, not only the remedy. We have seen live cases here, but there is no such thing as the one true simillimum.

During the next conferences we will maybe see what’s happening with homeopathy. We spoke about new methods, called neoclassical homeopathy by Rajan for the fun of it. It is, in itself, quite a good name, an important facet – if we don’t develop, we will stagnate. There are fantastic new methods, we heard a lot about them during the conference. New paradigms arrive.We have to develop things further. But, on the other hand, we also have to verify these theses and theories and, as adults, leave behind us that which did not work and improve what does work, so that we finally find a synthesis. I am fond of saying that, in Homeopathy, your head should be in the clouds, but your feet have to stay firmly on the ground. And then we hope that these two parts will eventually find each other.

There are the old, classical methods. Many homeopaths are rediscovering these old methods. Many find their way back. We do have the experience of200 years of homeopathy at our disposal! We also have to work on the roots. Astonishing healing has been achieved in these 200 years. And, to have strong tree growing well, it needs strong roots.

This morning I went for a walk with Rajan and he told me about a homeopath in India who heals cancer. It is extraordinary how he does it and we agreed that it is a very difficult thing to do. And he does not even have a methodology. He just has a few formula and knows how he does it and he heals difficult cases with metastases where we have huge problems. And for him, it is not a problem at all. It is a different methology.

All this has to have very strong foundations and a quotation from Rajan’s book states that students of homeopathy are attracted by distinct homeopatic practices taught by charismatic teachers. I previously thought that the students were taught the same background of homeopathy. That they were taught systematically, like I was taught by my father. But that is not the case in many schools in many countries. They use shortcuts found by past masters. Quite often the knowlegde about these past masters is not sufficient, the basics are simply missing. And if one has not got a solid foundation, one tends to think in other directions, allows oneself to drift here and there. I think it is important to take this into account.

For somebody with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

I would like to tell you a little story. It is about a synagogue where there was a lot of quarrelling going on. One half of the people said that you have to stand up for praying, the other half said that you have to stay seated. And so they quarrelled on and on, and finally the synague was closed. Now they decided to ask an old rabbi for his advice. They went to the hospital where he lay in his bed, half-dead already, and the delegation said: ‘Rabbi, rabbi, please tell us, how was the praying done traditionally? Did one stand? And the rabbi answered: ‘no, no, that was not the tradition.’ And some said: ‘Yes, yes’, and the others said: ‘rabbi, tell them, tell them that we sat down for praying.’ And the rabbi answered: ‘no, no, that was not the tradition.’ Then they said: ‘Ok, rabbi, you have to come to a decision! We are quarrelling the whole time. We will eventually even kill each other!’ And the rabbi said:  ‘Yes, yes, that was the tradition!’

I believe that we could find some constructive tension in these methods. A certain amount of tension is good. We can grow with it like we do in a relationship. On the one hand it is said that one tries to scientificate homeopathy and on the other hand there is a definite move away from our basics. In homeopathy we also have the old ones that we can ask, they have the knowledge and can hand us a lot of the roots and the foundations. We have to think about the fact that, very soon, we will be grandfathers ourselves.


About the author

Siegfried Letzel

Siegfried Letzel

Siegfried Letzel - After working in ambulance service in Germany he assisted the German Red Cross in disaster relief following an earthquake in Algeria. He also worked with the League of Red Cross Societies in Geneva, Switzerland. He was sent to Darfur in Sudan to give support to refugees in emergency camps. Subsequently he studied biology in the Philippines and later became qualified as a natural health professional, specializing in TCM and homeopathy. For the last couple years he has been studying historical papers and the works of early homeopaths in search for the original and true homeopathy.

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